COTE COLLECTS WIN 111 AT BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY AS SEASON END NEARS

Bethel LogoBETHEL, NY – For 2013 BMS Modified champion John Cote, Bethel Motor Speedway’s Victory Lane is a familiar place. After all, the 17-year veteran of the track has visited it more than 100 times. This past Saturday, he made his 111th career trip to Bethel’s winners’ circle – his third of 2015 – in dominating fashion, in spite of running only a limited schedule.
Frank James, who has himself become a serious contender as the season has worn on, started on the pole, but Cote wasted no time putting his car out front, as he took the lead on the initial lap. Cote had a fast car all night, and he quickly began to distance himself from the competition, leaving James and current point leader Ed Dachenhausen to battle for the second spot behind him. The 20-lap event went green to checker with no cautions to slow the pace, and Cote led the way lap after lap. Dachenhausen made his way to second and gave chase to Cote, but Cote proved to be untouchable as he maintained a sizeable lead over the field. Dachenhausen had to be content with second as Cote claimed his first win since mid-May. James was third to cross the line.
Heading into the final weekend, Cote is the only driver mathematically able to grab the championship from Dachenhausen, but Dachenhausen has the advantage of a comfortable 75-point cushion. Blair Culhane is locked into the third position in the point standings for the season.
Jerry Curry took off from the pole and picked up his seventh win of the season in the 358/Sportsman class, but the win did not come without its share of challenges. Rich Coons started alongside Curry, but Curry nosed out front at the drop of the green. Rick Mill came to second with just two laps in the books, and he immediately began to apply pressure to Curry. A red flag with six laps down set the stage for a front row restart between Curry and Mill, and Mill got the advantage. Mill remained on the point until lap 11, when mechanical difficulties set in and he was forced to retire from the event, giving the lead back to Curry. Curry stayed out front for the remainder of the race, in spite of the challenges of Rich Coons. Curry crossed the line ahead of Coons and Jeff Richardson.
Both Curry and Kyle Redner are still mathematically able to take home the division title following this coming week’s events. Curry leads Redner by 55 points in the standings. Dan Dulin, who was the 2014 Rookie of the Year in the class, heads into the final weekend third in points.
Legends driver Teddy Hodgdon has had quite the season – he picked up his first career win at Bethel in July, and has since followed it up with several additional wins in a season that was highlighted by his becoming the youngest driver ever to win the prestigious LegendStock event in August. The young driver has continued to impress, picking up his fifth win of the year this past Saturday in an event that was cut several laps short after exceeding the time limit. Rookie David French started on the pole, with Drew Bottge to his outside. French grabbed the lead as soon as the green flag waved, leaving Bottge and Jim Sylvester to fight for the second spot. With four laps complete, Alex McCollum entered the fray, taking the lead briefly before French reclaimed it. McCollum laid claim to the top spot once again several laps later, but was relegated to the rear of the field for rough riding. This put French out front once again, with Hodgdon and Allan Pedersen in his rearview mirror. As the three ran in tight quarters, Hodgdon was able to make a successful bid for the lead, and he took over the top spot on lap 13. Five laps later, the caution flew and the checkered flag was thrown, as the time limit had already expired. French was second in the final rundown, and Pedersen was third.
Joseph Graf has already secured the 2015 title for the Legends Pro/Masters/Semi Pro class. Heading into the final track points event, Richie Coy is second in the standings and Brad Lowmaster is third. McCollum has also secured a championship, taking the title for the Young Lions class. Hodgdon heads into the final event second in points, with Gillian Kirkpatrick third.
Defending Bandolero champion David French locked up his second consecutive championship several weeks ago, but his win this past Saturday gave him a perfect record for the 18 races that are counted for the season in the division. Rookie Tyler Dachenhausen started on the pole and led the first lap before French powered his way to the lead in the caution-free event. With just three laps in the books, Rudy Roth IV worked his way into the second spot, and he set his sights on French. French, however, consistently hit his marks lap after lap, making it virtually impossible for the competition to catch him. French drove on to the win, followed by Roth and Dachenhausen. While the title has already been claimed, Sean Verwys heads into the final event second in the standings, with Jessica Ricci third.
In Beginner Bandolero action, Joey Aungst took off from the outside pole to claim his fourth consecutive win and eighth of the season. At the drop of the green, Aungst took the lead over pole sitter Isabella Macchia. By lap three, Conner Piasecki had moved into the second spot. He challenged Aungst over the remaining laps, but had to settle for second as Aungst crossed the line ahead of Piasecki and Macchia.
Former Pro Stock champion Ed Butler collected his sixth win of the season, coming from the fourth starting spot to take down the win. Vinny Stanton Sr. led the first four laps as Butler quickly marched towards the front. By lap five, Butler had taken over the top spot. Just two laps later, Greg Cohen made his way to second from his sixth place starting position. Cohen gave chase to Butler, but found himself unable to make a successful bid for the lead as Butler led Cohen to the finish. Following post-race tech, third was awarded to Jim Helt. Kenny Atkins heads into the final weekend atop the point standings, with only Helt being mathematically able to contend for the title. Cohen sits third.
Street Stock rookie Walt Henry took the lead from Vinny Stanton Jr. just prior to the halfway point of the caution-free, 20-lap Street Stock event and went on to collect his third win of the year. Stanton started on the pole, with Henry on his outside. For the first seven laps, Stanton showed the way, but Henry applied constant pressure and was unrelenting in his mission to get out front. On lap eight, Henry finally laid claim to the spot. Once out front, Henry never looked back, and Stanton was forced to follow Henry across the line as the checkered flag waved. Kyle Welsch was awarded third following post-race tech. Gary VanOrden Sr. has already clinched the championship over his daughter, defending division champion Amber VanOrden. Steve Smalley heads into the final weekend in the third spot.
Mike Travis picked up his sixth 4 Cylinder Advanced win of the season and extended his points lead to 47 over Dan Curry, the only other driver mathematically able to make a bid for the championship. Eddy Lindstadt and Patty Falkena took off from the front row, with Falkena leading the first lap before Lindstadt grabbed it on lap two. Lindstadt’s time out front was short-lived also, as Travis had made his way from the sixth starting spot to take over the lead with just three laps in the books. Two laps later, 2014 4 Cylinder Novice champion Brian Bauernfeind took over the second spot, leaving Lindstadt to fight for third with Curry. Curry prevailed owith 13 laps in the books and grabbed third, but neither Bauernfeind nor Curry were able to catch Travis, who drove on to the win. Bauernfeind was second, and Curry finished third.
For the fourth time in 2015, Dan Houghtaling found his way to Victory Lane in the 4 Cylinder Novice class, leading every lap of the caution-free event to claim the win. Houghtaling started on the pole, with Felicia Reichenbaugh to his outside. James Shields quickly came to second, and James Curry took over third with three laps in the books. Just prior to the halfway point, Lee Cogswell grabbed third. Cogswell surrendered the position to Gene Helms – who had started ninth – with seven laps remaining. Helms wasted no time taking over second, as he did so on the next lap. Houghtaling had already built up a sizeable lead, however, and Helms ran out of time to catch him. Helms had to be content with second, and Shields crossed the line third. Both John Houghtaling and D. Houghtaling are mathematically able to unseat current point leader David Donovan heading into the final weekend.
This coming Saturday, October 3, the point season at Bethel will conclude with twin 25-lap features for the BMS Modified, 358/Sportsman, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes. The Legends and Bandoleros will each compete in a single feature. Gates open at 2:30 pm, with hot laps at 4:30 pm, and racing set to go green at 6 pm. Grandstand admission is just $6.
The Legends and Bandoleros will return on Sunday for INEX national point races before the racing season at the speedway officially concludes. Gates open at 12 noon on Sunday, with hot laps at 2 pm and racing beginning at 3 pm.
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. John Cote (New Milford, CT), 2. Ed Dachenhausen, 3. Frank James, 4. Blair Culhane, 5. Robbie Konikowski, 6. Chris Chirico.
358/SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Jerry Curry (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Rich Coons, 3. Jeff Richardson, 4. Philip Goetschius Jr., 5. Paul Knox, 6. Connor Otten, 7. Rick Mill, 8. Kyle Redner, 9. Dan Dulin. DQ – Dave Werber.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (17 laps): 1. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT), 2. David French, 3. Allan Pedersen, 4. Jim Sylvester, 5. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 6. Eugene Drew, 7. Dave Riopelle, 8. Drew Bottge, 9. Matt Forsythe, 10. Jerry Macchia, 11. Connor Holderbach, 12. Vern Lafave, 13. Mike Policastro, 14. Richie Coy, 15. Alex McCollum, 16. Mark Foster, 17. Josh Andrews.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. David French (Rome, PA), 2. Rudy Roth IV, 3. Tyler Dachenhausen, 4. Sean Verwys, 5. Mike Roth, 6. Jessica Ricci, 7. Bryan Chirico.
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Joey Aungst (Pompton Lakes, NJ), 2. Conner Piasecki, 3. Isabella Macchia, 4. Katie Verwys, 5. Nick Archiere.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Butler (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Greg Cohen, 3. Jim Helt, 4. David Doty, 5. Kenny Atkins, 6. Mac Crawson, 7. Skip LaPolt. DQ – Vinny Stanton Sr.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Walt Henry (Maybrook, NY), 2. Vinny Stanton Jr., 3. Kyle Welsch, 4. Steve Smalley, 5. Ryan Brockner, 6. Tweeter Pallom, 7. Jay Smalley. DQ – Gary VanOrden, Amber VanOrden.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Mike Travis (Liberty, NY), 2. Brian Bauernfeind, 3. Dan Curry, 4. Eddy Lindstadt, 5. Ivan Guerra, 6. Patty Falkena, 7. Brent Shaddock, 8. Cody Houghtaling. DQ – Jerry Kingeter.
4 CYLINDER NOVICE FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Dan Houghtaling (Liberty, NY), 2. Gene Helms, 3. James Shields, 4. James Curry, 5. David Donovan, 6. Lee Cogswell, 7. John Houghtaling, 8. Felicia Reichenbaugh, 9. Travis Cogswell, 10. Johnny Bankich.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Stafford

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Whelen Mods Headline 43rd Annual NAPA Fall Final Weekend

  • Three-Way Battle Returns To Stafford

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2015) – The Doug Coby-Woody Pitkat-Ryan Preece battle has played out across the northeast the last two years, but nowhere has it been more magnified than at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway – the venue for Sunday’s NAPA Fall Final 150.

The trio has won 11 of the previous 15 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at the historic half-mile, including the last six in a row. Coby claimed five of those checkered flags from 2012-14, but Pitkat (two) and Preece (three) have won the last five in a row while Preece garnered a fourth win in the midst of Coby’s run.

In the tour’s last visit to Stafford in August, Preece, Coby and Pitkat finished 1-2-3, which was a microcosm of the season-long championship battle between the three. All three have taken their turn atop the standings – the only drivers to do so this year – and the margin between first and second has never reached double digits.

Following last week’s fireworks at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where Coby bumped Preece from the race and championship lead with contact on the last lap of the event, Pitkat returns to his hometown track with an eight-point edge on Preece atop the standings. Coby’s max-points New Hampshire victory, combined with Preece’s 19th place finish after the contact, gained Coby 14 points on the day. He remained in third, but is now just 11 points behind the leader instead of the 25-tally hole he had prior to New Hampshire.

The situation is reminiscent of the 2009 season when the Whelen Modified Tour went into Fall Final weekend with Ted Christopher leading Donny Lia by one and Preece by 12. Lia took the Fall Final 150 checkered flag and went on to celebrate the championship three weeks later in the finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Stafford’s final weekend is no stranger to close championship chases in recent seasons. Including that 2009 battle and the current season, four of the last seven years the margin between first and second has been eight points or less entering the Fall Final 150.

Pitkat and Preece will want to continue their recent success at Stafford because the season finale at Thompson looms as an advantage for Coby. He’s led 289 of 425 laps en route to max-points victories in each of the three races there this year.

RACE:  NAPA Fall Final 150

PLACE:  Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway

DATE:  Sunday, Oct. 4

TIME:  3:15 p.m. ET (approx.)

TELECAST:  NBCSN, Oct. 10, 4 p.m. ET

TRACK LAYOUT:  .5-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

2014 WINNER:  Ryan Preece

2014 POLESITTER:  Bobby Santos

EVENT SCHEDULE:  Saturday – Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Qualifying 2:30 p.m., Sunday – NAPA Pit Party Driver Autograph Session 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

TRACK CONTACT:  Scott Runnin, scottrunning@staffordspeedway.com

TRACK TWITTER:  @StaffordSpeedwy

EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG:  #NAPAFallFinal

NASCAR CONTACT:  Jason Cunningham,  jcunningham@nascar.com, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE

Fast Facts:

The Race:  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline Stafford Motor Speedway’s 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend with the last of its four trips to the historic half mile in 2015. The NAPA Fall Final 150 will be the 14th of 15 events on the schedule.

The Procedure:  The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 33 cars, including provisionals. The first 28 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (75 miles) and is an impound race with three change tires allowed for the event.

The Track:  A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967. Stafford’s 117 Whelen Modified Tour races are second all-time.

Race Winners:  There have been 32 different race winners at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. Woody Pitkat and Ryan Preece have combined to win the last five events at the track.

Pole Winners:  There have been 43 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Ryan Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph), set during the 2012 Spring Sizzler.

NAPA Fall Final 150 Notes:

Williams Set for Tour Debut:  Stafford Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standout Ronnie Williams is set to make his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut in the NAPA Fall Final 150. Williams, whose first tour start will come four days prior to his 19th birthday, has racked up six SK Modified feature wins at Stafford this year to tie Rowan Pennink for the division lead. He will pilot a modified owned by tour veteran and fellow Stafford weekly competitor Ted Christopher in the NAPA Fall Final 150.

 

Preece’s Busy Schedule Continues:  Following last Saturday’s F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ryan Preece made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut the following day at the same track and finished 32nd after he started 37th. In addition to chasing two modified championships, he has a pair of other ventures on the horizon as he will compete in this Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway as well as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event on Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

Emerling’s Step-Up Season:  Patrick Emerling is well on the way to his best record in five years on the Whelen Modified Tour. With two races remaining he already has two more top-10 finishes than his previous career high, and last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway his runner-up finish to Doug Coby was his best finish in 67 career starts. Emerling earned his first career Coors Light Pole Award in the Whelen Modified Tour’s last visit to Stafford in August, and duplicated that the following week at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. He currently sits fifth in points.

 

Home Tracks:  Pennink Poised for First Title

Rowan Pennink brings a 12-point lead in the SK Modified division standings into NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend in an attempt to secure his first career Stafford Motor Speedway track championship. Pennink has posted six wins and 18 top 10s in 21 starts to lead Ryan Preece, who ranks second with three triumphs with 19 top 10s. The 2011 track titlist Preece has finished as the championship runner-up by a mere two points in each of the two previous seasons.

NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour News & Notes: Hickory

nascar whelen mod sou[2]Tour Returns To Track For First Time Since 2011

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2015) – The penultimate event on the 2015 schedule will be held this Saturday as the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to Hickory Motor Speedway for the first time since 2011 for the MTP Tire 150.

One driver who is looking forward to returning to the track is four-time Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion George Brunnhoelzl III. Brunnhoelzl has rebounded from a tough start to the season with three straight podium finishes to get back in contention for a potential fifth championship.

Brunnhoelzl won at Hickory in 2011 when he took the lead from Zach Brewer with two laps to go in the race. The West Babylon, New York, native will be the only driver in the field this weekend that has won a NASCAR-sanctioned modified race at the historic track.

Veterans Frank Fleming, Burt Myers and Jason Myers are the only drivers currently entered to have started both previous races held at the .363-mile track. The Myers brothers enter the race in contention for the 2015 championship, 10 points behind leader Andy Seuss with Brunnhoelzl 13 points back.

Burt Myers, who won his lone NWSMT championship in 2010, is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in both previous races at HMS. The Walnut Cove, North Carolina, driver finished third in 2006 and eighth in 2011.

Seuss goes after his second straight win and third this season at Hickory after scoring the checkered flag last time out at South Boston Speedway two weeks ago. Seuss finished sixth at HMS in his lone start at the track in 2006.

 

Race Details

RACE: MTP Tire 150

PLACE: Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, N.C.

DATE: Saturday, Oct. 3

TIME: 8 p.m. ET (Approximately)

TRACK LAYOUT: .363-mile asphalt oval

2011 WINNER: George Brunnhoelzl III

2011 POLE SITTER: Patrick Emerling

EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 2-2:25 p.m.; Final practice 2:55-3:20 p.m.; Two-Lap Qualifying 5 p.m.; Autograph Session 6:15 p.m. (On Track)

TRACK CONTACT:        Kevin Piercy

TRACK TWITTER:         @HickorySpeedway

EVENT HASHTAG:        #Hickory150

NASCAR CONTACT:     Tim Southers,

 

Fast Facts

The Race: The MTP Tire 150 will be the 10th of 11 races of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship season. This is the tour’s third visit to the historic oval, and first since 2011.

The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining three starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (54.45 miles) and teams have an opportunity to pit and change one tire during the event.

The Track: Hickory is a .363-mile high-banked asphalt oval located in Hickory, North Carolina, that features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, headlined by the late model division. The track is a .363-mile paved oval with 14 degrees of banking in Turns 1 & 2 and 12 degrees in Turns 3 & 4. The straightaways have eight degrees of banking.

The Records: Patrick Emerling holds the qualifying record of 92.119 mph on April 2, 2011; Junior Miller holds the race record set on Sept. 30, 2006, 82.548 mph, 39 minutes 15 seconds. The race in 2006 was caution free.

Hickory 150 Notes

Jason Myers Ready for Hickory: After finishing seventh at South Boston Speedway, Jason Myers will look to rebound this week at Hickory Motor Speedway. Myers has recorded one top-10 finish in two previous starts at the track. Although he enters this weekend tied in the championship standings with older brother, Burt, he’s in third place as Burt owns the tiebreaker with his win at Langley Speedway in April.

Measmer Honors Mother With Paint Scheme: Bobby Measmer Jr. has enjoyed a recent run of success as the Concord, North Carolina, driver is coming off of his career-best finish of third and his first Coors Light Pole Award at South Boston on Sept. 19th. He has painted his No. 14 modified pink to honor his mother who is battling breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Famous Names: Some famous names that have driven at the track include the late Ralph Earnhardt, who won a total of five track championships, while NASCAR Hall of Fame members Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson also own track titles. Fellow Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett also called the track home early in his career. A total of 10 already or soon-to-be inductees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame won races at the track.

Home Tracks: Piercy Scores Track Championship

University of North Carolina at Charlotte Engineering student Matt Piercy was able to outlast fellow second generation driver Landon Huffman to win the Hickory Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship in Late Model Stocks two weeks ago. Piercy topped Huffman, who is the son of former NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series champion Robert Huffman, by just eight points.