SEEKONK, Mass. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Stafford Motor Speedway photo —
After seven years away, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to the famed 1/2 mile Stafford Motor Speedway this Friday evening, June 17, for the running of the Stafford 150.
On Wednesday, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will compete in their fifth race of the season at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. On Saturday, Seekonk Speedway holds two Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series races and on Friday, Seekonk has the INEX Legends Triple Crown 30 lap special.
That is just a taste of what is ahead this week in the New England racing scene.
Let’s take a look at all the rest in this weeks edition of “The Week Ahead,” on RaceChaserOnline….
K&N Pro Series East Returns To Stafford
Points leader Justin Haley leads the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East back to Stafford Motor Speedway this Friday night. The last appearance at Stafford saw Peyton Sellers capture the checkered flag after Ted Christopher and Brian Ickler made contact in the final laps.
So far in 2016, the series has seen some competitive action and some intense finishes. Most recently, the tour stopped at Dominion Speedway in Virginia where NASCAR Next driver Spencer Davis scored the victory by inches over Haley.
Friday, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions of Stafford will compete in regular feature racing — but no qualifying. Races will be lined up based on the regular points system the track uses weekly. The SK Modifieds, DARE Stocks, Late Models, Limited Late Models, INEX Legends and SK Light Modifieds will all be on the racing card.
Qualifying for the K&N Pro Series East starts at 6:15 p.m., with the Stafford feature races to follow. The Stafford 150 is scheduled to go green at approximately 9:15 p.m.
Whelen Mods Race Five of 2016 at Thompson
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Thompson Speedway on Wednesday evening for the running of the Thompson 125.
It will be the second of four appearances on the 5/8 mile oval for the NWMT teams. The first event in April was the IceBreaker 150, won by Islip, New York driver Timmy Solomito. Doug Coby comes into the event with a 24 point lead over Justin Bonsignore and a 28 point lead over Donny Lia in the updated championship standings.
Thompson will have their regular weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions in action on Wednesday night, as well as the NEMA Lites. The Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stocks and Sunoco Modifieds will all compete in their qualifying and feature racing.
Heat racing for the Thompson divisions begins at 5 p.m. and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying goes green at 7 p.m. The Thompson 125 lap feature for the tour is going green at approximately 8:45 p.m.
Busy Weekend of Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Racing at Seekonk
With last Saturday’s rainout at the 1/3 mile Seekonk Speedway, a busy weekend of racing is ahead to make up for lost time. On Friday, the Fast Friday Series continues with week three action — headlined by a 30 lap INEX Legends feature event. It will be the first round of three in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series for the Nick’s Pit Stop Legend Cars.
So far, Jake Johnson, Nick Lascuola and Ryan Kuhn have visited victory lane and there is no reason why a fourth different winner won’t carry the checkered on Friday. The Sport 4, Pure Stocks & SYRA divisions will also compete in regular qualifying and feature racing on Friday night. The Legends Cars will have outside driver introductions on the track prior to the feature. Heats begin at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, it’s a doubleheader of Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series racing action. The Pro Stocks are set for the annual Brad Scott Memorial/Phil’s Propane 75 lapper, the first extra-distance of the year for them. Last year, it was Tom Scully Jr. holding off Ryan Vanasse and Kyle Casper in the final laps of the opening 75 lapper.
The Late Models, who missed their extra-distance race last week because of rain, will also take center stage with a 50 lap feature race. Ryan Vanasse and Bobby Pelland, two former division champions, will be in action against defending champion Dylan Estrella and most recent division winner Gerry DeGaspere Jr., among others.
The Street Stocks have extra money up for grabs in their 25 lap feature and the Sports Trucks are also on the card for a 25 lap main event. It will all go down as part of Helger’s SouthCoast Power night at the races. Heats begin at 6 p.m.
GSPSS Returns To Claremont Speedway
The Granite State Pro Stock Series returns to “the place where it all began” on Friday night.
Claremont Speedway in Claremont, New Hampshire played host to the series inaugural race in 2011 and last year, defending champion Derek Griffith found himself carrying the checkered flag around the 1/4 mile oval.
“I think last year at Claremont we were on the ball, Louie Mechalides (crew chief) sets up a rocket everywhere we go and I have full faith in him and his skills,” Griffith said in a series release. “I am looking forward to racing with Jeremy Davis and DJ Shaw again, those guys race you hard, but they race you clean, it’s great door-to-door racing. I really liked Claremont the last time, I hope we are as strong as we were when we won.”
Current points contenders Barry Gray, Mike Parks & Mike Mitchell, among others, are expected to be in contention for a $2,000 prize. Heat racing begins at 7 p.m.
Iron Mike Memorial For NEMA at Monadnock
The NEMA Midgets return to action on Saturday night with a full slate of racing action at the 1/4 mile Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire. The annual Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial feature event will be contested on the high-banks, along with the regular divisions of the Monadnock Speedway.
Current points leaders in the NEMA class include Avery Stoehr, Randy Cabral and John Zych Jr. and all will be hoping to carry the checkered flag in the special event race.
Qualifying action gets underway at 6 p.m.
ACT Tour Stops at Speedway 51
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) returns to the 1/4 mile Speedway 51 on Saturday evening for a 151 lap feature race. Coming into the event, Nick Sweet, driver of the No. 40VT, leads the points standings over Eddie MacDonald. Scott Payea, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Bobby Therrien complete the balance of the top-five.
Five different drivers have carried the checkered flag so far this season and Saturday nights event will mark the halfway point of the exciting 2016 campaign for ACT.
Qualifying racing is scheduled to go green just after 5:30 p.m.
VMRS Returns to action at Oxford Plains
Coming off their event at Seekonk Speedway two weeks ago, won by Anthony Nocella, the Valenti Modified Racing Series is back in action on Saturday night at the famed Oxford Plains Speedway. Series points leader and defending champion Woody Pitkat leads the way into the race, but he has many challengers right on his tail.
Former series champion Jon McKennedy and Mike Willis Jr. are close behind Pitkat coming into Oxford and they are followed by Todd Patnode and Russ Hersey.
Qualifying gets underway at 6:30 p.m. and the Legends, Street Stocks, PASS Mods, Super Late Models and NEMST will also all be on the racing schedule.
Rocco Gunning For Another at the Speedbowl
The SK Modified division headlines action on Saturday at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Most recently, Keith Rocco carried the checkered flag in the class, but this 2016 season has also been about new drivers in victory lane in the SK class. Dylan Izzo captured a victory earlier in the year in the 35 lap feature race.
For more information, fans can visit www.speedbowlct.com
Enjoy the exciting week and weekend ahead in the New England racing scene. Coming up in a few weeks — there are some big races! We will talk more about those as the time comes.
About the Writer
Kyle Souza is an aspiring Journalism major at the Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Souza is Race Chaser Online’s New England motorsports insider, covering everything from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and the PASS North Super Late Models.
When not writing, Souza works at the Seekonk Speedway as the track’s Friday night public address announcer and press writer, and is also the Media Director for both the Granite State Pro Stock Series and the Tri Track Open Modified Series.
Email Kyle at: [email protected]
Follow on Twitter: @Kouza34
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