WALL NEW JERSEY- Wall Stadium. The ground pounders of the NASACR Whelen Modified Tour invade Wall Stadium for the first time in 12 years. The last WMT race at Wall Stadium was in 2007. Only a handful of the current drivers of the Tour have many laps under their belt at Wall. Most notable and the winner of the last Tour race here in 07, Jimmy Blewett. Blewett is a weekly regular and multi time champion at Wall. Not only is it his home track it fits his style of driving. If you have never been to Wall, the best way I can describe this battle arena is it is a combination of the old Riverside Park in MA, Waterford Speedbowl and a mini Thompson. Like Thompson it has different and tight corners that are very high banked (30 degrees at Wall) and is shaped like a paperclip. Also Like a banked paper clip was Riverside Park Speedway In MA. Though wall is bigger at 1/3 of mile compared to Riverside that was a ¼ mile.
Like Riverside you have to be on the wheel at all times as things happen fast at Wall. It is similar to the Waterford Speedbowl in the way that it’s a drivers track it maybe small but is a very fast track too like the Bowl. As the high banks here help the cars stick and carry very fast speeds. The straightaways are also very banked (photo of Legends shows). Wall is always hard-nosed racing. Unlike Thompson and the Bowl, Wall has only one preferred groove so passing takes some work and most times contact and is always exciting. It also could be compared to a Monadnock with the banking and one groove but faster. Its a true Stadium that sits down below you in its own hole, with a completely paved infield. The sound and feeling of the cars is awesome. I would also compare it in ways as the local short track Bristol Speedway in TN the Cup runs at. Its fast, banked and lots of action and contact, all your senses are going hard at once like Bristol.
With the lack of recent races here for tour drivers and the hard nose racing style needed to conquer Wall it will surely be a big advantage for hometown drivers, like Blewett. Also Tour driver Andrew Krause #24 runs here weekly and his family is currently operating this track. Krause has many laps and many successful ones here so look for him to be there when it counts. The youngster that has been making some notice lately is Blake Barney. Barney runs Wall regularly as well and if there was a time and place for him to showcase his talents this is it. Local and tour legend Jamie Tomaino will be driving his #99, Tomaino knows this track in his sleep. Now living down south and semi retired running selected races you bet when Wall came on the schedule he was going to be there. Anthony Sesely, a Wall regular and top driver is entered and will attempt to make the 28 car field in his first Tour start.
Some big news is southern star Danny Bohn is making the trip to drive for southern team Harvey racing in the #1, sometimes run by Burt Myers. Bohn is a NJ native with plenty of laps run here at Wall and should really mix things up. For those wondering who Bohn may be, just to give you his Southern Whelen Tour Mod stats he has 51 starts with 42 top 10s, 27 top 5’s and 4 wins.
One thing to note is Wall's weekly Modified division is basically tour modifieds and have very similar rules to the Tour, so there is bigger pool of local potential drivers compared to some other places the tour visits. Also like Wall, Riverhead Speedway on Long Island NY runs similar rules, many of the Riverhead boys have also turned some laps here. Wall maybe most noted for its annual Turkey Derby, run Thanksgiving weekend every year and is a driver and fan favorite. They run what usually is a great show and includes a Tour Type Modifed open show where many drivers from all over the east coast run for on last hurrah. Divers like Dave Sapeinza, Doug Coby, Timmy Solimito run Wall well Matt Swanson has run the Turkey Derby as well just to name a few have run. Unlike November where we have seen snow at the Turkey Derby before, Saturdays race looks to be sunny and in the 70’s. This may be a little challenge for some teams to set up as their notes maybe from grey 30 degree nights of the Derby. The Riverhead boys also tend to run well at Wall because it’s a similar driving style with contact and needing to move people at times to get by. Do not get us wrong a fast car hooked up right can and will make the outside passes but a fast car not hooked up in the corners well, will still be competitive but will need to make the holes down low.
The Top 10 in points after 4 races are as follows.
1 Doug Coby 171
2 Patrick Emerling 154 (-17)
3 Ron Silk 151 (-20)
4 Jimmy Blewett 145 (-26)
5 Justin Bonsignore 138 (-33)
6 Eric Goodale 134 (-37)
7 Craig Lutz 132 (-39)
8 Chris Pasteryak 131 (-40)
9 Woody Pitkat 126 (-45)
10 Blake Barney 124 (-47)
Last weeks Tour winner at Stafford and points leader, Doug Coby #2 has run Wall before and enjoys it. Coby may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about and aggressive driver, but he can be when needed. Many forget this as often he can be out front from the start and does not have to fight his way forward. Or if he is in the pack a bit behind it tends to be because his car is just not there and he tends to not push it beyond what the car is that day. If the cars hooked up and there are cars in front you can bet Coby knows how to use the chrome horn selectively. Western New York’s Patrick Emerling #07
has been very consistent this season and last. He know how to hold them off and stand his ground. That’s what he will need to do if he wants to keep the consistency up and hold his second place in points. Ron Silk #85 is a name that comes to mind for some when thinking of an aggressive driver, Wall may suit Silks driving style well. He can get it done at big tracks but also shines at the small fast bull ring style speedways. We would not be surprised to see him banging nerfs and bumpers with the next guy, “Showtime” Jimmy Blewett in the #21. As mention this is Showtime's track, it fits his hard nose driving style and he does not like when anyone invades his track and runs up front besides him. He goes through chrome horns like TC did. The 2018 Whelen Tour Champion #51 Justin Bonsignore should feel at home Saturday, Wall maybe much more banked than his home track of Riverhead but the driving style needed to make it up front and stay there is very similar. Sitting 5th in points and 33 back from Coby he needs to make it to the end and be up front to gain in the points battle. #58 Riverhead’s Eric Goodale should have no issues navigating Wall with his #58 and making the moves to the front.
Craig Lutz who maybe one of the most underrated drivers on the Tour has many laps on aggressive and fast bull rings. #46 Lutz from Long Island knows how to run The Head and ran multiple seasons at The Waterford Speedbowl. Lutz is an aggressive driver and is not scared to dual with the best of them, he will push the limits and has no problem moving someone or sending it in. With one of his best runs giving Coby a hell of a challenge last week from the Sizzler win. Look for him to carry that confidence and momentum into Wall and possibly nail that first overdue Tour ”W”. Chris Pasteryak had a rough ride at Stafford but looks to comeback and try and tame wall. Pasteryak #75 has done well at the Speedbowl and will use that experience to fight towards the front this weekend. Woody Pitkat #82 coming off an up and down day At Stafford was able to salvage a P11. Pitkat is no stranger to bull ring racing and not afraid to make waves or pass’s no matter what it may take. Sitting in tenth is rookie and Wall regular #14 Blake Barney, having a good start to the season for a rookie. Barney will be looking to put on a show for the hometown crowd and the many visitors expected to be at Wall.
With the many drivers that have a good chance at the checkers, there are still more including some competitive looking rookies as well as regulars that have a good shot. The key to Wall and for 150 laps is survival. Things happen fast and hard here. Cars can get torn up bad in a second and multiple car incidents are not uncommon because of the tight racing, tight room and fast speed. Luck and survival to lap 150 will be as big of a part of the wining puzzle as the car and driver are. The race is 150 laps at around lap 100 there will be a planned yellow for pit stops. There is a 3 tire rule and fuel can not be done with tire changes. The Tour feature itself is at Approximately 8:30, Qualifying at 5:45 and features at 7:00, this race should be one not to miss. Take the drive to Wall New Jersey to witness what maybe on of the ones we talk about long after the checkers.
LEE NH- Lee Speedway. Its a weekend for a Northeast Modified junkie, Sunday The MRS (Modified Racing Series) is at Lee for its Twin 50's. Twin 50's are always great events at Lee, they prevent sandbagging and tire management worries and can be big points days as well. Qualifying starts at 1:30 on Sunday. The Granite State Pro Stock Series will also be there along with some of Lee's divisions. This is a 2 day event as NEMA and Pro 4 mods run Saturday along with other divisions qualifying. MRS expects around 25 cars with this being only there second race of the season as weather and delays in tracks opening have canceled/postponed some events for MRS so far. And the MRS drivers and fans are itchy for some great action. So take a Sunday drive to Lee to experience some of fun at a great facility with many new improvements. Until The Next Green Flag Drops RG #ModOn #ShortTrackNation