Aug. 9, 2005

Denise Barry Dion passed away suddenly on Wednesday, August 3. Denise was the sister and spotter of Modified driver Ken Barry (21), daughter to car owner Art and Deborah Barry and wife to Wayne Dion, Pro Stock driver. Denise, 45, was swimming when she began experiencing sudden abdominal pain and was then rushed to the hospital, put on life support, and by early evening, had passed away.

George "Mad Dog" Bessette, a frequent winner at the Thompson Speedway broke his back in a last lap accident at Oxford Plains Speedway while trying to qualify for the recent Oxford 250. He was out of a qualifying position when the driver behind pushed him into the wall. He is not paralyzed but is in a lot of pain. Bessette was diagnosed with having broken his first vertebrae.

Jeff Malave padded his Sunoco Modified point lead at the Thompson Speedway last Thursday night. Malave received a gift when the top three, Kerry Malone, Bo Gunning and Richard Savory tangled with eight laps to go. Bert Marvin ended up second with Todd Ceravolo, third. Ricky Shawn and Kenny Bouchard rounded out the top five. Second generation driver Fred Astle, driving the Rollie Linblad No. 48 went pole to pole to win the Pro Stock feature. Other Thursday night winners were Glenn Boss who took his fifth win of the year in the Limited Sportsman, Dennis Botticello in the Late Models, Randy Jurcik in the Mini Stocks and Chad Gaudiosi in the Thompson Modifieds.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the Riverhead Raceway last Saturday night. Donnie Lia has emerged as the next leader of the Long Island gang as he continues to turn in impressive finishes. At Riverhead he started on the pole and paced himself behind early leader John Fortin who led the first 39 laps. A faulty transmission ended Fortin’s night. Lia was waiting in the wings and took command of the situation and never looked back as he led the balance of the 200-lap event to record the win. Tony Hirschman came from 8th spot to finish second with Jerry Marqius, third. Rounding out the top five were Chuck Hossfeld and Eric Beers.

Chris Kopec has elected to step aside from his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ride because of medical problems. Mike Stefanik has moved from the Brady Bunch No.00 to the vacated No. 16. John Blewett III has taken over the Brady car

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series returns to the Stafford Motor Speedway this Friday night.for what has been billed as Modified Madness. Originally conceived by former Stafford promoter Ed Yerrington, the original Modified Madness was a mid-week, wide open competition event that drew over 9000 spectators after Yerrington announced that escorted women would get in for free!

Eric Berndt ended a long dry spell at Stafford on Friday night as every lap of the 40 lap SK Modified feature. Jeff Baral finished second with Lloyd Agor, third. Donnie Lia and Mike Holdredge rounded out the top five. Tom Butler was the Late Model winner.

The Waterford Speedbowl saw Dennis Charette lead every lap of the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Ron Yuhas Jr. finished second with Rob Janovic, third. Dennis Botticello was the Late Model winner with Tim Fogg taking top honors in the Sportsman. Bill Leonard was the Mini Stock winner.

In TV land, this week’s viewing will consist of an extensive amount of Speed Channel programming. NASCAR Nation is now on every day, Monday thru Friday at 7:00pm. This weeks viewing begins on Tuesday at 4:00pm with a re-run of last weekends Craftsman Truck Series event run at the Indianapolis Raceway Park. Wednesdays viewing starts at noon with last Saturday nights Kroger 200 run at IRP. At 5:00pm NASCAR Fast Forward highlights last weekends Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis and the trucks and Busch Series events at IRP. The action moves to the Outdoor Channel at 8:00pm for a World of Outlaws event run at the Lernerville Speedway in PA on July 19.The Speed Channel revisits the 2004 Nextel Cup Sirius at the Glen at high noon on Thursday. Last Sunday’s Brickyard 400 gets the rerun treatment at 3:00pm. Fridays viewing begins at noon with the USAR Hooters Cup from Salem Indiana. At 5:30pm the Busch North Series event run at the Adirondack Speedway on July 30 gets the green. Same day, taped delayed coverage of final Nextel Cup practice fron Watkins Glen goes at 8:00pm. Saturday’s coverage begins at 9:00am as Speed goes live with Busch Series qualifying from Watkins Glen. Live coverage continues 11:00am with Nextel Cup qualifying, also from Watkins Glen. The action switches to NBC at 2:00pm for live coverage of the Busch Series Zippo 200 from Watkins Glen. Also at 2:00pm is the ARCA Re/Max 200 from Nashville. At 5:00pm the Craftsman Trucks go 200 miles live at Nashville. The World of Outlaws gets the live treatment at 9:00pm from Knoxville, IA. On Sunday, the action switches back to NBC at 1:00pm for live coverage of the Nextel Cup Sirius at the Glen. Subscriptions for Lou’s Motorsports TV Calendar are now by e-mail only and can be had for $12.00 per year. The all-new version features larger type, better accuracy and more detailed. Checks can be sent to LMTVC, 27 Bayberry Drive, #2, Sharon, Mass. 02067.

On the Speedway Stock market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Dover Downs went up 0.70 to 6.70 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.46 to 39.95. On the negative side was the International Speedway Corporation, which dropped 0.32 to 57.82. Nextel also had an off week as they dropped 0.34 to 34.46. Sun Oil split 2 for 1 and in their first week with their new price went up 1.31 to 64.18. Action Performance went up 2.45 to 11.00 while Featherlite Trailers went up 0.19 to 3.79. On the down side was Boundless Motorsports, which dropped 0.35 to 4.65. The drug and home improvement sectors had off weeks. Pfizer went down 0.25 to 26.25 and Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.13 to 24.85. Lowes dropped 3.15 to 63.07 and Home Depot dropped 2.56 to 40.95. The parcel carriers had a positive ending as Fedex went up 0.51 to 84.60 and UPS went up 0.47 to 73.44


Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene for over 3 decades.
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