Tuesday April 25, 2006

By Phil Smith

All roads lead to Jack Arute’s Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend for the 35th annual Spring Sizzler. The Sizzler, originally an 80 lap open competition event, was the brainchild of Bruce Cohen, Dick Berggren and Lew Boyd. The event has evolved into a Whelen Modified Tour Series event. This year’s event will consist of qualifying and features for NEMA Midgets (30 laps), SK Modifieds (40 laps), Late Models (30 laps), SK Lights (20 laps), Limited Late Models (20 laps), Dare Stocks (15 laps) and the Whelen Modifieds (200 laps). Tickets are priced at $35 for adult General Admission, $5 for kids 6-14 and paddock $48. Tickets are good for both days.

Despite a rocky financial situation the Waterford Speedbowl continues to somehow survive. Thanks to the efforts of Bill Roth and Pete Zanardi plus friends and families of competitors, the track has been able to remain open. Going into last weekend two events had been held at the shoreline oval. Second generation driver Chris Pasteryak is the currant SK Modified point leader. Veteran Don Fowler and Rookie Jeffrey Paul are tied for the second spot. Dennis Gada is fourth with Frank Ruocco and Diego Monahan tied for fifth. In the Late Models Jay Stewart leads Larry Goss and Bruce Thomas. Dwayne Dorr, who has won both Sportsman events so far is the Sportsman point leader. Joe Curioso III is in the second slot. Richard Brooks and Phil Evans are currently tied for the Mini Stock point lead and Mark Esposito is the Legends Point leader.

Rain-washed out scheduled racing action at the Waterford Speedbowl this past Saturday night. It was the second rainout in four programs this season. Action resumes this week (April 29) when the USAC Northeast Ford Focus Midgets join the SK-Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman and Mini Stocks. It will be the first-ever visit to the Speedbowl by a USAC-sanctioned division. Qualifying begins at 5 pm.

The Whelen Modified Tour Series was off last weekend. Their southern counterparts, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series had a scheduled event at the Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA. rained out last Saturday, which was rescheduled for Sunday. LW Miller won the 200 lap contest. Ted Christopher, suffering a little jet lag from his trip back from Arizona, finished sixth. Chuck Hossfeld finished 12th and Andy Seuss was 14th.

The Busch East division, formerly the Busch North Series, was the subject of the latest schedule change as NASCAR and Don Hoenig announced that a Busch East race was added to the Thompson International Speedway’s Thursday, June 29 show, which already featured the Whelen Modified Tour. That means that the best of both worlds will be running feature races on the same day for the only time this season. Thompson's six weekly divisions also will be competing on June 29, making for the busiest midweek show of the year. The addition of the Thompson date now gives eleven dates for the Busch East division.

Busch East competitor Matt Kobyluck who hails from Montville, CT was in Phoenix Arizona as was Ted Christopher last weekend. Kobyluck had a strong showing in a NASCAR Grandnational West event until losing an engine and eventually finishing 30th. Kobyluck led the event twice for 55 laps. Christopher ended up 21st after being involved in an accident.

In TV land, this week’s viewing begins on Wednesday, April 26 at 5:00pm with the April 22nd

USAR Hooters Pro Cup event that was run at the Lonesome Pine Intl. Raceway in Coeburn, VA. At 8:00pm the action switches to the Outdoor Channel for the World of Outlaws’ event of April 15 in Indiana.

Thursday’s viewing begins at noon with a re-run of last Saturdays NASCAR Busch Series, Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 that was run at the Phoenix, AZ International Speedway. At 4:00pm it’s the NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay of the Subway Fresh 500, run last Sunday at Phoenix. Friday’s action begins with NASCAR Live from Talledega at 3:00pm. Live coverage continues with Nextel Cup Happy Hour practice for the Aaron’s 499 at 4:00pm and Busch Series qualifying for the Aaron’s 312 at 5:00pm. Saturday’s action begins at 11:00am with NASCAR Live! from Talladega Superspeedway on the Speed Channel. TV coverage switches gears to FX at noon for NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying. At 3:00pm Fox goes live with the NASCAR Busch Series, Aaron’s 312. The action moves back to the Speed Channel at 7:30pm for SPEED News Saturday. At 8:00pm the Speed Channel will provide live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Dodge Ram Tough 200 from the Gateway Intl. Raceway in St. Louis, MO. Sunday’s action begins at 11:00am with NASCAR Race Day which previews the Aaron’s 499 from Talladega. FOX goes live at 2:00pm with the NASCAR Aaron’s 499 from Talladega. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain goes at 9:00p.m.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had a positive ending. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.84 to 38.39 and Dover Downs went up 0.17 to 6.22. On the negative side was the International Speedway Corporation, which dropped 0.01 to 48.75. Nextel dropped 0.86 to 25.18 while Sun Oil jumped 6.14 to 87.14. Featherlite Trailers dropped 0.19 to 4.80 while DIRT Motorsports went up 0.15 to 3.70. In the drug sector, Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.76 to 24.80 and Pfizer went up 0.37 to 24.87. The home improvement sector went the other way as Lowes dropped 1.01 to 63.28 and Home Depot dropped 0.84 to 40.28. The parcel carriers had a good week as FEDEX went up 0.54 to 115.39 and UPS went up 0.43 to 82.03.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 or days at 860-433-5250.E-mail  

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