Tuesday April 10, 2007  

By Phil Smith                                                                                           

The Waterford Speedbowl was slated to begin its regular Saturday night schedule this past week. Fans and competitors are still buzzing about the poor officiating at the recent Bud Nationals, especially the Jimmy Blewett incident. A ten shot photo series by noted photographer Howie Hodge tells the story. Doug Coby got into the back of Frank Ruocco as they exited turn two. Blewett, running in fourth spot at the time went low to avoid the car of Ruocco only to be hit accidentally by Ruocco. Jimmy Blewett was below the white line when Ruocco’s left front tire hit Blewett’s nerf bar. As stated previously it was a bad call! A video by Nick Teto verified what really took place and what the Waterford on-track officials failed to acknowledge.

Extremely bone chilling temperatures put a damper on the Speedbowl last weekend as racing was cancelled on Friday.

This coming weekend, on April 14th and 15th the Thompson Speedway presents their annual IceBreaker, which will be the official beginning of the 2007 Whelen Modified Tour Series. The True Value Modified Series also has their season opener scheduld for the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Two weeks after that it’s the annual Spring Sizzler at the Stafford Motor Speedway.

Among the new driver-owner combinations slated to debut at Thompson are Rick Fuller who will be driving the Bear Motorsports entry. Don Lia in the Mystic Missile and Jerry Marquis in the Brady Bunch entry will also be on hand. In addition Zach Sylvester will make his first run in the Curt Chace No.77.

The Blewett brothers will make their team debut during ICEBREAKER weekend and will have two opportunities to test their new team concept. The Sunoco Modifieds will race both Saturday night, April 14th and again on Sunday, April 15th. Both the Sunoco Modifieds and the Late Models will have double features during Thompson’s weekend of speed.

In TV land this week and for the remainder of the season NASCAR Now on ESPN2 will be in the 6:30pm time slot seven days a week. This weeks viewing begins on Wednesday when the Speed Channel presents the USAR Hooters Pro Cup, Glover Auten Foods 250 that was run at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta , GA on March 31. Speed reruns last Saturday’s Busch Series event that was run at the Nashville Superspeedway on Thursday at noon . Speed goes live at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday at noon . Live coverage continues at 12:30 with NASCAR Nextel Cup practice from the Texas Motorspeedway in Fort Worth . At 4:00pm the Nextel Cup cars qualify. Trackside at Texas rounds out the day at 7:00pm . Saturday’s action begins at 11:00am with NASCAR Live from Texas . Coverage continues until 2:30 with Nextel Cup practice. At 2:30 the action moves to ESPN2 for the pre-race show for the Busch Series O’Reilly 300 which gets the green flag at 3:00pm . Rounding out the day is NASCAR Performance from Texas on Speed at 7:00pm and Tradin’ Paint from Texas at 7:30 . Sunday’s viewing begins at 11:30 with a two hour NASCAR RaceDay: preview of the Samsung 500 from Texas . FOX goes live at 1:30 with flag to flag coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Samsung 500 from the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth . On Sunday evening the Speed Channel has The SPEED Report at 7:00pm , NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm .

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks finished the week in the green. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.41 to 39.16 and Dover Downs went up 0.11 to 5.36. On the negative side the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.29 to 51.41. Nextel/Sprint rebounded from last week as they went up 0.64 to 19.60. Sun Oil also rebounded as they went up 3.73 to 74.17. Goodyear continues to shine as they went up 1.72 to 32.91. DIRT Motorsports fell back as they dropped 0.05 to 1.70. In the drug sector Pfizer went up 0.58 to 25.84 while Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.06 to 27.82. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 1.28 to 38.02 while Lowes dropped 0.10 to 31.49.The parcel carriers also rebounded. Fedex went up 6.39 to 108.82 and UPS went up 0.16 to 70,26.

It was announced that sponsors of a $368 million NASCAR race track proposal for Washington State had abandoned their efforts after encountering stiff opposition from local officials and resistance at the state Legislature. Great Western Sports, a subsidiary of International Speedway Corp., announced the decision to drop the plan for the motorsports venue in Kitsap County , across Puget Sound from the Seattle metropolitan area. ISC spokesman Lenny Santiago said his group hasn't taken Washington state completely off the table, but could not see a way to proceed this year. Developers had touted the racetrack as a $4 billion boon to the state's economy, including thousands of jobs. But legislation to help finance the track had gone nowhere. The company's proposal had called for taxpayers to pay for about half of the facility, with ISC contributing $180 million. The company had said it would pay for any cost overruns. The state share would have been paid through bonds. Despite the setback on the west coast ISC raised its annual dividend by 2 cents to 10 cents a share. The dividend will be payable on June 29 to stockholders of record May 31, the company said in a statement.

The company also said its board approved an additional $39.6 million for capital projects.

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

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

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