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Tuesday April 22, 2008

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Waterford Speedbowl moved into its regular Saturday night schedule. The management has created a new flag for the starter to display. It’s called the “Meatball” flag and it is to be waved at an individual who refuses to comply with the officials in charge or someone who makes a dumb move or decision. Last weeks “Meatball Flag” should have been shown to the Late Model driver who started on the pole of the Late Model feature who triggered a wreck that eliminated the potential winning cars of Larry Goss and Eddie Reed Jr. Starting on the pole as a rookie makes no sense at all. The individual who makes the line-ups is also deserving of the “Meat Ball”. Bruce Thomas Jr was the eventual winner and is now two for two in Late Model competition at the shoreline oval.

Defending SK Modified champion Rob Janovic redeemed himself after a poor showing at the season opener as he scored a convincing win in the 35 SK Modified feature. Jeff Paul, who also had a poor showing on opening day, finished second. Tyler Chadwick, Justin Gaydosh and Diego Monahan rounded out the top five. Opening day Nationals winner Dennis Gada was eliminated after making contact with Dennis Charette who was the early leader after pole sitter Frank Mucciacciaro spun out on lap 11. The Gada-Charette confrontation occurred on lap 18 and also eliminated Jeff Pearl and Jeff Malave.

Other feature winners were Jack Aquilina (Sportsman), and, Randy Churchill Jr. (Mini Stocks). Also making an appearance were the New England Antique Racers, presenting exhibition events featuring the cars of a past era. With over twenty restored racers taking to the track, fans were treated to a view of the true “racing roots” of New England short track history.

Action resumes at the Speedbowl this weekend with a full slate of racing for the SK Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, and Legends.

The True Value Modified Series opened their 2008 season at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire last Sunday. Twenty eight Modifieds were on hand. Kirk Alexander took the win over David Pinkham, Dale Evonsion, Mike Holdredge, Jon McKennedy and Ted Christopher. The True Value Series now moves to the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester , NH for an event this Saturday, April 26.

The Stafford Motor Speedway will officially open for the 2008 season this coming weekend with the 37th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by CARQUEST scheduled for April 25, 26, & 27. Tickets for "The Greatest Race in the History of Spring" are available and on sale now at the Stafford Motor Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult General Admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 & under are free. Reserved seating is $38.00 for all ages. All tickets cover both Saturday and Sunday admission to the Sizzler. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

In TV land this week NASCAR Now on ESPN2 will be on at 6:00pm from Tuesday thru Friday. With the NASCAR Sprint Cup series having last weekend off the mid week viewing is sparse. The action finally heats up on Friday. NASCAR Confidential on Speed starts it off at 1:00pm followed by NASCAR Live at Talledega at 2:00pm . Live coverage from Talledega continues at 2:30 with Sprint Cup practice. At 3:30pm it’s another segment of NASCAR Live followed by Sprint Cup final practice at 4:00 . Pole qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series begins at 5:00 . Saturday’s action on the Speed Channel gets an early start as the Sprint Cup cars have their pole qualifying at Talledega at 11:00am . At 2:30pm the action switches to ABC for the pre-race show for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron's 312 which gets the green at Talledega at 3:00pm . At 6:00pm the action switches to the Speed Channel for live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas City . The ARCA/ReMax Series follows at 8:30 . NASCAR Now on ESPN2 starts off Sunday at 10:00am . At 11:30am it’s NASCAR RaceDay from Talladega . At 1:30pm FOX goes live with their pre-race show that will lead to a 2:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Aaron's 499 at Talladega . On Sunday night the Speed Channel wraps up the weekend with The Speed Report at 7:00 and NASCAR Victory Lanel at 8:00 . Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain follows at 9:00 .

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week the racing related stocks did quite well with a few exceptions. Two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Leading the way was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 1.03 to 43.07. Dover Downs went up 0.40 to 6.56. On the negative side was Speedway Motorsports which dropped 0.01 to 25.00. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint/Nextel went up 0.14 to 6.61 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 4.23 to 55.68. Tire supplier Goodyear went up 1.93 to 27.43 while NASCAR second division sponsor Nationwide went up 0.02 to 49.02. Coca-Cola jumped 3.15 to 59.70 while Dupont went up 2.69 to 52.02. Target Stores and Aarons rentals were also up. Target went up 2.63 to 54.60 and Aarons went up 1.44 to 22.69. In the home improvement sector Lowes went up 0.87 to 24.86 and Home Depot went up 0.52 to 28.69. The parcel carriers also had a good week. Fedex went up 3.75 to 96.65 and UPS went up 2.26 to 73.15. Once again on the bottom of the list is the World Racing Group (DIRT Motorsports) which dropped 0.01 to 0.29.

Photo Credit: Keith Cyr, RaceDogPhotography

That’s it for this week from 40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891 . Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com


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

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