For Tuesday Aug. 30, 2005

By Phil Smith

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night for the Big Y World Class Markets 150. Tony Hirschman led the 30 cars on hand as he took the Bud Pole award. Hirschman drew seventh for the initial start and was a possible threat until he found himself collected in a lap 65 multi-car tangle. For Bob Garbarino it was a homecoming as his driver Jerry Marquis took the eventual win after passing Doug Coby on lap 83. Garbarino, a forty plus year veteran Modified Car Owner began his career at what was then called the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In victory lane Garbarino honored one of his former drivers, Dick Watson, who passed away last year.

Outside pole sitter Matt Hirschman led the first ten laps before being overtaken by John Blewett III. Blewett, driving for Joe Brady, led from lap 11 to lap 20 when he was black-flagged for leaking fuel. Marquis took the point when Blewett parked it and led until lap 66. Doug Coby, who drives for Manfield owner Curt Chase was looking to take his first win but had to give way to Marquis who was a tick better on the long runs. Marquis re-took the lead on lap 84 and never looked back. Coby finished second with Donnie Lia, third. Eddie Flemke finished fourth with Tyler Haydt recording his first top five with a fifth.

The Whelen Modified Tour Series heads for the Martinsville Speedway this coming Saturday night, September 3. It’s going to be hot in more ways than one. First race under the lights should be great!

Second generation driver Richard Savory pulled off a surprise victory in Sunoco SK type Modified competition at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. Because of mechanical problems Savory missed his qualifying heat and was forced to start in the rear of the 23 car starting field. Kerry Malone appeared to be an early favorite until he lost a transmission. Jimmie Blewett was also an early contender until losing an engine. As early leaders slipped out of contention Savory took his time and on lap 41 took the lead and went on to record the win. Jeff Malave finished second with Todd Ceravolo, third. Tom Cravenho and Ronnie Silk rounded out the top five. Other Thursday night winners were Jeff Connors in the Pro Stocks, Corey Hutchings in the Late Models, Glen Boss in the Limited Sportsman, Roger Larsen in the Thompson Modifieds and Ron Rixham in the Mini Stocks.

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Frank Ruocco appeared to have victory in sight when his transmission malfunctioned with four laps to go and put him out of the 40 lap SK Modified feature. Todd Owen was waiting in the wings and fought off Woody Pitkat to take the win. Mike Holdredge, who led the first 15 laps of the feature, finished third. Eddie Partridge and his Long Island Gang installed a new motor for Jimmy Blewett and he brought the T/S Haulers mount home in fourth spot. Willie Hardie rounded out the top five. Mike Quintiliano won the slam-bang Late Model feature after making a dramatic four-wide pass. Andrew Durand won the Late Model Limited feature and George Nocera Jr. won the DARE Stock feature.Among the missing were Doug Coby and Don Lia who were suspended for one week and John Sandberg who has been suspended indefinitely by Frankie Sgambato, the Speedway’s Race Director. Coby was suspended for intentionally bringing out the caution which ultimately was meant to help Ted Christopher from going a lap down. Lia got a week off after he slugged Sandberg who had planted him in the fence. Sandberg received an indefinite suspension after he was removed from competition on August 19. Sandberg was found guilty of rough riding, not heeding the black flag, not heeding Race Control, unsportsmanlike conduct and not heeding security staff directives to leave the property.

Rob Summers won the SK Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Summers did the bump and grind with Tommy Fox with three laps remaining. Fox ended up with the short end of the stick as he found himself in the first turn wall. Jeff Pearl, with a lot of help from his dad Jerry, finished third. Pearl had taken a hard shot into the wall one week previously which did extensive damage to his Fox Hill No.71. Jerry cut the car’s snout off at the firewall and replaced it with all new components. Ronnie Silk finished third. Chris Pasteryak and Diego Monahan rounded out the top five. Other Saturday night winners at Waterford were Dan Darnstedt in the Sportsman, Joe Perry taking his first Late Model feature and Joe Godbout taking the Mini Stock feature.

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 the August 24th Craftsman Truck event that was run at Bristol. Wednesday’s action starts at noon with last Friday night’s Busch Series Food City 250 that ran in Bristol. NASCAR Fast Forward recaps all the action from Bristol over the weekend. At 8:00pm the action switches to the Outdoor Channel for the World of Outlaws. Thursday’s action begins at noon with a revisit to last years Nextel Cup event run at the California Speedway. At 3:00pm last Saturday nights Sharpie 500 from Bristol gets rerun. Fridays viewing also begins at noon. First up will be the Hooters Cup followed at 3:00 with highlites of The Great American race, a coast to coast rally. Speed goes live at 9:00pm with the ARCA 200 from Toledo, Ohio. On Saturday it will be all live programming beginning at 2:00pm with Nextel Cup final practice from the California Speedway. Busch Series qualifying follows at 3:00pm. The live action switches to NBC at 4:00pm for the Busch Series 300 from California. Because of the Labor Day holiday the Nextel Cup California 500 will be run on Sunday night. Live coverage will be provided by NBC. 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 were down for the week. Dover Downs had a positive ending as they went up 0,03 to 6.65. Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.14 to 37.36 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.64 to 56.11. Nextel fell back 0.56 to 25.39 while the Sun Oil Company rose 0.81 to 63.29. Based on strong rumors of a buy out by Speedway Motorsports and the International Speedway Corporation Action Performance went up 1.44 to 12.28. For the third week in a row Featherlite Trailers went down as they dropped 0.11 to 3.33 and Boundless Motorsports continued to show a no change at 4.65. In the drug sector Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.71 and Pfizer dropped 0.66 to 24.89. The home improvement sector didn’t do much better as Lowes dropped 1.51 to 63.18 and Home Depot dropped 0.56 to 39.81. Parcel carrier Fedex took a big hit as they dropped 3.09 to 81.68 and UPS dropped 0.15 to 71.33.

Strange Bedfellows! The France family's International Speedway Corp. and Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports are teaming to buy Action Performance, which sells racing souvenirs, for a reported $13 a share, according to sources close to the negotiations. Action Performance and the Jack Roush-owned Team Caliber are the top two souvenir companies in the NASCAR world, and Daytona executives have been interested in acquiring souvenir rights to all NASCAR stars in order to package them as part of a stock-car racing "mall" at each of the Nextel Cup tour's top tracks.

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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