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Tuesday December 29, 2009

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

With racing now complete for 2009 its time to look foreword to 2010. As of this Friday, January 1 it will be five weeks before the drop of the green for opening night of the annual World Series of Speed at the New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and the official beginning of the NASCAR season at the Daytona International Speedway.

The Syracuse, NY Post-Standard has reported that a Watertown, NY jury decided a parking lot crash that ended the racing career of DIRT Modified legend “Barefoot” Bob McCreadie was worth nearly $1.7 million in damages. McCreadie, now 59, is one of the winningest drivers to ever compete in NY DIRT circuit racing. McCreadie is still recovering from injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident that occurred on Wednesday, May 31 2006 near his Watertown, N.Y. home.

According to reports, McCreadie who was 55 at the time was riding his motorcycle diagonally across the parking lot of a Medical Arts Building where his doctor has an office. A driver of an SUV never saw him until it was too late and ran into McCreadie and knocked his motorcycle over onto him. He sustained a broken right femur, two broken ribs and a bone in his back along with "road rash.

Bob was transferred by Guilfoyle Ambulance to the Samaritan Medical Center where it was determined that he sustained a broken right femur, two broken ribs and a bone in his back (a different spot than his racing accident), along with "road rash.

Since his accident, McCreadie has been unable to return to his racing career where he was once the winningest DIRT track racer in America. The accident occurred several days after McCreadie had been inducted into the DIRT MotorSports Hall of Fame in Weedsport, NY.

“No one had ever won as many races as he had,” Cominsky said of McCreadie. the lawyer noted.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, my list of those who were great was far from complete. Good friend Charlie Roberts from New Jersey reminded me of some of the greats who raced in the Garden State including Long Islanders Jim Hendrickson and Fred Harbach. In addition there was Al Tasnady, Frankie Schneider, Ken Brightbill, Tommie Elliott, Charlie Kremer, Jr., Gil Hearne, Joe Kelly, Al Pomponio, Pete Frazee, Tony Siscone, Buzzie Reutimann, Billy Pauch, Gerald Chamberlain, Brett Hearn and Dick Tobias plus upstate New Yorkers Lou Lazzaro and Bill Wimble.

The Eastern Motorsport Press Association has voted NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as the Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year. The EMPA is made up of members who are journalists, photographers and broadcasters that cover motorsports on a regular basis.

Johnson will have his award presented at the annual EMPA Convention being presented at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA, January 15 thru 17th. The presentation will take place during the NASCAR/EMPA Hall of Fame Dinner.

Joining Johnson as recipients of special awards from the EMPA will be Richie Evans Memorial Northeast Driver of the Year Ted Christopher; T. Wayne Robertson Memorial Newsmaker Award winner Wall Stadium promoter Jim Morton; Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award winner NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitor Wade Cole; along with John Blewett III Young Guns Presented by New England Racing Fuels Award winner Ryan Truex.

Four new members will be inducted in the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame. One of the true legends in dirt modified racing, Freddy Adam tops the list of inductees along with sprint car legend Steve Smith, Western Pennsylvania sprint car and super modified legend Lou Blaney and one of the founding partners of the weekly trade newspaper Gater Racing News, Norm Patrick.

Long time Pocono Raceway public relations person Bob Pleban will be honored with the Art McHugh Memorial in recognition of his many years of support of the EMPA.

In TV land this weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Wednesday at 3:00am with the August 15 NASCAR Camping World Touring Series East Mohegan Sun 200 that was run at Lime Rock, CT. The September 4th NASCAR Camping World Touring Series West Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades 125 that was run at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA follows at 4:00am. At noon the Speed Channel replays the May 9th NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 that was run in Darlington, SC. On Thursday at 3:00am Speed replays the September 18th NASCAR Camping World Touring Series East Heluva Good! Fall 125 that was run at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The September 25th NASCAR Camping World Touring Series East Sunoco 150 that was run at the Dover Intl. Speedway in Dover, DE follows at 4:00am. Friday, New Years Day, will be quiet. The only racing events on Saturday to be shown on the Speed Channel are two events featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Series, starting at 2:00pm. Sunday will be quiet.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had a positive ending in a short four day trading session. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.72 to 17.49 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.60 to 28.96 while Dover Motorsports dropped 0.30 to 2.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.01 to 3.73 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 0.31 to 25.83 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.24 to 14.58. With the exception of General Motors which dropped 0.05 to 0.49, the car makers had a fairly good week. Ford went up 0.45 to 10.13 and Toyota went up 1.99 to 84.91. The major team sponsors had a strong week. Dupont went up 1.55 to 33.42 while Coca-Cola went up 0.54 to 54.95. Target Department Stores followed suit as they went up 0.41 to 48..65 and Aaron’s Rentals went up 0.54 to 28.80. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.52 to 29.17 and Lowes went up 0.03 to 23.65.

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, 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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