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Tuesday December 8, 2009

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

When Ted Christopher took the green flag while driving a Three-Quarter Midget at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI last Friday night he became a consummate racer who had raced in every month of the year. Counting two features run last weekend, Christopher has raced in 78 events and has recorded 24 feature wins, which equated to a win percentage of 31%. In addition to the TQ Midgets, Christopher drove NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars, SK Modifieds, Sunoco Modifieds, True Value Modifieds, Race of Champions Tour Modifieds and ASA Modifieds.

Mike Stefanik finished 24th in the opening night 30 lap feature event for the Three Quarter Midget Cars at the Dunkin Donuts Center but that didnít discourage him as he returned for the series finale on Saturday night to take the win. Christopher wasnít quite as lucky. On Friday night he finished 4th and on Saturday night he ended up 23rd. Mike Lichty was the Friday night TQ winner. He finished second on Saturday night. Justin Bonsignore, who races NASCAR Modifieds at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, won the Champ Kart event on Friday and had a clean sweep going until running out of fuel on Saturday night and had to settle for second spot behind winner Ryan Kendall.

In some sad news, multi-time Waterford Speedbowl Modified Champion Dennis Gada and his wife Debbie along with their three children suffered after losing most of their home as a result of a fire recently. According to Jen Pearl a tree fell and ripped down electric power wires which triggered a fire which all but destroyed the upper floor of their house. The rest of the house suffered sever water and smoke damage, leaving it uninhabitable. No one was injured.

There will be a Benefit Spaghetti Dinner on Thursday December 17th at the Gardner Lake Fire Department. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and $25 for a family. The dinner will be held from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. If anyone would like more information, contact Jen Pearl at jen@jeff-pearl.com, or call her during the day at work at 860.739.6241 or feel free to stop by Darling Auto Parts in Niantic, CT.

With racing now complete for 2009 its time to look foreword to 2010. As of this Friday, December 11 it will be eight 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.

Still no word from NASCAR pertaining to the TV package for the Whelen Modified Tour Series in 2010. It will be interesting to see if any of the Tour teams take part in this weeks planned test session, which will take place at the road course located at the Thunderbolt Raceway in New Jersey. Champion Car owner Bob Garbarino has sold one of his Mystic Missiles which will be driven as an SK Modified in 2010 by Keith Rocco. Rocco will again seek the NASCAR National crown as he will be racing at Thompson, Stafford and at Waterford every week.

In TV land this week viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at noon with the Feb 21 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series San Bernardino County 200 that was run at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. On Wednesday at noon Speed replays the March 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500 that was run at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. On Thursday at noon replay action continues with the March 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 that was run at Bristol, TN. Friday at noon Speed reruns the March 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Goodyís Fast Pain Relief 500 that was run at Martinsville, VA. At 7:00pm the action shifts to ESPN Classic for a replay of the 2005 Daytona 500. The only viewing action for Saturday is at 6:00pm on the VS network where the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is featured. On Sunday at 6:00pm the Speed Channel presents highlights of the Nov 3-6 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Show. Rounding out the week is The Speed Report on the Speed Channel at 7:00pm on Sunday night.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week al thre speedway stocks had positive results for the week. Leading the charge was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 1.77 to 28.04. Dover Motorsports went up 0.40 to 2.20 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.09 to 16.07. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.06 to 3.69 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 1.38 to 25.91. Tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.87 to 14.56. The carmakers also had a positive week. Toyota went up 7.28 to 84.30 while Ford went up 0.21 to 8.94 and General Motors went up 0.01 to 0.60. Team sponsors had a mixed bag. Dupont dropped 2.06 to 32.34 while Coca-Cola went up 6.30 to 52.35. Target Department Stores dropped 2.06 to 45.64 while Aaronís Rentals went up 0.81 to 26.17. In the area of home improvement Lowes went up 0.92 to 22.88 and Home Depot went up 0.47 to 28.08.

The Associated Press reported that a partnership hoping to build a Kansas City, Kan., casino cleared its biggest regulatory hurdle on Tuesday, despite the misgivings of the state board in charge of awarding the contract that the plan's first phase does not include building a hotel. The Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board unanimously approved a $521 million project at Kansas Speedway, the Kansas City area's NASCAR track. International Speedway Corp., the track's parent, and Penn National Gaming Inc., of Wyomissing, Pa., are partners in the venture.

Thatís 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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