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Tuesday December 17, 2013

 

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

NASCAR held their Night of Champions Touring Awards ceremony in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte (N.C) Convention Center inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame last Saturday night.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Ryan Preecce along with Eric Sanderson and his No. 16 East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford team were among those who were crowned Champions of their respective divisions.

The 2013 champions included Dylan Kwasniewski (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Derek Thorn (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1), Rodrigo Peralta (NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series), Ander VilariŮo (NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), Ryan Preece (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and George Brunnhoelzl III (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour).

Cole Powell was officially crowned Rookie of the Year for the Modified Tour and Mike Stefanik was awarded Most Popular.

Mike Joy, Dr. Dick Berggren and Monica Palumbo from Fox Sports were co-hosts of the awards ceremony.

NASCAR also announced their 2014 Modified Tour schedule for 2014. The series will spend most of its time in New England. The state of Connecticut will host a total of eight events including four at the Stafford Motor Speedway, three at the Thompson International Speedway, three (Two on the same weekend in July) in Loudon, one at the Monadnock Speedway and one at the Waterford Speedbowl.

The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island in the state of New York will host two events. Thanks to some hard work by the Limodmaniac four cars will have sponsorship for the Riverhead Raceway WMT race from Applebees and Panera Bread. Applebee's and Panera Bread have each agreed to sponsor a Modified at Riverhead Raceway for tour events on June 28 and Sept 13.

The season opens with a non-points event at the Daytona Speedway on Tues, Feb 18 and will return to Bristol in Tennessee on Wednesday, August 20.

2014 NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SCHEDULE

Date Track (Length) Location
Tue., Feb. 18 *^ Daytona International Speedway (.4-mile) Daytona Beach, Fla.
Sun., April 6 Thompson Speedway (.625-mile) Thompson, Conn.
Sun., April 27 Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-mile) Stafford, Conn.
Fri., May 23 Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-mile) Stafford, Conn. 
Sat., June 21 Waterford Speedbowl (.375-mile) Waterford, Conn.
Sat., June 28  Riverhead Raceway (.25-mile) Riverhead, N.Y.
Fri., July 11 ^ New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile) Loudon, N.H.
Sat., July 12 New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile) Loudon, N.H.
Sat., July 19 Monadnock Speedway (.25-mile) Winchester, N.H.
Fri., Aug. 8 Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-mile) Stafford, Conn.
Wed., Aug. 13 Thompson Speedway (.625-mile)  Thompson, Conn.
Wed., Aug. 20 * Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile) Bristol, Tenn.
Sat., Sept. 13 Riverhead Raceway (.25-mile) Riverhead, N.Y.
Sat., Sept. 20 New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile) Loudon, N.H.
Sun., Sept. 28 Stafford Motor Speedway (.5-mile) Stafford, Conn.
Sun., Oct. 19 Thompson Speedway (.625-mile) Thompson, Conn.

* Combination race with NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
^ Non-points event
Subject to change

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards took place Friday, Dec. 13. Among those honored was the 2013 national champion Lee Pulliam who raced at Caraway, South Boston, Southern National and Motor Mile Speedways in Virginia. Pulliman entered 47 events and won 27.

Track champions from 55 tracks across the United States and Canada, state and provincial champions and top rookies. Among those who were honored was Keith Rocco who is the Waterford Speedbowl SK Modified and Late Model Champion, the Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modified Champion and the over-all Connecticut State Champion.

NASCAR announced last week that they will change the points system for the Whelen All-American Series short track standings, which is used to determine their annual national champion and state champions.

The changes will work in the favor of drivers at New England and New York race tracks, who compete in events with handicapped staring lineups rather than starting lineups set by time trials, which is common in the Southeast. Under the new system a race winner will receive two points for every car in an event up to 18 cars with second place receiving two fewer points, etc. In addition to the full-field designation being lowered to 18, the bonus points structure was changed. A race winner will receive a three point bonus, but if that winner starts 10th or deeper in the field, they will receive an additional two bonus points. A driverís best 18 finishes between Jan. 1 and Sept. 21 2014 will count toward their Whelen All-American Series points total. Keith Rocco started 48 races and won 14 and Ryan Preece started 43 races and won 12. They finished third and fourth respectively and chances are quite possibly could have been one-two had the new system been in effect. A tip of the hat to NASCAR for making it right!

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week all three speedway stocks ended the week on a negative note. Taking the biggest dip was the International Speedway Corporation which dropped 0.74 to 33.16. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.14 to 19.93 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.02 to 2.45. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.84 to 8.43 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.06 to 22.62 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.52 to 52.23. The car makers had an off week. Toyota dropped 3.52 to 119.22 while General Motors dropped 0.13 to 40.04 and Ford dropped 0.11 to 16.59. In the home improvement sector Lowes dropped 0.87 to 47.11 and Home Depot dropped 0.83 to 79.01. In the area of team sponsorship stocks Coca-Cola went up 0.31 to 69.66 while Dupont dropped 1.10 to 60.24, Target Department Stores dropped 1.02 to 62.36, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.24 to 28.68 and Fedex dropped 1.49 to 137.90.

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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