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For Tuesday February 7, 2006

By Phil Smith                                                    
 
In the past the New Smyrna World Series has provided competitors a venue to get a leg up on the coming season. It’s a half mile, high bank speedway with long chutes. Ted Christopher, who recently drove in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, will be driving the Bear Motorsports No.14 as well as a Super Late Model. Other Modified entries include John Blewett III in Joe Brady’s #00, J.R. Bertuccio, Chris Pasteryak, Eric Beers, Jimmy Blewett, Donnie Lia, Robbie Summers, Chuck Hossfeld, Tyler Haydt, Mike Ewanitsko and Zach Sylvester.
 
The New Hampshire based True Value Modified Racing Series (TVMRS) has announced an 18 race schedule for the 2006 season including their first ever journey to the state of Connecticut for the third year traveling tour. The TVMRS, first considered a loose band of displaced Modified racers from Claremont have made some serious inroads into the Southern New England region where NASCAR has ruled the roost for many years. The series doesn’t pay the purse money that NASCAR sanctioned events do but the events are easier on the pocketbooks of competitors and race promoters. The new season will kick off April at the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH, with a 100 lap event. The April date will be the first of 5 events at the NH track with a return date scheduled for Memorial Day weekend May 27, Independence Day weekend July 1, as well as return engagements July 29 and August 26. The tour opens the month of May at the Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan NH, on May 6 followed by a swing east May 19 to Lee, NH and Lee USA Speedway where they will share top billing with the ACT Tour for twin 100 lap events. Seekonk Speedway plays host to the TVMRS four times in 2006 with the first race slated for June 3rd.  The dates of July 15, August 19 and Oct 7 & 8, the annual DAV Memorial weekend, will also find the stars and cars of the series at "The Cement Palace". The month of June will find the series traveling to the Waterford CT Speedbowl on June 17th.  The Speedbowl’s SK modified competitors are being encouraged to participate in the first ever appearance in the Nutmeg State by the True Value Modifieds.   On June 24th, the series shifts back to Epping NH with an event at the Star Speedway. They’ll return to the NH seacoast quarter mile oval August 12th. The action heats up in July as Lee USA Speedway stages its annual "All Star 100" on July 7. The 100 lap race is a popular event in the seacoast vacation region. In August the tour heads to the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough ME on August 5th. The TVMRS will spend Labor Day weekend at Canaan Fair Speedway with a Sept 2 date booked. The season will end in October with an appearance at Lee USA Speedway at the annual "Octoberfest" October 21st & 22nd. 
The series will sanction and officiate two non-point events, the first a Wednesday night show on July 26th at the Seekonk Speedway, the second annual "Modified Madness". Last year the event drew top names from throughout the northeast including drivers that regularly compete on the NASCAR Whelen Tour.  And in a recent development, tour founder Jack Bateman announced that the TVMRS will sanction a 75 lap race at the Thompson CT International Speedway on the weekend of September 9 & 10.  Like the Waterford event, the Thompson SK Modifieds will be welcomed to compete.


The Whelen Modified Tour Series has never been healthier but NASCAR still keeps a keen eye on the overall progress of the series which has become a threat to NASCAR’s oldest division. Competition between the True Value Series is good for both competitors and fans as it provides an alternative where one didn’t exist before.
 
It was announced last week that Steve Park has been reunited with the Whelen Busch Series car owned by Ted Marsh. Park, who was put out of a ride when his Craftsman Truck Series owner shut down during the latter part of last year. Park, who was severely injured in the Marsh car a few years ago is hoping to reignite his driving career.
 
The Associated Press reported last week that well-known former NASCAR publicist Richard Norman "Chip" Williams Jr., of Mooresville, NC was arrested Tuesday and charged with statutory rape and soliciting a minor for sex over the Internet. Williams was arrested in the parking lot of a Guilford County church where he had arranged to meet what he believed was a 14-year-old girl with whom he had been conversing in an Internet chat room. Williams' firm, Williams Company of America, Inc., handles media and public relations for drivers Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, Derrike Cope and John Andretti, among others. Williams also formerly worked for NASCAR, where he handled public relations for the top-level Winston Cup racing series. Williams is charged with first-degree sex offense with a child and statutory rape sex offense - both stemming from the alleged relationship with the 15-year-old - and solicitation of a child by computer to commit a sex offense.
 
In TV land, this week’s viewing will consist of mostly Speed Channel programming. This weeks viewing begins on Tuesday, February 7 at 2:00pm with NASCAR Fast Forward which recaps the Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series events that were run at the Texas Motor Speedway in November. On Wednesday and Thursday it will be more of the same at 2:00pm. Phoenix on November 1 and Homestead, Fl on November 18. Speed goes live from Daytona for six hours, beginning at 2:00pm, with two rounds of Nextel Cup Bud Shootout practice plus numerous interviews. Saturday’s live coverage begins at 10:00am with two more Nextel Cup practice sessions and interviews that will carry up to when live coverage of the ARCA Re/Maxx 200. Two more hours of NASCAR Live follow beginning at 6:00pm. Live coverage switches to TNT at 8:00pm for the Bud Shootout. NASCAR Victory Lane on Speed at 10:00pm wraps up the Bud Shootout. Sunday’s coverage begins with NASCAR Live at 11:00am. Live action switches to TNT at noon for the Daytona 500 Pole Qualifying. NASCAR Live resumes on Speed at 3:00pm. Speed News Sunday wraps up the days activities.
 
On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week the story was "What Goes Up, Must come Down" Just about everything tanked last week with the exception of Featherlite Trailers which went up 0.20 to 5.22. All three speedway stocks had a negative ending. Taking the biggest hit was the International Speedway Corporation which went down 0.98 to 46.35. Dover Downs dropped 0.76 to 5.37 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.02 to 36.00. Nextel dropped 0.76 to 22.94 while Sun Oil dropped a whopping 5.28 to 85.17. DIRT Motorsports didn’t escape as they dropped 0.80 to 3.60. In the drug sector, Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.73 to 22.26 and Pfizer dropped 0.71 to 25.28. The home improvement sector also took a digger. Lowes dropped 1.59 to 63.52 and Home Depot dropped 0.18 to 39.82. The parcel carriers were also cought short. Fedex dropped 3.97 to 98 49 and UPS dropped 2.34 to 73.36. Not to be a repeater but "What Goes Up, Must Come Down"!!

 


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 smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com  


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