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Tuesday February 23, 2010

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

Now that Speedweeks in Florida and the New Smyrna World Series is history most of the auto racing snow birds have headed back north to await the beginning of the 2010 season at their favorite tracks. For the most part race fans and teams endured the cold, wind and rain during their stays in the sunshine state. The racing at New Smyrna could have been better but the somewhat short fields didn’t help. Ted Christopher was off his game a bit as many thought he would clean house in Fla. Keith Rocco had a chance to prove himself but he blew it when he went after Ron Silk. Rocco has a lot of raw talent but he needs to tone it down a bit.

A big disappointment was the fact that Burt Myers didn’t come to New Smyrna to trade paint with the northern boys. Myers has become somewhat of a racing personality because of his part in the Mad House reality show on the Speed Channel.

Had occasion to speak to Bob Garbarino who stated that he was surprised to hear from Donny Lia that he was going with the trucks. In the mean time, he said, no deals with any one have been made. It could very well mean that the Mystic Missile has taken its final lap.

In TV land this weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at 8:00am with NASCAR in a Hurry. What’s the Deal? with Jimmy Spencer follows at 8:30am. ESPN2 has NASCAR Now at 5:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5:00pm. NASCAR Race Hub holds the 7:30pm spotlight on Speed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Rounding out Thursday’s programming is Race in 60: NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 500 wrapup at 8:00pm. Wednesday’s programming begins at noon when Speed presents the NASCAR Sprint Cup Replay of the Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. On Thursday at noon Speed reruns last Saturdays Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300 that was run in Fontana, CA. Friday’s viewing begins at 10:30am on Speed with Motorweek. At 1:00pm Speed goes live with NASCAR Live from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live coverage from Las Vegas continues at 2:00pm with NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at 2:00pm, NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at 3:00 and another Nationwide Series practice at 4:30pm. NASCAR Live goes at 6:00 followed by Sprint Cup qualifying at 6:30pm. Trackside at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway rounds out the day at 8:30pm. Saturday’s coverage begins at noon with Nationwide Series qualifying. Sprint Cup practice follows from 1:30 to 4:00pm. At 4:00pm the action switches to espn2 for te pre-race show that will lead to the 4:30pm start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NASCAR Now on espn2 at 9:00am starts Sunday off. At 10:30 Speed has NASCAR Performance from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At noon NASCAR RaceDay presents a two hour preview of the upcoming Sprint Cup event. At 2:00pm the action switches to FOX for live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Shelby American at Las Vegas. Rounding out the days racing are The SPEED Report at 7:00, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm. Closing out the week is MadHouse on the History Channel at 11:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week all three speedway stocks ended the week in the green. Leading the pack was Speedway Motorsports, which went up 0.92 to 17.62. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.74 to 26.25 and Dover Motorsports went up 0.04 to 2.07. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.33 to 3.49 while fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 1.10 to 27.02 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.18 to 13.46. With the exception of Ford which went up 0.17 to 11.29 the car makers were on the negative side. General Motors dropped 0.02 to 0.58 and Toyota dropped 3.70 to 73.35. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.15 to 30.15 and Lowes went up 0.97 to 23.13. In the area of team sponsorship, Dupont went up 1.75 to 34.03 and Target department Stores went up 2.09 to 50.73 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.13 to 51 68 and Aaron’s Rentals dropped 0.10 to 30.12.

The Associated Press has reported that the Daytona International Speedway began repairs to the damaged portion of Turn 2 that forced two delays during the Daytona 500 totaling more than two hours.

Track president Robin Braig said a team of engineers and asphalt specialists from North American Testing Corp. decided a strip of pavement will be removed and a reinforced concrete patch will be poured in the area where a significant pothole developed during Sunday's race.

The patch in the asphalt surface will be about 6 feet wide and 18 feet long, and should hold up until the 2 1/2-mile, high-banked superspeedway undergoes a $20 million repaving scheduled for as early as 2012. The current surface was paved in 1978.

Engineers decided that heavy rain, including a flood last year, and cooler-than-normal temperatures weakened the track surface. The pavement ultimately couldn't hold up to the stress caused by tires and some cars, set low for better aerodynamics, that bottomed out.

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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