Tuesday February 8, 2011

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The long wait is over as the nights come alive in New Smyrna Florida as the green flag drops this Friday night, Feb 11, for the 45th ANNUAL WORLD SERIES of ASPHALT STOCK CAR RAC ING at the New Smyrna Speedway The nine night series will feature Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, NASCAR Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Type Modifieds, Pro-Trucks, ACT Late Models.
The Modifieds will run every night except on Sunday, 2/13. The highlights of the week will be the running of the John Blewett III 50 lapper on Wednesday and the Richie Evans Memorial 100 lapper on Friday, 2/18.

The Vermont based American-Canadian Tour will be well represented in New Smyrna. Twenty-eight teams from New England, New York, Quebec and Ontario will head south for the unique ACT twin 100-lap format event. Sunday, February 13th and Monday February 14th which will start the 2011 stock car season for those teams. Northern style qualifying and double file restarts will be in effect. On Monday the best will have to come from the rear following results from Sunday.

It has been announced that Speed 51 Radio and Race Time Radio will broadcast a 2-hour radio show on “The Score,” Sirius 98, from the 45th annual “World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing” at New Smyrna Speedway on Tuesday, February 15th. The show, which will be hosted by SPEED’s Bob Dillner and RTR’s Joe Chisholm, will be live from 7-9pm that Tuesday.

One of the highlights of the World Series at New Smyrna will be the 4th Annual Modified Reunion. On Friday, February 18th, 2011, (Rain Date Saturday February 19th) the 4th Annual Modified Reunion will be taking place. This is the same day that New Smyrna Speedway honors one of the greatest racers ever with the annual "Richie Evans Memorial 100" for the NASCAR Tour-type Modifieds.

For the last 3 years, the Modified Reunion has been part of the festivities at the track, and has become quite popular. Well over 100 of the biggest names from Northeast Modified history have joined us at this event. Drivers, car owners, track owners, flagmen and mechanics from virtually all of the Northeast tracks have been involved. Of course, this event is for the Fans also, and all are welcomed to attend.

Hall of Fame drivers like Dutch Hoag, Bill Wimble, Bentley Warren, Bugs Stevens, Will Cagle, Gil Hearne, Ron Bouchard, Ed Ortiz, Andy Romano, Ron Narducci, Satch Worley, Ray Miller, Ronnie Wyckoff, Billy Harman, Leo Cleary, George Summers, Jerry Dostie, Satch Worley and Chuck Boos have all been here. Famous car owners, such as Bob Garbarino, Bob Judkins, Speedy Thomas, Don Turner (of the famous Turner Brothers) and Joe Brady have all supported this event. Track owners Dick Waterman and Stan Friesen, plus Flagmen Ken Golden and Chris Hopkins and Billy Dunn also turn out to tell old stories and renew friendships.

In addition, the Vintage Racecar show has turned out to be very popular with both the fans and participants. Car count has been near the 20 mark each year.

Admission to the reunion is free. All participating drivers, as well as the other honored guests, will also receive a pair of grandstand tickets to enjoy the evening races, and all Vintage Car participants will receive a pair of pit passes for the same night. Both of these admissions are courtesy of the New Smyrna Speedway management.

Ted Christopher continued his dominance on the indoor midget scene last Saturday night, topping the 40-lap Coffee Cup feature for three-quarter midgets at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI.

The victory was the second in as many weeks and the fifth in 10 TQ midget events for the former NASCAR modified tour champ after Christopher topped the Gambler’s Classic the previous weekend at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Billy Pauch led the first four laps before giving way to Lou Cicconi, Jr. on a restart. Meanwhile an aggressive Christopher used slower traffic to advance from his fifth-place starting spot to take the lead from Cicconi on lap 15.
Christopher paced the final 25 laps, holding off Ryan Smith, Tim Buckwalter, Stewart Friesen and Mike Lichty for the victory. Mike Stefanik finished 18th.

In some sad news, word comes from Gary London on Long Island that Bruno Brackey, the winningest driver in Long Island history died on February 3rd from complications from pneumonia. He was ninety years old. Known as The Merry Mailman, Brackey started racing at age 30. He was an active stock car driver. In addition to racing in New York, he competed at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ under the name "Johnny Frank" (his two brothers) and was two-time NASCAR sportsman champion there. When NASCAR discovered he was driving in unsanctioned racing at Freeport, they suspended him. He was Freeport's all-time feature winner and raced there until the track closed in 1984. He was very successful in TQ midget racing also, twice finishing second in indoor points. He raced up and down the eastern seaboard, finishing second in a sportsman race at Langhorne in 1959.

In TV land the viewing is slowly but surely increasing, as Speedweeks in Daytona shifts into high gear for the first of two full weeks of action in the sunshine state. NASCAR Race Hub has returned to the 7:00pm time slot Tuesday and Wednesday on the Speed Channel during the week. NASCAR Now on espn2 can be seen at 5:00pm on Tuesday, 6:00pm on Wednesday, 5:00pm on Thursday and 6:00pm on Friday. On Thursday evening at 7:00pm the Speed Channel presents highlights of the NASCAR Media Day, 2011 Preview, from the Daytona Intl. Speedway. At 8:30 the Speed Channel shows shows the best of the best Daytona Moments from the world of NASCAR. At 9:00pm Speed hosts the Speed Performance Awards. A panel of racing experts awards the Mario Andretti Trophy to motorsport's top performer of 2010. Speed goes live at Daytona at 4:00pm on Friday. At 5:00pm NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Budweiser Shootout takes center stage. NASCAR Live follows at 6:00pm with the final hour of Sprint Cup practice going at 6:30. At 7:30 the Speed Channel remembers Dale Earnhardt. On the tenth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500, a chronological recount of the events of the day. At 8:30pm Speed provides live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout SELECTION SHOW at the Daytona Intl. Speedway. Saturday’s viewing begins at 11:00am on Speed with a two-hour practice session for the Sprint Cup cars that will run for the Daytona 500 pole position. NASCAR Live at 1:00pm provides a 60-minute break. The Sprint Cup cars practice for two more hours starting at 2:00pm. NASCAR Live follows at 4:00pm. At 4:30pm racing at the Daytona Int. Speedway begins with the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. NASCAR RaceDay follows at 6:30pm. Race Day will provide a 90 minute preview to the Budweiser Shootout at the Daytona Intl. Speedway. At 8:00pm the action shifts to FOX for live coverage of the Budweiser Shootout. At 10:00pm the action returns to Speed for NASCAR Victory Lane. Sunday’s viewing begins at noon with NASCAR Live. At 1:00pm the action switches to FOX for live coverage of Dayton 500 Pole position qualifying. At 5:00pm Speed will replay Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout. At 6:00pm on Sunday the action switches to Versus for "Dirt Knights". At 7:00pm the Speed Channel premiers Speed Center, a new Motorsports news series show. At 8:00 it’s the NASCAR Victory Lane Special Edition which wrap-ups the Budweiser Shootout.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks finished out the week on the positive side. Dover Motorsports went up 0.18 to 2.03 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.05 to 14.70 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.15 to 28.92. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.05 to 4.40 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil dropped 1.10 to 42.36. NASCAR Tire supplier Goodyear went up 1.10 to 12.76. With the exception of Toyota which went up 3.39 to 84.75 the car builders were in the red for the week. Ford dropped 0.55 to 15.72 while General Motors dropped 0.01 to 36.59. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.10 to 36.80 while Lowes dropped 0.54 to 24.71. The major team sponsors were again a mixed bag. Dupont went up 2.24 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.25 to 53.16 and Target Department Stores dropped 0.08 to 54.27. Aarons Rentals went up 0.69 to 19.97 and Fedex went up 1.26 to 91.74.

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is

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

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