Tuesday February 14, 2012

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The 46th annual New Smyrna World Series of Short track Racing begins on Friday night, Feb 17 and will run through Saturday night, Feb 25. Northern Tour type Modifieds and SK type Modifieds are part of the racing program. Among the highlights for the week is an SK Modified 50 lapper on Tuesday, The John Blewett III Memorial 50 lapper on Wednesday and the Richie Evans Memorial 100 lapper on Friday night, Feb 24. Entries for the Tour types and SK types have been slow in arriving. As of this past Monday, there were 15 NASCAR type and 9 SK types registered to race.

The Connecticut state's $40.1 billion budget, which included a series of record-breaking tax increases, eliminated admissions tax exemptions for-profit amusement, entertainment and recreation facilities, including four racing facilities including the Thompson Speedway, the Stafford Motor Speedway, the Waterford Speedbowl and Lime Rock Park. All four had been exempt from a 10 percent state admissions tax. As of Jan. 1, they will have to raise admission prices to suit. It will mean that $1.00 will be added to regular admission prices which have ranged from $15-$20.

The long wait is over! The Daytona International Speedway and the surrounding short tracks shift into high gear this coming weekend for the official start of Speedweek.

Racing at New Smyrna begins on Friday night, Feb 17 and the 34th annual season-opening Sprint Cup Shootout event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18. Speedweek is actually one week later than usual this year.
For those heading to Daytona the track has posted the following schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 18
4:30 p.m.: ARCA 200
8:10 p.m.: Budweiser Shootout

Sunday, Feb. 19
1:05 p.m.: Daytona 500 pole qualifying

Thursday, Feb. 23
2 p.m.: Start of first Gatorade Duel 150 races

Friday, Feb. 24
2:05 p.m.: Nationwide Series qualifying
4:05 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying
7:30 p.m.: Start of NextEra Energy Resources 250 Truck
Series race

Saturday, Feb. 25
10:30 a.m.: Final Daytona 500 practice session
1:15 p.m.: Start of DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide race

Sunday, Feb. 26
1 p.m.: Start of the 54th annual Daytona 500

Those who enter through the pit area are considered participants and should not be taxed the additional amount.

In TV land, viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday, at 6:00pm with NASCAR Race Hub. Race Hub will also be shown on Wednesday and Thursday at the same time. NASCAR Now returns on espn2 at 3:00pm on Wednesday, Thursday and on Friday at 3:00pm. Race viewing begins on Thursday at noon with a replay of the 2011 season ending Sprint Cup event at Homestead, Fl. ESPN Classic replays the 1997 Daytona 500 at 5:30pm. Speed goes live on Friday at 4:00pm with NASCAR Live from Daytona. BUD Shootout practice follows at 5:00pm. Rounding out the day will be the selection of BUD Shootout starting positions at 8:30pm on Speed. Saturdayís coverage from Daytona begins at 11:00am with Sprint Cup practice. Speed will provide live coverage from Daytona for most of the day. At 4:30pm Speed will present live coverage of the annual ARCA 200 from Daytona. At 8:00pm FOX goes live with the Budweiser Shootout from Daytona. Leading the broadcast team will be Mike Joy, by far the bestRace Anchor in the business. Dick Berggren, the best pit reporter in the business will provide his usual factual updates. NASCAR Victory Lane on Speed will round out the day at 11:30pm. NASCAR Now on espn2 on Sunday at noon starts the day off. Also at noon, NASCAR Live from Daytona on Speed at noon previews Daytona 500 Pole qualifying which goes live at 1:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Dover Entertainment went up o.11 to 1.36 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.56 to 16.40 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.02 to 26.23. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.03 to 2.29 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 0.74 to 39.21 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.04 to 13.88. With the exception of Toyota, which went up 1.92 to 78.39, the carmakers had a down week. Ford dropped 0.35 to 12.44 and General Motors dropped 0.68 to 25.50. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.16 to 45.33 and Lowes dropped 0.11 to 27.09. In the team sponsorship area, Dupont dropped 0.86 to 51.15 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.29 to 63.19 and Aarons Rentals dropped 0.66 to 27.96. On the positive side, Target Department Stores went up 0.29 to 52.43 and Fedex went up 0.73 to 95.27.

Thatís 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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