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Tuesday February 19, 2013
 

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

Late last week if one were to check out the traffic cams that watch over I-95 from the Boston area to south Florida one could notice a remarkable increase in camper, truck and car traffic in general heading south to Florida. It meant only one thing, Florida Speedweeks was about to begin. Renewed interest was generated when NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation jointly announced that the First Annual Battle of the Beach would include most of NASCAR weekly and Touring division stars including those of the Northern and Southern Whelen Modified Tours. Added to the fact was the inclusion of the New Smyrna Speedway in the NASCAR fold. Daytona posted 34 pre-race Modified entries while New Smyrna posted 20 for their Modified events.

Thursday was a park and practice day but competitors did it under rain conditions. Practice for all divisions was cut short on Thursday, February 14th, when rain settled in on the state of Florida. NASCAR Modifieds that came out for limited practice were: Patrick Emerling, Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman, J.R. Bertuccio, Chuck Hossfeld, Danny Watts, Earl Paules and Al Emmarino.

The World Series officially opened on Friday night for round one of the six night Modified portion of the series. NASCAR Race Director/Chief Steward Ricky Brooks confiscated three carburetors when modified cars went through tech. He agreed to give them back at the end of the series. The issue was a butterfly valve. Ted Christopher, Matt Hirschman and Earl Paules are the drivers that has their carbs confiscated. Twelve cars went to post for the opening night 35 lapper. Woody Pitkat and Hillbilly Racing served notice that they intend to go for the series title. Pitkat started third and took the lead from Patrick Emerling after a lap six restart. Pitkat never looked back and the Hill family mount never faltered as he went on to record the win. Emerling finished second with Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld and Earl Paules rounding out the top five. Sixth through eighth was Mike Stefanik, Eric Goodale and Ted Christopher.

Night No. 2, Saturday 2/16, saw 11 cars go to post for the 35 lap Modified feature at New Smyrna. On the start, pole sitter JR Bertuccio attempted to pinch Woody Pitkat but to no avail as Pitkat took the lead. Bertuccio bumped his way past Pitkat on lap five to take the lead but not for long as Chuck Hossfeldt was on a mission. Hossfeldt, who started fifth, moved into the lead on lap six. Bertuccio tried in vain to regain the top spot but eventually faded, giving way to Matt Hirschman and Pitkat. Ted Christopher came alive midway in the event but that effort was short lived as he too, faded, because of loss of power. In the final ten laps Hossfeldt and Hirschman ran side by side with Hossfeldt coming out on top at the finish. Hirschman finished a strong second with Patrick Emerling, third. Pitkat and Christopher rounded out the top five.

The Modifieds took Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night off from New Smyrna in order to concentrate on the First Annual Battle at the Beach at the Daytona International Speedway.

In television action the first annual NASCAR "Battle at the Beach" featuring the Whelen All American Late Model Series gets live coverage by the Speed Channel on Monday night, Feb 18 at 7:00pm. On Tuesday night, Feb 19 the NASCAR Northern and Southern Modifieds will have their "Battle at the Beach" on Tuesday night at 7:00pm followed by the NASCAR K&N Series. All "Battle at the Beach" events will be run on a special 1/4 mile flat track located on the backstretch of the Daytona International Speedway. The following extensive coverage will be provided leading up to the running of the Daytona 500.
 

2

20

Wed

12:30 AM

NASCAR Now

 

ESPN2

2

20

Wed

12:00 PM

NSCS practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

20

Wed

2:30 PM

NSCS practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

20

Wed

1:30 PM

NASCAR Live!

 

SPEED

2

20

Wed

6:00 PM

NASCAR Race Hub

 

SPEED

2

21

Thu

2:00 AM

NASCAR Now

 

ESPN2

2

21

Thu

12:00 PM

NCWTS practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

1:00 PM

NASCAR RaceDay

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

2:00 PM

Budweiser Duel #1

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

~3:30 PM

Budweiser Duel #2

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

5:30 PM

NASCAR Victory Lane

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

6:00 PM

NCWTS final practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

21

Thu

7:30 PM

Budweiser Duel Replay

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

1:30 AM

NASCAR Now

 

ESPN2

2

22

Fri

10:30 AM

NASCAR Live!

 

SPEED

2

22

Fri

11:00 AM

NSCS practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

12:00 PM

NASCAR Live!

 

SPEED

2

22

Fri

12:30 PM

NSCS practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

1:30 PM

NCWTS Qualifying

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

7:00 PM

NCWTS Setup

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

7:30 PM

NCWTS Race

Daytona

SPEED

2

22

Fri

10:30 PM

SPEED Center

 

SPEED

2

23

Sat

10:30 AM

NASCAR Live!

 

SPEED

2

23

Sat

10:30 AM

NSCS final practice

Daytona

SPEED

2

23

Sat

12:00 PM

NNS Countdown

Daytona

ESPN

2

23

Sat

1:15 PM

DRIVE4COPD 300 NNS race

Daytona

ESPN

2

23

Sat

4:00 PM

NSCS final practice replay

Daytona

SPEED

2

23

Sat

5:30 PM

Trackside

Daytona

SPEED

2

23

Sat

6:30 PM

SPEED Center

 

SPEED

2

24

Sun

2:30 AM

DRIVE4COPD 300 NNS race replay

Daytona

ESPN2

2

24

Sun

4:00 AM

DRIVE4COPD 300 NNS race replay

Daytona

ESPN deportes

2

24

Sun

8:30 AM

SPEED Center

 

SPEED

2

24

Sun

9:00 AM

NASCAR RaceDay

Daytona 500

SPEED

2

24

Sun

11:30 AM

FOX Daytona 500 Special

Daytona

FOX

2

24

Sun

12:00 PM

NASCAR Sunday

Daytona 500

FOX

2

24

Sun

1:00 PM

Daytona 500 NSCS race

Daytona

FOX & FOX Deportes

2

24

Sun

5:30 PM

NASCAR Victory Lane

Daytona

SPEED

2

24

Sun

7:00 PM

SPEED Center

 

SPEED

2

24

Sun

8:00 PM

Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain

 

SPEED

2

24

Sun

8:30 PM

A Racer's Life: Richard Petty

 

SPEED


On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week no big changes were noticed since the last look that was two weeks previous. When the stock market closed on Fri, Feb 15 all three speedway stocks were on the plus side from two weeks ago. Dover Entertainment went up 0.01 to 1.73 while Speedway Motorsports went up 0.19 to 17.08 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 1.88 to 30.00. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.22 to 5.91 while NASCAR fuel Supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.30 to 46.75 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.32 to 14.10. Car builder Toyota took a huge jump as they went up 4.47 to 102.60 while General Motors dropped 0.41 to 27.76 and Ford remained neutral at 13.02. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.22 to 67.52 and Lowes went up 0.58 to 39.14. The big team sponsors did their usual thing. Dupont dropped 1.04 to 46.94 and Coca-Cola dropped 0.86 to 64.13 and Aarons Rentals dropped 0.57 to 29.26 while Target Department Stores went up 1.56 to 68.71 and Fedex went up 3.66 to 106.42.

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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