Tuesday January 12, 2010

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

As of this Friday, January 15 it will be three weeks before the drop of the green for opening night of the annual World Series of Speed at the New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and the official beginning of the NASCAR season at the Daytona International Speedway.

The New Smyrna Speedway has released the following schedule:

Gates Open at 8:00am - Practice Begins at 1:00pm
02.05.10 Super Late Models, Late Models, Crate Models, Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Modifieds
02.06.10 Super Late Models, Late Models, Crate Models, Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Modifieds
Super Late Models, Late Models, FL/IMCA Modifieds
*SUPER BOWL PARTY to follow Feature Racing
Crate Models, Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Modifieds
02.09.10 SK MODIFIEDS 50
Super Late Models, Late Models, Crate Models, Tour-Type Modifieds, FL/IMCA Modifieds
Super Late Models, Late Models, Crate Models, SK Modifieds,
02.11.10 SUPER LATE MODEL 50 &
Crate Models, Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, Pro-Trucks
Super Late Models, Late Models, SK Modifieds, Pro-Trucks
Late Models, Tour-Type Modifieds

Among those who have submitted Modified entries so far are: J.R. Bertuccio, Ronnie Silk, Eddie Brunhoelzl III, David Roys, Kevin Goodale, Eric Goodale, David Cranmer, Tommy Cloce, James Civali and John Jensen along with Ted Christopher and Chuck Hossfeld.

For the last week or so the temperatures in central Florida in and around the Daytona Beach area have been in the 30’s. The Daytona International Speedway has come alive as competitors have been practicing for the Jan 30-31 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Once the Rolex event is completed the NASCAR and ARCA stock cars move in. Because of the fact that the NFL Superbowl Championship game will be played on Sunday, February 7, Daytona 500 Pole qualifying will be held on Saturday afternoon, Feb 6. The ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and Budweiser Shootout will follow. The Gatorade Duel at Daytona will be held on Thursday, Feb 11and the NASCAR Truck Series will have a 250 mile event on Friday, Feb 12. Florida Speedweeks wrap up on Feb 13 and 14 with the Nationwide Camping World 300 on Saturday and the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Long-range weather forecasts indicate the temps will be in the mid to upper 70’s in central Florida by Feb 1.

The New York State Stock Car Association’s Hall of Fame induction will take place on Saturday night, Jan 23, in Albany, NY. The 2010 edition, honoring car owner Jerry Higbie and famed drivers Mike Romano, Charlie Rudolph and Jimmy Spencer. The event will carry over to Sunday at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. Set for 11 am on Sunday, January 24th in front of the permanent NYSSCA display at the museum, the event will expand upon the induction program at Saturday night’s NYSSCA awards banquet in Albany.

“At the banquet, we have to present an abbreviated program because of the time constraints imposed by the scores of special awards to be presented to area racers,” said Hall of Fame chairman and gallery coordinator Ron Hedger. “But Sunday, both the presenters and the inductees can speak as long as they want and I can even work in questions from the audience”.

“The event always attracts famous racers and previous Hall of Fame inductees and lets fans unable to attend the NYSSCA banquet meet and greet the new Hall of Fame members. I never know where the stories that come out are going to lead us but it is always a marvelous event. Will Cagle’s captivating tale of cheating with mislabeled tires last year is still bringing in comments from those who were in attendance.”

Presenters for the event will include famed announcer Jim King, journalist Tom Boggie, writer and DIRT lawyer Andy Fusco and National Speed Sport News columnist Ron Hedger.

The Hall of Fame ceremony will also mark the formal debut of the racing gallery’s colorful new “jacket wall” featuring vintage racing jackets that will spark memories of the heroes of the past. Those with jackets to donate or loan can drop them off prior to the event, ship them to the museum or bring them to the induction ceremony.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is on the Avenue of the Pines in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

Coming up shortly is Motorsports 2010 which will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Pennsylvania on January 22, 23, 24 2010. Among the highlights of the weekend will be the Langhorne Speedway Reunion. Drivers who competed at Pa.’s legendary Langhorne International Speedway during its dirt and asphalt racing era will be signing a special collector’s poster. Among those expected for this event are Donald “Dutch” Hoag: Five-time Race of Champion Modified Classics winner, Ralph “The Racer” Liguori: Open-cockpit racing legend, Hully Bunn: First RoC-sanctioned event winner at Langhorne in 1951, Roger Treichler: Last RoC-sanctioned event winner at Langhorne in 1971, Freddy Adam: The 1964 Race of Champions winner, the last event held on dirt track, Bill Wimble: 1960 NASCAR National Sportsman champion and Wes Moody: Multi-time stock car feature winner from Saranac Lake, N.Y.

A historical display saluting the speedway, featuring many cars that raced there during this era, is being organized by the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club and can be seen during the entire show.

Motorsports 2010 is a three day race car and trade show running from 3 p.m. on Friday, January 22nd through Sunday, January 24th at 4 p.m. The show, offering just about everything imaginable in motorsports, fills all the space that is available at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

Headlining the show will be autograph sessions with NASCAR Sprint Cup stars Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose along with NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. In addition NASCAR Cup crew chief Frankie Kerr will be on hand along with drag racing star Morgan Lucas, national late model racing standout Josh Richards, World of Outlaws sprint ace Danny Lasoski, former NASCAR crew chief and now FOX and SPEED TV personality Jeff Hammond along with others will also be signing autographs.

More than 200 motorsports vehicles representing just about all segments of the sport will be on display. Many top regional and local racing stars will also be part of the show.

The Hartford Courant reported last week that details of the impending Television deal for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series are still being worked out between NASCAR, the Speed Channel and the Versus Network. The Courant indicated that the broadcast package will include upwards of nine events that will make up the 14 race schedule.

In TV land this weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at noon with a re-run of the May 29 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series AAA Insurance 200 that was run at Dover, DE. NASCAR Race Hub goes at 7:30pm with highlights of racing news of the day. NASCAR RaceHub will also be seen at 7:30pm on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday at noon the Speed Channel replays the June 7th NASCAR Sprint Cup Pocono 500 that was run at the Pocono Raceway. On Thursday at noon Speed replays yjr June 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup Lifelock 400 that was run at the Michigan International Speedway. Friday at noon Speed replays the June 21st NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 that was run at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. At 7:00pm, ESPN Classic replays the 2004 Daytona 500. Saturday’s televised races will be limited to two Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events starting at 2:00pm. The Speed Report will wrap up the week at 7:00pm on Sunday night.

A new racing series program on the History Channel has its debut on Sunday night, Jan 10th at 10:00pm. Titled “Madhouse”, the program follows the racing and rivalries at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were on the plus side. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.39 to 28.84 and Dover Motorsports went up 0.22 to 2.31. Having a negative ending was Speedway Motorsports, which dropped 0.73 to 16.89. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.29 to 3.95 while fuel supplier Sun Oil jumped up 2.76 to 28.86. Tire supplier Goodyear followed suit as they went up 1.84 to 15.94. The car makers were also moving in the right direction. Ford jumped up 1.69 to 11.69 while Toyota jumped 1.60 to 85.76 and General Motors rose 0.36 to 0.83. With the exception of Coca-Cola which dropped 2.52 to 51.50, the NASCAR team sponsors had a fairly good week. Target Department Stores went up 1.70 to 50.07 while Aaron’s Rentals went up 0.41 to 28.14 and Dupont went up 0.27 to 33.94. The home improvement giants were also in the green for the week. Lowes went up 0.20 to 23.59 and Home Depot went up 0.05 to 28.98.

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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