The management of the Thompson Speedway
has announced that former racer Jeff
Zuidema has been appointed by the track
to the position of race director.
Zuidema has not raced since 2010 when he
quit because of back problems.
Zuidema's biggest job will be rebuilding
the population of the weekly racing
program which has taken a drastic drop
over the past few seasons. Last year the
track struggled to attract over ten cars
in three of its six weekly divisions.
The track’s premier Sunoco "SK type"
Modified division saw most of its events
running with fields under 15 cars. It
was confirmed Wednesday that the track
will eliminate it’s Thompson Modified
division, which usually ran 5-6 car
fields each week in 2012.
In the past, the Thompson Speedway has
listened to the competitors too much
which has allowed cars within the Sunoco
Mods to veer away from the rules in
force for SK Modifieds at Stafford and
Waterford. The same thing happened with
the Pro Stocks or Super Lates or
whatever you want to call them. Zuidema
and Jonathan Hoenig, director of
business development and marketing at
the track, need to fix that.
The first step was the elimination of
the Thompson Modifieds. The second step
is to bring the track's SK's or Sunoco
Modifieds rules in line with other
tracks. That, in it self will allow
competitors to cross over from other
tracks without massive expense or
intensive re-working of cars. The
division never really caught on. The
2013 schedule will be announced any day
now and with a new management team in
place it will make for a new beginning
when the first green flag drops in the
In many cases a new set of eyes paint an
entire different picture of the problems
at hand and in many cases change is
Two months after being cut off at the
waist by strong winds from Superstorm
Sandy, the Indian statue at Riverhead
Raceway is once again fully intact.
Raceway owners Jim and Barbara Cromarty
had vowed at a Chamber of Commerce
dinner earlier in December that “The
Indian” would be back on his feet by
Christmas. They were right.
The iconic statue, which was brought to
Riverhead in 1980 from the old Danbury
Fair in Connecticut, was split in two in
the late afternoon of Oct. 29. “The
Indian” once appeared in an episode of
HBO’s hit television drama “The
In action on the tube this week, more
re-runs are in store. On Wednesday, at
noon the Speed Channel will air the
Watkins Glen Sprint Cup event at noon.
On Thursday at noon Speed will re-run
one of the Michigan Sprint Cup events
and on Friday at noon Speed will re-run
the August Bristol Sprint Cup event at
noon. Speed will go live at Daytona next
week to cover mid -winter Sprint Cup
On the Speedway Stock Market scene last
week all three speedway stocks were down
for the week. Taking the biggest dive
was the International Speedway
Corporation which dropped 1.10 to 26.93.
Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.50 to
17.30 and Dover Entertainment dropped
0.04 to 1.66. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint
went up 0.24 to 5.60 while NASCAR fuel
supplier Energy Transfer (Sunoco)
dropped 0.84 to 42.48 and NASCAR tire
supplier Goodyear went up 0.21 to 13.29.
The car makers ended the week on a
positive note. Ford went up 1.01 to
12.87 while General Motors went up 0.53
to 27.85 and Toyota went up 1.30 to
92.07. The home improvement sector was
down for the week. Home Depot dropped
0.67 to 60.65 and Lowes dropped 0.06 to
34.98. The team sponsors showed negative
results. Dupont dropped 0.22 to 44.71
while Coca-Cola dropped 1.77 to 66.58,
Target Department Stores dropped 1.03 to
58.57, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.31 to
27.65 and Fedex dropped 2.35 to 90.39.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is