Tuesday June 10, 2008

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder program was cancelled due to wet conditions. Thursday night Thunder resumes this week. Bert Marvin is the current point leader in the Sunoco Modifieds. Marvin currently holds a 14 point lead over Josh Sylvester. Todd Ceravolo sits in third, 18 points behind the leader. Kerry Malone and Danny Cates round out the top five. Sixth through tenth are Glenn Griswold, Harry Rheaume, Tom Cravenho, Woody Pitkat and Keith Rocco. In the Pro Stocks second generation driver Fred Astle Jr and Mike O’Sullivan are tied for the point lead. Jay Macedonio and Norm Wrenn are tied for second, some eight points behind. Other division leaders are Rick Blanchard in the Mini-Stocks, Leadfoot Larry Barnett in the Limited Sportsman, RJ Marcotte in the TIS Modifieds and Jeff Zuidema in the Late Models.

The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to fog on Friday night. The Coors Light SK Modified 100 program at Stafford Motor Speedway was postponed to this coming Friday night, June 13th due to a heavy fog and mist that rolled in over the track. The 30-lap Late Model make-up feature from May 23rd that was originally scheduled to run next Friday night, June 13th will kick off the night's action with the remaining feature events from the last week’s Coors Light SK Modified 100 racing card, which consists of the SK Modified 100, a 30-lap Late Model features, a 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and a 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, to fill out the night's program. Ticket prices for Friday's event are $18.00 for Adult General Admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14 General Admission, and children ages 5 and under are FREE. Reserved seating is available and will be priced at $20.00 for all ages.

The Waterford Speedbowl raced under clear skies and provided southeastern Connecticut race fans a full program of racing. The main event of the evening was a 100 lap American Canadian Tour contest that was won by tour regular Scott Payea. Waterford regular Bruce Thomas led the early going but in the end had to settle for second. Former Busch North Series regular Brad Leighton finished third with Ron Yuhas Jr and Nichloas Sweet rounding out the top five. Doug Coby was the SK Modified winner. Tyler Chadwick finished second and was followed by Dennis Gada, Jeff Paul, and Keith Rocco.

Other feature winners were Mark Hudson (Late Model), Brandon Plemons (Sportsman), and Lou Bellisle (Mini Stock).

The True Value Modified Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series are enjoying their second “Spring Break of the season. The True Value Series resumes a week from this coming Saturday, June 14th at the Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk , MA . The Whelen Modifieds resume their season on Thursday night, June 19th at the Thompson Speedway.

In a somewhat racing related manner, James Galante, a major Connecticut trash hauler at the center of a sweeping federal corruption probe of mob influence in the industry pleaded guilty on June 3 and agreed to surrender dozens of businesses worth more than $100 million. The New London Day reported that Galante of Danbury entered guilty pleas to racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and wire fraud conspiracy. He faces 70 to 87 months in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. Galante sponsored and owned Ted Christopher’s racing endeavors from 1995 until June of 2006 when the Galante/Christopher race shop was raided by the feds who confiscated five complete Modified Type cars plus another one in the process of being built. One of the cars was a four time winner at Loudon.

A 17 page indictment states that Galante is "knowingly and willingly turning over to the U.S. Government": "Six racing cars, marked with numbers 01 thru 06, on the front frame rails and one 1997 53 foot Featherlie Trailer." Galante agreed to take all steps as requested by the United States to pass clear title to all of the assets listed over to the United States Govermment.". Chances are that the race cars and equipment will be auctioned to the public at some date in the future. Galante’s actual sentencing will be on August 22.

In TV land this week on the Speed Channel.viewing will begin at noon on Thursday with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Replay of last Sunday’s Pocono 500 at the Pocono Raceway. Speed goes live on Friday at 11:00am with NASCAR Live at Michigan Intl. Speedway. Live action from Michigan continues at 11:30 with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice and time trials. At 1:30 the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes to the Michigan track for a 90 minute practice session. Sprint Cup qualifying begins at 3:00 and will be followed by the ARCA RE/MAX Series Racing for Wildlife 200 at 5:00pm. While the ARCA event is underway ESPN2 will present a 60 minute practice session beginning at 7:00pm for the Nationwide cars at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta , Kentucky . Once the ARCA event is completed Speed will stay live with Trackside at Michigan until 9:00pm when they will have same day, taped delayed coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying. Saturday’s coverage will begin at noon with a 2-1/2 hour practice session for the Sprint Cup cars at Michigan . At 2:30 Speed hosts a pre-race show that will lead in to a 3:15pm start of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Cool City Customs 200 at the Michigan Intl. Speedway. At 5:00pm ESPN2 begins live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying from the Kentucky Speedway. At 8:00pm ESPN2 hosts a pre-race show that leads to an 8:45pm start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway. Sunday, Father’s Day, will see the viewing start at 10:30am with a two hour RaceDay which will preview the day’s Nextel Cup event. At 12:30pm the action moves to TNT for another preview event of the Michigan race. The NASCAR Sprint Cup LifeLock 400 at the Michigan Intl. Speedway gets the green on TNT at 2:15 . While the Nextel Cup is on, the Speed Channel will show the June 6 World of Outlaws sprint car event that was run in Knoxville , Iowa on June 6. The Speed Report at 7:00pm and NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00pm will wrap up the weekend’s racing. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain follows at 9:00pm .

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week just about everything ended up on the negative side with few exceptions. Aaron’s Rentals went up 0.70 to 23.09. All three speedway stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.41 to 24.08. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.03 to 43.75 and Dover Downs dropped 0.17 to 6.05. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint/Nextel dropped 0.32 to 9.04 while NASCAR second division sponsor Nationwide dropped 0.29 to 50.75. NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil dropped 2.78 to 41.69 while NASCAR Tire supplier Goodyear dropped 2.30 to 23.11. In the home improvement sector Lowes dropped 0.48 to 23.52 while Home Depot dropped 0.18 to 27.18. The parcel carriers also had a rough week. Fedex dropped 2.85 to 88.86 and UPS dropped 2.43 to 68.59. NASCAR major sponsors also had an off week. Coca-Cola dropped 5.66 to 46.06 and Dupont dropped 0.59 to 46.32. The World Racing Group showed a no-change for the week as they stayed at 0.14.

That’s it for this week from 40 Clark St. 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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