Tuesday March 28, 2006

By Phil Smith
The Waterford Speedbowl opens with their Nationals this weekend. The two day event will host feature events for SK Modifieds (150 laps), Late Models (50 laps), Sportsman (30 laps), Mini-Stocks (30 laps), and NEMA Midgets (25 laps). All features will be run on Sunday with a 1:00pm starting time. All qualifying will be held on Saturday. Tickets are for both days and are priced at $30.00 for adults, Youths (6-14) $5.00 and pit passes with a NASCAR license is $40.00. Waterford’s regular Saturday night season begins a week from this coming Saturday on April 1. The Thompson Speedway goes green next weekend with IceBreaker ’06. In four weeks on April 30 it will be the Spring Sizzler at Stafford.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season-opener got the green on Saturday night at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. The weather in central North Carolina was mighty cold but it didn’t stop Ted Christopher as he scored the 250-lap win over Chuck Hossfeld. Christopher drove the Joe Brady No.00 while Hossfeld made his maiden voyage in the Roger Hill No.79. There were 27 NASCAR Modifieds on hand, a record count for Southern Modified Tour events. Christopher took the lead on Lap 20 and never looked back, even though his .219 second margin of victory over Hossfeld was anything but easy for the Plainville, Conn. driver. A late caution allowed Hossfeld to close in on Christopher’s bumper for the Lap 148 restart with two circuits remaining. Southern drivers Burt Myers and Junior Miller finished third and fourth with Jamie Tomaino rounding out the top five. Andy Seuss, a regular on the Northern New England True Value Modified Tour Series and recent Modified Champion at New Smyrna, finished 27th after dropping out on lap 97 with handling problems. There were eight caution flags that slowed the field for 48 laps. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action April 8 at the legendary Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.
Rob Summers, who was the 2005 SK Modified Champion at the Waterford Speedbowl says he will be in competition at the shoreline oval when his schedule permits. Summers has taken over the ride formerly driven by Rick Fuller on the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Chris Pasteryak will follow a similar path with his family owned Modified. The only conflictions for the pair will be the August 5th WMT date at Riverhead and the Sept. 2nd WMT date at Martinsville.
The Thompson Speedway came to life last Saturday with their first of two pre-season practice session. According to Ace Photographer Howard Hodge there were 22 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series cars on hand including those of Dennis Charette, Bobby Grigas, Danny Sammons, Rob Summers, Todd Szegedy, Jerry Marquis, Ron Yuhas, Glenn Tyler Ed Flemke, Zach Sylvester, Mike Stefanik, Donny Lia, J. Wesley Swartout, James Civali, Mike Andrews, Dick Houlihan, Dave Etheridge, Matt Hirschman, John Blewett III, Jon McKennedy, Tom Bolles and Renee’ Dupuis. In one of the sessions a car lost a power steering hose or pump and Dennis Charette got in the fluid wrecking his car pretty badly.
At the Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday close to 100 cars packed the pit area as competitors in all divisions looked to get in some practice laps prior to the running of the 10th annual nine-division Budweiser Modified Nationals slated to commence this weekend, April 1st & 2nd. Among those on hand were the 2005 defending track champions Rob Summers (SK Modified), Mark St.Hilaire (Late Model), Norm Root Jr. (Sportsman), and Danny Field (Mini Stock). Jeffery Paul, the 2005 Legends champion was also present "working out" his SK Modified in preparation for entering Waterford’s open-wheel ranks. .
The word leaked out last week that Lew Boyd and Coastal 181 are in the process of writing another great track history. This time Boyd will document New Jersey’s Old Bridge Stadium that staged Stock Car Races from 1953 to 1968. Old Bridge was a regular Sunday night stop for the legendary Eastern Bandits that were led by Steady Eddie Flemke. Flemke and his gang of bandits that included Dennis Zimmerman and Rene Charland would invade southern tracks in Virginia and North Carolina every weekend and would stop on the way home to race at Old Bridge.
In TV land, this week’s viewing begins on Wednesday, March 29 at noon with the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami which was run on March 25. At 5:00pm the USAR Hooters Pro Cup event run in Montgomery, AL, on March 25, will be shown. At 8:00pm the action switches to the Outdoor Channel for the World of Outlaws from the Dirt Track at Las Vegas, NV. On Thursday, March 30 at noon Speed reruns the NASCAR Busch Series, Sharpie Mini 300, which was run at Bristol last Saturday. At 3:00pm the NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay of the Food City 500 will be shown. Friday’s viewing begins at 2:30 PM when Speed goes live at Martinsville. Live coverage continues at 3:30 with NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying for the Virginia 500. At 7:00pm Speed goes live for an hour at Martinsville. On Saturday the action switches to FX at 10:30 for final Nextel Cup practice from Martinsville. At 3:00 PM the action switches to Speed for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Kroger 250 at Martinsville. At 5:00 the Outdoor Channel presents USAC Thunder: CRA Sprints from California. Speed News Saturday wraps up the day’s racing at 7:00PM. Sunday’s coverage begins at 11:00AM with NASCAR RaceDay, a preview of the Virginia 500 from Martinsville Speedway. FOX goes live at 1:30 for live coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup, Virginia 500. Speed News Sunday wraps it up at 7:00pm followed by NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00pm. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain goes at 9:00p.m.
On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Speedway Motorsports went up 1.72 to 38.13 and the International Speedway Corporation going up 0.26 to 51.01. Word leaked out last week that Brian France is building a home in the Charlotte area, which started rumors to the effect that NASCAR may be moving out of Daytona. NASCAR VP Jim Hunter says no way! On the negative side, Dover Downs dropped 0.15 to 5.48. Nextel had a slow week as they went up 0.02 to 25.64. Sun Oil, which has been volatile of late, dropped 0.80 to 78.75. Featherlite Trailers dropped 0.03 to 4.71 while Dirt Motorsports rose 0.55 to 4.05 after they announced that the popular Television broadcasts, "Rush Hour on Dirt" would be back for the 2006 season. In the drug sector, Bristol Meyers-Squib rose 2.58 to 25.52 while Pfizer dropped 0.32 to 26.02. In the home improvement sector Lowes, which just opened a superstore in the shadows of the Waterford Speedbowl, dropped 2.49 to 66.15. Home Depot rose 0.21 to 43.12. Parcel carrier Fedex dropped 3.14 to 111.81 while Fedex went up 0.74 to 78.82.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 or days at 860-433-5250.E-mail  

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene for over 3 decades.
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