Tuesday March 16, 2010

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The 2010 New England racing season will be here in short order. As of this Friday, March 19 its only one weeks before the Waterford Speedbowl opens with Blast Off 2010 on the 28th. In three weeks, on April 11, the Thompson Speedway opens with their annual Ice Breaker.

The Waterford Speedbowl will host a pre-Blast Off practice session on Friday, March 26 from noon until 5:00pm. At Thompson, Test and Tune sessions will be held on Saturday, March 27 from 11:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturday, April 3, from 11:00am to 6:00pm.

While a 'noreaster was dumping over four inches of rain in New England the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series was at the Caraway Speedway in Ashboro, NC. Nineteen Modifieds were on hand for the 150 lap contest. Burt Myers won his 22nd career Coors Light Pole.

New Hampshire invader Andy Seuss passed Burt Myers on the opening lap and went on to win round two of the southern tour. LW Miller finished second with James Civali, third. Brian Loftin and Zach Brewer rounded out the top five. In the end, Burt Myers faded to sixth. His History Channel Mad House co-stars Tim Brewer and Jason Myers finished seventh and 18th. Brown is now the series point leader.

Seuss pocketed $2000 for his efforts. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to action on Saturday, April 3 at South Boston Speedway as part of a double-feature with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

It was recently reported that the France Family Group, which includes 46 entities ranging from members of the NASCAR-ruling France family to companies they operate, own 69.6% of the voting stock at International Speedway Corp., the company revealed in its annual proxy statement. A year ago, the group owned 68.9%. With the majority of the voting stock, the France Family Group controls the decisions of the company. ISC Chairman Jim France controls 44.9% of the voting stock (including his shares of the France Family Group) and his late brother Bill's widow, Betty Jane France, owns 20.7%. NASCAR Chairman Brian France (Jim's nephew), who was listed as controlling only 0.23% of the voting ISC stock last year, now owns 1.3%. Executive compensation also was revealed as part of the proxy statement. Chairman Jim France's compensation package was worth $554,608, compared with $1.08 million last year when he was chairman and chief executive officer. Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy's compensation package was worth $769,780, compared with $719,146 a year ago when she was the company president. The compensation package includes salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on pay set aside for later and the value of stock options and restricted stock granted during the year

NASCAR has announced the television schedule for its developmental series for 2010 and a partial television schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour on the Speed Channel. The expanded calendar includes 21 events on SPEED for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and seven races for the Modifieds. This comprehensive package includes airing of every race on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West schedules. Three of the Whelen Modified Tours will air as same-day televised events.

The NASCAR Developmental Series programming will air Thursdays at 6 p.m. ET. SPEED, in conjunction with NASCAR Media Group, will air each tape-delayed race as a one-hour show. SPEED will provide same-day coverage of the combination event between the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 18, as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 18 and the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour finale at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 14.

In addition, NASCAR will expand its relationship with the sports cable television network Versus to include coverage of the NASCAR Developmental Series. It will air an additional nine events from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

The first Modified race to be seen on the Speed Channel will be the Southern Series South Boston VA event on Thursday, April 29, at 6:00pm.

In TV land this weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at 10:30am with NASCAR: Whatís the Deal? with Jimmy Spencer. NASCAR Now on espn2 airs at 5:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. NASCAR Race Hub on the Speed Channel at 7:30pm followes suit on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The week will be quiet until Friday at noon when Speed goes live at Bristol for Sprint Cup practice. Nationwide Series practice at Bristol follows at1: 30pm. At 3:30 the Cup cars qualify. Nationwide Series final practice follows at 5:00pm. NASCAR Live at Bristol wraps it up at 6:00pm. Saturdayís action heats up at noon with Nationwide Series qualifying. Sprint Cup final practice follows at 1:00pm. At 2:00pm the action switches to ABC for the pre-race show that will lead to the 2:30 start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Scotts Turf Builder 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. At 5:30pm espn2 presents Saturday Night Showdown at Bristol, a 35-lap ĎAll-Starí race. Sundays programming gets an early start with NASCAR Now at 9:00am. At 10:00am a two hour NASCAR RaceDay previews the Bristol Sprint Car race. The action switches to FOX at noon for another hour of pre-race programming that will lead into a 1:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol. Rounding out the weekend on Sunday night is The SPEED Report at 7:00, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm. Capping off the week is Madhouse on the History Channel on Sunday night at 11:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports took the deepest dip as they dropped 1.96 to 14.79. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.14 to 26.31 while Dover Motorsports showed a slight gain of 0.03 as they closed at 2.22. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.32 to 3.60 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 0.51 to 29.72 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.10 to 13.82. Two of the three car makers had a good week. Ford went up 0.34 to 13.34and Toyota, despite their woes, went up 0.05 to 16.00. General Motors dropped 0.01 to 0.57. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.65 to 32.45 and Lowes went up 0.90 to 24.95. The car sponsors were again a mixed bag. Dupont went up 0.15 to 35.49 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.41 to 58.28. Aarons Rentals went up 0.71 to 31.87 while Target Department Stores dropped 0.41 to 58.28.

Thatís 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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