Tuesday May 30, 2006

By Phil Smith

In what turned out to be a big surprise, NASCAR’s Director of Regional Racing Development Don Hawk resigned his position with the sanctioning body last week. During Hawk’s tenure the Modified division has prospered to the point where they are NASCAR’s top regional touring division. Despite sitting in the front office in Daytona Hawk was always available to give guidance and answer questions. He was held back only by those above him. A spokesperson for NASCAR stated that he wanted to pursue personal options. Larry Mattingly of the Jennerstown Speedway in Pa stated that anyone who works within inner sanctum does not have an easy time of it as he has to try to keep the competitors happy as well as his employer, NASCAR. Mattingly was told that "major" things were in the works but did not elaborate.

The Stafford Motor Speedway was scheduled to host their second of four Whelen Modified Tour Series events last Friday night. For the third week in a row the weatherman won as heavy rain dumped on the Stafford area. The Connecticut Classic has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 4. The next stop for the Whelen Modified Tour Series will be on June 17.

At the Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday night the Supermodifieds of ISMA were the guest attraction. Justin Belfiore won the 50-lap contest. Belfiore took the lead after the top three including Waterford regular Rob Summers were eliminated on a lap 17 crash. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. went pole to pole to win the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Chris Pasteryak closed to within a car length at the finish with Tommy Fox third. Other winners were Jay Stuart in the 30-lap Late Model event, Billy Gertsch Jr. in the 20-lap Sportsman haul and Danny Field in the 20-lap Mini Stock race. Dwayne Dorr’s bid for a record-tying sixth straight Sportsman victory was lost in a lap seven crash.

Six time Waterford Speedbowl Champion Bob Potter was strutting around like a teenager after competing in a Pro Modified event at the shoreline oval a couple of weeks back. Closing in on 65, Potter has raced at the shoreline oval for close to five decades and has just shy of 100 victories. "I would like to thank the Cleary family for giving me the opportunity to drive their Pro Four Modified normally driven by Corey Cleary, Grandson of Modified Great Leo Cleary and son of Rick Cleary", he said, "It made for a new me", he added. Potter is also a past champion at the Stafford and Thompson Speedways. He also alluded to the fact that he would like to be a regular competitor in the division.

In TV land, this week’s viewing begins on Tuesday with the 1994 Food City 500 that was run in Bristol, TN. Wednesday’s viewing begins at 5:00pm on the Speed Channel with the May 27 USAR Hooters Pro Cup from Jennerstown, PA. At 8:00pm the action moves to the Outdoor Channel for the May 19 World of Outlaws Sprinters from Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA. Last Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series Carquest Auto Parts 300 that was run at Lowes Motor Speedway gets the rerun treatment at noon on Thursday. The Coca-Cola 600 follows at 2:30. The Speed Channel goes live at 5:00pm on Friday with NASCAR Live! from the Dover Downs International Speedway. At 5:30, same day, taped delayed coverage of Nextel Cup qualifying will be presented. Trackside at Dover goes live on Speed at 7:00pm for an hour. The Speed Channel presents same day, taped delayed coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series AAA Insurance 200 from Dover at 8:00pm. Saturdays coverage begins at noon with live coverage of NASCAR Busch Series qualifying from Dover Downs. At 2:00pm the action switches to FX for Nextel Cup Happy Hour practice. At 3:00pm FX presents a pre-race show for the Busch Series Dover 200 which is scheduled to take the green at 3:00pm. Speed News Saturday wraps up the days racing at 8:30. The Speed Channel goes live from Dover on Sunday at 11:30am. The Nextel Cup Neighbourhood Excellence 400 gets the green at 2:00pm on FX. SPEED News Sunday follows on Speed at the conclusion.
On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down. Dover Downs had a positive finish as they went up 0.05 to 6.03. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.40 to 48.33 ad Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.07 to 38.05. Nextel dropped 1.15 to 21,58 and Sun Oil went up 2.04 to 68.61. Featherlite Trailers dropped 0.01 to 4.74 and DIRT Motorsports went up 0.50 to 3.50. The drug sector had a positive week. Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.80 to 24.97 and Pfizer went up 0.23 to 24.05. On the other had, the home improvement sector was down as Lowes dropped 0.77 to 61.87 and Home Depot dropped 0.28 to 38.66. The parcel carriers had a mixed bag. Fedex dropped 1.79 to 107.55 while UPS went up 1.10 to 81.04.

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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