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Tuesday May 13, 2008

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to rain for the second week in a row. The New England DODGE DEALERS LATE MODEL 100 has been rescheduled to Friday night, June 27.

NASCAR New England, the hour long Television production that covers the weekly racing will be back on NESN for ten episodes during the 2008 season. The tentative starting date will be in late June.

The Waterford Speedbowl enjoyed another good night of competition with Keith Rocco making it two in a row in SK Modified competition. Rocco took the lead from Jay Miller with 13 laps remaining in the 35 lap feature. Miller faded shortly after as Jeff Pearl moved into the second spot. Pearl tried repeatedly to overtake Rocco but was forced to back out of it when it became obvious that Rocco would wreck anyone who attempted to pass. Rather than wrecking Pearl made a smart decision to settle for second spot. Rob Janovic finished third and was followed by Ron Yuhas Jr and Tyler Chadwick.

In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. recording his third feature of the season. Thomas battled with Ron Yuhas Jr. during the last half of the event before finally getting the advantage as the two approached lapped traffic and Thomas was able to sneak-by on the inside. Following Yuhas was Tim Jordan, Vin Esposito, and Ed Reed Jr.
Other Feature winners were Walt Hovey Jr. (Sportsman), Randy Churchill (Mini Stock), Jason Palmer (Legends), and Randy Cabral (NEMA Midgets).

The Thompson Speedway begins their series of Thursday Night Thompson Thunder (TNTT) racing programs next Thursday night, May 22nd. The 2008 racing season marks the ninth year that the popular Thursday night race program has been thrilling race fans in New England. Thompsonís six NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions compete weekly in what has to be the fastest, most efficiently run race program to be found anywhere in southern New England. Feature event racing begins around 7 PM and fans are headed home by 9:30 PM . The Thompson TNTT line up includes Sunoco Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Late Models, Limited sportsman, Thompson Modifieds and Mini Stocks. Among the many upgrades to the historic speedway that has been in operation since 1940 is an all new Musco lighting system which will light up the facility as bright as natural sun light. Once the lighting system installation is completed, the entire midway will be dug up, reshaped and prepared for a brand new asphalt coating.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and the True Value Modified Series are currently in the middle of their ďSpring BreakĒ. Both series will resume their schedule a week from this coming Friday on May 23-24. The Whelen Modifieds make their second stop of the season at Stafford and the True Value Modifieds travel to the Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre , VT. The Thunder Road event will encompass two days, Saturday and Sunday. To date both series have enjoyed good counts despite the high costs of traveling. The Whelen Modifieds have had 41 Modifieds enter into competition while the TVMS has had 39.

With the two major series on break the All Star Speedway in Epping , NH hosted a special 100 lap open competition event for Modifieds. Mike Stefanik took the win over Andy Seuss and Ron Silk. The event drew 31 cars

In TV land this week Speed Channel viewing will begin on Tuesday at 9:00am with NASCAR All-Star Ď08, which shows how teams and drivers prepare for NASCAR's annual All-Star event which will be coming up this weekend at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte , NC . At 8:00pm Speed has a 30 minute preview of the All Star event followed at 8:30pm by All Star Spotlight which will show clips of past All Star events. At 9:00pm a special edition of Wind Tunnel will show more of whatís to come in the All Star event. On Wednesday Speed continues their Countdown to the All-Star at 8:00pm . At 9:00pm Wendy Venturini spends time with NASCAR drivers at home as they discuss the impending All Star event. On Thursday at noon Speed replays last Saturday nightís NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Challenger 500 that was run at the Darlington Raceway. At 3:00pm Speed shows how teams and drivers prepare for NASCAR's annual All-Star event. At 6:00 Speed takes a look at the history of the NASCAR All-Star Challenge. At 9:00 Speed provides same day, taped delayed coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge that was held earlier in the day at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , NC . On Friday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 Speedís All Star Spotlight provides more highlights from previous All Star events. At 9:00am the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has a two hour practice session at the Lowes Motor Speedway. NASCAR Sprint Cup practices for the All Star race from noon to 3:00pm . At 3:00pm itís a 30 minute segment of NASCAR Live from Lowes Motor Speedway followed by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying from Charlotte . NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying follows at 5:00 . At 8:00pm the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 gets the green. Trackside at Lowes wraps it up at 10:30 . Saturdayís action begins at noon with NASCAR Live from Lowes. At 4:00pm Speed hosts a special three hour preview of the All Star race. The All Star race will also be covered by Speed beginning at 7:00pm . NASCAR Victory Lane wraps it up at 11:00pm . On Sunday night the Speed Channel wraps up the weekend with The Speed Report at 7:00 and NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 . Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain follows at 9:00 .

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had a positive ending. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.83 to 26.96. The International Speedway Corporation followed suit as they went up 0.30 to 42.40. On the negative side was Dover Downs which dropped 0.25 to 5.89. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint took a big jump as they went up 1.49 to 9.38 while Nationwide, which sponsors NASCARís second division, dropped 0.66 to 49.87. NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil dropped 2.59 to 43.70 while Goodyear went up 0.70 to 27.88. Car sponsors had a somewhat down week. Coca-Cola dropped 0.33 to 57.00 and Dupont dropped 1.42 to 48.44. Target Department Stores dropped 1.67 to 52.24 and Aaronís Rentals dropped 0.01 to 24.54. In the home improvement sector Home Depot dropped 2.14 to 27.98 and Lowes dropped 1.93 to 24.20. The parcel carriers were also down for the week. Fedex dropped 5.49 to 90.37 and UPS dropped 2.99 to 70.29. Last but not least, the World Racing Group (DIRT Motorsports) dropped 0.10 to 0.30.

Thatís it for this week from 40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891 . Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com


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

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