For Tuesday November 29, 2005

By Phil Smith                                                    

The Wall Township Speedway on the New Jersey shore closed out the northeast racing season with the running of the 32nd annual Turkey Derby. The Turkey Derby was actually a 3-race affair of 50 lappers. Local runner Rich Mongeau took the overall win. His main rivals were the Blewett brothers, John III and Jimmy. Both had mechanical problems in the final event. Mongeau won the first 50 lapper, finished fourth in the second one and eighth in the nightcap. The Race of Champions Modifieds, similar to the NASCAR Tour type, ran a 100 lapper of their own. Numerous caution periods, at least 12, for wrecks and spins, slowed the event. In the end it was John Blewett III taking the win over Ken Wooley, Matt Hirschman, Eric Beers and Tony Ferrante Jr. Ted Christopher was on hand with the Bear Motorsports No.14. Starting on the pole, Christopher led the opening laps only to suffer a flat tire on lap 10. Christopher pitted for a new one and upon returning couldn’t get hooked up the way he wanted. Christopher pitted again on lap 51 for three tires. Now hooked up he began a determined march to the front. By lap 58 he had broken into the top ten. By lap 60 he was sixth. It all came to an end on lap 71 when he got together with Tim Arre and crashed hard into the fence on the backstretch.

Despite the fact that winter is about to descend upon us race fans and competitors are thinking positive and are looking foreword to 2006. As of this Friday, December 2, ten weeks remain until Speed Weeks start in Florida. The New Smyrna World Series will get the green flag on Friday night, February 10.

The Stafford Motor Speedway released their 2006 schedule. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series will visit four times in 2006 beginning with the 34th Annual Spring Sizzler on April 30. The Whelen Modifieds will return on May 26th for the Connecticut Classic 150, the Dodge Dealers 150 on August 11th and the Fall Final on October 1st. The regular Friday night season begins on May 5 and will continue through September 8. Also included in their schedule is the Busch North Series on June 16. The Thompson Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl have not released their schedules yet.

Charlie Mitchell and Lou Modestino will be added to the list of Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award winners at the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Sunday, Jan. 29 at La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor, CT. Mitchell’s coverage of auto racing for the Norwalk (CT) Hour began in 1971. His talents and character are recognized throughout the country and he is generally acknowledged as ‘the dean" of the New England auto racing writers. Mitchell, who retired after five years as The Hour sports editor in 2000, began covering Danbury Racearena and Orange County Speedway. Modestino, who began writing sports at the Brockton Enterprise, widened New England’s exposure with columns and stories in Stock Car and Circle Track magazines in the late 1960s. The Hall of Fame inductees are drivers Robbie Crouch, Phil Libby, the late Joe Rosenfield and Dick Wolstenhulme, owners/builders Gene Angelillo, the late Fred ‘Sharkey" Gaudiosi, Champ Car giant Jim McGee and the V-8 duo of Bob Vitari and Vic Bombacci and promoter/officials Bob Libby and the Ken Smith-Russ Conway combo. They will be joined by Veterans Committee selections the late Billy Randall, Johnny Kay and Red Cummings.

Hoosier Tires East, Inc., the premier race tire distributor in the Northeast, is proud to announce its affiliation with the US Marines Toys for Tots Program in 2005. New unwrapped toys will be collected at the 56H Loomis St., Manchester, CT location between the hours of 9AM-5 PM from now until December 15, 2005. In an effort to maximize the involvement of the local community with the Toys for Tots Program, Hoosier Tires East, Inc. will give anyone donating a toy a raffle ticket for a chance to win two free Pro Street Radial tires. Hoosier Tires East, Inc. and Hoosier Racing Tire offer a full line of true steel-belted radial tires for the ultimate in style and performance for the Pro-Street and Hot Rod enthusiast. Hoosier Tires East, Inc. is the official tire supplier of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the True Value Modified Series, the Northeastern Midget Association and others. Hoosier Racing Tire along with Hoosier Tires East, Inc. is proud to support local racing throughout the Northeast including the Waterford Speedbowl, Twin State Speedway, and many more.

DIRT Motorsports Senior VP of Media Productions Terri Metzger announced that eight tape-delayed Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series events are scheduled to be broadcast in 2006 on SPEED Channel. These broadcasts will be the Eckerd 200 during Super DIRT Week XXXV at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The Rush Hour on Dirt Series is by far, the best racing seen on TV.

In some sad news it was learned that Ernest Lloyd "Sonny" Hutchins, 76, of Richmond Virginia, passed away November 21, 2005. Although he never raced in New England Hutchins was known by many New England fans and competitors. During the years when the Late Model Sportsman shared the Martinsville Speedway Hutchins, driving for Emanuel Zervakis staged some classic battles with the late Ray Hendrick. He also drove for Junie Donleavy, a long time Modified, Sportsman and Nextel Cup owner. Also, condolences go out to long time New England racing reporter, Lou Modestino on the passing of his mom.

In TV land, this week’s viewing will consist of an extensive amount of Speed Channel programming. NASCAR Nation now airs on Monday 7:00pm. At 9:00pm its Monday Night NASCAR with Geoff Bodine on ESPNews. Also on a weekly basis is "Back Seat Drivers" which looks at hot topics circulating in the garage area. "Back Seat Drivers" airs on Wednesday at 7:00pm. This week's viewing begins on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29 at 8:00AM on the Speed Channel with Inside Nextel Cup, the 2005 Year in Review. At 9:30AM, NASCAR Beyond the Wheel featuring the teams of Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson. At 2:00 NASCAR Fast Forward recaps the Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series events run at Daytona Intl. Speedway last Feb. On WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 at 2:00P.M. SPEED recaps the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series run at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA, on Feb 25-27. On THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, at 9:30AM on Speed, NASCAR Beyond the Wheel at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with Casey Mears and Carl Edwards. At 2:00P.M., SPEED will recap the March 6 Busch Series event that was run in Mexico City. On FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, Beyond the Wheel at Bristol with Kevin Harvick airs at 9:30AM. At 9:00P.M. TNT goes live with coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, NY. On SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, at 3:00P.M. on SPEED it’s the World of Outlaws Stacker 2 Late Model Series, Pepsi Nationals 55, run at the I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO in Sept. At 4:00P.M. the World of Outlaws Stacker 2 Late Model Series, Gator 100 from Volusia Speedway in Barberville, FL, follows. Later in the day, at 10:00P.M., it’s the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Challenge Series, Four Champions Memorial Hooters 300, which was run at the USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL, on Nov 26. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 will be quiet except for delayed coverage of the AMA/Prostar World Finals, Nov 3-5 beginning at 3:00PM. More than 600 competitors traveled from all parts of the globe to Gainesville, Florida for the world’s largest and most prestigious motorcycle drag race. At 9:00P.M. SPEED presents highlights of the 2005 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.

NASCAR Speed News and Speed News Sunday wrap up the weekend’s racing at 8:00pm. Subscriptions for Lou’s Motorsports TV Calendar are now by e-mail only and can be had for $12.00 per year. The all-new version features larger type, better accuracy and more detailed. Checks can be sent to LMTVC, 27 Bayberry Drive, #2, Sharon, Mass. 02067.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had a positive week. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.88 to 38.98 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.25 to 54.76. On the negative side was Dover Downs which dropped 0.02 to 6.30. Nextel continues to climb as they went up 0.32 to 25.26. Sun Oil also had a good week as they went up 4.49 to 80.44. Action Performance dropped 0.07 to 12.34 while Featherlite Trailers went up 0.03 to 4.17. Boundless Motorsports rebounded a bit as they went up 0.10 to 4.70. In the drug sector, Pfizer went up 0.07 while Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.04 to 22.26. The home improvement sector also produced a mixed bag. Lowes went up 0.80 to 66.65 while Home Depot dropped 0.02 to 42.42. The parcel carriers ran neck and neck. Fedex went up 0.38 to 98.18 and UPS went up 0.39 to 79.54.

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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