Tuesday November 21, 2006   

By Phil Smith                                     Click on Photo for Full Size Version                                                       

First of all, a Happy Thanksgiving to all. There will be a little bit of unfinished business this weekend in the form of the Turkey Derby at the Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey and the Mason-Dixon Meltdown at the South Boston Speedway in Virginia. Both events will feature Modified Tour type and SK type racing. At Wall Township, the Tour Type Modified purse has an additional $1,000.00 bonus for the winner with a $250.00 halfway bonus as well. The winner of this race will now take home $5,000.00. The Wall/SK/B Modified feature winner will take home an additional $500.00 for the win and this race boasts a $250.00 halfway bonus. Other monies available to the racers include a $500.00 pole award, lap money and a $250.00 hard charger award.The Tour-Type Modified portion of the “Mason-Dixon Meltdown” features a 250-lap main event on Saturday, November 25th. The PASS South Super Late Models also have a 250-lap event that day and both premier divisions will be racing for a $12,500 paycheck for the winner, plus lap money and other bonuses.

The 2006 Whelen Modified Tour Series Awards Banquet is a month away and the changes are in the wind already. It looks like Eric Beers will not be back in the Boehler Racing No.3. Mike Boehler says he needs a big sponsor or a driver who can bring a big pot of money to the team. Started by the late Len Boehler, the Mighty No.3 will celebrate its 50th year on the track in 2007. John Blewett, III ran a limited schedule in 2005 as he chose to concentrate on winning the Wall Township Speedway track title. With that out of the way Blewett plans on running the complete tour and will start 2007 with two cars and four engines. Ted Christopher will be back in the Ed Whelen No.36 after all. He was supposed to be all done after the Fall Final at Stafford. Bobby Santos III drove the Whelen car at the North South Shootout but was collected in a wreck.

The 2007 Whelen Modified Tour Series schedule for 2007 is beginning to come together. NASCAR previously announced that there would be an event in Mansfield, Ohio on August 25. The Twin State Speedway, located in Claremont, New Hampshire, will host the tour on July 8. Meanwhile it has also been previously stated that the tour will not stop at Waterford in Connecticut or at Riverhead on Long Island.
The entire WMT schedule is expected to be announced on December 16 at the Annual Awards Banquet. Confirmed dates so far include the Thompson Speedway Ice Breaker on April 15, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford on April 29, the New England 100 at Loudon on June 30 and the New Hampshire 100 at Loudon on September 15. Martinsville on September is a good bet.

The True Value Modified Series, which has become a less expensive alternative to the NASCAR Series has indicated that Waterford may very well be on their schedule for 2007. The open wheel touring series, which first appeared at the Seekonk Speedway in October of 2004, will compete in four 100 green flag lap events, which will be preceded by a series of qualifying heats. The series will make their ’07 debut at Seekonk on Saturday night, June 23 and return for additional points events on Saturday, August 18, and the season-ending D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Festival of Racing on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7. The Seekonk Speedway is located just over the Mass. Line on Route 6 in Seekonk, Mass. Jack Bateman stated that the True Value Modifieds will in fact be returning to Waterford and Thompson in 2007. Bateman, who founded the series added that 17 Races are already scheduled and he is working on the 18th, which will will make up the entire series.

At the recent NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, several race tracks were recognized by NASCAR for their outstanding promotional efforts in 2006. Among the honorees was the Thompson Speedway, which received the Administrative award of excellence.

Get well wishes to Bill Slater who is in the Manchester Hospital. He went in on Nov 15th , and will be staying until at least the Nov 24. Send cards of cheer to Bill Slater, Manchester Memorial Hospital, 71 Haynes Street, Manchester, CT 06040 Room 2210E or his home at 12-B Bluefield Dr., Manchester, CT. 06040.

In TV land this week, viewing will be a bit sparse as just about every racing series has ended for the year. On Wednesday at noon the Speed Channel replays last weeks NASCAR Busch Series Ford 300 that was run on Saturday in Homestead, FL. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay of the Ford 400 follows at 2:30. At 8:00p.m. the Outdoor Channel will show the World of Outlaws, 2006 Season Banquet. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day will be quiet except a half-hour program on the Outdoor Channel titled The Best in the Desert Racing Association at 5:30p.m. Friday will be quiet. Saturday’s viewing on the Speed Channel consists of Championship Off Road Racing from Wisconsin from noon to 2:00p.m. followed by IHRA eMax drag racing Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals from the Maryland International Raceway.Sunday’s viewing starts at noon with the 2006 NHRA season-end awards banquet on ESPN 2. The Mothers Car Show from Bristol, VA follows at 1:30. The SPEED Report at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00 finish up the day.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week all three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Leading the pack was the International Speedway Corporation, which went up 0.61 to 53.96. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.31 to 39.26 and Dover Downs went up 0.12 to 5.40. Nextel dropped 0.11 to 20.26. Sun Oil followed suit as they dropped 0.69 to 64.70. Dirt Motorsports went up 0.29 to 2.50. In the drug sector, Pfizer went up 1.49 to 27.20 and Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.38 to 24.80. The home improvement sector also had a good week. Home Depot went up 1.64 to 38.28 and Lowes went up 1.31 to 30.48. The parcel carriers continue to go like gangbusters. UPS went up 3.57 and Fedex rose 2.69 to 117.44.

Word has it that Hoosier Tire may once again play a major role in NASCAR’s top divisions as more than 12,000 Goodyear union workers in the United States and Canada have been on strike since Oct. 5. The union has said that the fate of a Texas factory, which Goodyear said earlier this month it was closing and retiree benefits were sticking points. Goodyear shares were trading down 42 cents, or 2.5 percent, at $17.99 last Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have traded within a 52-week range of $9.75 and $19.31.

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

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

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