Tuesday November 3, 2009

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series has now come to an end for another season. The final point standings for 2009 confirm Donny Lia as the series champion. Lia entered the entire 13 race season and amassed 2002 points. Lia won four events for a season total winnings of $71,774. Ryan Preece, 16 points back, finished second. Preece also ran 13 events, winning two and collecting $51,721. Defending series champion Ted Christopher ended up in third spot in the final standings with 1931 points to his credit. Christopher won three times and had a season total of $67,249. Rowan Pennick finished fourth with 1867 points. Although winless, Pennick ran consistently up front, recording 11 top ten finishes and a season total of $35,277. Rounding out the top five was Todd Szegedy with 1823 points. Szegedy also had goose eggs in the win column but his consistent finishes banked him $37,384. Sixth through tenth for 2009 are. Chris Pasteryak, Mike. Stefanik, Eric Beers, Woody Pitkat and Eddie Flemke, Jr.
Next up for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams is the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala in Concord, N.C. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at which Lia and the rest of the touring series champions will be honored.

The Stafford Motor Speedway has announced their 2010 Whelen Modified Tour Series dates. The 39th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, 200 laps, will be held on April 25, The 20th Annual Stafford 125 will be held on May 28, The 20th Annual Stafford 150 will be held on August 6 and the 38th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final, 150 laps, will be held on October 3.

With a little luck a trip to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY may be in the future of the Whelen Modified Tour Series. After the completion of its regular season as a clay track in September, Albany-Saratoga Speedway was converted to an asphalt track, using blacktop that had been lying under clay since 1977. Two race events have been run on the asphalt in October. It was announced that Malta would be repaved and reconfigured. Devil's Bowl Speedway would be also be paved. The True Value Modified Racing Series has already indicated that they will be racing in an event there in 2010.

The True Value Modified Racing Series has announced their Champion and final point standings for 2009. Jon McKennedy, with 487 points is the series champion. Rob Goodenough with 474 points finished second. Third was Stephen Masse. Rowan Pennink and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth are Jack Bateman, Les Hinckley III, Dwight Jarvis, Mike Douglas Jr. and Michael Holdridge.

The scheduled second annual foreclosure proceedings of the property in which the Waterford Speedbowl is located was cut a day short as Terry Eames and his “LLC” group have filed for Bhapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New London Day reported that the scheduled foreclosure auction scheduled for last Saturday, October 31 has been cancelled. What it means is that Rocco Arbitell and Peter Borelli are still holding the bag and will not receive the money they loaned Eames when they bailed him out in July of 2007. Eames owes in excess of $800,000. Eames says that racing will continue in 2010 at the shoreline oval.

Arbitell hinted to the Hartford Courant that he is thinking of “dropping a dime” on Eames to the IRS. If that is true, the IRS is an organization not to fool with or lie to! They collect money, property and put people in jail.

Since putting a wheel under George Korteweg to get control of the track Eames has literally run the place into the ground. Shawn Monahan is another victim. Eames took him “In” and almost totally bilked him until he took the advice of his lawyer and cut his loses.

Despite the fact that the 2009 season is winding down there is still a lot of racing and race related activities going on. C&C Racing Promotions have announced that the CRA Super Series sanctioned North/South Shootout 125 Presented By WearCrete Diamond Concrete Polishing will be part of the televised events from the North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway (NC). That division joins the Modifieds on a broadcast that will air at noon on Saturday, November 28th on FOX Sports South. The North-South Shootout is being held from November 5th through the 7th at Concord Speedway. While cable systems in the southeast will carry the broadcast, it can also be viewed nationally on all Direct TV or Dish Network Satellite packages.

In the New England area the big happening will be the annual Don Hoenig Automotive Swap Meet on Saturday and Sunday at the Thompson Speedway. Also in New England this weekend on Friday, November 6 will be the US Marshall’s Public Auction of seized race cars, parts, engines, trailers and tractors that were part of the Mystique Motorsports Race Team that was owned by Jim Gallante who was convicted of Federal charges. The cars were built by Barry Kuhnell and driven by Ted Christopher. The sale will take place at Metro Auto Body & Towing, 722 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114. On Saturday night November 7th, the NEAR Movie Party will be held at the Dante Club 1198 Memorial Ave. in West Springfield (Across from the Eastern States Expo Fairgrounds). The party starts a 6:00 P.M. and admission is $15.00. Tickets will be sold at the Door only. This will be the 13th consecutive November that NEAR will be showcasing the history of auto racing through movies and slides. The party will also serve as the 10th reunion of the closing of Riverside Park Speedway. One of the features will be the showing of “Riverside Park Speedway Memories” DVD produced by Ken Meisenhelder of KGM Video. The hour long video is a compilation of all 50 years of racing activity at “The Park”.

In TV land this week, NASCAR Now on espn2 will be shown at 5:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. NASCAR Race Hub on the Speed Channel will air at 7:30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This weeks viewing begins on Wednesday at noon on the Speed Channel with a replay of last weeks Sprint Cup event that was run at the Talladega Speedway. At noon on Thursday Speed presents the 2005 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dickies 500 that was run at the Texas Motor Speedway. Speed goes live at 10:00am on Friday with NASCAR Nationwide Series practice from the Texas Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup practice follows at 1:00pm. NASCAR Live from TMS goes at 2:30. At 3:00pm the Speed Channel has a special titled “Building the NASCAR Hall of Fame”. Another segment of NASCAR Live follows at 4:00pm. The Sprint Cup cars qualify starting at 6:30pm on Speed. If you become bored with time trials ESPN Classic replays the 1994 Talladega Winston Select 500 at 7:00pm. The Speed Channel will carry Nationwide Series qualifying beginning at 6:30pm. Trackside (NASCAR) at Texas Motor Speedway follows at 7:30pm. The pre-race show for the Talladega Truck event goes at 8:30, which will lead into the 9:00pm start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 at Talladega. Saturday’s action begins at 9:30am on Speed with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice from Talladega. NASCAR Live follows at 10:30am. Sprint Cup final practice goes at 11:00am on Speed. The action switches to espn2 at noon with the Nationwide Series pre-race show that will lead into the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway at 12:45pm. Later in the day, starting at 8:00pm the Speed Channel will have same day, delayed taped coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprints and Late Models from the dirt track at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Sunday’s viewing starts with a two hour NASCAR RaceDay on the Speed Channel.

At 2:30 the action shifts to ABC for the Sprint Cup pre-race show that will lead into the 3:15pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Sunday evening, the Speed Channel has The Speed Report at 7:00pm, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm followed by NASCAR Now on espn2 at 10:00.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week most of the racing related stocks were down. All three speedway stocks had negative results. Taking the biggest hit was the International Speedway Corporation which dropped 2.01 to 25.51. Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.15 to 13.54 and Dover Motorsports dropped 0.14 to 1.39. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.29 to 2.96 while fuel supplier Sun Oil dropped 1.33 to 30.80 and Tire supplier Goodyear dropped 4.87 to 12.88. One of the chosen few to show a gain was Toyota who went up 1.23 to 78.89. Ford dropped 0.63 to 7.00 and General Motors dropped 0.04 to 0.59. Team sponsors didn’t escape the wrath. Dupont dropped 1.41 to 31.82, Coca-Cola dropped 1.02 to 44.91, Target Department Stores dropped 0.60 to 48.43 and Aarons Rentals dropped 1.09 to 25.05. The home improvement giants also took it on the chin. Home Depot dropped 1.18 to 25.09 and Lowes dropped 1.14 to 19.57.

Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it was ceasing all operations at Memphis Motorsports Park and that it would not be promoting any events in Memphis in 2010. As previously announced, the Memphis facility had been under an agreement of sale to Gulf Coast Entertainment but Gulf Coast was unable to secure financing. NASCAR has approved the realignment of their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events from Memphis Motorsports Park to the Nashville and Gateway facilities.”

That’s 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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