Tuesday November 1 2011

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series has wrapped up their 2011 season. The wheels continue to turn as competitors continue to make their plans for 2012. Among those who may not be running a full schedule is Mike Stefanik. Stefanik vacated the seat in the Flamingo Motorsports No. 16 just prior to the season ending World Series at the Thompson Speedway. Stefanik drove the Ed Marceau Modified at Thompson but does not have a Tour ride secured at this time. Marceau and Stefanik have been successful in running limited Valenti Modified Racing Series events and in open competition Tour type events at Thompson. Marceau feels that his car can compete with the best of them but financially there is no way he can field a car for the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Stefanik's wife Julie has had health issues this past season and maybe the multi-time series champion may take a step back in 2012. As a competitor and fabricator Stefanik can be proud of his accomplishments and has nothing to left to prove.

Bobby Santos III came up a little short in defending his Whelen Modified Tour title but in the USAC Sprint Cars he excelled as he won the first USAC Sprint Car Pavement Series championship. Santos won two of the seven races held.

The annual North-South Shootout takes center stage this weekend. Previously run in Concord, NC, the event has been relocated to the Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC. The speedway measures .455 miles in length with seven degrees of banking on the straight-aways and 12 degrees in the turns. Boasting multiple grooves Caraway Speedway will also produce the traditional excitement that fans and competitors have come to expect from the annual North-South Shootout.

The ninth Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout will be presented in loving memory of Charles Kepley, the event founder. Keeping with tradition, the annual event will feature the Tour-Type Modifieds in 125-laps of green flag racing. A star-studded field of Late Model competitors is expected for the 100-lap CRA Super Late Model main event. SK-Type Modifieds, USA Modifieds and Sportsman will also be part of the excitement.

In the northeast, the annual Don Hoenig Auto Flea Market will take place at the Thompson Speedway this Saturday and Sunday.

With the 2011 Stafford Motor Speedway season concluded, the speedway will honor its track champions at the 42nd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 18th at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor. In addition to recognizing the 2011 track champions, other prestigious awards, including Most Improved Driver, Most Popular Driver, the Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year Awards, and the Craftsman Mechanic of the Year Award will also be presented. Stafford Motor Speedway will also recognize the top-20 finishers from the 2011 SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock points standings.

Headlining the night's festivities, Ryan Preece will be recognized as the 2011 SK Modified® Champion, which is his first career championship; Ryan Posocco will be honored as the 2011 Late Model track champion for a record sixth time in Stafford's Late Model division; Matt Galko will be honored as the SK Light Modified championship for the second consecutive season; Kevin Gambacorta will be honored as the 2011 Limited Late Model track champion, his second Limited Late Model championship and third overall track championship; and Don Wood will be honored for the second time as the DARE Stock track champion.

In TV land NASCAR Race Hub will air on the Speed Channel at 6:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. NASCAR Now on espn2 will be seen on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:00pm. Race viewing for the week begins on Tuesday, Nov 1 at noon with a two hour highlight show of the recent DIRT events at Syracuse. On Wednesday at noon the Speed Channel replays last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Tums Fast Relief 500 that was run at Martinsville. On Thursday, at 3:00am, Speed replays the Syracuse Modifieds. At noon, Speed replays last weekends Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge that was run at the Texas Motor Speedway. At 3:00pm Speed replays last year's Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 that was run at the Texas Motor Speedway. On Friday at 11:30am espn2 goes live at the Texas Speedway for Sprint Cup practice. NASCAR Live on Speed at 4:00pm breaks it up prior to going into Sprint Cup qualifying at 4:30pm on Speed. Nationwide Series qualifying at Texas follows at 6:30pm. Coverage by Speed continues at 7:30pm with the Truck Series pre-race show that will lead to the 8:00pm start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Winstar World Casino 350k at the Texas Motor Speedway. Speed Center at 10:30 and Trackside at 11:00pm wrap up Friday at the Texas Motor Speedway. Saturday's coverage from Texas starts at 9:30am with Sprint Cup practice. NASCAR Live follows at 10:30am. The action moves to espn2 at noon with the Nationwide Series pre-race that will lead into the 12:55pm start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway. Also on Saturday on Speed will be a repeat of the Syracuse DIRT events at 1:00pm and the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals at 3:00pm. At 7:00pm Speed Center on Speed wraps up the racing at Texas Speedway. Speed goes live at 8:00pm at the Dirt Track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway with the World of Outlaws sprints, late models and Dirt Modifieds. This event repeats at 1:00am on Sunday morning. Sunday's action heats up at 11:30 am with Speed Center followed by a two hour session of NASCAR RaceDay at noon. At 2:00pm the action shifts to ESPN for the Sprint Cup pre-race show that will lead to the 3:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. NASCAR Victory Lane at 7:00pm plus SPEED Center at 8:00pm wrap up the day's racing. At 9:00pm its Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had positive numbers at week's end. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.32 to 24.66 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.63 to 13.27 while Dover Motorsports dropped 0.13 to 1.02. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.05 to 2.72 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 3.22 to 39.33 and tire supplier Goodyear went up 1.87 to 14.84. Two of the three car makers had positive results for the week. Ford dropped 0.26 to 12.00 while General Motors went up 2.10 to 26.45 and Toyota jumped 2.05 to 69.66. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 0.74 to 36.12 and Lowes dropped 0.76 to 21.37. The major team sponsors had varing results. Dupont leaped 4.21 to 49.36 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.25 to 56.62. Target Department Stores went up 0.60 to 55.24 while Aarons Rentals dropped 1.31 to 26.95. Last, but not least, Fedex went up 5.91 to 84.25.

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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