Tuesday November 6, 2012

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

With the 2012 season now history NASCAR has posted the official point standings for the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Doug Coby has been officially names as the series champion. After fourteen races, which Coby won five, Coby beat Ryan Preece by 11 points for the title. Preece recorded two wins. Defending series champion Ron Silk also won two races and finished third, 23 points in arrears of the champion. Donny Lia, with one win, finished fourth with Todd Szegedy, fifth.

A total of 52 different drivers entered into competition during the fourteen race season. Sixth through tenth were Eric Beers, Justin Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Ted Christopher and Ron Yuhas JR.

Much has been written about moves and changes for 2013. Nothing as yet has been cast in stone. Many competitors are unhappy with NASCAR as they change rules without regard what it will cost the car owner. NASCAR needs to wake up and realize that the majority of Modified division competitors are part time racers who hold a full time job outside of racing. Each year the fields of cars get less. Even the high paying events at Loudon do not get full fields of cars. The economy is to be blamed for some of it but for the most part many can not afford to go tour racing any longer. Most of the those who have dropped off of the tour are now racing on the Valenti Modified Racing Series in New England or the Race of Champions Modified Series in New York State.

The New York based Super Dirt Series finished out their season with a special event held at the dirt track at the Charlotte Speedway. Brett Hearn finished the hot streak he started at Syracuse in early October by winning the Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified season finale Saturday night during the PEAK Motor Oil World of Outlaws World Finals. Hearnís fourth victory of the season completed a string of victories that included the annual 200-miler at the New York State Fairgrounds and the Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway.

Meanwhile, Matt Sheppard finished fourth and became the first driver to win three consecutive series championships.

Australian racer Peter Britten set the pace throughout the 40-lap event on the four-tenths-mile dirt track and Hearn tried to pass him time and time again, finally getting the job done on lap 32. Hearn also tied the all-time victory record in the DIRTcar modified division with his 373rd triumph.

Britten held off Jimmy Phelps to finish second with Sheppard and Tim McCreadie completing the top five.

The 10th annual Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG is coming up this weekend and preparations at the historic Caraway Speedway in North Carolina are in full swing for the season-ending event which already has 28 Tour Modifieds entered for the main event.

The Tour type Modifieds will compete for 125 green-flag laps in this year's North-South Shootout, while the SK type Modifieds will hold a 50 green-flag lap feature. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, November 9, with consolation rounds and feature events slated for Saturday, November 10.

A total of seven feature races will be held as part of the Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG Ė in all, more than 600 laps of feature racing for the Tour Modifieds, SK Modifieds, PASS Super Late Models, Legends, Lite Modifieds, Sportsman and Super Trucks.

In action on the tube this week, last weekend's Sprint Cup race that was held at the Texas Motor Speedway will re-run on the Speed Channel at noon on Wednesday. The Nationwide Series event that was run at the Texas Speedway last Saturday will air at noon on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Speed will air the recent K&N Pro Series event that was run in Rockingham, NC.

Speed goes west to Phoenix on Friday for Nationwide and Sprint Cup practice from noon to 4:30pm. Camping World Truck Series qualifying follows at 4:30pm. At 6:00pm Speed has Sprint Cup qualifying. At 7:30 Speed hosts the Truck Series pre-race show that will lead into the start of the NASCAR Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at 8:00pm.

Televised action from Phoenix begins at 11:30am on Saturday with Sprint Cup practice. Nationwide Series qualifying at Phoenix follows at 12:30pm. NASCAR Live on Speed breaks it up at 2:00pm. Sprint Cup final practice goes at 2:30pm. At 3:30pm the pre-race show on ESPN begins for the Nationwide Series which will lead to the 4:00pm start of the Great Clips 200 at Phoenix on ESPN. Rounding out the day will be the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Phoenix at 7:00pm.

Sunday's action begins at noon with a two hour session of RaceDay on the Speed Channel. At 2:00pm the action moves to ESPN for the Countdown to Phoenix which will lead to the 3:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup AdvoCare 500. Rounding out the day will be NASCAR Victory Lane at 7:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Dover Motorsports finished up on the positive side as they went up 0.05 to 1.49 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.50 to 24.99 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.22 to 15.80. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.21 to 5.70 while NASCAR fuel supplier Energy Transfer/Sun Oil dropped 1.24 to 41.71. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.58 to 11.60. The car makers ended the week on a positive note. General Motors went up 2.51 to 25.79 while Ford jumped up 0.81 to 11.17 and Toyota went up 0.44 to 77.80. Business was booming in the home improvement sector as a result of damage sustained from Hurricane Sandy. Home Depot went up 1.98 to 62.02 and Lowes went up 1.79 to 33.15. Team sponsors had their ups and downs. Dupont dropped 1.03 to 44.15 and Target Department Stores dropped 1.21 to 62.71 while Coca-Cola went up 0.37 to 68.72, Aaron's Rentals went up 1.26 to 31.41 and Fedex went up 1.95 to 92.64.

Thatís 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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