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For Tuesday October 18, 2005

By Phil Smith                                                    
 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series was at the Thompson Speedway last weekend for the annual World Series. The track opened on Friday in order to allow competitors entrance to the pit area. There was also supposed to be a practice session to the non-touring divisions but rain put a damper on that. It looked promising until last Friday night when a knock out punch in the form of five more inches of rain was delivered. With the speedway under water, the Thompson Speedway management and NASCAR had no choice but to postpone the event to this coming weekend, October 21-23. The rescheduling created a conflict with the Waterford Speedbowl who had already rescheduled their season ending Fall Finale. Chances were, Waterford would not change again and the two speedways would go head to head. Thanks to the efforts of the Speedbowl Management team of Bill Roth and Pete Zanardi a plan has been worked out with NASCAR’s Ed Cox and the Fall Finale was once again scheduled for the weekend of October 28-29-30. Plans include coordination of race day schedules and a unique gas incentive supported by Xtra Mart convenience stores. If all goes according to plan, competitors who are intent on racing at both the Speedbowl’s Town Fair Tire Finale and Thompson will be able to do so. On the 29th, qualifying heats for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series divisions are slated to be completed at Waterford in time for racers to make the 50-mile trek to Thompson for their features. Also, racers who run the Speedbowl heats, compete at Thompson later that day and return to the Speedbowl to race on Sunday the 30th will be given fuel coupons redeemable at any Xtra Mart store. Xtra Mart and the Speedbowl to minimize the increased fuel expense brought on by high prices at the pump and the commute between two tracks created this program.

Hopefully there will be no more rain for a while and everything will go on as planned this coming weekend at Thompson and next weekend at both Waterford and Thompson.

In some sad news, Anthony "Beebe" Zalinski passed away early Tuesday morning, October 11. He was 89 years old Mr. Zalenski worked for many years as a diesel mechanic at Palmer Motor Coach in Palmer, Mass. Later he owned his own speed shop. His real passion was auto racing, first with sports cars and then with stock cars. His famous M-6 coupe driven by many of the top drivers of the day was a frequent winner at tracks throughout the Northeast. In 1967, with Gene Bergin driving, they combined for 17 victories and reigned as modified champions at the Stafford Motor Speedway. In recent years, Mr. Zalenski was associated with the Flamingo Motor Sports Race Team. Eleven years ago, at the age of 78, Beebe built the engines that propelled Chris Kopec to the Riverside Park Track Championship.

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 weeks viewing begins on Wednesday at noon with a rerun of last Saturday's Busch Series Dollar General 300 that was run at the Lowes Motor Speedway. At 5:00pm NASCAR Fast Forward recaps last weekends Nextel Cup and Busch Series events run at the Lowes Motor Speedway. At 8:00pm the action switches to the Outdoor Channel for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars from Dodge City, Kansas. Thursday's viewing gets the green at noon when the Speed Channel revisits the 2004 Nextel Cup Subway 500 that was run at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. At 3:00pm last Sundays UAW-GM Quality 500 from the Lowes Motor Speedway will be replayed. The USAR Hooters Cup Late Models take center stage on Friday at noon with an event run at Mansfield, Ohio on August 5. The Speed Channel goes live at 2:00pm with NASCAR Live from Martinsville. Live coverage continues at 3:00pm with Nextel Cup qualifying from Martinsville. The September 16 Busch North Series Sylvania 125 run at Loudon gets the green at 5:30pm. TV race fans will have a full plate on Saturday beginning at 11:00am with live coverage of final Nextel Cup practice from Martinsville. Live coverage of Busch Series qualifing from Memphis continues at noon. Live coverage continues at 1:00pm on Speed with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 from Martinsville. At 3:30pm the live coverage moves to TNT for the Busch Series Sam’s Town 250 from Memphis. NASCAR Live from Martinsville at 7:30pm wraps up the days racing. On Sunday NASCAR This Morning starts things off at 11:00am. At 12:30 the action switches to NBC for pre-race activities prior to the Subway 500 going green at 1:00pm. The Jack Roush Racing Driver Search "Gong Show" debuts on Monday night at 8:00pm on the Discovery Channel.

NASCAR Speed News and Speed News Sunday wrap up the weekend’s racing at 7:00pm. 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 ended the week on a negative note. Taking the big hit was the International Speedway Corporation, which dropped 2.52 to 51.86. ISC got some bad press when they invited a select few to a controlled press conference recently. Also on the negative side was Dover Downs, which dropped 0.14 to 6.31. On the positive side, Speedway Motorsports went up 0.15 to 35.98. For the first time in four weeks Nextel showed a little positive action as they went up 0.13 to 23.59. Sun Oil continued to slide for the second week in a row as they dropped 2.60 to 72.38. Action Performance also dropped as they went down 0.07 to 12.35. After five weeks of negative results Featherlite Trailers showed a gain as they went up 0.04 to 3.10. Boundless Motorsports which had the misfortune of having their premier DIRT Modified Eckered 200 at Syracuse rained out on October 9, dropped 0.20 to 4.80. The drug sector had a negative showing for the week. Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.69 to 22.31 and Pfizer, despite Mark Martins recent win in Kansas City, dropped 0.08 to 24.32. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.61 to 38.41 and Lowes dropped 1.62 to 61.21. The parcel carriers had a good week as UPS went up 1.56 to 70.00 and Fedex went up 0.20 to 87.60.

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. declared a cash dividend of $0.32 per share of common stock.

The annual dividend will be payable on Nov. 21, 2005 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 8, 2005. This is the fourth consecutive year that Speedway Motorsports has paid a cash dividend to its stockholders and the fourth year the dividend increased over the prior year. The Board of Directors of the motorsports entertainment company unanimously decided to declare the dividend after reviewing the market for the Company's stock, current business conditions and future prospects of the Company.


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 smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com  


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