Tuesday October 10, 2006   

By Phil Smith                                                          

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Waterford Speedbowl last weekend. There were 32 cars on hand for the 30 available starting spots. Jerry Marquis was the Busch Pole sitter as he turned the 1/3 mile oval in 13.618 seconds. Marquis drew fifth after the re-draw. The event was run on a very cold track due to the fact that the backstretch track lighting failed to come on due to the fact that an underground cable had broken. Engines were started at 8:15 following a 90 minute delay. Eddie Flemke started on the pole and jumped out to an early lead. Mike Stefanik started on the outside but faded almost immediately. Ron Yuhas Jr. was an early contender as he ran side by side with Flemke for many laps. Donny Lia, who took the lead from Flemke on lap 128 also ran side by side with Flemke before he was able to execute the winning pass. Once in the lead Lia was able to open up a sizable cushion which ended up being over ten car lengths at the finish. Flemke ended up second with Ted Christopher, third. Stefanik toughed it out to finish fourth. Zach Sylvester rounded out the top five. His day went from bad to worse when he lost an engine during practice. His crew had to run home to Hebron, CT to retrieve a replacement. Chris Pasteryak finished sixth with Yuhas seventh and Eric Berndt, eighth.

Defending Series champion Tony Hirschman had a day he would like to forget. During time trials Hirschman hit the front stretch wall and after making repairs ended up crashing again on lap 22 of the feature. Marquis was involved in his share of wrecks also.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series now heads for the Thompson International Speedway where they will be part of the World Series of Stock Car Racing.

The Waterford Speedbowl ended its regular season this past Sunday. Dennis Gada finished second in the 100 lap SK Modified feature to Rob Janovic after numerous laps of wheel banging. Gada did, however solidify his SK Modified Championship, his sixth which tied Bob Potter. Jimmy Blewett finished third with Don Fowler, fourth. Dwayne Dorr went into the Limited Sportsman feature a scant four points behind Joe Curioso and came out the winner and division champion. Curioso’s day went sour right from the start as he suffered a flat tire on the parade lap. Once in the feature his car was like a ping-pong ball as it was hit numerous times in multi-accidents. In the end Curioso finished thirteenth. In the Late Model feature Corey Hutchins and Allen Coates slugged it out for close to 100 laps with Coates coming out the winner by inches.

In what had to be an ideal day for racing the Speedbowl had a marginal crowd, probably because of the total lack of advertising.

In TV land this week, viewing begins on Tuesday at 5:00p.m. when the Speed Channel presents the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Summer Showdown In Sarver Town 50 that was run at the Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA on Aug. 4. Wednesday’s viewing begins at noon on Speed with the ARCA RE/MAX Series ARCA 200 that was run at Talladega, AL last Friday. The World of Outlaws Late Model Series returns at 5:00p.m. with the Heartland Nationals that was run at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, MN. At 8:00p.m. the action moves to the Outdoor Channel for the Sept 23 World of Outlaws event that was run at the Wilmot Speedway, Kenosha, WI. The action moves back to the Speed Channel on Thursday at 2:30 for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay of the UAW-Ford 500 that was run at Talladega last Sunday. Speed goes live at 7:00p.m. with NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. Friday’s programming will begin at 3:00 with NASCAR Live from Lowes Motor Speedway followed with live coverage of Nextel Cup final practice. The Busch cars take center stage on Speed at 5:00p.m. on Speed with qualifying for the Dollar General 300. TNT picks up the action at 8:00p.m. with live coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series Dollar General 300. Saturday’s viewing will begin at noon with NASCAR Live from Lowes Motor Speedway. At 5:00p.m. the Outdoor Channel presents the USAC Thunder: Silver Crown cars from the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS. Also at 5:00, the Speed Channel previews the Bank of America 500 that will run at Charlotte. The action switches to NBC at 7:00 for the Nextel Cup, Bank of America 500 from the Lowes Motor Speedway. NASCAR Victory Lane follows at 11:00p.m. on Speed. Sunday’s action begins at 2:30p.m. with live coverage of the the ARCA RE/MAX Series Iowa ARCA 200 from the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. The Speed Report wraps up the weekend at 8:00. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain follows at 9:00.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week all three speedway stocks had a positive ending. Leading the pack was Speedway Motorsports, which went up 0.63 to 37.04. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.23 to 50.07 and Dover Downs went up 0.13 to 5.55. Nextel took a big jump as the communications giant went up 1.30 to 18.45. Sun Oil (Sunoco) went up 0.01 to 62.20. Featherlite Trailers also went up 0.01 as they finished the week at 6.45. DIRT Motorsports dropped 0.10 to 2.90. The drug sector had a negative ending. Pfizer dropped 0.45 to 27.91 and Bristol Meyers-Squib dropped 0.48 to 24.44. The home improvement sector did the opposite. Lowes went up 1.15 to 29.21 and Home Depot went up 0.87 to 37.14. The parcel carriers had a banner week. Fedex went up 3.62 to 112.30 and UPS went up 2.33 to 74.27.

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. declared a cash dividend of $0.33 per share of common stock. The annual dividend will be payable on October 31, 2006, to shareholders of record as of October 16, 2006. This is the fifth consecutive year that Speedway Motorsports has paid a cash dividend to its stockholders. The dividend represents an increase over the prior year. The Board of Directors of Speedway Motorsports declared the dividend after reviewing the market for the Company's stock, current business conditions and future prospects of the Company.

DIRT Motorsports, Inc., the premier sanctioning body and promoter of professional dirt track racing in the United States, is relocating its corporate and operational headquarters to North Carolina during the fourth quarter of 2006. DIRT Motorsports, Inc., announced another significant step in expanding its broadcast reach by moving 12 World of Outlaws Sprint Series broadcasts to the SPEED Channel in 2007. In addition to adding 12 World of Outlaws Sprint Series events, there also will be six World of Outlaws Late Model Series events in 2007 on SPEED. The 12 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and six World of Outlaws Late Model series events to be broadcast on SPEED in 2007 will be announced later in the year when SPEED reveals its full 2007 schedule.

Sunoco, Inc. announced today that its Board of Directors had declared a cash dividend for the fourth quarter of 2006 of 25 cents per share on all full shares of common stock outstanding, payable December 8, 2006 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 8, 2006. The dividend on Sunoco common stock is unchanged from the previous quarter.

Photo Credit: Keith Cyr

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

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