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Tuesday October 30, 2007  

By Phil Smith                                                                                            

It took a while but NASCAR finally got around to updating the Whelen Modified Tour Series point standings. Donnie Lia ended the season in the top spot despite the fact that he dropped out of the season ending World Series at Thompson with a blown engine. Lia had sewed up the title after the Stafford event. In 16 events Lia scored 13 top tens, which included six wins. His season winning total is $83,800. Todd Szegedy ended up in second spot, 180 points behind. Szegedy, in 16 events, scored 11 top tens, which included two wins which brought his season totals to $60,225. Although winless Matt Hirschman used consistency in order to finish up third in the final standings. In 16 events the second-generation racer recorded 11 top tens which included five top fives. Ronnie Silk with one win and Ted Christopher with one win rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were James Civali with three wins, Mike Stefanik with one win, Jimmy Blewett with one win, Jamie Tomaino and Eddie Flemke JR. finished out the top 10.

According to noted Area Auto Racing columnist Ernie Saxton, 2008 could be the last year that the Whelen Modifieds are part of the NASCAR family of racing divisions.

As far as the 2008 schedule goes the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia will host the Made in America Whelen 300 on Sunday, September 21. The event had previously been run on Labor Day weekend but the last two years have not seen good crowds.

Word has it that the True Value Modified Racing Series schedule will have three events each at the Monadnock Speedway and Lee Raceway in New Hampshire, the Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut and the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts. Tracks holding one event will be the Thompson Speedway in Connecticut plus Beech Ridge and Oxford Plains in Maine plus Thunder Road in Vermont. It has been rumored that series owner Jack Bateman has been talking to the Arute family concerning a True Value event at Stafford. In recent years the Pro Stock division that once dominated the tracks in northern New England has seen its popularity on the decline, which has opened the door for the open wheel Modifieds.

Many of the top Modified and Supermodified competitors will be heading south to the Concord Motorsports Park in Concord, NC for the 5th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout, which will be held on Saturday night. The best Modified drivers from both north and south of the Mason-Dixon will do battle in 100-laps of green flag racing on the famed half-mile tri-oval while the best Supermodified competitors in North America will vie for prominence in the inaugural 50-lap Wirtgen America East-West Supermodified Shootout. The popular SK-Type Modifieds will be part of the excitement with a 50-lapper of their own. The format for the fifth annual event will also include time trials, heat races, consolation race(s) and non-qualifiers event(s) for the Modifieds, Supermodifieds and SK-Type Modifieds. Support divisions include Crate SK-Type Modifieds, Four-Cylinder stock cars, and Vintage Modifieds.

The big event in the northeast this weekend is Don Hoenigís original All-Automotive Swap Meet and Flea Market returns at the Thompson International Speedway, rain or shine This event is one of the nationís best and largest such gatherings and is held rain or shine on the grounds of the sprawling speedway complex. Track Manager Russ Dowd advises that the Thompson International Speedway is accepting applications for car number renewals. For ease and convenience, the 2008 registration forms may be accessed from the front page of the Thompson web site. As in previous years, any driver who secured track points with a registered car number will have until January 15, 2008 to renew that number. If the number is not renewed, it will then be assigned to the first person requesting the number. That determination is made by the date that each request is received at the Thompson Speedway office. If a number is being requested that was not used in the 2007 season, it will be awarded on a first come-first served basis. The 2008 registration form should be downloaded from the Thompson web site. They are also available by calling the Thompson International Speedway track office.

In TV land this week, Speed Channel viewing will begin on Wednesday at 4:00 pm with the October 20th USAR Hooters Pro Cup, Dan Duncan Memorial Aaron's 250 that was run at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, GA. On Thursday at noon Speed replays last Saturdayís NASCAR Busch Series Samís Town 250 that was run at Memphis, TN. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Replay of the Pep Boys Auto 500 that was run at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. At 8:00 Speed previews the upcoming Nextel Cup event at the Texas Motor Speedway. Speed goes live on Friday at noon with Busch Series practice from the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. At 1:00 itís the Oct 20th USAR Hooters Pro Cup, Dan Duncan Memorial Aaron's 250 that was run at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, GA. At 2:00 a 30 minute segment of NASCAR Live from the Texas Motor Speedway. At 4:30 the action switches to ESPN2 for NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying at the Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR Busch Series qualifying from Texas follows at 6:30pm. At 7:30 itís back to the Speed Channel for Trackside at Texas. At 9:00 Speed provides live flag to flag coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350 k at the Texas Motor Speedway. At midnight Speed wraps up the days racing in Texas. Speed returns wit live coverage at noon on Saturday with a one-hour segment of NASCAR Live from Texas. At 3:00pm the action switches to ESPN2 for the NASCAR Busch Series OíReilly Challenge from the Texas Motor Speedway. Speed goes live at 8:00pm with the World of Outlaws sprint cars and late models, season finale, from the Dirt Track at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. Sundayís coverage begins at 1:30 with a two-hour version of NASCAR RaceDay. At 3:30 the action moves to ABC for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. The Speed Channel wraps up the weekend with The Speed Report at 7:00, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.96 to 36.19 and Dover Downs went up 0.22. On the negative side the International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.10 to 44.62. Nextel/Sprint dropped 0.12 to 17.36 while Sun Oil jumped up 4.26 to 75.34. Goodyear dropped 0.99 to 27.52 while DIRT Motorsports showed some life as they went up 0.32 to 0.65. In the drug sector, Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.42 to 29.68 and Pfizer went up 0.20 to 24.27. In the home improvement sector Lowes led the way as they went up 1.02 to 27.15. Home Depot went up 0.58 to 31.34. The parcel carriers were a mixed bag. Fedex went up 0.52 to 103.84 while UPS dropped 0.12 to 74.97.

Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD - News) Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on both classes of common stock of $.015 per share. The dividend will be payable on December 10, 2007 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 10, 2007.

Thatís it for this week from 40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891 . Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.


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

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