Tuesday October 20, 2009

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was supposed to wind up the 2009 season this past weekend but Mother Nature had different ideas as a “Noreaster” dumped a large amount of rain and wet snow in the northeast corner of Connecticut forcing the Thompson Speedway Management and NASCAR to postpone the World Series to this coming weekend.

As it turned out the Thompson Speedway management and NASCAR made the right decision as high winds and heavy rain mixed with snow pounded the entire New England area on Sunday.

The True Value Modified Racing Series took the weekend off so as to prepare for their season ending event this week at the Lee USA Speedway. Jonathan McKennedy holds a slim 13 point lead into Lee over Rob Goodenough. Steven Masse is third 22 points back. Wall Stadium in New Jersey will also be running this weekend with the Tom Commerford Memorial set for Saturday.

The scheduled foreclosure proceedings of the property in which the Waterford Speedbowl is located is still on for Saturday, October 31. Property owner Terry Eames has stated that he has “turned the corner” and will stave off the impending sale of the property. Unlike Jerry Robinson who never paid competitors who race in the 2008 Fall Finale at the shoreline oval, Eames has paid his competitors when they have raced.

Dick Ceravolo showed a major improvement in his condition last week. After first opening his eyes the popular former Waterford Speedbowl Modified Champion progressed to the point two weeks ago that he began to speak. He is now breathing and eating on his own and is heading toward a full recovery. Seven weeks a go it appeared that he was in dire straits but because of a strong will, a little luck, a lot of support and prayers from his family and friends he has now left the Yale-New Haven Hospital and has been transferred to the Avalon Rehabilitation Facility in Mystic, CT. Cards of cheer can be sent to Dick Ceravolo, 1348 Baldwin Hill Rd, Gales Ferry, CT 06335. Ceravolo, 70, suffered serious injuries on Aug 21 while attempting to jumpstart a farm tractor.

In TV land this week, NASCAR Now on espn2 will be shown at 5:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and Friday at 6:00pm. On Tuesday evening at 7:30pm the Speed channel has a new program titled NASCAR Race Hub which will highlight news of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Wednesday’s viewing on Speed begins at noon with a replay of last Saturday nights NASCAR Sprint Cup Banking 500 that was run at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Later in the day, at 7:30pm will be another edition of Race Hub. Thursday at noon Speed will show the 2007 Subway 500 that was run at the Martinsville Speedway last Oct. Following at 3:00pm will be the 2009 Year in Revue of the NASCAR Camping World Touring Series. NASCAR Race Hub will be on again at 7:30pm. Speed goes live at 11:00am on Friday morning with NASCAR Live at the Martinsville Speedway. Live coverage of Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville follows at 11:30am. At 1:00pm, live coverage from Martinsville continues with Camping World Truck Series practice followed by a 60-minute segment of NASCAR Live at Martinsville at 2:00pm. At 3:00pm the action switches to espn2for Sprint Cup qualifying at Martinsville. At 4:30pm espn2 switches to the Memphis Motorsport Park for Nationwide Series final practice. Trackside at Martinsville at 7:00pm on Speed closes out the day. Saturday’s viewing begins at 10:00am on espn2 with a 45 minute practice session for the Sprint Cup cars. At 10:45 espn2 switches to Memphis for Nationwide Series qualifying. At 12:30pmthe Speed Channel goes with the Camping World Truck Series pre-race show that will lead into the 1:00pm start of the Kroger 200 at the Martinsville Speedway. At 3:00pm espn2 has the pre-race program scheduled for the Nationwide Series at Memphis that will lead into a 3:30pm start of the Kroger ‘On Track for the Cure’ 250 at the Memphis Motorsports Park. The final practice session for the Sprint Cup cars at Martinsville will be shown by espn2 at 6:30pm. Sunday’s viewing starts with NASCAR Now on espn2 at 10:00am. At 11:00 Speed hosts a two hour NASCAR RaceDay preview. At 1:00pm the action switches to ABC for another half hour of pre-race which will lead into a 1:30 pm start of the Sprint Cup TUMS Fast Relief 500 at the Martinsville Speedway. On Sunday evening, the Speed Channel has The Speed Report at 7:00pm, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm followed by NASCAR Now on espn2 at 10:00.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had positive endings at weeks end. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.20 to 27.42 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.32 to 15.00. Dover Motorsports showed a no chang for the wek as they remained at 1.51. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.11 to 3.47 while fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 3.25 to 32.61. Tire supplier Goodyear also had a positive ending as they went up 0.23 to 17.46. The carmakers, with the exception of General Motors had a positive week. Ford went up 0.30 to 7.42 and Toyota went up 0.84 to 79.14. GM dropped 0.05 to 0.65. The team sponsors seem to be holding their own. Dupont went up 1.15 to 34.10 while Target Department Stores went up 0.19 to 50.08 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.12 to 27.45. On the down side was Coca-Cola which dropped 2.01 to 47.04. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.30 to 27.26 and Lowes went up 0.42 to 21.36.

Forbes magazine has named ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy the Most Powerful Woman in Sports. The article dated October 14, 2009, stated France Kennedy's "26-year career at ISC spaned a period that expanded the sport past its Southern base." The article added, "She rose to president in 2003 and to CEO in June 2009. Analysts say she's played a big role in most all of the company's acquisitions and improvement projects dating back to the 1990s."

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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