The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


Champ Trail by Phil Smith
February 8, 2010

The official start of the 2010 Modified Racing season was supposed to have begun on Friday, February 5. Severe thunderstorms and threats of a tornado forced the speedway management to pull the plug on opening night activities. Before the rains came Modified and SK track steward Richard Brooks and his staff had over 30 cars go through tech inspection.

The Florida skies cleared on Saturday, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Opening night at New Smyrna drew 19 tour type Modifieds and 11 sk type Modifieds. Eric Goodale was the fastest tour type Modified qualifier. Second fastest was Matt Hirschman. Rowan Pennink qualified third. Rounding out the top five was Chuck Hossfeld and Ted Christopher.

The tour type Modifieds were first up with their 25-lap feature. During hot laps Jim Zacharias spun out on the front stretch and hit the wall. Due to the redraw for the start John Jensen started on the pole with Ted Christopher on the outside. At the drop of the green Christopher jumped out in front and led the entire 25 lap distance in an event that went non-stop. Jensen finished second and was followed by Pennink, Hossfeld, Ronnie Silk, Hirschman, Eric Goodale, Rob Fuller, JR Bertuccio and Kevin Goodale.

The SK type Modifieds went 20 laps. Nicole Morgillo, who started second, took the lead at the start. By lap 4, Keith Rocco, who had started 5th, took the lead with Ron Silk, second. Two laps later, Silk passed Rocco for the lead. Almost immediately, Silk was tapped by Rocco, causing the two to spin and in the process collected Morgillo, Jeffrey Gallup and Jimmy Zacharias. Silk and Zacharias were able to drive away while Rocco and Gallup had their cars towed off. David Cranmer took the lead on the restart. Silk restarted in the rear and embarked on a determined run to the front. Silk had worked his way up to third spot when he hit Zacharias who in turn hit the outside wall in the turn two area. As a result, Silk was put to the rear for rough riding. With six laps to go Cranmer led the single file restart. Cranmer led the final four laps to take the win. Silk made a move to pass Cranmer for the lead on the last lap as the cars came into turn four but backed off and settled for second. Dave Salzarulo finished third followed by Chris Jensen and Rob Schultz.

The tour type Modifieds and the SK types had Sunday night off. Among those expected to join the fields for the final five nights are James Civali and Charlie Pasteryak.

Eric Beers has finally solidified his driving plans for 2010 as Dave and Laura DeLange of Lockport NY and John "Grandpa" Blewett, Howell NJ are going split the 2010 season as car owners with Beers as the pilot of their NASCAR Modifieds. Beers will drive the Blewett owned Modified for the two events at New Hampshire, the three at Thompson and the one race at Riverhead. He will be in the DeLange Modified at Stafford (4 times), Martinsville, Lime Rock, Monadnock, and Bristol.

In a somewhat related matter, Jimmy Blewett will be competing during the 2010 season in the famed Dick Barney prepared #14 on the NASCAR Tour.

One of the hot topics of conversation in the pit area at New Smyrna was the recent 36 page complaint by Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General of the State of New York that alleges that Suffolk (Long Island) Productions, a for- profit entity that runs telemarketing and fundraising campaigns for a host of charities is allegedly engaged in a scheme to defraud by mis-representing who it is and where the money donated would go. According to the complaint over $3 million was collected from 2006 to 2008.

The report mentions Deborah Cromarty-Hallahan as the principal defendant. Cromarty-Hallahan assumed control of the Riverhead Raceway from her parents, Barbara and Jim Cromarty, two years ago. Also listed as a defendant is Riverhead Public Relations Chief Bob Finan.
Bob Finan addressed the recent story about the NY State Attorney General’s investigation of Suffolk Productions. While this company was founded by Jim Cromarty many years ago, it is now owned and run by Deborah Cromarty-Hallahan, and is a separate entity from anything to do with Riverhead Raceway. Bob went on to say this whole thing is just political posturing by someone who is running for governor and it is being litigated down at the present time and it should have no effect on the operations of Riverhead Raceway in 2010 or in years to come.

In TV land this weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at noon with the Nov 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford 200 that was run at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. At 2:00pm the action switches to espn2 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup season previews. At 5:00pm on espn2 NASCAR Now airs the happenings of the day. At 7:30 the Speed Channel has NASCAR Race Hub. Rounding out the day is Countdown to the Daytona 500 at 10:00pm. Wednesday’s viewing begins at 11:00am on Speed with NASCAR Live at Daytona Intl. Speedway. Live coverage by Speed continues at noon with a 90 minute Sprint Cup practice from Daytona. At 1:30 Speed hosts NASCAR Live at Daytona followed by another Sprint Cup practice at 2:00pm. Speed and espn2 go head to head at 5:00 with NASCAR Now and NASCAR Live. At 6:00pm the Speed Channel hosts NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice from Daytona. NASCAR Race Hub follows at 7:30pm. Viewing gets an early start on Thursday. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice begins at 9:00am followed by NASCAR Live at Daytona at 11:00am. At 1:00pm NASCAR RaceDay previews the Gatorade Duels at Daytona Intl. Speedway. At 2:00 the green flag drops on the first of the two 250-mile races that will set the starting field for the Daytona 500.

NASCAR Now on espn2 and NASCAR Victory Lane on Speed, both at 5:30, will sum up those events. At 6:30 Speed covers NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying at Daytona. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Gatorade Duels, two 250-mile races, will be repeated at 9:00pm. Friday’s coverage begins at 1:00pm with NASCAR Live at Daytona. A 90 minute NASCAR Sprint Cup practice follows at 1:30pm. At 6:00pm Speed has NASCAR Live at Daytona followed by Trackside (NASCAR) at Daytona Intl. Speedway at 6:30pm. At 7:30 Speed hosts the pre-race show that will lead to the 8:15pm start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at
Daytona. Saturday’s action starts at 9:30am with NASCAR Performance on Speed. At 10:00 its NASCAR Live at Daytona Intl. Speedway followed by 90 minutes of NASCAR Sprint Cup final practice. At noon the action switches to espn2 for the pre-race show that will lead into a 1:30pm start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona. At 5:00pm Speed sums up the day in Daytona with NASCAR Live at Daytona. Countdown to the Daytona 500 follows at 6:00pm. At 7:00pm Speed show highlights of the Jan 29 Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge Fresh from Florida 200 that was run at Daytona. At 9:00 Speed has the Jan 16 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Sunday’s viewing starts at 8:30am with NASCAR in a Hurry followed by three hours of NASCAR RaceDay, which will preview the Daytona 500. At noon the action switches to FOX for another hour of pre-race, which will lead into a 1:00pm, start of the Daytona 500. The Speed Report will wrap up the week at 7:00pm on Sunday night. NASCAR Victory Lane follows at 8:00 with Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm. Capping off the week is Madhouse on the History Channel on Sunday night at 11:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Ending the week on a positive note was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 0.26 to 25.47. Dover Motorsports dropped 0.10 to 2.14 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.39 to 16.23. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.18 to 3.43. NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil followed suit as they went up 0.55 to 25.64. Tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.70 to 12.64. The carmakers had a not so great week. Ford went up 0.07 to 10.91 while General Motors dropped 0.03 to 0.60. Toyota, who continues to work their way through their stuck throttle problems, dropped 2.29 to 74.71. In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 0.06 to 21.50 and Home Depot dropped 0.03 to 27.98. NASCAR team sponsors also had a moderate week. Dupont went up 0.12 to 32.73 while Coca-Cola dropped 1.35 to 49.12. Target Department Stores dropped 1.97 to 49.30 while Aaron’s Rentals went up 0.66 to 28.52.

   That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.


SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: February 8, 2010

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