by Phil Smith
February 8, 2010
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
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
Smith / Champ Trail