February 15, 2011
long wait is over as the nights came alive in New Smyrna Florida as the
green flag dropped for the 45th ANNUAL WORLD SERIES of ASPHALT STOCK CAR
RACING at the New Smyrna Speedway The nine night series featured Super Late
Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, NASCAR Tour-Type Modifieds,
SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Type Modifieds, Pro-Trucks, ACT Late Models.
The Modifieds were scheduled to run every night except on Sunday,
2/13. Opening night saw a slim field of Modifieds, 11 and a real slim field
of SK Mods, 7. Earl Paules was the opening night 25 lap Modified feature
winner. Paules took the lead from Ron Silk following a lap 12 restart. Silk
finished second with Chuck Hossfeld third and Ted Christopher, fourth.
Rounding out the top five was Patrick Emerling. Because of the short field,
the SK Modified feature was cut back to 15 laps instead of the scheduled 25.
Ron Silk took the win with Earl Paules, second.
Night number two, Saturday, saw a new Modified winner in the form
of Ted Christopher. Driving the Joe Brady #00 Christopher took the lead in
the 25 lap feature on lap 2 and never looked back. Chuck Hossfeld finished
second with Ronnie Silk, third. Andy Petree who was a Championship Crew
Chief for the late Dale Earnhardt Sr finished fourth with Earl Paules
rounding out the top five. The Modified field continued to be thin as there
were only ten on hand. Ron Silk made it two in a row in SK Modified action.
The field of SKs continued at seven.
The Modifieds and SK Modifieds did not race on Sunday night at New Smyrna.
A little bit of New England racing nostalgia and history came to an
end on Feb 10 when the roof that covered the former No. 44 race shop came
crashing down. The Mario Fiore owned race team had occupied the premises
from 1981 through 2006. It was from this race shop, located across the
street from the former Riverside Park in Agawam, Ma that Fiore and his team
produced and maintained some of the fastest and best handling Modifieds that
ever turned laps.
Max Zachem of Preston, CT has all his ducks in a row and is ready
to run the full Valenti Modified Racing Series schedule in a newly purchased
Modified race car. Zachem, an accomplished teenage driver with championships
and many victories in both Quarter-Midgets and Legend Car Series events,
finished eighth in the VMRS season standings in 2010 as a rookie driver. The
new deal will put Zachem into a 2004 Troyer Chassis, purchased from Daryl
Lewis in upstate New York. His new team will put a Bob Brunneau engine into
the car. The motor was offered to Zachem by former Modified driver Bobby
Gegetskas and Bruce Batcha for use this season. Zachem swapped some of his
Legend car equipment to purchase a second motor as a backup.
Kevin Rice advises that Zachem plans to run the full VMRS schedule, and also
two "Modified Open" events at Seekonk, Mass., on July 20, and at the Star
Speedway in Epping, N.H., on June 4.
National Speed Sport News reported that fuel injected engines will
make their way into NASCAR competition in 2012. The fuel injection system
will replace carburetors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup division. The series has
used carburetors since its inception in 1949. NASCAR and its top series
teams will test the technology during the 2011 season with the anticipation
of the systems being rolled out in 2012.
Fuel injection was used in the NASCAR Modifieds up to and including the 1969
season. Among those who were the most proficient with the use and setup of
fuel injection were Jack Tant, Bobby Judkins and the late Len Boehler.
NASCAR officials announced that they have lowered the minimum age
for drivers competing in their five regional touring divisions from 16 years
old to 15 years old. The change takes effect immediately for the K&N Pro
Series East and West divisions, the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern
Modified Tour and the Canadian Tire Series.
It marks the second time in four years that NASCAR has lowered the
age minimum for its touring divisions. Prior to the 2007 season the minimum
age was lowered from 18 to 16. Joe Gibbs Racing took advantage of that
change immediately entering Middletown native Joey Logano into competition
in the K&N Pro Series East. The then 17-year old went to win the division's
championship, become the youngest driver to win a NASCAR title. Logano is
now in his third season in the Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.
In another move, NASCAR announced that it's Learner's Permit NASCAR
license for Whelen All-American Series competitors will be applicable for
all divisions at NASCAR sanctioned tracks. NASCAR introduced the Learner's
Permit license last year, allowing competitors and crew members ages 14 and
15 years old entrance into entry level divisions at NASCAR sanctioned short
tracks. Many have mixed feelings about lowering age limits. Some kids are
responsible enough to handle it while some are not.
In TV land Speedweeks in Daytona continued in high gear for the
second of two full weeks of action in the sunshine state. NASCAR Race Hub
has returned to the 7:00pm time slot Tuesday and Wednesday on the Speed
Channel during the week. NASCAR Now on espn2 can be seen at 5:00pm on
Tuesday and Wednesday plus on Friday at 6:00pm. Tuesdays viewing begins at
2:00pm when espn2 airs their 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season Preview followed
by their 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Preview. At 8:00pm ESPN
Classic airs the 1981 Daytona 500. Wednesday’s action begins at 10:30am on
the Speed Channel with Sprint Cup practice at the Daytona Int Speedway that
will last until noon. Sprint Cup practice continues at 1:30pm for another 90
minutes. At 4:30 the Camping World Truck Series takes to the big oval in
Daytona for a 2-1/2 hour practice session. At 11:00pm the Speed Channel
hosts The 10: Highlighting the best of the best Daytona Moments from the
world of NASCAR.
Thursday’s viewing begins at 10:00am with espn2 covering a two-hour
practice session for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona. The race
coverage switches to the Speed Channel at noon for a 60-minute practice
session for the trucks. Action on the Speed Channel continues with NASCAR
RaceDay at 1:00pm and live flag to flag coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Gatorade Duel At Daytona which features two 150-mile qualifying races that
determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. NASCAR Victory Lane at
5:30 wraps it up. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying follows at
6:30pm. At 9:00pm the Speed Channel will repeat the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Gatorade Duel At Daytona. Friday’s viewing begins at 10:30am with NASCAR
Live. At 11:00am the Sprint Cup cars have a one-hour practice session. At
noon NASCAR Live breaks it up before a 90 minute Sprint Cup practice stars
at 12:30. NASCAR Live goes again at 2:00pm. At 4:00pm the action moves to
espn2 for Nationwide Series qualifying at Daytona. At 7:00pm the action
moves back to Speed for the pre-race show for the NASCAR Camping World Truck
Series which will lead to the start of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at
Daytona. This event will be repeated by Speed at 11:30pm. Speed starts off
Saturday with NASCAR Live at 10:00 followed by a 90 minute final practice
for the Sprint Cup cars at 10:30am. At noon the action moves to espn2 for
the NASCAR Nationwide Series countdown, which will lead into a 1:15 start of
the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. NASCAR Live wraps it up at 5:00pm. At 10:00pm
a new racing show, Speed Center, debuts. The Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD
300 will be re-shown at 4:00am on Sunday morning. At 9:00am the Speed
Channel will begin a three hour NASCAR RaceDay which will preview the
Daytona 500. A pre-race show will also be presented on espn2 from 9-10:00am.
The action shifts to FOX at noon for another 60 minutes of pre-race that
will lead to the 1:00pm start of the Daytona 500. At 6:00pm on Sunday the
action switches to Versus for "Dirt Knights". At 7:00pm the Speed Channel
presents Speed Center, a new Motorsports news series show. At 8:00 it’s the
NASCAR Victory Lane Special Edition which wrap-ups the Daytona 500. Espn2
has their own post race show, also at 8:00pm. At 9:00pm the Speed Channel
has Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. Also at 9:00pm, ESPN has a 60 minute
biography on Wendell Scott.
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 0.09 to 14.79 while the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.05
to 28.97. Dover Motorsports ended the week where they started at 2.03.
NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.20 to 4.60 while NASCAR fuel supplier
Sun Oil went up 0.51 to 42.87. Taking a giant leap was tire supplier
Goodyear which went up 1.54 to 14.30. The car builders had an exciting week.
Toyota jumped 5.30 to 90.05 while Ford jumped 0.66 to 16.38. General Motors
dropped 0.14 to 36.45. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up
0.68 to 37.48 and Lowes went up 0.38 to 25.09. The major team sponsors had a
banner week. Dupont went up 2.05 to 54.38 while Coca-Cola went up 2.06 to
55.22. Target Department Stores went up 0.12 to 54.39 while Aaron’s Rentals
went up 0.35 to 20.33 and Fedex jumped 3.68 to 95.42.
It was announced last week that Ford Motor Co. has sued Ferrari in
Detroit federal court, saying the sports car maker has violated its
trademark over the pickup truck name F-150. The suit is based on Ferrari's
naming of its new Formula 1 racing car the "F150," and its creation of the
http://www.ferrarif150.com. Dearborn-based Ford says in Wednesday's
filing that its trademark is being harmed, and the suit asks a judge to
block Ferrari from using the trademark in the U.S. Ford also seeks
unspecified damages from Ferrari.
Ferrari's website says the "F150" marks the 150th anniversary of the
unification of Italy.
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 various
other publications for over 3 decades.
All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
Smith / Champ Trail