The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


November 4, 2014

  Bruce Beamer, a petroleum company owner from Glastonbury, Ct was the high bidder in the foreclosure sale of the Waterford Speedbowl. The 60 year old gentleman bid $1.75 Million and once all the papers are signed will be the new owner of the property. Until then, the present ownership remains in place. Beamer told Area Auto Racing News that the sale still has to be approved by the court. He said, "before the court can consider the sale it must schedule a date on its docket. No date has been scheduled as yet". He added as he spoke to AARN reporter Steve Barrick, the court come back and say the offer was not high enough or that other possible bidders were not included" He also told AARN that because of the uncertainty on many fronts he is making no commitments to potential hires.

  If and when the deal is consummated Beamer feels that some safety issues need to be addressed. He also feels that some "fence mending" will be needed with aggrieved competitors and creditors.

  NASCAR has announced that Keith Rocco is officially the Connecticut state NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion. Rocco now has 10 career track championships between the three Connecticut ovals. Rocco’s seventh state title was earned with 16 wins, 35 top fives and an additional five top 10s in 46 starts between the Connecticut short-track triangle of Waterford Speedbowl, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and Stafford Motor Speedway.

  En route to the latest Connecticut crown, Rocco also took home a fourth career track championship at the .375-mile oval in Waterford out of the SK Modified division. He went back-to-back there for the second time, having won his first two titles there in 2010-11.

  Rocco registered 11 wins in 23 SK Modified starts at Waterford and breezed to the title by a whopping 250 points behind the wheel of his No. 88 Mr. Rooter/FMR/D&G Paving Chevrolet co-owned by Vin Beedle. He also earned Waterford’s Whelen All-American Series Division II late model division crown for the second year in a row with 11 victories in 21 races.

  The accomplishments have accumulated enough that Rocco’s 65 career SK Modified wins are now a division record. He’s also on the verge of breaking the all-time feature wins record at Waterford, which has been in operation since 1951. Phil Rondeau holds the mark at 106 and Rocco will enter 2015 with 103.

  Despite the fact that the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season is over much is happening behind the scenes. Prior to the season ending Thompson Speedway World Series Ron Silk and car owner Eddie Partridge announced that they were parting ways. Ryan Preece, who replaced Mike Stefanik in the Flamingo Motorsports car, won the Fall Final at Stafford and the World Series at Thompson. Before the dust had settled at Thompson Preece announced that he was leaving the Flamingo car and was moving over to the Partridge car. Long Islander Timmy Solomito who had won Rookie of the Year in the Whelen Modifieds announced that he was leaving the Wayne Anderson entry and heading to the Flamingo car. Added to the mix was the announcement by Donny Lia that he was leaving the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile to "Explore other Options". It has been rumored but not confirmed that Garbarino is retiring from the sport that he has supported since the early 60's.

  While it was quiet in New England with the exception of the Flea Market at the Thompson Motorsports there was plenty of racing action in the south land at the North-South Shootout that was held at the Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. Originally there had been over 30 Modified entries but because a last minute change eliminated engines with steel cylinder heads the field consisted of 15 Modifieds.

  Ryan Preece started off on the right foot with new car owner Eddie Partridge as he scored a second John Blewett III North-South Shootout Modified victory, Preece, who also won the 2012 edition of the North-South Shootout, made his debut in the No. 6 Modified that he will pilot in 2015 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in strong fashion, pulling away from five-time Shootout winner Matt Hirschman for the 125-lap victory in Sophia, North Carolina.

  Preece started on the outside pole, only being bested in Friday’s qualifying by Hirschman. Preece didn't waste to much time as he took the lead on the fifth lap of the 125 lap event. Preece led until lap 65 when Andy Seuss got underneath him entering turn three. Seuss set up Preece off turn two and completed the pass by diving to the bottom of the Caraway banking in the following corner. Seuss remained in the lead until Hirschman got by on a restart on lap 83.

  Preece took the lead back from Hirschman on a restart with 27 laps to go. He started to pull away from Hirschman, but with seven laps to go Hirschman started to close back in. Hirschman gave the bumper to Preece on a couple of occasions, but Preece was able to hold him off to score the win. Ron Silk finished third with Jason Myers and Derek Ramstrom rounding out the top five.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks finished out the week on the positive side. Leading the way was Speedway Motorsports which went up 1.36 to 19.57. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.18 to 31.33 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.41. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.15 to 5.93 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.38 to 64.43 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 3.34 to 24.23. The car builders were all positive for the week. Toyota jumped 6.84 to 121.35, General Motors went up 1.36 to 31.40 and Ford went up 0.31 to 14.09. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot jumped 2.53 to 97.52 and Lowes went up 1.87 to 57.20. The big team sponsor's stocks had a banner week. Coca-Cola went up 7.80 to 90.44 and FedEx went up 3.52 to 167.40 while Dupont went up 0.15 to 69.15, Target went up 0.25 to 61.82and Aarons Rentals went up 1.49 to 24.76.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, November 5

6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

Thursday, November 6
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

Friday, November 7
12:00 PM, NASCAR Nationwide Series Phoenix practice, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix practice, FS1
3:00 PM, NNS Phoenix practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Phoenix qualifying, FS1
6:30 PM, NSCS Phoenix qualifying, ESPN2
8:00 PM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks, ANIMAL
8:30 PM, NCWTS Phoenix race, FS1

Saturday, November 8
1:00 AM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks, ANIMAL
3:00 PM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks, ANIMAL
4:00 AM, NCWTS Phoenix race re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NSCS Phoenix practice re-air, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Countdown, ESPN
4:00 PM, NNS Phoenix race, ESPN

Sunday, November 9
2:00 PM, NASCAR Countdown, ESPN
3:00 PM, NSCS Phoenix race, ESPN

Monday, November 10
1:30 AM, NSCS Phoenix race re-air, ESPN2

   That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail:

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

SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: November 4, 2014

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