The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


November 18, 2014

  Fans and competitors of the Waterford Speedbowl received some good news last week when the New London Day reported that New London Superior Court judge Emmett Cosgrove had ruled that actions among parties involved in the Oct. 18 foreclosure auction of the Waterford Speedbowl did not lead to a chilling effect on bidding.

  Creditor Edward DeMuzzio claimed in an objection filed earlier this month that collusion led to a winning bid that was artificially low, as the track is valued at about $3 million. Bruce Bemer, owner of Bemer Petroleum in Glastonbury, CT, won ownership of the track with a bid of $1.75 million at the auction.

  “Although there is a substantial difference between the appraised value of the property and the amount of the sale, the court is not confident that a new sale would render any different results, but rather would only incur additional expenses and the continued accrual of interest,” wrote Cosgrove in a memorandum of decision released on Friday, Nov 14. He added “The court approves the committee of sale’s report, approves the requested committee fees and expenses and appraisal fees,” The committee of sale is defined as the attorney who oversees a sale at auction.

  With that out of the way Bemer has 30 days following the approval of sale to close on the property, though he said his attorney has informed him that DeMuzzio has a window for appeal of the court’s decision. Once the sale is consummated creditors, competitors and vendors who are owed money by Terry Eames will be out of luck as it appears that most or all the $1.75million paid by Bemer will go to Rocco Arbitell and Peter Borelli.

  The Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway saluted its NASCAR champions last weekend. Ryan Preece was the Sunoco (SK type) Modified champion by six points over Keith Rocco. Preece was absent from the affair but had a good reason as he was driving the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 36 Accell Construction Chevrolet in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida. Preece started 33rd and finished 28th on the lead lap. Todd Ceravolo ended up in the third spot with Keith McDermott and Kerry Malone rounding out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Tyler Chadwick, Danny Cates, John Catania, Woody Pitkat and Andrew Carron.

  Rick Gentes took the Late Model Championship at TMPS by a mere eight points over Larry Gelinas. Mark Curtis, Glenn Boss and James Banfield rounded out the top five. Other TMPS Champions included Scott Sundeen in the Limited Sportsman, Michael Veins in the Mini Stocks and Robert Palmer in the Lite Modifieds.

  Numerous special awards were presented. Sunoco Modified Most Improved driver, Andrew Charron and Rookie-of-the-Year, Keith “Cam” McDermott. The Most Improved Late Model driver, Jared Materas and Rookie-of-the-Year, Nick Ladyga. Ladyga as also presented with the UNOH Youth Achievement Award, an award that is open to NASCAR drivers between the ages of 14-17. Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Most Improved Driver award was presented to Hank Stott. In the Mini Stocks, Most Improved driver, Jeff Moffat and Rookie-of-the-Year, Christopher Viens.

  The John Hoenig Memorial Award, which recognizes one individual for their hard work and dedication to the Speedway, was presented to Barbara Pickett. Pickett has been with Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for 45 years. She began her tenure as a bookkeeper, but soon was assisting in management of the golf course, restaurant, the Pro Shop, and the trucking company. She has served any role necessary including waitress or bartender if needed, and even served as Donald Hoenig’s personal secretary. The one constant throughout her 45 years of service, however, has been working the ticket booth at the speedway.

  Good news comes from the Stafford Motor Speedway. According to their website pitch for season tickets the 2015 schedule currently consists of 23 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events, 4 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events, Valenti Modified Racing Series events yet to be determined, NAPA SK 5k, and Legend Cars. Stafford Speedway 2015 Season Tickets are available now with no increase in price from the 2014 season.

  Stafford will hold their 45th Annual Stafford Awards Banquet this coming Friday, Nov 21, at Maneeley’s, 65 Rye Street, South Windsor, CT.

  The New England Antique Auto Racing Hall of Fame held their annual induction this past weekend. Drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny and auto racing writer Bones Bourcier made up the New England AntiqueAuto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2014. Also inducted were Briggs Cunningham II, Roy “Pappy” Forsyth and Fred Borden who are the veterans committee picks for inclusion into the Hall of Fame.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks were down for the week. Taking the biggest dip was Speedway Motorsports which went down 0.26 to 19.51. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.10 to 32.30 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.04 to 2.37. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.97 to 25.62 while NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.88 to 5.05 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.79 to 65.22. The car makers were all green for the week. Toyota went up 1.15 to 119.82 while Ford went up 0.97 to 15.14 and General Motors went up 0.20 to 31.79. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 0.89 to 58.58 and Home Depot went up 0.59 to 98.24. With the exception of Target Department Stores dropping 1.04 to 68.13 the big team's sponsors stocks were in the green. Dupont went up 1.65 to 70.80, Coca-Cola went up 1.68 to 91.68, Aarons Rentals went up 1.60 to 27.30 and FedEx went up 0.34 to 171.56.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, November 19

7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:30 PM, The 10 - Greatest NASCAR Rivalries, FOX Sports 2

  Thursday, November 20
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Friday, November 21
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
10:30 AM, How It's Made - NASCAR Engines, SCI
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Sunday, November 23
6:00 PM, NASCAR Awards Ceremony - NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, FS1

   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 18, 2014

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