The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


November 25, 2014

  There is still an unmentionable in the wood pile at the Waterford Speedbowl as the soap opera of the foreclosure continues. The Norwich (Ct) Bulletin reported that scenario that presently exists could keep Terry Eames in place as owner and promoter of the Waterford Speedbowl in 2015. The threat of an appeal of the foreclosure sale of the race track to Glastonbury businessman Bruce Bemer by Groton businessman Ed DeMuzzio could tie up the sale for as long as another year, according to the lawyer for lead creditor, Rocco Arbitell. If that happens, New London Superior Court judge Emmett L. Cosgrove could potentially allow Eames to, once again, open and operate the track. Currently the property is still under the control of Eames and his group, 1080 Hartford LLC, and will remain so until the closing on the foreclosure sale.

  Tune in again, same time, same station, next week as the soap opera continues!

  The Stafford Motor Speedway held their 45th Annual Awards Banquet this past Friday, Nov 21, at Maneeley’s, 65 Rye Street, in South Windsor, CT. The Arute family which owns and operates the nutmeg state oval welcomed a guest list of over 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees. With Norwich Bulletin Sports Writer Marc Allard and Stafford Motor Speedway broadcaster Matt Buckler serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the six track champions, they also recognized the top-20 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and U.S. Legend Cars divisions. Special awards that were presented during the evening’s festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts Rookie of the Year, R.A.D. Automachine DARE Stock Rookie of the Year, and the UNOH Youth Achievement Award

  Taking the seat of honor for a record setting ninth time was SK Modified Track Champion Ted Christopher. Christopher, who beat out Ryan Preece by a scant two points was extremely consistent in his run for the title. In 17 events he recorded only one win but his tale of the tape showed 17 top 10 finishes. Preece was the big winner with 6 victories to his credit but recorded 14 top tens which ultimately made the difference at seasons end. Woody Pitkat went winless in 17 events but recorded 15 top tens which brought him to finish 16 points behind Preece in third spot. Keith Rocco didn't have the season at Stafford that he hoped for but non the less recorded two victories in 17 starts. Despite recording 14 top tens, Rocco found himself at season's end in fourth spot. Rounding out the top five was rookie Chase Dowling. Dowling recorded one victory, that coming on June 20, no easy accomplishment for a rookie. He recorded a total of 12-top tens in 17 events. Alot more will be heard from this young man in the future. Sixth through tenth in the SK Modifieds were Dan Avery, Eric Berndt, Todd Owen, Michael Gervais Jr and Rowan Pennink.

  Other Stafford Champions honored were Adam Grey in the Late Models with six wins who recorded 16 top tens in 17 events, Rookie Jeremy Sorel in the SK Lites who had two wins and recorded 16 top tens in 18 starts, Andrew Hayes in the Limited Late Models with four wins in 18 starts, Frank L'Etoile Jr in the Dare Stocks who recorded 2 wins in 18 starts and Dana D, Matteo in the Legends cars.

  The SPAFCO Race Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Chase Dowling from the SK Modified® division, Kyle Casagrande from the Late Model division, and Jeremy Sorel from the SK Light division. Taking home R.A.D. Automachine Rookie of the Year honors were Cliff Saunders in the Limited Late Model division and Trace Beyer in the DARE Stock division. The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Todd Owen in both the SK Modified® division, Jim Mavlouganes in the Late Model division, Tyler Hines from the SK Light division, David Arute from the Limited Late Model division, Doug Phelps in the DARE Stock division, and Mike Christopher, Jr. in the U.S. Legends Car division. Last but not least, The UNOH Youth Achievement award was won by SK Light Modified driver Branden Dion.

  For those of you who are fortunate to get your hands on an early copy of the new book from Coastal181, "A History of Auto Racing in New England" you will find its hard to put it down once you begin to read. The book includes more than 300 written and illustrated pages including chapters dedicated to the histories of The Midgets, The Modifieds, The Super Modifieds, Stafford's Dirt NASCAR Years, Auto Racing in Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine plus the Rockingham NH Board Track, Atribute to Bob Bahare, Road Racing and Drag Racing plus a Memorial to the New England Drivers who died at the track.

  Available just in time for Christmas the book is priced at $34.95 + $6.00 S&H from or send check or money order to Coastal 181, 29 Water St., Newburyport, MA 01950 or call toll free 877-907-8181.. Included in the pages are tons of pictures, many of these never have been printed. Get your copy now!

  Coming up this weekend is Wall Stadium Speedway Turkey Derby which is the traditional northeast season ending stock car spectacular presented during the daylight hours of Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend on the New Jersey shore. The Tour Type Modifieds, Downs Ford Modifieds, Dirt Track Modified/Sportsman, Sportsman racers, Limited Late Models, Factory Stocks, 4 Cylinder Stocks, Legend Cars, TQ Midgets and Demolition Derby competitors will all see action during the weekend. The Tour Type and Downs Ford Modified main events are featured on Saturday.

  One of the first Tour Type Modified competitors to contact the speedway office was former Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield who has recently raced Modifieds in the south and has expressed his desire to compete in the Turkey Derby. Pennsylvania’s Zane Zeiner, Shaun Carrig of Little Falls and New Hampshire’s Less Hinckley have also expressed their interest to compete. The speedway will welcome recent Mahoning Valley Speedway winner Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. to the Turkey Derby and Ryan Preece, a favorite on the Whelen Modified Tour, has also made his intentions known.

  The New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida announced on Friday, Nov 22, the early part of their 2015 schedule at the high-banked half mile oval. In February the 49th annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car racing will kick off with a full day of practice and parking on Thursday, February 12.

  Racing will start on the 13th as the Super Late Models will run seven nights highlighted by a 50-lap race on February 19 and a 100-lap race on Saturday, February 21, the final night of this year’s World Series. Pro Late Models will run seven nights with a 50-lap race on February 19.

  Tour Type Modifieds will run six nights highlighted by the John Blewett III Memorial 76 on February 18 and the 30th annual Richie Evans Memorial 100 on February 21. IMCA Modifieds will host six races during the World Series with the big show coming on February 18 as they will go 75 laps.

  The first race that was locked in for the 2015 season was the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event that will take place on Sunday, February 15. Track owner Robert Hart inked the deal with NASCAR just hours after the successful race won by Daniel Suarez. The 2015 race for the K&N Series will kick off their 2015 season. The ACT Late Models will return for two nights of racing on February 16 and 17. TBRA Winged Sprints will run on February 15 and 16.

  There was no mention of moving "The Battle at the Beach" from Daytona to New Smyrna. Spies at Daytona say the backstretch grandstand is still in place.

  The southern based KOMA Modifieds ran a strange type of race last weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC. In a race that saw 19 KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series drivers all trying to go as slow as possible for the majority of its 125 laps, Zach Brewer showed the speed necessary to go to victory lane when he needed it. Racing web site Speed 51 reported that Burt Myers won the pole in qualifying earlier in the day at Myrtle Beach, but let 15-year-old Modified rookie Spencer Davis set the pace early on. While much of the field was noticeably easing off the throttle all around the track in an effort to save tires at the notoriously abrasive coastal track, the pace for the first half of the event was quite a bit slower than the 600-horsepower Modifieds would normally produce.

  While Spencer Davis and Burt Myers dominated most of the tire-conservation endurance test, Brewer made the most of his fresh tires late in the “Gobble Til Ya Wobble 125″ Saturday night. Brewer rocketed past Myers, who settled for not pitting for fresh tires late in the race, on lap 88 and never looked back for his second KOMA Series victory of the 2014 season. Burt Myers ended up second.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.24 to 19.75 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.44 to 31.86 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.01 to 2.36. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.09 to 4.96 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.84 to 66.06 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.86 to 26.48. The car builders were all in the green for the week. Leading the way was Toyota which went up 1.47 to 121.29. Ford went up o.27 to 15.41 and General Motors went up 0.34 to 32.13. In the home improvement sector, Lowes jumped 4.68 to 63.26 while Home Depot went up 0.04 to 98.28. The big team sponsors stocks were all positive. Dupont went up 1.35 to 72.15, Coca-Cola went up 0.81 to 92.49, Target went up 3.38 to 71.51, Aarons Rentals went up 0.85 to 28.15 and FedEx went up 2.90 to 174.46.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, November 26

7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN

  Thursday, November 27
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Friday, November 28
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:00 PM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks, ANIMAL

  Sunday, November 30
5:00 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN

   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 25, 2014

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