The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


December 30, 2014

  During the recent "Champions Week in Charlotte" NASCAR executive George Silverman alluded to the fact that a fairly ample Television package for the Whelen Modified Tour Series and the K&N Development. Needless to say, Christmas has come and gone and there is still no word. Hopefully good old George will come through with his promise.

  On the day before Christmas, Connecticut-based Ted Marsh Racing announced its return to NASCAR’s top developmental series, the K&N Pro Series, with David Garbo Jr., driving the No. 31 car sponsored by long-time partner Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. The 18-year-old from Stonington, Connecticut, ran a limited NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule in 2014 highlighted by a top-10 finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.

  Garbo is scheduled to compete full-time in 2015 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The season kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 15, at central Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway during the track’s annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.

  Garbo’s family owns and operates a wholesale and retail Lobster business.

  The New London (Ct) Day reported that a hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 5 at New London Superior Court in the foreclosure case of the Waterford Speedbowl. The scheduling of the hearing follows Speedbowl creditor Edward DeMuzzio's motion Dec. 3 for the court to reconsider its decision to allow the Oct. 18 sale to proceed. That motion followed a motion in November from DeMuzzio, in which he requested that the court set the Oct. 18 sale aside. In the earlier motion, the creditor alleged that collusion had 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, won ownership the Hartford Turnpike track on Oct. 18 with a bid of $1.75 million at the auction. Speedbowl fan Rocco Arbitell and business partner Peter Borrelli filed for foreclosure against the racetrack's current owner, Terry Eames, in 2008.

  DeMuzzio alleges that Mr. Arbitell approached him and asked to pool his debt with Mr. Arbitell. The Dec. 3 motion stated that " Based upon the representations of Mr. Arbitell, Mr. DeMuzzio agreed to do so."

  Mr. Bemer filed an objection to DeMuzzio's Dec. 3 motion on Dec. 15. In part it says, "A private conversation between bidders should have no impact on whether the sale was fair and reasonable, and it didn't. Nor should we be subjected to a court hearing to permit the cross examination of a witness regarding this alleged conversation," the objection states.

  Bemer's objection states, "It appears that every effort was made to permit the owner of equity to save the property from foreclosure." Mentioned as evidence of those efforts are advertisements for the sale at auction of the Speedbowl in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Speedway Illustrated and Speed Sport; and Eames' stab at Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The objection stated that the reorganization was unsuccessful. "Bemer offered the highest bid of $1.75 million. His deposit of over $300,000 remains with the court, collecting no interest. Real estate taxes continue to accrue at the approximate rate of $60,000 per year," the objection continues. His objection also stated "The racetrack is seasonal in nature and race car owners need and want to know in advance whether there will be racing at the Speedbowl this coming Spring, 2015," the objection goes on to state that these race car owners and drivers will make arrangements to go elsewhere for racing if litigation continues.

  In a somewhat related matter, an unsigned letter dated Dec. 1 was been filed with the court, addressed to Judge Emmett L. Cosgrove. It alleges mismanagement of finances at the track.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks had positive results for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.42 to 31.41 while Speedway Motorsports went up 0.98 to 22.47 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.18 to 2.61. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.18 to 4.34 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.71 to 63.69 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.31 to 28.39. The car builders were also up for the week. Leading the way was Toyota which went up 1.09 to 128.10. Ford went up 0.42 to 15.45 and General Motors went up 0.92 to 33.73. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.82 to 103.75 while Lowes went up 0.60 to 67.50. Big team sponsors stocks had a banner week. Dupont went up 1.84 to 75.13 while Coca-Cola went up 1.81 to 88.55, Target Department Stores went up 1.11 to 75.06, Aarons Rentals went up 1.81 to 30.41 and FedEx went up 1.68 to 175.90.

On the tube this coming week:

Wednesday, December 31
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net

Friday, January 2
3:30 PM, NASCAR America - The List- Rookie Seasons, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR America - The List- Iconic Cars, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NASCAR America - The List- Tracks, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

Sunday, January 4
5:30 PM, NASCAR America - The List- Legendary Drivers, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America - The List- Memorable Moments, 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: December 30, 2014

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