The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


January 20, 2015

The countdown to Speedweeks in Florida continues. As of this Friday, Jan 23 only four short weeks remain before Daytona and New Smyrna come alive with the sound of racing engines to signify the official start of the 2015 racing season.

  The Daytona International Speedway has been hosting practice sessions for the ARCA Racing Series. The 63rd season for the ARCA Racing Series will kick off Speedweeks at Daytona with its first practice session Thursday, February 12 from 4:00-6 p.m. ET with the second and final practice session following Friday morning at 9:30, February 13. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will take place at 3:30 Friday afternoon, which will be done in group sessions. The Lucas Oil 200, which serves as the preamble for NASCAR's Sprint Unlimited, is set to get the green flag at 4:15 Saturday, February 14.

  Among those in the test session were Whelen Modified Tour Series competitors Tommy Barrett and Andy Seuss. Barrett’s best speed was 181.324mph, 26th overall and Seuss went 179mph, 29th overall. Thirty eight competitors took part in the Daytona session. Sean Corr was the fastest as he turned in a 187.692mph run.

  Internet racing news site announced that Jeff Rocco will join his twin brother Keith on the entry list for the three events for the American-Canadian Tour at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway next month. The events will take place Feb. 15, 16 & 17 as part of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. All three events will be 100-lap features. No word yet as to how many Modified entries have been received.

  Robert Hart, Promoter and Owner of the New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) and Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour (ACT) made a surprise announcement today by scheduling a third event for the ACT Late Model teams. The popular New England and Quebec based touring group have added a Sunday night, February 15, 2015 date to their trip to the Florida track. The American Racer Challenge Cup will take place on Monday and Tuesday, February 16-17, 2015.

  ACT Series director Tom Curley was elated. "It was a nice surprise today to hear from Kim Brown and Robert Hart from New Smyrna. After consulting all 28 teams, we have been able to put together a field of twenty-six cars to run an additional 100-lap race on Sunday night of the opening weekend at New Smyrna Speedway. The season-opening event of the NASCAR K & N Series will take place on Sunday as well. There was a lot of enthusiasm and support from all the teams, and most told us they would be there watching the K&N race anyway, so being able to race was a bonus they hadn’t expected," said Curley.

  Indoor Three Quarter Midget action will be the big attraction on Jan. 30-31, inside Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall at the Len Sammons Motorsports Productions NAPA Know How Weekend. With 198 entrants in three classes and four feature races on the agenda, success is stacked high against the driver.

  Recent LSRP Three Quarter (TQ) Midget action inside Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. proved it when Steve Craig of Levittown, Pa. flipped completely over the fence. He walked away from the spectacular spill and was even interviewed on his way back to the pit area. Fans were also surprised when Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. was spun out by Anthony Sesely of Matawan, N.J. Blewett stopped on the track, then slammed into Sesely as he drove by. That earned Blewett a ‘Bronx cheer’ from the grandstand and a heave-ho from the race by LSRP officials.

  Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct., and Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo N.Y., winners in December inside Trenton’s Sun National Bank Center, are likely contenders for ultimate victory in Atlantic City. They’ll be chasing Anthony Sesely, the winner of the last three Boardwalk Hall feature races.

  Noted scribe Lou Modestino advises that OTB Promotions, a new motorsports promotions company, has announced a second event has been added to its 2015 calendar. The ICEBREAKER, Road Race Style, is slated for Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25 at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. It will begin the local grassroots sports car racing season.

  This event is unique not only in regards to the amount of track time it affords, and its inclusion of many different types of cars, but also in its affordability. Early bird registration, which will begin February 15, for the ICEBREAKER, Road Race Style, will only be $275. Registration following February 15, but before April 15 will be $295, and on-site registration for the event will be $325.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks finished in the green at week’s end. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.09 to 30.53 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.02 to 22.18 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.06 to 2.63. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 4.43 to 24.82 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.56 to 62.72 and NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.04 to 4.08. With the exception of Toyota the car builders were down for the week. Toyota went up 2.70 to 128.92 while General Motors dropped 1.92 to 33.68 and Ford dropped 0.20 to 15.02. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 0.73 to 104.17 and Lowes dropped 0.38 to 67.97. In big team sponsor’s stocks, Coca-Cola went up 8.03 to 95.94 and FedEx went up 4.05 to 176.81 while McDonalds dropped 1.79 to 91.46, Target dropped 1.50 to 74.96 and Aarons Rentals dropped 0.76 to 29.61.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, January 21

4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
4:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Thursday, January 22
5:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
12:00 PM, How It's Made - Liquor Jugs, Deli Meats, NASCAR Engines, SCIENCE
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 2

  Friday, January 23
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  NASCAR Modified Tour and K&N Series fans are still awaiting the announcement from NASCAR concerning their TV package. 

   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: January 20, 2015

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