January 27, 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.
In the mean time, the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona came down to a seven minute,
30-second sprint to the checkered flag that saw the No. 02 Chip Ganassi with
Felix Sabates Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley DP squeeze out a 1.333-second
victory over the defending Rolex 24 champion No. 5 Action Express Chevrolet
Corvette DP. IndyCar star Scott Dixon drove the closing stint in the Ganassi
car, carrying his three teammates Ė fellow IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan and
NASCAR racers Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson Ė to the Prototype class and
overall win. Dixon has won the race before in a Ganassi car, but itís the
first win for Kanaan, McMurray and Larson.
The soap opera concerning the Waterford Speedbowl continues. A "Committee
Deed" was issued on Friday, Jan 23. It is believed that this means that Mr.
Bemer can now post the balance of the bid amount to the court in exchange
for the right to close on the purchase of the Speedbowl.
Internet Racing News site RaceDayCt.com reported Michael Bonnano,
attorney for creditor Ed DeMuzzio, confirmed this past Monday that a formal
appeal of the approval of the foreclosure auction sale price was filed
Monday morning with the state superior court in New London, CT.
Itís hard to believe that DeMuzzio continues to flog a dead horse unless
of course some of the rumors connecting him to Terry Eames are true.
Just think, 71 days before they swing open the doors for the 75th season
at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. This year's IceBreaker will feature
10 divisions, including the first championship event for the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour, and a 75-lap main event for our Sunoco Modified (Sk type)
division, paying out over $15,000 in posted awards
The Seekonk Speedway Speedway released a special announcement recently to
all in attendance at their annual banquet that both Deke Astle Sr. and Bobby
Sprague would be inducted into the Seekonk Speedway WPRO Wall of Fame this
coming season. The inductions of both gentlemen are slated for Saturday
night May 23rd and will take place trackside before the start of the nightís
During the 19-year Seekonk career of Deke Astle Sr., he collected 28
feature wins and was also crowned the 1966 Class A champion. He continued
his racing at Seekonk into the 1970ís in what was the All Pro Division, just
before it became the Pro Stock division.
Bobby Sprague was a popular driver at Seekonk whose career lasted from
the mid 1950ís through the 1970ís. He found most of his success driving the
Marty Zingali Ford to victory through the sixties many times. He has over 35
career wins at Seekonk.
Sprague and Astle Sr. join the list of folks already in the Wall of Fame,
including Irene Venditti, D. Anthony Venditti, Johnny Verissimo, Len Ellis,
George Summers, Norm Holden, Carl "Bugsy" Stevens, Ron Bouchard, Wayne Dion,
Ron Manfredo, Don Dionne, and Billy Clark.
Congratulations to the family of the late Charlie Jarzombek on his
induction to the New York State Stock Car Hall of Fame on January 24.
Jarzombek, who perished in a 1987 crash at Virginiaís Martinsville Speedway,
was by far the greatest talent to come out of the ultra-competitive Long
Island bullrings. He was the Islip Speedway champion in 1972, í78 and í80,
garnered three straight titles at the Freeport Speedway and was a six-time
champion at the Riverhead Raceway, the only one of the three tracks still in
existence. In addition, he claimed the 1985 Stafford Speedway championship
over a bevy of other superstars, was the New Smyrna, FL. World Series
co-champion in 1976 and notched some 16 career wins in NASCAR events at
Martinsville, Stafford Springs, Thompson and Orange County, NC.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks were down for the week as only Speedway Motorsports showed a gain as
they went up 0.24 to 22.42. Dover Entertainment dropped 0.03 to 2.60 and the
International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.01 to 30.52. NASCAR cup sponsor
Sprint went up 0.18 to 4.26 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) jumped 2.62 to 65.34 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up
0.63 to 25.45. With the exception of Ford, which dropped 0.11 to 14.91 the
car makers had a positive week as General Motors went up 0.07 to 33.75 and
Toyota went up 0.74 to 129.66. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up
1.74 to 69.71 and Home Depot went up 1.20 to 105.37. In the world of big
team sponsorship Coca-Cola went up 8.07 to 104.01, Aarons Rentals went up
2.77 to 32.38 and Target Department Stores went up 0.33 to 75.29 while
McDonalds dropped 1.90 to 89.56 and FedEx dropped 0.80 to 176.01.
On the tube this coming week:
Wednesday, January 28
3:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
3:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 PM, Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... - NASCAR Fans for Hating Jeff
Gordon, ESPN Classic
Thursday, January 29
1:30 AM, Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... - NASCAR Fans for Hating Jeff
4:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
Friday, January 30
4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
7:00 PM, NASCAR America Hall of Fame Special, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Class of 2015 - Class of
10:00 PM, NASCAR Gridiron Challenge, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Class of 2015 - Class of
Saturday, January 31
1:00 AM, NASCAR Gridiron Challenge, NBCSN
Sunday, February 1
2:00 AM, NASCAR Gridiron Challenge, NBCSN
NASCAR Modified Tour and K&N Series fans are still awaiting the
announcement from NASCAR concerning their TV package.
Thatís 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.
Smith / Champ Trail