The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


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 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 racing.

  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 Gordon, ESPNC
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 2015, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NASCAR Gridiron Challenge, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Class of 2015 - Class of 2015, NBCSN

  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.

SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: January 27, 2015

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