February 3, 2015
The countdown to Speedweeks
in Florida continues. As of this Friday, Feb 6 only one week remains before
Daytona and New Smyrna come alive with the sound of racing engines to
signify the official start of the 2015 racing season.
NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation have released the
following schedule for Speedweek at the Daytona International Speedway:
The 57th annual DAYTONA 500 gets the green on Sunday, Feb. 22, NASCARís
biggest, richest and most prestigious race will start at 1 p.m. (TV Ė FOX,
FOX Deportes; Radio Ė MRN Radio, SiriusXM). Itís the sixth straight year
"The Great American Race" will have a start time of 1 p.m.
Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2015
at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:
The Lucas Oil 200 Presented By American Real MAV TV ARCA Racing Series
presented by Menards, Saturday, Feb. 14, 4:15 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday, Feb. 14, 8:15 p.m. (FOX)
Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m.
Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race,
Friday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
Alert Today Florida 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, Saturday, Feb. 21,
3:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
With time running short, Modified entries are coming into New Smyrna at a
slow dribble. The speedway has released the following entries so far. They
include JR Bertuccio, Albert Ermmarino, Ryan Preece, Brendon Bock, Eric
Goodale, Daniel J. Watts and Spencer Davis.
The 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna
will run from Friday, February 13 to Saturday February 21, 2015. Racing
divisions in competition will be Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, ACT
Tour, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Tour-Type Modifieds, Florida Modifieds,
Sportsman, Pro Trucks and Mini-Stocks.
Word comes from Lou Modestino that twenty-nine (29) teams from eight (8)
different states and the province of Quebec are headed to the New Smyrna
Speedway World Series of Asphalt Racing on Sunday-Tues, February 15-17, 2015
for three big events. Among those entered are the Rocco brothers, Keith and
Jeff who are both well known throughout southern New England for their
Modified success at Waterford Speedbowl, Thompson Speedway and Stafford
Speedway. Keith is also a multi-time Late Model Champion at Waterford.
The ACT teams will open with a 100-lap event on Sunday, February 15, 2015
immediately following the season opening event for the NASCAR K&N Series at
New Smyrna Speedway. Finishes in the 100 lap events on Monday, February 16
and Tuesday, February 17 will be combined to decide the overall finish of
the American Racer Challenge Cup. Teams will draw for starting positions in
the heat races and will use the unique ACT plus/minus system for feature
line ups on Sunday and Monday.
The second leg of the American Racer Challenge Cup on Tuesday will be
lined-up based on an inversion from the first leg finish on Monday. (ACTís
plus/minus rewards driverís points for each position gained in the heat
races. Drivers who improve their position in the heats get a "plus" value,
while drivers how lose spots in the heats get a "minus" value. These values
decide the feature starting line-up). The total purse and prize money posted
for the three ACT events is over $55,000.00.
Five of NASCARís most unique drivers were presented with the sanctioning
bodyís highest honor on Friday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The hall
inducted its sixth class of drivers, which included Bill Elliott, Joe
Weatherly, Wendell Scott, Rex White and Fred Lorenzen.
The sport also recognized other prominent NASCAR figures. The ceremony
honored Anne B. France with the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding
Contributions to NASCAR. Longtime Charlotte Observer NASCAR beat writer Tom
Higgins, the sportís first full-time beat writer in 1975, was presented with
the Squier-Hall Award for media excellence. Higgins held court in the media
room, telling stories of his time on the Winston Cup beat from 1975-í97.
In some sad news, Esther Lyon of Woodstock, CT, the lady who owned the
modified that Russ Dowd and Billy Harman drove back in the 70s and early
80s, died at her home after a brief illness. Details are incomplete, but are
being arranged. The Smith and Walker funeral home in Putnam, CT in in charge
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks ended the week on the negative side. Dover Entertainment went up 0.04
to 2.64 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.13 to 22.29 and the
International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.43 to 29.09. NASCAR Cup sponsor
Sprint went up 0.04 to 4.30 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) dropped 3.94 to 61.40 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
1.21 to 24.24. The car manufacturers were all in the negative for the week.
Ford dropped 0.20 to 14.71 while Toyota dropped 0.81 to 128.85 and General
Motors dropped 1.13 to 32.62. In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped
1.95 to 67.76 and Home Depot dropped 0.95 to 104.42. In big team
sponsorship, McDonalds Corporation went up 3.88 to 92.44 while Coca-Cola
dropped 6.47 to 97.54, Target dropped 1.68 to 73.61, Aarons Rentals dropped
0.72 to 31.66 and FedEx dropped 6.90 to 169.11.
NASCAR Modified Tour and K&N Series fans are still awaiting the announcement
from NASCAR concerning their TV package. During the Tour Series championship
week George Silverman stated that a TV package was coming. Hopefully it was
not the usual lip service and smoke screen that NASCAR has been known to
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