The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


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. (FOX)

  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 of arrangements.

  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 give. 

   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: February 3, 2015

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