The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

March 17, 2015

  The countdown to the season openers at Thompson, Stafford and New London-Waterford continues. As of this coming Friday, March 20, five weeks remain before the green flag drops for IceBreaker 2014 at Thompson on April 19 followed by the Spring Sizzler at Stafford on April 26 and the long awaited rebirth of the New London Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday, May 2.

  Speedbowl general manager Shawn Monahan advises The New London-Waterford Speedbowl office, located at Critical Signs (next to the Speedbowl) is now open Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Please stop in for any and all of your track needs, including registration forms and employment applications!

  Tickets for the Stafford Motor Speedway Spring Sizzler are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.

  The 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season got underway this past Sunday, March 15at the Caraway Speedway in North Carolina with the Spring Classic 150, the first of three scheduled visits to the track for the tour this year. Long Island invader Eric Goodale was able to pass Jason Myers on Lap 124 on a restart and led the final 26 laps to earn his first career win on the southern tour. He started eighth.

  Myers held on for second. John Smith, David Calabrese and Bobby Measmer Jr. rounded out the top five. Completing the top 10 were Burt Myers, Gary Putnam, Frank Fleming, Tom Abele, Jr and JR Bertuccio.

  Defending Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss was involved in an accident on Lap 12 that sent him hard into the wall and out of the race. Seuss would finish dead last (19th). Four-time series champion George Brunnhoelzl III, who was the dominant car through the beginning stages, blew a rear on a restart with 39 laps remaining that sent him packing. Brunnhoelzl was credited with a 16th-place finish to start the season. Whelen Modified Tour champions Ryan Preece and Doug Coby both had engine that cost them their spots in the top ten after making the long haul from the northern states.

  The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will return to Caraway Speedway for the Charles Keply Memorial 150 on March 28.

  Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza reports that the Tri Track Open Modified Series has crossed the threshold of 50 confirmed entries for their four race series in 2015. Races will be contested at Lee USA Speedway on May 17, Monadnock Speedway on June 13, Seekonk Speedway on July 1 and New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Sunday September 13.

  The updated entry list includes multiple young guns and a few NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour stars that will attempt to compete for one of the biggest purses in New England for 2015. "Money" Matt Hirschman will be back in action in all of the races after scoring top five finishes in two of the three last season. Defending Tri Track Open Modified Series champion Jon McKennedy has also filed his entry.

  Most recently, Todd Szegedy has sent in his paperwork to be behind the wheel of Kevin Staurtís No. 85 ride.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.17 to 31.50 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.26 to 2.20 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.17 to 21.58. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 2.90 to 54.41 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.64 to 25.24 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.21 to 5.12. The car manufacturers were all positive for the week. Toyota went up 1.28 to 136.17 and General Motors went up 1.21 to 38.05 while Ford went up 0.27 to 16.20. In the home improvement sector Lowes went up 0.65 to 74.16 and Home Depot went up 0.37 to 114.82. With the exception of McDonalds which dropped 0.78 to 96.35, the big teamís sponsor stocks were all on the up side. Coca-Cola went up 4.47 to 106.75, Target went up 1.97 to 79.18, Aarons Rentals went up 0.53 to 28.58 and Fedex went up 0.13 to 173.32.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, March 18

3:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
8:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

  Thursday, March 19
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
8:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2

  Friday, March 20
2:30 PM, The 10 NASCAR's Closest Calls, FS1
3:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series California practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series California practice, FS1
5:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
6:00 PM, NXS California final practice, FS1
7:30 PM, NSCS California qualifying, FS1

  Saturday, March 21
3:00 AM, NSCS California practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS California qualifying re-air, FS1
9:00 AM, NSCS California qualifying re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, NSCS California practice, FS2
12:30 PM, NXS California qualifying, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
2:30 PM, NSCS California final practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, NXS, FS1
4:00 PM, NXS California race, FS1
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1

  Sunday, March 22
5:30 AM, The 10 NASCAR's Most Bizarre Moments, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
3:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FOX
3:30 PM, NSCS California race, FOX
10:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

  Monday, March 23
10:00 AM, NSCS California race re-air, FS1
2:00 PM, NSCS California race re-air, FS2

   Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: March 17, 2015

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