The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

April 7, 2015

  The countdown to the season openers at Thompson, Stafford and New London-Waterford continues. As of this coming Friday, April 10, the fans and race teams will be converging in anticipation of the green flag dropping for Icebreaker 2014 at Thompson on Sunday, April 12 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. Thompson had a practice scheduled for this past Saturday but rain and snow prevailed.

  The Icebreaker on April 11-12 marks the opening of the 75th season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP). To commemorate the occasion, TSMP will be holding a 75 lap race for their premiere NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the Sunoco Modifieds. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is proud to announce the return of Pepsi to the family of partners at the facility. TSMP and Pepsi-Cola of Central New England have had a long established relationship in the past, and their return to the facility will bring back many of the brands that the customers and fans have enjoyed in the past. In addition to offering Pepsi products such as Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Gatorade at its concession stands and Clubhouse restaurant, TSMP will also host the Pepsi Back to School Bash on Wednesday, August 26th, featuring the Sunoco Modified Double Features.

  The Icebreaker will see the return of Ole Blu and the Mystic Missile to the Modified tour ranks. Troy Talman will occupy the seat in the famous Boehler No.3 and Todd Szegedy will move into the Garbarino No.4. As of last weekend 25 drivers and race teams were listed by NASCAR for the Whelen Modified Tour Series. The Icebreaker will also see the debut of Keith Rocco in the Ceravolo family SK 16 and Ryan Morgan in the Morgan family SK 8.

  The Icebreaker is scheduled to be seen on NBC Sports a week from this coming Saturday, April 18, at 1:00am.

  The new management at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl has issued the following:

  To all our loyal race fans and competitors,
 "As you all know, we have been building everything here from pretty much the ground up. From the web site, to the social media, and staff and management. As with any new construction, there are a few wrinkles to iron out and some bumps in the road to overcome. For the most part, things have gone relatively smooth, but in some instances, we have incurred a few issues that are not uncommon with a transition of this caliber. We appreciate all of the feedback and understanding from all of you. We are working towards providing you all with the best possible racing experience, at the facility and on the web. We apologize for any inconveniences due to some technical issues we have had with the web site. The web site issues are continually being worked on so the previous problems can be avoided moving forward. We thank you for your patience and your continued support. You all are the best!"

 The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour series visited the South Boston VA Speedway last Saturday. Ryan Preece, driving a car normally driven by Ryan Newman led all but one lap as he literally cleaned house at the southern Virginia speedway. Preece started on the pole and for all intents and purposes led the entire 150 lap distance that was extended to 160 laps because of cautions. JR Bertuccio was credited with leading one lap because of his position in the pit area during a caution. Bertuccio ended up second with

  Burt Myers, third. Rounding out the top five were Eric Goodale and Danny Bohn. Four of the original 19 finished on the lead lap. Next stop for the Southern tour will be this coming Saturday, April 11 at the Langley Speedway in Virginia.

  Congratulations to Dick Berggren who was inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame this past weekend. Berggren did it all from photographer, driver, promoter, editor and broadcaster and he did it with grace and class!

  Record snow accumulation continues to keep the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH in a strangle hold, forcing the Valenti Modified Racing Series to reschedule their season opener. The most recent weather forcing the postponement of the season opener this month at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH. Series president Jack Bateman made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, April 1. “Because of winter related issues at Monadnock we are announcing a change in the plan for the start to the new season,” Bateman said. “The approved schedule for our competitors for practice has been changed to Saturday, April 25, with the opening date changed to Saturday, May 2.”

  With the second annual season of competition quickly approaching, the Tri Track Open Modified Series has officially been renamed and revamped. The 2015 series will officially be titled the Northeast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series, with Northeast Race Cars and Parts, based in Pascoag, R.I., signing on as the title sponsor of the quickly-growing modified tour.

  “We have been involved with the modifieds all of our lives and we are proud to be the series’ title sponsor,” Brad Lafontaine from Northeast Race Cars and Parts said. ”The main thing is the modifieds have been our backbone at Northeast Race Cars and Parts for a long time and we are excited to be a part of such an exciting series. The tracks should benefit from this and so should the fans.”

 The series will be in competition at Lee USA Speedway on May 17 to kick-off the 2015 campaign with the Bullring Bash 100. Additionally, races will be held at Monadnock Speedway on June 13, Seekonk Speedway on July 1 and New London-Waterford Speedbowl on September 13.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks showed gains for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.83 to 33.60 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.94 to 23.71 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.08 to 2.44. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.13 to 4.85 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.53 to 26.82 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.61 to 56.58. Two of the three car manufacturers were down for the week. Ford went up 0.05 to 16.03 while General Motors dropped 0.81 to 36.50 and Toyota dropped 2.38 to 140.02. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 1.17 to 74.84 and Home Depot went up 0.68 to 114.54. In the area of big team sponsorship McDonalds dropped 1.13 to 95.83 while Coca-Cola went up 2.95 to 111.52, Target went up 1.11 to 82.67, Aarons Rentals went up 0.13 to 27.86 and FedEx went up 1.63 to 166.22.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, April 8

5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

  Thursday, April 9
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

  Friday, April 10
10:30 AM, NASCAR Masters of the Clock: The Legend of Martinsville, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Texas practice, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
2:00 PM, NSCS Texas practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Texas qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
6:30 PM, NSCS Texas qualifying, FS1
8:00 PM, NXS RaceDay, FS1
8:30 PM, NXS Texas race, FS1

  Saturday, April 11
3:00 AM, NSCS Texas practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS Texas qualifying re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NXS Texas race re-air, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Texas race, FOX

  Sunday, April 12
3:00 AM, NSCS Texas race re-air, FS1

  Monday, April 13
10:00 AM, NSCS Texas race re-air, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

   That’s 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: April 7, 2015

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