The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - April 21, 2015


  The countdown to the season openers at Stafford and New London-Waterford continues. As of this coming Friday, April 24, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford takes center stage. Originating in 1972 by Dick Berggren, Lew Boyd and Bruce Cohen, the Sizzler at Stafford has become an icon for the Modifieds. The family of the late Frank Ferrara have been named by Stafford Motor Speedway as Grand Marshals for the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler.

  The long awaited rebirth of the New London Waterford Speedbowl is a week away on Saturday, May 2. Also scheduled for next Sat, May 2, The Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH will be back in action hosting the traditional Bond Auto Parts Spring Dash 100. The special event season opener was delayed by two weeks due to the extended winter and mud season in the Northeast. The event will feature the first race of the season for Valenti Modified Racing Series as they compete in 100 laps around the 1/4 mile high banked track.

  The 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 24 with a practice session for Staffordís weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. The run for the Coors Light Pole position gets underway on Saturday, April 25 with time trials for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Staffordís weekly divisions. Saturdayís racing action wraps up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions as well as a feature event for the Mr. Rooter Truck Series. The Sizzler concludes on Sunday, April 27 with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party followed by Staffordís SK Modifiedsģ and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.

  In Modified action in the south land, With his now-proven 2015 LFR chassis underneath him after a NASCAR-sanctioned win one week ago at Langley (Va.) Speedway, defending KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series champion Burt Myers continued to make the tour his personal playground as he took the victory at the Ace Speedway in North Carolina on Saturday night.

  Myers took the lead from brother Jason with 31 laps to go following a late-race restart in the AutismSmilesLLC.org 125 presented by KOMA Unwind and never looked back, running away from the field and exerting his dominance on a series of four late-race restarts to notch his second-straight series victory in the second race of the season. The win was Myersí fourth career KOMA tour victory and extends his series points lead. The Citrusafe No. 1 started second on the grid and in total, led 105 of the raceís 125 laps en route to the winnerís circle. Jason Myers finished second.
Chris Pasteryak came home third, with Dan Speeney fourth and Gary Putnam rounding out the top five at the finish. There were 16 cars on hand for the event.

  The management and staff of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl have been taking advantage run of good weather and expect to have the facility in great shape for the season opener and re-birth next Saturday night. General Manager Shawn Monahan stated that the entire midway and grandstand sports a new coat of paint. All grandstands have been repaired and are up to code. New owner Bruce Bemer has purchased new cooking equipment and a new concession trailer. Steve Rubin, who runs the concessions at Thompson has signed on and will be a definite asset to promoting the family friendly atmosphere which the new management hopes to attain. In addition Monahan stated that Victory Lane will be moved back on to the track and their will be a family section directly in front of the officials tower. "We want fans to be at home when they come to the track", said Monahan.

  Area Auto Racing News editor Len Sammons made an interesting observation at the recent NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Thompson. He stated that Hoosier Tires are now $40 cheaper for competitors on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The same tire that sold for $190 last year is now being offered, before taxes, for $150. While tires are now cheaper thanks to NASCARís new contract, it came at the expense of a loyalty bonus program that for many years rewarded top point teams with two free tires at each event. Hoosier is now rewarding teams with new cash programs reportedly worth $2,500 per race.

  At Thompson, a team was allowed to buy as many as ten tires, but only seven of those could be used in the race. They were also allowed to buy four more tires, only in advance, that could be used only for practice. Teams on a budget often buy six tires. The four tires used to time trial must also be used to start the race. Since the two front tires and left rear are the same compounds, but the right rear is harder, these teams need to get two spares just in case they get a flat. Only the seven race tires, that are impounded before the event, can be used. Practice tires are marked differently.

  These budget teams that ran all the races and were on the loyalty tire program last year now have a higher per race tire bill, despite the cheaper price. When they bought six before at $190, they only paid for four since they got two free, so their bill was $760. Now they pay for all six at $150 and their bill is higher at $900. A well-financed team that buys the maximum of 14 tires now has a per race tire bill of $2,100, whereas last year after getting two for free they paid $2,280 so they have seen a reduction in cost.

  Hoosierís new contingency program favors the top teams with money going to the driver who leads the most laps and runs the fastest lap. There are two Hoosier Most Improved Awards, however that goes to a driver who improves the most positions during the course of each event. An award will be given at mid-race and then again at season end.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks ended up on the positive side. Leading the pack was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 0.73 to 36.92. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.50 to 25.25 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.53. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.14 to 5.11 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.62 to 54.82 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.48 to 27.23. Two of the three major car makers were down for the week. General Motors went up 0.07 to 36.64 while Ford dropped 0.27 to 15.76 and Toyota dropped 1.22 to 138.43. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 3.14 to 112.10 and Lowes dropped 2.35 to 72.55. In the area of big team stocks, McDonalds dropped 2.92 to 94.88 while Coca-Cola dropped 4.54 to 111.32, Target dropped 3.55 to 80.02, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.52 to 28.24 and FedEx dropped 6.37 to 168.00.

On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, April 22
4:30 PM, NASCAR America - Iconic Cars, NBC Sports Net
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

  Thursday, April 23
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2

  Friday, April 24
2:00 AM, NASCAR America - The List - Dale Earnhardt, Sr., NBCSN
2:30 AM, NASCAR America - The List - Greatest Finishes, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Richmond final practice, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Richmond qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
5:30 PM, NSCS Richmond qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, NXS RaceDay, FS1
7:30 PM, NXS Richmond race, FS1

  Saturday, April 25
3:00 AM, NSCS Richmond practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS Richmond qualifying re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NXS Richmond race re-air, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Richmond race, FOX
11:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

  Monday, April 27
10:00 AM, NSCS Richmond race re-air, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Richmond 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.
E-mail: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.

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

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: April 21, 2015

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