The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - January 5, 2016

  The countdown continues as speedweeks in Florida are now only five weeks away when the World Series of Short Track Racing begins at New Smyrna and preliminary events leading up to the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway begin. For those who canít make it to Florida the Ice Breaker at Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway is only 14 weeks away.

  As an added attraction for those heading south, Tour-Type Modifieds along with INEX Legends/Bandoleros have been invited to Bronson Speedway, located in northern Florida, for the inaugural Kick Off to Florida SpeedWeeks. Bronson Speedway is located at 9950 NE SR 24 Archer, Florida.
  Bronson Speedway owner Ann Young and her late-husband Chris Young had a vision of hosting this event since their purchase of the Speedway in 2010. The Youngs are a racing family with roots in the NASCAR Modified and the INEX Legend Cars ranks. Many know the senior Young enjoyed success at Riverhead Raceway and the younger Young won the 2011 INEX Legend Championship at the same track.
  The decision to host this event, this year, is in large part due to the untimely passing of Chris Young just this past July after knee replacement surgery.

  Start/Finish Productions is proud to host the Annual Autoparts Swap Ďn Sell on January 16&17, 2016 at the Eastern States Exposition Center, "Home of the Big E", in West Springfield, MA. Swap Ďn Sell is the largest indoor all automotive swap meet in the northeast. Hundreds of vendors offer a huge assortment of new and used parts for all automotive areas of interest.

  The Better Living Center is found in the Eastern States Exposition Complex at 1305 Memorial Avenue in West Springfield, MA. Centrally located, Autoparts Swap Ďn Sell offers an affordable and convenient way to jump-start the New Year.

  In what looks more and more like an IROC Series NBC Sports reports that NASCAR and Sprint Cup teams are moving closer to an agreement that would guarantee teams starting spots for all races this season, according to a report by the Sports Business Journal.
  Both sides said last month they were "cautiously optimistic" a deal could be done before the Feb. 21 Daytona 500. Sports Business Journal, citing sources, reported Monday that both sides are examining the contract.
  "Like most things, the devilís in the details," Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, told Sports Business Journal. "Itís a multiyear agreement, so itís important that details are right." The report states the agreement would be for five years Ė matching the length of recent agreements NASCAR did with tracks that play host to Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races.
  By being granted a guaranteed spot in every race via a "charter," teams would be able to assure sponsors they would not miss an event. A charter system also would allow teams to better forecast race earnings and provide greater value should an owner seek to sell their stake. The report states that original plans called for 36 charters for a 40-car field, which would be down from the 43-car field run this past season.
  Car owners have been lobbying NASCAR for years to implement a franchising-style system similar to other professional sports, arguing that their teams have little value without sponsorship. Since 2011, Michael Waltrip Racing, Swan Racing, Red Bull Racing are Sprint Cup teams that have closed. MWR announced last season that it would not continue after Kauffman left as co-owner to be a co-owner at Chip Ganassi Racing.
  David Higdon, NASCAR vice president of integrated marketing communications, said in a statement to NBC Sports: "NASCAR and NASCAR team owners all have a common goal to make our sport strong and competitive for decades to come, and there has been progress toward that goal. There still is work to be done so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."
  Sports Business Journal reported that key negotiators Ė including NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar, Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark and Kauffman Ė worked through the holidays and held a conference call on Christmas Eve.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Ending the year on the positive side was Speedway Motorsports, which went up 0.64 to 20.72. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.74 to 33.72 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.42 to 2.33. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.77 to 33.73 while NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.29 to 3.62 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.13 to 32.67. The car manufacturers had a negative ending for the year. Ford dropped 0.22 to 14.09, General Motors dropped 0.59 to 34.01 and Toyota dropped 2.73 to 123.04. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 0.75 to 132.25 and Lowes dropped 0.24 to 76.04. In the area of big team sponsorís stocks Coca-Cola went up 3.85 to 182.51 while McDonalds dropped 0.43 to 118.14, Target dropped 0.56 to 72.61, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.54 to 22.39 and Fedex dropped 0.66 to 148.99.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, January 6

7:00 AM, Stories of NASCAR 2015, NBC Sports Net
7:30 AM, Stories of NASCAR 2015, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America: Top 20 Moments of the 2015 Season NBCSN

  Thursday, January 7
7:00 AM, Stories of NASCAR 2015, NBCSN
7:30 AM, Stories of NASCAR 2015, NBCSN
5:00 PM, Stories of NASCAR 2015, NBCSN

  Friday, January 8
5:00 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43 - Championship Edition, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 1

   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: January 5, 2016

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