November 18, 2016
Forty years ago in 1976, the Falconi family that was operating
the Westboro Speedway tried something different as they promoted a Modified
race for mid November with heated grandstands. The Falconi's owned and
operated an oil company and closed in the under part of the grandstand and
used huge fuel oil powered heaters. Needless to say, the experiment worked,
as everyone was toasty warm. Leo Cleary in the Tiger Tom Dunn T-5 led the 50
lap main event from pole to pole. Bugsy Stevens finished second and was
followed by George Murray, Mike Murphy, Bob Santos, Pete Fiandaca, Dick Caso
and Roland LaPierre Jr.
Fifteen years ago in 1991, the Oswego
Speedway was put up for sale with a price tag of $3 million. In Winston Cup
racing at Atlanta, Jerry Nadeau was in the lead and heading for the win when
he ran out of gas with less than a half lap to go. Bobby Labonte took the
lead with less than 100 yards to go and went on to record the win. Nadeau
coasted across the finish line in fourth spot.
Ten years ago in 2006, the True Value
Modified Series, which had become a less expensive alternative to the NASCAR
Series, indicated that the Waterford Speedbowl may very well be on their
schedule for 2007. The open wheel touring series, which first appeared at
the Seekonk Speedway in October of 2004, would compete in four 100 green
flag lap events, which would be preceded by a series of qualifying heats.
At the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, NASCAR
recognized several racetracks for their outstanding promotional efforts in
2006. Among the honorees was the Thompson Speedway, which received the
Administrative award of excellence.
NASCARís Nextel Cup and Busch Series wrapped up their seasons at
Homestead, Fla. Matt Kenseth took the Busch Series win. Kevin Harvick
already had wrapped up the title. In Nextel Cup action, Greg Biffle took the
win and Jimmie Johnson, the title.
Five years ago in 2011, In NASCAR
Sprint Cup action, Kasey Kahne snapped an 81-race winless streak with his
victory at the Phoenix International Raceway, where Carl Edwards and Tony
Stewart finished second and third to keep the title race tight headed into
the following weekend's season finale. Jeff Burton finished fourth and was
followed by Ryan Newman. Kyle Busch, racing again after NASCAR parked him at
Texas the previous weekend for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr.,
worked his way up to third before his engine failed. He finished 36th. In
Nationwide Series racing at Phoenix, Sam Hornish took his first NASCAR
victory by passing points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and leading the final
61 laps at slippery Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday. Stenhouse
took a big step toward the Nationwide season title when Elliott Sadler was
taken out with 25 laps left on a bump from behind by Jason Leffler. The
unfortunate incident leaves Stenhouse with a nearly insurmountable 41-point
lead over Sadler heading into the season finale at Homestead.
Last year, 2015 The dark cloud that
hung over the finish of the recent North-South Shootout continued to hover.
Justin Bonsignore, who crossed the finish line in second spot behind Matt
Hirschman when the checkered flag was displayed was declared the event.
Hirschman was placed to the end of those on the lead lap at the finish
because his crew worked on his car during a red flag period in the closing
moments. Just about everybody who has been in and around racing knows that
working on cars is just not allowed. Hirschman's crew alleges that they were
given permission to plug a leaking tire. Race director Tom Fox had denied
this. Prior to the restart Fox was forced to leave the speedway in order to
make a flight connection that couldn't be avoided. It was suggested to event
promoter Darren Hacket that the race be red-checkered and not restarted.
Hacket decided to run the event to its completion. Aware that a violation of
race procedure had occurred, Hacket failed to place Hirschman at the tail of
the lead lap.
In the process of launching an ad for season tickets the Stafford Motor
Speedway revealed at least two of the Whelen Modified Tour events for 2016.
The Annual Spring Sizzler would be run on Sunday, April 24 and the Fall
Final will be held on Sunday, October 2.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex
Jr. advanced to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship finale after
surviving a long Sunday that ended with a rain-shortened race at Phoenix
International Raceway. The race was delayed nearly seven hours by a series
of storms, forcing the penultimate race in the Chase to start under the
lights at the mile oval. More rain forced NASCAR to called it after 219
laps, with Harvick second behind winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Busch fourth and
Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
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