The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - December 5, 2017

  Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr who honored as NASCAR's newest Monster Cup champion in Las Vegas last week. It was fitting for Truex Jr. to be introduced as NASCAR's newest champion by his buddy Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt who helped Truex venture out of New Jersey to give it a go in NASCAR. Now, nearly 15 years later, Truex was on racing's biggest stage.
  Truex was presented the Championship Ring by NASCAR CEO Brian France who all but snubbed the new champion. The gesture showed a total lack of class. No wonder the grandstands at most events are only half full. France's father Bill France Jr and grandfather William H.G. France who founded NASCAR must be rolling in their graves.

  The sanctioning body paid tribute to those we lost in 2017. Among those mentioned were photographer Howie Hodge and Ted Christopher.
  Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Massachusetts, was officially crowned the 2017 Valenti Modified Racing Series Champion on Saturday night, December 2, at Manchester, New Hampshire’s Best Western Executive Inn. The 25-year old driver, winner of five features races in 2017, becomes the eighth driver in 14-years to win a VMRS championship.
  Following the award presentations, Nocella spoke of the series and what it means to win the title. “It means a lot. The 15th year is coming up. It’s a series with a lot of roots and great champions Jon McKennedy, and Rowan Pennink and others. Drivers that have done a lot in modified racing – it’s cool to get your name on the banner with them.” Nocella added,” It’s a great series with great competition. It was great to compete with the guys that won races and championships and ultimately win the championship and we finally did. “ When asked what the plan is for 2018, the new champion was quick to say. “ We’ll be back. That’s our plan. We will run some other races but we like the schedule – we’ll be back.”
  Nocella received Champion’s Jackets from Hoosier Tire East and N.E. Race Fuel (Sunoco) and the race team received the annual Mechanics Award. Annual awards were presented to the following: Jack’s Competition Engines Most Improved Driver: Sammy Rameau, Tough Luck award: George Sherman, Sportsmanship Award: Rob Rihcardi Jr. Rookie Of The Year: Jeffrey Gallup, Dedicated To Racing Award: Mike Willis Jr and Above and Beyond Award: Bob McIlveen.

  NASCAR will hold its Touring Series and weekly racing series banquets in Charlotte, NC this weekend. In a wise move, NASCAR decided to not have a most popular driver in the Whelen Modified Tour Series. For the most part Milissa Fifield can be blamed for that because in previous years she stacked the computer voting in her favor. It would be fitting to select Teddy Christopher as the Most Popular Driver this season.
  Now that the 2017 racing season has ended it’s time to look ahead to 2018. Coming up on Feb 10 at the Bronson Speedway in Florida is the third annual "Kick Off to Speedweek" Tour Type Modified event. Anyone heading south for speedweek should consider making Bronson their first stop. The Kick Off event will carry a great purse, numerous awards and a 3/8 mile high banked asphalt oval that is sure to excite. The winner, aside from a great purse is guaranteed a 5th place starting position in the Richie Evans race at New Smryna Speedway.
  In addition, the highest finisher in New Smryna Speedways Richie Evans race who competed in Bronson Speedways "Kick Off" race will win the "Cathy and Keith Goodale Going the Distance $1000.00 Award". "The Goodale's" as many know are a racing family. Cathy battled Breast Cancer and Keith battled Cystic Fibrosis. Every day while fighting the fight, they had to go the distance. Bronson Speedway is proud to be a part of this tribute award. So as we say "Bring it to Bronson" Date and time will be announced shortly.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks showed modest gains while a third remained stagnant. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.00 to 40.70 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.85 to 19.37 while Dover Entertainment remained at 2.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 1.17 to 62.92, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.17 to 16.53 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 1.45 to 32.12. Two of the three car manufacturers were down for the week as Ford finished on the up side as the gained 0.48 to close at 12.58. General Motors dropped 1.67 to 42.78 and Toyota dropped 1.79 to 124.36. The home improvement sector was booming as Home Depot went up 7.69 to 180.42 and Lowes went up 4.99 to 84.23. The big tem sponsor’s stocks were all up for the week. McDonalds went up 3.76 to 172.87, Coca-Cola went up 11.38 to 216.93, Target went up 3.93 to 59.51, Aarons Rentals went up 3.74 to 39.19 and Fedex went up 13.84 to 230.84.

  On the tube this week:

  NASCAR’s weekly and touring series banquet will be televised live on on Friday night

   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: December 5, 2017

©2017 GeeLaw Motorsports/RGeePro   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent