The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

February 24, 2017

  Fifty years ago in 1967, the Thursday qualifiers were 100 miles. Lee Roy Yarbrough passed AJ Foyt with five laps to go to win the first of two qualifiers run. Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR's Golden Boy at the time, drafted his way to win the second event and became the first to go the 100-mile distance without stopping for fuel. Lorenzen actually ran out on the last lap and coasted across the finish line. In the 500, Mario Andretti, after starting 12th, led a one-two sweep for Holman and Moody as they won the big race. Lorenzen finished second.

  Forty five years ago in 1972, Dave Marcis and Bobby Allison won the 125's at Daytona. The Permatex 300 for the Late Model Sportsman (Grandnational) was won by Bill Dennis. Grant Adcox finished second. Joe Thurman, Dave Marcis and Jerry Cook rounded out the top five. Also in the 300 and making a good showing was Fred DeSarro who finished 14th in Len Boehlers Chevelle, Rene Charland, 15th, Maynard Forette, 18th and Lou Lazzaro, 21st. AJ Foyt, driving for the Wood Brothers, won the 500. Charlie Glotzbach finished second, one lap down. Jim Vandiver, Benny Parsons and James Hylton rounded out the top five.

  Forty years ago in 1977, the Modifieds ran on the infield road course at Daytona. The 200-mile event took its toll on transmissions and suspensions as only four, Harry Gant, Bay Darnell, Jim Peterson and Jerry Cook finished in the lead lap. Mid week rainouts cut New Smyrna short, as they were able to run on Saturday and Sunday nights, only. Jim Bickerstaff was the Saturday night winner with Richie Evans, Geoff Bodine and Merv Treichler following. Evans took the Sunday night finale over Bodine. Evans was the overall point leader and was crowned the series champion. Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough won the 125-mile qualifiers. Yarborough won the 500 beating out Benny Parsons and Buddy Baker.

  Thirty five years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks continued his domination of the World Series at New Smyrna as he won two of the last three events of the series to take the championship. On Wednesday night, Doug Hewitt finished second with George Kent, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook rounding out the top five. It rained on Thursday night but on Friday it was the same story with Sacks again the winner. Cook finished second and was followed by Maynard Troyer and Gail Barber. The final night of competition saw Evans get the edge with Sacks having to settle for second. Troyer, Kent and Dick Trickle rounded out the top five. Bobby Allison won the Daytona 500.

  Thirty years ago in 1987, Reggie Ruggiero in the Mario Fiore No.44 won two of the last four events of the World Series at New Smyrna and wrapped up the series title. Jamie Tomaino won on Wednesday night. Ruggiero, Tony Jankowiak and Jerry Marquis followed. Ruggiero won a 50 lapper on Thursday night over Tomaino, Tom Baldwin and Dick Trickle. Prior to Friday nights event it was announced that popular car owner Gene DeWitt had passed away. DeWitt was Richie Evans' sponsor and mentor during his championship years. Ruggiero took the Friday night main over Jim Spencer, Tomaino and Baldwin. The final night of competition saw Spencer taking the win over Ruggiero, Jankowiak and Baldwin.
Geoff Bodine won the Daytona Grandnational 300. Darrell Waltrip finished second with Larry Pearson, third and Brett Bodine, fourth. It was a green-white-checkered finish with all four under a blanket. Any one of the top four could have won it. Kenny Bouchard finished 25th, Merv Treichler finished 37th and Ronnie Bouchard finished 40th. In the Daytona 500, Bill Elliott took the win after Geoff Bodine ran out of gas with three laps to go.

  Twenty five years ago in 1992, Ricky Fuller, in the Fiore No.44 went pole to pole to take the win at New Smyrna on Wednesday night. Tom Baldwin finished second with Jamie Tomaino, third. Fuller did it again on Thursday night in spite of thick fog. Tomaino finished second with Steve Park, Baldwin and Danny Watts rounding out the top five. Baldwin won on Friday night after Fuller wrecked bad. Richie Gallup finished second with Park, third. Fuller came back on Saturday night to win the Richie Evans 100. Baldwin finished second. Steve Park finished fourth and sewed up the series title. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Goodys 300 at Daytona on Saturday. Ernie Irvan finished second with Ward Burton, third. Ricky Craven finished 13th and Jeff Barry finished 14th, both on the lead lap. Davey Allison won the Daytona 500 over Morgan Shepherd and Geoff Bodine.

  Twenty years ago in 1997, Ted Christopher took a hard fought win over Tony Stewart at New Smyrna on Wednesday night. Ricky Fuller finished third with Tom Baldwin, fourth. Dale Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt Sr won the 125's at Daytona on Thursday Fuller, in the Joe Brady No.00 took the win on Thursday night. Baldwin finished second with Stewart and Tomaino. On Friday it was announced that Joe Lewandowski had been hired as the new promoter-race director at Riverside Park. Baldwin took the top spot on Friday night at New Smyrna. Stewart finished second with Fuller, Christopher and Doug French rounding out the top five. Randy LaJoie took the lead from Dick Trickle on lap 95 of the 120 lap BGN 300 at Daytona and went on to win the event. Todd Bodine ended up second with Michael Waltrip, third. Ted Christopher won the series ending Richie Evans 100 at New Smyrna. Rick Fuller finished second with Ton Baldwin finishing third and sewing up the series title. Jeff Gordon won the Daytona 500 but the main story was the stamina of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. During the running of the event, Earnhardt flipped on the backstretch. After getting out and surveying the damage, Earnhardt climbed back in and started it up and drove it to the pits for repairs. Needless to say, he finished 31st which is not bad considering.

  Fifteen years ago in 2002 because of the Sunday night rainout and a scheduled night off on Monday for the Modifieds at New Smyrna double features were run. Eric Beers won the left over event over Nevin George, Rob Summers, Charlie Pasteryak and David Berghman. Charlie Pasteryak won the nightcap as he won a hard fought battle with Ted Christopher. Summers finished third with Jamie Tomaino and David Berghman rounding out the top five. Nevin George and John Blewett III tangled on the track and the action spilled over into the infield where drivers and crews went at it. The end result was a one-night suspension for both. Wednesday night at New Smyrna saw Eric Beers pick up his second win of the series as he beat out George Kent Sr. for the win. JR Bertuccio finished third and was followed by Rob Summers and Nevin George. Among the casualties was Charlie Pasteryak who lost an engine. The Daytona Winston Cup 125’s, usually the best events of Speedweek were ho-hum affairs with Jeff Gordon and Michael Waltrip taking the wins. At New Smyrna on Thursday night David Berghman powered his way to a convincing win over Eric Beers, Rob Summers, Nevin George and George Kent Sr. Rob Summers took the lead with three laps to go in the Richie Evans 100 on Friday night. Charlie Pasteryak, with a fresh engine, finished second with Eric Beers, Jamie Tomaino and Jerry Marquis rounding out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr, in the Richard Childress No.3 won the Busch Grandnational 300. George Kent Sr. won the series finale at New Smyrna on Saturday night Ted Christopher finished second with Eric Beers, John Blewett III and David Berghman rounding out the top five. Rob Summers finished seventh and wrapped up the series title. Ward Burton and crew chief Tom Baldwin Jr. won the Daytona 500. Burton took the lead on a restart with four laps to go. Sterling Marlin had been leading but was put to the rear after he exited his car while the field was under a red flag to pull some sheet metal away from a tire. Elliott Sadler finished second and Geoff Bodine, who started 35th, finished third. Two days later, on February 19, a bobsled designed by Bodine and Bob Cuneau won the Gold Medal in the women’s competition at the Winter Olympics. The bobsleds also won the bronze and silver medals in the men’s competition.

  Ten years ago in 2007. racing in Florida at the New Smyrna Speedway for the Tour type Modifieds and SK type Modifieds continued on Monday night. The Tour type Modifieds numbered 26 and the SK types, 10. Zach Sylvester was the top time trailer as he toured the half-mile oval in 16.695 seconds. Jimmy Blewett was second fastest. John Blewett III started fourth and wasted little time as he took the lead from Zach Sylvester in turn three of the first lap. From there on it was hammer down for Blewett as he kept his Brady Bunch mount out in front and went on to take the win. Sylvester finished second. Ted Christopher continued to be a non finisher as he was involved in a wreck with Joey Logano. Logano was running fourth in the latter stages until getting together with Andy Seuss. Both drivers kept their cars straight, but lost several positions. Jimmy Blewett and Eric Beers got together while running for fourth. Blewett appeared to have a problem, catching Beers off guard. The two locked bumpers, putting both to the back of the pack. Logano then got together with Ted Christopher as the two were battling four fourth position. TC slammed into the wall, while Logano kept going. Seuss then got together with Donny Lia while racing in the top-10, with Seuss getting into the front stretch wall and falling out of the event. Earl Paules ended up third with Don Lia and Chuck Hossfeld rounding out the top five. Jimmy Blewett made it three in a row in the SK type Modified feature.
  John Blewett III became the first repeat winner in World Series Tour type Modified racing on Tuesday night. While those left behind in the northeast were bracing themselves for a winter storm heavy rain pounded the New Smyrna area. By race time the rain stopped and racing went on as planned. Bob Grigas started on the pole with John Blewett III on the outside. Prior to the start of the race Ted Christopher and Jim Storace spun in turn 2. Grigas took the lead on the restart with Blewett, Eric Beers and Zach Sylvester in tow. Blewett went under Grigas on lap 8. Evidently Blewett took the air off Grigas’ spoiler as he spun. In the resulting pig pile Don Lia suffered right front wheel and suspension damage after he was hit by Sylvester who had no where to go. Two more minor cautions slowed the event. At the finish it was Blewett III followed by Beers, Sylvester, Earl Paules and Jon McKennedy. Twenty-three cars took the green flag in the Tour-Type Modified feature, but two of the competitors that had competed well in previous nights were absent from the starting lineup. Joey Logano, driving Gary Cretty’s #26 entry, was a no-show Tuesday, as was James Civali in the second Joe Brady car. Jimmy Blewett made it four in a row in SK type Modified action.
  The Tour type Modifieds went the 50 lap distance on Wednesday night. Jimmy Blewett became the fourth different winner as he took advantage of his brother’s misfortune when John pitted with a broken spindle. Eric Beers ended up second with Joey Logano, third. Ted Christopher managed to stay out of trouble and finished fourth. Earl Paules rounded out the top five. Twenty-five cars took the green with Don Lia and John Blewett III leading the charge. Shelly and Butch Perry brought out early cautions in separate incidents. Jimmy Blewett moved into second spot and glued himself to Lia’s bumper. Blewett made the race-winning move on lap 14 and that’s all she wrote! Earl Paules broke Jimmy Blewett’s stranglehold in the SK type Modifieds as he took the win after leading the entire event. Blewett was forced to start in the rear after it was discovered that his car had an illegal carburetor spacer plate.
  Heavy rain moved into the New Smyrna area on Thursday night just as the Modifieds were having their hot laps in preparation for their feature. In Modified tour type qualifying Jimmy Blewett set fast time just one night after winning his first Tour-Type feature of Speedweeks 2007. Wednesday’s second-place finisher Eric Beers was second quick in qualifying. Blewett then set fast time in the SK Modified feature, which was also rained out.
Jimmy Blewett came into the Richie Evans 100 with both guns blazing and picked up where he left off on Wednesday night as he dusted the field and took the win. Blewett started on the outside pole and wasted little time as he took the lead from Eric Beers on lap 3 with a slingshot move. Ted Christopher ended up second when he passed Beers with eight laps to go. Beers faded to fourth in the end as Don Lia passed him on the final lap. Zach Sylvester rounded out the top five. Among those who failed to finish were John Blewett III who wrecked with Bob Holmes, Chuck Hossfeld who lost an engine and Andy Seuss who ended up in the wall..
  Twenty-five Tour type Modifieds went to post. The Grand Marshals for the event were Tara and Richie Evans Jr, children of the late champion. In addition to the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Jimmy Blewett continued his winning ways as he won the final event of the series on Saturday night. Starting on the pole, Blewett led every lap. Don Lia moved into second spot on lap 18 but had nothing for Blewett at the end. John Blewett III finished third with Zach Sylvester and Eric Beers rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher was up to second by lap 15 but dropped out shortly after and ended up 16th. Eric Beers wrapped up the series championship. In SK type Modified racing it was Kevin Goodale holding off Jimmy Blewett and Earl Paules through numerous lead swaps in the closing laps of the 40-lap SK Modified feature. Jimmy Blewett won the the SK type Modified Championship.
  Eric Beers used consistency to earn the Tour type Modified Championship. Beers beat out Jimmy Blewett by 15 points for the title. John Blewett III ended up third with Don Lia and Zach Sylvester rounding out the top five. Defending champion Andy Seuss finished out of the top ten.
  At the Daytona Speedway, Michael Waltrip's new Toyota team took the hardest hit yet in what had mushroomed into NASCAR's toughest push against cheating during Daytona 500 week in at least 31 years. Waltrip's crew chief and vice president of competition were ejected from Daytona International Speedway and suspended indefinitely from NASCAR competition. Waltrip was docked 100 driver points and crew chief David Hyder fined $100,000. The team's vice president, Bobby Kennedy, was suspended because he was held ultimately responsible. It was an enormous embarrassment to Toyota in its first Nextel Cup outing. But NASCAR competition vice president Robin Pemberton said "this is a team issue. This has nothing to do with a manufacturer." An illegal substance - which a source told The Associated Press was a property contained in jet fuel - was found in an intake manifold of Waltrip's car during inspection Sunday. In an unrelated matter, four crew chiefs were suspended and fined for various infractions. Three were from the Ray Evernham Dodge team which includes drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Scott Riggs, and one was from Matt Kenseth's Roush Racing team.
  The Thursday 150 mile qualifiers were won by Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. A post race inspection showed that Gordon’s car was too low. The win wasn’t taken away but his car was placed 42nd in the Daytona 500 starting field. Kevin Harvick scored a one-two punch as he won both the Busch Series 300 and the Daytona 500. Harvicks 500 win was by inches over Mark Martin.
  Congratulations went out to Mr and Mrs Mike Boehler on the birth of their new baby, Kate Anna Boehler who was born on Feb. 15. The newest member of Boehler Racing weighed in at 6 lb. 11 oz. 21 inches long.
  With the proposed speedway in the metro New York City area a dead issue the International Speedway Corp. began exploring the possibility of building a national-level motorsports racetrack in Adams County near Denver International Airport. The company said it was considering pursuing a public-private partnership to develop the speedway. The speedway could seat approximately 75,000 people and have a "considerable economic impact to the region," International Speedway officials said in a statement.

  Five years ago in 2012, After having Sunday night off the Modifieds and SK Modifieds resumed their series at New Smyrna. Ryan Preece who suffered severe damage to his family owned mount on Saturday night returned to the racing wars with his grandfathers’ Modified, the legendary Bobby Judkins 2x. Fourteen Modifieds and five SKs went to post for their 25 lap feature. Daniel Hemric, driving the Hillbilly Racing No. 79 went pole to pole to record the win. It was not a Sunday drive as he had a lot of heat on his bumper through out the feature. Eric Goodale finished second with Patrick Emerling, third. Two cautions during the early going for minor spins slowed field. Going into the closing moments things heated up. On lap 22 Chuck Hossfeld and Ted Christopher made contact with Hossfeld spinning out. Both were put to the rear for the restart. On lap 23, Preece made contact with John Jensen bringing another yellow. On the restart, Hemric jumped out in front and sprinted to the win. A tangle between Preece and Christopher unfolded at the finish. Preece was under Jensen who ran into Christopher. Jensen then tried to go between Preece and Christopher and made slight contact. The end result found Christopher and Preece in the wall with damage. Rob Schultz was the top finishing SK.
  Twelve Modifieds and five SK Modifieds were on hand on Tuesday night at New Smyrna. Ted Christopher appeared to have recorded his second win of the series until his car was disqualified when he and car owner Joe Brady refused a teardown. Second place finisher Chuck Hossfeld was awarded the win. Patrick Emerling was elevated to the runner-up spot and Daniel Hamric was placed third. Eric Goodale and Jensen rounded out the top five. Christopher had taken the lead from Hossfeld after a slingshot-bottom shot move on lap 4. Evidently track officials and fellow competitors felt that the Brady #00 had a little too much power. One can understand why a teardown was refused. First of all the pit area at New Smyrna is dusty and dirty. Second of all even if the engine in question was found to be legal the cost of re-assembly would far exceed the winners share of the purse paid. It makes more sense to take the engine out and put in a spare and go on from there.
  Rain washed out Wednesday night’s action. It was learned that Joe Brady and Ted Christopher had made the decision to end their racing at New Smyrna and return home.
  The skies cleared on Thursday as 19 Modifieds, including five SKs went to post. Joining the field was Chris Young and Andy Seuss. Rejoining was the Preece #40 that had been rebuilt after an early series crash. The event was originally scheduled to be a 50 lapper in honor of John Blewett III but it was reduced to 25 laps. Chuck Hossfeld took the lead with five laps to go and went on to record the victory. Patrick Emerling, who had led from the drop of the green, finished second with Preece, third. Rounding out the top five was Eric Goodale and Andy Seuss. Among the casualties were Chris Young and Donnie Nall who wrecked hard on the backstretch on lap 19. Jim Zacharias was the top finishing SK Modified.
  The eighth night, Friday, saw the running of the annual Richie Evans 100. Eric Goodale scored the biggest win of his career as he won the event after taking the lead from Daniel Hemric on lap 70. In the final run-down, Ryan Preece finished second with Chuck Hossfeld, third. Hemric slipped to fourth with Andy Seuss rounding out the top five. Rob Schultz was the top finishing SK. Nine of the original 14 starters finished on the lead lap.
  The final night of competition saw only nine cars go to post for the 25 lap Modified feature. Chuck Hossfeld took the lead from Andy Seuss after a lap 10 restart and went on to record his third win of the series. Hossfeld was also crowned Series Champion. Following Hossfeld in the feature finish was Seuss followed by Kyle Ebersole, Daniel Hamric and John Jensen.
  It appeared that the 2013 schedule would change, especially concerning the Modifieds who would be in competition at the soon to be constructed 4/10 mile oval on the backstretch at the Daytona Int. Speedway.
  Mario Fiore who scooped the Donnie Lia announcement of his return to the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile in 2012. It had been rumored that Garbarino would retire but it looked like that’s not going to happen. With Lia back it would be interesting to see if Troyer Bob returns as crew chief. The Mystic Missile would be without the during the week services of Jimmy ”The Junkman” Savage as he had suffered a stroke and would be pretty much confined to his home. Jim had been a vital part of Mystic River Marina Racing for many years and would be missed.
  Tony Stewart scored the victory in Thursday’s first Gatorade Duel at Daytona while Danica Patrick simply went on a wild ride to end the race. Jamie McMurray’s Chevrolet pinched off Aric Almirola’s Ford which sent Patrick’s car out of control and sent her flying across the asphalt before slamming into the SAFER Barrier. Her Chevrolet was destroyed and because the crash happened on the white flag lap the race was complete with Stewart the winner ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Michael McDowell and Robby Gordon. Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Cup champion and 2009 Daytona 500 winner was able to get a hefty push from 2006 Daytona 500 winner and five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson to win Thursday’s second Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying race.
  The Nextera 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race ended under the yellow flag and rookie driver John King claimed the victory
James Buescher earned his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in Saturday’s Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona Int’l Speedway. Buescher, who also posted his first ARCA Racing Series triumph at Daytona, was 11th entering the final turn when the leaders piled into one another and he skated to the bottom to drive the Turner Motorsports Chevrolet to victory.
  Three sets of two drivers were racing for the lead when the front duo of Kyle and Kurt Busch drifted up the track forcing the middle pair of Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne to the top groove, taking away the path of Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler, who were clearly the fastest of the three and headed for Stewart’s fifth straight victory in this race. But after Stewart was forced into the wall and Bayne and Logano spun into the path of the Busch brothers, Buescher accelerated to victory. Brad Keselowski was second in Roger Penske’s Dodge while Sadler guided his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet across the finish line third. Cole Whitt and Austin Dillon completed the top five in a race which was slowed by eight yellow flags (and one red) for 34 of the 120 laps of the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
  Polesitter Danica Patrick was involved in an early accident after being bumped by her JR Motorsports teammate Whitt and was eliminated from contention.
  Rain, fire and Tide laundry detergent all factored into a Daytona 500 that will go down as the most bizarre in NASCAR history. Matt Kenseth picked up his second Daytona 500.
  The first Daytona 500 to be postponed took more than 36 hours to complete after rain pushed it from its scheduled Sunday afternoon start to Monday at lunch, and ultimately turned it into the first ever NASCAR race run in prime-time television. Then Juan Pablo Montoya crashed under caution into a safety truck filled with about 200 gallons of jet fuel, and the collision caused a massive fireball that scorched the track and will be the most indelible image of the 54th running of the "Great American Race. What did they use to clean it up? Tide laundry detergent, of course.
When the 500 finally ended in the early morning hours Tuesday, the two-week SpeedWeeks odyssey wasn't over: Fog closed the North Carolina airports, stranding drivers and teams at Daytona for yet another night.
  The endurance race was long over by the time the television ratings came in later Tuesday. No one was sure what to expect as Fox made the unprecedented decision to show the race in prime time — the best case scenario once rain washed it out on Sunday. NASCAR originally rescheduled for Monday afternoon but scrapped those plans in the morning based on more rain. FOX hit a home run in the ratings.
What happened was a show like no other, beginning from the second lap of the race, when five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was caught in an accident that also collected Danica Patrick, ruining her Daytona 500 debut. From there it was 25 lead changes among 13 drivers, 10 cautions, and that really big fire. Montoya was driving alone under caution when something broke on his car. He spun hard into a safety truck, and the collision caused an instant explosion.
  Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle took over the lead following the fire stoppage with 40 laps to go.
  Earnhardt held off Biffle at the line, while Kenseth grabbed his second Daytona 500 win in four years. He won the 2009 race by passing Elliott Sadler on the backstretch moments before the caution came out for rain, and he was declared the winner while waiting on pit road.
  In 53 previous Daytona 500's, only four have been shortened by rain, none have been postponed. Had the Daytona International Speedway run the 500 on its traditional weekend, last week, the race would have gone off without a hitch. At the urging of FOX Sports NASCAR moved the date. Monsoon type rain fell just about all day in the Daytona area forcing NASCAR to go to their next clear policy. Mike Joy and his announcing team did yeoman’s duty for over five hours talking about everybody and everything associated with the running of the 500. It must be noted that on one occasion during the early 80s when Joy worked at Stafford he talked non-stop for 12 hours on a CB while driving from Martinsville to Connecticut with the late Ed Yerrington who was the promoter and General Mgr at the Stafford Speedway.
  NASCAR announced that the 2013 Daytona 500 will remain the last Sunday in February at Daytona International Speedway. Track president Joie Chitwood confirmed that "The Great American Race" would start on Feb. 24 of next year. The race was moved from its traditional second or third week of February this year for the first time since 1971 as NASCAR eliminated its weekend off in early March. Many with timeshares and renewable leases were caught short and had to scramble for last minute accommodations when the change was made this year.

  Last year, 2016 (2/19) The Modified action at New Smyrna finally got the green on Tuesday night with the Joe Brady Memorial 50 lapper. Ron Silk took the lead from Ryan Preece with four laps to go after Preece’s car developed handling problems. Preece, who had led since lap six, finished second with JR Bertuccio, third. Chuck Hossfeld finished fourth with Justin Bonsignore, fifth.
  Tuesday night at New Smyrna saw Eric Goodale in victory lane at the conclusion of the John Blewett III Memorial 76 lapper. Ryan Preece continued to be a bridesmaid as he finished second. From the 26th lap Goodale was in control of the field. Justin Bonsignore finished third with Jimmy Zacharias and Chuck Hossfeld completing the top five.
  The third time was a charm for Ryan Preece as he won the 35 lap Tour type Modified feature at New Smyrna on Thursday night. Preece blew away Ron Silk on lap 8 and never looked back. Justin Bonsignore finished second. JR Bertuccio finished third with Eric Goodale and newcomer Etienne Cliché rounding out the top five.
  At the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night, races for qualifying spots were held under the lights. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first Can-Am Duel 150 followed by Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Casey Kahne. Kyle Busch won the 2nd Can-Am Duel. Jamie McMurray finished 2nd followed by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Ty Dillon.
  In the Modified Series finale Richie Evans 100 Ryan Preece reigned supreme as he put his Eddie Partridge #6 in victory lane. Preece’s effort was not without incident. With the closing moments in sight, Preece almost lost the lead because of a lapped car. Eric Goodale, who was second at the time, couldn’t muster the energy to get by and had to second at the checker. JR Bertuccio, Jimmy Zacharias and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five. The RE 100 win solidified his second straight Tour-Type Modified championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
  Second generation driver Chase Elliott Saturday’s won the Powershares QQQ 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Joey Logano finished second with Kasey Kahne, third. Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five. Ryan Preece finished 40th after being involved in a lap five accident.
  Denny Hamlin won the closest Daytona 500 ever when he went to the outside in turn three on the final lap to pass teammate Matt Kenseth. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver then drove side-by-side with Martin Truex, Jr. across the starting finish line edging Truex by 0.010-of-a-second – less than one foot. Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota powered the driver to victory in his 11th attempt. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch finished third in a Toyota with 2007 Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick fourth in a Chevrolet. Carl Edwards was the third JGR Toyota in the top five.
  The Tour type Modifieds were not part of the final night of racing at New Smyrna. The ninth and final night of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing kicked off with two 35-lap races featuring the Florida Modifieds and the Pro Late Models, which was controlled by California’s Derek Thorn from start to finish. It was the second win of the 2016 World Series for Thorn, but the first since the second night of racing. His first victory, exactly one week previous, left Thorn eager to come up with another before the week was up.
  The Florida Modifieds also concluded their championship on night nine with Cody Stickler clinching the championship with an initial second-place finish, but was later promoted to his fourth win of the week after Josh Todd was disqualified for a post-race technical infraction with his shock absorbers.
  On a sad note, Bruce Cohen reminded us that it had been 47 years since Don MacTavish passed away at Daytona.

  That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail,

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

Looking Back Archive

Source: Phil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: February 24, 2017

2007-2017 © GeeLaw Motorsports/RGeePro/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent