March 3, 2017
Forty five years ago in 1972, Richard Petty started third and
took the Winston Cup win at Richmond.
Forty Years ago in 1977, Cale
Yarborough won the Winston Cup event at Richmond, VA.
Thirty five years ago in 1982, Benny
Parsons was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. The event was rained
out and rescheduled. NASCAR did not have a next clear day policy at the
Thirty years ago in 1987, Davey
Allison was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. Geoff Bodine was
second fastest. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event was cancelled because
of heavy rain and not rescheduled. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Winston Cup
event with Ricky Rudd, second.
Twenty five years ago in 1992,
Ward Burton won the 200 mile Busch Grandnational event at Rockingham. Bill
Elliott in the Junior Johnson No.11 was the Winston Cup winner.
Twenty years ago in 1997, Mark Martin
was the pole sitter for both the Busch Grandnational and Winston Cup events
at Rockingham. Martin won the BGN event while Jeff Gordon took advantage of
Dale Jarrett's late slip and won the Winston Cup event. On a sad note,
George "Moose" Hewitt, a former track champion at Waterford, passed away at
the age of 62.
Fifteen years ago in 2002, Minority
shareholders of Speedway Motorsports sued NASCAR for breach of contract and
anti-trust matters because the shareholders claimed that NASCAR re-neged on
its promise for a second Winston Cup date at the Texas Speedway. The suit
has yet to be settled. In Winston Cup action at Rockingham, Ricky Craven was
the Busch Pole sitter. Jeff Green took the Busch Grandnational pole. Jason
Keller was the Grandnational winner with Greg Biffle, second. Matt Kenseth
passed Ricky Craven in the late stages of the Winston Cup event and went on
to score the victory. The event finished under caution. Crew Chief Robbie
Reiser was fined $30,000 after it was determined that the Kenseth car was ľ
inch too low.
Ten years ago in 2007, The only
action of the weekend was on the west coast. Matt Kenseth took control in
the closing laps Saturday night at California Speedway, driving off with his
fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory in 12 tries on the 2-mile oval. Casey
Mears grabbed second place 12 laps from the end and gave a big effort to try
to catch Kenseth, but the Roush Fenway Racing driver wouldn't let Mears get
close enough for a serious challenge, driving across the finish line about
five lengths ahead. Kenseth made a clean sweep as he won the Nextel Cup
event. TV camera angles indicated the event was not a sell out.
The Northeast Racing News carried the announcement that HD Net would
extend their coverage of Busch East events to 2007. A while back NASCAR had
indicated that there would be extensive television coverage of Tour Series
events. With Speedweeks in Florida over and most of the major announcements
made it looked like the Modifieds and NASCARís other regional series got the
short end of the stick again.
In some sad news, Malcolm R. "Johnny" Thompson, 78, of Pond Drive,
formerly of Pendleton Hill Road, North Stonington, died on Monday morning,
Feb. 19, 2007 at his home. Johnny, a die hard Ford man, drove at many
racetracks throughout his career from the old Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode
Island then at the Waterford Speedbowl, Stafford Speedway and the Thompson
Speedway in Connecticut. He achieved his greatest success at the Norwood
Arena where he was a Modified Champion. For many years Thompson and the late
Leo Hill shared a garage in North Stonington where they fabricated their own
Five years ago in 2012 NASCAR and the
International Speedway Corporation stepped in a big pile of Do-Do, upset a
lot a people by changing the date of the Daytona 500 but in the end came out
smelling like a rose and could maybe starting a new trend by staging races
during the week in prime time. The first ever Daytona 500 held in prime time
was a home run for FOX Sports who enjoyed its highest rated Monday night
viewing audience since game #5 of the 2010 World Series. FOX Sports reported
that 36.5 million viewers watched the event, a 22 percent increase over the
30million that watched last year.
FOX Sports had enough juice at NASCAR to get them to change the date of
Kevin Rice advised that the June 16 SBM 125 at Star Speedway in Epping,
NH got richer as the Long Island Mod Maniac, Jim Schaefer had decided to put
up $790 for lap 79 in memory of Roger Hill. Roger and his son David Hill
have been big supporters of the Star open shows. The lap would now pay $610
to the race leader and $180 to another top ten car by draw..
In NASCAR Sprint Cup competition at Phoenix, Denny Hamlin started 13th
and briefly led a couple of times before beating Kevin Harvick off the line
after a caution with 59 laps left. Harvick, NASCAR's best finisher, put a
scare into him toward the end, but ran out of gas on the final lap.
Elliott Sadler took the lead after a late caution and held on down the
stretch to earn his first Nationwide win in 14 years at Phoenix
International Raceway on Saturday. A former full-time driver in the Sprint
Cup series, Sadler started eighth and didn't get near the lead until the end
of the race. He passed Brad Keselowski after a caution with 33 laps left and
wasn't really challenged on the way to his sixth career Nationwide win -
first in 91 races in the series.
Keselowski finished second and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse
Jr. was third. Kevin Harvick led the most laps, but finished fifth behind
Austin Dillon after pit strategy at the last caution backfired.
Last year, 2016, NASCAR announced the
20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fameís Class of 2017, as well as the five
nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
Among those nominated were Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine
NASCAR championships in the NASCAR Modified and K&N (Busch North) series,
Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCARís premier (now Sprint Cup) series,
including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500, Red Byron, first NASCAR premier
series champion, in 1949, Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in
NASCARís three national series, Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier
series championship crew chief, Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew
chief and car owner, Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCARís
three national series, Ron Hornaday Jr., four-time NASCAR Camping World
Truck Series champion, Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship
crew chief, Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion, Mark Martin,
96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition, Hershel McGriff,
1986 NASCAR west series champion, Raymond Parks, NASCARís first champion car
owner, Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion, Larry Phillips,
only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion, Jack Roush, five-time
car owner champion in NASCARís three national series, Ricky Rudd, won 23
times in NASCARís premier series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400, Ken
Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural
winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, Waddell
Wilson, won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder
and Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine
builder and owner.
The five nominees for the Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, were: H.
Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway, Janet Guthrie, the first
female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race, Raymond
Parks, NASCARís first champion car owner, Ralph Seagraves, formed
groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Company and Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster;
inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.
From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees would be
elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide
fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting day for the 2017 class will be May 25.
Jim Schaefer announced that the 2016 Tri Track Open Modified Series now
had enough cars to start 11 rows deep, three wide. The first 33 entries to
the NorthEast Race Cars Tri Track Open Modified Series have been submitted
by Mike Holdridge, Todd Annarummo, Troy Talman , Matt Hirschman , Kirk
Alexander, Jeff Gallup , Chris Pasteryak, Mike Douglas Jr. ,Dwight Jarvis ,
Max Zachem , Steve Masse , Pitkat A Woody, Joe Doucette , Les Hinckley,
Rowan Pennink , Rob Richardi Jr. , Richard Savary , Derek Ramstrom , Jon
McKennedy, Zane Zeiner, Dan Meservey , Eric Berndt, Roger Coss, Jon Kievman
, Teddy Christopher, Dennis Perry , Garrison Grubisa, Ron Silk, Justin
Bonsignore , Dylan Kopec Johnny Bush , Tommy Barrett , Andy Jankowiak .
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Atlanta, Jimmie Johnson tied seven-time
champion and Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with his 76th career victory in
the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Johnson led the final 45 laps of the event after a call by crew chief
Chad Knaus to short-pit for tires with 49 to go, but had to survive an
overtime restart after a blown tire sent Ryan Newman spinning with two laps
to go in the scheduled distance and put race-long dominator Kevin Harvick to
Kyle Busch was the Xfinity series winner. Ryan Preece started 21st and
finished 22nd, four laps down.
Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail, email@example.com.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
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