The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

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 time.

  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 cars.

  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 the 500.
  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 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 his outside.
  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,

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: March 3, 2017

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