The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

October 20, 2017

  Sixty five years ago in 1952 Don Collins broke Ray Delisle's strangle hold on victory lane at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Mike Dooley was the Claiming Car feature winner.

  Sixty years ago in 1957 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out the season with a 50 lap Sportsman feature which was won by Red Foote. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins, who won 11 features was declared the Sportsman Track Champion. Ted Stack was the non-Ford Champion.

  Fifty years ago in 1967, Martinsville ran a 300 lapper for the Modifieds. Donnie Allison took the win over Ray Hendrick, Al Grinnen, Paul Radford and Don MacTavish. Pole sitter Eddie Flemke blew an engine and finished 25th. Bugsy Stevens finished 18th, Richie Evans, 33rd and Fred DeSarro, 37th.

  Forty five years ago, in 1972, the Modified season came to a close at Martinsville where Bobby Santos put the Art Barry No.09 in victory lane. Mike Loescher finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Bernie Miller and Melvin ”Puddin” Swisher. Rounding out the top ten were Hank Thomas, Bugsy Stevens, Ray Hendrick, Leo Cleary and RE Brim. Sixty-one modifieds were on hand.

  Forty years ago, in 1977, Thompson’s World Series fell victim to rain. The only modified action was in the Southland at the Hickory Speedway in North Carolina. Jerry Cook took the win over Paul Radford.

  Thirty five years ago, in 1982, Greg Sacks and the invincible Ernie Wilsburg No.5 continued their domination of the modified division as they cleaned house at the World Series at Thompson; George Kent finished second with Kenny Bouchard in third spot. Rounding out the top five were Reggie Ruggerio and George Summers. New Egypt, which was asphalt at the time also, ran with Jerry Cranmer taking the win over Wayne Anderson, John Blewett JR, Jerry Cook and Lenny Boyd. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Darrell Waltrip took the win over Ricky Rudd.

  Thirty years ago, in 1987, Reggie Ruggiero won the 50 lap modified portion of the Thompson World Series. Ruggiero was with some hot company as he had Jimmy Spencer on his bumper for most of the way. Ruggerio started sixth and took the lead from Mike Stefanik on lap 11. Spencer started tenth and bulled his way to the front. Moving into second on a lap 16 restart, Spencer used every trick in the book to no avail as Ruggerio was on top of his game and wasn’t about to be denied. Jamie Tomaino had a strong run going in third spot by the half way mark but a slowly leaking tire was his un-doing. Tomaino’s miss-fortune opened the door for Mike Mclaughlin, who moved into third. Mike Stefanik and George Kent were running fourth and fifth in the late stages but they too, ran into problems. Stefanik pitted with a flat with ten to go and Kent spun out. Jeff Fuller, who was driving for Art Barry, moved into fourth spot and remained there to the finish. Ricky Fuller rounded out the top five. Tom Baldwin finished sixth and was followed by Don Howe, Carl Pasteryak, George Kent and Doug Hevron. Bob Potter won the 35 lap SK Modified portion. Ted Christopher finished second and wrapped up the Tri-Track championship. Jerry Pearl finished third.

  Twenty five years ago, in 1992, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was in Martinsville for a 200-lap event. Jan Leaty was the pole sitter but in the end it was Mike Stefanik taking the win over Wayne Anderson. Jeff Fuller finished third and wrapped up the series championship. Doug Hevron and Mike Ewanitsko rounded out the top five. Also, on the same day, was the Octoberfest at Lee Raceway where Ted and Mike Christopher finished one-two.

  Twenty years ago, in 1997, Waterford ran its final event on Saturday night. Jim Broderick took the lead on lap 26 of the 35-lap event and went on to record his fifth win of the year. Todd Ceravolo finished second and sewed up the track championship. Tucker Reynolds was third with Jeff Pearl, fourth. Ted Christopher scored an impressive win in BGNN action at Lime Rock. After starting tenth, Christopher took the lead for the final time with two laps to go. Kim Baker finished second with Dennis Doyle, third. Mike Stefanik finished ninth and became the first driver to ever win the Busch North and Modified championships in the same year. It was a very hectic weekend In addition to the Busch North Series event at Lime Rock the Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway for the World Series. The 125 lap main event was full of excitement and the crowd of over 10,000 got their money’s worth. Mike Ewanitsko, driving the Sheba Racing No.8, dove under Rick Fuller with two laps to go in an attempt to take the lead. Fuller tried to pinch him off but instead ended up spinning out after making contact. Tony Hirshman ended up in second spot with Tim Connolly, Jamie Tomaino and Ed Flemke JR rounding out the top five. Fuller, driving the Art Barry No.21 recovered to finish seventh. Ed Flemke JR was the winner of the SK-Modified feature over Mike Christopher, Ted Christopher and Scott Quinn. In Busch Grand National action at Fontana, California, Steve Park was the pole sitter with Bob Labonte on the outside. Labonte had the race won until he ran out of gas with less than ten laps to go and handed the win to Todd Bodine. Park finished second.

  Fifteen years ago in 2002, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at Martinsville. Forty seven Modifieds were on hand to qualify for the forty starting spots. Ken Woolley Jr. took the Busch Pole with Ricky Fuller, Mike Stefanik, Chuck Hossfeld and Ted Christopher rounding out the top five. L.W. Miller took the win. The racing was far from mundane. Fuller jumped out to take the lead on the start. Fred Vordermeir was the first casualty as he hit the wall on lap 15 after suffering a cut tire. Jerry Marquis, who is a contender for the tour series championship, suffered a major setback on lap 28 when his engine soured, forcing him to park it for the day. Also having engine problems which put them out were Eric Beers, Tom Baldwin and Tim Arre. Fuller led until lap 76 when Woolley mustered the required steam and took the point. Woolley led until lap 94 when fellow New Jersey competitor and former series champion Jamie Tomaino took his turn in the lead. Tomaino, having one of his best runs in quite a while, led until lap 150 when L.W. Miller took command. Miller never looked back and went on to take his first ever Modified Tour Series win. Once Miller took the lead the rest of the field turned up the wick and that’s when the action started. Todd Szegedy and Chuck Hossfeld got into a side-swiping duel when Szegedy dove under Hossfeld in turns three and four on lap 165.Szegedy drifted up as he came out of four and pinched Hossfeld into the wall. Hossfeld came off the wall and moved down on Szegedy who in turn dumped him into the wall, then spun himself and triggered a big wreck that took out David Berghman, Tony Hirschman and ultimately Ed Flemke Jr. A red flag was required to remove the wrecked cars that blocked the track. The next big incident of the day occurred on lap 190 when Ricky Fuller drilled Ted Christopher and spun him out. Christopher, far from being a happy camper was able to recover and finish ninth. Fuller finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho, Jamie Tomaino, John Blewett III, Robbie Summers and Charlie Pasteryak.
  Shortly after the completion of the event Christopher met with tour officials in the NASCAR trailer. Evidently he didn’t like what they had to say and what they did or didn’t see. Christopher left the trailer in a huff, slamming the door so hard it almost came off the hinges. The tape of the incident was available. Pictures don’t lie and NASCAR should have taken some action on this issue.
  The Busch North Series couldn’t get a break as rain washed out the season finale at Lime Rock again
  Wall Stadium ran a Race of Champions Tour event on Sunday. Jimmie Blewett took the win. Ken Woolley Jr. and John Blewett III made it back from Martinsville and ended up second and third. George Kent, who previously sewed up the 2002 ROC title crossed the finish line in third spot but was disqualified after a post race inspection revealed that he had tires that had been chemically altered.

  Ten years ago in 2007, when NEAR announced their choices for induction into the Hall of Fame, class of 2008, two unique individuals appeared on the list. Pete Zanardi and Dr. Dick Berggren are two New England natives who have dedicated their lives and careers to auto racing. Zanardi, a retired sports writer was one of the first to cover weekly racing and give recognition to competitors in the print media. He wrote about many in national publications and he mentored many including yours truly. He was responsible for setting up the original public relations department when Jack Arute bought the Stafford Speedway. His biggest accomplishment could very well be the effort he put in to save the Waterford Speedbowl from extinction. Berggren began his career as a race driver at Stafford. He also took a lot of pictures and after a short driving career the camera won out. During his early years his photos were published in the now defunct Cavalcade of Auto Racing that was owned by Jim Moffat. The photos led to printed stories. He received a doctorate degree, which should have led to a teaching career but auto racing won out as Berggren expanded his racing and eventually became the editor of the now defunct Stock Car Racing Magazine. Along the way he teamed up with racing buddies Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd and conceived the original Spring Sizzler at Stafford. He also became a broadcaster as a pit reporter of televised NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup Racing, a labor of love he continues to do. He also fulfilled a life long dream of owning his own magazine, Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated which is distributed nationally each month. Most of all, despite all the fame and notoriety both Zanardi and Berggren have been loyal to their roots in auto racing in New England.
  The wheels were still turning at some tracks. Matt Hirschman won a special event staged at the All Star Speedway in Epping, NH. It was also the weekend for the annual Octoberfest at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. Andy Seuss won the True Value Modified Series event there after Kirk Alexander suffered a flat tire while leading with three laps to go. Mike Douglas ended up in second spot with Chris Pasteryak, third. Down in the south land Bad Boy James Civali drove the Hills Enterprises No.79 to a convincing win at the Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA
It was announced that Modified stock cars would return to Vermont in 2008, as the True Value Modified Racing Series would make its debut at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl during the 46th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, Sunday, May 25. TVMRS founder and competitor Jack Bateman of Canaan, NH tested his car at the high-banked ¼-mile oval and made the agreement with Thunder Road Promoter Tom Curley to bring the touring series to “The Nation’s Site of Excitement” for a 100-lap event as part of a doubleheader with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Thunder Road Late Models. The last official Modified race at Thunder Road was in June 1965, won by former National Champion Dick Nephew of Mooers Forks, NY. Canadian legend Jean-Paul Cabana won the Memorial Day Classic in 1965 at the wheel of a Modified car, as well.
  The France family, which owns the International Speedway Corporation and Pennsylvania International Raceway, Inc. (PIR), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, terminated its agreement with NZSW, LLC for the sale of 158 acres on which Nazareth Speedway is located. The land was to be sold to NZSW, LLC for approximately $19 million. PIR intends to retain the approximately $2 million in non-refundable deposits as the agreement was terminated in accordance with its terms as a result of a default by NZSW, LLC. Nazareth Speedway suspended major motorsports event operations after the completion of the track's 2004 events and its results of operations are presented as discontinued operations in the Registrant's consolidated financial statements. The property continued to be marketed and a sale was expected to occur in fiscal 2008. Needless to say, it didn't.
  In Nextel Cup action Jimmie Johnson made the pass he didn't allow Jeff Gordon to make in the spring, sneaking inside Jeff Gordon with 44 laps to go and held on to win at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for his series-high seventh victory of the year. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates who have dominated the Nextel Cup series all season did it again in the Subway 500 at the tricky track where their superiority is most apparent, and Johnson got some unexpected late help from Ryan Newman to tighten the Chase. Newman challenged Gordon for second with nine laps to go, getting increasingly more physical, and finally passed him on the inside on the 494th circuit as Johnson opened a lead of nearly 2 seconds. He then had to withstand a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, with Gordon lurking third and ready to take advantage if the leaders faltered. They didn't, and Johnson held on through one lap before the race-record 21st caution came out. Johnson gained in the Chase with four races left, cutting Gordon's lead to 53 points.

  Five years ago in 2012, The Valenti Modified Racing Series closed out their season last weekend at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire as part of their Octoberfest. The event drew 31 Modifieds.
  Capping off a run from the rear twice, Tommy Barrett took no prisoners in the season ending 100 lapper. Barrett, who was supposed to start fourth, was forced to start in the rear as he pitted before the start. Barrett pitted again on lap 46 before his final charge to the front which paid off on lap 86 when he took the lead on lap 86 from Jon McKennedy. By the time Barrett streaked under the checkered flag McKennedy had faded to fourth but had garnered enough points to secure the 2012 Championship for himself and car owner Art Barry. Les Hinkley finished second with Rowan Pennink, third. Andy Seuss finished fifth. Chris Pasteryak led the early going until he pitted on lap 46. Louie Mechalides inherited the lead until giving way to McKennedy on lap 78. Sixth thru tenth were Norm Wrenn, Dwight Jarvis, Joe Doucette, Mechaledes and Max Zachem.
  Congratulations went out to Keith Rocco who had been named the 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winner in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Rocco, from Wallingford, Conn., recorded five top-10 finishes in eight starts during the season. He posted an average finish of 13th with a best result of third place in the Spring Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on April 29. Rocco missed six events, nearly half of the 14-race schedule, due to an injury suffered in practice for a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in July. He ranked ninth in the overall points standings after six races prior to the injury.
  The 27-year-old was able to compete in the season’s final two Whelen Modified Tour races to secure Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. In his eight total starts he also captured Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors on five occasions. Seven of his eight appearances came in the Boehler Racing Enterprises No. 3 “Ole Blue” Chevrolet. In spite of the injury, Rocco was also able to finish as the national runner-up in Whelen All-American Series competition for the third time in the last four seasons. The one year Rocco wasn’t the runner-up, 2010, he captured the national title. Rocco will be recognized for his Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
  It looked like the NASCAR Whelen drivers and owners would have to dig a little deeper next year in order to modify their seats to satisfy the new rules. The projected cost will run between $500 and $1500.
  After competing in 575 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over 27 seasons, Geoff Bodine called it a career. Bodine, who hasn’t run full-time since 1999, had run part-time since his injury in the then NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona opener in 2000. Although he had a sponsor willing to back him for the 2012 season if an opportunity arose to run with a team in any of NASCAR’s three series, no deal panned out for the veteran. Bodine, 63, ran select races in 2011 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. In his four starts in 2011, Bodine finished with a best of 30th at the season finale Homestead-Miami Speedway. At that time, Bodine didn’t feel that would be his last start in NASCAR, but he now is saying he will retire from the sport due to a number of factors.
  “If you race long enough in racing, you will hit your head,” said Bodine, who has suffered from concussions in racing, “I’ve been in that position several times. I’ve seemed to bounce back from them with very little side effects. [People] might say ‘well, you’re okay,’ but the problem with that is I don’t know what might happen tomorrow when I wake up. I pray every night that I do wake up and I do know who I am. All of my concussions could have some effect on my life.”
  Bodine’s accomplishments on the track include 18 career Cup wins with one Daytona 500 victory in 1986, 190 career top-10 finishes, an IROC championship in 1987, a career best 3rd in points in 1990, and being named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He was also very proficient in his days behind a NASCAR Modified. His best year was 1978 when he drove the Richard Armstrong No.1 to 55 wins. His on-track performance and career stats speak for themselves and may be able to position him as a viable candidate as a future NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee.
  Pro All Stars Series promoter Tom Mayberry purchased Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway. Mayberry, a former racer, has found a great deal of success as Owner and President of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS). PASS was founded in 2001 and had since grown to be the nation’s premier sanctioning body for asphalt short track racing. PASS currently sanctions a variety of stock car divisions throughout North America.
  Hot on the heels of the news that the Speed Channel was going out of existence was the news that with two full seasons left on their current television contract, NASCAR and FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) announced an extensive new eight-year, multi-platform media rights agreement that ensures FSMG’s broadcast of NASCAR racing through 2022. Under terms of the new agreement, FSMG also significantly increases its digital rights to include “TV Everywhere” live race streaming of its portion of the season for the first time ever beginning in 2013.
  Wells Fargo estimates International Speedway could receive an incremental $830M of gross revenue from the new eight year contract between FOX Sports Media Group and Nascar.
  In an unrelated matter, Speedway Motorsports declared a quarterly cash dividend on October 18 of 15 cents per share of common stock. The quarterly dividend will be payable on December 10, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 16, 2012.
In NASCAR Nationwide Series racing at the Kansas Speedway, Ricky Stenhouse grabbed the lead when leader Kyle Busch ran out of fuel exiting the fourth turn during a green-white-checkered finish and held off Austin Dillon to take his sixth victory of the season and eighth of his career, driving for Roush Fenway Racing.
  Stenhouse had contact with Joey Logano early in the race and ended up losing two laps in the process. But he battled back all day and was in the right place to snag victory from the jaws of defeat.
  In NASCAR Sprint Cup action, Matt Kenseth’s Ford was the fastest car left running Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. On a day where crashes were common and right-front tires couldn’t seem to stay together, Kenseth maneuvered his way to the front during the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his third Sprint Cup victory of the year
  Kenseth ended up leading a race-high 77 laps and finished .495-second ahead of second-place Martin Truex, Jr. The victory was the 24th of Kenseth’s career in 468 series starts.

  Last year, 2016, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series closed out their 2016 season as part of the annual World Series. Twenty seven Modifieds were on hand for qualifying on Saturday. Taking the top spot was Timmy Solomito who toured the 5/8 mile oval in 18.643sec, 120.689 mph. Second fastest was Doug Coby with a time of 18.720sec. Woody Pitkat, Rob Summers and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.
  Coby needed to finish 17th to clinch the series title. In the end he finished sixth. This was Coby's fourth NWMT championship, his third in a row. The season ending World Series played to a full house of fans despite the fact that the New England Patriots were playing at home in nearby Foxboro, Ma. Timmy Solomito ran up front or near the front all day until fading in the closing laps to a fifth place finish. Justin Bonsignore took the lead for the eventual win on lap 130 with a bottom shot in turn three when he banged wheels with Solomito. Ryan Preece, who raced in the NASCAR Xfinity series event in Kansas started dead last on the field and brought the Eddy Partridge No. 6 home in second spot. Jimmy Blewett recovered from a soft tire incident on lap 46 to finish third. Donny Lia finished fourth with Solomito, fifth. Sixth thru tenth were Coby, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Matt Swanson and Dave Sapienza.
  Six caution periods slowed the event. The first yellow was displayed on lap 5 for Kyle Elwood who brushed the wall in turn 2. The second yellow was displayed on lap 25 when Shawn Solomito's Wayne Anderson owned Modified went up in smoke on the front chute. The third yellow was for Calvin Carroll who spun into the wall in turn three on lap 39. Jimmy Blewett had a right front tire go soft on a restart on lap 46 which resulted in a tangle between Ron Silk, Eric Goodale and Craig Lutz bringing out yellow Number 4. Bobby Santos stopped in turn three on lap 70 and was penalized two laps for bringing out caution No.5. The sixth caution was for Chase Dowling who had the misfortune of having his engine throw a rod on lap 103.
The Sunoco SK Modifieds saw Ryan Preece steal the glory from Rowan Pennink with a last lap pass. Preece won the battle but it was Keith Rocco who won the Track Championship war with a fifth place finish. Ronnie Williams finished third with Woody Pitkat, fourth.
  For the 2016 season Rocco won six of the 11 events run.
  The World Series provided just about every division of racing there is on the east coast. The Late Models started it off on Friday night with Rick Gentes taking the win. Tom Carey was first at the finish but was disqualified for having illegal fuel. Saturday saw a full day of practice, qualifying and features. Eight divisions ran their features on Saturday night. The most controversial was the Valenti Modified Racing Series event which was won by Woody Pitkat. Pitkat dominated the majority of the feature, but a yellow flag with 12 laps to go brought Steve Masse into contention. Masse gave chase on the restart, with Pitkat obviously blocking every move he made. Another caution with six laps to go doubled the field back up with Pitkat selecting the inside line for the restart, a choice not normally taken with the outside lane having the most momentum on the high-banked 5/8-mile oval. Pitkat and Masse went wheel to wheel into turn one. The leaders touched in turn two with Masse going out of control and into the concrete. While Masse limped to the pit area Pitkat went on to take the win. Pitkat was loudly booed in victory lane.
  Other Saturday night winners were Eric Bourgeois in the Mini Stocks, Randy Cabral in the NEMA Midgets, Bobby Theryen in the ACT Late Models, Joe Arena in the Northeast Street Stocks, Chase Dowling in the Northeast Pro Fours, Nick Maneatis in the Northeast Mini Stocks and Corey Barry in the Lite Mods.
  In what could be considered the beginning of the end, NASCAR announced thru internet site RaceDay the consolidation of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour for the 2017 season. Although highly competitive the modifieds have long been treated like the red-headed step child. Paltry fields of cars in both divisions have brought the Modifieds to their knees. This past year there have been only 15 competitors run the entire Whelen Modified Tour schedule. In the Whelen Southern Modified division only seven competitors have run the entire 11 race schedule. In comparison, the NASCAR Modifieds race for peanuts when you compare their race purses to those who race on the New York DIRT circuit. The purses are so bad, NASCAR will not post them. As an example at the recent Super Dirt Bud Lite 200 at the Oswego Speedway race winner Stewart Friesan earned $50,000 for his efforts. Second place finisher Brett Hearn earned $25,000. Funny thing though, NASCAR continues to give lip service saying how great things are while their oldest division goes further and further down the tube. When someone like Melissa Fifield finishes in the top 20 there is a message there.
  At this point much of the restructuring is a work in progress. The division is expected to have 17-20 events in 2017. It has not been finalized on whether or not events that land on the schedule at traditional Southern Modified Tour tracks will be points paying or non-points events. NASCAR has also not determined how the championship structure for the series will work.
  Evidently NASCAR has failed to realize that most Modified team members are not full timers and work a regular job in order to eat and pay the bills. Running all over the country is almost impossible.
  The Whelen Modified Tour will still run its traditional highlight events at Stafford Motor Speedway (Spring Sizzler and Fall Final) and Thompson Speedway (Icebreaker and World Series) and is expected to continue to have a heavy presence in the state with other events.
  The division also runs one event annually at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
  At this point in time the new 2017 schedule for the restructured Whelen Modified tour is not expected to include any events at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. one of the cornerstone tracks of what is now the former Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Bowman Gray, one of the most well known short tracks in the country, hosted the Whelen Southern Modified Tour once in 2016.
  James Schaefer, one of the prime movers of the high paying Tri-Track Modified Series pretty much hit the nail on the head when he said, " so the two Whelen tours have merged together... Does anyone really think there's going to be more than 2-3 races down south? I'm betting on Bristol, Martinsville, and either maybe South Boston or Old Dominion. It certainly isn't going to be a full schedule of races down south. I really think it was simply a way for NASCAR to get rid of the southern tour without actually saying "we're getting rid of the southern tour."
  Hot on the heels of the Modified tour combine is word that Martinsville Speedway will become the latest American short track to add an LED lighting system. Track President Clay Campbell made the announcement advance of the track’s 70th anniversary season next year. Construction will begin shortly after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend on Oct. 29-30.
  Campbell said during an afternoon press conference that there are currently no plans for nighttime racing at the historic .526-mile paperclip shaped oval. The track has already confirmed that its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events next year will start at 2 p.m. EST (April) and 1 p.m. EST (October).
The Made In America Whelen Modified Tour 300 ran under the lights at Martinsville Speedway in 2005 that were rented.
  Area Auto Racing scribe Dave Dragovich lives in New Smyrna, Fl and suffered through Hurricane Mathew recently. While his family survived and his home suffered minimal damage the same could not be said for the New Smyrna Speedway where the storm wreaked havoc causing thousands of dollars in damage. The grandstand section to the right of the starters stand extending all the way into turn one was lifted up and tossed through the retaining fence and cables finally ending up on the track. The grandstands were installed less than a year ago. All racing has been cancelled. Hopefully the facility will be repaired in time for the 2017 World Series which is scheduled during Speedweeks.
  In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Kevin Harvick delivered yet another clutch performance on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, scoring his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the year during the Hollywood Casino 400 to advance to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. A week after an engine failure at Charlotte Motor Speedway dropped Harvick below the Chase cutline, Harvick once again found a way to win. This time Harvick made the most of a late-race restart to take the lead from Carl Edwards before pulling away to a 1.1-second victory.
  Kyle Busch took advantage of 10 yellow flags to get back to the front and win Saturday’s crash-marred Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kansas Speedway. Driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, it was Busch’s ninth victory of the season, his 85th in the series and his third in as many races at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Busch led 150 of the 200 laps and beat XFINITY Series point leader Elliott Sadler to the checkered flag by 4.025 seconds.

  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: October 20, 2017

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