The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - January 2, 2018

  With the holiday season in the rear view mirror its time to look ahead to the 2018 season. Racing action in Florida begins in five short weeks. The New Smyrna Speedway opens for the 2018 World Series on Thursday, Feb 8 for competitor parking and practice. Racing begins on Friday, Feb 9 with Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, IMCA type Modifieds and Sportsman. Friday nightís lineup will carry over to Saturday night with the Southern Sprint Car Series added. The NASCAR sanctioned K&N Pro Series has their 2018 season opener on Sunday night along with the IMCA Modifieds. Tour-Type Modifieds Will Be Able to Park and Go Through Tech.
  The Tour type Modifieds will have their opening event for World Series Ď18 on Monday night, a 50 lapper. Joining them will be the Super Late Models and the Pro Late Models. The Tour type Modifieds run a 25 lapper on Tuesday night, Feb 13 while the Super Late Models go 50 laps and the IMCA Modifieds go 75 laps. The Tour type Modifieds headline Wednesday nightís action with the John Blewett III Memorial 76 lapper. IMSA Modifieds, Super Late Models and Pro Late Models will round out the nightís racing. Racing continues on Thursday, February 15 with Pro Late Models, Tour type Modifieds, Super Late Models and IMCA Modifieds.
  The Richie Evans Memorial Tour Type Modified 100 takes center stage on Friday night, February 16. Also on tap will be a 100 lapper for the Pro Late Models and an event for the Sportsman division. The World Series winds up on Saturday night, February 17 with a 100 lapper for the Super Late Models plus events for Pro Late Models, IMSA Modifieds and Sportsman.

  Following Florida Speedweek which winds up with the running of the Daytona 500 on February 18 it will be only three weeks before the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour gets the green flag on March 17 at the Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina. That event was televised last year by Four weeks after Myrtle Beach will be the IceBreaker at the Thompson Speedway on Sunday, April 8.

  It looks like the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will be back for another run in 2018. The opening event will be on Sat, May 26 at the Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire. Round two will be the Seekonk Speedway Open Wheel Wednesday on June, 27. Round three will be the SBM 125 at the Star Speedway in New Hampshire on July 28 and the series will wrap up with the Haunted 100 at the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts on Oct 27.

  In the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Tony Stewart by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr., Stewart has filed a motion requesting an immediate appeal to a U.S. District Court judge's decision that liability waivers signed by drivers prior to the August 2014 sprint-car race were unenforceable. Stewart claims that he would eventually appeal the ruling (a trial is set for May) on this issue, and an appeals court decision prior to trial would help facilitate a potential settlement or impact the length of the trial. Stewart also argues that the decision creates "an immediate chilling effect on the continuation of" the racing industry in New York state.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks ended the final week of the year on the negative side. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.95 to 18.87 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.90 to 39.85 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.05 to 1.95. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 0.48 to 63.24 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.54 to 32.31 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.26 to 17.92. The car manufacturers were all negative for the week. Ford dropped 0.10 to 12.49, General Motors dropped 1.03 to 40.99 and Toyota dropped 1.15 to 127.17. In the home improvement sector Lowes went up 1.75 to 92.94 and Home Depot went up 1.38 to 189.53. With the exception of McDonalds which went up 0.70 to 172.12 the big team sponsors stocks were down for the week. Coca-Cola dropped 6.71 to 215.26, Target dropped 0.13 to 65.25, Aarons rentals dropped 0.41 to 39.85 and Fedex dropped 0.53 to 249.54.

   Thatís 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: January 2, 2018

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