Champ Trail -
January 26, 2016
The countdown continues as speedweeks in Florida are now only two weeks away
when the World Series of Short Track Racing begins at New Smyrna and
preliminary events leading up to the Daytona 500 at the Daytona
International Speedway begin. For those who canít make it to Florida the Ice
Breaker at Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway is only 11weeks away.
After being delayed a day because of a huge snow storm that all but shut
down the entire mid-Atlantic and northeast regions five of NASCARís iconic
figures, four drivers and one motorsports entrepreneur, were inducted into
the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
Those who added their names to the list of now 35 NASCAR Hall of Fame
inductees, included: Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith
and Curtis Turner. The group makes up the Hallís seventh class in its
Among those was Jerry Cook who made his name in the modified division,
winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from
1974-77. He joined his rival from his hometown of Rome, New York, Richie
Evans, as only the second Hall of Fame driver whose career wasnít connected
to NASCARís premier series. Cook won 342 NASCAR Modified races in 1,474
starts. Upon his retirement, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the
series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He served as the
seriesí director and also served as NASCARís competition administrator.
Mike Stefanik received a great deal of support and has good prospects for
joining Richie Evans and Cook in the Hall of Fame in the future.
USA Today reported that Tony Stewart called on NASCAR chairman and CEO
Brian France to take a more active role at the racetrack during a blunt
interview with Sirius/XM Radio on last Thursday. Stewart told host Dave
Moody that drivers "never see Brian France" and donít feel heís hearing
their concerns about various issues facing the sport. "I want to see Brian
France at the track more," Stewart said. "I want to see him walking through
the garage more. I want to see him being more active than just showing up
and patting the sponsors on the back and going up in the suite. I want to
see him down there in the trenches with everybody and understanding whatís
truly going on. I think thatís where he needs to be for awhile."
The ever-reclusive France repeatedly has said he views his role
differently than his father and grandfather, who founded NASCAR and ran the
sport until the end of their lives. They were often visible at the track and
viewed as approachable, whereas France makes infrequent appearances and
relies on executives to handle various day-to-day decisions.
For those of you who canít make it to New Smyrna for the upcoming World
Series for this yearís events, fans will once again be able to catch all the
action of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing at the 50th World Series
of Asphalt Stock Car Racing (Twitter hashtag: #NewSmyrnaWS) on FansChoice.tv.
The web platform, which features free live streaming of NASCAR, AMA Pro
and IMSA racing, as well as assorted motorsports events from across the
globe, will provide comprehensive coverage of one of the premier short-track
events in NASCAR.
"At a time when the spotlight is on the Daytona area, this is a
tremendous opportunity to showcase some of the best short-track racers as
the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series gets started in a big way," said
George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of touring and weekly series. "FansChoice.tv
will allow fans to check out the coverage in a variety of ways:
Supplementing what theyíre enjoying from the stands at New Smyrna, as a
second screen as they take in all the action at ĎThe World Center of
Racing,í Daytona International Speedway, or on their computers, tablets and
phones wherever they are in the world."
Streaming will begin each night at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition,
NASCARHomeTracks.com will again team up with Speed51.com to provide live
updates, results and photos throughout the entire event including practice
and qualifying through its popular Race Central Live feature.
Racing will get underway Friday, Feb. 12, headlined by the first of seven
Super Late Model races. Coverage will continue Saturday, Feb. 13 and resume
on Monday, Feb. 15 as the Modifieds take the track for a 50-lap feature. The
Modifieds will run five nights, culminating with the Richie Evans Memorial
100-lap race Friday, Feb. 19. The Super Late Model 100-lap finale will wrap
up the week on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) recently announced OíReilly
Auto Parts as the official sponsor of the Triple Crown Championship for the
Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS)
divisions. The Triple Crown Championship debuted in 2015 as a mini-series
for these two divisions that consists of three events. Competitorsí
finishing positions in these events earns them both TSMP championship points
and Triple Crown Series points. The Triple Crown will pay its own point fund
and award the top three.
This yearís events include the Icebreaker on April 8-10, For the Fans
Night on July 9, and the Sunoco Modified Twin 25ís race on August 24. The
Triple Crown Champions will be crowned at the Annual Awards Banquet in
December, along with the regular TSMP division champions.
Word comes from the Arute family that Dunleavy's Truck and Trailer Repair
of Brookfield, CT will once again contribute a bonus to the winner of each
SK Modifiedģ and SK Light Modified feature at Stafford Speedway during the
2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. Dunleavy's will provide a
winners bonus of $150 for each SK Modifiedģ feature winner as well as a $125
bonus for each SK Light feature winner. With 22 races during the 2015
season, Dunleavy's contributed $3,300 to SK Modifiedģ feature winners and
$2,750 to SK Light feature winners for a total of $6,050.
It was also announced that drivers will once again be jockeying for
position in order to claim a Call Before You Dig contingency bonus. Call
Before You Dig will present a $125 bonus to the second place finisher in the
SK Modifiedģ feature events during the 2016, bringing the winnings for a 2nd
place finish to $1000. The 2016 season will be the 7th consecutive year that
CBYD has offered a contingency bonus for SK Modifiedģ drivers originally
joining the contingency program back in 2010.
Lou Modestino reported that Linda Brady of Stoughton, Mass, the widow of
the late Joe Brady, hosted a Memorial dinner at the Thompson Speedway
Clubhouse in Connecticut. She chose the location because it was one of her
husband favorite places to dine and relax after the races.. Many of the
guests that turned out were members of the Brady Bunch Racing Team that
spanned five decades of racing a tracks all over New England as well as
up-and-down the east coast. The were several guests from the Brockton area
and others from all over New England, New York as well as the southern
On the speedway stock market scene last week a mild recovery occurred as
the price per barrel of oil went up. It didnít help the speedways much as
two of the three were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.09
to 18.28 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.07 to 2.11. The International
Speedway Corporation had a mild recovery as they went up 0.90 to 31.77.
NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 1.64 to 26.34 and
NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.94 to 28.49 while NASCAR Cup sponsor
Sprint flat lined at 2.87 with a no-change for the week. Two of the three
car manufacturers had positive endings. Toyota jumped up 3.35 to 115.95 and
Ford went up 0.17 to 12.14 while General Motors dropped 0.29 to 29.28. In
the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 3.51 to 122.76 and Lowes
went up 1.51 to 70.50. In the area of big team sponsorís stocks, McDonalds
went up 3.22 to 118.40, Coca-Cola went up 1.88 to 167.88, Aarons Rentals
went up 0.81 to 23.20 and Fedex went up 0.64 to 127.56 while Target dropped
0.36 to 69.72.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, January 27
7:00 AM, NASCAR the List - Texas Motor Speedway, NBC Sports Net
7:30 AM, NASCAR America: Top 20 Moments of the 2015 Season, NBCSN
5:00 PM, Stories of NASCAR, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:30 PM, Stories of NASCAR, NBCSN
Thursday, January 28
7:00 AM, NASCAR the List - Memorable Moments, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR the List - Rookie Seasons, NBCSN
5:00 PM, Stories of NASCAR, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Daytona Rishing, FS1
5:30 PM, NASCAR America - Top 20 Moments of the 2015 Season, NBCSN
Friday, January 29
7:00 AM, NASCAR the List - Iconic Cars, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR the List - Dale Earnhardt Sr. Moments, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Scan All 43, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR Scan All 43, NBCSN
Saturday, January 30
8:00 PM, Undercover Boss - NASCAR, CNBC
Monday, February 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
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.
Smith / Champ Trail