The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - February 9, 2016

  The flatlands of coastal and central Florida come alive with the sound of racing engines this coming weekend. The New Smyrna World Series gets the green this Friday night and the first green flag drops at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. For those who canít make it to Florida the Ice Breaker at Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway is only 10 weeks away.

  NASCAR announced that in NBC Sports Netís first season as the official television partner of NASCARís regional touring series, the network televised a combined 14 events between the Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours in 2015. The 14 telecasts provided triple the exposure of the open wheel divisions from 2014. The expanded coverage resulted in a 41-percent increase in unique viewers over the previous season. What seems to be the hold-up in releasing this yearís schedule of TV coverage??

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl lost one competitor and gained another last week. Long Islander Craig Lutz, a regular at the shoreline oval announced he was moving up to the NASCAR Modified Tour Series while veteran Bo Gunning announced that he will be running an SK Modified at the bowl in 2016.

  Big news for competitors comes from the folks at the Thompson Motorsports Park. Over the course of itís 10-event season, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) will pay out over $600,000 in prize money, a $100,000 increase from 2015. Over $220,000 of those funds will go directly to its own six divisions.

  The Sunoco Modified division will have more than $12,000 in purse money on the line for their big event, the 3rd annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint on Wednesday, July 27. This event will see the winner walk home with $2,000, and pay out $1,500 and $1,000 to 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. The race will pay $325 for 10th and $200 to start. The first two points races of the night will be 20 laps, but itís the final 10-lap race which will determine the purse payout, making for an exciting finish to the segment-race event. Over the course of the 10-event season, Sunoco Modified teams will be the beneficiary of nearly $100,000 in prize money, before contingencies.
  The Late Model divisionís main event of the season will be their own 20/20 Sprint event on Wednesday, June 1. This segment-race format will be run the same way, with the winner taking home $1,000 at the end of the night, as well as a guaranteed starter position for the American-Canadian Tour race at the World Series. The drivers in 2nd and 3rd place will take home $700 and $575, respectively, and the total purse for the night will be $7,675. Late Model drivers will fight for nearly $60,000 over the course of their 2016 campaign.
  The big night to win for the Limited Sportsman division will be the Limited Sportsman Long Distance race on Wednesday, May 18. The winner of this 40-lap feature will take home $750, with 2nd and 3rd taking $500 and $350, respectively. The total purse for this event will be $4,255. This is part of over $30,000 in prize money for TSMP;s Division 3 drivers.
  The Mini Stock division will have the opportunity to take home a little extra at their special 25-lap feature on For the Fans Night, on Saturday, July 9th. This event will see the purse raised to $300 for the winner, $225 for 2nd and $200 for 3rd, for a total purse of over $2,000, part of the $15,000-plus to be paid to Mini Stock teams.
  TSMPís non-NASCAR divisions, the Trucks and Lite Modifieds, will also have their own purses for their 20-lap events. The Trucks will receive an evenly-distributed purse of $2,615 and the Lite Modifieds will receive $2,590 in awards.
  In addition to the event purses, a healthy contingency program will be announced in the weeks leading up to the season-opening, Icebreaker. At the season-ending awards banquet, over $25,000 will be paid out in point fund money for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and Triple Crown Series.
  On the speedway stock market scene last week there was a lot of negativity. All three speedway stocks ended the week on the minus side. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.62 to 32.52 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.77 to 18.10 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.09 to 2.13. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 4.04 to 25.70 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.22 to 27.19 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.17 to 2.85. The car manufacturers were also down. Taking the biggest dip was Toyota, which dropped 9.64 to 110.39. In the home improvement sector Home Depot dropped 9.33 to 116.43 and Lowes dropped 5.82 to 65.84. In the area of big team sponsors stocks, Coca-Cola took the biggest hit as they dropped 20.40 to 155.50. McDonalds dropped 8.38 to 115.40 while Target dropped 2.82 to 69.56, Aarons Rentals dropped 1.82 to 21.06 and Fedex dropped 0.97 to 131.91.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, February 11

7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Daytona Rising, FS1
  Friday, February 12
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
9:00 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
9:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub - Daytona Rising, FS1
5:00 PM, NSCS Unlimited practice, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1
7:30 PM Nightly Racing begins at New Smyrna on
6:30 PM, NSCS Unlimited final practice, FS1
8:30 PM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
9:00 PM, NASCAR Beyond the Wheel, FS1

  Saturday, February 13
4:00 AM, NSCS Unlimited practice re-air, FS1
5:00 AM, NSCS Unlimited final practice re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
1:30 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
8:00 PM, Sprint Unlimited, FOX

  Sunday, February 14
3:30 AM, Sprint Unlimited re-air, FS1
5:30 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
7:30 PM New Smyrna Racing resumes on
11:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying, FOX
10:00 PM, NASCAR Daytona 500 Pole Day, 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: February 9, 2016

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