The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - February 16, 2016

  The flatlands of coastal and central Florida came alive with the sound of racing engines this past weekend. The New Smyrna World Series got the green on Friday night and the first green flag dropped 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.

  Modified racing at New Smyrna wasnít scheduled to begin until Monday. A preliminary event was run at the Bronson Speedway in Florida. Ryan Preece led from pole to pole to take the event that paid $2,000 to win and only drew five cars. Jeremy Gerstner finished second with Ron Silk, Dalton Baldwin and J.R. Bertuccio rounding out the top five.

  Denny Hamlin scored his third career Sprint Unlimited victory in a crazy, crash-filled run before an estimated 35,000 fans Saturday night at the Daytona International Speedway.
  Chase Elliott driving the #24 formerly driven by Jeff Gordon, won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 196.314mph, his first career pole and he is the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner. Matt Kenseth will start 2nd, running 194.036mph. The front row is locked into those spots. The rest of the top12: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #18-Kyle Busch, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #48-Jimmy Johnson, #21-Dave Blaney, #3-Auston Dillon, #19-Carl Edwards, #11-Denny Hamlin, #41-Kurt Busch and #22-Joey Logano.

  Sunday nightís NASCAR K&N Series 150 ended up being a rolling demolition derby and a scoring fiasco that saw the event go one two many laps at the finish. In the closing moments, Spencer Davis crashed hard, and Ronnie Bassett took the checkered flag, but it was Todd Gilliland who was declared the victor.
  In a statement, NASCAR said, "As tonightís race neared the conclusion of the advertised distance, there was a delay in the appropriate flags being displayed to the field. As a result, the race continued for an additional lap beyond the scheduled 150 laps, during which a wreck occurred involving the cars at the front of the field. "Per the NASCAR K&N Pro Series rule book Section 10-2.11.B, the official results reverted the running order at the conclusion of lap 150, the advertised distance. NASCAR will review the circumstances surrounding the finish and take steps to avoiding a reoccurrence." Unofficial results had Ryan Preece finishing 7th after starting 21st.

  The Tour type Modifieds, 14 of them, converged on the half mile central Florida speedway on Monday night. Needless to say the weather had other ideas as the entire program of feature events was rained out.

  In NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing itís all about money, big money! NASCAR announced its new charter system on Tuesday, February 9. The new system, which NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center, is a nine-year plan that gives charters to 36 Sprint Cup teams and establishes greater, unprecedented lines of communication between car owners and the sanctioning body. The agreement also established a Team Owner Council, which gives teams more input into Sprint Cup-related decisions concerning competition, revenue and ownership. It also gives car owners a greater interest in digital operations.
  In addition to changes within the ownership package, Sprint Cup fields would be reduced from 43 cars to 40 beginning with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21. The lowered car count gives four non-chartered teams a spot in each field, but the number of charters, France added, would not change. In order for a non-chartered team to obtain a charter, they must buy it from an existing team either in a permanent sale or a once-in-five years, full-season transfer.
  The system is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams, and provide them with a guaranteed spot in the field and an opportunity to plan farther ahead. Theyíll also have a larger say in how they receive money from television contracts and the title sponsorís point fund.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.11 to 32.63 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.12 to 2.01 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.08 to 18.02. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 2.50 to 29.69 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 2.04 to 23.66 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.19 to 2.66. The big three car makers had an off week. Toyota dropped 5.13 to 105.26, General Motors dropped 0.83 to 27.71 while Ford went up 0.10 to 11.55. In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 0.97 to 64.87 and Home Depot dropped 0.11 to 116.32. In big team sponsors stocks, McDonalds went up 2.53 to 117.93 and Coca-Cola went up 7.78 to 163.28 while Target went up 0.39 to 69.95 and Aarons Rentals went up 1.02 to 22.08. Last but not least, Fedex dropped 3.31 to 128.60.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, February 17

12:00 AM, Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame...NASCAR Fans for Hating Jeff Gordon, ESPN Classic
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
5:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona practice, FOX Sports 1
7:30 PM New Smyrna feature races
6:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1

Thursday, February 18
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Daytona practice, FS1
3:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
4:00 PM, NCWTS Daytona final practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying race #1, FS1
7:30 PM New Smyrna feature races
9:00 PM, NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying race #2, FS1
11:30 PM, NASCAR The List - Best Daytona Moments, NBCSN

  Friday, February 19
3:00 AM, NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying race re-airs, FS1
7:00 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying race re-airs, FS1
10:30 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Daytona practice, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
1:00 PM, NXS Daytona practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
3:00 PM, NXS Daytona practice, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
4:30 PM, NCWTS Daytona qualifying, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
7:30 PM New Smyrna feature races
7:30 PM, NCWTS Daytona race, FS1
10:00 PM, Untold Stories: Daytona, FS1

  Saturday, February 20
1:00 AM, Beyond the Wheel, FS2
2:30 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
3:30 AM, NCWTS Daytona race re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NXS Daytona qualifying, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Daytona final practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
3:00 PM, NXS RaceDay, FS1
3:30 PM, NXS Daytona race, FS1
7:30 PM New Smyrna feature races

  Sunday, February 21
3:30 AM, NXS Daytona race re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Daytona 500, FOX

   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 16, 2016

©2016 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent