The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

February 26, 2016

  Fifteen years ago in 2001 Dale Earnhardt Sr. was buried in a private ceremony. Richard Childress announced that Kevin Harvick would drive the Goodwrench car that would be painted white and carry the number 30.NASCAR announced that the lap belt had broken on the Childress No.3.In Winston Cup qualifying at Rockingham; Jeff Gordon took the pole with Steve Park on the outside. Todd Bodine was the Busch Grandnational winner on Saturday. It took two days to run the Winston Cup event as the red was displayed after 51 laps on Sunday because of rain. Steve Park, who had run in the lead pack all day, took the lead from Jeff Gordon on lap 338 and went on to take the win. Park did a polish victory lap and in doing so, ran out of gas and had to be pushed to victory lane.

  Ten years ago in 2006 The New London Day reported on February 23, that the bank that held the mortgage on the Waterford Speedbowl was threatening to take possession of the racetrack, claiming the owner had failed to make payments on his $1.7 million loan. The Washington Mutual Bank, which has headquarters in Seattle, Wash., filed a lawsuit in the Norwich Connecticut Superior Court stating that Speedbowl owner Terry H. Eames of Groton and various business entities that he manages had failed to make regular and accelerated payments on the mortgage taken out six years previous. Eames' first court appearance in the case was set for Tuesday, February 28. Eames said that the racetrack's financial problems wouldn’t affect the Speedbowl's upcoming season, which was set to run from April 1 to Sept. 24. According to the racetrack's Web site, open practice for drivers was scheduled to begin March 25.
  According to the lawsuit, Eames' companies and he himself were liable for mortgage payments. As the main borrower, Eames was in default and, in addition, liable because he owed back taxes, the lawsuit says. Eames manages 1080 Hartford Road LLC, which holds title to three separate parcels totaling 20 acres; T.H.E. Motorsports LLC, which leases space from the Speedbowl; and Victuals Inc., which runs concessions. All were named as parties in the lawsuit. An LLC protects personal assets like houses, cars and boats from being attached. The bank also was suing the town of Waterford, which held liens totaling about $36,000 on the property; and Finkeldey Inc. of Old Saybrook, a waste-management firm. Finkeldey supplied portable toilets to the speedbowl and was owed thousands. Eames had made arrangements with the town to pay his back taxes, Town Attorney Rob Avena said. Eames' company, 1080 Hartford Road LLC, owns three contiguous pieces of property — 1080, 1084, and 1090 Hartford Road (also known as Route 85). The 20-acre piece where the racetrack is located has a fair market value of $2.4 million, according to records in the town assessor's office. The other two parcels are worth as much as $157,000 each or more.
  The bank's lawyer, James R. Byrne of Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn LLP of Hartford, asked the court to allow the bank to foreclose and take immediate possession of personal property. The bank also was seeking monetary damages, lawyers' fees and other costs. Byrne had also asked the court to assume jurisdiction over the property.  
  Another one who evidently didn't like to pay taxes was Busch East competitor Matt Kobyluck. Kobyluck, who is the owner and vice president of Kobyluck Sand and Gravel owed the town of Salem Conn. $7,914.52 in real estate and personal property tax on equipment. Kobyluck owns a rock quarry and had various equipment including rock crushers on the property. The town had a cease and desist order against Kobyluck’s operation.
  In Nextel Cup action at the California Speedway Matt Kenseth took the win after early contenders Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart dropped out with engine trouble.

  Last Year, 2015, The wheels of progress turn slow at times but at the track known as the Speedbowl the new owner Bruce Bemer and new General Manager Shawn Monahan shifted into high gear and are running wide open despite a heavy blanket of snow that covers the Connecticut shoreline oval. First off the new manager and owner have opted to take a step back as they have re-named the facility the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. When the Speedbowl was built in 1951 it was called that by the original owners. It was during the Harvey Tattersall years that the name was shortened to the Waterford Speedbowl. Another tidbit is the fact that the new management was considering a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series event in addition to a Valenti Modified Racing event and maybe a Tri-Track series event. Lets hope this happens!
  As of the previous Saturday night, Feb 28 it was one down and two to go as Shawn Monahan put the word out that the New London-Waterford Speedbowl would be part of the Tri-Track Series. The Tri-Track Open Modified Racing Series will make its Speedbowl debut with a Sunday afternoon show on Sept. 13. Said Dennis Perry, "So excited about the tri track event at the bowl. No doubt in my mind this will be the premiere modified show of the year. With the bowl offering the best in short track racing and the purses James Schaefer and the racing guys put up this show could rival some of the big dirt shows in cars and attendance." The Waterford event will be a non-points race," said Tri Track series promoter James Schaefer. "Teams that have already pre-entered with the Tri Track Open Modified Series will not have an additional entry fee for this race." Even though the purse collection is in its beginning stages, Schaefer said he expects the purse to be around $5,000 for the winner of the race. If everyone pre-registers, the lion’s share could boost to as much as $10,000.
  Snow had also buried the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the Staffoed Motor Speedway and the Seekonk Speedway. Despite all that plans are in the works for 2015 opening events.
  The NASCAR big three were at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson had to start in the back of the pack in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, but the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was in front when it mattered most. Johnson out-dueled Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a restart with 14 laps to go, then held off a charge from runner-up Kevin Harvick to score his 71st career win. The second- and third-place finishers, Harvick and Earnhardt, were the same as in the season opening Daytona 500. Polesitter Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five. Johnson started 37th after being unable to post a qualifying time on Friday after his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS failed technical inspection on its first trip. Jeff Gordon, in his final start at Atlanta, where he made his Cup debut in 1992, suffered the same fate as Johnson in qualifying and had to start 35th. Sunday was no better for the four-time champion. He was involved in a multi-car crash with 69 laps to go that relegated him to a 41st-place finish.
  Kevin Harvick continued his dominance at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday as he rolled to victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 and Matt Crafton was in a league of his own Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway as he cruised to his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season during the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200. 

  That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, 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.

Looking Back Archive

Source: Phil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: February 26, 2016

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