Champ Trail -
January 17, 2016
The countdown to Speedweeks in Florida continues. As of this coming Friday,
January 20, four weeks remain before the green flag drops for the World
Series at New Smyrna, the 50 lap tour type Modified event at the Bronson (Fla)
Speedway and action at the Daytona International Speedway. It will be here
before you know it.
The ARCA cars were at the Daytona International Speedway for a pre-season
test session last week. Representing the northeast was Andy Seuss who went
185.797mph, 27th fastest of the 63 cars on hand. The fastest was Noah
Grayson from Las Vegas who went 189.143mph during the session. The ARCA cars
will run a 200 lap event a week prior to the Daytona 500 which will be run
on February 26.
The latest word from the New Smyrna Speedway is the grandstand that blew
onto the track at is gone. Recently they ran quarter midgets on the track
and it looks ready for Speedweeks. They have not replaced the grandstand
that blew over yet but they have a few weeks left to do it. The seats were
being loaded onto a large truck and they were going off to be refurbished.
In a somewhat related matter, Rt A-1-A between Daytona and St Augustine
still has a big detour where it washed out for 1.3 miles. The politicians
are arguing with each other over how to fix it. Reading their comments in
the paper, it sounds as if they think this is the only place in the world
that the ocean washed out a road so they seem to have not looked at what
worked and what didn’t elsewhere.
Thanks to Dick Berggren for the heads-up.
Five of six nominees for this years Racing Promotion Monthly’s Auto
Racing Promoter of the Year are multi-time nominees. The nominees’
experience ranges from one season to over 30 years and among them are
promoters of four paved, and two dirt ovals. Three are affiliated with
NASCAR, one with IMCA, one with USRA.
Among the nominees are: Region One, Eastern Region: Josh Vanada, Thompson
(CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. The Auto Racing Promoter of the Year is
short track racing’s most prestigious award. It is awarded each year after
voting by promoters.
Gray Garrison and the Hawkins Family, Bowman Gray (NC) Stadium received
the award last year. Previous winners are: Hugh Deery, 1976/1984; J.C.
Agajanian, 1977; D. Anthony Venditti, 1978; Jack Gunn, 1979; George
Eisenhart, 1980; Dick O’Brien, 1981; Howard Tiedt, 1982; Don Martin, 1983;
Glenn Donnelly, 1985; Cary Agajanian, 1986; Bud Lunsford, 1987; Bob Daniels,
1988; Howard Commander, 1989; Ray Wilkings, 1990; Paul Kuhl, 1991; Robert
Lawton; 1992; Earl Baltes, 1993; Jody Deery, 1994; Andy Vertrees, 1995;
Charles Powell, 1996; C-Ray Hall, 1997; Larry Kemp, 1998; Charles Cathell,
1999; Charles Deery, 2000; Ralph Capitani, 2001; Lanny Edwards, 2002; Bob &
Nadine Strauss, 2003; Tom Curley, 2004, Steve York, 2005; John Padjen, 2006;
Lynn Phillips, 2007; Joe & Walt Doellefeld, 2008; the Nuckles family, 2009;
the Queensland family, Deer Creek (MN) Speedway, 2010; and Robert Sargent,
Track Enterprises, Macon (IL), Paducah (KY) Speedways, 2011; Ron Drager and
Scott Schultz, Flat Rock (MI) and Toledo (OH) Speedways, 2012; Roger Hadan,
Eagle (NE) Raceway, 2013, and Gary & Donna Howe, Kalamazoo Speedway, 2014.
Congratulations to photographers Howie and Mary Hodge for being inducted
into the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. This honor was
well deserved. The award was presented to a motorsports photographer who is
voted by the EMPA professional press members. The award was presented during
the EMPA Conference held recently in King of Prussia, PA. Other awards were
presented to the National Driver of The Year, Martin Truex, Jr., Richie
Evans Memorial Northeast Driver of The Year, Matt Sheppard and new EMPA Hall
of Fame Members Kenny Brightbill, Ray Evernham, Kramer Williamson, Tony
Hirschman and Howie & Mary Hodge.
On the speedway stock market scene this week, all three speedway stocks
ended the week on the positive side. Leading the way was the International
Speedway Corporation which went up 0.20 to 37.60. Speedway Motorsports went
up 0.17 to 21.99 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.10 to 2.40. NASCAR fuel
supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.32 to 36.12 while NASCAR cup
sponsor Monster Energy dropped 1.11 to 44.51 and NASCAR tire supplier
Goodyear dropped 1.10 to 30.74. The car manufacturers had a so-so week.
General Motors went up 1.35 to 37.34 while Ford dropped 0.13 to 12.63 and
Toyota dropped 0.32 to 119.81. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up
1.20 to 72.15 and Home Depot went up 0.51 to 135.04. The NASCAR big team
sponsors stocks were all over the lot. Coca-Cola dropped 7.11 to 170.10,
Target dropped 1.25 to 70.19 and Fedex dropped 3.24 to 187.01 while
McDonalds went up 0.74 to 121.50 and Aarons Rentals went up 1.19 to 32.05.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, January 18
8:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FOX Sports 1
Friday, January 20
8:00 PM, NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, NBC Sports Net
10:00 PM, NASCAR The Season, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Southern Speed: Legend of Darlington, NBCSN
Sunday, January 22
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
That’s 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