The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: January 17, 2017

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