The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - January 31, 2016

  The countdown to Speedweeks in Florida continues. As of this coming Friday, February 3, two weeks remain before the green flag drops for the World Series at New Smyrna, the 50 lap tour type Modified event on Saturday, Feb 18 at the Bronson (Fla) Speedway and action at the Daytona International Speedway. It will be here before you know it.

  The Northeast short track racing scene lost a giant and cornerstone figure of the sport on Saturday. Howie Hodge, who for many years along with his wife Mary, roamed the speedways on the east coast as a brilliant and talented photographer, passed away this past Saturday at the age of 77. Hodge and his wife were inducted in the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 7.
  In addition to being a great photographer of our sport he was a good friend to many and was highly respected by his peers. Val LeSieur, former publisher and editor of Speedway Scene pretty much summed up the thoughts of many:
  He said, "There are many we see as heroes in life and in sports. For those of us in the northeast auto racing community, we find those heroes are not just inclusive to drivers and teams. We have heroes in promotional, media, officials, those we consider unique and outstanding racing personalities and friends of the sport. Sadly another racing hero has left our community".
  He added, "To many Howie Hodge wasn't a racing photographer. He was a racing enthusiast, friend, family who had great talent for capturing our sports history and happenings through a lens and enjoying every minute of it. To those who knew him in racing, his presence at the track made attending, competing and covering even more enjoyable. A piece of our great racing history has left the earth and with that a piece of our hearts. God bless you Howie Hodge Rest in peace and God speed.
  The Speedway Scene family extends our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the Hodge family for their loss of such a great man.

  The Northeast Race Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) has officially opened pre-registration for the 2017 season. Race teams looking to compete in the four-race schedule with eligibility for the lucrative point fund and bonus plan must register by April 1, 2017.
  The Tri-Track Series will host four races including events at Seekonk and Star Speedways and two events at the New London Waterford Speedbowl with an excess of $30,000 in point fund money up for grabs. The cumulative point fund at the end of the year will be distributed among the top 25 in owners’ points.
  "Jim (Schaefer) and Dick (Williams) have worked hard on this series since its inception to build a strong foundation and that includes the point fund," said managing partner Wayne Darling. "This is a healthy payout for a four-race schedule. And, believe me Jim is still working hard to build that up."
  The preregistration fee of $450 entitles teams to a stake in the point fund as well as eligibility for the growing bonus plan. Preregistered car owners also receive one complimentary pit pass for each of the four races on the schedule. Checks made payable to Tri Track Enterprise LLC can be mailed to Jim Schaefer, 545 Sweezy Ave., Riverhead, NY 11901. For more information contact Schaefer via Facebook, email the series at or via phone at 774.229.6106 or 508.847.0565.
  "Every penny that we raise will go to the racers," said co-founder Jim Schaefer. "This series has been and will continue to be for the racers."
Schaefer and others continue to work toward securing additional sponsorship for the upcoming 2017 season. A total of 54 teams pre-registered for the 2016 season. Nearly 78 different drivers have competed in the Tri-Track Modified Series since its inception in 2014.

  On the speedway stock market scene this week two of the three speedway stocks were up for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.70 to 37.00 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.28 to 21.56 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.15 to 2.25. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 3.08 to 38.84 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.79 while NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 3.21 to 42.30. With the exception of FORD which went up 0.13 to 12.29 the car manufacturer’s were down for the week. General Motors dropped 0.01 to 37.00 and Toyota dropped 2.21 to 116.71. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 2.73 to 138.33 and Lowes went up 1.49 to 73.25. The big team’s sponsor’s stocks were up and down. McDonalds went up 0.60 to 122.86 and Fedex went up 10.17 to 195.90 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.73 to 165.91Target dropped 0.40 to 63.70 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.23 to 30.54

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, February 1

6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, Fox Sports 1

  Thursday, February 2
5:00 PM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks!, ANIMAL
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, 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 31, 2017

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