Champ Trail -
December 12, 2017
NASCAR held its Touring Series and weekly racing series banquets in
Charlotte, NC this past weekend. In a wise move, NASCAR decided to not have
a most popular driver in the Whelen Modified Tour Series. For the most part
Milissa Fifield can be blamed for that because in previous years she stacked
the computer voting in her favor. It would be fitting to select Teddy
Christopher as the Most Popular Driver this season.
Todd Gilliland was in a familiar situation when he took the stage at the
Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night.
Gilliland wasn’t the only familiar face honored at the NASCAR Home Tracks
Awards, officially receiving their NASCAR championship rings and trophies.
Doug Coby received the hardware for his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
championship, Lee Pulliam picked up his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series national championship trophy, and Mexico’s Abraham Calderón took home
his second NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series title trophy. They were joined by
first-time champions Harrison Burton (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Alon Day
(NASCAR Whelen Euro Series) and Alex Labbe (NASCAR Pinty’s Series).
Coby joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Jerry Cook and Richie Evans, NASCAR
Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik along with Tony Hirschman Jr., as the
only drivers in NASCAR Modified history with five or more titles.
Numerous state and local championships were recognized. The late Ted
Christopher finished 11th in the National Standings and was honored as the
Connecticut State Champion. Burt Myers was 13th in the National standings
and was honored as the Bowman Gray champion.
Keith Rocco finished second to Christopher in the Connecticut standings
and was 15th nationally. Rocco was also the track champion at Stafford and
at Thompson. Had it not been dropped by NASCAR the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl would have been the third track which would have comprised a
Triple Crown for Rocco. For the first time ever, no other driver has scored
track championships at all three tracks. Ted Christopher and Bob Potter
scored titles at all three tracks but never all on one year.
Rocco has a career overall total of 251 wins which also include victories
at Thompson and at Stafford Speedway.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, Speedway Motorsports went
up 0.06 to 19.43 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.10
to 40.60. Dover Entertainment remained stale at 2.00. NASCAR cup sponsor
Monster Beverage went up 0.30 to 63.22 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
dropped 0.37 to 31.75 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer)
dropped 0.06 to 16.47. The auto manufacturers showed modest gains. Ford went
up 0.03 to 12.61 and Toyota went up 0.09 to 124.45 while General Motors
dropped 0.77 to 42.02. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up
2.99 to 183.41 and Lowes went up 1.27 to 85.60. With the exceptions of
Aarons Rentals the big team sponsors stocks were on a roll. McDonalds went
up 0.28 to 173.15, Coca-Cola went up 8.04 to 224.97, Target went up 1.86 to
61.37 and Fedex went up 9.98 to 240.73.
On the tube this week:
Monday, December 11
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
Thursday, December 14
7:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
Sunday, December 17
9:00 PM, NASCAR XFINITY Series Awards Show, NBCSN
Monday, December 18
6:00 PM, Best of NASCAR Race Hub - Roundtable 2, 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