Twenty five years ago in 1985, the cup cars of NASCAR were at
Richmond, Va. Darrell Waltrip was the Busch Pole sitter. Dale
Earnhardt Sr took the win with Geoff Bodine, second.
Fifteen years ago in 1995, Kenny Wallace was the
Grandnational (Busch Racing Series) winner at Richmond. In Winston
(NEXTEL) cup racing Jeff Gordon was the Busch Pole sitter and Terry
Labonte was the winner.
Ten years ago in 2000, the action was in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hank Parker was the pole sitter for the Busch Series event and Ricky
Rudd was the NEXTEL Cup pole sitter. Mark Martin was the apparent
Busch Series winner when Jack Sprague spun him with four laps to go.
Jeff Burton got lucky as he went low, avoided the wreck and went on
to take the win. Burton made it two for two as he also won the
NEXTEL Cup event. Burton had just taken the lead from Mark Martin
when the rains came. The event never restarted and Burton was
declared the winner. In other news, Thompson Speedway owner Don
Hoenig was in the process of having Butch Davis evicted from the
speedway when he ran into a snag. The presiding judge had been a
lawyer for Hoenig in a past case.
Last year, 2009, Thompson Speedway owner Don Hoenig shifted
gears again at the northeastern Connecticut oval. In 2008 the
Speedway hosted two Thursday night dates for the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Series in addition to his traditional dates. For 2009
he announced that he was dropping the June event and replacing it
with an open competition non sanctioned Modified event. After much
thought, Hoenig decided to drop the idea of an open event and
replaced it with the True Value Modified Series and his regular
Thursday Night Thunder Series divisions. The True Value Modified
Series had become a legitimate alternative for those who could not
afford the travel and associated expenses of racing on the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series. Founded by Jack Bateman, the True Value
Series ran at just about every track in New England. Notably absent
from the True Value Series Schedule was the Stafford Motor Speedway.
The Waterford Speedbowl property continued to be a hot topic
especially with a foreclosure looming. As of 2/24, six days remained
before the shoreline oval was scheduled to be on the block. It was a
known fact that Rocky Arbitell was a big race fan. Chances are he
would buy the note from himself and will own the Waterford Speedbowl,
lock, stock and barrel for $750,000. If he hired the right
professional people to run and promote the track it could be put
back on a profitable basis. Years ago when the Arutes leased the
Speedbowl, Ed Yerrington, who was the General Manager stated that
the Speedbowl kept Stafford afloat while the track was rebuilding
their weekly program after tossing out the Modifieds in favor of the
When the Waterford Speedbowl gates open for the 59th consecutive
season on March 28-29 for the 13th annual Modified Nationals,
Budweiser and Levine Distributing would once again sponsor the
150-lap thriller. Boasting $20,000 in prize money, the event was the
first of its kind for the SK Modifieds. The $5,000 winnerís share is
the most lucrative in the region and historically attracts a banner
field of competitors vying for bragging rights and the big payday.
The sounds of the open-wheel Modifieds returned to Orange County
Speedway in North Carolina for the first time in over 15 years and
despite cold weather and snowy conditions the teams in attendance
knocked off some very competitive laps in preparation for the March
6 & 7 Frost Bite Modified Winter NationalsĒ at the Orange County
Speedway in Rougemont, NC.
Temperatures in the low 40ís and blowing snow did little to dampen
the spirits of those on hand for the test and lap times were about a
second a lap quicker than the regular OCS divisions. Ronnie Silk in
the Hillbilly Racing #79 was the quickest of the group with laps in
the 13:40 second range. Jay Foley wasnít far behind in his Foley
Machine Chevy with laps in the 13:60 bracket and Jason Myers in the
Tranthem/Moorefield, Myers Racing Ford turned laps in the 13:80ís.
Silk and Foley tested the softer M-20 and M-30 combination and Myers
ran the set-up with the harder M-45 compound on the right rear. ďThe
OCS track record for the Modifieds was 12:92 when we ran here lastí,
said Gary Myers, owner of the Jason Myers ride. The track is located
on NC Hwy 57 half-way between Hillsborough and Roxboro, NC.
Kyle Busch did something Saturday that no NASCAR driver had done in
the sanctioning bodyís top divisions, won twice in the same day.
Busch added a dominating NASCAR Nationwide Series victory under the
lights to a similar Camping World Truck Series win earlier in the
day at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Busch led 95 of 100
laps in winning the truck race on the 2-mile oval, then was in front
for 143 of 150 for his 22nd Nationwide victory. Kevin Harvick was
second and Middletown native Joey Logano, Busch's Gibbs Racing
teammate, was third. Carl Edwards beat Busch out of the pits on the
last stops by the leaders Saturday night, but Busch took the lead on
the restart 16 laps from the end and pulled away. Despite leads of
up to 11 seconds at times, it came down to the restart on lap 135
after Edwards beat Busch out of the pits by the length of his hood.
In Sprint Cup action, Matt Kenseth went the distance this week as he
won the Auto Club 500 on Sunday. Kenseth, who won a rain-shortened
Daytona 500 a week ago to open the Sprint Cup season, had to endure
four short rain delays in the season's second race. But with the
help of his pit crew, which several times got the No. 17 Ford off
pit road first, Kenseth became the first driver since 1997 to win
the season's first two points races. The last driver to start with
two victories was Jeff Gordon, who fought furiously to deny Kenseth
but settled for second. Middletown native Joey Logano finished 26th.
Gordon, trying to snap the longest winless streak of his career at
42 races, passed Kenseth for the lead on lap 196 but lost the race
off pit road on a caution 12 laps later and couldn't catch Kenseth.
Gordon got almost to Kenseth's rear bumper on lap 232, but Kenseth
held on for his 18th career victory. Kyle Busch, who made NASCAR
history by winning both the truck and Nationwide races on Saturday,
came up short of a weekend sweep, finishing third.
This week are several vintage racing
photos of some of the drivers of Hall of Fame car owner
Billy Simons # 9, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & VintageModifieds.com.
Click on Photo for Full Size
Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: