Forty five years ago in 1967,
Curtis Turner in a Smokey Yunick Chevelle took the pole for the
ninth annual Daytona 500.Turner toured the 2-1/2 mile oval at
180.831 mph. Second fastest and taking the outside pole was Richard
Petty. Petty went 179.068 mph. A total of 56 cars attempted to
Forty years ago in 1972, Bobby
Issac in the K & K Dodge took the pole for the Daytona 500. Second
fastest was AJ Foyt. Andy Hampton won the ARCA 300 at Daytona. Iggy
Katona finished second with Red Farmer, third. Speedweeks in Daytona
was the beginning of a big year of change for NASCAR. Bill France Sr,
who formed NASCAR, stepped down as President and in his place was
Bill Jr, 38 years old at the time. Before he stepped down, France
Sr. reorganized the Grandnational (Winston Cup) tour into a 31-event
championship program, which eliminated events of less than 250 miles
and dirt track events.
Thirty five years ago in 1977,
the Modifieds were added to the World Series of Asphalt Racing at
the New Smyrna Speedway. Fred DeSarro was the opening night winner.
Richie Evans finished second in the 25-lap event and was followed by
Geoff Bodine, Ronnie Bouchard, Bugsy Stevens, Merv Treichler and
George Kent. Geoff Bodine, in the Richard Armstrong No.1 came back
to win the next three with Evans the bridesmaid on all three
occasions. Donnie Allison was the Daytona 500 pole sitter with a
speed of 188.048 mph. AJ Foyt was the outside pole sitter.
Thirty years ago in 1982, Benny
Parsons was the Daytona 500 pole sitter with a speed of 196.317 mph.
Harry Gant was second fastest with a speed of 195.609 mph. Bobby
Allison won the Daytona Busch Clash. An all-new Modified team
appeared at New Smyrna. Long Islander Greg Sacks teamed up with
Ernie Wilsburg and took the Florida oval by storm as they won the
first three events. Richie Evans finished second in the opening
night event and was followed by Tony Hirschman, Ronnie Bouchard, Gil
Hearne and Jamie Tomaino. Nite number two saw Evans again in second
spot with Doug Hewitt, Maynard Troyer and Hirschman, following.
Evans continued to be the bridesmaid as he recorded another second
on Sunday night. Hewitt and Troyer followed with Gail Barber
rounding out the top five.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Bill Elliot was the top dog at Daytona as he took the Daytona 500
pole with a speed of 210.364 mph. Elliott also won the Busch Clash.
In World Series action at New Smyrna, Jamie Tomaino was the opening
night winner. Jim Spencer finished second and was followed by Tony
Jankowiac. Saturday night action rained out. Jim Spencer came back
with fire in his eyes as he won the Sunday night event over Reggie
Ruggiero and Dave Reszendes. Ruggiero got his night of glory on
Monday as he won the 25-lap feature over Tomaino, Spencer and
Reszendes. Spencer became the first repeat winner as he took top
honors on Tuesday night. Tomaino finished second with Reszendes,
third. Bobby Fuller arrived in Florida and wound up fourth in his
second night out.
Twenty years ago in 1992,
Sterling Marlin was the Daytona 500 pole sitter. Bill Elliott took
the outside pole making it an all Junior Johnson front row. Geoff
Bodine, in the Bud Moore No.15, won the Busch Clash. In World Series
action at New Smyrna, Steve Park in the Joe Brady No.00 went pole to
pole to win the opening Friday night event. Ricky Fuller finished
second with Tom Baldwin, third. Park made it two in a row as he won
again on Saturday night as he again beat out Fuller for the win.
Fuller jumped into a back up car after wrecking on the start with
Tom Baldwin and Jay Hedgecock. Tom Baldwin jumped out on Sunday
night and went on to record his first win. Park finished second and
was followed by Tim Arre, Rick Fuller and Bob Park. Ricky Fuller,
driving for Mario Fiore, took the top spot on Monday night. Fuller
was followed by Park, Richie Gallup and Tony Ferrente Jr. Gary
Balough, who had won four late model features in a row, was
disqualified for having too much left side weight. Park became the
first repeat winner as he won on Tuesday night. Fuller, Baldwin,
Gallup and Arre rounded out the top five.
Fifteen years ago in 1997, Jim
Hendrickson, a top gun on Long Island and former driver of the
Ferrente x3 passed away. Mike Skinner in the Richard Childress No.31
took the Daytona 500 pole with a speed of 189.813 mph. Steve Grissom
was second fastest with a speed of 189.813 mph. Jeff Gordon won the
Busch Clash, a sleeper of a race with no passing. Tom Baldwin was
the opening night winner at New Smyrna, going pole to pole for the
win. Tony Stewart, in the Bob Fuller No.17, finished second. Dave
Berube, Eric Beers and Mike Christopher rounded out the top five.
Baldwin made it two for two as he again went pole to pole as he won
the Saturday night event. Stewart again finished second with Tim
Arre, Dave Berube and Gary Meyers rounding out the top five. Arre
went pole to pole on Sunday night with Fuller second and Stewart,
third. Ted Christopher was having a horrible week as he blew three
engines in a row. Stewart went pole to pole on Monday night. Baldwin
finished second and was followed by Arre, Fuller and Doug French
.Rick Fuller got his first win for Joe Brady on Tuesday night.
Christopher finally got an engine to stay together and finished
second. Stewart finished third and was followed by Baldwin and
Ten years ago in 2002 Charlie
Pasteryak went pole to pole to win the opening Friday night 25-lap
event at the New Smyrna Speedway. Ted Christopher finished second
with Rob Summers, John Blewett III and Eric Beers rounding out the
top five. Daytona 500 qualifying was held on Saturday afternoon with
53 cars on hand. Rookie Jimmie Johnson took the pole with a speed of
185.831 mph. Kevin Harvick was second fastest. Thirty Modifieds went
to post on Saturday night at New Smyrna. Ted Christopher survived
six cautions and came home the winner over Summers, Pasteryak, JR
Bertuccio and Blewett. The Busch Clash for Winston Cup pole
qualifiers was held on Sunday afternoon. Tony Stewart took the win
in the 70-lap event that went non-stop. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished
second with Jeff Gordon, third. Rain washed out New Smyrna on Sunday
night. In other news, NASCAR announced a television package for
their touring series, which included seven events each for the
Featherlite Modifieds, and Busch North Series. It was also announced
that Knoxville Raceway promoter Ralph Capitani had been selected as
the RPM Promoter of the Year. Francis Venditti of the Seekonk
Speedway was the New England Regional winner. NASCAR was hit with a
$8.5 million lawsuit that was filed by safety equipment manufacturer
Bill Simpson who felt that he had been defamed over the way NASCAR
handled the Earnhardt seat belt issue.
Five years ago in 2007, the
engines started in New Smyrna, Fla. for the 41st annual World Series
of Asphalt Racing last Friday night. Clear weather and temperatures
in the 70ís greeted both fans and competitors. Twenty-one Tour Type
Modifieds and 15 SK Type Modifieds were on hand. In the Tour Type 25
lap feature Eric Beers and Don Lia led the charge at the green. As
the field entered turn one Ted Christopher spun, triggering a
scramble that collected Jim Storace and Earl Paules. Christopher was
able to restart at the tail end of the field. With Beers and Lia
still on the point a second start was attempted. Bob Grigas spun in
turn one, bringing out the second caution. Another spin made restart
No. 3 a bust. Out of desperation Modified Chief Steward made the
decision to start the field single file. With one lap on record Bob
Holmes brought out the caution after hitting the wall in turn 2. One
more caution, on lap 19 for a minor spin slowed the field. At the
finish Eric Beers, who went pole to pole was the winner. John
Blewett III finished second with Andy Seuss, third. Ted Christopher
rebounded from his first lap skirmish to finish fourth. Don Lia
rounded out the top five. Jimmy Blewett was the SK Type Modified
The newly paved speedway saw elapsed times getting much faster as
competitors toured the half-mile oval in the 16-second bracket. Joey
Logano made his Tour Type Modified debut in practice. He got into
the wall during practice and was not able to take time for
qualifying . James Civali is driving a second Joe Brady machine
renumbered the #80. Mike Andrews is also back in the driverís seat,
driving the Bear Motorsports #14. Ryan Preece has also shown up at
the track in the #40. Eric Beers was the fastest in Tour Type
Modified time trials for the second night in a row when he blistered
the half mile oval in16.526 seconds. John Blewett III was second
fastest with Earl Paules, third. The first five tour type cars broke
the track record. Twenty-two Tour Type Modifieds were on hand. Donny
Lia and Eric Beers led the field down for the start. Just as the
field completed the first lap Ryan Preece hit the wall in turn 2 and
went along the outside wall for a few yards. Mike Andrews in the
Bear Motorsports #14 hit the wall in between turn 3 and 4.Lia led
the restart with Beers in tow. On lap five Ted Christopher brought
out the caution when he tried to go under Andy Seuss between turns
three and four. Both cars hit the wall a ton! As the field went
under red both cars were double hooked off the track to the pits.
Lia continued to lead Beers on the lap 5 restart. Chuck Hossfeld had
moved into third with John Blewett III, fourth with Jimmy Blewett
rounding out the top five. Caution No.3 flew on lap 10 for debris on
the track. Beers applied the heat to Lia but to no avail. Hossfeld
began to fade as the Blewett brothers passed him. Bob Grigas brought
out caution No. 4 when he spun in turn four. He drove away. On the
restart Butch and Shelly Perry got together as well as Bobby Holmes
and James Civali. Once again, with seven laps remaining, the field
restarted with Lia on the point followed in single file by Beers. On
lap 20 Jimmy Blewett ran out of patience and in a bonsai move shot
by Beers. John Blewett followed. At the finish it was Don Lia by
four car lengths over Jimmy Blewett, John Blewett III, Eric Beers,
Zach Sylvester and Chuck Hossfeld. After two nights it appears that
only a chosen few can handle the increased speeds at New Smyrna.
Jimmy Blewett made it two for two in the SK Type Modifieds.
The Modifieds had Sunday night off.
The Daytona International Speedway shifted into high gear with the
running of the Busch Clash on Saturday night. Stewart nudged Kyle
Busch out of the lead with eight laps to go, then calmly drove to
his third victory in the all-star event when runner-up David
Gilliland never challenged. Busch, who needed a huge save to keep
his car off the wall, finished seventh and seemed certain that
Stewart made at least slight contact. As Stewart closed in on the
finish line, Dale Earnhardt Jr ran into the back of Elliott Sadler
to start a four-car pileup far from the leaders that collected
defending race winner Denny Hamlin and Greg Biffle. David Gilliland
and Ricky Rudd won the top two starting spots Sunday in qualifying
for the Daytona 500. Gilliland turned a lap of 186.320 mph to win
the pole, and Rudd was right behind at 185.609. Sixty-one cars
attempted to qualify.
Last year, 2011, The long wait
was over as the nights came alive in New Smyrna Florida as the green
flag dropped for the 45th ANNUAL WORLD SERIES of ASPHALT STOCK CAR
RACING at the New Smyrna Speedway The nine night series featured
Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, NASCAR
Tour-Type Modifieds, SK Modifieds, FL/IMCA Type Modifieds,
Pro-Trucks, ACT Late Models.
The Modifieds were scheduled to run every night except on Sunday,
2/13. Opening night saw a slim field of Modifieds, 11 and a real
slim field of SK Mods, 7. Earl Paules was the opening night 25 lap
Modified feature winner. Paules took the lead from Ron Silk
following a lap 12 restart. Silk finished second with Chuck
Hossfeldt third and Ted Christopher, fourth. Rounding out the top
five was Patrick Emerling. Because of the short field, the SK
Modified feature was cut back to 15 laps instead of the scheduled
25. Ron Silk took the win with Earl Paules, second.
Night number two, Saturday, saw a new Modified winner in the form of
Ted Christopher. Driving the Joe Brady #00 Christopher took the lead
in the 25 lap feature on lap 2 and never looked back. Chuck
Hossfeldt finished second with Ronnie Silk, third. Andy Petree who
was a Championship Crew Chief for the late Dale Earnhardt Sr
finished fourth with Earl Paules rounding out the top five. The
Modified field continued to be thin as there were only ten on hand.
Ron Silk made it two in a row in SK Modified action. The field of
SKs continued at seven.
The Modifieds and SK Modifieds did not race on Sunday night at New
Kurt Busch won the exhibition Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night
when Denny Hamlin was disqualified for going below the out-of-bounds
line at Daytona International Speedway. The first NASCAR race on
Daytona's new pavement created sizzling fast speeds, cars went over
206 mph at one point in the race, and created packs of two cars all
around the oval.
Busch skirted around Newman at the top of the track, pulling
McMurray with him. Hamlin actually crossed the finish line first,
but was black-flagged and fell to 12th.
Instead of a smaller restrictor plate to lower the speeds at Daytona
Intíl Speedway, NASCAR officials are taking a different approach by
lowering the tolerance level of the pressure relief valve. By taking
that approach, the cars will blow water out of the engine at a lower
temperature, which will force cars locked in a two-car draft to pull
out to get clean air into the inlet on the front grille.
NASCAR officials recognized a problem in Saturday nightís Budweiser
Shootout at Daytona when speeds of two cars in a draft exceeded 206
miles per hour. Once those cars began to overheat and had to unlock
each other, the closing rate of another two cars locked up was more
than 20 miles per hour faster.
Since the advent of radial tires and the car of tomorrow Sprint Cup
races have become a big time bore. Sprint Cup racing is nothing more
than a glorified IROC race that in many cases is way too long.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. reclaimed the spotlight in Daytona speedweeks,
winning pole position for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 186.089 mph
in qualifying Sunday. Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports teammate,
Jeff Gordon, qualified second. It's the second straight Daytona 500
front row sweep for Hendrick, who put Mark Martin on the pole and
Earnhardt in the No. 2 spot last year.
A little bit of New England racing nostalgia and history came to an
end on Feb 10 when the roof that covered the former No. 44 race shop
came crashing down. The Mario Fiore owned race team had occupied the
premises from 1981 through 2006. It was from this race shop, located
across the street from the former Riverside Park in Agawam, Ma that
Fiore and his team produced and maintained some of the fastest and
best handling Modifieds that ever turned laps.
National Speed Sport News reported that fuel injected engines will
make their way into NASCAR competition in 2012. The fuel injection
system will replace carburetors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup division.
The series has used carburetors since its inception in 1949. NASCAR
and its top series teams will test the technology during the 2011
season with the anticipation of the systems being rolled out in
Fuel injection was used in the NASCAR Modifieds up to and including
the 1969 season. Among those who were the most proficient with the
use and setup of fuel injection were Jack Tant, Bobby Judkins and
the late Len Boehler.
NASCAR officials announced that they had lowered the minimum age for
drivers competing in their five regional touring divisions from 16
years old to 15 years old. The change took effect immediately for
the K&N Pro Series East and West divisions, the Whelen Modified Tour
and Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the Canadian Tire Series.
It marked the second time in four years that NASCAR had lowered the
age minimum for its touring divisions. Prior to the 2007 season the
minimum age was lowered from 18 to 16. Joe Gibbs Racing took
advantage of that change immediately entering Middletown native Joey
Logano into competition in the K&N Pro Series East. The then 17-year
old went to win the division's championship, become the youngest
driver to win a NASCAR title. Logano was in his third season in the
Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.
In another move, NASCAR announced that it's Learner's Permit NASCAR
license for Whelen All-American Series competitors would be
applicable for all divisions at NASCAR sanctioned tracks. NASCAR
introduced the Learner's Permit license last year, allowing
competitors and crew members ages 14 and 15 years old entrance into
entry level divisions at NASCAR sanctioned short tracks.
Many have mixed feelings about lowering age limits. Some kids are
responsible enough to handle it while some are not.
It was announced that Ford Motor Co. has sued Ferrari in Detroit
federal court, saying the sports car maker has violated its
trademark over the pickup truck name F-150.
The suit is based on Ferrari's naming of its new Formula 1 racing
car the "F150," and its creation of the website
http://www.ferrarif150.com. Dearborn-based Ford says in Wednesday's
filing that its trademark is being harmed, and the suit asks a judge
to block Ferrari from using the trademark in the U.S. Ford also
seeks unspecified damages from Ferrari.
Ferrari's website says the "F150" marks the 150th anniversary of the
unification of Italy.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size
Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
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