Twenty-five years ago, in 1984, the Winston Cup cars were at
Atlanta. Buddy Baker was the pole sitter. Benny Parsons took the
win. Ronnie Bouchard qualified 7th and finished 12th. Doug Hevron
qualified 31st and wasn't as lucky as he lost a rear end and
Twenty years ago in 1989, the Modifieds were off as they were
making preparations for the upcoming season that would open up a
week later in the northeast.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Mike Stefanik was informed that he
had been released from the Busch Grandnational-Lux Air ride and on a
sad note, Dick McCabes' wife Rosalie passed way. Subsequently,
McCabe who was one of the top drivers in the Busch North Series
would lose interest in racing and would end a brilliant career.
Ten years ago in 1999, Riverside Park was slated to open the
Featherlite Modified season but heavy rain changed their plans. Bob
Polverari was the Busch pole sitter. At Darlington, Matt Kenseth was
the Grandnational winner. Jeff Burton was the Winston Cup winner.
Five years ago in 2004, after four months of testing the
waters by Connecticut developer Gene Arganese, who hoped to build a
$400 million speedway in North Stonington on Route 2, it appeared
that the initial project had been sunk as Arganese then proposed to
move his project from Exit 92 on I-95 to Exit 93. The new proposed
site was centered on the north side of I-95 centered on the site of
the former J. Romanella Gravel Bank. Ct. Route 49 and an access road
that connects Exits 92-93 bound the new site. The new site also
posed a potential problem to an underground aquifer. Anyone who
lived in the area knew that the water table is only two or three
feet below the gravel bank surface and there is no way that the
Connecticut DEP would allow a speedway to be built there. North
Stonington First Selectman Nicholas Mullane stated that Arganese had
not yet addressed the towns concerns about health, Police, safety,
utilities noise and the environment.
Saturday’s practice session at the Waterford Speedbowl had to be
scratched because of a snowstorm that blanketed the area. A practice
session was also scheduled for Saturday at the Thompson Speedway but
due to the fact that the speedway was pounded by seven inches of
snow officials had no choice and had to scrub the session. NASCAR
waived the rule that normally doesn’t allow practice at a speedway
one week prior to a scheduled event. NASCAR announced that 18 Grand
National division events would be shown on HD Net in 2004.Included
in the package would be live telecasts of 15 events. This
announcement was a huge shot in the arm to the Busch North Series,
as 11 of their events would receive coverage. The Speed Channel
would re-air on a taped delayed basis. Among the events covered were
BNS at Lee USA on April 25, Thompson on May22, Lime Rock on May 29,
Seekonk on June 12, Stafford on June 18, Holland on June 26, Loudon
on July 24, Watkins Glen on August 14, Beech Ridge on August 21,
Loudon on September 18 and Dover Downs on September 24. NASCAR and
HD Net announced their TV event coverage contract is for three
years.. In Nextel Cup action at Darlington in South Carolina Jimmie
Johnson out ran Bobby Labonte for the win. Greg Biffle was the Busch
Last year, 2008, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series
began their 2008 season on Saturday, March 22, at the high banked
Caraway Speedway in Ashboro, NC. And the Thompson Speedway hosted
the first of two open practice sessions, also on Saturday from 12
Noon until 6 PM.
At Thompson, despite chilling conditions, a good sample of things to
come in 2008 was seen. Competitors and fans got to see the new
lighting that was installed at the speedway which would provide
daylight type conditions once the speedway began its Thursday night
Thunder series. Mike Stefanik braved the cold and the wind to give
his mount a shakedown along with numerous other competitors.
In North Carolina, LW Miller scored the victory in the Whelen
Southern Modified Tour 150 with a thrilling dash to the checked flag
over second-place finisher Ted Christopher. Southerners Brian Loftin
and Tim Brown finished third and fourth. Bob Grigas III who races on
the True Value Modified Series and the Whelen Northern Modified Tour
rounded out the top five. Ronnie Silk, who hails from Norwalk, CT
and who now drives the Westfield, NC based Hill Enterprises No.79
For the first time transponders were used to score and time the
race. In the past only races at Loudon and Martinsville used this
technology. Restarts were determined by the last completed green
flag lap and double file “Cup Style” restarts with the lead lap cars
on the outside were used.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup teams had the weekend off to celebrate Easter.
It was not all quiet as Scott Wimmer passed Richard Childress Racing
teammate Clint Bowyer with 21 laps to go and held on to win the
Nationwide Series' Pepsi 300 on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.
Wimmer edged Bowyer by 0.578 seconds for his sixth victory in 149
Nationwide Series starts and first since 2003. Carl Edwards was
third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Kelly Bires. Bowyer took the
series points lead from Kevin Harvick, the fellow Childress Sprint
Cup driver who skipped the Nashville race.
Kyle Busch started on the pole and was the class of the field,
leading a race-high 125 laps before spinning out with 62 laps left.
The Sprint Cup points leader grazed Bowyer, who was passing on the
inside, and was forced to pit for repairs. Busch finished 16th. It
was the first stand-alone Nationwide race of the year and Wimmer
became the first non-Sprint Cup regular to win in the series.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: