Friday November 12, 2010

By Phil Smith

Last year, 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala in Concord, N.C. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at which Donny Lia and the rest of the touring series champions were honored. The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Gala featured the champions and top drivers from all of NASCARís North American regional touring series including invitees from the NASCAR Camping World Series East, the NASCAR Camping World Series West, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

NASCAR champions Jason Bowles (Camping World Series West), George Brunnhoelzl III (Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Donny Lia (Whelen Modified Tour, Philip Morris (Whelen All-American Series), Andrew Ranger (Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1) and Ryan Truex (Camping World Series East) were honored at the end of the week during awards ceremonies at the Concord Convention Center.

In a somewhat related matter, Keith Rocco was released as the driver for Eddie Partridge Racing. NASCAR also announced that they were working on final details of televised coverage of a select number of Whelen Modified races with Versus and SPEED.

Now that the Waterford Speedbowl property owner Terry Eames (1080 Hartford Road LLC) was protected against foreclosure by a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition some interesting questions and facts had come to light. A New London Connecticut Attorney who represented a mortgage holder in another matter stated that at least three petitioners are required to force an entity into Chapter 11 rather than the sole petitioner, Rocco Arbitell, in this case. He also alluded to the fact that a petition for Chapter 11may be deemed frivolous if it is clear on the date of filing there was no reasonable likelihood that the debtor intended to reorganize and no reasonable probability that it would eventually emerge from bankruptcy proceedings. The lawyer also added that he felt the intent of the last minute filing was done to frustrate Arbitellís efforts to exercise his rights and foreclose on the mortgage that he holds. Arbitell had another option. He could petition the court to dismiss the Chapter 11 petition and have it converted into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which would call for the immediate liquidation of all assets that come under 1080 Hartfordís holdings.

The True Value Modified Racing Series concluded their 2009 season when they crowned Jon McKennedy the 2009 series champion. McKennedy scored four wins in 2009 (Twin State, Seekonk, Oxford Plains and Beech Ridge), paving the way to his first series title. McKennedy held off a late-season charge by veteran driver Rob Goodenough to capture the title by a 15-point margin.

In some sad news it was announced by Kevin Rice of the Area Auto Racing News that True Value Hardware had decided not to renew their sponsorship for 2010. Series founder Jack Bateman felt confidant that a new title sponsor for the series would be found. The True Value Series had become a legitimate alternative to ďTour Type Modified RacingĒ for both competitors and promoters. Plans for 2010 were already in motion with a maximum of 18 races to be run included a spring event on April 10 at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY.

Series officials deemed the 2009 season a big success. Seventh-three racers competed with the TVMRS in 2009. In 15 races, 12 different drivers were victorious.

Carl Edwards rolled to a dominating win at Phoenix International Speedway that temporarily staved off Kyle Busch's bid to clinch the Nationwide Series title. Busch spun his Toyota eight laps into the race, suffered heavy damage when he hit the wall, and had to battle to a ninth-place finish.

In Sprint Cup action Jimmie Johnson cruised to a dominating victory Sunday that moved him to the edge of history, winning the fourth race of this Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in what his rivals considered a "statement" showing. His win at Phoenix - Johnson's fourth in the last five races here, and seventh victory of the season, stretched his lead to 108 points over Martin heading into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This week are several vintage racing photos Courtesy of & Dave Dyke's Racing
Click on Photo for Full Size

Frankie Schnieder

Gary Reddick

George Savory

Ken Meahl

Nel Wholstrom

S. J. Evonsion

Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is:

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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