Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – The Whelen Modified Tour event at Myrtle Beach will be followed by Round 2 at the South Boston Speedway in Virginia this coming Saturday, March 30. The PASS Commonwealth Classic will also take place March 30, 2019 at Richmond Raceway (VA). The Richmond event will have tour type modifieds on their bill of fare which has created a direct conflict for both competitors and fans.
South Boston RACEDAY SCHEDULE: Garage Opens: 7:30 a.m., Final Practice: 9:45-11 a.m. Group Qualifying: 12:10 p.m., South Boston 150: 2:45 p.m.(approx.). South Boston Speedway is a .4-mile banked asphalt oval located in South Boston, Virginia. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017, this venerable South Central Virginia speedway opened as a dirt track in 1957 and has been a vibrant part of the racing community ever since. South Boston joined forces with NASCAR in 1960 and was paved two years later. Banking in the corners is 12 degrees and 10 degrees on the straightaways.
The recent event at Myrtle Beach drew 32 cars with most if not all going to South Boston. Current point leader Doug Coby will be first in line at the pit gate. Jon McKennedy who sits second in points will also be there.
FansChoice.TV will live stream the South Boston event as well as the entire NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series schedule.
In two short weeks the hills of northeastern Connecticut come alive with the sounds of racing engines at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as IceBreaker 2019 gets the green on Sunday, April 7. With the sun getting higher every day and daylight-saving kicking in, this entire event should be run in the daylight hours.
In some great news, FansChoice.TV will also air ALL 10 NASCAR events at Thompson in 2019, beginning with the 45th annual Icebreaker weekend! This includes all of our NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour & more!
Many are hoping Stafford and Waterford will follow their lead.
With the advent of FansChoice.TV competitors will have the advantage of showcasing their sponsors to the exposure they deserve and speedways will receive unlimited exposure of their facility which will entice new fans to attend their programs. Not to brag but the racing at Thompson and Stafford provides some of the best over-all competition in the country!
Last Saturday’s originally scheduled Test & Tune was POSTPONED due to weather. The practice now moves to the originally scheduled rain date of this coming Saturday, March 30, with the same schedule.
The Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that Maybury Material Handling of East Longmeadow, MA has renewed their commitment to Stafford’s contingency program for the 2019 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. For the fourth consecutive year, Maybury Material Handling will supply a first place bonus of $150 to each SK Modified® feature winner and a $125 bonus to each SK Light feature winner. Maybury’s contribution to the contingency program brings the SK Modified® feature winner’s share up to $1,800 and it takes the SK Light feature winner’s share up to $600. Over the past three seasons, Maybury has delivered over $15,000 to SK Modified® and SK Light drivers at Stafford. The first Maybury Material Handling contingency bonuses of the 2019 season will be up for grabs during Stafford Speedway’s 48th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 27-28.
The money keeps rolling in as Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair in Brookfield, CT returns for a 5th consecutive season, presenting first place contingency award of $150 to each SK Modified® feature winner and $125 to each SK Light feature winner. Over the past four seasons, Stafford SK Modified® and SK Light drivers have taken home over $11,000 in contingency awards from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair and drivers will have 22 more opportunities to collect bonus money during the 2019 season. The 2018 season saw a total of 86 different drivers take to the track behind the wheel of a modified with 42 different SK Modified® drivers and 44 different SK Light drivers. Each division had a total of 8 different winners in 21 races, with Keith Rocco leading the SK Modified® division with 6 wins and Marcello Rufrano leading the SK Light division with 6 wins.
It won’t be the Mad House but it will be the House that Jack (Arute) built. Tom DiMaggio of Vault Productions has announced a new reality show that will follow four of Stafford Speedway’s SK Modified® weekly competitors on their journey through the 2019 race season. The reality series, dubbed “The Show”, has begun filming and will follow drivers Mike Christopher Jr, Keith Rocco, Ronnie Williams, and Glen Reen through the 2019 SK Modified® season at Stafford. An extended preview episode is airing on Vault Productions’ YouTube channel as well as Stafford Speedway’s and Vault Productions’ Facebook pages now.
The four drivers to be showcased in the series won a combined 16 SK Modified® races during the 2018 season with youngster Ronnie Williams winning his first SK Modified® track championship. The Stafford SK Modified® division, noted as one of the toughest weekly asphalt divisions in the country, had 7 different winners last season and 42 different drivers compete in an event. 2019 is shaping up to be more of the same with nearly all of the drivers finishing in the top-20 in points last season returning to weekly competition.
The web series is supported by local racing partners Waddell Communications, Hoosier Tire East, Sunoco Race Fuels as well as Stafford Speedway. “The Show” will air in January of 2020 and will begin filming at the 48th Annual Spring Sizzler. Hopefully Robert Bagot will continue his fine work of producing weekly events from Stafford as well as those from Waterford and Thompson.
On a sad note, the great Charlie Jarzombek, the undisputed leader of the Long Island Gang, passed away 32 years ago last week at Martinsville.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.53 to 13.96 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.04 to 42.68 while Dover Entertainment remained dormant at 2.03. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 6.76 to 53.51 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.50 to 17.40 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.32 to 15.38. Two of the three car manufacturers had positive results. Toyota went up 1.24 to 120.22 and Ford went up 0.91 to 8.54. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 6.42 to 188.75 and Lowes went up 4.80 to 104.95. In big team sponsors stocks, McDonalds went up 1.54 to 186.81, Coca-Cola went up 1.50 to 259.25 and Target Department Stores went up 1.65 to 78.32 while Dupont-Dow dropped 1.35 to 53.92, Fedex dropped 3.99 to 173.99 and Stanley Black and Decker dropped 0.60 to 130.90.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, March 28
3 a.m., NASCAR Presents: The Adventures of Janet Guthrie (re-air), FOX Sports 1
3:30 a.m., NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Martinsville (re-air), FS1
5 p.m., NASCAR America: The Motorsports Hour, NBC Sports Net
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7 p.m., Unrivaled: Earnhardt vs. Gordon (re-air), FS1
Friday, March 29
3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS1
4 a.m., NASCAR Presents: The Adventures of Janet Guthrie (re-air), FS1
3 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Texas, FS1
4 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series practice at Texas, FS1
5 p.m., NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Qualifying at Texas, FS1
6:30 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice at Texas, FS1
7:30 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying at Texas, FS1
8:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Texas, FS1
9 p.m., NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350, FS1
Saturday, March 30
5 a.m., NASCAR Presents: The Adventures of Janet Guthrie (re-air), FS1
5:30 a.m., NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 (re-air), FS1
8 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying at Texas (re-air), FS1
9 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Texas, FS1
10 a.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying at Texas, FS1
11 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
11:30 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice at Texas, FS1
12:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Xfinity Texas, FS1
1 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300, FS1
3:30 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series Post-race Show, FS1
Sunday, March 31
9:30 a.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 (re-air), Fox Sports 2
11:30 a.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 (re-air), FS1
1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Texas, FS1
2:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX
3 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, FOX