October 18, 2010

ARCHIVES                                         

By Brian Danko

THOMPSON, CT.------Ted Christopher won the battle but Bobby Santos won the war.

In one of the more entertaining races of the entire 2010 season, Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT powered by Doug Coby with three laps to win the season ending World Series of Racing at the Thompson International Speedway.

It appeared the Coby, the best driver on the modified tour not to have a full time ride, looked to have the victory in hand, but a couple of late races cautions, slowed the field and allowed TC to pull alongside on each restart.

All the while Bobby Santos did just he needed to do as he pitted on lap 47 and then kept Mike Stefanik in his vision to capture his first ever championship of any kind and he gave longtime modified car owner his second straight title and his third title in the last four years.

RUMOR SEASON ALREADY?

The 2010 racing hadnít even taken the checkered flag and already, they are rumors of driver changes for the 2011 season are in full rumor mode.

But one driver who will remain in the same seat is that of James Civali. Civali, who finished third in the southern modified tour, will return to the seat of Roger and Sandy Hill owned, Coors Lights sponsored Pontiac.

That is about the only constant as the calendar turns the page in 11 weeks. Some major changes are in store if the rumors pan out. It should be to be an interesting off season.

REDRAW NEEDS TO GO

The NASCAR redraw to set the starting lineup following time trials needs to go. The policy of having the pole award winner pilling a pill of 6, 8, or 10 to determine how many drivers will then redraw for their starting position.

It is unfair and out of touch with every other form of NASCAR racing especially now, that NASCAR is awarding points for leading a lap and leading the most laps.

A good example was in the southern modified tour season finale at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, when Andy Seuss set the fast time and then drew the pill to have 10 cars redraw and he redrew 10th.

He then was caught up in an accident and ended his day and championship hopes as he entered the race just a handful of points behind Civali.

If, as NASCAR says, they want all their series to be the same, itís time to drop this unfair practice.

SEASON ENDER GOOD OR BAD

The World Series of Racing at the Thompson International Speedway always brings a mixed reaction to both fans and competitors.

When racing fans and teams begin to arrive on Friday, for Don Hoenigís season ending spectacular, they know that for the most part, that racing season in the northeast is done for another year and for the teams, it is one last chance at glory before the snow flies for the winter.

If you had a great spring and summer, you are sad to see the year come to an end while if you struggled, you canít wait for the checkered flag to fall.

The season for the most part produced good racing but the tour struggled in 2010 because of the economy. Tracks were hurting for fans, fans stayed away and like any business, it easier to keep a current customer than to try and win them. Fans found other things to do. As far as the teams go, the lack of sponsorship hurt everyone as the gravy train ride that NASCAR was enjoying in the late 90ís and early 2000 is over.

The struggles are going to be around for a few more years. Hopefully, weekly and regional racing wonít be overly affected.

TOUR HEADING TO CANADA

Speaking of lowering costs or at least containing cost, the memo on the economy must not have arrived in Daytona as it is rumored that the tour is heading to Canada for at least one race in 2011.

Now we all know that NASCAR is hurting to find tracks for the modified tour to race on and while former tracks that they competed on such as Watkins Glen and Richmond arenít part of the schedule the past few years sending them to Canada is just plain STUPID.

As one car owner told me, ďThis going to Canada isnít a rumor. And to make it worse yet, the track is located north of Michigan.Ē He continued, ďPeople canít afford to race in the United States and now were crossing the border.Ē

To make it worse, this long time car owner said, the winners share is going to be around what a tour Race at Stafford would pay. I know I said this is the new improved version of me but this idea is shear lunacy.

Is NASCAR going to help pay the cost of every member getting a passport?

In a time when we are asking our elected officials to use common sense, NASCAR continues to defy logic.

CLOSING THE DOOR AFTER THE HORSE IS OUT

I attended the NASCAR Whelen modified tour drivers meeting for the first time this year and I was shocked at some of the talk being given by NASCAR tour official, Brian Vance. Vance, according to most on the tour, is a very approachable official but he told the drivers, heading into the last race that NASCAR officials arenít going to tolerate drivers not lining up properly after a caution restart. Now I am all for speeding up the races but why wait until the last race of the season to let the drivers know that you are going to enforce the rules and regulations?

SONNY RICHARDS AWARD

Bob Garbarino, the legendary championship car owner added another impressive award to his name when he was given the Sonny Richards Memorial Award for the person who is deserving of his hard work in the modified tour.

Richards was a longtime media member who worked for Speedway Scene and was the unofficial Good Will ambassador of the modified tour always taking the time to stop by and chat with all of the car owners, drivers and crew.

Richards died in 2001 one but this award keeps his memory alive and Garbarino is certainly a worthy recipient of the award.