It was over almost before it started.
Trak Auto Corp.'s annual meeting ended six minutes after it began yesterday afternoon in Lanham.
Herbert H. Haft, Trak's controversial, very private chairman who has indicated a desire to buy Safeway Stores Inc., chaired the meeting.
But he stuck closely to the script, giving only the good news and refusing to answer questions from the handful of outside stockholders.
In a year in which Trak Auto's profits dropped 75 percent, Haft did not refer to the company's yearly net in his brief remarks. He cited, instead, the increases in sales and Trak Auto stores.
Similarly, in a year in which one of Trak's major owners -- the Los Angeles drugstore chain Thrifty Corp. -- sold back its shares in Trak's West Coast subsidiary, Trak Auto West, Haft didn't mention the change of ownership.
After his comments, Haft asked if there were any questions. Although a hand was raised, Haft said the meeting was over.
He then walked briskly out of the room, ignoring reporters who wanted to ask him about his Safeway bid.
The Haft family -- founders of Trak, Crown Books Corp. and the Dart Drug store chain -- have purchased 5.9 percent of Safeway stock "with a view to the possibility of acquiring all of or a majority interest in" the world's largest supermarket chain. Safeway has vowed to fight any takeover bid.
Meanwhile, Safeway's stock continued to climb, closing at $53.50 yesterday, up $1.88. With 1.5 million shares traded, it was the sixth-most-active stock on the New York Stock Exchange.