Waterford Speedbowl Budweiser Modified Nationals
SK 150 Feature
Blewett won the World Series
of Asphalt Stock Car Racing SK title in New Smyrna, Florida, this
past February for the second consecutive season. He won five SK
races and two tour-type modified races while at New Smyrna. Blewett
said his win in the Richie Evans 100 Memorial race was a very
momentous event for him by winning such a prestigious event. Blewett
related that if he didn’t win the Richie Evans, (car owner) Eddie
Partridge said “he’d be out of a ride” – jokingly of course.
Blewett has competed on the Whelen Modified Tour for the last
two seasons and will race for Partridge again this season. He will
also run a full schedule at Thompson International Speedway in the
Last season Blewett led 120 laps of the Bud Modified
Nationals at here at the Speedbowl until he was “moved out of the
way” by eventual race winner, Frank Ruocco. Blewett stated he wasn’t
too upset at Ruocco as he was blocking Ruocco.
Jimmy is driving his brothers’ John’s car for Partridge’s TS
Haulers. Both Blewett and Hirschman are second generation racers.
Hirschman has earned a tour championship on the Race of Champion
Bob Potter, a six-time Speedbowl SK champion, was Grand
Marshal for the event. Jimmy Blewett drew the #1 starting spot on
the redraw, after pulling the #10 for all top-ten qualifiers to
The starting line up (after the redraw of the top ten
qualifiers): #5 Jimmy Blewett, #19 Kenny Horton, #97 Frank Ruocco,
#79 Ted Christopher, #66 Wendell Dailey, #26 Don Fowler, #51 Rob
Janovic Jr., #48 Matt Hirschman, #47 Tom
Fox, #31 Shawn Monahan, #81 Diego Monahan, #11 Rob Summers, #09 Jay
Miller, #83 Ronnie Silk, #94 Justin Gaydosh, #28 Brandon Hansen, #71
Jeff Pearl, #98 Frank Muccciaciaro, #34 Anthony Burr, #53 Dave
Sazarulo, #91 Jeffrey Paul, #27 Tyler Chadwick, #3 Dennis Gada, #08
Kurt Lenahan, #57 Mark Pane, #35 Dennis Charette, #77 Rich Duranti,
and #10 Doug Coby.
The NEMA Midget event started off the days on-track events,
with some “aerial action” on the very first lap when Nokie Fonoro
and Erica Santos locked bumpers and caused the cars behind them to
check up. The #36 hit the wall and came back into the #88 of Abby
Martino of Norfolk, MA, sending her cart-wheeling down the front
stretch. Martino was taken to from the track to the hospital for
observation and to check for possible leg injuries according to the
Waterford Speedbowl announcer.
The popular young racer, Bobby Santos III, trailed
Pernesgilio and Fonoro for a few laps, and on lap 14 Fonoro passed
Persniglio with Santos following into second. While the two leaders
battled for position, they made contact on lap 10 sending Santos
spinning into the dirt on the front stretch. Santos kept the car
running and spun several times trying to get back on the track –
which he did, but it cost him quite a few spots in the process.
Lou Cicconi took the lead from Pernesiglio on lap 18 and
would hold on to take the checkers. Santos tried his best to get
back to the front, and wound up sixth on the day. Pernesglio was
second, followed by Randy Cabral, Joey Payne, Ben Sietz, and Santos.
Following the features for the track’s other regular
divisions (Sportsmen, Mini Stocks, and Late Models), Bob Potter
brought the SK field to life with a “fire ’em up boys” as the
drivers cancelled the silence with flip of their starter switches.
Former race director, Billy Roberts, is serving as starter
today and will be back next Saturday night, while in town visiting
family for the Easter holiday.
On the very first lap a mid-pack “checkup” caused defending
track champion, Dennis Gada, to spin into the wall – suffering no
apparent damage, however. Jimmy Blewett had opened up a 6-car length
lead over Kenny Horton on the very first lap.
Restart on lap 8 with TC (Teddy Christopher) on the move –
he’s up to 3rd by lap 11. The leaders are nose-to-tail by lap 20
with Blewett leading Horton, Ruocco, Fowler, Janovic, TC, and Rob
Summers. Ronnie Silk hits the turn three wall hard as the suspension
broke on lap 21. The red flag came out briefly to repair the barrier
as a result of his crash.
Back to action on lap 26 with Blewett and Horton battling for
the lead. Horton shows the way as Fowler and Blewett now battle for
second. Fowler claims seconds and begins his chase of the leader.
With another incident on lap 36 between the #94 of Justin
Gaydosh and the #34 of Anthony Burr, Fowler’s #26 appears to be the
fastest car on the track. Robbie Summers, the 2005 SK track
champion, has moved up to third from his twelfth place starting
On the lap 43 restart, Horton leads as Summers takes second
and Fowler drops to third. Summers is now challenging Horton for
lead and takes it on lap 47.
The #34 of Anthony Burr spun twice to bring out two cautions
– on lap 50 and again on lap 59. Summers continues to lead as the
laps wind down under caution – he’s strong on the restarts.
The problems for the #34 continue as Burr spins yet again on
lap 66, collecting the 91 of Jeffrey Paul, the #5 of Blewett, and
the #98 of Frank Mucciacciaro. All drove away under their own power.
Matt Hirschman made a trip through the turf and kept going, coming
back onto the track just in front of the last place car.
Champion Gada’s chances of winning today ended early as the
hit the turn one wall hard on lap 84. Summers and Fowler continue to
battle for the lead on each restart. Fowler is scored ahead of
Summers for one lap, but they made contact and Summers retook the
lead. Lap 86 Summers maintains the lead as Horton passes Fowler to
take second as the caution flies again on lap 89. Jeffery Paul’s
suspension let go, and he left on the hook.
Lap 94 restart, Fowler hit the rear of Horton causing Horton
to spin, as Coby moves to third taking aim on Fowler. This is quite
an impressive drive by Coby as he started from the tail of the
Summers begins to open up on his lead – at least until the
next caution! There had been much bumping and banging just behind
the leader, and it took its toll – Fowler, Tyler Chadwick and Kurt
Lenahan all get together, ending the day for Fowler.
Summers continues to lead through the racing and through
several more restarts. Weaving through the melee with 13 laps to go
were Blewett and Hirschman. However, under this caution Blewett
intentionally bumped Frank Ruocco. The track officials repeatedly
tried to get Blewett to stop on the track as he was being penalized
and sent to the rear of the field. He refused to stop, and
eventually, just left the track rather than go to the rear. I’m not
sure if that was a good call by the officials or not, as it seemed
he wasn’t the only one hitting another car under the caution.
With green coming with ten laps to go, Summers continued to lead –
this time with Pearl, Chadwick, Shawn Monahan, and Hirschman
following. The final caution came with four laps to go. On the
restart Jeff Pearl got the jump on Summers with Hirschman following
him into second. The two would battle side-by-side over the last two
laps with Pearl just edging Hirschman for the win. Summers would
“I sent it into the corner knowing it was going to go right
up the track or it was going to work,” said Pearl who passed Summers
coming out of turn two. “Once I was clear I kind of got down on the
track. I didn’t want to give the guys with fresh tires the bottom.”
Pearl said both Hirschman and Summers gave him the thumbs up
after the race. “It is just great to beat a tour guy,” continued
Pearl. “It is not a point race for them and they are here racing for
$5,000 to win. I think most of these guys are a little better funded
than the Speedbowl guys.”
“It is the smartest race I ever drove,” said Pearl. He
started 17th and was far behind the leaders for most of the race. He
said he used the cautions to save his tires.
Hirschman, in his post-race interview stated, “It was a
blast! This is one of the best short tracks I’ve ever raced at!” He
continued, “The winner gave me room; I gave him room – I’m as happy
with second as he is with first! It was sportsmanship racing there.
That’s the way racing should be!”
Source Dave Meredith/Waterford
April 2, 2007