Thirty years ago in 1978, the NASCAR Modifieds made
their annual early spring trip to Martinsville. Richie Evans, who had
143 victories to his credit going into the 1978 season, added another to
the list as he won the 250-lap event. Geoff Bodine, who would end up
with 55 wins at seasonís end finished second. Billy Hensley finished
third with Jerry Cook and Brian Ross rounding out the top five. New
England favorites Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro did not have luck on
their side as they both dropped put with mechanical problems. DeSarro
lost an engine and Stevens lost a transmission.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1983, Richard Petty
took the Winston Cup win at Rockingham after Geoff Bodine wrecked in the
late stages while leading. Bill Elliott finished second with Darrell
Waltrip, third. Bodine ended up 19th. Ron Bouchard was 20th.
Twenty years ago, in 1988, Mike Mclaughlin
found himself to be a surprise winner in the NASCAR Modified 200 at
Martinsville. Jim Spencer was the apparent winner until he was
disqualified in a post race inspection when it was determined that he
had an oversized fuel tank. Satch Worley finished second with Reggie
Ruggerio, third. George Kent finished fourth with Dave Reszendes, fifth.
Rounding out the top ten were Jeff Fuller, Rick Fuller, Billy Meyers,
Wayne Edwards and Carl Pasteryak.
Fifteen years ago in 1993, Winston Cup and
Busch Grand National events scheduled for Atlanta were cancelled when a
blizzard hit the area.
Ten years ago in 1998, the Busch
Grandnationals were in Nashville as the Winston Cup stars had a weekend
off. Seventeen-year-old Casey Atwood took the pole. Robert Pressley was
leading with eight laps to go when he clipped Mark Green causing him to
spin and wreck. Mike Mclaughlin, running second at the time, inherited
the lead and took the win under caution. Atwood finished second with
Dale Earnhardt Jr., third.
Five years ago in 2003, Ricky Craven passed Kurt Busch
coming off the fourth turn on the last lap and after a lot of contact,
won the Winston Cup event at Darlington. Because of foul weather the
Busch Series was forced to run their event on Monday. Todd Bodine took
the win after crashing with Jamie McMurray on the final lap.
Last year, 2007, NASCAR has announced their touring
series television package and as usual the Whelen Modified Tour Series
got the crumbs or better yet what the cow left behind after she jumped
the fence. HDNet would air the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway on August 25, while the SPEED channel
would air the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire
International Speedway on June 30 and the combination event with the
NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour at
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sept. 1.. In addition, SPEED would
provide expanded coverage of the NASCAR Grand National Division in 2007,
as the network will air 23 races as part of its Racing Across America
series, re-airing all 16 of HDNetís live events while originally
producing six others. SPEEDís coverage of the division would culminate
with live post-season coverage of the prestigious NASCAR Toyota All-Star
Showdown in October.
Itís really too bad that NASCAR didnít do more for the Whelen
Modifieds as it had been proven by the Arute family at the Stafford
Motor Speedway that produces NASCAR New England that TV coverage pays
big dividends for both the competitors and the Speedway. Staffordís
weekly car count exceeds 200.
The Stafford Speedway announced that Phil Kurze, Vice
President of Motorsports for Whelen Engineering, would serve as the
grand marshal for 36th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler presented by
CARQUEST on April 27-29, 2007.
Jimmie Johnson passed Tony Stewart three laps from the end
Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to win his second straight
race in Nextel Cup competition. Johnson had the car to beat as he led
132 of the first 238 laps. But the only laps he led the rest of the way
in the 325-lap event on Atlanta's 1.5-mile oval were the last three. The
25th victory of his Cup career moved Johnson within 28 points of current
series leader Mark Martin. Jeff Burton didn't need any last-lap heroics
this time. But he did need a little luck as he made it two Busch Series
victories in a row Saturday, easily holding off Richard Childress Racing
This week here are
several vintage racing photos of Richie Evans "Rusty Nail" Coupe
Photos from the collection of
John Bisci's Turn5
Photo & Video
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'Looking Back with Phil Smith' Archive