Forty five years ago in 1963, Steady
Sr. won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway.
Bill Wimble finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Lee Millington and
Bob Zeiglar rounded out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1968, Bob Bruno was the Friday night
winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Robbie Kotary finished second
and was followed by Hop Harrington, Ed Pieniezek and Dave Kotary. At
Stafford, Eddie Flemke got the best of Bugsy Stevens in traffic and came
out the winner. Stevens finished second and was followed by Leo Cleary,
Dick Watson and Tommy Borget. Fred DeSarro, driving his own 327 Chevy
powered Sportsman took down the Saturday night feature at Norwood.
Ronnie Mayer took the win at Riverside Park and on the dirt at Fonda,
Eddie Pieniezek took the win over Lou Lazzaro and Don Wayman. Thompson
was idle on Sunday. At the Utica-Rome Speedway Bernie Miller scored a
popular win over Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke.
Thirty five years ago in 1973 the Friday night races
at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. rained out. Stafford
Speedway ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night. Young sensation Ronnie
Bouchard took the win over Richie Evans, Bugsy Stevens and Eddie Flemke.
Bouchard backed up his Stafford win with a win in the Parodi Cigar
Modified 150 at Pocono on Sunday. Jerry Cook finished second. Other
Saturday night winners were Mike Loescher at Tioga and Artie Tappen at
Islip. On Sunday evening, Utica-Rome ran twin features with Eddie
Pieniezak and Richie Evans taking the wins. At Lee Raceway, Lou Austin
won a close one over Ernie Gahan and Jim Landry.
Thirty years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine made it five
in a row at Stafford plus went three for three on the weekend as he also
won at Riverside on Saturday and at Monadnock on Sunday. Because of
previous rainouts, Waterford and Seekonk ran twin features. At
Waterford, Dick Dunn and Moose Hewitt took the checkers and at Seekonk,
Ronnie Bouchard and George Summers sat in victory lane. Fred DeSarro
made it two in a row at Thompson on Sunday over Bouchard and Leo Cleary.
Other weekend winners were Maynard Troyer, who won at Lancaster and
Fulton, Tim Mislin at Spencer, George Kent at Tioga and Richie Evans at
Twenty five years ago in 1983,
Reggie Ruggerio was the top
banana at Stafford as he beat out Bob Polverari and Kenny Bouchard for
the win. Tom Bolles was the SK modified winner. Rain washed out
Waterford and Seekonk. Brian Ross won at Riverside and the first of two
features at Thompson. Richie Evans was the other Thompson winner. Other
weekend winners were Doug Hewitt at Spencer, Evans at Tioga and John
Blewett at Islip. In Winston Cup action at Riverside in California,
Ricky Rudd was the winner.
Twenty years ago in 1988, rain washed out Stafford but at
Monadnock it stayed clear and Reggie Ruggerio put another notch in his
gun as he won the modified main event. Jerry Marquis finished second
with Punky Caron, third. On Saturday night at Waterford, Don Fowler was
the winner with Dennis Gada second. Ruggerio carried his winning ways
over to Riverside on Saturday where he beat out Mike Stefanik and Stan
Greger for the win. At Riverhead it was Tom Baldwin holding off Wayne
Anderson and Don Howe. Randy Hedger won at Tioga and Jamie Tomaino won
at Wall Stadium.
Fifteen years ago in 1993, At Stafford on Friday night, Mike
Christopher was given back his spot after getting spun by Bo Gunning on
the last lap and went on to take the win. Gunning was put to the rear
but came back in one lap to finish fourth behind Christopher, Dennis
Gada and Frank Cardile. Jerry Marquis won at Monadnock. In Busch Grand
National North action at Watkins Glen, Bob Dragon took the win over Dick
McCabe, Curtis Markham, Dave Reszendes and Ted Christopher. In Winston
Cup action at Dover Downs, Dale Earnhardt took the win and in Grand
National action Todd Bodine took the win. It was also announced that
Randy LaJoie had secured the ride in the Moroso car. Riverside Park,
Riverhead and the Thompson Speedway rained out.
Ten years ago in 1998, Ted Christopher failed to qualify for
a Busch Grand National event at Richmond and made a hasty flight to
Stafford where he finished third behind brother Mike and Bo Gunning.
Christopher made up for it on Saturday as he won the SK Type event at
Thompson over Ed Flemke Jr. and Bert Marvin. Twin features were run at
Waterford on Saturday. Bert Marvin arrived from Thompson in time to win
the first one with Rick Donnelly and Jon Bunnell following. The Pearls,
Jerry and Jeff ran one-two in the nightcap with Donnelly coming home
third. At Riverside, Eddie Spiers held off Rob Summers and Billy Bolton.
In BGN action at Richmond, Jeff Burton took the win over Dale Earnhardt
Jr. The Winston Cup event was a slam bang-exciting event. Rusty Wallace
gave Jeff Gordon an attitude adjustment on lap 372 when he returned a
bumping favor and turned Gordon into the wall. Terry Labonte took the
win after bumping Dale Jarrett out of the way with two laps to go.
Five years ago in 2003, the weekend started on a wet note as
all-day rain on Thursday forced the Thompson Speedway management to
cancel opening night for Thursday night Thunder. The NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour Series had a scheduled 200-lap event at the Riverhead
Raceway on Long Island rained out. At that time there is no rain date.
The Busch North Series was slated to run at the Beech Ridge Speedway in
Maine suffered the same fate. This event would run the following
Saturday night. Mike Stefanik had hopes of racing at the Lake Erie
Speedway in the Art Barry modified but because of his commitment to the
Busch North Series, his plans changed and he was at Beech Ridge. For the
third week in a row rain-washed out racing at the Waterford Speedbowl.
At the Stafford Speedway on Friday night, Eric Berndt started on the
outside pole and ended up leading 97 of the 100 laps scheduled SK
Modified feature. Ted Christopher presented the only challenge and at
one point, Lap 63 to 66, had the lead. Christopher faded in the closing
laps as he experienced engine trouble. He ended up 27th in the final
rundown. Chris Jones finished second with Frank Ruocco, third. Defending
track champion Bo Gunning who had been a victim of some early season bad
luck, finished fourth and Jim Williams rounded out the top five. In
addition to wreaking havoc in New England, the never-ending rain
hampered other parts of the country. Among the tracks that had been
dumped on is the South Boston Speedway in Virginia that had lost six out
of nine events scheduled so far.
Last year, 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
continued to regroup before returning to action on Thursday, June 21.
Among the biggest news items to come out of the tour ranks was that
Chuck Hossfeld had been released from his driving duties of the
Hillbilly Racing No. 79 owned by Roger and Sandra Hill of Westfield, NC.
Hossfeld had been the team’s driver since the beginning of the 2006
season. Team owner Roger Hill said that a new driver would be in place
in time for the upcoming Thompson event. Car owner Gary Teto was
spearheading an effort to get NASCAR to revamp their race format for
upcoming “Flash Events” at the Twin State Speedway in New Hampshire and
at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. NASCAR came up with the “Flash”
format to make events more affordable for speedways and competitors. The
format was tried at the Whelen Tour event at the Wall Township Speedway
in New Jersey. The result was thousands of dollars worth of damage to
the series’ cars. Teto proposed that NASCAR use Don Hoenig’s suggestion
of running a single consolation to fill out the fields after the top 20
has qualified by time.
Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway continued to be a
top draw of both competitors and fans as 142 cars and a real good crowd
were on hand. Kerry Malone, who has designs on the NASCAR Weekly Title
made a statement with his strong win in the Sunoco Modified division.
Larry Barnett continued to be the benchmark in the Limited Sportsman
division with his win in the 50-lap main event. In full-fendered action
Rick Gentes scored the Late Model victory while Mike O’Sullivan came
home victorious in the Pro Stock division. Roger Larson, Jr. was tops in
the TIS Modifieds while Brad Caddick scored the Mini Stock victory win.
Craftsman Tools sponsored the night’s activities.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway on Friday night. Frank Ruocco won the 40-lap SK Modified
feature, Scott Foster, Jr. 30-lap Late Model feature, Matt Gallo, the
20-lap SK Light feature, Andrew Durand the Limited Late Model feature,
and Norm Sears the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. In the words of many of
those on hand the SK Modified feature was more of a rolling demolition
derby rather than a race. NASCAR’s Busch East Series made a stop at the
Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday. Former Busch North series regular
Eddie MacDonald made his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch
East Series start of the season and came away with his first victory
since 2005. MacDonald led the final 81 laps. His win also earned him a
secured starting spot in the postseason Toyota All-Star Challenge.
Defending Busch East champion Mike Olsen passed Matt Kobyluck with three
laps to go take second, while Marc Davis and Bryon Chew were fourth and
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl the weatherman ruled as heavy rain pounded the shoreline oval
throughout the day.
Carl Edwards raced to his fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory of the
season Saturday night, beating Clint Bowyer in the Federated Auto Parts
300 for the Nextel Cup driver's third straight win at Nashville Super
Speedway in Gladeville, Tenn. Gordon held off Ryan Newman to win the
rain-shortened Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday and give Hendrick
Motorsports its 10th win in the past 12 Nextel Cup races. The race was
red flagged after 106 laps of the scheduled 200-lap, 500-mile race. With
darkness falling, the cars went back to pit road and never came back
after a final attempt to dry the track.
This week are
several vintage racing photos of Tommy Baldwin from the collection of
the late Danny Pardi,
That’s it for this week from 40 Clark
Street, Westerly RI 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail:
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