Forty five years ago in 1963
Ken Meahl won a 60 lap
NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica- Rome Speedway. Cam Gagliardi
finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Ed Ortiz and Bill Wimble
rounded out the top five. Forty years ago in 1968, rain washed out
racing at Stafford and Malta on Friday night. Rain also washed out Fonda
on Saturday night. The sky cleared at Norwood where Mr. Leo Cleary took
the win. Joe Krukowski won at Islip and Don Flynn won at Riverside Park.
Thompson cancelled the races on Sunday. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper with
Andy Romano taking the win over Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Dave Kotary
and Ron Narducci. Sam Reakes won at Fulton. Don Diffendorf won at the
Thirty five years ago in 1973, Fred DeSarro started
the weekend off with a win at Malta on Friday night. Bugsy Stevens
finished second with Richie Evans, third. Stevens stayed up in New York
State for a 100 lapper at Tioga on Saturday, which he won. Evans
finished second with Jerry Cook, third. At Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard
beat out Eddie Flemke for the win. Lou Austin finished third with Don
Flynn, fourth. Gary Winters was the winner at Islip.
Thirty years ago in 1978, Monadnock ran on Wednesday
with a 100 lap Yankee All Star League event. Geoff Bodine took the win
over Jack Bateman, Punky Caron and Bugsy Stevens. Bodine went on to win
four out of five for the weekend as he also took victories at Riverside,
Oswego and at Utica-Rome. Maynard Troyer was the only spoiler as he beat
the Big Red machine in a 100 lapper at Stafford on Friday night. Other
weekend winners were Wayne Anderson at New Egypt, Fred DeSarro at
Seekonk, Moose Hewitt at Waterford, Greg Sacks at Islip and Tom Baldwin
Twenty five years ago in 1983, Thompson ran a 40 lapper on
Wednesday which saw George Kent take the win over George Summers and
Bugsy Stevens. Friday at Stafford saw Stan Greger put the Ben Dodge
No.36 in victory lane as he beat Mike Stefanik and Ray Miller. Dale
Holdredge was the winner at Waterford on Saturday. Richie Evans won 100
lappers at Spencer and Riverside. Tom Baldwin won at Riverhead and Bill
Park won at Islip.
Twenty years ago in 1988, the Waterford Speedbowl ran a
100-lap open competition event on Wednesday, which paid $4,000 to win.
John Anderson took the win over Tom Bolles, Jamie Tomaino and Richie
Gallup. Anderson backed up his win with others at Stafford on Friday and
again at Waterford again on Saturday. Reggie Ruggerio was a double
winner as he won at Monadnock and at Riverside. Wayne Anderson won a
Richie Evans memorial event at Riverhead and Bob Potter scored at
Thompson on Sunday.
Fifteen years ago in 1993, Bob Potter scored his 17th career
win at Stafford on Friday over Mike Christopher and Bo Gunning. Potter
backed it up with his 90th career win at Waterford on Saturday night.
Chris Jones finished second with Jerry Pearl, third. The NASCAR modified
tour series visited Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Hometown favorite,
Steve Park sat on the pole and went on to win the caution filled event.
There were twelve yellows for 68 laps which kept Park’s average speed at
32.459 mph. Reggie Ruggerio finished second and was followed by Rick
Fuller and Ed Flemke jr. Ed Kennedy was the winner at Riverside Park. In
Winston Cup action at Watkins Glen, Bill Elliot took the win over Terry
Ten years ago in 1998, Rob Summers scored his first
ever-modified victory as he won a 75 lapper at Riverside Park on
Tuesday. Dave Berube led the event until the two to go mark was reached
when Chris Kopec who was down one lap intentionally blocked him. It was
a payback for an incident on the 59th lap when Berube and Kopec tangled
with the end result being Kopec spinning out and losing a lap. Berube
recovered and finished second. Dan Avery, Bob Polverari and Rick Miller
rounded out the top five. Lloyd Agor was the Friday night SK-Modified
winner at Stafford as he won out over Curt Brainard, Ted Christopher and
Jamie Asklar. Tension was high and tempers were short at Stafford. Jim
Broderick along with car owners Angie and Tony Cerese were suspended for
one week for fighting and Bo Gunning was put on probation for shoving an
official. Dennis Gada beat out Eric Berndt and Don Fowler at Waterford
and Al Ermarino went pole to pole at Riverhead. Saturday night at
Riverside saw Ted Riggot in victory lane and at Thompson on Sunday Mike
Christopher was victorious over Bert Marvin and Richie Gallup. The
Featherlite Modifieds were at Loudon as a second division to the IRL. A
sparse crowd of 20,000 was on hand as Tony Stewart won the IRL event.
Mike Stefanik took the lead from Jan Leaty on lap 81 of the 125 lap
modified event. In taking the win, Stefanik went over the one
million-dollar in earnings mark. Reggie Ruggiero finished second and was
followed by Leaty, Tony Hirschman, John Blewett III and Tom Connolly. In
Winston Cup action at Sears Point, Jeff Gordon took the win and in Busch
Grand National action at Watkins Glen, road racer Ron Fellows took the
Five years ago in 2003, Brad Leighton took the lead on lap
43 in the BGNN 150 at Stafford when Dave Dion spun in oil and went on to
take the win, his fourth of the year. Jeff Taylor finished second with
Dion, third. Stafford's SK Modified event rained out. Waterford ran a
100 lapper on Saturday night with Eric Berndt taking the win over Jeff
Pearl and Tucker Reynolds. Riverhead went to Frank Vigliarolo Jr. In
100degree heat, Bert Marvin went pole to pole at Thompson. Todd Ceravolo
finished second with Tom Fox, third. At Riverside, Rob Summers won a 125
lapper over Ted Riggott and Bob Polverari. In Busch Grand National
action at Milwaukee, Casey Atwood hit Jeff Green on the final lap and
went on to take the win over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Glenn Allen. In
Winston Cup action under the lights at Daytona, Dale Jarrett took the
lead on lap 146 of the 160 lap distance and took the win over Dale
Earnhardt and Jeff Burton.
Last year, 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made
it’s first of two visits to the New Hampshire International Speedway.
Speedway owner and promoter Bob Bahre posted $164, 095 for the 100
lap-105.8 mile event. There were 40 Modifieds on hand for qualifying
which took place on Thursday.
With the exception of John Blewett III having mechanical problems
and having to take a provisional starting spot, qualifying went smooth.
Ted Christopher took the Busch Pole with a speed of 126.812mph. Second
fastest was Donnie Lia with a speed of 126.795 mph. Jimmy Blewett, Matt
Hirschman and Eddie Flemke Jr rounded out the top five. Sixth through
tenth were Tony Hirschman, Charlie Pasteryak, Bob Grigas III, Ronnie
Silk and Glen Tyler.
Donnie Lia, who signed on with longtime NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
car owner Bob Garbarino just prior to the start of the season, picked up
his fourth win in six races with a victory in the New England 100 at New
Hampshire International Speedway last Saturday. For Garbarino, who has
been a Modified car owner since the mid 1960s, its been a dream season.
Never in over 40 years has he had a year like this. Lia and Co. made the
strategic choice not to pit for tires or fuel, while other of the top
contenders like Ted Christopher did at various stages and had to work
their way back to the front.“If we pitted today, I don’t know if we
could have got through like Teddy did,” said Lia, who had five career
wins in 79 career starts entering 2007. “We made our decision and stuck
with it. And it was apparently the right one.” The race was abbreviated
to 85 laps due to time constraints. It was slowed eight times for 38
laps, with the last caution setting up a six-lap dash for the finish
between Lia, Christopher and Eddie Flemke. Lia briefly lost the lead to
Flemke but used a push from Christopher to get back by and then held on
as Christopher and Flemke battled for second. Christopher, who has four
Modified Tour wins at NHIS, held on for the runner-up finish. Matt
Hirschman and Todd Szegedy were fourth and fifth respectively. Ronnie
Silk, Bobby Santos III, Ron Yuhas Jr., Charlie Pasteryak and John
Blewett IIII rounded out the top 10.
Eight cautions for 38 laps kept Lia’s average speed at 67.140mph.
Among those who failed to finish were Joe Hartmann who lost an engine on
lap 2, Bob Grigas, Kenny Bouchard, Rick Fuller and Glen Tyler were
eliminated in a lap 34 accident. James Civali lost a driveshaft on lap
35. Eric Beers and Mike Christopher lost engines while Jake Marosz and
Rob Summers dropped out with suspension problems. Alex Hoag and Jimmy
Blewett wrecked on lap 73. Lia held the points lead over Szegedy by 61
and Hirschman by 63. Jimmy Blewett and James Civali round out the top
On a sad note, Whelen Modified Tour Series crew chief Greg Narducci
sustained serious head injuries when he fell off a moving golf cart on
Thursday night. He suffered several injuries to his facial area
including possible fractures to the temple, cheekbone and area behind
the eye socket. Swelling of the brain occured with possible clots behind
the front area of the skull. He was Med Flighted to Dartmouth Hitchcock
Hospital in NH. Greg was touch and go for a while, but is now on his way
In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway,
heavy rains caused the management to cancel its Thursday Night Thompson
Thunder race program. The entire northeast was hit by heavy downpours
and storms forcing management’s hand after nearly two hours of work to
dry the track.
In Busch East series action at Loudon on Friday the racing was
absolutely brutal. Connecticut’s Joey Logano won for the 3rd time in 6
series starts in the 125-mile event that was slowed by 10 caution
periods and 2 red flags. It took two hours to finish the event. Logano
held off 8-time New Hampshire International Speedway winner Brad
Leighton and Tim Schendel over several late-race restarts. Twenty-four
of the 43 starters finished on the lead lap. Cautions: 10 for 64 of the
126 laps completed.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway Zach Sylvester ended a seven year dry spell at the nutmeg oval.
In addition to Sylvester who won the the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Tom
Fearn won the 30-lap Late Model feature, Glen Reen, the 20-lap SK Light
feature, Rick Lanagna,the Limited Late Model feature and Dean Casagrande,
the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
The 40-lap SK Modified feature, run under a full moon, saw several
attempts at getting it started with both front row starters being put
back a row, which put Sylvester up front for the start, and he took the
early lead. Sylvester held the lead through multiple caution periods,
but would lose the lead to Willie Hardie on a lap-21 restart. Sylvester
got back around Hardie on lap-23 and would hold the lead through several
more restart situations until the final caution came out with 3 laps to
go. Sylvester powered his way to the lead, but had Woody Pitkat and Ted
Christopher all over his back bumper. Sylvester held strong and took the
checkered flag ahead of Pitkat. Keith Rocco made a last lap charge into
third place, with Christopher and Todd Owen rounding out the top-5.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl Rob Janovic Jr. notched his third win of the season on
Saturday night as he won the 35-lap SK Modified feature on “Military
Appreciation Night At The Speedbowl”. Janovic passed early leader Frank
Mucciacciaro Jr. with 13 laps to go and was able to hold off Dennis Gada
in the closing laps. Mucciacciaro set the early pace, grabbing the top
spot from pole-sitter Jeff Paul with a daring move shortly after the
initial green. Paired off with the eventual winner on several restarts,
he maintained the lead until Janovic moved to the outside groove. An
early wreck on the backstretch triggered by Don Fowler claimed several
cars, including point-leader Shawn Monahan. The victory moved Janovic
within six points of current leader Shawn Monahan in the battle for the
championship. Mucciacciaro, Brandon Hansen and Jeff Pearl rounded out
the top five.
Other feature winners at the shoreline oval were Bruce Thomas Jr.
(Late Model), Jim Procaccini (Sportsman), Ken Cassidy Jr. (Mini Stock),
and, Chris Bakaj (Legends).
Tom Rogers won the Cromarty Cup 50 at Riverhead and Steven Reed was
the Modified winner at the Wall Township Speedway. In Nextel Cup action
at Loudon Denny Hamlin took the win.
Kevin Harvick held off a late challenge by Carl Edwards to grab his
second NASCAR Busch Series victory of the season Saturday at New
Hampshire International Speedway.
That’s it for this week from 40 Clark
Street, Westerly RI 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail:
This week are
several vintage racing photos drivers from the
Lancaster, NY Speedway provided by
John Bisci's Turn5 Photo & Video
The Chrome Horn
'Looking Back with Phil Smith' Archive