Forty years ago in 1969
rain washed out Friday night action at Stafford and Malta. Saturday night at
Norwood, Freddie Schulz got Dick Armstrong his first win as a car owner.
Jack Malone finished second and was followed by Johnny Thompson, Lou Austin,
Fred DeSarro and Bugsy Stevens. Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row at Fonda
and Rene Charland was again second. Ron Narducci was third with Ray
Sitterly, fourth. At Islip, Cliff Tyler took the win at the tough 1/5 mile
oval. Mousie Kempster finished second with Japanese driver, George Tet,
third. Dick Caso took the Modified win at Waterford. On Sunday it rained out
at Thompson and it snowed at Utica-Rome.
Thirty five years ago in 1974 a
100 lapper scheduled for Utica-Rome on Friday was rained out. At Freeport,
George Wagner took the top spot over Ted Wesnoski, Fred Harbach and Bob Park
and at Metrolina in North Carolina, John Bryant took the win over Puddin'
Swisher and Harry Gant. At Stafford on Saturday night it was Steady Eddie
Flemke in the Judkins 2x over Don Flynn. Geoff Bodine outran Richie Evans at
Shangri-La and at Islip, George Wagner made it two for two on the weekend.
Gary Winters finished second and was followed by Jim Hendrickson in the
Ferrante x3. Dick Dunn was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Thirty years ago in 1979 Bugsy
Stevens in the Brady Bunch 00 took the Friday night win at Stafford over
Bobby Vee and Jerry Cook. On Saturday at Westboro, Jeff Fuller made his
modified debut as he was asked to pilot the Tom Dunn T-5. Roland LaPierre JR
took the win with Fuller finishing second. At Seekonk, Ronnie Bouchard took
the win over Leo Cleary and Eddie StAngelo. George Murray suffered burns in
an accident. Riverside, Islip, Waterford, Monadnock and Thompson rained out.
Twenty five years ago in 1984
Richie Evans was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Rain washed out
Spencer, Waterford and Riverside on Saturday night. At Shangri-La the rain
quit and Evans made it two for two on the weekend. George Kent and Jan Leaty
followed. In Winston Cup action at Nashville, Darrell Waltrip won both the
pole and the main event.
Twenty years ago in 1989
Stafford pulled the plug on the night’s schedule because of rain. On
Saturday night the Modified Tour Series was at the Indianapolis Raceway
Park. Mike McLaughlin took an impressive win over Tony Hirschman, Tony
Jankowiac and Satch Worley. Dan Jivanelli was the victor at Riverhead and at
Riverside it was Jerry Marquis. Waterford rained out.
Ten years ago in 1994 NASCAR
announced that they were in the process of forming a truck touring series
which would debut in 1995.In Friday action at Stafford Mike and Ted
Christopher finished one-two ahead of John Anderson and Bob Potter. Jay
Stewart started 18th and won the late model feature. Twin features were run
at Waterford on Saturday night with David Gada and Mark LaJunesse taking
victories. Twins were also run at Riverhead with Wayne Anderson and Eddie
Brunnhoelzl taking wins. At Riverside it was Dan Avery over Reggie Ruggiero.
The Modified Tour Series was at Thompson on Sunday and it was a memorable
day for Charlie Pasteryak as he won the 125-lap event over Tom Baldwin and
Bruce Dell and Wayne Anderson. Rick Fuller was the apparent winner until he
suffered a flat on lap 111 of the 125-lap event.
In Winston Cup action at Sears Point, Ernie Irvan took the win over
Geoff Bodine and at Indianapolis; Al Unser Jr. took the Indy 500 pole with a
speed of 228.011 mph.
Ten years ago in 1999 the
Featherlite Modifieds converged on the Richmond Raceway, 51 cars strong. It
took two days to run 131 of a scheduled 150 laps but when the event was
finally checkered, Ted Christopher and Joe Brady sat in victory lane. Tom
Baldwin ended up second, Jamie Tomaino, third and Bruce Driver, fourth. At
Stafford on Friday night, Mike Christopher won out over Frank Wainwright in
an action filled night which saw Chris Jones removed and suspended
indefinitely by the Connecticut DMV for intentionally ramming Christopher.
Dennis Gada beat out Bert Marvin at Waterford while Ted Riggot won at
Riverside and Ed Brunnhoelzl won at Riverhead. Kelly Moore won the BGNN200
at Thompson after taking the lead from Martin Truex on lap 120.Ted
Christopher won the companion SK Modified event over Dave Kukta and Scott
Spaulding. Lou Lazzaro who won his first modified feature at Fonda in 1961
recorded his 113th career win at the historic New York State dirt track. In
the last 30 years, the 64-year-old legend has recorded at least one win
In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Dale Jarrett took the win.
Five years ago in 2004 the
NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Waterford Speedbowl. The
150-lap event, which drew 47 Modifieds, had to one of the most exciting and
competitive run at the shoreline oval in quite a while. Busch Pole sitter
Chuck Hossfeld, driving the Garbarino Bros. Mystic Missile, picked the pole
starting position and led the first 80 laps. Hossfeld, who appeared to have
the car to beat was hounded by Ted Christopher who, after starting third,
shot by Tony Hirschman and moved into second spot on the first lap. During a
restart from the third caution on lap 79 Christopher powered his way into
the lead. One lap later, Hossfeld tapped him as they came out of turn four.
Christopher and a host of others spun which allowed Mike Stefanik to inherit
the lead. Hossfeld was put to the rear for rough riding. Stefanik with
Flemke in hot pursuit led what was left of the 30 car-starting field. The
race was supposed to end at the 150-lap mark but because of the inefficiency
of the Waterford wreckers and track crews to clean up a minor wreck on lap
140 the event was extended to 152 laps in order to provide a
green-white-checkered finish. In a single file restart Stefanik took the
green on lap 150. Flemke glued himself to the former national champion’s
bumper. With victory in sight Stefanik hit some dirt and debris kicked up by
a spinning Doug Coby in the fourth turn on the final lap. Stefanik drifted
up and it was all that Flemke needed as he floored his Hill Enterprises
mount and took the victory by inches. Stefanik ended up second with Tony
Hirschman, third. Jerry Marquis came from a 12th starting spot to finish
fourth. Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five. It was a great victory for
car owners Roger and Sandra Hill who make the long trip north for every Mod
Tour event from their base of operations in Westfield, North Carolina.
Hossfeld finished 12th and Christopher, who came across the finish line in
sixth was placed last on the lead lap in 15th for failure to restart in the
proper spot. Following Szegedy to round out the top ten were Nevin George,
John Blewett III, Tony Ferrante Jr, Jamie Tomaino and Rob Summers. There
were seven cautions for 54 laps. Fifteen of the original 30 starters
completed the entire race distance.
Ted Christopher is known to be an intimidator at times at Stafford but on
Friday night he became intimidated. Christopher was leading the final lap of
the 40 lap SK Modified feature when he became the victim of his own making.
Chuck Hossfeld was second when they took the white flag. In a move made many
times by Christopher, Hossfeld dove low into turn one. Christopher saw him
coming and tried to pinch him off. It was then that the pair made contact
and slid up the track. Jeff Baral, who was running third at the time shot
under the tangled cars and went on to take the win. Hossfeld and Christopher
managed to keep pointed in the same direction and kept going. Hossfeld
finished second with Christopher, third. At least that’s what he thought.
The top finishing cars were then weighed and at that time it was discovered
that Christopher’s car had an illegal left side weight. With Christopher
disqualified, Jim Civali was moved up to the third spot. Shawn
Tryon and Todd Owen rounded out the top five. Former Pro Stock driver Tom
Fearn broke the stranglehold that Mike Quintialano had on the Late Model
division as he took the Late Model feature event. Quintialano, who finished
sixth, was disqualified as it was discovered in a post race inspection that
his car had an illegal suspension part. Fran Siana was the Dare Stock
At the Waterford Speedbowl in regular weekly competition on
Saturday night, Doug Coby had to get mad to get aggressive in order to win.
Coby led Jeff Pearl across the finish line after he had his lead taken away
at one point for jumping on the restart. Pearl led a good portion of the
event but in the end had nothing for Coby. Dennis Gada finished third with
Ted Christopher and Chris Pasteryak rounding out the top five. Jay Stuart
won the Late Model feature that went non-stop. Other Saturday night winners
were Joe Bavolacco in the Mini Stocks and Bill Mcneil in the Sportsman
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR along with the Busch Racing
Series was in Richmond, Virginia last weekend. The announcement that NASCAR
had awarded a second Nextel Cup date to the Texas Motor Speedway was the big
news. The International Speedway Corporation announced that the North
Carolina Speedway had been sold to Speedway Motorsports. Speedway
Motorsports, which owns the Texas Speedway asked for and received approval
from NASCAR to move the Rockingham race date to Texas. The sale price was
$100 million. With Texas getting their second date meant that the anti-trust
suit filed by a Speedway Motorsports stockholder against NASCAR would go
away. The new Texas date would be November 6, 2005. It was also announced
that the International Speedway Corporation had purchased the Martinsville
Speedway from the Earles and France families. It was also indicated that the
Darlington Raceway in South Carolina would lose one of its dates as Phoenix
gets a second
date. In a somewhat related announcement the International Speedway
Corporation announced that they would cease racing operations at Nazareth.
Their Busch Racing Series and IRL dates would be moved to another track,
rumored to be Watkins Glen. As for the Featherlite Modified Touring Series
date, no mention of its future was stated so it looked like it will just
fade away. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the Nextel Cup win in Richmond after
taking the lead from Tony Stewart with 54 laps remaining in the 400-lap
contest. Jimmie Johnson finished second with Bobby Labonte, third. Stewart
ended up fourth. Kyle Busch won the Busch Racing Series event at Richmond.
The New Hampshire International Speedway sued Action Performance,
which makes and markets auto-racing collectibles. NHIS alleged that Action
Performance was guilty of breech of contract, fraud and a violation of the
New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act. NHIS felt that Action Performance had
fraudulently underreported gross sales since 1993. NHIS charges a minimum
fee of $5,000 or 25 percent commission which ever is higher. A similar legal
action took place at the Dover Downs Speedway earlier in the year.
Last Year, 2008, the Stafford
Motor Speedway suffered their third successive rain out. The Waterford
Speedbowl continued to benefit from Stafford’s rain outs as their car counts
in the SK Modified division had become quite healthy. Six-time champion
Dennis Gada came from deep in the pack Saturday evening to win his third
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK feature of the season on Little League
Night at the Waterford Speedbowl. The 35 lap SK Modified feature got off to
a rough start as a pile of cars got drop kicked into the first turn wall
after outside pole sitter Frank Mucciacciaro Jr failed to come up to racing
speed. Jeff Pearl and Ron Yuhas Jr got the worst of it and were towed from
the scene. On the restart, Wendell Dailey led momentarily before passed by
Mucciacciaro and several others. Justin Gadosh then moved to the front
pressed by Rob Janovic and a fast-moving Dennis Gada. Passing Gaydosh, Gada
pulled alongside leader Janovic, executing an outside-pass to take the lead
with only three circuits remaining when the caution waved for the final
time. In one of the closest SK finishes of 2008, he was able to get the
advantage on defending champion. Following was Gaydosh, Ronnie Silk, and
In the Late Models, Ed Reed took his second feature of the season.
Moving into the lead following an altercation between leader Tim Jordon and
defending champion Bruce Thomas Jr., Reed distanced himself from a furious
battle between Vin Esposito and Ron Yuhas Jr. Having his best run of the
season, a surprisingly-fast Esposito was able to nip Yuhas for second. After
restarting from the back of the field, Jordan and Thomas Jr. recovered to
complete the top-five. Both of these drivers deserve the “Meatball Flag”
Jordan for blocking and Thomas for the lack of patience. Ed Lamb Jr. became
the sixth different Sportsman feature winner of the season in scoring his
first-ever main event. Lamb was dogged in the closing laps by veteran Jim
Proccaccini, but managed to pull ahead by several car-lengths at the finish.
Walt Hovey, Jr., Al Stone III, and Jonathon Avery followed.
In the caution-free Mini Stock feature, teenage rookie Raymond
Christian III put on a dominating performance to win the first of his
career. Christian is the son of defending "Women On Wheels" champion Kathy
Civardi, and the step-son of popular Speedbowl veteran Jeff "Soup" Civardi.
Lou Belisle finished second, and rounding-out the top-five was Randy
Churchill Jr., Ken Cassidy Jr., and Bill Leonard.
According to the State of Connecticut Judicial website the
Waterford Speedbowl was once again the center of foreclosure action. Rocco
Arbitell, along with Peter Borelli, filed suit in state court in New London
to foreclose on the Speedbowl property. The case was filed against 1080
Hartford Road, the group that owned the Speedbowl, and Terry Eames. In the
mean time, the Speedbowl continued to run every week basically drawing fans
on a word of mouth situation.
Special congratulations were sent out to Howie and Mary Hodge, two
very special people who celebrated 45 years of wedded bliss on Sunday, May
18. Thanks to the efforts of Howie and Mary, the Whelen Modified Tour Series
gets recorded in pictures.
Kasey Kahne picked up a $1 million payday Saturday by gambling on a
late pit stop to steal a win in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star race. Kahne didn't
take tires on the pit stop before the fourth and final 25-lap segment, a
decision that helped him start second when the race resumed. He wasn't
challenged and easily held off Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth for the victory.
Kahne wasn't originally eligible for the race, needing to finish first or
second in the preliminary Sprint Showdown. He finished fifth, but earned his
spot through a fan vote. The 100-lap event was intermittently dominated by
Kyle Busch, Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Biffle, who led the final 11 laps
of the third segment, took two tires and was mired in traffic on the start
of the final segment. Biffle, who finished second, never got a chance to run
down Kahne, who slid past leader Jimmie Johnson to lead the final 17 laps.
Kenseth was third. Johnson and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five..
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, RI, 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E Mail email@example.com.
3 time Riverside Mod Champ
the late Bob Stefanik,
brother of Mike Stefanik.
. All other photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
VintageModifieds.com Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.