Forty years ago in 1969,
Charlie Jarzombek returned to Stafford but this time Bugsy Stevens was ready
for him as the defending National Champion was not about to let an outsider
get the best of him. When the checker dropped at 30 laps, Stevens had
defended his home turf and Jarzombek had to settle for second. Bobby Santos
finished third and was followed by Holly Wilder and Tom Sutcliff. At
Albany-Saratoga, Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row and three out of four at
the upstate N.Y. oval. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by
Rene Charland and Bernie Miller. Lazzaro repeated at Fonda on Saturday
running his string to four in a row at the place they called the track of
champions. Kenny Shoemaker, in the Bobby Judkins 2x finished second with Ken
Platt, third.| At Norwood, Eddie Flemke in the Dave Welch-Greg Mills 79 took
the win over Johnny Thompson, Billy Schulz and Pete Hamilton. Bob Potter was
the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. LesFletcher was the
Daredevil winner. Thompson ran their 200 on Sunday. Ray Hendrick was
scheduled to drive the Tant/Mitchell 11 but became fogbound at the Newark
Airport. Ralph "Hop" Harrington was given the ride and ride he did as he won
the event going away. Bugsy Stevens finished second with Fred DeSarro,
third. Racing at Utica-Rome on Sunday night was rained out.
Thirty five years ago in 1974,
Charlie Jarzombek went three for three as he won twin events at Freeport on
Friday night and a 100 lapper on Saturday night at Islip. Jarzombek had his
work cut out for him as invaders Richie Evans and Jerry Cook were on hand.
Evans could do no better than second and Cook ended up fourth behind Fred
Harbach. It was still a good weekend for Evans as he won at Utica-Rome on
Friday over Rene Charland and Ed Pieniezak and won again on Sunday at Fulton
over Mike Loescher and Geoff Bodine. At Stafford on Saturday night, Ronnie
Bouchard made it two in a row as he beat out Bugsy Stevens and Don Flynn.
Also on Saturday, George Kent and Gramme Bolia shared victory lane at
Shangri-La and at Waterford Lou Herman took his only Modified win. At
Thompson on Sunday, Eddie Flemke in the John Steiger 7 took the win over Bob
Santos, Ollie Silva and Mario "Fats" Caruso. In other weekend action, Punky
Caron and Ronnie Bouchard shared victories at Monadnock on Friday.
Thirty years ago in 1979,
Richie Evans started the weekend at New Egypt on Wednesday with a win over
Charlie Jarzombek and Jerry Cook. Evans recorded his 198th career win by
taking the Friday night 30 lapper at Stafford. Ronnie Bouchard was testing
tires during the day and lost the engine in the Bob Johnson 17.Don Flynn
offered him his no.25 and was not disappointed as he finished second.
Finishing third was Steady Eddie Flemke. Saturday at Riverside Evans made it
199 as he beat out Jerry Cook and Ron Wycoff. At Seekonk, Brian Ross took
the win over Ray Lee and Joe Arcana. Islip ran a 75 lapper and it was Wayne
Anderson in for the win over Don Howe and George Brunnhoelzl Jr. Evans made
it a hat trick as he went four for four and recorded his 200th win as he won
at Monadnock on Sunday. Reggie Ruggerio finished second with Jerry Cook,
third. Other weekend winners were George Kent at Shangri-La, John Falconi
Jr. at Westboro, Rick Donnelly at Waterford, George Savory at Thompson,
Punky Caron at Claremont and Maynard Troyer at Lancaster.
Twenty five years ago in 1984,
Mike Mclaughlin won at Stafford over Charlie Jarzombek. Corky Cookman, who
had been driving for Art Barry, finished last and was fired from the ride.
Jerry Pearl was the SK Modified winner. At Riverside, Kenny Bouchard beat
out Reggie Ruggerio and in twin events at Waterford, veterans Bob Potter and
Glynn Shafer took victories. George Kent had a two-fer as he won both at
Spencer and at Shangri-La. At Riverhead it was Tom Baldwin over Fred Harbach
and at Islip, races were cancelled due to curfew. John Blewett Jr. won at
New Egypt and Tony Siscone was victorious at Wall. In Winston Cup action at
Pocono Raceway, David Pearson took the pole but it was Cale Yarborough
taking the win.
Twenty years ago in 1989, rain
washed out Stafford. At Waterford John Anderson beat Harry Rice and at
Riverside it was Tom Bolles over Rick Summers. The racing community was
saddened to learn that Tom Druar passed away after suffering injuries at
Lancaster. At Riverhead, Bob Park won out over Dan Jivanelli and at
Monadnock on Sunday in a mod tour event Reggie Ruggerio won out over Jeff
Fuller and Jamie Tomaino.
Fifteen years ago this week,
Mike Christopher was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Mike Paquette
finished a strong second and was followed by Steve Chowanski and Bob Potter.
The Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Lee N.H. Reggie Ruggiero was the
early leader until losing an engine on lap 31.From there on it was the
Fuller brothers fighting for the lead when they came together and wrecked.
Jamie Tomaino was the eventual winner and was followed by Jan Leaty, Charlie
Pasteryak, Steve Park and Tony Ferrante. At Waterford, Bob Potter driving
for the Bunnell Bros. took the win over Chris Jones and Mike Gada. Chris
Kopec held off Reggie Ruggiero and Steve Park at Riverside and at Riverhead,
Chris Young beat out Tom Tillotson for the win. In Winston Cup action at
Pocono, Rusty Wallace was both the pole sitter and the winner while at
Myrtle Beach; Elton Sawyer was the Busch GN winner.
Ten years ago, in 1999, Lloyd
Agor was declared the Friday night winner at Stafford after apparent winner
Mike Christopher was disqualified for having illegal mufflers, Jeff Malave
ended up second. The Featherlite modifieds were at Riverhead for a 200
lapper, John Blewett III took the win after unwittingly parking Tony
Hirschman who had checked up to avoid a wreck. Tim Connolly finished second
with Dan Avery, Rick Fuller and Tony Ferrante following. Billy Sharp beat
out Dennis Gada at Waterford and Bob Polverari scored his 36th career win at
Riverside. Kenny Tremont made it eight in a row at Lebanon Valley. In
Winston Cup action at Michigan, Dale Jarrett dominated the event, which went
pole to pole, caution free. Jarrett lapped 38 of the 43 starters. Dale
Earnhardt was the Busch South winner at South Boston and Brad Leighton won
the Busch North event at Beech Ridge.
Five years ago in 2004 the
Stafford management called a mid-week meeting with its SK Modified
competitors with the hope of eliminating some of the destruction of
equipment on Friday nights. Less than 25 competitors showed up as the
Stafford management announced that they were eliminating the use of mirrors,
radios and changing tire compounds. They would also paint a yellow line on
the aprons in the turns. Anyone going below the line would receive a severe
penalty. In Thursday night action at the Thompson Speedway Ted Christopher
scored the Sunoco SK Modified win over Jeff Malave and Bert Marvin.
Christopher carried his winning ways over to Stafford on Friday night as he
beat out Chuck Docherty and James Civali for the win. Tommy Fox took the SK
Modified win at Waterford on Saturday night over Glen Billings and Don
Fowler while at Riverhead it was Mike Andrews over John Fortin. Steven Reed
got the best of John Blewett III at Wall Stadium. The NASCAR Featherlite
Modifieds were at the Lake Erie Speedway. The event carried a purse of
$77,753 and drew 33 cars. Tony Hirschman, who started in second spot, passed
pole sitter Rob Summers on lap 14 and went on to score a victory in the 150
lap event. Todd Szegedy finished second and was followed by Jerry Marquis,
Rick Fuller, Ed Flemke Jr and Summers. In other weekend action Jason Lefler
won a Busch Series event at Nashville and Andy Santerre was the Busch North
Series winner at Seekonk.
Last year, the Thompson
Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder program was cancelled due to wet
conditions. Bert Marvin was the current point leader in the Sunoco
Modifieds. Marvin held a 14 point lead over Josh Sylvester. The Stafford
Motor Speedway fell victim to fog on Friday night.
The Waterford Speedbowl raced under clear skies and provided southeastern
Connecticut race fans a full program of racing. The main event of the
evening was a 100 lap American Canadian Tour contest that was won by tour
regular Scott Payea. Waterford regular Bruce Thomas led the early going but
in the end had to settle for second. Former Busch North Series regular Brad
Leighton finished third with Ron Yuhas Jr and Nichloas Sweet rounding out
the top five. Doug Coby was the SK Modified winner. Tyler Chadwick finished
second and was followed by Dennis Gada, Jeff Paul, and Keith Rocco.
Other feature winners were Mark Hudson (Late Model), Brandon
Plemons (Sportsman), and Lou Bellisle (Mini Stock).
At the All Star Speedway in New Hampshire Ted Christopher had his
hands full with Jimmy Blewett, who nearly got past on a late-race restart.
But Christopher was up to the task, holding on to post the win. Blewett, Jon
McKennedy, Ronnie Silk, and Hirschman rounded out the top five.
In a somewhat racing related manner, James Galante, a major Connecticut
trash hauler at the center of a sweeping federal corruption probe of mob
influence in the industry pleaded guilty on June 3 and agreed to surrender
dozens of businesses worth more than $100 million. The New London Day
reported that Galante of Danbury entered guilty pleas to racketeering
conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and wire
fraud conspiracy. He faces 70 to 87 months in prison and a fine of up to
$750,000. Galante sponsored and owned Ted Christopher’s racing endeavors
from 1995 until June of 2006 when the Galante/Christopher race shop was
raided by the feds who confiscated five complete Modified Type cars plus
another one in the process of being built. One of the cars was a four time
winner at Loudon.
A 17 page indictment states that Galante is "knowingly and
willingly turning over to the U.S. Government": "Six racing cars, marked
with numbers 01 thru 06, on the front frame rails and one 1997 53 foot
Featherlite Trailer." Galante agreed to take all steps as requested by the
United States to pass clear title to all of the assets listed over to the
United States Government.". Chances are that the race cars and equipment
will be auctioned to the public at some date in the future. Galante’s actual
sentencing would be on August 22.
In NASCAR Nextel Cup competition at the Pocono Raceway, Kasey Kahne
started from the pole, overcame an early pit road penalty that dropped him
to 38th and led a race-high 69 of the 200 laps in his Dodge as he went on to
take the win. Brian Vickers was second for his best finish since joining Red
Bull Racing and Denny Hamlin was third to give Toyota two cars in the top
three. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth and appeared winded after racing more
than four hours in temperatures that hovered around 90 degrees.
Kyle Busch finished last, but became the first driver to compete in
all three of NASCAR's national series at three racetracks on the same
Brad Keselowski raced to his first Nationwide Series victory
Saturday night, passing Clint Bowyer with six laps to go and easily holding
off his closest rivals in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville
Superspeedway. Joey Logano won the pole during the day, but finished 31st
after a crash on lap 89. He led the first 60 laps and 64 overall. David
Stremme rallied to finish second, followed by David Reutimann and Bowyer.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, RI, 02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvey Vallencourt (Hoyt Photo)
. 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.