Fifty years ago in 1960
Don Collins continued his domination at the Waterford Speedbowl as he made
it five wins in a row driving the famous V-8. Ted Stack was the non-Ford
winner and Ed Priest was the Bomber winner. Red Bolduc, a crowd favorite at
the Norwood Arena died from injuries sustained in a violent crash.
Forty five years ago in
1965 Bill Wimble scored his second win of the season at the
Stafford Springs Speedway. Racing at the Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to
rain. Leo Cleary put the M-2 in victory lane at the Norwood Arena on
Saturday night while Irv Taylor was winning the main event at the Fonda
Speedway. Bob Zieglar broke Eddie Flemke’s win streak at Utica-Rome. Flemke
settled for second with Rene Charland, third.
Forty years ago in 1970,
the Albany-Saratoga Speedway started the weekend off with a 100 lapper.
NASCAR modified point leader Fred DeSarro in the Koszela Woodchopper took
the win over Bugsy Stevens and Leo Cleary. In twin 25 action at Stafford on
Saturday night Billy Greco took the opener over Don Flynn and Ernie Gahan.
Tom Sutcliff took the nitecap over Freddie Schulz and Moose Hewitt. Lou
Lazzaro went two for two at Fonda on Saturday night, winning both 25 lap
features. In the first event, Maynard Forette finished second with Ron
Narducci and Dave Lape following. The second event saw Narducci come home in
second spot with Don Wayman and Irv Taylor. Charlie Webster won the 30 lap
Modified feature and retired on the spot. John DeLong was the Daredevil Late
Model feature winner. Sunday action at Thompson and Utica-Rome was rained
out. Bugsy Stevens went to Maine with the Mighty No. 3 of Len Boehler and
walked off with the first ever 100 lap Modified open competition event run
at the Oxford Plains Speedway.
Thirty five years ago in
1975, Gary Winters took the win at Freeport on Friday night.
Charlie Jarzombek finished second with Art Tappen, third. Saturday night at
Stafford was action packed. With the Pocono qualifier on tap, action was at
a fever pitch and tempers were short. Geoff Bodine, Dick Armstrong's hired
gun had been beating the tar out of the competition and was not the best
liked driver in the field. During the running of the feature, Bugsy Stevens
was making a run at Bodine on the outside. Bodine attempted to block and
pinched Stevens into the front chute fence. Stevens rode the top of the
fence into turn one, coming to rest at the pit entrance. On the restart,
Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41 went inside Bodine and solidly parked
him in the turn two fence. The crowd went wild and as they towed the Santos
vehicle by the grandstand over 8,000 screaming fans gave him a standing
ovation. Bodine was fined $100 for rough riding and Santos was
fined $50 for his action. Eddie Flemke was the apparent winner until he
failed a post race weigh-in by being 60 pounds light. Fred DeSarro was
declared the winner with Brian Ross finishing second. Bob Potter won his
first of four in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl. Roger Charbonneau was the
Late Model Grand American winner. At Islip, it was George Wagner over Fred
Harbach and at Shangri-La, Richie Evans took the win over Sonney Seamon and
Jerry Cook. At Lancaster, Siege Fidenza took the win in an event that saw
Mike Loescher suffer injuries after a crash. Maynard Troyer beat out George
Kent at Fulton on Sunday and in twin features at Thompson Fred DeSarro and
Daring Dick Caso took the top spots.
Thirty years ago in 1980,
Fred Harbach was the winner at New Egypt on Wednesday. Bill Park finished
second with Tony Siscone third. Also in the field was Ray Everham who
finished 10th. Monadnock ran on Thursday with Marty Radwick taking the win
over Kenny Bouchard. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard held off Corky
Cookman and Richie Evans for the win. Pete Fiandacca was the Late Model
winner. At Riverside Park Radwick made it two for two on the weekend while
Ronnie Bouchard also went two for two as he won at Westboro. Richie Evans
and Jerry Cook finished one-two at Shangri-La and duplicated their efforts
at Thompson on Sunday. Other weekend winners were Moose Hewitt at Waterford,
Charlie Jarzombek at Islip, Allen Whipple at Claremont and Tony Siscone at
Twenty five years ago in 1985,
the NASCAR Modifieds ran a 100 lapper at Waterford on Wednesday night. Rick
Donnelly led from pole to pole to win the event. Dave Reszendes finished
second with John Anderson, third. Among those who didn't qualify were Reggie
Ruggiero, Tom Baldwin and Tony Siscone. Doug Hevron won out over Jamie
Tomaino at Stafford on Friday night. John Blewett Jr won at New Egypt and
Jan Leaty at Spencer. Dale Holdredge won at Waterford on Saturday while Greg
Sacks returned to his roots at Riverhead and took the win driving the Art
Barry No.21.Ruggiero returned to his winning ways on Saturday at Riverside
and on Sunday at Thompson, Lloyd Agor took the win.
Twenty years ago in 1990,
Speedway Scene, the northeast’s leading auto racing weekly at the time, did
not publish as the press broke. Ben Dodge resigned as race director at
Riverside Park after being accused of favoritism. He would change his mind
the following week. The Modified Tour was at Stafford for a 125 lapper. Mike
Stefanik took the win over Rick Fuller and Mike Ewanitsko. Also on Friday
night, Jerry Marquis beat out Dwight Jarvis at Monadnock. Waterford rained
out on Saturday but at Riverside twin features were run with Richie Gallup
and Tom Bolles taking the wins. Dan Jivenelli went pole to pole at Riverhead
and at Shangri-La, Lee Sherwood took the win.
Fifteen years ago in 1995,
the racing world was saddened when it was learned that Fred Harbach had
passed away after suffering a heart attack. Ted Christopher got his 34th
career win at Stafford on Friday night as he beat brother Mikey to the
stripe. At Waterford, Mark LaJunesse scored a popular win over Dave Kutka
and in Modified Tour action at Riverhead, Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr took the top
spot over Brian Ross. Brian Schofield got his first ever win at Riverside.
In Winston Cup action at Watkins Glen, Terry Labonte took the win. Randy
LaJoie was fired and replaced by Jimmy Hensley.
Ten years ago in 2000
Kerry Malone was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Jerry Marquis finished
second with Lloyd Agor, third. Harry Rheaume got his first ever at Waterford
on Saturday with John Brouwer Jr second. The Featherlite Modified Tour
returned to Seekonk after an absence of many years. Fourty eight Modifieds
and 11,000 plus spectators were on hand. Jerry Marquis took the win after
taking the lead from Mike Ewanitsko on lap 126.Ewanitsko,who started in the
rear had made the charge of the night only to see his tires go away. Howie
Brode won at Riverhead. It was also on this weekend that the sale of the
Oxford Plains Speedway from Mike Liberty to Bill Ryan Jr was firmed up.
years ago in 2005 Donnie Lia took a Sunday drive on a
Saturday night as he led from pole to pole in the Whelen 150 at the
Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Lia had the entire field covered as
no one could make a serious bid to take the lead away from the Long Island
racer. There were 37 cars on hand for the first of two visits that the
Whelen Modified Tour Series will make to the shoreline oval. Ted
Christopher, who started seventh, moved into second spot after a lap 48
restart but could never touch Lia who had a full straight away lead when the
final caution flew after Lia had taken the white flag. Tony Hirschman, who
had given way to Christopher was entrenched in third spot but spun without
any help after he went into turn three a little too hot. The event was
finished under caution. Hirschman ended up eighth. Eric Beers, in the
Boehler Racing Ole Blu, finished third with Jerry Marquis, fourth. Steve
Whitt, in his best performance ever, finished fifth. Many drivers felt that
because of the heat and the rubber laid down that there was no outside
groove. Matt Hirschman and Chris Pasteryak made their maiden voyages on the
Tour Series and did themselves proud as they managed to stay out of trouble
and finish on the lead lap. Hirschman started 12th and finished 8th while
Pasteryak started 11th and finished 20th. There were 21 cars on the lead lap
at the finish. There were a few feathers ruffled along the way. Kenny Barry
was critical of Jim Civale’s driving after the two got entangled and Barry
found himself out for the night in last spot. Jim Storace took a hard lick
on the front chute, which inflicted severe damage to his mount. Storace
didn’t mention who got into him. The green waved on lap 36. Two laps later
Dave Etheridge found himself in the front chute fence. He said that Rick
Fuller hit him. Etheridge ended his night in 28th spot. The fourth caution
of the night came on lap 68 when Rick Fuller and Nevin George along with
Jamie Tomaino tangled in turn one. Tomaino and George were done for the
night. The condition of Tomaino’s car was described over the PA system as
being a little bit cross-eyed. Once the event was completed runner-up Ted
Christopher insinuated that Lia was using a traction control device. Lea
denied the charge and insisted it was just sour grapes on Christopher’s
In regular Saturday night action at the shoreline oval Don Fowler
went pole to pole for the SK Modified win. Ted Christopher came from the
back of the field to finish second. Richard Brooks served up a very exciting
win in the Mini Stocks as he made a three wide pass for second spot with
three laps to go before he took the lead and the win on the final lap. Allen
Coates was the Late Model winner and Norm Root took the Sportsman win.
Bert Marvin became the second repeat winner in Sunoco SK type
Modified competition at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. James
Civali won the opening two events at the track during Ice Breaker weekend.
Marvin’s win didn’t come easy as he took a lot of heat from Bo Gunning.
Gunning faded to tenth in the final lap as he brushed the wall and had a
tire going flat. Todd Ceravolo, who started on the pole, ended up in second
spot. Jeff Malave, Adam Norton and Kerry Malone rounded out the top five.
Jeff Zuidema won the special 50 lap Late Model feature. Other winners were
Joe Lemay in the Pro Stocks, Glenn Boss in the Limiteds, Roger Larsen in the
TIS Modifieds and twin features for the Mini-Stocks were taken by Shelly
Perry and Terry Boudreau.
Woody Pitkat picked up his first ever Modified feature at Stafford
on Friday night after he passed Chuck Docherty at the half way mark. What
made the victory even sweeter was the fact that Pitkat had been fired out of
the car that he passed to take the win. Willie Hardie Jr finished third.
Mike Quintiliano made it two in a row in the Late Models and Andrew Durand
made it two in a row in the Limited Late Models. Among the missing at
Stafford on Friday night was Ted Christopher who was serving a one week
suspension imposed by Racing Director Frank Sqambato. Christopher’s
suspension came as a result of his unsportsmanlike conduct when he engaged
in a fight in the pits on June 17. Christopher denied hitting anybody; he
did admit to ripping Stanley Butova's shirt. Butova was Frank Ruocco’s crew
chief. Christopher felt that he had been singled out as he was initially
confronted by Butova.
Wayne Anderson made it two in a row at Riverhead.
Despite a black flag halfway through the race, Johnny Sauter had
little trouble dominating the rain-shortened SBC 250 at the Milwaukee Mile
on Saturday night. The race was shortened from 250 to 200 miles after a
storm dumped heavy rain on the track. Martin Truex Jr. was second, and Paul
Menard finished third. J.J. Yeley was fourth and David Stremme fifth as 10
cars were on the lead lap when the race was stopped. Tony Stewart ended a
long dry spell as he won the Nextel Cup event at Sonoma.
Last year, 2009,
Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway was cancelled due to
heavy rain. Keith Rocco made it two in a row in SK Modified competition at
the Stafford Motor Speedway. Rocco, who is a top contender for the NASCAR
Weekly Racing Series National Championship continued to take no prisoners.
Dillon Moltz, who made the choice to miss his High School graduation, took
his third win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Heather
DesRochers wired the field in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature for her
first career victory, Andrew Durand picked up his third victory of the 2009
season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders picked
up his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature a week after
his twin brother won his first career DARE Stock feature.
The 40-lap SK Modified® feature took the green with Dave Salzarulo
holding down the lead from the pole position. Todd Owen was all over the
back of Salzarulo for the lead, but he couldn't muster up enough momentum to
make a pass. The duel between Salzarulo and Owen allowed Frank Ruocco to
close in on the front two.
A caution with 14 laps complete slowed the action and set up a
restart. Ruocco moved by both Owen and Salzarulo on the restart to take over
the race lead. Keith Rocco moved from fifth to second behind Ruocco,
dropping Owen to third and Salzarulo to fourth. Rocco went to the outside of
Ruocco on lap-21 and he made a pass for the lead in the outside groove on
lap-22. Mark Bakaj was on the move after the restart, moving by Salzarulo
for fourth on lap-23 and he took third place from Owen on lap-29. At the
front of the field, Rocco was stretching his lead out over Ruocco lap by
lap. Rocco led the final 29 laps of the race to pick up his second
consecutive and third overall SK Modffied® feature victory of the 2009
season. Ruocco finished second, with Bakaj, Owen, and Salzarulo rounding out
the top-5. Sixth through tenth were Tom Bolles, Ted Christopher, Doug Coby,
Woody Pitkat, and Jeff Malave.
The Waterford Speedbowl, in a wise move, cancelled last Saturday’s
racing due to the fact that the National Weather Service predicted monsoon
like conditions for the entire Connecticut area.
In NASCAR Nationwide Series action, Carl Edwards and fellow Cup
commuter Kyle Busch both took a brief break from their Sprint Cup duties in
California to fly more than 2,000 miles and race in Milwaukee on
Saturday.Edwards took the lead from Busch with 44 laps to go and wasn't
significantly challenged the rest of the way. Busch finished second,
followed by Brad Keselowski. In Sprint Cup action, Kasey Kahne figured a
spot in the Chase for the championship was an unrealistic goal just two
months ago. He wasn't running well, Richard Petty Motorsports was behind in
its development, and the competition was steadily pulling away. Then came a
strong five-race stretch, punctuated a win at Infineon Raceway. It came at a
road course, of all places, and snapped Kahne's 37-race winless streak. His
win brought team co-owner Richard Petty to Victory Lane for the first time
in over a decade. The last time a Petty-owned car won a race was John
Andretti's 1999 victory at Martinsville. Tony Stewart, an accomplished road
racer, finished second and was followed by Marcos Ambrose, who blew a motor
in Saturday's practice that forced him to start at the back of the field and
forfeit his third-place qualifying position. Jimmie Johnson was fourth and
was followed by Denny Hamlin and Juan Pablo Montoya.
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly,
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail,email@example.com.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
week are several vintage racing photos
All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
Looking Back Archive