The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith


July 9, 2010

   Fifty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley, a former competitor at the half mile Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode Island was the Modified feature winner at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Don Collins was the big winner at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won Modified events on Wednesday and Saturday. Ted Stack, in the non-Fords and Ed Moody followed suit as they also recorded double features at the shoreline oval. Red Foote was the winner at the Norwood Arena.

   Forty-five years ago in 1965 Don Wayman made it two in a row on the Dirt at Stafford Springs on Friday night. Ed Moody was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Krashen was the Bomber winner. Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row in Saturday night action at the Fonda Speedway. Ken Orr took the win at Riverside Park and Tom Kotary took the win at Utica-Rome. Finishing second was an unknown by the name of Richie Evans. Dave Kotary was third.

   Forty years ago in 1970, it was a busy week to say the least. The All Star League took to the dirt on Tuesday at the Orange County Speedway in Middletown, N.Y. Rags Carter took the 100 lap win over Will Cagle and Lou Lazzaro. Asphalt standouts Charlie Jarzombek, Fred DeSarro and Richie Evans finished eighth through tenth. At Malta on Friday night, Fred DeSarro took the top spot over Eddie Pieniezak and Dave Gault. Stafford's twin 25's went to Leo Cleary and Bugsy Stevens. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Glynn Shafer in the Ron Yuhas No. 6 took the Modified feature win. Ron Cote was the Late Model Daredevil winner. On Sunday, Thompson ran a 100 lap-double point event, which saw Bugsy Stevens take the top spot over Cleary, Ed Yerrington, Jack Malone, Bernie Miller, Bob Santos and Billy Harman. Pocono ran an open competition event which saw Geoff Bodine make one of his first big track appearances and he almost won it until traffic master, Ray Hendrick gave him a lesson in how to pass lapped cars. Hendrick ended up with the win and was followed by Bodine, Maynard Troyer and Bryan Osgood. Ron Newman was the winner at Utica-Rome on Sunday night.

   Thirty five years ago in 1975, Charlie Jarzombek went two out of three on Long Island as he won Friday night at Freeport and Sunday at Westhampton. On Saturday at Islip, the Long Island legend finished second to Gary Winters. Saturday night at Stafford saw Bob Vee win his first and only feature at Stafford. Bugsy Stevens finished second with Ronnie Bouchard, third. Bob Potter took the 35 lap Modified win at Waterford. Joe Mullins was the Grand American Late Model winner.

   Thirty years ago in 1980, Waterford and New Egypt ran on Wednesday night. At Waterford, Bob Potter won a 100-lap open over Rick Donnelly and Dickie Doo Ceravolo. Ceravolo was elevated to second spot after Donnelly was disqualified for illegally altering his tires. At New Egypt, Gary Cretty scored his first win. Wayne Anderson finished second. On Thursday night, Punky Caron returned to his old haunts at Monadnock and kicked butt as he took a convincing win over John Rosati and Jack Bateman. Friday night at Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard was on a tear as he won the 30 lap modified feature over Corky Cookman, Bugsy Stevens and Richie Evans. Bouchard carried his winning ways to Westboro on Saturday where he scored two more victories. Bob Fuller and Leo Cleary scored seconds. Bouchard was going for four when lack of oil pressure forced him to park it at Thompson on Sunday. Jerry Cook ended up with the win with Bob Fuller, second. Other weekend winners included Don LaJoie who scored his 50th win at Danbury, Maynard Troyer at Spencer, Charlie Jarzombek at Islip, Billy Griffin at Shangri-La, Reggie Ruggiero at Riverside and Alan Whipple at Claremont. Up north, Geoff Bodine walked off with$12000 after taking the win in the Oxford 250.

   Twenty five years ago in 1985, Thompson ran a 35 lap special on Tuesday nights, which saw John Rosati, score an upset victory over Charlie Jarzombek and Richie Evans. The modified Tour was at Riverhead on Wednesday Jim Spencer and Brian Ross broke the strong hold that the regulars had as they finished one-two. Fred Harbach finished third with George Kent, fourth. Stafford rained out on Friday night but Spencer and New Egypt was spared. Doug Hewitt won at Spencer and Tony Siscone won at New Egypt. Waterford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night. Ed Flemke Jr. took the win over Ted Christopher. Richie Evans won at Shangri-La and at Riverside Park, SJ Evonsion beat out Mike McLaughlin. Chris Young won riverheads regular Saturday modified program. The modifieds ventured to Claremont for a Sunday event, which drew 29 cars. Richie Evans took the 100-lap win over Jim Spencer and Dwight Jarvis. The Busch North Series was at Thompson on Sunday. Randy LaJoie took the
win and in the SK division it was Wayne Dion.

   Twenty years ago in 1990, Star Speedway hosted the modified tour for a 150-lap event. Tony Hirschman took the win over Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggiero and George Brunhoelzl. At Stafford on Friday night, Steve Chowanski beat out Tom Bolles for the win and at Monadnock; Reggie Ruggiero was on a roll as he won out over Jerry Marquis. Ruggiero carried over his winning ways to Riverside on Saturday where he again took the win. Richie Gallup finished second with Tom Bolles, third. Lennie Fischer got his first win in 14 years of trying at Riverhead on Saturday. Don Howe finished second. At Waterford it was Gary Dyer over David Gada and at Shangri-La Randy Hedger beat out Jan Leaty. The New Hampshire International Speedway celebrated their grand opening with the Chevy Dealers 300 for NASCAR's Grand National division. The event drew 50000 spectators who looked on as Tommy Ellis took the win over Harry Gant, Chuck Bown and Morgan Shepherd.

   Fifteen years ago in 1995, Jim Broderick was first under the checker at Stafford but almost found himself in the fence during the cool down lap when a frustrated and mad Ted Christopher, spun him out. Christopher, who finished second was fined$200 and put on probation for two weeks. At Waterford on Saturday night, Todd Ceravolo won out over David Gada and Mark LaJunesse and at Riverside it was Dan Avery in victory lane. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at Jennerstown. The scheduled 150-lap event was called after 132 laps when the lights went out and wouldn't come back on. Steve Park was declared the winner with Ed Flemke Jr., Jan Leaty, Tony Hirshman and Tom Baldwin rounding out the top five. Al Ermarino won at Riverhead and Dave Dion won the Busch North Series event at Shangri-La. In Winston Cup action at the Pocono Raceway, Dale Jarrett took the win and ran out of gas on the cool down lap. Jeff Gordon finished second with Ricky Rudd, third.

   Ten years ago in 2000, Ted Christopher started his weekend with a win over Todd Ceravolo and Steve Lombardo at Thompson on Thursday night. At Stafford on Friday it was again, Christopher. Brad Hietella finished second. Rain washed out Waterford. At Nazareth on Sunday, Ron Hornaday won the BGN 100.Mike Stefanik in a Cretty Motorsports Team car made a surprise entry to the modified portion and proceeded to come home a winner. Reggie Ruggiero finished second and was followed by Ted Christopher, Jerry Marquis and Ed Flemke Jr.

   Five years ago in 2005 the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH on Friday. Forty Modifieds were on hand for time trials which were supposed to be held on Thursday afternoon. Heavy rain and high winds put an end to that. High winds that topped out near 60 MPH overturned protective tents that competitors had been using to shield themselves and their equipment from the heat of the Sun. Electricity was also knocked out. When it became apparent that time trials would not be held NASCAR made the decision to base the starting lineup on the latest point standings.

   Based on the point standings going into the event Ted Christopher was placed on the pole with Chuck Hossfeld, outside. Christopher led twice, the first 26 laps and more importantly the last four as he made it three wins in a row as he beat Tony Hirschman to the finish line by a bumper. With 10 laps to go in the 100 lapper Eric Beers was leading the field under caution. Doug Coby was running second with Christopher, Hirschman and Steve Whitt following. When the green came out on lap 91 Coby took the lead. Beers slipped to fourth while Christopher and Hirschman closed in on the leader. On lap 97 Christopher made his bid as he passed Coby. Coby also gave way to Hirschman who closed in on Christopher’s bumper. Beers ended up third with Steve Whitt rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Rick Fuller, Chuck Hossfeld, Jerry Marquis, Mike Christopher and Nevin George. Twenty-five of the original 40 starters were running on the lead lap at the finish. Later in the day Christopher ran in the Busch North Series event which he didn’t finish. Mike Stefanik took that win.

   Kerry Malone made a miraculous recovery from a devastating wreck on the third of thirty laps in the Sunoco SK type Modified feature at the Thompson Speedway on Wednesday night. Malone got caught up in a wreck during a restart. His car sustained a lot of damage including a destroyed oil cooler, a broken tie rod and a pulverized rear spoiler. Because of the fact that it took a lot of time to remove the wrecked car of Richard Savory, Malone’s crew was able to remove the damaged oil cooler and replace it with a jumper hose plus replace the tie rod. Malone restarted in the rear of the field without losing a lap and clawed his way through the field to take the lead from Todd Ceravolo on lap 26. Ceravolo had inherited the lead after leaders Tom Cravenho and Bert Marvin tangled and spun on lap 24. Ceravolo finished second and was followed by Jeff Malave. Cravenho and Marvin recovered to finish fourth and fifth. Other winners at Thompson included Norm Wrenn in
the Pro Stocks, Roger Larsen JR in the Mini Stocks, Charles Bailey III in the Late Models and Larry Barnett in the limited Sportsman.

   The Stafford Speedway also ran on Wednesday night as they featured the NEMA Midgets and the ISMA Supers along with Pro Fours. Special guests included Erin Crocker, Dave Blaney, Carl Edwards and Ken Schrader along with Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice and Indy veteran Al Unser Sr. Despite the fact that Stafford and Thompson are less than 60 miles apart both tracks drew decent crowds for their mid-week events.

   At Stafford on Friday night Frank Ruocco won the 40 lap SK Modified feature over Jeff Malave and Lloyd Agor. Ted Christopher made his grand entrance from Loudon in a helicopter and finished fourth. Todd Owen rounded out the top five. Among those in the field was Chris Jones who up until last Friday had been on indefinite suspension. Evidently the Stafford management has relented and forgiven Jones of all his prior sins. It has also been rumored that Bo Gunning will be back at Stafford for this Friday night’s 100 lapper. Other Friday night winners at Stafford were Tom Butler in the Late Models, Michael Bennett in the Limited Late Models and Robert Dow in the DARE Stocks.

   The Waterford Speedbowl had one of its earliest nights of the season as the entire Saturday night program was completed by 9:30pm. Second generation SK Modified driver Chris Pasteryak ended a dry spell that went back to July of 2003 as he took his second career victory at the shoreline oval. Pasteryak took the lead from Ronnie Silk with 13 of the scheduled 35 laps to go. Rob Summers finished third with Frank Mucciacciaro and Dennis Gada rounding out the top five. Other Saturday night winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. in the Late Models, Ken Cassidy Jr. in the Mini Stocks, Chris Correll in the All Star Trucks and John Puglisi in the Sportsman.

   Martin Truex held off a late surge by Carl Edwards to take a green-white-checkered flag in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway for his circuit-high fifth victory of the season. Tony Stewart led 232 of 300 laps and beat the Ford of Kurt Busch by 0.851 seconds in the New England 300 at Loudon.

   Kentucky Speedway owners filed suit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., claiming NASCAR violated federal antitrust laws and illegally restricted the award of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races. Kentucky Speedway, in Sparta, Ky., also said NASCAR illegally awarded NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races to the International Speedway Corp. owned tracks. Kentucky Speedway also alleged antitrust violations relating to various restraints of trade involving the NASCAR Busch Series races and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. The lawsuit had been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in Covington. The International Speedway Corporation which is controlled by the same family that owns and controls NASCAR announced that they had chosen a spot outside the greater Seattle, Washington area to build a $250 million NASCAR racetrack.

   Last year, 2009, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour headed to the Spencer Speedway this past Saturday, July 11. Following constant rain throughout Saturday morning, NASCAR and Spencer Speedway officials postponed the Spencer Speedway 155 to Sunday.

   Erick Rudolph’s first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win on Sunday in the Spencer Speedway 155 made him the youngest winner in tour history. At 17 years, 6 months, 3 days, the Ransomville, N.Y., driver eclipsed the mark set by Ryan Preece in 2008. Preece was 17 years, 10 months, 25 days when he won at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

   After failing to finish each of the first four races of the season, Rudolph led the final 48 laps and withstood a furious charge from Todd Szegedy on the final lap to claim the victory. On the last lap, Szegedy got by Chuck Hossfeld for second and had the nose of his car nearly up to Rudolph’s front tire as they crossed the finish line. The scheduled 125-lap event was extended to 131 by a green-white-checkered finish. Hossfeld followed on Rudolph’s bumper for third. Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five. Donny Lia, who would have missed the event if it had not been rescheduled, Mike Stefanik, Eric Goodale, Ron Silk and points leader Ted Christopher completed the top 10. Lia attended the wedding of his sister on Saturday when the event was originally scheduled. Earlier in the day, Szegedy and Christopher won the two 15-lap heat races that set the feature lineup. Rudolph, who was fastest in practice, finished 12th out of 14 cars in his heat. Szegedy led a race-high 60 laps before being forced to pit for a flat tire on lap 80. He was able to cut Christopher’s point lead to 17. There were 26 Modifieds on hand. Caution Flags, the yellow was displayed on 12 occasions for 55 laps. And there were ten lead changes among four drivers.

   In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway on a night when the Speedway was to have been silent, there was plenty of activity on the 5/8th mile oval. Keith Rocco and Les Rose were among those taking down victories. After experiencing three rainouts thus far this season, Thompson Speedway management added a full slate of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition that included a 50 lapper for the Sunoco Modifieds. Keith Rocco came home the victor in the 50-lapper for the Sunoco Modifieds. Les Rose took home the Super Late Model victory. Tommy O’Sullivan broke into victory lane with his first feature win of the 2009 season in the Late Models. Hometown racer Paul Coutu, Jr. scored an exciting win in the Limited Sportsman division while Glenn Boss turned his luck around with a victory in the TIS Modifieds. Brad Caddick was declared the winner of the Mini Stock main event after post race technical inspection. Tim Taylor took the Mini Stock checker but was found to be under weight at a post race tech session. In victory lane Taylor voiced his displeasure with the way the Thompson officials had alledgedy treated him and was quite vocal over the fact that he was moving his racing efforts to the Waterford Speedbowl.

   Ryan Truex of Mayetta, NJ, used tire conservation to win the annual visit of the Camping World East Series event on Saturday night at the Thompson International Speedway. Thompson regular Derek Ramstrom of W. Boylston, MA, led wire-to-wire to score a popular victory in the Pro All-Star Series (PASS) feature event. Jeff Zuidema was back in top form in the Late Models as part of the Pepsi Full-Fendered Frenzy. “Leadfoot” Larry Barnett extended his point lead in the Limited Sportsman division. Second-generation driver Brian Tagg scored his first career win in the TIS Modifieds. Tim Taylor scored his fourth Mini Stock win of the season.

   The Stafford Motor Speedway came alive on Tuesday night, July 7th, with the 6th annual CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday program. Chris Perley won the 50-lap ISMA Supermodified feature for the second consecutive year, Nokie Fornoro won the 30-lap NEMA Midget feature event, and Norm Wrenn made it two in a row at Stafford by taking the 25-lap Pro-4 Modified feature event.

   The Stafford Speedway returned to action on Friday night with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program of five divisions. Ted Christopher took down his second consecutive victory in the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Ryan Posocco took his third feature victory of the 2009 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, John Montesanto came out the big winner in a thrilling duel with Jay Goff to score his first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Carla Botticello outdueled her father to take her first win of 2009 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Barry Fluckiger took down his first feature victory of the 2009 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

   The racing action at Waterford Speedbowl was fast and furious for July 11’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing event. Keith Rocco and Danny Field picked up their fourth wins of the season, extending their points lead in the SK Modifieds and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock divisions respectively. Bruce Thomas Jr. and Tim Jordan put on a classic duel in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature with Thomas prevailing at the last moment. Brandon Plemons picked up his first Street Stock win of the year and Jason Palmer returned to Legends Car victory lane.

   The True Value Modified Racing Series headed to Lee USA Speedway on Friday, July 11th for The Laticrete 100. Jimmy Kuhn, Jr. won his first ever TVMRS race. Kuhn was the sixth winner this year in the series showing that the competition has been tough and the race for the win tight. In the past Kuhn himself has come close to winning a race but in the end lady luck jumped in and robbed him of a victory. As usual the #72 team showed up at the track with their car pristinely prepared and ready to race. And yes, race they did as they won the first heat race and started the series race on the pole This has only been the second series race for the Kuhn team, but both races have found the team with the right combination for their pursuit of a win. Rob Goodenough settled for a second place finish after a late race pass. On lap 97, Goodenough lost his hopes for the win as Kuhn made his pass for the lead. Goodenough had inherited the lead on lap 63 after a race
incident took out the race leaders. Goodenough held off several challenges for the number one spot during the race but in the end his efforts were not enough.

   Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced the upcoming release of I’LL NEVER BE LAST AGAIN, the autobiography of Bill Wimble. The long-awaited memoir of the legendary racer from Lisbon, New York, was written in concert with award-winning journalist, Lew Boyd.

   Joey Logano won the Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway for his third win of the season. Logano passed Kyle Busch with 25 laps left then held him off on old tires over the final 10 laps. The 19-year-old Logano, the youngest winner in Sprint Cup history, did not make a late pit stop to get fresh tires. The gamble paid off for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. There were only two cautions for 11 laps over the entire 300-mile race, including one with 14 laps remaining that sent Busch and most of the rest of the field into the pits. Busch took two tires.

   Mark Martin is still nifty at 50 and has made Cup racing his personal senior circuit. He won at Chicagoland Speedway, getting the strong jump off the double-file restart with two laps left to win his series-high fourth race of the season. Martin dominated the race early and led 195 laps, easily the most of the 400-mile race.

That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, R.I.02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail,

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.

This week are several vintage racing photos
courtesy of &


Ronnie Rocco                                          Stan Greger                                               Jerry Cook     

    Bentley Warren                                          Bobby Vee                                             Rene Charland

All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and

Looking Back Archive


SourcePhil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: July 9, 2010

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