November 26, 2010
year, 2009, all eyes were on the annual Wall Stadium Turkey Derby XXXVI. The
Turkey Derby officially closed out the 2009 outdoor racing season in the
northeast. Despite the fact that a bad storm left high winds to buffet the
New Jersey speedway the entire two-day program was completed.
Rowan Pennink capped off a breakout year with a win in the Modified
Tour type portion of the Turkey Derby. Pennink started third, took the lead
from Matt Hirschman on a lap40 restart only to lose it after being roughed
up by Jimmy Blewett. Blewett led until lap 91 when he reluctantly left the
speedway after being black flagged for leaking fluid. Following the race
Jamie Tomaino and Pete Brittain said they saw no fluid coming from the #66
car of Jimmy Blewett. Rowan Pennink said the officials stopped him and
checked the fluid on his windshield that was why they black flagged Blewett.
Pennink re-assumed the lead and went on to take the 100 lap win over Pete
Brittain. Jamie Tomaino finished third with Jon McKennedy and Anthony Sesely
rounding out the top five. Hirschman ended up 8th while Blewett finished in
18th spot. Ted Christopher, in a Pennink team, car finished 13th.
Jimmy Blewett won the SK type 100 after taking the lead from
Anthony Sesely on lap 76. Rowan Pennink finished third with Chas Okerson and
Tim Arre rounding out the top five. Numerous accidents slowed the 100 lapper
including a mean one by local runner Robert Geibel who flew out of the
ballpark on the backstretch.
In some sad news, Ernie Gahan, the 1966 NASCAR Modified national
champion, passed away Thursday night, November 26, at his home in Cranberry
Isles, Maine at the age of 83.
Ron Hedger, National Speed Sport Correspondent reported that
asphalt repaving of the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY was complete.
The banking at the top of the turns had been extended and the backstretch
had been pushed out another lane. In addition to the New England based
Modified Racing Series future plans called for the Race of Champions
Modified Series along with the ISMA Supers and the ACT Late Models.
Thatís about it for another year from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly,
RI 02891. Ring My Chimes at 401-596-5467.
Looking Back will return in time for Speedweeks in 2011. Happy
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit