May 20, 2011
years ago in 1951 the final touches were being done to the new
asphalt surface at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Fifty years ago in 1961, Johnny
Thompson was the Saturday night winner at the Norwood Arena. At the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl, Ted Stack made it three in a row in Sunday
Modified action at the shoreline oval. Stack also won the non-Ford feature
while Joe Maynard was the Bomber winner.
Forty-five years ago in 1966
New York hot shoe Pete Corey was the Friday night winner on the dirt at
Stafford. Jerry Cook broke the stronghold that New England drivers held at
the Albany Saratoga Speedway as he won the Friday night 30 lap feature.
Mario “Fats” Caruso finished second and was followed by Dennis Zimmerman,
Rene Charland and Gaston Demaris. Crowd favorite Pete Corey went two for two
on the weekend as he took the 25 lap win at Fonda on Saturday night over Irv
Taylor and Ernie Gahan. Dave Dias was the Saturday night winner at Norwood.
Local favorite Charlie Webster won the Modified 30 lap feature at the New
ondon-Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Bunnell made it four in a row in the
Bombers and Bill Sweet was the Daredevil winner. At Utica-Rome on Sunday
night Cook backed up his Friday night win with a victory at the Utica-Rome
Speedway on Sunday night. Lou Toro finished second with Bill Wimble, third.
Dave Kotary and Richie Evans
rounded out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1971, the
Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY saw the best in the business come
together on Friday night. When the checkered flag flew it was two of New
England’s best leading the way as Bugsy Stevens took down the win with
Steady Eddie Flemke coming home in second spot. Guy Chartrand finished third
and was followed by Jerry Cook, Andy Romano and Leo Cleary. Stevens
continued his winning streak to Stafford on Saturday night as he won both
ends of the twin-25 lap program. At Islip, Charlie Jarzombek outdistanced
Art Tappen and at Fonda, Lou Lazzaro beat out Maynard Forette. Racing on
Sunday at Utica-Rome and at Thompson was rained out. It also rained at
Waterford on Saturday night.
Thirty-five years ago in 1976,
Riverhead ran on Friday night with Fred Harbach taking the win over Gary
Winters, Charlie Jarzombek and Greg Sacks. Harbach tried to carry his streak
to Islip on Saturday night but when all was said and done, the Flying
Dutchman had to settle for second behind Tiger Tom Baldwin. Jerry Cook
finished third with Wayne Anderson, fourth. Stafford pulled the plug because
of rain and cold but they ran at Riverside despite the fact that only 3600
were in the stands. Charlie Glazier took the win over Ronnie Rocco, Ron
Wycoff and Sonny O'Sullivan. Waterford also beat the weather as Bob Potter
ruled the roost at the shoreline oval in the Modified division. Potter was
hot as a pistol as his win made it three in a row. Don Fowler was the Grand
American Late Model winner. At New Egypt it was Ricky Lutz over John Blewett
Jr and Wayne Anderson. On Sunday, a NASCAR Modified event was run at Cayuga
where Roger Treichler took the win
over Ed Howe, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook
Thirty years ago in 1981, rain
washed out all racing in the Northeast except at Claremont, Danbury and
Lancaster. Punky Caron beat out Dwight Jarvis at the New Hampshire oval and
Siege Fidenza won at Lancaster. Lou Funk Jr in the Modifieds and Randy
LaJoie in the Sportsman were the winners at Danbury. In Winston Cup action
at Dover Downs, Jody Ridley got his first and only win in NASCAR’s top
division. Bobby Allison finished second. Ronnie Bouchard qualified 12th but
crashed 22 laps into the event and finished 27th.
Twenty-five years ago in 1986,
Jamie Tomaino beat the best there was at Stafford on Friday night. Mike
Stefanik finished second and was followed by Greg Sacks and Kenny Bouchard.
There were only 19 Modifieds on hand and despite the fact that they were all
good ones, the Stafford management was having thoughts of dropping the
mighty Mods from their weekly schedule. Saturday night at Waterford, Dale
Holdredge held off Ricky Young to take the win. At Riverside it was Reggie
Ruggiero and at Riverhead Wayne Anderson led Steve Park to the checker. The
Modified tour was at Monadnock on Sunday. Kenny Bouchard took the win over
Jim Spencer, Jamie Tomaino and John Rosati. In other weekend action, Leo
Cleary was the Pro Stock winner at Seekonk and Jim Spencer was the Modified
winner at Shangri-La.
In Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Geoff Bodine started third
and won the 500 lap-500 mile grind that saw temperatures in the 90's.Darrell
Waltrip was the
Busch Grandnational winner.
Twenty years ago in 1991,
Stafford rained out on Friday night but Ted Christopher more than made up
for it on Saturday night as he went two for two as he won a left over 75
lapper and the regular Saturday night 35 lapper at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Reggie Ruggiero beat out Jerry Marquis at Riverside and Eddie Brunnhoelzl Jr
took Riverhead. Ken Wooly won an open competition event at New Egypt on
Sunday as he out distanced Tony Siscone and Jamie Tomaino. At Monadnock,
Kirby Monteith ruled the roost as he won out over Dwight Jarvis, Jerry
Marquis and Mike Ewanitsko.
Fifteen years ago in 1996,
Lloyd Agor took the lead on lap 42 of the 50 lap feature at Stafford and
went on to take the win over Bo Gunning and Tony Sylvester. Indy pole sitter
Scott Brayton died in a practice crash caused by a deflated tire. On
Saturday the Waterford Speedbowl management called the night’s races at noon
because of impending rain. Needless to say, they got skunked by the
weatherman and it never did rain. Waterford’s events were run on Sunday.
After a big wreck on the start, Scott Spaulding went on to take the win. Tom
Rosati, pinch-hitting for Reggie Ruggiero who was at Nazareth for a Mod tour
event got credit for the win at Riverside on Saturday. Ruggiero arrived late
and jumped into the car in the mid stages but Rosati started the event and
got credit for the win. Ted Riggott finished second. Double features were
run at Riverhead with Tom McCann and Chuck Steuer taking the wins. The
Modified Tour was at Nazareth for a 100 lapper
on Sunday. Reggie Ruggiero led for 71 laps and was going into the final turn
on the last lap when he was dumped by Jan Leaty, who went on to take the
win. A very unhappy Ruggiero restarted and ended up 19th.Tony Hirschman
finished second and was followed by Rick Fuller, Ed Kennedy, Ken Wooley and
Tony Ferrente Jr. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Michael Waltrip took
the lead with nine laps to go and won the Winston. It was also on this
weekend that Alan Johnson got his 100th DIRT victory, that coming at
Ten years ago in 2001 Ted
Christopher beat out Eric Berndt and Lloyd Agor at Stafford on Friday night.
Christopher started 13th and took the lead on lap 9 of the 50 lap feature.
Dennis Gada made it three in a row at Waterford on Saturday night. Mark
LaJunesse finished second with Ed Reed Jr, third. John Fortin won a 50
lapper at Riverhead and Mike Carpenter beat out Jimmie Blewett at Wall. The
NASCAR Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth. Ted Christopher took the pole
and led the first 15 laps before losing a drive shaft. Mike Stefanik led
from lap 16 to 42 when he pitted. Nevin George and Tom Cravenho had their
time at the point until lap 62 when Stefanik re-assumed the lead with Mike
Ewanitsko in tow. The two swapped the lead until lap 76 when Stefanik hit
the wall after banging wheels with Ewanitsko. Ewanitsko went on to take the
win and was followed by Ed Flemke Jr, John Blewett III, Charlie Pasteryak
and Zane Zeiner. There were a total of nine
cautions in the 100 lap event. Greg Biffle won the BGN 150, also at
Nazareth. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jeff Gordon won the Winston in
his back-up car after wrecking his original car on the start. Because of wet
track conditions, NASCAR allowed this to happen. Todd Bodine won the No-Bull
5 Winston Open. Maynard Forette, at 65 years of age won the Saturday night
modified event at Lebanon Valley and Scott Sharp took the Indy 500 pole with
a speed of 226.037 mph.
Five years go in 2006 the
Stafford Motor Speedway suffered a rain out for the second week in a row. At
the Waterford Speedbowl Dwayne Door made it five in a row in the Sportsman
division, thus setting a division mark. Dorr, who started 12th, needed only
six laps to take the lead. He then survived a restart- challenge from
eventual runner-up Jim Procaccini with four laps left to the 20 lap feature.
Jeff Pearl scored his first win of the season as he beat back advances from
Dennis Gada. Chris Pasteryak finished third with rookie contender, Tyler
Chadwick, fourth and Rob Summers, fifth. Other winners at the shoreline oval
were Tim Jordan in the Late Models, Danny Field in the Mini-Stocks and Mark
Bakaj in the Legends. In some sad news, Don Fowler, who finished sixth in
the SK Modified feature suffered a stroke shortly after returning to his
home in Clinton, CT.
In other Saturday night action, John Blewett III scored his 15th
career at the Wall Township Speedway. At the Riverhead Raceway Chris Young
won his second Modified feature of the year. True Value Modified Series
racing at the Lee Raceway rained out. Bob Santos III won a USAC Midget event
at Concord, NC.
It looked like many of Nextel Cup star Dale Jarrett’s fans would be
burning their t-shirts, hats and jackets as they voiced their protests of
him leaving the Ford camp for Toyota. Jarrett, who was 49, was in the
twilight of his career with maybe only a couple years remaining of his
competitive career. It was all about money and greed. Jarrett would drive a
Toyota bodied Nextel Cup car owned by Michael Waltrip and financed by
Toyota. They made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Jimmie Johnson won the
Nextel All-Star Challenge and its $1 million prize Scott Riggs won the
Two-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. was almost one
mile-an-hour faster than anyone else on the track and easily captured the
pole for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. The No.6 Penske Racing
Honda posted a four-lap average of 228.985 m.p.h. for his first Indianapolis
The DIRT MotorSports Inc. head office in Norman, Okla., appeared to
have taken a more professional direction in the business of auto racing
entertainment with in its top management. Paul Kruger, who first approached
DIRT founder Glenn Donnelly with Boundless Motor Sports Racing's offer to
purchase Donnelly's organization, resigned his position as president and CEO
of the new DIRT MotorSports and sold the majority of his holdings in the
company. In his place, Tom Deery was named acting CEO. Deery, a former
NASCAR official whose family runs Rockford Speedway in Illinois, also is
president of DIRT MotorSports, which includes the World of Outlaws sprint
and late model series, DIRT NorthEast and both the UMP and MARS late model
Last year, 2010 the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series continued on "Spring Break" After two events
Bobby Santos sat firmly atop the point standings with a 15 point lead over
Ted Christopher. Mike Stefanik sat in third spot, some 25 points behind the
leader. Tied for fourth spot were Rowan Pennick and Todd Szegedy. Sixth
through tenth were Eric Berndt, Ryan Preece, Chris Pasteryak, Eric Goodale
and Erick Rudolph. After two events a total of 39 different drivers had
entered into competition.
The Late Model division took center stage on Friday at the Stafford
Motor Speedway with the 16th Annual Lincoln Technical Institute Late Model
100. Woody Pitkat scored a dominating win, leading the race from lap-17 all
the way to lap-100 to pick up his first win of the 2010 season and the first
win ever for his car owner Billy Snow, Sr. Frank Ruocco scored a dominating
feature victory in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, David Webb won the
20-lap SK Light Modified feature, George Nocera, Jr. won the 20-lap Limited
Late Model feature, and Jeff Jolly wired the field in the 15-lap DARE Stock
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ted Christopher took the
lead from Frank Ruocco in the outside groove to lead the field, but Ruocco
was glued to Christopher's back bumper. After several cautions slowed the
action in the first several laps of the race, Christopher held the lead
until lap-6 when Ruocco went to the front of the field. Keith Rocco was
third behind Christopher with Mark Bakaj in fourth and Zach Sylvester in
Ruocco continued to hold the lead while Christopher and Rocco were
having a great duel for second place. Rocco worked Christopher over and he
finally was able to get by Christopher for second on lap-20. A spin by Brad
Hietala brought the yellow out with 20 laps complete. Ruocco continued to
lead on the restart, with Rocco and Christopher side by side for second.
Christopher took the spot, but he spun on lap-23 after contact with Rocco,
which brought the caution back out. Rocco was sent to the rear of the field
for over aggressive driving, moving Sylvester into second, Jeff Malave into
third, and Jeff Baral into fourth for the restart.
Ruocco again held the lead with Sylvester, Malave, Baral, and Dan
Avery behind him in the top-5. The top-5 ran in line until the caution came
back out with 29 laps complete for a spin by Brad Hietala. Ruocco again got
a good restart and kept the lead with Malave moving into second and Baral
into third. Keith Rocco was now back in the mix after his penalty and moved
into fourth with Ryan Preece moving into fifth place. Rocco got by Baral on
the last lap, but it was all Ruocco as he led the race from lap-6 to the
checkered flag to take his first SK Modified® feature victory of the 2010
season. Malave finished second, with Rocco, Baral, and Preece rounding out
Racing at the Waterford Speedbowl was cancelled due to rain. The
sun was out at 3:00pm and it ended up being a pleasant day and evening.
There was lots of standing water in the infield which meant that the water
table at the shoreline oval was quite high. Keith Rocco held a commanding 19
point lead over Ron Yuhas jr in the SK Modified division. Sitting in third,
64 points in arears was Diego Monahan. Tyler Chadwick and Rob Janovic were
tied for fifth.
In Long Island racing action, defending NASCAR Modified champion
John Fortin of Holtsville escaped a close call late in Saturday's 35-lap
feature event at Riverhead Raceway to drive to his 23rd career victory
before a chilled and windswept collection of die hard fans. The win moved
John into sole possession of 11th on the all-time win list, four behind Don
Howe and John Berkoski who share 9th at 27 victories.
The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC ran a 100 lapper on Saturday
night in front of another packed house. MadHouse TV star Burt Myers scored
his first victory of the year at the historic track. Myers started 16th on
the field. Brian Loftin finished second with Brentt Elliott, third and Brad
Robbins, fourth. Defending track champ Tim Brown rounded out the top five.
Jason Myers, another MadHouse star finished ninth after drawing the scratch
starting spot. Junior Miller ended up 15th.
Internet web site Speed 51 reported that defending Bowman Gray
Stadium (NC) Modified champion and Madhouse television personality Tim Brown
told Speed 51 Radio that SPEED TV had been negotiating with the History
Channel to buy the rights to the reality television show. Brown said that
even though he wasn't happy with how he was portrayed in the first season of
the show he would consider being a part of a second season. He told 51 Radio
that although a film crew has been taping at Bowman Gray this year, it might
be too late into the season for a deal to be made and a possible SPEED
version of Madhouse might not appear until the 2011 season.
Because of the fact that it was Mother's Day weekend the Nationwide
Series ran on Friday and the Sprint Cup race was run on Saturday night at
the Darlington Raceway. The weekend belonged to Denny Hamlin as he won both
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
This week are several vintage racing photos
SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's
Click on Photo for Full Sized
All photos courtesy of Tom Ormsby and
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit