The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith


September 9, 2011

   Sixty years ago in 1951 Dave Humphrey, who would go on to become the first Modified Champion at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, was the 25 lap Modified winner on Wednesday night. Moe Gherzi won a 25 lapper on Saturday night and on Labor Day, Wild Bill Slater won a 50 lap Modified feature.

   Fifty-five years ago in 1956 Don Collins was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Red Bolduc won a 100 lapper at the shoreline oval on Labor Day.

   Fifty years ago in 1961, Ted Stack was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Johnny Sandberg was the Wednesday night winner. It rained at the shoreline oval on Saturday night but cleared by Labor Day where Don Bachand put one of the early versions of the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missiles in victory lane.

   Forty five years ago in 1966, the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran their final event of the season. Kenny Shoemaker took the win over Elton Hill, Jerry Cook, Bill Wimble and Hank Stevens. Pete Corey took the win on the dirt at Stafford. Fonda got back in action on Saturday night with twin features that were won by Lou Lazzaro and Bill Wimble. In the first feature, Wimble finished second with Pete Corey, third. Jeep Herbert finished second in the second event with Cook, third. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Don Collins took the 30 lap Modified feature while Eddie Bunnell was the Bomber winner.Twin 200’s made up the New Yorker 400 at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Bill Wimble won the first 200 over Kenny Shoemaker, Rene Charland, Sonny Seamon and Jerry Cook. In the nightcap it was Don MacTavish taking the win over Robbie Kotary, Wimble, Ernie Gahan and Charland.

   Forty years ago in 1971, Albany Saratoga ran their final event of the season. Guy Chartrand in the Ed Cloce Hemi-Cuda took the win over Richie Evans. Stafford had a 30 lapper scheduled for Saturday night but rain prevailed as it did on Sunday at Trenton, NJ where an All Star League event was planned. Waterford and Thompson were rained out

   Thirty five years ago in 1976, Islip ran a 300 lapper on Saturday night. Richie Evans took the win over Charlie Jarzombek, Jerry Cook, Fred Harbach and SJ Evonsion. Dick Dunn, in the Al Gaudreau No. 3 won a 100 lapper at Waterford and on Sunday at Thompson, Fred DeSarro broke Geoff Bodine's win streak. Leo Cleary finished second with Don LaJoie, third.

   Thirty years ago in 1981, Ray Miller scored the biggest win of his racing career as he won the Thompson 300 in front of a crowd of 12,000.Geoff Bodine finished second and was followed by Jim Spencer and Jamie Tomaino. Miller qualified 19th and took the lead on lap 280 from Geoff Bodine. Tom Sylvester won the non-qualifiers second in a close duel with Dickie Doo Ceravolo. In other weekend action, George Kent beat out Maynard Troyer at Spencer, Wayne Anderson won a 200 lapper at New Egypt, Kenny Bouchard took the win at Seekonk, Stan Gregger was victorious at Riverside and Roger Treichler won his eighth of the season at Lancaster. At the Danbury RaceArena Lou Funk was the winner over Don LaJoie in a 50 lap Modified feature

   Twenty five years ago in 1986, Jim Spencer won the Thompson 300.Spencer took the lead from Carl Pasteryak on lap 266.With worn out tires, Pasteryak faded and wound up sixth. Mike Mclaughlin finished second and was followed by Kenny Bouchard, George Brunnhoelzl and Tom Baldwin. Ted Christopher won the SK modified portion of the 300 weekend. In addition to the 300,Spencer won at Shangri-la on Saturday night. Other weekend winners were Sal Accardi at Riverhead; Reggie Ruggiero at Riverside and at Wall Stadium, ageless veteran Gil Hearne got his 83rd career win. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Tim Richmond took the win.

   Twenty years ago in 1991, the Thompson 300 for the Featherlite Modifieds and the Busch North Series ran together at Thompson. Steve Park, in the Curt Chase No.77 took the lead with 20 to go from Mike Stefanik and went on to record the big win. Reggie Ruggiero finished second while Stefanik faded to finish third. Jeff Fuller had been the dominant car until he blew a tire and crashed on lap 127.Fuller ended up 28th. Rounding out the top five were Rick Fuller and Doug Hevron. Ricky Craven wrapped up the Busch North Series title in fine style as he took the BNS win over Tony Hirschman and Dave Dion. Waterford ran on Saturday night with Don Fowler taking the win over Bob Potter and Ronnie Rocco. Harry Gant delivered a one-two punch at Richmond as he won both the Busch Grandnational and Winston Cup events.

   Fifteen years ago in 1996, it was make up weekend at Loudon for the Modifieds with a left over 40 lapper starting the weekend off on Saturday. Steve Park passed Tony Hirschman with three laps to go to win the Saturday afternoon event Hirschman finished second with Tim Connolly, Charlie Pasteryak and Mike Stefanik rounding out the top five. Park finished second in the make up for the Busch North Series behind Dale Shaw. On Sunday at Loudon, Ted Christopher led three different times for a total of 102 laps to win the Busch North Series 125.In Sundays Modified 125,Tony Hirschman took the lead from Dan Avery on lap 94 and went on to take the win over Mike Stefanik and Tim Connolly. Avery ended up fourth with Tom Baldwin rounding out the top five. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Ernie Irvan took the lead from Johnny Benson with 19 laps to go in the 400-lap event. Jeff Gordon finished second.

   Ten years ago in 2001, Lloyd Agor won the final Friday night event at Stafford. Eric Berndt finished second with Chuck Docherty third. Saturday night at Waterford, Eric Berndt took the win over Jay Miller, Ron Yuhas JR and John Brouwer. During a post race inspection, Waterford Tech officials felt that Berndt’s shocks were illegal and disqualified him, handing the victory to Miller. The disqualification was reversed six days later after Waterford officials conferred with their counterparts at Stafford and at NASCAR in Daytona. At Riverhead, Don Lia took the season ender over Dan Jivenelli. Ted Christopher won twin-20s at Thompson and moved himself within 6 points of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series title. The Thompson 300 was run on Sunday. With over 7000 on hand, Jerry Marquis scored an impressive win over Reggie Ruggerio, Ted Christopher, Ed Flemke JR and Mike Stefanik. Marquis took the lead for the win on lap 255 from Christopher. There were 12 cautions for 61 laps. A frightening crash occurred on lap 156 when Carl Pasteryak hit the wall and burst into flames. Paul Suprenant came to his aide and pulled the paving contractor out of the wreckage, saving him from serious injury. On a sad note, Mrs.Jennie Nicol, who built and owned the Wall Stadium in New Jersey, passed away at the age of 86. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Kevin Harvick bumped Ricky Rudd out of the lead with 17 laps to go. Rudd returned the favor and bumped Harvick out of the lead with five laps to go and went on to take the win. Jim Spencer won the Richmond Grandnational event. A few days later, on September 11, our world as we know it would change, as terrorists would crash planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

   Five years ago in 2006, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was part of what was called Modified Mania at the Thompson Speedway. Modified Mania replaced what was the Thompson 300. The 150 lap Whelen Modified event carried a posted purse of $86,753. A somewhat slim field of 39 cars was on hand to qualify for the 36 starting spots up for grabs. Donny Lia, who had somewhat of a bland season, took the Busch Pole as he toured the 5/8-mile oval in 18.793 seconds. Tony Hirschman Jr. was second fastest with a run of 18.798 seconds. The re-draw for starting positions saw Ron Silk draw the pole with Matt Hirschman drawing the outside pole. Tony Ferrente Jr., Tony Hirschman and Eric Beers drew positions three through five. Rounding out the top ten starting spots were Ron Yuhas Jr., Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggiero, Lia and Jerry Marquis.

   Eric Beers finally got the monkey off his back as he put the mighty No.3 of Michael and Janice Boehler in victory lane. Beers pitted just before the 1/3 mark of the 150-lap event for fresh tires and did a masterful job of working his way to the front and took the lead from Ed Flemke Jr. on lap 102. Flemke faded in the later stages as he ended up fourth in the final rundown. Reggie Ruggiero ended up second with John Blewett III in third spot. Rounding out the top five were Flemke and Tony Ferrente Jr. Sixth thru tenth were Jerry Marquis, Doug Coby, Matt Hirschman, Mike Stefanik and Rick Fuller. Of the 36 starters, 26 of them were running on the lead lap at the end. For the most part it was a clean race with only 8 cautions for 38 laps slowing the field. There were four lead changes among four drivers. Matt Hirschman led from his outside pole starting spot to lap 52. Mike Stefanik, who still leads the point standings, led from lap 53 to lap 73. Stefanik currently holds a 94 point edge over Ted Christopher who finished 28th, three laps down at the finish. Matt Hirschman led again from lap 74 to lap 87 and Flemke led from lap 88 to lap 101 before giving way to Beers who led the rest of the way.

   In addition to the Whelen Modifieds the True Value Modifieds, Race of Champions Modifieds, Sunoco SK type Modifieds and Pro Four Modifieds also raced at the Thompson Speedway last weekend. The support events provided numerous wrecks. Woody Pitkat won the Sunoco SK type Modified event over Jeff Malave, Tom Cravenho and Todd Ceravolo.

   Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT scored his fourth Sunoco Modified victory of the season to extend his lead another two points over race runner-up Jeff Malave. The Sunoco Modifieds went 35-strong for the 50-lap special for Sunoco Modified Mania. Steve Masse led the opening lap but a caution flew immediately when the accordion effect at the head of the field put Joe Lemay in the outside wall. On the ensuing restart, Bert Marvin was able to jump out to the lead. Masse was slow exiting turn two bunching up the pack once again to send cars at the rear of the field scattering and spinning. Marvin had to contend with Salzarulo, Malave and Cravenho on the restart. Marvin was up to the task resuming his lead with Malave in second and Keith Rocco charging into third. Malave immediately got alongside Marvin and was able to take over the top spot on lap three. Malave led Marvin, Rocco, Ceravolo and a battle for fourth between Jimmy Blewett and Ted Christopher. Blewett got by Christopher leaving him to fight off Pitkat. On lap 8, Pitkat moved into sixth while Christopher continued to backslide losing a position to Tommy Cravenho as well. The leader began to stretch his lead over Marvin. The best battle was for the third position with Rocco, Ceravolo, Blewett and Pitkat. Ceravolo got a run inside Rocco and the two made contact. Rocco held on while Blewett was able to get by both. Blewett started to chase down Marvin. Malave watched his lead evaporate when the caution flew for an incident involving Ryan Stone and David LaCroix. Under the caution, Rocco headed down pit road for a chassis adjustment. The restart order found Malave, Marvin, Blewett, Pitkat and Ceravolo inside the top five. Malave was out front with Blewett and Marvin running nerf-bar to nerf bar for second. Blewett was able to grab the runner-up position. Cravenho was also able to advance moving into the fifth position over Ceravolo. Pitkat began his run to the front taking over the third position from Marvin, taking Cravenho along for the ride. Blewett completed his charge over the second position from Malave on lap 22. The halfway marker was marred by a scary wreck that resulted in John Catania sliding down the backstretch on his roof. Catania was uninjured. Both Marvin and Christopher pitted under the caution. With Blewett back out front, Malave bobbled on the restart giving up the second spot to Pitkat. Pitkat got alongside Blewett for the lead on lap 26. The two ran side-by-side for several laps before a slide by Pitkat gave Blewett the lead. Malave made a run on Pitkat in second to no avail. The action was slowed on lap 32 when Dan LaJeunesse spun on the front stretch. Other cars were ultimately involved in the incident. Blewett handily ran out to the lead again as Pitkat and Malave resumed their battle for the second spot. Action was halted immediately for Dave Nordman and Russ Blanco. Matt Hirschman, making a rare appearance in the Sunoco Modifieds, failed to come up to speed on the ensuing restart sending cars scrambling. Rocco caught a wheel and launched into the outside wall. The car burst into flames. Rocco was able to walk away from the incident. There was a shocking development when leader Jimmy Blewett headed down pit road with mechanical woes as the rear end in his car broke. Pitkat inherited the lead with Malave in second, Cravenho in third. Ceravolo ran fourth and Earl Paulus in fifth. With ten laps remaining the top five got strung out with Pitkat stretching his lead ever-so-slightly over Malave.

   The northern New England based True Value Modified Series finished under a yellow-checker after a massive wreck on a restart with two laps to go. Kirk Alexander took the eventual win over Les Hinkley, Jon McKennedy and Dwight Jarvis. Earl Paules won the Race of Champions Modified Tour event over Matt Hirschman and Eric Beers.

   The Stafford Springs Motor Speedway hosted round two of its September Series on Friday night. Two more Friday night events remain before the season CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, scheduled for September 30th and October 1st. Willie Hardie drove to his second SK Modified feature win in the last three weeks, Tom Fearn won his first Late Model feature win of the 2006 season, Chris Matthews won his fourth SK Light Modified feature of the 2006 season, Paul Conte scored his firsts career Ltd. Late Model feature win, and Norm Sears picked up his first DARE Stock feature win of the 2006 season.

   In the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Willie Hardie, of Stafford Springs, battled with Lloyd Agor for several laps before taking the lead on lap-25. Once Hardie was in the lead, he was never headed as he picked up his second win in the last three weeks to put himself in the thick of the SK Modified championship race. Curt Brainard led the first 11 laps before giving up the lead to Agor on lap-12. Agor then led until lap-25, when Hardie took over. Rounding out the top-5 behind Hardie was Agor, Jeff Baral, Chris Jones, and Eric Berndt. It was a bad night to be a points leader, as Woody Pitkat, Todd Owen, and Frank Ruocco all experienced difficulties during the race, relegating them to poor finishes and tightening the championship battle. Pitkat only completed 8 laps before retiring, Ruocco lost a radiator in an accident and lost 5 laps before getting back on track to finish 17th, and Owen finished 18th after his crew had to repair a broken driveshaft. In the chase for the SK Modified championship, Frank Ruocco holds a 14-point lead over Eric Berndt, 536-522. Willie Hardie is third, 16 points behind, Todd Owen is fourth, 22 points behind, and Jeff Malave is fifth, 28 points behind.

   The Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to a mid-evening shower and was able to complete only part of their program before track management was forced to call a halt to the racing and pull the plug around 9pm after thundershowers moved in. The Sportsman completed their first scheduled event with Billy Gertsch winning followed by Dwayne Dorr and Ed Puleo. The Legends completed their feature with Michael Gervais winning. The Modified feature had 12 laps completed when the rains came. Tom Fox was leading over Shawn Monahan, Dennis Gada, and Jeff Pearl.

   It looked like there would be racing at the Waterford Speedbowl at least until June of 2007 as Terry Eames was given an extension to the foreclosure proceedings that were impending on the property in which the Speedbowl is located. Eames stated that Harvey Industries, a supplier of windows and doors, was looking to purchase eight of the Speedbowl’s 38.75 acres. Eames at the time had $1.6 million in debt hanging over his head. In a somewhat related matter, driver Ken Voite’s Defective Premises suit against Eames was scheduled for pre-trial conference on January 18th of 2007. There was a movement underway to buy Eames out which was stalled at the time.

   NASCAR suspended Kevin Grubb indefinitely because he refused to submit to a random drug test following the Busch Series race at Richmond International Speedway. Kevin Harvick was the Nextel Cup winner at Richmond.

   Last year, 2010, Some of the best racing ever seen was witnessed at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. Car counts were up. The Modified Tour types were 18 strong along with 16 Sunoco (SKtypes), 24 Ltd Sportsman, 14 Late Models, 21 Mini Stocks and 10 Thompson Modifieds. A very rapidly run program had fans headed home early as the final checkered flag dropped at 9:12pm.

   For the third-time this season, the Thompson International Speedway hosted their Tour-Type Modified Shootout. Ryan Preece added his name to the already impressive list of winners with a convincing victory on Thursday night. There was no shortage in intensity in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with five winners posting victories. The last time a competitor posted double digit wins in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson International Speedway the year was 2001 and the driver was Ted Christopher. With his win on Thursday night, Christopher duplicated the feat; winning his tenth Sunoco Modified victory of the 2010 season. Rick Gentes, was the big winner in the Late Models as he scored his 75th career victory while Lloyd Anderson, scored his second Mini Stock feature victory of the 2010 season. Victory lane was a family affair for the Sundeen family. Son Jay scored his first career victory in the TIS Modifieds while father Scott scored his second win of the 2010 season in the Limited Sportsman.

   In the intense Tour type 40 lapper Preece jumped out to an early lead from his pole starting position with Bobby Santos III in tow. Shortly after the green flag on lap four, Ron Silk moved into the second spot. The first caution of the event flew on lap 13 for a spin by Tom Bolles in turn two. On the restart, Preece had to contend with Silk who jumped to the lead from his outside starting spot, moving Preece to second. Green flag racing was short-lived when a lap 14 incident involving Bolles and Dennis Perry brought out the second caution. Under the caution, Santos relinquished the fourth position to head to pit road for service. Jensen and Flemke also pitted under the caution.

   Silk motored back out to the lead when green flag racing resumed. Mike Stefanik had worked his way into third. Long Island invader Justin Bonsignore vaulted to fourth on the restart. Preece was all over the back bumper of Silk as Stefanik lurked within striking distance. At halfway, Preece continued to hound Silk followed by Stefanik and Bonsignore. Things got physical between Eric Goodale and Richard Savary for the fifth spot. Contact sent Goodale sliding up the track to open the door for Savary to gain the position.

   Preece would put the pressure on Silk continuously.and passed for the lead on lap 28.

   Bonsignore, who was making a name for himself on the Whelen Modified Tour, closed on Stefanik. The caution waved again on lap 29 when Kevin Goodale and Bryan Chew tangled on the front chute. Preece retook the lead on the restart. Bonsignore went to work on Stefanik and took over third spot on lap 33 as the caution flew again for Bolles. On the restart Silk regained the lead and was able to hold on until lap 34 when Preece took the lead for the final time. Bonsignore, who had a fine run going had his night turn sour with three laps to go when he slowed with a skipping motor. Stefanik moved back into third and at the checker finished behind Preece and Silk. Richard Savory finished fourth with Kenny Bouchard rounding out the top five. In addition to their purse winnings competitors were thrown into a lottery where over ten of them recieved a $50 bonus.

   In Sunoco (SK type) Modified competition Ted Christopher extended his point lead in the division with his tenth victory of the season. At the drop of the green Rowan Pennink jumped out to the lead with Danny Cates and Christopher in tow. The top five cars, which also included Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco, ran ahead of sixth-place Woody Pitkat. Almost at the drop of the green flag, the #12 of Ronnie Silk faltered.

   A tense moment between Christopher, Preece and Rocco saw sparks flying as Preece made slight contact with the front stretch wall. All were able to continue almost without missing a beat. The action allowed Pitkat to make it a six-car breakaway at the head of the pack. Christopher got alongside Cates making the pass into the second spot on lap seven. Rocco immediately went to work on Cates. Rocco had company in Pitkat. Christopher had chased down Pennink making the pass for the lead look easy on lap nine. Cates followed Christopher by Pennink. Pitkat and Rocco went wheel to wheel-to-wheel. Cates got alongside Christopher on lap 12; however, using his text book crossover move, Christopher was able to maintain his lead. It was a repeat on lap 13 with a different outcome. Contact between Christopher and Cates exiting turn four gave Cates the edge and the lead. Rocco had moved past Pitkat into third. On lap 16, a move entering turn four gave Christopher the lead back once again. Rocco was able to catch the back bumper of Cates. Christopher, Cates and Rocco ran nose to tail nearly a half straightaway ahead of Pitkat. With 10 laps to go, Christopher enjoyed a two-car length advantage over Cates; his largest margin of the event. Cates had extended his advantage over Rocco as well. Pitkat continued to run a distance back in third followed by Preece. The best battle in the field with five laps to go was between Pennink and Tim Sullivan.

   In the final laps, Cates had cut into Christopher advantage only slightly as the two stretched their advantage over Rocco. Cates could not gather in Christopher to muster up a serious challenge. Christopher went on to earn his tenth win over Cates. Rocco, Pitkat, and Preece completed the top five. Sullivan bested Pennink for sixth.

   The Thursday night crowds at the northeastern Connecticut oval have been quite healthy this year. It appears that some changes may be in the wind for 2011. Two of Thompson's weekly divisions are in trouble. The Super Late Models and the Thompson Modifieds draw consistently 10 cars or less. Its possible that they could be dropped from the weekly schedule. The tour type modifieds are gaining momentum. If scheduled properly the addition of this division monthly or twice monthly could turn into a home run for the facility. The division could not run on weeks when the Modified Tour is running. Its getting to the point where many modified competitors can not afford the tour agenda and would rather race closer to home. It is also a known fact that speedway owner Don Hoenig is not happy with NASCAR and could possibly drop one of his tour dates. Couple that with the fact that not to many tracks are eager to sign up for dates. This could make for a few open weeks next year. Of course there are a few loyalists who would not lower themselves to race in a non tour event.

   While Thompson enjoys success the word from the Jersey shore is not good as the Wall Stadium is locked up tight and will remain closed until further notice.

   Based on a bad forecast due to the fact that Hurricane Earl was going to dump a lot of rain in Connecticut the Stafford Motor Speedway cancelled last Friday nights race. Stafford returns next week when the Modified Racing Series has its debut showing at the Nutmeg oval. Among those who will be driving through the pit gate for the event will be 75 year old Bob Judkins who will bring an all new MRS Modified numbered 2x which will be driven by his grandson Ryan Preece. The Judkins 2x, with Eddie Flemke aboard, won the first ever race at Stafford after the oval was paved in 1967. Retired and living in Florida, Judkins will field a car for his grandson for the remainder of the year and continue into 2011.

   In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl it was the annual Thunder on the Sound program, featuring eight race events and a visit by the popular Modified Racing Series. The event, presented by Connecticut National Guard, also featured a special flyover and landing on the track infield by a UH-60 Black Hawk chopper as part of the opening ceremonies. When the excitement settled in and racing got underway, 1997 track champion Todd Ceravolo ended a year long dry spell as he finally returned to the winner’s circle in the SK Modified® division. Chelmsford, MA native Jon McKennedy led the final 78 laps in the visiting 100-lap Modified Racing Series tour event to take his first Speedbowl win. Jeff Smith mastered the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model division to record his second win of the year. Al Stone III was back in Street Stock victory lane, his fourth win in as many events. Ken Cassidy Jr won his second consecutive and fourth Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock race on the season. Allen Coates recorded his 78th career Speedbowl victory in the A.B. CDL Driver Training Center Truck race. Anthony Flannery was the Legends Cars winner and James Logan was the Allison Legacy Series race winner.

    Ceravolo led the entire 35 lap distance in the SK Modified main event. With two laps remaining Ceravolo was nearly a straightaway ahead of Jeff Pearl, who was the same distance ahead of the battle for third. Jeff Paul was all over Rob Janovic on the final lap but unable to pull alongside. At the finish Pearl was second over Janovic, Paul and Tom Abele rounded out the top five.

   In some sad news former Waterford Championship car owner Al Gaudreau is suffering from congestive heart failure and is currently hospitalized at the Backus Hospital in Norwich, CT. Cards of cheer can be sent to Al at the Backus Hospital, Room E-310. Billy Harman says that Gene Bergin is not doing well after suffering a stroke as he remains in a hospital in Florida.

   The Modified Racing Series visited the Waterford Speedbowl. Defending series champion, Jon McKennedy scored his second win of the season as he won the 100-lap Modified Racing Series Thunder on the Sound event sponsored by McKennedy’s ninth with the New England based racing series came behind the wheel of a brand new Raceworks chassis race car completed late Friday night.

   McKennedy started outside front row in a 25-car field and chased pole sitter, Geoff Gernhard, for the first 32 laps. McKennedy passed the race leader on lap 33 and led the remaining 67 laps, winning by a comfortable margin. Chris Pasteryak, who returned from a mid-summer wrist injury finished second followed by August Waterford winner Steve Masse, Gernhard, Dwight Jarvis, Rookie Max Zachem,, Jacob Dore,, Rob Goodenough,, Rowan Pennink, and Norm Wrenn who rounded out the top 10.

   McKennedy’s win moved him into an 11 point lead for the series championship over Jarvis with Les Hinckley III, Winsdor Locks, CT., falling to third place in the standings, 38 points back. McKennedy moved into a 9 point lead over car owner Gary Casella in the owners point standings. There were 27 race teams at the Waterford event with 14 cars finishing on the lead lap. The race was slowed by six caution flags and took 56 minutes 23 seconds to complete.

   Chris Young was the winner at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.

   With a solid second-place finish in the 30-lap Modified feature race Saturday, September 4 at Lebanon Valley Speedway (West Lebanon, New York), Brett Hearn, locked up his sixth Modified division championship at the high-banked speedway. Hearn also won the track’s small-block 358 Modified division title, cementing it on Saturday as well with a victory in the 24-lap feature. It was Hearn’s second 358 Modified crown at the one-half-mile upstate New York speedway.

   In his 36th year of Modified stock car competition (2010), Hearn had 784 feature race victories to his credit. He is the all time winner at Malta, New York’s Albany-Saratoga Speedway (98 victories) and in both Modified divisions at Orange County Fair Speedway (Middletown, New York), where his record of 296 feature race wins will never be topped. Hearn’s records include victories at 47 different tracks in 10 states and two Canadian provinces and place him among the country’s top drivers in all types of auto racing.

   Tony Stewart raced the No. 14 Chevy to his first win of the year, pulling away from Carl Edwards off the final restart Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart beat Edwards by a comfortable 1.316 seconds for his first victory since Oct. 4, 2009, at Kansas, leaving Edwards winless since the 2008 season finale. Jimmie Johnson was third, followed by Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch.

   This was the final year that Atlanta will have its traditional two Cup races, which began when the track opened in 1960. The spring event, which has been plagued by poor weather and attendance, will shift to Kentucky Motor Speedway, leaving only the Labor Day weekend race in one of NASCAR's largest markets.

   Jamie McMurray won the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his eighth career Nationwide win. Kyle Busch finished second.

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

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 & Dave Dyke's

Click on Photo for Full Sized

Moose Hewitt                                     Johnny 'King' Cambino                                         Leo Cleary  

Don Spazano                                                  Pete Corey                                            Reggie Ruggerio

Looking Back Archive


SourcePhil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: September 9, 2011

©2011 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.