April 20, 2012
years ago in 1952, Don Hall was the 25 Lap Sportsman winner at
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Harold "Curley" LeMay was the Claiming
Fifty five years ago in 1957
Ray Moran won the opening day 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty years ago in 1962
Dick Beuregard won the opening day 25 lap Modified feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Caso was the 15 lap Bomber winner.
Forty five years ago in 1967,
Martinsville ran a 100 lap modified event with Sonny Hutchins of Richmond,
Va. taking the win. In the Grandnational (Winston Cup) event, Richard Petty
and Cale Yarborough lapped the field as they finished one-two in the 500 lap
event. The Fulton Raceway in New York cleared away the snow for an open
competition event that was won by Lee Osborne. Newt Palm made it two in a
row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 30 lap Modified
feature. Jiggs Beetham, who in later years would team up with Bob Potter as
his car owner, was the 15 lap Daredevil feature winner.
Forty years ago in 1972,
hot off his Spring Sizzler victory, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row at
Stafford as he won the Sunday afternoon 30-lap event. Bob Santos finished
second and was followed by Hop Harrington, Ray Miller, Moose Hewitt, Rene
Charland and Bernie Miller. South Boston also ran a modified event with Max
Berrier winning the 75 lapper over Ray Hendrick, Paul Radford and Jerry
Cook. Saturday night racing at Fonda rained out. The weather was clear on
the Connecticut shoreline on Sunday as Joe Trudeau won the 40 lap Modified
feature. Ken Greggory was the 20 lap Sportsman Sedan feature winner.
Thirty five years ago in 1977,
Maynard Troyer finally mastered the Stafford Speedway as he won the 80 lap
Spring Sizzler. Bob Polverari, Richie Evans, Dick Caso and Ed Flemke Sr.
rounded out the top five. Ron Cote was the winner of the non-qualifiers
Thirty years ago in 1982, Greg
Sacks, fresh off his Martinsville win, brought his streak to the Stafford
Speedway where he won the 80 lap Sizzler. Reggie Ruggiero finished second
and was followed by Kenny Bouchard, George Summers, Maynard Troyer and Corky
Cookman. Mike Weeden was the non-qualifiers winner with Jim Spencer, second.
Also on this weekend, Richie Evans won the season opener at Riverside Park
on Saturday night. Ray Miller finished second with George Kent, third. In
Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Darrel Waltrip was both the Busch
Pole sitter and the race winner.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Riverside Park was the only game in town as Jerry Marquis in the Bob Judkins
2x took the win over Stan Gregger, Mike McLaughlin and Wade Cole.
Twenty years ago in 1992,
Riverside Park rained out for the second week in a row. Because of the
Easter weekend, the only racing was a Busch Grandnational event run at
Hickory, N.C., which was won by Tommy Houston.
Fifteen years ago in 1997, the
NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was in Martinsville for a 200
lapper. Mike Ewanitsko started 19th, made an early pit stop and inherited
the lead when Mike Stefanik pitted and went on to take the win. Stefanik,
who borrowed a car from Chris Kopec after he wrecked his own as a result of
a broken wheel, finished second .Ricky Fuller finished third and was
followed by Jan Leaty, Reggie Ruggiero, Tim Connolly and pole sitter, Ed
Flemke Jr. Events scheduled for Riverside Park, the Waterford Speedbowl and
the Riverhead Raceway were rained out.
Ten years ago in 2002, Tommy
Fox took the Saturday night win at the Waterford Speedbowl. Fox was running
second to Ted Christopher when he got his left front into Christopher’s
right rear. Fox turned left and Christopher spun out of the lead. Dennis
Gada ended up second with John Brouwer, third. Christopher ended up 15th.
Dave Michael got his 60th win at Wall Stadium and in Busch North Series
action at Lee it was Andy Santerre over Mike Olsen and Mike Johnson. Dale
Earnhardt JR led 133 of the 108 laps at Talledega to take the Nextel Cup
win. Michael Waltrip finished second. Nextel Cup car owner Jack Roush was
severely injured in a plane crash. Roush hit power lines and landed upside
down in a lake. Larry Hicks, a retired Marine and recovering cancer patient
pulled him to safety.
Five years ago in 2007, The
2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series got the green flag on Sunday at the
Thompson Speedway as a near capacity crowd watched James Civali sprint to
victory in the 150 lap Ice Breaker. Civali took the lead on lap 109 after
running wheel to wheel with John Blewett III for several laps. A late race
wreck which involved Reggie Ruggiero set the stage for a green, white,
checkered finish on lap 152. Chuck Hossfeld got two late race gifts as it
looked like he would end his day in fourth spot. With seven laps to go the
green flew after a caution. Civali led the field followed by Richard Savory,
Ron Yuhas Jr, Hossfeld and Ruggerio. As the field exited turn two Ruggerio
went low, passing Hossfeld and Yuhas. Ruggerio, trying to get back in line
after the pass, clipped Yuhas and they both ended up hitting the back
stretch wall. While the track crews were cleaning up the mess and the field
was circling under caution Savory suffered a
flat tire and was forced to pit, thus handing the runner-up spot to
Hossfeld. Savory ended up 17th. Following Hossfeld was Ronnie Silk, Jimmy
Blewett and Matt Hirschman. Sixth through tenth were Tony Ferrante Jr, Carl
Pasteryak, Jon McKennedy, Bob Grigas and Zach Sylvester in the Mansfield, CT
based No77 of Curt Chase.
Ted Christopher, who started on the outside pole, was the early
leader as he passed pole sitter Savory in turn three before the field
completed the first lap. Christopher led until a lap 23 restart when Don Lia
shot by in the second turn. Lia apparently planned to go non-stop without a
change of tires as almost the entire field pitted for tires during a caution
on lap 71. It proved to end up being a bad decision as his tires lost their
grip by lap 97 when he gave way to Civali. Lia remained in the top five
despite fading fast. His undoing finally came on lap 137 when he spun out
and was never a factor after that. Lia ended up 20th, four laps down.
Christopher also had a bad day as he was collected in a wreck on lap 99 and
ended up in 27th spot at the finish. Defending series champion was never a
factor as he was eliminated after losing a wheel on lap 33 after making
contact with Jerry Marquis. Stefanik ended up 34th.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly action ”Showtime” Jimmy
Blewett , driving the Eddie Partridge No.12 was victorious in Sunoco
Modified action. Rick Gentes doubled up in Icebreaker Late Model action
(also winning last Saturday). Jeff Connors of Ellington, CT won the Pro
Stock field while Keith DeSanctis won the Limited Sportsman division and Leo
Adams was victorious in the TIS Modifieds. Andy Publicover scored the win in
the Mini Stocks.
In Sunoco Modified action, Todd Ceravolo held the early lead over
Woody Pitkat. A pack of hungry drivers, Jimmy Blewett, Keith Rocco, and
Tommy Cravenho, were bearing down on the leaders. Slight contact between the
lead duo opened the door for Jimmy. Blewett, who grabbed the second spot
before the caution flew for Roland Bergeron. After a false start, racing
resumed with Ceravolo retaining his lead. Contact between Pitkat and Rocco
send Rocco hard into the turn two wall. Jimmy Blewett was able to take over
the lead once racing resumed. A single lap later contact between Cravenho
and Bert Marvin sent Cravenho spinning. A chain reaction accident claimed
the cars of John Catania, Buddy Charette, and others. Marvin was sent to the
rear for his involvement in the accident. Jimmy Blewett continued to lead
Ceravolo and now his brother John when racing went back to green. Pitkat and
Kerry Malone sat inside the top five. Pitkat was getting racy with John
Blewett while the leader had his hands full with Ceravolo. The top four cars
began to get some distance on Malone in fifth. Just after halfway, the
caution flew when Harry Rheaume and Marvin made contact. Both cars were able
to continue. On the restart, Jimmy. Blewett and Ceravolo were side by side
for the lead; meanwhile, things got messy from third position on back.
Pitkat and Marvin both sustained extensive damage in the melee. Also
involved was third-running John Blewett. The battle for the lead continued
when the race resumed. While Jimmy Blewett and Ceravolo began to distance
themselves from the rest of the pack, Kerry Malone headed down pit road,
relinquishing the third spot.
The final dash to the checkers found Jimmy. Blewett gaining some
breathing room over Ceravolo. Dave Salzarulo and Danny Cates had great
finish runs. Tommy Cravenho and Jo. Blewett had stormed back through the
pack and put on a great show battling for the fifth position. At the finish,
Jimmy Blewett scored the win over Ceravolo and Salzarulo. The rookie Danny
Cates finished fourth in only his second Sunoco Modified start. John
Blewett, who had won at the Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey on Saturday
night recovered to finish fifth.
The Monahan brothers packed a one-two punch at the Waterford
Speedbowl on Saturday evening, claiming the top-two slots in the 35-lap SK
Modified feature. It was Diego prevailing, but only after an intense battle
with older brother Shawn during several late-race restarts. Other winners
were Rob Summers (True Value Tour Modifieds), Tim Jordan (Late Models), Al
Stone III (Sportsman), and Phil Evans (Mini Stocks).
Joey Logano won a NASCAR Grand National Series event Thursday night at
Phoenix International Raceway. Logano was a development driver for Joe Gibbs
Clint Bowyer won a stirring duel with Matt Kenseth on Friday night,
taking the lead with 14 laps to go and holding on in the Busch Series race
at Phoenix International Raceway. Jeff Gordon took the Nextel Cup win at
Phoenix on Saturday and dedicated the victory to the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.
The board of directors for the International Speedway Corp.
approved spending an additional $39.6 million for capital projects. With the
approval, the board expects to spend $80 million to $90 million for a number
of improvements at Darlington Raceway, including repaving the racing surface
and aprons, constructing a new infield access tunnel, installing concrete
pit stalls and other renovations. The improvements are expected to be
completed in time for the facility's 2008 Nascar Nextel Cup and Busch series
The company also announced that William C. France, William P.
Graves and Christy F. Harris were re-elected and Morteza Hosseini-Kargar was
elected to the board by ISC shareholders. All terms were for three years.
Last year, 2011, the Whelen
Modified Tour Series continued on a Spring Break before its next event which
would be the annual Spring Sizzler at Stafford on Sunday, May 1. Ted
Christopher's perch at the top of the series point standings was short
lived. Two days after taking the win at Thompson, Christopher along with 5th
place finisher Justin Bonsingnore were docked 50 points for altered
Teams owners were also fined points while crew chiefs Brad
Lafontaine and Aaron Clifford were fined $500. New points leader was Rowan
Pennink while Christopher dropped to 8th, was fined $500 and suspended by
NASCAR until the fines are paid. Christopher's team owner Ed Whelen and
Bonsignore's team owner, Kenneth Massa were also docked 50 points in the
owners standings. Christopher would keep his victory in the event. Tony
Corrente, owner of Tony's Competition Engines, built both power plants.
The set-back at Thompson plus injured hands didn't slow down Ted
Christopher as he traveled south to Virginia early Sunday morning and picked
up a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour victory in the South Boston 150 in
the afternoon at South Boston Speedway. Driving the Joe Brady No.00
Christopher out dueled George Brunnhoelzl III, who won the first two Whelen
Southern Modified Tour events in 2011, to earn yet another win in his
storied career. Zach Brewer finished third followed by Tim Brown and John
The South Boston 150 was originally scheduled for Saturday night
but because of heavy rains and Tornados forced officials to reschedule for
Sunday. Christopher started 17th, broke into the top three by lap 40 and
took the lead on a restart on lap 99 of the 150 lap event.
There were 19 cars on hand. Nine cars were on the lead lap at the
finish. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be in action on
Saturday, April 23 at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.
The Waterford Speedbowl pulled the plug on last Saturday's races
due to a forecast of cold weather and heavy rain along the Connecticut
Fans and competitors of the season ending North-South Shootout
found out that they will have to travel a little further south as the event
would be moving from the Concord NC Speedway to the Myrtle Beach Speedway in
South Carolina. Race promoter Charles Kepley stated high insurance costs
prompted the move.
MADHOUSE Star and driver of the #1 Bowman Gray & Whelen Modified
Series Car, Burt Myers violently wrecked a Supermodified in practice at the
Ace Speedway in North Carolina on Friday afternoon. Preliminary reports from
the speedway indicated a stuck throttle. He was reported to be awake and
talking, and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. After an
extensive examination it was determined that He had three broken ribs and a
During the driver's meeting for the Whelen Modified Tour Series at
the Thompson Speedway Whelen's Phil Kurze stated that the Speed Channel
would televise WMT events at Bristol and the September event at New
Hampshire. He had high hopes of working with NASCAR to put together a TV
package that would include more events. Ratings from 2010 telecasts by
Versus were quite high. Race announcers Jackie Arute and Jimmy Spencer did
an outstanding job calling the events. NASCAR announced that 24 events for
the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR’s top developmental series, would be
televised by the Speed Channel.
Mario Fiore, who, for many years had one of the top running and
winning Modifieds in the Northeast made an interesting observation. "During
the 1997 season there were eight televised NASCAR Modified events", he said.
"Those eight events generated a Total Television Dollar Value of $162, 425
in advertising for Gulf Oil", he added. TV coverage is extremely important
to the well being of the Whelen Modifieds.
Mike Joy was named the 2011 winner of the Henry T. McLemore
Motorsports Journalism award. The McLemore is the most tenured motorsports
journalism award, beginning in 1969 with inaugural winner Bloys Britt, who
wrote for The Associated Press for 17 years. It is voted by peers, and
today’s voters are past McLemore winners. It was presented at the
International Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony in
Joy spent his entire adult life as a motorsports journalist. Raised
in Windsor, Conn., Joy’s career started in 1970, working as the public
address announcer at Riverside Park, the Stafford Motor Speedway and at the
Thompson Speedway. He rose through the ranks of MRN Radio and chronicled the
growth of NASCAR by announcing races on CBS, TNN, ESPN, TBS and now FOX,
along with ancillary programming on SPEED.
His television career began on pit road, where he defined the
position. He moved from pit road to the CBS anchor booth in 1998, where he
called Dale Earnhardt’s historic Daytona 500 victory.
The Charlotte (NC) Observer reported that NASCAR chairman and CEO
Brian France filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, claiming she has taped
phone conversations without his consent in attempt to extort money from him.
Brian France, 48, claims that Megan France, to whom he has twice married and
divorced, has not only been taping their phone conversations but has
threatened to distribute their contents.
The lawsuit claims that Megan France told her ex-husband she would
not distribute the recordings if he paid her "substantial sums of money."
According to previous court documents, Megan France was awarded $9 million
following her divorce, along with $32,500 a month in alimony for 10 years
and $10,000 a month in child support.
Kyle Busch won under a yellow flag in a wild finish, taking the
Nationwide race at Talladega Superspeedway when the last of 10 crashes sent
Mike Wallace's car flipping upside down. Busch captured his fourth win in
seven Nationwide races - and 47th of his career, on a day when tandem racing
produced a series-record 56 lead changes, 11 cautions and two red flags to
clean up all the debris.
When Wallace's car got clipped on the last lap going down the
backstretch, spinning onto its roof, the yellow came out and Busch was
assured of the win. Wallace's car wound up back on its wheels and he
actually drove it to the finish line of a race that lasted seven laps beyond
its scheduled 117.
In Sprint Cup action, Dale Earnhardt Jr. decided being a good
teammate was more important than winning his first Cup race in nearly three
years. Earnhardt hooked up with Jimmie Johnson in a thrilling Talladega
finish, pushing his Hendrick Motorsports teammate across the line about a
foot ahead of Clint Bowyer in a finish that tied for the closest in NASCAR
Sprint Cup history. Johnson claimed his first win of the season and 54th of
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
SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's
Click on Photo for Full Sized
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit