May 18, 2012
years ago in 1952 rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl for the second week in a row.
Fifty five years ago in 1957
Don Collins made it two in a row in Sportsman action at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the non-Ford winner. NASCAR
incurred one of its darkest and near tragic days when a Mercury driven by
Billy Myers in a Grand National (Cup) event got launched into the
grandstand, injuring several people. No fatalities incurred but a few days
later the major auto makers pulled out of NASCAR Racing.
Fifty years ago in 1962 Hank
Stevens captured his second Modified feature win of the year at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. Ernie Gahan was
the Modified winner on the dirt at Stafford.
Forty five years ago in 1967
Newt Palm made it four out of five as he won the Modified feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Emery was the Daredevil winner.
Forty years ago in 1972, Eddie
Pieniezak was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in
Malta, N.Y. Jerry Cook, Eddie Flemke, Richie Evans and Lou Lazzaro rounded
out the top five. Saturday night racing at Stafford, Waterford, Islip and
Fonda rained out. Utica-Rome remained clear as hometown favorite Clayton
"Sonny" Seamon took the win over Richie Evans, Bill Henry, Ron Holmes and
Bernie Miller. Waterford ran their rained out program on Sunday where Dick
Caso made it two in a row. Bob Gada SR was the Sportsman Sedan winner.
Thirty five years ago in 1977,
Bugsy Stevens took the top spot at Stafford on Friday night. Geoff Bodine
finished a strong second with Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Dick Caso
rounding out the top five. Punky Caron made it four in a row at Monadnock as
he beat out Bob Karvonen, Ollie Silva and Jack Bateman for the win.
Riverhead also ran on Friday with Charlie Jarzombek taking the win.
Jarzombek made it two for two as he also won at Freeport on Saturday night.
Stevens, who drove the Sonny Koszela Woodchopper on Friday night at
Stafford, jumped into the Joe Brady No.41 at Seekonk on Saturday night and
made it two for two on the weekend. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Don
Dionne, George Murray and Red Barbeau rounding out the top five. Mike Weeden
won at Westboro over Kenny Bouchard and Joe Howard and at Waterford; George
"Moose" Hewitt took the win. Other weekend winners included Ted Wesnoski at
Islip and Fred DeSarro at Thompson.
Thirty years ago in 1982, Brian
Ross took the Friday night win at Stafford after Greg Sacks was forced to
back off because of a deflating tire. Sacks finished second with Ray Miller,
third. Dan Avery was the SK Modified winner. Charlie Savage was the SK mod
winner at Waterford on Saturday. Jerry Pearl finished a close second. The
field was light but the competition was tough as George Summers took the win
at Seekonk on Saturday night. Brian Ross finished second with George Savory,
third. Reggie Ruggiero took another win at Riverside but had to settle for
second behind George Kent at Thompson on Sunday. Kent was also the winner at
Shangri-La on Saturday night. Other weekend winners were Richie Evans at
Spencer and at New Egypt, Doug Hewitt, also at Spencer, Bill Park at Islip
and Gail Barber at Lancaster.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Ted Christopher beat out Bo Gunning at Stafford. Ditto for Gunning at
Waterford on Saturday as he finished second to Bob Gada. The Modified Tour
was at Clearfield, Pa where Jim Spencer took the win over Reggie Ruggiero,
Mike Mclaughlin and Mike Stefanik. Stan Greger was victorious at Riverside
and at Riverhead, Tom McCann took the win. In Winston Cup action at
Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the WINSTON.
Twenty years ago in 1992, Tom
Tagg won out at Stafford over Bob Potter and Richie Gallup. At Riverside,
Jerry Marquis went two for two in the Bob Judkins 2x as he won both ends of
the twin bill that was presented. Marquis back it up with a win at Monadnock
on Sunday. The Busch North Series was also at Monadnock. Ageless Stub Fadden
took the win over Dale Shaw and Mike Rowe. In Winston Cup action at
Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt Sr. was leading the last lap of the WINSTON and
rode Kyle Petty to the grass as he was attempting to pass. Petty didn't lift
and ended up spinning Earnhardt out. Davey Allison passed Petty at the
finish line. Petty then hit Allison and sent him into the wall to end a wild
night of racing. Racing at Waterford rained out.
Fifteen years ago in 1997, Jim
Broderick, with his Mopar powered SK, took the lead after early leader Ed
Flemke Jr. crashed and went on to record his second win of the season at
Stafford. Bo Gunning finished second with Bob Potter, third. Chuck Steuer
went pole to pole at Riverhead and Tom Jensen beat out Dave Berube at
Riverside. It rained at Waterford and at Shangri-La. The Featherlite
Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth for a 100 lap event. Mike Stefanik took
the lead from Tony Hirschman on lap seven and went on to record the win.
Charlie Pasteryak finished second and was followed by Jamie Tomaino, Ed
Kennedy and Jan Leaty. There were ten cautions for 47 laps. The Busch
Grandnationals were also at Nazareth. Elliott Sadler recorded his first GN
win with Todd Bodine, a close second. Steve Park led 92 of the first 141
laps until losing an engine. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jeff Gordon
won $207,500 when he took the checkered flag in the Winston. Ricky Craven
won the Winston Open.
Ten years ago in 2002, heavy
rain forced postponement of the scheduled NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour
Series event on Friday night. Qualifying was completed before the rains
came. Nevin George set fast time for the Busch Pole award. Ted Christopher
was the second fastest. The re-draw for the start saw Christopher on the
pole with Jamie Tomaino, outside. George drew the third starting spot.
Forty-three Modifieds were on hand. Among the notables that missed the cut
were Tom Baldwin, John Blewett III, Jim Broderick and Carl Pasteryak. At
Waterford on Saturday night Ed Reed Jr. beat out Rob Janovic and Dennis Gada
and at Riverhead, JR Bertuccio made it two in a row. The Busch North Series
was at Seekonk for a 150 lapper. Matt Kobyluck took the lead on lap 144 and
went on to score the win. At the Adirondack Raceway second-generation driver
Chris Ross won a 50 lap Pro Stock event. The Fonda Speedway celebrated its
Jack Johnson, who, at 57 scored his 140th win at the historic oval.
Mark Rogers won at Wall Township and Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500, the
12th win for car owner Roger Penske. In Winston Cup action in the World 600
at the Lowes Motor speedway, Mark Martin took the win after Jimmie Johnson
blew a late race pit stop. Jeff Green won the Busch Series event.
Five years ago in 2007, In
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway the
weatherman took the win. Forecasts of heavy wind and rain forced the Arute
family to pull the plug on the night’s activities. Kerry Malone was the
current point leader in the SK Modified division. Malone led Eric Berndt by
10 points after three events. Rounding out the top five were Ted
Christopher, Brad Heitala and Willie Hardie Jr. Defending SK Modified
Champion Frank Ruocco was 11th, 54 points behind the leader. Other point
leaders were Tom Butler in the Late Models, Chris Mathews in the SK Lights,
Andrew Durand in the Ltd Late Models and Barry Fluckiger in the Dare Stocks.
The Stafford Speedway announced that Valvoline, in conjunction with CARQUEST
Auto Parts, had signed on to become an SK Modified 1st place contingency
partner for the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. Valvoline's
weekly $150 contingency bonus brought the total winner's check for each SK
Modified® feature event to $1,850.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl the weatherman also prevailed as close to two inches of rain fell
on the shoreline oval on Saturday. Shawn Monahan was the current SK Modified
point leader as he held an 18 point edge over Rob Janovic. In six events
Monahan had been the model of consistency as he had recorded six top 10’s
including one win. Janovic hadtwo wins but has only five top tens. Rounding
out the top five were Doug Coby, Jeff Pearl and Diego Monahan. Allen Coates
was the Late Model point leader, Dwayne Dorr the Sportsman leader, Ken
Cassidy the Mini Stock leader and Chris Bakaj the Legends leader.
Joey Logano won his third Grand National Division race in four
career starts in the Featherlite Coaches 200. And his latest win came over
runner-up Kevin Harvick by nearly two and a half seconds – a day after
Harvick won the NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge and three months after he won
the Daytona 500. The first NASCAR sanctioned event at Iowa Speedway drew a
facility-record estimated crowd of 24,741. It was also one of the largest
stand-alone crowds in NASCAR Grand National Division history.
Kevin Harvick earned a $1 million payday, winning the Nextel
All-Star Challenge in Concord, N.C., after Matt Kenseth got caught speeding
and brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch took each other out of contention. That
made Jimmie Johnson, a two-time All-Star race winner, the last driver for
Harvick to contend with. But Johnson barely mounted a challenge, staying in
line behind Harvick until the final lap at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Johnson
made one attempt at a pass, Harvick blocked it, then drove off to his second
win of the season. Mark Martin finished third and was followed by Jeff
Burton, Tony Stewart, Johnny Sauter and Kenseth. Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt
Jr. and Martin Truex Jr., who got into the race by winning the Nextel Open,
rounded out the top 10.
It was announced that almost 1,700 former Sprint Corp. employees
would settle their federal class-action age-discrimination lawsuit against
the company for $57 million, according to a proposal filed Friday in U.S.
District Court for Kansas. The employees sued after several mass layoffs
between October 2001 and March 2003, alleging that a computerized
performance management system used in the layoffs improperly targeted
employees older than 40. The settlement amount included $21 million to pay
plaintiffs' attorneys fees and costs.
The Associated Press reported that NASCAR couldn’t stop AT&T Inc.
from featuring its logo on Jeff Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing
Chevrolet, a federal judge ruled. NASCAR asked for the ruling to be put on
hold pending appeal. A federal judge and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals refused to grant NASCAR's requests for a stay to prevent Burton's
No. 31 car from racing Saturday with the AT&T logo. The first ruling, issued
just hours before the Nextel All-Star Challenge, was the second in two days
from U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob. Following the second denial for a
stay, NASCAR filed an emergency motion with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Atlanta, which also denied the request.
Last year, 2011, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour continued on Spring Break before returning on Friday,
May 27 at Stafford for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.
The Thompson Speedway began its weekly Thursday Night Thunder
Series. Keith Rocco of held off Ted Christopher to score the victory in the
Sunoco Modified feature event. Derek Ramstrom was the feature winner of the
Super Late Models and Rick Gentes was triumphant in Late Model action. Jay
Sundeen wired the field to score the victory in the TIS Modifieds while
Larry Barnett the all-time winning most driver in the Limited Sportsman
division, added to his tally with a victory and Danny Field was the top dog
in the Mini Stock main event; making it two-in-a-row for the Icebreaker
Once the sun went down the temperatures dropped but the action on
the track kept spectators warm. The competition was very good but the fields
of cars, with the exception of the Limited Sportsman (26) and the Mini
Stocks (23) was sparse. There were 13 Late Models, eleven Sunoco (SK)
Modifieds, eight Super Late Models and nine Thompson Modifieds.
Keith Rocco led green to checker to score the victory in the 30-lap
Sunoco Modified feature event. Ted Christopher finished second followed by
Todd Ceravolo, Ryan Preece, and Danny Cates.
The Stafford Motor Speedway ran on Friday night and boasted 25 SK
Modifieds in the pit area. Ted Christopher recovered from his race ending
broken crankshaft on opening night to pick up his first win of the 2011
season with a dominating performance in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature
event, Dillon Moltz was the winner of the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy
Barrett, Jr. was the winner of the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, George
Nocera, Jr. became the first repeat feature winner of the 2011 season with a
victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Andrew Hayes drove to
victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In action at the Waterford Speedbowl, Six divisions were in
competition on Saturday night, with Keith Rocco, the defending division
champion, returning to the winner’s circle in the SK Modifieds®.
Brian Andronaco Jr. was the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race,
his first on the season. Ed Puleo made it two in a row in the Street Stocks.
A first time winner took the checkered flag in the Mini Stock feature with
third generation racer Jeffrey Cembruch took the win. Rounding out the
night’s winners were Dana Dimatteo in the Legends Cars and Taylor Martin who
won the Bandolero feature.
Waterford drew 19 Modifieds which is fairly respectable. The Street
Stock field, which at on time numbered over 100 per night, was a mere 11.
In Modified action south of the Mason-Dixon line at the Bowman Gray
Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC early evening rain forced cancellation of the
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, John Fortin used an 11th
lap double file restart to his advantage to score the victory in the 35-lap
NASCAR Modified feature event for the Whelen All-American Series. The
victory was worth $1,450 to the former three time track champion and his
24th career visit to victory lane.
In Nationwide Series racing at Dover, Carl Edwards was sure he
tapped Joey Logano on the last lap but Edwards missed him, and all the
mayhem behind him as Logano lost control on his own and tagged the wall,
triggering a wreck-filled final lap that knocked out several contenders and
let Edwards win the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Dover International
Speedway. Matt Kenseth was the Sprint Cup winner..
Kyle Busch moved past Elliott Sadler 23 laps from the end and
stayed in front of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin to win the Royal
Purple 200 on Friday night, his fifth Nationwide victory this season and
48th overall, one behind Mark Martin's series record.
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
Donald 'Hank' Stevens
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit