The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith


July 27, 2012

   Sixty years ago in 1952 Fred Luchesi, driving the Sgambato No.9 was the Wednesday night Sportsman feature winner at the New London=Waterford Speedbowl. Tex Pearce was the Claiming Car winner. On Saturday night, Steady Eddie Flemke who would become a legend in his own time, won the 25 lap Sportsman feature. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner.

   Fifty five years ago in 1957, rain washed out the racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Saturday night at the bowl was a different story as Red Foote took the Sportsman feature win and Squeaky Rogers took the non-Ford win.

   Fifty years ago in 1962, Rene Charland won the mid-season 30 lapper on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. At Waterford, Ted Stack won the 25 lap Modified feature. Ed Gladue was the Bomber feature winner.

   Forty five years ago in 1967, the All Star League paid a Wednesday night visit to the Wall Stadium in Belmar, N.J. Gene Bergin took the 100 lap win over Eddie Flemke, Tommie Elliott, Ernie Gahan, Bill Wimble and Don Stives. It rained at Stafford and at the Albany Saratoga Speedways on Friday night. Spencer Speedway managed to get their races in with Merv Treichler taking the win. Saturday night action saw Rene Charland make it two in a row at Fonda as he won over Don Wayman and Maynard Forette. Dutch Hoag continued his win streak at Fulton and at Riverside Park Jerry Humiston took the win. Newt Palm won the 75 lap July Modified Championship at Waterford. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Bill Wimble took the win over Dave Lape, Richie Evans, Dick Clark and Rene Charland.

   Forty years ago in 1972, Georgie Summers in the Ken Curley No.31 was the top dog at Seekonk on Friday night. Brian Ross finished second with Fred DeSarro, third. At Malta, Bugsy Stevens outran Jerry Cook and Richie Evans for the win. Saturday night at Stafford belonged to Fred DeSarro as he put Len Boehler’s Ole Blu in victory lane. Eddie Flemke finished second and was followed by Denis Giroux, Bugsy Stevens and Bobby Turner. At Fonda, Jack Johnson was building on his legend as he took another win, this time over Maynard Forette, Dave Lape and Jerry Cook. Joe Trudeau was the winner at Waterford. At Islip, Richie Gomes took the win and in double features at Utica-Rome, Dave Lape and Lou Lazzaro took the top spots.

   Thirty five years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens held off Ronnie Bouchard to take a hard fought win at Stafford on Friday night. Ray Miller, Geoff Bodine and Eddie Flemke rounded out the top five. At Monadnock, Dynamite Ollie Silva cleaned house as he won out over Pete Fiandaca and Bob Karvonen. Riverhead was also running on Friday. Charlie Jarzombek out-dueled Fred Harbach for the win at the eastern Long Island oval. George Summers,in the Frank Fedderici No.77 ruled the roost at Seekonk on Saturday night.Bobby Santos finished second with Brett Bodine,third. Veteran, Bob Stefanik mastered the Riverside Park oval despite a lot of heat from Geoff Bodine who had to settle for second. At Islip it was Tom McCann over Al Hansen and in Sunday night action at Thompson, Eddie Flemke came home the winner over Ray Miller and Leo Cleary. Other weekend winners were George Kent over Richie Evans at Shangri-La and Merv Treichler at Lancaster.

   Thirty years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks sheared the right front wheel off the Ernie Wilsburg No.5 during the running of Modified Madness at Stafford. A rain delay helped in making repairs and he was able to come back and take the win. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Charlie Jarzombek, third. In regular Friday night action at Stafford, Reggie Ruggiero took the win over Kenny Bouchard and Sacks. At the Spencer Speedway, George Kent took the checker but failed tech inspection as he was found with an illegal gear. Doug Hewitt was awarded the win with Jerry Cook, second. Joe Tiezzi was the Saturday night winner at Waterford. Jerry Pearl and Moose Hewitt rounded out the top three. Ray Miller was the top dog at Riverside and at Oswego, Greg Sacks beat out Maynard Troyer for the win. At Seekonk, Eddie St Angelo got one for the hometown crowd as he took the win over Rick Donnelly and Gomer Taylor. George Brunnhoelzl won a 200 lapper at Islip over John Blewett Jr, Bill Park and Bob Park. At Shangri-La, twin features were on tap with Wayne Edwards and George Kent taking the top spots. Thompson closed out the weekend with a 30-lap feature which was won by Reggie Ruggiero over George Kent, Kenny Bouchard and Corky Cookman. In Winston Cup action at Talledega, Geoff Bodine took the pole with a speed of 199.400 mph. Darrell Waltrip took the win. Bodine suffered with a broken windshield and finished 15th, three laps down.

   Twenty five years ago in 1987, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series visited the Riverside Park Speedway for a 150-lap event. Reggie Ruggiero was in top form as he put the Mario Fiore No.44 in victory lane. Tom Baldwin finished second with Mike McLaughlin, third. Ricky Fuller had himself a good weekend as he put the Don Lafountaine Number 66 in victory lane at Stafford on Friday and at Thompson on Sunday. At Waterford, crowd favorite Ronnie Rocco took the top spot over Ed Flemke Jr. and John Anderson. In Winston Cup action at Talledega, Bill Elliott took the pole with a speed of 203.827 mph. Bill Elliott took the win with Davey Allison, second.

   Twenty years ago in 1992, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Riverside for a 150 lapper. Although in a different car, the Ed Cloce No.69, Reggie Ruggiero dominated like he owned the place as he took the win over Dan Avery and Donald “Satch” Worley. At Stafford on Friday night, Steve Chowanski hammered his way to the front as he beat out Ted Christopher and Bo Gunning for the win. At Waterford, Chris Jones was the modified winner and in the late models, Todd Ceravolo scored his first ever win. It was also on this weekend that NASCAR announced that they would no longer sanction the Race of Champions because the race organizer, Joe Gerber, had got himself in financial hot water.

   Fifteen years ago in 1997, the Busch North Series visited the Stafford Speedway. Andy Santarre took the win and was followed by Rick Fuller, Ted Christopher, Tom Bolles and Stub Fadden. Bob Potter was the SK-Modified winner as he beat Steve Chowanski,Ted Christopher and Bo Gunning to the stripe. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series made the long tow to the Holland Speedway for a Saturday night event. Tim Connolly took his third win of the season as he put the Mystic Missile in victory lane at the conclusion of the 150-lap contest. Connolly took the lead on lap 96. Mike Stefanik, Charlie Pasteryak, Ed Flemke Jr, and Chris Kopec rounded out the top five. At Waterford, Jim Broderick took the lead from Dennis Gada on lap 19 of the 50-lap feature and went on to record his third win of the year. Tucker Reynolds ended up second with Jerry Pearl, third. Gada faded in the closing laps and ended up in fifth spot. At Riverside Park, Ted Christopher took the place by storm as he won the 50-lap feature on Saturday night. Dave Berube finished second with Brad Hietella, third. At Riverhead, John Fortin mastered the ¼ mile oval. In other matters, Penske and the International Speedway Corporation entered into an agreement to purchase the Homestead Speedway in Florida and on a sad note, Mrs. Anne LeSeur, wife of Speedway Scene publisher Val LeSeur, passed away.

   Ten years ago in 1992 The Thompson Speedway management and competitors continued to impress as they got their Thursday night events completed by 9:00 PM. On Thursday the grandstand was ¾ full as Bert Marvin got the best of Bo Gunning as he won his fourth of the season at the 5/8-mile oval. At Stafford on Friday night, dirty Dale did it again and got away Scot free as he won the Busch North Series 150 at Jack Arute’s oval. Running third with two to go, Dale Shaw got two for the price of one as he put the bumper to second place Dale Quarterly who in turn hit leader Andy Santarre, who ended up into the wall. Bill Anderson went pole to pole to win the SK-Modified 50 lapper and Jay Stuart was the late model winner. At Waterford on Saturday night, Rob Janovic won the SK-Modified feature but it was Jeff Rocco, Keith's twin brother, who “stole” the show. On a dare from some friends, Rocco “borrowed” one of the cars being used in a stunt show and created a smoke show that all but drove all the mosquitoes out of southeastern Connecticut. The crowd loved it, as usually the stunt shows are boring. It was too bad that those who were part of the stunt show didn't have a sense of humor as they dragged him from the car and beat on him. The Waterford Cops pretty much saved him as they cuffed him and stuffed him in back of a car. Meanwhile back at the races, Ron Yuhas finished second with Dennis Gada, Tom Fox and Jeff Pearl, rounded out the top five.

   Five years ago in 2007, the Waterford Speedbowl avoided the bullet of foreclosure that was scheduled for Saturday, July 28, 2007 at noon. Property owner Terry Eames finally consummated a deal with Harvey Industries late in the week in which he sold 8 acres of the Speedbowl property for $1.6 million. Before he could take the money and run, the town of Waterford had a lien on the property that had to be satisfied. Eames was forced to pay the town $188,176 for back and current taxes, as well as $29,976 for police protection that he owed. To stop the actual foreclosure Eames secured a private loan from Rocco Arbitell of Southbury and Peter Borelli of Derby, which allowed Eames and his holding company 1080 Hartford Road to pay off its debt to Washington Mutual of Seattle. Washington Mutual, a Seattle-based bank, had originally planned to foreclose on the property because of a $1.7 million mortgage debt. The 38.75-acre property is valued at $2.2 million. Arbitell is the owner of Arbitell Convenience Stores and Famous Uncle Al's Hot Dogs.

   Now that Eames had over $1 million in his bank account hopefully he would continue to pay his bills and satisfy his debt to Arbetill and Borelli. History says in a year or two it would be the same old story again! I hope I’m wrong on that one. Guess I was wrong as it was rerun all over again in 2010.

   The National Speed Sport News, considered one of the leading auto sports trade publications, announced that the New York Post ran an expose on former Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari. In the story the Post stated that Molinari was paid $1.5 by the International Speedway Corporation for his help in gaining government approval for the now abandoned proposed ISC Speedway that was to be built on Staten Island in New York City. Molinari’s Public Relations firm, The Molinari Group, was paid an additional $35, 000 per month from June of 2004 to December 2006. ISC, which paid $100million for the 440 acres that would house the proposed track was forced to abandon the project after fierce opposition from taxpayers. ISC then hired a guy named Peter Vallone for $12,500 a month to help sell the partially oil contaminated property. One would have to guess that Terry Eames probably wishes that he were Buds with these guys!

   Mark Mockovak was terminated as Media Coordinator of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. No replacement had been named at that time. After 14 years on the job, Mark and all the help he had been to us all would surely be missed. Mockovak put his heart and soul into promoting the Whelen Modified Tour Series but evidently someone in Daytona Beach didn’t like him.

   In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett of Howell, NJ, held off a stellar field of Sunoco Modified competitors to score his third win of the season. Dave Berghman of Seekonk, MA, led flag-to-flag in the Pro Stock 50-Lapper to score the popular victory. In other full-fendered action, Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, scored a dramatic win to earn what appeared to be his fifth triumph of the 2007 season. Joe Arena of Kensington took down top honors in the Limited Sportsman division. Roger Larson, Jr. of Milford, MA, and Mike Romano of Pascoag, RI, were victorious in the TIS Modifieds and Mini Stocks respectively.

   Jimmy Blewett enjoyed an up and down ride in the Sunoco Modified feature. Dave Salzarulo and Steve Masse both took brief turns at the head of the pack before John Blewett muscled his way into the top spot over Masse. Contact between Jimmy Blewett and Salzarulo caused a chain reaction deeper in the top ten collecting strong competitors Kerry Malone, Todd Ceravolo, Tommy Cravenho, and Geoff Gernhard.

   On the restart, John resumed his lead taking brother Jimmy along for the ride. Masse got a run from third making contact with John. Jimmy was able to sneak into the lead with Rocco taking over the second spot. John settled back into the third position. Pitkat charged by Masse with ten laps down. The top three ran in a high-speed chase of leader Jimmy Blewett. John dogged Rocco for second. At halfway, Rocco made a bid on Jimmy’s lead. Rocco looked as if he would take over the top spot but he could not hold his momentum and both Blewett brothers were able to make their way past putting Jimmy back in the lead. Rocco now had his hands full with Pitkat. The excitement had settled down as the top-four continued to run nose to tail. Shelly Perry spun in front of the leaders to bring out the caution to set up a six-lap dash to the checkers. On the double file restart, Rocco made it three-wide coming down to take the green. Jimmy Blewett squeezed into the top spot over John Blewett and Rocco. Rocco could not maintain his position and lost the third spot to Pitkat. Pitkat immediately went to work on John Blewett. He moved into the second spot with two to go. He lined up behind the younger Blewett but could not reel in the leader.

   In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway Woody Pitkat won the SK Modified and first Late Model feature for his second consecutive double shot, while Ryan Posocco won the regularly scheduled Late Model feature to break a tie with Jim Peterson as the division's all-time winningest driver. Glen Reen took down the SK Light feature win, Rick Lanagan won the Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Nosal turned in a dominating performance to score his first career DARE Stock win in the 15-lap feature event.

   The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat take down his second consecutive feature win. Willie Hardie took the lead from the pole and led the first 10 laps of the race. Pitkat made his move in turns 3+4 on lap-11 to overtake Hardie for the top spot. SK Modified points leader Ted Christopher was glued to Pitakt's back bumper throughout the second half of the race, with several caution periods keeping the field in close contact. The two race leaders had a near disaster on lap-39 as they had to avoid the lapped car of Frank Ruocco. Both Pitkat and Christopher made it by Ruocco unscathed, but the loss of momentum by Christopher allowed Pitkat all the margin he needed on the final lap of the race. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Christopher was Eric Berndt, Kerry Malone, and Keith Rocco.

   In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeffrey Paul finally got the monkey off his back as he ended weeks of frustration with a win in SK Modified action. Paul, who drives a family owned mount headed by his dad, Gary, took the lead on lap 11of the 35 lap main event. Point leader Rob Janovic applied the pressure in the closing laps but the young racer never faltered.

   Bruce Thomas Jr. won the 30-lap Late Model race. Other winners were Jack Aquilina (Sportsman), Phil Evans (Mini Stock) and Mark Bakaj (Legends).

   Rounding out the top five in the Modifieds were Matt Gallo, Dennis Charette and Jeff Pearl.

   With a threat of rain and boomers closing in the Speedbowl management and competitors got the entire 5 feature race program completed in two hours and had fans heading home by 9:00pm.

   Tony Stewart won the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jason Leffler got Toyota its first ever Busch Series win at O'Reilly Raceway Park as he slipped by Greg Biffle with three laps to go.

   Last year, 2011, The Whelen Modified Tour enjoyed the weekend, the hottest of the year, off. The big news of the week was that NASCAR did the right thing when they stripped Ryan Newman of his win at Loudon after his car was declared blatantly illegal after a thorough tech inspection at the NASCAR R & D Center in North Carolina. NASCAR announced on Wednesday (July 20), that Ryan Newman and the Kevin "Bono" Manion No. 7 team were disqualified and stripped of their victory and fast-time award from the July 16 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Todd Szegedy was awarded New Hampshire’s $15,000 plus race winner.

   Newman's car was found to have an air leak in the area around the intake manifold. Since the Modifieds run with a restrictor plate at New Hampshire it was an item specifically checked in detail by officials as that could produce additional horsepower. Newman's car was taken to the NASCAR Tech Center in Concord, N.C., where it was determined that it did not conform to NASCAR rules. The intake manifold ports did not completely seal to the cylinder head ports. The use of metal, shim-type intake manifold gaskets, which are not permitted, were used.

   Mike LaRochelle, crew chief of car No. 7, has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Kevin Manion has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011.

   Ronnie Silk was running second on the last lap of the July 16 New Hampshire Modified race when he made an all-out attempt to pass Newman. But Silk slid high, allowing Szegedy to pass.

   In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Keith Rocco continued his domination of the Sunoco Modified division with his fourth win of the season at Thompson International Speedway. Rocco's season totals shows 17 wins in 31 starts at Thompson, Stafford and at Waterford. With 11 Sunoco Modifieds going to post, Rocco started fifth. Ryan Preece took the lead on the start from Danny Cates. By lap 3, Rocco moved into the second spot and the show was on. Both competitors raced side by side and swapped the lead until lap 19 when Rocco took the lead for good. Preece finished a strong second but had nothing for Rocco in the late stages. Cates finished third and was followed by Rick Fuller, Woody Pitkat and Todd Ceravolo.

   John Falconi won hands down in the Late Models. He dedicated his win to the late Steve May. Shawn Monahan came from a tenth starting spot to record his fifth Limited Sportsman feature win of the season. Jay Sundeen scored his second victory of the 2011 season in the TIS Modifieds. With his eighth victory on Thursday night Danny Field hopes to begin a new win streak in the Mini Stock division.

   In the special Tour type Modified 40 lapper that drew 15 cars Ryan Preece started on the outside pole and at the drop of the green jumped out ahead of pole sitter Keith Rocco and never looked back as he dominated the entire event, taking the checker over Mike Stefanik, Todd Szegedy, Rocco, Richard Savory and Steven Reed. Finishing a distant ninth was Gary Putnam who was driving a Modified that was being worked on by Kevin Manion, the crew chief of the disqualified car that Ryan Newman drove at Loudon.

   Preece had legendary car owner and engine builder Bobby Judkins in his pit area helping out. Judkins, who is Preece's grandfather, brought his famous 2x Modified to New England to compete in the Modified Racing Series events. Judkins has hundreds of victories to his credit with drivers Eddie Flemke Sr, Jerry Marquis and Gene Bergin behind the wheel.

   Rounding out the night was the PASS Super-Late Models that went the 100 lap distance. Johnny Clark of Hallowell, ME, took down the victory in the Pro All Star Series Super Late Model 100-lapper son. There was plenty of drama in the PASS National Championship event beginning with an incident in turn one of the opening lap. Top guns Jay Fogleman, Scott Chubbuck, Cassias Clark, Alan Tardiff, Preston Peltier and others were involved. The drama continued on lap 25 when Derek Ramstrom got alongside Mike Rowe in turn three in a battle for the lead. Ramstrom lost the handle on his #35 collecting Rowe in the process. Both cars retired from the event with damage.

   Lou Modestino advised that Doug Coby really had the other 23 Tour Type Modified drivers covered at Seekonk Speedway’s 7th Annual Open Wheel Wednesday 100 lap race. Taking the lead early on and holding off Matt Hirshman, Coby took the $10 grand first place money back to the Nutmeg State. The event has been a fan favorite since the inception of the race. Getting the leftovers were; Todd Annarummo, Mike Stefanik and Chris Pasteryak who placed third through fifth.

   Surviving three restart challenges, Randy Cabral (Bertrand 47) won the Northeastern Midget Association’s 25-lap feature at Seekonk Speedway’s Open Wheel Wednesday. It was the first win of the season for Cabral, the fourth winner in the last four NEMA races.

   The Stafford Motor Speedway took the brunt of the heat on Friday as temperatures were just shy of the 100 degree mark at race time. Stafford ran its biggest weekly race of the season, the 8th Annual CARQUEST SK 150. Keith Rocco took the checkered flag and the $3,500 winner's check for his third consecutive and sixth overall victory of the 2011 season, Dillon Moltz picked up his third win of the 2011 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his fourth win of 2011 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Carla Botticello picked up her first win of 2011 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Don Wood scored his third win of 2011 in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

   Rocco's win gave him 18 wins in 32 starts for the season, overall. Following Rocco at the finish was Woody Pitkat, Ryan Preece, Eric Berndt and Frank Ruocco. Among the missing was Ted Christopher who was in SuperModified competition at the Oswego Speedway in upstate New York where he finished seventh.

   Rocco now had 29 career victories at Stafford, moving him past Mike Christopher for third place on the all-time win list in the division at the track. Ted Christopher is the all-time leader with 94 victories and Bo Gunning is second with 47 wins.

   Among the missing in New England was Ted Christopher who took his show on the road to upstate New York. At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburg, NY Christopher moved the three-race old SuperModified of Clyde Booth steadily forward from his 12th starting spot, ran down early leader and former track record holder Robbie Summers on lap 21 of the 50-lap $3,200-to-win feature and then drove off into the night. He led Summers and Mark Sammut to the stripe by more than a straightaway with Chris deRitis and Tim Jedrzejek rounding out the top five.

   At the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco did what few have done as he made it three for three on the weekend, the second time this year that he has scored a home run! Rocco joined an elite group in early July, consisting of Richie Evans and Geoff Bodine who had similar weekend success during their racing careers. At the shoreline oval, the second generation racer now has four SK Modified features in a row.

   Vin Esposito took down the checkered flag in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, his second on the year. In Street Stock action, Michael Caprio Jr. wired the race in dominating fashion to claim his first career win in the division, while Ken Cassidy Jr. rounded out the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winners by taking his fifth win in the Mini Stocks this year. In the Legends Cars it was David Garbo Jr. taking his third consecutive win, and in the visiting New England Truck Series Corey Coates nailed down an extra-distance win.

   Following Rocco in the SK Modified feature was Rob Janovic who beat out Kyle James for second, with Tom Abele and Tyler Chadwick completing the top-five.

   The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine last weekend. Joe Doucette won his first ever VMRS race which drew only 18 cars. Chris Pasteryak finished second with Max Zachem, third. Rowan Pennink and Norm Wrenn rounded out the top five.

   Before a huge “Oxford 250” weekend crowd, pole-sitter and present point leader Pasteryak jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and appeared to be in cruise mode when a lap 62 caution flag brought the race leader back to the rest of the field. Up to that point, Les Hinckley and Dwight Jarvis staged a torrid second place battle until Doucette came into the picture and second place on lap 73. Doucette chased after Pasteryak, reeled him in, and made several attempts to pass the leader but the 2008 series champion was equal to the challenge. On lap 97, Doucette, with the huge crowd cheering on each pass attempt, finally was able to squeeze by Pasteryak, to go on and win his first ever VMRS race.

   The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC hosted a 100 lap NASCAR Modified event. Burt Myers started seventh in the random draw and had to slowly make his way toward the front. Jonathan Brown started first and led the first 84 laps, then Myers took the lead and held it the rest of the way. Dean Ward finished third and Burt's brother, Jason, was fourth.

   The Modified race had six cautions, and Burt Myers, who had his fastest qualifying lap of the season at 13.200 seconds, took the lead after the fifth caution. He also added to his season points lead on Tim Brown, who was 18th Saturday.

   At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Ron Silk won the 77 lap Baldwin-Evans-Jarzombek Memorial. The 77-lap modified race attracted 30 cars vying for 28 spots. Many non-regulars paid a visit as well as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors, who used the event as a warm-up for next week's Tour event. Among the Tour regulars was the most recent Tour winner Todd Szegedy, who by all accounts is not the biggest fan of Riverhead’s tight confines despite having won at another quarter-mile track (Monadnock Speedway in N.H.) earlier this year. Szegedy managed to turn in a strong performance finishing second behind another Tour driver, Ronnie Silk. Silk, winner of the May 27th Tour race at Stafford, put on a dominating performance after starting from the front row. Szegedy made a late run on Silk but was unable to complete the pass. Silk held on to win.

   The 61st running of the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200 was held at the Oswego Speedway in Oswego, NY and honored the memory of Modified great Richie Evans. Evans a three time winner of the Race of Champions in 1973, 79 and 80 was also recently nominated in to the NASCAR Racing Hall of Fame. Tara and Richie, Jr. were Grand Marshals at the race. Saturday marked the 61st running of the 200 and also would have been Richie Evans 70th birthday.

   Zane Zeiner held off Tony Hirschman in the closing moments to capture the 61st annual Race of Champions 200-lap modified special at the Lake Ontario shore speedway. Zeiner took the lead with 42 laps remaining and held on to grab the $10,000 top prize plus a good portion of the record $22,000 lap prize fund. Hirschman, who has won this event four times, had to settle for a close second at the checkers. Pole sitter Erick Rudolph finished third after an early spin with Lee Sherwood and Jimmy Zacharias completing the top five finishers.

   Kyle Busch won the 38th Annual TD Bank 250 at the Oxford Plains Speedway.

   In some sad news, Shirley J. (O'Rourke) Yerrington, 79, of 31 Trading Cove Circle, Norwich, beloved wife of the late Edwin F. Yerrington Sr., passed away last week. During Ed's tenure as General Manager of the Stafford Motor Speedway Shirley oversaw the press box.

   Carl Edwards dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway. The Sprint Cup series enjoyed the weekend off.

   ESPN announced that Allen Bestwick would replace Marty Reid for all Sprint Cup races, practices and qualifying. Reid would be the play-by-play announcer for Nationwide Series telecasts and ESPN's IndyCar coverage.

   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

Fred Luchesi                                          George Summers                                                Ollie Silva   

Ted Tappett                                             Charlie Centinaro                                           Richie Gallulo      

Looking Back Archive

SourcePhil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: July 27, 2012

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