The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith


August 3, 2012

   Sixty years ago in 1952, Fred Luchesi was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stu Eidell was the Claiming Car winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the Speedbowl with Bud Matter victorious in the Claimers.

   Fifty five years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc went two for two as he won Sportsman features at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Dean followed suit as he won non-Ford features on both nights at the shoreline oval.

   Fifty years ago in 1962, Bill Slater was the winner on dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. Charlie Webster was the Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday. Ed Moody was the winner in the Bombers.

   Forty five years ago in 1967, the month of August began with a Wednesday night visit by the All-Star League at the Fonda Speedway. Rene Charland took on the best in the business and in the end prevailed in the 100-lap event at the New York oval. Pete Corey finished second with Maynard Forrette, Jack Farquar and Frankie Schenieder rounding out the top five. At Stafford, on Friday night, Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took a hotly contested win in the nights Modified feature. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 finished second. Rounding out the top five were Leo Cleary, Sal Dee and Wild Bill Slater. Albany Saratoga ran a 150 lapper with Ernie Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Bill Wimble, Jerry Cook and Ed Patnoad. Rene Charland continued to be unbeatable at Fonda as he made it three in a row on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Ken Canistrary, third. Daring Dick Caso took the top spot in Modified competition at Waterford. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night. Steady Eddie Flemke, a master of the short tracks, took the win over Fred Harbach, Lou Lazzaro, Don MacTavish and Bill Wimble.

   Forty years ago in 1972, Ralph “Hop” Harrington, driving the Dick Armstrong No.1, won the Friday night 50 lapper at Seekonk. George Summers finished second with Ernie Gahan, Fred DeSarro and Ronnie Bouchard rounding out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, also on Friday night, Eddie Flemke took the win over Denis Giroux, Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Santos and Bernie Miller. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Leo Cleary, in the Mystic Missile, taking the win over Bugsy Stevens, Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Ernie Gahan. Dave Lape won on the dirt at Fonda over top guns Kenny Shoemaker, Jerry Cook and Lou Lazzaro. Glynn Shafer scored his third win at Waterford. At Islip, it was Charlie Jarzombek and at Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro beat out Richie Evans, Sonny Seamon and Jerry Cook. Lazzaro used the same car at Utica-Rome, which was paved, that he used at Fonda.

   Thirty five years ago in 1977, Westboro ran a 50-lap open competition event on Wednesday night. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Bugsy Stevens, John Rosati and Mike Weeden. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night. Bugsy Stevens scored a popular win as he beat out Geoff Bodine, Ray Miller and Ronnie Bouchard. Friday night at Riverhead saw Charlie Jarzombek win out over Wayne Anderson and Tom McCann. At Seekonk on Saturday, Bugsy Stevens made it two for two on the weekend as he won a 100 lapper over Ed Flemke, George Murray and George Summers. Geoff Bodine beat out Bob Polverari at Riverside and at Westboro, it was Pete Scwartz over Frank Kulhman. Rounding out the weekend was Sunday night at Thompson where Fred DeSarro scored another victory, Ray Miller finished second with Keith Williams and Dick Caso rounding out the top four. In other weekend action, Maynard Troyer went two for two as he won at Spencer and at Lancaster.

   Thirty years ago in 1982, Corky Cookman scored his biggest win as he took the victory in the Manchester Oil Heat 100 at Stafford. Charlie Jarzombek finished second with Ray Miller, third. Pre race favorite Greg Sacks was a dnf. with a flat tire. Monadnock ran an 82-lap event that saw Marty Radwick hold off Ronnie Bouchard and Dennis Albro for the win. In other Friday night action, Jerry Cook beat out Doug Hewitt at Spencer, Tony Siscone took a hotly contested win over Richie Evans at New Egypt and at Riverhead, Bill Park won the Thompson 300 qualifier. Waterford ran an 82 lapper on Saturday night. Randy LaJoie beat out veterans Jerry Pearl and Moose Hewitt for top honors. At Riverside, Bob Polverari took the win and at Seekonk, Eddie StAngelo won out over Ronnie Bouchard and Billy Clarke. George Brunnhoelzl won a Thompson 300 qualifier at Islip and Billy Griffin won out over Richie Evans and Doug Hewitt at Shangri-la. Bob Polverari backed up his Saturday night win at Riverside with a Sunday night win at Thompson. Corky Cookman finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third.

   Twenty five years ago in 1987, Jim Spencer mastered the Star Speedway as he won a 150 lap Featherlite Modified Tour Series event on Wednesday night. Jeff Fuller finished second with Mike McLaughlin, third. In SK-Modified action at Stafford on Friday night, Ronnie Rocco took the win over John Jensen and Richie Gallup. At Waterford on Saturday, Bob Potter scored his 75th career win at the shoreline oval. Harry Rice finished second with Dickie Doo Ceravolo, third. Reggie Ruggerio took a 100-lap win at Riverside over Mike Stefanik and Bob Polverari and at Shangri-La, Jim Spencer went two for two as he won the scheduled modified and Busch North Series events. Oswego ran a modified special on Sunday, which was won by Doug Hevron. Jan Leaty finished second with Brian Ross, Jamie Tomaino and George Brunnhoelzl rounding out the top five. Sunday night action at Thompson rained out.

   Twenty years ago in 1992, it rained out for the sixth time at Stafford. Double features were on tap at Waterford on Saturday night. Sharing the winners circle were Bob Potter and Moose Hewitt. Phil Rondeau recorded his seventh win of the season in Late Model action at the shoreline oval. Tommy Bolles unseated Jerry Marquis at Riverside as Dan Watts beat out Mike Ewanitsko at Riverhead. Jerry Cranmer got his sixth of the season at Wall Stadium and at Tioga, Ron Shepherd beat out Lee Sherwood for the win. Mike Mclaughlin was the Busch North Series winner at Holland and at Indianapolis Raceway Park; Joe Nemachek got his first NASCAR Busch Grandnational win.

   Fifteen years ago in 1997, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Thompson on Thursday night for a 150-lap event. Ricky Fuller, in the Art Barry 21, took the lead from Mike Ewanitsko on lap 89 and never looked back Mike Stefanik finished second with Reggie Ruggerio, Tom Cravenho and Tim Connolly rounding out the top five. Ewanitsko faded to 14th, one lap down. Friday night at Stafford saw Jim Broderick score his sixth win of the season in the SK-Modified division. Using Mopar power, Broderick took the lead on lap 35 of the 50-lap contest. Jeff Malave finished second with Ken Barry, third. Tucker Reynolds Jr. took the lead from Todd Ceravolo with two laps to go at Waterford on Saturday night. Ceravolo finished second with Jeff Pearl, third. Ted Christopher took the win at Riverside over Ted Riggot and at Riverhead, John Fortin won out over George Brunnhoelzl. Randy Lajoie won the Grandnational event at the Indianapolis Raceway Park and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ricky Rudd made a mileage run and walked off with the win and the $571,000 first prize. Bill Slater celebrated his birthday on August 4 and NASCAR Scorer Morris Metcalf celebrated his birthday on August 6.

   Ten years ago in 2002 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night. A temperature in the mid 90’s made the 200 lap contest a test of man and machine. It was a long hot summer day and night for just about everyone on hand, including the close to 6000 spectators. The speedway opened around 10:30 am for inspection and pit parking. Forty-five Modifieds were on hand. Eddie Flemke JR has had limited success at the Long Island oval up until now but last Saturday night was his night as he set fast time, 11.790 seconds, on the quarter mile. That was only the beginning as the second-generation driver pulled the pole and led all 200 laps. The Hills Enterprises- Ron Bouchard Auto Stores No.79 handled like it was on a wire. Early race pressure from Eddie Brunnhoelzl then late race pressure from John Fortin didn’t rattle Flemke who hugged the white line over the entire distance. Fortin finished second with Brunnhoelzl, third. Ted Christopher got in the event as a provisional and after starting 26th, drove a good heads up race to finish fourth. Rounding out the top five was Chuck Hossfeld, in the Mystic Missile. Nine cautions for 53 laps took their toll. Local runner David Roys went out after ten laps after being involved in an accident Tom Cravenho went the same route on lap 20. Riverhead Bad Boy, JR Bertuccio got a round of applause when he dropped out with a flat tire on lap 76 and Frank Vigliorolo dropped out on lap 100 with overheating problems. Many of the top tour runners were involved in minor skirmishes and thru no fault of their own ended up with poor finishes. David Berghman got caught in the pits as his crew made repairs and only completed 117 laps. Mike Stefanik had his ignition go south on lap139 and ended the night in 23rd spot. Stefanik was not a factor before the malfunction. Former modified Tour champion Wayne Anderson finished 22nd after his engine overheated. Anderson, then in his late 50’s, raced only at Riverhead. John Blewett III was hoping for a good night and had a solid top ten going when he got clipped and broke a steering arm. Blewett also got caught in the pits and was only able to complete158 laps for a 21st place finish. Todd Szegedy continues to dazzle the troops as he drove to a consistent seventh in the final rundown. Jerry Marquis had been leading the standings also had his problems with bent suspension parts and finished 20th, 30 laps down. Because of Marquis’ misfortune, Szegedy now led the point standings. While the night was good for some, it was a night of frustration for others, as 17 Modifieds didn’t qualify. Among those who didn’t make it were Carl and Charlie Pasteryak, Fred Vordermeier, Jake Marosz, Wade Cole, Renee Dupuis and Dave Etheridge, Mike Christopher, Jim Kuhn and Tony Ferrante Jr. It got real nasty at Stafford on Friday night as a severe thunder and lightning storm forced the Arute family to pull the plug on the evening’s racing. Waterford ran a 100 lapper for the SK-Modifieds on Saturday night which saw Ron Yuhas Jr take the lead with two laps to go and go on to win the event. Eric Berndt led most of the event but got snookered on the final restart when he held back and Yuhas went. Both drivers were trying to out-fox each other and Yuhas got the last laugh.

   Five years ago in 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors ended their summer break when they made their annual visit to the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Blue skies, 90 degree temps and high humidity greeted the 34 cars that showed for the 28 starting spots. The top seven qualified based on their time trial. Ted Christopher took the Busch Pole as he toured the quarter mile oval in 11.815 seconds. Second fastest was local veteran Bill Park. Howie Brode was third fastest. Other time trial qualifiers were Jerry Marquis, Tony Ferrante, Donny Lia and Mike Stefanik. Twenty five lap heat races were won by Jimmy Blewett and James Civale. Among the tour regulars who didn’t qualify were Woody Pitkat and Jake Marosz. Bob Grigas, who was qualified, was sent packing after he drove his car to his hauler before getting permission from tour officials. Among the missing was Zach Sylvester who reportedly had ceased his relationship with Curt Chase and the No.77.

   Mike Stefanik won the re-draw as he drew the pole starting spot. Ferrante drew the outside pole. Just as the Riverhead 140 was about to get the green some of the track lights in turn one went out.

   After a one hour delay the Riverhead event got under way. Don Lia and Bob Garbarino continued their golden year as they put another victory in their corner, their fifth in eight events. Lia inherited the lead when Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher were involved in a wreck in the closing laps and led the final six laps. It was a slam-bang affair as seven caution periods slowed the event for 66 laps. Bill Park ended up in second spot in the green-white-checkered finish. Ronnie Silk finished third, followed by Justin Bonsignore and James Civali. Danny Sammons, Matt Hirschman, Howie Brode, Jamie Tomaino and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10. Stefanik ended up 11th, Christopher was 15th. Stefanik led the first 116 laps after starting on the pole. Christopher used lapped traffic to get by him on lap 115, and Stefanik took the lead back again on lap 137 before the two clashed two laps later.

   The True Value Modified Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine. Kirk Alexander won with Mike Holdridge second and Ed Dachenhausen third. There were five lead changes. According to reports 30 cars were on hand and a big crowd witnessed the event. Jack Bateman was leading at the 75 lap mark when he ran over debris on the track and suffered a flat tire.
   In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway the temperatures were in the 90’s as Bert Marvin kept his cool as he took the win in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature. Marvin, who has the reputation of being a hot head at times, was coming off a one race suspension for un-sportsmanlike conduct.

   The hot and steamy weather was equaled only by the action on the track at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday night. Bert Marvin of Waterford made a strong statement returning to competition in style by dominating the Sunoco Modified main event. The veteran grabbed the lead early in the race and went on to dominate the 30-lap feature. On the opening lap, Kerry Malone dove to the inside of a side-by-side battle between pole sitter Dave Salzarulo and Josh Steeves to make it three-wide for the lead. Malone could not keep up his momentum and fell back to third. Marvin meanwhile appeared to be on rails, easily driving to the lead on lap three. Woody Pitkat had already worked his way into the second spot followed by Malone. John Blewett had his hands full holding off Keith Rocco for fourth. Jimmy Blewett, who got out of shape on the front stretch, had gathered it in and was running alone in sixth ahead of Tommy Cravenho. Marvin was enjoying a sizeable lead as Pitkat began to feel the pressure from Malone. Rocco got alongside John Blewett and was able to take away the fourth spot as the flagman showed the crossed flags. On the same lap, Jimmy Blewett retired to pit road. Rocco then made it a three car battle for the second spot. Marvin entered lapped traffic as Pitkat, Malone and Rocco ran nose-to-tail. John Blewett was able to reel in the group as well. Marvin easily maneuvered through lapped traffic, enjoying his half-straightaway lead. Malone made his bid for the second spot on lap 25. He got inside of Pitkat but could not muster up the pass. The bid opened the door for Rocco, who then got alongside Malone. The running order remained unchanged as the first caution of the event flew on lap 25 when Shelly Perry dumped fluid on the front stretch. Back under green, Marvin easily worked his way out to a solid lead over Pitkat. Malone resumed his defense of third position from Rocco. John Blewett quietly
watched from the fourth spot. While Marvin was running away with the lead, Rocco made a last ditch effort on Malone for third. He got out of shape trying to drive around Malone on the final lap. Rocco slid out of the groove losing positions to both John Blewett and Tommy Cravenho. In the end Marvin sat in victory lane. Pitkat helped pad his standing in the Whelen All-American National Standing with his runner-up spot. Malone, who sits third in the national standings finished third. John Blewett, and Tommy Cravenho completed the top five.

   Steve Michalski of Dayville won post-race tech to earn his first victory of the season in the Mini Stock 25-lapper. Fred Astle of N. Westport, MA, scored his long-awaited first win of the 2007 season. Mark Jenison of Danielson continues his impressive 2007 season with his fourth Late Model victory. Kurt Vigeant of Oxford was tops in the TIS Modified division while Ernie LaRose of Plainfield checkered the Limited Sportsman main.

   In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway Woody Pitkat was cool as a cucumber as he made it three in a row in SK Modified competition. Ryan Posocco made it two in a row in Late Model competition. Brit Andersen took down the SK Light feature win for his third win of the 2007 season, Sean Foster won the Limited Late Model feature for his third victory of 2007, and Dan Flannery scored his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE feature event.

   The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat continue his white hot summer streak with his third consecutive SK Modified feature victory. Todd Owen took the early race lead and led the first three laps. Jeff Malave moved past Owen on lap-4 to take the lead, but he was overtaken on lap-6 by Zach Sylvester for the race lead. Sylvester held the lead until lap-26 when Pitkat moved out front. A caution with 28 laps complete slowed the action, but Pitkat ran the final 12 laps of the race with no challenge from Frank Ruocco to take down the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Ruocco was Keith Rocco, Kenny Horton, and Eric Berndt.

   The Hartford Courant reported that the Arute family that operates the speedway was currently embroiled in some serious in fighting. Some of the children of former track owner Jack Arute Sr. claim they are owed a financial sum from the Speedway. Wayne Arute, David Arute, Rob Arute, Danny Arute and Heidi Howarth have filed a claim in Hartford Superior Court against Mark Arute, his wife and track vice president Lisa Arute, track president Jack Arute Jr. and Stafford Motor Speedway. Jack Arute Sr. died on April 3, 2006. The Arutes had owned and operated the Stafford Motor Speedway since 1971.

   In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl annexed his fifth win of the season in the SK Modified 35 lap feature. Pearl took the lead on lap five from Frank Mucciacciaro Jr and was able to hold Dennis Gada at bay in the closing laps. Rob Janovic finished third. Mucciacciaro and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five.

   Veteran Nokie Fornoro needed only a record six minutes and eight seconds to win the caution-free 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature. It was Fornoro's first Speedbowl win since 1985. Point leader Bruce Thomas Jr. prevailed in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Other winners were Dwayne Dorr (20-lap Sportsman) and Randy Churchill Jr. (Mini Stock 20 lapper). It was the first-ever win for Churchill.

   In Busch Series racing in Montreal Canada Marcos Ambrose should have won the race. Robby Gordon insisted he did. In the end, it was Kevin Harvick who celebrated the victory in the inaugural Busch race in Canada. It was a controversial finish that thrilled the crowd, infuriated NASCAR and jeopardized Gordon's participation in the Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Gordon refused to forfeit his position in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal when ordered to by NASCAR late in the race and officials said he intentionally knocked Ambrose out of the race, and then refused to pull off the track as ordered. He also celebrated as if he had won - behavior that is expected to earn him a suspension before the Nextel Cup event at Pocono. The finish capped a wild final few laps that heated up when Gordon began charging through the field to the front, where Ambrose seemed to be heading to his first NASCAR victory. Gordon was second on a restart with four laps to go, and a multi-car accident brought out a caution. Gordon passed Ambrose at the same time as the accident to take the lead, but Ambrose spun him to reclaim it seconds later. Gordon was idling sideways as the field roared by him, but he raced back to the front under yellow and gave Ambrose a retaliatory bump. He then tried to move into the lead because he thought he was in first - or at worst, second - when the caution came out. NASCAR instead ruled he was 13th, based on where Gordon was when he righted his car following the spin from Ambrose. He vehemently refused to move back, and NASCAR warned him they would not score him if he didn't forfeit his position. When the race resumed with three laps to go, Gordon was still holding second place but immediately spun Ambrose to take the lead. NASCAR then ordered him off the track. He refused that order, too, and led the field around the course for the final three laps. But NASCAR refused to acknowledge him, and waved the black flag at him every time he crossed the line. He finished 18th - based on the amount of laps he completed before he was disqualified - but Gordon celebrated as if he won by doing victory burnouts at the same time Harvick did Gordon wasn't being scored and Ambrose had faded back to seventh after being spun by Gordon. It put Andy Pilgrim into the lead, but Harvick raced his way past him and took Montreal native Patrick Carpentier with him.

   In Nextel Cup racing Kurt Busch's winless drought is over. Busch dominated Pocono Raceway from the opening lap on Sunday and raced his way back into championship contention, giving himself a perfect belated birthday gift: a trip to Victory Lane. A day after he turned 29, Busch snapped a 51-race losing skid that lifted him into the 11th and final spot of the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings with five races left until the championship races start. Busch, who had surged to 13th in the standings entering the Pennsylvania 500, led all but 25 laps and made his second career Pocono victory look easy. The 175 laps led was a Pocono record. The race didn't include Robby Gordon, who was suspended by NASCAR early Sunday morning for his conduct at the Busch Series race in Montreal a day before. Earnhardt was second and Denny Hamlin, who swept both races at Pocono last year, finished third. Points leader Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.

   Last year, 2011, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour traveled to Long Island for the Lighthouse Mission 200 at the Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway on Saturday, July 30. Justin Bonsignore converted his home-track advantage into his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. The 23-year-old from Holtsville, N.Y., drove away with the Lighthouse Mission 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.

   Bonsignore, who started on the outside pole of the 175 lap event, took the lead from pole sitter Howie Brode on lap 18 of the slam-bang event that produced 11 caution periods for 100 laps. Todd Szegedy finished second, followed by Ron Silk, Ryan Preece and Doug Coby. Rowan Pennink rebounded from an early wreck to finish sixth. Jamie Tomaino, Patrick Emerling, Bobby Santos and Richie Pallai rounded out the top 10. The finish allowed Silk to take the points lead by five over Pennink with nine races remaining.

   Fourteen of the original 28 starters finished on the lead lap. Among the notables who were down laps were Ted Christopher who started fourth and ended up seventeenth after an accident, Mike Stefanik completed only 85 laps, finishing 22nd and was listed as having a radio problem? Pole sitter Brode was eliminated on lap 69 after an accident as was Eric Rudolph. Other accident victims were Bryon Chew, Donny Lia and George Brunnhoelzl III.

   The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour now heads to Connecticut, Aug. 5 for the Town Fair Tire 150 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
With all that has been written about the recent disqualification of Ryan Newman at Loudon its plain to see that no one will admit that they actually cheated. In reality they did, as a matter of fact Newman and his team attempted to steal money that many teams of the Whelen Modified Tour Series desperately need. The main thing is, they got cough and paid the price, period!

   In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway the Mini Stocks took top billing with the running of the annual Mini Stock Northern Challenge. Danny Field continued his winning ways in the regular weekly division portion of the Challenge. Mark Panaroni scored the victory in the Mini Stock Northern Tour (MSNT) leg of the challenge. Chad Baxter scored one for the ‘home team’ as the overall winner of the Mini Stock Northern Tour Challenge.

   In regular NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Danny Cates held back some stiff competition to score his first Sunoco Modified victory of the season. Larry Gelinas won a barnburner in the Super Late Models. Rick Gentes was back to form in the Late Models; scoring the feature win. A dominating performance in the Limited Sportsman found Scott Sundeen in victory lane. What a difference a week made for TIS Modified winner Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT.

   With five laps remaining, Keith Rocco had caught the back bumper of Cates while Woody Pitkat ran tight to Rocco’s bumper. Exiting turn four Pitkat could get a run on Rocco but could not get the run up onto the straightaway. Cates entered heavy lapped traffic with two laps to go. The lead trio was nose-to-tail. Coming to the checkers, none of the cars would step out of line. Cates crossed the stripe for his first win of the season. Rocco finished second over Pitkat. In the closing laps, Rick Fuller was able to get by Ryan Preece for fourth. Preece had to settle for fifth.

   The Stafford Motor Speedway management cancelled Friday night's races because of impending rain.

   At the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco made it five in a row, nine for the season, in SK Modified action at the shoreline oval. Jeff Smith claimed his second win of the year in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Al Stone III scored his fourth win of the year in the Street Stocks and Chris Williams found victory lane following a late race incident in the Mini Stocks. Keith Botehlo of North Attleboro, MA was the NEMA Midget winner in a special Shane Hammond Memorial event, while Andy Barrows of New Ipswich, NH took the counterpart NEMA Lite feature win.

   In the 35 lap SK Modified feature Glenn Pressel took the early lead from his pole starting position. The action was hot from the drop of the green flag and by lap-3 contact was made in turn three among several cars, resulting in Joe Perry getting crossed up into the infield and Nichole Morgillo to become disabled on the backchute of lap-4 with suspension damage to her machine, drawing the first caution flag.

   Tyler Chadwick raced around the outside of Pressel on the restart, bringing Rocco ahead in the outside lane up to second position. Caution was back out on lap-5 after Randy Churchill and Perry both got together on the frontstretch ending with Perry disabled in turn one. Tight racing between Chadwick, Rocco and third place Rob Janovic ensued on the next stretch of green flag racing through lap-11. During that time, Rocco dogged Chadwick who defended against each attempt. Rocco made a stellar move entering turn three on lap-11 to challenge the inside of Chadwick and powered ahead off turn four to lead the lap. Matt Gallo spun off the backstretch as the field raced lap-12 to return the race under caution with Rocco scored as the new leader.

   Janovic’s top run ended on lap-13 when a flat right rear tire sent him spinning in turn two, creating another yellow situation. Rocco restarted well to get out front for an extended run of green flag racing. He distanced himself ahead of a battle for second between Chadwick, Tom Abele Jr. and Kyle James. Chadwick ultimately claimed the spot in the final ten laps, and had enough to keep with but not challenge Rocco. They went that way to the finish with Rocco taking his fifth consecutive win by a car length over Chadwick. Abele held off Mark Bakaj over the closing laps to take third, while Bakaj had to make a great save exiting the final corner to claim fourth. James was fifth.

   The Valenti Modified Racing Series was scheduled to complete a recently started event at the Stafford Motor Speedway. Impending rain forced Stafford to pull the plug on the event. In some sad news VMRS Director John Hoyt passed away on Friday.

   The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC was the scene of twin 50 lap NASCAR Modified action. In the first Modified race, Jonathan Brown took the lead from Burt Myers with a bump on Lap 43 and led the final seven laps for his first win of the year. Randy Butner won the second 50-lap Modified Division race Saturday night for his first win at Bowman Gray since 2007. Butner won the second race after starting second in the Madhouse Scramble draw. Kevin Wilson started on the pole and finished ninth. Butner had to hold off Danny Bohn, who finished second, and points leader Burt Myers, who finished third in the second race and second in the first. Burt Myers came all the way from 16th to finish third in the second race. Myers had to avoid a crash between Jason Myers and Joseph Brown on Lap 35 of 50. Joseph Brown got out of his car, walked down the front straightaway and held a fist toward Jason Myers' car. Myers swerved toward Brown, but nothing more came of it. Also, Burt Myers had to avoid a crash between Austin Pack and Tim Brown on Lap 36. Through it all, Burt Myers moved into third place.

   In Sprint Cup racing, Paul Menard became NASCAR’s newest first-time winner with an upset victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In Nationwide Series racing, Brad Keselowski stayed close to the leaders all night and then got the luck he needed when a late accident tightened the field and he ran strong on the two green-white-checkered laps at the end to win the NASCAR Kroger 200.

   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

Ernie Gahan                                                   Elton Hill                                                  Tony Mordino   

Skip Stone                                            Smokey Boutwell                                            Ken Canestrari        

Looking Back Archive

SourcePhil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: August 3, 2012

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