April 26, 2013
years ago in 1953, racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
rained out for the third week in a row.
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
Dick Beauregard was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty years ago in 1963, Jim
Luke won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Ken
Meahl finished second with Bobby Cain, third. Rene Charland and Lou Lazzaro
rounded out the top five. Ted Stack was the 50 lap Modified winner at the
New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Gladue was the Bomber winner.
Forty five years ago in 1968
the Fonda Speedway opened for the season with Eddie Pieniezek taking the win
over Jerry Cook and Ron Narducci. Ray Hendrick won the Spring 100 at
Martinsville. Steady Eddie Flemke, in the Bobby Judkins No.2x went two for
two as he won season openers at Norwood Arena on Saturday night and Thompson
on Sunday afternoon. In other northeast action, Don Diffendorf won the
season opener at Fulton Raceway in New York on Sunday and at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl Daring Dick Caso was the 30-lap Modified winner
while Bill Sweet made it two in a row in Late Model Daredevil action.
Forty years ago in 1973,
Stafford was running on Saturday nights. Ronnie Bouchard took the 30-lap win
over Bob Santos, Eddie Flemke, and Leo Cleary. Islip opened for the season
with Charlie Jarzombek taking the win over Jim Hendrickson and Fred Harbach.
Seekonk ran a 200 lapper on Sunday. Leo Cleary in the RGM 87 took the win.
Jerry Cook finished second and was followed by Freddie Schulz, Flemke and
Bugsy Stevens. George Allum made it two in a row as he won the Hot Wheels
100 at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
opening night at Stafford rained out. At Waterford Ron Bouchard made it two
in a row. Bugsy Stevens finished second and was followed by Moose Hewitt in
third. At Westboro, George Savory took the top spot over George Summers.
Down on the Island at Islip, Tom McCann was the big winner. At Thompson on
Sunday, Cleary in the Steve May no.15 out ran Fred DeSarro to victory. Ray
Miller, Bugsy Stevens and Freddie Schulz rounded out the top five. Other
weekend winners were Dunk Rudolph at Monadnock, Dave Thomas at Star and
Maynard Troyer at Fulton.
Thirty years ago in 1983, Stan
Greger won at Riverside on Saturday over Ray Miller and SJ Evonsion. Gil
Hearne scored his 70th career win at Wall Stadium and at Islip, Alan Harbach
held off Don Howe for the win. Waterford cancelled because of high water in
the infield. Thompson ran twin 30's on Sunday. Richie Evans won them both.
Twenty five years ago in 1988,
Bob Potter won at Waterford on Saturday. Ted Christopher finished second
with Dickie Doo Ceravolo, third. At Riverside, Charlie Pasteryak braved the
cold to get a well-deserved win and at Riverhead, Tom Baldwin won out over
Ed Brunnhoelzl. In SK modified action at Thompson, Ted Christopher and Bo
Gunning finished one-two. The Mod Tour traveled to Jennerstown, Pa., where
Reggie Ruggiero got his second tour win of the year. Jim Spencer finished
second and was followed by Brian Ross and Steve Park
Twenty years ago in 1993, Bo
Gunning was the Friday night SK-Modified winner at Stafford. At Waterford,
on Saturday night, Ricky Young came home the surprise winner after Ted
Christopher and Dennis Gada spun while fighting for the lead on the final
lap. Christopher, running second, made a move outside of Gada. Gada moved up
to block and subsequently hit Christopher. Both spun and crashed. Bob Potter
ended up in second spot. Bob Gegetskas won out over Dan Avery and Larry
Moore at Riverside and at the Riverhead Raceway, on Long Island, Tim
Contarino went pole to pole to win the 36 lap Modified feature. Jeff Malave
finished second with Ed Brunnhoelzl, third. The Featherlite Modifieds and
the Busch North Series were at Loudon on Sunday. With 16,000 fans looking
on, Reggie Ruggiero won the 125-mile contest. Mike Stefanik tried his
darndest but couldn’t muster a charge and ended up second. Doug Hevron
finished third with Tim Arre and Bob Park rounding out the top five. Jamie
Aube was the BNS winner. Kelly Moore finished second with Mike Mclaughlin
and Dave Reszendes following. Thompson ran SK-Modifieds on Sunday with Mike
Christopher taking the win over Tom Tagg and Lloyd Agor. Less than 1,000
spectators were on hand. In Winston Cup action at Talladega, Ernie Irvan
took the win over Jim Spencer and Dale Jarrett. Rusty Wallace took a mean
looking dump as he went end over end after getting some help from Dale
Fifteen years ago, in 1998, the
rained out Spring Sizzler at Stafford was finally run. Mike Stefanik took
the lead from Doug French on lap 134 of the 200-lap event and held off Tim
Connolly for the win. Tony Ferrante Jr. finished third with Jan Leaty and
Carl Pasteryak rounding out the top five. In a post race interview Stefanik
said he felt that Ed Flemke Jr. didn’t give him a fare shake as he attempted
to pass him. Mike Christopher was the 40 lap SK-Modified winner. In other
weekend action, Waterford was fogged out; Riverside Park hosted the Busch
North Series on Saturday night where Tom Carey took the win over Kelly Moore
and Jerry Marquis. Dan Avery was the modified winner. Bill Park took the
checker at Riverhead and was disqualified when a post race inspection
revealed an illegal clutch in his car. John Fortin was awarded the win and
Ed Brunnhoelzl moved up to finish second.
Ten years ago in 2003 opening
night at Stafford rained out. It cleared out on Saturday as Riverhead opened
for the season with a 50 lapper. JR Bertuccio took the win over Joe Hartmann
and John Fortin. At Waterford, Dennis Gada picked up his first win of the
season beating out Jeff Pearl, Rob Janovic and Ed Reed Jr. Frank Polimedia
won out at Wall Township with Jimmy Blewett, second. In Winston Cup action
at Richmond, Terry Labonte took the pole. Jerry Nadeau crashed hard during
Happy Hour. He spun between turns one and two, and then hit the wall on the
driver’s side. Nadeau, who had to be cut from the car and life starred to
the hospital received severe head injuries which, for all intents, ended his
racing career. Joe Nemechek was the Winston Cup winner with Bobby Labonte
finishing second. The event went 392 of the scheduled 400 laps because of
rain. A major confrontation erupted in the pit area after Jeff Green and
Kevin Harvick tangled and Green ended up getting wrecked. Both drivers, in
cars owned by Richard Childress, verbally assaulted each other over what
happened, plus Green argued with Childress. The end result was that Green
ended up getting fired from his ride.
Five years ago in 2008, The
Stafford Motor Speedway opened for the season under sunny skies with
qualifying for the annual Spring Sizzler, an event that has run continuously
since 1972 featuring the NASCAR Modifieds. Thirty five Modifieds were on
hand for qualifying for the 200 lap event that carried a purse of $94,676.
Ted Christopher got a little closer to the 100 feature win mark as
he won his 98th career win at the nutmeg oval as he won the 200 lap Spring
Sizzler. Christopher pitted after Wade Cole spun on lap 141. Restarting in
12th spot, Christopher made a determined march to the front. He broke into
the top five by lap 156 after Kevin Goodale spun. By lap 167 Christopher had
moved into second spot, turning up the heat on leader Eric Beers.
Christopher put Beers away on lap 172 and never looked back. Beers ended up
in second spot and was followed by Chuck Hossfeld, Mike Stefanik and James
Civali. Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennink, Richard Savory, Jamie
Tomaino, Todd Szegedy and Glen Tyler.
Ryan Preece, who became the youngest Coors Light Pole Award winner
on Saturday, led 64 laps in the event but exited the race on lap 91 while in
the lead with engine failure.
Numerous cautions, 13 for 71 laps, slowed the event and at one
point the event had to be red flagged. It was on lap180 after Jimmy Blewett
made a hard impact with the SAFER barrier in Turn 1. He climbed out of the
vehicle then expressed displeasure at Matt Hirschman before taking his
mandatory ambulance ride. Blewett's 19 car was briefly airborne and needed
the double hook to be removed from the track.
In SK Modified action Rob Summers took the 40 lap feature over Woody Pitkat
and Chris Jones. Keith Rocco, Doug Coby and Jimmy Blewett followed. Among
those in the field was Steve Reed who was one of the top runners at the now
closed Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey. Reed finished eighth.
The Waterford Speedbowl continued its regular Saturday night
schedule. Dennis Gada charged from a 20th-place starting spot to pass Jeff
Pearl with 10-laps remaining to win the 35-lap SK Modified at the shoreline
oval It was the second victory of the season for the 6-time champion.
Following Gada across the line was Ron Yuhas Jr, Keith Rocco, Pearl, and,
SK Modified driver Ron Yuhas Jr. took the first Late Model win of
his career. Starting deep in the field, he passed early leader Ed Reed Jr.
following a late-race caution. Defending champion Bruce Thomas Jr. slipped
past Reed for second. Completing the top-5 were Marc Curtis, and, Tim
Other feature winners were Chuck Rodgers (Sportsman), Ben Bargnesi
(Mini Stocks), and, Michael Gervais Jr. (Legends).
The True Value Modified Series moved to the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, NH for an event on Saturday night. Point leader and defending
series champion Kirk Alexander returned to his home race track, started last
in a 26 car field, passed cross town rival Rob Goodenough on lap 86, to win
the” Bond Auto Parts 100” in front of a near capacity crowd at the fast high
banked quarter mile oval. The True Value Modified Racing Series event was
Alexander’s 28th career victory and his third season opening win at the
track known as “Mad Dog”.
Pole sitter Chris Pasteryak set a torrid pace holding off the
constant challenges of 2007 Rookie of the Year, Peter Jarvis, Jarvis stayed
within striking distance of Pasteryak with Bryan Shumway last years winner,
Les Hinckley and 2006 champion Dwight Jarvis in hot pursuit. By lap 20,
Danbury CT ’s Ed Dachenhausen worked his way into fifth and ran strong until
a late race mishap would force him to the sidelines. The race pace was fast
early on with the first of six caution flags not displayed until lap 38 for
a Chris Wenzel spin. The Holyoke , MA . veteran was able to rejoin the race
which stayed under green until lap 54 when a David Pinkham and Jon McKennedy
spin drew the caution. On the restart, Peter Jarvis vaulted into the top
spot and held it until lap 66 when Goodenough powered by. At this point,
Alexander was fast making his move to the front and by lap 70, the
three-time champion was in third and quickly closing in on Jarvis. Lap 73
saw Alexander pass Jarvis setting up a great battle with Goodenough for the
top spot. A caution period slowed the pace on lap 85 resulting in Alexander
motoring by Goodenough on the restart lap. The two former Monadnock
pro-stock standouts raced hard and clean often side by side bringing the
crowd to it’s feet several times. When the checkers dropped on the 100th
circuit, Alexander’s margin of victory was a car length and a half over
Goodenough. Goodenough, Pinkham, Dwight Jarvis, Peter Jarvis, Hinckley, Mike
Holdridge, Pasteryak, Dale Evonsion, and Rookie of the Year contender Kenny
White Jr, rounded out the top ten.
Tony Stewart held off Dale Earnhardt Jr's last-lap charge to win
the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday for his first career victory at
Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Stewart started from the pole, led 81 of
the 117 laps, and sat comfortably out front in the waning laps with
Earnhardt on his rear bumper. Caution came out with five laps to go for
debris, setting up a two-lap sprint to the finish. They raced nose-to-tail
for the first lap, then Earnhardt pulled out of line to make his charge. But
Earnhardt didn't have enough momentum and didn't get the help he needed to
race past Stewart. It allowed Stewart to go virtually unchallenged for the
final lap, as Earnhardt faded to sixth. David Stremme finished second, his
best result since he finished second in Milwaukee in 2004. Bobby Hamilton
Jr. was third. The race was slowed by eight cautions for 27 laps, including
a 12-car accident that brought a red flag stoppage of 25 minutes.
The accident happened when Kevin Lepage pitted for a loose wheel
under green and blended back onto the track right ahead of the field as the
pack headed into the first turn. He wasn't at the same speed, and the cars
couldn't avoid running over him. The first wreck occurred 10 laps in when
Dario Franchitti lost his right rear tire, hit the wall and spiraled down
the track. He was on the apron when his car was T-boned by Larry Gunselman.
Both drivers were transported to a hospital for observation, and X-rays
showed Franchitti broke his left ankle.
In Sprint Cup action at Talladega Kyle Busch came back from a lap
down for his first win which was won under caution when a 12-car accident
brought out the yellow flag on the final lap. It froze the field and allowed
Busch to slowly make his way across the finish line. Juan Pablo Montoya
finished second to match his career best on an oval since moving to NASCAR
midway through 2006. Denny Hamlin, Busch's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing,
Last year, 2012, The Stafford
Motor Speedway cancelled its May 4 Opening Night racing program due to the
forecast of showers and thunderstorms that lasted throughout the day and
into the evening.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco made it four out of six in
the SK Modifieds, while Mike Caprio won the night's special extra-distance
Street Stock feature. Those victories came as Waterford Speedbowl played
host to a six-division race program Saturday evening as part of the
shoreline oval's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule. It was Rocco's
40th career win in an SK Modified at the shoreline oval. Tom Abele finished
second, followed by Nichole Morgillo, Jeff Pearl and Tyler Chadwick.
Other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winners included Ken
Cassidy Jr. who won his fifth Mini Stock race out of six on the year and
Corey Barry who was named the winner in the SK Light Modified feature. Matt
Pappa was the night's Legends Cars feature winner and Dan Butler won another
Super X-Car race.
Rocco had to overcome adversity to pick up his fourth victory of
the six SK Modified events at the Speedbowl. He received damage in a lap-7
wreck that involved his brother Jeff Rocco and Diego Monahan. Keith Rocco
was third in the running order on lap 19 when under another caution flag, he
ducked to the pits to make repairs to his car. Rocco restarted in the rear
and made a determined charge to the front setting up for the final five lap
run to the checkered flag.
Rocco dogged Abele looking for a way around. Headed into turn one
on lap-32, Rocco made a bold inside bottom shot on Abele. With two wheels on
the apron and two wheels in the grass he made the move stick and raced out
of turn two with the lead. A stunned Abele fought back, getting to Rocco’s
rear bumper in turn three a determined Rocco was able to hang on to the
lead. From there he went on to the win.
A surprise entry in the SK Lite division was 72 year old former Track
Modified Champion Dickie Doo Ceravolo. Just out to have some fun, Ceravolo
The sparks flew on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead
Raceway. Twin 30's for the Modified were run with Tim Solomito winning both.
Ted Christopher crashed out of the first feature and never made it out for
the night cap.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, Tim Brown
pulled off a pass from the outside and went on to claim his 59th career
victory in the featured Modified Division. Robert Jeffreys won the second
25-lap Modified race after a tangle between Brad Robbins and visitor Jimmy
Blewett left both out of contention. Jeffreys matched Alfred Hill, at age
67, as the oldest winners of a feature race at Bowman Gray.
Brown started from the outside on the front row, beside pole winner
Lee Jeffreys, and took the lead on the opening lap. Lee Jeffreys, the
fastest in qualifying with a lap of 13.276 seconds (67.8 miles per hour) on
the quarter-mile track, appeared to have successfully held off Brown at the
start. But Brown pulled ahead on the backstretch and led the rest of the
way. Lee Jeffreys finished second, and Burt Myers was third.
Brown, an eight-time Bowman Gray champion who finished in the top
five just once in the first seven races in 2011, followed a third-place
finish in the season opener with his victory.
Robbins started from the pole in the second Modified race, but
Blewett, driving for Hillbilly Racing, maneuvered his way to the lead in the
opening lap. Robbins kept the pressure on Blewett with bumps and shoves, and
Blewett went spinning on the 18th lap. One lap later, Blewett sent leader
Robbins spinning, and Robert Jeffreys took the lead for good. Ronnie Clifton
finished second, and Jason Myers was third.
Joey Logano got the best of Kyle Busch heading to the checkered flag to win
Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega
On the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish following a
massive crash that involved eight cars and sent Eric McClure by helicopter
to the University of Alabama Birmingham hospital, Logano helped Busch hold
off the two-car tandem of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Cole Whitt and then pulled
out at the last second and beat Busch to the checkered flag by a mere .034
In Sprint Cup action at Talladega, Brad Keselowski used a big push
from Kyle Busch to pass leader Matt Kenseth, and after leaving the Daytona
500 winner in their wake, Keselowski staved off Busch's attempt to snatch
the win. Using a move Keselowski said he had dreamed about, he held on for
his second win of the season and second at Talladega.
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail:
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