May 10, 2013
years ago in 1953, Red Foote made it two in a row in Sportsman
competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter was the
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl went two for two in the rain.
Fifty years ago in 1963 Mr.
Rene Charland took the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman win at the Utica-Rome
Speedway. Lou Lazzaro finished second with Tom Kotary, third. Jim Luke and
Jeep Herbert rounded out the top five. Racing at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl was cancelled due to cold conditions.
Forty five years ago, in 1968,
the action was hot and heavy at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway where Rene
Charland held off charging Don MacTavish for the win. Bernie Miller finished
third with Dave Kotary and Ed Pieniezek rounding out the top five. At
Stafford, Bugsy Stevens took the top spot over Jack Malone, Bill Slater, Lou
Toro and Joe Trudeau. Saturday night action at Norwood and Fonda rained out.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Newt Palm was the 30 lap Modified winner. Bugs
Stevens made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Thompson on Sunday
afternoon. Sunday night racing at Utica-Rome fell victim to rain.
Forty years ago in 1973,
weekend action began Friday night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta,
N.Y., where Fred DeSarro took the win over Eddie Flemke. On Saturday, at
Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard came from deep in the field to make it three in a
row. Don Flynn finished second. Dan McNamara won at Islip over Charlie
Jarzombek and Jim Hendrickson. George Allum took his third Modified win at
Waterford. In Sunday action at Lee, Bugsy Stevens led the way over Freddie
Schulz, Moose Hewitt and Bob Santos. Utica-Rome and Tioga rained out.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
Geoff Bodine made it two in a row in Friday night action at Stafford. Bugsy
Stevens finished second and was followed by Ronnie Bouchard and Leo Cleary.
Bodine ended up going three for three as he also won at Seekonk on Saturday
and at Thompson on Sunday. At Waterford, Dick Dunn beat out Blaine Belz and
at Westboro, Joe Howard took the win. Other weekend winners were Maynard
Troyer at Spencer and George Kent at Fulton.
Thirty years ago in 1983, the
weatherman won at Stafford as it rained. At Waterford on Saturday, Joe
Tiezzi won out over Glynn Shafer and Ted Christopher. At Riverside, it was
Mike Stefanik and at Islip, Fred Harbach was still winning. George Kent won
out over Richie Evans at Spencer and at Tioga, Kent slipped to third behind
Evans and Jim Spencer. In Winston Cup and Grandnational action at Dover
Downs, Ricky Rudd took the GN win and Bobby Allison won the WC 500
Twenty five Years ago in 1988,
the weatherman got another at Stafford. Richie Gallup got his third win at
Waterford over Larry Lanphear and Bob Potter. At Riverside, Jerry Marquis
took the win and in Modified Tour Series action at Indianapolis Raceway
Park, Mike McLaughlin earned a victory over Jeff Fuller and Reggie Ruggiero.
Fred Harbach won at Riverhead and at Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard took the win.
Twenty years ago in 1993, Rick
Donnelly got his first Stafford win. Bob Potter finished second and was
followed by Mike and Ted Christopher. A.J. Foyt officially retired from Indy
Car racing after making one final lap around the fabled Brickyard. Bob
Potter scored his 89th career win at Waterford on Saturday night over Mark
Lajunesse and Larry Lanphear. Ron Rocco was going for second spot until
getting walled by Jim Dolan who never turned when they entered turn three.
Cris Kopec got his first win at Riverside after rookie Jim Houghton was
disqualified with illegal gears. Bob Park won at Riverhead and in BGNN
action at Monadnock, Robbie Crouch took the win over Kelly Moore and Mike
McLaughlin. In Winston Cup action at Sears Point, Geoff Bodine survived a
vicious hammering from Ricky Rudd to take the win.
Fifteen years ago in 1998, Curt
Brainard scored his first ever win at Stafford. In his 112th try, Brainard
took the lead on lap three and led to the checker at the 50-lap mark. Steve
Chowanski finished second with Mike Christopher, Chris Jones and Frank
Wainwright rounding out the top five. Matt Kobyluck was running a Pro Stock
when he crashed hard and suffered a broken shoulder blade and numerous
broken ribs. At Waterford on Saturday night, Rick Donnelly survived 13
cautions to win the 35-lap feature that took over an hour to run. Tucker
Reynolds finished second and was followed by Bert Marvin, Dennis Gada and
Mike Gada. Allen Coates was the late model winner. Coats’ win was the 198th
for engine shop, Larry’s Automotive. Jim Broderick scored his first win at
Riverside Park. Ed Spiers, Richie Gallup, Ted Riggot and Brad Hietella
followed. Howie Brode scored his first ever win at Riverhead as he won out
over George Brunnhoelzl. The NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth for a 100 lapper. Mike Stefanik took
the win after a tough battle with Tom Baldwin and Ed Flemke Jr. Dan Avery
finished fourth with Jamie Tomaino rounding out the top five. Tim Fedewa won
the Busch Series event that was also run at the Pennsylvania oval. Dale
Earnhardt Jr was a pre-race favorite but got wrecked after a pit stop. Randy
Lajoie wasn’t too happy with Buckshot Jones after being dumped into the
wall. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Mark Martin won the Winston after
Jeff Gordon ran out of gas on the last lap. Jeremy Mayfield won the Winston
Ten years ago in 2003 The
NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Nazareth, Pa. Ted
Christopher was the class of the field as he won the 100-lap event that was
extended to 107 laps because of a late race caution. Christopher and Busch
Pole sitter John Blewett III were the only leaders in the event that was
slowed by 8 caution periods for 47 laps. It was Christopher’s race to lose
as he had the dominant car for just about the entire distance. Christopher
led the first 94 laps before giving way to Blewett who led only laps 95
through 97 before Christopher took charge for good. It was Christopher’s
second Modified tour victory of the year as he had previously won the Spring
Sizzle at Stafford. Blewett finished second. Eddie Flemke, who has had a
string of bad luck, got the monkey off his back with a strong run, which
placed him third at the finish. Nevin George and Todd Szegedy rounded out
the top five. Thirty-eight cars were on hand, a little light considering the
event. Not to insult anyone but there were at least eight cars that didn’t
belong in the field. Based on his strong second place finish, John Blewett
III took over the point lead from Chuck Hossfeld. Hossfeld crossed the
finish line in 8th spot but was placed last, 19th, on the lead lap for
jumping the final re-start. Hossfeld had now slipped to fourth in the
standings. Trailing Blewett by one point was Todd Szegedy. Christopher moved
up into third and Jerry Marquis sat in fourth. Ted Christopher had a busy
weekend for himself. In addition to racing at Nazareth, he competed at
Stafford on Friday night where he finished sixth after qualifying through
the consolation and on Saturday night at Waterford he finished third in a
rough night at the shoreline oval. At Stafford, Brad Hietala passed Jim
Civali on a lap 30 re-start and went on to take the victory in the 50 lap
main event. Hietala started in seventh position. Mike Holdridge finished
second with defending track champion, Bo Gunning, finishing third. Civali
finished fourth with Jay Miller rounding out the top five. Rookie Curt
Lenahan started on the pole and captured his first ever win at Waterford on
Saturday night. For the most part, many of the heavy hitters in the modified
ranks were collected in wrecks, which were the norm at the shoreline oval.
Jay Miller survived to finish second with Ted Christopher, third. Ron Yuhas
Jr. and John Brouwer Jr. rounded out the top five. The Busch North Series
was at the Lake Erie Speedway where Andy Santerre took the win over Mike
Johnson and Mike Stefanik. Kelly Moore was the pole sitter and led the early
going before losing two laps when he cut down two tires and had to pit.
Moore ended up 16th. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson took
the lead from Jeff Gordon on lap three of the final 20 lap leg of The
Winston and went on to score the win. Kurt Busch finished second. In Busch
Series action at Nazareth, Ron Hornady took the win after leading 148 of the
200-lap distance. Brian Vickers finished second with Mike Bliss, third.
Five years ago in 2008, gas
prices ranged from $3.75 to $4.00 per gallon. The Stafford Motor Speedway
fell victim to rain for the second week in a row. The New England DODGE
DEALERS LATE MODEL 100 was. The Arute family that owns and operates Stafford
announced that NASCAR New England, the hour long Television production that
covers the weekly racing would be back on NESN for ten episodes during the
2008 season. The tentative starting date would be in late June.
The Waterford Speedbowl enjoyed another good night of competition
with Keith Rocco making it two in a row in SK Modified competition. Rocco
took the lead from Jay Miller with 13 laps remaining in the 35 lap feature.
Miller faded shortly after as Jeff Pearl moved into the second spot. Pearl
tried repeatedly to overtake Rocco but was forced to back out of it when it
became obvious that Rocco would wreck anyone who attempted to pass. Rather
than wrecking Pearl made a smart decision to settle for second spot. Rob
Janovic finished third and was followed by Ron Yuhas Jr and Tyler Chadwick.
In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. recording his third
feature of the season. Thomas battled with Ron Yuhas Jr. during the last
half of the event before finally getting the advantage as the two approached
lapped traffic and Thomas was able to sneak-by on the inside. Following
Yuhas was Tim Jordan, Vin Esposito, and Ed Reed Jr. Other Feature winners
were Walt Hovey Jr. (Sportsman), Randy Churchill (Mini Stock), Jason Palmer
(Legends), and Randy Cabral (NEMA Midgets).
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and the True Value Modified
Series were in the middle of their “Spring Break”. To date both series had
enjoyed good counts despite the high costs of traveling. The Whelen
Modifieds have had 41 Modifieds enter into competition while the TVMS has
had 39. With the two major series on break the All Star Speedway in Epping,
NH hosted a special 100 lap open competition event for Modifieds. Mike
Stefanik took the win over Andy Seuss and Ron Silk. The event drew 31 cars.
Wayne Anderson won Saturday nights NASCAR Modified feature at the
Riverhead Raceway just one week after a hard crash on opening night.
Anderson started on the pole and led every lap.
Kyle Busch won the battle of attrition Saturday night as one of
NASCAR's least popular drivers overcame a pit-road penalty and several
scrapes with the wall to win the Sprint Cup Dodge Challenger 500 at
Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Carl Edwards finished second, Jeff
Gordon was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr finished fourth.. Tony Stewart had
never won at Darlington before, but he was dominant Friday night in gliding
to victory in the Nationwide Diamond Hill Plymouth 200, the first race on
the track's repaved surface.
Last year, 2012, The Stafford
Motor Speedway was the scene of some pre-Memorial Day fireworks as Ryan
Preece and Keith Rocco slugged it out in SK Modified competition. In the
end, Woody Pitkat was the winner of a wild and thrilling 40-lap SK Modified®
feature event, Mark St. Hilaire was the a first time winner in the 30-lap
Late Model feature, Tyler Hines was a first time winner in the 20-lap SK
Light Modified feature, and Josh Wood scored his third consecutive Limited
Late Model feature victory of the 2012 season in the 20-lap feature. Albert
Saunders drove to victory in the extra distance 20-lap DARE Stock feature to
score his second consecutive feature victory.
In the SK Modified 40 lapper first it was Preece and Frank Ruocco
fighting for the lead then it was Preece and Rocco. The duel between Ruocco
and Preece ended with 20 laps complete as the two cars made contact in turn
1 with Ruocco’s car hitting the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out. Preece
was sent to the rear of the field by NASCAR Officials for the contact with
Ruocco. Rocco took the lead on lap 29 and set the stage for round two of the
night's battle. On a lap 36 restart, Rocco and Preece raced side by side for
2 laps with Preece the leader at the line before Rocco got cleared of Preece
on lap-38. Preece made a last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag and
he made contact with Rocco’s car, which resulted in Rocco spinning. Preece
took the checkered flag first, but he was penalized to the last car on the
lead lap by officials for the contact with Rocco, making Pitkat the winner.
Dave Gervais came home in second, with Ted Christopher, Danny Cates, and
Matt Galko rounding out the top-5.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco didn't miss a beat despite
taking a week off to race in a Whelen Modified Tour event at the Monadnock
Speedway in New Hampshire as he went two for two scoring wins in the SK
Modified and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models at the shoreline oval. Dan
Darnstaedt won the Street Stock feature race and Ken Cassidy Jr. continued
his domination of the Mini Stock division, winning his seventh race on the
season. The INEX Legends Cars and Bandoleros joined the NASCAR race program,
with Dana Dimatteo and Derek Debbis winning the respective divisions.
Rocco mastered the last restart attempt to pull ahead of Rob
Janovic who got in line in second. Janovic got to the leader’s rear bumper
in turns three and four on lap-32 however could not pull alongside. Rocco
went on to the win, his fifth on the year. Janovic was second, while Keith’s
twin brother Jeff ended a solid run in third place. Tom Abele and Tyler
Chadwick each rebounded from spins to place fourth and fifth.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, twin 25 lap Modified
features were run. Tim Brown posted his 60th career victory as he won the
opener. Burt Myers was second, and his brother, Jason Myers, was third.
Newcomer Dean Ward won the nightcap. Austin Pack finished second, and Junior
Miller was third.
Ron Silk, the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion walked away
the winner in the Richie Evans Hall Of Fame 100 for the NASCAR Modifieds at
the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
A picture perfect day set the backdrop for a full slate of racing
action at Thompson International Speedway that featured the Modified Racing
Series and six divisions of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action on
Sunday. A caution-filled main event saw Rowan Pennink as the survival of the
fittest to post the victory.
Ryan Preece led only the checkered flag lap in the Sunoco Modifieds
to score the feature event win. Last year’s TIS Modified track champion, Cam
McDermott made the step up to the Lite Modified division in winning style.
Marc Palmisano came on strong in the waning laps of the Late Model event to
claim the victory. Art Moran III was tops in Limited Sportsman division
while Mike Gorgievski earned the victory in the Mini Stocks. John
Lowinski-Loh, Jr. scored his first career TIS Modified feature victory.
Pennink of Huntington Valley, PA, outlasted the competition in a
Modified Racing event that was marred by 11 cautions. Ted Christopher and
Pennink waged a great battle for the lead in the early stages of the main
event that saw 35 cars take the green flag. Christopher held the point and
held back advances of Pennink. Christopher held Pennink at bay on countless
restarts as attrition built. Pennink made what turned out to be the winning
move on lap 34 when he dove to the inside of Christopher to take the lead.
Shortly after, Christopher retired from the event. In the late stages of the
race, Pennink had to hold off the persistent challenges of Richard Savary. A
bobble by Savary with 10 laps to go looked as if Pennink may find some
comfort in the last dash to the checkers. Savary was quick to recover;
however, running down Pennink again with five laps remaining. Pennink was
solid over the final laps to post his victory. The win was his fifth with
the Modified Racing Series. Savary came home in second. Geoff Gernhard had a
career night to finish third. Point leader Jon McKennedy and Mike Holdridge
completed the top five.
A surprise ending in the Sunoco Modified main event found Ryan
Preece in victory lane. Todd Ceravolo, who had led since the early stages of
the event got loose exiting turn four on the final lap. With nowhere to go,
Preece clipped the sliding #31 of Ceravolo. The resulting spin gave Preece
the victory. Kerry Malone came home second followed by Keith Rocco. An
eventful day ended with a fourth-place finish for Ted Christopher. Ceravolo
had to settle for fifth.
New Englander Bobby Santos had a successful weekend racing in the
mid-West. An early-race restart gave Santos the opening he wanted to see and
the Franklin, Massachusetts drivers never looked back en route to dominating
Saturday night’s inaugural Hall of Fame Classic Traxxas Silver Crown race at
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Jimmie Johnson had the fastest car and the perfect strategy
Saturday night to win the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Johnson won the first of four 20-lap segments to secure a spot near the
front of the field for the final 10-lap shootout, and then pulled away from
Matt Kenseth and Brad Keslelowski to win the $1 million race.
Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
dominated Sunday’s Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 for his third consecutive victory at
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
Tony Mordino - Russ Faust
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit