October 11, 2013
Sixty years ago in 1953
Ray DeLisle won the season ending 100 lap Modified event at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Delisle was forced to share the winning prize
money with Red Foote whom he had dumped in order to take the lead. Bud
Matter was the non-Ford feature winner. Ted Swaim was the winner of the
third annual Race of Champions at the Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
at the Race of Champions in Langhorne, Pa., Jim Delaney took the win and
Dutch Hoag finished second. Langhorne was a one-mile dirt circle dirt track.
Red Foote won the 25 lap Sunday afternoon Modified feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty years ago in 1963, Dutch
Hoag took the win in the 100 mile Race of Champions at the Langhorne
Speedway. Budd Olsen finished second and was followed by Wally Dallenbach,
Ralph Smith, Neil Haight, Lou Lazzaro and Kenny Shoemaker.
George Pendergast made it two in a row at te New London-Waterford Speedbowl
as he won the season ending 25 lap Modified feature at the shoreline oval.
Dick Caso was the Bomber winner.
Forty five years ago in 1968,
Dutch Hoag won the Race of Champions at Langhorne Pa. It was his fifth win
at the historic oval that went from dirt to asphalt in 1965. Following Hoag
at the finish was Bobby Gearhart, Chuck Boos, Bugsy Stevens and Gene Bergin.
Sixth through tenth were Don McTavish, Sammy Beavers, Bill Strosahl, Al
Tasnady and Roger Treichler. The event was not NASCAR sanctioned. NASCAR
sanctioned the Albany-Saratoga Speedway and a 100-lap double point event was
run to keep the NASCAR drivers from going to Langhorne. Eddie Flemke took
the win over Bob Bruno, Rene Charland, Ernie Gahan and Ron Narducci.
Thompson also ran and it was Lou Austin taking the win.
A Sunday afternoon modified event scheduled by the Lee Raceway in
New Hampshire was rained out.
Don Collins was the Sunday afternoon Modified winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Wayne Smith was the Daredevil winner.
Forty years ago in 1973, the
Northeast racing season had ended and race teams were getting ready for
their annual trip to Martinsville.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
Thompson ran a 50 lapper which was won by Ray Miller. Kenny Bouchard
finished second and was followed by George Summers, Bobby Clarke, Dick Dunn
and Freddie Schulz. At Hickory, N.C., Geoff Bodine took the win over Richie
Evans, Jerry Cook and Wayne Anderson.
Thirty years ago in 1983 was
another off weekend.
Twenty five years ago in 1988,the modified tour was at Rougemont,
N.C. Ricky Fuller took the win over Tom Baldwin, Jamie Tomaino, Jeff Fuller,
Mike Stefanik, Brian Ross and Mike Ewanitsko. It was at this event that Rod
Spaulding was involved in an accident that saw him receive severe head
injuries. It was also announced that the Arute Family had sold the Stafford
Speedway to Dan Avery for $2.5million. Avery withdrew the offer a week
Twenty years ago in 1993, the
Race of Champions was held at Flemington, N.J. Billy Pauch, driving the
Mario Fiore No.44 started 43rd and avoided numerous wrecks and took the win
in the 200 lap event. Jeff Fuller finished second and was followed by Tony
Siscone, Mike Ewanitsko, Reggie Ruggerio and Steve Park. In the Triple A-sk
type feature, Ted Christopher came back after being involved in a 20 car
wreck, then took the lead from Tom Tagg with10 laps to go and went on to
score the win. Taggs distributor broke. Eric Beers finished second. In the
National Parts Peddler Street Stock event, Tom Fox, who crossed the finish
line second was awarded the win after apparent winner Shannon Connor was
At Rockingham, N.C., Mark Martin won the Grand National event. Jim
Spencer and a crew member were suspended for the rest of the year for
fighting with Joe Besseys crew. In Winston Cup action, Rusty Wallace took
Fifteen years ago, in 1998,
Flemington ran a mod tour 250 which was won by Ed Flemke Jr. who took the
lead from Mike Stefanik with three laps to go. Stefanik hung on for second
and was followed by Mike Ewanitsko, Reggie Ruggiero, Tony Hirschman, Jamie
Tomaino and Tim Connolly.
Ten years ago in 2003 The
NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway with a
field of 49 modifieds on hand. Because of steady rain, the previous week
that showed no sign of letting up, the event was postponed to this Saturday
afternoon. All qualifying took place a week ago with Tony Hirschman taking
the pole with a run around the 5/8 mile oval to the tune of 120.501 mph.
Doug Coby was second fastest with series point leader Todd Szegedy, third.
Hirschman was also the lucky guy on the draw for starting positions as he
pulled the pole starting spot. Jimmy Kuhn pulled second spot with John
Blewett III pulling third. Chuck Hossfeld and Szegedy rounded out the first
five starting positions. Sixth through tenth starters are Doug Coby, Eddie
Flemke Jr., Jerry Marquis, Carl Pasteryak and Tony Ferrante Jr.
Once the World Series was postponed it was a mass charge to leave
the speedway grounds. A major traffic jam developed when the hitch on Jamie
Tomainoís tow rig broke and it was nothing but gridlock until the road was
opened up. A huge field of 64 SK Modifies were on hand at Because of the
large field a ďBĒ feature was run for non-qualifiers, which was won by Tom
Cravenho. Other Saturday winners were Richard Savory in the Pro Four
Modifieds, Chuck Docherty in the Pro Stocks, Rick Gentes in the Outlaw Late
Models, Shawn Monahan won his seventh Limited Sportsman feature, Jim Silvia
in the Outlaw Strictly Stocks, Joe Godbout in the Mini Stock feature and
Mike Veins in the Outlaw Mini Stocks.
In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon started on the
pole and led 311 of 500 laps to take the win. It was Gordonís 63rd win.
Jimmie Johnson finished second. Bobby Hamilton Jr. won the Busch Series
Samís Town 300 at the Memphis Speedway.
Five years ago in 2008, The
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series returned to the Stafford Motor Speedway
to make up the rained out Fall Final. Just prior to the weekend it was
learned that Speedway announcer Deane Mercier had passed away.
Mike Stefanik led a banner field of Modifieds as he captured the
Coors Lite Pole award as he turned in the fast time in qualifying for the
CARQUEST Fall Final. Stefanik toured the Stafford oval in18.158 seconds
(99.130mph). It was the first pole for Stefanik since 2006 at the
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. In the process he tied Tony Hirschman for the
seriesí all-time lead with 41 career poles, and extended his own record for
poles at Stafford to 15. Eric Beers was the second-fastest qualifier at
18.168 seconds (99.075 mph) and started in the third row following the
redraw. Rob Summers was third fastest at 18.316 seconds (98.275 mph). Series
points leader Ted Christopher who seventh in time trials when he was clocked
at 18.355 seconds (98.066 mph). After the redraw Christopher started
alongside Stefanik in the front row on Sunday. Californian Brian Ickler was
the pole sitter for the companion NASCAR Camping World Series East event.
Mike Olsen, Kevin Swindell, Ted Christopher and Woody Pitkat rounded out the
top five. Series champion Matt Kobyluck was sixth fastest.
Stefanik capped off a dominating weekend by reaching Victory Lane
in the CARQUEST Fall Final for the eighth time in his illustrious career.
Stefanik used the front row starting position to his advantage as he led 129
of the 150 laps in what was Staffordís last race of the year. The win was
Stefanik's eighth in the Fall Final, Stafford 's traditional season-ending
race. It was also his 20th all-time win at track and the 69th in his career
overall. All three totals are NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour records.
Matt Hirschman came home second to Stefanik. With the runner-up
finish, Hirschman trailed series leader Ted Christopher by just 35 points
with one race remaining on the schedule. Christopher finished sixth. Chuck
Hossfeld was third, while Todd Szegedy and Eric Beers rounded out the top
five finishers. The rest of the top 10 consisted of Christopher, Rowan
Pennink, Anthony Sesely, Glenn Tyler and Kevin Goodale. It was the best
finish of the season for Sesely and Tyler.
There were five caution flags for 27 laps. For the most part the
race was wreck free with only a few minor spins. Ted Christopher held a 35
point lead over Matt Hirschman going into the final event. Todd Szegedy sat
in third, over 143 points out of the lead. Chuck Hossfeld was fourth with
Stefanik rounding out the top five. Prior to the race NASCAR legend Bobby
Allison was honored for his 1964 and 1965 NASCAR Modified division titles as
part of the celebration of 60 Years of Modified Champions.
Woody Pitkat won the battle but it was Keith Rocco who won the war
in the SK Modifieds. Rocco finished second to Pitkat and beat out Ted
Christopher for his first Stafford Track Championship. Peyton Sellers won
the slam-bang NASCAR Camping World Series East event. In lat Model action,
Ryan Posocco took the lead from Scott Cook on lap 11 and led the rest of the
way to win the 30-lap Late Model feature. It was the seventh victory in 17
starts this year for Posocco, the division's all-time winningest driver.
Posocco had already sewed up the Stafford Late Model title.
In True Value Modified Series action at the Seekonk Speedway last
weekend twenty six Modifieds were on hand for the annual D.Anthony Venditti
Memorial event. Three qualifying heats were run with Chris Pasteryak, Kevin
Iannarelli and Todd Annarummo taking the wins. Chris Pasteryak went pole to
pole to win the 100 lap contest. Todd Annarummo finished second and was
followed by Dwight Jarvis, Les Hinckley and Mike Holdridge. Prior to the
start of the event Kirby Monteith, who died this past week was honored by
his fellow drivers. They had a moment of silence and the front row at the
start had an open spot for him.
Jeff Burton used three gas-only pit stops to pull off a Sprint Cup
victory in Concord, N.C., that catapulted him into championship contention.
Burton culminated savvy pit strategy on a final stop, going into the pits
with the lead and taking fuel only to make sure he was still out front on
the restart with 34 laps to go at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Jimmy Johnson
staged a brief battle for the lead, but Burton held steady to snap a 25-race
winless streak. Kasey Kahne, who swept the May races at the track, finished
second and was followed by Kurt Busch. Kyle Busch returned to his familiar
spot in the Nationwide Series on Friday night, cruising to a win in the
soggy, wreck-filled Dollar General 300. The victory was the ninth for the
23-year-old Busch in NASCAR's second-tier series. He has won eight Cup races
and three more in the Craftsman Truck Series. The busy Busch's 70th race of
the season followed a familiar script for Joe Gibbs Racing, whose teams had
won 18 of the 31 Nationwide races. Busch started 16th, but his superior No.
18 Toyota was on display early. He quickly moved to the front and led 137 of
the 200 laps. Busch pulled away from Jeff Burton on a restart with three
laps to go, despite taking just two tires on his final pit stop. Burton held
on to finish second and Brian Vickers was third. Point leader Clint Bowyer
finished fourth and Carl Edwards was fifth.
Last year, 2012, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour pulled into the Thompson Speedway to finish up their
season and crown a Champion. The event drew 32 Modifieds. Eric Berndt earned
the second Coors Light Pole Award of his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career
on Saturday in advance of the season finale Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World
Series on Sunday. Berndt toured the .625-mile, high-banked oval in 18.607
seconds (120.922 mph) for his first pole since 2009. Bobby Santos III posted
the second-fastest qualifying lap at 18.624 (120.812). Ron Silk was third
fastest with Ryan Preece, fourth and Justin Bonsignore, fifth. Rounding out
the top ten was Mike Stefanik, Eric Beers, Jimmy Blewett, Doug Coby and Andy
The speedway beat back the threat of rain and now the 2012 season
is history. The World Series of Auto Racing victory lane hosted Bobby Santos
as Whelen Modified Tour winner, Woody Pitkat in the Sunoco Modifieds, Randy
Cabral in the NEMA Midgets, Rob Summers in ISMA Super Modifieds, and Larry
Gelinas in the Super Late Models.
Santos held off a determined Todd Szegedy to win the Sunoco Race
Fuels Ė Town Fair Tire 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race and collect his
second consecutive win this season and 8th career victory. Doug Coby
finished sixth and won his first Whelen Modified Tour Championship. Santos
started the 150-lap race from the outside pole and took the lead from Todd
Szegedy on lap 130 when he dove to the bottom groove in turn three. Santos
held off Ryan Preece on a late-race restart to take the checkers.
Preece, who finished the race in second, led the most laps at 56
and finished the series point battle in second place. Szegedy finished the
race in third. Rounding out the tp five were Mike Stefanik and Eric Beers.
Sixth thru tenth was Coby, Tommy Barrett, Patrick Emerling, Keith Rocco and
Pitkat. Nineteen cars finished on the lead lap. Rocco wrapped up the 2012
Rookie of the Year award.
Woody Pitkat used a lap 11 restart to take the lead from Ted
Christopher and drive to a victory in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature.
Richie Gallup led the opening lap of the Sunoco Modified feature, but
caution called for a complete restart. Gallup led again when the green
dropped, but Ted Christopher soon maneuvered by him and drove his No. 13
machine to the point. Michael Gervais and Ryan Preece made up the top-three
when everything sorted itself out.
Caution slowed their pace at lap nine, but it didnít slow
Christopher down, who darted back to the front on the restart. Pitkat used
the inside groove to get by Gervais for second before a car hit the back
straightaway wall and set the field up for another restart. Pitkat and
Christopher went into turn one dead even, but Pitkat emerged the leader
coming out of turn two. Preece and Ceravolo got around Christopher for
second and third, but Ceravolo fell off the pace entering the first turn of
lap 16. Caution flew at lap 18 with Pitkat, Preece, Christopher, and Gervais
making up the first two rows for the restart.
Pitkat took command at the drop of the green with Preece on his
bumper. Pitkat had to do it all over again after a caution on lap 19, but it
didnít slow him down. Preece, however, got shuffled back to the fourth
position with Christopher and Danny Cates taking over second and third.
Pitkat and Christopher quickly pulled away from the rest of the field with
Pitkat keeping a car length ahead. A half a second behind them, Preece and
Cates battled door-to-door for the third position with Preece having the
advantage by a nose. On lap 29, Preece secured the spot while Pitkat
continued to lead up front. Pitkat took the checkers a car length ahead of
Christopher. Ryan Preece finished third with Danny Cates and Michael Gervais
rounding out the top five.
Before the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hopefully returns to
Thompson International Speedway next spring for the Icebreaker there are
other fish to fry as there are two major events on the offseason schedule.
The 28th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion will be crowned as part of the
NASCAR Night of Champions Awards banquet, which will include ceremonies for
the seven NASCAR touring series on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.)
Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The inaugural UNOH Battle at
the Beach will then take place Feb. 18-19 on a temporary .4-mile oval on the
backstretch at Daytona International Speedway as part of 2013 Speedweeks.
By virtue of wins through the Whelen Modified Tourís first 13 events, Justin
Bonsignore, Doug Coby, Donny Lia, Ryan Preece, Bobby Santos, Ron Silk and
Mike Stefanik have locked-in starting positions for the 150-lap exhibition
Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour combination race on Feb. 19.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series shared the Thompson Speedway
with their big brothers and had their own feature on Saturday night. The New
England based series was 36 cars strong. Rowan Pennink picked up his third
victory of the season in the Valenti Modified Racing Series after taking the
lead at lap 40. Justin Bonsignore led from the pole before caution slowed
the race for the first time at lap two. On the restart, Bonsignore drove
back out front with Todd Owen right on his bumper. On lap four, Owen shot
around to the lead with Bonsignore and Christopher in tow. Owen drove
straight to the front when racing resumed after a caution on lap 11 with
Chris Pasteryak getting underneath Bonsignore for second. Pasteryak attached
himself to Owenís bumper, and heading into turn one on lap 17, shot to the
bottom and drove to the lead. Pasteryak put some distance over the rest of
the field once out front while Christopher took over second. Louie
Mechalides took that spot from Christopher when the Plainville, Conn. native
pulled his ailing machine onto pit road at lap 34. Mechalides set his sights
on Pasteryak, who was maneuvering through lapped traffic nearly a second in
front of him. Caution flew at lap 40 with many cars electing to go down pit
road, but Pasteryak was not one of them. Rowan Pennink joined Pasteryak on
the front row for the restart, and took over the lead when the green flag
dropped. On the next circuit, Brad VonHouten and Leo Oliviera made contact.
Olivieraís car climbed the outside retaining wall and traveled over 100 feet
on that wall before coming to a stop in the middle of turns one and two. The
race went under red flag conditions as safety and track personnel attended
to Oliviera, who escaped unharmed, and his car. On the restart, Pennink
jumped to the lead with Pasteryak and Richard Savary in tow. Lap 50 brought
out the caution once again, and on the restart, Pennink drove straight to
the front as Pasteryak held off a challenge for second. Jon McKennedy and
Steve Masse rounded out the top-four. McKennedy used the bottom to get by
Pasteryak on lap 54 while Masse followed his line on the following circuit.
Pennink held off McKennedy through two more restarts, but it was getting
harder for him to shake McKennedy, who was glued to his rear bumper as they
hit five laps to go. Caution flew with two laps to go setting up a
green-white-checkered finish, but even that was not enough to shake Pennink,
who drove to the victory.
Jon McKennedy finished second followed by Steve Masse and Richard
Savory. Louie Mechalides rounded out the top five. Sixth thru 10th were
Chris Pasteryak, Max Zachem, Todd Owen, Charlie Pasteryak and Norm Wrenn.
Penninkís victory in the Valenti Modified Racing Series 75-lapper
highlighted an action packed night at Thompson that offered 11 features of
racing. John Studley, John Lowinski-Loh, Tommy OíSullivan, Jesse Gleason,
Eric Bourgeois, Glen Thomas, Jr., Chris Correll, and Dave Richardi all
visited victory lane on World Series weekend. There was a total of 337 cars
signed into the pits for the three day event. The car count increased by 61
over last years total which was 276.
Down in the Southland George Brunnhoelzl III clinched his third
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship just by taking the green
flag Thursday night in the UNOH Southern Slam 150 at Charlotte Motor
Speedway. And then he closed out the season in style as he went out and led
every lap en route to his sixth win of the season. It marked the 17th career
win for the West Babylon, N.Y., driver and his first on the quarter-mile
oval on the frontstretch at Charlotte. Brunnhoelzl also became the first
driver to win three NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified titles, breaking a tie
he held with Junior Miller (2005-06).
The event, which drew 20 cars, had some northern flavor as Ryan
Preece finished in the runner-up spot and Ted Christopher in the Hillbilly
79 finished seventh. Burt Myers finished third with Danny Bohn and Andy
Seuss rounding out the top five.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Clint
Bowyer picked up his first win in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship
winning a fuel-mileage race that ended in disaster for points leader Brad
Keselowski. Keselowski dominated the Bank of America 500 but ran out of fuel
with 58 laps remaining to blow his chance at the victory. Denny Hamlin
finished second and is third in the Chase, 15 points back, and Johnson
finished third. The race was the first since 1979 without an Earnhardt, as
Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat out with a concussion. His replacement driver, Regan
Smith, had engine failure early in the race.
In Nationwide Series racing at Charlotte, Joey Logano raced to his
eighth victory of the year passing Brad Keselowski with eight laps to go
after taking on two tires and a splash of gas. Logano led 62 laps en route
to his 17th career victory and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kevin
Harvick was second, followed by Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler.
Kyle Busch finished fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.
Area Auto Racing News reported last week that the Speed Channel
could be no more in 2013. FOX Sports will be re-naming the channel and will
use it to showcase more ball and stick sports with just a minimal amount of
racing related programming.
Thatís 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
Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Sized
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit