June 6, 2014
Sixty years ago in 1954, Johnny Sandberg was the Wednesday night
Sportsman winner at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Brauregard was
the Saturday night winner. Non Ford winners were Tom VanEpps and Irwin Fox.
Fifty five years ago in 1959 George
Tet ventured up from Long Island to capture the Friday night NASCAR Modified
feature on the dirt at the Stafford Spring Speedway. Saturday night action
at the New London Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. Bill Rafter won
his second main event of the year at the Buffalo Civic Stadium. At Lancaster
in western New York Jack Soper took the win over Bud Johnson and Bruce Van
Fifty years ago in 1964 Glen
"Fireball" Roberts who was severely burned in a crash at the Charlotte Motor
Speedway, was showing signs of improvement but to no avail as the NASCAR
Superstar would pass away. AJ Foyt won at Indianapolis and a fiery wreck
took the lives of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald. Weekend winners included
Richie Massing at Old Bridge, Don Stives at Wall Stadium and Fred Harbach at
Fort Dix in New Jersey. Bill Wimble made it two in a row on the dirt at the
Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. Following Wimble at Stafford were
George Janoski and Don Wayman. On Saturday night Wimble won at Fonda and Jim
Hendrickson won at Islip in New York. Ted Stack was the Modified winner at
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Forty five years ago in 1969, rain
washed out both Stafford and Albany-Saratoga on Friday. Saturday night at
Norwood it was Freddie Schulz taking the top spot over Bob Santos, Eddie
Flemke, Johnny Thompson and Bugsy Stevens. Lou Lazzaro made it three in a
row at Fonda. Don Wayman finished second with Dave Lape and Jerry Cook
rounding out the top four. Jim Hendrickson beat out Pat Moon at Islip and at
Airborne Park it was Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda beating Denis
Giroux and Phil Spiak to the checker. Lazzaro made it two for two on the
weekend as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday. Lazzaro used the same car on both
dirt and asphalt. Cook finished second with Bugsy Stevens, third. Thompson
was silent as a sports car event was held on the road course-oval. Don
Collins won the Modified 30 lapper at the Waterford Speedbowl. Don Bunnell
was the Daredevil winner.
Forty years ago in 1974, it
rained on Friday night again, washing out events scheduled at Freeport and
Utica-Rome. Saturday night was busy. At Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard put the
Bob Johnson No.17 in victory lane, beating Bugsy Stevens and Leo Cleary to
the stripe. At Islip, Charging Charlie Jarzombek rim rode to victory over Al
Holmberg and Herbie Hulse and at Shangri-La, Geoff Bodine dusted the field
despite attempts by Sonny Seamon and Dick Fowler to run him down. Richie
Evans went to Lancaster where he beat out Jim Rudolph and Maynard Troyer
while at Waterford Joe Trudeau took the win and on Sunday at Fulton, Troyer
bested Bodine, Evans and Jerry Cook. In open competition action at Thompson
on Sunday night, twin 30's were on tap and Fred DeSarro scored a double. Bob
Santos finished second in the first one and was followed by Dick Caso and
Ronnie Bouchard. Bugsy Stevens finished second in the night-cap and was
followed by Bouchard, Santos and Angie Cerese.
Thirty five years ago in 1979,
Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday. Charlie Jarzombek took the win and it
was almost ten years to the day from his previous win there. Jerry Cook
finished second and was followed by Satch Worley and Dick Caso. At Spencer,
Maynard Troyer beat out Billy Colton and Doug Hewitt. Jarzombek followed up
his win at Stafford with a win at Islip on Saturday. At Riverside it was
Richie Evans over Reggie Ruggiero and Jerry Cook and at Seekonk, Leo Cleary
and Bugsy Stevens finished one-two. Other weekend winners were Jeff Fuller
at Westboro, George Kent at Shangri-La, Rick Donnelly at Waterford, Ron
Bouchard at Thompson, Reggie Ruggiero at Monadnock, Maynard Troyer at
Lancaster, Punky Caron at Claremont and Richie Evans won the Port City 150
at Oswego on Sunday.
Thirty years ago in 1984, monsoon
type rains fell on New England and washed out Friday and Saturday night
events at Stafford, Riverside and Waterford. The Connecticut River
overflowed its banks and flooded Riverside Park up to the fifth row in the
main grandstand. New Egypt got to run on Friday and it was Wayne Anderson
taking the win over Tony Siscone and Jim Spencer. At Spencer Speedway, Jan
Leaty led the charge to the checker with Roger Treichler and George Kent
following. Leaty repeated the following night at Shangri-La as he beat out
Corky Cookman and George Kent. Islip ran double features as did Wall
Stadium. Tom Baldwin and Don Howe shared victory lane at Islip and at Wall
it was Robert Hendrickson and Gil Hearne. In Winston Cup action at Riverside
California, Terry Labonte took the pole and the win. The modifieds were at
Thompson where Jeff Fuller took the win.
Twenty five years ago in 1989, Bob
Potter was the Friday night SK Modified winner at Stafford. Ted and Mike
Christopher followed. At Waterford, Rodney Tulba took the win and at
Riverside, Stan Gregger beat out Reggie Ruggiero. Frank Vigliorolo won at
Riverhead .The Modified Tour was at Waterford on Sunday. Mike McLaughlin
took the event over Tom Baldwin and Mike Stefanik.
Twenty years ago, in 1994 ago this
week, Mike Paquette won at Stafford on Friday night over Ted Christopher. At
Waterford, David Gada held off Todd Ceravolo and John Anderson. Tom McCann
won at Riverhead and Dan Avery was the main man at Riverside. In Winston Cup
action at Dover, Rusty Wallace survived many wrecks to take the win and in
BGNN action at Watkins Glen, Butch Leitzinger won with little trouble.
Fifteen years ago, in 1999, Mike
Christopher recorded his 23rd career win at Stafford on Friday night. Jerry
Marquis finished second. Dennis Gada passed Rick Donnelly with 11 laps to go
and made it five wins in a row at Waterford. Donnelly finished second and
was followed by Bill Sharp and Todd Ceravolo. Ricky Miller got his third win
at Riverside and at Riverhead, Ken Matlach won out over Al Ermarino. A dark
cloud hung over Riverhead as NASCAR Chief Steward Walt Edsall, who was
standing in turn three, was struck by a flying wheel off the modified of Joe
Hartmann. Edsall suffered severe head injuries and would lie in a coma until
he eventually passed away. Racing also lost one of its legends as Ralph
"Hop" Harrington passed away in Florida after a lengthy illness. Bryan Wall
got his first Busch North win at Holland, N.Y., after Brad Leighton and Tom
Carey tangled. Evidently Busch North officials felt that Leighton had put
Carey out as they placed him at the rear. At Dover Del., Dale Earnhardt Jr.
won the Grandnational event. Ted Christopher wrecked after a tangle with
Johnny Benson and ended up 30th.Bob Labonte was the Winston Cup winner.
Ten years ago 2004 the NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island
on Saturday night. A strong threat of rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the
competitors or the fans. A huge field, 47 cars, was in the pit area. Jerry
Marquis was the Busch Pole sitter. Marquis drew the outside pole starting
spot and led the entire 200-lap contest to record the win, the 16th of his
career in Tour competition. Marquis put on a superb display of precision
driving. The Boehler Racing entry never missed a beat and handled like it
was on a wire. Marquis lapped all but the top five despite five cautions
that consumed 56 laps. John Blewett III, who has had nothing but bad luck
this year, used the Riverhead event as a breakout race as he finished
second. Mike Stefanik finished third with Ted Christopher and Eddie Flemke
Jr. rounding out the top five. Tony Hirschman, fresh off his win at Stafford
finished sixth, one lap down. Gregg Shivers, Ricky Fuller, Doug Coby and
Chuck Steuer rounded out the top ten. Racing at Riverhead can be very
intense and nerves of steel are required for one to be successful. Among the
seven caution periods was a red flag condition on lap 52 when Fred
Vordermeir and Jamie Tomaino wrecked. Many of the tour regulars had their
problems. Defending series champion Todd Szegedy retired with overheating
problems after he completed only 114 laps. Rookie candidate Ken Barry got
caught up in a wreck and completed only 90 laps. Chuck Hossfeld toughed it
out with handling problems and ended up 16th at the conclusion of the event.
Hossfeld was parked in the infield when the checkered flag was displayed.
Eddie Flemke Jr. continues to lead the point standings with a 49-point lead
over Ted Christopher. Tony Hirschman sits third with Jerry Marquis and Tony
Ferrante Jr. rounding out the top five.
Competitors, fans and officials endured at Thompson on Thursday night.
Rain fell on the speedway shortly after Late Model qualifying. In what
looked to be a rain out the speedway management persisted and in the end
completed their racing program and had everyone headed home by 9:30 PM. Bo
Gunning, who is concentrating on just racing at Thompson put the Eddie
Partridge owned mount in victory lane. Gunning took the lead from Bert
Marvin on lap six of the 30-lap feature. Ted Christopher, who finished
second, made numerous attempts to pass but in the end settled for the
runner-up spot. Jeff Malave was also a contender but lacked that little
extra and settled for third. Rounding out the top five were Bob Santos III
and Kerry Malone. Going into the event Todd Ceravolo and Eric Berndt were
tied for the point lead. Thanks to the efforts of Adam Norton both were
denied a top spot at the finish. In two separate incidents Norton turned
into them. Berndt hit the wall and didn’t finish. Ceravolo ended up with
bent wheels and a bent rear end but managed to finish. In Late Model action
Corey Hutchings made it three out of five at the 5/8 mile banked oval.
Hutchings and Charlie Bailey swapped paint on the final lap and in an almost
photo finish Hutchings nipped Bailey at the finish line. Woody Pitkat
finished third. Other winners were Mike O’Sullivan over David Berghman in
the Pro Stocks, Larry Barnet over Glenn Boss in the Limited Sportsman and
Eric Bourgeois in the Mini Stocks.
Ted Christopher was on the giving end rather than on the receiving end at
Stafford on Friday night. Christopher used his famous bonsai bottom shot on
Steve Chowanski in the closing moments of the 40 lap SK-Modified feature. In
taking the win Christopher became the first repeat winner in SK Modified
competition at Stafford. Chowanski faded to third as Willie Hardie took over
second spot at the finish. Last week’s winner Jim Civale recovered from a
flat tire and stormed his way into fourth spot. John Sanberg rounded out the
top five. Other Friday night winners were Joe Rzeszutck in the Late Models
and Glenn Barthowski in the Dare Stocks. Numerous wrecks and spins made for
a long night. The SK-Modifieds continue to self-destruct. It seems that
competitors have little respect for their peers or equipment.
The Waterford Speedbowl also beat the impending rain. Nextel Cup stars
Bill Elliott, Kerry Earnhardt and Ken Schrader were on hand to greet the
fans and engage in a special race. In regular competition Ed Reed Jr. ended
a long dry spell as he took the win in the SK-Modified feature. Rob Janovick
finished second with Don Fowler, Dennis Gada and Chris Pasteryak rounding
out the top five. Dwayne Conant was awarded the win in the Sportsman
division after apparent winner Dwayne Dorr was disqualified because of an
illegal suspension part on his car. Former Late Model competitor Danny Field
went pole to pole to win the 20 lap Mini Stock event.
Connecticut developer Gene Arganese officially announced that he planed
to build his $400 million domed ¾ mile speedway in Plainfield, Connecticut.
The proposed speedway, which Arganese continued to imply that he will be
holding Nextel Cup racing within four years after the track opens, would be
located next to the existing Plainfield Greyhound Park. Once the local
permits are submitted and filed it would take a little over two years to
construct the facility. Arganese had previously proposed building his track
in North Stonington, Connecticut. Anyone who follows Nextel Cup racing knows
that their schedule is maxed out. The only way a Cup date would be available
would be if NASCAR extended their season and that is very unlikely. The most
that Arganese could hope for were dates for the Craftsman Truck Series,
Featherlite Modifieds and the Busch North Series. It was also mentioned that
the track could host the IRL. Bob Bahre tried that at Loudon and dropped
them like a hot potato when they couldn’t draw flies. Based on Arganese’s
projections the track will be ready for racing in late 2007 or early in 2008
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was at the Dover Downs Speedway. Mark
Martin survived a 400-mile wreck fest as he outran Tony Stewart and Dale
Earnhardt Jr. Kasey Kahne had victory in sight when he spun in oil while
leading and hit the wall in the closing laps.
Five years ago in 2009, the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour, after the completion of the first three, of 14 events,
had gone back on “Spring Break” until June 27 when the ground pounders would
travel to Loudon, NH. Evidently NASCAR had chosen to ignore competitor’s
requests for a “Town Hall” type of meeting where they could air their
concerns and complaints.
Defending WMT Champion Ted Christopher had himself a busy schedule.
Starting off at Thompson on Thursday night where he finished sixth, he had
planned on running at Stafford until the rain prevailed. To round out the
weekend Christopher traveled to the Franklin County Speedway, which is
located in the Moonshine Capitol of the world, Callaway, VA. The Virginia
event, which drew only 14 cars, was won by Brian King. Burt Myers was second
with Danny Bohn, third. Christopher and Ron Silk drove team cars for Roger
Hill’s Hillbilly Racing and finished eighth and ninth respectively.
In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Danny Cates of
Chaplin, CT, was the big winner as he scored his first-ever Sunoco Modified
feature event win. Derek Ramstrom of was tops in the Super Late Models while
Rick Gentes celebrated his birthday with a Late Model victory. Leo Oliveira
earned the TIS Modified feature win in a photo-finish. Leadfoot Larry
Barnett of Ledyard, CT, took down the Limited Sportsman feature win on
Thompson Night at the races. Tim Taylor made it two straight in Mini Stocks.
Cates took advantage when a situation erupted between Keith Rocco and
Todd Ceravolo when they were fighting for the lead in the closing moments
and ultimately crashed. Both drivers escaped unhurt but their cars sustained
thousands of dollars in damages. Setting the stage for the confrontation,
Ceravolo took the lead from Kerry Malone on a lap 18 restart. By lap 22
Rocco had moved into second spot. On lap 25 of the 30 lap contest Rocco
drilled into the side of Ceravolo’s car, almost pushing him into the
concrete wall between turns one and two. Ceravolo lost a couple of spots as
he managed to regain control of his family owned mount. By lap 27 Ceravolo
had worked his way back into second spot. As the pair entered the third turn
Ceravolo dove in low. Rocco attempted to block and the two made contact with
the end result showing Rocco taking a hard shot into the wall along with
In the beginning, Kerry Malone drove by pole-sitter Ted Christopher to
lead lap one. Josh Sylvester ran in third ahead of Woody Pitkat and
Ceravolo. The cars got strung out immediately throughout the pack. The first
car to step out of line was Pitkat looking for position on Sylvester. Keith
Rocco was a bit more successful taking the ninth position from Jimmy
Blewett. Ceravolo was making his way toward the front taking the fourth spot
from Pitkat. A lap later, he took the third spot from Sylvester. Rocco was
mired behind a double-file battle between Bert Marvin and Cates.
On lap 10, Marvin was able to free himself of Cates. Rocco followed
through. Up front, Malone had worked his way out to a half straightaway
advantage over a brewing battle between Christopher and Ceravolo.
Ceravolo was able to take over the second position on lap 14. Rocco made
a bonsai move exiting turn three to shove Marvin out of the groove. Rocco
gained the edge and the position. He made quick work of Sylvester making his
first appearance in the top five. Jimmy Blewett was off the pace with a
faulty ignition on lap 18, coming to a stop in turn one, to bring out the
event’s first caution. On the restart, Pitkat got out of shape nearly making
contact with the backstretch wall. He fell back as far as ninth. Rocco got a
run on Christopher to take over the third position. A spin by Blewett
brought out another caution on lap 22.
On the restart, Ceravolo got the jump leaving Malone to defend his
position against Rocco and Cates. Contact between Pitkat and Christopher on
lap 23 resulted in a melee on the front stretch. Cars also involved included
Malone, who had slipped back to fourth, Sylvester, Marvin, Dave LaCroix,
Ricky Shawn, John Catania, Brett LeBlanc, and Carl Oberg.
Rocco was able to muscle the lead away from Ceravolo on the restart.
Cates moved into the second position following Rocco. Ceravolo gathered it
back in to make a run at Rocco. The two made contact on several occasions.
The final blow resulted in the two making hard contact with the outside wall
in turn four. Cates emerged to take the caution as the new leader. On the
restart, Danny Cates could taste his first career victory rocketing to the
lead. He sailed under the checkers to take down the coveted win. Despite an
eventful night for both Pitkat and Blewett, they were able to come home
second and third respectively. Malone also salvaged a good finish in fourth
ahead of Rowan Pennink.
The racing at Thompson so far had been nothing short of being exciting
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to rain for the second week in a
The Waterford Speedbowl managed to get their racing program in the record
books despite the threatening coastal fog that was creeping in. Jeffrey Paul
earned his first 2009 win by passing pole-sitter Don Fowler with 9 laps to
go on a restart in the SK Modified main event. Paul survived some incredibly
rough driving by Don Fowler. Fowler has a reputation of being a blocker. Rob
Janovic, Keith Rocco, Tom Abele and Tyler Chadwick completed the top 5.
Other wins on Saturday night went to Vin Esposito in the 30-lap Bob Valenti
Auto Mall Late-Model Stock Car feature; Ed Puleo in the 20-lap Street Stock
feature, and to Jay Palmer in the 20-lap Legends Cars feature.
After winning his heat race, in a new car, young driving sensation Flyin
Ryan Morgan started the 20 lap feature event in sixth position. On lap four,
Ryan took the lead and looked like he was in a position to win his second
feature event of the season until Jason Palmer, the winner of all feature
events he completed this season, made a pass for the lead with five to go.
Ryan's car developed a push near the end of the race and crossed the finish
line a close second, not what the team wanted, but not bad for being the
first time on the track with a new race car.
The True Value Modified Series traveled to the Twin State Speedway in
Claremont, NH. for the running of the “Granite State Harley- Davidson 100.”
Jon McKennedy became the fourth different winner in four races, winning the
True Value Modified Racing Series sanctioned event. It was McKennedy’s first
win this season and his third career TVMRS victory. Rowan Pennink, from his
pole starting position, took the lead at the drop of the green flag and held
it until lap 19 when three-time series champion Kirk Alexander snuck by.
Pennink regained the lead three laps later, lost it to defending champion
Chris Pasteryak, regained it again on lap 27, before turning it over to
Alexander on lap 29, at which point the series all time winning driver took
control until the mid-way mark.
Dwight Jarvis, who started 24th on the field, worked his way to the front
to contest for the lead. Jarvis and Alexander tossed the lead back and forth
between laps 51 and 70. McKennedy, who started third in the lineup, faded to
fifth in the early going and then methodically made his way to the front by
mid-race. The part time ISMA supermodified driver moved to fourth on lap 46,
third on lap 53, and then the lead as he passed both Jarvis and Alexander on
lap 71. Jarvis took the lead back for one circuit on lap 87 only to turn it
over to the race winner a lap later.
Jarvis finished a strong second, Alexander third, Eddie Dachenhausen,
fourth, and Steve Masse, fifth. Pasteryak, Les Hinckley, Ron Goodenough,
Sean Bodreau, and Mike Holdridge, rounded out the top ten. 18 of the
original 24 starters finished the event. Nine caution flags for minor spins
slowed the race that took 52 minutes 59 seconds to complete. The top 15
drivers finished on the lead lap. 26 teams entered the event.
Kyle Busch raced to his fourth Nationwide Series victory of the year and
ninth overall NASCAR win of the season, easily holding off Brad Keselowski
and Carl Edwards in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville
Superspeedway in Tennessee.
Tony Stewart used every trick available to stretch out his fuel during
the final laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway, and came from the rear of the field
in his backup car to win his first Cup points race with his new team.
Stewart made his last pit stop with 41 laps to go and figured he could drive
the rest of the way without another break. He took the lead in the No. 14
Chevrolet with 37 laps remaining and roared to a 6-second lead over Carl
Edwards that gave him a crucial buffer down the stretch. Edwards pushed
Stewart and whittled the lead down to about 2 seconds with inside 10 laps
remaining, and the two-time Cup champion was unsure of how much gas he had
left in the tank. Edwards was second, followed by David Reutimann and
Gordon. Stewart's SHR teammate Ryan Newman was fifth.
Lou Modestino reported that Sunday’s fourth annual Norwood Arena Reunion
saw a huge gathering of the competitors, officials and fans who frequented
the famed Massachusetts quarter-mile oval every Saturday night during the
spring, summer and fall. The event was held again at Bezema Buick, Pontiac,
GMC on the Auto Mile located on Route 1 in Norwood. Norwood ran its last
event in 1972. Among those on hand were Bill Slater, John Grady, Val LeSeur,
Lew Boyd, Bruce Cohen, Bugsy Stevens, Leo Cleary and Deke Astle.
Marvin Rifchin, owner of the former M&H Tire Company in Watertown, MA,
passed away on Tuesday, June 2, at the age of 94. Rifchin started in racing
after WWII as the owner of midgets. Later on he got involved in stock cars.
His cars raced at many area tracks, including Thompson and Waterford. He won
championships at Seekonk and Stafford. The last raced car he owned was the
#7 pinto bodied modified, driven by Ron Bouchard in the years before
Bouchard moved south to become the 1981 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. M&H
shod Modifieds, Supermodifieds and Midgets won just about everywhere. During
the 1970's, he was at the top of his game as was Dick Dunn, driving Al & Peg
Gaudreau's #3 to four straight Modified titles at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Rifchin took on Firestone and Goodyear, beating them both. Rifchin was also
a man of his own convictions. When the New England Drivers and Owners Club
attempted to institute a track tire at Stafford, Seekonk and Thompson
Rifchin felt that he was being put out of business and filed an anti-trust
suit against the club and the tracks as well as Hoosier Tire. He eventually
lost the suit in the appeal process. Following his defeat he focused on the
Midgets where he spent most of his time until his passing. Rifchin was a
tough businessman but he was also a friend to many racers as he helped
thousands with tires and money in order to keep them racing. RIP!
In other sad news, Frank E. Anyzeski, of Ashaway,RI the beloved husband
of Ann (Palmer) Anyzeski for 46 years, died on Friday, June 5, 2009 at R.I.
Hospital in Providence, at the age of 67. Frank, also known as Frankie
Edwards, was a former All American Six Cylinder Champion at the Stafford
Motor Speedway. He was the half brother of the late Leo “Ace” Hill of North
BusinessWeek Magazine reported less than a week after NASCAR called a
mandatory state-of-the-circuit meeting for all Sprint cup drivers and team
owners to discuss the dire economy, General Motors filed for the largest
industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history. While the U.S. government will pump
an estimated $50 billion into the failed company, ensuring at least its
short-term survival, there was no word as to what the bankruptcy might mean
for GM's motorsports sponsorship programs, putting their estimated $125
million annual NASCAR investment into question.
NASCAR has likely been hurt more than any other sport as a result of the
current economic climate. Attendance is down because of the high cost of
traveling to races, while TV ratings are off due to a perceived lack of
exciting ones. Every telecast on FOX has seen a drop in ratings from the
respective 2008 broadcast, with total ratings on the network down 13% from
last year. And only an estimated 100,000 people attended the NASCAR Sprint
Cup Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway, well off the
approximate 140,000 in years past
Last year, 2013 The Stafford Motor
Speedway fell victim to rain again. A forecast of heavy rain and wind forced
NASCAR and the Stafford management to postpone the TSI Whelen Modified Tour
Series for the second time.
In a bold move, the Thompson Speedway went against the odds of being
rained out and ran Thursday night and got most of their program in before
the rains came. Rain put a damper on the Thursday Night Thompson Thunder
program when track conditions forced the postponement of the Lite Modified
and Limited Sportsman features until a later date. Keith Rocco, Rick Gentes,
and Joe Baxter picked up feature wins in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
action while Darryl Dutch was the victor in a special 15-lap Outlaw Antique
Rocco didn't let a wrist injury stop him from visiting victory lane at
the northeast Connecticut oval. Rocco took the lead on lap nine of the
Sunoco Modified feature and held off Woody Pitkat and Ryan Preece in an
exciting finish to the 30-lap feature that was slowed for rain three times.
Woody Pitkat dove to the bottom on lap 24 and got side-by-side with Rocco
before pulling ahead by a nose length out of turn two. Ryan Preece kept on
the battling duo’s bumpers just waiting for a mistake. Rocco wasn’t about to
settle in, however, and continued to fight on the outside groove before
diving to the bottom of Pitkat on lap 26. The two fought door to door with
Preece dropping to the bottom to go three-wide coming out of turn four of
lap 27. Rocco reclaimed the lead coming out of turn two with Pitkat taking
the white flag in second. Preece continued to keep the pressure on, but it
was all Rocco at the checkered flag.
Paul Newcomb and Dennis Perry continued to impress as they rounded out
the top five. Sixth through tenth included Tom Abele Jr who has settled in
as a Thursday night regular, Kerry Malone, John Catania, Jay Sundeen and
The rain dumped between 5-6 inches on the Waterford Speedbowl on Friday
but by Saturday afternoon it cleared and the water level dropped, allowing
the Saturday night program to go on. Keith Rocco won his fourth SK Modified
feature of the season, capturing the 35-lap event.
Other feature winners in the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
were Bruce Thomas Jr in the Late Model race, Corey Hutchings in the Street
Stock race, Ian Brew in the Mini Stocks, Randy Church Jr. in the SK Light
division and Nick Ladyga in the Legend Cars.
Rocco, who earned his first win since May 4, worked his way through the top
ten to win this race. After Justin Gaydosh used a three-wide maneuver to
take the lead, he held it until Kyle James moved in front on lap 14. Rocco,
however, used the outside lane to challenge for the lead. He passed Gaydosh
for second on lap 17 and used the outside again to get around James on lap
Rocco then held off Todd Ceravolo over the remainder of the race to take
the win. Kyle James, Justin Gaydosh, and Diego Monahan rounded out the top
In victory lane Rocco announced that he and his wife, Cassie, would have
their first child in January. Cassie Rocco is the daughter of Todd and Terri
Ceravolo and the granddaughter of Dickie Doo and Joyce Ceravolo.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series visited the Seekonk Speedway on
Saturday night for a 100 lap event. Louie Mechalides picked up his third
career Valenti Modified Racing Series win holding off some late race charges
from Tommy Barrett and Dwight Jarvis.
Todd Annarummo jumped out to the lead from his pole position start, and
set the pace for the first half of the race. Todd had his hands full, as
Stephen Masse made his way through the field from his 11th starting
position. By the time the race reached the one-third mark, Masse had closed
in on the second generation racer, and put heavy pressure on Annarummo. Todd
was able to hold on through a pair of restarts, but it would be lapped
traffic that would be their undoing, as just past the half-way point, a car
about to go a lap down struggled to find the right groove, causing Annarummo
and Masse to get together.
Mechalides took over at the top of the leader board with Jarvis next to
him on the restart. The pair raced wheel to wheel for several laps before
Jarvis settled in behind. Chris Pasteryak joined the fight for second,
taking over the spot for a couple of laps in the latter stages before
falling back. With a restart in the final 25 laps, Barrett started making a
move to the front, and settled into third. At this point, Jarvis was back to
trying to find a way by the leader, but Lightning Lou was keeping his hands
busy keeping his ground pounder at the front of the pack.
Barrett tried a couple of times to squeeze by on the outside, making a
strong bid for the lead over the final laps, but Mechalides kept pace at the
front, and held on for his first win of the season. Jarvis slid underneath
for second by several inches over Barrett. Todd Patnode and Rowan Pennink
rounded out the top five.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Ryan Preece won the Richie Evans
Hall of Fame 100. Justin Bonsignore finished second with Ron Silk, third.
Tom Rogers Jr and Howie Brode rounded out the top five.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium Jason Myers and Michael
Clifton were the winners of the night's scheduled twin 25 lap NASCAR
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing one week after a controversial restart cost
Jimmie Johnson a victory at Dover (Del.) Int’l Speedway, the former Sprint
Cup champion drove to a dominant victory in the Party in the Pocono's 400.
Johnson led 129 of 160 laps en route to his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
victory of the 2013 campaign.
Austin Dillon looked like he had the field covered during Sunday’s
rain-delayed NASCAR Nationwide Series DuPont Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Trevor Bayne had other ideas. Dillon started on the pole and completely
dominated the race, which was pushed to Sunday because of rain Saturday
night. He looked like he was his way to his first victory of the 2013
season, but it all went away in the final 30 laps of the 250-lap event. The
Ford Mustang of Bayne was able to nose ahead of Dillon’s Chevrolet Camaro as
they crossed the start-finish line with 11 laps left to take the lead. Bayne
completed the pass for the lead as he entered turn one, dropping Dillon back
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.
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit