July 25, 2014
Sixty years ago in 1954, Wednesday night racing at the New London
Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. Moe Gherzi took the Saturday night
Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval and Tom Van Epps made it four in a
row in non-Ford action.
Fifty five years ago in 1959 George
Janoski made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway.
Fred Luchesi with the Sgambato No.9 cleaned house in the Sportsman division
at the New London Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Benny Desrosier
was the non-Ford winner. Walt Dombrowski was the winner in the Bombers. Bill
Slater regained his winning ways on Saturday night at the Speedbowl as he
put the mighty V-8 in victory lane in the Sportsman division. Tom Sutcliff
was the non-Ford winner and Dombrowski made it two in a row in the Bombers.
Don Coy won a 200 lap midget event at the Buffalo Civic Stadium and Ken
Owens was the winner at the Lancaster Speedway.
Fifty years ago in 1964, Bill Wimble
made it six in a row on the dirt at Stafford Springs as he outran local
favorites George Janoski and Ernie Gahan. Billy Harman made it two in a row
in Modified action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Glaude was
the Bomber winner at the Waterford Ct. oval.
Forty five years ago in 1969, the All
Star League was in full swing. Starting on Wednesday night at the Norwood
Arena, Bugsy Stevens used his home track advantage to take on the best in
the east and dusted the field as he won the 100 lapper. Freddie Schulz
finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Leo Cleary, Fred DeSarro,
Johnny Thompson and Jack Malone. The top seven were all Norwood Arena
regulars. The league moved to Stafford on Friday night and Stevens continued
his winning ways. Flemke came home in second spot and was followed by Nathan
"Smokey" Boutwell. Boutwell was driving the famous No.28 co-owned by the
Garutti Brothers and Jack Arute. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Ed
Pieniezak was the winner over Bernie Miller and Maynard Forette. Back at
Norwood for their regular Saturday night program, Johnny Thompson in his
Ford powered No.122 was the victor. Jack Malone finished second and was
followed by DeSarro and Stevens. At the Waterford Speedbowl Daring Dick Caso
took the top spot in the 36 lap Modified feature. Fonda and Airborne rained
out. On Sunday at Thompson, Boutwell ruled the roost. DeSarro finished
second with Stevens and Bob Santos following.
Forty years ago in 1974, Geoff Bodine
in his own No.99 dominated the upstate New York circuit as he went three for
three as he took wins at Utica-Rome on Friday, Shangri-La on Saturday and
Fulton on Sunday. On Long Island, Charlie Jarzombek equaled Bodine's fete as
he also went three for three as he took wins at Freeport on Friday, Islip on
Saturday and Riverhead on Sunday. At Stafford, Bugsy Stevens won a Trenton
qualifier. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was awarded the spot. Stevens
also won on Friday at Malta. Donnie Bunnell made it two in a row in Modified
action at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Cote was the Grand American Late
Model winner. At Monadnock, Dynamite Ollie Silva was the winner.
Thirty five years ago in 1979,
Stafford presented Modified Madness on Tuesday. Richie Evans and Maynard
Troyer finished one-two in the 50-lap open comp event that drew 28
modifieds. Ronnie Bouchard made a run to the front but was hampered with a
slipping clutch and was held to a third place finish. Rounding out the top
five were Jerry Cook and Bugsy Stevens. Bouchard redeemed himself on Friday
as he returned to Stafford and beat the pants off of Evans who had to settle
for second. Bouchard continued his hot streak and went on to win at Seekonk
on Saturday and again at Thompson on Sunday. Evans traveled to Islip on
Saturday where he won a 150 lapper. A trip to Monadnock produced a DNF.
Brian Ross was the Monadnock winner over Jerry Cook and Reggie Ruggiero.
Other weekend winners included George Kent at Spencer and Shangri-La,
Ruggiero at Riverside and Peter Schwartz at Westboro. Bob Potter won a 200
lapper at Waterford over Dick Ceravolo and it was also on this weekend that
Tom Rosati, at 19 years of age, won the Oxford 250.
Thirty years ago in 1984, Monadnock
and New Egypt ran special events on Wednesday. Reggie Ruggiero won a 100
lapper at Monadnock while Jim Spencer beat out Richie Evans at New Egypt.
The action switched to Star Speedway on Thursday where Evans took the top
spot over Brett Bodine. Stafford rained out on Friday but at Spencer, Tom
Druar won a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier. Saturday action saw Dale
Holdredge score a popular win at Waterford and at Riverside, Ruggiero was
the top dog. Other weekend winners were Tony Siscone winning the Garden
State 200 at Wall, Charlie Jarzombek taking a 75 lapper at Oswego and in
Winston Cup action at Talladega it was Dale Earnhardt.
Twenty five years ago in 1989, the
Modified Tour Series was at Stafford for a 125-lap event. Mike Stefanik took
the win over Mike McLaughlin and Tom Bolles. Riverhead ran a Race of
Champions qualifier on Saturday with invader, George Kent taking the win
over McLaughlin. Sunday at Thompson, Jeff Barry was the SK modified winner.
Twenty years ago in 1994, the
Modified Tour Series was at Riverside Park for a Wednesday event. Mario
Fiore was without a driver and joined forces with Jerry Marquis for a one
shot deal. Needless to say, the mighty No.44 found the fastest way around
and Marquis won the show. Jeff Fuller finished second and was followed by
Steve Park, Richie Gallup and Ed Kennedy. Thompson ran SK's the same night
with John Sneade taking the win over Frank Cardile. John Anderson won the
Friday night SK modified feature at Stafford with Steve Chowinski, second.
Bob Potter, driving with a broken wrist, finished third. Saturday night
action at Waterford, Riverside and Riverhead rained out. In Winston Cup
action at Talladega, Jim Spencer took the win over Bill Elliott.
Fifteen Years ago, in 1999, the
Modified Tour was at Thompson on Thursday night. Tim Connolly started sixth,
pitted for right side tires on lap 64 and took the lead which resulted in an
eventual win on lap 90.Charlie Pasteryak finished second and was followed by
Tony Hirschman, Rick Fuller and Chris Kopec. A packed house was on hand at
Stafford on Friday night for the running of BGNN 150, which was won by
Dennis Demers. Curt Brainard was the SK modified winner. Tucker Reynolds
ruled the roost at Waterford despite the efforts of Dennis Gada and at
Riverhead; Dan Jivanelli beat back the advances of Howie Brode. It was a
good night for Ed Spiers as he took down the win at Riverside. Brad Hietalla
Ten years ago in 2004, the NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour was at the New Hampshire International Speedway in
Loudon on Friday. The purse for this event was $151,203. Ted Christopher
found himself at the top of the 47 car heap as he took the Busch Pole with a
speed of 128.537 mph. John Blewett III was second fastest with a speed of
128.363 mph. Part time tour competitor Jan Leaty was third with rookie Kenny
Barry, fourth. Rounding out the top five was Don Lia. Defending race winner
Chuck Hossfeld qualified a distant 19th, a little over two miles per hour
slower than the pole sitter did. Heavy rain on Friday afternoon forced
NASCAR to reschedule the event to Saturday afternoon following the Busch
Series and Busch North Series events.
The Saturday weather held and the Modified Siemens 100 was run. Since the
advent of Stock Car racing in the late 1940’s there have been fathers and
sons, fathers and grandsons and brothers and sisters racing against each
other but last Saturday at Loudon identical twin brothers, Ted and Mike
Christopher, in almost identical cars finished one-two in what had to be one
of the greatest NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series event ever run. The
Christopher’s drove Modifieds owned by Jim Galante. The Christopher’s moved
into the top spots on lap 65 and outran a determined Mike Stefanik to the
finish at lap 108.
The history-making event saw Ted Christopher jump out to take the lead at
the start followed by John Blewett III and Jan Leaty. Reggie Ruggiero became
the first casualty as he lost an engine on lap 6. The first of nine caution
flags was waved on lap 10 when Wade Cole incurred a flat left front tire.
Kenny Barry had moved into the third spot as Jan Leaty began to fade the
victim of a slipping clutch. The caution period lasted until lap 18 before
going back green. Barry took the lead away from Christopher but his time on
the point was short lived as he lost control and spun on lap 19, bringing
out the second caution. Blewett took the lead on the restart on lap 25 but
could only hold off Christopher for one lap as the former New England
Regional champion powered his way back into the lead. Christopher along with
Blewett and Donnie Lia opened up a 15-car length lead under the green flag
period that lasted until lap 35 when Lia got to lead one lap until
Christopher took it back. The third caution flew on lap 37. Christopher and
a good portion of the field pitted for tires. Lia and Blewett chose to stay
on the track and led the restart on lap 42. Two laps later a mass tangle
unfolded and collected among others, Richie Gallup, Ed Flemke, Charlie
Pasteryak, Ted Christopher and Tom Baldwin. All except Baldwin and Gallup
were able to restart on lap 51 with Todd Szegedy taking the lead. Lia took
it back on lap 52 with Szegedy, Doug Coby and Tony Hirschman in tow. Gregg
Shivers pounded the front stretch wall on lap 55 bringing out the fifth
caution. Lia pitted on lap 57, giving the lead back to Szegedy. Szegedy led
the restart on lap 62 with Coby running second and Hirschman, third. Mike
Christopher, who started 17th in the 42-car field, broke into the top five
with his brother Ted on his bumper. The Christopher brothers made a
determined bid of high speed bump drafting as they raced their way into the
lead on lap 64. The sixth caution flew on lap 65 when Coby came to a halt
after losing an engine. Just before the caution the Christopher’s traded
spots which put Ted in the lead. On the lap 72 restart Szegedy was third
followed by Blewett, Hirschman, Eric Beers and Zack Sylvester. The action
slowed on lap 79 when Ronnie Silk lost an engine on the backstretch,
bringing out the seventh caution. The field went green on lap 82. By lap 85
Blewett had gotten by Szegedy but had nothing for the high flying
Christophers. Debris on the track brought the eighth caution on lap 86. The
green came back out on lap 90 with Mike Stefanik mustering a challenge to
the leaders. Unsuccessful, Stefanik got shuffled out of the front pack.
Blewett and Szegedy got together and wrecked on lap 99, bringing out the
ninth and final caution which set the stage for a green-white-checkered
finish. The final green flew on lap 106. The Christopher's were not to be
denied as they streaked one-two under the checkered flag. Stefanik finished
third and was followed by Hirschman, Lia, Sylvester, Flemke, Rick Fuller,
Ken Barry and Charlie Pasteryak. For their efforts, the Christophers
pocketed $18,300 combined. Eddie Flemke continued as the Series point leader
with a 42-point edge on Tony Hirschman. Jerry Marquis, Ted Christopher and
Rick Fuller rounded out the top five.
The Busch North Series was also at Loudon. Thirty-five cars were on hand
with Mike Olsen taking the pole position with a speed of 124.674 mph. Dale
Quarterly took the win as 43,000 spectators looked on.
In Wednesday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway hundreds of fans
stood in line in close to 90-degree heat to get their autographs from Nextel
Cup stars Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne. Kahne later took part in a
match-exhibition race with Eric Berndt, Bo Gunning, Ted Christopher and Todd
Ceravolo. In actual Sunoco-SK type modified competition Kerry Malone scored
his second win of the season in a fast paced event that went non-stop from
pole to checker. Malone started fourth and took the lead from Richard Savory
on lap 2. The racing was intense as Bert Marvin glued himself to Malone’s
bumper for almost the entire distance. Marvin tried on numerous occasions to
make a pass but Malone had the power to hold him off. With seven laps to go
Marvin made a bonsai move which almost cost him the runner-up spot but
managed to gather it in so as to maintain his position. Ted Christopher, who
started seventh, had nothing for the front runners and finished third. Jeff
Malave and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five. In Pro Stock competition
the old adage that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree came true as all
one had to do was watch David Berghman in action. Berghman grew up in the
shadow of his famous dad, 3-time NASCAR Modified Champion Carl “Bugsy”
Stevens. Now retired, Stevens sits proud as a peacock watching his son
perform as he did in years gone by. Berghman came from a tenth starting spot
to fourth in four laps and by lap eight was glued to leader Chuck Docherty.
Berghman, who operates DB Racecar Fabrication, had his tires fade as Norm
Wrenn moved into the second spot. Docherty, who drives for Rollie Linblad,
was headed for the win until being accidentally struck and spun by Wrenn as
they came off the fourth turn and headed for the checkered flag. Wrenn took
the win with Berghman second. Docherty, who eventually hit the infield wall,
finished third as he spun out of control. Wrenn apologized in victory lane
as he was booed loudly by the near-capacity crowd. In other action, Charles
Bailey III reaped the reward of winning the Late Model feature when Larry
Barnett had the miss-fortune of having his transmission implode while he was
in the lead. Scott Sundeen won the Limited Sportsman feature and Randy
Jurcik was victorious in Mini-Stock action. Thompson switches back to
Thursday night this week.
Heavy rain at Stafford forced the Arute Family to pull the plug on the
nights racing. Ted Christopher with six wins in 12 starts led the point
standings with a 54-point edge over defending SK-Modified champion Kerry
Malone. Christopher also leads the New England Region of the Dodge Weekly
Racing Series. Although winless, Malone has six top five’s in 13 starts and
has a four point lead over Willie Hardie. Todd Owen and James Civali round
out the top five.
The SK-Modifieds were scheduled for a night off at the Waterford
Speedbowl on Saturday. Defending five-time champion Dennis Gada, with one
win in 15 starts held a slim two point lead over Ed Reed Jr. Reed, with two
wins, leads Chris Pasteryak by 42 points. Tom Fox and Ron Yuhas Jr. rounded
out the top five. A scheduled program at the shoreline oval was rained out.
The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were at
the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH. Kurt Busch outran
Jeff Gordon to take the Nextel Cup event and Matt Kenseth cruised to a win
in the Saturday Busch Racing Series event.
The New York Times reported that the International Speedway Corporation
had offered to pay $100 million for land on Staten Island in New York City
where they hoped to build an 80,000 seat-3/4 mile speedway. The land in
question was a former oil tank farm owned by GATX. If, in fact, this
proposed speedway gets built it will all but put the proposed speedway in
Plainfield, Connecticut on the “Never Happened” list.
Five years ago in 2009, the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour continued on “Summer Break before heading for the
Riverhead Raceway. Ted Christopher continued to lead the point standings
with a 17-point cushion over Todd Szegedy. Thirty-nine points behind Szegedy
was Don Lia. Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece who rounded out the top five.
Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk, Jimmy Blewett, Woody
Pitkat and Ed Flemke, Jr.
It was hinted that The Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY could be
returning to its roots as an asphalt speedway if local officials have their
way. The Malta oval was a mecca for NASCAR Modified racing from 1966 to
1974. The best in the business from New York and New England would converge
every Friday night for some of the best competition ever seen. Originally
built as an asphalt speedway, the speedway became a dirt track in the late
The Thompson Speedway management took the bull by the horns as they
created the position of “Competition Director” and hired Mike Chapman to
fill that position. His job would be that of a cop as he would be making
judgment calls during the running of the weekly events at the northeast
Connecticut oval. NASCAR Chief Steward Richard Brooks would remain in his
position and would focus more on the technical end of the racing programs.
In recent weeks Brooks had preached and threatened competitors for weeks,
especially to those in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds. The deliberate
wrecking and rough riding continued with no action taken. It would be
Chapman’s job to step on those who deliberately wreck or spin other
As rain began to fall Chapman held his first drivers meeting and laid
down the law and announced that he wasn’t there to make friends. Chapman
stated that he would not tolerate the beating and banging that has become
the norm, especially in the Modifieds. One who deliberately takes out the
leader goes to the back or to the pits. One who drives like a windshield
wiper goes to the back and one who deliberately crashes into another
competitor will be dealt with. Chapman talks the talk, hopefully he will
walk the walk!
In other news from Thompson, the speedway had become a part of a great
new service titled “Rained-Out.com”. Rained-Out.com sends notifications of
cancellations or delays to mobile phones, pagers, blackberries or e-mails.
The service was free for member tracks or users.
Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway was rained out as
over four inches of rain fell on Thursday night into Friday morning.
The 6th Annual CARQUEST SK 150 was on tap at the Stafford Motor Speedway
on Friday night. Frank Ruocco came up the big winner, as he led the final
130-laps to score his first SK Modified feature victory of the 2009 season.
In other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Dillon Moltz took down
his fourth win of the 2009 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit
Andersen took his fourth win of the 2009 season in the 20-lap SK Light
Modified feature, Norm Sears took his first career Limited Late Model
feature win in 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders became
the first repeat DARE Stock feature winner of the 2009 season in the 15-lap
DARE Stock feature. Unofficial SK Modified third place finisher Tom Bolles'
car was found to exceed the maximum left side weight percentage allowed and
he was penalized from his finishing position of third place to the last
place finishing position of 27th place.
The racing action at Waterford Speedbowl took on a different look as the
Saturday divisions were schedule to race on both Wednesday and Saturday.
Corey Hutchings grabbed his first open-wheel win at the ‘Bowl, holding off
the competition in a fiercely competitive SK Modified event. Bruce Thomas
Jr. prevailed late to win the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model event, while
it was Walt Hovey Jr taking the Street Stock win. Defending Norwich Bulletin
Mini Stock champion Ken Cassidy Jr. returned to Victory Lane, as did Ryan
Morgan in Legends Car action.
With the win, Hutchings had now captured victories in three of the
Speedbowl's four NASCAR divisions. He was a past Street Stock and Late Model
The regular divisions returned on Saturday night and it was high tide at
the shoreline oval. The four inches of rain that fell on the Thompson also
put the Speedbowl under water. The infield was finally drained and the
racing went on as planned. Because of delays qualifying heat events were
There two first time winners this season reaching victory lane as Jeff
Pearl won the SK Modified race while Adam Cantor took his first NEMA Midget
event of the year. Bruce Thomas Jr. returned to victory lane in the Late
Models, and Ed Puleo and Kyle James repeated in the Street Stock and Mini
Thomas, the two-time defending Late Model division champion, wracked up
his ninth victory in 12 events this year. Tim Jordan, who dogged Thomas
until the final lap crashed into the turn three wall. A video indicated that
Jordan over drove and lost control. After viewing the video Jordan was
quoted on the JeffPearl.com website as saying “I hit the wall by misjudging.
Just wanted to let the racing community know that. I screwed up.”
In Sprint Cup action, Jimmie Johnson cashed in on the most expensive
speeding ticket in NASCAR history, grabbing an improbable third victory at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway when a penalty to Juan Pablo Montoya blew the
race wide open. In a performance that mirrored his dominating Indianapolis
500 victory nine years ago, Montoya was in cruise control as he led 116 laps
and built a 5-second lead over the competition. Then NASCAR flagged him for
speeding on a routine pit stop with 35 laps remaining, and the driver became
The penalty took him out of contention and relegated him to an 11th-place
finish. Montoya, who had moved as high as sixth in the Sprint Cup standings
as he ran out front, instead lost a spot and is now 10th in the race for the
Chase for the championship. The difference in his paycheck was severe:
Johnson earned $448,001 for the victory, while Montoya's share of the purse
was knocked down to $224,048. Mark Martin finished second with Tony Stewart,
In Nationwide Series racing at the O’Reilley Raceway Park, Carl Edwards
started 42nd out of 43 drivers because he spent the day at Brickyard 400
qualifying and got into the Saturday night race on owner points took the
win. He moved up 15 spots by the end of the fourth lap, and took the lead
for good in lap 179.Kyle Busch, who started 41st and qualified because of
owner points, finished second.
Last year, 2013, It appeared that the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour may have gotten a much needed shot in the arm
for 2015 as it was announced that NBC would replace the combined coverage
that ESPN and TNT shared in the then current television contract, which
would expire at the end of the 2014 season.
In addition to rights to NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series
races, NBC had also obtained exclusive rights to practice and qualifying
sessions for NBC’s national series events during their portion of the
season, as well as rights to broadcast the NASCAR K&N Series, NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour, NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the NASCAR Hall of Fame
induction ceremony and NASCAR’s season-ending banquets. Further, NBC has
been granted Spanish-language rights, certain video-on-demand rights and
exclusive TV Everywhere rights for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR
Nationwide Series events.
Highly respected Area Auto Racing News scribe Ernie Saxton stated that
the July Whelen Modified Tour race at Loudon did a .4 rating on the Speed
Channel with 420,000 viewers.
It was announced that seven drivers, Stan Meservey, Brian Ross, Drew
Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob Stefanik, Bill Eldridge and Bob Sharp and
car owner Ron Berndt, with hundreds of victories and dozens of championships
would comprise the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
Much to the dismay of many, rain forced cancellation of Thursday night
Thunder at the Thompson. The Valenti Modified Racing Series was scheduled to
be a part of the program.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ryan Preece picked up his
division leading 6th win of the 2013 season in the 40-lap SK Modified®
feature, Woody Pitkat scored his second win of 2013 with a thrilling finish
in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr. picked up his second
win of the 2013 season in the 20-lap SK Light feature, David Arute took his
second win of the 2013 season with a last lap pass in the 20-lap Limited
Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders scored his second win of the 2013
season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
With nine laps to go in the 40 lap SK Modified feature Preece powered his
way by Pitkat in the outside groove to take over the race lead. Pitkat
settled into second with Todd Owen, Ted Christopher, and Keith Rocco lined
up behind him. Doug Coby was sixth behind Rocco, with Rowan Pennink right
behind him in seventh. Nichole Morgillo and Zach Aszklar spun in turn 3 to
bring the caution out with 38 laps complete and set up a green white
Pitkat and Preece were side by side on the restart and Preece got loose
as they came to the white flag. Preece gathered his car back in and
maintained the lead. Preece led the field back to the checkered flag to pick
up his division leading 6th win of the 2013 season. Christopher nipped
Pitkat at the line for second with Owen and Coby rounding out the top-5.
Rocco finished sixth.
The Waterford Speedbowl hosted its annual Nostalgia Night treating a
large crowd on hand to a thrilling night of motorsports that honored racing
past and present. The event featured the track’s usual fare of NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series racing in addition to exhibition events by vintage auto
racing clubs. The Northeastern Midget Association, one of the fastest and
oldest sanctioned racing groups in the country, also joined the program for
its Shane Hammond Memorial event.
Picking up NASCAR wins on the night included Kyle James in the SK
Modifieds® and Dillon Moltz in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature,
while Phil Evans was a first-time winner in the Street Stocks and Ian Brew
took the night’s Mini Stock race. The Northeastern Midget Association races
went to Anthony Marvuglio of East Bridgewater, MA and Avery Stoehr of
Lakeville, MA, who won the NEMA Lite event.
James turned in a strong run in the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
SK Modified® feature to close out his second win of the season. He was
bogged down in traffic at the start of the race then used a long stretch of
green flag racing to march his way into contention. James inherited the
runner-up position with nine laps remaining after Jeff Gallup and Tyler
Chadwick spun out of contention.
Tom Abele’s strong run came up short as James was able to ease by for the
lead on the final restart. In the end, Abele settled for the second spot.
Todd Ceravolo benefited by the late caution flag as he finished third. Keith
Rocco and Craig Lutz completed the top-five.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series returned to the Monadnock Speedway
in Winchester, N.H for the Town Fair Tire Whitcomb 200. The race was a
makeup date for a rain out on May 11. Justin Bonsignore cut his racing teeth
at the tight and quick Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. He put his
experience to good use as he took the win at Monadnock, also a tight and
quick quarter mile oval. Bonsignore, who started on the outside pole of the
slim 23 car field. took the lead from pole sitter Eric Goodale following a
restart on lap 16 and held off challenges from Donnie Lia, Rowan Pennink and
in the end Doug Coby. Lia was well on his way to finishing second or
possibly a win until he made contact with Patrick Emerling and hit the wall
between turns two and three. Lia recovered to finish 15th, the last car on
the lead lap.
The final run-down saw Coby in the runner-up spot followed by Pennink. Bryon
Chew and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Ron
Silk, Andy Seuss, Richie Pallai, Woody Pitkat and Eric Berndt.
After seven of 14 races Preece now leads Pennink by 42 points with the
defending champion Coby in third, 45 back. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
is next in action on August 2 for the CARQUEST 150 from Stafford (Conn.)
Down in the south land at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Modified car counts for the
season hit bottom as there were only 11 cars in competition. Dave Brigati
took the win over Dave Sapienza and Tim Solomito.
Ryan Newman stayed in front for the final 11 laps to join team owner Tony
Stewart as the only Indiana-born drivers to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup
Brickyard 400. Kyle Busch overcame battles with Joey Logano and Brian Scott
to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at the Indianapolis
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.
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