August 22, 2014
Sixty five years ago in 1949, Charlie Barry won out over Jack
White at the Buffalo Civic Stadium in New York.
Sixty years ago in 1954 the New
London Waterford Speedbowl suffered it's only fatality. Jack Griffin, a
close friend of George Summers died from injuries sustained after his car
flipped 10 times on the front stretch of the shoreline oval. Griffin was
pronounced dead on arrival at the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New
London, Ct. Sparky Belmont, who normally raced at the Plainville Stadium,
made a surprise visit to Waterford on Wednesday and took the victory in the
Sportsman main event. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Harold "Curley"
LeMay was the Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval on Saturday night with
Big Bob Cahoon taking top honors in the non-Fords.
Fifty five years ago in 1959, Don
Rounds, racing out of Warwick, RI took the Friday night win on the dirt at
the Stafford Springs Speedway. Wild Bill Slater went two for two at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won 25 lap Sportsman features on Wednesday
and Saturday nights. Charlie Webster and Ray DeLisle were the non-Ford
winners an Newt Palm was a double winner in the Bombers at the Connecticut
Fifty years ago in 1964 New Jersey
driver Joe Kelly won the Trenton 200 on the one mile Trenton NJ State
Fairgrounds Speedway. Ray Hendrick was second with Perk Brown, third. Bobby
Allison and Irv Taylor rounded out the top five. Among those in the field
was Rene Charland who finished 18th, Mario "Fats" Caruso who finished 26th,
Bill Slater who finished 28th and Eddie Flemke who finished 37th. Kelly also
won the previous night as he went pole to pole to win the Garden State 100
at the Wall Stadium. Wally Dallenbach finished second with Eddie Flemke,
third. On a sad note, dirt tracker Jackie McLaughlin lost his life in an
accident at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Gene Bergin scored his second win of the season on the dirt at Stafford
Springs and Al DeAngelo won at Islip. Following Bergin at Stafford was
George Janoski and Bill Wimble. Billy Harman won his third Modified feature
of the year, a 75 lapper, at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bill
Scrivener was the Bomber winner at the Conn. shoreline oval.
Forty five years ago in 1969, the All
Star League visited Islip on Wednesday for a 100-lap event. Taking the win
was home track favorite Fred Harbach. Gary Winters finished second and was
followed by Richie Evans, Jack Reinhard, Artie Tappen and Will Cagle. Albany
Saratoga ran a 100-lap double point event on Friday, which saw Eddie Flemke
clean house. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook
and Bernie Miller. Stafford was closed. Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny
Thompson with his small block Ford took the win over Freddie Schulz, Fred
DeSarro and Marty Bezema. Fonda ran their rained out 200 and at the checker
it was Lou Lazzaro who prevailed. Kenny Shoemaker finished second and was
followed by Ron Narducci and Rene Charland. Airborne Park in Plattsburg ran
a 100-lap double point event and it was invader, Bugsy Stevens taking the
win. At Islip Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach shared the spotlight as
they each won separate events. Hometown favorite Charlie Webster was the
Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Big Mike Daignault was
the Daredevil winner. At Thompson on Sunday night it was Eddie Flemke over
Stevens and Moose Hewitt and at Utica-Rome Jerry Pennock beat out Dave Lape
for the win.
Forty years ago in 1974, Don Howe got
the best of Charlie Jarzombek at Riverhead on Wednesday. Frank Curtis
finished third with Junior Ambrose, fourth. On that same night, the master,
Eddie Flemke, gave a young driver named Reggie Ruggiero a lesson as he won a
100 lap open event at Plainville Stadium. Jim Cash finished third with Bobby
Bard, fourth. Friday night at Freeport, Jarzombek played second fiddle again
as he finished second behind Dan MacNamara. Donnie Bunnell was the Modified
winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. A 200 lapper scheduled at Islip on
Saturday rained out. Bugsy Stevens was king of the hill at Stafford despite
the efforts of Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Bouchard. In New York State action,
Dick Clark won at Utica-Rome, Merv Treichler won at Lancaster, Geoff Bodine
won at Shangri-La and Richie Evans won at Fulton. In Sunday night action at
Thompson, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row and at Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard
was the victor.
Thirty five years ago in 1979, Bill
Brown sold Monadnock Speedway to Bill Davis and at Danbury, starter Ted
Abbot was struck and killed while flagging a race at the historic oval.
Stafford ran twin 25's on Tuesday and drew 75 modifieds. Geoff Bodine won
the first 25 and was followed by Ron Bouchard, Jerry Cook and Bugsy Stevens.
Cook won the nightcap with Bodine following and Leo Cleary in third spot. At
New Egypt on Wednesday night, John Blewett Jr. took the win over Jerry Cook
and Richie Evans. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard scored a popular
win over Evans and Kenny Bouchard. Seekonk ran a 50 lapper on Saturday,
which saw Geoff Bodine take the win over Leo Cleary and Bugsy Stevens. After
two successive rain outs, Waterford got their show in and it was Rick
Donnelly taking the win over Moose Hewitt and Dick Ceravolo. At Shangri-La,
Richie Evans got his 44th win of the season. Jerry Cook finished second with
George Kent, third. At Lancaster it was Maynard Troyer over Roger Treichler
and at Thompson on Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard beat John Rosati. Also on Sunday,
Brian Ross secured twin wins at Monadnock.
Thirty years ago in 1984, Waterford
ran a special 82-lap open competition event and it was local favorite Bob
Potter beating out Kenny Bouchard for the win. At Stafford on Friday night,
Brian Ross took a popular win over Bugsy Stevens and Charlie Jarzombek. New
Egypt ran a 200 National Championship event that saw George Kent beat the
heat and the competition. Bob Park finished second with Fred Harbach, third.
Spencer also ran on Friday and it was now Winston Cup crew chief Doug Hewitt
taking the win. In Saturday night action it was Brett Bodine taking a 200
lap win over Reggie Ruggiero and Richie Evans at Riverside. Ruggiero drove a
car owned by Mike Grecci who was the crew chief for Andy Santarre. At
Waterford it was Bob Gada Jr. over Bob Potter and at Islip it was Al Hansen
in victory lane. Tony Hirschman beat out Gil Hearne for a win at Wall
Stadium and at Thompson on Sunday, Art Davis was the winner. In Winston Cup
action at Nashville, Geoff Bodine took the pole but ended up 22nd with a
broken rear. Terry LaBonte took the win.
Twenty five years ago in 1989, Tom
Tagg was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. At Monadnock they
were still running Modifieds and Reggie Ruggiero took the win. Waterford
rained out on Saturday but on Sunday it cleared as Thompson hosted the
Modifieds. Mike Stefanik won out over Reggie Ruggiero and Doug Hevron.
Ruggiero won the companion SK event.
Twenty years ago in 1994, Thompson’s
Wednesday show rained out. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bob Potter
held off Mike Paquette. Rick Fuller was the winner of the Pro Stock
100.Saturday night at Waterford, Scott Spaulding got his first ever Modified
win as he beat out Mike Gada and Jerry Pearl. Riverhead ran a Race of
Champions qualifier, which was won by Tom McCann, and at Riverside, Dan
Avery took the win. The Modified Tour Series was at Loudon. The scheduled
100-lap event was called after 23 laps due to rain. Steve Park was awarded
the win with Reggie Ruggiero second and Ed Flemke Jr., third. In Winston Cup
action at Michigan, Ernie Irvan was severely injured after a cut tire forced
him to crash at high speed into the wall. After a long recovery period,
Irvan survived to race and win again.
Fifteen years ago, in 1999, Willie
Hardie won the postponed NO-Bull 100 at Stafford. Jerry Marquis finished
second. Ted Christopher won the regular Friday night SK 50 lapper. Earlier
in the day, Christopher qualified on the outside pole for a Grandnational
event at Michigan but had his time disallowed because of illegal shocks.
Mike Gada went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night to win out over
Ron Yuhas Jr. Riverside and Riverhead rained out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the
Grandnational and Bob Labonte was the Winston Cup winner at Michigan. Last
but not least, Kenny Tremont got his 13th win of the year at Lebanon Valley
as he charged from third to first on the last lap.
Ten years ago in 2004, with heavy
hearts the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour headed back to Stafford on
Wednesday after Tom Baldwin had been laid to rest. Services were held at the
Lucia and Orlando Funeral Home in Patchogue on Long Island. National Speed
Sport correspondent Gary London reported that thousands came to the wake and
funeral of the popular Long Island driver. After only three days off the
tour returned to Thompson on Sunday to continue the event that was halted
due to the Tom Baldwin accident. The infield light poles in turns one and
three had been moved outside the track. The concrete blocks that protected
them were also gone.
At Stafford, a fitting tribute was presented in honor of Tom Baldwin.
Video clips of his highlights in Stafford events were shown and on the
parade laps of the main event seventh place starting spot was left open in
his honor. Forty-six modifieds were on hand for the Dodge Dealers 150.
Donnie Lia was the Busch pole sitter. Nevin George drew the pole starting
position and John Blewett III drew the outside pole. Lia drew seventh. Nevin
George took the lead at the start and led through lap 54. John Blewett III
took the lead on a re-start but his position at the point lasted only one
lap as George took it back on lap 56. Todd Szegedy, who didn’t pit for
tires, took the lead on lap 81 when George developed problems and ended up
dropping out with a bad clutch. Szegedy led the remaining laps and crossed
the finish line 1.14 seconds ahead of current series point leader Tony
Hirschman. Eric Beers, Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino rounded out the top
five. Tom Bolles, who lives in nearby Ellington, finished a respectable
sixth, just ahead of leading Rookie candidate Ken Barry. Barry’s teammate
Sean Caisse resigned his ride prior to the event and is looking to pursue a
racing career elsewhere. Rounding out the top ten were Donnie Lia, Chuck
Hossfeld and Doug Coby. Hossfelds car owner, Bob Garbarino, stated that he
was extremely hurt by recent action taken by Stafford owner Jack Arute. When
Hossfeld quit his Friday night SK Modified ride Arute became enraged as he
felt that Garbarino had cost him one of his top weekly drivers. Arute
instructed his announcing team not to mention Garbarino’s name or his
business, The Mystic River Marina. Garbarino had supported the speedway
since it was initially paved in 1967. Ted Christopher and Reggie Ruggiero,
two of the pre-race favorites, failed to finish. Ruggiero, who started 18th,
dropped out with suspension problems after completing 45 laps. Christopher,
who started 22nd, lasted until lap 52 when he broke an axle. Tony Hirschman
stretched his point lead to 55 over Ed Flemke Jr. Flemke finished on the
lead lap in 13th spot. Flemke was running in third spot on the final lap
when he spun as a result of a tire going flat. Jerry Marquis, who finished a
distant 23rd after completing only 91 laps because of an early tangle with
Ruggiero and Christopher, lost a little ground but still maintained third
spot. Christopher and Lia rounded out the top five.
The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour returned to Thompson on Sunday to
complete the Bud Racing 150 that had been halted when Tom Baldwin had his
unfortunate accident. Not returning to re-start the event were Bobby Santos
III, Sean Caisse, Ronnie Silk and Ken Wooley. Caisse, who was the Busch Pole
sitter, had announced that he had quit the Art Barry No.21. Prior to the
start of the event speedway announcer Russ Dowd paid an emotional tribute to
the fallen Baldwin, one that left more than one with damp eyes. Ted
Christopher, who was leading when the event was stopped on August 19 when
the field took the green on lap 14. Shortly after Donnie Lia took the lead
on lap 41, John Blewett III developed overheating problems with his Sheba
No.8 and parked it on lap 44. Blewett, by the way, had won the Garden State
Classic at the Wall Township Speedway on Saturday night. At just about the
same time Tom Cravenho parked the Eddie Partridge No. 12 when it developed
an oil leak. Lia led the field until he pitted on lap 81and handed the lead
to Kenny Bouchard as the field completed the fourth of six caution periods.
Bouchard's lead lasted one lap as a determined Tony Hirschman bolted into
the lead on lap 83. Doug Coby posed a potential threat but couldn’t compete
with the former series champion who went on to take the eventual win. Coby
and Eddie Flemke Jr. slugged it out for second spot until five laps remained
and he ran out of gas, stopped and brought out the sixth and final caution.
With a green-white-checkered finish Hirschman out powered Flemke for the
win. Jimmy Kuhn finished a career best third with Ted Christopher fourth and
Rick Fuller, fifth. Rounding out the top twelve on the lead lap were Dave
Etheridge, Jerry Marquis, Eric Beers, Jeff Malave, Jamie Tomaino, Charlie
Pasteryak and Renee Dupuis. Hirschman now leads Flemke by 65 points. Roy
Smith won the Pro Stock event that had also been postponed from August 19.
In Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway Kerry Malone won one
for the Tiger. Malone, who was a close friend of Tom Baldwin, won the 75 lap
Sunoco Modified event and in victory lane dedicated his win to the fallen
competitor. Jeff Malave ended up in second spot with Todd Ceravolo, third.
Bo Gunning and Kelly McDougal rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher was
a late contender until being spun out by Adam Norton. Norton was put to the
rear for his actions. Christopher recovered to finish seventh while Norton
played it cool to finish ninth. Jeff Zuidema was the Pro Stock winner. Point
leader David Berghman was collected in a wreck while running third and
finished out of the top 10. Other Thursday night winners were Dennis
Botticello in the Late Models, Glenn Boss in the Limited Sportsman and Todd
Henshaw in the Mini Stocks.
Twin 40 lap SK Modified features were on the racing card at Stafford
Friday night. Steve Chowanski went pole to pole to win the opening feature
while Chris Jones won the nightcap after finishing second to Chowanski in
the first event. Chuck Docherty finished second in the opening event and was
followed by Ted Christopher and Todd Owen. Christopher finished second to
Jones who withstood some horrendous pressure. Woody Pitkat finished third
with Frank Ruocco and Todd Owen rounding out the top five. Ryan Posocco, who
had won the Late Model event at Stafford on Wednesday, came back to make it
two for two in Late Model Competition. Vince Gambacorta finished second in
the DARE Stock event and was awarded the win after apparent winner Scott
Hitchcock was disqualified.
Jeff Pearl won his third SK Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl
on Saturday night. Pearl had to hold of an overheating Dennis Gada. Tom Fox
finished third. Carl Errickson won the Late Model feature and Richard
Brooks; son of Thompson Speedway Chief Steward Dick Brooks, won the
Mini-Stock feature. Other winners were John Mainetti in the X-modifieds and
James Trenary in the Legends Cars.
John Blewett III won the 100 lap Garden State Classic at the Wall Township
The Nextel Cup Cars and the Busch Racing Series were in Bristol; Tenn. Dale
Earnhardt Jr. scored a clean sweep as he won both events at the ultra-fast
Five years ago in 2009, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Bristol, TN for a Wednesday night
event. The posted race purse of $91,575 drew 42 Whelen Modifieds including
27 from the North. Late afternoon rain forced NASCAR to cancel time trials
forcing the field to go to post based on points. Ted Christopher led the
field to the starting green with Southern Modified point leader George
Brunnhoelzl, III on the outside. Christopher led the first 107 laps as
Brunnhoelzl faded. Donny Lia started seventh and by lap 100 had placed the
Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile firmly in second spot. Seven laps later
Christopher faltered and Lia scooted into the lead. Lia lost the lead to
Christopher when he jumped a restart on lap 138 and was told by NASCAR to
let Christopher by. Three laps later Lia was back in the lead and preceded
to open up a fairly good lead which he maintained to the 150 lap mark and
the checkered flag. Christopher held on for second and was followed by Ryan
Preece who brought the mighty No. 3, Ole Blu, of the Boehler family home in
third spot. That particular version of the legendary Modified was actually
built by the late Len Boehler in 1996! George Brunnhoelzl III and Woody
Pitkat rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Todd Szegedy,
Rowan Pennink, Ed Flemke Jr., Burt Myers and Erick Rudolph.
The racing was nothing short of being fantastic. A big plus was the fact
that Mike Joy and Dick Berggren called the race for the Speed Channel.
In Thursday night Thunder action at Thompson the aggressive driving in
the Sunoco Modifieds continued. Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco slugged it
out to the end. Lots of leaning along with bump and run. Neither hit the
wall so there was no foul. Christopher used retaliatory moves to score his
fourth win of the season. Derek Ramstrom won a wild one in the Super Late
Models while Rick Gentes scored the victory in the Late Models. Larry
Barnett padded his point lead with his fifth Limited Sportman victory of the
season. Another point leader, Brian Sullivan was victorious in the TIS
Modifieds. Rick Blanchard was declared the Mini Stock winner.
Tim Sullivan led the field to green but he would not lead the opening
lap. Rowan Pennink took over the top spot and began to motor out to an
advantage over Danny Cates. A bobble by Sullivan nearly collected Keith
Rocco, who was forced out of the groove. Woody Pitkat had worked his way
into the third position. The outside groove was the fast way around as
Christopher had moved into the third spot with Rocco in tow. On lap 9,
Christopher was able to dive inside Cates for second. Rocco, once again,
followed TC through and into third. Christopher caught Pennink while Rocco
caught the bumper of Christopher. The top three ran nose-to-tail.
At halfway, Rocco was able to slide below Christopher when he bobbled
exiting turn four on lap 15. The caution flew on lap 16 for an incident on
the backstretch involving Andy Gaspar and Wayne Arute. Leader Pennink opted
to use the outside groove on the restart but it was Rocco in the low groove
gaining the advantage. Christopher was able to get around Pennink as well.
The action was slowed for a spin by Harry Rheaume. Rocco was up to the
challenge on the restart but an incident further back in the pack brought
out the caution once again. A spin by Bert Marvin collected Tim Sullivan and
Todd Ceravolo. Sullivan’s car sustained significant damage. On the restart,
Rocco was up to the challenge once again. After a short battle with Pennink,
Christopher remained in the second position. Christopher dove beneath Rocco
in turn one. They went wheel to wheel through turn two. Christopher got the
edge on the backstretch but Rocco did the slingshot move exiting four. They
crossed the stripe even. In turn one, Rocco was the leader once again.
Pennink ran in the third spot with heavy pressure from Pitkat. Cates ran
alone in the fifth position.
With two laps to go, Christopher got along side Rocco. The duo streaked
under the white flag with Rocco ahead by inches. Rocco maintained a slight
advantage on the back stretch. Coming out of four Rocco tried holding
Christopher low. Christopher retaliated riding high out of four. Rocco
drifted up in the marbles making way for Christopher to take the checkers.
Pennink came through for second. Pitkat was able to grab third spot at the
checkers. Rocco had to settle for fourth ahead of Cates. There were 16
Sunoco Modifieds on hand.
Heavy rain plus warnings of possible tornados forced the Stafford Motor
Speedway event to cancel Friday nights racing.
The Waterford Speedbowl completed a fast paced NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series racing program on a hot Saturday bolstered by two green-to-checkered
flag races. Threats of storms generated by Hurricane Bill failed to put a
damper on the night’s racing. Corey Hutchings captured an exciting SK
Modified race in down to the wire fashion, Vin Esposito returned to the
winner’s circle in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, points leaders
Ronnie Oldham Jr. and Jason Palmer won the Street Stock and Legends Car
events and Nick Pappacoda was a first time feature event winner in the
Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks.
The SK Modifieds rebounded from the previous week’s caution-marred
feature to put on a classic 35-lap shootout. Corey Hutchings prevailed in a
close contest over last week’s winner Tyler Chadwick. The pair raced the
final several laps side-by-side. Joe Perry on the pole with Hutchings on the
outside pole brought the field to green and the pair ran the initial laps
alongside one another before Hutchings edged ahead into sole possession of
the lead on lap four.
The action up front was singling out with Hutchings moving out over
Perry. Justin Gaydosh was in third holding back the challenges of Jeff Pearl
and Chadwick as the event stayed green through halfway. The top points
contenders were mired back outside the top ten having difficulty moving
through the competitive field.
Gaydosh got loose in turn two on lap 19, allowing Chadwick to duck under
Pearl and take over the fourth spot after the two had battled for several
laps. Pearl and Rob Janovic Jr. moved past Gaydosh on lap 23 when his #94
car began to lose some handling. Ron Yuhas Jr. and Keith Rocco had finally
made some progress, moving into sixth and eighth respectively when the first
caution finally waved on lap 24 for Joe Gada and Tom Abele who suffered
separate incidents on different parts of the track.
Chadwick edged Perry on the restart, moving in to pressure Hutchings. He
pulled outside looking for a repeat trip to victory lane. Janovic also moved
past Perry into third. Yuhas finally emerged in the top five, moving past
Pearl as the field raced to lap 30. Caution waved on that circuit for
Chadwick was alongside Hutchings for the final restart. The two stayed
glued together over the final five laps to the finish, with Hutchings able
to prevail by .031 seconds over Chadwick. Janovic finished third, Yuhas got
up to fourth, and Perry put in his best effort in the open-wheel SK’s
running with the leaders all night for fifth. Jeff Pearl finished sixth and
was followed by Rocco, Dennis Gada, Josh Sylvester and Jef Paul.
In a sad note, former track Modified champion Dick Ceravolo, a longtime
competitor and car owner at the Speedbowl, suffered serious injuries in an
accident at his home on Friday afternoon. Known to many as Dickie Doo,
Ceravolo was attempting to jumpstart a farm tractor that had accidentally
been left in gear. The tractor bolted and pinned him between his truck and
the tractor while his wife Joyce watched in horror. Ceravolo was transported
to the Yale-New Haven Hospitol where he is presently on life support. Among
his injuries was a crushed chest plus back and head injuries. At 70 years of
age, the former driver is in excellent physical shape, which will work to
his advantage in what could be a long recovery.
Ceravolo won eight career Modified features from 1976-1987 at the
Waterford Speedbowl. He was the 1988 SK Modified division champion at track
despite not winning a feature during the season. Ceravolo surprised many
when he announced his retirement at the season ending banquet after his
championship year. He was the car owner champion the following year after
hiring Bob Potter as his driver. In recent years he has been a fixture at
the Thompson Speedway where he fields a Sunoco Modified that is driven by
his youngest son, Todd. His oldest son, Rick, is the crew chief of the
Ceravolo family effort.
In True Value Modified Series racing at the Seekonk Speedway Chris
Pasteryak took the 100 lap win over Les Hinckley, Rowan Pennink, Mike
Holdridge and Steve Masse. On the third turn of the final lap Pennink made a
move to pass Hinckley and got him sideways. Hinckley did a fantastic save
the car and made it across the finish line in second. Pennink settled in for
third as he backed off the gas to avoid causing a wreck.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing there were no last-lap fireworks Saturday
night as Kyle Busch and Mark Martin staged a side-by-side charge to the
checkered flag. Busch emerged the winner. It snapped his 13-race Sprint Cup
Series winless streak while Martin settled for second. David Ragan held off
teammate Carl Edwards on a two-lap sprint to the finish Friday night to win
the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards settled for
The World Racing Group, Inc. announced on August 14 that it has completed
its previously announced going private transaction. World Racing sanctions
and promotes dirt track auto racing. Based in Concord, N.C. they own and
operate the three highest profile national touring series for dirt track
racing in the United States which include The World of Outlaws® Sprint Car
Series, The World of Outlaws Late Model Series (SM) and The Super DIRTcar
Series™. Under the terms of the transaction, the Company conducted a
1-for-101 reverse stock split whereby each 101 shares of the Company's
common stock was converted into one share of common stock. Holders of less
than 101 shares of common stock prior to the reverse stock split will
receive a cash out price of $0.10 per share. The result of the reverse stock
split was a reduction in the number of the Company's stockholders of record
to fewer than 300. As a result, the Company would immediately cease to be a
public reporting company.
Last year, 2013, The NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour series visited the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Mike
Stefanik went from the outhouse at the season opening Battle at the Beach to
the penthouse at Bristol after he won the Titan Roof 150 and went on to
collect his second win of the season in the annual combination event with
the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. The victory also extended his
Whelen Modified Tour career record for wins to 74. Donnie Lia, on the other
hand went from the penthouse at Bristol to the outhouse.
Back in February Stefanik had victory on sight when he was turned by Steve
Park who was punted by Eric Goodale. Lia, who was the pole sitter, led the
first 91 laps only to get punted and turned by Justin Bonsignore on a
restart. In all fairness to Bonsignore, he was punted from behind by
Stefanik when Lia was slow on the draw for the restart. Lia's mount, the
Mystic Missile, suffered a broken panhard bar in the rear suspension.
Bonsignore was able to restart and recovered to finish 8th in the event that
was shortened to 135 laps from 150 because of time constraints. Lia ended up
30th. Park, who drove a team car to Todd Szegedy, failed to qualify.
After Lia spun, Ryan Preece inherited the lead which he held until he was
passed on lap 102 by Szegedy. Szegedy had the misfortune of having his
handling fade a bit as he got loose on lap 124 which opened the door for
Stefanik. Stefanik led the final 11 laps and streaked under the checkered
flag 0.092 second ahead of Szegedy. Ron Yuhas Jr, in a super spectacular
run, recorded a career high third place finish after coming from a 16th
place start. Preece and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.
Sixth through tenth were Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Justin Bonsignore,
Burt Myers and Jimmy Zacharias.
Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway finally got a break from
the weather. After four previous attempts, the Valenti Modified Racing
Series got their 75-lap feature in at with Richard Savary taking down the
win. Thursday Night Thompson Thunder (TNTT) winners in NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series action included Keith Rocco in the Sunoco Modified
division, Damon Tinio in the Late Models, Cam McDermott in the Lite
Modifieds, Jesse Gleason in the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman, and Chad Baxter
in the Monster Mini Stocks. Zachery Sylvester won the New England Truck
Series feature and Brian Jenink won in the Outlaw Modified division.
Second generation racer Richard Savary has raced a lot at Thompson
Speedway. But, he has never won until now. Using a late-race restart, Savary
used a take-no-prisoners approach to take the lead and eventual win in the
75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature.
Chris Pasteryak led the field to green as Rowan Pennink quickly moved his
way up to second with Louie Mechalides settling into third. The field strung
out single file and approached the tail end of the field by lap 15. At the
same time, Pasteryak and Pennink started to pull away from the rest of the
field. At lap 20, Ted Christopher, who was fourth, decided it was time to
go. He passed Mechalides for third and set his sights on closing up the
distance on Pennink. Up front, Christopher could not reel in the torrid pace
of the leaders as Pasteryak and Pennink remained a half-a-straightaway
ahead. On lap 42, Christopher lost the third position to Savary as he, too,
would try to close up the gap. Savary didn’t have to work too hard, however,
as caution flew and tightened the field up for a restart. Pasteryak and
Pennink were dead even into turn one and made slight contact in turn two
before Pasteryak settled in out front. On lap 48, Pennink took the lead out
of turn two, but a caution would put Pasteryak back out front for the
restart. Pasteryak didn’t waste time getting to the front when the green
dropped, but Pennink wasn’t about to settle. Coming out of turn four,
Pennink dropped to the bottom and got a run on Pasteryak on the front
stretch before taking the lead in turn one of lap 49. Caution set up another
double-file restart at lap 51. Pennink got the front as Keith Rocco and
Savary took over second and third respectively. Rocco settled in on
Pennink’s bumper with Savary close behind him. On lap 60, Rocco dropped to
the bottom to look for a way around Pennink, but settled back in line.
Pennink, Rocco and Savary pulled away from the rest of the field and showed
no signs of slowing. On lap 67, Savary made his move and dropped to the
bottom groove to take over second. On lap 69, Savary made his move again and
this time, took over the lead before caution came out. The green flew with
only six laps to go and Pennink was the first one to turn one, but it was
Savary out front in turn two. The duo would have to do it all over again
after a car hit the wall in turn two and brought out the caution before the
lap was complete. Pennink again led the field into one, but this time,
stayed out there through turn two. Savary closed in on Pennink and dropped
to the bottom for a challenge on lap 72. Coming out of turn two, Savary took
the lead and pulled ahead to a three-car length advantage. Savary was on
fire and continued to pull away from Pennink as he drove to the victory.
Jon McKennedy, Tommy Barrett and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five.
There were 22 cars on hand. Rounding out the top ten were; Dan Meservey, Jr,
Chris Pasteryak, Max Zachem, Jeff Malave, and Louie Mechalides. The race was
completed in 50:44 with 13 of the 21 starters on the lead lap at the finish.
Keith Rocco added win number five to his season record after taking the
lead from Todd Ceravolo in turn two on lap 17 of the Sunoco Modified
feature. John Catania took the early lead in turns one and two, but Ceravolo
got alongside him going into turn three and four to take the lead on lap
two. Kerry Malone and Rocco followed his line and took over second and third
respectively before the trio pulled away to a comfortable lead. By lap five,
Ceravolo, Malone and Rocco were bumper to bumper. Going into turn one on lap
seven, Malone dropped to the bottom to challenge, but couldn’t complete the
pass and fell back into line before caution slowed their pace. On the
restart, Malone rocketed to the lead from the bottom groove with Ceravolo
holding onto second ahead of Rocco. Woody Pitkat was making his presence
known in Rocco’s rear view mirror before caution flew again. When the green
dropped, Ceravolo fought back and went side-by-side with Malone for a full
circuit before reclaiming the lead. Rocco also got by Malone and attached
himself to Ceravolo’s bumper. The top four cars were running nose-to-tail by
lap 12, and Rocco wanted a way around. On lap 17, Rocco looked high and then
he looked low as they went into turn one. Ceravolo suddenly went high in
turn two allowing Rocco to drive by for the lead. Malone and Preece took
over second and third. Rocco was solid, however, and Malone, though less
than a car length behind, could not muster a bid strong enough to knock
Rocco from the point.
Following Rocco at the checker was Preece, Pitkat, Matt Gallo, Ceravolo,
Nick Boivin and Dennis Perry.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ryan Preece scored his
division leading 8th and second consecutive win of the 2013 season in the
40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn took down his fourth win of the
season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Chase Dowling took down his sixth
and second consecutive win of the 2013 season in the 20-lap SK Light
Modified feature, Andrew Hayes came home a first time winner in the 20-lap
Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande scored his second
consecutive and third overall win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock
In the SK Modified feature Ted Christopher was able to hold Preece off
until lap-26 when Preece made his move to take over the lead with a pass in
turn 3. Christopher was looking to the inside of Preece but Preece was able
to hold Christopher off to the checkered flag to pick up his 8th win of the
2013 season. Christopher finished second, with Eric Berndt, Keith Rocco, and
Dan Avery rounding out the top-5.
Action at the Waterford Speedbowl saw Late Model Madness take over
Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl, the highlight of a five division NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series racing program. The Bob Valenti Auto Mall
sponsored Late Model division took center stage with a special 50-lap race,
dominated by Keith Rocco. In other races, Tyler Chadwick was back in Victory
Lane for the fourth time on the year following the SK Modified® feature,
Chris Meyer took his second Street Stock win and Garrett Denton ended a
slump with his fourth victory in the Mini Stocks. In INEX racing, Giovanni
Giarratana made it two in a row in the Legend Cars.
Chadwick was served redemption in the SK Modified feature after a win
slipped away on the final lap the previous week in a photo finish with Keith
Rocco. He fought his way to the front in the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series feature this time around, climbing through the top-five
to become a contender over the second half of the race.
As Chadwick tried to pull away from Todd Ceravolo, Rocco closed in on the
leaders. Chadwick led the final restart against Ceravolo with just two laps
remaining. He again got the jump back into the lead, leaving Ceravolo in the
grips of Rocco. Rocco was able to stay inside Ceravolo and ultimately take
the spot racing to the white flag. Out in front, Chadwick closed out the
win, his fourth of the year. Rocco could not make a final run to contend for
the win and finished second. Ceravolo ended the race third, with Kyle James
fourth and Tom Abele fifth.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series went up country to the Monadnock
Speedway on Saturday night and performed in front of a full house. Todd
Patnoad recorded his first ever win in the popular traveling Modified Racing
Series. Patnode, became the second driver in two days to win their first
series race. Richard Savary, scored his first 48 hours previous at Thompson,
At the drop of the green in the 100 lap contest Max Zachem took the lead
from his outside pole starting position. Peter Jarvis shot by for the lead
on lap 44. Zachem reclaimed the lead four laps later and held the top
position until passed this time by Dwight Jarvis on lap 79. Jarvis lasted
until lap 84 when Patnoad took the lead.
Patnode, owner of Swanzey Oil, sponsored the race to honor his friend
Victor Johnson. Johnson, a local racer and occasional VMRS competitor died
two years ago in a house fire. John McKennedy finished second with Dwight
Jarvis, third. Zachem finished fourth after leading most of the race with
point leader Rowan Pennink, rounding out the top five. Russ Hersey, Todd
Owen, Chris Pasteryak, Dana Smith, and Jeff Pearl rounded out the top ten.
There were 26 cars on hand.
Down in the south land at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC
Tim Brown won the battle as he led all 150 laps in the Modified season
finale to record his 70th win but it was Burt Myers who won the war as he
wrapped up the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Series Track Championship.
Brown celebrated a victory in the season-ending Carolina Farm Credit 150.
Myers celebrated his sixth season title. Brown’s path to get there seemed a
bit easier. After scorching the quarter-mile track with the year’s fastest
qualifying lap, he led all the way in the 150-lap main event.
Myers needed to finish in the top seven to secure the title, and he survived
a few precarious moments to hang on for a good-enough, sixth-place finish.
Following Brown in the season ending 150 lapper was Lee Jeffreys, Jonathan
Brown, Jason Myers and John Smith.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Tom Rogers Jr. scored his third
win of the season as he held off Ryan Preece. Jason Agugliaro finished
The Seekonk Speedway announced a new Race Director will rule the roost at
the Massachusetts oval. With a handful of weeks left in the 2013 racing
season, and an eye on 2014, Seekonk Speedway will welcome Frank Sgambato Jr
to the role of Race Director. Frank comes to Seekonk after spending several
years in the same role at Stafford Speedway, and returns to the speedway
where his father spent many years as the chief starter. Frank will take over
the role vacated by Mike Chapman, who retired several weeks ago. He took
over as Race Director on Saturday, August 24.
Matt Kenseth was the NASCAR Sprint Cup winner at Bristol. Kyle Busch's
Nationwide Series win on Friday night was his 60th Nationwide series win of
his career, and 120th spanning NASCAR's three national series. It was also
his 15th of the season.
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
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