February 20, 2015
Forty five years ago in 1970, Pete Hamilton, driving a Petty
Superbird, was an upset winner in the Daytona 500.The event was televised on
closed circuit TV. Among the first to greet Hamilton in victory lane were
Steady Eddie Flemke, Billy Harman and George Pendergast.
Forty years ago in 1975 the NASCAR
Modifieds were part of Daytona speedweeks as they ran a 200-mile event on
the 4.1-mile infield road course. Merv Treichler took the win over Fred
DeSarro, Jerry Cook, Billy Osmun, Don Flynn and Will Cagle. Bobby Allison
and Dick Brooks were the 125-mile qualifying race winners and in the 500
Benny Parsons scored an upset victory after late event leader David Pearson
Thirty five years ago in 1980, Richie
Evans continued his win streak at New Smyrna as he won on Monday and
Tuesday. After a rain out on Wednesday night, Geoff Bodine who had finished
second to Evans the last two times out came back on Thursday night and went
on to wrack up three in a row. The final night of competition saw Junior
Handley take the series finale over George Kent and Evans. Richie Evans as
the overall point leader and was crowned the series champion. Buddy Baker
was the Daytona 500 winner and in the process set a record speed of
Thirty years ago in 1985, Reggie
Ruggiero made it two in a row on Monday night at New Smyrna. Doug Hewitt
finished second and was followed by Charlie Jarzombek, Richie Evans, Jamie
Tomaino and Jim Spencer. Evans and Jim Spencer dominated the rest of the
week. Evans won on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and just lost out on the
series title, which was won by Spencer. At Daytona, Bill Elliot and Cale
Yarborough won the 125's.Geoff Bodine won the Busch Grandnational 300 and
Elliot won the 500.
Twenty five years ago in 1990, Tiger
Tom Baldwin made it two in a row at New Smyrna as he beat out Tony Jankowiac
on Monday night. Jay Hedgecock finished third with Richard Savory, fourth.
At Daytona, Darrell Waltrip took the pole for the NAPA 300 with Dale
Earnhardt on the outside. At New Smyrna on Tues night, Reggie Ruggiero took
the top spot with Jankowiac again second. Hedgecock abandoned New Smyrna and
went to Volusia County where he took the top spot over Jim Winks and Tom
Bolles. Baldwin also jumped ship but to no avail as he could do no better
than ninth. Wednesday night at New Smyrna Reggie Ruggiero was not to be
denied as he romped to victory over Jankowiac and Jeff Fuller. Meanwhile
over at Volusia, Jim Winks, driving for Ted Marsh took the win over Jerry
Cranmer. Jankowiac finally got it all together as he won at New Smyrna on
Thursday night. Ruggiero finished a close second but couldn't muster the
little extra needed to take the win. Jeff Fuller won at Volusia over Cranmer
and Winks. Ruggiero turned the tables on Friday night as he beat Jankowiac
to the stripe for his fourth win of the series. Hedgecock won the series
ending Richie Evans 100 on Saturday night. Jankowiac finished second and
wrapped up the series title. Dale Earnhardt dominated the entire Daytona 500
on Sunday until it came to the final lap. Going into turn three, he had a
tire go down and allowed Derrick Cope to take home the win for Bob Witcomb.
Twenty years ago in 1995, It rained
at New Smyrna on Monday night. At the Daytona Speedway, Michael Waltrip took
the pole for the Goody's 300.Dale Jarrett took the outside pole. Tuesday
night at New Smyrna saw a new name in victory lane as Tim Connelly took the
win over Mike Ewanitsko and Tom Baldwin. Just to show he was no flash in the
pan; Connelly came back and won the next three in a row on Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday. Reggie Ruggiero finished second on Wednesday and was
followed by Eric Beers and Ewanitsko. Steve Park finished second on Thursday
followed by Ted Christopher and on Friday, Ruggiero was second with Jamie
Tomaino, third. At Daytona on Thursday, Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt
won the 125's.The Richie Evans 100 closed out the New Smyrna series on
Saturday night. Steve Park took the win over Baldwin, Tom Cravenho and
Beers. Connolly finished 14th and wrapped up the series championship.
Connolly drove the Bob Fuller No.17. At Daytona, Chad Little came from a
42nd provisional spot to take the win. Steve Grissom, who was leading when
Little went by, lifted, triggering a big wreck. Michael Waltrip finished
second. Sterling Marlin beat out Dale Earnhardt to win the Daytona 500.
Fifteen years ago in 2000, rain
washed out the action at New Smyrna on Monday night. On Tuesday, Ted
Christopher picked up where he left off as he recorded his third win of the
series. Charlie Pasteryak finished second with Jamie Tomaino and Mike
Ewanitsko following. On Wednesday night, Christopher and Mike Ewanitsko in
Joe Brady team cars finished one-two. Eric Beers, Jamie Tomaino and Doug
French rounded out the top five. Usually the 125-mile Daytona 500-mile
qualifiers are the best events of the week at Daytona but in 2000 they
produced little competition and no passing, turning the events into a bore.
Thursday night at New Smyrna saw Christopher continue his win streak in
spite of constant pressure from Jamie Tomaino and Junior Handley. Friday at
Daytona saw one of the most violent wrecks ever seen at the 2-1/2 mile oval
when Geoff Bodine all but destroyed his truck in a bone jarring wreck that
had everyone holding their breath.
Bodine suffered a broken wrist and a broken toe plus numerous scrapes.
Junior Handley ended Christopher’s win streak on Friday night as he went
pole to pole to take the win at New Smyrna over Tomaino, David Berghman,
Doug French and Christopher. At Daytona on Saturday, Matt Kenneth won the
Busch Grandnational Goody's 300. Christopher and Ewanitsko ran one-two in
the Richie Evans Memorial 100.Handley finished third and was followed by Jim
Willis, Berghman, George Bock, Eric Beers and Bobby Santos III. Christopher
was awarded the series championship. At the Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett passed
Johnny Benson with two laps to go to win his third Daytona 500 Jeff Burton
finished second with Bill Elliott, third.
Ten years ago in 2005, after having
Sunday night off the Modifieds and SK Modifieds returned to the high banks
at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida on Monday night. Ted Christopher led
the 22 car starting field to the green in the 25 lap Modified feature.
Christopher led the entire distance to record his second win. Don Lia, who
had been having handling problems, got it all together and spent the closing
moments of the race beating on Christopher’s rear bumper. Christopher sealed
his fate when he caught Lia sleeping on a restart with two laps to go. Chuck
Hossfeld finished third with Zach Sylvester and Eric Beers rounding out the
top five. Among the night’s casualties was Jonathan McKennedy who took a
hard shot into the wall just after he finished seventh. His Michael Boehler
owned No. 34 sustained considerable damage from the impact and had to be
towed from the scene. Tim Arre, driving the Connecticut based Bear
Motorsports No.14 continued to have bad luck as he was forced to retire
early in the event and ended up in 20th spot. In the SK Modified feature
Mike Holdredge was headed for victory until Chris Jones rode him up and out
of the racing groove in the closing moments. This incident opened the door
to Tim Arre who went on to take the win. The Super Late Models enjoyed a
Ted Christopher scored a one-two punch in World Series action at New
Smyrna on Tuesday night as he won not only the Modified feature but the
Super Late Model feature as well.. Thirty seven Modifieds including 15 SKs
were on hand. It looked like Don Lia had finally shaken off the bad luck
that has plagued him in Florida as he took the lead in the Modified 25 lap
feature on the first lap from Charlie Pasteryak. His bubble burst on lap 10
when a transmission malfunction forced him out of the event, handing the
lead to Christopher. Kevin Goodale had his best run to date in the series as
he finished second. Zach Sylvester finished a solid third with Eric Beers,
fourth. Riverhead Raceway hot shoe JR Bertuccio replaced Tim Arre in the
Bear Motorsports No. 14 and recorded a fifth in his first outing. Chuck
Hossfeld finished sixth with Charlie Pasteryak, seventh. Christopher, who is
on the cover of the latest issue of Speedway Illustrated, started on the
pole and led every lap of the Super Late Model feature. One of the biggest
wrecks in the history of the speedway occurred during the event when Ryan
Mathews got launched into the catch fence on the front chute when he rode
over second place runner David Rogers. After tearing up the catch fence
Mathews flipped high in the air and went end over end past the starters
stand and landed almost to the entrance of turn one. Mathews escaped with
minor bumps and bruises but the event was red-flagged for an extended period
while the fence was repaired.
The temperatures and competition heated up last Wednesday night as the
Modifieds at New Smyrna went 50 laps.
The heat was on as temps hit the low 80’s during the day and Ted
Christopher remained hot at night as he made it four out of five in World
Series competition. Eddie Flemke and the Hill’s Enterprises team joined the
mix as a full field of 24 Modifieds went to post for their first extra
distance event. Kevin Goodale, who qualified seventh, drew the pole and led
the charge to the green flag. The first caution period of the night came on
lap 2 when JR Bertuccio had the misfortune of having his Bear Motorsports
No.14 catch fire as he came to a halt on the backstretch. The field no
sooner took the green flag when Eddie Flemke came to a grinding halt in turn
three. It appeared that Flemke had a right rear tire blow out which turned
him into the unforgiving concrete wall. Flemke’s car sustained heavy damage
including having the right front suspension torn off. Caution no.3 came on
lap five when Goodale got a little over excited while leading the restart
and spun. Also collected were Jeff Malave, Andy Seuss and Jonathan
McKennedy. Christopher inherited the lead and was untouchable for the rest
of the distance as he captured his fourth win of the series. Chuck Hossfeld
finished second with Eric Beers, third. Rounding out the top five were
Charlie Pasteryak and Curtis Truex JR. Don Lia continued to have problems as
his car came to a halt in a cloud of smoke on the 17th lap. Eric Beers was
the SK Modified winner with Chris Jones, second.
A new winner emerged in Modified competition on Thursday night as
Riverhead, Long Islands’ Kevin Goodale won his first ever Modified feature.
Goodale started on the outside of pole sitter Zach Sylvester. Shortly after
Sylvester led the charge to the green in the 25 lap feature he spun between
turns one and two. Goodale assumed the lead and never looked back as he
sprinted to victory ahead of Ted Christopher and Eric Beers. Sylvester
restarted in the rear but was never a factor as he finished 12th in the
final rundown. Don Lia and Andy Seuss rounded out the top five. Ed Flemke
made it back as he finished behind sixth and seventh place finishers Chuck
Hossfeld and Charlie Pasteryak. With the exception of a delay caused when a
Sportsman car took out 100 feet of fence on the backstretch it was a
relatively quiet night. Among the missing were JR Bertuccio and the Bear
Motorsports No.14 who called it a week as they were out of motors. Steve
Reed was the SK Modified winner over Eric Beers and Dave Michael.
Don Lia, who had less than a satisfying week at New Smyrna, more than
made up for it as he won the Friday night Richie Evans Memorial 100. Lia was
the top qualifier and started on the pole. Lia was the class of the field
until pitting under caution at the half way mark for fresh tires. Chuck
Hossfeld, who started second, elected to stay out and assumed the lead with
Kevin Goodale in tow. Hossfeld was planning on going non-stop until his
tires started giving out shortly after the 75 lap mark. Hossfeld was hoping
to hang on but to no avail as he was forced to pit with victory in sight
with ten laps to go. Lia had sliced his way to the front and took over the
top spot on lap 91 and went on to take the victory. Goodale finished second.
Hossfeld made a determined charge after restarting in the rear of the field
and managed to salvage a third place finish at the end. Charlie Pasteryak
and Curtis Truex Jr. rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher had one
problem after another. After starting sixth, Christopher worked his way up
to the runner-up spot before he pitted with the leaders at the half way
mark. After numerous pit stops the defending Stafford Speedway champ worked
his way back to fourth spot only to spin out of contention on lap 97. He
ended up 8th in the final rundown. Despite a hard wreck in practice Eddie
Flemke had one of the fastest cars in the field. After starting 11th Flemke
worked his way into the top five by lap 24 only to tangle with Goodale and
spin. After pitting at half way Flemke came back to close in on Jeff Malave
who was running fourth at the time and was able to make the pass. Flemke and
Lia battled for position. On lap 68 contact was made and Flemke spun to the
infield and was hit by Jonathan McKennedy who also hit Zach Sylvester. All
three were done for the night. Chris Jones was the SK Modified winner over
Steve Reed and Dave Michael.
Chuck Hossfeld won the final battle of the 2005 World Series of Asphalt
Modified racing at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida but it was Ted
Christopher who won the war as he wrapped up the Modified series
championship for himself and car owner Joe Brady. In the night’s 25 lap
feature Charlie Pasteryak led the pack to the starting green with Chuck
Hossfeld in hot pursuit. Andy Seuss spun on the front chute. Before the
caution came out Hossfeld had taken the lead from Pasteryak. Pasteryak got
hung out to dry after a gentle nudge by Christopher. By the half way mark
Hossfeld continued to lead with Don Lia moving into the runner-up spot.
Curtis Truex had been running in second spot but he had gotten shuffled back
to fifth spot. Truex’s night came to an end on lap 14 when he hit the turn 2
wall after an encounter with Christopher. Following Hossfeld at the finish
were Lia, Eric Beers, Zach Sylvester, Christopher, Kevin Goodale and
Pasteryak. Steve Reed was the SK Modified winner. In addition to winning the
Modified title Christopher finished fourth in the Super Late Model
standings. Louis Mechalides took the Super Late Model title.
Long Island modified driver Kevin Goodale came away from New Smyrna with
one of the greatest gifts a driver could ever get, confidence! Prior to the
World Series Goodale was just another obscure middle of the pack runner.
With a win plus a runner-up finish and a fourth in points Goodale has
emerged as a possible top runner once the Whelen Modified Tour begins.
Despite winning the Modified championship, his seventh, Ted Christopher went
away a little disappointed. In addition to winning four Modified races
Christopher won one of the Super Late Model races and was leading the point
standings in that division until he was forced to miss the last two events
because his team was out of engines. Zach Sylvester went to Florida with a
new paint scheme and a somewhat new crew, hoping to get a leg up on the 2005
Whelen Modified Tour season. Sylvester’s best finishes were a third and a
couple of fourths. Car owner Tom Sylvester felt confident and believed the
week was a learning experience which would give them an advantage once the
regular season began. Milford Connecticut’s Chris Jones left New Smyrna with
a bloody nose and has vowed never to return. Jones, who was thrown out of
Stafford in 2004 because of his antics and over aggression, ran in the SK
Modified division at New Smyrna. Jones was leading the point standings and
the feature until the final lap on the final night when an explosive
situation developed. Jones was obviously blocking second place runner Steve
Reed. As they exited turn two Reed made a move under Jones. The pair touched
and Jones spun out of the lead. As Reed was slowing down to stop in victory
lane Jones walled him in retaliation. It didn’t end there as Jones stormed
into the middle of the victory celebration and ended up in a wrestling match
with a track official.
While the New England region was getting pounded by yet another snow
storm Developer Gene Arganese's proposal for a zone change to bring a
racetrack to Plainfield, CT. was in process. The meeting kept the Planning
and Zoning Commission, along with close to 600 residents, at the high school
longer than most would have liked. The five-hour hearing ended after
midnight when the commission voted to close the public hearing on the
proposal. It will discuss the issue March 3. With the public hearing closed,
the commission has 65 days to render a decision on Arganese's second attempt
at changing zoning regulations to allow a resort/recreational development
(C-5) zone which is needed to construct his proposed enclosed racetrack.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) settled their
case against the Daytona International Speedway involving the death of track
worker Roy Weaver during the 2004 Dash race. He was on the racetrack surface
during a caution period to retrieve debris in Turn 2 of the Speedway. In the
future track workers would have written guidelines, hands-on training and a
definitive chain of command during racing events as part of a settlement
agreement which was arrived at. OSHA withdrew its most serious citation
against the track, its failure to have a written protocol for workers
stepping onto the track. The track will also train its safety teams at least
once a year and strengthen radio communication between the control tower and
those on the ground tending to accident situations. A speedway spokesman
stated that the track has been training its safety crews but does not have
written documents on the subject. It was the first track worker death at the
speedway since it opened in 1959. There were 12 additional violations and
fines the Speedway did not contest. The Speedway would pay fines which total
$4,875 for other minor citations dealt with issues including a security
employee without hearing protection and a track worker without a helmet.
Tony Stewart won the Hershey’s Take 5 300 Busch Series race in
spectacular fashion. Not only did he avoid trouble on lap 95 when he drove
through the grass in Turn 1 and then simply drove right back onto the
banking into traffic, but he also came from 17th place in the closing laps
for the win on Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway. Kevin Harvick
finished second, with Dale Earnhardt Jr., defending series champion Martin
Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne rounding out the top five. Raybestos Rookie of the
Year candidate Reed Sorenson ran with the leaders most of the day and
finished ninth. Fellow rookie Carl Edwards (10th place) was the only other
NASCAR Busch Series regular to finish in the top 10. Jeff Gordon came out on
top to win his third Daytona 500. The four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
champion grabbed the lead from Dale Earnhardt Jr. with three laps to go,
then held off the defending race winner during the final three-lap dash to
the finish. For the second year in a row, Tony Stewart led the most laps and
was in position to take his first win in the "Great American Race," but was
shuffled back through the pack when Earnhardt passed him with five laps to
go, eventually winding up seventh at the finish line. Kurt Busch pressured
Gordon as the finish but had to settle for second, while Earnhardt took
third. Scott Riggs garnered an impressive fourth-place finish while Gordon's
teammate, Jimmie Johnson, finished fifth.
Five years ago in 2010, Tour type
Modified and SK type Modified racing at the New Smyrna World Series
continued on Monday night. In Tour type competition Ronnie Silk got the best
of Ted Christopher on lap 14 and went on to take the 25 lap win. Christopher
finished second and was followed by John Jensen, Kevin Goodale and Rob
Fuller. Keith Rocco was the 20 lap SK type feature winner.
The second rain out of the series occurred on Tuesday night. It was
announced that Don Lia informed Bob Garbarino that he would not defend his
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series title as he had secured a ride in the
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
On Wednesday night at New Smyrna temperatures were in the low 30’s but
emotions and tempers were high. Ted Christopher won the tour type John
Blewett III Memorial 50 lapper. Christopher took the lead from Chuck
Hossfeld on lap 8 and in the end, held off Ron Silk for the win. Silk was
later disqualified in a post race inspection when officials discovered an
illegal cam shaft in his "Spec Engine". Chuck Hossfeld was moved up into
second spot. Silks night had only begun as the SK type event would turn
ugly. He ended up with the win but it wasn’t pretty as he and Keith Rocco
had a race-long conflict that ended with physical violence between two
teams. Rocco and Silk tangled in the late stages of the event with Rocco
incurring getting the most damage. As tow trucks hooked up the Rocco car he
picked up a 2x4 and threw it at Silk, hitting his car just above the window.
Rocco’s crew made repairs in time for the restart. Rocco restarted in fourth
spot after being waved by cars that were in the rear. On the restart Silk’s
engine blubbered as Rocco shot into the lead. The action reached a fever
pitch on the white flag lap. With Silk and Rocco on the backstretch, Silk
rode him up to the point where he hit the wall. Silk took the checker and
pitted after a cool-down lap. Rocco followed him to victory lane where the
name-calling turned into a physical confrontation. Track security was forced
to Mace some of those including Rocco in order to bring the crowd under
control. The end result was that Rocco was escorted off the track and was
told that he was done for the week.
Silk returned on Thursday night and came away a double winner as he won
both SK type and Mod Tour type events. Silk was unable to get a replacement
engine or camshaft. Instead, his crew added 100# to the cars weight. In the
tour type feature Silk passed Chuck Hossfeld on lap 9 and ran pretty much
uncontested the rest of the 25 lap distance. Hossfeld finished second
followed by James Civale and Eric Goodale. Ted Christopher finished 14th
after wrecking. Silk went pole to pole in the SK type event.
Friday night’s Richie Evans Memorial 100 was rained out and rescheduled
to Saturday night.
The skies were clear and the weather was cold for the Richie Evans
Memorial on Saturday night. Matt Hirschman took the lead from James Civali
on lap 89 to win the 100 lap contest. Ron Silk, who had been running one of
the new spec engines had his crew do an engine change and finished third.
Rowan Pennink and Kyle Ebersole rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher
finished 14th and wrapped up the series championship by10 points over John
Jensen. The SK types did not run. Ron Silk was declared the series champion.
At the Daytona Int. Speedway, Jimmie Johnson won the 1st Gatorade Duel at
Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, beating Kevin Harvick by about
an inch. Kasey Kahne won the 2nd Gatorade Duel at Daytona International
Speedway, beating Tony Stewart by a couple of inches.
Jamie McMurray held off a hard charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last
lap of the 2nd green-white-checker try to win the 52nd Daytona 500 at
Daytona International Speedway. The race ran an extra 8 laps, for 208 laps
and 520 miles. The win was McMurray's 4th of his career and 2nd at Daytona.
The race took just over 6 hours to run as there were two lengthy red flag
for holes in the turn two area that needed repair. Greg Biffle, who led
going in to the 1st green-white-checker, finished 3rd, followed by Clint
Bowyer and David Reutimann.
Tony Stewart won the Nationwide Series race at Daytona.
Last year, 2014, The second annual Battle at the Beach for the NASCAR
Modifieds was considerably better than the first one despite the fact that
the dominant car didn’t win. Doug Coby took advantage of Ryan Preece’s
misfortune to take the win and the $20,000 that went with it. Preece, who
led the first 147 laps from the pole, hit the lapped car of David Sapienza
with eight laps to go. Sapienza, a lapped car, was low in turn one when
Preece approached. Evidently his spotter failed to inform him of the car in
the low groove or Preece just mis-judged his pass as his left rear tire made
contact with Sapienza’s car. The contact badly bent the left-rear wheel on
Preece’s No. 16 and when the race resumed with three laps to go he couldn’t
hold the bottom groove, allowing Coby to sneak from third to the lead. Coby
led the final three circuits on the temporary three-eighths-mile track
located on the backstretch at the superspeedway in his first race in the No.
Jason Myers put the bumper in typical Bowman Gray style as Coby was
exiting the fourth turn on the final lap, but Coby held on. Myers finished
second with Luke Fleming, Preece and Burt Myers rounding out the top five.
Sixth thru tenth were Tommy Barrett, Jr. Cody Ware, Ron Silk, Eric Goodale
and JR Bertuccio. Donny Lia, who ran second and third for 121 laps when he
spun out and eventually finished 11th, the apparent victim of worn tires.
Patrick Emerling who was second on the final restart got shuffled to 12th in
the final rundown.
Thirteen of the original 26 starters finished on the lead lap. There were
eight cautions for 44 laps. As far as the race itself was concerned the
reconfigured track provided better racing. The International Speedway
Corporation which owns the Daytona Speedway is in the process of tearing
down the backstretch grandstand which means that next year the Battle at the
Beach may move to New Smyrna or cease to exist.
With Daytona in the record book the Modifieds returned to New Smyrna on
Wednesday night, seventeen cars went to post for the John Blewett III
Memorial 76 lapper. Ron Silk took the lead from pole sitter Tommy Barrett on
lap three and went on to record his third win of the week. Ryan Preece
finished second with Barrett, third. Eric Goodale and Matt Hirschman rounded
out the top five.
The Living Legends of Auto Racing held their 20th annual awards banquet
last Wednesday night at the Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores.
Northern Legends Bugsy Stevens, Don LaJoie, Geoff Bodine, Jim Reed and Ken
Squire were honored.
At New Smyrna on Thursday night the Modified field grew to 18, Justin
Bonsignore, driving a brand new SPAFCO car, crew chiefed by Kenny Barry
cleaned house in the 35 lap Tour type Modified feature. Bonsignore started
on the outside pole and took the lead from pole sitter Matt Hirschman
following a restart on lap five.
Bonsignore left little doubt that his new car was running to perfection
as he opened up a 10 car lengths lead by lap 30 of the 35 lap main,
Hirschman hung on to finish second only to be disqualified after the post
race inspection indicated he has over the allowable left side weight. Ron
Silk was moved up into second and Ryan Preece into third. Tommy Barrett
ended up fourth with Patrick Emerling, fifth.
Bonsignore, on a roll from his Thursday night victory, came back on
Friday night to win the series ending Richie Evans Memorial 100 lap tour
type Modified event at the New Smyrna Speedway. Bonsignore started 14th in
the rain delayed event that didn’t take the green until 20 minutes to
eleven. The young charger from Long Island took the lead with two laps to go
from Ron Silk. It was close to 11:30pm when Bonsignore took the checkered
flag. With his third place finish, Silk wrapped up the series championship.
Silk led the charge at the start, which saw 19 cars go to post. Eric
Goodale was the pole sitter. Silk led until lap 86 when it appeared he
slowed because of worn tires. Goodale, waiting in the wings, took the point.
Meanwhile Bonsignore had methodically worked his way to the front and on lap
98 passed for the lead and eventual win. Goodale hung on for second. Chuck
Hossfeld finished fourth and Doug Coby came all the way from 19th to round
out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Rob Fuller, Spencer Davis, Ryan
Preece Matt Hirschman and Al Emmarino. It was another disappointing night
for Tommy Barrett who was forced to retire early with power steering
Justin Bonsignore can now head north with his head held high as he has
won one of Modified Racings Most Prestigious events, the Richie Evans 100. A
true Modified racer, he came from the back to take the win. Good Job!
Congratulations to Ron Silk and car owner Eddie Partridge on their World
Series Tour type Modified championship.
Matt Kenseth defeated Kevin Harvick by .022 of a seconds in a three-wide
finish that also included Kasey Kahne in an impressive finish to Thursday
night’s first Budweiser Duel 150 qualifying race for the s Daytona 500.
Harvick’s Chevrolet, however, failed post-race technical inspection when
NASCAR officials found the track bar exceeded the maximum split (3-inches of
adjustment). That meant his finishing position from Thursday was disallowed
and he would have to make it into the field through qualification times
posted in the previous week’s time trials or the car owner points that
belonged to Ryan Newman last year when he was the driver at Stewart-Haas
Denny Hamlin gave Joe Gibbs Racing a sweep of both Budweiser Duels,
driving his Toyota to victory in the second 150-mile qualifying race
Thursday night for Sunday’s 56th Daytona 500.
Hamlin was first to the checkered flag in a race that finished with a
massive crash behind him that saw six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and
two-time Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson run out of gas before being
clipped by Jamie McMurray. That led to a big multi-car crash that saw Clint
Bowyer’s car flip completely over before landing on all four wheels. Also,
two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip’s Toyota ran into the opening of
the pit wall.
One year after seeing an apparent victory end in one of the worst crashes
in Daytona history, Regan Smith was finally able to see the checkered flag
at Daytona Int’l Speedway. Smith used the high-line to nip Brad Keselowski
by a fender and win Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race
at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Brad Keselowski lost the race by the narrowest of margins. Trevor Bayne
was third in a Ford followed by Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota drivers Kyle Busch
and Elliott Sadler.
In the weekend final Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt JR led 54 of the 200
laps in beating Denny Hamlin (who had no radio much of the night), Brad
Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, defending race and series champion Jimmie Johnson,
Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Greg Biffle, rookie pole-winner Austin
Dillon, and Casey Mears. Several late-race cautions kept the field bunched
and set up the week's fourth spectacular Cup finish.
The 56th annual 500 began on time, then went under the red flag for rain
after just 38 laps. Competitors and fans sat around for almost 6 hours, 22
minutes as the long-expected weather moved through the area. The race
finally began again at 8:34 and ended at 11:45PM.
Following the first in-person meeting among the NASCAR Hall of Fame
nominating committee in the hall’s history, NASCAR announced the 20 nominees
for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame’s sixth induction class, as well as the
five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions
to NASCAR. Among them are two-time NASCAR premier series champion Terry
Labonte; 1988 NASCAR premier series champion and 16-time Most Popular Driver
Bill Elliott; nine-time NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik, whose titles came in
both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East; Buddy
Baker, a 19-time NASCAR premier series winner; and championship winning
engine builder and team owner Robert Yates.
Other nominees to the Hall of Fame include Red Byron, first NASCAR
premier series champion, in 1949, Richard Childress, 11-time car owner
champion in NASCAR’s three national series, Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR
Modified champion, Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars
driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others, Rick Hendrick, 14-time car
owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series, Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR
premier series champion, Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series
champion, Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World
600, Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner, Benny Parsons, 1973
NASCAR premier series champion, Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series national champion, Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was
the first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner, and first to
be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, O. Bruton Smith,
builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports
Inc., Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car
racing", Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Rex White,
1960 NASCAR premier series champion
The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award are as follows: H.
Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway, Anne Bledsoe France, helped
build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie
B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR
Hall of Fame, Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR
partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Ken Squier,
legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of
Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.
From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be
elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide
fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2015 class will be Wednesday, May
Congratulations to Geoff Bodine, Bob Cuneo and the USA Bob Sled team on
winning the bronze medal in the two man event at the Olympics on Monday,
2/17 and the four man team event on Sunday
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, R.I.02891.
Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
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