The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

June 16, 2017

  Sixty five years ago in 1952 Johnny Sandberg, who was a R&D Sound and Vibration Technician at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, CT, went two for two in Claiming Car action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Don Collins was the Sportsman winner on Saturday night as rain prevailed before the Sportsman feature could be completed on Wednesday night.

  Sixty years ago in 1957, Melvin "Red" Foote was the 25 lap Sportsman feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Islip ran on Wednesday and Saturday. Johnny Coy and Tex Ring were the winners.

  Fifty five years ago in 1962, Wild Bill Slater, who was known for his proficiency on asphalt was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Don Collins was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner.

  Fifty years ago in 1967, rain washed out weekend racing at Stafford, Norwood and Thompson. Spencer Speedway got their show in with Bob Hudson taking the win. The skies remained dry along the Connecticut shoreline while Newt Palm won the Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night local favorite Clayton “Sonny” Seamon took the win over Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro, Kenny Shoemaker and Andy Romano.

  Forty five years ago in 1972, Gene Bergin, in the Dick Armstrong No.1 took the top spot in Friday night action at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. Bob Santos finished second with Richie Evans, Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro rounding out the top five. Ray Miller, in the Meyers-Sweatland Mustang, took Stafford by storm on Saturday night. Following Miller at the finish were Fred DeSarro, Billy Harman, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke. At Islip it rained and at Fonda, Maynard Forette beat out Jerry Pennock, Ken Shoemaker and Jerry Cook. Dick Dunn, driving the Al and Peg Gaudreau Budda's Bullet was the Modified winner at Waterford. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Eddie Pieniezak took the win over Richie Evans, Bernie Miller and Jerry Cook.

  Forty years ago in 1977, Geoff Bodine won at Stafford on Friday night over Ron Bouchard, John Rosati and Dick Caso. Rain washed out action at Seekonk, Westboro, Waterford and Riverside on Saturday night. It remained dry at Islip where Gary Cretty took the win over Wayne Anderson, Cliff Tyler and Tom McCann. At Freeport it was Jerry Bartlett over Gary Winters and Jim Hendrickson. Riverhead ran a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier on Sunday with Charlie Jarzombek taking the win over Jerry Cook and Fred Harbach. Kirby Monteith unseated Punky Caron as King of the Hill at Monadnock and at Thompson; Fred DeSarro made it three in a row as he beat out Ray Miller and John Rosati for the win. Other weekend winners were Richie Evans at Spencer and Maynard Troyer at Lancaster.

  Thirty five years ago in 1982, Reggie Ruggiero was the Friday night modified master at Stafford as he romped to a convincing win over Bob Vee, Ray Miller, Kenny Bouchard and Bugsy Stevens. Spencer ran twin features including a 100 lapper that was won by Maynard Troyer. George Kent won the nite-cap and carried his win streak to Riverside on Saturday night where he beat out Richie Evans and Reggie Ruggiero for the win. Waterford cancelled due to high water in the infield and at Seekonk; Bugsy Stevens took the top spot with the Mystic Missile. Carl Pasteryak finished second with George Summers, third. Sunday racing at Thompson rained out. Other weekend winners were Wayne Anderson over Richie Evans and Bob Park at New Egypt and Fred Harbach at Islip. In Winston Cup action at Riverside in California, Tim Richmond took the win over Terry Labonte and Geoff Bodine.

  Thirty years ago in 1987, rain washed out Stafford, Riverhead and Riverside. At Waterford, Dickie Doo Ceravolo took a popular win as he held on to beat out Bo Gunning and John Anderson. At Shangri-La, Jim Spencer picked up his third win over Jan Leaty and Tony Hirschman. In Winston Cup action at Pocono the winner was Tim Richmond.

  Twenty five years ago in 1992, Ted Christopher took no prisoners at Stafford on Friday night as he beat out Bo Gunning, Bob Potter and Richie Gallup for the win. Waterford ran twin 25's on Saturday night with Bob Potter and Rick Young each taking a victory. Tom Fox was the late model winner after Phil Rondeau and Jerry Young tangled late in the event. Jay Stuart won his fifth Pro Stock feature at Riverside and Ricky Fuller bested Chris Kopec for the modified win. Mike Ewanitsko won the Richie Evans Memorial 61 lapper at Riverhead. Bob Park finished second with Brian Miller, third.

  Twenty years ago in 1997, Stafford rained out on Friday night. The Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Jennerstown, Pa. where Mike Ewanitsko scored his 16th Mod Tour win over Tony Ferrante Jr, Sam Russo and Doug French. Charlie Pasteryak had been leading with five laps to go in the 150 lapper when he broke a wheel hub and crashed. Jim Broderick took the lead for the win with two laps to go at Waterford. In victory lane he dedicated his win to Scott Spaulding's dad who had passed away during the previous week. Riverside ran a 100 lapper on Tuesday and a 50 lapper on Saturday night. Dave Berube won the 100 lapper over Ted Riggott and Ted Christopher and in the 50 lapper on Saturday, Richie Gallup took the win over Christopher and Rene' Dupuis. Rumors coming out of Riverside indicated that racing for 1998 could be in doubt due to consistently bad crowds. In other weekend action, Dale Shaw won the Busch North Series 150 at Beech Ridge over Mike Stefanik and Jerry Marquis and at Riverhead; Ken Matlach scored his first ever modified win.

  Fifteen years ago in 2002, Bert Marvin made it two in a row in Thursday night action at Thompson. Ted Christopher finished after coming from the back and was very critical of Marvin’s blocking. Tom Bolles finished third with Ron Yuhas Jr and Jeff Malave rounding out the top five. Perfect weather drew a near capacity crowd. Ed Spiers ended a long dry spell as he scored his first win since 1989 at Stafford on Friday night. During the early going Ted Christopher and John Lobo Jr. were fighting for the lead when they tangled. Christopher lost two laps while his crew changed a tire and was never a factor after that. Ron Silk finished second with Bob Georgiades, third. Lobo finished fourth. The Busch North Series was also at Stafford. Kelly Moore won the 150-lap contest over Dale Shaw and Andy Santerre. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series paid a visit to the Seekonk Speedway. The 150 lap event carried a purse of $67,675 and drew 40 Modifieds and a reported 10,000 spectators. Ed Flemke Jr. started third and took the lead from Ted Christopher on lap 26, survived four re-starts and went on to record the win. David Berghman finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho, Joey Carracia and Rob Summers. Tony Hirschman wrecked on lap five and re-injured his wrist, which all but eliminated his title hopes. Rob Janovic took the win at Waterford over Ron Yuhas Jr. and Dennis Gada. Mike Andrews took the win at Riverhead and Harry Reed got his second of the season at Wall Township. New England was well represented in a Hooters Cup event run at Indianapolis Raceway Park as former Waterford Late Model Champ Phil Rondeau finished fifth and Dale Evonsion finished eighth. George Kent Sr. won the Race of Champions Tour Series event at Tioga and in Winston Cup action at Sonoma, Cal. Ricky Rudd lucked into a win after Jerry Nadeau lost a rear in the Petty car that he drove.

  Ten years ago in 2007 The big news of the week was that Woody Pitkat had been named as the driver of the Hillbilly Racing No.79. Pitkat replaced Chuck Hossfeld. In other big news, NASCAR listened to car owners concerns and changed the format for an upcoming “Flash” Whelen Modified Tour Series event that was to be held at the Twin State Speedway. After a comprehensive review of the “Flash” format, NASCAR announced changes effective for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event in Claremont (N.H.) on Sunday, July 8.The race, the seventh in the 16-race schedule, would be 100 laps in length. The 30-car field would be set through time trials and twin heat races. “
  Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway saw six drivers red hot in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition on an uncharacteristic night of yellow fever. Thursday night featured two first time winners with Marc Jenison scoring his first Late Model triumph in the division’s marquee 50-lapper and Eric Grant besting a strong Limited Sportsman field for his career first. Keith Rocco survived a caution-filled event to score the Sunoco Modified victory while Norm Wrenn, was tops in the Pro Stocks. Tim Sullivan was victorious in the TIS Modifieds and Mike Romano in the Mini Stocks.
  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Woody Pitkat won the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Ryan Posocco, the 30-lap Late Model feature, Glenn Griswold the 20-lap SK Light feature, Andrew Durand the Limited Late Model feature, and Jeff Jolly the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
  Former Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Rick Fuller joined the Stafford Motor Speedway TV crew as a color man. Fuller’s insights greatly enhanced the Stafford produced NASCAR New England program that was seen every Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm on NESN.
  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Dennis Charette passed early leader Jay Miller with ten laps to go, notching his first 35-lap SK Modified feature of the season. Dennis Gada and Diego Monahan completed the top-three. The race concluded with a grinding multi-car crash on the front chute that sent Wendell Dailey to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
  Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Al Stone III (Sportsman), Danny Field (Mini Stock), Jason Palmer (Legends).A lot of racing equipment was damaged as numerous wrecks took place in all divisions.
  In True Value Modified Series action “Lightning” Lou Mechalides returned to his old stomping grounds, Lee USA Speedway and when the checkered flag was displayed on lap 100, the veteran driver captured his third career win with the touring series. Mechalides is no stranger to feature wins at the Rte 125 oval. He is a former champion of the tracks super modified division driving for the same car owner, Marco Turcotte. Twenty-six Modified race cars towed to Lee for the “Rockingham Boat Spring Fling 100.” Three 12 lap heat races and a 15 lap last chance consolation race determined the 24 car starting field. Mechalides set a torrid pace, leading the Black Mountain Painting half way award at lap 50. A third caution flag slowed the race on lap 57 for early race leader Tony Ricci who spun. Longtime Lee racer and fan favorite, Vinnie Annarumo moved into the top five on the 57th circuit. Fans were starting to watch the Les Hinckley # 06 as the two time winner was starting to put on a late race show. By lap 70, Hinckley got past Annarummo, and cracked the top five. He dogged Kirk Alexander for several laps racing right behind the two time champ. Following a lap 88 caution for an Annarummo spin, the last ten laps got interesting. Hinckley was fifth with 10 laps to go; when the checkered flag was displayed the second-generation driver was second. The charge to the front by Hinckley thrilled the crowd but it was the hometown driver, Mechalides, that put a charge into his old stomping grounds. Jimmy Kuhn Jr, also made a late race run to the front to finish in the top five while Donny Lashua garnered a solid sixth place finish driving the Jack Bateman entry.
  In Nextel Cup action Carl Edwards ended a 52-race Nextel Cup winless streak Sunday by holding off Martin Truex Jr. at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Stephen Leicht took advantage of Carl Edwards' late wreck, then passed good friend Brad Coleman with 13 laps to go to win the Meijer 300 on Saturday night for his first NASCAR Busch Series victory.
  The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) filed a counter claim in U.S. District Court against AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless and AT&T Inc., alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with NEXTEL’s exclusive sponsorship agreement. NASCAR is seeking a minimum of $100 million in damages.
  The NASCAR Rule Book governs participation in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and its contents are agreed to in writing by all NASCAR members and participants. Cingular is a member of NASCAR and agreed to abide by all NASCAR rules and regulations when its representatives signed official documents such as the NASCAR Membership and License Application.
  NASCAR’s suit further alleges that AT&T, Cingular and its representatives breached its explicit agreements with NASCAR when they re-branded the No. 31 car; entered into contract with RCR knowing that they would litigate against NASCAR; and when they sought to ambush NEXTEL’s exclusive sponsorship rights.
  NASCAR also submitted its response to a suit filed by AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless by soundly rejecting each of their claims. The response demonstrates the clarity of NASCAR’s rule book and the baseless allegations made by AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless in its attempts to re-brand the No. 31.
  The court’s preliminary injunction allowing the No. 31 to re-brand is still on appeal by NASCAR and NEXTEL.

  Five years ago in 2012, a veteran former Modified Car Owner made a noteworthy observation. He said, "With the average team's equity hovering around a half-million, it just seems odd that race purses continue to decline." He added, "the latest debacle comes from the "last bastion of top paying modified purses" that being New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The entry arrived and it shows a decrease of 10% from 2011". Mario Fiore stated that Reggie Ruggiero, driving the #44 won $18,150 back in 1992, 20 years ago. Fiore also stated that next months winner of the Modified portion at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will get $10,700 according to Nascar's entry form !!! "What's wrong with this picture ??", he asks. Fiore also alluded to the fact that also on the horizon is Nascar's plan to obsolete the Modified team's inventory of $50,000 engines, some car owners who possess three, four or five of them.
  The Star Speedway in Epping, NH ran the Exeter Decorating SBM 125 Modified Open on Saturday night. The event drew 28 cars. Matt Hirschman made the trip from Pennsylvania worth his while as he took the victory in the high paying event. Ryan Preece, who normally races at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night, finished second with Josh Cantara, third. Mike Stefanik and Dwight Jarvis rounded out the tp five. Sixth through tenth were Bobby Santos, Jim Boniface, Doug Coby, Richie Pallai and Todd Szegedy.
  Numerous cases of "Yellow Fever" slowed the competition. Doug Coby stated that there were 122 laps run under caution in addition to the 125 green flag laps at the New Hampshire quarter mile oval. Hirschman of Northampton, PA., earned $8,792 in cash and prizes for his hard fought effort. The diverse field had 28 cars from ten different states on hand to compete.
  Hirschman passed Preece on lap 111. Preece retook the lead on a lap 116 restart, but he was forced to give it back when a caution reset the field before that lap was completed. Hirschman was able to get the jump on the next restart, and he raced away to the lucrative victory in the J & J Motorsports 59.
  The special event brought Star their largest crowd of the season, and some of the best racing as well. Todd Szegedy made it to second place before fading from the lead pack. In all, 22 of the 28 teams earned bonus money put in place through a variety of local sponsorships from race fans and area businesses. Lap 79 alone paid Hirschman $610, and the halfway bonus added $425 to his payoff.
  Thursday night Thunder saw Keith Rocco come from last to first in the Sunoco (SK) Modified feature. Rocco had spent the afternoon at the Waterford Speedbowl practicing the Boehler Racing No. 3 in preparation for this weeks Whelen Modified Tour Series event. Starting scratch didn't seem to be an issue.
  Thursday night Thunder that also saw Scott Sundeen win an extended race distance for the Limited Sportsman division. Other winners included Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds, Trevor Michalski in the Mini Stocks, John Lowinski-Loh in the Thompson Modifieds, and Mike Scorzelli in the Late Models.
  In the 30 lap Sunoco Modified feature John Catania took the early lead at the drop of the green, but as one lap was completed Todd Ceravolo had moved into the front spot. The top-four – Ceravolo, Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher, and Kerry Malone – were bumper-to-bumper as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Keith Rocco, who had to start at the tail end of the field, was fast approaching and sitting seventh when the caution flew at lap six.
  Ceravolo beat Preece to the front on the restart with Malone powering to second on the inside. Malone spun to the infield grass coming out of turn two and brought out the caution with Ceravolo, Preece, and Christopher making up the top-three. Ceravolo, Preece, Christopher, and Rocco settled in single file when racing resumed, but Ceravolo put some breathing room between himself and Preece by lap 10. On lap 11, Christopher dove low and got around Preece for second with Rocco in tow. A caution on lap 12 put Ceravolo side-by-side with Christopher for the restart with a determined Rocco and Preece right behind them. When the green dropped, Christopher beat Ceravolo into turn one with Rocco looking high and low for a way around both of them. As the trio entered turn one, troubled brewed when Ceravolo took Christopher low. Christopher retaliated and Ceravolo’s night ended in the outside retaining wall in turn two. Ceravolo expressed his displeasure with Christopher's driving as did track officials.
  Christopher was penalized and sent to the rear of the field while Rocco inherited the lead. Rocco had to earn his position up front as Preece filled his rear view mirror. A caution at lap 20 slowed the pace with Rocco powering out to the front followed by Malone and Christopher. Preece was relegated to fourth and remained there until the caution came out at lap 22. On the restart, Rocco went back out front with a challenge by Malone in turn three, but Rocco shut the door. The top four fell into single file, but running bumper to bumper until Rocco took the checkered flag. Malone settled for the runner-up spot whith Christopher rebounding to finish third. Preece and Catania rounded out the top five.
  Car counts continued to be an issue at Thompson. The Limited Sportsman (27) and the Mini Stocks(19) are relatively healthy. The Sunoco Mods, (SK"s) had 13 while there were only 4 SK Lites, 7 Late Models and six Thompson Modifieds.
  The Stafford Speedway welcomed the beginning of summer with it’s 12th Annual Town Fair Tire Summer Blast-Off Fireworks program on Friday night. Providing the fireworks on the track were Ted Christopher, who picked up his second win of the season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Woody Pitkat, who picked up his first win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jay Goff, who picked up his first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Josh Wood, who took a thrilling fourth win of the season with a last lap pass in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Austin Bessette, who scored his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
  In the closing moments of the SK Modified 40 lap feature Ryan Preece took a look to the inside of Christopher on lap-35 in turn 3, but fell back in line behind Christopher. Preece was searching for a groove that would give him enough momentum to make a pass for the lead, but Christopher was able to hold Preece off. The jockeying between Christopher and Preece allowed Keith Rocco to close in on Preece’s bumper to make it a three-way fight for the race lead with 3 laps to go. Christopher was able to hold off Preece and Rocco to the line to pick up his second feature win of the 2012 season. Dan Avery came home in fourth with Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
  At the Waterford Speedbowl the track put on a briskly paced and hotly contested night of speed rts on Whelen Engineering Night at the shoreline oval. Scoring NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories included Tyler Chadwick, winning his third SK Modified® race of the year and Dillon Moltz who took down his second consecutive victory in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race. Other winners included Ken Cassidy Jr. who picked up his sixth straight win in the Mini Stocks and Josh Galvin who took down his first checkered flag of the year in the Street Stock division. Vin Esposito won the New England Truck Series feature.
In the SK Modified feature, Janovic got to Chadwick’s rear bumper on the final lap, stalking theleader for the final circuit to the checkered flag. Janovic couldn’t find a groove to make a serious bid and placed second for the second consecutive week while Chadwick marched to his third win of the year. Jeff Pearl finished in third while Kyle James wrestled fourth away from Tom Abele at the finish. Chadwick’s win lifted him into the point lead ahead of Pearl by just two points.
  In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina Tim Brown, an eight-time champion at Bowman Gray Stadium, mastered the field in the Great Clips 100 on Saturday night, picking up his fourth victory, the most this season in the featured Modified Division. Brown took the lead on the fifth lap, charging past Jonathan Brown on the outside. From there, he endured seven double-file restarts on the way to his 62nd victory at Bowman Gray.
While Tim Brown spent the entire race at or near the front, eventual runner-up Danny Bohn worked his way from near the rear of the field. Bohn, originally from New Jersey, started 22nd in the 23-car field as the result of a random draw but steadily progressed with the aid of double-file restarts and took second place from Jonathan Brown on the final lap. Jonathan Brown settled for third.
  The Winston-Salem (NC) Journal reported that Winston-Salem State University's effort to buy Bowman Gray Stadium from the city was stopped when state lawmakers killed the university's request for permission to borrow $7.5 million to buy the stadium. The legislative move opens the door wider to another potential bidder: Richard Childress, the NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner from Winston-Salem who sold peanuts as a child at Bowman Gray and started his racing career there in the 1950s.
  The stadium is owned by the city of Winston-Salem. For years, members of the Winston-Salem City Council have been trying to reduce overall costs by selling some of its property, including Bowman Gray.
  The stadium opened in 1937. In 1954, it was expanded to its current seating capacity of 17,000, according to the city. The stadium site has 42 acres, including 690 paved parking spaces. Civitan Park and three other tracts of land related to the stadium used for parking hold an additional 50 acres, according to the city.
  In Nationwide Series racing at Michigan Joey Logano held off James Buescher and Kurt Busch for his fifth Nationwide win of the year and 14th of his career. Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak at Michigan International Speedway.

  Last year, 2016, In weekly racing at Stafford, Xtra Mart Convenience Stores put up a $1,500 bonus that was split evenly among the top-5 finishers in the extra distance SK Modified® feature event. Woody Pitkat was the big winner of the night, taking his second win of the season in the 45-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn scored his third win of the year in the Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr. continued his strong performance with his fourth win of 2016 in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Robert Bloxsom scored his very first feature win in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Brandon Michael won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Noah Korner was the Legend Cars feature winner.
  In the SK Modified feature, Eric Berndt was able to pull alongside Pitkat in the outside groove on lap-43 and they took the white flag side by side. They were neck and neck down the backstretch and stayed that way through turns 3+4. As they came off turn 4, Pitkat had just enough to pull Berndt down the frontstretch and he took the checkered flag by a nose. Ted Christopher finished third, with Michael Gervais and Ronnie Williams rounding out the top-5.
  Heavy rain showers washed out the racing action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. The Town Night promotion that had been scheduled that offered free admission to anyone from towns or cities beginning with the letters A through M will now be held on Saturday July 16. The Town Night for the letters N through Z will be held as scheduled this coming Saturday night on June 18. In a related matter, former Speedbowl Modified Champion Bob Potter was inducted into the Norwich (Ct) Sports Hall of Fame.
  At the Speedbowl Potter won six track titles, three in the Modified division (1976, ’80 and ’83) and three in the SK Modified division (1986, ’87 and ’89). His 93 career victories rank him third all-time at the shoreline oval. At the Stafford Motor Speedway he won five SK Modified championships and ranks fourth all-time on the track’s SK Modified win list with 24 career victories. His last win at the track came in 1999. He won titles in the division in 1988, ’91, ’92, ’94 and ’95. Potter also won 30 SK Modified races at the Thompson Motorsports Park.
  Also falling victim to the weather was the much anticipated Tri Track Racing Series scheduled on Saturday night at the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. This event was slated to be the Ron Bouchard Tribute race.
  The NASCAR Modifieds ran a 100 lapper at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. Tim Brown took the win over Burt Myers and Jason Myers. Joe Ryan Osborne and John Smith rounded out the top five.
  The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island saw owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz out wait two rain storms to present the Mullet Madness 100 which featured Twin 50 events for the NASCAR Modifieds. One driver especially happy the new owners pushed forward with the program was NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Timmy Solomito who swept both ends of the doubleheader.
  Vinny Biondolillo of Farmingville was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 12.019 with Timmy Solomito second with a lap of 12.024. A lucky fan drew the #1 pill after qualifying meaning the field would start straight up from time in the first 50 which was contested first on the race card. At the drop of the green flag Solomito on the outside would get the early race advantage moving out front on Biondolillo who ran second. A long green flag run allowed Timmy to open up a comfortable lead until a lap 29 caution for a Cory Midgett spin. With the field bunched up for the restart the race went back to green with Solomito picking up where he left off as the race leader and pulling away. Biondolillo meantime had Howie Brode breathing down his neck for second which further allowed the race leader to pull away. Brode would sneak by Biondolillo with an inside pass exiting turn four on the 39th lap. At the checker Timmy Solomito was a popular winner with Howie Brode runner-up and Vinny Biondolillo third. Tom Rogers Jr. and point leader Shawn Solomito rounded out the top five.
  The second 50 lapper found John Fortin Sr. on the pole with Timmy Solomito to the outside and when the race went green Solomito once again getting good bite off the corners was able to race his way out front with Fortin tucking into second. Like the first race Timmy was able to put some distance between himself and second place John Fortin who later in the race was under pressure from Shawn Solomito for second. On lap 19 Shawn was able to work his way by Fortin for second and was left with the task of reeling in his younger brother. Shawn's efforts were aided by a lap 30 caution flag for a David Schneider spin in turn one. On the ensuing double file restart the Solomito boys lined-up side by side and when they hit the first and second turn Timmy drifted up the hill forcing Shawn to lift losing a few positions in the exchange. John Fortin Sr. was able to reclaim second in the shuffle but could only watch as Timmy Solomito drove off to victory. John Fortin Sr. was runner-up in the second race while Shawn Solomito after falling back as far as sixth on the lap 30 restart roared back for third in his Eastport Feeds entry. Howie Brode and John Fortin Jr. rounded out the top five in the second 50.
  Joey Logano dominated Sunday’s crash-plagued Firekeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan Int’l Speedway. Rookie Chase Elliott, driving a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, led 35 laps and finished a career-best second despite losing the lead during a late-race restart. Kyle Larson finished third. Mexico’s Daniel Suarez had been on the verge of his first NASCAR victory for nearly two years and on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Int’l Speedway he finally broke through by winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Menards 250 after a late-race duel with Kyle Busch.

  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

Source: Phil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: June 16, 2017

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