The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

August 11, 2017

  Seventy years ago in 1947, the Lonsdale Sports Arena, just outside of Providence, R.I. opened. Lonsdale featured a 1/3-mile high-banked speedway with the midgets as headliners. Lonsdale was also one of the first speedways to hold races for production automobiles, which was the forerunner of what we consider today as being stock cars. Lonsdale took four months to build and was dubbed the Worlds Greatest Midget Track. The chutes were 45 feet wide with a 7-foot bank. The turns were 60 feet wide with a 15-foot bank. Lonsdale ran until 1953 when the track was severely damaged by a flood, which wiped out half of the backstretch. The track was never rebuilt. The remains are still there on the banks of the Blackstone River. If in operation today, the track would be perfect for the modern modifieds as it would be comparable to a mini-Bristol. Wall Stadium, in Belmar, NJ is an almost carbon copy of the Rhode Island oval.

 Sixty five years ago in 1952, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Cy Yates won the 50 lap mid-season Sportsman championship at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner.

 Sixty years ago in 1957 Red Bolduc made it three in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night Sportsman feature. Irwin Fox was the non-Ford winner. Saturday night racing at the Speedbowl rained out. Johnny Zeke was the feature winner at Islip.

  Fifty five years ago in 1962, Dick Beauregard was the 50 lap Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Moody was the Bomber feature winner.

  Fifty years ago in 1967, the All Star League had a scheduled stop at Riverside Park but rain prevailed. Friday night at Stafford saw Gene Bergin make it two in a row as he won the 30-lap feature. Eddie Flemke finished second with Ted Stack, Smokey Boutwell and Wild Bill Slater rounding out the top five. Ernie Gahan, like Bergin, made it two in a row as he won the Friday night 30 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. George Pendergast finished second with Bob Bruno, third. Don MacTavish and Lou Lazzaro rounded out the top five. Lee Osborne made it two in a row at Fulton and George Wagner took a victory at the Riverhead Raceway. Fonda ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night. Rene Charland made it four in a row at the Track of Champions. Bill Wimble finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Newt Palm scored his ninth Modified win of the season at Waterford. Airborne Park Speedway near Plattsburg, NY ran twin 50’s with Eddie Flemke winning both. In the first event, Pete Hamilton finished with Don MacTavish, third. Billy Harman, who was racing full time, finished seventh. In the night cap, Hamilton and MacTavish followed with Richie Evans, fourth. Harman finished eighth. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Defending NASCAR Modified Champion Ernie Gahan took the win in the scheduled 30-lap feature. Lou Lazzaro finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Bernie Miller and Rene Charland.

  Forty five years ago in 1972, Bobby Sprague was the big winner at Seekonk on Friday night. Freddie Schulz finished second with Johnny Tripp, third. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Eddie Pieniezak took the win over Denis Giroux, Dave Lape and Eddie Flemke. George Summers, in the Ken Curley No.31 took a popular win at Stafford on Saturday night. Eddie Flemke finished second with Fred DeSarro, Bob Santos and Ernie Gahan rounding out the top five. Islip ran a 200-lap national championship event on Saturday night, which drew in many outsiders. Once the checker dropped and the dust settled it was Jim Hendrickson sitting in victory lane. Jerry Cook finished second with Bernie Miller, third. Fonda ran a double point event with Jack Johnson taking the win. Dick Watson was the Modified winner at Waterford. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Dave Kotary held off Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro, Jerry Cook and Denis Giroux for the win.

  Forty years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens made it three in a row at Stafford in Friday night modified action. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Ray Miller, third. At Riverhead, also on Friday, Fred Harbach took the win over Wayne Anderson and Charlie Jarzombek. At Seekonk, on Saturday night, John Rosati took on the big boys and came home the winner. Henri ”Red” Barbeau finished second with Jim Wilkins, third. At Westboro, George Savory mastered the high-banked quarter mile oval. Mike Murphy finished second with Butch Walch, third. It rained at Waterford and Thompson but at Monadnock on Sunday night, Donnie Ayer beat the rain and Don Miller to take down the win. Brian Ross finished third.

  Thirty five years ago in 1982, Reggie Ruggiero won a hotly contested 40 lap-Thompson 300 Pole Qualifier over Greg Sacks and Ronnie Bouchard. Ruggerio took the lead on the start from pole sitter, Ronnie Bouchard. Sacks was declared the winner after a post race inspection indicated that Ruggerio’s carburetor was illegal. Ray Miller took the Friday night win at Stafford despite the fact that Ruggerio was breathing down his neck during most of the feature. Ruggerio settled for second with Greg Sacks, third. In other Friday night action, George Kent won at Spencer over Jerry Cook and Billy Griffin, John Blewett JR won a 100 lapper at Riverhead over Fred Harback and George Brunnhoelzl and at New Egypt, Richie Evans won out over Jamie Tomaino and Tony Siscone. Thirty-four Modifieds were on hand at Waterford on Saturday night. Harry Rice took the win over Randy Lajoie and Moose Hewitt. Brian McCarthy was the Super Stock winner. At Riverside Park it was Mike Stefanik over Stan Gregger and at Seekonk, George Summers outran Ronnie Bouchard and Mike Murphy for the win. George Kent made it two for two on the weekend as he took the win at Shangri-La over Doug Hewitt and Richie Evans. At Islip, Wayne Anderson mastered the 1/5th mile oval.

  Thirty years ago in 1987, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Riverhead for a 151 lapper on Wednesday night. Rain postponed the event to Thursday night. Mike Ewanitsko slipped by Bob Park on lap 132 and went on to record the win. Tom Baldwin led the early going until he got caught up in a wreck, which had been triggered by a blown engine in the Don Howe car. Park finished second and was followed by Mike Stefanik, Bill Park and Jim Spencer. Ed Flemke JR was the SK-Modified winner at Stafford on Friday night but the big story was that NASCAR Chief Steward, Leo Waters, resigned after a dispute with General Manager Ed Yerrington. What happened was that Waters had suspended and fined Bo Gunning for a rough riding incident the previous week. During the week, Gunning appealed to Yerrington who, in turn, over-ruled Waters. Needless to say, Yerrington never told Waters of his decision. Waters felt that Yerrington had made a fool out of him and quit on the spot and would never return. Saturday night at Waterford, Moose Hewitt beat out Jerry Pearl and Ronnie Rocco. At Riverside it was Dan Avery over Stan Gregger and at Riverhead, Bill Park beat out Tom Baldwin and Eddie Brunnhoelzl. In other weekend activity, Lee Sherwood took the win at Tioga and rain prevailed at Thompson on Sunday
  Twenty five years ago in 1992, Mike Christopher was the Wednesday night winner at Thompson. Tom Tagg finished second. Bo Gunning put the S&S 33 in victory lane at Stafford on Friday night. Richie Gallup finished second with Ronnie Rocco, third. Ricky Fuller went two for two as he put the Mario Fiore No.44 in the winners circle at Monadnock on Friday and at Riverside on Saturday. At Waterford on Saturday night, Ted Christopher drove the North End Auto Parts No.54 to victory lane over Jerry Pearl. In late model action, Phil Rondeau scored his eighth win of the season. Mike Ewanitsko won the Charlie Jarzombek Memorial at Riverhead and Tony Siscone won his fifth of the season at Wall.

  Twenty years ago in 1997, Steve Chowanski was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Todd Ceravolo won his sixth of the year at Waterford on Saturday night. Don Fowler finished second with Eric Berndt, third. John Brouwer was the late model winner. Ted Christopher made it three in a row at Riverside and backed it up with a Busch North Series win at Watkins Glen. In the BNS event, Christopher started third and had to pit on the first lap when his shifter jammed. Restarting in the rear, Christopher marched to the front and took the lead with 27 laps to go. Kim Baker finished second with Martin Truex, third. Pole sitter Mike Stefanik led the first two laps before losing a transmission.The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Riverhead for a 201-lap event. Mike Ewanitsko took the lead on lap 60 and managed to weave his way through the lapped traffic to take the win over Mike Stefanik, Tom Cravenho and Tim Connolly. In Winston Cup action at Watkins Glen, Jeff Gordon scored his first ever road course win. Geoff Bodine finished second with Rusty Wallace, third. In other news, NASCAR announced that the Las Vegas Speedway would have a Winston Cup date in 1998. Dave Blaney won $1 million in a sprinter at Eldora Speedway in Ohio and Danny Johnson won $17,500 in the Mr.DIRT USA event at the Lebanon Valley Speedway.

  Fifteen years ago in 1992, the racing weekend started on Thursday at Thompson where an elated John Brouwer Jr. won his first feature at the 5/8-mile oval amid some tough customers. Brouwer, who left the Waterford Speedbowl after an early season dispute with track officials, made Thompson his new home. In fact, it was probably a good career move especially if Brouwer has a design to move up to one of NASCAR’s touring divisions. Brouwer took the lead on lap five of the 30 lap main event and led the rest of the way to take the victory over Bobby Santos III. Ted Christopher fought with an ill handling car and finished third. Bo Gunning and Tom Tagg finished fourth and fifth after recovering from a first lap jingle with Eric Berndt. Defending track champion Bert Marvin finished sixth. Stafford ran a 150 lapper for the SK-Modifieds on Friday night. With $3,500 and valuable track points on the line, Bo Gunning was hoping to pad his point lead and get car owner Eddie Partridge his first track championship. Gunning seemed to have the race well in hand until a lap 86 restart when Lloyd Agor booted him. The spin and eventual wreck also collected Ted Christopher and Jeff Baral. Ron Silk, who had been running second, took the lead and went on to record his first Stafford win. Eric Berndt, who has had a miserable season, got the monkey off his back as he came home in second spot. Doug Coby, Lloyd Agor and Mike Holdredge rounded out the top five. The Featherlite Modified Tour Series was represented by Ed Flemke Jr. who finished seventh and rookie sensation Todd Szegedy who finished 33rd. Gunning ended up 23rd and Christopher finished out the night in 24th spot. There were ten cautions 109 of the scheduled 150 laps run under green. The regular Saturday night racing program saw Dennis Gada score his fifth win of the season. It was also a milestone for car owner Harry Wyatt as it was his 50th win at the shoreline oval. It looked like tech inspector Everett Marvin was not fooling around as he made extensive checks looking for traction control devices. Marvin even had those checked remove their body tin. All those checked were legal. Ed Reed JR finished second.

  Ten years ago in 2007, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour started the weekend of on a wet note as rain washed out the scheduled event at Stafford on Friday. The entire event was rescheduled for Saturday night. Ted Christopher ended an almost year long dry spell as he won the event over Todd Szegedy and Mike Stefanik. It was Christopher’s seventh win at the track where he is the all-time winningest driver and the points leader in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series’ SK Modified Division. But it was his first trip to Victory Lane on the Whelen Modified Tour since Aug. 17, 2006 at Thompson (Conn.). Christopher led 58 laps before pitting on lap 76. He quickly worked his way back up front and retook the lead on lap 114. Doug Coby, making his first start of the season for the No. 77 Race Against Cancer Foxwoods/Subway Pontiac, finished fourth. Donny Lia (No. 4 Dodge), who won the first two Whelen Modified Tour stops of the season at Stafford, was fifth. Matt Hirschman, Jerry Marquis, Eric Beers, Jimmy Blewett and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top 10. Thirty-two cars, light by Tour standards, were on hand. All started the event. Numerous wrecks and spins were the cause of 13 caution periods as almost half (73laps) of the 150-lap distance was run under the yellow.
  In True Value Modified Series action Jon McKennedy took the checkers at the Canaan Speedway in New Hampshire.
  In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Keith Rocco picked up his third Sunoco Modified (Sk) win of the year. Jay Macedonio wired the field for his first-career Pro Stock win. Rick Gentes continued his dominance of the Late Model division with his sixth win of the season. Larry Barnett turned his recent bad luck around with a win in the Limited Sportman division while Kurt Vigeant made it two in a row in TIS Modified competition. Brad Caddick scored his second Mini Stock feature win of the season. Rocco of Wallingford, CT, scored his win with an impressive performance in the Sunoco Modified division. The headline division was stacked up three-wide before they entered turn one on lap one. Things got worse when a struggling pole-sitter, Danny LaJeunesse, spun in turn two. Bad luck continues to plague Todd Ceravolo, who, once again, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Danny Cates and Steve Masse occupied the front row when the racing went back to green on lap one. Masse lost ground on the restart handing the lead temporarily to Danny Cates. Before the completion of the lap, Tommy Cravenho was the new leader. A grinding wreck in turn one that included Russ Blanco, Brian Tagg, LaJeunesse and Dave Lacroix brought the action to a halt with the red flag on lap three. Under caution, Jimmy. Blewett headed to pit road. When racing resumed, Cravenho continued to show the way with Rocco moving into the second position. The caution flew on lap six when the #5 of John Blewett came to rest with a ball of flame in turn four. The restart pitted Rocco against Cravenho for the lead. The two went wheel to wheel, even bouncing off each other, as they headed toward the start/finish line. Rocco was able to grab the top spot from Cravenho on lap eight. Masse and Cates were hanging tough inside the top five. Kerry Malone, Woody Pitkat and Bert Marvin were getting racey for the fifth position. The duo of Rocco and Cravenho were putting some distance back to third. They watched their lead fade when the caution flew on lap 14 for further troubles for the T.S. Haulers Team. Jimmy Blewett came to rest in the infield off of turn two. The green flew again one lap shy of halfway with Rocco and Cravenho still showing the way. Rocco got away a bit from Cravenho while they went two-by-two inside the top five. The fourth spot was a busy place with Masse holding off Cates, and Marvin, who had made quick work of Pitkat and Malone after the restart. Again, it was a two-car breakaway with Rocco leading Cravenho. Masse ran third while Cates was being hounded by Marvin. Pitkat, Buddy Charrette and Kerry Malone took chase. Marvin was able to take the third spot from Cates with less than ten laps remaining. Marvin caught Masse with five laps to go. Pitkat and Malone ganged up on Cates as they were able to advance their positions on the rookie. With Rocco checked out on Cravenho, Marvin continued to dog Cates. Malone turned up the heat on Pitkat for the fifth position. At the finish, it was all Rocco. Cravenho settled for the second position. Steve Masse had a career day in the Modified finishing third. Marvin ran a smart race to quietly finish fourth over Pitkat.
  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway Woody Pitkat and Ryan Posocco continued their streaks with Pitkat taking his fourth consecutive SK Modified® feature victory, while Posocco scored his third consecutive Late Model feature win. Glen Reen took down the SK Light feature win for his fifth win of the 2007 season, Rick Lanagan scored his fifth Limited Late Model feature win of 2007, and Megan Bienkowski scored her first career victory in the 15-lap feature event. The 40-lap SK Modified® feature took the green with Todd Owen leading the field, but he was surpassed for the lead by Jeff Malave on lap-4. The first 27 laps of the race ran under green flag conditions, with Malave building up a full straightaway lead over Owen before the caution erased that margin. Woody Pitkat moved from third to second on the restart on lap-31 and then took the lead from Malave on lap-34. Pitkat held serve on two final restarts in the last four laps to score the feature win. Brad Hietala charged through the pack in the closing laps to come home second, with Malave, Ted Christopher, and Frank Ruocco rounding out the top-5.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Tommy Fox went pole to pole as he ended a shutout season at the shoreline oval. Fox held off Shawn Monahan during the final two restarts. Tom Fox won his first feature of what has been a tough season for the veteran driver, leading from wire to wire and holding off Shawn Monahan on two restarts, the last with 14 laps to go. Dennis Charette was third and Donnie Fowler fourth, with Jeff Pearl, fifth. Bruce Thomas Jr won his ninth Late Model feature of the year and has all but wrapped up the division title. Phil Evans won his fourth Mini Stock feature of the season. Mark Lajoie passed Jim Procaccini, who led from the start, on the outside with just two laps to go, to win his first career Sportsman feature and Michael Gervais spun out Jason Palmer on the final turn of the last lap, so track officials awarded Glen Billings, who was running third, the victory for a win in the Legends INEX Nationals qualifier in a caution-filled 50-lap feature.
Dirt tracker Brett Hearn scored his 500th win when he won a 100 lapper at the Lebanon Valley Speedway on Saturday night.
  Kevin Harvick had victory lane to himself, using perfect pit strategy to win the Busch Series Zippo 200 Saturday at Watkins Glen International. Harvick, the defending Busch Series champion, led 37 laps and beat Jeff Burton by 3.5 seconds for his second consecutive win, fifth this season and 31st of his career. That ties him with Jack Ingram for second all-time behind Mark Martin's 47. Polesitter Kurt Busch was third, followed by Paul Menard and rookie Brad Coleman. Juan Pablo Montoya, who started on the front row and was seeking a record third NASCAR road course win of the season, ran up front much of the day but finished 33rd after being caught up in a crash with Jason Leffler on a restart with 14 laps remaining in the 82-lap race. With just two laps remaining in Sunday's Nextel Cup Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International, Jeff Gordon had a two car-length lead on Tony Stewart. NASCAR's top two road racers were preparing for a final clash. It never happened. Gordon spun out on his own heading into the first turn, Stewart zoomed past, held off a late charge from Carl Edwards, and won for the third time in four races.

  Five years ago in 2012, The Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. Donny Lia took over the lead with 21 laps to go and pulled away to win the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Lia, who started ninth on the grid in the No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge, initially challenged pole-sitter Mike Stefanik for the lead on Lap 59. Stefanik battled back, however, to regain the lead and stay out front to the midway point of the race. Lia, meanwhile, lost a lap to the leaders due to a problem with a lug nut during a pit stop. He gained the lap back as the beneficiary during a caution on Lap 83. Lia steadily worked his way forward from there. He was up to sixth by Lap 95 and moved by Todd Szegedy for second on Lap 108. Lia moved by Ron Silk for the lead on Lap 129 and never looked back. Other lap leaders were Stefanik, lap 1 through 74, Szegedy, lap 75 to 94 and Silk, lap 95 to 128.
  Silk held off Doug Coby for second. Ted Christopher, who was penalized for aggressive driving and sent to the back of the pack on Lap 84, rebounded to finish fourth. Stefanik was fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Rowan Pennink, Jimmy Blewett, Bobby Santos, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Szegedy.
  With this win, he secured a locked-in starting position for the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach during 2013 Speedweeks on a temporary short track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
  There were 25 Modifieds on hand as the car counts continue to drop. Fourteen of the original 25 starters finished on the lead lap. There were eight cautions for 34 laps. The first yellow flew on lap 16 when Justin Bonsignore and Patrick Emerling wrecked in turn two. Bonsignore's damage was terminal while Emerling was able to have repairs and despite losing laps was able to work his way back as a "Lucky Dog" and ended the day on the lead lap in 12th spot at the finish. The second caution came on lap 24 when Rob Fuller and Eric Berndt were involved in an accident in turn two. Both would continue but would finish laps down at the finish. The third caution flew on lap 45 for Jon McKennedy who spun on the front stretch. McKennedy recovered to finish 14th on the lead lap. Jimmy Blewett spun out in turn four on lap 63, bringing out the fourth caution. Blewett stormed back to finish seventh. Six laps later on lap 69 Rowan Pennink spun in turn two for the fifth caution. The yellow was displayed for the sixth time when Bobby Santos was spun out by Ted Christopher. NASCAR felt that Christopher, who was driving the famous ole Blu of the Boehler family, was overly aggressive and put him to the rear. The sixth caution came on lap 83 when Woody Pitkat and Ed Flemke wrecked on the backstretch. A red flag resulted while track crews removed Flemke's car from atop Pitkats. The eighth and final caution came on lap 116 when Ryan Preece spun in turn two.
  Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw Ryan Preece in the Sunoco Modified division, Danny Gamache, Jr. visited Thompson International Speedway victory lane for the first time in his career when he checkered the Thompson Modified division in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. Other winners included Tommy O’Sullivan in the Late Models, Jesse Gleason in the Limited Sportsman division, Eric Bourgeois in the Monster Mini Stocks, and Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds.
  Preece took the lead in the Sunoco Modified feature event at lap two and never looked back en route to his third consecutive win and eighth victory of the season. Kerry Malone drove right out front at the drop of the green flag with Dennis Perry and Todd Ceravolo rounding out the top three. On lap two, Ryan Preece shot to the outside groove and drove by Ceravolo before taking over the second spot from Perry on the inside groove. Caution flew at lap six for a spun car in turn two putting Preece side-by-side with Malone. Malone drove to the front, but Preece was persistent in his challenges. On lap eight, Preece dropped to the bottom and drove by Malone for the lead. Ceravolo and Ted Christopher rounded out the top-four. On lap 13, Ceravolo went underneath Malone in a battle for second. Christopher got into the mix and used the same line to try and take over third, but Malone fought back and shut the door on his challenges. On lap 19, Christopher was able to get the momentum to drive by Malone and take over third. Meanwhile, Preece had pulled away to a half-a-straightaway lead over the rest of the field. Preece, who has three wins in a row has now won 8 of the 14 events run at Thompson.
  At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night heavy showers forced the Arute family to pull the plug on the night's racing.
  In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl continuing rain kept the shoreline oval quiet.
  In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC the rain prevailed there too!
  Shawn Solomito led from pole to pole as he won the NASCAR Modified feature at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Ryan Preece, who started fifth, finished second with Ted Christopher, third.
  When push came to shove, Carl Edwards got the better of Brad Keselowski. Edwards, making his first Nationwide Series start of the season, beat Keselowski on a two-lap dash to the checkered flag on Saturday and won the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Austin Dillon's blown right-front tire brought out the final stoppage of the 82-lap race around the 11-turn, 2.45-mile layout, and Edwards beat Keselowski on a restart for the second straight time in the race.
  Slipping and sliding around oil-spattered Watkins Glen International on the last lap and fighting for the lead, Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski didn't know what was around the next turn. Ambrose finally passed Keselowski heading to the final turn in a stunning fender-banging duel Sunday and won the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen. It was his second straight Sprint Cup victory at the track.

  Last year, 2016, At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in front of a packed house, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was on hand with 25 cars for a 150 lapper. Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore were in the right place at the right time as leaders Doug Coby and Bobby Santos had fuel delivery problems on the closing laps. Coby, who led twice, first from the start to lap 12, then from lap 16 to lap 143, saw his vision of victory disappear when his car sputtered on lap 144 and totally quit one lap later. Santos suffered the same fate on lap 151, after slowing on lap 150. Justin Bonsignore led laps 150 and 151 before being overtaken by Blewett. Coby ended up 20th and Santos, 17th. Brendon Bock, Chase Dowling and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Ron Silk, Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito, Woody Pitkat and Craig Lutz.
  If the fields of Modifieds continued to dwindle Melissa Fifield, who finished 22nd may finally break the top twenty. She completed 121 laps before being black flagged for going too slow. At that point she had been lapped 19 times!
  Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn   In the Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano was a first time winner in his very first career SK Light start, Justin Bren won the Limited Late Model feature, and Ryan Fearn scored the DARE Stock feature win.
  In the SK Modified feature, Pennink led Michael Gervais to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2016 season. Keith Rocco finished third with Danny Cates and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl their annual Wings & Wheels program on Saturday night. Jon McKennedy held off Richard Savary to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing feature in the main event. Tyler Chadwick topped the field in the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Cory DiMatteo was the winner of the SK Light Modified feature. John Zych Jr. won the 25-lap NEMA Midget feature. PJ Stergois was the winner in the NEMA Lite feature. Geoffrey Sutton won the 25-lap ATQMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature. Mike McVetta won the 50-lap ISMA SuperModified feature
  In the VMRS 100, McKennedy, who started sixth in the 29-car field, rallied after being involved in a lap 32 crash that collected nearly half of the field. Ted Christopher spun as he exited turn two and ultimately collected 17 cars. Savary went to the lead by Woody Pitkat on lap 70 restart with McKennedy following him to second. Three laps later McKennedy went to the outside to take over the lead for good. Savary hung on to finish second with Woody Pitkat, third. Rounding out the top five was Mike Willis Jr and Dave Etheridge. Chris Pasteryak, Donnie Lashua, Geoff Gernhard, Brandon Dion, and Keith Rocco, rounded out the top ten.
  In the 35 lap SK Modified feature, Chadwick picked up his second victory of the season. Ted Christopher finished second and Diego Monahan was third. Bo Gunning took the field to the green from the pole with Chadwick to his outside and the pair put on a show over the opening segment of the race. On lap 6, Chadwick edged Gunning out for the lead at the line, but the pair remained side-by-side in the lead battle.
  With 20 laps left Gunning was able to get Chadwick to tuck in behind in second. A lap later slight contact between the two sent Gunning sliding sideways in turn two to bring out a caution and put Chadwick in the lead. On the ensuing restart it was Joey Gada getting by Adam Gada for second place with Christopher following to third place and Monahan to fourth. Caution flew again with 12 laps remaining and on the restart it was Christopher moving to second place past Joey Gada, with Monahan moving to third. But Chadwick was up to the task of keeping Christopher at bay over the final 10 laps. Christopher took one bumping shot at Chadwick on the final lap, but Chadwick held his line. Rounding out the top five was Joey Gada and Dennis Perry.
  At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Defending NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and his team plotted out strategy Saturday afternoon in the pit area of Riverhead Raceway and when the night's 40-lap feature event was over that game plan worked to perfection as Rogers won his first feature event of 2016 after starting last. It was only the 5th start of the season for Rogers who is on the road to recovery after some early season health concerns. Said Rogers, "we decided this afternoon (Saturday) instead of using up our tires in the heat race that I'd take the green and pull into the infield. We knew that would start us last but with a 13-car field we felt we could march towards the front"
  In action at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in North Carolina Tim Brown and Burt Myers finished one-two in a rain shortened 100 lapper on Friday night. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour visited Bowman-Gray on Saturday night and ran the 199. Burt and Jason Myers finished one-two with Andy Seuss, third.
  In NASCAR Sprint cup racing, Denny Hamlin came up one corner short of his first road course victory earlier this season at Sonoma Raceway, but on Sunday at Watkins Glen Int’l he made up for it by winning the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Martin Truex finished second with Joey Logano, third. In Xfinity Series racing at Watkins Glen, Joey Logano won Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series from the pole, giving Team Penske its first XFINITY victory in what has been a disappointing season so far. The win in the Zippo 200 was the second straight at the 2.45-mile road course for the 26-year-old driver, who led 67 of 82 laps and drove his car to the limit, keeping teammate Brad Keselowski behind him until a broken track bar mount forced Keselowski's No. 22 Ford out of the race after 79 laps. 

  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: August 11, 2017

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