Friday April 20, 2007

By Phil Smith                                                         

Forty years ago in 1967, Martinsville ran a 100 lap modified event with Sonny Hutchins of Richmond, Va. taking the win. In the Grandnational (Winston Cup) event, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough lapped the field as they finished one-two in the 500 lap event. The Fulton Raceway in New York cleared away the snow for an open competition event that was won by Lee Osborne

Thirty-five years ago in 1972, hot off his Spring Sizzler victory, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row at Stafford as he won the Sunday afternoon 30-lap event. Bob Santos finished second and was followed by Hop Harrington, Ray Miller, Moose Hewitt, Rene Charland and Bernie Miller. South Boston also ran a modified event with Max Berrier winning the 75 lapper over Ray Hendrick, Paul Radford and Jerry Cook. Saturday night racing at Fonda rained out.

Thirty years ago in 1977, Maynard Troyer finally mastered the Stafford Speedway as he won the 80 lap Spring Sizzler. Bob Polverari, Richie Evans, Dick Caso and Ed Flemke Sr. rounded out the top five. Ron Cote was the winner of the non-qualifiers event.

Twenty five years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks, fresh off his Martinsville win, brought his streak to the Stafford Speedway where he won the 80 lap Sizzler. Reggie Ruggiero finished second and was followed by Kenny Bouchard, George Summers, Maynard Troyer and Corky Cookman. Mike Weeden was the non-qualifiers winner with Jim Spencer, second. Also on this weekend, Richie Evans won the season opener at Riverside Park on Saturday night. Ray Miller finished second with George Kent, third. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro , Darrel Waltrip was both the Busch Pole sitter and the race winner.

Twenty years ago in 1987, Riverside Park was the only game in town as Jerry Marquis in the Bob Judkins 2x took the win over Stan Greger, Mike McLaughlin and Wade Cole.

Fifteen years ago in 1992, Riverside Park rained out for the second week in a row. Because of the Easter weekend, the only racing was a Busch Grandnational event run at Hickory , N.C. , which was won by Tommy Houston.

Ten years ago in 1997, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was in Martinsville for a 200 lapper. Mike Ewanitsko started 19th, made an early pit stop and inherited the lead when Mike Stefanik pitted and went on to take the win. Stefanik, who borrowed a car from Chris Kopec after he wrecked his own as a result of a broken wheel, finished second .Ricky Fuller finished third and was followed by Jan Leaty, Reggie Ruggiero, Tim Connolly and pole sitter, Ed Flemke Jr. Events scheduled for Riverside Park, the Waterford Speedbowl and the Riverhead Raceway were rained out.

Five years ago in 2002, Tommy Fox took the Saturday night win at the Waterford Speedbowl. Fox was running second to Ted Christopher when he got his left front into Christopher’s right rear. Fox turned left and Christopher spun out of the lead. Dennis Gada ended up second with John Brouwer, third. Christopher ended up 15th. Dave Michael got his 60th win at Wall Stadium and in Busch North Series action at Lee it was Andy Santerre over Mike Olsen and Mike Johnson. Dale Earnhardt JR led 133 of the 108 laps at Talledega to take the Nextel Cup win. Michael Waltrip finished second. Nextel Cup car owner Jack Roush was severly injured in a plane crash. Roush hit power lines and landed upside down in a lake. Larry Hicks, a retired Marine and recovering cancer patient pulled him to safety.

Last year, 2006 despite a rocky financial situation the Waterford Speedbowl continued to somehow survive. Thanks to the efforts of Bill Roth and Pete Zanardi plus friends and families of competitors, the track was been able to remain open. Going into the previous weekend two events had been held at the shoreline oval. Second generation driver Chris Pasteryak was the SK Modified point leader. Veteran Don Fowler and Rookie Jeffrey Paul were tied for the second spot. Dennis Gada was fourth with Frank Ruocco and Diego Monahan tied for fifth. In the Late Models Jay Stewart led Larry Goss and Bruce Thomas. Dwayne Dorr, who had won both Sportsman events was the Sportsman point leader. Joe Curioso III was in the second slot. Richard Brooks and Phil Evans were currently tied for the Mini Stock point lead and Mark Esposito was the Legends Point leader. Rain-washed out scheduled racing action at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. It was the second rainout in four programs. The Whelen Modified Tour Series was off. Their southern counterparts, the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series had a scheduled event at the Motor Mile Speedway in Radford , VA. rained out on Saturday, which was rescheduled for Sunday. LW Miller won the 200 lap contest. Ted Christopher, suffering a little jet lag from his trip back from Arizona , finished sixth. Chuck Hossfeld finished 12th and Andy Seuss was 14th.

The Busch East division, formerly the Busch North Series, was the subject of the latest schedule change as NASCAR and Don Hoenig announced that a Busch East race was added to the Thompson International Speedway’s Thursday, June 29 show, which already featured the Whelen Modified Tour. That means that the best of both worlds will be running feature races on the same day for the only time this season. Thompson's six weekly divisions also will be competing on June 29, making for the busiest midweek show of the year. The addition of the Thompson date gave eleven dates for the Busch East division.

Busch East competitor Matt Kobyluck who hails from Montville , CT was in Phoenix Arizona as was Ted Christopher. Kobyluck had a strong showing in a NASCAR Grandnational West event until losing an engine and eventually finishing 30th. Kobyluck led the event twice for 55 laps. Christopher ended up 21st after being involved in an accident.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail:

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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