Fifty years ago in 1960 Wild Bill Slater, driving the famous
Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8, was the 25 lap Modified feature
winner at what was called then, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm was victorious
in the Bombers.
Forty five years ago in 1965 Sal Dee became an early season
repeat winner as he notched the 35 lap Modified win at Waterford.
Bill Scrivner was the Bomber winner.
Forty years ago in 1970, Martinsville ran their spring 100
lap modified event on Saturday afternoon. To no ones surprise, Ray
Hendrick took the win over Jerry Cook, Jimmy Hensley and Fred
DeSarro. Stafford ran twin 25's on Saturday night. Leo Cleary,
driving the Koszela NO.15 took the opener over Bob Melnick and Ed
Yerrington. Yerrington came back to win the nightcap despite a lot
of pressure from Bill Greco and Don Flynn. At Fonda, Jerry Pennock
and Lou Lazzaro shared victory lane .Don Wayman finished second to
Pennock and was followed by Lee Millington and Rene Charland and Bob
Langevan. Cook managed to fly back to Fonda where he recorded a
sixth. At Thompson on Sunday, Bugsy Stevens and Moose Hewitt shared
victory lane as they both won 25 lap events. At the Waterford
Speedbowl, Glynn Shafer took the Modified win while Larry Crandall
was victorious in the Late Model Daredevils.
Thirty five years ago in 1975, the Modifieds ran at
Beltsville on Friday night. Joe Thurman took the win over Geoff
Bodine, Billy Hensley and Jerry Cook. Richie Evans ran out of gas
and finished 10th.Evans made up for Beltsville on Saturday night as
he took the win at Shangri-La. George Kent finished second with
Ronnie Bouchard, third. Evans gambled that it would rain at Fulton
and he hit it right as he headed for Franklin County in Virginia for
a Sunday afternoon event. John Bryant took the top spot over Joe
Thurman and Ray Hendrick. Evans had problems and finished 11th.
Blast Off í75 at the Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain.
Thirty years ago in 1980, the only weekend action was at
Shangri-La where Jerry Cook took an 80 lap win over Richie Evans and
George Kent. A dispute over race purses between competitors and Wall
Stadium owners caused track owners to cancel racing indefinitely.
Twenty five years ago in 1985, all eyes were on Riverside
Park where Doug Hevron, in the Mario Fiore N0.44, took an 85 lap
win. Reggie Ruggiero finished second with Ted Riggott, third. In
Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Neil Bonnett took the win.
Twenty years ago in 1990, Stan Greger was the Saturday night
winner at Riverside Park. Tom Bolles finished second and was
followed by Dan Avery, Bob Polverari and Steve Park. Stafford ran
their Sizzler on Sunday. A glorious day turned to sadness when Tony
Jankowiac lost his life in a bad crash. Mike Stefanik was the
eventual winner and was followed by Mike McLaughlin and George Kent.
In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Brett Bodine scored his
first Winston Cup Win
Fifteen years ago in 1995, Reggie Ruggiero broke Chris
Kopec's streak at Riverside as he won the 50 lap main event on
Saturday night. Chris Young took the opener at Riverhead over Lenny
Fischer and John Fortin. Mike Ewanitsko in the Art Barry No.21 won
the 200 lap Spring Sizzler on Sunday by a large margin over Rick
Fuller and Mike Stefanik. Reggie Ruggerio led the first 70 laps
before going down one lap because of worn tires. Ewanitsko took the
lead from Fuller in turn two on lap 178.Dan Avery finished fourth
and Satch Worley rounded out the top five. Steve Park won the 80
lap-SK-Mod Feature. Last but not least, DIRT Legend, Barefoot Bob
McCreadie scored his 400th career win at Canadaigua Speedway on
Ten years ago in 2000, it was Easter weekend. Scheduled
events at Riverhead, Wall and Waterford were rained out.
Five years ago in 2005, The Waterford Speedbowl ran under
clear but cool skies. Rob Summers made up for the previous weeks
disappointment as he won the SK Modified feature. Summers never got
to race on opening night as his engine expired during a qualifying
heat. Summers started on the pole. Mike Finkeldey had a career high
second place finish. Finkeldey now had Rick Ceravolo as his crew
chief. Rob Janovic, Jay Miller and Kurt Lenehan rounded out the top
five. Carl Eriksson edged Bruce Thomas for the Late Model win and
Jim Procaccini was the Sportsman winner. George Whitney took the
victory in the Legends Car feature.
In Whelen Modified Tour Series news, Eric Beers, driver of the
Boehler Racing Enterprises No.3 was on the mend at his home in North
Hampton, PA after suffering a broken collar bone and hairline
fractures of two ribs at the Thompson Ice Breaker. Beers stated that
he hoped to be in competition at Stafford the following weekend and
would like it to be known that his LaJoie seat and the rugged
construction of the Boehler No.3 saved him from what could have been
severe injuries. After much thought it was decided by Beers and car
owner Mike Boehler to put Todd Szegedy in Ole Blu for the Sizzler.
Connecticut Speedway Developer Gene Arganese was forced to wait
until April 25 to learn what property will be rezoned to establish
the resort/recreational development (C-5) zones he needs to build
his proposed racetrack and convention center in the town of
Plainfield. On April 12 the Planning and Zoning Commission decided
to delay a decision on creating the zones on land off Interstate 395
exits 87 and 88 until the Town Planner could define more clearly the
properties that could be included in the zones.
In some sad news it was learned that Leon Drake, known better as Leo
Hill, passed away on April 9 at the age of 66. For many years
Drakeís garage in North Stonington Ct housed the Modified driven by
Johnny Thompson at the Norwood Arena and later at Thompson and
Stafford. Drake was a Plumber by trade and was also a welder and
steel fabricator as he did numerous repairs and built more than his
share of race cars including a replacement V-8 for Bill Slater when
he was hurt at Thompson in the late 60ís.
Greg Biffle won the Nextel Cup event at the Texas Motorspeedway.
Kasey Kahne was the Busch Series winner. Junior Miller won the
Whelen Southern Modified Tour 100 at the Caraway Speedway in North
Last year, 2009, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was on a two week
break before heading to Stafford Springs Connecticut for the annual
Congratulations to the Arute family as the Stafford Motor Speedway
was recently inducted into the Connecticut Business Hall of Fame.
Stafford joined Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Alcoa Howmet,
Gloria McAdam, president & CEO, Foodshare, and Jim Barnes, president
& CEO, OAKLEAF Waste & Recycling in the Connecticut Business Hall of
Fame Class of 2008 at a ceremony held on April 3, 2009. Stafford
Motor Speedway was presented with an Official Citation from the
General Assembly as well as an Official Statement from Connecticut
Governor M. Jodi Rell, an Official Citation from Attorney General
Richard Blumenthal, a congratulatory letter from Connecticut
Congressman Joe Courtney, and a Public Service Award from Secretary
of State Susan Bysiewicz. . The 2009 season would mark the 40th
consecutive year that the track has operated under Arute family
While it was quiet in the Northeast the Whelen Southern Modified
Tour had two events scheduled. The first, at the Ace Speedway in
North Carolina was rained out after practice. Ron Silk topped the
speed charts in practice at Ace Speedway, but rains right before
qualifying have put everything on hold. Ronnie Silk in the No. 79
Hill Enterprises/Coors Light/Sunoco Pontiac put up a fast lap of
14.472 seconds (99.502 mph) around the .400-mile oval. Teenager
Erick Rudolph who drove the No. 59 Ed Bennett Properties, Inc.
Chevrolet, was second at 14.606 (98.590), just ahead of defending
race winner L.W. Miller (No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities
Pontiac) at 14.660 (98.226). Ted Christopher and Burt Myers rounded
out the top five in practice.
On the Saturday night the Southern Modified Tour was at the Caraway
Speedway in Asheboro, NC. Ted Christopher and car owner Joe Brady
made their trip south a worth while effort. Christopher didnít think
he had enough car left at the end but he was able to hold off a
hard-charging Andy Seuss Saturday in the Caraway Speedway 150 to get
his second win of the year in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour. Christopher's No. 00 Shermís Towing Ė Brady Bunch Chevrolet
was able to pass leader George Brunnhoelzl III on lap 106 after
Brunnhoelzl spun his tires on the restart after a caution enabling
Christopher to get out front in the lead. Christopher was able to
keep Seuss' No. 47 Advance AutoParts/Q Racing Oil/Stuart Automotive
Dodge behind him to remain perfect at 3-for-3 in Modified Tour races
in 2009. The Plainville, Conn., driver won the NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified Tour opener at Concord (N.C.) Speedway March 21,
and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opener at Thompson (Conn.)
International Speedway last week.
Defending NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Brian Loftin
following in third at Caraway, with Ron Silk and Frank Fleming
completing the top five. Brunnhoelzl was racing Christopher for the
lead when he spun coming out of Turn 2 on lap 136 to bring out the
sixth and final caution flag of the race. Brunnhoelzl finished 11th
but retained his points lead by six over Burt Myers. Brunnhoelzl won
his second consecutive Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying and
started second after the post-qualifying redraw.
For his efforts, Christopher received $2,000. Sixteen of the
original 25 starters completed the 150 lap distance.
For the past few years NASCAR held their awards banquets for the
Whelen Modified Tour Series and the Camping World East (formerly
Busch North Series) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.
Word came that competitors and fans would be forced to travel to the
Charlotte, NC area as NASCAR announced that they would host a
special week of activities culminating in the 2009 NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series (NWAAS) Awards Banquet on Friday, November 13,
and the new NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on
Saturday, November 14. The Whelen All American Series Banquet was
previously held in Las Vegas. The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring
Gala would feature the champions and top drivers from all of
NASCARís North American regional touring series including invitees
from the NASCAR Camping World Series East, the NASCAR Camping World
Series West, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified Tour, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Because
of the fact that all the touring divisionís banquets would be
grouped together it would be more like the town dump of banquets.
Itís just another lame move by NASCAR to save them some money and
increase the costs of the fan and competitor.
For the third week in a row, racing was rained out at the Waterford
Connecticut native Joey Logano who had been a big disappointment on
the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, won his second career NASCAR
Nationwide Series victory, holding off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate
Kyle Busch in the Pepsi 300 on Saturday at the Nashville
Superspeedway. The 18-year-old Logano and Busch ran in the top two
and traded the lead for most of the race, with Logano leading the
final 10 laps and finishing 0.487 seconds in front. Brad Keselowski
was third, followed by Kelly Bires and series leader Carl Edwards
who rounded out the top five.
Despite the fact that the track promoted pre-race access to the
garage, front stretch and driver's meeting, the crowd was thin. The
promotion also aggravated many of the competitors as fans brought
diecast models by the suitcase for them to sign.
The Associated Press reported that Jurors began deliberating on
Friday, April 10, on tax evasion charges against race car driver
Helio Castroneves and two advisers after prosecutors said in closing
arguments that the driver enjoyed ample wealth but defrauded the
government to get more. Prosecutors allege that Castroneves and the
others tried to conceal his control of a Panamanian shell company,
called Seven Promotions, and lied to tax lawyers and accountants
about his true income. They say documents and witnesses back up
claims that Castroneves knowingly dodged millions in U.S. taxes over
a five-year period.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the collection of the late Danny Pardi, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & RacingThroughTime.com.
Click on Photo for Full Size
Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: