ARCHIVES

8-18-05

By Phil Smith
 
Thirty five years ago in 1970, the All Star League moved into the 1/5 mile Islip Speedway on Wednesday. Richie Evans took the 100-lap win over George Brunnhoelzl, Jim Hendrickson, Gary Winters, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke. In regular Friday night action at Malta, Fred DeSarro beat out Rene Charland and Dick Fowler for the win. DeSarro carried his win streak to Stafford on Saturday night where he won a 50-lap double point event over Eddie Flemke and Leo Cleary. Jerry Pennock and Eddie Pieniezak split the twin 25's at Fonda and at Plattsburg, Canadian Andre Manny took the victory. At Islip, Charlie Jarzombek was the winner. Many of the east coast NASCAR modified stars of the day traveled to Trenton Speedway for the annual North-South 200.Needless to say the event was postponed for a week because of rain. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night it was dry as Lou Lazzaro took the win over Rene Charland and Robbie Kotary.

Thirty years ago in 1975,Bugsy Stevens was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Ray Miller finished second with Geoff Bodine, third. Islip ran a 200 lapper on Saturday. Invader Jerry Cook took the win. Bob Park finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Shangri-La and Lancaster rained out. At Fulton on Sunday, Maynard Troyer ruled the roost. Richie Evans tried his best but had to settle for second.

Twenty-five years ago in 1980, Tony Siscone was the winner at New Egypt on Wednesday night. John Blewett JR finished second with Alan Harbach, third. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard won a close one over John Rosati and Richie Evans. Bouchard went to Westboro on Saturday and got rained on. Evans went to Riverside where he won out over Ray Miller. At Shangri-La it was George Kent over Greg Sacks and at Thompson on Sunday, Bouchard continued his winning ways as he took the victory over Leo Cleary and Richie Evans. Other weekend winners included Kent at Spencer, Fred Harbach at Islip, Tim Mislin at Lancaster, Bob Potter at Waterford, Jim Hendrickson at Wall and John Rosati at Monadnock.

Twenty years ago in 1985,Star Speedway ran the modifieds on Wednesday with Jeff Fuller taking the win. At Stafford on Friday night, Brian Ross had the quick way around as he took a hotly contested win over Kenny Bouchard and Charlie Jarzombek. Mike Christopher was the SK winner. It was also on this night that someone stole the electronic drive on scales out of the infield when the officials weren't looking. They were never found or recovered. At Waterford on Saturday, Dale Holdredge got one for the good guys as he beat out Richie Gallup and Kenny Bouchard. SJ Evonsion showed that he hadn't forgotten his way around Riverside as he beat John Rosati to the stripe. Thompson ran a 100 lap-300 qualifier on Sunday. Richie Evans took the win over Jeff Fuller and Jim Spencer. With his win, Evans was guaranteed a pole starting position in the Thompson 300, which paid $10,000 to win. Other weekend winners were Billy Colton at Spencer, Wayne Anderson at Riverhead, Jerry Cranmer at Wall and Ronnie Bouchard at Seekonk.

Fifteen years ago in 1990,Mike Christopher was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. At Waterford, Ted Christopher in the Ronnie Berndt No.54 won a 75 lap Race of Champions qualifier over Dennis Gada and Moose Hewitt. Riverside Park ran twin events with Richie Gallup and Tom Bolles sharing top honors and at Riverhead, Mike Ewanitsko won the 101 lap Charlie Jarzombek Memorial. Lou Lazzaro won his 106th career event at Fonda and Bugsy Stevens was the Pro Stock winner at Seekonk.

Ten years ago in 1995,Waterford ran on Thursday and on Saturday. Bert Marvin won the Thursday night event over Todd Ceravolo and Mike Gada. On Sat, Jeff Pearl took the win over Jim Broderick and Eric Berndt. Friday night at Stafford, Bo Gunning took the SK modified feature over John Anderson and Tony Sylvester. Point leader Bob Potter was extremely upset when he got dumped and put out of contention. At Waterford on Saturday night, Jeff Pearl took the modified win over Jim Broderick and Eric Berndt. John Brouwer JR won the late model event after Larry Cote and Phil Rondeau wrecked. At Riverside it was Brian Schofield over Steve Park and Dave Berube and at Riverhead, Don Howe took the win. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at Loudon. Mike Stefanik started dead last in the 40 lapper and made a determined charge to the front to pass Ted Christopher for the lead and eventual win in the closing stages. Tony Hirshman ended up second and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak and Rick Fuller. Dale Jarrett was the winner of a non-stop Busch Grandnational event at Michigan but was disqualified with an illegal intake manifold, giving the win to Mark Martin. Bobby Labonte was the Winston Cup winner. Robbie Crouch was the Busch North winner at Star and Jack Johnson sewed up his tenth track title at Fonda.

Five years ago, in 2000, Ted Christopher, in his first outing in the Gary Cretty No.25, took the pole and all but ran away with the Featherlite Modified Tour event run at Thompson on Thursday night. Jerry Marquis finished second with Reggie Ruggiero, third. During warm-ups, Rob Summers and Carl Pasteryak had their cars destroyed as NASCAR officials were not paying attention when they waved on of the cars to enter the track. Christopher also won the 30 lap SK modified event. Stafford rained out on Friday and Dennis Gada recorded his fifth win at Waterford on Saturday. Jeff Pearl finished second with Ron Yuhas JR, third. Ted Christopher has his potentially winning car destroyed after he ran over a wheel and crashed violently. It was also a year ago that Jimmy Blewett got his first ever win at Wall Stadium. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Rusty Wallace took the win. Todd Bodine was the GN winner.

Last year, 2004, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Wednesday night. Due to the fact that heavy rain hit the area NASCAR and the Arute family were forced to postpone the event to Wednesday, on August 25. Tony Hirschman, who took the point lead from Eddie Flemke JR after the recent event at Seekonk continued to lead the standings by 9 points over Flemke. In 12 events Hirschman had recorded ten-top 10ís including two wins. Flemke had eight-top 10ís and one win. Jerry Marquis, also with eight-top 10ís including two wins, sat in third spot, 115 points behind the leader. Ted Christopher, with two wins, was fourth with Rick Fuller, fifth. Hirschman, Marquis and Fuller are former series champions. Donnie Lia, Jamie Tomaino, Chuck Hossfeld, Tom Cravenho and Zach Sylvester rounded out the top ten. Prior to the Wednesday date at Stafford speedway owner Jack Arute put the word out to his announcers that they were not to mention car owner Bob Garbarino or his business, Mystic River Marina. Evidently Arute was upset over the fact that he felt that Garbarino had put pressure on his driver Chuck Hossfeld to quit his ride in the SK Modifieds. Aruteís action backfired as Garbarino and his marina got a ton of free advertising in Connecticut papers and web sites that elaborated on the subject. The Busch North Series was at the Watkins Glen Speedway last Saturday. Brad Leighton took the win over Brad Hoar and Dale Quarterly.

In Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway Bo Gunning and car owner Eddie Partridge got the monkey off their backs as they scored a win in Sunoco Modified SK type competition. Gunning and early leader Jeff Malave slugged it out until lap 23 when Malave hit the wall. Officials initially placed Gunning to the rear as they felt he caused the wreck but after careful consideration it was determined that it was a racing accident and Gunning was put back in front. Kerry Malone had accidentally hit Gunning, driving him into Malave. Point leader Todd Ceravolo had a rough night as he ended up 15th and slipped from first to third in the standings. Kerry Malone, who finished second to Gunning moved into the point lead. Malaveís crew was able to get him back on the track as he ended up 11th and was able to garner enough points to move himself into the second spot. In the final rundown Bert Marvin finished third with Adam Norton and Harry Rheaume rounding out the top five. It was also a rough night for Ted Christopher as he failed to make the starting grid after suffering problems earlier in the night. During warm-ups Christopher had the miss-fortune of losing a water hose causing him to crash into the unforgiving concrete and during his qualifying heat he wrecked his back-up mount. George Bessette and David Berghman put on a torrid wheel to wheel battle in the Pro Stock feature. Bessette came out on top with Berghman breathing down his neck. Corey Hutchings scored a one-two punch in Late Model competition as he won twin 25ís that were on the racing card. Glenn Boss was the Limited Sportsman winner and Eric Bourgeois won in the Mini Stocks.

Ted Christopher, who had made it six in a row at Stafford a week ago was forced to wait a week to see if he could extend his streak as racing was cancelled on Friday night because of inclement weather. With a total of eight wins to his credit Christopher led James Civali by 117 points. Civali had two wins. Defending SK Modified champion Kerry Malone sat in third spot, four points behind Civali. Malone was winless so far this year at Stafford. Willie Hardie and Frank Ruocco rounded out the top five. Six events remained on the schedule. Mike Quintiliano, with four wins, was tied with defending Late Model champion Ryan Posocco for the Late Model point lead. Posocco had three wins. Kevin Gambacorta was the DARE Stock point leader.

Eddie Reed Jr. became the first three-time winner in SK Modified action at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. The shoreline oval all but beat the rain generated by Hurricane Charlie that was roaring down on the New England coastline. Reed took the lead on a lap 16 re-start and held off Ron Yuhas Jr. who was looking to make it three wins in a row. Yuhas settled for second and was followed by Rob Janovic, Dennis Gada and Frank Mucciacciaro. Some fireworks erupted between Keith Comiskey and Tom Fox during the running of the feature. Comiskey, who led the early stages, felt that Fox deliberately spun him out and decided to retaliate by drilling him into the wall and driving over the top of his car. Comiskey was ultimately bounced for the night. Mark St. Hilaire won a close one over Corey Hutchings in the Late Model division and Roger Perry was declared the Sportsman winner when the event had to be called in the closing laps because of rain. Phil Evans was the Mini-Stock winner and Ben Seiz won the Boston Louie Memorial NEMA Midget event.

The Nextel Cup Cars were at Watkins Glen in New York. Tony Stewart took the win over Ron Fellows and Mark Martin. The Busch Racing Series were off.

It appeared that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had the power to oversee and inspect racing facilities for unsafe conditions. On August 6 OSHA cited the Daytona International Speedway for failing to enforce safety procedures that could have prevented the February death of a track worker that was struck by a racecar. OSHA issued $11,175 in proposed fines, including a $6,300 penalty for the alleged violation that contributed to the death of track-crew supervisor Roy H. Weaver III on Feb. 8. The other $4,875 in penalties stems from other potential work hazards, including hearing loss, which federal investigators found during inspections at the track, but were not related to the accident. Weaver, 44, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was struck and killed by a racecar during the IPOWERacing 150 while he was removing debris from the track. Several racing officials said at the time of the crash that the fact that the driver involved, Ray Paprota, is a paraplegic was not a factor in the accident. The citations against the Speedway were ranked as "serious," meaning that Speedway officials knew or should have known about the potential dangers to its employees. A 13-page citation released by OSHA investigators found that the Speedway did not enforce safety procedures concerning when employees may enter the track during a race. OSHA said the track should have a policy similar to what fire departments follow when fighting a major fire. The report also cited the Speedway for other potential problems found during OSHA investigations. According to the report, an employee clearing material on the racetrack apron wasn't wearing a helmet while cars passed by, a radio headset had spots of blood that weren't cleaned before being stored, and the Speedway didn't check that medical workers had up-to-date Hepatitis B vaccinations and annual training about blood-borne diseases. Meanwhile in Connecticut the new governor Jodi Rell has taken away the Department of Motor Vehicle inspectors from overseeing state speedways and has replaced them with State Troopers.


Thatís about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 or days at 860-433-5250.E-mail _ HYPERLINK mailto: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene for over 3 decades.
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