Forty years ago in 1969, the All Star
League visited Islip on Wednesday for a 100-lap event. Taking
the win was home track favorite Fred Harbach. Gary Winters
finished second and was followed by Richie Evans, Jack Reinhard,
Artie Tappen and Will Cagle. Albany Saratoga ran a 100-lap
double point event on Friday, which saw Eddie Flemke clean
house. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by Jerry
Cook and Bernie Miller. Stafford was closed. Saturday night at
Norwood, Johnny Thompson
with his small block Ford took the win over Freddie Schulz, Fred
DeSarro and Marty Bezema. Fonda ran their rained out 200 and at
the checker it was Lou Lazzaro who prevailed. Kenny Shoemaker
finished second and was followed by Ron Narducci and Rene
Charland. Airborne Park in Plattsburg ran a 100-lap double point
event and it was invader, Bugsy Stevens taking the win. At Islip
Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach shared the spotlight as they
each won separate events. Hometown favorite
Charlie Webster was the
Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Big Mike
Daignault was the Daredevil winner. At Thompson on Sunday night
it was Eddie Flemke over Stevens and Moose Hewitt and at
Utica-Rome Jerry Pennock beat out Dave Lape for the win.
Thirty five years ago in 1974, Don Howe got the best of
Charlie Jarzombek at Riverhead on Wednesday. Frank Curtiss
finished third with Junior Ambrose, fourth. On that same night,
the master, Eddie Flemke, gave a young driver named Reggie
Ruggiero a lesson as he won a 100 lap open event at Plainville
Stadium. Jim Cash finished third with Bobby Bard, fourth.
Johnny Thompson was the winner
with his 289 Ford Small Block at the Norwood Arena. (John Grady
Mike Daignault was the Daredevil winner at the Speedbowl in
1969. (Dave Dykes Collection)
Friday night at Freeport, Jarzombek played second fiddle again as he
finished second behind Dan MacNamara. Donnie Bunnell was the
Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. A 200 lapper scheduled
at Islip on Saturday rained out. Bugsy Stevens was king of the hill
at Stafford despite the efforts of Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Bouchard.
In New York State action, Dick Clark won at Utica-Rome, Merv
Treichler won at Lancaster, Geoff Bodine won at Shangri-La and
Richie Evans won at Fulton. In Sunday night action at Thompson, Fred
DeSarro made it two in a row and at Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard was
Thirty years ago in 1979, Bill Brown sold Monadnock Speedway
to Bill Davis and at Danbury, starter Ted Abbot was struck and
killed while flagging a race at the historic oval. Stafford ran twin
25's on Tuesday and drew 75 modifieds. Geoff Bodine won the first 25
and was followed by Ron Bouchard, Jerry Cook and Bugsy Stevens. Cook
won the nightcap with Bodine following and Leo Cleary in third spot.
At New Egypt on Wednesday night, John Blewett Jr. took the win over
Jerry Cook and Richie Evans. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard
scored a popular win over Evans and Kenny Bouchard. Seekonk ran a 50
lapper on Saturday, which saw Geoff Bodine take the win over Leo
Cleary and Bugsy Stevens. After two successive rain outs, Waterford
got their show in and it was Rick Donnelly taking the win over Moose
Hewitt and Dick Ceravolo. At Shangri-La, Richie Evans got his 44th
win of the season. Jerry Cook finished second with George Kent,
third. At Lancaster it was Maynard Troyer over Roger Treichler and
at Thompson on Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard beat John Rosati. Also on
Sunday, Brian Ross secured twin wins at Monadnock.
Twenty five years ago in 1984, Waterford ran a special 82-lap
open competition event and it was local favorite Bob Potter beating
out Kenny Bouchard for the win. At Stafford on Friday night, Brian
Ross took a popular win over Bugsy Stevens and Charlie Jarzombek.
New Egypt ran a 200 National Championship event that saw George Kent
beat the heat and the competition. Bob Park finished second with
Fred Harbach, third. Spencer also ran on Friday and it was now
Winston Cup crew chief Doug Hewitt taking the win. In Saturday night
action it was Mike McLaughlin taking a 200 lap win over Reggie
Ruggiero and Richie Evans at Riverside. Ruggiero drove a car owned
by Mike Grecci who was the crew chief for Andy Santarre. At
Waterford it was Bob Gada Jr. over Bob Potter and at Islip it was Al
Hansen in victory lane. Tony Hirschman beat out Gil Hearne for a win
at Wall Stadium and at Thompson on Sunday, Art Davis was the winner.
In Winston Cup action at Nashville, Geoff Bodine took the pole but
ended up 22nd with a broken rear. Terry LaBonte took the win.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Tom Tagg was the Friday night SK
modified winner at Stafford. At Monadnock they were still running
Modifieds and Reggie Ruggiero took the win. Waterford rained out on
Saturday but on Sunday it cleared as Thompson hosted the Modifieds.
Mike Stefanik won out over Reggie Ruggiero and Doug Hevron. Ruggiero
won the companion SK event.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Thompson’s Wednesday show rained
out. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bob Potter held off Mike
Paquette. Rick Fuller was the winner of the Pro Stock 100.Saturday
night at Waterford, Scott Spaulding got his first ever Modified win
as he beat out Mike Gada and Jerry Pearl. Riverhead ran a Race of
Champions qualifier, which was won by Tom McCann, and at Riverside,
Dan Avery took the win. The Modified Tour Series was at Loudon. The
scheduled 100-lap event was called after 23 laps due to rain. Steve
Park was awarded the win with Reggie Ruggiero second and Ed Flemke
Jr., third. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Ernie Irvan was
severely injured after a cut tire forced him to crash at high speed
into the wall. After a long recovery period, Irvan survived to race
and win again.
Ten years ago, in 1999, Willie Hardie won the postponed
NO-Bull 100 at Stafford. Jerry Marquis finished second. Ted
Christopher won the regular Friday night SK 50 lapper. Earlier in
the day, Christopher qualified on the outside pole for a
Grandnational event at Michigan but had his time disallowed because
of illegal shocks. Mike Gada went pole to pole at Waterford on
Saturday night to win out over Ron Yuhas Jr. Riverside and Riverhead
rained out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the Grandnational and Bob Labonte
was the Winston Cup winner at Michigan. Last but not least, Kenny
Tremont got his 13th win of the year at Lebanon Valley as he charged
from third to first on the last lap.
Tommy Baldwin was laid to rest in
2004. (Howie Hodge Photo)
Five years ago in 2004, with heavy
hearts the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour headed back to
Stafford on Wednesday after Tom Baldwin
had been laid to rest. Services were held at the Lucia and
Orlando Funeral Home in Patchogue on Long Island. National Speed
Sport correspondent Gary London reported that thousands came to
the wake and funeral of the popular Long Island driver. After
only three days off the tour returned to Thompson on Sunday to
continue the event that was halted due to the Tom Baldwin
accident. The infield light poles in turns one and three had
been moved outside the track. The concrete blocks that protected
them were also gone.
At Stafford, a fitting tribute was presented in honor of Tom
Baldwin. Video clips of his highlights in Stafford events were
shown and on the parade laps of the main event seventh place
starting spot was left open in his honor.
Forty-six modifieds were on hand for the Dodge Dealers 150. Donnie
Lia was the Busch pole sitter. Nevin George drew the pole starting
position and John Blewett III drew the outside pole. Lia drew
seventh. Nevin George took the lead at the start and led through lap
54. John Blewett III took the lead on a re-start but his position at
the point lasted only one lap as George took it back on lap 56. Todd
Szegedy, who didn’t pit for tires, took the lead on lap 81 when
George developed problems and ended up dropping out with a bad
clutch. Szegedy led the remaining laps and crossed the finish line
1.14 seconds ahead of current series point leader Tony Hirschman.
Eric Beers, Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino rounded out the top
five. Tom Bolles, who lives in nearby Ellington, finished a
respectable sixth, just ahead of leading Rookie candidate Ken Barry.
Barry’s teammate Sean Caisse resigned his ride prior to the event
and is looking to pursue a racing career elsewhere. Rounding out the
top ten were Donnie Lia, Chuck Hossfeld and Doug Coby. Hossfelds car
owner, Bob Garbarino, stated that he was extremely hurt by recent
action taken by Stafford owner Jack Arute. When Hossfeld quit his
Friday night SK Modified ride Arute became enraged as he felt that
Garbarino had cost him one of his top weekly drivers. Arute
instructed his announcing team not to mention Garbarino’s name or
his business, The Mystic River Marina. Garbarino had supported the
speedway since it was initially paved in 1967. Ted Christopher and
Reggie Ruggiero, two of the pre-race favorites, failed to finish.
Ruggiero, who started 18th, dropped out with suspension problems
after completing 45 laps. Christopher, who started 22nd, lasted
until lap 52 when he broke an axle. Tony Hirschman stretched his
point lead to 55 over Ed Flemke Jr. Flemke finished on the lead lap
in 13th spot. Flemke was running in third spot on the final lap when
he spun as a result of a tire going flat. Jerry Marquis, who
finished a distant 23rd after completing only 91 laps because of an
early tangle with Ruggiero and Christopher, lost a little ground but
still maintained third spot. Christopher and Lia rounded out the top
The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour returned to Thompson on Sunday
to complete the Bud Racing 150 that had been halted when Tom Baldwin
had his unfortunate accident. Not returning to re-start the event
were Bobby Santos III, Sean Caisse, Ronnie Silk and Ken Wooley.
Caisse, who was the Busch Pole sitter, had announced that he had
quit the Art Barry No.21. Prior to the start of the event speedway
announcer Russ Dowd paid an emotional tribute to the fallen Baldwin,
one that left more than one with damp eyes. Ted Christopher, who was
leading when the event was stopped on August 19 when the field took
the green on lap 14. Shortly after Donnie Lia took the lead on lap
41, John Blewett III developed overheating problems with his Sheba
No.8 and parked it on lap 44. Blewett, by the way, had won the
Garden State Classic at the Wall Township Speedway on Saturday
night. At just about the same time Tom Cravenho parked the Eddie
Partridge No. 12 when it developed an oil leak. Lia led the field
until he pitted on lap 81and handed the lead to Kenny Bouchard as
the field completed the fourth of six caution periods. Bouchard's
lead lasted one lap as a determined Tony Hirschman bolted into the
lead on lap 83. Doug Coby posed a potential threat but couldn’t
compete with the former series champion who went on to take the
eventual win. Coby and Eddie Flemke Jr. slugged it out for second
spot until five laps remained and he ran out of gas, stopped and
brought out the sixth and final caution. With a
green-white-checkered finish Hirschman out powered Flemke for the
win. Jimmy Kuhn finished a career best third with Ted Christopher
fourth and Rick Fuller, fifth. Rounding out the top twelve on the
lead lap were Dave Etheridge, Jerry Marquis, Eric Beers, Jeff Malave,
Jamie Tomaino, Charlie Pasteryak and Renee Dupuis. Hirschman now
leads Flemke by 65 points. Roy Smith won the Pro Stock event that
had also been postponed from August 19.
In Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway Kerry Malone won
one for the Tiger. Malone, who was a close friend of Tom Baldwin,
won the 75 lap Sunoco Modified event and in victory lane dedicated
his win to the fallen competitor. Jeff Malave ended up in second
spot with Todd Ceravolo, third. Bo Gunning and Kelly McDougal
rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher was a late contender until
being spun out by Adam Norton. Norton was put to the rear for his
actions. Christopher recovered to finish seventh while Norton played
it cool to finish ninth. Jeff Zuidema was the Pro Stock winner.
Point leader David Berghman was collected in a wreck while running
third and finished out of the top 10. Other Thursday night winners
were Dennis Botticello in the Late Models, Glenn Boss in the Limited
Sportsman and Todd Henshaw in the Mini Stocks.
Twin 40 lap SK Modified features were on the racing card at Stafford
Friday night. Steve Chowanski went pole to pole to win the opening
feature while Chris Jones won the nightcap after finishing second to
Chowanski in the first event. Chuck Docherty finished second in the
opening event and was followed by Ted Christopher and Todd Owen.
Christopher finished second to Jones who withstood some horrendous
pressure. Woody Pitkat finished third with Frank Ruocco and Todd
Owen rounding out the top five. Ryan Posocco, who had won the Late
Model event at Stafford on Wednesday, came back to make it two for
two in Late Model Competition. Vince Gambacorta finished second in
the DARE Stock event and was awarded the win after apparent winner
Scott Hitchcock was disqualified.
Jeff Pearl won his third SK Modified feature at the Waterford
Speedbowl on Saturday night. Pearl had to hold of an overheating
Dennis Gada. Tom Fox finished third. Carl Errickson won the Late
Model feature and Richard Brooks; son of Thompson Speedway Chief
Steward Dick Brooks, won the Mini-Stock feature. Other winners were
John Mainetti in the X-modifieds and James Trenary in the Legends
John Blewett III won the 100 lap Garden State Classic at the Wall
The Nextel Cup Cars and the Busch Racing Series were in Bristol;
Tenn. Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored a clean sweep as he won both events
at the ultra-fast half-mile speedway.
Last year, 2008, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour invaded the
Thompson Speedway. Rain cancelled qualifying, which led to a start
based on current point standings. All 33 cars on hand started the
Point leader Chuck Hossfeld led the opening laps before giving way
to Todd Szegedy. An incident on lap 4 involved Eddie Flemke, Ryan
Preece, Glenn Tyler, Kevin Goodale, Ricky Fuller, and Woody Pitkat.
Preece and Tyler got the worst of it as they both suffered
suspension damage. The pack ran single-file as the laps began to
mount. Szegedy continued to lead with Hossfeld and Ted Christopher.
The racing was finally slowed when the second caution flew on lap 42
for a spin by Jimmy Blewett. Blewett’s mount suffered from a broken
panhard bracket mount. During the early stages of the event several
front runners had encountered problems. After losing the top spot to
Christopher, Szegedy encountered mechanical troubles under an early
race caution necessitating a push to pit road and behind the wall.
Szegedy was able to continue several laps down.
Ronnie Silk, who had worked his way to the second spot, found
himself at the spinning end of a confrontation with Eddie Flemke.
The field was able to miss Silk. Flemke received a penalty to the
tail end of the longest line for his actions. During a caution
period at lap 55 a host of cars headed to pit road for service. When
things sorted out, Silk was leading with Bobby Grigas, who
short-pitted, in second. Grigas capitalized on the restart; moving
past Silk and into the lead. Hirschman followed through. Contact
between business partners Flemke and Reggie Ruggiero necessitated
Back under green, Grigas continued to lead Hirschman. Lap-after-lap,
Hirschman dogged Grigas. Early leader, Christopher, faltered while
Stefanik was coming on strong. The veteran started to show his
prowess after the century mark; joining Grigas and Hirschman. Silk
meanwhile was fully recovered from his earlier incident to apply
pressure to Stefanik. A bid for the third spot was slowed when
Christopher, his tires worn, spun to bring out the caution. On the
lap 112 restart, Hirschman took over the lead from Grigas with Silk
following through in second. Bobby Santos was also able to motor by
and into third. Silk’s march to the front was completed when he took
the lead on lap 116. At lap 120, Christopher was back to eighth.
Contact between Hossfeld and Stefanik sent the Mystic Missile
sliding. Both drivers were able to continue, barely missing a beat.
The eleventh caution of the event flew; however, for a spin by Wade
Cole on the other end of the speedway.
A handful of green flag laps led to a ruckus that began after bumper
tag near the front of the pack. Hirschman was the aggressor on the
lap 139 restart taking over the lead from Silk. Santos continued to
run in third followed by a hard-charging Christopher. Silk was not
done as he raced his way back by Hirschman and into the lead. The
front five ran nose to tail as they took the white and checkered
flags. With two laps remaining, Pitkat ended up against the turn
The race went into overtime, with a green, white, checker,
single-file restart at lap 152. An uneventful final two laps gave
Silk his third career win. Hirschman settled for second over Santos
and Christopher and Stefanik.
Many tongues were still wagging over the last lap incident at
Stafford between Ryan Preece and Todd Szegedy. Szegedy roughed up
Preece to get the lead as they both apparently over-drove a bit
going into the first turn. When the pair made contact NASCAR
Director Chad Little felt that Preece had deliberately hit Szegedy.
After watching a video produced on the Stafford website it appears
that Szegedy was just as much at fault in the incident. Little, who
is getting to be known as the “Invisible Man” made himself scarce
after the call and was unavailable for comment. Preece and Boehler
Racing took a lot of abuse after the event, which was uncalled for.
Thursday night Thunder Racing at Thompson came very close to being
washed out as torrential rain pelted the speedway in mid-afternoon.
Keith Rocco cleaned house in the Sunoco Modifieds. In other Whelen
All-American Series racing, Lady Luck was finally on the side of
George Bessette scored his first Pro Stock feature win of the 2008
season. It was the fifth win for Late Model ace Jeff Zuidema and
Ernie Larose scored a popular win in Limited Sportsman division.
Brian Sullivan took over the ride for his brother Tim in the
family-owned TIS Modified to score the victory in only his second
start. Scott Michalski led his racing family with a Mini Stock
Rocco looked like he was shot out of a cannon rocketing out from his
fifth starting position to take the lead before the completion of
the lap one restart. The second generation had the entire field
covered as he survived numerous restarts throughout the 30 lap
feature. On lap 25, Tom Cravenho moved to the inside groove to take
the lead from Rocco. On lap 27, Rocco slid to the inside groove to
retake his lead. Rocco never looked back as he ran to the finish in
the No. 1 spot. Cravenho settled for second. Todd Ceravolo was able
to take the third position from Danny Cates. Bob Grigas edged out
Kevin Goodale to finish fifth.
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to rain on Friday night. Ted
Christopher led Keith Rocco by 6 points. Curt Brainard sat in third
spot, 78 points behind the leader. Kenny Horton and Woody Pitkat
rounded out the top five. Rocco suffered a setback on August 8 when
he was a victim of overaggressive driving by New Jersey racer Steven
Reed. Reed was serving a one race suspension.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, the shoreline oval enjoyed one of its
biggest crowds in a long time with their Racing Against Cancer
Night, which brought in the International Super Modified Association
along with the True Value Modified Series and the Northeastern
Midget Association to compliment the tracks SK Modifieds. Lou
Cicconi scored the 50-lap International Super Modified Association
feature while Chris Pasteryak scored his first ever-open wheeled
Modified win as he won the 100 lap True Value Modified Series event.
Other feature winners were Randy Cabral (Northeastern Midget
Association), and Ron Yuhas Jr. (SK Modifieds).
Opening with a bang, the 50-lap International Super Modified
Association endured a pair of serious crashes before the first lap
was completed. After getting underway, it was Dave Shullick Jr,
executing a daring outside maneuver to snare the lead passing
several cars. Out-front until the nineteenth circuit, Shullick was
then overtaken by Mike Ordway Jr. Cicconi was the leader when the
second red-flag occurred on lap forty-eight, setting the stage for a
2-lap dash for the checkers. Cicconi got the bite on the restart,
prevailing by a comfortable margin over Mike Lichty, Chris Perley,
Mike Ordway Jr., and Bobby Santos III.
Kirk Alexander led until just beyond halfway of the True Value 100
when Chris Pasteryak bolted into the top-spot after a restart. The
two engaged in a see-saw battle for the lead following the numerous
cautions that plagued the second-half of the event, Pasteryak
getting the advantage each time. Shelly Perry pounded the first-turn
wall on lap-96, evaporating the huge lead that Pasteryak had
amassed. The final restart saw the popular second-generation racer
again forge-ahead, finishing several lengths ahead of Alexander and
Jeff Malave in scoring his first-ever victory in True Value Modified
Series competition. Completing the top-5 was Dwight Jarvis and Ted
Randy Cabral notched a popular victory in the 25-lap NEMA Midget
feature, his third of 2008 at the Speedbowl. Passing Mike Keeler for
the lead with fourteen remaining, Cabral simply checked-out from the
competition during an extremely fast-moving event that incurred only
one caution period. Following Cabral was Keeler, Joey Payne, Greg
Stoehr, and William Wall.
In the evening’s 35-lap SK Modified feature, pole-sitter Shawn
Monahan immediately took the lead before yielding to an outside-move
by Ron Yuhas Jr. with twenty-three circuits remaining. Shortly
after, Monahan was eliminated for the night after the lapped-car of
Kevin Orlando jacked-up the leaders resulting in the first caution.
At the green it was again Yuhas, followed by Dennis Gada and
defending champion Ron Janovic Jr. Within a few laps the caution
again waved when Matt Gallo slammed the third-turn barrier with
bone-jarring force. Next to fall victim to the wreckers was
past-champion Todd Ceravolo, punted by Rob Summers after getting
out-of-shape and spinning. Yuhas dominated the closing laps,
finishing a comfortable margin ahead of Janovic, Gada, Doug Coby,
and Keith Rocco.
Carl Edwards took the lead in the pits, then drove away for his
first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Michigan International
Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. It was his 16th overall series win. The
reigning series champion was trailing fellow Sprint Cup driver Tony
Stewart when the leaders drove onto pit road under a caution flag on
lap 93. Edwards, driving a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, came out in
front and easily led to the end of the 125-lap race on the 2-mile
oval. Edwards, who led a race-high 71 laps on the way to his third
Nationwide victory of the season, was nearly 3.5 seconds ahead of
runner-up Brian Vickers before Danny Efland crashed at the start of
the last lap. The race finished under caution. Tony Stewart wound up
third, followed by Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Mike Bliss and
18-year-old rookie Joey Logano of Middletown. Joe Gibbs Racing got
caught in an ugly way Saturday following the CarFax 250 at Michigan
International Speedway. Stewart, making his last Nationwide start
for Gibbs, drove the No. 20, and 18-year-old rookie Joey Logano was
seventh in the No. 18. The two Gibbs Nationwide Series teams, which
have dominated competition in the division this season, weren't
working in the gray area, they weren't bending the rules, they
weren't finding holes in the rulebook, they were caught cheating.
NASCAR inspectors discovered magnets on the gas pedals of the Gibbs
No. 18 car and No. 20 car before the cars were set to be tested on a
NASCAR dynamometer, which measures horsepower. The magnets
essentially served as stops, not allowing the gas pedal to be
depressed all the way for the test, which would have altered the
results to show the cars with lower horsepower than they actually
had. It was an action team owner Joe Gibbs said: "Goes against
everything we stand for as an organization."
Joey Logano, who finished seventh in the No. 18 car and Tony
Stewart, who was driving the No. 20 car, were penalized 150
championship points and place on probation until Dec. 31, 2008. Car
owner Joe Gibbs was also penalized 150 points for each car in the
owner’s standings. No. 20 team crew chief Dave Rogers and No. 18
team crew chief Jason Ratcliff were each fined $50,000 and
indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Also, from the No. 18 team, car
chief Dorian Thorsen engine tuner Michael Johnson and crew member
Toby Bigelow were suspended indefinitely from NASCAR. From the No.
20 team, car chief Richard Bray and engine tuner Dan Bajek were
suspended indefinitely. NASCAR also put both teams, in their
entirety, on probation until Dec. 31, 2008.
Carl Edwards completed a weekend sweep at Michigan International
Speedway beating NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kyle Busch off pit
road on their last stops and driving off for his fifth Cup win of
the season and second in the last three races. David Ragan held on
to finish third, followed by Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.
This week are several vintage racing
photos of the Tommy Baldwin from the Danny Pardi Collection, courtesy of
the SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Size
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: