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August 10, 2012

By Phil Smith

Sixty five 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 a carbon copy of the Rhode Island oval.

Sixty 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.

Fifty five 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.

Fifty years ago in 1962, Dick Beauregard was the 50 lap Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Moody was the Bomber feature winner. At Plainville Stadium George Lombardo was the Modified winner and George Hotchkiss was the Novice winner. Hotchkiss would move up to the Modifieds in 1963 and win the Chamionship by steady driving as he did not win a feature event.

Forty five 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. Jerry Glaude was second followed by Dick Caso, Bill Scrivner and Charlie Webster. At Plainville Stadium Sparky Belmont won the rain shortened 50 lap feature from the week before. Nick Nickerson was second followed by Sherm Saunders, Pete Brockett and Dan Gaudiosi. In the regular feature Gino Spada took the win followed by Sherm Saunders, Lloyd Kimble, Pete Brockett and Rod Andrews. At Riverside Bill Greco was the winner follwoed by Danny Galullo and Dave Alkas. 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 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. Frank Naumec was the Sportsman fetature. At Plainville Stadium Dave Alkas took the win followed by Bob Vivari, Reggie Ruggiero, Johnny Lane and Bill Brown. Art Whitbeck was the Novice winner. At the Riverside Park oval Steve "S.J." Evonsion was the winner followed by Tony "Jap" Membrino and Gary Colturi. 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.

Thirty five 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. Tom Rosati was the Late Model Sportsman winner. 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 Plainville Stadium Timmy Berndt was the winner followed by Dave Alkas, Richie Gallulo, Nick Giardina and Tommy Hughes. Dan Caron was the Pleasure car feature winner. Bob Stefanik won the 50 lap feature at Riverside Park Speedway followed by Pete Fiandaca, Stan Gergor, Ronnie Wyckoff and Bill O'Sullivan. At Westboro, George Savory mastered the high-banked quarter mile oval. Mike Murphy finished second with Butch Welch, 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 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.

Twenty five 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 Gregor 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 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.

Fifteen 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.

Ten 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.

Five 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

Last year, 2011, The Stafford Motor Speedway played host to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series for the Town Fair Tire 150. The event drew 28 cars.

Ted Christopher recorded his 41st career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory amid rumors that his ride in the Ed Whelen No. 36 is in jeopardy. Christopher led the final 15 laps of the 150 lap grind after taking the lead from Mike Stefanik. Stefanik had nothing for the Stafford All-Time winner as he settled for the runner-up spot at the checkered flag. Bobby Santos finished third followed by Eric Beers and Eric Goodale. Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennink, point leader Ron Silk, Eric Rudolph, Doug Coby and Jimmy Blewett.

The win was Christopher's 11th tour win at Stafford, where he is a seven-time track champion in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He is the track's wins leader over all divisions with 113 victories.

There were two caution periods for fourteen laps. The first yellow was displayed on lap 116 when Doug Coby and Todd Szegedy spun in turn four. Szegedy hit the wall as Coby went down in the dirt in the inside of the track. It appeared as though James Civali triggered the incident as got loose as the leaders were approaching him. Civali drove away. The second yellow was for Ron Yuhas who spun without incident.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature racing at Stafford, Keith Rocco recovered from a "Bump and Run" by Ted Christopher to take his third consecutive and sixth feature win of the 2011 season in the SK Modified® feature, J.J. Hill scored a dominating first win of 2011 by leading all 30 laps in the Late Model feature, Joey Cipriano nailed down his fourth win of 2011 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Duane Provost picked up his first career win in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Josh Wood beat his father Don to the checkered flag to record his third win of the 2011 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Ryan Preece earned his second Sunoco Modified feature event win of the season holding back some strong competitors. Rick Fuller and Preece were locked in a heated battle for the top spot in the opening laps. With heavy pressure from Preece, Fuller held the spot for two circuits before giving way to the charge of Preece. By lap three, Keith Rocco had moved into third with Woody Pitkat and Danny Cates occupying the top five. On lap five, Fuller got a run on Preece but a lapped car impeded his progress. The veteran settled back in line in second. Fuller immediately had to contend with Rocco; who was all over the back bumper. The top five ran nose-to-tail in a high-speed freight train. Preece continued to show the way over Fuller, Rocco, Pitkat, and Cates.

During the long green flag run Cates began to fall back slightly. Fuller and Preece got away from Rocco by a single-car length. Pitkat ran in fourth several car lengths behind Rocco. The top-three began to break away from the pack with Preece holding back Fuller and Rocco. The lead trio continued to run together over the second half of the race. With five laps to go Rocco lost the lead duo. Fuller continued to dog Preece as Rocco faded back several car lengths behind. Fuller never lost the back bumper of Preece; but, could not muster up a real assault on the leader over the final laps.

It was one for the history books for Glenn Boss who scored his fiftieth career win at Thompson in the extra-distance spotlight event for the TIS Modifieds. For the second time this season, the O’Sullivan Brothers of Springfield, MA, shared victory lane at Thompson. Big brother Mike scored the victory in the Super Late Models with Tommy earning top honors in the Late Models. Shawn Monahan continued his domination in the Limited Sportsman division with his sixth win of the season. It was a convincing win for Chad Baxter of Pascoag, RI, in the Mini Stocks.

At the Waterford Speedbowl fans and competitors went away happy as the impending rain held off allowing the entire racing program to be run. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Rob Janovic Jr. snapped a dry spell that dated back to August of 2009 to score his first win of the season in the SK Modified® division. In a special 50-lap Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Wayne Helliwell Jr. took down the win. Al Stone won his second consecutive and fifth Street Stock race of the year, while defending track champion Ken Cassidy Jr. won his sixth Mini Stock feature on the year. Rob Richardi Jr. won the night’s visiting Pro Four Modifieds of New England feature.

Janovic started the 35-lap SK Modified® feature in third position, quickly moving up to second position in the opening lap behind Nichole Morgillo. Janovic wasted no time in his pursuit of the lead, diving underneath Morgillo on lap-3 in turn one to successfully take over the lead.

While Janovic went unchallenged to the win, Tyler Chadwick and Kyle James crossed the stripe in second and third position. Morgillo kept Keith Rocco at bay to take fourth over him at the checkered flag.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine. Like their big brothers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, car counts are suffering because of the economy as only 20 were on hand for the event. Mike Holdredge took a well earned win after taking the lead from Rowan Pennink on lap 57 of the 100 lap event. Pennink faded to fourth before being spun by Tony Ricci on lap 70. Pennink rallied and worked his way to the top five by lap 84 when he tangled with Steve Masse while fighting for third spot. Les Hinckley finished second and was followed by Dwight Jarvis, Tony Ricci and Joey Jarvis. Rounding out the top ten were Max Zachem , Louie Mechalides, Joe Doucette, Jacob Dore and Chris Pasteryak.

At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Justin Bonsignore made it two in a row in NASCAR Modified competition with another visit to victory lane this week in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing.
 
The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC was in action for two nights last weekend, Friday and Saturday. The regular Saturday night racing program, twin 50 Modified events, was moved to Friday to make way for a NASCAR Southern Whelen Modified Tour event, 199 laps, on Saturday night. As usual, competitors roughed each other up as the "Bump and Run" is the accepted way of passing at the flat quarter mile oval. A tangle between Joseph "Bobo" Brown and Burt Myers in the first of two scheduled 50-lap Modified races ended with Jason Myers, Burt's brother, coming out the loser. The winner turned out to be unrelated Tim Brown, who took the checkered flag. The second scheduled Modified race was canceled because of rain.

In Saturday night Whelen Southern Modified Tour action, LW Miller became the first driver to win a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Bowman Gray Stadium two years in a row with a victory Strutmasters.com 199. Last year, Miller took the lead from Burt Myers with 17 laps left and held on from there. This time, Miller didn't wait so long as he took the lead from pole-winner and series leader George Brunnhoelzl just before the half-way mark and then held off Myers in the closing laps.

Sweeping both dirt track Modified races at historic Fonda (New York) Speedway on Wednesday evening, August 10, Brett Hearn, of Sussex, New Jersey, reached a career milestone, winning his 800th feature event race. Hearn’s total victories, garnered over a 37-year racing career, place him among the all-time winners in any form of American motorsports.

At Fonda, Hearn first won a holdover 30-lap feature race passing Alton Palmer on the final lap. He followed that victory by the n winning the 60-lap “Thunder on the Thruway” evening finale, this time out running Matt DeLorenzo. Hearn won a total of $9,000 for his two victories. The wins were Hearn’s tenth and eleventh of the 2011 season. His 800-win career record includes 471 Big-Block Modified victories, 327 in Small-Block Modified competition, and two United Racing Company (URC) sprint Car wins. A master of extra-distance races, Hearn has posted 330 (41 percent of all his wins) in races of 50 laps or longer.

Brad Keselowski went out and raced all 500 miles of the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway with a broken left ankle. Competing with a brace on his ankle, Keselowski sped off on the final restart late in the race to pick up his second victory of the season. Blinded by smoke billowing from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car on the final lap, Carl Edwards slammed into his Roush Fenway Racing teammate and inadvertently pushed him to victory in a wild finish to the NASCAR Nationwide race at Newton, Iowa.

This week are several Vintage photos, Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size


Dick Watson


Gary Colturi


Gino Spada

T
Billy Greco

A full house at Lonsdale Arena

Newt Palm

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

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

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