Friday December 22, 2006

By Phil Smith                                                          Click On Any Photo For Full Size Version

                                   Final Looking Back Column of 2006 - Will Return February 2007

Thirty five years ago in 1971,some of those in competition were Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41, Denis Giroux in the Emmerick Associates No.50,Bob Karvonen in his own No.99,Ray Miller in his No.7,Don Flynn in his own No.25,Hank Stevens in the Freddy's TV No.23,Ernie Gahan, Moose Hewitt in the Bob Johnson No.17,Bugsy Stevens in the Sonny Koszela Woodchopper Spl,No.15,Fred DeSarro in Len Boehlers Ole Blu,No.3,Gene Bergin, Ed Yerrington, Leo Cleary in the Mystic Missile, Jerry Cook, Richie Gomes, Lou Austin, Dave O'Neil, Billy and Freddie Schulz, Ralph "Hop" Harrington in the Dick Armstrong No.1,Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55,Bernie Miller, Tony Russo, Winston Barrows, Moe Gherzi, Ronnie Shawn, Roland LaPierre Sr, Ernie Caruso, Lou Toro, Ray Sitterly, Rene Charland, Ray Hendrick in the Tant/Mitchell No.11,Eddie Flemke in the Art Barry No.09,Roger Treichler, Dutch Hoag, Eddie Pieniezak, Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda No.69,Max Berrier, Billy and Jimmy Hensley, Mike Loescher, Paul Radford, Satch Worley, Bill Henry, Hank Thomas, Dick Fowler, Jim Hendrickson, Andy Romano, Phil Libby, Tom Sutcliff, Gary Winters, Wayne Anderson, Bill Scrivner, Dave Lape, Glynn Shafer, Bobby Vee, Daring Dick Caso in the Simons Excavator No.9,Booker T Jones, Mark Zimmerman, Bob Melnick, Lou Hennessy, Bob Potter, Dick Watson, Ron Wycoff, Jerry Glaude, Don Bunnell, Fred "Fuzzy" Baer, Angie Cerese, Jack Lecuyer, Dale Holdredge, Artie Moran, Dick Dunn in the Al Gaudreau No.3,Walt Dombrowski, Jiggs Beetham, Gordon Page, Dynamite Ollie Silva, Don Kibbe, Bobby Turner, Joe Tiezzi, Bob Holmberg, George Delmar, Dale Holdredge, Jerry Dostie, Tom Baldwin, Frank Faria, Ed Patnoad, Bill Park, Paul Mancarella, Lou Lazzaro, Geoff Bodine, Charlie Jarzombek, Dave Nichols, Richie Evans, Al DeAngelo, Chuck Boos, Frank Curtis, Stub Fadden, George Wagner, Maynard Troyer, Clayton Sonney Seamon, Joe Trudeau, Seabury Tripler, Marvin Chase, George Murray, Don Dionne, Terry Peabody, Ed Hoyle, Mark Geer, Leo Hill, Mike Beebe, Dave Humphrey, Ronnie Bouchard, Jon Astle, Billy Clarke, Norm Holden, George Summers, Jap Membrino, Johnny Thompson, Merv Treichler, Dave Kotary, Billy Greco, Roger Hill, Nolan Swift, Eddie West, Big Don McClaren and Mario"Fats"Caruso

Thirty years ago in 1976 Fred DeSarro and the mighty No.3 of Len Boehler were the track champions at Stafford and at Thompson. Bobby Santos, the original, was driving for Joe Brady and took the Westboro Speedway title. Geoff Bodine, in the Dick Armstrong No.1 was the Yankee All Star League champion while Bob Potter took the title at Waterford. Punky Caron was the “Up Country” kingpin as he won titles at Monadnock and at Claremont. On Long Island there was still three nights of racing. Fred Harbach took the Islip Speedway championship while Chargin Charlie Jarzombek took the titles at Freeport and at Riverhead. Harbach was also the track champion at New Egypt in New Jersey. Jerry Cook was the NASCAR Modified champion but had no track titles to his credit in his native New York state. Richie Evans was the champion at the Spencer Speedway. Maynard Troyer took the title at Lancaster and Sonny Seamon at Shangri-La. George Kent took the championship at Fulton and Will Cagle was the Schaeffer Series champion as well as the champion at Rolling Wheels. Jim Shampine was the King of the Supers at Oswego and Dan Bridges was the Late Model champion at Plattsburg. Bob Polverari was the Champion at Riverside Park and Jim Hendrickson in the Ferrente x-3 was the man at Wall Stadium.

Twenty-five years ago in 1981 Richie Evans had a big year. In addition to the NASCAR National Modified championship he won track championships at New Smyrna, Stafford and Thompson. George “Moose” Hewitt was the Modified Champion with Harry Rice taking the title in the Super stocks. Rit Patchen was the Danbury champ and Wayne Anderson was champion at Islip. Jerry Marquis was the Sportsman champ at Stafford. Pat Chambrello was the Street Stock titleholder. Punky Caron was the Monadnock champion while Jeff Fuller took the top spot at Westboro. Bugsy Stevens was the Modified Champion at Seekonk and Stash Gregger was the champ at Riverside. George Kent was the top dog at Spencer and at Shangri-La while Roger Treichler took the top spot at Lancaster. Doug Hevron was the Champion at Oswego wile John Blewett Jr won the title at New Egypt. Mike Weeden was the track champion at Lee. Darrell Waltrip was the Winston Cup champion and Ronnie Bouchard was awarded Rookie of the Year. Tommy Ellis was the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion.

Twenty years ago in 1986 Reggie Ruggiero, driving the Mario Fiore No.44 won the New Smyrna Modified Championship. Wayne Anderson won the title at New Egypt while Tom Mauser won it at Wall. Bob Potter won another Modified Championship at Waterford. Brian McCarthy was the Super Stock champ. Mike Stefanik ended being the last Modified Champion at Stafford as the Mods were thrown out in favor of the SK Modifieds. Wayne Dion was the SK Modified champion and Scott Poirier, the Street Stock titleholder. Dion was also the SK Modified champion at Thompson. Spencer Speedway in New York also dropped the Modifieds after Jan Leaty won the Modified title. George Kent won the title at Shangri-La and second-generation driver Ken Troyer won it at Lancaster. John Rosati won the Modified Championship at Riverside Park. Hs younger brother Tom won the Pro Stock title. John Blewett Jr was the Champion at Riverhead. At Oswego, Brian Ross won the Modified title while Bentley Warren won the Supermodified Championship. Jimmy Spencer was the NASCAR Modified Series champion and second generation driver Larry Pearson won the Late Model Sportsman title. Dale Earnhardt Sr was the Winston Cup Champ.

Fifteen years ago in 1991 Mike Ewanitsko was the Modified Champion at New Smyrna. Jerry Marquis had a big year driving for Bob Judkins as he won track championships at Monadnock and Riverside Park as well as the NASCAR Northeast Regional Championship. Wayne Anderson won the Riverhead championship and Lee Sherwood won the Modified Championship at Shangri-La. Champions at Stafford were Bob Potter in the SK Modifieds and Chuck Zantarski in the Late Models. At Waterford it was Ricky Young in the SKs, Phil Rondeau in the Late Models and Mike Holdredge in the Strictly Stocks. Mike Christopher was the SK Modified champion at Thompson. Mike Stefanik was the NASCAR Modified Tour Series champion and Ricky Cravens was the Busch North Series champ. Taking Rookie of the Year honors was Tony Hirschman. Bobby Labonte was the Busch Grandnational Champion and Dale Earnhardt Sr was the Winston Cup champ.

Ten years ago in 1996, Tiger Tom Baldwin was the New Smyrna Modified champion. Doug Didero made it three in a row at Oswego while Ted Christopher annexed Stafford in the SK Modifieds. At Riverside Park, Dave Berube took top honors in the Modifieds while Eddy Carrol took the Pro Stock title. Dick Houlihan won the Pro Stock championship at Thompson and Chuck Steuer was the Modified champion at Riverhead. At Waterford Jimmy Broderick won the Modified title and John Brouwer took top honors in the Late Models. Dave Dion was the Busch North Series champion and Randy Lajoie made it two in a row in the Busch Grandnational division. Sege Fidenza won his sixth championship at Lancaster and Tony Hirschman won the NASCAR Modified Tour Series title. The big news of the week was that Winston Cup crew chief Larry McReynolds left the Robert Yates No.28 for the Richard Childress No.3.

Five years ago in 2001 the track champions were Ted Christopher at New Smyrna and in the SK Modifieds at Stafford. Christopher was also the NASCAR New England Regional Champion and the NASCAR National Champion, a title that was worth $160,000. Punky Caron was the Pro Stock Champion at Claremont and John Fortin was the Modified Champion at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Dennis Gada was the SK Modified Champion at Waterford while Bert Marvin was the Sunoco Modified Champ at Thompson. Mike Olsen was the Busch North Series Champion and Mike Stefanik won his fifth Featherlite Modified Title. Art Barry was the Champion Car owner. Jimmy Blewett took the title at the Wall Stadium and Eric Beers was the Champion at Pocono Mountain Speedway. Brett Hearn became the MR DIRT titleholder for the fourth time. Jeff Gordon took the Winston Cup title for the fourth time in nine years while Kevin Harvick took the Busch Series title.

Last year, 2005, Ted Christopher was the Modified Champion at the New Smyrna Speedway. At Riverhead it was veteran Bill Park and at Seekonk Vinnie Annarummo won his fifth Pro Stock Title. Jeff Malave was the Sunoco Modified Champion at Thompson while Lloyd Agor won a long overdue title at Stafford. Rob Summers won the SK Modified Championship at the Waterford Speedbowl. Mark StHillaire was the Late Model Champion and Jeff Paul was the Legends Champion. Tony Hirschman was the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion while Andy Santerre took the top spot in the Busch North Series. Tony Stewart was the Nextel Cup Champion and Martin Truex was the Busch Series Champ.

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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