Fifty years ago in 1958 Paul Goldsmith went pole to pole to win what
was to be the last event run at Daytona on the 4.1 mile beach-road
course. Goldsmith led all 39 laps and collected $4550 for his
efforts. Curtis Turner finished second in the 49-car field. Jack
Smith, Joe Weatherly and Gwyn Staley rounded out the top five.
Forty-five years ago in 1963, two hundred-mile qualifying races were
held on Thursday to set the starting lineup for the Daytona 500.
Junior Johnson in the Ray Fox Chevrolet won the first qualifier over
Paul Goldsmith, AJ Foyt, Larry Frank and Dan Gurney. Northern hot
shoe Red Foote started 21st and finished 16th. USAC driver Johnny
Rutherford passed Rex White with five laps to go to win the second
qualifier. White finished second and was followed by Fred Lorenzen,
Ned Jarrett, Nelson Stacey and Tiny Lund. The 500 had a storybook
finish as Lund took the win for the injured Marvin Panch. Ned
Jarrett was leading with nine laps to go when he ran out of gas.
Lund, who spent most of the race drafting, made one less pit stop
than the rest of the field and went the entire 500-mile distance on
the same set of tires. Lund’s average speed was 151.566 mph. The
announced attendance was 70,780. Lorenzen finished second and was
followed by Jarrett, Nelson Stacey and Dan Gurney. Red Foote started
35th and finished 29th as his engine blew on lap 113 of the 200 lap
Forty years ago in 1968, the qualifying races rained out and the
starting field for the Daytona 500 was based on time trial that were
held the previous week. Cale Yarborough took the lead from LeRoy
Yarbrough with four laps to go as he won the 10th annual Daytona
500. Bobby Allison finished third with Al Unser and David Pearson
rounding out the top five. Eleven yellows for 60 laps slowed the
average speed to 143.251 mph as 94,800 looked on.
Thirty five years ago in 1973, Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough
traded the lead 15 times during the running of the first 125-mile
qualifying event. With only one caution, Baker took the win with
Yarborough on his bumper. Gordon Johncock finished third with
Richard Petty and Dick Brooks rounding out the top five. Darrell
Waltrip in an independent entry finished sixth. Maynard Troyer, from
the Modified ranks, finished 11th. The second 125 produced a big
surprise as independent CoCo Marlin passed David Pearson with six
laps to go and went on to take the win. Hershal McGriff finished
second as Pearson faded to ninth at the checker. AJ Foyt, Bobby
Issac and James Hylton rounded out the top five. Pete Hamilton
started on the pole only to lose an engine with eight laps to go.
Richard Petty won his fourth Daytona 500 after Buddy Baker lost an
engine with six laps to go. Baker was the fastest of the 40 starters
and had led the most laps. Bobby Issac finished second with Dick
Brooks, AJ Foyt and Hershal McGriff making up the top five. Outside
pole sitter Pete Hamilton finished dead last in 40th spot after his
engine blew on lap 33 of the 200-lap distance. Announced attendance
Thirty years ago in 1978, Bugsy Stevens was the Wednesday night
winner at New Smyrna. Fred DeSarro finished second with Ronnie
Bouchard, third. George Kent took the top spot at New Smyrna on
Thursday night. Geoff Bodine was hot on his tail but had to settle
for second spot. Bugsy Stevens, DeSarro and Satch Worley rounded out
the top five. The Thursday 125’s at Daytona saw AJ Foyt pass David
Pearson with 19 laps to go as he went on to win the first 50 lap-125
mile event. Pearson finished second and was followed by Donnie
Allison, Cale Yarborough and Bill Elliott. Darrell Waltrip and
Richard Petty swapped the lead three times on the final lap of the
second 125. Waltrip came out on top by a car length. Benny Parsons
finished third with Ron Hutcherson and Dave Marcis rounding out the
top five. The NASCAR Modifieds ran a 200-mile event at the 4.1 road
course at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday. Darrell
Waltrip outclassed the field as he took the win over Richie Evans,
Satch Worley, Jerry Cook and Joe Thurman. Ronnie Bouchard put the
Bob Judkins 2x in victory lane on Friday night. DeSarro remained
consistent as he finished second. Junior Hanley, Stevens and Charlie
Jarzombek completed the top five. Darrell Waltrip continued his hot
streak at Daytona as he won the Permatex 300 at Daytona on Saturday
and on Saturday night at New Smyrna Geoff Bodine, who finished sixth
at Daytona that afternoon, took the win. Ronnie Bouchard finished
second and wrapped up the New Smyrna World Series Modified title.
Richie Evans finished third. After twenty-one years of trying, Bobby
Allison finally won the Daytona 500. Allison started 33rd and took
the lead from Buddy Baker with 10 laps to go. Cale Yarborough
finished second with Benny Parsons, Ron Hutcherson and Dick Brooks
following. The speedway released an attendance figure of 140,000.
Twenty-five years ago in 1983, Richie Evans picked up his third win
of the series at New Smyrna on Wednesday night. Gail Barber finished
second with Bentley Warren, third. Moose Hewitt and Mike Mclaughlin
rounded out the top five. In the 125-mile qualifiers at Daytona on
Thursday Dale Earnhardt won the first one and Neil Bonnett, the
second one. Evans also won on Thursday and Friday nights. Greg Sacks
didn’t have the required steam and had to settle for second on
Thursday night. Mike Mclaughlin finished third with Jamie Tomaino
and Reggie Ruggerio rounding out the top five. Mid-western ASA star
Dick Trickle drove Joe Brady's car to a solid second on Friday night
with Tomaino third and Sacks, fourth. At Daytona on Saturday,
Darrell Waltrip won the Goody’s 300. Geoff Bodine finished second
with Neil Bonnett, third. Richie Evans finished fourth on the final
night at New Smyrna and sewed up the series title. Reggie Ruggerio
took the win over Tony Hirshman and Mclaughlin. Capping off
Speedweeks was the running of the Daytona 500, which was won by Cale
Yarborough. Bill Elliott finished second with Buddy Baker, third.
Ronnie Bouchard and Geoff Bodine suffered engine failure and did not
Twenty years ago in 1988, with the exception of the series finale,
the Richie Evans Memorial 100, Reggie Ruggerio dominated on
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at New Smyrna. He lost an engine
during the running of the 100, which was won by Tony Jankowiac. Tom
Baldwin finished consistently in second spot during the final four
nights and wrapped up the series title. The Daytona International
Speedway all but belonged to Bobby Allison as he won one of the
125’s, the Goody’s 300 and scored an emotional win over son Davey in
the Daytona 500
Fifteen years ago in 1993, Ricky Fuller took down the win at New
Smyrna on Wednesday night. Reggie Ruggerio finished second with Ed
Kennedy, Steve Park and Richie Gallup rounding out the top five.
Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt won the Thursday 125-mile qualifiers
at Daytona. Rain washed out the Thursday night action at New Smyrna.
Richie Gallup managed to pull out a win on Friday night at New
Smyrna as he held off Ricky Fuller and Ed Kennedy. Dale Earnhardt
led a Winston Cup contingent including Ken Schrader, Harry Gant and
Terry Labonte across the start-finish line in the Goody’s 300. Steve
Park won the Richie Evans Memorial at New Smyrna on Saturday night.
Bob Park came home second and was followed by Ed Kennedy, Tom
Baldwin and Richie Gallup. During the running of the event Mike
Ewanitsko spun Gallup out and when told to go to the rear, parked
his car. Dale Earnhardt was headed for his first Daytona 500 win
when Dale Jarrett passed him with two laps to go.
Ten years ago in 1998, Ted Christopher, in the Bear Motorsports
entry, started 5th and took the lead from Doug French on lap 12 and
went on to take the win on Wednesday night at New Smyrna. French
finished second and was followed by Tim Arre, Jan Leaty and Mike
Ewanitsko. Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt won the 125’s at
Daytona on Thursday. For Earnhardt, it was his ninth 125-mile
victory in a row. Christopher and French finished one-two again on
Thursday night Jan Leaty finished third with George Kent and Mike
Ewanitsko rounding out the top five. New Smyrna fell victim to fog
on Friday night. It was a welcome break that allowed competitors
some extra time to prepare for the series ending Richie Evans
Memorial 100. At Daytona on Saturday, Joe Nemechek led all but 15 of
the 120 lap distance to take the win in the Goody’s 300. Jeff Purvis
finished second with Mark Martin, third. The Richie Evans Memorial
at New Smyrna on Saturday night turned into a slugfest that saw a
lot of bent equipment and hot tempers. Jan Leaty took the win over
Jamie Tomaino, George Kent and Doug French. During the running of
the event Mike Ewanitsko was walled by Leaty when he attempted to
pass. Tim Arre crashed on a re-start and Ricky Miller flipped. Ted
Christopher got a little over anxious and lost it only to get hit by
George Bock, then t-boned by Dan Knoll. After 20 years of trying,
Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500. In dominating style,
Earnhardt led the final 60 laps. Bobby Labonte finished second with
Jeremy Mayfield, third.
Five years ago in 2003 at New Smyrna on Tuesday night, Tim Arre was
the surprise winner after Ted Christopher and JR Bertuccio tangled
on the last lap while fighting for the lead Bertuccio held on to
finish second with George Bock, third. Christopher ended up eighth.
The Modifieds ran a 50 lapper on Wednesday night. Ted Christopher
pitted for tires after an early tangle with Ed Flemke Jr. Flemke led
until five to go when Christopher took the lead for the win. Flemke
finished second with JR Bertuccio, third. The Daytona 500 qualifying
125-mile events run on Thursday were yawners. Robbie Gordon won the
first and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the second. The only passing was in
the pits during pit stops. JR Bertuccio went pole to pole to win the
25-lap feature at New Smyrna on Thursday night. George Kent, Ed
Flemke Jr, Rob Summers and Ted Christopher rounded out the top five.
The Richie Evans Memorial 100 was run at New Smyrna on Friday night.
Ed Flemke had the field covered until he lost an engine on lap 87.
Tim Arre inherited the lead and went on to take the win over
Bertuccio and Mike Ewanitsko. The Busch Series 300 was run at
Daytona on Saturday. The Bushwhackers prevailed as Kevin Harvick led
the first 53 laps and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the rest of the way to
take the win. Mike Finch won the final night at New Smyrna.
Christopher, who borrowed an engine from George Bock, finished
second with Summers, third. Christopher accumulated enough points to
secure the track series championship. The Daytona 500 closed out
Speedweeks on a wet note as the event was halted one lap passed half
way because of rain. Michael Waltrip, leading at the time, was
awarded the win. Many fans were displeased by this outcome.
Last year, 2007, racing in Florida at the New Smyrna Speedway for
the Tour type Modifieds and SK type Modifieds continued on Monday
night. The Tour type Modifieds numbered 26 and the SK types, 10.
Zach Sylvester was the top time trailer as he toured the half-mile
oval in 16.695 seconds. Jimmy Blewett was second fastest. John
Blewett III started fourth and wasted little time as he took the
lead from Zach Sylvester in turn three of the first lap. From there
on it was hammer down for Blewett as he kept his Brady Bunch mount
out in front and went on to take the win. Sylvester finished second.
Ted Christopher continued to be a non finisher as he was involved in
a wreck with Joey Logano. Logano was running fourth in the latter
stages until getting together with Andy Seuss. Both drivers kept
their cars straight, but lost several positions. Jimmy Blewett and
Eric Beers got together while running for fourth. Blewett appeared
to have a problem, catching Beers off guard. The two locked bumpers,
putting both to the back of the pack. Logano then got together with
Ted Christopher as the two were battling four fourth position. TC
slammed into the wall, while Logano kept going. Seuss then got
together with Donny Lia while racing in the top-10, with Seuss
getting into the front stretch wall and falling out of the event.
Earl Paules ended up third with Don Lia and Chuck Hossfeld rounding
out the top five. Jimmy Blewett made it three in a row in the SK
type Modified feature.
John Blewett III became the first repeat winner in World Series Tour
type Modified racing on Tuesday night. While those left behind in
the northeast were bracing themselves for a winter storm heavy rain
pounded the New Smyrna area. By race time the rain stopped and
racing went on as planned. Bob Grigas started on the pole with John
Blewett III on the outside. Prior to the start of the race Ted
Christopher and Jim Storace spun in turn 2. Grigas took the lead on
the restart with Blewett, Eric Beers and Zach Sylvester in tow.
Blewett went under Grigas on lap 8. Evidently Blewett took the air
off Grigas’ spoiler as he spun. In the resulting pig pile Don Lia
suffered right front wheel and suspension damage after he was hit by
Sylvester who had no where to go. Two more minor cautions slowed the
event. At the finish it was Blewett III followed by Beers,
Sylvester, Earl Paules and Jon McKennedy. Twenty-three cars took the
green flag in the Tour-Type Modified feature, but two of the
competitors that had competed well in previous nights were absent
from the starting lineup. Joey Logano, driving Gary Cretty’s #26
entry, was a no-show Tuesday, as was James Civali in the second Joe
Brady car. Jimmy Blewett made it four in a row in SK type Modified
The Tour type Modifieds went the 50 lap distance on Wednesday night.
Jimmy Blewett became the fourth different winner as he took
advantage of his brother’s mis-fortune when John pitted with a
broken spindle. Eric Beers ended up second with Joey Logano, third.
Ted Christopher managed to stay out of trouble and finished fourth.
Earl Paules rounded out the top five. Twenty-five cars took the
green with Don Lia and John Blewett III leading the charge. Shelly
and Butch Perry brought out early cautions in separate incidents.
Jimmy Blewett moved into second spot and glued himself to Lia’s
bumper. Blewett made the race-winning move on lap 14 and that’s all
she wrote! Earl Paules broke Jimmy Blewett’s stranglehold in the SK
type Modifieds as he took the win after leading the entire event.
Blewett was forced to start in the rear after it was discovered that
his car had an illegal carburetor spacer plate.
Heavy rain moved into the New Smyrna area on Thursday night just as
the Modifieds were having their hot laps in preparation for their
feature. In Modified tour type qualifying Jimmy Blewett set fast
time just one night after winning his first Tour-Type feature of
Speedweeks 2007. Wednesday’s second-place finisher Eric Beers was
second quick in qualifying. Blewett then set fast time in the SK
Modified feature, which was also rained out.
Jimmy Blewett came into the Richie Evans 100 with both guns blazing
and picked up where he left off on Wednesday night as he dusted the
field and took the win. Blewett started on the outside pole and
wasted little time as he took the lead from Eric Beers on lap 3 with
a slingshot move. Ted Christopher ended up second when he passed
Beers with eight laps to go. Beers faded to fourth in the end as Don
Lia passed him on the final lap. Zach Sylvester rounded out the top
five. Among tose who failed to finish were John Blewett III who
wrecked with Bob Holmes, Chuck Hossfeld who lost an engine and Andy
Seuss who ended up in the wall..
Twenty-five Tour type Modifieds went to post. The Grand Marshals for
the event were Tara and Richie Evans Jr, children of the late
champion. In addition to the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Jimmy Blewett
continued his winning ways as he won the final event of the series
on Saturday night. Starting on the pole, Blewett led every lap. Don
Lia moved into second spot on lap 18 but had nothing for Blewett at
the end. John Blewett III finished third with Zach Sylvester and
Eric Beers rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher was up to
second by lap 15 but dropped out shortly after and ended up 16th.
Eric Beers wrapped up the series championship. In SK type Modified
racing it was Kevin Goodale holding off Jimmy Blewett and Earl
Paules through numerous lead swaps in the closing laps of the 40-lap
SK Modified feature. Jimmy Blewett won the the SK type Modified
Eric Beers used consistency to earn the Tour type Modified
Championship. Beers beat out Jimmy Blewett by 15 points for the
title. John Blewett III ended up third with Don Lia and Zach
Sylvester rounding out the top five. Defending champion Andy Seuss
finished out of the top ten.
At the Daytona Speedway, Michael Waltrip's new Toyota team took the
hardest hit yet in what had mushroomed into NASCAR's toughest push
against cheating during Daytona 500 week in at least 31 years.
Waltrip's crew chief and vice president of competition were ejected
from Daytona International Speedway and suspended indefinitely from
NASCAR competition. Waltrip was docked 100 driver points and crew
chief David Hyder fined $100,000. The team's vice president, Bobby
Kennedy, was suspended because he was held ultimately responsible.
It was an enormous embarrassment to Toyota in its first Nextel Cup
outing. But NASCAR competition vice president Robin Pemberton said
"this is a team issue. This has nothing to do with a manufacturer."
An illegal substance - which a source told The Associated Press was
a property contained in jet fuel - was found in an intake manifold
of Waltrip's car during inspection Sunday. In an unrelated matter,
four crew chiefs were suspended and fined for various infractions.
Three were from the Ray Evernham Dodge team which includes drivers
Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Scott Riggs, and one was from Matt
Kenseth's Roush Racing team.
The Thursday 150 mile qualifiers were won by Tony Stewart and Jeff
Gordon. A post race inspection showed that Gordon’s car was too low.
The win wasn’t taken away but his car was placed 42nd in the Daytona
500 starting field. Kevin Harvick scored a one-two punch as he won
both the Busch Series 300 and the Daytona 500. Harvicks 500 win was
by inches over Mark Martin.
Congratulations went to Mr and Mrs Mike Boehler on the birth of
their new baby, Kate Anna Boehler who was born on Feb. 15. The
newest member of Boehler Racing weighed in at 6 lb. 11 oz. 21 inches
That’s it for this week from
40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.