years ago in 1978 Benny Parsons won the Richmond 400 as 20,000
spectators looked on. Lenny Pond finished second with Cale
Yarborough, third. Darrel Waltrip and Dick Brooks rounded out the
Twenty-five years ago in 1983, Bobby Allison won the Richmond 400
Winston Cup event.
Twenty years ago in 1988, the Winston Cup division of NASCAR was at
Richmond and the tire war between Hoosier and Goodyear was on.
Hoosier had the tire to beat. Morgan Shepherd took the pole on
Hoosiers and Neil Bonnett took
the win, also on Hoosiers.
Fifteen years ago in 1993, Mark Martin won the Busch Grandnational
200. Todd Bodine was involved in a bad crash after he blew a tire
and hit the wall. Rusty Wallace rebounded from his wreck at Daytona
and dominated the Winston Cup event. Dale Earnhardt finished second.
Ten years ago in 1998, Speedway Motorsports exercised an option to
buy the 800 acres and buildings that made up the Sears Point Raceway
in Sonoma, California. In Winston Cup qualifying at Rockingham, Rick
Mast was the Busch Pole sitter. Kenny Wallace was second fastest.
Tony Stewart was the Busch Grandnational pole sitter. Mike Stefanik
made it into the starting field with an ownerís provisional. In the
GN 200, Matt Kenseth bumped Tony Stewart on the last lap and went on
to take the win by a half car length. Stefanik finished 35th, 11
laps down. Jeff Gordon took the Winston Cup win after he passed
Rusty Wallace in the late stages.
Five years ago in 2003, rain played a role at Rockingham as the wet
stuff cancelled qualifying for both the Busch Series and the Winston
Cup Series. Saturdayís Busch Series event was also rained out and
re-scheduled for Monday. Jamie McMurray led the entire event to take
the win over David Green. In Winston Cup action on Monday, Dale
Jarrett and Kurt Busch swapped the lead four times during the final
11 laps with Jarrett coming out on top at the finish. On a sad note,
Bill Colton Sr., who brought soft walls to Lancaster and Oswego
Speedways passed away and Dexter Burnham, noted newspaper man and
former Stafford Speedway Public Relations director passed away at
the age of 79.
Last year, 2007, The only action of the weekend was on the west
coast. Matt Kenseth took control in the closing laps Saturday night
at California Speedway, driving off with his fourth NASCAR Busch
Series victory in 12 tries on the 2-mile oval. Casey Mears grabbed
second place 12 laps from the end and gave a big effort to try to
catch Kenseth, but the Roush Fenway Racing driver wouldn't let Mears
get close enough for a serious challenge, driving across the finish
line about five lengths ahead. Kenseth made a clean sweep as he won
the Nextel Cup event. TV camera angles indicated the event was not a
The Northeast Racing News carried the announcement that HD Net would
extend their coverage of Busch East events to 2007. A while back
NASCAR had indicated that there would be extensive television
coverage of Tour Series events. With Speedweeks in Florida over and
most of the major announcements made it looked like the Modifieds
and NASCARís other regional series got the short end of the stick
some sad news, Malcolm R. "Johnny" Thompson,
78, of Pond Drive, formerly of Pendleton Hill Road, North
Stonington, died on Monday morning, Feb. 19, 2007 at his home.
Johnny, a die hard Ford man, drove at many racetracks throughout his
career from the old Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode Island then at the
Waterford Speedbowl, Stafford Speedway and the Thompson Speedway in
Connecticut. He achieved his greatest success at the Norwood Arena
where he was a Modified Champion. For many years Thompson and the
late Leo Hill shared a garage in North Stonington where they
fabricated their own cars.
Thatís it for this week from
40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
Photos Credits: VintageModifieds.com