Forty years ago in 1970, Pete
Hamilton, driving a Petty Superbird, was an upset winner in the
Daytona 500.The event was televised on closed circuit TV. Among
the first to greet Hamilton in victory lane were Steady Eddie
Flemke, Billy Harman and George Pendergast.
Thirty five years ago in 1975 the NASCAR Modifieds were
part of Daytona speedweeks as they ran a 200-mile event on the
4.1-mile infield road course. Merv Treichler took the win over
Fred DeSarro, Jerry Cook, Billy Osmun, Don Flynn and Will Cagle.
Bobby Allison and Dick Brooks were the 125-mile qualifying race
winners and in the 500 Benny Parsons scored an upset victory
after late event leader David Pearson spun out.
Needham, Mass. native Pete
Hamilton took down the 1970 Daytona 500. Photo from the R.A.
Thirty years ago in 1980, Richie Evans continued his win
streak at New Smyrna as he won on Monday and Tuesday. After a rain
out on Wednesday night, Geoff Bodine who had finished second to
Evans the last two times out came back on Thursday night and went on
to wrack up three in a row. The final night of competition saw
Junior Handley take the series finale over George Kent and Evans.
Richie Evans as the overall point leader and was crowned the series
champion. Buddy Baker was the Daytona 500 winner and in the process
set a record speed of 177.602mph.
Twenty five years ago in 1985, Reggie Ruggiero made it two in
a row on Monday night at New Smyrna. Doug Hewitt finished second and
was followed by Charlie Jarzombek, Richie Evans, Jamie Tomaino and
Jim Spencer. Evans and Jim Spencer dominated the rest of the week.
Evans won on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and just lost out on the
series title, which was won by Spencer. At Daytona, Bill Elliot and
Cale Yarborough won the 125's.Geoff Bodine won the Busch
Grandnational 300 and Elliot won the 500.
Twenty years ago in 1990, Tiger Tom Baldwin made it two in a
row at New Smyrna as he beat out Tony Jankowiac on Monday night. Jay
Hedgecock finished third with Richard Savory, fourth. At Daytona,
Darrell Waltrip took the pole for the NAPA 300 with Dale Earnhardt
on the outside. At New Smyrna on Tues night, Reggie Ruggerio took
the top spot with Jankowiac again second. Hedgecock abandoned New
Smyrna and went to Volusia County where he took the top spot over
Jim Winks and Tom Bolles. Baldwin also jumped ship but to no avail
as he could do no better than ninth. Wednesday night at New Smyrna
Reggie Ruggerio was not to be denied as he romped to victory over
Jankowiac and Jeff Fuller. Meanwhile over at Volusia, Jim Winks,
driving for Ted Marsh took the win over Jerry Cranmer. Jankowiac
finally got it all together as he won at New Smyrna on Thursday
night. Ruggerio finished a close second but couldn't muster the
little extra needed to take the win. Jeff Fuller won at Volusia over
Cranmer and Winks. Ruggerio turned the tables on Friday night as he
beat Jankowiac to the stripe for his fourth win of the series.
Hedgecock won the series ending Richie Evans 100 on Saturday night.
Jankowiac finished second and wrapped up the series title. Dale
Earnhardt dominated the entire Daytona 500 on Sunday until it came
to the final lap. Going into turn three, he had a tire go down and
allowed Derike Cope to take home the win for Bob Witcomb.
Fifteen years ago in 1995, It rained at New Smyrna on Monday
night. At the Daytona Speedway, Michael Waltrip took the pole for
the Goodys 300.Dale Jarrett took the outside pole. Tuesday night at
New Smyrna saw a new name in victory lane as Tim Connelly took the
win over Mike Ewanitsko and Tom Baldwin. Just to show he was no
flash in the pan; Connelly came back and won the next three in a row
on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Reggie Ruggerio finished second
on Wednesday and was followed by Eric Beers and Ewanitsko. Steve
Park finished second on Thursday followed by Ted Christopher and on
Friday, Ruggerio was second with Jamie Tomaino, third. At Daytona on
Thursday, Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt won the 125's.The
Richie Evans 100 closed out the New Smyrna series on Saturday night.
Steve Park took the win over Baldwin, Tom Cravenho and Beers.
Connolly finished 14th and wrapped up the series championship.
Connolly drove the Bob Fuller No.17. At Daytona, Chad Little came
from a 42nd provisional spot to take the win. Steve Grissom, who was
leading when Little went by, lifted, triggering a big wreck. Michael
Waltrip finished second. Sterling Marlin beat out Dale Earnhardt to
win the Daytona 500.
Ten years ago in 2000, rain washed out the action at New
Smyrna on Monday night. On Tuesday, Ted Christopher picked up where
he left off as he recorded his third win of the series. Charlie
Pasteryak finished second with Jamie Tomaino and Mike Ewanitsko
following. On Wednesday night, Christopher and Mike Ewanitsko in Joe
Brady team cars finished one-two. Eric Beers, Jamie Tomaino and Doug
French rounded out the top five. Usually the 125-mile Daytona
500-mile qualifiers are the best events of the week at Daytona but
in 2000 they produced little competition and no passing, turning the
events into a bore. Thursday night at New Smyrna saw Christopher
continue his win streak in spite of constant pressure from Jamie
Tomaino and Junior Handley. Friday at Daytona saw one of the most
violent wrecks ever seen at the 2-1/2 mile oval when Geoff Bodine
all but destroyed his truck in a bone jarring wreck that had
everyone holding their breath. Bodine suffered a broken wrist and a
broken toe plus numerous scrapes. Junior Handley ended Christopher’s
win streak on Friday night as he went pole to pole to take the win
at New Smyrna over Tomaino, David Berghman, Doug French and
Christopher. At Daytona on Saturday, Matt Kenneth won the Busch
Grandnational Goodys 300.Christopher and Ewanitsko ran one-two in
the Richie Evans Memorial 100.Handley finished third and was
followed by Jim Willis, Berghman, George Bock, Eric Beers and Bobby
Santos III. Christopher was awarded the series championship. At the
Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett passed Johnny Benson with two laps to go
to win his third Daytona 500 Jeff Burton finished second with Bill
Five years ago in 2005, after having Sunday night off the
Modifieds and SK Modifieds returned to the high banks at the New
Smyrna Speedway in Florida on Monday night. Ted Christopher led the
22 car starting field to the green in the 25 lap Modified feature.
Christopher led the entire distance to record his second win. Don
Lia, who had been having handling problems, got it all together and
spent the closing moments of the race beating on Christopher’s rear
bumper. Christopher sealed his fate when he caught Lia sleeping on a
restart with two laps to go. Chuck Hossfeld finished third with Zach
Sylvester and Eric Beers rounding out the top five. Among the
night’s casualties was Jonothan McKennedy who took a hard shot into
the wall just after he finished seventh. His Michael Boehler owned
No. 34 sustained considerable damage from the impact and had to be
towed from the scene. Tim Arre, driving the Connecticut based Bear
Motorsports No.14 continued to have bad luck as he was forced to
retire early in the event and ended up in 20th spot. In the SK
Modified feature Mike Holdredge was headed for victory until Chris
Jones rode him up and out of the racing groove in the closing
moments. This incident opened the door to Tim Arre who went on to
take the win. The Super Late Models enjoyed a night off.
Ted Christopher scored a one-two punch in World Series action at New
Smyrna on Tuesday night as he won not only the Modified feature but
the Super Late Model feature as well.. Thirty seven Modifieds
including 15 SKs were on hand. It looked like Don Lia had finally
shaken off the bad luck that has plagued him in Florida as he took
the lead in the Modified 25 lap feature on the first lap from
Charlie Pasteryak. His bubble burst on lap 10 when a transmission
malfunction forced him out of the event, handing the lead to
Christopher. Kevin Goodale had his best run to date in the series as
he finished second. Zach Sylvester finished a solid third with Eric
Beers, fourth. Riverhead Raceway hot shoe JR Bertuccio replaced Tim
Arre in the Bear Motorsports No. 14 and recorded a fifth in his
first outing. Chuck Hossfeld finished sixth with Charlie Pasteryak,
seventh. Christopher, who is on the cover of the latest issue of
Speedway Illustrated, started on the pole and led every lap of the
Super Late Model feature. One of the biggest wrecks in the history
of the speedway occurred during the event when Ryan Mathews got
launched into the catch fence on the front chute when he rode over
second place runner David Rogers. After tearing up the catch fence
Mathews flipped high in the air and went end over end past the
starters stand and landed almost to the entrance of turn one.
Mathews escaped with minor bumps and bruises but the event was
red-flagged for an extended period while the fence was repaired.
The temperatures and competition heated up last Wednesday night as
the Modifieds at New Smyrna went 50 laps. The heat was on as temps
hit the low 80’s during the day and Ted Christopher remained hot at
night as he made it four out of five in World Series competition.
Eddie Flemke and the Hill’s Enterprises team joined the mix as a
full field of 24 Modifieds went to post for their first extra
distance event. Kevin Goodale, who qualified seventh, drew the pole
and led the charge to the green flag. The first caution period of
the night came on lap 2 when JR Bertuccio had the misfortune of
having his Bear Motorsports No.14 catch fire as he came to a halt on
the backstretch. The field no sooner took the green flag when Eddie
Flemke came to a grinding halt in turn three. It appeared that
Flemke had a right rear tire blow out which turned him into the
unforgiving concrete wall. Flemke’s car sustained heavy damage
including having the right front suspension torn off. Caution no.3
came on lap five when Goodale got a little over excited while
leading the restart and spun. Also collected were Jeff Malave, Andy
Seuss and Jonathan McKennedy. Christopher inherited the lead and was
untouchable for the rest of the distance as he captured his fourth
win of the series. Chuck Hossfeld finished second with Eric Beers,
third. Rounding out the top five were Charlie Pasteryak and Curtis
Truex JR. Don Lia continued to have problems as his car came to a
halt in a cloud of smoke on the 17th lap. Eric Beers was the SK
Modified winner with Chris Jones, second.
A new winner emerged in Modified competition on Thursday night as
Riverhead, Long Islands’ Kevin Goodale won his first ever Modified
feature. Goodale started on the outside of pole sitter Zach
Sylvester. Shortly after Sylvester led the charge to the green in
the 25 lap feature he spun between turns one and two. Goodale
assumed the lead and never looked back as he sprinted to victory
ahead of Ted Christopher and Eric Beers. Sylvester restarted in the
rear but was never a factor as he finished 12th in the final
rundown. Don Lia and Andy Seuss rounded out the top five. Ed Flemke
made it back as he finished behind sixth and seventh place finishers
Chuck Hossfeld and Charlie Pasteryak. With the exception of a delay
caused when a Sportsman car took out 100 feet of fence on the
backstretch it was a relatively quiet night. Among the missing were
JR Bertuccio and the Bear Motorsports No.14 who called it a week as
they were out of motors. Steve Reed was the SK Modified winner over
Eric Beers and Dave Michael.
Don Lia, who had less than a satisfying week at New Smyrna, more
than made up for it as he won the Friday night Richie Evans Memorial
100. Lia was the top qualifier and started on the pole. Lia was the
class of the field until pitting under caution at the half way mark
for fresh tires. Chuck Hossfeld, who started second, elected to stay
out and assumed the lead with Kevin Goodale in tow. Hossfeld was
planning on going non-stop until his tires started giving out
shortly after the 75 lap mark. Hossfeld was hoping to hang on but to
no avail as he was forced to pit with victory in sight with ten laps
to go. Lia had sliced his way to the front and took over the top
spot on lap 91 and went on to take the victory. Goodale finished
second. Hossfeld made a determined charge after restarting in the
rear of the field and managed to salvage a third place finish at the
end. Charlie Pasteryak and Curtis Truex Jr. rounded out the top
five. Ted Christopher had one problem after another. After starting
sixth, Christopher worked his way up to the runner-up spot before he
pitted with the leaders at the half way mark. After numerous pit
stops the defending Stafford Speedway champ worked his way back to
fourth spot only to spin out of contention on lap 97. He ended up
8th in the final rundown. Despite a hard wreck in practice Eddie
Flemke had one of the fastest cars in the field. After starting 11th
Flemke worked his way into the top five by lap 24 only to tangle
with Goodale and spin. After pitting at half way Flemke came back to
close in on Jeff Malave who was running fourth at the time and was
able to make the pass. Flemke and Lia battled for position. On lap
68 contact was made and Flemke spun to the infield and was hit by
Jonathan McKennedy who also hit Zach Sylvester. All three were done
for the night. Chris Jones was the SK Modified winner over Steve
Reed and Dave Michael.
Chuck Hossfeld won the final battle of the 2005 World Series of
Asphalt Modified racing at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida but it
was Ted Christopher who won the war as he wrapped up the Modified
series championship for himself and car owner Joe Brady. In the
night’s 25 lap feature Charlie Pasteryak led the pack to the
starting green with Chuck Hossfeld in hot pursuit. Andy Seuss spun
on the front chute. Before the caution came out Hossfeld had taken
the lead from Pasteryak. Pasteryak got hung out to dry after a
gentle nudge by Christopher. By the half way mark Hossfeld continued
to lead with Don Lia moving into the runner-up spot. Curtis Truex
had been running in second spot but he had gotten shuffled back to
fifth spot. Truex’s night came to an end on lap 14 when he hit the
turn 2 wall after an encounter with Christopher. Following Hossfeld
at the finish were Lia, Eric Beers, Zach Sylvester, Christopher,
Kevin Goodale and Pasteryak. Steve Reed was the SK Modified winner.
In addition to winning the Modified title Christopher finished
fourth in the Super Late Model standings. Louis Mechalides took the
Super Late Model title.
Tony Stewart won the Hershey’s Take 5 300 Busch Series race in
spectacular fashion. Not only did he avoid trouble on lap 95 when he
drove through the grass in Turn 1 and then simply drove right back
onto the banking into traffic, but he also came from 17th place in
the closing laps for the win on Saturday at the Daytona
International Speedway. Kevin Harvick finished second, with Dale
Earnhardt Jr., defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey
Kahne rounding out the top five. Raybestos Rookie of the Year
candidate Reed Sorenson ran with the leaders most of the day and
finished ninth. Fellow rookie Carl Edwards (10th place) was the only
other NASCAR Busch Series regular to finish in the top 10. Jeff
Gordon came out on top to win his third Daytona 500. The four-time
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion grabbed the lead from Dale
Earnhardt Jr. with three laps to go, then held off the defending
race winner during the final three-lap dash to the finish.
For the second year in a row, Tony Stewart led the most laps and was
in position to take his first win in the "Great American Race," but
was shuffled back through the pack when Earnhardt passed him with
five laps to go, eventually winding up seventh at the finish line.
Kurt Busch pressured Gordon as the finish but had to settle for
second, while Earnhardt took third. Scott Riggs garnered an
impressive fourth-place finish while Gordon's teammate, Jimmie
Johnson, finished fifth.
Last year, 2009, after having Sunday off to repair and
refresh some of the tour type and SK type Modifieds that were
damaged in the first two nights of the World Series at the New
Smyrna Speedway in Florida a near full field was on hand. Among
those on hand for race #3 was Sprint Cup star Ryan Newman. Ted
Christopher beat out Newman at Loudon in 2008. Newman redeemed
himself at New Smyrna on Monday night. The closing laps saw numerous
lead changes between the two and in the end at the checkered flag it
was Newman in for the win by inches. Christopher finished second and
was followed by Eric Goodale, John Jensen and Jon McKennedy. Jimmy
Blewett made it three in a row in SK type Modified competition Eric
Goodale and Ted Christopher led the 23 car field down for the start
of the night’s 25 lap feature. Before one lap was completed
Christopher had taken the lead. Matt Hirschman slowed immediately in
what was suspected to be transmission problems. A big wreck on the
seventh lap collected Ryan Preece, Chuck Hossfeld, Bobby Grigas,
III, Jon McKennedy, Jimmy Blewett, Louie Mechalides, Richard Savory
and Eric Goodale. Christopher continued to survive several restarts
while Goodale slipped a bit, which opened a door for Newman. Newman
dogged the defending NASCAR champion until the closing laps when he
blew him away with an outside pass on a restart.
When Jimmy Blewett took the checkered flag in the SK type Modified
15 lapper it was almost 12:30am on Tuesday morning. Frank Ruocco,
Jimmy Zacharis and David Cranmer rounded out the top five. Those
five were the only drivers who finished the race.
Ted Christopher ended his World Series dry spell on Tuesday night as
he won the Tour type Modified 25 lap feature. Jimmy Blewett remained
unbeatable in the SK type Modifieds as he went pole to pole to
record his fourth feature win in the division.
Monday night’s winner Ryan Newman started on the pole of the
Modified feature with Jimmy Blewett on the outside. Blewett jumped
into the lead at the start. Newman faded a bit as Christopher, who
started third, moved into the runner-up spot. By the eighth lap
Christopher had moved into the lead. Newman continued to fade as
Chuck Hossfeld moved into the third position. In what looked to
becoming a non-stop event changed quickly as Eric Goodale, Matt
Hirschman and Ryan Preece wrecked together in turn four on the 16th
lap. Once the cars and debris was cleared the feature went non-stop
from there. Blewett had nothing for Christopher and was forced to
settle for second. Hossfeld ended up third with Ronnie Silk, fourth.
It was the first night of competition for Silk and the Roger Hill
Race Team. Jon McKennedy rounded out the top five. Ryan Newman
rebounded from a pit stop on lap 16 to finish sixth.
Following Blewett in the SK type Modified feature were Bobby Grigas,
III, Frank Ruocco, David Cranmer and Ron Schultz. The event was cut
two laps short when Jimmy Zacharias, Eric Goodale and Wayne Arute
were all involved in grinding crash on the front stretch. Arute got
the worst of it, hitting the wall head-on. He exited the car
uninjured, but his car suffered heavy damage.
The tour type Modifieds at New Smyrna ran the 50 lap John Blewett
III Memorial 50 lapper on Wednesday night. Ronnie Silk, in his
second night of competition, took the win over Ted Christopher, Matt
Hirschman, Jimmy Blewett and Eric Goodale. Jimmy Blewett made it
five in a row in SK type Modified competition.
Early in the evening Louie Mechalides replaced Frank Ruocco in the
Bear Motorsports No. 14. Ruocco picked up a ride in the Joe Brady
back-up car. Chuck Hossfeld drew the pole starting spot and took the
lead at the start. By the second lap Silk had closed on the leader
and was applying the heat. Hossfeld got a slight reprieve when
Mechalides spun in turn two, bringing out the caution. Shortly after
the field restarted Hirschman brought out the caution when he spun
on the front stretch, hitting the water barrels that guard pit road.
Hirschman was able to drive away and rejoin the field. Hossfeld led
until lap 11 when he gave way to a determined Silk. The caution flew
again on lap 23 for Shelly Perry who spun on the back stretch and
for Steve Witt who hit the wall at the start-finish line. On the
restart, Hossfeld, who had been running second, faded. Eric Goodale
moved into the runner-up spot. At just about the same time Richard
Savory’s engine dumped its innards in a billow of smoke. Following a
realignment of the field Silk jumped out to a sizeable lead with
Goodale, Ryan Preece, Bob Grigas and Hossfeld in tow.
On lap 46, Ryan Preece had a run on Eric Goodale for second place on
the backstretch. Preece pulled out and Goodale threw a block on him.
The pair made contact and Goodale went spinning down low. Preece
made it to the end of the straightway when his right rear tire went
down. He then slid up into Chuck Hossfeld, who impacted the outside
wall in turn three. Preece drove away and pitted for a new tire.
Goodale also drove away and pitted. Hossfeld was hauled off by a
wrecker. On the restart Silk led Grigas, Christopher, Ruocco and
Hirschman. Grigas got a little over excited as he went high on the
track and gave way to Christopher. In the end, Christopher had
nothing for Silk. Christopher settled for second with Hirschman,
third. Jimmy Blewett and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.
Grigas ended up in sixth spot and Preece in eighth.
Finishing behind Blewett in the Wednesday night SK type event was
Frank Ruocco, Brad Van Hooten, Tommy Farrell and Jimmy Zacharias.
In tour type Modified action on Thursday night Ted Christopher
scored his second victory of the series. Jimmy Blewett continued to
dominate in the SK types as he made it six in a row. Despite the
fact that usually by Thursday there had been thousands of race fans
in the Daytona-New Smyrna area the crowds were down to say the
least. At New Smyrna the grandstands were less than half full and at
Daytona where usually the Sprint Cup Duals are near a sell out there
were considerable empty seats observed.
In the Modified 25 lapper, Christopher started from the pole and
jumped out to an early lead at the start over Chuck Hossfeld, Matt
Hirschman, Jimmy Blewett and Bobby Grigas, III. The first caution of
the race fell on lap 3 when Frank Ruocco, driving the Joe Brady
back-up, hit the second turn wall near the beginning of the
backstretch. Christopher led the restart and was followed by
Hossfeld, Ronnie Silk, Blewett, Grigas and Hirschman who had faded
since the start. Silk, who was looking to make it two in a row, took
over the runner-up spot on lap 10 after getting by Hossfeld on the
low side. The caution flew again on lap 14, this time for John
Jensen who had come to a stop on the front stretch. Once the field
went back to green Silk turned up the heat on the backside of the
leader. On lap 17 Silk took the lead in a somewhat rough way.
Christopher returned the favor on lap 22 as he re-took the lead.
Grigas followed as Silk slipped to third. Christopher held on for
the win and was followed by Grigas, Silk, Hirschman, Hossfeld,
Blewett, Eric Goodale, Rob Fuller, Jon McKennedy and Kevin Goodale.
In SK type competition Blewett took the lead from Frank Ruocco on
lap 3 and that’s the name of that tune!
The Richie Evans Memorial 100 was the main attraction at New Smyrna
on Friday night. Each year the New Smyrna Speedway honors the fallen
Champion and icon to the sport of open wheeled Modified Racing. The
RE 100 was the most exciting event of the week and kept the near
capacity crowd on its feet for most of the event. Ted Christopher
was the eventual winner after trading the lead close to ten times
with Ronnie Silk. Temperatures were in the high 50’s-low 60’s at
Jimmy Blewett took the lead on the start with Silk on his rear
bumper. Silk passed Blewett for the lead on lap 3. The first caution
of the evening flew on lap 11 for Shelly Perry who spun in turn 4.
The restart was aborted when Vinnie Annarummo spun by himself.
Annarummo was driving the Joe Brady back-up.
A strange thing happened on lap 11. Danny Marcello arrived at the
track and was allowed to join the event. That was a dumb move by who
ever made that decision as he could have wrecked half the field with
an untested car. Marcello was black flagged for not getting up to
speed. A big logjam took place on the restart. Several cars got
together on the front stretch as the green flag came out. Those
involved include Kevin Goodale, Chuck Hossfeld, JR Bertuccio, Rob
Fuller, Ted Christopher, Jimmy Blewett, Jon McKennedy and Ryan
Preece. The field returned to green flag conditions. All continued
except Blewett as his car was sidelined with rear end problems. The
caution flew again on lap 28. Butch Perry spun. Among those who
pitted were Christopher, Chuck Hossfeld and Ryan Preece. Silk
continued to lead as the field went back to green. At the halfway
point, it was Silk, Bobby Grigas, Eric Goodale, Hirschman, Andy
Seuss, John Jensen, Kevin Goodale, JR Bertuccio, Ted Christopher and
Peter Jarvis. Butch Perry spun again on lap 53. Silk and most of the
front runners pitted. Eric Goodale inherited the lead on the
restart. With 13 cars left running Jensen pulled Goodale on the
restart. Christopher stormed his way to the front and on lap 60 took
the lead. Grigas and Silk came with him into second and third as
Jensen dropped to fourth. At lap 67 the racing was at a fever pitch.
Silk made bonsai move on the low side of Christopher to take the
lead. Not one to take it sitting down, Christopher rose to the
occasion on lap 69 to retake the top spot. At lap 77, Silk passed
Christopher again for the lead. Christopher tried a crossover move
to retake the lead, but it didn't work. The caution flew again on
lap 79 for the Perry’s who wrecked each other. Silk and Christopher
served up a see-saw battle for the lead. Christopher took the lead
for the final time on lap 96. Following Christopher at the finish
was Silk, Grigas, Hirschman, Kevin Goodale and Chuck Hossfeld.
Jimmy Blewett made it seven in a row in the SK type Modifieds. Kevin
Goodale was second, Tom Ferrall, Jimmy Zacharias, and Rob Schultz
rounded out the top five.
Saturday night was pretty much a lame duck session for the Modifieds
and the SK types. Ted Christopher had already sewed up the tour type
Modified Championship and Jimmy Blewett, the SK types.
With only 17 tour type Modifieds left for the final night Ted
Christopher made it three in a row and four for the week in World
Series competition at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Christopher’s main competition Ronnie Silk was on his way home to
Connecticut as the Roger Hill Race Team headed for North Carolina.
Jimmy Blewett completed a perfect week of SK type Modified racing as
he went eight for eight.
Matt Hirschman and Bobby Grigas brought the field down for the
start. Christopher started fifth. Once on the backstretch the front
runners went three wide. Grigas, who had a tire getting soft and JR
Bertuccio made contact. Both hit the wall a ton and in the process
collected Jimmy Blewett, Hirschman, Kevin Goodale and Darwin Green.
Bertuccio took out his frustrations on Grigas with a barrage of foul
language, punches and kicks aimed at Grigas even though the culprit
was a leaking tire! Eric Goodale led the restart with Christopher,
second. By lap 5 Andy Seuss had moved into second spot after
starting in seventh spot. Seuss was able to get close but was unable
to make a move on Christopher. At the finish, Christopher took the
win. Eric Goodale beat Seuss by a whisker for the runner up spot.
Seuss settled for third. Jon McKennedy and Hirschman rounded out the
In NASCAR action at the Daytona International Speedway Jeff Gordon
and Kyle Busch were the winners of the Thursday Gatorade Dual 150
mile Daytona 500 qualifying races. Gordon, ended the longest winless
drought of his career by winning the first duel. Busch also made an
overdue return to Victory Lane, where he was a frequent visitor in
2008 before tailing off when the championship was on the line. Busch
won eight races and led the Cup standings most of the season, but
started to falter in August and fell apart when the Chase for the
Tony Stewart held off a last-lap challenge from Kyle Busch to win
the Nationwide race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart passed 23 cars in 11 laps to get back into contention after
pitting with 30 laps to go in the 120-lap Camping World 300, then
hung onto the lead as Busch, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer fought
for position. Brad Keselowski led several times and appeared to be
one of the cars to beat, but he banged off the wall on lap 108. Two
laps later, his right rear tire blew, bringing out the last of six
caution flags and setting up the dash to the finish. Edwards led at
that point, but Stewart, with help from Chevy driver Bowyer, pushed
past into the lead after the restart on lap 114.As the laps wound
down, Stewart seemed to be a sitting duck, especially after Busch,
who won 10 Nationwide races last year, moved into second place three
laps from the end. On the final trip around the 2.5-mile oval, Busch
moved up to Stewart's rear bumper and gave him a nudge. Stewart's
car wobbled and drifted high as Busch's Toyota moved nearly
alongside. But, somehow, Stewart stayed just ahead of Busch. Then
Edwards and defending series champion Bowyer went to the outside to
Matt Kenseth drove from the back of the field to take the Daytona
500 lead minutes before the sky opened up, handing the former series
champion his first victory in NASCAR’s version of the Super Bowl.
Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Kenseth’s bad
luck followed him into Daytona International Speedway. He wrecked
his primary car, had to go to a backup and started Sunday’s race in
last place. But As Rain Closed In On The Season-Opening Event, The
Field Turned It Up A Notch, anticipating the race would not go the
distance. Kenseth used a huge push from Kevin Harvick to pass
Elliott Sadler with 54 laps to go. Caution came out moments later
for an accident started by Paul Menard, and the rain that had been
threatening all day finally arrived. NASCAR stopped the race two
laps later, and the cars were called to pit road. Some drivers
climbed from their cars to await NASCAR’s decision on whether to
restart the race, but Kenseth sat patiently inside his parked Ford
on pit road. When NASCAR declared it over, the 2003 Cup champion
tearfully climbed from his car to celebrate his victory, which
snapped a 36-race winless streak. It was also the first Daytona 500
win for team owner Jack Roush. Kevin Harvick, who used a push from
Kenseth to win the 500 in 2007, finished second. AJ Allmendinger,
who had to race his way into the field in one of Thursday’s
qualifiers, finished third. Clint Bowyer was fourth and Sadler was
fifth, devastated he lost the lead moments before the rain stopped
This week are several vintage racing
photos of NEAR Hall of Famer Billy Harman, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & VintageModifieds.com.
Photos from the Billy Harman's Collection
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: