Forty years ago in 1968, modified action started on Thursday night
at Catamount Stadium where Bugsy Stevens took the win. Stevens
carried his winning ways over to Stafford on Friday night where he
beat out Fred Harbach for the win. Smokey Boutwell, Fred DeSarro and
Frank Faria rounded out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga
Speedway, Lou Lazzaro out dueled Phil Spiak for the win. Jerry Cook
finished third with Ken Canestrary and Pete Corey rounding out the
top five. Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he also won
at Fonda on Saturday night over Cook and Dave Lape. Roland LaPierre
Sr. was the Saturday night winner at Norwood Arena. and Lee Osborne
was the winner at the Fulton Raceway. Bugsy Stevens won twin 25’s at
Thompson on Sunday and at Utica-Rome, Dick Fowler took the win over
Robbie Kotary, Sonny Seamon, Dick Clark and Bernie Miller.
Thirty five years ago in 1973, Fred DeSarro started the weekend off
with a win at Malta on Friday night. Denis Giroux finished second
with Jerry Cook, Richie Evans and Ronnie Bouchard, following.
Bouchard was not to be denied on Saturday at Stafford as he took the
hotly contested 35 lap main. A second 35 lapper was run but Bouchard
had to settle for third behind Eddie Flemke and Bugsy Stevens.
Charlie Jarzombek won at Islip and at Tioga; Geoff Bodine took the
win over Evans and Dick Fowler. Rounding out the weekend was a 100
lapper at Utica-Rome, which was won by Evans over Stevens, Lou
Lazzaro, Jerry Cook and Fred DeSarro.
Thirty years ago in 1978, the Yankee All-Star League visited the
Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. on Wednesday. Geoff Bodine continued
his domination as he took the win. Bugsy Stevens finished second
with George Savory, third. Plainville
Stadium ran an open show on Thursday,
which saw Brett Bodine take the win over Eddie Flemke, Ron Bouchard,
Ron Wycoff and Ronnie Rocco. Stafford fell to rain on Friday.
Riverhead went to Charlie Jarzombek and Maynard Troyer got his
eighth at Spencer. Rain washed out Waterford and Seekonk on
Saturday. Islip ran a 150 lapper that saw Richie Evans take the win
over Jerry Cook and Don Howe. Mike Stefanik won the main at
Riverside and Troyer continued his winning ways as he won at
Lancaster. Leo Cleary won at Thompson on Sunday and at Monadnock,
Geoff Bodine beat out Jack Bateman.
Twenty five years ago in 1983, Kenny Bouchard, in the Ted Marsh
no.55 took the modified win at Stafford. George Summers finished
second with Bugsy Stevens, third. Bo Gunning was the SK modified
winner. At the Spencer Speedway, Mike McLaughlin beat out Richie
Evans and George Kent. At New Egypt it was John Blewett Jr. over
Tony Siscone. At Riverhead, Dan Jivenelli won the Thompson 300
qualifier. Saturday night at Waterford, he modified field was 38
cars strong. Mark LaJunesse took the win with Bob Potter and Jerry
Pearl in tow. At Riverside, Brett Bodine took top honors. Other
weekend winners were John Blewett JR at Islip, Eddie StAngelo at
Seekonk and Tom Bolles at Thompson.
Twenty years ago in 1988, the Modified tour was at Riverhead on
Wednesday for a 151 lapper. Mike Ewanitsko took charge and won the
event. Reggie Ruggiero finished second with John Blewett JR, third.
Ted Christopher won at Stafford on Friday and at Monadnock, Reggie
Ruggiero took the checker. Lee ran a modified event, also on Friday,
which was won by Tom Bolles. On Saturday at Waterford, Ed Flemke JR
was the winner and at Riverhead, Dan Jivenelli took the win. Dick
McCabe won the Oxford 250 and on Sunday, the mods went to
Jennerstown where Bolles beat George Kent for the win.
Fifteen years ago in 1993, Ted Christopher was the Friday night
winner at Stafford. Bob Potter finished second with Tom Tagg, third.
The Modified Tour was at Loudon on Saturday for a 40-lap event,
which saw 10 lead changes. Reggie Ruggiero was the eventual winner
with Doug Hevron, Rick Fuller and Ed Flemke JR following. The Busch
North cars were also on hand with Mike McLaughlin winning out over
Kelly Moore. At Waterford it was Mark LaJunesse over Jerry Pearl.
Other weekend winners were Richie Gallup at Riverside and Bob Park
at Riverhead. In Winston Cup action at Loudon, Rusty Wallace started
33rd and took the win. One day later, on July 12, Davey Allison and
Red Farmer were flying into the Talledega Speedway when Allison’s
helicopter crashed. Farmer survived but Allison died one day later.
Ten years ago in 1998, Stafford and Waterford rescheduled their race
nights to accommodate those going to Loudon for the Winston Cup
weekend. Stafford had planned on running on Tuesday but their event
rained out. Waterford ran on Friday night and it was Dennis Gada
taking the modified win over Jeff Pearl and Mark LaJunesse. The
Modified Tour Series and Busch Grandnational North Series ran at
Loudon on Saturday afternoon. Mike Stefanik scored his seventh mod
tour win of the season in an event that saw 25 lead changes among
seven drivers in 100 laps. Jan Leaty finished second and was
followed by Reggie Ruggiero, Mike Ewanitsko and Ed Kennedy. Kelly
Moore was the BGNN winner and was followed by Dale Shaw, Brad
Leighton and Tom Bolles. George Brunnhoelzl ended a long dry spell
as he won at Riverhead on Saturday night. Jeff Burton won the Loudon
Winston Cup event after leading 191 of the scheduled 300 laps
Five tears ago in 2003, winner. In Saturday night Thunder action at
Thompson, Todd Ceravolo ended a long dry spell as he took the win in
the Sunoco Modified-SK Type modified feature that was run in
conjunction with the visit of the Busch North Series. Ceravolo,
driving a car owned by his dad, “Dickie Doo” Ceravolo, started on
the pole and never looked back as he took the win in the 30 lap
contest. Bo Gunning, who recovered from an early caution, came from
the back of the pack to finish a close second. Matty Adante finished
third and was followed by Eric Berndt and Jeff Malave. Tom Carey was
the Busch North Series winner. Series point leader Andy Santerre
finished second. The Featherlite NASCAR Modified Tour Series to
Maine that weekend to the Beech Ridge Speedway on Saturday night.
Todd Szegedy led from start to finish to record his second victory
of the year in the series. It wasn’t dull by any means as Rain
played havoc at the Stafford Speedway last Friday night forcing
officials to red flag the SK 150 lapper at the lap 18 mark. The
event will resume on August 1. Mike Quintiliano was the late model
Tony Hirshman and Chuck Hossfeld staged a serious battle to take the
top spot but Szegedy kept his cool and never faltered. Ricky Fuller
finished fourth with John Blewett III rounding out the top five.
Thirty-two modifieds were on hand for the 150-lap event that carried
a purse of $67,475. Not making the starting grid were Carl Pasteryak
and Jake Marosz. Twelve cars finished on the lead lap. Ted
Christopher, Chris Kopec, Jim Broderick, Kenny Barry and Bob
Polverari. rounded out the top ten. There were five caution periods
for 36 laps. At the Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday night in a
race against time Jeff Pearl went pole to pole to take the win. It
was the Speedbowl’s intention to get their program in the books in
order for fans to be able to view the fireworks in New London or
head up to Thompson for the Busch North Series event. Eddie Reed Jr.
finished second with last week’s winner Dennis Cherette, third. The
event had to be red flagged after Jay Miller took a hard shot into
the second turn. Miller was taken to the Backus Hospital for
observation. NEAR Hall of Fame Inductee Ray Miller stated that his
son suffered a fracture of the C2 vertebrae plus a swollen hand
Miller will be out of action the rest of the year. Zach Sylvester
will fill his seat a Waterford for the remainder of the year. John
Brouwer Jr. and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five.
Last year, 2007 The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors were on
their mid-summer break. Their next event would be a “Flash Format”
contest at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night,
August 4. Donny Lia, who had won four of the seven events run so far
in 2007, led the series’ point standings with a 53 point edge over
Matt Hirschman. Lia was also the top money winner with $43,300 in
the bank. Todd Szegedy, who had been in second spot, slipped to
third. James Civali, with two wins, sat in fourth spot with Ron Silk
rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jimmy Blewett,
Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik, Ed Flemke Jr and Jamie Tomaino.
Fifty-seven different drivers had entered into competition so far.
The qualifying format for the first ever NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
“Flash” event at Riverhead Raceway was announced by WMT director Ed
Cox in conjunction with Barbara and Jim Cromarty of Riverhead
Raceway. As they have since 1985, Miller Lite served as title
sponsor for this unique event, they hoped. Qualifying would find 20%
of the cars entered to qualify through time trials, for example if
40 cars entered then 8 would transfer through time. The cars that
made the show through time would then later redraw for their staring
positions in the main event. Two 25-lap qualifying races would then
be run, with odd number cars from time trials in one qualifying
race, while the those who qualify in an even number going to the
second qualifying race. How many cars make the feature from the
heats will be announced when the prior to the qualifying races. The
remainder of the 28-car field would be filled out by provisional
starting positions as noted on the WMT entry blank.
In True Value Modified Series racing Les Hinckley captured his third
win of the season in the 100 lap Mid-Summer Modified Shootout at Lee
USA Speedway, Lee , NH . The True Value Modified Racing Series event
served as a guaranteed starter race for Mod Mania 400 weekend at
Thompson , CT ; in September 8, 9.
The Thompson Speedway was quiet on Thursday night as they hosted a
special event on Saturday night. Sean Caisse of Pelham , NH , led
all but two lap to score the victory in the NASCAR Busch East Series
Pepsi 100. Ben Rowe of Turner, ME turned in a dominating performance
to take top honors in the Pro All Star Series 75-lapper during
Thompson’s Full-Fendered Frenzy. In weekly series action, Mark
Jenison of Danielson continues to show his prowess in the late Model
division with this third win in four weeks while Scott Sundeen of
Douglas , MA , kept the streak alive for his racing family with his
victory in the Limited Sportsman division. After being shut out of
victory lane thus far in the 2007 season, Rick Blanchard of Pascoag
, RI , swept the twin bill for the Mini Stocks.
The Busch East Series event started under a shower of fireworks in
honor of the Freedom Team Salute that honors the fine men and women
of our military. Brigadier General Steven Scorzato, Assistant
Adjunct General of the CT National Guard, gave the command to start
engines. The fireworks continued well into the night as Sean Caisse
survived a number of late race restarts in the caution-marred event
to post victory.
Rookie Marc Davis led lap one but it was all Caisse from that point
on. Despite a single slip on lap 92 when Matt Kobyluck snuck in to
lead a lap, Caisse showed the way throughout nine caution periods.
In the late stages of the event, as Caisse worked to hold off
Kobyluck, Olsen and Joey Logano were locked in a battle of their
own. The sparks flew late in the race with a pair of cautions for
incidents further back in the pack. After two failed attempts to end
the race under green, the yellow checker flew for Caisse on lap 108.
In the end it was like old home night for the Busch East Series at
Thompson with a New England sweep of the podium. Sean Caisse of
Pelham , NH held off all the challenges from Matt Kobyluck of
Uncasville , CT and Mike Olsen of North Haverhill , NH . Joey Logano
and Brad Leighton rounded out the top five.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway on Friday night Keith Rocco drove to victory lane in the
40-lap SK Modified feature for his second win of the season, Glen
Reen took the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature for his third win of
the season, Andrew Durand scored his 4th win of the season in the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Carla Botticello scored her
second feature win of the 2007 season by winning the 15-lap DARE
Stock feature. The 30-lap Late Model feature was halted by rain with
two laps complete. The race will be resumed from lap-3 at a date to
be determined. The lead was swapped fast and furiously at the start
of the race with Kerry Malone leading lap-1, Brad Hietala leading
lap-2, and then Frank Ruocco leading lap-3. Ruocco led the race
until lap-31 when Rocco moved past Ruocco to take over the lead. A
caution with 32 laps complete slowed the field and set up a series
of restarts that saw Woody Pitkat and then Ruocco put back a row for
jumping the restarts. This put Ted Christopher alongside Rocco for
the restart, but Ruocco got under Christopher on the restart for
second while Rocco continued to set the pace out front. Christopher
got back around Ruocco for second place on lap-38, but couldn't make
a pass on Rocco for the victory. Christopher finished second, with
Pitkat, Ruocco, and Ronnie Silk rounding out the top-5.
Christopher hopped a plane on Saturday morning which took him to
Virginia where he won a 150 lap Modified event at the Franklin
County Speedway which is a few miles north of Martinsville .
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl Dennis Gada passed early leader Tyler Chadwick with
16-laps to go and went on to win the 35-lap SK Modified feature at
the shoreline oval. It was the third of the season and 53rd career
victory for the defending track champion. Gada, who started ninth,
chased 18-year-old Chadwick, the only other leader, for several laps
before the final yellow showed. He took the lead after a lap of
side-by-side combat and went on to a seven car-length win over
Chadwick. Shawn Monahan, Rob Janovic Jr. and Diego Monahan finished
nose-to-tail behind Chadwick. Other winners included Ed Reed Jr. in
the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jack Aquilina in the Sportsman
20-lapper, Joe Godbout in the Mini Stock 20 lapper and Chris Bakaj
in the Mini Stock 20 lapper.
Tony Stewart finally broke through for his first victory of the
season, holding off Matt Kenseth on several late-race restarts
Sunday to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Chicagoland
Speedway. Stewart broke a 20-race winless streak dating to last
season thanks in part to a hard crash by contender Jimmie Johnson,
who was running second behind Stewart with 45 laps left when his
tire went flat. Kevin Harvick was the Busch Series winner.
This week are several vintage
racing photos from the famous Wednesday Night Open Shows at the
defunct Plainville, Ct. Stadium, Courtesy of
Wild Bill Greco
Eddie Flemke, Sr.
Danny Galullo, Jr.
That’s it for this week from
40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467