Lou Lazzaro-Photo Credit: Turn
5 Photo & Video
Forty years ago in 1968, the All Star
League visited Fonda on Wednesday night.
Lou Lazzaro made it three in a row as he took
the 100-lap win. Jerry Cook finished second with Ron Narducci,
third. Stafford fell victim to rain on Friday night It stayed
dry at Malta where Eddie Pieniezek took the win over Richie
Evans, Bob Bruno, Jerry Cook and Bernie Miller. At Norwood on
Saturday night, Bugsy Stevens took the win. Jerry Cook beat
out Andy Romano and Dick Clark at Fonda and at Fulton, Maynard
Troyer got his first of 45 wins at the upstate New York track.
Ernie Caruso collected the checker at the Riverside Park
Speedway. The Bugman continued his win streak as he won at
Thompson on Sunday night and at Utica-Rome, Ken Platt was a
surprise winner over Al Tomasi, Lou Lazzaro, Maynard Forette
and Dick Clark.
Thirty five years ago in 1973, Albany-Saratoga ran on Wednesday
night. Jerry Cook took the win over Richie Evans and Maynard Forette.
Friday at Albany-Saratoga, Evans took the win with Eddie Pieniezak,
second. On Saturday at Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard made it four in a
row. At Tioga, it rained. Evans carried his winning ways over to
Utica-Rome where he won the Sunday night feature. Jerry Cook
finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro and Andy Romano.
Thirty years ago in 1978 Geoff Bodine continued his domination of
the Yankee All Star League as the mid week series visited Stafford.
New Egypt ran the same night with Richie Evans taking the win.
Bodine continued his roll as he returned to Stafford on Friday night
to take another win. Evans finished second with Bugsy Stevens,
third. At Riverhead it was Charlie Jarzombek over Greg Sacks and Tom
Baldwin and at Spencer, Mark Newton took the win. On Saturday at
Waterford, Dick Dunn beat out Moose Hewitt and Bob Potter and at
Seekonk Ronnie Bouchard hit the stripe ahead of Eddie StAngelo.
Islip saw Don Howe in victory lane over Jarzombek and Baldwin and at
Riverside, Richie Evans held off Stan Greger for the win. Evans took
another at Utica-Rome on Sunday and at Thompson, Fred DeSarro inched
out a win over Leo Cleary.
Twenty five years ago in 1983, Superman Greg Sacks was invincible as
he won the Tuesday night Modified Madness at Stafford. Riverside ran
on Wednesday with S.J.Evonsion beating out Stan Greger. At New Egypt
it was Richie Evans. Bugsy Stevens took a popular win at Stafford on
Friday night, holding off Kenny Bouchard and at Spencer, Doug Hewitt
and Jim Spencer finished one-two. Saturday night at Waterford, Tommy
Fox went pole to pole and won his first Modified event. Dickie Doo
Ceravolo finished second. At Seekonk it was Leo Cleary and in
Winston cup action at Pocono, Tim Richmond was the pole sitter and
the race winner.
Twenty years ago in 1988, John Jensen was the SK Modified winner at
Stafford. Bob Potter finished second. Potter rebounded to win the
Saturday night feature at Waterford. Riverside ran twin features
with John Rosati and Reggie Ruggiero taking the checkers. On Long
Island, at Riverhead, Bob Park took the win. The Modified tour was
at Thompson on Sunday. Mike Stefanik took the win over Rick and Jeff
Fifteen years ago this week in 1993, Riverside Park hosted the
Modified Tour Series on Wednesday night. Ricky Fuller started on the
pole and led the entire 150-lap distance and took the win. Ed Flemke
jr. finished second with Jeff Fuller, third. Pre race favorites Mike
Stefanik and Reggie Ruggerio wrecked and dropped out early. Friday
night at Stafford saw Steve Chowanski win and on Saturday at
Waterford, Ronnie Rocco went pole to pole for the win with Bob
Potter, second. Lennie Fischer won at Riverhead and on a sad note,
upstate New Yorker, Eddie Pieniezak passed away at the age of 60.
Ten years ago, in 1998, it was a busy week. Riverside ran a
triple-header on Tuesday. Mike Ewanitsko, Todd Ceravolo and Ed
Carroll each pocketed $5,000 for their respective wins. At Stafford
on Friday, Mike Stefanik won the BGNN 150 by one foot over Rick
Fuller and Tom Carey. Bob Potter was the SK winner over Bo Gunning.
Stefanik traveled to Holland N.Y. on Saturday where he recorded his
eighth victory of the season. Reggie Ruggiero finished second with
Tim Connolly, third. Bill Anderson won at Riverside and at
Riverhead, JR Bertuccio recorded his first win. Mike Christopher won
on Sunday at Thompson. Three spectators were killed during the CART
500 when tires and suspension parts went over a 15-foot fence after
an accident. Jeff Gordon was the Winston Cup winner at Pocono and in
BGN action at South Boston, Tim Fedawa took the win.
Five years ago in 2003, in Thursday night Thunder action at
Thompson, Ted Christopher had luck on his side as he dodged numerous
wrecks to record his second win of the year at the fast 5/8-mile
oval. Kerry Malone led the early going until an over aggressive Jeff
Malave put the leader into the wall on lap 6. Track officials felt
that Malave’s move was deliberate and put him to the rear of the
field. Ron Yuhas Jr. then held the lead until lap 20 of the 30-lap
feature. After a re-start, Christopher got under Yuhas to take the
lead and went on to record the win. In the mean time Male worked his
way back to the front. His night ended after an encounter with Todd
Caravel. Male hit the wall. After making repairs, Malave was able to
re-start and ended up finishing in seventh spot. Yuhas ended up in
second spot and was followed by Ceravolo, Eric Berndt, Bert Marvin
and Bobby Santos III. Other Thursday night winners at Thompson were
Norm Wrenn in the Pro Stocks, Jeff Plakias in the Late Models, Glenn
Boss in the Limited Sportsman and Eric Bourgeois in the Mini-Stocks.
At the Stafford Speedway on Friday night double SK-Modified features
were run. Chris Jones ended a long dry spell as he garnered his
first victory since September 1998. Jones passed Todd Owen on a lap
10 re-start and went on to lead the remaining 40 laps. Kerry Malone
finished second and was followed by Ron Silk, Chuck Docherty and
Lloyd Agor. Defending track champion Bo Gunning crashed out of the
first event and after bringing out a back up, won the nite-cap over
Jim Civali, Willie Hardie, Frank Ruocco and Mike Holdredge. Ryan
Posocco won a special 100-lap event presented for the track’s late
models. The Busch North Series was at the Waterford Speedbowl on
Saturday night. Kelly Moore took the win after Matt Kobyluck had set
fast time and led the first 54 laps before crashing out of the event
after an encounter with a lapped car while under caution. Mike
Stefanik ended up in second spot. In SK Modified action at the
shoreline oval Chris Pasteryak recorded his first ever-modified win.
Ed Reed Jr. ended up second after Dennis Gada, who crossed the
finish line in second spot was penalized and put last on the lead
lap for ignoring the black flag. Ron Yuhas Jr. finished third. John
Fortin got his second win at Riverhead and Tim Arre took the win at
The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour series traveled to the
Adirondack Speedway in up state New York. Despite threatening
weather and one red flag period the tour prevailed and the event
became history. Chuck Hossfeld was the Busch pole sitter and drew
sixth starting spot. Tony Hirshman drew the pole and led the first
97 laps. Hossfeld led from lap 98 to 123 and race winner Todd
Szegedy led from lap 124 to lap150. Szegedy, who started 17th, was
forced to pit during a caution on lap 44 with a flat. The field had
just resumed to move after a red flag for rain. Ed Flemke Jr. had
his best finish in quite a while as he finished second, four seconds
behind the winner. Flemke, who started 24th, mustered a late race
charge that saw him go from eighth to second in the final 45 laps.
Jan Leaty started 16th and passed Hossfeld on the final lap to
finish third. Hossfeld and Ted Christopher rounded out the top five.
Nine caution periods kept the field slowed for 53 of the scheduled
150 laps. It was a very competitive event as 15 of the original 32
starters finished in the top ten.
In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Ryan Newman was the Busch Pole
sitter. Newman took the lead from Jim Spencer with 43 laps to go as
he went on to take the win. Kurt Busch finished second. Scott Wimmer
was the Busch Racing Series winner at Pikes Peak.
Last year, 2007. Once again the Waterford Speedbowl avoided the
bullet of foreclosure that was scheduled for Saturday, July 28, 2007
at noon. Property owner Terry Eames finally consummated a deal with
Harvey Industries late in the week in which he sold 8 acres of the
Speedbowl property for $1.6 million. Before he could take the money
and run, the town of Waterford had a lien on the property that had
to be satisfied. Eames was forced to pay the town $188,176 for back
and current taxes, as well as $29,976 for police protection that he
owed. To stop the actual foreclosure Eames secured a private loan
from Rocco Arbitell of Southbury and Peter Borelli of Derby, which
allowed Eames and his holding company 1080 Hartford Road to pay off
its debt to Washington Mutual of Seattle. Washington Mutual, a
Seattle-based bank, had originally planned to foreclose on the
property because of a $1.7 million mortgage debt. The 38.75-acre
property is valued at $2.2 million. Arbitell is the owner of
Arbitell Convenience Stores and Famous Uncle Al's Hot Dogs.
Now that Eames had over $1 million in his bank account hopefully he
would continue to pay his bills and satisfy his debt to Arbetill and
Borelli. History says in a year or two it would be the same old
story again! I hope I’m wrong on that one.
The National Speed Sport News, considered one of the leading auto
sports trade publications, recently announced that the New York Post
ran an expose on former Staten Island borough president Guy Molinari.
In the story the Post stated that Molinari was paid $1.5 by the
International Speedway Corporation for his help in gaining
government approval for the now abandoned proposed ISC Speedway that
was to be built on Staten Island in New York City. Molinari’s Public
Relations firm, The Molinari Group, was paid an additional $35, 000
per month from June of 2004 to December 2006. ISC, which paid
$100million for the 440 acres that would house the proposed track
was forced to abandon the project after fierce opposition from
taxpayers. ISC then hired a guy named Peter Vallone for $12,500 a
month to help sell the partially oil contaminated property. One
would have to guess that Terry Eames probably wishes that he were
Buds with these guys!
Mark Mockovak was terminated as Media Coordinator of the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour. No replacement had been named at that time.
After 14 years on the job, Mark and all the help he had been to us
all would surely be missed. Mockovak put his heart and soul into
promoting the Whelen Modified Tour Series but evidently someone in
Daytona Beach didn’t like him.
In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway
Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett of Howell, NJ, held off a stellar field of
Sunoco Modified competitors to score his third win of the season.
Dave Berghman of Seekonk, MA, led flag-to-flag in the Pro Stock
50-Lapper to score the popular victory. In other full-fendered
action, Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, scored a dramatic win to earn
what appeared to be his fifth triumph of the 2007 season. Joe Arena
of Kensington took down top honors in the Limited Sportsman
division. Roger Larson, Jr. of Milford, MA, and Mike Romano of
Pascoag, RI, were victorious in the TIS Modifieds and Mini Stocks
Jimmy Blewett enjoyed an up and down ride in the Sunoco Modified
feature. Dave Salzarulo and Steve Masse both took brief turns at the
head of the pack before John Blewett muscled his way into the top
spot over Masse. Contact between Jimmy Blewett and Salzarulo caused
a chain reaction deeper in the top ten collecting strong competitors
Kerry Malone, Todd Ceravolo, Tommy Cravenho, and Geoff Gernhard.
On the restart, John resumed his lead taking brother Jimmy along for
the ride. Masse got a run from third making contact with John. Jimmy
was able to sneak into the lead with Rocco taking over the second
spot. John settled back into the third position. Pitkat charged by
Masse with ten laps down. The top three ran in a high-speed chase of
leader Jimmy Blewett. John dogged Rocco for second. At halfway,
Rocco made a bid on Jimmy’s lead. Rocco looked as if he would take
over the top spot but he could not hold his momentum and both
Blewett brothers were able to make their way past putting Jimmy back
in the lead. Rocco now had his hands full with Pitkat. The
excitement had settled down as the top-four continued to run nose to
tail. Shelly Perry spun in front of the leaders to bring out the
caution to set up a six-lap dash to the checkers. On the double file
restart, Rocco made it three-wide coming down to take the green.
Jimmy Blewett squeezed into the top spot over John Blewett and
Rocco. Rocco could not maintain his position and lost the third spot
to Pitkat. Pitkat immediately went to work on John Blewett. He moved
into the second spot with two to go. He lined up behind the younger
Blewett but could not reel in the leader.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway Woody Pitkat won the SK Modified and first Late Model
feature for his second consecutive double shot, while Ryan Posocco
won the regularly scheduled Late Model feature to break a tie with
Jim Peterson as the division's all-time winningest driver. Glen Reen
took down the SK Light feature win, Rick Lanagan won the Limited
Late Model feature, and Kyle Nosal turned in a dominating
performance to score his first career DARE Stock win in the 15-lap
The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat take down his second
consecutive feature win. Willie Hardie took the lead from the pole
and led the first 10 laps of the race. Pitkat made his move in turns
3+4 on lap-11 to overtake Hardie for the top spot. SK Modified
points leader Ted Christopher was glued to Pitakt's back bumper
throughout the second half of the race, with several caution periods
keeping the field in close contact. The two race leaders had a near
disaster on lap-39 as they had to avoid the lapped car of Frank
Ruocco. Both Pitkat and Christopher made it by Ruocco unscathed, but
the loss of momentum by Christopher allowed Pitkat all the margin he
needed on the final lap of the race. Rounding out the top-5 behind
Pitkat and Christopher was Eric Berndt, Kerry Malone, and Keith
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action
at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeffrey
Paul finally got the monkey off his back as he
ended weeks of frustration with a win in SK Modified action.
Paul, who drives a family owned mount headed by his dad, Gary,
took the lead on lap 11of the 35 lap main event. Point leader
Rob Janovic applied the pressure in the closing laps but the
young racer never faltered.
Bruce Thomas Jr. won the 30-lap Late Model race. Other winners
were Jack Aquilina (Sportsman), Phil Evans (Mini Stock) and
Mark Bakaj (Legends).
Rounding out the top five in the Modifieds were Matt Gallo,
Dennis Charette and Jeff Pearl.
Jeffrey Paul took down his
first feature at the Speedbowl
Photo By RaceDogPhotography
With a threat of rain and boomers closing in the Speedbowl
management and competitors got the entire 5 feature race program
completed in two hours and had fans heading home by 9:00pm.
Tony Stewart won the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway. Jason Leffler got Toyota its first ever Busch Series win
at O'Reilly Raceway Park as he slipped by Greg Biffle with three
laps to go.
This week are several vintage
racing photos of the Dirt Modifieds,
That’s it for this week from
40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467