Forty years ago in 1969, the Fourth of
July weekend started of on Friday at Stafford and at Malta.
Stafford ran a 100 lapper which saw southern invader
Ray Hendrick make an appearance. Bugsy Stevens was the kingpin and
made it known that he was not about to play second fiddle to the
man they called Mr. Modified. Stevens took the event with
Hendrick, second. Fred DeSarro finished third with Bobby Santos,
fourth. Dave Kotary was the winner at Malta with Guy Chartrand,
second. Saturday night at Norwood, Billy Schulz beat out Johnny
Thompson and Roland LaPierre Sr. for the win. At Islip, Fred
Harbach was the winner with Booker T. Washington Jones finishing
second. At Fonda, Kenny Shoemaker made it two in a row and at
Airborne Park; Guy Chartrand made it four in a row. Glynn Shafer
made it two in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won the
50-lap holiday special. Larry Crandall was the Daredevil winner.
At Thompson, on Sunday, it was Bugsy Stevens holding off DeSarro
for the win.
Ray Hendrick's trip from the
south brought him a 2nd place finish behind Bugsy in 1969.
(Danny Pardi Collection)
Thirty-five years ago in 1974 the holiday weekend started on
Wednesday, July 3 when Stafford ran a 150 lapper. Jerry Cook took
the win over Geoff Bodine, Brian Ross and Richie Evans. Cook backed
his Stafford win with a 100-lap win at Utica-Rome on Friday night.
Evans finished second with Bernie Miller, third. Freeport was also
scheduled to run on Friday but was rained out. In action on Saturday
night, Bugsy Stevens won at Stafford. Ronnie Bouchard was the
runner-up. At Islip, Jim Hendrickson in the Ferrente x3 beat out
Gary Winters and Charlie Jarzombek. Glynn Shafer won the scheduled
30 lap Modified event at Waterford. Ron Cote was the Grand American
late model winner. Fulton ran twin events on Sunday with Evans and
Bodine each taking victories. In other weekend action, Gene Bergin
beat out Fred DeSarro at Star Speedway on Thursday. DeSarro beat
Deke Astle at Seekonk on Saturday and at Thompson on Sunday, won out
over Angie Cerese and Tony Russo. Paul Radford won a 100 lapped at
Oswego plus scored victories at Metrolina and Hickory in North
Thirty years ago in 1979, the Fourth of July weekend started
on Wednesday at Westboro with an open competition 50 lapper. The
event drew 33 cars. On the start, nine cars were wrecked including
pre race favorites George Summers and Bugsy Stevens. Geoff Bodine
who was trying to make a name for himself in the Southland came
north and took a ride with Lee Allard. Bodine won the 50 lapper and
was followed by Charlie Jarzombek, Fats Caruso and Jerry Cook. On
Thursday night the action switched to Holland. Maynard Troyer blew
while leading and opened the door for Richie Evans to step in and
take the win. Cook finished second with George Kent, third. On
Friday night, Stafford presented the annual Ferrara 100. Bodine and
Satch Worley driving Allard team cars finished one-three with Ronnie
Bouchard being the spoiler, finishing second. Cook was fourth. On
Saturday the racers got a break as all racing in New England and New
York State rained out. On Sunday the Modifieds ran at Oswego and at
Thompson. At Oswego it was a repeat of Stafford as Bodine and Worley
were again one-three. This time Richie Evans was the spoiler. Roger
Treichler was fourth. In small block action at Thompson, George
Savory took the win over Leo Cleary and Ron Bouchard who borrowed
the ride of Fats Caruso after his own suffered engine problems.
"The Reg" took down the Stafford
win in 1984.
(Danny Pardi Collection)
Twenty-five years ago in 1984, Spencer
Speedway had an event scheduled for July 4th but it was rained
out. Friday night at Stafford belonged to
Reggie Ruggiero as he
beat out Mike McLaughlin and Kenny Bouchard for the win.
Riverside and Waterford rained out on Saturday but Riverhead was
able to get their show in with Wayne Anderson holding off Tom
Baldwin for the win. Shangri-La ran double features with Jim
Spencer scoring a one-two punch, winning both. Racing at
Thompson on Sunday also rained out.
Twenty years ago in 1989, the Modified tour series
visited Riverhead on Wednesday. Reggie Ruggiero went pole to
pole to win the 151-lap event over Dan Jivenelli, Mike
McLaughlin and Steve Park. Park had been running second at the
125-lap mark when he tangled with Mike Ewanitsko.
Rounding out the top five was Wayne Anderson. At Stafford on Friday,
Mike Christopher took the 35 lap SK Modified win over Bob Potter.
Waterford ran a 50 lapper with David Gada taking the win. Riverside
set an all time attendance record as the track reported 9264
spectators on hand. Bob Polverari won the Modified event over John
Zavisa. The Mod tour series headed for Oswego on Sunday. Tony
Hirschman held off Mike McLaughlin who finished second with
Ruggiero, third. In other weekend action, Jeff Malave won at
Riverhead; Randy Hedger at Shangri-La and Tony Jankowiak won a Race
of Champions qualifier at Pulaski, VA.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Stafford started the holiday
weekend off with a 100 lapper, which was won by John Anderson. On
Saturday night at Waterford, Phil Rondeau scored one of his two
modified wins as he beat out Mark LaJunesse, Bob Potter, John
Anderson and Todd Ceravolo. Jerry Young was the late model winner.
At Riverside Park, Reggie Ruggiero all but owned the place as he
crossed the finish line ahead of Tom Cravenho and Dan Avery. At
Riverhead it was Bill Park over Eddie Brunnhoelzl. On Sunday, July
3, Ed Flemke Jr. scored his first ever-Modified tour win as he won a
102-lap contest at Tioga. Wayne Anderson finished second with Chris
Aman, third. On Monday, July 4, Lancaster ran a 150 lapper. New
England invader Rick Fuller took top honors over Jim Rudolph and Jan
Leaty. In Winston Cup action at Daytona, Jim Spencer did the bump
and grind with Ernie Irvan over the final laps and raced home the
winner, by inches.
Ten years ago, in 1999, Brad Leighton took the lead on lap 43
in the Busch Grandnational North 150 at Stafford after Dave Dion
spun in oil. It was Leighton’s fourth win of the year. Jeff Taylor
finished second with Dion, third. Stafford's SK Modified event
rained out. Waterford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Eric
Berndt taking the win over Jeff Pearl and Tucker Reynolds. Riverhead
went to Frank Vigliaro Jr. In 100-degree heat, Bert Marvin went pole
to pole at Thompson. Todd Ceravolo finished second with Tom Tagg,
third. At Riverside, Rob Summers won a 125 lapper over Ted Riggott
and Bob Polverari. In Busch Grandnational action at Milwaukee, Casey
Atwood hit Jeff Green on the final lap and went on to take the win
over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Glenn Allen. In Winston Cup action under
the lights at Daytona, Dale Jarrett took the lead on lap 146 of the
160-lap distance and took the win over Dale Earnhardt and Jeff
Five years ago in 2004, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour
Series was on their mid season break. The next event would be at the
Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. With eight of the 19
scheduled events already in the record books Eddie Flemke Jr. sat
atop the point standings with a 70-point lead over former series
champion Tony Hirschman. Flemke, who won at Waterford on May 15, had
finished in the top five on seven occasions. Flemke and his Roger
Hill owned race team had a game plan to run hard and run safe in
2004 and if their first half performance was any indication, they
could very well be sitting at the head table at season’s end.
Hirschman, who won at Stafford on May 28 and at Lake Erie on June
12, had a total of five top fives. Jerry Marquis, who won the Spring
Sizzler at Stafford on April 25 and at Riverhead on June 5, sat in
third spot despite being the division’s top money winner. Marquis
was 113 points out of the lead and including his wins, has 5 top
fives. Ted Christopher, who won the season opening IceBreaker at
Thompson, was 156 points out of the lead in fourth spot.
Christopher’s win came at the expense of Todd Szegedy who was
disqualified when officials determined he had an illegal rear end
gear. Ricky Fuller, all though winless, rounded out the top five.
Fuller had one top five in eight starts and is 238 points behind the
leader. Sixth through tenth in the standings were Jamie Tomaino,
Chuck Hossfeld, Tony Ferrante Jr., Tom Bolles and Tom Cravenho.
Kenny Barry was the leading rookie and sat in 11th spot. Other
Modified Tour Series winners at the mid-season mark are Todd Szegedy
at Nazareth on May 23 and Reggie Ruggiero at Wall Township on June
26. The Featherlite Modified Tour Series had been one of the
strongest in NASCAR as events consistently draw between 40-50 cars
The Busch North Series was also off for the weekend. Car counts
could have been better but the dedication of those in competition
was very high.
Cool heads on a hot night prevailed at Thursday night Thunder at the
Thompson Bert Marvin who has had more than his share of bad luck in
2004 finally got a break and recorded his first win of the season as
he took the top spot in the Sunoco Modified SK type event. Marvin
jumped into the lead on lap two and never looked back. Pole sitter
Adam Norton spent a lot of time looking in his mirror as he bounced
off or cut off just about everyone who attempted to pass. The mirror
driving didn't work as he ended up 12th at the finish. Kerry Malone
finished second but had nothing for Marvin. Bo Gunning, Ted
Christopher and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five. David
Berghman became a three-time winner in the Pro Stock division while
Ryan Posocco got his first in Late Model action. Other winners were
Scott Sundeen in the Limited Sportsman, Roger Larson in the Mini
Stocks and Randy Cabral in the NEMA Midgets.
Ted Christopher beat out defending SK Modified champion Kerry Malone
at Stafford on Friday night. The modifieds played second fiddle to
the Late Models who were showcased in a 100 lapper that went to Tom
Butler. Rounding out the top five in the SK Modified feature were
Chuck Docherty, Woody Pitkat and Jeff Baral.
Ted Christopher carried his winning ways from Stafford over to
Waterford on Saturday night as he made it two out of three for the
weekend. Christopher led the 100-lap feature from lap 30. Tom Fox
finished second but had nothing for Christopher. Keith Rocco, who is
on Christopher’s crew, made it two in a row in Sportsman
competition. Phil Rondeau waited until the final lap of the Late
Model feature to steal the glory from Allen Coates as he won the
exciting Late Model feature. It was announced that Late Model driver
Brandon Plemons had been suspended from racing at any NASCAR track
for the remainder of 2004. Plemons, who was also fined $250,
deliberately smashed his car into the driver’s door of Carl Erickson
on June 26.
The Nextel Cup division and the Busch Racing Series of NASCAR were
at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Mike Wallace was
the surprise winner of the Busch Series event as he went from fifth
to first in the final lap. If Jason Lefler hadn’t been so intent on
mirror driving and spinning out his competition he might have won.
The Pepsi 400 got a two hour late start because of monsoon type rain
in central Florida. Jeff Gordon was the eventual winner. Two
spectators were slightly injured from lightning earlier in the day.
It had been learned that former modified ace Greg Sacks has entered
the upcoming Nextel Cup event at Chicagoland. Sacks would drive a
former Ray Everham car now owned by himself, James Wilsburg and Ed
Raabs. Wilsburg is a former crew chief for Sacks when he drove
Last year, 2008, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
traveled to Loudon, NH for their first of two visits for 2008. Rain
greeted fans and competitors who were on hand for qualifying on
Thursday. Because of adverse weather NASCAR was forced to set the
starting field of 38 cars based on point standings and the rulebook.
There were 42 cars on hand, which meant that four would go home.
Sent packing were Doug Coby, Jon Mckennedy, Kenny Horton and Kenny
Bouchard. Among those in the field was L.W. Miller who would become
the first driver to run a Spec engine in Whelen Modified Tour
The four Whelen Modified Tour teams that were sent home from New
Hampshire Motor Speedway after qualifying for Saturday's New England
100 was cancelled on Thursday each received tow money from the
track. Track spokeman Fred Neergaard confirmed that each team was
paid $500 by the track.
Chuck Hossfeld led only one lap but it was the one that counted as
won out in a photo finish with Ted Christopher. Christopher, who had
led since lap 69 had a checker on his mind but Hossfeld had other
ideas as he dogged him with no mercy. Ed Flemke Jr finished third
and was followed by Eric Beers and Reggie Ruggerio. Sixth through
tenth were Bobby Santos, Todd Szegedy, Ryan Preece, Jeff Fuller and
Ronnie Silk. Hossfeld pocketed $15,600 for his efforts. Hossfeld and
Christopher kept the crowd on its feet for the final ten laps as
they traded positions at the front numerous times.It was by far one
of the best finishes ever seen at the New Hampshire oval. Hopefully
someone in the O. Bruton Smith empire will recognize the great
potential the division holds. L.W. Miller, who used the new “Spec
Engine” finished 20th.
The victory was the seventh of Hossfeld’s career, his third at New
Hampshire and his second of the season. The Loudon Modified event
had been scheduled to be televised and was to be shown on the Speed
Channel on July 18. Needless to say the Whelen Modifieds took it on
the chin again as the TV coverage was scrapped. On the positive side
Speedway Motorsports upper management was impressed with the Whelen
Modifieds to the point where they indicated the Mods could possibly
get a third date at Loudon if and when the Indy Cars are added to
the track’s schedule.
The True Value Modifieds went up country to Maine for an event on
Saturday at the Wiscasset Raceway. Rain prevailed forcing a
The Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder program fell victim
The Stafford Motor Speedway put their Late Model division on center
stage Friday night with the first of two extra distance 100-lap
feature events of the 2008 season. Waterford’s Dillon Moltz drove to
his third consecutive Late Model feature victory of the season in
the 100-lapper, with Woody Pitkat winning the 40-lap SK Modified
feature, Mark Bakaj winning the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature,
Joey Ferrigno winning the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and
Robert Thompson winning the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event.
At the Waterford Speedbowl second generation
driver Jay Miller ended a long dry spell as he captured his
first ever feature win at the shoreline oval. Miller is the son
of NEAR Hall of Fame driver Ray Miller. Miller took the lead on
the fourth lap of the 35 lap SK Modified feature from Wendell
Dailey but in the end had to contend with Dennis Gada and Keith
Rocco for the win. Miller held on as Gada and Rocco followed
across the finish line. Rob Janovic and Jeff Paul rounded out
the top five.
Other feature winners were Tim Jordan (Late Model), Walt Hovey
(Sportsman), Raymond Christian III (Mini Stock), and Shaun
In Sprint Cup racing at Loudon, Kurt Busch had strategy and luck
on his side.
Jay Miller took down his first
Speedbowl victory last year. Unfortunately the celebration was
short lived as Jay unexpectedly passed away a couple weeks later
on July 15th.
(Keith Cyr Photo)
Tony Stewart had neither. Busch wound up ending his
29-race winless string in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools
301, while the frustrated Stewart simply added another disheartening
loss to his own winless string that has reached 31 races. It is the
first victory for the Penske Racing driver since September at
California Speedway, and it came on a day when two-time Cup champion
Stewart dominated, leading 132 of 284 laps, only to see the hard
luck that has dogged him all season continue.
Runner-up Michael Waltrip, who had not finished better than 23rd,
used the same strategy as Busch. The two-time Daytona 500 winner
said he was hoping the race would go to the end because he believed
he had a faster car than Busch. But Busch believed he could hold the
top spot. Stewart, who dominated the second half of the race on the
1.058-mile oval, held off a challenge from two-time reigning Cup
champion Jimmie Johnson late in the race and appeared on the way to
his first victory since August at Watkins Glen, N.Y. But Stewart and
most of the other drivers who had been racing at the front of the
pack did not have enough gas to get to the end. On lap 271, Dale
Earnhardt Jr., who had been in the top 10 all day, started toward
pit road and was hit from behind by Jamie McMurray, who then spun
into David Ragan, bringing out a caution. Stewart and the rest of
the front-runners pitted under the ensuing yellow flag, while Busch
and seven other drivers who had pitted more recently than the
leaders, stayed on track. The race restarted on lap 279, but there
was another caution on lap 280, with Clint Bowyer and rookie Sam
Hornish Jr. crashing, then Juan Pablo Montoya slamming into series
points leader Kyle Busch, Kurt's younger brother, moments later.
Montoya was later assessed a two-lap penalty by NASCAR for rough
driving and finished 32nd.
The rain that had been threatening for much of the afternoon began
falling during that caution and, moments after the cars were
red-flagged onto pit lane just before completing lap 285, NASCAR
called the race, leaving Busch on top, ahead of Waltrip, J.J. Yeley,
Martin Truex Jr., Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson and Casey Mears, all
of whom had stayed on track during the previous caution.
In Nationwide action at Loudon Tony Stewart got track position,
restarting third after taking just two tires during his final pit
stop on lap 129 of the 200-lap event at New Hampshire Motor
Speedway. He took the lead on lap 136 from fellow Cup star Carl
Edwards on lap 136 and led the rest of the way. Teammates Denny
Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished second and third.
This week are several photos of Hall
of Famer Ray Miller and his son Jay. Jay passed away unexpectedly on
July 15, 2008. On Sunday July 12, 2009 a celebration party in honor
of Jay is being held. Fans and Friends are invited to attend. For
more information click on the icon below.
Sunday July 12th
Click on Photo for Full Size
Courtesy of Keith
Jay & Ray at Racearama
Courtesy of Keith Cyr's RaceDogPhotograhy
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: