Sixty years ago in 1951 Moe Gherzi, fresh off his Saturday
night win at the New London-Waterford annexed a 25 lap Modified win
on Wednesday night. The shoreline oval fell victim to rain on
Fifty-five years ago in 1956, the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl was preparing for their season opener. The track had been
for sale but there were no takers.
Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan made it two in a row on
the dirt in Friday night action at the Stafford Speedway as 4000
fans looked on. Ron Narducci finished second with Jim Koehler,
third. Bill Slater was a little off his game as he finished fourth.
Slater got redemption on Saturday night at Norwood as he beat out
Eddie Flemke and Bobby Sprague for the win. The New London-Waterford
Speedbowl raced on Friday and Saturday nights. Dick Beauregard, the
driver they loved to hate, won on Friday night with Ted Stack taking
the win on Saturday night. Ed Moody made it six in a row in Bomber
competition as he won on both nights.
Forty five years ago in 1966 Wild Bill Slater took on the New
York gang and walked away the Friday night winner at the Albany
Saratoga Speedway. Jerry Cook finished second with Gaston Demaris,
third. Dennis Zimmerman and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five.
Ernie Gahan took the win on the dirt at Stafford. Cook stepped it up
a bit as he won at Fonda on Saturday night over Ron Narducci and
Bill Wimble. Bobby Sprague took a popular win at Norwood on Saturday
night. Rain washed out the features at the NewLondon-Waterford
Speedbowl after qualifying was completed. The Utica Rome Speedway
ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night with former NASCAR Sportsman
Champion Rene Charland taking the win. Eddie Flemke finished second
with Frank Mathalia, Cook and Wimble rounding out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1971, Friday night action at Malta rained
out. Winston Barrows led 29-1/2 laps at Stafford only to be passed
by Bugsy Stevens in the last corner of the 30 lapper. Bob Melnick
finished third with Hop Harrington, fourth. At Fonda it was Lou
Lazzaro over Dave Lap and at Islip, Ed Brunnhoelzl Sr beat out Bob
Park. Jack LeCuyer won the main event at the Riverside Park
Speedway. Tom Vining, Charlie Centinaro and Bob Stefanik followed.
Action at the Waterford Speedbowl saw Ed Barton take the win over
Jiggs Beetham, Seabury Tripler, Daring Dick Caso and Don Bunnell.
Dickie Doo Ceravolo was the Sportsman Sedan winner. Fred DeSarro and
Len Boehler made the trip to Utica-Rome on Sunday and came away the
winners. Ron Narducci finished second and was followed by Dave Lape
and Jerry Cook. Fonda hosted the All Star League on Wednesday, which
saw Lou Lazzaro take the win.
Thirty five years ago in 1976, Fred Harback scored a one-two
punch as he won at Riverhead on Friday night and again at Islip on
Saturday. At Riverhead, Jim Tyler finished second with Greg Sacks,
third. At Islip, Don Howe finished second with Tyler, third. Geoff
Bodine took the win at Stafford and at Riverside it was Bob
Polverari over Bob Stefanik. Dick Dunn put the Al Gaudreau No.3 in
victory lane at Waterford. Sleepy Knapp was the late model Grand
American winner. Ronnie Bouchard broke Geoff Bodine's win streak at
Thompson on Sunday.
Thirty years ago in 1981, Mr. Leo Cleary in the Rollie
Linblad No.48 took on the best in the business at a special open
competition event at Westboro on Wednesday night. It was no cakewalk
as Cleary had Ronnie Bouchard breathing down his neck at the finish.
Geoff Bodine finished third and was followed by Reggie Ruggiero,
Jeff Fuller and Tom Baldwin. Friday night at Stafford, Richie Evans,
fresh off a win at Holland on Wednesday night, romped home the
winner over Bob Polverari and Brian Ross. Polverari was later
disqualified because of an illegal rear end gear. Other Friday night
winners were Punky Caron at Monadnock, John Blewett Jr at New Egypt
and George Kent at Spencer. Saturday night, Russell "Butch" Perry
scored a popular win at Waterford over Joe Tiezzi and Dick Dunn. Ray
Miller took the top spot at Riverside and George Kent made it two
for two on the weekend as he won at Shangri-La. Double modified
features were on tap at Seekonk.
Eddie St Angelo and Leo Cleary shared top honors. Tom Baldwin won a
100 lapper at Islip and Roger Treichler made it two in a row at
Lancaster. Danbury fell victim to rain. Richie Evans was the winner
at Thompson on Sunday night over Corky Cookman, Bob Fuller, Greg
Sacks and Carl Pasteryak.
Twenty five years ago in 1986, the Modified tour was at
Waterford for a Wednesday night 100 lap event. Mike McLaughlin
started on the outside pole and led all 100 laps to take the win.
Corky Cookman finished second and was followed by John Rosati,
George Kent and Jeff Fuller. Friday night racing at Stafford and
Spencer rained out. Ed Flemke Jr was the SK Modified winner at
Waterford on Saturday night. Bob Potter finished second and was
followed by Mark La Junesse. Mike McLaughlin made it two for two on
the weekend as he put the Sheri Cup No.12 in victory lane at
Riverside on Saturday night. Mike Stefanik finished second. Leo
Cleary got his fourth win at Seekonk and at New Egypt it was Wayne
Anderson over Jerry Cranmer.
Twenty years ago in 1991, the Featherlite Modified Tour was
at Riverhead for a Wednesday night event. Hometown favorite Mike
Ewanitsko had victory in sight until his engine expired on the last
.Waiting in the wings was Ricky Fuller who went on to take the win.
Jeff Fuller finished second and was followed by George Brunnhoelzl,
Dan Jivenelli and Ewanitsko. The Busch North Series was at Stafford
on Friday night. Mike Stefanik took the win. SK Modified action saw
Steve Chowanski beat out Bo Gunning and Bob Georgiades. At Waterford
on Saturday, David Gada held off veteran Jerry Pearl for the
win.Rick Young finished second. Reggie Ruggiero got his fifth at
Riverside over Rick Young and Wade Cole. Jamie Tomaino returned to
his old haunts at Wall Stadium to take a win while Chris Young won
at Riverhead. Ted Christopher was the top dog at Thompson as he had
more than enough for Richie Gallup, Bo Gunning and Mike Christopher.
Jerry Marquis went north to Monadnock and proceeded to click off
another win. Dwight Jarvis finished second with Kirby Monteith,
Fifteen years ago in 1996, the modified tour was at the Lee
Raceway in New Hampshire. Rick Fuller took the win over Mike
Stefanik, Tim Connolly and Jan Leaty. The event drew a good crowd
but raceway owner Red MacDonald felt that overall it was a loser and
hasn't had the Modified Tour back since then. Lee does run
unsanctioned modified events from time to time. At Stafford, John
Anderson won out over Bo Gunning and Tony Sylvester. Todd Ceravolo
became a surprise winner at Waterford on Saturday night. Eric Berndt
was leading the final lap when his transmission imploded, forcing
him to slow. Ceravolo went on to take the win and was followed by
Don Fowler, Mike Gada, Jim Broderick and David Gada. Fran Principi
scored his first ever Modified win at Riverside Park and Quinn
Vollegraph won at Riverhead. A Busch North Series event, scheduled
for Sunday at Nazareth was rained out and run on Monday. Steve Park
took the lead from Ted Christopher on lap 85 of the 100-lap event
and went on to take the win. Kelly Moore ended up second and was
followed by Tom Bolles and Dale Shaw.
Ten Years ago in 2001 Ted Christopher made it three in a row
at Thompson on Thursday night. Curt Brainard finished second. At
Stafford on Friday night, Jim Williams in the Donut car took the
victory over Lloyd Agor and Chuck Docherty. The NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour Series was at Richmond. Tony Hirschman took the lead
with 31laps to go and walked off with the lion's share of the
$93,168 purse. Mike Ewanitsko finished second with Jan Leaty, Mike
Stefanik, Ken Wooley and Ed Flemke JR rounding out the top five.
Eric Berndt got his fourth win at Waterford and Bill Park took the
top spot at Riverhead
Five years ago in 2006, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
returned to the Thompson Speedway on Thursday where they shared top
billing with NASCAR’s Busch East Series (formerly Busch North
Series). Forty-four Modifieds were on hand on a humid and sultry
night. Jimmy Blewett was the Busch Pole sitter. The re-draw for
starting positions saw James Civali pick the pole with Eric Beers
picking the outside pole.
Eric Beers, in the Boehler Racing Ole Blu, took the lead on the
start with Ed Flemke moving into second spot. Beers led the first 42
laps until Ronnie Silk spun out in Turn 2 to bring out the first
caution. After the restart on lap 45, Eddie Flemke went to the front
by passing Beers two laps later on the front-stretch. A multi-car
crash in the backstretch brought out the second caution on lap 48
and didn’t restart until lap 56. Among those eliminated was Jerry
Marquis who expressed his displeasure of Jamie Tomaino’s patience.
Also eliminated were Matt Hirschman and Tony Ferrante Jr. Flemke
remained out front until Todd Szegedy passed him while working lap
65. Szegedy’s lead didn’t last long before another crash occurred in
the backstretch to bring out the third caution that lasted from lap
66 to lap 74. Reggie Ruggiero lost control and triggered the crash.
Eliminated in that crash were Ted Christopher and Chris Pasteryak.
Chuck Hossfeld also lost many laps while his crew made repairs to
damage sustained. Szegedy led the final restart and was untouchable
from there. Flemke finished a strong second and was followed by
Civali, Beers and Tony Hirschman. Sixth through tenth were Mike
Stefanik, Ruggiero, Steve Whitt, Ron Yuhas Jr and Ken Barry.
Twenty-one of the original 35 starters finished on the lead lap.
Matt Kobyluck won his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch
East Series race of the season, and took over the series point lead.
He took the lead when Sean Caisse suffered drive train failure after
leading the first 13 laps. Caisse, the former point leader, was
scored 28th and last in the field. Brian Hoar chased Kobyluck to the
checkered flag, less than half a second behind, with Charles
Lewandoski recording a career-best third place finish. Mike Johnson
was fourth, Bryon Chew fifth, and Mike Olsen sixth. Dave Dion, Jamie
Aube, Ruben Pardo, and John Salemi completed the top ten.
The Thompson Speedway ran their Double Trouble program last Thursday
night despite the threat of showers. Jeff Malave muscled his way to
a convincing win in the Sunoco Modifieds. Malave took the lead as he
entered turn one on lap six and held off repeated challenges from
Tom Cravenho who ended up settling for second. Woody Pitkat was
extremely strong as he traded spots with Cravenho on numerous
occasions but in the end settled for third. Jimmy Blewett and Keith
Rocco rounded out the top five. Jeff Zuidema won the 30-lap Pro
Stock feature. Dave Trudeau held off Salem's Corey Hutchings to win
the 25-lap Late Model feature. Eddie Puleo of Branford, CT made it
two-for-two taking down his second straight Limited Sportsman
feature victory. The win; however, was not an easy one as Keith
DeSanctis gave it all he had in the closing laps. DeSanctis got
alongside Puleo briefly but had to settle for second. Rick Blanchard
took down his second straight Mini Stock
victory. Ron Rixham had enjoyed an early lead but in the late stages
of the 15-lap Mini Stock feature the former divisional champ began
to feel the pressure. After a short battle, Rixham relinquished his
lead to Scott Michalksi. The lead quickly changed hands again with
Blanchard taking over control of the event. Michalski took his place
in second while Shelly Perry, true to form, came on strong in the
waning laps to claim third. Rixham had faded to fourth at the
checkers ahead of Andy Publicover. Roger Larson, Jr.
The Stafford Motor Speedway took advantage of the dry weather as
they ran the 12th annual American Sleeve Bearing Late Model 100 on
Friday night. Ryan Posocco was the big winner of the 100-lapper,
recovering from an early race spin to drive back through the field
under a prolonged green flag run. Todd Owen was the winner of the SK
Modified® feature, while there were two first-time winners in the SK
Lights and DARE Stocks. Richie Pallai, Jr. captured his first career
win in the SK Light feature, while Lori-Jo Rzeszutek scored her
first career victory in the DARE Stock feature. The Limited Late
Model feature was tentatively rescheduled to next Tuesday, July 4th
due to time constraints. In the 100-lap Late Model feature, Ryan
Posocco ran down the leaders under a long green flag run, and then
inherited the lead when race leader Scott Foster, Jr. broke a
transmission on lap-88. Ed Ricard led the first 40-laps of the race
with Tom Fearn taking the lead from Ricard. Fearn held the lead
until lap-59 when Foster moved to the front. Posocco had spun on
lap-16 after contact with Brad Boissonneault, and he had moved back
into the top-5 at this stage of the race under green flag
conditions. Foster held the lead until his transmission gave out on
lap-88, which handed the lead to Posocco. Posocco pulled away from
second place on two subsequent restarts to take his first Late Model
feature win of the 2006 season. Jim Peterson took second, with Mark
Lewis third, Tom Butler fourth, and Todd Owen fifth. In the 40-lap
SK Modified® feature, Todd Owen charged past Curt Brainard on the
outside groove on lap-9 and then he held off a determined challenge
from Frank Ruocco over the final 10-laps to take his first SK
Modified® feature win of the 2006 season. Willie Hardie finished
third, with Jeff Baral and Kenny Horton rounding out the top-5.
At the Waterford Speedbowl Tom Fox all but cleaned house as he won
the Pepsi-300 100 lap SK Modified event. Fox wore out Rob Summers
and then held off Dennis Gada as he recorded his first win of the
year. Summers faded to third spot in the closing laps. The 100-lap
Late Model segment went to Allen Coates, making his season debut.
Joe Godbout III won the 50-lap Mini Stock feature while Dwayne Dorr
ruled the 50-lap Sportsman haul.
NASCAR announced that they had lowered the age to 16 to those who
intend to compete in the Whelen Modified Tour Series and Busch East.
The Modifieds were part of a rain shortened practice session at the
New Hampshire International Speedway last week. Thirteen Whelen
Modified Tour teams showed up for the NHIS Open Test session. Among
those were seven rookies including Danny Sammons, Glenn Tyler,
Anthony Sesely, James Civali, Kenny Horton, Matt Hirschman and Jon
McKennedy. Veterans that appeared for the test session were Rob
Summers, Todd Szegedy, Zach Sylvester, Donny Lia, Nevin George and
Todd Bodine. Because of the fact that rain cut short the session the
Bahres refunded each team’s $500 payment plus provided free food for
Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup event at Daytona. Dale
Earnhardt Jr. was the Busch Series winner.
Last year, 2010, The Thompson International Speedway Thursday
night Thunder Series resumed on a somewhat cool but exciting night.
Ted Christopher won his third feature victory of the 2010 season at
Thompson in exciting fashion. Mike O’Sullivan won a thriller in the
Super Late Models. Brother Tommy O’Sullivan, took a commanding
victory in the Late Models. Larry Barnett scored his first win of
the season in Limited Sportsman action. Brian Sullivan returned to
the TIS Modified division and returned to his winning ways while
Steve Michalski wired the field to score the victory in the Mini
The Modified Racing Series was at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday
night for the Town Fair Tire 75. A strong field of Modifieds led by
Mike Stefanik, Ted Christopher, Rowan Pennink and Les Hinkley were
on hand. Hinkley took the eventual win after Stefanik and Pennink
tangled. Contact between then-leader Stefanik and Pennink on lap 56
sent the leader Stefanik spinning. Pennink was given the consolation
flag for his involvement. Hinckley, who was running third, inherited
the lead for the ensuing restart. Over the final 19 laps, Hinckley
was able to get some distance over a heated battle between
Christopher and Jon McKennedy. It was Hinkley’s third win of the
season. Steve Masse finished fourth with Eric Goodale rounding out
the top five. Sixth through tenth were Charlie Pasteryak, Dwight
Jarvis, Richard Savory, Stefanik and Geoff Gernhard. Pennink, the
last car on the lead lap, finished 17th.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division racing at the Stafford
Motor Speedway Keith Rocco picked up his second consecutive and
fifth overall win of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified®
feature, Michael Bennett got his first win of 2010 in the 30-lap
Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his second victory of
2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dave Yardley, III
scored his first career victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model
feature, and Don Wood took his second win of 2010 in 15-lap DARE
Rocco started 15th. Rounding out the top-5 following Rocco, Eric
Berndt, and Chris Jones was Todd Owen and Jeff Baral.
The Waterford Speedbowl continued to be dominated by Keith Rocco.
Rocco took the lead early in the race then ruled in several restarts
to claim his sixth SK Modified® win of the year. Walt Hovey Jr.
dominated the Street Stock race to collect his first win of the
season, extending his lead in the championship points. Danny Field
won his first Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock race of the year in
dominating fashion, while Allen Coates won the A.B. CDL Driver
Training Center Truck race and etched his name further into the
Speedbowl record books. Nicholas Sowa won the Bandolero race. Over
$10,000 was raised for the Lupus Foundation of America when the
event had concluded.
Rocco now had 14 wins as his season total. In addition to his six
wins at Waterford and his five wins at Stafford the then current
NASCAR National Points contender had two wins at Thompson and one
win at New Smyrna. The New Smyrna win does not count toward the
The Bowman-Gray Stadium, in Winston-Salem, NC was the scene of a 100
lapper for the NASCAR Modifieds last Saturday night. Jason Myers,
who is considered an underdog, took the lead from Lee Jeffreys on
lap 15 and survived five restarts before recording the win. Tim
Brown, with extreme overheating problems, finished second and Chris
Fleming was third. John Smith and Jeffreys rounded out the top five.
Point leader Burt Myers started 24th and finished sixth.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island a 50 lapper for the
Modifieds provided some post race fireworks. Tom Rogers JR took the
win. Shortly after taking the checker Rogers parked his car between
turns three and four. He removed his driving suit and shoes and
threw them over the fence where track officials were located. It had
been rumored that he carried a traction control device in his suit
or in his shoes.
Justin Bonsignore, who has been making a name for himself on the
Whelen Modified Tour Series finished second with Chuck Steuer,
third. Wayne Anderson, who is still recovering from a recent heart
attack imported Jimmy Blewett for the night. Blewett finished
O Bruton Smith, owner of New Hampshire Motor Speedway told WMUR TV
in New Hampshire he will consider moving next year's summer race if
Loudon's police chief doesn't cut the cost for providing safety
details. The NHMS owner said that if he can't reach a compromise
with the town on security costs, he may move next June's race from
New Hampshire [like to maybe...Kentucky Speedway. NHMS was asking
Loudon to reduce its price tag for June's upcoming race from
$170,000 to $65,000. "No, we're not prepared to do that," said
Loudon Selectman Roger Maxfield. "The answer is no, we won't."
Maxfield said he thinks $170,000 to cover an influx of 100,000
people is reasonable, as is Fiske's hourly rate. "He's also in
control of 80 full-time officers, so that's a large detail,"
Maxfield said. NHMS has suggested cutting 38 police officers from
its camp grounds and replacing them with private security guards
supported by a few officers. Fiske said that plan isn't in the best
interest of public safety. "The crime is consistent with a city of
that size," he said. Maxfield insinuated that those who go to Loudon
for the races are a violent lot. "We have alleged rapes and
assaults, let alone the DWIs." He said in a statement to the TV
Raymond Parks, owner of NASCAR’s first championship winning car and
an integral part of the series’ formation, died. He was 96. Parks
was the last living member of the group of men who created NASCAR in
1947 during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla.
He fielded the car that Red Byron drove to the inaugural Cup Series
championship in 1949, NASCAR’s first season of competition.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Sonoma, CA, Marcos Ambrose had his
first career Sprint Cup Series victory in sight when a late caution
threw a roadblock into his path. Ambrose stalled his engine while
trying to conserve gas late in Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway,
where his car came to a stop while leading with six laps remaining.
He restarted and tried to re-claim his position at the front of the
field, but NASCAR ordered him back to seventh place and Jimmie
Johnson inherited the lead. Johnson then cruised to his first career
road course win, while Ambrose had to settle for a disappointing
sixth-place finish. Robby Gordon finished second.
Edwards swooped past Jacques Villeneuve on a restart with nine laps
to go, then ran away from the field to win the NASCAR Nationwide
series race at Road America on Saturday.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's Racing
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: