Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
got their Wednesday and Saturday night events in the record book.
Johnny Schmitz won on Wednesday and Dave Humphrey on Saturday.
Claiming Car winners were Bob Foster and Dom DeLaura.
Fifty five years ago in 1956, Melvin “Red” Foote, who lived
in Meriden CT at the time was the Wednesday night Modified feature
winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In later years Foote
would relocate to the Richmond, VA area and would remain an active
competitor through the 1960’s. Squeeky Rogers was the non-Ford
winner. Rain prevailed on Saturday night at the shoreline oval.
Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan was the winner at the
Norwood Arena. Old Bridge, NJ was the Sunday night stop for many
including the Eastern Bandits that were led by Eddie Flemke.
Promoter Bob Streeter posted $3140 for a 100 lap event. Wild Bill
Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 led a New England sweep
of the top five as he beat out Flemke by less than a wheel. Ernie
Gahan finished third and was followed by Gene Bergin and Elton Hill.
Rain washed out the Wednesday night Modified feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl shortly after qualifying had been
completed which set the stage for double features on Saturday night.
Ted Stack won the held over Modified feature while Newt Palm was the
winner of the regular event. Non-Ford winners were Bill Staubley and
Forty-five years ago in 1966 twin 54 lap features were run at
the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Pete Hamilton took the
first one over Don MacTavish, Rene Charland, Leo Cleary and Lou
Lazzaro. Bill Wimble took the nightcap, as Hamilton had to settle
for second. Elton Hill, Phil Spiak and Hank Stevens rounded out the
top five. Ernie Gahan was the Friday night winner at Stafford while
Billy Schulz took the win at Norwood on Saturday night. Rene
Charland took the top spot on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night.
Pete Corey finished second with Guy Chartrand, third. Dick Dunn was
the 30 lap Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Gordon Page was the Bomber winner and Howard “Jiggs” Beetham who in
later years would become a championship Modified car owner with Bob
Potter as his driver, was the Daredevil winner. Steady Eddie Flemke
was the Sunday night winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Jerry Cook
finished second and was followed by Bill Wimble, Kenny Shoemaker and
Forty years ago in 1971, the Albany-Saratoga Speedway presented
a 100 lapper on Friday night. Lou Lazzaro was the top gun as he was
first under the checker. Eddie Flemke, in the Art Barry No.09
finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro, Maynard Forette
and Rene Charland. At the Fulton Raceway Open Competition Modifieds
and Supermodifieds were on tap. Jim Shampine won the Modified 30
lapper over Dick Clark, Guy Chartrand, Dave Nichols and Ronnie
Wallace. Ken Andrews was the Supermodified winner with Nolan Swift,
second. In NESMRA action at the Thompson Speedway on Friday night
Big Don MacClaren took the main event over Dynamite Ollie Silva and
Jim Landry. George Allum took his 14th Late Model win. Stafford ran
a 30 lap Pocono qualifier on Saturday night. Leo Cleary, in the
Garbarino No.4, took the win and the guaranteed spot for the
upcoming August event. Rene Charland, in the Bob Johnson No.17,
finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Daring Dick
Caso. Dick Dunn put the Al Gaudreau No.3 in victory lane at the
Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night Angie Cerese finished second
with Ronnie Wycoff, third. Ron Cote was the Sportsman Sedan winner.
At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, popular Bernie Miller took the win
over Ray Sitterly, Bugsy Stevens and Dave Lape.
Thirty five years ago in 1976, the Yankee All Star league was
at Waterford on Wednesday night. Sixty four cars were on hand for
the 100 lapper that saw Bugsy Stevens, in the Bob Judkins 2x take
the win over Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Ed Flemke. Dynamite
Ollie Silva won twin features at Monadnock on Friday night.
Riverhead, on Friday and Islip, on Saturday, each ran 150 lap
events. At Riverhead, Charlie Jarzombek was untouchable as he won,
going away, over Fred Harbach, Jerry Cook and Gary Winters. At
Islip, New York City policeman George Wagner took the top spot over
Jerry Cook and Jim Tyler. Steady Eddie Flemke, who had become a
modified legend in his own time, put the Bill Thornton-Manchester
Sand and Gravel No.10 in victory lane at Stafford on Saturday night.
Fred DeSarro finished second and was followed by Geoff Bodine. Other
Saturday night action saw George Allum the Modified winner at
Waterford and George Murray in victory lane at Seekonk. Westboro
rained out. Geoff Bodine came back from a disqualification the
previous week to record win N0.6 at Thompson on Sunday night. For
the second week in a row, Bodine's engine was protested by runner-up
Fred DeSarro. Bodine countered with a protest of DeSarro's engine.
Both engines were torn down and both were declared legal by the
Thompson tech inspection staff. Leo Cleary finished third.
Thirty years ago in 1981, Richie Evans scored his 28th of the
season and the 301st of his career at Stafford on Friday night.
Reggie Ruggiero finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third. Marty
Radwick won a Race of Champions qualifier at Monadnock and George
Kent beat out Greg Sacks for the win at Spencer. Glynn Shafer won a
ROC qualifier at Waterford on Saturday night over Dale Holdredge.
George Kent made it two for the weekend as he bested Richie Evans
and Greg Sacks at Shangri-La. Marty Radwick copied Kent as he
carried his win over to Riverside on Saturday. In other Saturday
night action, Joe Howard won at Westboro, Don Howe at Islip, Jamie
Tomaino at Wall, and Roger Treichler recorded his seventh of the
season at Lancaster. Danbury ran twin Modified features with Billy
Layda and Rit Patchen taking the wins. In Busch Grandnational action
at South Boston, Geoff Bodine slugged it out to win over Tommy Ellis
and Bob Pressley. Once the dust had settled, Bodine headed north to
Oswego where he won a 75 lap modified event over Richie Evans,
George Kent and Jerry Cook .In Winston Cup action, Ronnie Bouchard
in the Jack Beebe Race Hill Farms entry scored an upset victory at
Talladega as he passed Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte in a five
car draft coming off the fourth turn. Bouchard, a rookie, started
10th and won by a mere two feet in a photo finish. It was one of New
England’s brightest racing moments!
Twenty five years ago in 1986, Jeff Fuller was the Friday
night winner at Stafford. George Brunnhoelzl Jr. finished second and
was followed by Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino. Rain washed out
Waterford and Riverside. At Seekonk, Gomer Taylor took the win over
Pete Swartz and Ray Lee. Scott Spaulding was the Charger winner. Jim
Spencer went two for two as he scored at Spencer and at Shangri-La.
Sunday action at Thompson rained out.
Twenty years ago in 1991, the Modified tour invaded Riverside
Park on Wednesday for a 150 lapper. Reggie Ruggiero in the Ed Cloce
No.69 dodged the bullet as he won the caution filled event. Richie
Gallup finished second with Mike Stefanik, third. Stafford rained
out on Friday .The skies cleared on Saturday as Reggie Ruggiero made
it two for the week at Riverside. Mike Gada and Ricky Young finished
one-two at Waterford and John Brouwer Jr won his first ever late
model event, also at Waterford. At Riverhead, Brian miller beat out
Fred Vordermeir for top honors.
Fifteen years ago in 1996, Waterford ran on Thursday night in
front of an almost empty grandstand. Track management did not get
the word out that they were racing and nobody came. Tucker Reynolds
Jr. took the win over Mike Gada and Bob Potter. Ted Christopher
scored his 39th career win at Stafford on Friday night. Steve Park,
Jim Broderick, Bo Gunning and Curt Brainard followed. Andy Santarre
won the Busch North Series event Jim Broderick passed Ted
Christopher with seven to go at Waterford on Saturday. Christopher
hung on to finish second with Mark LaJunesse, following. The
Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Holland, NY. Speedway for a 150
lap event. Jerry Marquis, in the Art Barry No.21 took the win over
Mike Stefanik, Steve Park and Ed Flemke Jr. Marquis, who took the
lead from Flemke, led the final 90 laps. Tom Jensen won at Riverside
and Tom McCann won at Riverhead. Oswego hosted the New York State
Championship series on Sunday. Mike Stefanik took the 100 lap win
over Mike Ewanitsko and George Kent. Jeff Gordon took the win in the
rain shortened Winston Cup Talledega 500.The event, which started
3-1/2 hours late, saw a horrendous accident as Dale Earnhardt Sr.
hit the wall and before landing on his roof was hit hard by Derike
Cope and Robert Pressley. Earnhardt, known for his toughness, walked
to the ambulance under his own power, even after suffering a broken
left collarbone and broken sternum. Greg Sacks was the winner of the
Saturday Busch Grandnational event.
Ten years ago in 1991 Thursday night racing at Thompson,
rained out. Friday night at Stafford belonged to Eric Berndt as he
beat out Ed Spiers for the win. Ted Christopher, looking to run for
the track championship, retired with a burned piston, finished a
distant 28th. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at
Holland, N.Y. Eddie Flemke Jr. lost a clutch in warm-ups and missed
the drivers meeting. Flemke did make it out for time trials and even
after taking the pole, had to start in the rear because he missed
the meeting. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise as he was able to
avoid wrecks and spins that brought out eight cautions. Flemke
avoided the trouble and took the lead from Ted Christopher on lap
138 and never looked back. Christopher finished second and was
followed by Charlie Pasteryak, Jerry Marquis and Tony Hirschman. At
Waterford, Dennis Gada made it three in a row and his seventh
overall as he passed Jeff Pearl with two to go. Don Fowler finished
third with Jay Miller and Mark LaJunesse rounding out the top five.
At Riverhead, Chris Young beat out John Fortin and Bill Park. Reggie
Ruggerio turned 50 and at Lebanon Valley, Ken Tremont scored his
95th win at the New York dirt oval. The win was also the 200th
career win overall. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Bobby Labonte
passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the closing laps to take the win. Jeff
Purvis substituted for Mike Skinner at Gateway International and ran
away with the Busch Grandnational event held there.
Five years ago in 2006 the week was a busy one for
competitors and fans in the southern New England region. The weekend
started off on Wednesday when the True Value Modified Racing Series
paid a visit to the Seekonk Speedway. The event, Modified Madness,
carried a purse of $31,000 and was sponsored by Viveiros Insurance.
Forty-two competitors from nine states attempted to qualify for the
26-car event at the 1/3-mile Bay State oval, which drew the largest
crowd of the season at the track, which has been in continuous
operation since 1946.
Defending True Value Modified Racing Series champion Kirk Alexander
started on the pole after winning his qualifying heat and led the
first 30 laps while former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national
champion Ted Christopher gradually worked his way to second from his
sixth place starting spot. Christopher pulled alongside Alexander
and the pair raced wheel to wheel for several laps before the second
of six cautions waved for a minor incident involving Jack Bateman on
lap 34. Christopher, driving the Joe Brady No.00 took the lead on
the restart and proceeded to pace the next 49 circuits with
Alexander never less than a car length away. Andy Seuss passed Louie
Mechalides for third three laps before the halfway mark, with Ed
Brunnhoelzl III in fifth, ahead of Bobby Grigas, Rob Summers, Les
Hinckley, and local favorites Vinnie Annarummo and Dick Houlihan. On
lap 51, Hinckley got loose in turn three, resulting in a multi-car
pileup that saw John Blewett III hitting the outside concrete
nose-first. After a Brunnhoelzl spin triggered a lap 77 restart,
Alexander hounded Christopher, looking for a way back around the
leader. As the duo entered turn three on lap 83, Alexander put the
bumper to the leader which resulted in Christopher spinning into the
infield grass to bring out the final caution. The True Value
Modified Racing Series officials chose not to penalize Alexander for
the contact. Mechalides and Seuss ran a spirited battle for second
during the final sprint to the checkers, but no one would catch
Alexander, who claimed the $10,000 win. “I know,” the victor
acknowledged, as many of the spectators voiced their displeasure at
the outcome. “We were racing very hard out there. I got into him. I
didn’t mean to, and I backed off and tried to let him save it, but
he went around. I don’t like to win a race that way.” Mechalides
earned $3,500 for his stellar runner-up effort while Seuss was
equally pleased with his third place finish, worth $2,500. Chuck
Hossfeld came from 26th to finish fourth, ahead of former Seekonk
competitor Bobby Grigas, Cement Palace regular Vinnie Annarummo, and
John McKennedy. Chris Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, and Rob Goodenough
rounded out the top ten. Christopher ended up 13th. Defending race
winner Donnie Lia was involved in a heat race crash and ended up
among the 16 non-qualifiers.
At the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night, Joe Lemay scored his
career first victory as the Sunoco Modifieds went pole to pole.
Lemay ran to the victory nearly a half straightaway ahead of second
place finisher Tom Cravenho Bert Marvin turned his early season bad
luck around as he finished third. Woody Pitkat and Jimmy Blewett
rounded out the top five. Pitkat took over the point lead with his
finish. In the Pro Stocks Jeff Zuidema dodged a bullet in the Pro
Stock main event to take down his third win of the season. After
destroying his car the week before, Zuidema’s crew pulled out a
potent back-up car, enabling Zuidema to score the victory. Rick
Gentes made it two straight in the Late Models. Leo Oliviera of
Raynham, MA became the third different winner in three weeks in the
TIS Modified division and Shelly Perry scored her third Mini Stock
victory of the season.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Holland Int. Speedway on
Saturday night. There were 30 cars on hand which wasn’t bad
considering the distance competitors had to travel. Defending NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Champion Tony Hirschman ended a long dry spell
as he scored his first victory of the season in the Paul Graff
Trucking 100. Hirschman, driving the Kamco Supply Chevrolet, passed
Todd Szegedy on lap 34 and led the rest of the race holding off
challenges from Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik Hirschman started
the race in the sixth position. He was in the Top-3 by lap 15, and
was second by lap 24. He raced wheel to wheel with Szegedy for a
couple laps before pulling ahead for good. It was the 35th career
win for Hirschman and his second at Holland. He now trails Stefanik
by 21 points in the race fore the series championship. Christopher
held off a late race challenge by Mike Stefanik and finished second.
Stefanik, who led the first 10 laps before giving way to Szegedy,
was third in the Diversified Metals Chevrolet. Eddie Flemke, winner
of the series last race at Holland, finished fourth in the Red Line
Oil/Ron Bouchard Chevrolet. Jerry Marquis rounded out the Top-5 in
the Reynolds Auto Wrecking Dodge. The race distance was increased to
117 laps as 27 laps of caution were run but only 10 counted toward
the scheduled race distance of 100 laps. Second generation driver
Matt Hirschman set fast time in qualifying to record his first Bud
Pole Award. Jimmy Blewett was the Featherlite Most Improved Driver.
Marquis collected the Powerade Power Move of the Race Award. Danny
Sammons was the Rookie of the Race.
There were four cautions for 27 laps. Sixth through tenth were
Szegedy, Sammons, Dick Houlihan, Jimmy Blewett and James Civali. The
next race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is at Riverhead,
N.Y.this coming Saturday on August 5.
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to the weather as violent
thunderstorms hammered most of Connecticut on Friday night.
At the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl led from start to finish and
survived a number of restarts as he romped to victory in the 35-lap
SK-Modified feature Saturday. It was his second victory of the
season and the 21st career win for Pearl. Chris Pasteryak finished
second with point leader Dennis Gada edging Rob Janovic for fourth.
Point leader Tim Jordan won his fourth Late Model feature of the
season. Other winners included Ronnie Oldham Jr. in the Sportsman 20
lapper and Ken Cassidy in the 20-lap Mini Stock event. Mark Bakaj
won the INEX 50-lap Legends National Qualifier.
The Nextel Cup stars were off. In Busch Series racing, Carl Edwards
overtook Denny Hamlin with nine laps left Saturday and held on to
win the Busch Silver Celebration 250 at Gateway International
Speedway in Madison, Ill. In other action Howie Brode won the Tom
Baldwin 77 at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
Last year, 2010, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors
were back in action after a week off as they traveled to the high
banked, quarter mile, Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH on
Saturday, July 17. A somewhat light race purse of $53,631 was up for
Ted Christopher celebrated the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's return
to the high banks with his 36th career victory. The win moved
Christopher, the 2008 Tour champion, into sole possession of third
place on the career win list. It's Christopher's second win of the
season, allowing him to move past Tony Hirschman. The Plainville,
Conn., driver now trails only Mike Stefanik (70 wins) and Reggie
Erick Rudolph, who won his first career 21 Means 21 pole award
presented by Coors Light earlier in the day, led the first 95 laps
before Christopher moved to the front. The two battled each other
for the lead until Christopher moved out front for the final time on
Lap 152. He held off Rudolph on a green-white-checkered finish. The
scheduled 175-lap race was extended to 179 laps by a late caution.
Christopher led twice for 41 laps, while Rudolph led twice for 138
Ron Silk followed Rudolph in third, with Eric Berndt fourth and
points leader Bobby Santos fifth. George Brunnhoelzl III, James
Civali, Glen Reen, Justin Bonsignore and Eric Beers completed the
Christopher started fourth and despite a torrid pace at times
averaged only 42.937mph due to the eight cautions that slowed the
pace for 65 laps. Seventeen of the 26 starters finished on the lead
Jim Schaeffer, a Riverhead, Long Island elementary school teacher,
did it again as he and a collective group of fellow race fans and
sponsors added an additional $10,500 in prize money to the July 31st
Riverhead 200, a Flash Tour race at Barbara & Jim Cromarty's
Riverhead Raceway. The winner of the 175-lap feature event of the
program would now pocket a total of $5,000. Schaffer indicated that
all 28 drivers and owners that qualify for the Riverhead 200 would
earn $300 that he and his fellow sponsors would present in the pit
area prior to the race. Additionally the winner of the race would
earn an extra $2,100 from Schaeffer and his sponsors after already
receiving the $300 to qualify. The posted awards for the race for
the winner was at $2,600 and with the $2,400 in bonus money the
winning team arrives at a $5,000 payday.
The Thompson International Speedway presented a 50 lap special for
the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds as part of their Thursday night
Thunder program. Ted Christopher was up for the task as he beat out
Woody Pitkat to record his sixth win of the season at the
northeastern Connecticut oval. A good field of 20 cars were on hand
for the event. The drama of the night started before the green flag
was displayed as NASCAR National point title contender Keith Rocco
called it a night after developing transmission problems.
Pitkat settled for second. Ryan Preece, Tim Sullivan, and Ron Silk
completed the top five. Among the casualties were Rowan Pennink who
finished 15th and Danny Cates who finished 16th.
Larry Gelinas made it two in a row in Super Late Model action while
John Materas recorded his first of the season in Late Model action.
Other winners were Chris “Moose” Douton in the Limited Sportsman,
Shane Michalski in the TIS Modifieds and Scott Jussaume in the Mini
Rain was a deciding factor at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday
night. Ryan Posocco scored his third victory of the 2010 season in
the 30-lap Late Model feature and Tommy Barrett, Jr. won his second
consecutive and fourth overall race of the 2010 season in the 20-lap
SK Light Modified feature. Rain halted the remainder of the program
and as more than half of the event was completed, there will be no
The Modified Racing Series went up country to the state of Maine as
they visited the Oxford Plains Speedway for the Maine-Ly Action
Sports 100 on Saturday. With temperatures in the 90's drivers sliced
and diced and changed the lead several times during the event. Andy
Seuss was able to use a lap 85 restart to his advantage as he took
the lead that led to the eventual win over Louie Mechalides. There
were 73 green laps of racing before the first caution flag flew. Joe
Doucette had ignition problems that stopped his car on the
backstretch bringing to an end his night of racing.
The Waterford Speedbowl was also the scene of some hot action as
Tyler Chadwick checkered his first SK Modified ® feature of the
year, scoring a popular win in the 35-lap main event. Ed Puleo was
back in Victory Lane for the Street Stocks, his fourth win of the
season and second straight. Ken Cassidy Jr. returned to the winner’s
circle in the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks, and Keith Rocco scored
his first ever A.B. CDL Driver Training Center Truck division win in
impressive fashion. Glen Thomas Jr. dominated the X-Car ‘Dash for
Todd Ceravolo wound up second, however his season of misfortune
continued when, after taking the checkered flag, sparks flew with a
lapped car literally going up and over Ceravolo’s runner-up
finishing machine off turn two on the cool down lap. Jeff Paul
finished third to extend his consistent season. Rob Janovic Jr. and
defending champion Ron Yuhas Jr. rounded out the top five.
The Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem North Carolina fell victim
Ted Christopher was expected to return to Bowman Gray on August 7
for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour makes a stop at the
historic quarter mile. Many southern fans refer to Christopher as
the "Medicine Man" after he retaliated against Junior Miller who had
instigated a recent confrontation. Miller takes pride in wrecking
anyone in his way. TC gave him a lesson and some of his own medicine
back after he attempted to take the northern invader out.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island rain washed out the 77 Lap
Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans, Charlie Jarzombek Memorial NASCAR
Modified event a week ago. For some reason the rescheduled event was
in direct conflict with the Whelen Modified Tour Series event that
was held the same evening at the Monadnock Speedway in New
Hampshire. In the Baldwin, Evans, Jarzombek Memorial 77, the No. 7NY
visited Riverhead Raceway victory lane once again, courtesy of Howie
Brode, who renumbered his car in honor of Baldwin.
Carl Edwards prevailed in a wild final lap at the Gateway Int.
Speedway, nudging Brad Keselowski out of control on the final
straightaway to take the Nationwide Dodge Dealers 250 on Saturday
night. Ten cars were collected in the wreck. Keselowski was on the
inside and had appeared to take the lead before Edwards' car drifted
into him. Keselowski spun into the wall and was struck head-on by
Shelby Howard as he slid back to toward the infield. Edwards said
Keselowski wouldn't have been in position to win if he hadn't bumped
Edwards earlier on the final lap. Keselowski finally rolled across
the line in 14th. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series enjoyed a weekend off.
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: