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July 12, 2013

By Phil Smith

Sixty years ago in 1953, Joe McNulty was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Eccleston was the non-Ford winner. Freddy Luchesi was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval. Bud Matter was victorious in the non-Fords.

Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ray Moran won the Wednesday night Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. The Saturday night Modified feature winner saw Moran again in victory lane. The event was actually run on Aug 2 because of rain. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner.

Fifty years ago in 1963 Charlie Webster was the winner of the 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Kenny Shoemaker was the Friday night winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway.

Forty five 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, Lee Osborne was the winner at the Fulton Raceway and Johnny Cambino took the win at Riverside Park. Maynard Troyer scored his first of 66 wins at the Lancaster Speedway in western New York.Bill Scrivener was the 30 lap Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. K.Davis was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Don MacTavish took the double point win at Thompson on Sunday night and at Utica-Rome, Rene Charland hit pay dirt as he took the win over Lou Lazzaro, Sonny Seamon, Richie Evans and Ray Sitterly.

Forty years ago in 1973, Richie Evans went two for two as he won at Malta on Friday night and at Utica-Rome on Sunday. All racing on Saturday night with the exception of the Waterford Speedbowl was washed out. Dick Watson made it two in a row at the shoreline oval. Marshal White was the Grand American Late Model winner. Jerry Cook finished second at Malta and was followed by Fred DeSarro, and Ronnie Bouchard. At Utica, Sonny Seamon finished second and was followed by Cook and DeSarro.

Thirty five years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine made it three for three in Yankee All Star action as he won a Wednesday night 100 lapper at Thompson. Fred DeSarro, Leo Cleary and Joe Howard followed. At New Egypt, Jerry Cook took the win over John Blewett JR and Fred Harbach. Stafford ran twin 35's on Friday night and to no ones surprise, Geoff Bodine won them both. Riverhead Raceway saw Greg Sacks win out over Charlie Jarzombek. Saturday night at Seekonk, Ronnie Bouchard gave Geoff Bodine a traffic lesson as he took the top spot and broke the winning streak of the big red machine. At Westboro, it was Leo Cleary over Roland LaPierre JR and at Waterford, Glynn Shafer and Joe Trudeau finished one-two. Jim Tyler won at Islip and Richie Evans beat out Reggie Ruggiero at Riverside. Ronnie Bouchard beat the master, Eddie Flemke, at Thompson on Sunday and at Utica-Rome, Geoff Bodine settled for third behind Richie Evans and Jerry Cook. Also on Sunday, Maynard Troyer won his 25th and 26th features of the year at Perry Speedway.

Thirty years ago in 1983, Thompson ran on Wednesday with Richie Evans taking the win over George Summers and Corky Cookman. Friday night at Stafford saw Brett Bodine in victory lane with Mike Hornat, second. At New Egypt it was John Blewett JR and at Riverhead, Don Howe took the top spot. Spencer Speedway action saw Richie Evans in the winners circle with Jan Leaty and Mike McLaughlin rounding out the top three. Lightning Larry Lanphear got a well deserved win at Waterford on Saturday and at Wall Stadium it was Tony Hirshman. Islip ran a 200 lapper and it was Tiger Tom Baldwin across the line ahead of Fred Harbach, Bob Park, Richie Evans and Jim Spencer. Eddie StAngelo won at Seekonk and Stan Greger took the win at Riverside Park. In Winston Cup action at Nashville, Ronnie Bouchard was the pole sitter but was sidelined with motor trouble. Dale Earnhardt took the win over Darrel Waltrip and Tim Richmond.

Twenty five years ago in 1988, Jerry Pearl was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. At Monadnock, Reggie Ruggiero won his fifth. At Waterford on Saturday, Moose Hewitt won, at Riverside it was Stan Greger, Riverhead belonged to Wayne Anderson and Tioga belonged to Randy Hedger. On Sunday, it rained at Thompson.

Twenty years ago in 1993, Ted Christopher won the Winston 100 SK Modified event at the Stafford Speedway on Friday night. He was followed by Tom Tagg and John Anderson. At Waterford on Saturday, Bob Potter got his 91st career win at the shoreline oval and at Riverside it was Stan Greger over Bobby Gee. Riverhead ran the Richie Evans Memorial with Bob Park taking the win over Don Howe and Tom Baldwin. In Winston Cup action at Pocono Dale Earnhardt was the winner.

Fifteen Years ago in 1998, Stafford had the No-Bull 100 scheduled. On the start, the speedway set off fireworks, which apparently spooked the drivers as half the field piled up in the first turn. While the wreck was being cleaned up, the rains came and washed out the event. The Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Lee Raceway. Ed Flemke JR took the lead from Doug French on lap 81 of the 150 lap event and never looked back as he went on to take the win. Mike Ewanitsko finished second and was followed by Tim Connolly, Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino. At Waterford on Saturday, Ted Christopher took the lead from Todd Ceravolo on lap 49 of the scheduled 100 lap event and went on to score a convincing victory. Ceravolo finished second and was followed by Mike Gada. Twin 35's were on tap at Riverside with Jim Broderick and Bob Polverari taking the wins. George Brunnhoelzl JR ended a long dry spell with a win at Riverhead. The IRL and Busch North Series were at Dover Downs. A very light crowd of 25,000 made the place look empty. As an insult to the Busch North competitors, Jim Spencer was brought in as a crowd draw.

Ten years ago in 2003, the Featherlite NASCAR Modified Tour Series converged on the New Hampshire International Speedway for the New England 100, which was run in conjunction with NASCAR’s Winston Cup, Busch Racing Series and Busch North Series. Forty-one Modifieds were on hand for the event, which carried a purse of $148,275, up $9,450 from 2002. Tony Hirschman took the Busch Pole with a speed of 127.654 mph. John Blewett III, just a tic off at 127.628 mph, was the outside pole sitter. Nevin George was third fastest and Ted Christopher, now using Ford power was fourth. Rounding out the top five was a big surprise in the form of Tom Cloce. Todd Szegedy, Chuck Hossfeld, Charlie Pasteryak, Tom Baldwin and Ricky Fuller rounded out the top ten. Only 1.06 mph separated the top ten. A year previous, modified car owner Bob Garbarino, owner and operator of the Mystic River Marina in Mystic, Connecticut, was ready to end his long tenure as a car owner. Garbarino, who had built and owned Modifieds since the mid 1970’s had lost his driver, Tim Connelly and his sponsor, Tidy Cats. Plus the fact he was fed up with NASCAR and the way they were treating the division. A few days before the 2002 Thompson Speedway Icebreaker Chuck Hossfeld came on the scene and since then Garbarino had had renewed interest in the sport he loved and supported for so long. Hossfeld was not well known outside of his native New York State and after a short stint in a Craftsman Truck owned by Jack Roush, resigned himself to the fact that he would spend the rest of his racing life at the Lancaster Speedway and other western New York ovals. Thanks in part to the Colton family; Hossfeld was hooked up with Garbarino. At Loudon, Hossfeld started seventh and never led a lap until the last one. Hossfeld, with the precision of a surgeon, executed a last lap pass by John Blewett III and Todd Szegedy to win the top spot in the event. Originally a 100-lap event, the distance was extended to 103 laps after Ricky Fuller became involved in a crash on lap 96. Szegedy had to settle for second at the finish. Blewett finished third with Jerry Marquis and Mike Stefanik rounding out the top five. For his efforts, Hossfeld collected $14,000. The announced crowd of 21,000 got to see what had to be the best race of the weekend which saw 11 official lead changes. Had it not been for the last caution, there were only two for 13 laps; Hossfeld would have had to settle for fifth or sixth. John Blewett III and Mike Stefanik were contending for the lead at that point. Because of a long green flag period from the start to lap 87 only eight of the original 41 starters were on the lead lap at the finish.

Rain played havoc at the Stafford Speedway for the second week in a row. In Wednesday night Thunder action at Thompson, threatening weather didn’t deter the overflow crowd of 9,500 that came out to see Winston Cup stars Tony Stewart and Jimmie Spencer. After a match race, which Stewart won the defending Winston Cup champion entered the regular Sunoco-SK type modified event, started in the rear and won that. Stewart took the lead from Bo Gunning on lap 23 of the 30-lap feature and never looked back. Gunning finished second and was followed by Bert Marvin, Matty Adanti, Ted Christopher, Eric Berndt, Todd Ceravolo and Kerry Malone. Other Wednesday night winners were GeGe Gravel in the Pro Stocks, Woody Pitkat in the Late Models, Shane Michalski in the Mini-Stocks and Keith DeSantis in the Limited Sportsman. At the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night, Winston Cup drivers Jim Spencer, Steve Park, Dave Blaney and Sterling Marlin made a special appearance to mingle with the fans, sign autographs and compete in an exhibition race. Crowd estimates of 4500 to 5000 spectators made it the most successful event in 2003 at the shoreline oval. Ron Yuhas Jr. ended a long dry spell as he won the regularly scheduled 35 lap SK-Modified feature as he beat out defending track champion Dennis Gada for the win. Jeff Pearl finished third and was followed by Rob Janovic and Ed Reed Jr. Among those on hand to greet the Winston Cup drivers was former track champion and now retired Bob Potter. Other Saturday night winners at the shoreline oval were Diego Monahan in the Late Models, Sean Curtis in the Sportsman and Richard Brooks in the Mini Stocks. Winston Cup and Busch Racing Series qualifying at Loudon was rained out. Martin Truex made a big impression when he won the Busch North Series event. It led to him getting a ride in a DEI car. David Green won the Busch Racing Series event and Jimmie Johnson conserved his fuel and took the win in the New England 300 over Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.

Five years ago in 2008, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour moved to the Spencer Speedway in Williamson, N.Y for its sixth race of the 2008 season. Matt Hirschman reached Victory Lane for the first time in his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career after he led 79 laps and won the Mason Farms 100. Hirschman, who won the second of two 25-lap heat races earlier in the evening, led four times throughout the 100-lap main and was the car to beat all night. After Mike Stefanik had moved through the field and took the lead on lap 89, the veteran was caught up in an accident coming out of Turn 3 and Hirschman took back a lead that he would never relinquish. Hirschman’s first victory came in his 45th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start. Ronnie Silk was the runner-up to Hirschman in the race which marked his third top 10 finish in a row. Chuck Hossfeld, who won the first heat race, came home third, and has yet to finish outside the top five in six races this year. Jimmy Blewett followed Hossfeld across the finish line while Stefanik wound up fifth. They were followed in the top 10 by Glen Reen, Todd Szegedy, Wade Cole, Danny Sammons and Bobby Grigas III. The finish was the best of Reen’s rookie season. Hirschman received a paltry $3,700 for his efforts.

Earlier in the evening Williamson native Jan Leaty captured the Coors Light Pole Award following group qualifying, but suffered a crash on the first lap of the main and could not continue. From many reports it appeared that it was the scene of a lot of follow the leader racing. Nine caution periods kept the competition to a minimum. With six races in the books.

The True Value Modifieds were at the Lee USA Speedway last Friday night. Ed Dachenhausen took the win over Les Hinkley, Mike Holdredge, David Pinkham and Joe Doucette. A sparse field of 20 Modifieds were on hand.

The Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder program took a night off as the speedway prepared for The Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy, which featured the NASCAR Camping World East series, the Pro All Star (PASS) Pro Stocks, and Thompson’s Late Models, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions. Trevor Bayne of Knoxville, TN, had never seen Thompson Speedway before Saturday night when he left he was a winner at the country’s oldest paved racetrack. Conversely, veteran Rick Martin of Westport, MA, a long-time campaigner at the Speedway took top honors in the visit by the Pro All Star Series. In regular weekly competition it was Pete Yetman of Peru, MA, scoring a commanding victory in the Late Models; Joe Arena of Bristol, CT, earning a career first in the Limited Sportsman division; and Danny Fields of Deep River, CT taking his second Mini Stock feature win of the season. Following a review of race procedures PASS officials announced that they had stripped Rick Martin of his victory in Saturday's event at Thompson. Martin took the checkered flag as the winner of the event but PASS officials announced Monday that second place finisher Ben Rowe of Turner, Me. has been declared the winner and Martin was dropped to second place in the running order. Officials made the decision to penalize Martin for jumping the final restart of the event.

The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted the 5th annual CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday program plus their regular Friday night program last week. Chris Perley scored his third ISMA Supermodified feature victory at Stafford in five years by winning the 50-lap feature, Bobby Santos, III was the winner of the 30-lap NEMA Midget feature, and Norm Wrenn was the winner of the 25-lap Pro-4 Modified feature event.

On Friday night, it was Whelen Event Night at Stafford. Kenny Horton was victorious in the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, Ryan Posocco drove to his second consecutive Late Model feature victory, Chris Bakaj scored his first career victory in the SK Light Modified feature, Sean Foster returned to victory lane in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Don Wood scored the victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event.

In the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, it was Kenny Horton outdueling Doug Coby, Keith Rocco, and Zach Sylvester in a fast and furious finish. Chris Jones led the first lap before Horton moved to the front on lap-2. Rocco and Coby got by Horton at the half-way point of the race, which set off a series of lead changes and jockeying for position at the front of the field. Coby and Rocco contested the lead with Horton getting by Rocco for second place on lap-26. Rocco would move back by Horton for second and he took the lead from Coby on lap-32. Rocco's pass for the lead allowed Horton to follow Rocco past Coby for second place. Horton moved to the inside of Rocco in turn 2 and contact from Coby shot him into Rocco's car with Rocco going around. The race stayed under green as Horton took the lead with Coby and Sylvester behind him. Horton was able to hold Coby off to the checkered flag to record his first win of the 2008 season. Coby finished second with Sylvester, Pitkat, and Bolles rounding out the top-5. Rocco, after being knocked off the pace, finished 20th and lost his Stafford point lead. Ted Christopher finished sixth and now has taken an unofficial four-point lead in the track’s SK Modified standings.

At the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco won the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Other Feature winners were Vin Esposito (Late Model), Al Stone III (Sportsman), Ken Cassidy Jr. (Mini Stock), and Jason Palmer (Legends).

Pole-sitter Wendell Dailey led the charge in the 35-lap SK Modified feature before nearly spinning and allowing Ed Reed Jr. and Keith Rocco to pass. Chaos ensued with twenty-three laps remaining when after a restart second-place Reed violently slammed the turn-4 wall in a multi-car crash that involved several other frontrunners including Doug Coby, Tyler Chadwick, and Ron Yuhas Jr. No injuries resulted from the red-flag incident, though the Reed mount was severely damaged. Rocco again assumed the lead after battling with Jeff Paul, later fighting-back the charges of both defending champion Rob Janovic Jr. and Jeff Pearl to score his third victory of 2008.

Kyle Busch added another Nationwide Series victory winning the Dollar General 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Busch took the lead on the 95th lap, held it until a pit stop on the 149th and then regained it five laps later for the remainder of the 200-lap race on the 1.5-mile track. Busch, the Sprint Cup points leader with six victories, won his fifth Nationwide race of the season. Denny Hamlin, who started 41st, was second. Brad Keselowski was third. The events that take place normally on Thursday evenings at Thompson, Friday at Stafford and Saturday at Waterford fall under the umbrella of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series.

When Jimmie Johnson passed Kyle Busch for the lead with 16 laps remaining, Busch went on the team's radio and declared, "Race over." But that's not how it turned out in the Lifelock.com 400 in Joliet, Ill. Not this year. Johnson was pulling away and sailing toward his second Sprint Cup win of the season until a late-race caution for David Gilliland's blown engine set up a two-lap race to the checkered flag. That opened the door for Busch, and the 23-year-old plowed through it after the restart for his seventh win.

Last year, 2012, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ended a three week break as they headed to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Saturday, July 14. With 34 cars on hand Ron Silk won his second consecutive pole at New Hampshire and sixth of his career during qualifying for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Friday. The Norwalk, Conn., driver outdistanced the field with a lap of 29.492 seconds (129.147 mph) around the 1.058-mile oval. Ryan Preece qualified second at 29.842 (127.632), followed by points leader Doug Coby at 29.880 (127.470). Eric Berndt and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman completed the top five.

Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik, at 54 years of age, edged Ron Silk by .003 of a second to win the Town Fair Tire 100 in a photo finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. Stefanik and Silk swapped the lead 17 times over the final 48 laps of the 100-lap event on the 1.058-mile oval. Stefanik took the lead for the final time on Lap 97 and held on for his 72nd career victory. It was also Stefanik's eighth win at New Hampshire, where he is the winningest driver.

Stefanik was quick to credit his crew chief Brad Lafontaine. In just their sixth race together on the Tour, they've now won one of the biggest races on the schedule. Stefanik, having seen Lafontaine win Modified races with drivers ranging from champions Jeff Fuller to Ted Christopher, isn't surprised. “I've always admired Brad Lafontaine's ability to give his previous drivers fantastic cars,” Stefanik said. “I'm still a student of the game. I study everybody's car, how much wheel in it they have. You just know who's driving the good cars and who's struggling and it just seemed like more often than not, he's given his drivers what they need to win the race.

Points leader Doug Coby closed late to finish third after pitting four times in the first half of the race to adjust the car. Coby leads Silk, 261-244. Eric Beers finished fourth and Todd Szegedy fifth. Rowan Pennink finished sixth, followed by Andy Seuss, Donny Lia, Zane Zeiner and Woody Pitkat.

There were seven caution periods for 26 laps. The first caution lap was displayed on lap 7 when Eric Berndt spun on his own in the turn four area. Undamaged, he was able to rejoin the field. The second caution came on lap 11 when Ron Yuhas spun in the turn two area and hit the outside wall. Also involved was Jon McKennedy in the Hillbilly Racing entry. Yuhas exited car unhurt but car was towed. McKennedy drove away. Keith Rocco's day went sour on lap 25 when he hit the outside wall on the frontstretch bringing out caution number three. Rocco rejoined the field on lap 32. The fourth caution was for Ryan Blaney who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 37. Caution number five was for Ryan Newman who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 46. Newman drove away with a flat right front tire. This caution was considered as the half way break. Ted Christopher's day came to an end on lap 52 when he tangled with Patrick Emerling for the sixth caution. Emerling drove away but Christopher was not as fortunate as a wrecker was required to remove his car to the pit area. Rich Pallai and Justin Bonsignore brought out the seventh and final caution on lap 62 when they wrecked.

In some real sad news, Wild Bill Slater passed away this past weekend at the age of 83. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey.

He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement everywhere. He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job.

Slater’s long list of accomplishments included winning 8 straight features at Norwood, and 7 straight wins at Stafford. In 1959 he posted twenty wins at Waterford. He also took down two championships at Waterford and one at Stafford. He won the 100 mile race at Trenton New Jersey four times, and was a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove in The Daytona Permatex 300 four times from 1963 to 66. He is most known for his long time association with the Vitari-Bombacci owned V8. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotional side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson.

One of Slater's biggest accomplishments was the fact that it was he who convinced the Arute Brothers, Jack and Chuck, to lease and ultimately buy the Stafford Motor Speedway.

In Valenti Modified Racing Series action at the Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, NH. Les Hinckley took the win over Chris Pasteryak, Rowan Pennink, Jon McKennedy and Dwight Jarvis. Hinckley started third in a 21-car field, took the lead on lap 38, and went on to win the 112-lap ‘Ricky’s Race For Kids’ event at the New Hampshire oval before a large crowd. The win was Hinckley’s second this season, his third at Canaan, and his 17th career victory with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

The race is an annual event organized by retired racing legend Donnie Miller and his family in honor of Ricky Miller who passed away unexpectedly in 2004. The event also benefits David’s House, a home away from home for families with sick children.

Hinckley chased pole-sitter Jon McKennedy at the drop of the green flag staying right behind the leader until he passed the Chelmsford, MA., driver. The only pressure Hinckley received came late in the race following a lap 102 caution flag. Chris Pasteryak challenged the race leader but Hinckley was never headed.

Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw a special PASS North 75-lap event that featured hometown hero Derek Ramstrom in victory lane. Ramstrom previously won two track championships in the Super Late Models (Pro Stocks) at Thompson. Ryan Preece held off Keith Rocco for the Sunoco Modified win while Tommy O’Sullivan, John Lowinski-Loh, Scott Sundeen, Troy Talman and Dave Trudeau were all victorious in other NASCAR Whelen All American Series action.

Ramstrom inherited the lead following a lap 61-accident that took out Larry Gelinas, who dominated just prior to that. Ryan Preece reclaimed the lead on a late-race restart with two laps to go and held off a determined Keith Rocco to earn his fifth Sunoco Modified feature victory this season. Kerry Malone took the early lead with Preece jumping into the second position. Keith Rocco challenged immediately and took over second before going in front of Malone for the lead on lap three in turn two. Preece, however, was waiting in the wings and catapulted his No. 31 machine from third to first on the backstretch. When things worked out, it was Preece followed by Rocco, Malone, and Ted Christopher. The top-four ran single file for the next several laps with Christopher keeping his front bumper attached to Malone’s rear bumper. On lap 16, Christopher dove low to make a challenge on Malone, but couldn’t get by and settled back into fourth. Up front, Preece was extending his lead over Rocco. The field got strung out as the leaders began to deal with lapped traffic when a car spun out of turn two and brought the caution out at lap 25. On the restart, Rocco got in front of Preece, who was looking to the outside groove to get by. Rocco closed the door on his challenge as Preece continued to look for a way around. Preece went high on lap 27 as they came across the start/finish line, but Rocco closed the door again. He went low on lap 28 and got side-by-side with Rocco who slowed in the high groove of turn two allowing Preece to drive right back out front. Rocco attached his No. 4 to the bumper of Preece, but there was no stopping the No. 31 machine that drove straight to the checkers.

Rocco settled for second with Christopher, third. Malone and Dennis Perry rounded out the top five. A slim field of nine Sunoco Modifieds were on hand.

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the SK Modifeds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models each raced an extra 2 laps, while the DARE Stock feature was one lap longer as part of the 5 Star Series Mid-Season Stretch. Ted Christopher picked up his third win of the season in the 42-lap SK Modified® event, Woody Pitkat picked up win number 2 in the 32-lap Late Model feature, Dylan Kopec got his fifth win in the 22-lap SK Light feature, Dennis Botticello got his first win of the season in the 22-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders picked up his third win of the year in the 16-lap DARE Stock feature.

It was the perfect ending of a long day for Ted Christopher as he out distanced Keith Rocco for the win. Both Christopher and Rocco had been at Loudon all day. Todd Owen finished third behind Christopher and Rocco, with Frank Ruocco and Danny Cates rouding out the top-5.

In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco made a high speed trip from Loudon and scored a one-two punch at the shoreline oval. Rocco scored two wins on the night in NASCAR action, taking victories in both the SK Modified® and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model features. Josh Galvin won the night’s Street Stock race and Mark Panaroni picked up the victory in the Mini Stock feature. The Bandolero race was won by Ken Morin Jr. The spotlight was on the track’s INEX Legend Cars division as it competed in a special 50-lap feature presented by Big Y World Class Markets. Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY was the big winner.

Rocco reached the front in a hurry in the night’s 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature. Rookie competitor Al Stone led the opening lap before giving way to Joe Perry. Rocco made moves early to place himself in the top-three runners by lap-4. Rocco first went by the inside of Joe Gada then Perry two laps later to race into the lead. Jeff Rocco finished second with Rob Janovic Jr., third. Kyle James and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five. Bruce Thomas finished second in the Late Model finish.

In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Dean Ward got his third win of the season as he held off Junior Miller for a 100 lap win. Tim Brown, seeking a record ninth Bowman Gray title, finished third and took over the lead in the season standings from Jason Myers, who struggled much of the night and finished 10th.

In NASCAR Modified action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Ted Christopher, who finished 29th at Loudon, flew to Long Island where he finished second to Tom Rogers Jr in the tracks NASCAR Modified feature.

Brad Keselowski took advantage of lapped traffic to win Saturday’s F.W. Webb 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick led Keselowski by nearly a full second when he ran up behind lapped traffic with 21 laps remaining. Keselowski guided his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge around Harvick’s Chevrolet and went on to beat Harvick to the checkered flag by .717 seconds for his second victory of the season.

A pit miscue by Denny Hamlin allowed Kasey Kahne to grab his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season Sunday during the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, RI. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail is smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

This week are several "Wild Bill" Slater photos who passed away a year ago on July 15th, Courtesy of Tom Ormsby's SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size

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That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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