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 Friday June 16, 2006

Forty five years ago in 1961 Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith resigned their positions at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after a board of directors meeting.

Forty years ago in 1966 Don MacTavish took the Friday night win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Jerry Cook finished second with Dick Dixon, third. Eddie Flemke and Pete Hamilton rounded out the top five. Pete Corey made it two in a row at Fonda on Saturday night. Jerry Cook finished out the weekend with a win over Eddie Flemke at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Irv Taylor, Ernie Gahan and Kenny Shoemaker rounded out the top five.

Thirty five years ago in 1971, Bugsy Stevens went two for two as he won the twin 25's at Thompson on Friday night. Dynamite Ollie Silva finished second in the first event and was followed by Ernie Gahan and Daring Dick Caso. Following Stevens in the nightcap was Gahan, Silva and Bob Santos who was subbing for Fred DeSarro who was injured the previous week when he hit an infield light pole. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, also on Friday, Lou Lazzaro took the win over Guy Chartrand and Denis Giroux. Stafford ran a 30 lapper on Saturday night. Stevens made it three for three on the weekend as he beat out Billy Harman and Bob Vee. In other Saturday night action, Eddie Brunnhoelzl won at Islip and Don Wayman won at Fonda. At the Waterford Speedbowl Jerry Glaude won out over Bob Tetreault, Walt Dombrowski and Dick Watson. At the Fulton Raceway, Richie Evans made it two in a row. Lou Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday night. Bernie Miller finished second with Dick Clark, third. The Waterford Speedbowl ran a mid-week open competition event on Wednesday. The 150 lap event drew forty cars and a full house. Bugsy Stevens took the win over Ron Wycoff, Jerry Glaude, Bobby Santos and Don Bunnell.

Thirty years ago in 1976, Wayne Anderson was the Thursday night winner at New Egypt. Fred Harbach finished second. On Friday night, Riverhead ran a 100 lap double point event and it was Greg Sacks in his family owned modified taking the win. Charlie Jarzombek finished second and was followed by Jim Tyler and Jerry Cook. Rain washed out Saturday night racing at Stafford and Islip but somehow, Riverside got their show in as Bob Polverari took the win over Johnny Lobo and Pete Fiandaca. At Thompson on Sunday, Geoff Bodine made it two in a row as he again beat Fred DeSarro, Bob Santos and Ed Flemke. In other weekend action, Ronnie Bouchard won the Yankee 100 at Monadnock and Bugsy Stevens won at Westboro.

Twenty five years ago in 1981, On Friday night, Stafford rained out. At Spencer, George Kent took the win over Maynard Troyer and Doug Hewitt. Alan and Fred Harbach finished one-two at New Egypt. Saturday night was a busy one. Rodney Tulba beat out Jerry Pearl and Bob Potter at Waterford and at Westboro, Ronnie Bouchard was the kingpin as he out dueled veteran George Savory for the win. George Wagner kept Alan Harbach at bay at Islip and at Seekonk it was George Summers over Kenny Bouchard and John Rosati. At Riverside it was Richie Evans over Marty Radwick. Geoff Bodine won the South Boston 200 Late Model Sportsman event over Sonny Hutchins. The Modified Tour was at Thompson on Sunday. Richie Evans pitted on lap 10 with a flat tire but was able to come back and take the lead and eventual win. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third. In Winston Cup action at Riverside, Cal, Darrell Waltrip took the win.

Twenty years ago in 1986, the Modified tour was at Star Speedway for a Wednesday night event which saw John Blewett Jr take the win over Kenny Bouchard and Reggie Ruggiero. Friday night at Stafford saw Dave Reszendes take a well earned win as he held off Reggie Ruggiero and Jeff Fuller. Ted Christopher was the SK Modified winner. Spencer ran a 100 lapper that drew only 18 cars. Jim Spencer took the win over George Kent and Jan Leaty. New Egypt also ran on Friday night and they too, had a light field. Jerry Solomito took the win. Riverside ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Stan Greger taking the win over Bob Polverari and John Rosati. Jim Spencer made it two for two on the weekend as he beat out Don Pratt for the win at Shangri-La on Saturday night. At Waterford it was Rick Donnelly over Bob Potter and at Riverhead it was Mike Ewanitsko over Tom Baldwin

Fifteen years ago in 1991, Bob Potter became a surprised winner at Stafford after leaders Mike Christopher and Bo Gunning took each other out on the last lap. Tom Tagg finished second with Bob Georgiades, third. A major fiasco occurred at Flemington on Saturday night during the closing moments of the Nascar Featherlite Modified Tour. Reggie Ruggiero was leading the final lap when the yellow flag was waved and the yellow light came on. Figuring the event would restart and go green-white-checker, Ruggiero lifted. George Kent, who was running fourth at the time, stood on the gas, passing Ruggiero and as he came under the starters stand, was given the checkered flag and the win. Ruggiero came across in second spot and was extremely upset after the event was over. Jan Leaty finished third and was followed by Mike Stefanik and Steve Park. At Waterford, Ted Christopher got his third win of the year and at Riverhead, Wayne Anderson was the top dog. At Riverside, Jerry Marquis in the Judkins 2x won out over Dan Avery. Marquis also finished second to Kirby Monteith at Monadnock on Sunday. Sunday night SK action at Thompson rained out.

Ten years ago in 1996, Ted Christopher recorded his 38th career victory at Stafford on Friday night. Steve Park finished second with Curt Brainard, third. At Waterford on Saturday night, Scott Spaulding took the lead from Eric Berndt with nine laps to go and went on to record a popular win. Berndt finished second and was followed by Don Fowler and David Gada. Matt Kobyluck was the late model winner. Richie Gallup beat out Ted Riggott at Riverside and it was Don Howe at Riverhead. Jay Miller got his first Pro Stock win at Stafford and Rick Martin made it four out of six at Seekonk. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Jeff Gordon took the pole and the win.

Five years ago in 2001 Ted Christopher was the Thursday night winner at Thompson over Josh Steeves and Kerry Malone. Christopher took the lead on lap 12 of the 30 lap feature and won by a full straight. Christopher followed up his Thompson win with a win at Stafford on Friday night as he beat out Lloyd Agor and Willie Hardie for the top spot. John Brouwer Jr held off Ed Reed Jr at Waterford with Ron Yuhas Jr, third. Mike Curtiss scored his first ever win at Riverhead and at Lancaster, Siege Fidenza won the Bud 100 at Lancaster after drawing the pole and leading all the way. Rob Summers in the Bear Motorsports No.14 was an early contender but faded to seventh at the checker. Kevin Harvick won the BGN Outback 300 at Kentucky and in Winston Cup action at Pocono; Ricky Rudd took the win over Jeff Gordon.

Last year The Whelen Modified Tour joined hands with the Busch North Series for twin 100 lap events at the Thompson Speedway on Sunday. With intense humidity and temperatures in the 90’s most of the day the twin bill turned into a test of man and machine. When it was all said and done the weatherman won another one as torrential rain hit the speedway causing yet another rain out. There were 41 Modifieds and 34 Busch North Series Late Models in the pits when the races were called. Frank Ruocco staged a spirited battle with Jeff Malave in the closing moments of the 40 lap SK-Modified feature at Stafford on Friday night. Ruocco won out in the end as he recorded his first victory of 2005. Malave ended up second with Doug Coby, third. Ted Christopher and Lloyd Agor rounded out the top five. The SK Modified field continued to hover around the 21 car count. This was good and bad. The good was that everyone that showed up went home with a paycheck. The bad was the qualifying heats which are no more than glorified practice sessions. Joe Rzeszutek took advantage of a confrontation that escalated between Tom Fearn and Mike Quintiliano as he won the Late Model feature. Fearn and Quintiliano were battling one-two until contact and a spin after a late restart took both out of contention. Tom Butler finished second. Michael Bennett won the 20 lap Limited Late Model feature and Stacy Botticello was the DARE Stock winner.
 
The Waterford Speedbowl had Rob Janovic taking the win in the SK Modified feature after taking the lead from Frank Mucciacco with two laps to go in the 35 lap feature. Mucciacco faded to third after being passed by Ron Silk on the final lap. Jay Miller and Tom Fox rounded out the top five. Joe Curioso is a security officer at Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. by day and a racer by night. Last Saturday night he garnered his first win in the Speedbowl’s tough Sportsman division. Bruce Thomas was the 30-lap Late Model feature winner and Nick Pappacoda took the win in the Mini-Stocks.

Jeffrey Paul continued to showcase his ability as a racer in Wednesday night's (June 9) Wild n' Wacky action at the Waterford Speedbowl. The 17-year old captured both the 20-lap Legends and the 15-lap X-Modified features. Paul didn't lead the Legends' race until lap 18 and then held off Jason Palmer. He edged Bill Leonard and Dean Christensen, in the X-Modified event. Paul was looking to make it two in a row in the Legends on Saturday night when he became involved in a violent wreck that all but destroyed his mount. George Whitney ended up taking the win.

Carl Edwards won the Nextel Cup event at the Pocono Int, Raceway and Clint Bowyer won the rain delayed Sportsman event at Nashville. On a sad note, Patrick Evans passed away at the age of 47 after a long bout with cancer.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 or days at 860-433-5250.E-mail _ HYPERLINK mailto: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene for over 3 decades.
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