years ago in 1967, rain washed out weekend racing at Stafford,
Norwood and Thompson. Spencer Speedway got their show in with Bob
Hudson taking the win. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night local favorite
Clayton ďSonnyĒ Seamon took the win over Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro,
Kenny Shoemaker and Andy Romano.
Thirty five years ago in 1972, Gene Bergin, in the Dick Armstrong
No.1 took the top spot in Friday night action at the Albany-Saratoga
Speedway in Malta, N.Y. Bob Santos finished second with Richie
Evans, Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro rounding out the top five.
Ray Miller, in the Meyers-Sweatland Mustang,
took Stafford by storm on Saturday night. Following Miller at the
finish were Fred DeSarro, Billy Harman, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke.
At Islip it rained and at Fonda, Maynard Forette beat out Jerry
Pennock, Ken Shoemaker and Jerry Cook. At Utica-Rome on Sunday
night, Eddie Pieniezak took the win over Richie Evans, Bernie Miller
and Jerry Cook.
Thirty years ago in 1977, Geoff Bodine won at Stafford on Friday
night over Ron Bouchard, John Rosati and Dick Caso. Rain washed out
action at Seekonk, Westboro, Waterford and Riverside on Saturday
night. It remained dry at Islip where Gary Cretty took the win over
Wayne Anderson, Cliff Tyler and Tom McCann. At Freeport it was Jerry
Bartlett over Gary Winters and Jim Hendrickson. Riverhead ran a 100
lap Race of Champions qualifier on Sunday with Charlie Jarzombek
taking the win over Jerry Cook and Fred Harbach. Kirby Monteith
unseated Punky Caron as King of the Hill at Monadnock and at
Thompson; Fred DeSarro made it three in a row as he beat out Ray
Miller and John Rosati for the win. Other weekend winners were
Richie Evans at Spencer and Maynard Troyer at Lancaster.
Twenty-five years ago in 1982, Reggie Ruggiero was the Friday night
modified master at Stafford as he romped to a convincing win over
Bob Vee, Ray Miller, Kenny Bouchard and Bugsy Stevens. Spencer ran
twin features including a 100 lapper that was won by Maynard Troyer.
George Kent won the nite-cap and carried his win streak to Riverside
on Saturday night where he beat out Richie Evans and Reggie Ruggiero
for the win. Waterford cancelled due to high water in the infield
and at Seekonk; Bugsy Stevens took the top spot with the Mystic
Missile. Carl Pasteryak finished second with George Summers, third.
Sunday racing at Thompson rained out. Other weekend winners were
Wayne Anderson over Richie Evans and Bob Park at New Egypt and Fred
Harbach at Islip. In Winston Cup action at Riverside in California,
Tim Richmond took the win over Terry Labonte and Geoff Bodine.
Twenty years ago in 1987, rain washed out Stafford, Riverhead and
Riverside. At Waterford, Dickie Doo Ceravolo took a popular win as
he held on to beat out Bo Gunning and John Anderson. At Shangri-La,
Jim Spencer picked up his third win over Jan Leaty and Tony
Hirschman. In Winston Cup action at Pocono the winner was Tim
Fifteen years ago in 1992, Ted Christopher took no prisoners at
Stafford on Friday night as he beat out Bo Gunning, Bob Potter and
Richie Gallup for the win. Waterford ran twin 25's on Saturday night
with Bob Potter and Rick Young each taking a victory. Tom Fox was
the late model winner after Phil Rondeau and Jerry Young tangled
late in the event. Jay Stuart won his fifth Pro Stock feature at
Riverside and Ricky Fuller bested Chris Kopec for the modified win.
Mike Ewanitsko won the Richie Evans Memorial 61 lapper at Riverhead.
Bob Park finished second with Brian Miller, third.
Ten years ago in 1997, Stafford rained out on Friday night. The
Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Jennerstown, Pa. where
Mike Ewanitsko scored his 16th Mod Tour win over Tony Ferrente Jr,
Sam Russo and Doug French. Charlie Pasteryak had been leading with
five laps to go in the 150 lapper when he broke a wheel hub and
crashed. Jim Broderick took the lead for the win with two laps to go
at Waterford. In victory lane he dedicated his win to Scott
Spaulding's dad who had passed away during the previous week.
Riverside ran a 100 lapper on Tuesday and a 50 lapper on Saturday
night. Dave Berube won the 100 lapper over Ted Riggott and Ted
Christopher and in the 50 lapper on Saturday, Richie Gallup took the
win over Christopher and Rene' Dupuis. Rumors coming out of
Riverside indicated that racing for 1998 could be in doubt due to
consistently bad crowds. In other weekend action, Dale Shaw won the
Busch North Series 150 at Beech Ridge over Mike Stefanik and Jerry
Marquis and at Riverhead; Ken Matlach scored his first ever modified
Five years ago in 2002, Bert Marvin made it two in a row in Thursday
night action at Thompson. Ted Christopher finished after coming from
the back and was very critical of Marvinís blocking. Tom Bolles
finished third with Ron Yuhas Jr and Jeff Malave rounding out the
top five. Perfect weather drew a near capacity crowd. Ed Spiers
ended a long dry spell as he scored his first win since 1989 at
Stafford on Friday night. During the early going Ted Christopher and
John Lobo Jr. were fighting for the lead when they tangled.
Christopher lost two laps while his crew changed a tire and was
never a factor after that. Ron Silk finished second with Bob
Georgiades, third. Lobo finished fourth. The Busch North Series was
also at Stafford. Kelly Moore won the 150-lap contest over Dale Shaw
and Andy Santerre. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series paid
a visit to the Seekonk Speedway. The 150 lap event carried a purse
of $67,675 and drew 40 Modifieds and a reported 10,000 spectators.
Ed Flemke Jr. started third and took the lead from Ted Christopher
on lap 26, survived four re-starts and went on to record the win.
David Berghman finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho,
Joey Carracia and Rob Summers. Tony Hirshman wrecked on lap five and
re-injured his wrist, which all but eliminated his title hopes. Rob
Janovic took the win at Waterford over Ron Yuhas Jr. and Dennis Gada.
Mike Andrews took the win at Riverhead and Harry Reed got his second
of the season at Wall Township. New England was well represented in
a Hooters Cup event run at Indianapolis Raceway Park as former
Waterford Late Model Champ Phil Rondeau finished fifth and Dale
Evonsion finished eighth. George Kent Sr. won the Race of Champions
Tour Series event at Tioga and in Winston Cup action at Sonoma, Cal.
Ricky Rudd lucked into a win after Jerry Nadeau lost a rear in the
Petty car that he drove.
Last year, the Thompson Speedway grandstands can normally hold close
to 16,000 fans when filled to capacity. On Thursday night they
looked to be about half full. Not bad considering it was a mid week
event. The speedway management team headed by Ben Dodge and Russ
Dowd prided themselves in running a fast, efficient race program.
The final checkered flag of the night was waved at 9:20pm. Taking
victories were Keith Rocco in the Sunoco Modifieds, George ďMad DogĒ
Bessette in the Pro Stocks, Rick Gentes in the Late Models, Ed Puleo
in the Limited Sportsman, Shelly Perry in the Mini Stocks and Roger
Larsen in the Thompson Modifieds. Rocco, a second-generation racer,
staged a knock down, drag out, door to door battle with Jimmy
Blewett and Jeff Malave. As close as they ran, they never touched
which is a true testimate of their abilities. In the end Malave
settled for second over Blewett, Bert Marvin and Tom Cravenho. There
were 165 cars, including 27 Sunoco Modifieds on hand.
The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted a double header on Friday night,
which included the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series and the NASCAR
Grand National Division, Busch East Touring Series. When one
mentions the ďBig OneĒ in racing circles most people think of the
high-speed multi-car wrecks that occur in NASCARís Nextel Cup
events. The Stafford Speedway had their own version during the
running of the 40 lap SK Modified feature. A mid race bump and grind
took out the front-runners. Eric Berndt was in the right place at
the right time as he managed to drive through the carnage to take
the lead and the ultimate win. Jeff Malave finished second, with
Todd Owen third. Woody Pitkat was on a mission after an earlier spin
and he charged through the field in the closing laps to come home
fourth. Zach Sylvester rounded out the top-5. Berndtís victory,
combined with Pitkatís fourth place finish, makes Berndt the new SK
Modified points leader heading into this coming Friday nightís
action. John Blewett III, who took over the driving chores of the
Eddie Partridge No. 12 finished 26th. Ted Christopher, who was on
hand to drive a Busch East car did not have a ride for the SK
In Late Model feature action, Jim Peterson ended Woody Pitkatís
three-race winning streak with his 21st career Late Model victory.
Chris Matthews was the winner of the SK Light Modified feature to
become the first repeat feature winner in that division, Charlie
Newman scored his first career victory in the Limited Late Model
feature event, and David Gambacorta came away the winner of the
15-lap DARE Stock feature event.
Sean Caisse won his second straight NASCAR Grand National Division,
Busch East Series race of the season. Caisse came out the winner
after a fierce duel with Matt Kobyluck in the TSI Harley-Davidson
150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. The pair, who started on the front
row, were the only race leaders, swapping the lead among themselves
eight times. Caisse took the lead for the final time after Kobyluck
got wiggly in speedy-dry on a restart with 12 laps to go. Mike
Olsen, who shadowed the leaders for much of the race, was third for
the second week in a row. Dave Dion, making his 2006 debut, charged
into contention in the closing laps to grab fourth, while southern
visitor Jody Lavender made up for a late-race disappointment on home
turf in South Carolina a week ago by completing the top five.
Charles Lewandoski, Ryan Seaman, Joey McCarthy, Jeff Anton, and
Bryon Chew were sixth through tenth. It represented a best career
finish for both Lavender and Lewandoski. Stafford favorite Ted
Christopher was a prime contender until an accident, which also
involved John Salemi sent him to the pits after 122 laps. A few laps
later, a strong run by Mike Johnson ended in a turn one accident.
Brian Hoar, runner-up in the season opener, never took the green
flag due to last-minute engine trouble. Ten caution periods resulted
in 63 laps being run under the yellow flag. Attrition was high, with
only 18 cars running at the finish, of whom a dozen were on the lead
The Stafford Speedway suspended Jimmy Blewett for the remainder of
the 2006 season. During the running of the SK Modified feature of
June 9 Frank Ruocco drove Blewett up high coming out of turn four.
Blewett appeared to retaliate and tagged Ruocco, sending him into
the wall. Blewett said he got loose and it wasnít intentional. The
Stafford management felt that it was intentional. Needless to say,
it looks like John Blewett III will be in the Eddie Partridge No.12
at least at Stafford for the rest of the year. After viewing a video
of the incident one could see that Blewett was being over
aggressive. A couple of weeks off rather than a full season would
have been more appropriate for the first offense.
At the Waterford Speedbowl. Danny Field won the 20-lap Mini Stock
and Jim Procaccini won the 20-lap Sportsman feature. Robert Gingras
III won the True Value Modified Racing Series event. The race,
scheduled for 100 laps, was stopped after 53 laps because of track
and state curfew rules. The SK Modified and Late Model features were
postponed because of a rain delay of over 2 hrs. Grigas III won his
first race ever on the TVM tour. He led every lap from the pole.
Jimmy Dolan was 2nd and Dale Evonsion 3rd. Jeff Pearl was the
highest finishing Speedbowl regular as he finished fifth.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at Jennerstown, PA on Saturday
night. After being silent for 48 days NASCARís oldest division
didnít disappoint as Eddie Flemke Jr. led from the start to almost
the end when Ted Christopher in the Ed Whelan No.36 stole his
thunder. With two laps of the 100-lap distance remaining Christopher
and Tony Hirschman slipped by as Flemke faded to third. Eric Beers
and Don Lia rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jerry
Marquis, Chuck Hossfeld, Todd Szegedy, Doug Coby and Jon McKennedy.
Unofficially Christopher now leads the series standings with a 30
point margin over Mike Stefanik. Stefanik finished the race in 11th.
Hirschman was the Bud Pole Winner, setting fast time in qualifying.
Flemke earned the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award. Steve
Whitt was the recipient of the Powerade Power Move of the Race
Award. Jon McKennedy was the rookie of the race. The next event for
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is at Thompson International
Speedway in Thompson, Conn. on Thursday, June 29. There were 35
Modifieds on hand.
Other weekend winners were Kasey Kahne in the rain shortened
Michigan 400, David Gilliland in a Busch Series event at Kentucky
Speedway, JR. Bertuccio at Riverhead and Steven Reed over John
Blewett III at Wall Township.
Thatís about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and
R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail: