Forty years ago in 1969 rain washed
out Friday night action at Stafford and at Albany-Saratoga.
Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny
Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 dusted the field.
Bugsy Stevens finished second. At Fonda, Lou Lazzaro continued
his hot streak to five in a row as he beat out Jerry Pennock and
Ken Shoemaker for the win. Guy Chartrand made it three in a row
for Ed Cloce's Hemi-Cuda at Airborne and at Islip, Island
favorite Jim Hendrickson beat out Fred Harbach and Gary Winters.
Bob Potter made it two in a row as he took the Modified win at
the Waterford Speedbowl. Don Bunnell was the Daredevil winner.
At Thompson on Sunday, Fred DeSarro held off Eddie Flemke and
Bugsy Stevens for the win. Utica-Rome rained out.
Johnny Thompson was the winner in
1969 at Norwood Arena.
Photo by Bill & Dave Balser
Thirty five years ago in 1974, Ted Wesnoske mastered the
tight Freeport oval as he won out over Charlie Jarzombek and Fred
Harbach. At Utica-Rome, Richie Evans won a 100 lapper over Geoff
Bodine and Jerry Cook. At Monadnock, Bob Santos won with John Rosati,
second. Ron Bouchard was involved in an early crash and finished
third, only to be disqualified because work was done on his car.
Bouchard brushed the first turn wall which somehow moved the
firewall enough to make the throttle hang up. Car owner Bob Johnson
climbed in the car with Bouchard and kicked the firewall out enough
so the throttle rod would clear. Bill Brown, who owned Monadnock at
the time had a rule that stated that no work could be done on the
cars once the race started and told Bouchard and Johnson after the
race that they had run for nothing. Needless to say, Johnson became
ballistic but to no avail as the disqualification stood. Saturday
night at Stafford, Bouchard was on a tear and he blistered the field
to take the win. Hop Harrington finished second and was followed by
Bugs Stevens and Jerry Cook. Shangri-La and Lancaster rained out but
at Islip, Charlie Siebert was the winner. Don Bunnell was the
Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Cote was the Grand
American late model winner. The finish at Fulton on Sunday was the
same as that at Utica on Friday as Evans made it two for two on the
Better known today as Keith
Rocco's father, Ronnie Rocco took down the win at Plainville
Stadium in 1979.
Thirty years ago in 1979, Richie Evans
was the top gun in Friday night action at Stafford. Bob Vee
finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Leo
Cleary. At New Egypt it was Wayne Anderson over Greg Sacks and
at Spencer, George Kent beat out Jerry Cook and Doug Hewitt. On
Saturday, Jerry Cook got a rare win over Richie Evans at
Riverside and at Seekonk, George Savory was the modified winner.
Tom Baldwin beat his idol, Charlie Jarzombek to the checker at
Islip. Other weekend winners were Roland LaPierre Jr. at
Westboro, Mike Beebe at Waterford,
Ronnie Rocco at Plainville, Maynard Troyer at
Lancaster and Lou Lazzarro got his 97th career win at Fonda. In
Winston Cup action at Michigan, Buddy Baker ran flat out to beat
Donnie Allison for the win.
Twenty five years ago in 1984, Bugsy Stevens, in the Mystic
Missile, took the top spot at Stafford on Friday night. Jeff Fuller
finished second with Charlie Jarzombeck, third. At Riverside it was
Stan Greger taking the top spot and at Waterford a 100 lapper and a
regular program were run. Bob Potter won the 100 lapper over Don
Bunnell and Tom Fox. Fox, driving his family owned modified won the
regular 30 lapper over Bunnell and Potter. Spencer Speedway ran on
Friday and Sunday. Richie Evans won a 100 lapper on Friday night
over George Kent and Doug Hewitt. Twin 75's were run on Sunday. Jim
Spencer won the first event and finished second in the second event.
He was later found to be running an illegal carburetor and was
disqualified. Evans was awarded on win and Jan Leaty the other.
Other weekend winners were Spencer at Shangri-La, Tom McCann at
Riverhead, Don Howe at Islip, John Blewett Jr. at New Egypt and
Punky Caron at Claremont. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Bill
Elliott was both the pole sitter and the winner.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Teddy and Mikey Christopher
finished one-two at Stafford on Friday night. At Thompson on Sunday
it was Mikey followed by Teddy. Waterford rained out but not before
Phil Rondeau would win another late model feature. Brian Schofield
with a 340 ci powerplant won at Riverside over Tom Bolles while at
Riverhead, it rained. At Shangri-La, Chris Amen beat out Jan Leaty
and George Kent.
Fifteen years ago, in 1994, Mike Christopher took the Friday
night win at Stafford over John Anderson and Bob Potter. At
Waterford on Saturday, Jim Broderick went pole to pole and held off
Jerry Pearl and Bob Potter for the win. Todd Ceravolo received a
broken thumb after being involved in an early race accident. At
Riverside, Steve Park recorded his second win and at Riverhead it
was Don Howe recording his second win of the season. A dark cloud
hung over Wall Stadium as starter Dave Innes was struck and killed
at the Jersey shoreline track. The Modified Tour Series was at
Thompson on Sunday for a 125-lap event. Rick Fuller in the Chase 77
pitted on lap 46 and took the lead from brother Jeff on lap 77 and
went on to take the win. Jeff Fuller didn't pit and quickly faded to
the point that he got lapped on lap 109. Reggie Ruggerio finished
second and was followed by Jamie Tomaino and Wayne Anderson. Richie
Gallup in the Ceravolo No.31 won the 30-lap SK event. In Winston Cup
action at Michigan, Rusty Wallace made it three in a row.
Ten years ago, in 1999, in one of the saddest days of racing
in New England, officials of Premier Parks that owns Riverside Park
Speedway informed competitors, fans and race officials that racing
would come to an end at the historical speedway at the end of the
1999 season. At Stafford on Friday night, Mike Christopher took the
win over Jerry Marquis and Todd Szegedy. At Waterford on Saturday
night, Ted Christopher took the top spot over Bert Marvin and Jeff
Pearl. In the late models, Phil Rondeau recorded his 100th late
model victory. Rondeau also has two modified wins. Twin 150's for
Busch North and Featherlite Modifieds. Tony Hirshman cleaned house
with the all but unbeatable Cretty modified. Hirshman took the lead
from John Blewett III on lap 112.Tim Connolly finished second and
was followed by Mike Ewanitsko and Charlie Pasteryak. Tracy Gordon
was the Busch North winner with Martin Truex and Brad Leighton
rounding out the top three. In twin 35's at Riverside, Tom Jensen
and Rick Miller were the winners and at Riverhead it was JR
Bertuccio over Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. Ted Christopher closed out the
weekend with a win at Thompson on Sunday night. Shaun Buffinton
finished second with Todd Ceravolo, third. In Winston Cup action at
Pocono, Bobby LaBonte took the win.
Five years ago in 2004, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour
Series had a well-deserved week off. After seven events Eddie Flemke
JR and the Roger Hill owned No.79 led the point standings. Flemke,
who won the Modified Tour event at the Waterford Speedbowl on May 15
had six top five finishes and led Tony Hirschman by 27 points.
Hirschman had two wins, Stafford Speedway on May 28 and Lake Erie
Speedway on June 12, including five top-fives. Jerry Marquis who
drove the legendary Ole Blu owned by Janice and Michael Boehler was
the top money winner in the series with $27,240 in winnings.
Marquis, who had two wins to his credit, the Spring Sizzler at
Stafford on April 25 and the Riverhead 200 on June 5, was 49 points
out of the lead. Had it not been for a wreck at Thompson, which
placed him in the 29th finishing position, Marquis would have been
close if not in front of the point standings. Ted Christopher who
benefited from Marquis’ misfortune at Thompson, sat in fourth spot,
95 points down from the leader. Defending series champion Todd
Szegedy who won at Nazareth on May 23 rounded out the top five.
Szegedy, who was disqualified after he apparently won at Thompson on
April 18, was 189 points out of the lead. Sixth through tenth were
Rick Fuller, Jamie Tomaino, Chuck Hossfeld, John Blewett III and Tom
Bolles. Even without the help of Television exposure, with exception
of the events at Stafford, the division is the highest drawing of
competitors in all of NASCAR. With the exception of the event at
Lake Erie, which drew 33 cars, all Featherlite Modified Tour Series
events had drawn between 40-50 cars.
The Busch North Series was at the Stafford Motor Speedway Friday
night. Veteran Kelly Moore went non-stop without a tire change to
record his 26th Series win. Moore jumped out from his outside pole
starting spot and led all but one of the 150 laps run. Point leader
Andy Santerre led lap 35 but Moore took it back as he was on a
mission. Santerre ended up in second spot with Matt Kobyluck, third.
Kobyluck also went non-stop. Mike Olsen and Dale Quarterly rounded
out the top five. Local favorites Jerry Marquis and Mike Stefanik
finished 12th and 13th Twenty-five cars were on hand.
Eric Berndt and Ted Christopher got lucky at Thompson on Thursday
night. Berndt got lucky when Bo Gunning tangled with Kerry Malone on
lap 24 of the 30-lap feature. Gunning and Malone went to the rear as
the rain began to fall. Berndt, who was running third, inherited the
lead and the eventual win as the rain intensified and the event was
called official. Had they restarted Ted Christopher would not have
finished, as his right rear tire was almost flat when the red and
checkered flag was displayed. Todd Ceravolo, who had just got his
motor back from the repair shop after breaking a camshaft, finished
third. Harry Rheaume and Shawn Monahan rounded out the top five.
Sean Caisse, who has had his problems qualifying for Featherlite
Modified Tour Series events, finished sixth. The Thompson Late
Models, Pro Stocks, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks will get to
run their events at a later date. The speedway management announced
that rain checks would be issued to those who held grandstand
tickets. The rain checks are good for this week's event only.
Jim Civale became the second repeat winner in SK Modified action at
Stafford Friday night. Civale took a lot of heat from Steve
Chowanski over the final two laps of the 40-lap feature but managed
to hold on for the win. Chowanski settled for second and was
followed by Ted Christopher, Jeff Baral and Kerry Malone. Craig
Collins was the Late Model winner and Dan King took the win in the
Dare Stocks. Eddie Reed Jr. became the first repeat SK Modified
winner at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Dennis Cherette
was the early leader until Dennis Gada put the bumper to him on lap
16 of the 35-lap feature. Gada, who stated that he made a mistake
and accidentally hit Cherertte, was sent to the rear as officials
felt he was rough riding. Ron Yuhas Jr. ended up second Ted
Christopher, Ronnie Silk and Rob Janovic rounding out the top five.
Roger Brown was the winner of the American-Canadian Tour 100 over
second-generation driver Brent Dragon. Dragon is the son of NEAR
Hall of Fame inductee Harmon “Beaver” Dragon. Jay Stuart was the
Late Model winner and Bill Leonard was the Mini Stock winner.
Despite the fact that Gene Arganase was told by NASCAR that there
were no Nextel Cup dates available he continually said he was
confident that the Nextel Cup cars would come to his proposed domed
speedway in Plainfield, Connecticut. Speaking of NASCAR, it had been
let out that ABC/ESPN was targeting a takeover of the NBC/TNT half
of the Television package, which would expire in 2006. ESPN laid the
groundwork of how four-hour recasts were to be covered. It also
looked like yellow flag finishes of Busch Series and Nextel Cup
events may become a thing of the past in the not so distant future.
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was at the Michigan International
Speedway on Sunday. Jeff Gordon was the Busch Pole Sitter and Ryan
Newnan was the winner. Kasey Kahne again finished second. Kyle Busch
was the winner of the Busch Series event at Sparta, Kentucky on
Last year, 2008, the Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night
Thunder program went off as planned under sunny and warm skies. The
Late Models took center stage with Marc Palmisano of Hadley, MA,
taking a dominant win in the 50 lap extra-distance race for the
division. It was a career night for some of the younger generation
as teenagers Derek Ramstrom and Jay Sundeen scored their first
career wins. Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, earned a dominating win in
the Pro Stocks and Sundeen of Douglas, MA, was best in the Limited
Keith Rocco of Wallingford scored a hard-fought victory in the
Sunoco Modifieds and Tim Sullivan of S. Windsor rebounded with a TIS
Modified victory. Scott Michalski of South Killingly took top honors
in the Mini Stock main event.
Former divisional champion Palmisano was back in top form as he
turned in a commanding performance to win the 50-lap Late Model main
event. The strong field of competitors ran the distance with a
single caution flag. Jeff Zuidema settled for second and was
followed by Rick Gentes.
Rocco continued his hot streak in open-wheel competition in
Connecticut short track racing with his first Sunoco Modified win at
Thompson. It was Rocco’s third overall win on the 2008 season. Rocco
had to work hard for the victory through a number of restarts and
some stiff competition for the top spot. Bobby Grigas III led the
opening lap before the caution flew for a single car incident. On
the restart, Todd Ceravolo rocketed into the top spot. Rocco had
worked his way into the second position before the caution flew
again for a spin by Bert Marvin. The restart pitted Rocco against
Ceravolo. After a single lap of green, Rocco was the new leader.
Woody Pitkat had moved into the third position by lap 10 while Danny
Cates ran in fourth. Grigas was having his hands full with Jimmy
Blewett as Kerry Malone watched. At the halfway marker, Rocco began
to stretch his lead over Ceravolo while Pitkat was making headway
toward the lead pack. The caution flew for a spin by Anthony Burr to
slow the action. The outside groove was the sweet spot on the
restart with Ceravolo retaking the lead. Rocco looked poised to make
a bid at the lead when the caution flew once again for an incident
that involved Rookie Josh Sylvester, Harry Rheaume, Josh Steeves,
and Geoff Gernhard. On the resulting restart, Ceravolo got a good
jump but Rocco would take command of the event. Almost immediately,
the caution flew when Pitkat went hard into the turn four wall.
Cates bolted into the lead after contact between the leaders
Ceravolo and Rocco. Bobby Grigas followed through and into the
second position. Cravenho moved into the third spot but quickly lost
the position to a rebounding Rocco. Ceravolo, who had a flat tire,
spun on the backstretch to bring out the caution. Cates took the
lead on the restart but less than a lap later Rocco reclaimed the
top spot. Contact between third running Grigas and Kerry Malone,
sent Grigas spinning.
Rocco took command on the restart leaving Cates to defend his
position over Cravenho and Malone. A pair of cautions could not
deter the fast-running Rocco, who continued to lead. Cates was
hanging tough in second while Malone clearly had a fast car. Slicing
and dicing on a restart found Jimmy Blewett running through the dust
of the infield to move into the third spot. Blewett had his hands
full with an ill-handling racecar and fell back as quickly as he had
moved forward. With a pair of laps remaining, Rocco had checked out.
The Wallingford, CT driver raced unchallenged to the checkers. Cates
had a strong performance to finish second. Malone, Grigas, and
Blewett rounded out the top 5. As usual, the Thompson management
kept the program moving and had the sizeable crowd on its way home
when the final checkered flag dropped at 9:20pm. There were 124 cars
in the pit area including 23 Sunoco Modifieds. The Pro Stocks, once
a strong division at Thompson, were dying a slow death as only 13
were on hand.
The Stafford Motor Speedway and Ted Christopher celebrated a major
milestone as the multi-time track champion won the 35th Annual Coors
Light SK Modified 100 which also happened to be Christopher’s 100th
career win at the nutmeg state oval. Other feature winners included
Michael Bennett and Dillon Moltz from the Late Model division, Alan
Provost in the SK Light feature, Sean Foster in the Limited Late
Model feature, and Bill Dunn in the DARE Stock feature.
The 35th Annual Coors Light SK Modified 100 took the green with Doug
Coby leading the first three laps before giving way to Todd Owen on
lap-4. While Owen was pacing the field, Ted Christopher was quickly
working his way through the field from his 7th place starting
position. He took second place from Curt Brainard on lap-19 and
closed in on Owen's bumper by lap-30. Christopher hounded Owen's
back bumper, but couldn't make a pass stick. The first caution of
the race came out with 38-laps complete, which gave Christopher all
the opportunity he needed as he took to the outside groove on the
restart and passed Owen for the lead. The race took on another long
green flag run with Christohper, Chris Jones, and Woody Pitkat
making up the top-3 cars. The race ran green to lap-89 with the
top-3 cars remaining the same. Pitkat got by Jones on the restart
and he applied immediate pressure to Christopher in a battle for the
race lead. Much like Christopher did earlier in the race to Owen,
Pitkat was all over the back bumper of Christopher. Pitkat tried
several times to make a run for the lead in the corners, but
couldn't make a pass stick and Christopher had just enough car to
keep in front of Pitkat for a one car length victory, the 100th
career feature win for Christopher at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Pitkat finished second, with Tom Bolles, Keith Rocco, and Frank
Ruocco rounding out the top-5.
In victory lane, it was announced that to commemorate Christopher's
100 career victories at Stafford, Section A of the main grandstand
would be named after Christopher, placing him with other modified
greats that adorn each section of Stafford's main grandstand.
Christopher was also presented a commemorative plaque, recognizing
his 100 career wins. From go-karts in church parking lots to Sprint
Cup cars on Superspeedways, Christopher has done it all. The
Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain.
Despite threatening skies the True Value Modified Series got their
100 lapper in the record books at Seekonk. Taking the win was
hometown favorite Vinnie Annarummo of Swansee, MA. Chris Pasteryak
of Lisbon, CT finished a strong second and was followed by Jon
McKennedy, Les Hinkley and Dave Pinkham.
Congratulations were in order to Middletown CT native Joey Logano
who, in only his third career start, won the NASCAR Nationwide
Series Meijer 300 at the Kentucky Speedway. Logano became the
youngest driver to win in NASCAR Nationwide Series history at 18
years and 21 days. Logano won the pole for the 300-miler, his second
in as many weeks, and led 76 of the 200 laps, second only to Joe
Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Busch led a race-high 85 laps.
Logano took the lead from Busch on Lap 147, passing him on the
outside of Turn 4. On Lap 164, Busch's charge to reclaim the
position ended after he lost control of his Toyota on the
backstretch, spinning and slamming the outside retaining wall.
Following Busch's wreck, the race was Logano's to lose. With the
race running green flag to the finish thereafter, Logano crossed the
finish line 2.259 seconds over second place Scott Wimmer. Race
attendance was a track-record 73,195. It was the eighth straight
sellout at the facility in which Speedway Motorsports Inc. agreed to
purchase earlier this year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended his 76-race winless string Sunday, coasting
to victory at Michigan International Speedway under a caution flag
with little but fumes left in his gas tank. Kasey Kahne, coming off
a victory the previous week in Pocono, finished second. Matt Kenseth
finished third, followed by Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and two-time
defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the collection of the late Danny Pardi, courtesy of
the SpeedwayLineReport.com &
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: