Forty years ago in 1969, rain washed
out both Stafford and Albany-Saratoga on Friday. Saturday night
at Norwood it was Freddie Schulz taking the top spot over Bob
Santos, Eddie Flemke, Johnny Thompson and Bugsy Stevens. Lou
Lazzaro made it three in a row at Fonda. Don Wayman finished
second with Dave Lape and Jerry Cook rounding out the top four.
Jim Hendrickson beat out Pat Moon at Islip and at Airborne Park
it was Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda beating Denis Giroux
and Phil Spiak to the checker. Lazzaro made it two for two on
the weekend as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday. Lazzaro used the
same car on both dirt and asphalt. Cook finished second with
Bugsy Stevens, third. Thompson was silent as a sports car event
was held on the road course-oval. Don Collins won the Modified
30 lapper at the Waterford Speedbowl. Don Bunnell was the
Canadian Jean-Guy Chartrand took
down the win at Airborne Park Speedway in 1969 in the radical Ed
Cloce owned Hemi-Cuda.
Thirty-five years ago in 1974, it rained on Friday night
again, washing out events scheduled at Freeport and Utica-Rome.
Saturday night was busy. At Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard put the Bob
Johnson No.17 in victory lane, beating Bugsy Stevens and Leo Cleary
to the stripe. At Islip, Charging Charlie Jarzombek rim rode to
victory over Al Holmberg and Herbie Hulse and at Shangri-La, Geoff
Bodine dusted the field despite attempts by Sonny Seamon and Dick
Fowler to run him down. Richie Evans went to Lancaster where he beat
out Jim Rudolph and Maynard Troyer while at Waterford Joe Trudeau
took the win and on Sunday at Fulton, Troyer bested Bodine, Evans
and Jerry Cook. In open competition action at Thompson on Sunday
night, twin 30's were on tap and Fred DeSarro scored a double. Bob
Santos finished second in the first one and was followed by Dick
Caso and Ronnie Bouchard. Bugsy Stevens finished second in the nite-cap
and was followed by Bouchard, Santos and Angie Cerese.
Thirty years ago in 1979, Stafford ran a 100 lapper on
Friday. Charlie Jarzombek took the win and it was almost ten years
to the day from his previous win there. Jerry Cook finished second
and was followed by Satch Worley and Dick Caso. At Spencer, Maynard
Troyer beat out Billy Colton and Doug Hewitt. Jarzombek followed up
his win at Stafford with a win at Islip on Saturday. At Riverside it
was Richie Evans over Reggie Ruggiero and Jerry Cook and at Seekonk,
Leo Cleary and Bugsy Stevens finished one-two. Other weekend winners
were Jeff Fuller at Westboro, George Kent at Shangri-La, Rick
Donnelly at Waterford, Ron Bouchard at Thompson, Reggie Ruggiero at
Monadnock, Maynard Troyer at Lancaster, Punky Caron at Claremont and
Richie Evans won the Port City 150 at Oswego on Sunday.
Twenty-five years ago in 1984, monsoon type rains fell on New
England and washed out Friday and Saturday night events at Stafford,
Riverside and Waterford. The Connecticut River overflowed its banks
and flooded Riverside Park up to the fifth row in the main
grandstand. New Egypt got to run on Friday and it was Wayne Anderson
taking the win over Tony Siscone and Jim Spencer. At Spencer
Speedway, Jan Leaty led the charge to the checker with Roger
Treichler and George Kent following. Leaty repeated the following
night at Shangri-La as he beat out Corky Cookman and George Kent.
Islip ran double features as did Wall Stadium. Tom Baldwin and Don
Howe shared victory lane at Islip and at Wall it was Robert
Hendrickson and Gil Hearne. In Winston Cup action at Riverside
California, Terry Labonte took the pole and the win. The modifieds
were at Thompson where Jeff Fuller took the win.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Bob Potter was the Friday night SK
Modified winner at Stafford. Ted and Mike Christopher followed. At
Waterford, Rodney Tulba took the win and at Riverside, Stan Greger
beat out Reggie Ruggiero. Frank Vigliorolo won at Riverhead .The
Modified Tour was at Waterford on Sunday. Mike McLaughlin took the
event over Tom Baldwin and Mike Stefanik.
Fifteen years ago, in 1994, Mike Paquette won at Stafford on
Friday night over Ted Christopher. At Waterford, David Gada held off
Todd Ceravolo and John Anderson. Tom McCann won at Riverhead and Dan
Avery was the main man at Riverside. In Winston Cup action at Dover,
Rusty Wallace survived many wrecks to take the win and in BGNN
action at Watkins Glen, Butch Leitzinger won with little trouble.
Ten years ago, in 1999, Mike Christopher recorded his 23rd
career win at Stafford on Friday night. Jerry Marquis finished
second. Dennis Gada passed Rick Donnelly with 11 laps to go and made
it five wins in a row at Waterford. Donnelly finished second and was
followed by Bill Sharp and Todd Ceravolo. Ricky Miller got his third
win at Riverside and at Riverhead, Ken Matlach won out over Al
Ermarino. A dark cloud hung over Riverhead as NASCAR Chief Steward
Walt Edsall, who was standing in turn three, was struck by a flying
wheel off the modified of Joe Hartmann. Edsall suffered severe head
injuries and would lie in a coma until he eventually passed away.
Racing also lost one of its legends as Ralph"Hop"Harrington passed
away in Florida after a lengthy illness. Bryan Wall got his first
Busch North win at Holland, N.Y., after Brad Leighton and Tom Carey
tangled. Evidently Busch North officials felt that Leighton had put
Carey out as they placed him at the rear. At Dover Del., Dale
Earnhardt Jr. won the Grandnational event. Ted Christopher wrecked
after a tangle with Johnny Benson and ended up 30th.Bob Labonte was
the Winston Cup winner.
Five years ago 2004 the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour
Series was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island last Saturday
night. A strong threat of rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the
competitors or the fans. A huge field, 47 cars, was in the pit area.
Jerry Marquis was the Busch Pole sitter. Marquis drew the outside
pole starting spot and led the entire 200-lap contest to record the
win, the 16th of his career in Tour competition. Marquis put on a
superb display of precision driving. The Boehler Racing entry never
missed a beat and handled like it was on a wire. Marquis lapped all
but the top five despite five cautions that consumed 56 laps. John
Blewett III, who has had nothing but bad luck this year, used the
Riverhead event as a breakout race as he finished second. Mike
Stefanik finished third with Ted Christopher and Eddie Flemke Jr.
rounding out the top five. Tony Hirschman, fresh off his win at
Stafford finished sixth, one lap down. Gregg Shivers, Ricky Fuller,
Doug Coby and Chuck Steuer rounded out the top ten. Racing at
Riverhead can be very intense and nerves of steel are required for
one to be successful. Among the seven caution periods was a red flag
condition on lap 52 when Fred Vordermeir and Jamie Tomaino wrecked.
Many of the tour regulars had their problems. Defending series
champion Todd Szegedy retired with overheating problems after he
completed only 114 laps. Rookie candidate Ken Barry got caught up in
a wreck and completed only 90 laps. Chuck Hossfeld toughed it out
with handling problems and ended up 16th at the conclusion of the
event. Hossfeld was parked in the infield when the checkered flag
was displayed. Eddie Flemke Jr. continues to lead the point
standings with a 49-point lead over Ted Christopher. Tony Hirschman
sits third with Jerry Marquis and Tony Ferrante Jr. rounding out the
Competitors, fans and officials endured at Thompson on Thursday
night. Rain fell on the speedway shortly after Late Model
qualifying. In what looked to be a rain out the speedway management
persisted and in the end completed their racing program and had
everyone headed home by 9:30 PM. Bo Gunning, who is concentrating on
just racing at Thompson put the Eddie Partridge owned mount in
victory lane. Gunning took the lead from Bert Marvin on lap six of
the 30-lap feature. Ted Christopher, who finished second, made
numerous attempts to pass but in the end settled for the runner-up
spot. Jeff Malave was also a contender but lacked that little extra
and settled for third. Rounding out the top five were Bob Santos III
and Kerry Malone. Going into the event Todd Ceravolo and Eric Berndt
were tied for the point lead. Thanks to the efforts of Adam Norton
both were denied a top spot at the finish. In two separate incidents
Norton turned into them. Berndt hit the wall and didn’t finish.
Ceravolo ended up with bent wheels and a bent rear end but managed
to finish. In Late Model action Corey Hutchings made it three out of
five at the 5/8 mile banked oval. Hutchings and Charlie Bailey
swapped paint on the final lap and in an almost photo finish
Hutchings nipped Bailey at the finish line. Woody Pitkat finished
third. Other winners were Mike O’Sullivan over David Berghman in the
Pro Stocks, Larry Barnet over Glenn Boss in the Limited Sportsman
and Eric Bourgeois in the Mini Stocks.
Ted Christopher was on the giving end rather than on the receiving
end at Stafford on Friday night. Christopher used his famous bonsai
bottom shot on Steve Chowanski in the closing moments of the 40 lap
SK-Modified feature. In taking the win Christopher became the first
repeat winner in SK Modified competition at Stafford. Chowanski
faded to third as Willie Hardie took over second spot at the finish.
Last week’s winner Jim Civale recovered from a flat tire and stormed
his way into fourth spot. John Sanberg rounded out the top five.
Other Friday night winners were Joe Rzeszutck in the Late Models and
Glenn Barthowski in the Dare Stocks. Numerous wrecks and spins made
for a long night. The SK-Modifieds continue to self-destruct. It
seems that competitors have little respect for their peers or
The Waterford Speedbowl also beat the impending rain. Nextel Cup
stars Bill Elliott, Kerry Earnhardt and Ken Schrader were on hand to
greet the fans and engage in a special race. In regular competition
Ed Reed Jr. ended a long dry spell as he took the win in the
SK-Modified feature. Rob Janovick finished second with Don Fowler,
Dennis Gada and Chris Pasteryak rounding out the top five. Dwayne
Conant was awarded the win in the Sportsman division after apparent
winner Dwayne Dorr was disqualified because of an illegal suspension
part on his car. Former Late Model competitor Danny Field went pole
to pole to win the 20 lap Mini Stock event.
Connecticut developer Gene Arganese officially announced on Thursday
that he planed to build his $400 million domed ¾ mile speedway in
Plainfield, Connecticut. The proposed speedway, which Arganese
continued to imply that he will be holding Nextel Cup racing within
four years after the track opens, would be located next to the
existing Plainfield Greyhound Park. Once the local permits are
submitted and filed it would take a little over two years to
construct the facility. Arganese had previously proposed building
his track in North Stonington, Connecticut. Anyone who follows
Nextel Cup racing knows that their schedule is maxed out. The only
way a Cup date would be available would be if NASCAR extended their
season and that is very unlikely. The most that Arganese can hope
for are dates for the Craftsman Truck Series, Featherlite Modifieds
and the Busch North Series. It was also mentioned that the track
could host the IRL. Bob Bahre tried that at Loudon and dropped them
like a hot potato when they couldn’t draw flies. Based on Arganese’s
projections the track will be ready for racing in late 2007 or early
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was at the Dover Downs Speedway.
Mark Martin survived a 400-mile wreck fest as he outran Tony Stewart
and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kasey Kahne had victory in sight when he spun
in oil while leading and hit the wall in the closing laps.
Last year, 2008, the Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night
Thunder program was cancelled due to wet conditions..
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to fog on Friday night.
The Waterford Speedbowl raced under clear skies and provided
southeastern Connecticut race fans a full program of racing. The
main event of the evening was a 100 lap American Canadian Tour
contest that was won by tour regular Scott Payea. Waterford regular
Bruce Thomas led the early going but in the end had to settle for
second. Former Busch North Series regular Brad Leighton finished
third with Ron Yuhas Jr and Nichloas Sweet rounding out the top
five. Doug Coby was the SK Modified winner. Tyler Chadwick finished
second and was followed by Dennis Gada, Jeff Paul, and Keith Rocco.
Other feature winners were Mark Hudson (Late Model), Brandon Plemons
(Sportsman), and Lou Bellisle (Mini Stock).
The True Value Modified Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Series were enjoying their second “Spring Break of the season.
One of the Galante owned Mystic
#13 being confiscated by the Feds in 2006
In a somewhat racing related manner, James
Galante, a major Connecticut trash hauler at the center of a
sweeping federal corruption probe of mob influence in the
industry pleaded guilty on June 3 and agreed to surrender dozens
of businesses worth more than $100 million. The New London Day
reported that Galante of Danbury entered guilty pleas to
racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the Internal
Revenue Service and wire fraud conspiracy. He faces 70 to 87
months in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. Galante sponsored
and owned Ted Christopher’s racing endeavors from 1995 until
June of 2006 when the Galante/Christopher race shop was raided
by the feds who confiscated five complete Modified Type cars
plus another one in the process of being built. One of the cars
was a four-time winner at Loudon.
A 17 page indictment states that Galante is "knowingly and willingly
turning over to the U.S. Government": "Six racing cars, marked with
numbers 01 thru 06, on the front frame rails and one 1997 53 foot
Featherlie Trailer." Galante agreed to take all steps as requested
by the United States to pass clear title to all of the assets listed
over to the United States Govermment.". Chances are that the race
cars and equipment will be auctioned to the public at some date in
the future. Galante’s actual sentencing would be on August 22.
In NASCAR Nextel Cup competition at the Pocono Raceway, Kasey Kahne
started from the pole, overcame an early pit road penalty that
dropped him to 38th and led a race-high 69 of the 200 laps in his
Dodge as he went on to take the win. Brian Vickers was second for
his best finish since joining Red Bull Racing and Denny Hamlin was
third to give Toyota two cars in the top three. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
was fourth and appeared winded after racing more than four hours in
temperatures that hovered around 90 degrees. Kyle Busch finished
last, but became the first driver to compete in all three of
NASCAR's national series at three racetracks on the same weekend.
Brad Keselowski raced to his first Nationwide Series victory
Saturday night, passing Clint Bowyer with six laps to go and easily
holding off his closest rivals in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at
Nashville Superspeedway. Joey Logano won the pole during the day,
but finished 31st after a crash on lap 89. He led the first 60 laps
and 64 overall. David Stremme rallied to finish second, followed by
David Reutimann and Bowyer.
This week are several vintage racing
photos taken by photographer Shaney Lorenzet from the files of
the SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Size
"Wild Bill" Slater
Tommy Van Epps
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: