Sixty years ago in 1951 the Wednesday racing card at the
Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. The Speedbowl did run on
Saturday night with Don Romeo taking the win.
Fifty years ago in 1961 Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith
resigned their positions at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after a
board of directors meeting. Wild Bill Slater put the Connecticut
Valley Rocket V-8 in victory lane at the Norwood Arena. George
Pendergast was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Moody made it three in a row in
the Bombers and Ted Stack won in the non-Fords also at the shoreline
Forty five 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. Racing on the dirt at the Stafford
Speedway was rained out. Pete Corey made it two in a row at Fonda on
Saturday night. Newt Palm, who would become one of the all-time
greats at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl won the 30 lap Modified
feature there on Saturday night. Glynn Shafer was the winner in the
Bombers and Bob Clear was the Late Model Daredevil winner. 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.
Forty 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. Big Mike Daignault was the Sportsman
Sedan winner. 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-five 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. Waterford also beat the rain
as Dickie “Doo” Ceravolo scored his second Modified win of the year.
Keith Eves was the Grand American Late Model winner. 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
Thirty 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
Danbury Racearena fell victim to rain. 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 five 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
Gregger 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
Twenty 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.
Fifteen 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.
Ten 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.
Five years ago in 2006 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 “Mad Dog” 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 “Big One” in racing circles most people think of the
high-speed multi-car wrecks that occur in NASCAR’s 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. Berndt’s victory,
combined with Pitkat’s fourth place finish, makes Berndt the new SK
Modified points leader heading into this coming Friday night’s
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 Pitkat’s
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 lap.
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 wasn’t intentional. The
Stafford management felt that it was intentional. Needless to say,
it looked like John Blewett III would 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 NASCAR’s oldest division
didn’t 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. 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.
Last year, 2010, the Thompson International Speedway Thursday
night Thunder Series was postponed due to rain showers and high
humidity that made it just about impossible to dry the track. During
the drivers meeting Ben Dodge alluded to the fact that may be
changes in the wind at Thompson if the car counts don't improve.
There were nine Thompson Modifieds, sixteen Sunoco (SKtype)
Modifieds, ten Late Models, seventeen tour type Modifieds, nineteen
Limited Sportsman and twenty four Mini-Modifieds. Dodge stated that
the speedway is open for suggestions. If one were to read between
the lines he may have been hinting that Thompson may go with an
abbreviated schedule. Despite low car counts the racing at Thompson
in all divisions has been very good. All things considered the
crowds haven't been that bad. Once school gets out they will get
Before the rains came qualifying heat races were held for all NASCAR
All American Series divisions along with the Tour-Type Modifieds.
Richard Savary and Mike Stefanik earned an extra $100 for their
victories in the 10-lap heat races for the Tour-Type Modifieds. The
lack of support by Modified Tour car owners was quite evident as
many were committed to leaving for Martinsville on Friday morning.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to Martinsville, VA
for the Made In America Whelen 200. There were 37 Modifieds on hand.
The decision was made to allow all to start the race. The Virginia
weather was stifling hot as temps hovered around the 90 degree mark
and humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife. Mike Stefanik
was the top qualifier. Stefanik toured the half mile oval in 19.053
seconds. Second fastest was Todd Szegedy with a 19.128. Third
through fifth were Ron Silk, George Brunnhoelzl III and Bobby
Santos. The re-draw for starting positions saw Stefanik draw ninth.
Frank Flemming, the highest qualifying southern Modified drew the
pole starting position. Flemming was seventh fastest. Ted
Christopher, who was tenth fastest, drew the outside pole.
Bobby Santos' dream season continued Sunday at Martinsville Speedway
as he captured the checkered flag in the Made In America Whelen 200.
Santos, driving the Mystic River Marina Mystic Missile, pulled away
from the field on a green-white-checkered finish to claim his third
win in four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races to start the 2010
season. It was ungodly hot which had an adverse effect on the crowd
which numbered less than 1000 spectators. Ticket price was not a
factor as they were a modest $25 for adults. Rookie Justin
Bonsignore had a career-best second-place finish, followed by Todd
Szegedy. Mike Stefanik, the defending race winner, settled for
fourth. Stefanik, lined up on the outside of the front row on the
final restart but was shuffled back on the final two laps. MadHouse
Modified man Burt Myers finished fifth. James Civali, Eric Beers,
Woody Pitkat, Richie Pallai Jr. and Wade Cole rounded out the top
10. Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap. There were 18 cautions
for 119 laps.
Ron Silk appeared to have a car to challenge Santos. However, he
pulled out of the lead under caution on Lap 174 and ran out of gas
on pit lane. He finished 15th, six laps down. Ryan Preece finished
16th after a MSD Box went bad. Ted Christopher led twice in the
early going only to lose many laps as his crew was forced to fix an
oil leak. He finished a distant 18th. Chris Pasteryak, Eddie Flemke
Jr and Eric Goodale were eliminated in an accident. Chuck Hossfeld
lost a transmission and finished 25th. Jimmy Blewett finished 30th
after an accident and Rowan Pennink (I spelled it right) lost an
engine and finished 32nd.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division racing at the Stafford
Motor Speedway it was a history making night. Three weeks after Joey
Cipriano became the youngest driver to ever win a feature race at
Stafford, Tommy Barrett, Jr. lowered that record by winning the
20-lap SK Light Modified feature for his first career win. There
were two other first time winners at Stafford as Matt Gallo scored
his first career SK Modified® victory in the 40-lap feature, and
Josh Wood was a first time career winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock
feature. Woody Pitkat continued his white hot start to the 2010
season with his second consecutive and third overall win of the year
in the 30-lap Late Model feature, and Kevin Gambacorta nailed down
his second win of the year in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.
The Waterford Speedbowl saw Mark Bakaj earn his first career SK
Modified® win, looking impressive in route to victory. Ed Puleo
returned to Street Stock victory lane for his second win of the
season. Ian Brew won his first Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock race of
the year in dominating fashion, while Allen Coates won another A.B.
CDL Driver Training Center Truck race. Anthony Flannery continued
his early season mastery of the Legends Cars division, picking up
The Bowman-Gray Stadium, in Winston-Salem, NC had another slam-bang
night of racing with a northern flavor. Defending track Modified
champion Tim Brown won the first of two 25-lap Modified races as he
led all the way to his second victory of the season and his 52nd
career win at the North Carolina oval. His night went south in the
second 25 lapper as a confrontation with James Civali negated him to
a 20th place finish. Brown, running sixth in the second race, was
clipped and spun by Civali. He dropped to the rear of the field, in
20th place, and then rode Civali into the fence a few laps later.
Civali said he gained 18,000 fans for spinning out Brown at the
Madhouse. Brian Loftin was the eventual winner. Chris Fleming
finished second with John Smith, third.
MadHouse star Burt Myers who had qualified earlier in the day at
Martinsville was able to maintain his points lead as he finished
10th in the first race and fourth in the second race. It was also a
tough night for Zach Brewer, who was sidelined in the second race
after an opening-lap crash with Ryan Preece, and Jonathan Brown.
Junior Miller was never a factor as he finished 12th and 6th.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Donny Lia not only made his
return to Riverhead Raceway, but found the way to victory lane in
the No. 15 of Wayne Anderson. Anderson is on the mend after
suffering a heart attack.
Denny Hamlin was the Sprint Cup winner at the Pocono International
Raceway. Brad Keselowski raced to his third NASCAR Nationwide Series
victory of the year and ninth overall, easily holding off rival Carl
Edwards on Saturday night at Nashville Superspeedway.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's Racing
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: