Sixty years ago in 1952 Red
Bolduc was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Harold “Curley” LeMay took the top spot
in the Claiming Cars. Saturday night racing was rained out.
Fifty five years ago in 1957
rain washed out the action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Fifty years ago in 1962, Ron
Narducci made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs
Speedway. Waterford ran a 50 lap Modified event on Tuesday which was
won by Dick Beauregard and a 25 lap Modified event on Saturday night
which was won by Ted Stack. Ed Gladue was the Bomber winner on both
Forty five years ago in 1967,
the Stafford Speedway made the official transition from dirt to
asphalt with the season opening 100 lapper for the NASCAR Modifieds.
Smooth as silk asphalt along with new grandstands and fencing
welcomed competitors and fans. Steady Eddie Flemke who was to become
a modified legend in his own time took the victory over Pete
Hamilton, Dick Watson, Bob Santos and Fred Harbach. With Stafford
opening it drew some of the competitors away from the Albany
Saratoga Speedway. Most of the New Yorkers were glad to see them go.
When the checker dropped it was still a New Englander in the top
spot as Ron Narducci took the win over Robbie Kotary, Guy Chartrand,
Marcel Coriveau and Ernie Gahan. Dutch Hoag continued to win at
Fulton and at Fonda Maynard Forette held off Bill Wimble and Dick
Clark for the win. Charlie Webster took the 30 lap Modified feature
at Waterford. Winston Barrows, who in later years would team up in a
Modified effort with Craig Kirchoff and George Brennan won the 15
lap Daredevil feature at the shoreline oval. In Sunday night action
at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Eddie Flemke took his second hundred lap
feature win of the weekend over Dave Kotary and Kenny Shoemaker. Guy
Chartrand and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1972, Friday
night at Malta, Bugsy Stevens won a 100 lap double point event over
Maynard Forette, Lou Lazzaro, Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Bouchard.
Saturday night at Stafford saw Fred DeSarro take the win over Denis
Giroux, Bob Santos and Gene Bergin. Islip also ran on Saturday
night. Charlie Jarzombek took a 100 lap win over Art Tappen, Tom
Baldwin and George Wagner. Don Bunnell was the Modified winner at
Waterford. Bob Santos won a 100 lapper at Utica-Rome on Sunday
night. Bernie Miller finished a strong second with Denis Giroux,
Richie Evans and Jerry Cook rounding out the top five.
Thirty five years ago in 1977,
Bugsy Stevens scored a popular victory at Stafford on Friday night
as he beat Geoff Bodine to the stripe. Ron Bouchard finished third
with John Rosati, fourth. At Monadnock, Pete Fiandaca scored an
upset victory over Punky Caron and Allen Whipple. Also on Friday
night, Fred Harbach took top honors at Riverhead over Charlie
Jarzombek and Wayne Anderson. Seekonk ran a 50 lapper on Saturday
night. George Summers rose to the occasion as he beat Eddie StAngelo
and Corky Cookman to the stripe. Geoff Bodine beat out Reggie
Ruggiero at Riverside Park and at Waterford, Moose Hewitt won out
over Donnie Bunnell, Eddie Bunnell and Dick Ceravolo. At Westboro,
Mike Murphy took the win over Mike Weeden and Gomer Taylor. Fred
Harbach made it two for two as he mastered the tight Islip oval on
Saturday night .Just down the road, Artie Tappen won at Freeport.
Fred DeSarro remained king of the hill in small block action at
Thompson on Sunday night. Geoff Bodine finished second with Ron
Thirty years ago in 1982, Greg
Sacks continued to be the top dog in modified racing as he went two
for two as he won at Stafford on Friday night and the modified
portion of the Port City 150 at Oswego on Sunday. All racing in New
England, on Saturday was cancelled because of rain. At Shangri-La,
George Kent was declared the winner as Richie Evans was considered a
lap down at the finish. John Blewett Jr. won at Islip and Roger
Treichler at Lancaster. Racing at Thompson was cancelled due to a
power failure and in Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Neil Bonnett
overcame a 135 degree track temperature to win the World 600 by
1-1/2 car lengths over Bill Elliott.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Rick Fuller put the Brad Lafountain SK-66 in victory lane at
Stafford on Friday night. Ted Christopher finished second with
Richie Gallup, third. At Waterford, on Saturday night, Mark
LaJunesse took the win over Rick Fuller, Bob Potter and Ted
Christopher. Riverside Park ran a 50 lapper with Bob Polverari
winning out over Reggie Ruggiero. It was a son-father sweep at
Riverhead as Steve Park took the win over his dad, Bob. The NASCAR
Modified Tour was at Monadnock on Sunday for a 150 lapper. Jim
Spencer took the win over Tom Baldwin, Mike Stefanik and Dave
Reszendes. At Thompson on Sunday night, Bo Gunning beat out Mike
Christopher for top honors. Gil Hearne scored his 86th career win at
the Wall Stadium and in Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Davey
Allison got his second win in his rookie season. Mark Martin was the
Grandnational winner at Dover Downs
Twenty years ago in 1992, Bo
Gunning and Steve Chowanski shared victory lane at Stafford as twin
features were run. Bob Potter scored two-seconds. David Gada scored
his second victory of the season at Waterford on Saturday night. Jim
Broderick finished second with Scott Poirier, third. Phil Rondeau
scored his fourth victory of the year in the late models. Todd
Ceravolo, second. Ed Kennedy out-lasted Jerry Marquis at Riverside
as rain washed out the action at Riverhead and Jamie Tomaino was
involved in a fiery road crash while on the way to Shangri-La.
Fifteen years ago in 1997, Jim
Broderick took the lead with two to go as he powered by Steve
Chowanski with his Mopar powered modified at Stafford. Chowanski
finished second with Bob Potter, third. Waterford ran double
features on Saturday night with Tucker Reynolds Jr and Todd Ceravolo
sharing top honors. Ted Riggot won at Riverside and George
Brunnhoelzl ended a long dry spell as he won at Riverhead.
Brunnhoelzl's last win had been the 1987 Race of Champions at
Pocono. The Featherlite Modified and Busch North Series were at
Loudon. Mike Stefanik scored his 39th career Mod Tour victory after
taking the lead from Ted Christopher on lap 82 of the 100 lap event.
Reggie Ruggiero ended up second and was followed by Jan Leaty, Tim
Connelly and Christopher. Dale Shaw was the Busch North Series
winner. Dave Dion, Mike Stefanik, Jerry Marquis and Andy Santarre
rounded out the top five. Waterford regular Tom Fox started 13th and
had a good run going until getting parked by Kelly Moore. In Winston
Cup action at Dover, Ricky Rudd took the win. Bob Labonte was the
Ten years ago in 2002 Thompson
pulled the plug on its Thursday night races after 1-1/2 inches of
rain fell on the speedway. Ted Christopher recorded his 60th and
61st career wins at Stafford as he took the Friday night SK Modified
Twin Bill features. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series
traveled to Riverhead for a 200 lapper. Ted Christopher survived to
take the win over Jerry Marquis, John Blewett III, Chuck Hossfeld
and David Berghman. It was a wild night to say the least. JR
Bertuccio was running second to Rick Fuller when a bold move saw
Bertuccio hit Fuller and took him out. Bertuccio also backed up over
Jeff Fuller. NASCAR officials parked the Long Island hot shoe and
had him suspended for two weeks with a fine of $1,000. The
suspension effectively cost Bertuccio a shot at the NASCAR Regional
and National Championship titles. At Waterford, Dennis Gada won out
over Ron Yuhas Jr. and at Wall Township, Mike Carpenter took the
win. Waterford’s night didn’t go without incident as officials
parked John Brouwer Jr. after they felt that he intentionally backed
over Jeff Pearl. Brouwer left the Speedbowl in a very hot mood and
swore he would never return. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Dale
Jarrett took the win after Ricky Rudd suffered a flat tire with four
laps to go. Mark Martin finished second. In other weekend action,
Mike Johnson won the Busch North Series event at Beech Ridge over
Matt Kobyluck, Jack Sprague won his first ever Busch Series event at
Nashville, Ken Tremont scored his 99th career win at Lebanon Valley
and dirt tracker Jimmy Horton got his 100th win at Bridgeport, Pa.
Five years ago in 2007 the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour continued to regroup before coming alive
for their “Summer Session” which begins on Thursday, June 21 at the
Thompson Int. Speedway. Jimmy Blewett held a slim three point lead
over James Civali. Two points behind Civali was Matt Hirschman.
Blewett and Civali have won, Hirschman had not. Donny Lia with two
wins to his credit sat in fourth spot, thirteen points behind
Hirschman. Rounding out the top five was Todd Szegedy. Sixth through
tenth were Zach Sylvester, Jerry Marquis, Mike Stefanik, Ronnie Silk
and Jamie Tomaino. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series continued
to be strong as 52 different drivers had entered into competition in
Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway was canceled when
Thunder Showers descended upon the speedway shortly after qualifying
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway on Friday night Woody Pitkat won the 40-lap SK Modified
feature, Scott Cook, the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen,
the 20-lap SK Light feature, Sean Foster the Limited Late Model
feature, and Carla Botticello the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat and Zach Sylvester
duel for much of the race, with Pitkat having to hold off Ted
Christopher to take his first win of the 2007 season. Sylvester took
the lead at the drop of the green, and set the early pace. Pitkat
settled into second, but moved past Sylvester on lap-6 to take over
the lead. Pitkat then held the lead until lap-20 when Sylvester
moved back out front. Sylvester then held the lead until lap-33,
when Pitkat moved back by Sylvester to take the lead back. Ted
Christopher followed Pitkat by Sylvester to move into second.
Christopher hounded the bumper of Pitkat, but was unable to make a
pass for the win. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Sylvester
was Todd Owen, Sylvester, and Ryan Posocco.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl Jeff Pearl scored his 25th career win at the shoreline
oval. Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Jack
Aquilina (Sportsman), Joe Godbout III (Mini Stock), and Chris Bakaj
Pearl passed early leader Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. on the ninth lap.
With the victory, Pearl earned a guaranteed starting spot for this
Saturday’s True Value Modified Tour 100 at the Speedbowl. Diego
Monahan, Dennis Charette, Ron Janovic Jr., and Frank Ruocco (subbing
for Jimmy Horton), rounded-out the top-5. Sixth through tenth were
Zach Sylvester in a new entry owned by Dick Ceravolo, Shawn Monahan,
Wendell Dailey, Mucciacciaro and Jay Miller.
In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. collecting his 3rd
feature victory of the season. After a long intense side-by-side
battle with multi-time champion Allen Coates that resulted in one of
the closest finishes in Speedbowl history, Following Thomas and
Coates was Tony Macrino, Ernie Bertrand, and Larry Goss.
Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; scored his second win of the season
Sunday afternoon, June 3, at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH;
capturing the “Canaan 100” for modified race cars, his seventh
career win with the True Value Modified Racing Series. The second
generation driver captured the same event last spring at the Granite
State oval. “I’ve always loved this place, we came here year’s ago
with the pro stock, won an open comp show, love to come back,”
Hinckley said, after being chased to the finish by point leader Kirk
Alexander, Hinckley, who started the race 15th out of 28 racers,
took the lead from Louie Mechalides; at lap 50, and was never
headed. Mechalides pursued Hinckley until lap 90 when he yielded the
second spot to Alexander. Alexander gave chase to Hinckley but was
unable to get close enough to contest for the win. Lou Mechalides,
Dwight Jarvis and Andy Seuss rounded out the top five.
There were 450 people in the stands at the Riverhead Raceway on Long
Island. And it’s not just the front gate that was dwindling. Car
counts were down, as well. Only the Blunderbusts and Modifieds had
full fields. There were 16 cars for a double-point Charger race, 12
cars for the Late Model race, and 10 cars for the Figure Eights.
Carl Edwards, who passed Matt Kenseth with 13 laps left in the Busch
Series Dover 200, extended his overall points lead and won for the
third time this season. He popped his head out of the window, pumped
his fist to the crowd and nailed his trademark backflip, making a
clean landing on the concrete. The Nextel Cup race scheduled for
Sunday was run on Monday. Martin Truex Jr became a first time winner
as he took the checkered flag in the rescheduled event.
NASCAR Vice Chairman William C. France, whose leadership helped turn
a family-owned company into a national phenomenon, died at 1:00pm on
June 4, 2007 at his home in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the age of 74.
France served as NASCAR’s president from 1972-2000, taking over from
his father, NASCAR founder William H.G. “Big Bill” France. In 2000,
France, known as “Bill Jr.”, became NASCAR’s CEO and the chairman of
the newly created NASCAR Board of Directors.
Last year, 2011, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour ventured to the Stafford for the TSI
Harley-Davidson 125. Ron Silk ended a long dry spell as he returned
to Victory Lane for the first time in a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
event since 2009 and he did it in dominating fashion as he went pole
to pole. Driving for Eddie Partridge, Silk led all 125 laps to
collect his fifth career win in his 25th start at Stafford. Once the
race began, he was rarely challenged, and at one point had nearly
two seconds on the field. Points leader Rowan Pennink followed in
second with defending Whelen Modified Tour Champion Bobby Santos
third. Ted Christopher and Erick Rudolph completed the top five.
Rounding out the top ten were Todd Szegedy, Chuck Hossfeld, Doug
Coby, James Civali and Matt Hirschman.
The race was slowed just three times by caution with the red flag
displayed during the second yellow on Lap 53 to clean up a multi-car
incident after Kevin Goodale hit the front stretch wall. There were
31 cars on hand. Seventeen of them were on the lead lap at the
The Thompson Speedway celebrated its 71st Anniversary. Ryan Preece
scored his first career Sunoco Modified victory. Chris “Moose”
Douton took a borrowed ride to victory lane in the extra-distance
Limited Sportsman event. Larry Gelinas posted his first victory of
the season in Super Late Model action. John Materas continued his
early season success with his second win of the year in the Late
Models. Cam McDermott earned his first win of the year in the TIS
Modifieds. Danny Field notched his third win on the season in the
Mini Stocks. On the 71st anniversary of its first race, Thompson
International Speedway hosted 95 race cars in the 6 NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series divisions.
Ryan Preece led pole to pole to score his first victory of the
season in the caution-free 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature. Danny
Cates and Ryan Preece were on the front row for the green flag,
Preece controlled the event from when he took the lead off turn 2
and was never headed. Keith Rocco tried to advance on the low line
past Todd Ceravolo but was kept at bay. Ted Christopher, whose car
was repaired after a broken tie rod in the heat race, was up to
fifth by lap 12. At the halfway juncture, Ryan Preece was still in
command with Danny Cates in second. Ceravolo, Rocco and Christopher
rounded out the top-5. Preece’s advantage over the field was some
seven car lengths in his favor. On lap 18, Rocco found his
opportunity to overtake Ceravolo. Ceravolo would have no part in it
and used a crossover move to go back by Rocco on the next circuit.
Ted Christopher was now in the mix as he got under Rocco to gain the
Christopher continued his advance past Ceravolo on lap 21 off of
turn 4. With 7 circuits to go, Preece led the remainder of the event
to score the win. Danny Cates was second, followed by Christopher,
Ceravolo and Rocco.
Although the bottom line looks good as far as the car counts go the
Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds drew a scant 11 cars and the Super Late
Models only totaled 7.
The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted a 5-division NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series along with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event
as part of the 21st Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125 on Friday, May
27th. Keith Rocco scored his second victory of the season one week
after destroying his car in a heat race accident in the 40-lap SK
Modified® feature event, Woody Pitkat picked up his first win of the
2011 season after starting shotgun on the field in the 30-lap Late
Model feature, Matt Galko picked up his second feature win of the
season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, George Nocera, Jr.
picked up his third win of the 2011 season in the 20-lap Limited
Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders picked up his first win of
2011 in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Pitkat had won two previous Late Model events but had them taken
away because of technical issues.
In action at the Waterford Speedbowl, three of five scheduled events
got in the record book before heavy fog rolled in, forcing the end
of the ISMA Supermodified race three laps shy of its scheduled
distance, and the postponement of the remaining two feature events.
In racing action, Rich Staskowski of Hope Valley, RI picked up the
victory in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, his first
on the season. Defending Mini Stock champion Ken Cassidy raced to
his 27th career division win, his second victory on the year. In
ISMA Supermodified action Russ Wood of Pelham, NH was the winner in
a crash marred race, shortened to 47 laps. The final three laps were
halted after the fog was too thick to continue.
In the Southland, Saturday was a historic event for Burt Myers at
Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. He claimed his 46th win,
tying him for sixth on the all-time featured event list. It was also
a memorable night for Joseph “Bobo” Brown, who became the 119th
driver on that list of featured event winners. Brown took the
checkered in the second race for the GMAC Insurance Modified Series,
his first Modified win ever at Bowman Gray. Burt Myers qualified on
the pole for the first 25-lapper for the Modifieds. Right beside of
him on the outside front row was Jonathan Brown. As the green flag
fell, Brown pushed hard on the outside, riding side-by-side with
Myers for several laps. Myers claimed victory in the first race.
Brown finished second, and Brian Loftin.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts “Madhouse Scramble” sent Joseph Brown, the
brother of Jonathan Brown, to the pole for the start of the race.
Joseph “Bobo” Brown had to fight to hold his position in the initial
start, but he emerged victorious 25 laps later, his first Modified
win ever. Myers finished a distant 12th.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Tim Solomito made it two in
a row in Modified competition.
In Modified Racing Series action Rowan Pennink survived six caution
periods and three red flags to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified
Racing Series event, Saturday night, at the Twin State Speedway in
Claremont, NH. The victory was Pennink’s third with the VMRS and his
first of the 2011 season.
Chris Pasteryak and Jon McKennedy brought the field to green with
McKennedy jumping into the lead until Pasteryak took over the top
spot on lap four. Pasteryak then set the pace before turning over
the lead to Pennink on lap 39. Pennink led the remaining 60 laps to
secure the win. Todd Patnode ended up second with Chris Pasteryak
third, Dwight Jarvis, fourth, and Ken Barry, fifth. Sixth through
tenth were Rob Goodenough, Les Hinckley, Aaron Fellows, Joe
Doucette, and Kirk Alexander.
The race program was marred by several crashes with many competitors
receiving heavy damage. Sean Bodreau, flipped end-over-end in the
first qualifying race forcing the second generation driver out of
the event. Bodreau was not injured. There were 27 cars on hand.
In addition to leading the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series point
standings Pennink now leads the Valenti Modified Racing Series point
The next event will be in two weeks at the Seekonk Speedway in
Get well wishes were sent out to longtime motorsports writer Al
Robinson, who was recovering from a stroke. Al, who was the former
Public Relations Director at the Dover Downs Speedway and the
defunct Busch North Series had a stroke at his home.
On a sad note, noted photographer Howie Hodge sent word that Charles
Kepley of the C&C Promotions family that was responsible for the
annual North-South Shootout died suddenly.
In Sprint Cup racing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Dale Earnhardt
Jr. was out front on the final lap for the first time in 105 races,
and the only thing standing in the way of a victory was the gas, or
lack of it, in his tank. The crowd roared as he took the white flag,
the fans stomping in the stands in near hysteria over the almost
certain ending of Earnhardt's nearly three-year losing streak. In a
blink of an eye, it was over.
The gas tank in his Chevrolet ran dry along the backstretch at
Charlotte Motor Speedway, and as Earnhardt tried to coast his way
through the final turn, Kevin Harvick zipped past him to steal the
Coca-Cola 600. It was a heartbreaking end for the victory-starved JR
Nation, and somewhat mimicked the final lap of the Indianapolis 500.
Earlier Sunday, rookie JR Hildebrand crashed coming out of the final
turn to lose the Indianapolis 500. Both Earnhardt and Hildebrand are
sponsored by the National Guard, and the sudden turns in the two big
races spoiled what would have been a celebratory Memorial Day for
the military, which makes sponsorship of auto racing its top
JR Hildebrand lost $1.5 million in the last mile of the Indianapolis
500. He was leading the race heading into the final turn on the
final lap when he went high to pass a slower car and slammed into
the safety wall, allowing Dan Wheldon to win the 100-year
anniversary race. Wheldon received $2,567,255 for the victory while
Hildebrand earned $1,064,895 for his second-place finish. The total
purse was $13,509,485.
Matt Kenseth passed teammate Carl Edwards with two laps to go and
hung on to win the 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Charlotte
This week are several
photos, Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.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: