Sixty years ago in 1952 Johnny
Sandberg, who was a R&D Sound and Vibration Technician at the
Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, CT, went two for two in Claiming
Car action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and
Saturday nights. Don Collins was the Sportsman winner on Saturday
night as rain prevailed before the Sportsman feature could be
completed on Wednesday night.
Fifty five years ago in 1957,
Melvin "Red" Foote was the 25 lap Sportsman feature winner at the
New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford
Fifty years ago in 1962, Wild
Bill Slater, who was known for his proficiency on asphalt was the
Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Don Collins was the
Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ed
Moody was the Bomber winner.
Forty five 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.
The skies remained dry along the Connecticut shoreline while Newt
Palm won the Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. At
Utica-Rome on Sunday night local favorite Clayton “Sonny” Seamon
took the win over Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro, Kenny Shoemaker and
Forty 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. Dick Dunn, driving the
Al and Peg Gaudreau Budda's Bullet was the Modified winner at
Waterford. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Eddie Pieniezak took the
win over Richie Evans, Bernie Miller and Jerry Cook.
Thirty five 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
Thirty 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 five 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 Richmond.
Twenty 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.
Fifteen 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 win.
Ten 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 Marvin’s 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
Hirschman 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.
Five years ago in 2007 The big
news of the week was that Woody Pitkat had been named as the driver
of the Hillbilly Racing No.79. Pitkat replaced Chuck Hossfeld. In
other big news, NASCAR listened to car owners concerns and changed
the format for an upcoming “Flash” Whelen Modified Tour Series event
that was to be held at the Twin State Speedway. After a
comprehensive review of the “Flash” format, NASCAR announced changes
effective for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event in Claremont (N.H.)
on Sunday, July 8.The race, the seventh in the 16-race schedule,
would be 100 laps in length. The 30-car field would be set through
time trials and twin heat races.
Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway saw six drivers red
hot in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition on an
uncharacteristic night of yellow fever. Thursday night featured two
first time winners with Marc Jenison scoring his first Late Model
triumph in the division’s marquee 50-lapper and Eric Grant besting a
strong Limited Sportsman field for his career first. Keith Rocco
survived a caution-filled event to score the Sunoco Modified victory
while Norm Wrenn, was tops in the Pro Stocks. Tim Sullivan was
victorious in the TIS Modifieds and Mike Romano in the Mini Stocks.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway on Friday night. Woody Pitkat won the 40-lap SK Modified
feature, Ryan Posocco, the 30-lap Late Model feature, Glenn Griswold
the 20-lap SK Light feature, Andrew Durand the Limited Late Model
feature, and Jeff Jolly the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Former Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Rick Fuller joined the
Stafford Motor Speedway TV crew as a color man. Fuller’s insights
greatly enhanced the Stafford produced NASCAR New England program
that was seen every Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm on NESN.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl Dennis Charette passed early leader Jay Miller with ten
laps to go, notching his first 35-lap SK Modified feature of the
season. Dennis Gada and Diego Monahan completed the top-three. The
race concluded with a grinding multi-car crash on the front chute
that sent Wendell Dailey to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Al Stone
III (Sportsman), Danny Field (Mini Stock), Jason Palmer (Legends).A
lot of racing equipment was damaged as numerous wrecks took place in
In True Value Modified Series action “Lightning” Lou Mechalides
returned to his old stomping grounds, Lee USA Speedway and when the
checkered flag was displayed on lap 100, the veteran driver captured
his third career win with the touring series. Mechalides is no
stranger to feature wins at the Rte 125 oval. He is a former
champion of the tracks super modified division driving for the same
car owner, Marco Turcotte. Twenty-six Modified race cars towed to
Lee for the “Rockingham Boat Spring Fling 100.” Three 12 lap heat
races and a 15 lap last chance consolation race determined the 24
car starting field. Mechalides set a torrid pace, leading the Black
Mountain Painting half way award at lap 50. A third caution flag
slowed the race on lap 57 for early race leader Tony Ricci who spun.
Longtime Lee racer and fan favorite, Vinnie Annarumo moved into the
top five on the 57th circuit. Fans were starting to watch the Les
Hinckley #06 as the two time winner was starting to put on a late
race show. By lap 70, Hinckley got past Annarummo, and cracked the
top five. He dogged Kirk Alexander for several laps racing right
behind the two time champ. Following a lap 88 caution for an
Annarummo spin, the last ten laps got interesting. Hinckley was
fifth with 10 laps to go; when the checkered flag was displayed the
second-generation driver was second. The charge to the front by
Hinckley thrilled the crowd but it was the hometown driver,
Mechalides, that put a charge into his old stomping grounds. Jimmy
Kuhn Jr, also made a late race run to the front to finish in the top
five while Donny Lashua garnered a solid sixth place finish driving
the Jack Bateman entry.
In Nextel Cup action Carl Edwards ended a 52-race Nextel Cup winless
streak Sunday by holding off Martin Truex Jr. at Michigan
International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Stephen Leicht took
advantage of Carl Edwards' late wreck, then passed good friend Brad
Coleman with 13 laps to go to win the Meijer 300 on Saturday night
for his first NASCAR Busch Series victory.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has
filed a counter claim in U.S. District Court against AT&T Mobility/Cingular
Wireless and AT&T Inc., alleging breach of contract, fraud and
misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful
interference with NEXTEL’s exclusive sponsorship agreement. NASCAR
is seeking a minimum of $100 million in damages.
The NASCAR Rule Book governs participation in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
Series and its contents are agreed to in writing by all NASCAR
members and participants. Cingular is a member of NASCAR and agreed
to abide by all NASCAR rules and regulations when its
representatives signed official documents such as the NASCAR
Membership and License Application.
NASCAR’s suit further alleges that AT&T, Cingular and its
representatives breached its explicit agreements with NASCAR when
they re-branded the No. 31 car; entered into contract with RCR
knowing that they would litigate against NASCAR; and when they
sought to ambush NEXTEL’s exclusive sponsorship rights.
NASCAR also submitted its response to a suit filed by AT&T Mobility/Cingular
Wireless by soundly rejecting each of their claims. The response
demonstrates the clarity of NASCAR’s rule book and the baseless
allegations made by AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless in its attempts
to re-brand the No. 31.
The court’s preliminary injunction allowing the No. 31 to re-brand
is still on appeal by NASCAR and NEXTEL.
Last year, 2011, The Whelen
Modified Tour continued on Spring Break for another two weeks before
returning to action with the Monadnock 200 on June 25 at Monadnock
Speedway in Winchester, N.H.
The weekend started off on a wet note as Thursday Night Thunder at
the Thompson Speedway fell victim to heavy rain and high winds. Its
too bad that the weather front didn't arrive earlier as competitors
and fans were already on hand when the plug was pulled on the
night's racing. The fields of both Sunoco(SK)Modifieds was up two to
11 but there is still a long way to go to get a full field. The
Valenti Modified Racing Series will highlight the competition this
coming Thursday night at the Thompson International Speedway. This
impressive touring series boasts a roster of Modified drivers that
includes many of the very best drivers in the entire northeast.
Thursday night’s appearance will be the first of two scheduled races
for the VMRS at Thompson this year. Their feature will be 75 laps.
The VMRS was scheduled for an event at the Seekonk Speedway on
Saturday but because of foul weather in the forecast the event was
The Stafford Motor Speedway was the scene of the 38th Annual Coors
Light SK Modified® 100. Ryan Preece took home the $2,600 winner's
check by taking the checkered flag in the 100 lap contest, Dillon
Moltz captured his second feature victory of the season in the
30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. took down his third
win of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Kevin
Gambacorta picked up his first win of 2011 in the 20-lap Limited
Late Model feature, and Josh Wood was a winner for the second
consecutive week in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Preece went under Woody Pitkat in turn 4 on lap-32 to take race
lead. Frank Ruocco was able to complete the pass on Pitkat on
lap-99, but no one had anything for Preece as he took the checkered
flag. Ruocco nipped Pitkat at the line for second, with Ted
Christopher and Curt Brainard rounding out the top-5. Among those
missing from the starting grid was NASCAR Champion Keith Rocco who
suffered a dislocated shoulder in a needless wreck in a heat race.
Rocco was trailing Adam Skowyra when Skowyra triggered a wreck that
collected the defending national champion. The Hartford Courant
reported that Skowyra was given the black (pit for consultation)
flag numerous times, which he ignored. Instead of stopping scoring
of the car why didn't officials just throw the caution and remove
the driver from the track.
The Stafford officials are just as responsible for Rocco's injuries
as are Skowyra's lack of taking heed after receiving the black flag.
Back in the early 1970's NASCAR Competition Director was involved in
a similar situation. Cook's car was leaking fluids in the late
stages of an event. He was given the black flag numerous times which
he ignored. He later stated that he was unable to tell who the flag
was directed at. The late Jack Arute stated that this type of
situation at his track would never happen again as he purchased and
had installed a lighted sign in turn one where the black flagged
car's number would be displayed in big numbers so there would be no
second guessing as to who the flag was directed at. Arute called the
sign "The Jerry Cook Light".
In an unrelated matter, the SK Modified division was born at the
Stafford Motor Speedway in 1982, twenty nine years ago. Why was this
event called the 38th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100??
In action at the Waterford Speedbowl rain prevailed at the shoreline
oval plus the precipitation bought some much needed healing time for
In the Southland at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC,
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, it rained there too.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at the Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon took
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: