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June 14, 2013

By Phil Smith

Sixty years ago in 1953, Joe McNulty was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner and Fred Luchesi was the Saturday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Tetreault and Tommy Van Epps were the non-Ford winners. Van Epps showed a lot of raw talent but unfortunately would never be able to show it as he lost his life in an auto wreck the following winter.

Fifty-five years ago in 1958, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. On Saturday night at the shoreline oval Red Foote made it two in a row in the Modifieds. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner.

Fifty years ago in 1963 at the Utica-Rome Speedway Rene Charland picked up his fourth victory of the year at the Vernon, New York oval. Cam Gagliardi finished second with Ken Meahl, third. Everybody’s fried George Pendergast was the 50 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with Don Collins second followed by Ted Stack, and Dick Dunn. Ernie Rankin was the Bomber winner. Racing on the dirt at Stafford fell victim to rain. At Plainville Stadium Jap Membrino took down the 50 lap feature followed by George Hotchkiss, Bob Vivari, Johnny Georgiades and Ken Orr. The Novice feature was won by Jim Acker. Danny Devoe won the feature at Riverside Park over Don Flynn, Ed Patnode, Gene White and Walt Czepiel. Steady Eddie Flemke, leading the famed Eastern Bandits, arrived late at the Old Bridge Speedway in New Jersey after a weekend swing through the south. Flemke was allowed to start the Modified feature in the scratch position and still ended up taking the win over John Gouveia and Bob Rossell.

Forty five years ago in 1968, Kenny Shoemaker went two for two as he won on the asphalt at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night and on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night. Bernie Miller finished second at Albany and was followed by Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro and Dave Lape. At Fonda, Ray Sitterly finished second with Dave Lape, third. In Friday night action at Stafford Mr. Leo Cleary put the Joe Brady 41 in victory lane. Bill Slater finished second with Bugsy Stevens, Tommy Borget and Ralph “Hop” Harrington rounding out the top five. Saturday night at Norwood saw Roland LaPierre Sr. take the win. The action at the Waterford Speedbowl saw Don Collins take the Modified feature win over Newt Palm, Ed Yerrington, Fuzzy Baer and Walt Dombroski. Winston Barrows earn a victory in the Late Model Daredevils. At Plainville Stadium Rod Andrews was the winner followed by Dan Gaudiosi, Pete Brockett, Jack Proulx, and Ronnie Wyckoff. At Thompson on Sunday, Steady Eddie Flemke in the Bob Judkins 2x took the win and in Sunday night action at Utica-Rome Dave Kotary took the win over Bill Henry, Ken Shoemaker, Dave Gaul and Dick Clark.

Forty years ago in 1973, twin features were run at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. Richie Evans won the opener and was followed by Bob Santos, Jerry Cook and Lou Lazzaro. Bugsy Stevens won the nightcap with Denis Giroux and Cook following. At Stafford on Saturday night, Eddie Fleece took the win with Ronnie Bouchard, second and Stevens, third. Special events at Islip and at Tioga fell victim to rain. Dick Watson ruled the roost at the Waterford Speedbowl in the Modifieds. Big Mike Daignault was the Grand American Late Model winner. Lee Raceway ran a double point event on Sunday. The Bugman took the victory with Dan MacNamara, second and Ernie Gahan, third.Utica-Rome closed out the weekend with twin events, which were won by Richie Evans, and Jerry Cook.

Thirty five years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine went three for three on the weekend including his seventh in a row at Stafford. Bodine, in the Big Red No.1, also won events at Riverside Park and at Utica-Rome. At Plainville Stadium Richie Galullo was the winner over Jap Membrino, Loren Trombley, Ron Rocco and Tim Berndt. Pete Vargoski was the Sortsamn winner.  At Waterford, Moose Hewitt beat out Dick Dunn and Mike Beebe for the win and at Seekonk, George Summers was the best of the best with Bugsy Stevens second and Corky Cookman, third. Westboro saw John Falconi over Joe Howard. Islip ran a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier, which was won by Greg Sacks. Charlie Jarzombek finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Jarzombek also played second fiddle at Riverhead where he finished second to Wayne Anderson. At Thompson on Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard won out over Bugsy Stevens and Ray Miller.

Thirty years ago in 1983, the week started on Tuesday at Stafford where a 50 lapper was run with Bugsy Stevens taking the win over Jamie Tomaino, Kenny Bouchard and Bob Polverari. New Egypt ran on Wednesday where Bob Park took the checker over John Blewett jr. and Tony Siscone. Back at Stafford on Friday, Kenny Bouchard won out over Bobby Eve, Corky Coachman and George Summers. Bo Gunning was the SK modified winner. Saturday at Waterford, John Hoffman took the win over Larry Lanphear and Ted Christopher. At Seekonk, Richie Evans made a surprise visit and took all the marbles. Vinnie Annarummo finished second followed by Bugsy Stevens and George Murray. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Terry Labonte was the pole sitter. Cale Yarborough took the win. Down on Long Island, George Brunnhoelzl won at Islip with Fred Harbach, second. At Riverhead, Alan Harbach was the winner with Don Howe, second.

Twenty five years ago, in 1988, Stafford rained out on Friday but it stayed clear up north as Monadnock got in its program with Reggie Ruggiero taking the win. Jerry Marquis took the Saturday night win at Riverside Park. Mike Stefanik and Reggie Ruggerio followed. At Waterford, John Jensen took the win. Dickie Doo Ceravolo finished second with Ricky Young and Bert Marvin following. Tony Hirschman got his sixth at Tioga and at Thompson, Tom Tagg took the win. Mike Christopher finished second. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Geoff Bodine took the win but the racing world was stunned when Bobby Allison was critically injured. Allison eventually recovered but his racing career was over. It was only the beginning of tragedy for the Allison family as both Davey and Clifford would lose their lives in future years.

Twenty years ago, in 1993, Ted and Mike Christopher finished one-two at Stafford on Friday night. The Busch Grandnational North division was also at Stafford. Mike McLaughlin took the win with Jamie Aube, second. Saturday night at Waterford, John Jensen took the checker but was disqualified after a tech inspection revealed an illegal crankshaft. Jerry Pearl, who finished second, was awarded the win. Dan Avery won at Riverside and Eddie Brunnhoelzl, at Riverhead. John Sneade won at Thompson on Sunday. Mike and Ted Christopher finished second and third but were disqualified because of illegal cylinder heads. Kerry Malone was moved from fourth to second.

Fifteen years ago, in 1998, rain washed out the entire program that had been scheduled at Stafford. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour visited the Riverhead Raceway on Saturday night. Mike Ewanitsko was the fastest qualifier and after starting sixth took the lead from Mike Stefanik on lap 56 and went on to score the win. Stefanik finished second and was followed by Jan Leaty, Ed Flemke Jr. and Charlie Pasteryak.

Rain washed out action at Riverside Park and at Thompson on Sunday; Ted Christopher took the win over Frankie Cardile.

The big news of the week was the announcement that NEXTEL, a provider of wireless communications in the United States, would become the title sponsor of what was called the Winston Cup division of NASCAR. NEXTEL was expected spend between $70 – 90 million a year over the next ten years. Once rumors broke early in the week, NEXTEL stock took off. Starting the week at 14.90, NEXTEL closed out the week at 17.78. RJ Reynolds/Winston finished out the year as the sponsor of NASCAR’s elite division. During the 2002 season, RJR Winston got $160 million worth of media exposure. RJ Reynolds has been involved with NASCAR racing for 33 years.

In a somewhat related matter, NASCAR’s versions of Ken and Barbie, (Brooke and Jeff Gordon) have reached a divorce settlement that gives Brooke Gordon at least $15 million. She had waived alimony and would get the proceeds from the sale of two pieces of real estate including the couple’s ocean front home in Highland Beach, Florida.

Round Two of Thursday night Thunder at Thompson beat the weather on Thursday night. Jeff Malave went from pole to pole to win his second Sunoco-SK Modified feature of the year at the 5/8-mile oval. Bert Marvin finished second with Eric Berndt, third. Heavy drama unfolded on a lap three re-start. With Malave leading and Bob Drown running second, heavy hitters Ted Christopher and Bo Gunning were in hot pursuit. As Christopher was about to make a move, Drown moved up to protect his spot. Christopher momentarily lifted and was hit accidentally by Gunning. Christopher and Gunning spun at high speed on to the infield grass and struck a concrete barrier protecting a light pole. The impact saw Christopher’s car go up in the air and come down on its roof. With his fuel pump sheared off and gas leaking out Christopher became trapped and could not unbuckle himself to exit the car. Gunning was able to exit his car and went to Christopher’s aid and pulling him out of the car, as flames were about to erupt into an inferno. In the past there had been a lot of bad history between the two. Although not what you would consider friends, Gunning put his feelings aside and went to the aide of a fellow competitor. Had it not been for Gunning’s quick actions, the former NASCAR Weekly Racing Champion could have suffered serious burns or even worse. Chuck Docherty was the Pro Stock winner and Woody Pitkat repeated in the Late Models. Norm Ashline was the Limited Sportsman winner and Eric Bourgeois was the Mini Stock winner. Speedway owner and promoter Don Hoenig is up and about after a bad accident the previous week. Hoenig was T-Boned in the driver’s side door while on his way to secure Fireworks permits for the track.

The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Seekonk Speedway on Saturday. Rain forced postponement. NASCAR and the Seekonk management were working on a new date. For the fifth week in a row rain-washed out racing at the Waterford Speedbowl. During the 1978 season, when Dick Williams operated the track it rained seven Saturdays in a row. Williams finally ran an event on Wednesday, just to get a race in. Waterford is not alone, Seekonk in Massachusetts lost four out of six events, Stafford lost three out of 10 and Riverhead, on Long Island, lost five out of nine.
Todd Szegedy was leading John Blewett III by 45 points in the chase for the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series championship. Chuck Hossfeld sat in third. Rounding out the top five were Jerry Marquis and Ted Christopher.

At the Stafford Speedway on Friday night; Bo Gunning passed Jeff Baral on lap 43 of the scheduled 50 lap SK-Modified feature and went on to secure his first win of the season. Gunning was the defending modified track champion. Ron Silk, Kerry Malone and Frank Ruocco rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher, still very sore from his accident at Thompson, brought out a back-up car and finished 11th. Woody Pitkat was the late model winner. The Busch North Series was the main attraction at Stafford on Friday night Tom Carey took the win over Martin Truex and Kelly Moore. Carey made the pass for the lead and the eventual win on lap 137 of the 150-lap event. In Winston Cup action at Sonoma, California, Boris Said took the pole and it was Robbie Gordon took the win.

Ten years ago in 2003, Brad Leighton took the lead on lap 43 in the BGNN 150 at Stafford when Dave Dion spun in oil and went on to take the win, his fourth of the year. Jeff Taylor finished second with Dion, third. Stafford's SK Modified event rained out.

Waterford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Eric Berndt taking the win over Jeff Pearl and Tucker Reynolds. Riverhead went to Frank Vigliaro Jr.

In 100 degree heat, Bert Marvin went pole to pole at Thompson. Todd Ceravolo finished second with Tom Fox, third. At Riverside, Rob Summers won a 125 lapper over Ted Riggott and Bob Polverari. In Busch Grandnational action at Milwaukee, Casey Atwood hit Jeff Green on the final lap and went on to take the win over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Glenn Allen. In Winston Cup action under the lights at Daytona, Dale Jarrett took the lead on lap 146 of the 160 lap distance and took the win over Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Burton.

Five years ago in 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 Sportsman division.

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.
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 Christopher, 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. 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.

Last year, 2012, Veteran former Modified Car Owner made a noteworthy observation. He said, "With the average team's equity hovering around a half-million, it just seems odd that race purses continue to decline." He added, "the latest debacle comes from the "last bastion of top paying modified purses" that being New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The entry arrived and it shows a decrease of 10% from last year". Fiore stated that Reggie Ruggiero, driving the #44 won $18,150 back in 1992, 20 years ago. Fiore also stated that next months winner of the Modified portion at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will get $10,700 according to Nascar's entry form !!! "Whats wrong with this picture ??", he asks. Fiore also alluded to the fact that also on the horizon is Nascar's plan to obsolete the Modified team's inventory of $50,000 engines, some car owners who possess three, four or five of them.

The Star Speedway in Epping, NH ran the Exeter Decorating SBM 125 Modified Open on Saturday night. The event drew 28 cars. Matt Hirschman made the trip from Pennsylvania worth his while as he took the victory in the high paying event. Ryan Preece, who normally races at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night, finished second with Josh Cantara, third. Mike Stefanik and Dwight Jarvis rounded out the tp five. Sixth through tenth were Bobby Santos, Jim Boniface, Doug Coby, Richie Pallai and Todd Szegedy.

Numerous cases of "Yellow Fever" slowed the competition. Doug Coby stated that there were 122 laps run under caution in addition to the 125 green flag laps at the New Hampshire quarter mile oval. Hirschman of Northampton, PA., earned $8,792 in cash and prizes for his hard fought effort. The diverse field had 28 cars from ten different states on hand to compete.

Hirschman passed Preece on lap 111. Preece retook the lead on a lap 116 restart, but he was forced to give it back when a caution reset the field before that lap was completed. Hirschman was able to get the jump on the next restart, and he raced away to the lucrative victory in the J & J Motorsports 59.

The special event brought Star their largest crowd of the season, and some of the best racing as well. Todd Szegedy made it to second place before fading from the lead pack. In all, 22 of the 28 teams earned bonus money put in place through a variety of local sponsorships from race fans and area businesses. Lap 79 alone paid Hirschman $610, and the halfway bonus added $425 to his payoff.

Thursday night Thunder saw Keith Rocco come from last to first in the Sunoco (SK) Modified feature. Rocco had spent the afternoon at the Waterford Speedbowl practicing the Boehler Racing No. 3 in preparation for this weeks Whelen Modified Tour Series event. Starting scratch didn't seem to be an issue.

Thursday night Thunder that also saw Scott Sundeen win an extended race distance for the Limited Sportsman division. Other winners included Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds, Trevor Michalski in the Mini Stocks, John Lowinski-Loh in the Thompson Modifieds, and Mike Scorzelli in the Late Models.

In the 30 lap Sunoco Modified feature John Catania took the early lead at the drop of the green, but as one lap was completed Todd Ceravolo had moved into the front spot. The top-four – Ceravolo, Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher, and Kerry Malone – were bumper-to-bumper as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Keith Rocco, who had to start at the tail end of the field, was fast approaching and sitting seventh when the caution flew at lap six.

Ceravolo beat Preece to the front on the restart with Malone powering to second on the inside. Malone spun to the infield grass coming out of turn two and brought out the caution with Ceravolo, Preece, and Christopher making up the top-three. Ceravolo, Preece, Christopher, and Rocco settled in single file when racing resumed, but Ceravolo put some breathing room between himself and Preece by lap 10. On lap 11, Christopher dove low and got around Preece for second with Rocco in tow. A caution on lap 12 put Ceravolo side-by-side with Christopher for the restart with a determined Rocco and Preece right behind them. When the green dropped, Christopher beat Ceravolo into turn one with Rocco looking high and low for a way around both of them. As the trio entered turn one, troubled brewed when Ceravolo took Christopher low. Christopher retaliated and Ceravolo’s night ended in the outside retaining wall in turn two. Ceravolo expressed his displeasure with Christopher's driving as did track officials.

Christopher was penalized and sent to the rear of the field while Rocco inherited the lead. Rocco had to earn his position up front as Preece filled his rear view mirror. A caution at lap 20 slowed the pace with Rocco powering out to the front followed by Malone and Christopher. Preece was relegated to fourth and remained there until the caution came out at lap 22. On the restart, Rocco went back out front with a challenge by Malone in turn three, but Rocco shut the door. The top four fell into single file, but running bumper to bumper until Rocco took the checkered flag. Malone settled for the runner-up spot whith Christopher rebounding to finish third. Preece and Catania rounded out the top five.

Car counts continued to be an issue at Thompson. The Limited Sportsman (27) and the Mini Stocks(19) are relatively healthy. The Sunoco Mods, (SK"s) had 13 while there were only 4 SK Lites, 7 Late Models and six Thompson Modifieds.

The Stafford Speedway welcomed the beginning of summer with it’s 12th Annual Town Fair Tire Summer Blast-Off Fireworks program on Friday night. Providing the fireworks on the track were Ted Christopher, who picked up his second win of the season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Woody Pitkat, who picked up his first win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jay Goff, who picked up his first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Josh Wood, who took a thrilling fourth win of the season with a last lap pass in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Austin Bessette, who scored his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In the closing moments of the SK Modified 40 lap feature Ryan Preece took a look to the inside of Christopher on lap-35 in turn 3, but fell back in line behind Christopher. Preece was searching for a groove that would give him enough momentum to make a pass for the lead, but Christopher was able to hold Preece off. The jockeying between Christopher and Preece allowed Keith Rocco to close in on Preece’s bumper to make it a three-way fight for the race lead with 3 laps to go. Christopher was able to hold off Preece and Rocco to the line to pick up his second feature win of the 2012 season. Dan Avery came home in fourth with Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-5.

At the Waterford Speedbowl the track put on a briskly paced and hotly contested night of speed rts on Whelen Engineering Night at the shoreline oval. Scoring NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories included Tyler Chadwick, winning his third SK Modified® race of the year and Dillon Moltz who took down his second consecutive victory in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race. Other winners included Ken Cassidy Jr. who picked up his sixth straight win in the Mini Stocks and Josh Galvin who took down his first checkered flag of the year in the Street Stock division. Vin Esposito won the New England Truck Series feature.

In the SK Modified feature, Janovic got to Chadwick’s rear bumper on the final lap, stalking theleader for the final circuit to the checkered flag. Janovic couldn’t find a groove to make a serious bid and placed second for the second consecutive week while Chadwick marched to his third win of the year. Jeff Pearl finished in third while Kyle James wrestled fourth away from Tom Abele at the finish. Chadwick’s win lifted him into the point lead ahead of Pearl by just two points.

In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina Tim Brown, an eight-time champion at Bowman Gray Stadium, mastered the field in the Great Clips 100 on Saturday night, picking up his fourth victory, the most this season in the featured Modified Division. Brown took the lead on the fifth lap, charging past Jonathan Brown on the outside. From there, he endured seven double-file restarts on the way to his 62nd victory at Bowman Gray.

While Tim Brown spent the entire race at or near the front, eventual runner-up Danny Bohn worked his way from near the rear of the field. Bohn, originally from New Jersey, started 22nd in the 23-car field as the result of a random draw but steadily progressed with the aid of double-file restarts and took second place from Jonathan Brown on the final lap. Jonathan Brown settled for third.

The Winston-Salem (NC) Journal reported that Winston-Salem State University's effort to buy Bowman Gray Stadium from the city was stopped when state lawmakers killed the university's request for permission to borrow $7.5 million to buy the stadium. The legislative move opens the door wider to another potential bidder: Richard Childress, the NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner from Winston-Salem who sold peanuts as a child at Bowman Gray and started his racing career there in the 1950s.

The stadium is owned by the city of Winston-Salem. For years, members of the Winston-Salem City Council have been trying to reduce overall costs by selling some of its property, including Bowman Gray.

The stadium opened in 1937. In 1954, it was expanded to its current seating capacity of 17,000, according to the city. The stadium site has 42 acres, including 690 paved parking spaces. Civitan Park and three other tracts of land related to the stadium used for parking hold an additional 50 acres, according to the city.

In Nationwide Series racing at Michigan Joey Logano held off James Buescher and Kurt Busch for his fifth Nationwide win of the year and 14th of his career. Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak at Michigan International Speedway.

This week are several Vintage photos, Courtesy of Tom Ormsby SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size


Rod Andrews


Geoff Bodine


Dick Watson

T
Ken Meahl

Kenny Shoemaker

Tom Van Epps

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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