Forty years ago in 1972, Richard
Petty started third and took the Winston Cup win at Richmond.
Thirty five Years ago in 1977,
Cale Yarborough won the Winston Cup event at Richmond, VA.
Thirty years ago in 1982, Benny
Parsons was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. The event was
rained out and rescheduled. NASCAR did not have a next clear day
policy at the time.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Davey Allison was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. Geoff
Bodine was second fastest. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event
was cancelled because of heavy rain and not rescheduled. Dale
Earnhardt Sr. won the Winston Cup event with Ricky Rudd, second.
Twenty years ago in 1992, Ward Burton won the 200 mile Busch
Grandnational event at Rockingham. Bill Elliott in the Junior
Johnson No.11 was the Winston Cup winner.
Fifteen years ago in 1997, Mark
Martin was the pole sitter for both the Busch Grandnational and
Winston Cup events at Rockingham. Martin won the BGN event while
Jeff Gordon took advantage of Dale Jarrett's late slip and won the
Winston Cup event. On a sad note, George "Moose" Hewitt, a former
track champion at Waterford, passed away at the age of 62.
Ten years ago in 2002, Minority
shareholders of Speedway Motorsports sued NASCAR for breach of
contract and anti-trust matters because the shareholders claimed
that NASCAR re-neged on its promise for a second Winston Cup date at
the Texas Speedway. The suit has yet to be settled. In Winston Cup
action at Rockingham, Ricky Craven was the Busch Pole sitter. Jeff
Green took the Busch Grandnational pole. Jason Keller was the
Grandnational winner with Greg Biffle, second. Matt Kenseth passed
Ricky Craven in the late stages of the Winston Cup event and went on
to score the victory. The event finished under caution. Crew Chief
Robbie Reiser was fined $30,000 after it was determined that the
Kenseth car was ľ inch too low.
Five years ago in 2007, The only
action of the weekend was on the west coast. Matt Kenseth took
control in the closing laps Saturday night at California Speedway,
driving off with his fourth NASCAR Busch Series victory in 12 tries
on the 2-mile oval. Casey Mears grabbed second place 12 laps from
the end and gave a big effort to try to catch Kenseth, but the Roush
Fenway Racing driver wouldn't let Mears get close enough for a
serious challenge, driving across the finish line about five lengths
ahead. Kenseth made a clean sweep as he won the Nextel Cup event. TV
camera angles indicated the event was not a sell out.
The Northeast Racing News carried the announcement that HD Net would
extend their coverage of Busch East events to 2007. A while back
NASCAR had indicated that there would be extensive television
coverage of Tour Series events. With Speedweeks in Florida over and
most of the major announcements made it looked like the Modifieds
and NASCARís other regional series got the short end of the stick
In some sad news, Malcolm R. "Johnny" Thompson, 78, of Pond Drive,
formerly of Pendleton Hill Road, North Stonington, died on Monday
morning, Feb. 19, 2007 at his home. Johnny, a die hard Ford man,
drove at many racetracks throughout his career from the old Kingston
Fairgrounds in Rhode Island then at the Waterford Speedbowl,
Stafford Speedway and the Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. He
achieved his greatest success at the Norwood Arena where he was a
Modified Champion. For many years Thompson and the late Leo Hill
shared a garage in North Stonington where they fabricated their own
Last year, 2011, it was
speculated with fuel prices going through the roof, race fans would
be staying close to home. A recent trip from Florida to Rhode Island
saw gas prices ranging from $3.09 per gallon to over $4.00. New
Jersey had the best deal at $3.09 per gallon on the Turnpike. Local
promoters who present a quality produce at a reasonable price would
reap the benefits of the race fan sticking close to home.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Drivers and Owners were anxiously
awaiting word from NASCAR concerning Television coverage of the
upcoming season. The Speed Channel and the Versus Channel did an
outstanding job with their coverage.
The NASCAR Home Tracks web site says that Bryon Chew, a former
competitor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, will trade fenders for
nerf bars and compete full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
starting in 2011.
In some sad news it was learned last weekend that Gene Bergin had
passed away. Bergin had driven just about every kind of race car
from Midgets to Indy Cars and from Modifieds to NASCAR Cup cars. He
was also an inducted member of the NEAR Hall of Fame. He was one of
the chosen few to record wins at Stafford both on the dirt and on
Berginís career included a couple of significant milestones as his
1967 Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway title came in the trackís first
year with an asphalt surface, and his wire-to-wire triumph in the
1971 Stafford 200 also marked the first checkered flag for a
Modified with a Pinto-style body. He is credited with 15 feature
wins at Stafford from 1964-74, the first two of which came on the
old dirt surface.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at the Phoenix International Raceway
Jeff Gordon passed Kyle Busch with eight laps left and stretched his
lead from there, ending his winless streak at 66 races. Jimmie
Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five in a
312-lap race around PIR's mile oval, the last on the current
Kyle Busch became the first driver in a national NASCAR race to win
wire-to-wire in nearly eight years. Busch dominated from the pole
early and held off Carl Edwards late, maintaining the lead the
entire way in the Nationwide race Saturday to set up the chance for
a perfect weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Busch also won
the Truck race.
This week are several
photos of the great Gene Bergin who passed away one year ago, Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size
Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: