Forty years ago in 1969 the newly
formed New England Drivers and Owners Club headed by Dick
Armstrong called a drivers strike against Stafford, Norwood and
Thompson as club members felt they were running for sub-par
purses. Stafford did run with a short field with Bugsy Stevens
taking the win over Ernie Gahan and Don Flynn. Norwood and
Thompson cancelled their racing events. At the Albany-Saratoga
Speedway, Lou Lazzaro took the top spot over Jerry Cook and
Richie Evans. At Fonda on Saturday night, Dave Lape beat out
Lazzaro for the win with Andy Romano, third. At Islip, Ron Theil
won out over Charlie Jarzombek and Jim Hendrickson.
Joe Trudeau was the Modified
winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet Jr took the Grand
American win. Racing at Utica-Rome on Sunday rained out.
Joe Trudeau was the Speedbowl
winner in 1969.
Thirty five years ago in 1974 Utica-Rome suffered their third
rainout in a row. At Freeport it cleared and Art Tappen beat out Ted
Wesnoski and Lew Hennessy. At Islip, Wesnoski again had to settle
for second as Gary Winters beat him to the stripe. Wayne Anderson
finished third. At Stafford on Saturday night, Bugsy Stevens won a
close one over Kenny Bouchard and Jerry Dostie. Maynard Troyer was
the kingpin in New York State as he went two for two, taking
checkers at Lancaster and Fulton. Joe Trudeau was the Modified
winner at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Thirty years ago in 1979, Bobby Santos beat out Bugsy Stevens
and Leo Cleary for the win at Stafford on Friday night. Spencer ran
a 100 lapper which saw Maynard Troyer dominate over Satch Worley,
Jerry Cook and Doug Hewitt. Worley was driving for Lee Allard. At
Shangri-La, Richie Evans won out over George Kent and Jerry Cook and
on the Island at Islip, it was Charlie Jarzombek. Waterford,
Seekonk, Riverside and Westboro rained out, as did Thompson on
Ray Miller took down the Stafford
win in the Greci 01 in 1984.
Twenty five years ago in 1984,
Ray Miller hit full stride
as he won at Stafford in the Mike Greci No.01. Reggie Ruggerio
finished second with Richie Evans, third. At Spencer, George
Kent beat Jan Leaty and at Shangri-La, Ron Shepherd bested Kent
for the win. Rain washed out Islip, Waterford and Riverside.
Randy LaJoie scored a Nascar-North win at Sannair in Canada and
in Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Richard Petty scored his
199th career win.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Mike Christopher was the Friday
night winner at Stafford. Bugsy Stevens passed Norman Holden on
the last lap to win the Pro-Stock event at Seekonk and at
Riverside; Reggie Ruggiero beat out Bob Polverari for the win.
Local favorite Larry Lanphear beat out Ted Christopher and Bob
Potter at Waterford and at Riverhead it was Chris Young. Sunday
action at Monadnock saw Jerry Marquis taking the win over Reggie
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Steve Chowanski won the Friday
night SK Modified event at Stafford. Mike Paquett finished second
with Ted Christopher, third. At Waterford, Mark LaJunesse was
leading the early going until he was drilled into the turn two
fence. Dennis Gada was the eventual winner and was followed by David
Gada, Jim Broderick, Jerry Pearl and Todd Ceravolo. At Riverside,
Bob Gegetskas held off Richard Savory for the win and at Riverhead,
Bob Park won out over Don Howe. The Modified Tour Series was at
Nazareth where Jeff Fuller, in the Sheba No.8, took the 150 lap win
over Satch Worley, Wayne Anderson and Reggie Ruggerio. A big wreck
after the finish involved Tim Arre, Mike Ewanitsko and Russ Franz.
Ricky Craven won the Grand National 200 that was also run at
Nazareth. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jeff Gordon won the
Winston Open and Geoff Bodine won the Winston.
Ten years ago in 1999, Jerry Marquis was the SK-Modified
feature winner at Stafford. Lloyd Agor finished second. At Waterford
on Saturday night, Dennis Gada made it three in a row as he took the
win over Mike Holdredge and Bert Marvin. At Riverside Park it was
Billy Bolton over Rob Summers and Ed Spiers and at Riverhead, Frank
Vigliorolo took the win over Ken Matlack, Chris Young and Howie
Brode. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth
along with the Busch Racing Series and Busch North Series who had a
combined event. Tony Hirschman wrecked in practice and after his
crew made repairs, came back to take the Busch Pole. Ted Christopher
was second fastest. It was all for nothing as the event was rained
out. The event was re-scheduled for July 16. After a 5-1/2 hour
delay, the Nazareth Busch Series event was run. Matt Kenseth, who
had taken the lead on lap 151, was still leading when the event was
stopped because of darkness on lap 168. Kenseth was declared the
winner. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second with Tim Fedewa, Dave
Blaney and Adam Petty rounding out the top five. In Winston Cup
action at Charlotte, Tony Stewart flew in from Indianapolis and won
the Winston Open. Terry Labonte won The Winston. Stewart finished
second. Ernie Irvan triggered a big wreck that took out 11 cars.
Five years ago in 2004 the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour
Series was at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania, for the final
time as the International Speedway Corporation had decided to close
the facility. With 44 cars on hand Ted Christopher was clearly the
fastest as he toured the one mile oval at 133.963 mph. Second
fastest was Todd Szegedy who’s speed was 133.660 mph. John Blewett
III qualified third with Kenny Barry, fourth. It was ungodly hot
with temperatures in the high 80’s and humidity that would make one
feel like they were melting. Todd Szegedy redeemed himself from a
disqualification earlier in the year as he won the event. Szegedy
took the lead following the first caution of the event and never
looked back. Christopher pitted later in the event and spent the
race trying to get to the front at the end. His bid fell short as
the laps ran out and he had to settle for third. Doing an
outstanding job was Kenny Barry who finished second, 0.10 seconds
behind the winner. Eddie Flemke finished fourth and continued to
maintain the point lead for the 2005 championship. Rounding out the
top five was Jerry Marquis. Chuck Docherty took his first
SK-Modified win in three years at Stafford on Friday night. Dochery,
who started on the pole, led the entire 40-lap distance. Mike
Holdredge finished second with Brad Hietala, third. Woody Pitkat and
Jeff Malave rounded out the top five. Ryan Posocco was the late
model winner and Fred Nees Jr. won the DARE Stock event. The
Waterford Speedbowl and the Thompson Speedway went head to head on
Saturday night. Waterford who had their regular Dodge Weekly Racing
event and Thompson who ran the Busch North Series event along with
their regular divisions both suffered in attendance as they were
both plagued with unseasonably cold weather. At Thompson Brad
Leighton won the Busch North Series event. Defending series champion
Andy Santerre made a late race bid to take the lead on lap 145 but
ended up in the grass and ultimately hit the wall in the 150-lap
event. Mike Stefanik ended up second, followed by Dave Dion, Dale
Quarterly and Ryan Moore. Todd Ceravolo started third and led every
lap of the 30 lap Sunoco Modified feature. Because of wrecks and
spins it took three restarts to get the event going, finally with a
single file start. Jeff Malave finished second, three car lengths
behind. Ted Christopher made it back from Nazareth and finished
third. Eric Berndt and Shawn Monahan rounded out the top five.
Dennis Botticello took advantage of a last lap confrontation between
Corey Hutchings and Rick Gentes. Fighting for the lead coming off
the fourth turn, Hutchings and Gentes made contact and both slid up
the track giving Botticello the chance to steal a win, which he did.
Rob Janovic took the SK-Modified win at Waterford. Dennis Gada ended
up in second spot with Chris Pasteryak, third. Ted Christopher had
entertained trying to make it to Waterford after Thompson but it
didn’t happen. Ron Yuhas Jr. and Doug Coby rounded out the top five.
Corey Hutchings made a fast trip down I-395 to Waterford and won the
late model feature. Norman Root was the Sportsman winner. Dave
Silvia was the Mini-Stock winner and Silas Hiscock Sr. was the
Legends winner. Ted Christopher was able to breathe a little easier
once he found out that he didn’t have to contend with Chuck Hossfeld
at Stafford in SK-Modified competition anymore. Hossfeld had been
driving the No.47 Wisk-Clorox SK-Modified. Hossfeld announced last
week that he had resigned as the driver in order to concentrate on
the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series. It sounded like
Hossfeld and car owner Bob Garbarino had a father-son talk after his
confrontation with Christopher at the recent tour event at
Waterford. Hossfeld had also been driving his own car on open
Saturday nights at the Lancaster Speedway in western New York.
Christopher had to feel like a yo-yo after the weekend. His travels
started on Friday when he flew to Nazareth, Pa. To practice his
Featherlite Modified. He then flew to the Stafford Speedway in
Connecticut for their Friday night Dodge Weekly Racing Series
SK-Modified event. Saturday morning it was back in the plane to
Nazareth for Modified Tour qualifying. Once completed he flew back
to Connecticut where he raced at Thompson. Sunday morning it was
back to Nazareth. Other weekend winners were Steve Whitt at Wall
Township and JR Bertuccio at Riverhead.
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was in Charlotte, North Carolina
last weekend for the running of the Nextel All Star event. The Busch
Racing Series was at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. Matt
Kenseth got a little richer as he won the $1 million first place
money that the Nextel All Star event paid the winner. It was the
longest short race ever seen. At the Busch Series race at Nazareth
Martin Truex Jr. waited until the final turn of the final lap to
take the lead and ace the win. Bobby Hamilton looked to be the
winner until running amuck a lapped car. Hamilton drifted up after
slight contact and that’s all she wrote. It was the fourth win for
the New Jersey native.
Last year, 2008, The Thompson Speedway hoped to begin their
series of Thursday Night Thompson Thunder (TNTT) racing programs on
Thursday night. Mother Nature moved in and forced the cancellation
of Thompson International Speedway’s opening Thursday night race
program. A consistent rain and drizzle forced the hand of the
track’s management to cancel the event shortly before 12 Noon.
Opening night for Thompson’s Thursday Night Thompson Thunder (TNTT)
race program will now be held on May 29th.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and the True Value Modified
Series ended their “Spring Break”. The Whelen Modifieds made their
second stop of the season at Stafford and the True Value Modifieds
traveled to the Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT.
The Whelen Modified Tour Series almost got scrubbed as heavy showers
caused a nearly 2-1/2 hour delay. The event, scheduled to go off at
9:00pm actually got the green at 11:30. Chuck Hossfeld, driving the
Mystic Missile of Bob Garbarino, ended a personal four year dry
spell as he took the win in the TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford.
Hossfeld, who was also the Coors Light Pole sitter, started on the
pole of the event and led 39 of the first 40 laps of the event
before giving way to Bob Grigas III. Grigas and a host of the race
front runners pitted on lap 92 under caution which allowed Matt
Hirschman to assume the lead. Hossfeld beat Hirschman back to the
starting line when the event went back to green on lap 107 and never
looked back. Todd Szegedy finished second and was followed by Ted
Christopher, Mike Stefanik and Jimmy Blewett. Eric Beers, Ed Flemke
Jr., Ryan Preece, James Civali and rookie Erick Rudolph rounded out
the top 10. During post-race technical inspection, a probable
illegal carburetor part was discovered on the No.19 that was driven
by Blewett. The part in question was taken back to the NASCAR
Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further
evaluation. Until an official decision was made only the first four
positions are official.
There were 37 Modifieds on hand and nine caution periods for 46
laps. Prior to the race NASCAR honored seven-time NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Champion Mike Stefanik as part of the season-long
celebration of 60 years of Modified champions.
In True Value Modified Series action at the Thunder Road Speedbowl
in Vermont seasoned veteran Kirk Alexender did it the hard way as he
came from the tail end of the starting field to win the event.
Alexender methodically moved to the front and in the closing laps
took the lead and the win. This was his 3rd win in the series in 4
races, with missing one race totally. Dwight Jarvis had passed Peter
Jarvis with 3 laps to go to take the 2nd place finish with Jarvis
settling for 3rd. 4th place through 6th were Ed Dachenhausen, Chris
Pasteryak and Jack Bateman.
NASCAR announced a different format for the upcoming Thursday night
Whelen Modified Tour Series event at the Thompson Speedway. The New
England Dodge Dealers 75 at Thompson, the fourth race on the 2008
schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will take on June 19.
The event would be the second of four dates for the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour in 2008 that was scheduled to run under the lights.
The race would run under a unique format as it would finish upon the
completion of 75 green-flag laps as those run under caution will not
be counted. This will be the first of four races during 2008 that
would run an alternative format. Events at Chemung, Riverhead and
Spencer would feature heat races prior to the feature. This race, a
150 lapper, in 2007, carried a posted purse of $86,505 The Stafford
Motor Speedway finally got to host their regular Friday night racing
program. The 18th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 150 program at Stafford
Motor Speedway saw Ted Christopher victorious, for the 99th time at
Stafford, in the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, while Chris
Matthews and Norm Sears both took down their second consecutive wins
in the 20-lap SK Light and 15-lap DARE Stock feature events. Due to
a rain storm in the middle of the program, the 30-lap Late Model and
20-lap Limited Late Model feature events were postponed to a later
The 40-lap SK Modified feature took the green flag with Wade
Mattesen setting the early pace. Mattesen surrendered the lead to
Brad Hietala on lap-6 with Ted Christopher also moving past Mattesen
for second. On lap-10 both Hietala and Christopher spun in turn 4 to
bring the caution out and put Woody Pitkat out front. Pitkat held
the lead of the race from that point until lap-37 when Christopher,
who had charged his way back through the field after his spin, made
a power move to the inside of Pitkat in turn 3 to take the race
lead. A late caution set up a green white checkered flag restart,
but rain began to fall and the race was red/checkered with 39-laps
complete, making Christopher a winner for the first time during the
2008 season. Pitkat was second, with Jeff Malave, Bo Gunning, and
Jimmy Blewett rounding out the top-5.
The Waterford Speedbowl hosted the ISMA
Supers along with their regular venue of racing.
Chris Perley, of Rowley , MA
. put on a stellar performance in winning the 50-lap
International SuperModified Association event at the Waterford
Speedbowl on Saturday evening, and in doing so recorded the
fastest lap-ever (over 108 mph), in the 57-year history of the
facility. Former Speedbowl SK champion Rob Summers set the early
pace before being overtaken by Jeff Holbrook on lap twenty-one.
Perley rocketed by Holbrook six circuits later, quickly
distancing himself from the field. The race was red-flagged on
lap thirty-six when Mike Lichty exploded a motor and slammed the
wall, taking the cars of Jamie Timmons, Scott Martell and Mike
Ordway with him.
Chris Perley took down last years
ISMA Classic at the Speedbowl. (Keith Cyr Photo)
The Waterford Speedbowl hosted the ISMA Supers along with their
regular venue of racing. Chris Perley, of Rowley , MA . put on a
stellar performance in winning the 50-lap International
SuperModified Association event at the Waterford Speedbowl on
Saturday evening, and in doing so recorded the fastest lap-ever
(over 108 mph), in the 57-year history of the facility. Former
Speedbowl SK champion Rob Summers set the early pace before being
overtaken by Jeff Holbrook on lap twenty-one. Perley rocketed by
Holbrook six circuits later, quickly distancing himself from the
field. The race was red-flagged on lap thirty-six when Mike Lichty
exploded a motor and slammed the wall, taking the cars of Jamie
Timmons, Scott Martell and Mike Ordway with him. On the restart,
Perley resumed his commanding lead, finishing several lengths ahead
of Holbrook and Summers. Following was Ray Graham Jr., Bobby Bond
and Dave McKnight Jr. It was the second-consecutive Speedbowl
victory for Perley who won the 2007 event.
Other feature winners were Jeff Pearl (SK Modified), Ron Yuhas Jr.
(Late Model), Mark Cooper (Sportsman), and Ben Bargnesi (Mini
Former champion Pearl won his first of the season, fending-off a
late race charge by Rob Janovic in the 35-lap SK main event. Jay
Miller, running perhaps his best race of the season led the early
laps before Pearl took over with twenty-seven remaining Janovic
slipped by Miller during the late stages. Rounding-out the top-5
were Jeff Paul and Ron Yuhas Jr.
In 30-lap Late Model feature action it was Ron Yuhas Jr. taking his
second of the year over Tim Jordan. Tom Metcalf set the early pace
with Jordan taking the point on the sixteenth circuit. With twelve
remaining Yuhas pulled aside Jordon, the two staging a torrid
side-by-side battle during the latter stages. Yuhas prevailed by a
narrow margin in one of the closest Late Model finishes of the year.
Ed Reed Jr. took the third spot followed by Vin Esposito, and
defending champion Bruce Thomas Jr.
Mark Cooper became a first-time winner, defeating veteran Jack
Aquilina by several car lengths in the 20-lap Sportsman main. Cooper
drove to the front during the early stages.
After taking the lead early, Ben Bargnesi went on to win the
caution-free 20-lap Mini Stock feature in dominating fashion
Finishing second was Ken Cassidy Jr. followed by Randy Churchill
Jr., Bill Leonard, and Lou Bellisle. It was Bargnesi’s second
victory of the season.
Congratulations were in order to Ryan Morgan, 14-years old and a
recent graduate of the quarter midget ranks, who dominated the
Legends 20-lap feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday
evening. In capturing his first-ever win in the division, Morgan
quickly distanced himself from the field finishing several lengths
in front of Mike Alcaro. Thomas Gray, George Whitney, and Max Zachem
completed the top-five. Morgan is the grandson of John “Jack”
Morgan, an auto sports writer who covered the exploits of the late
Fred DeSarro and Bugsy Stevens in the 70’s and 80’s.
Donny Lia became the first rookie in five years to win a Craftsman
Truck Series race Saturday, using a last-lap pass to take the Ohio
250 at the Mansfield, Ohio Speedway. Lia who won the Whelen Modified
Tour title in 2007, got by leader David Starr in the second turn of
the 250th lap on the half-mile oval. Lia, Starr and 2006 series
champion Todd Bodine ran side-by-side down the backstretch before
Lia pulled his Chevrolet ahead to edge Starr by .241 of a second for
his first victory in eight starts.
Kyle Busch drove a Toyota fielded by Braun Racing to victory
Saturday night in the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor
Speedway, snapping a six-race winning streak Gibbs' cars have had in
Tony Stewart was handed his second heartbreaking defeat of the
season Sunday night when a flat tire late in the Coca-Cola 600 gave
Kasey Kahne the victory in NASCAR's longest race.Stewart, who lost
the season-opening Daytona 500 when he was passed on the last lap by
Ryan Newman, had the tire go flat with three laps to go. He was
forced to pit, allowing Kahne to zip past him.He wound up a
frustrating 18th and stormed into his hauler without comment. He
could be seen inside the truck kicking at cabinets as crew chief
Greg Zipadelli was left to answer questions. Kahne, who led just
five laps all season coming into Sunday, became the sixth driver,
joining Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson
and Darrell Waltrip, to win both the All-Star race and the 600 in
this eight days of racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Most of the heavyweights dropped out of contention during an event
that started in the late afternoon, ended in the evening and
requires both intense mental focus and luck to make it to the
finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose winless streak hit 74 races,
Johnson, Brian Vickers and Kurt Busch all led laps but had parts
failures or tire issues.Greg Biffle was second to Kahne for the
second week in a row and Kyle Busch was third despite two battery
changes. Jeff Gordon was fourth and was followed by Earnhardt, Jeff
Burton, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Carl Edwards and David
In a surprise move, Speedway Motorsports Inc. agreed to purchase
Kentucky Speedway, opening the door for the northern Kentucky track
to perhaps one day host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. The deal
was announced this past Thursday by SMI chairman Bruton Smith could
end a lengthy battle between the track's ownership group and NASCAR.
The 1.5-mile oval, located in Sparta, Ky., midway between Cincinnati
and Louisville, opened in 2000 and hosts several circuits a year,
including the Nationwide Series and the Indy Racing League. Kentucky
Speedway filed an antitrust lawsuit in 2005 against NASCAR and
International Speedway Inc. The lawsuit was dismissed in January.
SMI, which operates several other tracks that host Sprint Cup events
including the New Hampshire Int. Speedway, could move one of those
races to Kentucky Speedway. It was also announced that H.A. "Humpy"
Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway in
Concord, N.C., would retire following the running of this past
Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at the North Carolina track
Wheeler began working at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1975, was named
general manager in 1976 and president in 1980.
Before the race, Wheeler, 69, received a standing ovation from the
drivers. Wheeler, who had spent 33 years at the track, announced his
retirement one week previous after track owner Bruton Smith declined
to let him move into a part-time role.
Scott Dixon, who was born in Australia but raised in New Zealand,
won the 92nd Indianapolis 500 on Sunday in a day of spins, hot
tempers and stout open-wheel racing. Pole-sitter Dixon, 27, gave
team owner Chip Ganassi his third Indy 500 victory. Juan Pablo
Montoya won for Ganassi in 2000 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989.
Panther Racing's Vitor Meira finished second to Dixon, with Marco
Andretti placing third. Helio Castroneves, a two-time winner, was
fourth. Fan favorite Danica Patrick, who struggled for speed much of
the day, collided with Ryan Briscoe as the pair was exiting the pits
on lap 171 and was knocked out of the race. She finished 22nd, her
worst performance at Indy in four starts. A fuming Patrick searched
for Briscoe down pit lane afterward but was ushered away by security
and track officials before she reached Briscoe's pit box.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the Waterford Speedbowl,
Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Size
Dick Watson (far left)
Newt Palm (left)
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: