Fifty years ago in 1960 Bill Slater made it three in a row at
the Norwood Arena. He also took his third Modified feature at the
Waterford Speedbowl as the shoreline oval continued to run on
Sundays. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm annexed his
second win in the Bombers.
Forty five years ago in 1965 Ron Narducci was the opening
Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. At the Waterford
Speedbowl Ray DeLisle was the Modified feature winner and Daring
Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. At Fonda, Ken Shoemaker made it two
in a row and three for the year in Modified action at the New York
State oval. Lou Smith was fatally injured after his car hit the wall
during the feature. At Utica-Rome it rained.
Forty years ago in 1970, Fred DeSarro hit full stride in his
quest for the NASCAR Modified National Championship as he won on
Friday night at Malta and twin 50's at Stafford on Saturday night.
Eddie Flemke was just as hot as he finished second to DeSarro in all
three events. At Malta, Charlie Jarzombek finished third and was
followed by Andy Romano and Lou Lazzaro. In the first 50 lapper at
Stafford, Lou Austin finished third with Bernie Miller, fourth. In
the nightcap, Bobby Santos finished third with Austin, fourth. Ron
Narducci who was inducted in the NEAR Hall of Fame won at Fonda over
Don Wayman. Rain washed out all action at the Waterford Speedbowl.
On Sunday, Thompson ran a 200-lap NASCAR championship event. Ray
Hendrick was scheduled to drive the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11.
Hendrick became fog bound in Newark airport so on the advice of
Eddie Flemke, Hop Harrington was given the ride for the day.
Harrington didn't disappoint his mentor as he went out and won the
event. Bernie Miller finished second with Eddie Flemke, Moose Hewitt
and Frank Faria rounding out the top five.
Thirty five years ago in 1975, Stafford Speedway had been
under duress since the beginning of the season when Jack Arute
mandated that narrow tires be used on the modifieds. Stafford car
owners voted to return to the fifteen-inch wide rubber and Arute
gave in after a long fight. It was also on this weekend that Bill
Slater tended his resignation from the Stafford management over
differences of opinion. On the final weekend of running the narrow
tires, Eddie Flemke in the Manchester Sand and Gravel No.10 took the
Friday night win over Freddie Schulz, Bugsy Stevens and Lenny
Cleaves. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Monday, Memorial Day. This
event, the last on narrow tires was to be the biggest win of the
late George Moose Hewitt. Ronnie Bouchard with a small block for
power finished second and was followed by Ray Miller, Flemke and
Richie Evans. In other weekend action, George Wagner won at Freeport
on Friday night over Gary Winters, Jerry Cook and Charlie Jarzombek.
Winters turned the tables on Wagner on Saturday at Islip with
Jarzombek again third. Freeport ran a 100 lapper on Monday and it
was Richie Evans outgunning Fred Harbach for the win. Billy Harman
was the Modified feature winner at Waterford. Bob Gada Sr was the
Grand American Late Model winner. In Sunday action in New England,
Eddie Flemke won out over Fred DeSarro and John Rosati at Thompson
and at Monadnock, also on Sunday it was Brian Ross over Ray Miller
and Jerry Dostie.
Thirty years ago in 1980, Over 5000 fans were on hand at
Stafford on Friday night as Richie Evans made it two in a row. Bugsy
Stevens finished second and was followed by Ronnie Bouchard, Ray
Miller and Corky Cookman. Mike Benevides who has since retired from
racing and is now a CPA won his first late model feature. Evans
carried his winning ways over to Saturday as he took a convincing
win over Reggie Ruggerio and Miller. Ron Bouchard won at Westboro
while Mike Beebe held off Bob Potter for the win at Waterford. Geoff
Bodine had a busy weekend as he won the modified feature at Spencer
in the Lee Allard modified, won a Late Model Sportsman event at
South Boston, Va. in the Zervakas No.01 and on Sunday jumped back in
the Allard No.99 to beat out Satch Worley and Jerry Cook at North
Wilkesboro, N.C. Other weekend winners were Larry Record at Star,
Tom McCann at Islip, Allen Whipple at Clairmont, George LeBlanc at
Danbury and Charlie Jarzombek at Plainville.
Twenty five years ago in 1985, Charlie Jarzombek was the
Friday night winner at Stafford. Reggie Ruggerio finished second
with Corky Cookman, third. Riverside ran a 100 lapper on Saturday,
which saw only eight cars finish. Ruggerio survived to take the win
over Wade Cole and John Rosati. Randy Hedger beat out Richie Evans
at Spencer and at Waterford, Bob Potter and Dale Holdredge finished
one-two. Bob Park scored a win at Riverhead and in SK action at
Thompson, Wayne Dion in Brad LaFountain's 66 won out over Kerry
Malone and Lloyd Agor. In Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Bill
Elliott emerged the winner.
Twenty years ago in 1990, Steve Chowanski was the Friday
night SK Modified winner at Stafford. Mike Christopher finished
second with Wayne Dion, third. Christopher stepped it up at
Waterford on Saturday, as he was no match for David Gada. Bob
Polverari was the winner at Riverside over Jerry Marquis and at
Riverhead; Bob Park beat out Frank Vigliorlo for the win. The racing
world was saddened when it was learned that AJ Michaels had died at
Oswego and the big news of the weekend was that Brian Ross had
decided to retire from modified racing as he felt the modifieds were
getting to the point that they were unsafe.
Fifteen years ago in 1995, Friday night action at Stafford
rained out. At Waterford, Mark LaJunesse scored a popular win over
Bert Marvin and Todd Ceravolo. At Seekonk, starter Ron Manfredo was
struck accidentally by Tony Dias Jr. while directing cars for a
restart lineup. Manfredo received a broken leg, a bad nose gash and
many scrapes. At Riverside it was Reggie Ruggerio over Doug Meservy
and at Riverhead, Bill Park took the top spot. The Featherlite
Modified Tour was at Nazareth for a 100 lapper. Tony Hirschman, in
the Len Boehler No.3 passed Tim Connoly with two laps to go to take
the win. Connoly, in the Bob Fuller No.17 finished second and was
followed by Ed Kennedy, Tom Cravenho and Mike Stefanik. Tim Fedewa
won the wreck marred Busch Grandnational event, also at Nazareth. At
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Todd Bodine won the Winston Open and Jeff
Gordon won the Winston.
Ten years ago, in 1990, rain played havoc in the northeast,
washing just about everything out. Thompson drew 53 mods for the
Featherlite modified tour event. Tim Connolly in the Mystic Missile
took the pole with Tony Hirshman, second fastest. Todd Ceravolo and
Ted Christopher were the SK mod heat winners and that’s as far as
they got as the skies opened up.
Five years ago in 2005 saw Todd Owen, Tom Butler, Michael
Bennett, Charlie Newman, and Jim Mavlouganes drive to victory lane
in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series feature events at the Stafford
Speedway. Both Owen and Newman were first time feature winners,
while Bennett's win was his third in four events of the season. In
the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Owen, of Somers, took the lead on a
lap-5 restart and led the rest of the way to pick up the first
career SK Modified feature win of his career at Stafford. Owen had
Ted Christopher lined up behind him on a lap 19 restart but drove
away from Christopher in the closing laps to score a convincing win.
Christopher finished second, with Eric Berndt, Jeff Baral, and John
Sandberg rounding out the top-5 behind him.
After three rainouts in a row the Waterford Speedbowl finally got
their Saturday night racing program in. Tommy Fox avoided a
multitude of wrecks and spins to go on to record his first win of
the year. Fox led all but four laps. He battled Ron Yuhas Jr. over
the final seven laps. Kurt Lenahan, Don Fowler and Rob Summers
rounded out the top five. Allen Coates became the first two-time
winner of the season as he won the Late Model 30 lapper. Coates took
the lead at the halfway point and beat several restart challenges
from Chris Douton. Carl Eriksson, Mark St.Hilaire and Charles Bailey
III rounded out the top five. Roger Perry won the 20 lap Sportsman
event and Jeff Miller was the winner of the Mini Stock feature.
Jeffrey Paul was the 20-lap Legends Car winner.
First it was the Tioga Speedway in Owego, NY, and then it was the
Wall Township Speedway in Belmar, NJ now it appeared maybe the
Waterford Speedbowl was on thin ice. The May 15 edition of the
Hartford Courant hinted to the fact that the Speedbowl, in existence
since 1951 may shut down at season’s end. The Speedbowl had been at
the mercy of the weather in 2005 and with no money coming in the
management had been put in a somewhat of a bad way. Speedbowl
operator Terry Eames acknowledged that there was a study going on
involving alternative uses of the property, which is owned by 1080
Hartford Road LLC. He said he had a “fiduciary responsibility” to
other stockholders in that regard but cautions the “speculation” may
be premature. “There are absolutely no firm plans to do anything at
this time,” Eames said. “We have some big events on the immediate
horizon including the Budweiser Modified Nationals and that is the
Speedbowl’s primary concern right now,” Eames continued. “We have a
dedicated group of competitors and fans and, many believe, the best
racing in the area. We’re not about to just throw all of that away.”
In the event that Eames does decide to pull the plug on his
operation the word on the street has an interested group ready to
step up to the plate.
The Pro All Star Series was at the Thompson International Speedway
on Sunday for the running of the Pro Stock Shootout 100. It proved
to be a Shootout between Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe. At the end, C.
Clark was the last man “standing”. In NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
action, Bert Marvin of Waterford, CT scored an impressive win in the
Sunoco Modified Division. Charles Bailey, III picked up where he
left off, winning the Late Model feature. Limited Sportsman honors
went to Larry Barnett, Mini Stock checkers flew for Terry Boudreau..
It was a dominating win for Bernie Singer in All Star Truck Series
competition. Ben Rowe summed it up best in his post-race interview.
“He (Cassius) was the class of the field. Cassius Clark of
Farmington, ME led much of the early going of the 100 lapper, only
to lose the lead to Ben Rowe with just over 30 laps to go. Over the
remaining 25 laps, the two went fender-to-fender swapping the lead a
number of times. A caution with 14 laps remaining set up a final
duel between the two. C. Clark got a great jump of the restart but
Rowe retained the lead. A bobble by Rowe on lap 89 opened the door
for both Cassius and Johnny Clark. The three had a comfortable
distance between one another as they headed for the finish while
Corey Williams and Scott Mulkern battled for fourth. In the waning
laps, Rowe began to backslide a bit even falling into the clutches
of Williams. Rowe was able to hold on to the podium finish with
winner C. Clark and runner-up J. Clark. Williams and Mulkern
finished rounded out the top-five. Bert Marvin drove a smart race to
win his first of the season in Sunoco Modified feature action. Bo
Gunning led the charge early while Tommy Cravenho and Jeff Malave
were coming through the pack. Gunning held the point while positions
were changing inside the top five. Marvin got the second position on
lap 10 while Cravenho and Malave followed through into the third and
fourth positions. Malave began to pressure Cravenho before the
yellow came out. Just as the crossed flags were displayed the
caution flew for a spin by Russ Savoy. The restart found Gunning
with Marvin to his outside and Cravenho and Malave in the second
row. Cravenho sailed his car into turn four to take over the second
position from Marvin with Malave following through. The caution came
out for a spin by Darin Renihan to negate the pass. Cravenho made
the same move work a second time to take the second spot when they
went back to green. Malave continued to take chase in fourth
followed by Adam Norton. Cravenho caught Gunning and pressed for the
lead. Contact between the two sent Gunning over the #31 of Cravenho
and hard into the wall. Cravenho was sent to the rear for his
involvement in the incident. Marvin and Malave lined up one and two
for the restart with ten laps to go. Kerry Malone started to make
his presence known on the restart. The battle up front began to heat
up as well between Marvin and Malave. George Bessette was turning in
a great performance in his debut in the #2. After several attempts
at green flag racing the final shootout came with five laps
remaining and a single-file restart. Malave glued his Interstate
Diesel #6 to the bumper of Marvin. Malave even looked inside coming
out of two but settled for second behind winner Bert Marvin. Malone
finished third followed by Ricky Shawn and John Sandburg. Charles
Bailey, III made it two in a row in the Late Model division.
The NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series were in Virginia at the
Richmond Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards took the Busch Series win and
Kasey Kahne got his first Nextel Cup win.
Reigning Indy Racing League champion Tony Kanaan took the pole for
the May 29 Indianapolis 500. Kanaan, last year's Indy runner-up, had
a four-lap qualifying run at 227.566 mph.
Last year, 2009, the Friday night racing season opener at the
Stafford Motor Speedway avoided the elements until the very end. The
speedway opened up its regular Friday night NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series schedule with the Late Model division taking
center stage for the 15th Annual Late Model 100. Dillon Moltz
outlasted veterans Jim Peterson and Ryan Posocco over the final 15
laps of the race to take home his third consecutive extra distance
feature victory at Stafford. Jeff Malave drove a strong race to
score his first SK Modified® feature win in over 4 years in the
40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tony Santangelo was the winner of the
20-lap SK Light Modified feature, and Andrew Durand made it
two-for-two in 2009 with his second consecutive victory in the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature. The 15-lap DARE Stock feature was
halted by rain with two laps complete.
Dennis Gada, who has had less than a spectacular start to the season
took advantage of a mis-cue by Cory Hutchings and found himself in
victory lane at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. After
numerous restarts Gada was unable to overtake Hutchings. All of a
sudden with less than ten laps remaining, Hutchings lost control
near turn two and spun out. Gada took advantage of Hutchings
predicament as he inherited the lead and went on to record his first
win of the 2009 season. Jeffrey Paul finished second and was
followed by Rob Janovic Jr, and Shawn Solomito. Keith Rocco, who had
won the previous two features, finished fifth. Sixth through tenth
were Ron Yuhas Jr., Justin Gaydosh, Todd Ceravolo, Jeff Pearl and
Wendell Dailey. Hutchings finished 14th. Twenty three Modifieds
started the event.
Other winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model feature), Mark
Panaroni (Mini Stocks) and Mark Cooper (Street Stocks). There were
only nine cars in the Late Model field.
The True Value Modified Series made its first of two visits to the
shoreline oval. In his first-ever start on the True Value Modified
tour, Doug Coby took the win in the 100-lap feature. Coby, who is a
former competitor on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series, took
the lead from polesitter Chris Pasteryak late in the race and kept
it on two restarts, including one with three laps left. Mike
Stefanik finished second and Pasteryak was third. Coby, who started
11th, was in the top five just past the 1/3 mark.
At the end of the 100 lap grind that was slowed by eight caution
periods, former Waterford winner Les Hinckley finished fourth after
overcoming earlier handling problems, second year driver Steven
Masse was fifth, his best finish with the series. Ted Christopher,
driving the Joe Brady owned #00, cut a tire while running ninth on
lap 13 and made contact with the turn three aarmco barrier, ending
his night early in 25th spot.
John Fortin took the Modified win at Riverhead Raceway when he went
wire to wire to win the opening night 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature
event for the Whelen All-American Series. The triumph was the 18th
of Fortin's career and worth $1,435.
Matt Kenseth found one of the few ways to beat Kyle Busch. Kenseth
took advantage when Busch's dominant car got a flat with two laps to
go Friday night, lifting him to his first Nationwide Series win this
year and capping a record-setting day at Darlington Raceway. Busch
led 143 laps and looked like he would ease to victory. Then a late
collision between Scott Legasse Jr. and Joe Nemechek brought out the
race's 10th caution and set up a two-lap sprint to the finish. As
Busch ran through the wreckage, he got a flat in his right rear
tire. Busch tested the tire for several laps before rolling into the
pits to loud cheers from Darlington fans.
Kenseth, who earlier set a track record to win the Southern 500
pole, still faced a green-white-checkered finish. That, too, went
Kenseth's way when Morgan Shepherd spun out on the restart, ending
the race. Jason Leffler finished second, followed by Carl Edwards,
and Nationwide rookies Erik Darnell and Justin Allgaier. Busch wound
Former Nationwide Series driver Kevin Grubb was found dead in a
Richmond-area motel room from what police said was an apparent
self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Grubb was suspended
indefinitely by NASCAR after a second failed drug test in 2006 and
never raced again in a NASCAR sanctioned event. Jeremy Mayfield was
suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random
drug test, becoming the first driver to violate a toughened new
policy that went into effect this season. Mayfield tested positive
for a banned substance at Richmond International Raceway. NASCAR
spokesman Jim Hunter would not reveal what banned substance Mayfield
used, but Hunter said it was not an alcohol-related offense.
In Sprint Cup racing at Darlington, Mark Martin led the final 46
laps to win his 37th career Sprint Cup victory. Martin had to show
as much patience as speed, handling a record 17 cautions on
Darlington's 2-year-old pavement. The wrecks surpassed the previous
high of 15 set in Darlington's spring race 14 years ago, and more
than doubled the eight of last year after the track was freshly
paved. Jimmie Johnson wrecked in qualifying and had to start 42nd.
He made it all the way to Martin's bumper before settling for
second. Tony Stewart finished third. Ryan Newman, Stewart's
teammate, was fourth, followed by points leader Jeff Gordon.
Less than a month after being acquitted of charges of tax evasion,
Helio Castroneves was right where he wanted to be, back in the
cockpit and on the pole for the Indianapolis 500. Castroneves's
four-lap average of 224.864 mph on the historic 2.5-mile oval came
with less than two hours remaining in the six-hour opening round of
time trials for the May 24 race.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the late Plainville Stadium, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & VintageModifieds.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: