Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
reopened with a new asphalt surface with a one lane dirt buffer on
the outside. Stu Hillbrem was the 25 lap Modified winner.
Fifty years ago in 1961, Ron Narducci was the Friday night
winner on the dirt at Stafford. Ted Stack made it four in a row when
he won a 50 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. Stack also won the non-Ford feature, his third in a row.
Joe Maynard was the Bomber winner.
Forty five years ago in 1966, Pete Hamilton became the first
repeat winner of the season at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Dennis
Zimmerman finished second with Eddie Flemke, third. Hamilton and
Zimmerman were a second-generation version of the fabled Eastern
Bandits led by Flemke. Jerry Cook and Don MacTavish rounded out the
top five. Pete Corey made it two in a row on the dirt at Stafford.
Jerry Cook won his first race, a 25 lapper, at the Fonda Speedway on
Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Gene Bergin, third.
Ed Yerrington, who in later years become the General Manager of the
Stafford Motor Speedway won the 30 lap Modified feature at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Bunnell made it five in a row in
Bomber competition and Bill Ramsley was the Daredevil winner. Kenny
Shoemaker ruled the roost at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday
night. Eddie Flemke finished second with Gaston Demarais, third.
Frank Mathalia and Jerry Cook rounded
out the top five. Albany Saratoga also ran on Monday with a 100
lapper to celebrate Memorial Day. Eddie Flemke rose to the occasion
to take the win with Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley
Rocket V-8 in second spot. Dennis Zimmerman, Jerry Cook and Don
MacTavish rounded out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1971, racing at the Albany-Saratoga
Speedway in Malta, NY rained out. Bugsy Stevens went two for two at
Stafford as he won the twin 25's.In the opener, Leo Cleary finished
second and was followed by Fred DeSarro and Ray Miller. DeSarro
rallied to finish second in the nightcap. Ageless veteran Maynard
Forette took the Saturday night honors at Fonda over Dave Buanno,
Dave Lape, Ron Narducci and Lou Lazzaro. In open competition action
at the Fulton Raceway Ronnie Wallace won a 75 lapper over Bryan
Osgood, Richie Evans, Don Diffendorf and Bob Sweeny. Donnie Bunnell
won the Spring Championship 36 lap Modified feature at the Waterford
Speedbowl. Nelson Rabideau was the Sportsman Sedan winner. At Islip,
Richie Gomes got a popular win and at Thompson it was Bobby Santos
and Bugsy Stevens scoring wins. Santos was the runner-up behind
Stevens and was followed by DeSarro, Leo Cleary, Rene Charland and
Hop Harrington. Harrington was second behind
Santos and was followed by Stevens, Dick Caso and Ed Yerrington.
Twin features at Utica-Rome were won by Ray Sitterly and Jerry Cook.
Thirty five years ago in 1976, Charlie Jarzombek took the
Friday night win at Riverhead. Greg Sacks finished second with Fred
Harbach, third. Harbach rebounded to take the win at Islip on
Saturday night. Riverside Park saw Bob Polverari take the win over
Pete Fiandaca. At the Waterford Speedbowl local favorite Dickie
“DOO” Ceravolo was the 35 lap Modified winner. Dick LaFlesh was the
Grand American Late Model winner. NASCAR's Superspeedway Modifieds
were at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Darrell Waltrip, in a Camaro,
won the 300-mile event with Ray Hendrick, second. Geoff Bodine was
third and was followed by Merv Treichler, Bobby Allison, Jerry Cook,
Clayton Hustead and Joe Thurman. Back in New England, Richie Evans
led all 80 laps of the postponed Spring Sizzler at the Stafford
Speedway. Track owner Jack Arute had mandated 12-inch tires to cut
costs. Evans complied and then some as he used 10-inch Sportsman
rubber. Geoff Bodine finished second and was followed by Ray
Hendrick and Fred DeSarro. Don LaJoie, driving Bob Johnson No.17
became only the second driver to leave the speedway as he rode over
Charlie Jarzombek's wheel in turn three. At Thompson, Fred DeSarro
made it two for two as he inched out a win over Geoff Bodine, George
Summers and Daring Dick Caso.
Thirty years ago in 1981, the Friday night Modified feature
at Stafford went non-stop with Kenny Bouchard in the Len Boehler
No.3 taking the win. Reggie Ruggiero, in the Fiore No.44 was second
and was followed by John Rosati and Bob Polverari. At the Spencer
Speedway, also on Friday, Jerry Cook took the win over Doug Hewitt.
At New Egypt, Tom Baldwin took the 100 lap win after Richie Evans
tangled with Frankie Schnieder. Tony Siscone finished second with
Bob Park, third. George Moose Hewitt was the winner at Waterford on
Saturday night while at Riverside; Reggie Ruggiero won out over Ray
Miller. At Westboro, seasoned veterans George Summers and Leo Cleary
finished one-two. Other Saturday night winners included George Kent
at Shangri-La, Alan Harbach at Islip, Tom Druar at Lancaster and
Tony Siscone at Wall. Billy Greco in the Modifieds and Jay Wilson in
the Sportsman were the big winners at Danbury. The big guns headed
for Oswego on Sunday for the Port City 150.Maynard Troyer took that
win with Kent second and Baldwin, third
Twenty five years ago in 1986, Bugsy Stevens in the Garbarino
No.4 took the Friday night win at Stafford. Jamie Tomaino finished
second with Mike Stefanik, third. Reggie Ruggiero took the win at
Riverside while at Waterford and Seekonk, it rained. Eddie
Brunnhoelzl beat out Dan Jivenelli and Don Howe at Riverhead. Oswego
ran the Richie Evans Memorial 100 on Sunday. Jamie Tomaino led pole
to pole as he beat out Jim Spencer, Brian Ross and Jan Leaty for the
win. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt took the
win. Tim Richmond was the Grandnational winner. It was also this
week that Bob Cuneau and Bob Vee sold Chassis Dynamics to John
Anderson and Dan Civitello.
Twenty years ago in 1991, Stafford ran the rained out Sizzler
200 on Friday night. Jeff Fuller took the win over Wayne Anderson,
George Brunnhoelzl and Steve Park. Bo Gunning was the SK Modified
winner. Saturday night at Waterford, Bob Potter in the Ceravolo
family No.31 took the lead when Jamie Marvin spun out with two to go
and went on to record his 83rd victory at the shoreline oval. Dennis
Gada finished second with Donnie Bunnell, third. Reggie Ruggiero got
his fourth win of the season at Riverside and Tim Connolly won a 100
lapper at Shangri-La. At the annual Oswego Port City 100,Steve Park
in the Curt Chase No.77 took the win. Reggie Ruggiero finished
second. Other weekend winners were Lenny Fischer at Riverhead, Jerry
Marquis at Monadnock and Richie Gallup at Thompson.
Fifteen years ago in 1996, the Featherlite Modified Tour was at
Stafford for a 150 lap event. Like his late father had done many
times, Ed Flemke Jr took the win. Reggie Ruggiero finished second
and was followed by Tony Hirschman and Jan Leaty. Mike Ewanitsko
took the SK Modified 50 over Ted Christopher and Lloyd Agor. It was
also on this night at Stafford that Eric Berndt went on his roof.
Bob Potter annexed his 94th career win at Waterford on Saturday
night after Chris Jones and Dave Kutka tangled with 14 laps to go.
Brian Schofield beat Tom Jensen at Riverside and it was Tom McCann
over Eddie Brunnhoelzl at Riverhead. George Kent won the Richie
Evans Memorial at Tioga and Dave Dion won the Busch North Series
event at Holland. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Dale Jarrett
dominated the last half of the big event as he crossed the finish
line 1/3 of a lap ahead of Dale Earnhardt. Mark Martin won the Busch
Grandnational Red Dog 300.
Ten years ago in 2001 Mike Ewanitsko took advantage of Jerry
Marquis who was blocked by the lapped car of Dan Avery and went on
to win the Featherlite Modified Touring Series event at Stafford on
Friday night. Marquis ended up in second spot with Mike Stefanik,
third. Forty-one Modifieds were on hand. Willie Hardie scored his
third of the season in SK Modified competition. Waterford rained out
on Saturday night as JR Bertuccio took the checker at Riverhead.
Sunday night at Thompson, Ted Christopher took the top spot over
Zach Sylvester and Scott Quinn. Kelly Moore was the Busch North
Series winner at Seekonk and in Winston Cup action at Charlotte;
Ryan Newman took the pole for the World 600 and Jeff Burton, the
win. Jeff Green won the Grandnational 300.Helio Castroneves won the
Five years ago in 2006 in what turned out to be a big
surprise, NASCAR’s Director of Regional Racing Development Don Hawk
resigned his position with the sanctioning body. During Hawk’s
tenure the Modified division had prospered to the point where they
were and still are NASCAR’s top regional touring division. Despite
sitting in the front office in Daytona Hawk was always available to
give guidance and answer questions. He was held back only by those
above him. A spokesperson for NASCAR stated that he wanted to pursue
personal options. Larry Mattingly of the Jennerstown Speedway in Pa
stated that anyone who works within inner sanctum does not have an
easy time of it as he has to try to keep the competitors happy as
well as his employer, NASCAR. Mattingly was told that “major” things
were in the works but did not elaborate.
The Stafford Motor Speedway was scheduled to host their second of
four Whelen Modified Tour Series events. For the third week in a row
the weatherman won as heavy rain dumped on the Stafford area. The
Connecticut Classic was rescheduled to Tuesday, July 4.
At the Waterford Speedbowl the Supermodifieds of ISMA were the guest
attraction. Justin Belfiore won the 50-lap contest. Belfiore took
the lead after the top three including Waterford regular Rob Summers
were eliminated on a lap 17 crash. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. went pole
to pole to win the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Chris Pasteryak
closed to within a car length at the finish with Tommy Fox third.
Other winners were Jay Stuart in the 30-lap Late Model event, Billy
Gertsch Jr. in the 20-lap Sportsman haul and Danny Field in the
20-lap Mini Stock race. Dwayne Dorr’s bid for a record-tying sixth
straight Sportsman victory was lost in a lap seven crash.
In other weekend action Mike Leaty won the Richie Evans 100 at
Oswego. Matt Hirschman finished second with Eric Beers, third. John
Blewett III won at Wall Township and JR. Bertuccio won at Riverhead.
Kasey Kahne won the Coke 300 at Charlotte. Defending series champion
Tony Stewart broke his shoulder after hitting the wall. Sam Hornish
Jr. won the Indy 500.
Last year, 2010, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
continued on "Spring Break". Selected drivers from the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour participated in a test held by Hoosier Tire at Lime
Rock Park. In preparation for the Whelen Modified Tour’s inaugural
visit to Lime Rock Park on July 3, drivers Ted Christopher, Rowan
Pennink, Bobby Santos and Todd Szegedy took part in four 20-minute
sessions throughout the afternoon at the Connecticut road course.
Selected drivers from the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Southern
Modified Tours participated in a test held by Hoosier Tire on
Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway. In preparation for the second
running of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 combination race for both
Whelen Modified Tours, Whelen Modified Tour veteran Mike Stefanik,
along with Southern Tour regulars James Civali and Burt Myers took
part in the all-day session.
The Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing action with a NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series program on Friday, May 14th. Woody Pitkat
picked up his first win of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK
Modified® feature that ended up being a war of words between Pitkat
and runner-up Ted Christopher. Dillon Moltz got win number two of
2010 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Cipriano, 15, scored his
first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Andrew
Durand won the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cory
Casagrande was the second first time career winner of the night by
taking the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Racing at the Waterford Speedbowl is a five letter word, ROCCO.
Keith Rocco continued his dominance by winning for the fifth time in
six event in the 35-lap SK Modified feature at the Waterford
Speedbowl Saturday night. Rocco out handled and out drove Ron Yuhas
JR on lap 25 and survived three restarts as he continued his
domination of the SK Modified division at the shoreline oval. Yuhas
held on for a runner-up finish. Tyler Chadwick, Rob Janovic Jr and
Jeff Pearl rounded out the top five.
Other feature winners were 18-year-old Chris Meyer in the Street
Stock event, Ken Cassidy Jr. in the Mini-Stock event, Allen Coates
in the truck and Anthony Flannery in the Legends Cars race.
The Bowman-Gray Stadium, known as the MADHOUSE, in Winston-Salem NC
had scheduled twin 25 lap features for their Modified division.
Local runner Lee Jeffreys was the fastest in qualifying with a lap
of 13.433 seconds (67.0 mph) on the quarter-mile track, and he
started from the pole position in the first Modified race as a
result. Jeffreys went pole to pole for his 15th career victory. Burt
Myers finished second, Jonathan Brown third, Randy Butner fourth and
Tim Brown fifth. The night cap event was rained out.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in Charlotte, NC. In celebration of
this event the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island ran a 100 lap NASCAR
Modified event. Whelen Modified Tour Series driver Ron Silk took top
honors in the event after waging a heated battle with Tom Rogers.
Silk and car owner Eddie Partridge walked off with $3,025. Wayne
Anderson, 63, 1994 NASCAR national modified champion suffered a
heart attack while competing in the 100 lap race Saturday night at
Riverhead, NY Raceway. Anderson was revived by the track crew. He
was removed to St. Vincent's hospital where he is said to be in
"stable" condition. From Medford, N.Y. Wayne, who had been racing
since 1965, is the son of the late legend, Axel Anderson.
In Sprint Cup action at Dover Kyle Busch swapped the lead with Jimmy
Johnson throughout most of the 400-mile race run in front of
thousands of empty seats. Busch missed the tripleheader sweep on the
one-mile concrete track by just a couple gallons of gas. He was in
position to win the Trucks Series race on Friday but ran out of gas
at the end. He easily took the checkered flag in Saturday's
Nationwide series race as he raced about 800 miles in three days.
Jeff Burton was second and Matt Kenseth third. Denny Hamlin and
David Reutimann rounded out the top five.
It looked like O. Bruton Smith, owner of the New Hampshire Motor
Speedway in Loudon, NH was ready to go to battle stations with the
New Hampshire Governor along with State and local police. The town
of Loudon was looking to be paid $174,500 for police and fire
coverage, the same cost as the September 2009 race weekend. Bruton
Smith believed adequate coverage could be provided for $75,000.
Jerry Gappens, the speedway's executive vice president stated that
none of Smith's seven other speedways has to pay for local emergency
services. Smith says he will pay for police and fire for June's race
Even after the governor assembled a committee to deal with New
Hampshire Motor Speedway's concerns about the cost of police and
fire coverage at the track, the speedway and Loudon police Chief Bob
Fiske were about $100,000 apart on the cost of covering next month's
NASCAR race weekend.
The Loudon NASCAR weekend runs from June 23 to June 27. With a
little over a month to go there was still plenty of time to resolve
the disagreement. When it comes to dealing with state and local
authorities Smith is as tough as nails and in most cases gets his
way. Smith has the power and the money to plow the Loudon Racetrack
under and move it to another state if he has to. The state of New
Hampshire and the towns around the speedway needed to realize how
much money is generated into the state and local economies before
making a final decision. Police officers from Loudon and towns
across the state make $43 per hour to work the race weekend.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's Racing
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: