Sixty years ago in 1952, the guy
they loved to hate, Dick Beauregard, was the 25 lap Sportsman winner
at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Johnny Sandberg, who in later
years would become a Modified standout at the shoreline oval, was
the Claiming Car winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1957 Johnny
Sandberg was the 25 Lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. Joe Rosenfield was the 10 lap Non-Ford winner.
Fifty years ago in 1962 Hank Stevens was the 25 lap Modified winner
at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stevens would become very
proficient in the Midgets in later years. Ed Gladue was the 15 lap
Bomber feature winner.
Forty five years ago in 1967,
Billy Blum won at Fulton while at Fonda; Rene Charland beat out
Maynard Forette and Jeep Herbert for the win. Rain-washed out Utica
Rome and Waterford on Sunday.
Forty years ago in 1972, Maynard
Forette was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway
in Malta; N.Y. Bernie Miller finished second and was followed by Guy
Chartrand, Lou Lazzaro, Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Santos and Richie
Evans. At Fonda on Saturday night, Lou Lazzaro, using the same car
that he ran on asphalt the night before, took the win over Kenny
Shoemaker and Harry Peek. At the tight 1/5 mile oval at Islip,
Charlie Jarzombek took the win over Jim Hendrickson and Wayne
Anderson. Stafford ran a 30 lapper on Sunday afternoon with Gene
Bergin in the Dick Armstrong No.1 taking the win over rookie Ronnie
Bouchard. Leo Cleary finished third and was followed by Fred DeSarro,
George Summers, Ray Miller and Nathan "Smokey" Boutwell. Waterford
also ran on Sunday with Mike Beebe taking the Modified win. Ron
"Boots" Cote was the Sportsman Sedan winner at the shoreline oval.
Sunday night racing at Utica-Rome rained out.
Thirty five years ago in 1977,
Forty-five Modifieds were on hand at Stafford on Friday night. Ray
Miller took the 30 lap win over Eddie Flemke, Jerry Cook, Ron
Bouchard, Leo Cleary and Jerry Pearl. Geoff Bodine, who had been
cleaning house was an early out due to a wreck. Monadnock was also
running on Friday night. Punky Caron ruled the roost as he beat out
Pete Fiandaca and Bob Karvonen for the win. Islip and Freeport were
battling, running against each other on Saturday night on Long
Island. Tom McCann won at Islip over Jim Tyler and Fred Harbach
while at Freeport, Lou Hennesy took the win over Gary Winters and
Jerry Bartlett. At Waterford, Bill Greco took the win over Rick
Donnelly and Gene Bergin. Fred DeSarro made it two in a row in
Sunday action at Thompson. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with
Eddie Flemke, third.
Thirty years ago in 1982, Greg
Sacks continued his dream season in the Ernie Wilsburg No.5 as he
took the Friday night main event at Stafford. Reggie Ruggiero tried
his best but had to settle for second. Ray Miller, George Summers
and Bob Polverari rounded out the top five. Saturday night at
Waterford belonged to Bob Potter .Moose Hewitt finished second with
Jerry Pearl, third. At Riverside it was Stan Gregger and at Islip,
Bob Park took the win. Sacks blew an engine in warm-ups at Thompson
and opened the door for George Kent who ended up with the win. A
poor crowd was on hand as less than 200 spectator cars were in the
parking lot at race time. Jerry Cook finished second and was
followed by Bob Polverari and Marty Radwick. In Winston Cup action
at Nashville, Darrel Waltrip took the win with Terry Labonte, second
and Ronnie Bouchard, third.
Twenty five years ago in 1987,
Bill Elliott set an all time qualifying record at Talladega when he
qualified at 212.809 mph. Elliott dropped a valve and dropped out
while running second in the event which was won by Davey Allison.
The race was halted on lap 22 when Bobby Allison got airborne on the
front chute and tore down the catch fence. Allison escaped unhurt
but this action would set in motion a drive by NASCAR, which would
require restrictor plates on carburetors at Talledega as well as at
Daytona. On the local front, Bob Potter beat out Ed Flemke Jr. at
Waterford. Ted Christopher, Larry Lanphear and Ronnie Rocco rounded
out the top five. Brian McCarthy was awarded the Late Model win
after Phil Rondeau was disqualified because of illegal a-frames. At
Riverside, Mike Stefanik took the win over Ted Riggott and Dan Avery
and at Riverhead; Wayne Anderson took the top spot. At Shangri-La it
was Jim Spencer.
Twenty years ago in 1992, rain
after two heats, washed out the Friday night action at Stafford. On
Saturday night at Riverside, the quarter mile oval suffered its
fourth rain out in a row. A weather window allowed Waterford to run.
Bert Marvin took the win over Jim Broderick, Chris Jones, Harry Rice
and Ted Christopher. In Late Model competition, Phil Rondeau debuted
a new Thunderbird bodied car and ran away with his feature. Jeff
Malave won the Riverhead opener and on Sunday at Loudon before
11,000 fans, Jeff Fuller won the 125 lap modified event over Jan
Leaty, Reggie Ruggiero, Doug Hevron and Mike Stefanik. Mike
McLaughlin won the 125 lap Busch North Series event also at Loudon.
Dave Reszendes finished second with Dick McCabe, third and Jeff
Fifteen years ago in 1997, Jim
Broderick took advantage of Bo Gunning's soft left front as he went
on to take the Friday night win at Stafford. Gunning toughed it out
to finish second with Steve Chowanski, third. Saturday was a total
wash out. On Sunday, Jack Bateman took the win at Monadnock over
Dwight Jarvis and Rick Miller and in Busch North Series action at
Jennerstown, Tom Bolles went pole to pole to win the 150 lap event
over Andy Santarre and Kelly Moore. Mike Ewanitsko and Ted
Christopher were fighting for the lead on lap 176 of the Waterford
200 when their bumpers locked which allowed Steve Chowanski to sneak
by for the win. Ewanitsko finished second and was followed by Tucker
Reynolds Jr and Christopher. In Winston Cup action at Sonoma,
California, Mark Martin led 69 of the 74 lap distance to take the
Ten years ago in 2002, the
Sizzler, which had been rained out, was run with Ted Christopher
taking the win. Christopher took the lead in the 200 lapper on lap
173 from Rick Fuller. Fuller hung on for second and was followed by
Tony Hirschman, David Berghman and Tom Cravenho. Mike Ewanitsko was
without a doubt; the fastest in the field until he lost a driveshaft
on lap 159. Ed Flemke Jr. was also a factor until his power steering
went away in the closing stages of the event. Bo Gunning, in the
Eddie Partridge No.12 was the 40 lap SK - Modified winner. In other
action over the weekend Jimmie Blewett won a 50 lapper at Wall
Township, Chuck Steuer beat out Bill Park at Riverhead and at
Waterford, Dennis Gada and Jeff Pearl finished one-two.
Five years ago in 2007, the 2007
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed to the Wall Township
Speedway at the New Jersey shore for the inaugural “Flash Event”
format race. Dubbed “The Thunder at the Shore” by NASCAR, the event
was the first of three flash events for 2007. The races with the new
format have met with mixed feelings from competitors. Usually time
trials determine starting fields, the “Flash Format” eliminates time
trials and puts qualifying heats in its place. Twin 50 lap races
determined the 50 lap main event.
Thirty seven Modifieds attempted to qualify for the event that was
run in cool, early spring type weather. Among the missing was Tony
Hirschman and Bob Santos III who was at the Richmond race..
Hirschman had said earlier in the year that he would not run a full
schedule if he was not in the lead group in the point standings. The
first 50 lap qualifier was won by Reggie Ruggiero. Seven caution
periods slowed the event. Jimmy Blewett finished second with Todd
Szegedy, third. Matt Hirschman, Mike Stefanik and Ronnie Silk
rounded out the top five. John Blewett III won the second 50 lapper.
John Blewett III started on the pole of the second 50 lapper. He
went on to lead every lap. Six cautions broke up the action. Ted
Christopher finished second with Chuck Hossfeld, third. Bob Grigas
and Bill Pauch Jr rounded out the top five. Stafford Sizzler winner
Donny Lia finished fourteenth. The Blewett Brothers made Modified
history as they scored a one-two punch to cop the top two spots in
the first ever “Whelen Modified Tour Flash Race”. Jimmy Blewett gave
Reggie Ruggerio a gentle nudge of the bumper during a lap one
restart as he took the lead and never looked back. John Blewett III
finished a close second. Ruggerio, Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik
rounded out the top five. Ruggerio was credited with leading one
lap, Jimmy Blewett led the rest, ho-hum. NASCAR had good intentions
but it looked like the “Flash” ended up being a “Fizzle” NASCAR
needs to re-think their way of staging competitive racing rather
than putting the top dogs in front. Its ok to do that for long races
where pit stops shake up the field but to continue to stage races
like this will all but guarantee the demise of the division. If
NASCAR wants to run short races they should at least handicap the
field by inverting the point standings to create a little
Sixth through tenth were Matt Hirschman, Ronnie Silk, Todd Szegedy,
Jerry Marquis and Billy Pauch Jr.
It appeared that the northern based True Value Modified Series had
NASCAR looking over their shoulder. Although they wouldn't speak
publicly, Whelen Modified Tour competitors had “been spoken to”
about their participation in these events. Because of “Right to
Work” laws NASCAR had to tread softly on this issue but they can
still make offending competitors life miserable when they compete in
NASCAR events. During the late 60’s and early 70’s NASCAR branded
the late Richie Evans as an “Outlaw” because of his participation in
non-NASCAR events. They pulled his competitors license and
prohibited him from racing in NASCAR sanctioned events. Evans, who
raced for a living took his case to court and won the right to
compete where ever he wanted to. As we all know, Evans went on to
become NASCAR’s greatest Modified competitor and champion. The TVMS
ran a rescheduled 100 lap event at the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, NH. Les Hinkley took the win over Dwight Jarvis and Kirk
Alexander. Ted Christopher finished seventh.
“The Bond Auto Parts 100” was a hotly contested battle in front a
large crowd that braved cold temperatures and gusty wind chills. The
event had been postponed twice by rain. It was the second time
Hinckley has won the first race at Monadnock. He did so in 2005. An
overflow field of 38 cars from throughout the northeast traveled to
the Granite State oval to contest in three 12 lap qualifying races
and a new twist added to the TVMRS program, a 20 lap “B” feature to
give race teams that did not qualify in heat race action a chance to
race for a separate purse and gain entry in the 100 lap main event.
Six positions were added to the 26 car field from that race.
Peter Jarvis and Louie Mechalides, brought the field to green with
Jarvis jumping into the top spot and leading the opening five laps
until the first caution flag was displayed for a spinning car on the
start of lap 6. On the restart, Hinckley, who started in fourth
position, took the lead from Jarvis and would hold it until lap 52
giving him the Black Mountain Painting ½ way award, Jarvis, who won
his heat race earlier, would stay right behind the race leader and
wheel his Wally Albro owned, Cheever Tire Service sponsored, race
car to it’s best run on the TVMRS. The former Claremont late model
champ impressed, and would take the lead back on lap 53 only to turn
it back over to Hinckley on the 56th go around. Hinckley would
continue to set a hot pace despite several caution flags that slowed
the race including a stoppage on the 63rd circuit for second year
driver Bryan Shumway, Belchertown, MA., who was involved in a 1st
turn skirmish that resulted in a hand injury. When the race resumed
Hinckley was the top dog but with the series defending champion and
the two time champion in hot pursuit.
Dwight Jarvis cut a tire at the half way mark and with a fresh right
rear tire on his new mount, he started to make his way to the front
with Alexander doing the same. The W.Swanzey,NH., driver took the
point and lead laps 85 to 87 with Hinckley taking it back for good
on lap 88. A lap 99 spin involving Stafford Springs,CT., hot shoe
Woody Pitkat brought out the eighth caution period. The TVMRS race
procedure is to finish the race under green with a green, white,
checkered flag finish, the race ended on lap 101.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway last Friday night Frank Ruocco, the defending SK Modified
track champion started on the pole of the 40 lap main event and led
every lap to take the win. Ruocco suffered a blown engine that
relegated him to an 18th place finish during the Spring Sizzler
weekend. The feature’s starting order was determined by his previous
finish. Ruocco's win was not an easy win by any means. Kerry Malone
worked his way through traffic to come up to second, and he hounded
Ruocco for the final 10 laps, but came just up short at the
checkered flag. Todd Owen finished third, with Keith Rocco fourth
and Jeff Baral rounding out the top-5. Ted Christopher, who
apparently had a regular ride for Stafford, finished sixth. Eric
Berndt, Curt Brainard, Brad Hietella and Woody Pitkat rounded out
the top ten. Sizzler weekend winner Lloyd Agor finished a distant
In other Stafford action Scott Foster, Jr. won the 30-lap Late Model
feature, Glen Reen, the 20-lap SK Light feature, Andrew Durand, the
Limited Late Model feature, and Robert Thompson the 15-lap DARE
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford
Speedbowl Rob Janovic took the SK Modified feature win after a
heated battle with Dennis Charette. Charette started on the outside
pole and was able to withstand the constant pressure applied by Don
Fowler. In the closing stages Fowler lost his handling as he spun
and collected Jeff Paul. Janovic avoided the tangle and with a
green- white- checker situation got the best of Charette. Shawn
Monahan finished third and was followed by Diego Monahan and Tyler
Chadwick. Other winners included Tim Jordan (Late Model) Bill
Gertsch Jr. (Sportsman), Ken Cassidy Jr. (Mini Stock) and Michael
Gervais Jr. (Legends).
Tom Ferrel was the Saturday night winner at Wall Township and Dave
Brigati was the opening night NASCAR Modified winner at the
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
In Nextel Cup action Jimmie Johnson led 105 of the 400 laps at the
Richmond Raceway en route to capturing his fourth checkered flag
this season and second in NASCAR's next generation car. More
notable, though, team owner Rick Hendrick has won seven of eight
races, including three in a row and all four contested with the Car
of Tomorrow. Clint Bowyer won the race off pit road with about 28
laps to go Friday night and easily went on to his fifth career
NASCAR Busch Series victory.
Last year, 2011, the 40th Annual
CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler got underway Friday, April 29 with
a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Action continued
on Saturday, April 30 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the
Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for
Stafford’s weekly divisions.
In Whelen Modified Tour Series qualifying Doug Coby captured the
Coors Lite Pole position as he toured the 1/2 mile oval in
17.985sec. Coby was one of four drivers limited to one qualifying
lap because their spotters were late to report prior to time trials.
Second fastest and taking the outside pole was Todd Szegedy.
Defending Tour Series Champion Bobby Santos III was third fastest
followed by Eric Beers and Rowan Pennink. There were 31 Modifieds on
hand for qualifying.
Bobby Santos rebounded from a blown engine in the season opening Ice
Breaker at Thompson with a win in Stafford Speedway's Tech-Net
Santos, the defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, held off
points leader Rowan Pennink over the closing laps to claim the
victory. Santos opened the season with the Coors Light Pole Award at
Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway but lasted just 16 laps
before engine issues ended his day. It was Santos' third career win
at Stafford and first in the track's annual season kickoff, which
was running its 40 edition.
Ron Silk edged Eric Beers for third, while Mike Stefanik finished
fifth. Erick Rudolph was sixth. Ted Christopher, three-time
defending race winner, finished seventh. Matt Hirschman, Tom Rogers
Jr. and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top 10. Pole sitter Doug Coby,
Starting third, Santos shot into the lead on lap one dragging Eric
Beers with him. The first caution flew on Lap 83 when Doug Coby hit
the back stretch wall. Ted Christopher led the field when they
restarted on lap 90. The second caution waved on Lap 111 when Richie
Pallai and Gary McDonald spun in turn two. The field went back to
green on Lap 117. Christopher continued to lead with Santos hot on
his bumper. Todd Szegedy, Rowan Pennink and Matt Hirschman rounded
out the top five. The yellow was displayed again on Lap 132 for
debris on track. Knowing he couldn't make 200 laps on a tank of
fuel, Christopher pitted and handed the lead to Santos.
The green flag was displayed on lap 138 with Santos in the lead and
Pennink, second. Caution again, this time for Wade Cole who spun in
turn one and deposited a ton of dirt on the track which caused
NASCAR Race Control to stop the cars between turns three and four.
The field returned to green on lap 145 with Santos leading followed
by Rowan Pennink, James Civali, Matt Hirschman and Erick Rudolph..
They no sooner got going and the yellow flew again, more debris as
cars are falling apart. Santos continued to lead. Ryan Preece was
closing in on the top five when he slipped a bit.Preece and Jimmy
Blewett got together on lap 160 which resulted in Kevin Goodale
going over Preeces nerf bar thus bringing out another yellow. With
31 laps to go the green was displayed with Santos on the point over
Civali and Pennink. Civali had a problem on lap 174 as he collected
Todd Szegedy and Ed Flemke Jr as he hit the backstretch wall.
Santos continued to lead the field as they took the green on lap
179. Ron Silk moved into the second spot. The caution waved again on
lap 183 when Jimmy Blewett went up and over Eric Berndt after Berndt
had come down on the New Jersey driver. With the laps winding down
the field went back to green on lap on lap 186. Pennink displaced
Silk from the second spot. The final laps saw Pennink turn up the
heat on Santos but the third generation racer was not to be denied
as he streaked home the winner of the 200 lap Spring Sizzler.
Following Santos at the finish was Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk, Eric
Beers and Mike Stefanik. Erick Rudolph, Ted Christopher, Matt
Hirschman, Tom Rogers and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top ten.
Twenty of the original 31 starters finished on the lead lap.
In other Stafford action, Ryan Preece was the SK Modified winner and
Woody Pitkat took the Late Models. Pitkat's team was disqualified
from the victory after being found in to have been using an
unapproved mixing of fuel.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour went back on Spring Break before
returning on Friday, May 27 at Stafford for the TSI Harley-Davidson
In action at the Waterford Speedbowl, Tyler Chadwick an opening lap
wreck to win the SK Modified feature, his seventh career victory at
the shoreline oval. On the beginning laps pole sitter Rookie Jeff
Gallup triggered a wreck that created a pig pile in turn two which
collected cars driven Tucker Reynolds Jr., Rob Janovic Jr., Glen
Pressel, along with cars further back in the field including Ron
Yuhas Jr. and Keith Rocco. Rocco, Reynolds, Janovic and Pressel were
sidelined for the night.. On the restart Frank Mucciacciaro went
head to head with Chadwick. Chadwick spent three laps outside
Mucciacciaro before he took the lead and slowly pulled away. Shawn
Monahan, Tom Abele, Kyle James and Ron Yuhas Jr. completed the top
In other events, Jeff Smith won his first Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late
Model race of the season. Special Street Stock and Mini Stock
memorial events were won by Norm Root and Ken Cassidy Jr.
respectively. Howard Payne won the visiting New England Truck Series
feature, Melissa Fifield was a first-time winner in the Allison
Legacy Series race. Paul Kusheba won his first career Speedbowl
feature in the Legends Cars feature, while Glen Thomas Jr. and Frank
Alessio wound up victorious in the X-Car and Super X-Car Saturday
Showdown Series races.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, NH on Saturday night. Les Hinkley took a well earned
win. Constant side-by-side racing often with five to seven car
battles took place throughout the race with a couple of three-wide
showdowns thrown in for good measure.
Defending Champion Jon McKennedy and Steve Masse led the 24- car
field to green with McKennedy leading the first 11 circuits.
Three-time Champion Kirk Alexander, moved into the lead on lap 12
with heavy pursuit from McKennedy, Jim Boniface and Louie Mechalides.
Hinckley, ailing from a stomach bug prior to race time, was running
in a solid third on laps 86 through 96. The Connecticut veteran
pulled up alongside McKennedy and powered by on lap 97 to second,
and then by Mechalides on lap 98. to go on and win the highly
competitive race. Mechalides, McKennedy, Alexander, and Goodenough
followed the winner across the line. Sixth through tenth were
Jarvis, Rowan Pennink, Tim Jordan, Chris Pasteryak and Norm Wrenn.
Alexander was disqualified following a post race inspection.
In Modified action south of the Mason-Dixon line at the Bowman Gray
Stadium in Winston-Salem NC being one of the walking wounded didn't
impede the progress of Bert Myers. Burt Myers' ribs were feeling
much better at the fall of the checkered flag in the season opening
GMAC Insurance 200 at Bowman Gray Stadium.
Myers, Bowman Gray's defending Modified champion punctured a lung
and broke three ribs in a racing crash little more than two weeks
ago, took the lead with 18 laps left and went on to a relatively
pain-free victory in front of a full house at the 17,000-seat
stadium. It was Myers' 45th win overall in Bowman Gray's featured
Modified Division. Myers indicated that fresh tires were key. Myers
pitted for fresh right-side tires during a caution with 55 laps left
and it paid off in the end result. Brian Loftin, who lost his wife
in an auto accident assumed the lead when Myers pitted. In the end
he finished third as Jonathan Brown edged him out for second..
Denny Hamlin grabbed the lead for the first time 44 laps into the
NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway and
dominated the rest of the 250-lap race. Kyle Busch, his team mate,
won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
This week are several
photos, Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.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: