Sixty years ago in 1953, the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl began its summer schedule which included
holding races on Wednesday and on Saturday. Massachusetts invader
Red Bolduc was the Wednesday night winner and Red Foote was
victorious on Saturday night. Non-Ford winners were Bud Matter and
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
Don Collins was the Modified winner at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner at the Ct
Fifty years ago in 1963 Rene
Charland was well on his way to the NASCAR Sportsman Championship as
he made it two in a row at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Cam Gaglairdi
finished second with Ed Ortiz, third. The then dirt Stafford Springs
Speedway began its second year under the NASCAR sanction with Ernie
Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Jim Koehler, Dick Bundy and
Don Rounds. Rain prevailed at Waterford and Plainville. At Riverside
Park Speedway Sal "Dee" DeLucia won the 30 lap feature over Charlie
Brayton, Jocco Maggiacomo, Billy Greco and Sperry Moreway.
Forty five years ago, in 1968,
Bugsy Stevens made it two in a row at Stafford on Friday night.
Eddie Flemke, the previous week’s winner, finished second. Nathan
“Smokey” Boutwell finished third with Reno Tulonen and Leo Cleary
rounding out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Lou
Lazzaro took the top spot over Don MacTavish, Jerry Cook, Rene
Charland and Andy Romano. Bugs Stevens took his winning ways to
Norwood on Saturday where he dusted the field. At Fonda, Ray
Sitterly scored a surprise victory over Kenny Shoemaker and Ron
Narducci and at Fulton, Dutch Hoag scored the first of 12 events he
would win over the next three seasons. Eddie Flemke put the 2x of
Bobby Judkins in victory lane at Thompson over while at Utica-Rome
twin features were on tap. Lou Lazzaro won the left over feature
from the previous week. Sonny Seamon finished second with Ken Platt,
Dick Fowler and Dick Clark rounding out the top five. Richie Evans
who beat out Sonny Seamon, Andy Romano, Jerry Cook and Robbie Kotary
for the top spot, won the regular evening’s feature. Rain prevailed
at Waterford, Plainville and Riverside. In NASCAR Grand National
(Sprint Cup) action New Englander Pete Hamilton finished 5th in the
250 lap race. David Pearson took down the win.
Forty years ago in 1973 Friday
night racing at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. rained
out. It cleared on Saturday and at Stafford Springs Eddie Flemke
took the win over Fred DeSarro, Ron Bouchard, Don Flynn and Bob
Santos. At Islip, Charlie Jarzombek again bested the 1/5-mile oval,
beating out Jim Hendrickson for the win. At Tioga, Eddie Pieniezak
took the win over Wayne Edwards, George Kent and Jerry Cook. At
Plainville Stadium Stan Greger took the win over Dave Alkas, Elton
Hill, Tony Dadio and John "Reggie" Ruggiero. Earl Pelletier.
Riverside Park Speedway found Johnny Cambino taking the win over
Jack Lecuyer, Charlie Glazier, Ronnie Wyckoff and Lou Tabone.
Lingering showers at Waterford prevailed. Rain washed out events
scheduled at Pocono and Utica-Rome.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
Geoff Bodine was on a tear as he won three out of four for the
weekend. At Stafford, he beat out Ronnie Bouchard, Leo Cleary, Ray
Miller and John Rosati at Seekonk he won over Fred DeSarro and Bugsy
Stevens and at Utica-Rome he beat Jerry Cook and Richie Evans. The
only downer was a blown engine at Oswego on Sunday afternoon. Other
weekend winners were, Jeff Fuller at Westboro, Charlie Jarzombek at
Islip, Ronnie Bouchard at Thompson and Roger Treichler at Lancaster.
Maynard Troyer won the modified half of the Port City 150 at Oswego.
Jerry Cook was the winner at Riverside Park over Bob Stefanik,
Reggie Ruggiero, Bob Polverari and Sonny O'Sullivan. Plainville
Stadium Jimmy Cash to the win over Danny Gaudiosi, Loren Trobley,
Ronnie Rocco and Art Whitback. Steve Seaburg was the Novice winner.
Waterford Speedbowl ran a 50 lap feature with Dick Dunn the winner
over Dick Caso, Joe Tiezzi, Moose Hewitt and Bob Potter.
Thirty years ago in 1983, rain
soaked the northeast. Stafford ran on Friday night with Ronnie
Bouchard taking the win over Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Vee, Kenny
Bouchard and Greg Sacks. Jerry Pearl was the SK Modified winner.
Marty Radwick took the victory at Riverside Park over Ray Miller and
Dennis Albro. At Tioga, Richie Evans beat out Wayne Edwards.
Waterford, Wall Stadium, Islip, Spencer and a special modified event
at Pocono, rained out.
Twenty five Years ago in 1988,
Stafford rained out. At Waterford on Saturday, Ed Flemke Jr. took
the win over John Jensen. At Riverhead, it was Don Howe over John
Blewett Jr. and at Tioga, Tony Hirschman made it three in a row with
Lee Sherwood, second. Mike Stefanik was the winner at Monadnock on
Twenty years ago in 1993, Steve
Chowanski took the Friday night win at Stafford after the
Christopher brothers tangled on the last lap. Saturday saw rain at
Waterford. Jerry Marquis got his third win at Riverside and Brian
Miller scored a win at Riverhead. Twin SK events were run at
Thompson on Sunday. John StAngelo and Ted Christopher were the
winners. Marquis made it two for two on the weekend as he won on
Sunday at Monadnock. The Modified Tour Series joined the Busch
Grandnational North/South divisions at Nazareth. Tim Connolly won
the modified event over Doug Hevron, Jamie Tomaino, Rick Fuller and
Tom Baldwin. Bob Pressley won the Busch GN event after Mike Stefanik
broke a motor mount while leading. Dale Earnhardt passed Mark Martin
with two to go to win the Winston at Charlotte.
Fifteen years ago in 1998
Memorial Day came a week early and the NASCAR Featherlite Modifieds
were at Stafford for a 150 lapper. Mike Stefanik started second and
led all 150 laps as he went non-stop. Chris Kopec finished second
with John Blewett III, third. Carl Pasteryak and Ed Kennedy rounded
out the top five. In SK Modified action at Stafford Bo Gunning
scored his 34th career win as he out ran Chris Jones and Jim
Broderick to the checker. Tucker Reynolds passed Jerry Pearl with 10
laps to go and went on to record the win at Waterford. Rick Donnelly
finished second while Pearl faded to third. Eddie Flemke won a 125
lapper at Riverside Park over Bob Polverari and Todd Ceravolo and at
the Riverhead Raceway it was Ken Heagy in victory lane. Waterford
ran a 200 lapper on Sunday. Ted Christopher led from lap 40 to the
finish only to get disqualified with an illegal transmission. Bert
Marvin was awarded the win with Dennis Gada moving up to second.
Charlie Pasteryak, Todd Ceravolo and Jeff Pearl rounded out the top
five. Mark Martin took the lead from Jim Spencer with four laps to
go and went on to win the Busch Series 300 at Charlotte. Jeff Gordon
beat out Rusty Wallace to win the Winston Cup World 600 at Charlotte
and Eddie Cheever won the Indy 500. Tom Carey was the Busch North
Series winner at the Holland Speedway.
Ten years ago in 2003, the
NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was scheduled to be at the
Stafford Speedway on Friday night but heavy rain forced the Arute
family to pull the plug and reschedule to Friday, May 30. The
decision to scrub the event was made around 9:00 am which saved
countless competitors and fans needless travel. A very good and
smart move! Waterford and Seekonk followed suit early on Saturday
morning. Seekonk’s Busch North Series event at Seekonk was
rescheduled to Saturday, May 31. Waterford’s holiday program would
run in July. With four events in the 2003 NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour Series record book John Blewett III sat atop the point
standings. Winless, Blewett had four top tens including two top
fives. The 2002 rookie sensation Todd Szegedy sat in the second
spot, one point behind Blewett. Szegedy was also winless but had
four top tens including three top fives to his credit. Ted
Christopher finished 32nd at Thompson in the season opener but since
then had come on like gangbusters and had clawed his way to third
spot, thirty five points behind the leader. Christopher had two wins
to his credit including the Spring Sizzler at Stafford and the
recent Service Electric 100 at Nazareth. In addition to his two wins
and a DNF, Christopher had one top five and was the series money
leader with $21,400 in the win column. Chuck Hossfeld led the point
standings through the first three events but ran into miss-fortune
at Nazareth when officials said he jumped the final restart and
placed him at the tail end of the lead lap in 19th spot. Hossfeld
actually crossed the finish line in 8th spot. Although he did not
actually pass the car in question he was along side as they crossed
the start line and officials felt that it was his intent to make a
pass. A questionable call to say the least. Hossfeld, who won the
season opener at Thompson, had a total of three top tens including
two top fives. Even with a slip to fourth spot, Hossfeld was only 36
points behind the leader. Rounding out the top five was former
series champion Jerry Marquis. Marquis had four top tens including
one top five and was 41 points out of first spot. Sixth through
tenth were Tony Hirschman, Eric Beers, Rick Fuller, Tony Ferrante
Jr. and Dave Etheridge. NASCAR’s top divisions had better luck as
the big weekend at Charlotte was completed. Jimmie Johnson was
declared the winner of the Winston Cup World 600 after rain caused
the race to be stopped at the 414-mile mark. Matt Kenseth was
second. On a sad note, it was learned that former Stafford Motor
Speedway pace car driver Peter Locke had passed away at the age of
Five years ago in 2008, the
Stafford Motor Speedway suffered their third successive rain out.
The Waterford Speedbowl continued to benefit from Stafford’s rain
outs as their car counts in the SK Modified division had become
quite healthy. Six-time champion Dennis Gada came from deep in the
pack Saturday evening to win his third NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series SK feature of the season on Little League Night.
The 35 lap SK Modified feature got off to a rough start as a pile of
cars got drop kicked into the first turn wall after outside pole
sitter Frank Mucciacciaro Jr failed to come up to racing speed. Jeff
Pearl and Ron Yuhas Jr got the worst of it and were towed from the
scene. On the restart, Wendell Dailey led momentarily before passed
by Mucciacciaro and several others. Justin Gadosh then moved to the
front pressed by Rob Janovic and a fast-moving Dennis Gada. Passing
Gaydosh, Gada pulled alongside leader Janovic, executing an
outside-pass to take the lead with only three circuits remaining
when the caution waved for the final time. In one of the closest SK
finishes of 2008, he was able to get the advantage on defending
champion. Following was Gaydosh, Ronnie Silk, and Rocco. In the Late
Models, Ed Reed took his second feature of the season. Moving into
the lead following an altercation between leader Tim Jordon and
defending champion Bruce Thomas Jr., Reed distanced himself from a
furious battle between Vin Esposito and Ron Yuhas Jr. Having his
best run of the season, a surprisingly-fast Esposito was able to nip
Yuhas for second. After restarting from the back of the field,
Jordan and Thomas Jr. recovered to complete the top-five. Both of
these drivers deserved the “Meatball Flag” Jordan for blocking and
Thomas for the lack of patience. Ed Lamb Jr. became the sixth
different Sportsman feature winner of the season in scoring his
first-ever main event. Lamb was dogged in the closing laps by
veteran Jim Proccaccini, but managed to pull ahead by several
car-lengths at the finish. Walt Hovey, Jr., Al Stone III, and
Jonathon Avery followed.
In the caution-free Mini Stock feature, teenage rookie Raymond
Christian III put on a dominating performance to win the first of
his career. Christian is the son of defending "Women On Wheels"
champion Kathy Civardi, and the step-son of popular Speedbowl
veteran Jeff "Soup" Civardi. Lou Belisle finished second, and
rounding-out the top-five was Randy Churchill Jr., Ken Cassidy Jr.,
and Bill Leonard.
According to the State of Connecticut Judicial website the Waterford
Speedbowl was once again the center of foreclosure action. Rocco
Arbitell, along with Peter Borelli, filed suit in state court in New
London to foreclose on the Speedbowl property. The case was filed
against 1080 Hartford Road, the group that owned the Speedbowl, and
Terry Eames. In the mean time, the Speedbowl continued to run every
week basically drawing fans on a word of mouth situation.
Special congratulations were sent out to Howie and Mary Hodge, two
very special people who celebrated 45 years of wedded bliss on
Sunday, May 18. Thanks to the efforts of Howie and Mary the Whelen
Modified Tour Series gets recorded in pictures.
Kasey Kahne picked up a $1 million payday Saturday by gambling on a
late pit stop to steal a win in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star race. Kahne
didn't take tires on the pit stop before the fourth and final 25-lap
segment, a decision that helped him start second when the race
resumed. He wasn't challenged and easily held off Greg Biffle and
Matt Kenseth for the victory. Kahne wasn't originally eligible for
the race, needing to finish first or second in the preliminary
Sprint Showdown. He finished fifth, but earned his spot through a
fan vote. The 100-lap event was intermittently dominated by Kyle
Busch, Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Biffle, who led the final 11
laps of the third segment, took two tires and was mired in traffic
on the start of the final segment. Biffle, who finished second,
never got a chance to run down Kahne, who slid past leader Jimmie
Johnson to lead the final 17 laps. Kenseth was third. Johnson and
Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.
Last year, 2012, The Stafford
Motor Speedway was the scene of some pre-Memorial Day fireworks as
Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco slugged it out in SK Modified
competition. In the end, Woody Pitkat was the winner of a wild and
thrilling 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Mark St. Hilaire was
the a first time winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tyler
Hines was a first time winner in the 20-lap SK Light Modified
feature, and Josh Wood scored his third consecutive Limited Late
Model feature victory of the 2012 season in the 20-lap feature.
Albert Saunders drove to victory in the extra distance 20-lap DARE
Stock feature to score his second consecutive feature victory.
In the SK Modified 40 lapper first it was Preece and Frank Ruocco
fighting for the lead then it was Preece and Rocco. The duel between
Ruocco and Preece ended with 20 laps complete as the two cars made
contact in turn 1 with Ruocco’s car hitting the turn 1 wall to bring
the caution out. Preece was sent to the rear of the field by NASCAR
Officials for the contact with Ruocco. Rocco took the lead on lap 29
and set the stage for round two of the night's battle. On a lap 36
restart, Rocco and Preece raced side by side for 2 laps with Preece
the leader at the line before Rocco got cleared of Preece on lap-38.
Preece made a last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag and he
made contact with Rocco’s car, which resulted in Rocco spinning.
Preece took the checkered flag first, but he was penalized to the
last car on the lead lap by officials for the contact with Rocco,
making Pitkat the winner. Dave Gervais came home in second, with Ted
Christopher, Danny Cates, and Matt Galko rounding out the top-5.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco didn't miss a beat despite
taking a week off to race in a Whelen Modified Tour event at the
Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire as he went two for two scoring
wins in the SK Modified and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models at the
shoreline oval. Dan Darnstaedt won the Street Stock feature race and
Ken Cassidy Jr. continued his domination of the Mini Stock division,
winning his seventh race on the season. The INEX Legends Cars and
Bandoleros joined the NASCAR race program, with Dana Dimatteo and
Derek Debbis winning the respective divisions.
Rocco mastered the last restart attempt to pull ahead of Rob Janovic
who got in line in second. Janovic got to the leader’s rear bumper
in turns three and four on lap-32 however could not pull alongside.
Rocco went on to the win, his fifth on the year. Janovic was second,
while Keith’s twin brother Jeff ended a solid run in third place.
Tom Abele and Tyler Chadwick each rebounded from spins to place
fourth and fifth.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, twin 25 lap
Modified features were run. Tim Brown posted his 60th career victory
as he won the opener. Burt Myers was second, and his brother, Jason
Myers, was third. Newcomer Dean Ward won the nightcap. Austin Pack
finished second, and Junior Miller was third.
Ron Silk, the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion walked away
the winner in the Richie Evans Hall Of Fame 100 for the NASCAR
Modifieds at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
A picture perfect day set the backdrop for a full slate of racing
action at Thompson International Speedway that featured the Modified
Racing Series and six divisions of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
action on Sundat. A caution-filled main event saw Rowan Pennink as
the survival of the fittest to post the victory.
Ryan Preece led only the checkered flag lap in the Sunoco Modifieds
to score the feature event win. Last year’s TIS Modified track
champion, Cam McDermott made the step up to the Lite Modified
division in winning style. Marc Palmisano came on strong in the
waning laps of the Late Model event to claim the victory. Art Moran
III was tops in Limited Sportsman division while Mike Gorgievski
earned the victory in the Mini Stocks. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. scored
his first career TIS Modified feature victory.
Pennink of Huntington Valley, PA, outlasted the competition in a
Modified Racing event that was marred by 11 cautions. Ted
Christopher and Pennink waged a great battle for the lead in the
early stages of the main event that saw 35 cars take the green flag.
Christopher held the point and held back advances of Pennink.
Christopher held Pennink at bay on countless restarts as attrition
built. Pennink made what turned out to be the winning move on lap 34
when he dove to the inside of Christopher to take the lead. Shortly
after, Christopher retired from the event. In the late stages of the
race, Pennink had to hold off the persistent challenges of Richard
Savary. A bobble by Savary with 10 laps to go looked as if Pennink
may find some comfort in the last dash to the checkers. Savary was
quick to recover; however, running down Pennink again with five laps
remaining. Pennink was solid over the final laps to post his
victory. The win was his fifth with the Modified Racing Series.
Savary came home in second. Geoff Gernhard had a career night to
finish third. Point leader Jon McKennedy and Mike Holdridge
completed the top five.
A surprise ending in the Sunoco Modified main event found Ryan
Preece in victory lane. Todd Ceravolo, who had led since the early
stages of the event got loose exiting turn four on the final lap.
With nowhere to go, Preece clipped the sliding #31 of Ceravolo. The
resulting spin gave Preece the victory. Kerry Malone came home
second followed by Keith Rocco. An eventful day ended with a
fourth-place finish for Ted Christopher. Ceravolo had to settle for
New Englander Bobby Santos had a successful weekend racing in the
mid-West. An early-race restart gave Santos the opening he wanted to
see and the Franklin, Massachusetts drivers never looked back en
route to dominating Saturday night’s inaugural Hall of Fame Classic
Traxxas Silver Crown race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
In his first race aboard the RW/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Rotondo
Weirich – Curb Records No. 17 Beast/Wallace Toyota Silver Crown car,
Santos pulled away as the 100 laps wore on, posting an eventual
winning margin of 7.512 seconds.
Jimmie Johnson had the fastest car and the perfect strategy Saturday
night to win the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Johnson won the first of four 20-lap segments to secure a spot near
the front of the field for the final 10-lap shootout, and then
pulled away from Matt Kenseth and Brad Keslelowski to win the $1
million race. The new format this year set up the winners of the
first four segments as the first four drivers down pit road for a
mandatory stop before the 10-lap sprint to the finish. Johnson's win
in the first segment meant he was guaranteed to be the first driver
down pit road, and he had the first stall after his team's win in
Thursday's Pit Crew Competition.
Kenseth, Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also won 20-lap segments.
Although every driver had to pit, none had to take fuel or tires and
was allowed to stop and go. Johnson came out just ahead of Kenseth,
with Keselowski, Earnhardt, Marcos Ambrose and Kasey Kahne behind.
Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
dominated Sunday’s Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 for his third consecutive
victory at Iowa Speedway.
Roger Penske's strategy helped Ryan Briscoe to a victory by inches
Saturday — 9.168 inches to be exact — in the closest pole duel in
Indianapolis 500 history. Team Penske sent points leader Will Power
onto the track with two minutes left in the Pole Day shootout — a
move that prevented three of Michael Andretti's drivers from taking
one last shot at the pole and preserving it for Briscoe, who won his
first Indy pole with a four-lap average of 226.484 miles an hour.
Briscoe completed the 10-mile qualification run .0023 seconds faster
than James Hinchcliffe. The previous record was set in 1970 when Al
Unser defeated Johnny Rutherford by .01 seconds. With only minutes
left in qualifying, Power took one final shot at winning his first
Indy pole. He wasn't quick enough, but he stayed on the track long
enough to protect Briscoe's advantage.
The Hartford Courant reported that the Waterford Speedbowl was
informed by the bankruptcy court in Hartford, CT that they had
emerged from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy the track had filed in Oct
2009 after facing a foreclosure on the Speedbowl property.
This week are several
Vintage photos, Courtesy of Tom Ormsby 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