Sixty years ago in 1953, Melvin
"Red" Foote was the 50 lap Modified winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Fifty years ago in 1963 it
rained at the Utica-Rome Speedway. It remained dry at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl where Charlie Webster took the 25 lap
Modified win over Ted Stack, Tony Mordino, Ray DeLisle and Dick
Watson. Walt Dombrowski, who eventually become a Modified standout,
was the Bomber winner. At Riverside Park Speedway Billy Greco took
the win over Ed Patnode, Danny Galullo, Jocko Maggiacomo and Jerry
Humiston. On Sunday afternoon Plainville Stadium got off their
Novice feature before the rain came postponing the Modified feature.
Elton Hill took the win over Ronnie Wyckoff and Ernie Olson. Both
Hill and Wyckoff would go on to stellar careers in the Modifieds.
Forty five years ago in 1968,
Jerry Cook took the win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday
night. Dave Kotary finished second with Ron Narducci, Dave Lape and
Eddie Pieniezek rounding out the top five. At Stafford, Eddie Flemke
made it two in a row despite a lot of pressure from Bugsy Stevens,
who finished second. Fred DeSarro finished third and was followed by
Sal Dee and Lou Toro. Bugsy Stevens made it two in a row at the
Norwood Arena on Saturday night. At Fonda it was Lou Lazzaro over Ed
Pieniezek and Dick Clark. Sunday racing at Thompson and Utica-Rome
rained out. Newt Palm, who would become one of the all time greats
at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, won the 36 lap Modified
feature at the shoreline oval over Charlie Webster.
Forty years ago in 1973,
Modified action began on Friday at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in
Malta, N.Y. Fred DeSarro took the opening night 100 lapper over Leo
Cleary, Bugsy Stevens, Paul Radford and Lou Lazzaro. Ronnie Bouchard
made it two in a row at Stafford on Saturday night followed by Fred
DeSarro, Fred Schultz, Bob Santos and Bobby Gahan. Bugsy Stevens
headed for Tioga where he won a 100 lapper and at Islip, Jim
Hendrickson beat out Tom Baldwin and Charlie Jarzombek for the win.
On Sunday, Lee raceway ran a 30-lap event with Bob Santos taking the
win over Freddie Schulz and on Sunday night, Richie Evans won a
100-lap event at Utica-Rome. Bernie Miller finished second. At
Plainville Stadium Ron Vanesse was the winner over Reggie Ruggiero,
Bob Vivari, Dave Alkas and Nick Nickerson. Ronnie Rocco was the
Novice winner. At Riverside Park Lou Toro was the victor over Jap
Membrino, Bobby Bard, Bob Stefanik and Gary Coluri. Dick Dunn was
the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Laflesh was the
Late Model Grand American winner.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
Geoff Bodine won the Friday night opener at Stafford over Ron
Bouchard and Bugsy Stevens. Bouchard made it three in a row at
Waterford on Saturday and at Riverside, Richie Evans took a
hard-earned victory over Bob Polverari and Reggie Ruggiero. George
Savory made it two in a row at Westboro and at Islip; Charlie
Jarzombek beat out Bill Park and Tom Baldwin. Events scheduled on
Sunday at Thompson and Oswego rained out. At Monadnock, Bouchard
took the checker over Bugsy Stevens and Ollie Silva. At Plainville
Stadium Reggie Ruggiero was the winner with Billy Knight, Stan
Gregor, Dave Alkas and Ron Rocco. Roger Salley was the Sportsman
Thirty Years ago in 1983, Greg
Sacks made it two in a row at Stafford. Kenny Bouchard, with a
strong run in the Ted Marsh No.55 finished second with Richie Evans,
third. At Riverside, Evans took the top spot over Reggie Ruggiero
and at Islip, Don Howe took the top spot. Other weekend winners were
Jamie Tomaino at Wall and George Kent at Tioga. In Winston Cup
action at Nashville, Darrell Waltrip took the pole and the win. Ron
Bouchard finished ninth and Geoff Bodine finished twentieth.
Twenty five Years ago in 1988
Friday night racing at Stafford rained out. At Waterford on
Saturday, Richie Gallup got his second win of the year. At
Riverside, Reggie Ruggerio picked up his third win with Mike
Stefanik, second. Tony Hirschman went two for two at Tioga and at
Monadnock, Stefanik and Ruggiero flip-flopped with Stefanik taking
Twenty Years ago, in 1993 Mike
Paquette won the Friday night Winston Racing Series SK Modified
feature at Stafford and was disqualified with an illegal engine.
Dennis Gada was awarded the win. Jerry Pearl took the win at
Waterford on Saturday after Bert Marvin tangled with Bob Potter and
Ted Christopher in the late going. Ronnie Rocco finished second.
Chris Young went pole to pole at Riverhead and at Riverside, Reggie
Ruggerio took the victory. At Fonda Speedway in upstate N.Y., Legend
Lou Lazzaro got his 110th win at the historic track. In Winston Cup
news, Geoff Bodine became a car owner as he purchased Alan
Kulwicki's race team.
Fifteen years ago, in 1998, Bo
Gunning was the 50 lap SK-Modified winner at Stafford. It was no
cakewalk as some hot company in the form of Bob Potter, Mike
Ewanitsko, Ted Christopher and Eric Berndt followed. Stafford also
announced the results of their 50 Greatest Drivers who would be
honored during the year. Waterford, Riverside and Riverhead rained
out. The Busch North Series and the Busch Grandnationals were at
Loudon. Kelly Moore took the BNS victory over Tom Carey and Brad
Leighton. Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher were in the hunt during
the early going but blistered tires and a pit stop kept them out of
the top ten. Buckshot Jones was the Busch Grandnational winner. Tony
Stewart finished second.
Ten years ago in 2003 Stafford
got to beat the rain as they began their regular Friday night racing
series. Scott Foster took the SK-Modified 50 lapper over Jeff Baral
and Frank Ruocco. The NASCAR Busch North Series ran a 150 lapper
with Curtis Truex going pole to pole. Andy Santerre finished second.
The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series visited the Waterford
Speedbowl on Saturday. It was a major milestone for Jamie Tomaino as
it was his 400th Modified Tour start. Chuck Hossfeld took the Busch
Pole and led the first 27 laps before blistering a tire. Waiting in
the wings was Rick Fuller who took advantage of Hossfeld’s
miss-handling machine. Fuller led from lap 28 to the finish. Ted
Christopher finished second with Jerry Marquis, third. Todd Szegedy
and Rob Summers rounded out the top five. Hossfeld hung on to finish
sixth. Because of the fact that previous Mod Tour Series rainouts
had shuffled the schedule, Waterford was forced to run their
Nationals event on the same weekend. Dennis Gada took the win over
Jeff Pearl and Ron Yuhas Jr. During the running of the event Bo
Gunning was leading and appeared to have victory in sight when Ted
Christopher spun him out. Gunning was so incensed that he went after
Christopher and attempted to hit him head on but stopped short
before contact was made. Gunning then parked it for the day.
Christopher was put to the rear and worked his way back to sixth
spot before cutting a tire. Christopher ended up 16th in the final
rundown. In other weekend action Dave Michael won at Wall Township
and JR Bertuccio made it two in a row at Riverhead. It was also
announced on this weekend that Steve Park had been fired out of his
Winston Cup ride at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and was replaced by Jeff
Green. The Winston Cup Series was off because of Mother’s Day. The
Busch Racing Series was at the Gateway Speedway where Scott Riggs
took the win.
Five years ago in 2008, Jerry
Marquis, one of the best in the business, officially announced that
he had retired as a driver. In a racing career that started in a
Figure 8 car in 1973 at the now closed Riverside Park Speedway in
Agawam, Mass, Marquis had chalked up 22 Track titles plus a NASCAR
Modified Tour Series title and two NASCAR Regional Championships.
Marquis’ final ride was at the Thompson Speedway in the 2007 World
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to the elements as their
scheduled Friday night opener was cancelled due to rain. Racing will
resume this coming Friday, May 9 featuring the 14th Annual New
England Dodge Dealers 100 along with the regular bill of fare which
includes the SK Modifieds and DARE Stocks.
The Waterford Speedbowl managed to avoid impending rain as they got
their entire racing program in the books before the rains fell.
Keith Rocco used an extremely wide car to hold off Dennis Gada for
his first ever SK Modified win at the shoreline oval as an extremely
sparse crowd looked on. Rather than take a chance on being “stuffed”
Gada held off and settled for second. Ron Yuhas Jr finished third.
Ron Silk and Rob Janovic Jr. rounded out the top five the top-5.
Other feature winners were Ed Reed Jr. (Late Model), Chris “Moose”
Douton (Sportsman), and, Jeff “Soup” Civardi (Mini Stock).
The True Value Modified Series made its first visit of the season to
the shoreline oval. Among the missing was defending series champion
Kirk Alexander who got skunked by a bad weather forecast and stayed
home. David Pinkham, who had been running second in points to
Alexander, took advantage of Alexander’s absence as he won the 100
lap contest which also put him in the point lead. Among the surprise
entries was Jimmy Blewett. Blewett probably wished that he had
stayed in New Jersey as he was the victim of a nasty wreck on lap
35. For the second week in a row the Jersey racer got airborne.
Blewett rode over a wheel, flipped on his roof and hit the turn four
wall. Quick action by the track’s crew removed him to safety and
luckily with no injuries. Just before the half way mark, lap 42, Ed
Dachenhausen and Les Hinkley tangled while fighting for the lead.
Both were sent to the rear. Dwight Jarvis inherited the lead at that
point. A restart on lap 78 proved his undoing as Pinkham powered
into the lead and remained in the front spot for the remainder of
the event. Jarvis hung on for second and was followed by Les Hinkley,
Chris Pasteryak and Vinny Annarummo Jr. Ted Christopher was in the
field but was never a factor as his mount suffered from fuel
Denny Hamlin used a late pit stop for tires to foil the strategy of
Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards to win the Nationwide Series race
Friday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. In the Richmond
Sprint Cup event Denny Hamlin appeared headed toward an easy
victory. Then, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemed poised to snap his two-year
losing streak.In the end, Clint Bowyer celebrated in Victory Lane,
stealing a victory Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway
that ended in wild fashion. Hamlin, the hometown favorite and
pole-sitter, led a record 381 of the 400 laps in search of his first
Cup victory at Richmond. Nobody came close to challenging him until
a leaking right front tire allowed Earnhardt and Kyle Busch to catch
him. The two drivers split Hamlin as they moved past him, with
Earnhardt emerging as the leader with 18 laps to go. Hamlin's tire
finally failed with eight to go, and NASCAR accused him of
intentionally bringing out the caution that regrouped the field.
Earnhardt and Busch staged a strong battle for the lead when the
race resumed, but Busch and Earnhardt made contact in turn 3 that
sent Earnhardt into the wall. Without seeing a replay, Earnhardt
guessed that it wasn't deliberate. But as his winless streak reached
72 races on the two-year anniversary of his last victory, he
wondered if Busch would need security help exiting the track amid
angry Earnhardt fans. Bowyer used the opportunity to slide past
Earnhardt and Busch and into the front for the first time all night.
Bowyer then held off Busch on a final restart to score his first Cup
victory of the season, second of his career. Busch finished second,
then was confronted on pit road by his former crew members at
Hendrick Motorsports. Mark Martin finished a season-best third and
was followed by Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards.
Earnhardt finished 15th, Hamlin 24th.
Racing returned to the Rockingham Motor Speedway in North Carolina
after a four-year absence and Joey Logano beat a field of Automobile
Racing Club of America cars in the Carolina 500. Driving a Chevrolet
that Denny Hamlin once drove in Sprint Cup competition, the
17-year-old Logano from Connecticut nearly lapped the field in his
ARCA debut. Logano's team saved a set of tires in case there was a
late caution on the track's notoriously abrasive racing surface.
That's what happened, and Logano gave up the lead to get those tires
for a restart with five laps to go. But it only took Logano about
half a lap to come from fifth back to first and get the victory.
NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader finished second with Ricky Stenhouse
Jr., a driver in Roush Fenway Racing's developmental program, third.
As for the first race since NASCAR left this track in 2004, new
track owner Andy Hillenburg said he was proud to successfully stage
an event just six months after completing the purchase from Speedway
Motorsports Inc. Hillenburg said he sold out more than 4,000 seats
in the track's suites and estimated grandstand ticket sales in the
12,000 range. "We had enough people here to pay a record purse for
ARCA and pay the bills," he said.
Last year, 2012, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series went "Up Country" to the Monadnock
Speedway in Winchester, NH. Thanks to the efforts of Ted Hebert and
Teddy Bear Pools & Spa $5000 in extra money was added to the WMT
purse. This money was paid out to the drivers from positions 12 to
26. Last place paid out $810.
Ryan Preece led from pole to pole to win the 175 lap event at the
New Hampshire oval. Preece withstood 10 restarts to take the win
where his grandfather, Bobby Judkins had fielded winning mounts at
the track in years past. It took an extreme amount of concentration
on the part of Preece as he was repeatedly pressured and dogged by
runner-up Doug Coby and Ted Christopher. Coby, who started second
was kind of the meat in the sandwich as he had third place starter
Todd Szegedy on his bumper for a good part of the distance. Ted
Christopher had moved into the second spot on lap 13 but was later
spun to the infield after contact from Coby. Justin Bonsignore put
on the drive of the night as he came from a 14th starting spot to
finish fourth. Likewise for Donnie Lia who started 17th, lost a lap
at one point and rallied to make up his lap and finish sixth behind
point leader Ron Silk. Rounding out the top ten were Mike Stefanik,
Eric Beers and Keith Rocco. Rocco also put on a tremendous drive,
rebounding from a late race pit stop to finish 10th. Rounding out
those who finished on the lead lap were Jamie Tomaino, Christopher,
Andy Seuss and Jimmy Blewett. Blewett actually finished sixth but
was placed at the tail of the lead lap after he dumped Seuss on the
The race marked the return of Jerry Marquis after a six year
retirement. Marquis who retired from driving in 2007 drove the Ralph
Solhem No. 0. Marquis completed 134 laps before being forced to park
it with suspension problems. Among the missing was Rowan Pennink who
was attending his sisters wedding. Woody Pitkat was also absent. Jon
McKennedy took over the controls of the Hillbilly Racing No. 79
after Daniel Hemric felt that it would be in his best interests if
he contained his racing to the southland. McKennedy qualified fourth
and was headed for a decent finish before a brush with the wall
ended his night, pacing him in 24th finishing spot.
The Stafford Motor Speedway finally began their Friday night racing
series after a one week delay because of rain. J.J. Hill was the
winner of the extra distance 40-lap Late Model feature, Eric Berndt
got around Ted Christopher on a green white checkered restart to
pick up his first win of the 2012 in the 40-lap SK Modified®
feature, Dylan Kopec was the winner of the 20-lap SK Light Modified
feature for the second consecutive week, Josh Wood also won for the
second consecutive week in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature,
and Albert Saunders drove to victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock
feature with a late race pass on Austin Bessette.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Berndt took the lead from
Ted Christopher in the closing moments of the race and went on to
score the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Berndt and
Christopher was Dave Gervais, Ryan Preece Preece, and Todd Owen.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco did not continue his winning
streak as he was over 100 miles away competing in a Whelen Modified
Tour event at the Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire.
Tyler Chadwick took the checkered flag in the SK Modified® feature,
his second on the year, while defending Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late
Model champion Jeff Smith returned to the winner’s circle for the
first time in 2012. Chris Meyer became the first repeat winner of
the season in the Street Stocks and Ken Cassidy Jr. won again in the
Mini Stocks, giving him six on the year.
A special 60th anniversary event for the Northeastern Midget
Association was also run. The Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA)
is one of the nation’s oldest racing series, with roots at Waterford
going back to its beginning. Greg Stoehr of Bridgewater, MA took
home the prestigious win in the night’s NEMA Midget feature while
Brandon Igo of Bondsville, MA won the companion NEMA Lite race.
In the SK Modified feature Chadwick took the lead from Joe Perry on
lap 20 and never looked back. Perry faded in the closing moments.
Nicole Morgillo eventually grabbed second from Perry on lap-29 to
score her best career finish. Kyle James rallied from an early race
spin to drive back up to an impressive third place at the checkered
flag. Perry faded to fourth, while Joe Gada ran with the leaders all
night and took fifth.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, Jonathan Brown
said that he practiced at Bowman Gray Stadium all day on Saturday.
Brown held off John Smith for his first win since leaving the Melvin
"Puddin'" Swisher team. Michael Clifton was third, Danny Bohn was
fourth and Jason Myers fifth. Burt Myers, who started the race in
the points lead, finished sixth.
Brown passed Smith when the race restarted on Lap 86 and led the
rest of the way.
Tom Rogers was the winner of twin 30 Modified features at the
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
In Valenti Modified Racing news it had been learned that series
founder Jack Bateman had retired from driving and had selected Todd
Owen as his replacement. The decision ends a 46 year driving career.
Bateman would focus on his race team and the VMRS he started 9 years
Dirt tracker Brett Hearn recorded his 100th career win at the
Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Hearn had a win streak of four in a row
going when he hit the century mark at the Malta, NY oval.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Darlington, Jimmie Johnson broke free
on a restart three laps from the end to give Hendrick Motorsports
its 200th Sprint Cup victory. Denny Hamlin was second, followed by
Stewart and Kyle Busch. Danica Patrick, still trying to cut the
mustard as a top division driver, lasted until the end of her second
Sprint Cup race, finishing six laps behind Johnson in 31st. Joey
Logano wrecked leader Elliott Sadler five laps from the end, then
broke free during a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington
Raceway for his second straight Nationwide Series victory.
On a sad note, Carroll Shelby, known in the motorsports world as the
father of the Shelby Cobra and many other high-end automobiles, died
in Dallas at the age of 89. He had been hospitalized for pneumonia.
This week are several
Vintage 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