Forty years ago in 1969, Martinsville finally got to run the
annual Cardinal 500.Ray Hendrick in the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11
picked up his 31st win of the season. Bugsy Stevens finished second
and put himself in the NASCAR record book as the first three time
NASCAR National Modified Champion. Perk Brown finished third and was
followed by Jerry Cook, Leo Cleary, Billy Hensley, Richie Evans,
Bernie Miller, Don Diffendorf and Don Miller. The final Modified
standings showed Stevens the champion. Rounding out the top ten were
Cook, Bobby Santos, Jimmy Hensley, Fred DeSarro, Billy Hensley, Don
Miller, Lou Lazzaro and Ray Hendrick.
Thirty five years ago in 1974, the 1975 season began on Nov
10,1974. The Modifieds ran at the then paved Metrolina Fairgrounds
Speedway in North Carolina. Harry Gant in the William Mason No.45
took the win over Jerry Cook, John Bryant and Bugsy Stevens.
Thirty years ago in 1979, Shangri-La closed out their season
with George Kent, driving the Cal Smalles No.41 taking the win.
Richie Evans finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook and Doug
Hewitt. Waterford closed out their season with a 100-lap open
competition event, which saw John Rosati take the win after losing a
lap in the early going because of a flat tire. Rosati made up his
lap and passed Rick Donnelly for the lead and eventual win with ten
laps to go. Donnelly finished second and was followed by Dick Dunn,
Ronnie Rocco, Bob Potter and Dickie Doo Ceravolo.
Twenty five years ago in 1984, there was no racing but the
Arute family had announced that they had entered into a lease with
Harvey Tattersall for the Waterford Speedbowl for 1985. Racing at
Waterford would be under the NASCAR banner.
Twenty years ago in 1989, with a new grandstand in place,
Thompson got to run the World Series. Doug Hevron won the 75 lap
modified portion. Mike McLaughlin finished second and was followed
by Rick Fuller, Mike Stefanik and Reggie Ruggiero. Bob Potter was
the SK type winner.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Barefoot Bob McCready annexed his
46th win of the DIRT season as he won the Eastern States 200 at
Ten years ago, in 1999, Speedway Motorsports announced that
third quarter earnings were $6million less than expected. The stock
market had a negative impact as 3.2 million shares were traded in
one day, which caused the stock to drop from 45-15/16 to 28-1/2.
Five years ago in 2004, a good number of the northeastern
modified teams headed south to Concord, North Carolina for the 2nd
Annual North vs. South Shootout. Forty-five modified teams were on
hand. The top five in time trials were John Blewett III, Eric Beers,
Nevin George, Fred Query and Ed Flemke Jr. Qualifying heat winners
were Donnie Lia, Ron Silk and Jerry Marquis. Consolation winners
were Reggie Ruggiero and Jim Willis. The northern modified
contingent led by Donnie Lia took nine of the top ten finishing
spots in the 100 lap Shoot-out. Eric Beers took the lead at the
start. Southern competitor Jay Foley triggered a massive wreck on
lap two that eliminated ten cars including Reggie Ruggiero and Jim
Broderick. Caution laps didnít count as Beers led the restart on lap
three. John Blewett III powered by and led from lap 4 to 53. A
caution for debris was thrown on lap 53 with just about all lead lap
cars making a mandatory pit stop. Jerry Marquis elected to short pit
while just about everyone else took on right side tires. Marquis led
the pack out of the pit area and once the green dropped, Marquis
kept the legendary Ole Blu in the lead. The lack of new tires bit
him as Lia took the lead on lap 86 and led the final 14 laps to
victory. With less than ten laps to go Marquis spun from his fourth
position and ended up 11th. Eric Beers ended up finishing in second
spot with Nevin George, third. Bob Santos III turned in another fine
run as he finished fourth. Rounding out the top five was the 2003
winner John Blewett III. Eddie Flemke Jr. finished sixth with Doug
Coby in the Mansfield CT based entry, seventh. Rounding out the top
ten were Ron Silk, Freddie Query and Lisbon Connecticut paving
contractor Charlie Pasteryak. Marquis slipped to 11th in the final
rundown. Pre race favorite Ted Christopher had a top five car until
sidelined with broken rear end gears on lap 82.
Sad news came from Michael Boehler, President of Boehler Racing.
Jimmy Fournier, Chief Mechanic and Tire Changer for Boehler Racing
passed away on Monday, November 1. Jimmy was a trusted and loyal
member of Boehler Racing since the early 1970ís. Lenny now has his
main man with him!
Joyce and Dick Ceravolo of Groton, Ct, owners of the Team 31 SK
Modified, hosted a victory party in recognition of their Sunoco
Modified Track Championship at the Thompson Speedway in 2004. Guests
of honor included driver Todd Ceravolo, crew chief Rick Ceravolo and
their pit crew along with their wives and friends. Started by Dick
Ceravolo in 1969, Team 31 had been responsible for six track
championships, three at Waterford and three at Thompson.
The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were
in Phoenix, Arizona. Jamie McMurray was the Busch Series winner and
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulled out the win in the Nextel Cup. George Bush
defeated John Kerry for the President of our country.
Last year, 2008, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
settled into a long winterís sleep with the exception of the
upcoming Banquet of Champions, which would be held at the Mohegan
Sun Casino on Saturday, September 13.
The weekly stars of NASCAR headed for Las Vegas for the 27th annual
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series awards banquet at the Rio Hotel.
NASCAR, series sponsor Whelen Engineering and track operators
gathered to honor national champion Philip Morris, plus U.S. state,
Canadian provincial, and track champions from throughout North
Morris, of Ruckersville, Va., made history, becoming only the second
driver to win the title more than once. Morris, the champion also in
2006, joined five-time champion Larry Phillips in the seriesí very
Morris, who raced at the Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia entered 28
events and scored 14 victories. Including the wins he had 23 top
fives. Finishing second was Brian Harris who raced at the West
Liberty Raceway in Iowa. Harris had 35 top fives in 38 starts
including 20 wins. Third is Marty Ward who raced at the
Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. Ward recorded 22 top
fives in 24 starts including 13 wins. Fourth was New Englandís own,
Keith Rocco who raced at Stafford, Waterford and Thompson. Rocco
entered 49 events and scored 32 top fives including 11 wins. Rocco
drove for three different car owners. Rounding out the top five was
Jeff Strunk who raced at the Grandview Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Strunk ran in only 20 events but made the best of it as he had 19
top fives which included four wins.
NASCAR also honored their state champions. Rocco, who made his
Whelen Modified Tour debut at the 2008 World Series at Thompson took
top honors as the Connecticut State Champion. Rocco was also the
2008 SK Modified Champion at the Stafford Motor Speedway. Woody
Pitkat, who, like Rocco raced at all three tracks, finished second.
Pitkat entered 29 events and recorded 13 top fives, which included
six wins. Jimmy Blewett, with 12 top fives in 25 starts, finished
third. Blewett raced at Thompson and Stafford. Doug Coby, who also
raced at all three tracks, finished fourth. Dennis Gada who won a
record seventh Modified Track Championship at the Waterford
Speedbowl, rounded out the top five. Gada, who raced only at
Waterford, scored 13 top fives in 21 starts which included three
wins. Sixth through tenth in the final NASCAR State standings are
Rob Janovic from the Waterford Speedbowl, Todd Ceravolo from the
Thompson Speedway, Jeffrey Paul from Waterford, Ted Christopher from
the Stafford Motor Speedway and Tyler Chadwick from the Waterford
At the Waterford Speedbowl the word had it that Jerry Robinsonís
lease of the shoreline oval was up as of November 1. According to
reports Mr. Robinson had removed himself and his belongings from the
facility. In the mean time competitors who raced in the season
ending Fall Finale had not been paid.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action, Carl Edwards won for the second
straight week, squeezing a victory out of his last tank of gas. The
combination of the win by Edwards and a 15th-place finish by Jimmie
Johnson in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
left Edwards 106 points behind NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader
Johnson with two races remaining. Edwards dominated most of the
race, leading 199 of the first 264 laps on the 1 1/2-mile oval.
Edwards, who inherited the lead when Greg Biffle pitted with 13 laps
remaining, beat runner-up Jeff Gordon by more than 8 seconds still
had enough gas left to do a couple of victory doughnuts. Edwards
went the final 103.5 miles on his last fill-up.
Kyle Busch won the O'Reilly Challenge Nationwide event at Texas
Motor Speedway to capture his 10th win of the season, tying him with
Sam Ard for the most wins in a season in the series, and giving Joe
Gibbs Racing it's 19th win of the year. Carl Edwards finished second
followed by Mark Martin, Joey Logano, and David Ragan. The race was
slowed by 5 cautions for 20 laps and there were 4 lead changes among
On November 4 Barak Obama became the first African-American to be
elected as the President of the United States.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the collection of the late Danny Pardi, courtesy of, SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Size
Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: