Last year, 2009, Howard Hodge reported that Chuck Hossfeld would be
driving Ed Bennett's car on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2010. Chuck
replaced Eric Rudolph.
The Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 500
people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees at the
La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor to officially honor
Ted Christopher, Jim Peterson, Michael Gervais, Jr., Andrew Durand,
and Don Wood as the 2009 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series track champions.
With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Matt Buckler and Joe Coss
serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 40th annual Stafford Motor
Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the five
track champions, it also honored the top-20 points finishers from
the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE
Stock divisions. Other awards that were presented during the
evening's festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, Most Improved
Driver Awards, Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards,
and the Craftsman Mechanic of the Year Award.
The race for the 2009 SK Modified® championship began with several
contenders in Jeff Malave, Keith Rocco, and Ted Christopher, but
slowly Malave and Rocco faded from contention and Christopher once
again demonstrated a season long consistency that drove him to his
record seventh career Stafford championship. For the season,
Christopher posted 4 wins, 11 top-5, and 13 top-10 finishes in 15
starts with the #13 Broadband Access Chevrolet. Christopher's 4
victories this season brought his career SK Modified® victory total
at Stafford to 91 wins. Combined with his Whelen Modified Tour
Tech-Net Spring Sizzler victory at Stafford, his grand total of
Stafford career wins now stands at 106 career victories.
Ted Christopher and Jim Peterson made a special presentation to
Shawn Waddell. Waddell was the spotter for Christopher and Peterson
this year at Stafford, and they presented Waddell with a special
plaque that commemorated his dual championships as a spotter. Both
cars Waddell spotted for this year at Stafford were numbered 13, the
second time Waddell has spotted for championship cars in different
divisions in the same season with the same car number. In 2002,
Waddell spotted for Bo Gunning in the SK Modified® division and
Peterson in the Late Model division when both cars carried the
Receiving awards for Most Improved Driver were Richie Pallai, Jr. in
the SK Modified® division, J.J. Hill in the Late Model division,
David Webb in the SK Light division, and Dave Yardley, III in the
Limited Late Model division.
The Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards were
presented by Brad and Linda Hietala of Reliable Welding and Speed to
Mark Bakaj from the SK Modified® division, Adam Gray from the Late
Model division, Michael Gervais, Jr. from the SK Light division, and
Dan Flannery from the Limited Late Model division. The awards will
be worth a $700.00 bonus to Bakaj, and $500.00 bonus to Gray,
Gervais, and Flannery from Reliable Welding and Speed. Each Rookie
of the Year bonus will be paid out in $100.00 weekly increments to
each driver as they attend events during the 2010 season.
The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Woody Pitkat in
the SK Modified® division, Dillon Moltz in the Late Model divisions,
Heather DesRochers from the SK Light division, Carla Botticello from
the Limited Late Model division, and Kyle Casagrande from the DARE
The Craftsman Mechanic of the Year Award was awarded to John Berardi.
Berardi prepared and maintained Don Wood's championship winning DARE
Stock car as well as his daughter Stephanie's DARE Stock, which went
to victory lane once during the 2009 season at Stafford.
The Waterford Speedbowl and (Formerly True Value) Modified Racing
Series officials announced that the Modified Series would visit the
shoreline oval three times in 2010 including the season opening
event for both, scheduled for March 26-28th. In addition, the
popular tour will visit the ‘Bowl for the 3rd annual Wings ‘n Wheels
on August 14th and as part of Thunder on the Sound’s lineup taking
place on September 4th.
Jack Bateman continued to pursue a series sponsor for the Modified
Racing Series which was formerly sponsored by True Value Hardware.
In the mean time Bateman released an 18 race schedule. The series
opens on March 27-28 at the Waterford Speedbowl. From Waterford the
series travels to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY on April
17-18 and to Monadnock on May 1. Other scheduled events include May
30th at the Thunder Road Speedbowl, June 4th at the Twin State
Speedway, June 12th at the Seekonk Speedway, June 17th at the
Thompson International Speedway, July 3rd at the Monadnock Speedway,
July 9th at the Lee USA Speedway, July 17th at the Oxford Plains
Speedway, July 24th at the Canaan Fair Speedway, August 7th at the
Beech Ridge Speedway, August 14th at the Waterford Speedbowl, August
21st at the Seekonk Speedway, August 26th at the Thompson
International Speedway, September 4th at the Waterford Speedbowl,
October 9-10 at the Seekonk Speedway and
October 23-24 at the Lee USA Speedway.
Bateman’s series had become a legitimate alternative to the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series.
Photographers Howie and Mary Hodge, mainstays on the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Series were selected as the winners of the New England
Antique Racers Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award. The Hodges, who had
been recording New England racing history for 30 years, would share
the limelight with 12 new members of the Hall of Fame. Howie started
snapping pictures “seriously” in 1979. Mary joined him three years
The Hall of Fame “Class of 2010” included drivers Geoff Bodine, the
late Mike Murphy, George Savary, Pete Fiandaca and the late Chuck
Arnold, car owner/builders Billy Simons, Bob Garbarino, Vic Miller
and Marty Harty and contributors extraordinaire Frank Ferrara and
the late Archie Blackadar.
Kyle Busch held off a hard-charging Carl Edwards to win the 300-mile
Nationwide Series race at Homstead FL, a fitting ending because the
two NASCAR stars finished 1-2 in the final point standings.
Denny Hamlin won the FORD 400 Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami
Speedway for his 4th win of the season and 8th of his career. Hamlin
started 38th, the farthest a driver has started and won at
Homestead. Jimmie Johnson [the 2009 Sprint Cup Champion finished
fourth. Johnson won his 4th NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in a row,
the first driver ever to so in NASCAR's 61 year history. Johnson was
presented a check by Sprint for $6,520,800. Rick Hendrick became the
first owner to finish 1-2-3 in the final Cup standings with Johnson,
Martin and Gordon finishing 1-2-3. There were 7 cautions for 31
yellow flag laps and 18 lead changes among 10 drivers.
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: