Thirty five years ago in 1976,
the Modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Geoff Bodine
ended his modified season with a win over Paul Radford and John
Thirty years ago in 1981, the
Thompson Speedway hosted their annual banquet. Taking top honors
were Richie Evans, the Modified Champion, Dave Wandzy, the Street
Stock Champ and Ron Cote, the late model champ. Special awards
included most Improved in the Modifieds, Corky Cookman, Late models,
Fran Colson and Street Stock, Jack Crosby. Rookie honors went to Ed
Kennedy in the Modifieds, Rick Armstrong in the Late Models and Rick
Fuller in the Street Stocks. Dick Williams, who promoted the
speedway during the year, announced that he was not renewing his
Twenty-five years ago in 1986,
Ben Dodge was hired by NASCAR to help out in the promotion and
publicity of the Featherlite Modified Tour. Waterford held their
annual banquet, which honored Bob Potter as the SK Modified champion
and Brian McCarthy as the Super Stock champion. Most improved honors
went to Ed Flemke Jr in the SK's and Chuck Zentarski in the Super
Stocks. Rookie of the Year honors went to David Gada in the
Modifieds and Dave Wheeler in the Superstocks. Promoter Ed
Yerrington announced that the 1987 Tri-Track point fund would be in
excess of $100,000, which would be, more than was for the Modified
or Busch North Series at that time.
Twenty years ago in 1991,
November 10 turned out to be a sad day for New England Auto Racing
as D. Anthony Venditti, owner and promoter of the Seekonk Speedway
had passed away. Venditti was a visionary and although some of his
ideas seemed off the wall sometimes, nine times out of ten he could
read the future of auto racing. He had the original idea for what we
now know is a Pro Stock. Venditti could be very stubborn but no
matter what, he always stuck to his guns. He had the respect of just
about every one that knew him.
Ten years ago in 2001, the
Stafford Speedway held their annual banquet and crowned Ted
Christopher the SK-Modified Track Champion. Christopher was also the
NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Regional and National Champion. NASCARís
Winston Cup and Grand National divisions were in Homestead, Florida.
Joe Nemachek took the GN win. In Winston Cup action, Bill Elliott
got the first Dodge win for Ray Everham. Elliott took the lead from
teammate Casey Atwood with five laps to go. Michael Waltrip finished
second. During the running of the event three of Ricky Ruddís crew
plus a NASCAR official were injured on pit road when Ward Burton
bounced off the car of Casey Atwood and hit Ruddís car while it was
being serviced. In SMART Modified competition at South Boston,
Virginia, Gary Meyers took the win over Charlie Pasteryak and Jay
Foley. Ed Flemke JR, in the Hill Racing No.79 was the fastest of the
field and was leading with 10 laps to go when Frank Flemming drilled
him into the wall on a restart. It was also announced on this
weekend that NASCAR entered into agreement with Dodge for multi-year
sponsorship of the sanctioning bodieís Weekly Racing Series.
Five years ago in 2006, it
looked like the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series had gone by the
wayside as NASCAR and Whelen Engineering announced a multi-year
agreement for Whelen to become the new title sponsor of NASCARís
weekly racing program. The series was re-named the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series for 2007.
The leasing of the Waterford Speedbowl continued to a hot topic of
conversation. Jerry Robinson, a virtually unknown in racing circles,
leased the shoreline oval. Robinson owned the Legends Cars Series.
It was hoped that Robinson could breathe new life into the track
that had all but run into the ground by property owner Terry Eames.
Things got so bad in 2006 at Waterford the track was running
unadvertised races as too much money had been owed for too long of a
period to area radio stations and newspapers. It was amazing that
the track did as well as it did.
Priorities included re-opening and modernizing the restrooms and
repairing sections of grandstand that have been closed for repair.
As it turned out, Robinson ended up being one of the worst things
that ever happened to the shoreline oval.
In Whelen Modified Tour Series news Mike Stefanik indicated that he
would pursue his tenth championship with Flamingo Motorsports for
2007. Barry Kuhnel who played a key role as his crew chief in years
past would be a consultant. Stefanik would be driving a 2007 model
Troyer chassis, which was Ford powered. Word was being tossed around
about a Whelen Modified Tour Series event in Mansfield, Ohio.
Word came from Lew Boyd that two legends were under the weather and
could use a card of cheer. Four time NASCAR Sportsman Champion Rene
Charland was recuperating from a recent car crash and. Bill Wimble
had developed tongue cancer and would have a rough few weeks with
radiation and chemo.
The Daytona Beach Journal reported that NASCAR President Brian
France drove into a parked car and hit a tree with his Lexus. NASCAR
issued a statement that he spilled a soft drink which evidently
caused him to lose control of the vehicle. Evidently he wasnít
drinking Pepsi and evidently his Lexus wasnít shod with Goodyear
Tires. Police said the Lexus had $1,500 damage.
Kevin Harvick led 252 of the 312 circuits and captured the Checker
Auto Parts "500" presented by Pennzoil at Phoenix International
Raceway by a quarter of a second today over Johnson. Harvick also
won the Busch Series event.
Last year, 2010, The eighth
annual 109 U-Pull It John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout
took center stage this past weekend in Concord, NC. Thursday's
practice sessions were rained out which made for a hectic Friday
schedule. The excitement began to build early Friday as the pit area
was crammed with 31 Tour Type Modifieds, 18 SK type Modifieds, 27
Super Late Models along with 25 USA (Thompson type) Modifieds and
some scattered Vintage Modifieds. As the day wore on a cold front
descended on the speedway driving temperatures down to between 25
and 30 degrees.
Time trials were held for the SK and Tour types. In the SKs Ronnie
Silk in the Eddie Partridge entry took the top spot over Ryan Preece
and Ron Yuhas Jr. Chuck Hossfelt was the Tour type top qualifier
over Justin Bonsignore and Matt Hirschman. SK type qualifying heats
were won by Keith Rocco and Steve Reed. Shortly after the completion
of the SK type heats rain decended upon the speedway forcing
officials to cancel remaining qualifying. The decision was made to
start all Tour type cars straight up from time when the action was
scheduled to resume on Saturday.
Despite a shivering chill in the air the Shootout made it into the
history books. Matt Hirschman and Keith Rocco survived a wreck
filled day to win the modified and SK portions of the annual
North-South Shootout. Hirschman picked up his third victory in the
prestigious event, putting an end to the two-year domination of Burt
Myers, who spun twice early in the 125-lap modified feature which
took him out of contention. Hirschman started third and ran in the
top five most of the event. He was running second behind leader
James Civali on lap 89 when contact between he, Civali and
third-place Ryan Preece sent all three spinning, giving fourth-place
Ted Christopher the lead.
Christopher didnít hold the lead long as he was dumped two restarts
later by Rowan Pennink entering turn one, causing a tangle that
eventually included seven cars. Pennink was sent to the rear of the
field for causing the crash. George Brunnhoelzl III inherited the
lead, but Hirschman had recovered from his spin on lap 89 and was up
to fourth for the restart. By lap 105 Hirschman was up to second and
eight laps later he took the lead for good, passing Brunnhoelzl in
lapped traffic. He survived one final restart with four laps left to
earn the victory. Polesitter Chuck Hossfeld finished second,
followed by Brunnhoelzl, Eric Beers and Ron Silk. The modified race
featured 11 caution flags and two red flags. One of the red flag
stops was to allow the track crew to repair water barrels on pit
Tommy Farrell finished sixth and was followed by Pennink, Les
Hinkley, Jason Myers and Eric Goodale. Justin Bonsignore finished
14th after being one of the race leaders who had problems. His was a
dead battery. Jimmy Blewett finished 15th and Burt Myers was 19th.
James Civali finished 20th with Ryan Preece and Christopher
With eight laps remaining in the 50 lap SK type race Keith Rocco was
sitting in seventh spot. A lot can change in the closing moments of
any race and this 50 lapper was no different. Earl Paules led the
restart and after just one lap Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat and Tom
Farrell spun. Christopher suffered suspension damage and was towed
off. Paules led the final restart which was single file. Almost
immediately the field bunched up and went three wide. With three to
go Ryan Preece went into the lead only to lose it to Rocco in the
final moments. Preece ended up second with Silk, third. Paules and
Matt Hirschman rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were
Doug Coby, Ron Yuhas Jr, Tom Barrett, Tom Farrell and Woody Pitkat.
A real scary wreck took place on lap 41 when New Jersey racer Steven
Reed got up on the backstretch wall, riding it for quite a way
before crashing back on to the track. Reed hit a lightpole plus
ripped down a portion of the catch fence. The car's chassis did its
job as Reed emerged unhurt. In a track PA interview, Reed stated he
lost a right-front tire going through the dogleg causing his car to
hit the wall and get airborne.
Tim McCreadie passed Matt Sheppard late in Saturday night's
Big-Block DIRT Modified portion of the Lowes Foods World Finals at
Charlotte and went on to win the feature. Sheppard's runner-up
finish was enough to lock up the 2010 Mr. DIRTCar championship
though for the first time in his career.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Denny Hamlin completed a Texas
two-step, winning at the track for the second time this year and
taking over the points lead from four-time defending season champion
Jimmy Johnson. Hamlin took the lead with 29 laps to go and then
overcame a push from Matt Kenseth on the final restart with three
laps left, holding on for his series-best eighth victory this
season. Matt Kenseth finished second with Mark Martin, third. Joey
Logano was fourth. Kyle Busch was penalized three laps Sunday - the
first for speeding on pit road and two more for flashing an obscene
gesture through his windshield at the NASCAR official who signaled
the infraction while standing in front of Busch's car.
Brad Keselowski clinched the Nationwide season title by finishing
third in Texas on Saturday, giving owner Roger Penske his first
championship in one of NASCAR's national series. Keselowski, who had
to finish only 21st or better to wrap up the driver's championship
with two races left, crossed the line behind winner Carl Edwards and
runner-up Kyle Busch to earn his 24th top-five result of the season.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes Racing ThroughTime.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: