Five years ago in 2008, former
champion Rick Fuller announced that he had retired from racing.
Fuller, of Auburn, Mass., made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut
in the series’ inaugural race on March 31, 1985 at Thompson (Conn.)
International Speedway with a 13th place finish in the Icebreaker.
Ultimately, Thompson became the site of his last race when was
caught up in an early accident and came home 30th in the No. 77
Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Modified in the Xtra Mart World
Series on Oct. 19. Fuller compiled 20 wins, 145 top fives, 231 top
10s and 11 Coors Light Pole Awards in 439 career NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour starts. His win total ranks seventh in tour history.
The highlight of Fuller’s distinguished career was his championship
season of 1993. A year after his brother, Jeff, had captured the
title, Fuller strung together a win and 14 top 10s in 17 starts to
finish 93 points ahead of Reggie Ruggiero for the crown. Fuller has
become a color commentator for the Stafford Speedway telecasts seen
Good news, many thought, came from the Waterford Speedbowl. Terry
Eames announced that he would partner up with Shawn Monahan to
operate the shoreline oval in 2009. Monahan raced at the Speedbowl
since 1996. He owns and operates Critical Signs and Graphics, which
is located next to the track on Route 85. In a prepared news release
Eames also announced that Tom Fox who was the track’s Chief Tech
Inspector in 2008 would have full authority over all aspects of the
race program as Race Director. Track historian Sid DiMaggio would
serve as a coordinator of multi-media and events.
Prior to Eames leasing the track to Jerry Robinson, Eames had all
but run the facility into the ground. Robinson’s tenure looked to be
the saving grace of the 1/3 mile oval but in 2008 things went from
bad to worse. Competitors and fans were treated with disrespect plus
competitors were held hostage as money owed them was held back.
Crowds at the shoreline oval had been way down in recent years when
the track was under both Eames and Robinson. For the most part they
never advertised the fact that there was racing going on at the
track. No wonder the place was never more than 25% full! Both
Stafford and Thompson advertise their events and both tracks have
been rewarded with crowds that allow them to turn a profit. Unless
the Speedbowl management changes their ways the track will just fade
It is ironic that Pete Zanardi and Dave Dykes had been given the
boot, especially after these two individuals were responsible for
keeping the Speedbowl afloat the previous two years under the
Robinson regime and the two years previous to that when Eames ran
A capacity crowd filled the historic Francis Farm banquet facility
in Rehoboth, MA., Saturday night, November 15, as the True Value
Modified Racing Series, presented it’s fifth annual Awards Banquet
honoring drivers, car owners, and the 2008 series champion, Chris
Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT.
Pasteryak, winner of two races, at Waterford and Seekonk, addressed
the crowd from a well prepared and well delivered script that
detailed what the season meant to him and his family. The second
generation driver thanked his fiancé, family, friends, his sponsors,
series sponsors, and TVMRS officials, for their support. His father,
Charlie, and uncle, Carl, have been involved in modified racing
since the mid-seventies. “I guess they didn’t know what they were
getting into,” said the new champion.
Series founder Jack Bateman, joined by series officials and True
Value representatives, Rick and Robin Tullock, made presentations to
the top fifteen drivers and car owners as well as achievement awards
in several categories. Sponsorship awards and the the 4th annual Bob
Polverari “7-11” presentation were also part of the evenings
festivities. Series announcer, John Spence Sr, hosted the event,
with opening remarks focusing on a review of the 2008 season. Spence
noted, “despite the just concluded campaign being tough economically
for everyone, 61 different drivers were awarded points this year.
All things considered, that’s not too bad.” Spence also recognized
special guests and thanked media representatives for their continued
support. Bateman recognized series officials for their hard work,
professionalism, and dedication. He offered comment on each official
pointing out their qualities and what they mean to the series. The
tours officials have been lauded by fans, media, speedway
management, and race teams, for the respect they show competitors,
and their easy going manner. Bateman thanked track owners, series
sponsors, participating New England True Value stores, New England
Racing Fuels, Black Mountain Painting, Hoosier Tire East , SPAFCO
Race Cars, Koszela Speed, Dart, UniFirst, Inside Track, Sherwood
Racing Wheels, for their support. The series founder also spoke of a
16 race schedule, down from 19 this past season, with some
adjustments and possible additions to be made to a tentative
schedule already in place for 2009. The series will also assist in
officiating the “open” race at Seekonk in July.
The 2008 “7-11” award, for professionalism on and off the track, was
presented to Vinnie “WHO” Annarummo. The recipient was chosen by
former winners, Bateman, Dwight Jarvis, and Ed Dachenhausen and the
special plaque was presented by New England Hall of Famer, Bob
Polverari. Service Award: Ray Legere. A race car owner/builder since
the early 70’s, Legere, now a member of the series tech staff, joins
Jarvis and Bateman as one of three original race car owners that
remains with the series today. 2008 True Value Modified Racing
Series Achievement Awards Recipients: Hoosier Tire East Award:
(Presented By Bobby Summers) - Chris Pasteryak Black Mountain
Painting Award: (Presented By Jack Bateman) - Kirk Alexander, Most
Improved Driver: (Selected By Series Officials) – Shelly Perry,
Touch Luck Award: (Selected By Series Officials) – Les Hinckley,
Sportsmanship Award: (Selected By Series Officials) - 77 Gangsta
Racing, Koszela Speed - Rookie of the Year: Kenny White Jr
(presented by Peter Jarvis).
The New England Antique Racers added their Veteran’s Committee
selections which would be included with the Annual New England Auto
Racing Hall of Fame inductions in January. Open cockpit sensation
Burt Brooks, stock car ace Harold ‘Hardluck’ Hannaford and car owner
Bertha Small are the Veteran Committee selections. The trio will be
inducted along with drivers John Fitch, Bobby Dragon and Paul
Richardson, promoters Bob Bahre, Jim McConnell and Tom Curley and
car owner/ builders Rollie Lindblad and Art Barry on Jan. 25, 2009
at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
Still to be named were the Jack Ratta (Media) and Danny Pardi
(Service) Memorial Award winners.
Carl Edwards led a race-high 157 laps, running out of gas as he
crossed the finish line to win the NASCAR season-ending Ford 400 at
Homestead-Miami Speedway. Still, his series-high ninth win of the
year wasn't enough to wrest away the Sprint Cup title. Jimmy Johnson
locked up his third championship in a row with a solid 15th-place
run, beating Edwards by 69 points to join Cale Yarborough as the
only drivers in NASCAR history to win three straight titles.
Carl Edwards also won the season-ending Ford 300 on Saturday night,
but came up 21 points short in his attempt to overtake Clint Bowyer
for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. All Bowyer had to do
to keep Edwards from winning a second straight title in the
second-tier series was finish in the top eight. He did that easily,
taking fifth to stay on top of the standings, right where he has
been most of the year despite winning only one of 35 races. Edwards
wrested the lead from Kyle Busch late in the race and stayed out
front to the end of the 200-lap event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
He earned his seventh Nationwide victory and kept Busch from
recording a record 11th series win.
Last year, 2012, the 10th annual
Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout presented by PPG
is took center stage at the historic Caraway Speedway in North
Carolina. There were 30 Tour type Modifieds and 11 SK type Modifieds.
In pre-qualifying practice on Friday, Ryan Preece who was driving
the 7ny that is normally driven by Ryan Newman was one-upped by
Woody Pitkat who was the fastest of the fast in practice.
Competitors ran against the clock for the top 12 starting spots for
the Tour type Shootout. Burt Myers took the top spot over Matt
Hirschman, Jason Myers, George Brunnhoelzl III and Kyle Ebersole.
Sixth through twelfth was Ryan Preece, Erik Rudolph, Tommy Barrett,
Patrick Emerling, Danny Bohn, Brian Loftin and Chuck Hossfeldt.
Woody Pitkat and Chris Pasteryak were the heat winners.
In SK type time trials Michael Gervais took the pole over Matt
Hirschman and TJ Zacharias.
Sticking out like a sore thumb by their absence were just about all
of the northern Whelen Modified Tour competitors.
The SK types were up in the late afternoon for their 25 lap feature
event. Michael Gervais, a regular in the SK Modified division at the
Stafford Motor Speedway led from pole to pole to take down the win.
Jimmy Zacharias finished second with Glen Reen, third.
The Modified North-South Shootout 125 lapper saw Ryan Preece, in the
#7ny driven normally by Ryan Newman take a surprise win over Chuck
Hossfeldt and Matt Hirschman. The Shootout was a caution filled
event as the yellow was displayed 17 times for numerous spins and
crashes. The most important yellow came on lap 121 when Tommy
Barrett attempted to pass Woody Pitkat on the low side. Pitkat moved
to block and the two collided. Both were able to restart and
finished respectively in seventh (Barrett) and ninth (Pitkat).
Danny Bohn finished fourth and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top
five. Sixth through tenth were Johnny Sutton, Barrett, Charlie
Pasteryak, Pitkat and Kyle Ebersole.
Preece and his team, co-owned by Gary Putnam and Kevin “Bono” Manion,
had their winnings cut by two-thirds for a rules infraction, track
officials told RaceDayCT.
Track owner and promoter Renee Hackett confirmed that the team was
fined $4,000 for an unapproved tire change during the event. Hackett
read a statement from the track addressing the issue: “Following the
conclusion of the event, during the [North-South Shootout] officials
breakdown meeting, it was discovered that [Ryan] Preece had made an
unapproved tire change. The 7NY team claimed a tire on the car was
flat, but it was not. Thus resulting in the use of an unapproved
tire, as he had already changed two on a previous pit stop. To be
considered flat, the tire must have 12 pounds or less of air
pressure. The tire in question had 15 pounds of air when checked.
During the driver’s meeting all drivers were informed of the tire
change rule and air pressure requirements. Drivers were informed
that they would be penalized if a tire change occurred without prior
approval from a [North-South Shootout] official.” Hackett said the
$4,000 fine from Preece’s team would be redistributed to the teams
that finished second through fifth. Hossfeld will be awarded an
extra $2,500 and Hirschman an extra $1,000. Fourth place finisher
Danny Bohn of Mooresville, N.C. will get an extra $300 and fifth
place finisher Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon was given an extra $200.
The rules for the race said teams got a six-tire inventory for the
event, which included the four tires the teams started on and two
tires that could be changed during the event. Preece said the team
never went outside their six-tire inventory. North-South Shootout
competition director Tom Fox said the team used an unapproved third
new tire during the event.
Congratulations went out to fellow scribe Kevin Rice who was the
recipient of the Star(NH) Speedway Appreciation Award for his loyal
support of the track. Rice is a reporter for the Lowell (Mass) Sun
and trade publication Area Auto Racing News.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at Phoenix Kevin Harvick snapped a
44-race losing streak by beating Kyle Busch on a pair of late
restarts, the ironic winner on the same weekend news leaked he's
reportedly signed a deal to leave Richard Childress Racing to drive
for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
Harvick and Busch crossed the finish line ahead of a melee of
crashing cars, a chain reaction caused in part because NASCAR failed
to throw a caution when Danica Patrick was spun on the restart. Then
others slid in oil, into Patrick's wrecked car, bounced all over the
track, and even Keselowski was hit.
But the carnage was simply the final exclamation point in a sequence
triggered by four-time champion Jeff Gordon. He intentionally
wrecked Clint Bowyer, and that led to a full brawl in the garage and
a red-flag of nearly 15 minutes for clean up on the track. Gordon
slowed his car to wait for Bowyer so he could intentionally wreck
him as retaliation for several weeks of on-track contact between the
two. The fireworks started with seven laps left, when Bowyer made
contact with Gordon, sending him into the wall. Gordon's No. 24 car
was black-flagged, but he didn't leave the track, instead waiting
for Bowyer for his chance at redemption.
After Gordon climbed from his car in the garage, he appeared to be
jumped from behind by one of Bowyer's crew members who wiped the
ground using him as the broom. It led to a full brawl between the
crews, with Bowyer sprinting from his car to join the fracas. Bowyer
was held back by NASCAR officials from entering Gordon's hauler.
Jeff Gordon was fined $100,000, docked 25 points and placed on
probation through the end of the season. NASCAR levied the penalties
against Gordon the result of his altercation with Clint Bowyer
during Sunday’s race at Phoenix Int’l Raceway.
Rick Hendrick, owner of the No. 24 car, was also penalized with the
loss of 25 championship owner points. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of
the No. 24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A
(at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car
owner and team members) and was placed on NASCAR probation until
Bowyer was not penalized, but Brian Pattie, crew chief for Bowyer’s
No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A
and was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Point leader Brad Keselowski was fined not for his profanity-laced
tirade following the race, but for carrying his cell phone in his
car during the event.
Joey Logano picked up his ninth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of
the year Saturday at Phoenix Int’l Raceway while Elliott Sadler’s
shot at the series championship may have ended after a late-race
crash. Logano dominated Saturday’s Great Clips 200, but a pair of
late-race caution flags nearly did him in. Logano had a comfortable
lead with nine laps left when Noel Dowler lost a tire in turns three
and four to bring out a caution flag.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the old West Haven, Ct. Speedway, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & RacintThroughTime.com.
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: