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Friday November 22, 2013
 

By Phil Smith

Thirty years ago in 1983, Eddie Bohn won the 150 lap Turkey Derby. Tom Baldwin finished second with Corky Cookman, third. Rounding out the top five was Brian Ross and Tont Siscone.

Twenty years ago in 1993 Ken Woolley was the overall winner of the Turkey Derby. The big block modifieds had been replaced by the small blocks.

Ten years ago in 2003, Jimmy Blewett won two of the three triple 50's that made up the Turkey Derby of the Wall Stadium Speedway.

Five years ago in 2008, Down on the New Jersey shore the Wall Township Speedway reopened for the annual Turkey Derby. Wall Township, modeled after the famed Lonsdale Arena Speedway in Rhode Island was silent throughout the 2008 season. The historic speedway received a good shot in the arm and had a successful event which hopefully leads to a grand reopening in 2009.

According to reports, Jimmy Blewett roughed up Matt Hirschman on lap 89 to take the lead which led to the 100 lap Tour Type Modified win. Hirschman, who was extremely unhappy with Blewett, finished second. Hirschman had attempted to run the 100 lap contest non-stop while Blewett elected to pit for fresh tires during the event. Steven Reed finished third and was followed by Earl Paules and Tom Rogers.

Blewett attempted to go two for two but ran out of time following a pit stop and a late race spin in the SK type 100 lapper. Blewett led from the drop of the initial green and was in control of the race until lap 69 when he pitted for fresh rubber. Restarting from the rear, Blewett worked his way up to second spot with nine laps to go when he spun out. Rowan Pennick took the win with Woody Pitkat, second and Bob Schultz, third. Blewett recovered to finish fourth.

Deemed a rousing success, the Turkey Derby was run with temperatures in the low 40ís. The grandstands, parking lot and pits were jammed. Cars were actually parked at the Monmouth Airport and fans were bussed to the track.

Last year, 2012, In NASCAR Nationwide Series racing Ricky Stenhouse became the sixth driver to win consecutive championships in NASCARís Nationwide Series. He finished sixth in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, edging Elliott Sadler for the title. Cato, NY native Regan Smith won the 300-mile race, his first victory in 103 Nationwide starts. He was making his first start since 2007, and heís going to race for the championship in 2013 for JR Motorsports. This was his debut race with that team, which is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and had not won a race since 2010. Kyle Busch was second, followed by Brendan Gaughan, Sam Hornish Jr. and Austin Dillon. Danica Patrick was 19th in her final Nationwide race before moving to the Sprint Cup Series full time.

In Sprint Cup racing, Jeff Gordon won the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing a few car lengths ahead of Clint Bowyer. Brad Keselowski wrapped up the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.

Thatís it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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