Sixty five years ago in 1941, the Thompson Speedway suffered its
first fatality as Tony Willman was thrown out of his midget after
crashing and was hit by Howard Bumpus. This was one of the last
events to be run before the start of World War II.
years ago in 1966, Will Cagle won the 100 mile National Open, (Race
of Champions) at the Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Ray Tilley
finished second with Bill Wimble, third. Jerry Dostie and Frank
Myronchuk rounded out the top five. Bill Slater, who won the 1965
version, finished 15th.
Thirty five years ago in 1971, it was all quiet as teams were
getting ready to head south for the season ender at Martinsville or
the rescheduled Race of Champions at Langhorne. The current national
modified standings showed Jerry Cook in the lead followed by Bugsy
Stevens, Bernie Miller, Fred DeSarro, Dave Lape, Dick Fowler, Billy
Harman, Lou Lazzaro, Denis Giroux and Ray Sitterly.
Thirty years ago in 1976, Geoff Bodine went two for two as he put
the Dick Armstrong modified in victory lane at Monadnock on Saturday
and at Thompson on Sunday. At Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard finished
second with John Rosati, SJ Evonsion and Punky Caron rounding out
the top five. Ronnie Bouchard in the M&H No7 finished second at
Thompson. Rounding out the top five were Bugsy Stevens, Ray Miller
and Eddie Flemke.
years ago in 1981, Thompson ran the World Series. Jamie Moore was
the Supermodified winner and Richie Evans took the modified portion.
Ray Miller finished second and was followed by John Rosati, Corky
Cookman and Ronnie Bouchard.
Twenty years ago in 1986, Doug Hevron scored his first modified win
in a 35 lap season ending event at Oswego. Jan Leaty finished second
with Mike Mclaughlin and Billy Colton following. Brian Ross finished
fourth and wrapped up the modified championship at the Lake Ontario
oval. At Syracuse, Barefoot Bob McCready took home $66,000 after
taking the win in the Eckered 200.
Fifteen years ago in 1991, Waterford ran their final event of the
year. Ted Christopher took the checker over Jerry Pearl, Ronnie
Rocco and Bert Marvin. Mike Holdredge was the Super Stock winner and
Tommy Fox scored his tenth win of the season in the Late Models. At
Syracuse, Brett Hearn made it two in a row as he took the lead in
the Eckered 200 with 12 laps to go when Danny Johnson lost a wheel.
The biggest prize in DIRT Modified Racing was worth $107,260. Ricky
Craven won the Chevy Dealers 250 at Loudon.
Ten years ago in 1996, Jan Leaty passed George Kent on lap 156 of
the 200 lap Race of Champions at Oswego and went on to take the win
over Siege Fidenza, Kent, Tim Arre, Ted Christopher and Tim Mangus.
Doug Hoffman won the 25th anniversary DIRT 300 at Syracuse and Butch
Leitzinger took the lead from Andy Santarre with seven to go in the
season ending Busch North Series event at Lime Rock. Dale Quarterly
finished second when Santarre flipped with two laps to go.
Five years ago in 2001, the NASCAR Featherlite Modifieds traveled to
the Martinsville Speedway for a 200 lap event. Mike Ewanitsko was
virtually unbeatable as he led the first 56 laps and the final 77
laps as he recorded an impressive win over Rick Fuller, Jerry
Marquis, John Blewett III and Ted Christopher. Mike Stefanik was the
point leader and suffered a set back as he lost five laps as a
result of having to pit under green with a loose wheel. Stefanik
ended up 21st and would go into the final event, a week later, only
20 points ahead of Marquis and Blewett. The event was run on
Saturday as a preliminary to the tracks Winston Cup event. Prior to
the event NASCAR announced that a three year contract with Hoosier
Tires for the Modifieds had been signed. The annual Race of
Champions was run at the Oswego Speedway. George Kent took the win
over Chuck Hossfeld, Lee Sherwood, Jan Leaty and Dave Pecko.
Martinsville fell victim to rain on Sunday which meant they would
run on the next clear day which ended up being Monday. Ricky Craven
scored his first and only win on NASCAR's elite circuit after doing
the bump and grind with Dale Jarrett for 1-1/2 laps. The Waterford
Speedbowl closed out their season with their Fall Finale which was
won by Ron Yuhas Jr over Dennis Gada, Eric Berndt, Ed Reed JR and
John Brouwer. It was also on this weekend that Randy LaJoie took the
Busch Grandnational win at Memphis after Jeff Green and Jay Sauter
bumped each other out of the way with 1-1/2 laps to go.
Last year, 2005í the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series was supposed
to be at the Thompson Speedway on Saturday for the Twin 100's that
were rescheduled from June 12. Heavy rains moved into Connecticut
during early afternoon on Friday and along with a forecast of rain
all day Saturday, postponed the event to Sunday. By mid day on
Saturday it became a moot point as over four inches of rain dumped
on the Thompson area and the forecast was extended to have
continuing rain through mid week. The decision was made to postpone
the entire program to Saturday, October 29. Prior to all this taking
place the Waterford Speedbowl also had to postpone their season
ending Town Fair Tire Fall Finale. The Speedbowl selected the same
weekend with their main events to be run on Sunday, October 30. In
the interest of being fair to competitors and after consulting with
NASCAR the Waterford Speedbowl changed its rain date to October
22-23. Itís not so much that it would create conflicts for
competitors but it did create a conflict for the paying fan as there
are only so many entertainment dollars to be spent by families per
week. One of the tracks would have taken it on the chin.
The winds of change were beginning to blow for 2006. Word had it
that the Don Barker-Bob Cuneau No.50 Whelan Modified team would be
disbanded at season's end. One of Chuck Hossfeld's Lancaster
Speedway cronies let it slip as he alluded to the fact that a
Modified had been bought from Sege Fidanza for him to drive at the
western New York Lancaster Speedway for the 2006 season.
It had also been heard that Kirk Alexander, one of the top guns of
the northern New England based True Value Modified Series, had been
approached by two Whelen Modified Series teams who were interested
in securing his services as a driver in 2006. It had also been said
that the True Value Modified Tour Series competitors had voted to
look into racing at Thompson in 2006. The TVMS raced at Seekonk in
2005 and was expected back in 2006. Speaking of Seekonk, Whelen
Modified Tour competitors were glad to hear that a fully operational
scoreboard and lap counter is now in place and is operational at the
A devastating fire struck the Troyer Engineering and Race Car
Fabrication facility in Rochester, NY late Friday, October 7. A
power surge in an electrical riser outside of the building sent
sparks into the second floor of the building. Materials in the
storage area ignited, spreading the fire throughout the facility
ultimately engulfing the majority of the building. The whole left
half of the shop was gone along with much of the inventory. All that
was left were the outside walls. The office area and the bays were
gone with the roof either burned out or collapsed plus smoke and
water damage to the remainder of the shop. Troyer Engineering
designed and fabricated asphalt and dirt track chassis. Company
founder Maynard Troyer had begun searching for a temporary location
so that chassis building would continue on schedule. A remote office
had already been set up with computers and telephones.
The Stafford Motor Speedway had completed another year of racing.
The next order of business would be the annual banquet and awards
dinner which would be held on Friday, November 11 at the
LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT. In the tracks SK
Modified division Lloyd Agor wrapped up his first ever track title
by 30 points over Todd Owen. Agor had 14 top ten finishes including
two wins in 21 starts. Owen also had two wins in 21 starts. Willie
Hardie Jr, with one win, finished third. Ted Christopher and Frank
Ruocco, each with three wins finished fourth and fifth. Sixth
through tenth are Jeff Baral with two wins, Keith Rocco with one
win, Woody Pitkat with two wins followed by Chuck Docherty and Jeff
Malave who were winless. Ryan Posocco, with two wins, won the Late
Model Championship by 46 points over Tom Butler. Butler had four
wins but failed to display the consistency required to be the
champion. Jim Peterson, Ed Ricard and Scott Foster rounded out the
For the second time in 34 years, Super DIRT Week's premier event -
the Eckerd modified championship - was postponed indefinitely by
inclement weather, probably until next year. The 200-lap race, which
began under caution because of wet and slick track conditions, was
halted by rain after 52 laps. After race teams and a dwindling group
of fans waited through four hours of on-and-off drizzle, DIRT
Motorsports officials pulled the plug on their richest race of the
season. The announcement, DIRT's first postponement of the 200-lap
race since the 1977 event was pushed back to the following spring,
was met with anger and frustration by many race teams.
In Nextel Cup action, Mark Martin and Greg Biffle led a team sweep
of the top three spots and another Roush driver, Matt Kenseth,
finished fifth. But the last laugh might belong to Tony Stewart, who
finished fourth to extend his Chase lead from four points to 75. It
was Stewart's 15th top-10 finish in 16 races and, more important,
his third in the first four events of the 10-race Chase for the
Nextel Cup championship. Biffle elected not to nudge Casey Kahne out
of contention during their side-by-side duel in the Busch Racing
Series event on Saturday, as Kahne edged ahead yards from the finish
for the victory at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
Thatís about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and
R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail: