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Friday October 26, 2007

By Phil Smith                                             Click on Photos for Full Size                                

Thirty ago, in 1977, the Monadnock Speedway hosted a 100 lap, open-competition event. Dynamite Ollie Silva was the class of the field as he cleaned house on this cool fall day. Ray Miller finished second with Reggie Ruggiero, Bugsy Stevens and John Rosati rounding out the top five. Little did anyone know, Silva’s racing career would come to an end the following year at the Winchester, New Hampshire track when his car flew off the back stretch and hit a tree. The NASCAR Modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Jerry Cook, Paul Radford, Wayne Anderson, Roger Hill and Bob Park.

Twenty five years ago, in 1982, It was all-quiet on the racing front. The Winston Cup division of NASCAR had a scheduled event at Rockingham, North Carolina but because of rain, had to be postponed to the end of the month which would conflict with the season ending Cardinal 500 at Martinsville.

Twenty years ago, in 1987, the NASCAR Modifieds were in Rougemont, North Carolina. Jeff Fuller, driving the Art Barry No.21 took the win over Bugsy Stevens, Jim Spencer, Mike Mclaughlin, Dave Reszendes, Jay Hedgecock and Tom Baldwin. The Waterford Speedbowl ran their season ender with Bob Potter taking a 100 lap win over Dickie Doo Ceravolo, Ronnie Rocco, John Anderson, Dale Holdredge and Jerry Pearl. C.J. Freye was the Late Model winner.


Fifteen Years ago, in 1992, it was all quiet as teams were making preparations for the season ending World Series.

Ten years ago, in 1997, Waterford's final program was rained out. Todd Ceravolo was declared the modified track champion. At the Lee Octoberfest, Tucker Reynolds won the modified portion. Ted Christopher finished second and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak, David Berghman and Jeff Pearl. At Rockingham, N.C., Mark Martin scored his 32nd Grand National win and broke the record that had previously been held by Jack Ingram. Martin took the lead from Ricky Craven on lap 184 of the 197-lap grind. Dick Trickle finished second with Craven, third. Randy LaJoie finished 20th on the lead lap and sewed up the division championship. It was also on this weekend last year that Bob O'Rourke, long time Nascar Track Steward on Long Island, died after a long bout with cancer.

Five years ago in 2002, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Thompson Speedway last weekend for the season ending World Series. Heavy rain washed out qualifying which had to be re-scheduled to Sunday. Ted Christopher was the fastest of the fifty-two Modifieds on hand. The top ten re-drew for starting spots with Jerry Marquis picking the pole and Charlie Pasteryak, the outside pole. Marquis led the start. The first of only two yellows occurred on lap four when Bo Gunning became the first casualty when he wrecked in turn four. Marqius led the re-start. Christopher, who started third, moved into second spot with John Blewett III in third spot. The second yellow occurred on lap seven when a mass tangle unfolded in turn four, which collected nine cars. Martinsville winner L.W Miller ended up in the wall with heavy front-end damage. Also in the mix was Ricky Fuller who sustained front end and nerf bar damage. Fuller had been second in points behind Mike Stefanik and had been the center of attention as many thought that a confrontation with Ted Christopher was in the making. Marquis again led the restart but held on for only one lap before being overtaken by Ted Christopher. Christopher’s time on the point was short as Blewett powered by one lap later and never looked back. Running at a torrid pace, Blewett lapped all but the top six when he took the checkered flag. Chuck Hossfeld, who got within striking distance a few times, has to settle for second. Christopher ended up third and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak, Nevin George and Marquis, in the lead lap. Rounding out the top ten were Ed Flemke Jr, Chris Kopec, Mike Stefanik and Zach Sylvester. Stefanik, who complained about a bouncing tire, garnered enough points to secure his sixth Featherlite Modified Tour Series Title.

The Busch North Series finally dodged the raindrops enough to finish their season at Lime Rock where Dennis Doyle got his first win. Andy Santerre garnered enough points to take the title by nine points over Matt Kobyluck. The event, which had been delayed and shortened by rain, was stopped 10 minutes before the track’s noise curfew took effect.
The World Series at Thompson drew a total of 653 racecars. It was a marathon session on Sunday that started at noon and lasted 11-1/2 hours when the final event was run. All things considered with the amounts of cars and divisions the speedway management did an outstanding job of keeping the show rolling. High attrition for the supers was evident as 13 of the original 30 starters completed the 50-lap contest. Russ Wood took the win and recorded his sixth ISMA championship. Bo Gunning won the SK/Sunoco Modified 25 lapper that saw 40 cars start. Pre-race favorite Ted Christopher lost an engine.

Last year, 2006, Stafford, Waterford and Thompson were quiet. NASCAR reprimanded Carl Pasteryak and Matt Hirschman, following their actions at the recent World Series at Thompson, Pasteryak got physical with Rene’ Dupuis and Hirschman got overly vocal with Richard Savory after on-track incidents. Pasteryak, driver of the No. 75 car, was suspended from the next Whelen Modified Tour event and suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 30. He was penalized for violating section 12-4-A of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book: actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in an altercation with another competitor on the track; verbal abuse to a NASCAR official and failure to follow a directive from a NASCAR official. Hirschman, driver of the No. 59 car, was also penalized for an incident after the race. Hirschman was placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating section 12-4-A: actions detrimental to stock car racing; failure to follow a directive from a NASCAR official; of the 2006 NASCAR RuleBook. Matt Kobyluck shed the bridesmaid tag in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at the Irwindale Speedway in California, scoring a hard-fought victory in the NASCAR Grand National Division feature event while using the new, cost-reducing Grand National "spec" engine under the hood of his No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet. Kobyluck, the runner-up in this event in 2004 and 2005, started sixth and took the lead for the final time from fellow Grand National Division, Busch East Series competitor Sean Caisse on a restart with ten laps remaining in the 150-lap race. AutoZone West Series champion Eric Holmes made a run at the win but tangled with Caisse on the final turn, spinning while Caisse held off AutoZone West Series driver Mike David for second. Tracy Gordon of the Busch East Series and Brian Ickler of the AutoZone West Series were fourth and fifth. Kobyluck was one of 11 drivers in the all-star event utilizing the new spec engine technology, which was introduced this season as a cost-saving alternative for NASCAR Grand National Division teams. The spec engine includes a closely-specified set of components to limit costs, while providing competitive performance and durability. The new engines, which are optional, are expected to save teams nearly 50 percent on the cost of their engines.

The southern version of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour closed out their season at the Southern National Raceway Park in North Carolina. Junior Miller took the win and his second series championship. Tim Brown finished second. A last minute entry was Chuck Hossfeld in the Roger Hill No.79. Hossfeld started scratch in the 100 lapper and finished fifth.

Les Hinkley won the True Value Modified Series season ender at the Lee Raceway. Andy Seuss finished second with Jimmy Kuhn, third. Dale Evonsion and Bob Goodenough rounded out the top five. Dwight Jarvis was declared the series champion.

At the Martinsville Speedway Jimmie Johnson held off Denny Hamlin to win the Nextel Cup Subway 500. The Busch Series had a week off.

In a somewhat surprise move J&S Motorsports which owns the No. 36 that has been driven by Ted Christopher on the Whelen Modified Tour Series announced that they would part ways with driver Ted Christopher at the end of the 2006 Whelen Modified Tour season. According to car owner, Ed Whelan, this was a mutual agreement. Whelan said, “I wanted to clear the air so that everyone understands that there is no animosity between Ted and I. We’re still friends” Christopher was hired by Whelan to drive for J&S at the third race of this season at Jennerstown in June. Christopher was sixth on the all-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins list with twenty-six victories that include ten wins in the past two seasons. When asked about his future plans, Whelan responded, “We will run the full Whelen Modified Tour schedule in 2007.” When asked whether he was in negotiation with a driver for 2007, Whelan said, “I’m not planning on talking to anyone before we finish the season.” Before teaming up with Whelen Christopher drove cars owned by Danbury, CT businessman Jim Galante.

On a sad note it was learned that Bobby Sprague and George Greco Sr had passed away.


That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail: 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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