Forty years ago in 1969, Thompson ran a 500 lap Modified
event. Bugsy Stevens all but sewed up his third consecutive NASCAR
National Modified Championship as he took the win. A virtually
unknown Richie Evans finished second and was followed by Dave Lape,
Fred DeSarro, Bob Santos and Lou Lazzaro. In the Southland, Ray
Hendrick won both ends of a twin bill for modifieds and late model
sportsman at the Beltsville Speedway in Maryland.
Thirty five years ago in 1974, it was off to Martinsville for
the annual twin 250's for the Modifieds and Late Models. As he had
done all year, Ronnie Bouchard dominated the Modified 250 and capped
off a very successful season. Richie Evans finished second and was
followed by Merv Treichler and Bugsy Stevens. Jerry Cook finished
fifth and sewed up the 1974 Nascar modified championship by scant 77
points over Evans. In the final point run down, Geoff Bodine
finished third and was followed by Stevens, Charlie Jarzombek and
Bouchard. Ray Hendrick won the late model 250 with Reds Cagle,
Thirty years ago in 1979, Jerry Cook scored his seventh win
of the season as he held off Richie Evans to win the annual Fall 250
at Martinsville. Evans hammered on Cook for the final six laps but
to no avail and had to settle for second spot. Ronnie Bouchard, in
an Evans team car, finished third with Maynard Troyer and Geoff
Bodine rounding out the top five. Morgan Shepherd won the Late Model
250 over Joe Thurman.
Twenty five years ago in 1984, Tony Siscone scored an
emotional victory at Martinsville as he won the Fall 250 over Ron
Bouchard, Jamie Tomaino and Bob Polverari. Siscone, who had been
badly burned in an accident with Ray Everham, dedicated his win to
the late Eddie Flemke. Siscone took the lead after Richie Evans lost
an engine on lap 228.The final standings for 1984 showed Evans the
champion with Jim Spencer, George Kent, Corky Cookman and Brian Ross
rounding out the top five.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Jeff Fuller was the 200 lap
modified winner at Martinsville. Reggie Ruggiero finished second
with Doug Hevron and George Kent following. L.D.Ottinger won the
late model portion.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Tony Siscone won the rained out
Race of Champions at Flemington and announced his retirement from
racing in victory lane. Ed Flemke Jr. finished second. Kenny
Bernstein went 314 mph at Pomona, California. In Winston Cup action
at Phoenix, Terry LaBonte took the win.
Ten years ago in 1999, Jeff Green was the Busch Grandnational
winner at Memphis. The Venditti family announced that the Seekonk
Speedway would operate under a NASCAR sanction for the 2000 season.
Also on this weekend it was announced that five members of the over
the wall crew, The Rainbow Warriors of the Jeff Gordon crew, had
been hired away by Robert Yates.
Five years ago in 2004, The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series
held their awards banquet in Nashville, Tenn. Drivers and crews from
all over the country converged on the music city for what had to be
the richest season ending payoff in NASCAR Weekly Racing Series
history. Representing the New England region was Champion Richard
Wolf who was the titleholder from the Lee USA Speedway in New
Hampshire. Greg Pursley, who raced at the Irwindale Speedway in
California, was crowned the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Champion.
Pursley, won 13 races on his way to the title. Among those taking
part in the awards ceremony was Todd Ceravolo who finished fourth in
the New England Region. Ceravolo, who is also the 2004 Thompson
Speedway Sunoco Modified Track Champion said he was impressed by the
gala affair that saw over $1.6 million paid out to short track
racers from coast to coast.
The Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that they had named former
Late Model Champion Chuck Zantarski of West Haven as the Assistant
Race Director under Race Director Frank Sgambato JR. Zantarski would
have a driverís view of the racing which should lead to better
policing of the racing in general. A former racer can understand
what racers do and why they do it.
The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were
at the Atlanta International Raceway in Georgia. In what has to be
the greatest rebound in auto racing history Jimmie Johnson scored an
emotional win over Mark Martin in the Nextel Cup event. For Johnson
it was his third in a row. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson
entered the race with a heavy heart as the organization he races for
suffered a multi tragedy just a week prior when Hendrick family
members and employees perished in a plane crash near Martinsville
Virginia. Carl Edwards finished third. It was a rough day for Dale
Earnhardt Jr. who finished a distant 33rd after a late race bout
with the wall. Earnhardt was attempting to pass Edwards and mis
calculated when he went to get back in line. Matt Kenseth won the
Aarons 312 Busch Grand National event.
Nextel Cup star Jimmy Spencer found himself in hot water recently
when Cornelius, North Carolina police arrested him. Spencer was
charged with interfering with police who were trying to serve a
warrant on his son, Jonathan, who was accused of pouring paint on
two cars on October 6. Spencer was also charged with disorderly
conduct. Evidently Morgan-McClure Motorsports didnít appreciate the
fact that their driver had been arrested as they released him and
hired Mike Wallace to drive their car at Atlanta last weekend.
Wallace did not qualify for the Atlanta event.
Last year, 2008, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
closed out another successful season. Car counts were down a bit but
overall the competition was great. When the final checker dropped at
Thompson, Ted Christopher led the championship standings by 127
points over Matt Hirschman. Hirschman, who lost his ride in the
Bennett mount, was one of the first to congratulate the new
champion. Todd Szegedy finished the year in third spot with Chuck
Hossfeld and Ronnie Silk rounding out the top five. Rounding out the
top ten in the final standings are Eric Beers, Mike Stefanik, Rowan
Pennick, Jimmy Blewett and Ryan Preece. Next on the agenda is the
annual Banquet of Champions at the Mohegan Sun Casino in December.
At the Waterford Speedbowl competitors were still wondering if and
or when they would be paid for the Fall Finale. Word had it that
track operator Jerry Robinson would not renew his lease of the
shoreline oval, which meant that the purse would never be paid.
NASCAR, which competitors at Waterford were forced to join needed to
go after the non-paying promoter and take legal action if necessary
in order to protect their paying members. In the end, NASCAR did
In True Value Modified Series action at the Twin State Speedway Matt
Hirschman, who had won 12 times in three of four Modified racing
series won the Ricky Miller Memorial 100. Hirschman started 16th.
Lisbon Connecticutís Chris Pasteryak came from last starting spot to
finish seventh and sewed up the series championship. In the 100
lapper, Dwight Jarvis finished second and was followed by Kirk
Alexander, Jon McKennedy and Bob Goodenough.
In All Star Modified action at Epping, NH on Saturday night a paltry
field of only 15 Modifieds were on hand. According to reports Ronnie
Silk led about 2/3 of the 100 lapper before being passed by Mike
Stefanik for the lead and eventual win. Silk hung on for second with
Matt Hirschman, third. Kyle Ebersol and Rowan Pennick rounded out
the top five. Among those who didnít finish was Ted Christopher who
ended up 11th.
In Nationwide Series action, Carl Edwards held off David Reutimann
to win the Kroger On Track for the Cure 250 on Saturday at the
Memphis Motorsports Park, keeping alive his hopes for a second
straight NASCAR Nationwide Series title. Edwards, who missed
qualifying because of practice for Sunday's Sprint Cup Race in
Atlanta, started 34th in his No. 60 Ford but made an early stop for
fresh tires and gained ground quickly. He took the lead from Mike
Bliss on lap 69, and never trailed after that. Reutimann kept his
Toyota on Edwards' rear bumper for the final two laps, but couldn't
overtake him for the lead.
In Sprint Cup action at Atlanta Motor Speedway Carl Edwards passed
Denny Hamlin on a late restart, then held on to win Sunday to keep
his championship hopes alive. But his seventh win of the season
barely dented Jimmie Johnson's points lead. Johnson had a rough
start to the race, earning a rare pit-road penalty that dropped him
a lap off the pace, but stormed back to finish second with an
impressive final sprint through the field.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from Lancaster Speedway, courtesy of
the John Bisci's Turn 5 Photo & Video, SpeedwayLineReport.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: