Thirty-five years ago in 1970,the twin 25's took a strange twist at Stafford on Saturday night. Bugsy Stevens won the first one and was followed by Ed Flemke, Ed Yerrington and Lou Toro. Just past half way in the second 25,the red flag was displayed because a major fire had broken out in the town of Stafford and the fire truck and ambulance had to leave. When it was determined that the emergency vehicles would not return, then leader, Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55 was declared the winner. It was to be Harman's only career win at Stafford. Yerrington was placed in second spot and was followed by Stevens, Bob Vee and Bobby Santos. Denis Giroux won a double point event at Plattsburg. Fred DeSarro finished a disappointing 16th after dropping out with mechanical problems. On Sunday at Thompson, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke each won 25 lappers and at Utica-Rome on Sunday night, it rained.
Thirty years ago in 1975, Maynard Troyer won the Lancaster 200 over Paul Radford, Richie Evans and Lou Lazzaro. At Islip, Charlie Siebert took the win and at Fulton, Jerry Cook beat out vans and Sonney Seamon for the win. Leo Cleary was the small block modified winner at Thompson.
Twenty-five years ago in 1980, Jeff Fuller in the Tom Dunn T-5 took the win at Westboro over Bugsy Stevens and Mike Weeden. At Riverside it was Ray Miller over Richie Evans and Bob Polverari and at Waterford a 200 lapper was on tap and Bob Potter took the win over Moose Hewitt. Sunday afternoon at Thompson, Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Fuller and John Rosati. At the conclusion, Bouchard and Rosati headed for Monadnock for a Sunday night event. Bouchard drove and Rosati flew. Much to many surprised fans, Bouchard arrived 15 minutes before the consi and made it into the show. Rosati got there late and never got a chance to qualify. Mike Weeden took the win with Bouchard, second and Marty Radwick, third. Islip ran a 250-lap event on Sunday. Charlie Jarzombek led for 247 laps when he lost an engine and handed the eventual victory to Richie Evans. George Wagner finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Despite losing an engine, Jarzombek still finished fourth. Other weekend winners were Don LaJoie at Danbury, Roger Treichler at Lancaster, Gil Hearne at Wall, Jim Shampine at Star and George Kent at Shangri-La. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Bobby Allison took the win. Harry Gant crashed with 50 to go as he was trying to take the lead.
Twenty years ago in 1985, Spencer Speedway ran on Friday night wit Jan Leaty taking the win over Randy Hedger and Doug Hewitt. The annual Thompson 300 was on tap and with temperatures in the 90's it proved to be a test of man and machine. Richie Evans led 155 laps to win the event over Doug Hewitt and Bob Polverari. Doug Hevron had been running second with four to go when he suffered a flat and had to pit. Wayne Dion was the Thompson SK Modified winner. Riverside Park ran open competition on Saturday night with Reggie Ruggerio taking the win over Polverari and Richie Gallup. Chris Young ended the season at Riverhead with a win. The first ever Enduro was run at Waterford and drew 268 cars and 8000+ people. Richie Evans sewed up the NASCAR Northeastern Regional Championship and in Winston Cup action at Richmond, Geoff Bodine was the pole sitter and Darrell Waltrip took the win.
Fifteen years ago in 1990,the Thompson 300 was a double header with the Busch North Series, which gave fans the best of both worlds. Mike McLaughlin won the modified portion, which paid $15050 to win. Satch Worley finished second with Doug Hevron, third. Forty-one cars started the event. Kenny Bouchard was the Busch North series winner. The pit fee was $40.00.Reggie Ruggerio got his fifth of the season at Monadnock on Friday night and Jim Broderick went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night.
Ten years ago in 1995,Mike Gada went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night. Mark LaJeunesse finished second with John Anderson, third. Matt Kobyluck was the late model winner. The Busch North Series ran at Stafford. Ted Christopher was leading with two laps to go when Andy Santarre dumped him. Tom Bolles was in the right spot at the right time and took the win. At Riverside, Reggie Ruggerio got his fourth win of the season over Steve Park. The Thompson 300 ran on Sunday. Steve Park won the preliminary Pro Stock 100 and came back to win the 300.In the Banzul No.8; Park led five times for 155 laps. Ricky Fuller finished second and was followed by Mike Stefanik, Jamie Tomaino and Charlie Pasteryak. Point leader Tony Hirshman, wrecked. Barefoot Bob McCready won the Lebanon Valley 200 DIRT event and at Richmond, Dale Jarrett was the Grandnational winner and Rusty Wallace was the Winston Cup winner.
Five years ago, in 2000, Willie Hardie won the final Friday night SK modified event at Stafford. Zack Sylvester finished second with Frank Wainwrite finished third. Ted Christopher finished seventh and wrapped up the 2000 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series North East Championship. Stafford closed out their regular Friday night series with the announcement that the Pro Stocks would be eliminated for the 2001 season. At Waterford on Saturday night, Dennis Gada got his sixth win of the season. Ed Dachenhausen and Eric Berndt followed. Riverhead ran twin features to close their season. Taking the wins were J.R.Bertuccio and Frank Vigliorolo. Scott Quinn took the win at Thompson on Sunday after Todd Ceravolo lost an engine. Ted Christopher finished second with Kerry Malone, third. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Jeff Gordon took the win but a post race inspection showed that Gordonís car had a magnesium intake. The win was allowed. Gordon and car owner Rick Hendrick was docked 100 points and fined $25,000.Jeff Burton was the BGN winner at Richmond.
Last year, 2004 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Thompson Speedway. With an all new format in place qualifying heats were run. Winners of the four 20-lap sprints were Tom Bolles, Eddie Flemke Jr., Jerry Marquis and Todd Szegedy. The Thompson 300 was split into three-100 lap segments. Tom Bolles won the first over Flemke, Marquis, Ricky Fuller and Ted Christopher. Flemke won the second segment over Marquis, Todd Szegedy, Fuller and Mike Stefanik. Tony Hirschman won the nightcap over Bolles, Christopher, Stefanik and Marquis. Flemke, who was currently in a tight point battle with Tony Hirschman, was declared the overall winner and received the points normally awarded the win. Second overall was Jerry Marquis. Third through fifth overall were Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik and Rick Fuller. Because of his poor finishes in the first two segments Hirschman was placed in 11th spot. In Dodge Weekly Racing Thunder at Thompson on Saturday, Bo Gunning won the first of two 25 lap Sunoco SK-type Modified events. Bert Marvin finished second with Ted Christopher, third. Todd Ceravolo, who was in contention for track championship honors finished fourth with Jeff Malave, fifth. Other Saturday winners were Corey Hutchings in the Late Models and Steve Michalowski in the Mini-Stocks. Sundayís action saw Ted Christopher take the Sunoco Modified win over Todd Ceravolo, Eric Berndt, Kerry Malone and Adam Norton. Corey Hutchings made it two for two on the weekend as he beat out Marc Palmissano for the Sunday Late Model win. Jeff Zuidema took the Pro Stock win and Glen Boss was the Limited Sportsman winner.
The Friday night NASCAR Dodge Racing Series at Stafford ran its last weekly event of 2004. It was more like Friday night at the Fights as hand to hand combat highlighted the SK Modified feature. Jeff Baral held off Frank Ruocco and Ted Christopher for the win but the real story was the on track antics of Chris Jones. Prior to the running of the SK Modified feature Jones bragged that Ted Christopher was not going to finish the feature. Christopher, who had already sewed up the 2004 SK Modified track championship at the half-mile oval, was hoping to pad his NASCAR Regional lead. Not one to just get out there and ride, Christopher made his charge to the front. Just before the half way mark Christopher made a clean outside pass by Jones. One lap later Jones dove inside Christopher and spun him out. Jones was subsequently black flagged for his actions. Jones was asked to remove himself from the racing surface but refused. Instead he drove up to Christopherís car, got out and commenced throwing punches at Christopher. Jones was eventually subdued by police and was escorted out of the track. As he was being led away he continually made obscene gestures to the crowd and officials. In other Friday night action, Jim Peterson took the Late Model feature and David Zienka won the DARE Stock feature.
Shawn Monahan was literally out-foxed at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Tom Fox, who had only recorded one win at the shoreline oval this year, made numerous attempts to overtake Monahan who was obviously blocking. Fox pulled a sneaky on lap 20 as he faked to the outside, then dove to the inside to take the lead and the eventual win. Jeff Pearl finished second as Monahan faded to fifth in the closing laps. Kurt Lenihan finished third. Dennis Gadaís luck continued to be bad as he fell by the wayside, while running third, with electrical problems. Gada ended up 15th and lost the point lead to Ed Reed Jr. In other action at the Bowl, Eddie Field won the Mini-Stock feature, Allen Coates made it two in a row in Late Model action, Dwayne Dorr was the Sportsman winner and Jeff Paul won the 50-lap Legands Nationals Qualifier.
The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were at the Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Robbie Gordon was the Busch Series winner and Jeremy Mayfield was the Nextel Cup winner after Kurt Busch ran out of gas while leading with eight laps to go.
On a sad note, Lou Cady, webmaster and founder of Modified Series Scene.com passed away. Cady provided news and chat pertaining to the Featherlite Modifieds.