Friday September 22, 2006

By Phil Smith                                                          Click On Any Photo For Full Size Version

Forty years ago in 1966, Fred DeSarro driving his home built 327 Chevy Sportsman mount won the Bay State 200 at Norwood Arena. Pete Corey closed out the season at the Fonda Speedway with a win over Jeep Herbert and Lou Lazzaro. The Utica-Rome Speedway also ran their season finale with Kenny Shoemaker taking the win. Lazzaro finished second with Jerry Cook, third. Sonny Seamon and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five.

Thirty five years ago in 1971, the Modifieds headed south to Martinsville for the Fall 100 on Saturday. Fred DeSarro finally got one of the wins that he had always wanted as he took a convincing win over Max Berrier and Jerry Cook. Jim Hendrickson recorded his 18th win of the season at Islip on Saturday night. Mousie Kempster finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Jerry Cook. DeSarro made an all night ride pay off as he made it to Stafford for a Sunday afternoon double point event which he won. Ray Miller finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Jerry Cook. The Fulton Raceway wrapped up their season with a 200 lapper which was won by Geoff Bodine. Richie Evans finished second with Sonny Seamon, third. Paul Richardson was the Supermodified winner at Thompson. Howie Brown finished second. Donnie Bunnell made it two in a row as he out dueled Seabury Tripler at the Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Glaude finished third with Joe Trudeau and Ed Yerrington rounding out the top five.

Thirty years ago in 1976, the Modifieds were at Martinsville for a 150 lapper. Geoff Bodine took the win over Richie Evans, Paul Radford and John Bryant. At Thompson on Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard got the best of Bodine as he won the 30 lap contest. Maynard Troyer finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Ray Miller and Fred DeSarro.
Twenty five years ago in 1981, Stafford ran a special event on Saturday night for the recently displaced SNYRA Modifieds from Danbury. Sixty cars were on hand and it was Rit Patchen taking the win over Art Davis and Lou Funk. Shangri-La ran their season ender with Richie Evans taking the win over Doug Hewitt and Dick Clark. Oxford Plains ran a modified special on Sunday and it was Bugsy Stevens taking the win over Reggie Ruggiero and Billy Clarke. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Darrell Waltrip took the win. Saturdays Busch Grandnational event was won by Geoff Bodine.
Twenty years ago in 1986, the Winston Modified Tour was at Shangri-La for a 150 lapper. Jim Spencer took the win over Jan Leaty, Geoff Bodine, Mike Mclaughlin, George Kent and Corky Cookman. Waterford ran on Sunday with Richie Gallup taking the win over Rick Donnelly. Rusty Wallace took the Winston Cup win at Martinsville. Pole sitter Geoff Bodine, finished second.
Fifteen years ago in 1991, the Monadnock Speedway ran on Friday night with Ed Kennedy taking the win over John Zavisa. Saturday night was the original Legends Night at Waterford. Veteran Jerry Pearl took the Modified feature but the night belonged to Ed Moody who won the Legends race over Charlie Webster. Shangri La ran a 150 on Saturday night which saw Jamie Tomaino take the win over John Preston. Also on Saturday night was the Tony Jankowiac Memorial which was won by Doug Hevron. Lancaster ran the US Open on Sunday with Reggie Ruggiero taking the win over Jeff Fuller, George Kent and Jan Leaty. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Harry Gant made it four in a row.

Ten years ago in 1996, despite being bounced out of the feature by the Connecticut DMV for rough riding, Jim Broderick sewed up the Waterford Modified Track Championship with a 15th place finish. During the event, Broderick and Ted Christopher crashed each other with each blaming each other. Christopher was also bounced. David Gada was the eventual winner with Jeff Pearl coming in second and Bob Potter, third. Thompson ran a 300 lapper for the Busch North Series on Sunday. Jeff Fuller took the lead on lap 183 and held it until the rains came and ended the event on lap 213. Mike Stefanik ended up second with Brad Leighton, third. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon took the win with Terry Labonte, second. The following Tuesday, Sept.24, it was announced that the following weeks event at Riverside Park had been cancelled as promoter Ben Dodge had been released from his position after an alleged dispute with the track owner.

Five years ago in 2001 Thursday night racing at Thompson was cancelled due to rain. Ted Christopher was declared the NASCAR New England Regional Champion by six points. Christopher, who won 15 of the 18 events run at Thompson was also declared the National Champion and would receive $160,000 from the point fund. Christopher moved on to Stafford on Friday night where he recorded his 59th win at the ½ mile oval. Eric Berndt finished second with Chuck Docherty, Jeff Malave and Darren Menditto rounding out the top five. At Waterford on Saturday night, Dennis Gada took the win with Eric Berndt again the bridesmaid. Ron Yuhas finished third with Ed Reed Jr. fourth. With the World Trade Center in New York destroyed by the 9/11 terrorist attack, the Stafford Speedway announced that no coolers or backpacks would be allowed inside the admission gate.

Last year, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series took the weekend off before the beginning its final three race stretch drive which would see the Fall Final at Stafford on October 2, the rescheduled twin bill Busch North-Whelen Modified event at the Thompson Speedway on Saturday, October 8 and the season ending World Series at the Thompson Speedway on October 16. Ted Christopher, who was riding a three win in a row streak, began the stretch drive with a 31 point lead over Tony Hirschman. Both had done extremely well at both Thompson and Stafford. Jerry Marquis, 143 points back, and Chuck Hossfeld, 157 points back, had an outside shot. Despite having a poor finish at the season opener at Thompson when he wrecked and got injured, plus missing the Spring Sizzler, Eric Beers had clawed his way into fifth spot, 225 points in arrears. Beers’ determination plus the bullet proof reliability of Mike Boehler’s Ole Blu has put Beers in contention. Don Lia, Doug Coby, Rick Fuller, Zack Sylvester and Mike Christopher rounded out the top ten. With 15 events in the record book a total of 78 different drivers had entered into Whelen Modified Tour Series competition.

Kerry Malone finally got the monkey off his back as he took the win in the Sunoco Modified division at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. Bert Marvin put the pressure on during the closing moments of the 30 lap feature but Malone never wavered. Keith Rocco turned in another strong run as he finished third ahead of Jimmy Blewett and Jeff Malave. Marc Palmisano took the Late Model feature and Mike O’Sullivan took top honors in the Pro Stocks. Larry Barnett won his sixth of the year in the Limited Sportsman and Chad Gaudiosi was the Thompson Modified winner. Randy Jurcik took the Mini Stocks.

Although the nights were getting cooler the action at the Waterford Speedbowl continued to be hot and heavy. Ron Yuhas jr. had more than his share of the bump and grind at the shoreline oval. In spite of it all he has remained in the point race and last week moved into the lead by a scant four points over Rob Summers as he on the feature for the SK Modifieds. Ron Silk finished second with Dennis Gada, third. Rob Summers who previously led the points finished fourth with Tommy Fox rounding out the top five. Other Saturday night winners at Waterford were Allen Coates took his eighth win in the Late Models, Dan Darnstaedt in the Sportsman, Ken Cassidy in the Mini-Stocks and Curtis D’Addario in the X-Cars. Speaking of the X-Cars, the Speedbowl ran a mechanics race on Wednesday night that was won by former Modified Champion Dickie Doo Ceravolo.
Ryan Newman tied a NASCAR Busch Series record by winning in his fourth consecutive start of the season, a dominant performance in a wreck-filled race Saturday at Dover International Speedway. Newman was far ahead of the cars involved in two multicar accidents in the opening laps. The Dover 200 was a rout, with Newman leading all but seven laps, setting a record on The Monster Mile. Darrell Waltrip led 167 laps in 1985. Jimmie Johnson won Sunday's MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover International Speedway, holding onto his lead during a two-lap overtime period despite heavy pressure on his back bumper from Busch, his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports

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:

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

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