years ago in 1967 Friday night racing at Stafford rained out.
a regular competitor at Stafford made the right call as he and car
owner Len Boehler traveled to the Albany Saratoga Speedway where
Stevens finished fourth behind Don MacTavish, Ed Patnode and Guy
Chartrand. At Fonda, on Saturday night, Bill Wimble took the win
over Ray Sitterly and Jerry Cook. The Utica-Rome Speedway closed out
their season on Sunday night with local favorite Clayton “Sonney”
Seamon taking the win over Dick Fowler, Bernie Miller, Jerry Cook
and Dave Kotary.
Years ago in 1972, Malta and Stafford ran head to head on Saturday
night. Lancaster had a big open show on Sunday with qualifying on
Saturday afternoon, which meant that many teams raced back and forth
on the Thruway. Bugsy Stevens was the winner at Malta over Jerry
Cook, Ed Pieniezak and Ron Newman. Because he chose to concentrate
on the NASCAR Modified point title, Stevens elected to by-pass
Lancaster in order to be in one piece for an extra point event at
Utica-Rome on Sunday night.
was driving for Art Barry and the two decided to go for all three.
Santos qualified at Lancaster on Saturday afternoon, raced to Malta
where he finished sixth, raced back to Lancaster where he won the
200 lap open and then sped to Utica-Rome where he finished eighth.
Richie Evans finished second to Santos at Lancaster and did it one
better as he won at Utica-Rome. Fred DeSarro, Eddie Flemke, Ray
Hendrick and Ernie Gahan followed Santos and Evans at Lancaster. At
Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro, Jerry Cook, Fred DeSarro and Ollie Silva
followed Evans. At Stafford, Leo Cleary in the Mystic Missile took
the win over Ronnie Bouchard, Ernie Caruso and Ed Yerrington. It was
a rough weekend, to say the least.
years ago in 1977, Stafford’s Friday night racing was open
competition as their NASCAR season ended on Labor Day. With 33 cars
took the win over Geoff Bodine, Ed Flemke and Bob Polverari.
Saturday night was extremely busy. Seekonk ran twin features, a 50
lapper and a 35 lapper. Taking the win in the 50 was Corky Cookman
over Eddie StAngelo and George Summers. StAngelo won the 50 and was
followed by Ronnie Bouchard, John Rosati and Cookman. At Westboro,
Freddie Schulz, in the Tom Dunn Pinto wagon, took the win over
George Savory, Fats Caruso and Joe Howard. The NASCAR Modifieds ran
a 150 lapper at Richmond where Maynard Troyer took the top spot.
Paul Radford finished second with Ray Hendrick, Joe Thurman, Harry
Gant and Jerry Cook following. Islip presented a 100-lap double
point event. Charlie Jarzombek ruled the roost as he beat out Tom
McCann, Geoff Bodine, Wayne Anderson and Eddie Flemke. Waterford
fell victim to rain and ended their season. Moose Hewitt was
declared the modified track champion. On Sunday, Fred DeSarro took
the win at Thompson over Freddie Schulz, Ray Miller and John Rosati.
Freeport ran a 200 lapper that saw Long Island favorite Jim
Hendrickson take the win over Maynard Troyer and George Brunnhoelzl
Jr. At Monadnock it was Bob Karvonen taking the win over Punky Caron
and Pete Fiandaca.
Twenty-five years ago in 1982, the Thompson 300 took center stage. A
huge field of 106 modifieds was on hand. Greg Sacks, who had won
just about every major race in what is now considered his best
season didn’t let this big one get away. After leading from lap 14
thru 134 when he pitted for fuel and tires, Sacks re-took the lead
on lap 151 and led the remaining 149 laps to take the $10,000 win.
Kenny Bouchard finished second with Gomer Taylor and Ray Miller on
the lead lap at the finish. Doug Hewitt finished fifth, one lap
down. Tony Hirshman, SJ Evonsion, George Brunnhoelzl, Dick Trayner
and Dave Thomas rounded out the top ten. Dick Caso won the companion
non-qualifiers event. In other weekend action, Jerry Cook won an 82
lapper at Shangri-La over Jim Spencer and Doug Hewitt and at New
Egypt, John Blewett Jr won a 200 lapper over Richie Evans, Bob
Polverari and Jerry Cook.
Twenty years ago in 1987, the Thompson Speedway lost their entire
300 program to rain. Riverside Park was able to get their program in
with Kenny Bouchard taking the win over Reggie Ruggiero, Bob
Polverari and John Rosati. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Dale
Earnhardt, who started eighth, took the win.
Fifteen years ago in 1992, Monadnock closed out their season on
Friday night. Jerry Marquis, in the Bob Judkins 2x, won his seventh
feature and sewed up the Modified Championship at the fast ¼ mile
oval. At Waterford, on Saturday night, Don Fowler went pole to pole
to win the modified feature over Ricky Young, Bert Marvin, Jim
Broderick and Jerry Pearl. In late model action, Tom Gaudreau went
pole to pole to win his first late model feature. With their regular
season over, Riverside Park ran open competition modifieds and added
SK-Modifieds to their line-up. With only seven showing up, the SK’s
were grouped together with the modifieds. Dan Avery took the
modified feature over Jerry Marquis and Bobby Gee. Chris Jones was
the first SK to finish as he came across the finish line in 11th
spot. The Thompson 300 was the big show of the weekend. Rick Fuller,
in the Mario Fiore 44 took the win over Doug Hevron, Tom Baldwin,
Chris Aman and Jamie Tomaino, all on the lead lap. Pole sitter Steve
Park, finished sixth.
Ten years ago in 1997, Dennis Gada went pole to pole to beat out
Rick Donnelly and Todd Ceravolo at Waterford. Punky Caron got his
72nd career win at Monadnock and Dave Berube beat out Reggie
Ruggerio at Riverside. The Thompson 300,now a Busch Grand National
event saw the total domination of Mike Stefanik for the win.
Stefanik, who started on the outside pole, led 290 of the 300 laps
and closed to within nine points of current leader Dave Dion. Ricky
Fuller finished second with Andy Santarre, third. At Richmond, Steve
Park took the lead with 42 laps to go and took his third win of the
year. His boss, Dale Earnhardt, who suffered a blackout the previous
week at Darlington, was cleared to drive. Dale Jarrett was the
eventual Winston Cup winner at Richmond and finally, Jan Opperman,
who had been confined to a wheelchair since 1991, passed away.
Five years ago in 2002 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series
was at the Thompson Speedway last weekend for the annual 300, the
series’ longest event. Temperatures in the 90’s made the 300 a test
of man and machine Forty-four Modifieds were on hand to qualify for
the forty starting spots. Tony Hirschman, on the mend since a crash
at Seekonk, was the Busch Pole sitter. Mike Stefanik took advantage
of Charlie Pasteryak’s miss-fortune and took the win, which was
worth $16,400. It has been an up and down year for the defending
series champion and he had also all but written himself off as far
as being able to repeat. Because of the fact that the 300 is an
endurance run, things can change in an instant. Stefanik started
10th and led three times at various stages had all but accepted to
finishing second to Charlie Pasteryak when fate reared its ugly hand
in Pasteryaks direction as he ran out of gas with six laps to go. It
was a tough pill for Pasteryak to swallow as he and his team gambled
and lost. Pasteryak had pitted on lap 211 and decided on not taking
on gas. It was a decision that left him about a gallon short. That
gallon of gas cost Pasteryak $14,500, the difference between first
and fourteenth. The 300 paid $16,400 to win. Pasteryak, who lost two
laps in the process, earned $1,900. There were only six cars on the
lead lap at the finish including 65-year-old Bob Polverari, who
finished sixth. Congratulations to Tony Ferrante, Jr. on his career
best, since 1997 at Jennerstown, second place finish. Ferrante
collected $6,405 for his efforts. L.W.Miller ended up third after a
questionable confrontation with Chuck Hossfeld. Hossfeld had been
running in the lead pack and possibly could have had a top five
finish until he lost two laps due to the confrontation. John Blewett
III finished a solid fourth with former series champion, Jamie
Tomaino rounding out the top five. Sixth and the final car on the
lead lap was 65 year old Bob Polverari. There were 18 caution
periods for 99 laps, one lap short of a third of the posted
distance. Among the casualties were Rick Fuller who took a hard
shot, rear first, into the concrete on lap 48 and Jim Willis who
flipped and slid down the front chute on his roof on lap 187. It
appeared that Tom Cloce brushed the front chute wall and when he
bounced off, Willis was there. Willis got in the air and hit the
starters stand as he was going over. It could have been disastrous
and chances are, Bob Slade was counting his blessings after that.
Ted Christopher was among the front runners until getting bit by
ignition problems. Among the others who had mechanical problems were
David Berghman, Jerry Marquis and Ed Flemke Jr. Pole sitter Tony
Hirschman had a legitimate shot to win the event as he was one of
the faster cars. Hirschman’s car was black-flagged after numerous
NASCAR officials confirmed that he was leaking fluid. Hirschman
ignored the black flag to pit and NASCAR pulled his scorecard. When
he finally pitted, the leaking had stopped. With gage temperatures
normal, chances are it was fuel but none the less, he was leaking.
It doesn’t look like John Sneade will be participating in any NASCAR
events in the near future after the show he put on under the
starters stand. He went somewhat postal and had to be escorted off
the track and his car was removed to the pit area.
The series point standings showed Ed Flemke Jr. was still in the
lead by 37 points over Jerry Marquis. Mike Stefanik’s win moved him
from seventh spot to third, only 59 points behind Flemke. Ricky
Fuller and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth
were Chuck Hossfeld, Ted Christopher, Nevin George, David Berghman
and Jamie Tomaino. The regular weekly racing in Southern New England
saw Ted Christopher taking his 74th career win at Stafford on Friday
night. Tommy Fox got his fourth at the Waterford Speedbowl despite
the fact that the two slugs that started on the front row almost
destroyed the entire field. Jay Miller finished second and was
followed by Don Fowler and Ron Yuhas Jr. Yuhas was the only
Waterford competitor to race at Thompson on Saturday afternoon and
made it in time for the Waterford event. The first of two weekend 20
lap features for the SK-Modifieds was run late Saturday afternoon
with Bo Gunning taking the win over Ted Christopher and Jeff Malave.
Numerous wrecks sidelined half the field. Among the bent cars was
that of Ron Yuhas Jr. Yuhas headed for Waterford while his dad and
crew took the mangled remains to their race shop in Groton where a
new front and rear clip was installed after an all niter. Ted
Christopher won the second 20 lapper, run on Sunday, over Gunning,
Malave, Bert Marvin and Eric Berndt. Yuhas finished 22nd. Belated
condolences went out to the family of Bunk Sampson who lost his long
battle with cancer and passed away. Bunk, a dedicated former
director of the NASCAR Busch North Series was laid to rest a week
previous. He was perhaps one of the most sincere and fairest NASCAR
Officials ever employed by the sanctioning body and while the BNS
director, he put his heart and soul into what he did.
Last year, 2006, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour headed into the eye
of Hurricane Ernesto as the competitors traveled to the Martinsville
Speedway on Thursday and Friday. For the most part much of the storm
headed north by late Friday allowing qualifying to take place. There
were 49 Modifieds on hand and when all was said and done Mike
Stefanik took the Busch Pole as he toured the .525 mile speedway in
18.833 seconds which was to the tune of 100.547 MPH. Todd Szegedy
was second fastest with a speed of 99.974 MPH. Rounding out the top
five were Donnie Lia, Jerry Marquis and Eric Beers. Twenty cars
qualified with the balance of the field to be determined by a 50-lap
consolation event. The top eight redrew for starting positions with
Eddie Flemke Jr. drawing the pole position with Tony Hirschman
drawing the second spot. Stefanik drew the fourth starting spot.
The 50-lap consolation event was slated to start at 7:00p.m. but a
heavy shower drenched the track shortly after 6:00p.m. The consi
didn’t get the green until almost 9:00p.m. Kevin Goodale took the
eventual win over Ron Silk.
The main event, originally scheduled for 300 laps got the green flag
at around 10:15p.m. Mike Stefanik had the dominant car but in the
end, at 200 laps when the race was called, Jimmy Blewett had the
Eddie Partridge No.12 in the top spot. Blewett and Partridge, who
dedicated their win to the late Charlie Jarzombek, led only 20 laps.
With 19 laps to go on lap 182 Blewett was following Stefanik into
turn two. Stefanik drifted up slightly, which opened up a hole on
the low side. Blewett went for the spot and in doing so nudged
Stefanik. Ted Christopher, who ended up in second spot was also part
of the controversy as he nudged Zach Sylvester out of the way.
Stefanik and Sylvester finished 14th and 15th respectively. James
Civali, Todd Szegedy and Doug Coby who drives the Curt Chase No.77
based in Mansfield, rounded out the top five. Coby and his crew were
extremely happy as they recovered from qualifying problems, which
forced them to take a provisional starting spot in the rear of the
field. Just missing the top five but turning in a fine run was
rookie Ron Yuhas Jr. who finished sixth. Matt Hirschman and Kevin
Goodale finished seventh and eighth while southerners Tim Brown and
Gene Pack rounded out the top ten.
It was close to 1:00am when the checkered flag was displayed.
Fifteen of the original 43 starters were running at the end. Early
leader Jerry Marquis lost a lap in the late going and ended up 16th.
Corey Hutchings had a good shot at becoming the 2006 Late Model
Champion at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night until he came
unglued on the 13th lap of his 25 lap feature. Hutchings, who has
four victories to his credit, was battling with RJ Marcotte for
fourth spot when contact was made on the backstretch, which resulted
in Hutchings spinning around. Hutchings felt the contact and
resulting spin was intentional. Chief Steward Richard Brooks also
felt it was intentional and ordered Marcotte to restart in the rear.
Marcotte refused to comply forcing Brooks to rule that even if he
continued to race he would no longer be scored. Hutchings evidently
didn’t get the word that the track had reacted to the situation and
chose to retaliate on his own. After a pit stop Hutchings reentered
the track and went after Marcotte, finally cutting him off in turn
four. Hutchings then exited his car and went to Marcotte and started
punching him. When all was said and done both Hutchings and Marcotte
found themselves thrown out of the event and parked in the infield.
Hutching is facing possibly a multi race suspension. Repeat winners
were the other stories at Thompson International Speedway on
Thursday night. Tommy Cravenho of Raynham, MA took down his second
win of the season in the Sunoco Modifieds. Fred Astle of N.
Westport, MA scored his second Pro Stock win at the Connecticut oval
while TIS Modified racer Leo Oliviera also of Raynham posted his
second. Dave Trudeau of Mansfield, CT. proved that the third time is
a charm with his Late Model victory. New faces in victory lane
included Mike Romano of Pascoag, RI, who earned a career first in
the Mini Stocks and Keith DeSanctis of Monson, MA, who claimed his
first triumph of the season in the Limited Sportsman nightcapper.
Cravenho scored the victory in the Sunoco Modified main event
presented by Independent Truck Service. It was his second win of the
season. Cravenho pocketed an additional $200 from Independent Truck
Service of Shrewsbury, MA and earned himself a coveted guaranteed
starting spot in the 4th Annual North-South Shootout scheduled for
November 3&4, 2006 at Concord Motorsports Park in North Carolina.
Through the generosity of owners Bruce & Pat Webber, tenth-place
finisher Dave Nordman, 15th place finisher Brett LeBlanc, 18th place
Rick D’Abate, and 20th place finisher Joe Lemay each received a $200
bonus from Independent Truck Service. Keith Rocco took the early
lead from his pole starting position followed by Cravenho, co-point
leaders Jeff Malave and Woody Pitkat and Todd Ceravolo. The battle
for the lead got interesting at lap six with Cravenho pressuring
Rocco for the top spot. Malave was stuck to the bumper of the
Falmouth Ready Mix #31. The top-five of Rocco, Cravenho, Malave,
Pitkat and Ceravolo entered heavy lapped traffic on lap 10.
Rocco diced his way through traffic while Malave was not as lucky. A
sliding lapped car of Rick D’Abate got out of shape, clipping the
left front of Malave. After getting through the pack of slower cars,
the running order was Rocco, Cravenho, Pitkat, Lemay, Ceravolo then
Malave. A spin by fifth-running Lemay spun to bring out the caution
on lap 13. Rocco was reported to be leaking fluid while Malave
headed to pit road. Rocco’s car never leaked a drop until he shut it
off on pit road but yet was not given his spot back by officials. It
was hinted that Rocco, the fastest car in the field, was the victim
of a false report. On the restart Cravenho was the new leader.
Ceravolo had a great run on the restart and after a quick battle
with Pitkat took over the second spot. Woody was not done. He held
strong on the outside for several laps before falling back in line
behind Ceravolo. Buddy Charette was having a great race in the
There was a little bumper tag between Pitkat and Ceravolo as they
raced for second. Lemay, Rocco, and Malave were gingerly working
their way through traffic. By the time the caution flew on lap 21
for a spin by John Catania all three were back inside the top ten.
Lemay was back to seventh, Malave back to ninth and Rocco in tenth.
With Cravenho back out front, Pitkat got the edge on Ceravolo on the
restart. Ceravolo took chase in third while getting heavy pressure
from Charette. Stephen Masse spun on the front stretch from the
sixth position to send the field scattering. Masse made a right hand
turn which litterly drilled Lemay into the concrete. Also collected
in the melee was Rocco. Malave barely escaped the incident. This
restart pitted Pitkat to the outside of Cravenho. Malave had
rocketed into the fourth spot after he rode Charette almost into the
backstretch wall on the restart. Malave got a run on Ceravolo but
could not make the pass stick. Charette fought back on the outside.
Over the final two laps, Cravenho, Pitkat, Ceravolo and Malave ran
under a blanket. In a last effort, Pitkat got low but could not make
the pass. Cravenho held on for the win over Pitkat. Ceravolo
finished third over Malave and Charette. Pitkat took sole position
of the Sunoco Modified point lead with his runner-up finish.
The Stafford Springs Motor Speedway beat the onslaught of the
remains of Hurricane Ernesto as their September Series of Friday
night racing went off as planned. Eric Berndt drove to his third SK
Modified® feature win of the 2006 season, Scott Foster, Jr. won his
first Late Model feature win of the 2006 season, Brit Andersen won
his fourth SK Light Modified feature win of the 2006 season, Kevin
Gambacorta scored his second Ltd. Late Model feature win of the 2006
season, and Jim Brice was a first time winner in the DARE Stock
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Eric Berndt, of Rocky Hill,
drove to his third feature win of the 2006 season. Berndt took the
lead from Rowan Pennink on lap-3 and led the rest of the way to pick
up the win. Berndt had to deal with a number of restart situations,
and he fended off challenges from Todd Owen, Bo Gunning, and then
Willie Hardie in the process. Gunning and Hardie swapped the second
position several times over the second half of the race, with
Gunning taking the spot at the checkered flag. Jeff Malave finished
third, with Frank Ruocco and Hardie rounding out the top-5. Among
those in the SK Modified field was Waterford Speedbowl Rookie
sensation Jeffrey Paul and New England driving legend Bob Potter.
Paul, who was making his Stafford debut, finished a respectable
12th. Potter, who recently turned 65, finished 23rd.In the chase for
the SK Modified championship; Frank Ruocco holds a 20-point lead
over Todd Owen, 518-498. Woody Pitkat is tied for third with Jeff
Malave, 36 points behind, and Eric Berndt is fifth, 38 points
behind. In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Scott Foster, Jr., of
Ellington, drove to his first feature win of the 2006 season with an
unusual move to take the lead. Rick Lanagan took the lead at the
drop of the green flag from the second starting position, and he led
the first 15 laps of the race. A caution came out with 15 laps
complete, and on the restart, Foster moved around Lanagan for the
lead, taking to the high groove, a path normally not traveled when
passing for the lead. Foster then held off challenges from Woody
Pitkat and Jim Peterson to take the checkered flag. Peterson
finished second behind Foster, with Tom Fearn, Ryan Posocco, and Tom
Butler rounding out the top-5. Pitkat, who entered the race as the
points leader, had contact with another car late in the race and had
to pit for a fresh tire. Pitkat finished 12th.
Impending rain from what was Hurricane Ernesto prevailed at the
Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. The entire program has been
postponed until Saturday, October 7. Racing at the Riverhead Raceway
on Long Island and at Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey was also
Kasey Kahne scored a double at the California Speedway as he won
both the Busch Series event and the Nextel Cup event.
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: