years ago in 1969, the rained out 150 lap Labor Day classic at
Stafford was run on Friday night. Nathan
"Smokey” Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 took the win
over Bugsy Stevens, Eddie Flemke, Ted Stack, Ollie Silva and Bill
Slater. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Marcel Corriveau took the
win over Guy Chartrand, Ron Narducci and Lou Lazzaro. At Norwood
arena on Saturday, Johnny Thompson in his Cobra powered No.122
outhandled the field and took the win. Bob Melnick finished second
with Freddie Schulz, third. Down on the Connecticut shoreline at the
Waterford Speedbowl it was Daring Dick Caso taking the Modified win.
Jack Barton was the Daredevil winner. At Airborne Park it was Marcel
Goddard over Dick Fowler and Dick Nephew and at Islip and Thompson
Thirty five years ago in 1974, racing at Riverhead on
Wednesday and at Freeport on Friday rained out. Islip ran a 200
lapper on Saturday which saw invader Richie Evans come in and clean
house. Jim Hendrickson finished second with Ted Wesnoski, third.
Shangri-La ran double features; George Kent won the first one and
was followed by Sonney Seamon and Don Diffendorf. The nightcap saw
Maynard Troyer take the victory over Ed Pieniezak and Seamon. At
Waterford Mark LaJunesse was the Modified winner with Mike Daignault
taking the top spot in the Grand American Late Models. Moving to
Fulton on Sunday, Geoff Bodine took the win over Troyer, Richie
Evans and Jerry Cook. Thompson and Monadnock also ran on Sunday.
Bugsy Stevens won at Monadnock over Kenny Bouchard and Gene Bergin.
At Thompson it was Daring Dick Caso scoring an impressive win over
Ronnie Bouchard and Fats Caruso. Caso was a true back yard racer and
did the most with the least and was extremely popular during the
Thirty years ago in 1979, Star Speedway ran a special dual
feature modified event on Friday night. Home track favorites Larry
Record and Dave Thomas took the wins. Charlie Jarzombek finished
second to Record and was followed by Mike Murphy, Ronnie Bouchard,
John Falconi Jr., and Leo Cleary. Bouchard finished second to Thomas
and was followed by Jarzombek, Murphy and Cleary. Saturday night at
Seekonk, Ronnie Bouchard took a hard fought win over Bugsy Stevens
and George Summers. At Waterford, Rick Donnelly made it five in a
row at the shoreline oval. Moose Hewitt finished second with Dick
Ceravolo, third. The Modifieds were active in the southland. At
Caraway in North Carolina on Saturday, Jerry Cook took the win and
was followed by Billy Hensley, Satch Worley, Chip Lane and Don
Miller. Cook traveled all night to get to Islip which ran a 300
lapper on Sunday which ended up being a Richie Evans benefit. Cook
managed to finish second with John Blewett Jr., third. Also on
Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard beat out John Rosati and George Summers at
Thompson. Other weekend winners included Brian Ross at Monadnock,
Billy Hensley at North Wilkesboro, Maynard Troyer at Lancaster,
George Kent at Shangri-La and Roland Lapierre Jr. at Westboro. In
other news of the weekend, upstate New York driver Dave Nichols
announced his retirement.
Twenty five years ago in 1984, Waterford ran their Matco 100
on Saturday night. Dick Ceravolo took the win but was disqualified
when a larger than legal engine was found in a post race teardown.
Dale Holdredge was declared the winner with Bob Gada, finishing
second. At Shangri-La, Richie Evans took the win over Corky Cookman.
The end of an era in Long Island racing became reality as the
historic Islip Speedway ran its final event and closed for good.
Taking the final checker was Bob Park. Fred Harbach finished second.
The big event of the weekend was the annual Thompson 300.A total of
60 modifieds were on hand. Jim Spencer took the win over Richie
Evans and Kenny Bouchard. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Darrell
Waltrip was the pole sitter and the winner. Other weekend winners
were Bugsy Stevens at Seekonk and Gail Barber at Lancaster.
Twenty years ago in 1989, Stafford ran their last Friday
night of the year and it was Brad Thrall taking the SK Modified
feature. Bob Georgiades finished second. Mikey Christopher finished
fifth and sewed up the 1989 Track Championship. At Waterford on
Saturday, Rick Donnelly took the win over Mike Gada and Mark
Lajunesse. Riverside ran twin features with Ray Miller and Jerry
Marquis sharing the glory. The Thompson 300 was the big event of the
weekend. Mike Stefanik took the big win and was followed by Reggie
Ruggiero and Mike McLaughlin.
Fifteen years ago in 1994, Waterford almost didn't get to run
as the Connecticut DMV pulled their race permit because of the badly
damaged fence. Repairs were made and Moose Hewitt took down the
Saturday night win. Jim Broderick finished second with Mike Gada,
third. Riverside Park saw Steve Park take the top spot and at
Sunday’s Thompsom 300, Jeff Fuller took the lead with 25 laps to go
and went on to take the win. Reggie Ruggiero finished second with
Satch Worley, third. C.J.Freye won the Late Model 100. In Winston
Cup action at Richmond; Terry Labonte took the win after Rusty
Wallace had an engine go sour. Kenny Wallace won the Grand National
Ten years ago, in 1999, Friday night racing at Stafford
rained out. At Waterford, Dennis Gada recorded his ninth win of the
season and all but iced the track championship. Ron Yuhas Jr.
finished second with Don Fowler, third. Chief Steward Bill Roberts
got tough with Mike Gada. Fresh off a suspension for rough riding,
Gada didn't learn his lesson as he was first put to the rear, then
parked for the night and ultimately suspended for two more weeks as
he continued to hit everything but the lottery at the shoreline
oval. Riverhead ran their final of the year with Ken Heagy taking
the win and Frank Vigliorolo Jr. taking the track championship. Soon
to close, Riverside Park ran their last ever-regular Saturday night
program. Dave Berube took the historic win over Ted Riggott and Brad
Hietella. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at Thompson for a 200
lapper. Tony Hirschman survived 13 cautions for 65 laps to take the
win. Hirschman took the lead from Tom Cravenho on lap159. Reggie
Ruggerio finished second and was followed by Chris Kopec, Carl
Pasteryak, Jamie Tomaino and Tony Ferrente Jr. Bert Marvin was the
30 lap SK modified winner over Scott Quinn, Ted Christopher and Todd
Ceravolo. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Tony Stewart scored his
first ever Cup win over Bob Labonte. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the
Five years ago in 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. Sunday’s 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
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 Christopher’s 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
Gada’s 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. 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
Last year, 2008, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to
the Thompson Speedway to partake in what was called Modified Mania.
Thirty-two Modifieds were on hand for qualifying which ended up
getting rained out. Based on point standings the field was set.
Preseason favorite Todd Szegedy broke through for his first win of
the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in the Sunoco Modified
Mania 150. Szegedy, who started sixth, ran inside the top five for
most of the afternoon, took his first lead of the race on Lap 132
and held off numerous charges by Ronnie Silk in the last 22 laps for
his 13th career victory, and third at Thompson. Szegedy and Silk
went non-stop without a tire change. Ted Christopher led the first
125 laps before pitting for tires under caution. Silk, who entered
the event on a two-race winning streak at Thompson, led seven laps
in the race but could not get past Szegedy despite three restarts in
the closing circuits. Doug Coby, who is one of the drivers that
replaced James Civali, came home third in the race, his second such
finish in as many starts this year. Long-time series veterans Reggie
Ruggiero and Rick Fuller rounded out the top five, for their best
finishes of the year.
Fuller was honored prior to the race as part of NASCAR’s Celebration
of 60 Years of Modified Champions. Sunday’s finish was the 145th top
five of his career.
Bobby Santos, Billy Pauch Jr., Matt Hirschman, Rowan Pennink and
Eric Beers rounded out the top 10 finishers in the race.
Despite a 14th place finish, Christopher retained a 63-point lead
over Chuck Hossfeld with 11 races in the books.
There were 8 caution periods for 34 laps. Among those sidelined due
to accidents or mechanical failures were Mike Stefanik, lap142,
accident, Gary McDonald, Renee Dupuis, Glen Reen, lap134, accident,
Jimmy Blewett, lap 131, Ryan Preece, Glenn Tyler, lap 109, accident,
Richard Savary, Ed Flemke, Jr., Eric Berndt, lap 23, accident and
Jamie Tomaino, lap 23 suspension failure.
In other Modified Mania action at Thompson, Matt Hirschman won the
75-lap main event for the Race of Champions. Todd Owen was declared
the winner in a wild 75-lapper for the True Value Modified Racing
Series (TVMRS). In weekly series action, Jimmy Blewett was the
winner in the Sunoco Modifieds and R.J. Marcotte in the TIS
Modifieds. Norm Wrenn was the winner in the visiting Pro-Four
Jimmy Blewett made it two in a row in the Sunoco Modified division.
A single-file restart set up a five-lap dash to the checkers. With
things unchanged in the running order for the top five, a battle for
the sixth spot was brewing between Sylvester and Rocco. Sylvester
came out on the top-side of the competition before the yellow flew
again. With three laps to go, the third position was being hotly
contested between Cravenho and Pitkat. After aggressive driving by
both, Cravenho ended up in the outside wall. On the
green-white-checker restart Blewett cruised to the victory over
Marvin and Pitkat. Malone raced across the line in fourth followed
by Josh Sylvester. After the event, Pitkat was penalized for his
involvement in the incident with Cravenho. Malone was officially
scored in third followed by Sylvester. Rocco rebounded from early
race problems to complete the top five. Pitkat was placed last on
the lead lap, which placed him in 15th spot in the final rundown.
Kerry Malone emerged as the new point leader in the Sunoco Modifieds.
Malone led Todd Ceravolo, 478 to 466. Danny Cates slipped to third
with 458. Jimmy Blewett was fourth wit 448 and Tom Cravenho was
fifth with 422. Matt Hirschman proved to be the class of a
star-studded Race of Champions Modified Tour. Hirschman went
unchallenged to the checkers to score his fourth RoC win of the
season. Blewett came home second ahead of Ryan Preece. Ted
Christopher and Bill Pauch, Jr., rounded out the top-five.
Todd Owen scored his first True Value Modified Racing Series win in
a controversial run to the checkers. Owen crossed the line in second
but was awarded the victory on an official call. Coming down to take
the checkered flag, contact between Christopher and Pinkham found
Christopher spinning. Pinkham crossed the line first but he was
called for over aggressive driving. The win was awarded to Owen.
Holdridge and Malave joined Owen on the podium. Rowan Pennick and
Jimmy Kuhn rounded out the top five.
The Stafford Motor Speedway kicked off its final month of NASCAR
Racing for the 2008 season with a Whelen All-American Series feature
event that saw Keith Rocco win the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Ryan
Posocco win the 30-lap Late Model feature, Chris Matthews win the
20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Joey Ferrigno win the 20-lap
Limited Late Model feature, and Duane Provost win the 15-lap DARE
In the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, Rocco survived a several
late caution periods to post his second feature win of the 2008
season and retake the SK Modified points lead from Ted Christopher
with 2 races remaining. The lead changed hands several times in the
early laps as Wade Mattesen led lap one and Corey Hutchings led the
next two laps before Woody Pitkat moved to the lead on lap-4. Pitkat
slowly began to pull away from the field, building nearly a full
straightaway lead before a caution with 18 laps complete erased that
margin. Pitkat held the lead until a restart on lap-32 when Frank
Ruocco moved to the front. Rocco moved past Frank Ruocco on lap-33
to take the race lead. Several more caution periods followed, but
Rocco was able to hold off Donny Travaglin and Doug Coby to take the
win. Todd Owen finished fourth and Wade Mattesen rounded out the
At the Waterford Speedbowl, it looked like property owner Terry
Eames and track operator Jerry Robinson had kissed and made-up,
legally, that is. The Hartford Courant reported on Tuesday, Sept 2
that Robinson made the bulk of the payments that he owed to the
track ownership group, and also settled an outstanding property tax
bill for the facility, during a court appearance New London. The
ownership group filed suit against Robinson on Aug. 15 because of
failure to pay about $45,000 in property taxes and also failure to
meet scheduled rent payments.
Competition at the shoreline oval began with their Wacky Wednesday
program. Ryan Morgan won the 30-lap Legends feature, while it was
Billy Gerstch Jr. claiming the X-Modified 50-lap Summer Sizzler as
presented by Prestige Properties. The program marked the final
installment of the season for the popular mid-week series. Other
feature winners were Greg Moran Sr. (Super-X Car), Curt D`Addario
Sr. (X-Car), and Scott Foster (Outlaw Stocks).
Teenage Legends sensation Morgan passed early leader Glen Billings
for the lead on lap-twenty, going on to snare his second in a row
and his fourth feature victory of the season. Behind him a battle
waged between 2008 Wednesday Legends champion Jason Palmer and Shaun
Buffington. At the finish, Palmer narrowly edged-out Buffington to
finish ahead of Max Zachem and Glen Billings.
Saturday night’s racing fell victim to tropical storm Hannah.
Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup event on Sunday at Richmond
(Va.) International Raceway. Kurt Busch finished 15th, was wrecked
twice and David Ragan had numerous on-track miscues to eliminate
himself from Chase contention in a race delayed a day because of
Tropical Storm Hanna.
In the Nationwide Series race that followed, Carl Edwards passed
Clint Bowyer with 28 laps to go then pulled away through three
restarts to win for the fourth time this season. Scott Wimmer
finished second in the Emerson 250, Bowyer third. Edwards climbed
into second in the points race.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the Danny Pardi Collection, courtesy of
the SpeedwayLineReport.com &
Click on Photo for Full Size
Danny Galullo, Jr.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: