Sixty years ago in 1951 Wes
Kingsley was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jim Tourjee was the Claiming Car winner.
On Saturday night, Dave Humphrey took the Modified main while
Tourjee made it two in a row in the Claimers.
Fifty five years ago Melvin
"Red" Foote was the 25 lap Modified winner on Wednesday night at the
New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford
winner. The Saturday night action at the shoreline oval was rained
Fifty years ago in 1961, Bob
Hall was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Red Foote
took the win at Norwood on Saturday night with Jack Malone, second.
Ted Stack, a truck driver for New London Sand and Gravel, won a 50
lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on
Saturday night. Ed Moody made it two in a row in the Bombers.
Forty five years ago in 1966,
the Fonda and Utica-Rome Speedways closed out their racing seasons.
At Fonda, Pete Corey took the win over Jeep Herbert and Lou Lazzaro.
At Utica-Rome Kenny Shoemaker took the win over Lazzaro, Jerry Cook,
Sonny Seamon and Wimble. Rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford
Forty years ago in 1971, Islip,
Stafford and Oswego were still running as the season was winding
down. Jim Shampine won the Oswego 200 for Modifieds. At Islip, Jim
Hendrickson, in the Tony Ferrente x3, ruled the roost. Cliff Tyler
finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook and Gary Winters. At
Stafford on Sunday afternoon, Bugsy Stevens in the Koszela
Woodchopper took the win over Fred DeSarro, Denis Giroux and Ray
Miller. Howie Brown won the NESMRA Supermodified feature at Thompson
over Paul Richardson and Eddie West. Dave Humphrey beat out Len
Thrall and Russ Klar to win the Midget feature. Donny Bunnell took
the win at Waterford over Glynn Shafer, Bob Tetreault, Lou Toro and
Thirty five years ago in 1976,
Charlie Jarzombek recorded his tenth victory of the season at
Riverhead. Fred Sipala finished second with Wayne Anderson, third.
The Thompson 300 was a non-sanctioned small block Modified event.
Geoff Bodine in a Dick Armstrong team car took the win over Ed
Flemke, Bugsy Stevens, Ray Hendrick, Don LaJoie, SJ Evonsion, Pete
Fiandaca and George Moose Hewitt.
Thirty years ago in 1981, just
about everyone was at the Pocono Raceway for the Annual Race of
Champions. Ninety-eight Modifieds were on hand to qualify for the 51
starting spots. Among those who did not qualify was Tom Baldwin who
set an altitude record when he rode over Fred Harbach's wheel and
vaulted out of the track. Geoff Bodine started on the pole with
Richie Evans on the outside. A classic battle was anticipated
between the two but it came to an end on lap two when the rear end
in the Evans mount broke. The 250-lap contest ended up being a
survival of the fittest affair. George Kent took the lead on lap 179
and went on to take the win. Jamie Tomaino passed Tony Hirschman on
the final lap to finish second. Jerry Cook finished fourth. It was
also on this weekend that the last ever race would be run at the
Danbury Fairgrounds as the property had been sold and the speedway
would give way to a shopping mall. Bill Ladya won the final event.
Don La Joie finished second with Lou Funk Jr, third. Sean Donnelly
was the Sportsman winner.
Twenty five years ago in 1986,
the Race of Champions was still at Pocono and it was the same story
as in 1981 as George Kent took the win. Kent took the lead after
Reggie Ruggiero pitted on lap 164 of the 250 lap contest. Geoff
Bodine ended up in second spot and was followed by Jim Spencer,
Ruggiero, Jan Leaty and Tony Siscone. In other weekend action, Stan
Greger won at Riverside over Bob Polverari and Dan Avery.
Twenty years ago in 1991, the
Race of Champions made its final appearance at Pocono Raceway.
Donald "Satch" Worley, driving the Mystic Missile of Bob Garbarino
took the lead from Tom Baldwin with two laps to go and went on to
take the win. Baldwin broke a valve and faded to fifth in the final
run down. Rick Fuller finished second and was followed by Jamie
Tomaino and Greg Sacks. Mike Stefanik finished sixth and wrapped up
the tour championship. In other weekend action, Jerry Marquis got
his seventh win at Monadnock and it was Jim Broderick taking the win
at Waterford over Ted Christopher. In Winston Cup action, Harry Gant
earned the name, "MR. September" as he made it three in a row in
NASCAR's elite division at Dover. Gant also won the preliminary
Busch Grandnational event. On a sad note, former driver, promoter
and friend of many, George Pendergast, passed away after a bout with
Fifteen years ago in 1996, Todd
Ceravolo got his fourth win of the season at Waterford. Jim
Broderick finished second with Don Fowler, third. Matt Kobyluck was
the Late Model winner. Tom McCann won his seventh at Riverhead. Don
Howe finished second and announced that he was retiring after 27
years of competition which saw 27 wins and three championships.
Steve Park, who was at the top of his game in the Featherlite
Modifieds got "THE CALL” from Dale Earnhardt Sr and announced that
he would be driving a DEI entry in 1997 on the Busch Grandnational
circuit of NASCAR. In Winston Cup action at Dover, Jeff Gordon took
the win. Jim Spencer was fined $10 grand for trying to hit Wally
Dallenbach along with Michael Waltrip and Kyle Petty who were fined
Ten years ago in 2001, the
country was still reeling from the World Trade Center tragedy.
NASCAR cancelled the entire weekend schedule at the New Hampshire
Speedway in Loudon. The Modified and Busch North events were
cancelled and the Winston Cup event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving
weekend. Before a light crowd the show went on at Thompson on
Thursday night. Kerry Malone took the SK Modified win over Scott
Foster, Ted Christopher, Bill Anderson and Jeff Malave. Eric Berndt
won the SK Modified feature at Waterford, was disqualified, had it
overturned. Ron Yuhas finished second with Mark LaJunesse, third.
The Waterford drivers took up a collection for the World Trade
Center victims, which resulted in over $10,000. On a sad note, Lou
Funk Sr passed away at the age of 76 and CART Superstar Alex Zanardi
lost both legs as a result of a crash in Germany.
Five years ago in 2006, the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the New Hampshire International
Speedway for a 100-mile event that was run on Friday. Forty-one cars
were on hand for time trials. Showers forced NASCAR to cancel
qualifying and set the starting field based on car owner point
standings. Mike Stefanik was given the pole starting position.
Earlier before the rains came a practice session gave a preview of
things to come. Todd Szegedy was the fastest as he toured the 1-mile
oval to the tune of 128.398 MPH. Second fastest at 128.363 MPH was
Tony Hirschman. Rounding out the top five by speed were Donny Lia,
Eddie Flemke Jr. and Mike Stefanik.
Because of the fact that John Blewett III chose to run for the track
championship at the Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey he was
forced to start 21st as he has only run a partial schedule on the
tour. When he does compete in tour races he is fast, very fast. He
left little doubt last Friday as he completed a clean sweep of both
Whelen Modified Tour Series events at Loudon. At least this time he
could celebrate. When he won the July event, he was on his way to
New Jersey when he got the word that NASCAR, in its haste to
complete the event under caution, had made a mistake and declared
James Civali the winner. When Blewett took the checkered flag the
field had been under green since lap 68 and there was no question
who the winner actually was. He was flat out running! Jerry Marquis
finished a close second but in the end couldn’t a pass by Blewett.
Civali, who was still licking his wounds from July, finished a solid
third ahead of Mike Stefanik and Todd Szegedy who rounded out the
The race was slowed by only two cautions for 11 laps. The first
caution was for Doug Coby who came to a stop on the front stretch on
lap 48. The second caution came on lap 61 when Reggie Ruggiero,
Szegedy and Chuck Hossfeld were collected in a wreck in turn four.
Ruggerio got the worst of it and was done for the day. Twenty-one of
the original 21 starters finished on the lead lap. As always, the
Whelen Modified Tour Series event at Loudon was the best of the
weekend. There were 17 official lead changes among 7 drivers.
Szegedy led the most laps, 33, but it was Blewett who got the big
check, $13,000 after he led only the final eight laps. Sixth through
tenth were Ted Christopher, Eddie Flemke Jr., Zach Sylvester, Eric
Beers and Tony Hirschman. Blewett’s younger brother Jimmy finished
Blewett backed up his Loudon win with a convincing win at his home
track, Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey, on Saturday night.
The Thompson Speedway was forced to cancel their regular Thursday
Night Thunder program when rain blanketed the area. With the season
rapidly winding down only two more Thursday dates remain to fill out
the schedule. The intensity of the point’s battles is lead by the
Sunoco Modified division with a mere six points separating Woody
Pitkat and Jeff Malave. Not only is the Thompson championship the
goal of both, but the NASCAR Division IV title is also a huge part
of the equation. Tom Cravenho, Todd Ceravolo and Bert Marvin round
out the top five in the point standings.
The Stafford Springs Motor Speedway made the right call when they
canceled Friday’s NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series racing card. With the
forecast calling for intermittent rain throughout the entire day and
evening, the speedway pulled the plug shortly before 9:00am.
The Waterford Speedbowl closed out their regular Saturday night
season. Tom Fox and Diego Monahan topped a slate of 12 different
winners. The Speedbowl crowned two champions as well. Tim Jordan and
Danny Field clinched the Late Model and Mini Stock championships
respectively and Dennis Gada was all but assured of his sixth SK
crown headed into the weekend’s Finale. Rescheduled rainouts
resulted in the marathon racing session. In addition to Fox and
Monahan, the win list included Allen Coates and Larry Goss in the
Late Models; Greg Butler Jr. and Al Stone III in the Sportsman and
Joe Godbout III and Phil Evans in the Mini Stocks. It was the
first-even win for Butler and the first of the season for Stone. Dan
Valentine of the Faith Church Ministries of New Milford scored a
convincing win in the Faster Pastor race. Curtis D’Addario Sr., a
nine-time Wild n’ Wacky Wednesday winner, added another X-Car
feature Saturday night, edging Mark Caise at the checkered. Jordan,
the first-ever rookie to win the Late Model title, did it the hard
way with a couple of 15th place finishes, the second in Jay
Lozyniak’s regular ride. The consistent Field scored a third and a
second. Gada needed only to start Sunday’s 100-lap SK feature to
capture his record-tying sixth crown following a fifth and second.
Bob Potter currently holds the record. A seventh and a third put Joe
Curioso III back into the Sportsman point lead but by a scant four
points over Dwayne Dorr heading into the Finale.
Fox grabbed the lead at the start and won the resumption of the
SK-feature stopped after 12 laps on Sept.9. Gada made a determined
outside bid following a restart with 16 laps left but drifted back
to fifth at the checkered. Shawn Monahan ended up second and was
followed by Chris Pasteryak and Rob Janovic. Diego Monahan held back
Gada for most of the second half of the second SK race and claimed
his third win of the season. Jeff Pearl, Chris Pasteryak and Mark
Pane rounded out the top five.
It was announced that long time public relations director Pete
Zanardi would retire from his post at the shoreline oval at seasons
end. Considered one of the best in the business as both a PR Man and
a writer Zanardi has been a mentor to many of us in the writing game
including yours truly. Zanardi’s efforts as well as those of Bill
Roth have kept the Speedbowl afloat during the last few difficult
In other weekend racing, Bentley Warren passed Chris Perley and Dave
Mcknight to win the Bud Super Nationals at Oswego, TJ Potrzebowski
won the 56th annual Race of Champions and Kevin Harvick beat out
Tony Stewart in the Nextel Cup event at Loudon. Ted Christopher got
a late start and an early finish. Scheduled to drive the Kirk
Shelmerdine entry, Christopher started the race after seven laps
were run as his spotter was stuck in an elevator. He finished dead
last in 41st spot.
Last year, 2010, Thursday night
Thunder Racing at the Thompson Speedway continued to be some of the
best competition to be seen as Danny Cates went from the outhouse to
the penthouse in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds at the high banked,
lightning fast oval. Cates, who has been extremely fast and smooth
all year had only one victory on the season going into the night's
racing program. Cates powered his second win of the season despite
having to start last in the 18 car starting field. Ted Christopher
who has dominated the division with ten wins was never a factor as
his night ended on the tail end of a wrecker. Christopher was all
done by the third lap when John Catania hit the wall going into the
third turn, drifted down, and hit Christopher’s car, severely
damaging the right-side suspension.
Following Cates and Woody Pitkat at the finish was Silk, Rocco and
Preece. Christopher who currently leads Pitkat by 56 points finished
In other action at Thompson, Larry Gelinas dominated in Super Late
Models to score his fourth victory of the 2010 season. Spirits were
riding high as Mike Scorzelli and Chad Baxter of scored career
firsts in the Late Models and Mini Stocks respectively. Joe Coates
was tops in the Limited Sportsman division while Brian Tagg wired
the field for the TIS Modified victory.
After a week off, the Stafford Speedway was back in action on
Friday, September 10th with the Inaugural Shark Cycle 100. It was a
banner night for Stafford's own Woody Pitkat, who bagged a double by
winning both the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, and the 30-lap Late
Model feature. The SK Modified® victory was the third of 2010 for
Pitkat and the Late Model win was his second consecutive and seventh
overall win of 2010. Other feature winners were Tommy Barrett, Jr.,
who scored his ninth win of 2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified
feature, George Nocera, Jr., who won his second feature of 2010 in
the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Andrew Hayes scored his
third win of the 2010 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In the SK Modified feature Ryan Preece finished second. Rounding out
the top five was JeffMalave, Dan Avery and Josh Sylvester. Keith
Rocco's 9th place finish was enough to clinch the 2010 Stafford
Motor Speedway SK Modified® track championship.
In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl
Todd Ceravolo made it two in a row in SK Modified competition. Keith
Rocco was second with Rob Janovic finishing third. Ron Yuhas and
Doug Coby ran side-by-side to the checkered flag for fourth, with
Yuhas taking that spot by a bumper.
In other action at the Speedbowl, Vin Esposito won his second Bob
Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature on the year. Ed Puleo went pole
to pole to win his fifth Street Stock race of 2010, while Mark
Panaroni checkered the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock race, his first
of the season. Russ Stoehr won a 35-lap NEMA Midget memorial race
and Jesse State of New Hyde Park, NY was the victor in the NEMA Lite
The Modified Racing Series made its inaugural visit to the Stafford
Motor Speedway last Friday night. Ted Christopher put the Joe Brady
#00 in victory lane. Starting third, Christopher took the lead from
Ron Silk on lap two and never looked back. It was Christopher's
110th win at Stafford. Silk finished second and was followed by
Rowan Pennink, Jeff Malave and Chris Pasteryak. Sixth through tenth
were Mike Stefanik, Bryon Chew, Eric Goodale, Richard Savory and
Bobby Santos III.
Eighteen of the 28 starters were on the lead lap at the finish.
There were 38 cars on hand for the inaugural event which appeared to
be well received by fans and track management alike.
Justin Bonsignore the leading rookie driver on the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour enjoyed some home cooking Saturday night when he
topped the 35-lap NASCAR Modified feature event at Riverhead Raceway
posting the $1,425 victory. With a 5th place finish Tom Rogers Jr.
of Patchogue sewed up the 2010 NASCAR Modified championship giving
him two titles in the class with his first coming in 2004.
Kevin Harvick passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with just over 50
laps to go Friday night and won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race
for his third victory of the season and 37th overall.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action Denny Hamlin scored a dominating win at
the Richmond International Raceway. It came a week after he had the
car to beat in Atlanta until an engine failure dropped him to a
last-place finish, and the Richmond win pushed him into the points
lead for the first time in his career.
This week are several vintage racing
photos Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dyke's Racing
Click on Photo for Full Size
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is: