Sixty years ago in 1951, Moe Gherzi made it three in a row at
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 25 lap Modified
feature on Wednesday night. Dick Dixon was the Claiming Car winner.
Red Bolduc was the Saturday night Modified winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1956, Wild Bill Slater in the Baldy
Simonds No.11 scored the Wednesday night Modified win at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Don Collins was the Saturday night
winner at the shoreline oval. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford
Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan was the Friday night
winner on the dirt at Stafford. At Norwood, Red Foote beat out Rene
Charland to win the Minuteman 400. Ernie Gahan finished third with
Eddie Flemke, fourth. Ted Stack was the Modified winner at
Forty-five years ago in 1966 the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran
a 200-lap event with Bill Wimble outlasting Eddie Flemke for the
win. Bill Slater finished third with Robbie Kotary, fourth. Fonda
was still closed for a Fair and at Utica-Rome; their annual 400 was
washed out. Maynard Forette was the Friday night winner on the dirt
at Stafford. Bob Potter won a 30 lapper at Waterford. Glynn Shafer
made it two in a row in the Bombers. On Labor Day Waterford ran a 45
lap Modified Special event that was won by Bill Scrivener. Also on
Labor Day, Norwood ran the Bardhal 400 which were in reality twin
200s. Sharing the winners circle after they recorded wins were
Johnny Thompson and Bugs Stevens.
Forty years ago in 1971, Labor Day weekend meant big money,
extra distance races. The action started at the Albany-Saratoga
Speedway in Malta, NY on Friday night with a 250 lapper for the
Modifieds. Max Berrier, one of the hot dogs from North Carolina,
made one of his infrequent trips north pay off as he stole the show
from the regulars. Fifty-five Modifieds were on hand to qualify for
the 30 starting spots. Guy Chartrand, in the Hemi-Cuda of Ed Cloce,
was the pole sitter with Leo Cleary in the Mystic Missile on the
outside. Berrier started seventh and wore the competition down to
record the win. Eddie Flemke, in the Art Barry No.09, finished
second and was followed by Bernie Miller, Andy Romano, Denis Giroux,
Richie Evans, Hop Harrington and Fred DeSarro. Stafford ran a 30
lap, double point event on Saturday night. Leo Cleary, now on home
turf, took the win over Jerry Cook, Bugsy Stevens, Bernie Miller and
Bob Santos. At Waterford Bob Potter won a 50 lap Modified event on
Saturday and Daring Dick Caso won a 75 lapper on Labor Day. The
action shifted to Utica-Rome on Sunday night where Richie Evans won
the New Yorker 400 over Fred DeSarro, Jerry Cook, Billy Hensley and
Lou Lazzaro. Modified history was made on Monday at Stafford when
Gene Bergin in the Bobby Judkins Pinto bodied 2x broke the track
qualifying record and became the first Modified to turn the
half-mile speedway in the 20.00 second bracket. Due to the efforts
of Stafford owner Jack Arute, the Pinto body was made legal for
Modified competition and would be the beginning of the end of
pre-war coupes used as bodies for Modifieds. Bergin cruised to a
convincing win over Fred DeSarro, Max Berrier, Bugs Stevens and
Eddie Flemke. Fulton Raceway also ran on Saturday and Monday. Bob
Sweeny won the Saturday 30 lapper over Neil Trusedale and Sonny
Seamon. Monday’s Labor Day 100 saw Geoff Bodine take the win over
Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro and Merv Treichler.
Thirty-five years ago in 1976, Ed Yerrington, the new
promoter at Stafford, was looking for a way to boost attendance at
the Stafford Speedway. He scheduled a mid week open competition
event and named it Modified Madness. To make this event different,
Yerrington allowed all females, accompanied by a male, free
admission. The result was one of the biggest crowds ever seen for a
mid-week event as the attendance was in excess of 10,000, at the
Stafford oval. Richie Evans borrowed a wing off the Super of Nolan
Swift and took home the win. Maynard Troyer finished second with
Fred DeSarro and Bugsy Stevens rounding out the top four. Riverhead
ran a 200 lapper on Friday night with Charlie Jarzombek taking the
win over Fred Harbach, Wayne Anderson and Jerry Cook. At Monadnock,
Mike Weeden took the feature but it was Punky Caron who won the
track championship. Saturday night saw the running of the annual
Oswego Modified 200.Maynard Troyer took the big win over southern
invader Paul Radford. Roger Treichler finished third. At Islip,
Wayne Anderson was the big winner with Jerry Cook, second. Pete
Fiandaca won at Riverside and it was Dave Dias at Seekonk. Geoff
Bodine made it two in a row at Thompson on Sunday night as once
again, Fred DeSarro had to settle for second. John Rosati, Ray
Miller and Jerry Pearl rounded out the top five. Stafford ran their
annual 200 on Monday. Bodine carried his winning ways over from
Thompson to make it two for two. Jim Spencer finished second and was
followed by Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans and Satch Worley.
Thirty years ago in 1981, Stafford ran the Labor Day weekend
200 on Friday night. Close to 7500 saw Richie Evans take the win
over Reggie Ruggiero, Ray Miller, Corky Cookman and Bugsy Stevens.
Waterford ran a 100 lapper, which saw Bob Potter start on the
outside pole and lead all the way to take the win over Jerry Pearl,
Moose Hewitt and Dave Webber. Geoff Bodine came north to drive the
Taylor No.99 to a convincing win in the Oswego 200. Satch Worley
finished second with Ray Miller, third. Randy LaJoie returned to
victory lane in the Sportsman division at Danbury. Gino Spada was
the Modified winner. At Thompson on Sunday night, Reggie Ruggiero
took the win over Joe Howard and Corky Cookman. Other weekend
winners were Punky Caron at Monadnock, Bugsy Stevens at Seekonk,
George Wagner at Islip, Stan Greger at Riverside and Jeff Fuller at
Westboro. Doug Hevron won the Oswego Supermodified Classic.
Twenty five years ago in 1986, the Labor Day weekend started
on Wednesday when the NASCAR Modified Tour visited the Riverhead
Raceway on Long Island for a 200 lapper. Tiger Tom Baldwin took the
win over Jim Spencer, Bill Park and Brian Ross. On Friday night,
George Brunnhoelzl Jr was dialed in as he took the top spot at
Stafford. Kenny Bouchard finished second. Waterford ran a 75 lapper
on Saturday night with Rick Donnelly taking the win over Harry Rice
and Mark LaJunesse. George Kent used a bit of cunning to win the
Oswego Modified 200.Kent used an early pit stop to his advantage as
he was able to pass most of the competition while they pitted later.
For his efforts, he pocketed $17,535. Brian Ross finished second and
was followed by Mike McLaughlin and Jan Leaty. Jerry Marquis won at
Riverside while Steve Park and John Blewett Jr won twin features at
Riverhead. Stafford closed out the weekend with their annual 200 on
Labor Day. Proving his Friday night win was no fluke, George
Brunnhoelzl Jr. took the win over Brian Ross, Kenny Bouchard and
John Rosati. Bentley Warren won the Oswego Supermodified Classic and
in Winston Cup action at Darlington, Tim Richmond took both the pole
and the win.
Twenty years ago in 1991, Bob Potter won the SK modified
feature at Stafford and wrapped up the track championship. Steve
Chowanski had been a contender but found himself sitting on the
sidelines after he was thrown out of the event after wrecking Bo
Gunning. Waterford ran a 200 lapper on Saturday night with Ted
Christopher taking the win in the Ronnie Berndt No.54.Don Fowler
finished second with Jim Broderick, third. Bob Potter's luck at the
shoreline oval continued to be bad as he wrecked the Ceravolo family
modified for the seventh time. Jeff Fuller took the $20,000 to win
Oswego Modified 200 after his brother Rick, in the Fiore 44 lost an
engine while leading with two laps to go. George Kent finished
second and was followed by Steve Park and Richie Gallup. Dick McCabe
won the wreck marred Busch North Series event at Riverside Park.
McCabes average speed for 150 laps was 31mph. Harry Gant was the
Winston Cup winner at Darlington and on a sad note, Winston Cup
starter Harold Kinder passed away.
Fifteen years ago in 1996, Bob Potter took the Friday night
SK Modified win at Stafford after Ted Christopher and Jim Broderick
wrecked each other on the last lap. Christopher still wrapped up the
SK title despite being suspended from running the Fall Final.
Broderick was fined for rough riding. The Featherlite Modifieds were
also at Stafford for a 150-lap event. Mike Stefanik took the win
over Charlie Pasteryak, Ed Flemke Jr and Bob Gegetskas. Scott
Spaulding scored his third win of the year at Waterford on Saturday
night. Mike Gada finished second with Jim Broderick, third.
Riverside ran a 100 lapper with Reggie Ruggiero taking his seventh
win of the season and Tom McCann got his sixth at Riverhead. In
Winston Cup action at Darlington, Terry Labonte took the win and in
Craftsman Truck racing at Nashville it was former modified
competitor Dave Reszendes taking the win. Doug Didero won the
Supermodified classic at Oswego and Brad Leighton was the Busch
North Series winner at Lee.
Ten years ago in 2001, Thompson ran its final Thursday night
event of the summer, which saw Ted Christopher make it four in a
row. Christopher started 12th in the 30-car field and took the lead
on lap 9 of the 30 lap feature. Bert Marvin, Kerry Malone, Scott
Quinn and Jeff Malave rounded out the top five. Christopher carried
his winning ways over to Stafford where he won twin 40’s on Friday
night. The Waterford Speedbowl hosted the NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour on Saturday night. Ed Flemke Jr. got shuffled from
third to eighth on the start but drove a heads up race to take the
lead from Ted Christopher on lap 123 and went on to take the win.
Christopher finished second with Mike Stefanik holding on for third.
Tom Cravenho and Rick Fuller rounded out the top five. There were
ten yellows for 49 laps. Ed Reed Jr. scored his first ever SK
Modified win in convincing fashion as he beat out Ron Yuhas and
Dennis Gada. Gary Swanander won out over Chris Young at Riverhead.
Thompson closed out the weekend with twin 20’s for the SK Modifieds.
Ted Christopher made it six in a row as he won both of them. Kerry
Malone finished second in both and Bert Marvin finished third, again
in both events. In Winston Cup action at Darlington, Ward Burton,
with Tom Baldwin as his crew chief, won the event over Jeff Gordon.
Steve Park suffered severe head injuries the day before when his car
made a sharp left hand turn after his steering wheel came off. Larry
Foyt, who had nowhere to go, broadsided Park. Jeff Burton won the
Darlington Busch Grandnational event.
Five years ago in 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.
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
Impending rain from what was Hurricane Ernesto prevailed at the
Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. The entire program was
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.
Last year, 2010, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
continued on their late Summer break. Bobby Santos retook the point
lead from Ted Christopher. Santos led by 32 points. Mike Stefanik,
Todd Szegedy and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Sixth through
tenth were Ryan Preece, Erick Rudolph, Eric Goodale, Eric Beers and
rookie Justin Bonsignore.
With nine races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
schedule two time Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Don Lia and
SS Green Light Racing parted ways.
The Thompson International Speedway announced that the National
Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) had imposed an
indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition on four drivers
following an incident on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at the Thompson
International Speedway. NASCAR is the sanctioning body for races at
Thompson and NASCAR officials are in charge of the competition at
the speedway. The official penalty notice from NASCAR cited the
drivers for “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”
Race drivers Fred Michalski of Dayville, CT, Scott and Trevor
Michalski of South Killingly, CT and Scott Jassaume of Danielson, CT
all received the same penalty from NASCAR. In addition, the Speedway
informed these drivers and Ruth Michalski of South Killingly, CT
that they were no longer welcome on the property in and around the
race track. This action is a result of an attack that the above made
on Mini Stock driver Rick Blanchard following the feature held on
In Thursday night action at the northeast Connecticut oval the
Speedway played host to the Modified Racing Series for the second
time in 2010. In the end it was “one of their” own standing in
victory lane with Rowan Pennink scoring his third Modified Racing
Series victory. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Ted
Christopher earned his ninth Sunoco Modified feature event of the
season. Mike O’Sullivan bested a strong field to post the victory in
the Super Late Models.
Wayne Coury, Sr. celebrated with a win in the Late Models. Joe Arena
earned a hard-fought victory in the Limited Sportsman division. John
Studley streaked to consecutive victories in the TIS Modifieds. It
was a night banner night for Mike Gorgieveski who scored his first
career victory in the Mini Stocks.
Ted Christopher ended a long dry spell scored his first victory of
the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature. It was
Christopher's first win at Stafford in over a year and overall his
92nd SK Modified win at the track he calls home. Woody Pitkat took
advantage of a green white checkered restart to nail down his sixth
victory of 2010 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr.
scored his eighth win of 2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified
feature, Dave Yardley won his second feature of 2010 in the 20-lap
Limited Late Model feature, and Cory Casagrande matched his brother
Kyle as a three-time winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl
Teenager Anthony Flannery won the 50-lap Raceceiver Legends National
Tour race, earning a guaranteed starting position to the Legends
Cars Nationals event held at Langley, VA Speedway in October. Tyler
Chadwick won his second consecutive SK Modified® race and third on
the season. Bruce Thomas Jr. and Ken Cassidy Jr. won their third
races of the year in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model and
Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock divisions. Al Stone rounded out the
winners by taking his third consecutive Street Stock win, his fifth
overall on the year. For Thomas, it was his 50th career win
Chadwick recieved a gift while running third in the closing laps
when a heated battle between Doug Coby and Todd Ceravolo boiled over
with Coby spinning in turn one. The pivotal moment of the race came
on lap 28. Ceravolo was penalized to the rear for his involvement,
handing the lead to Chadwick.
Following Chadwick at the finish was Keith Rocco followed by Rob
Janovick, Jeff Paul, and Joe Gada. Coby ended up seventh and
Ceravolo was 11th.
In some sad news, John Small, who manned the announcers booth at
what was then-known as the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl in the
mid 50's to mid 60's passed-away at age 97. One of the most popular
announcers in the early history of the shoreline oval, Small’s
booming voice and talented delivery set the standard for calling the
races at the Eastern Connecticut oval for many of the raceways
formative seasons. He was extremely-popular with fans and
competitors alike. In 1952, he began a long career in radio where he
hosted many country music radio shows and was known as Cousin
Johnny. Mr. Small, among many other things, was a past Mayor of the
Town of Groton, CT
The Modified Racing Series headed for the Thompson Speedway for
their second visit of the year. Rowan Pennink who has called
Thompson International Speedway home for the last few seasons
competing in the NASCAR All American Series Weekly, claimed the
victory in Modified Racing Series 75. Mike Stefanik showed the way
in the early going before relinquishing the lead to Bobby Santos
III. Stefanik would retire from the event two laps shy of halfway.
Santos led through lap 56 before giving up the battle to Pennink.
Three laps later, Ted Christopher moved by Santos and into second.
In a repeat of the Sunoco Modified event earlier in the evening,
Pennink and Christopher waged a heated battle for the lead. A late
race restart with less than 15 laps to go gave Christopher his best
shot at Pennink’s lead. After a quick bid, Christopher had to settle
back in line in second. The lead duo stretched their advantage over
third running Santos. An incident involving the previous week’s
winner Todd Annarummo brought out the caution with seven laps
remaining. Pennink was up for the challenge on the single-file
restart. Pennink went on to claim his third MRS win of the season
over Christopher, Santos and Eric Goodale. Les Hinckley recovered
from a practice crash to finish fifth.
NASCAR reinstated crew member Randy LaJoie upon his successful
completion of a counseling program following his June 22 suspension
for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.
Boris Said came back from an early spin and won the Nationwide race
at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, edging Max Papis by a nose
on a green-white-checkered finish to win the crash-filled event.
NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors enjoyed the weekend off.
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: