Sixty years ago in 1951 Wes
Kingsley was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Dixon was the Claiming Car winner.
Bobby Sprague was the Saturday night Modified winner at the
shoreline oval. Bob Barbari was the Claiming Car winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1956,
rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Fifty years ago in 1961 local
favorite George Janoski took the Friday night win on the dirt at
Forty five years ago in 1966, Ernie
Gahan broke Pete Corey’s stranglehold on victory lane at Stafford on
the dirt. Waterford shifted to Sundays. Dick Dunn was the 30 lap
Modified winner. Glynn Shafer was the Bomber winner and Red Barton
was the Late Model Daredevil winner.
Forty years ago in 1971, the
season ender at Islip was rained out and not rescheduled. Stafford
ran their season ender on Sunday with Gene Bergin taking the win
over Fred DeSarro, Jerry Cook, Dave Lape and Bugsy Stevens. Thompson
ran an open competition event the same day with Bob Santos taking
the win over Dick Caso, Tony Russo and Hank Stevens. The Waterford
Speedbowl wrapped up their season with Bob Potter taking the win
over Ronnie Wycoff.
Thirty five years ago in 1976,
the NASCAR Modifieds were silent as race teams made ready for the
upcoming Race of Champions at Trenton. The Waterford Speedbowl
wrapped up their season with twin 25's which were won by Dick Dunn
and Bob Potter. Andy Guimond was the late Model Grand American
Thirty years ago in 1981,
Stafford ran the Fall Final for the Modifieds and NASCAR North
(Busch North Series) The modified 100 lapper carried a purse of
$6,300 and drew 59 cars. Richie Evans was the Modified winner as he
beat out Corky Cookman, George Kent, Reggie Ruggiero and Bob
Polverari. Jean Paul Cabana was the Late Model winner. It was also
on this weekend that the New England Drivers and Owners Club (NEDOC)
conducted tire tests which would hopefully lead to a more
affordable-longer lasting tire for the Modifieds. Brands tested were
Hoosier, M&H, McCreary and Goodyear.
Twenty-five years ago in 1986,the
modified tour headed for Oxford Plains in Maine. Forty-eight
Modifieds and 10,000 fans were on hand as Jim Spencer took the win
over Jamie Tomaino, Corky Cookman, Mike Mclaughlin and Brian Ross.
Track owner Bob Bahre announced that in 1987,an 18 race NASCAR
North-Late Model Series would replace the former Late Model Series
that had been headed by Tom Curley. In Winston Cup action at North
Wilkesboro, Tim Richmond took the pole but it was Darrell Waltrip
taking the win. Geoff Bodine finished second.
Twenty years ago in 1991, Don
Fowler was the Saturday night winner at Waterford. Bob Potter
finished second with Jerry Pearl, third. The Fall Final at Stafford
ended up being a race that many would talk about for many months.
Tom Baldwin, who qualified second and was running in the front all
day was caught sleeping on a late race restart and got spun out.
Baldwin was given his spot back as NASCAR stated the leader must
start the race. Baldwin bulled his way to the front and eventual
win. Jamie Tomaino ended up second with Reggie Ruggiero, third. The
SK 35 lapper was red checkered after 30 laps when leader Ted
Christopher blew his engine and collected Richie Gallup. Bob Potter
was awarded the win. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro,
Harry Gant was eight laps short of making it five in a row when he
lost his brakes and had to give way to Dale Earnhardt who went on to
record the win. Gant held on to finish second.
Fifteen years ago in 1996, it
was Tom Baldwin again in victory lane at Stafford. As was his
previous Fall Final victory, this one wasn't too popular with the
fans as he was greeted by the Bronx Cheer in victory lane. With two
laps to go in the 300-lap contest, the outspoken Long Island driver
spun Reggie Ruggiero out, causing a caution. Going over the 300-lap
mark, Baldwin slammed into Tim Connolly, knocking him out of the
way, and went on to take the win. Connelly finished second and was
followed by Ruggiero and Steve Park. All on the lead lap. Rounding
out the top five was Mike Ewanitsko, one lap down. Jim Broderick was
the SK Modified winner, giving him two for two on the weekend as he
won at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night over Steve
Chowanski and Bob Potter. In Winston Cup action it was the final
event to be run at North Wilkesboro. Ted Musgrave was the pole
sitter but it was Jeff Gordon taking the win with Dale Earnhardt
finishing second. Dirt driver Billy Pauch scored his 500th career
win at the Bridgeport, N.J. Speedway. On a sad note, former driver
and car builder Banjo Mathews passed away as did former New York
driver Dick Nephew.
Ten years ago in 2001, John
Brouwer Jr. won the final Saturday night modified event at the
Waterford Speedbowl. Mark LaJunesse finished second. Dennis Gada
finished third and sewed up his third modified driving title in a
row. It was the fifth championship title for car owner Harry Wyant.
Wynatt’s other track titles at Waterford came with Jim Broderick
driving. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Stafford
for the Fall Final. Mike Ewanitsko was the Busch Pole sitter but the
day belonged to Ted Christopher who all but dominated the event.
Starting from the outside pole, Christopher jumped out to the lead
at the start and held the point until pitting for tires and fuel on
lap 90. Jerry Marquis inherited the lead at that point and held it
thru lap 104 when Christopher blasted his way into the lead. From
then on it was a no contest event. During the late stages, Marquis
faded to third with Rick Fuller moving into the runner-up spot but
Fuller had all he could hold on to because of blistering tires.
Fuller hung on for second and was followed by Marquis, Ed Flemke Jr.
and Mike Ewanitsko. Kerry Malone was the SK-Modified winner over
Lloyd Agor and Jeff Baral. In Winston Cup action at Kansas City,
Jeff Gordon took the win in an event that saw many crashes caused by
flat tires. Jeff Green won the Grandnational event.
Five years ago in 2006, the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Stafford Motor Speedway.
Thirty-eight cars were on hand hoping to qualify for the 150 lap
Fall Final. Todd Szegedy took the Busch Pole with a time of
18.091-second lap around the half mile oval. Donny Lia was second
fastest with a time of 18.190 seconds. Rounding out the top five
were Tony Hirschman, Ted Christopher and Chuck Hossfeld. In the
redraw for starting positions Szegedy drew the pole with Hirschman
drawing the outside pole. Heavy monsoon type rain forced NASCAR and
the Arute family to postpone the Fall Final to Saturday, October 28.
The Thompson Speedway closed out their Thursday Night Thunder
Series. Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT. turned his rookie Sunoco
Modified season into a track championship and ultimately the NASCAR
Weekly Racing Series Region Four Championship. Along with the glory
will come a check for $25,000. Mini Stocker Shelly Perry of Ashaway,
RI wrote quite a story of her own on Thursday night. Perry became
the first female champion in the 66-year history of the Thompson
International Speedway. Both the Sunoco Modified and Late Model
divisional championships were decided with a pair of 20-lappers.
Marc Palmisano of Hadley, MA swept Late Model twins to erase a
thirty-two-point deficit in a single night to steal the
championship. Joe Lemay of Millville, MA and Tommy Cravenho of
Raynham, MA shared Sunoco Modified victories. Pro Stock checkers
flew for Fred Astle, Jr. of N. Westport, MA. Jeff Zuidema had
already secured the 2006 Pro Stock championship. In support division
action, Ed Puleo of Branford was the Limited Sportsman feature
winner, Brad Caddick ran to the Mini Stock checkers and Kurt Vigeant
won back-to-back TIS Modified honors. Titles went to Larry Barnett
in the Limited Sportsman division and Roger Larson, Jr. in the TIS
Joe Lemay of Millville, MA saved the best for last in the opening
twin event for the Sunoco Modifieds. He ran strong throughout the
20-lap feature but poured it on in the closing lap. Lemay hounded
early leader Jeff Malave and made the winning move on the final lap.
The first SK Modified feature was led to green by Buddy Charette
followed by Keith Rocco. Malave quickly moved into the third
position on the start. Malave drove into the lead to complete lap
two. Rocco followed Malave into the runner-up spot as Charette
faded. Pitkat ran comfortably just outside the top-five. Lemay got
around Rocco to take over the runner-up spot. Jimmy Blewett and
Tommy Cravenho followed through as well. With Malave handily up
front and Joe Lemay solidly in second the battling was for the third
spot between Blewett, Cravenho, and Bert Marvin. Blewett was able to
maintain his position as the trio ran under a blanket. Lemay, who
had been slowing reeling in Malave, came on strong as the laps began
to wind down. With only five laps remaining Lemay caught Malave. He
made a bid on the lead briefly on lap 16 but settled back in line.
There was a scary moment for point-leader Pitkat when third-running
Blewett dropped off the pace nearly collecting Pitkat and Cravenho.
Pitkat was able to maneuver his way through and into third place.
Cravenho avoided any major contact as well. On lap 17, the first
caution of event flew when Stephen Masse stalled in turn two-saving
Blewett. On the restart, Malave was able to maintain his lead over
Lemay. Pitkat sat in third followed closely by Cravenho while a
fully recovered Blewett pressured Marvin for the fifth spot. On the
final lap Lemay dove to the underneath entering turn three to steal
the lead away from Malave and ultimately the win. It was the second
win of the season for Lemay. Malave chopped a mere two points of
Pitkat’s point lead as the two ran under the checkers second and
third respectively. Cravenho and Marvin rounded out the top five.
The Sunoco Modified divisional championship was decided with second
20 lap feature that went non-stop. The drivers went heads-up to
start the nightcap. Malave led the opening lap from his second
–place-starting position. Lemay dropped back on the initial start;
leaving Malave to battle Cravenho and Blewett. Cravenho grabbed the
top-spot from Malave on lap four. Blewett started to pressure Malave
for second on lap five. Rocco ran third followed by Pitkat inside
the top-five. The top three of Cravenho, Malave and Blewett ran nose
to tail. Malave peeked out of line in turn two on lap eight looking
for the lead but settled back into second. He made the same move on
Cravenho in turn four and made the pass stick. At the halfway
marker, Malave led Cravenho, Blewett, Rocco and Pitkat. Blewett got
along-side Cravenho to complete lap 11 but could not make the pass
stick. On the same lap Cravenho got a good run on Malave. With
Malave out front it was a three-car battle for the top spot.
Double-file lapped traffic changed the complexion of the race for
Malave, who got caught on the outside, losing positions to both
Cravenho and Blewett. Rocco dogged Malave for the third spot. At the
end of 20-laps, Cravenho had run to his third feature win of the
season in the green-to-checker finale. Blewett came home second
followed by Malave and Keith Rocco. Pitkat cashed in on his
fifth-place finish to become the champ.
The Stafford Springs Motor Speedway was supposed to close out their
season with the Fall Final but Mother Nature ruled the roost,
putting the season ender on hold until October 28. The sun shone
bright on Saturday, which allowed a full day of preliminary action.
The 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature took the green flag with Corky
Hinze taking the lead ahead of Mike Sweeney, Ed Charette, Michael
Chaves, and Joey Ferrigno. Back in the pack, the race for the
championship was on between George Nocera, Jr. and Kevin Gambacorta.
With 7 laps complete, Nocera's championship bid looked to take a
disastrous turn as he spun in turn 2 to bring out a caution. On the
restart, Nocera drove through the frontstretch grass, but was able
to keep going. Up front, Hinze continued to hold the lead, with
Andrew Durand moving into second. A caution for a multi-car spin
with 10-laps complete slowed the action. Durand powered around Hinze
for the lead on the restart, with Bill Davis moving into third. A
spin by Pete Cayer brought the caution out with 13 laps complete.
Under the caution, Durand had a flat right front tire, which brought
him to pit road and ended his race. Hinze was back out front as the
race resumed, with Davis on his heels. Joey Ferrigno moved into
third, but a near spin on lap-17 sent him back through the field as
Nocera took over the third position after his early race troubles.
With Nocera third, Kevin Gambacorta was 10th, one position short of
where he needed to be for the championship. But on the last lap of
the race, Gambacorta picked up the position that he needed, and he
clinched the championship by 2 points as Hinze scored his first
career feature win. Davis finished second, with Nocera, Charlie
Newman, and Rob Dow rounding out the top-5. When the green flag flew
on the final DARE Stock feature event of the 2006 season, Norm
Sears, of Manchester, became the 2006 DARE Stock track champion.
Duane Provost took the early race lead ahead of Jeff Hubbell, with
Rob Lawrence, Vince Gambacorta, and Tom Stirk in tow.
The SK Modified 21 Means 21 feature took the green with Lloyd Agor
taking the lead ahead of Kirk Zervas and Bo Gunning. Gunning quickly
worked his way around Zervas for second, and set his sights on Agor
and the lead of the race. Gunning made a pass for the lead on lap-8,
but as he took the lead, the caution came out, putting Agor back out
front. Gunning made the pass for the lead on lap-9 in the same
fashion that he took the lead from Agor previously. Gunning had to
hold off the field on two separate restart situations, but he went
unchallenged to the checkered flag. Shawn Monahan finished second,
with Rowan Pennink, Agor, and Tom Rogers, Jr. rounding out the
top-5. The Late Model 16 feature took the green flag with Jay Stuart
sertting the early pace ahead of Scott Foster, Jr., Chuck Docherty,
and Mike O'Sullivan. The race ran green to checkered and Stuart went
unchallenged as he pulled away from the field to cruise to victory.
Foster finished second, with Docherty, O'Sullivan, and Patrick
Townsend rounding out the top-5.
In other weekend action Ruckersville, Va’s Phillip Morris sewed up
the 2006 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series National Championship after
winning the 100 lap NASCAR Late Model Stock feature at Caraway
Speedway. Kevin Harvick's victory in a caution-filled Yellow
Transportation 300 at the Kansas City Speedway also made him the
first Busch driver to win seven races in a season since Dale
Earnhardt Jr. did it en route to the 1998 title. Harvick had five
victories when he won the title in 2001. Tony Stewart ran out of gas
on the last lap of the Nextel Cup event but still managed to coast
to victory at the Kansas City Speedway. Ruben Pardo won the season
ending Busch East event at Lime Rock. Mike Olsen took the series
Last year, 2010, The NASCAR
Whelen Southern Modified Tour made its first visit to Tri-County
Motor Speedway in North Carolina . MadHouse star Burt Myers passed
John Smith with five laps to go to record his first win of the
season in the Tri-County 150. It was Myers' seventh career win and
first since he was credited with a victory as the highest finishing
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver in the combination race
at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in Sept. of 2009. Smith wound up
second, followed by Andy Seuss in third. Brandon Hire finished
fourth and James Civali fifth.
There were 12 lead changes among six drivers with Civali using his
bonus points for leading a lap to hold on to the points lead by just
three points over Seuss (1,460-1,457). Myers started fifth. There
were five caution periods for 21 laps. Twelve of the 19 starters
finished on the lead lap.
In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl
Kyle James of Ashaway, RI drove a great race to claim his first
career SK Modified® win. Keith Rocco of Wallingford used a third
place finish to clinch the division track championship and finish
off his sensational season. Tim Jordan of Plainfield won his fourth
Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature. Brandon Plemons of
Uncasville was the Street Stock winner, his second checkered flag of
the year. Waterford native Chris Williams won the Norwich Bulletin
Mini Stock feature, another second time winner in 2010. Allen Coates
of Ledyard and Howard Payne of Shelton split the A.B. CDL Driver
Training Center Truck races.
Ron Yuhas closed in to James’ bumper for the final two laps as Rocco
made it a three-car race for the win. James held the bottom lane and
did a masterful job as he went on to take his first career win in
the division in his first season behind the wheel of a Modified.
Yuhas was second ahead of Rocco in third. Diego Monahan and Tucker
Reynolds rounded out the top-five.
Ace Photographer Howie Hodge reported that Ted Christopher won the
ISMA Supermodified race on Saturday night (9/25) in Berlin, Michigan
driving the Clyde Booth 61. In 1999, Christopher climbed aboard a
Paul Dunigan –owned supermodified for the first time ever. It was at
Thompson Speedway. He started dead last. He won. Saturday at Berlin
Raceway in Michigan, Ted climbed into the Clyde Booth 61 for the
first time, at a track he’d never seen before, started dead last and
The Thompson Speedway ran a make-up event on Sunday which closed out
their regular racing season. In a somewhat surprising announcement
Special Consultant Ben Dodge hinted that the speedway management was
thinking of possibly dropping Thursdays off their weekly schedule
and going back to Sundays. Dodge asked the competitors what they
thought of the change. This writer's opinion was to leave well
enough alone. The attendance on Thursdays has been good. The shows
are good and they get over early. Moving to Sundays will not improve
attendance, chances are during the summer months it will hurt. With
racing on Thursdays the race fan can have his cake and eat it too!
Fans get their weekly racing fix without interfering with family
activities on Sundays. Chances are moving to Sundays won improve car
counts. The only thins that will improve car counts are higher
purses and a better economy. Just my opinion!
On a blustery Sunday, the 2010 champions were crowned in all six
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions at Thompson
International Speedway. The evening also featured what would
ultimately be the fourth leg of the Tour-Type Modified Shootout
originally scheduled for August 5, 2010. Mike Stefanik of Coventry,
RI, who crossed the stripe in second, was declared the winner of the
event after post race technical inspection. At the checkers, it
appeared as if Long Islander Justin Bonsignore had posted his first
Modified victory at Thompson. Officials deemed the fuel in
Bonsignore’s #51 to be in violation of the rules. Stefanik was
awarded the victory. Charlie Pasteryak had a great run to come home
second. Erix Goodale, Shelly Perry and Keith Rocco completed the
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action Ronnie Silk turned in a
dominating performance to score his first victory of the season in
the Sunoco Modifieds. Ted Christopher, who finished fourth, had sewn
up the championship prior to the start of the night’s events. made
it a run to the end in the chase for the Super Late Model
championship by winning the event. His rival Derek Ramstrom chased
him to the checkers to secure the 2010 divisional title-his second
In the Late Models, Tom O’Sullivan of made winning a family affair
as he posted the feature victory. Rick Gentes wore the 2010 Late
Model crown. Scott Sundeen bested the field in the Limited Sportsman
division in an attempt to dethrone Larry Barnett. He won the battle
but it was Barnett winning the war with his second straight
divisional title. Keith McDermott ran to the victory in the TIS
Modifieds taking the victory from the 2010 champion R.J. Marcotte.
In the Mini Stocks it was Dwayne Dorr posting the feature victory
while Chuck Rogers earned the championship.
Next on the schedule for the Thompson International Speedway is the
World Series of Speedway racing scheduled for October 15-17, 2010.
The season ending event which plays host to 15 divisions will
feature the Whelen Modified Tour and the International Supermodified
The 60th Annual Sunoco Race of Champions was held at the Oswego
Speedway in Oswego, NY. Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion
Tony Hirschman came out of retirement to win the event. Chuck
Hossfeld finished second with Matt Hirshman, third.
Kyle Busch took a dominating romp on the concrete and rolled into
the NASCAR record book. Busch set a single-season record for wins in
the Nationwide Series, taking the checkered flag for the 11th time
in only 23 races on Saturday at Dover International Speedway. Busch
was tied with Sam Ard for the previous record with 10 wins. Busch
also won 10 races in 2008, matching the record Ard set in NASCAR's
second-tier series in 1983.
In Sprint Cup action, Jimmie Johnson had a perfect weekend on the
track. He won the pole, dominated again in another victory at Dover
International Speedway, and even held his baby daughter in his arms
in Victory Lane for the first time.
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: