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September 7, 2012

By Phil Smith

Sixty years ago in 1952 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ray Delisle was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner and Bud Matter was the Claiming Car winner. Twin 50's were run on Saturday night with Delisle and Cy Yates recording Sportsman wins while Matter recorded another claiming car victory.

Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins made it two n a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner.

Fifty years ago in 1962, Ernie Gahan made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway followed by George Janoski, Bill Slater, Rene Charland and Don Rounds.. At the Waterford Speedbowl Dick Beauregard was the 25 lap Modified winner followed by Don Collins, and Hank Stevens. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. Jerry Humiston won the 250-lap feature at Riverside Park Speedway. Gene Bergin finished 2nd giving him the track championship. Buddy Krebs was third followed by Danny Galullo and Frank Blum. George Lombardo won the 75-lap Langhorne qualifier at Plainville Stadium. John Georgiades was second followed by Tony Mordino and Harry Bliss. Bart Rocco was the Novice winner with Elton Hill second.

Forty five years ago in 1967 Friday night racing at Stafford rained out. Bugsy Stevens, 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 Patnoad and Guy Chartrand At Fonda, on Saturday night, Bill Wimble took the win over Ray Sitterly and Jerry Cook. Bill Scrivener was the Modified winner at Waterford followed by Newt Palm, Charlie Webster, Moose Hewitt and Ed Yerrington. Bill Sweet was the Daredevil winner. At Riverside Park Speedway Billy Greco was crowned the 1967 point championship taking the win in the 300-lap finale. Danny Galullo was second followed by Dave Alkas, Ronnie Mayer and Dave Ashe. Plainville Stadium was rained out. 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.

Forty 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. Bobby Santos 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. Jerry Dostie made it two in a row at Waterford followed by Mike Beebe, Gene Naumec, Seabury Tripler and Angie Cerese. Don Fowler was the Sportsman winner. At Riverside Park Speedway Gary Colturi won the 250-lap feature followed by Jack Lecuyer, Steve "S.J." Evonsion, Jim Cash and Lou Carangelo. Evonsion's third place gave him the track championship. Dave Alkas took the 50-lap modified event followed by Harvey Valencourt, Bill Harris, Sherm Saunders and Reggie Ruggiero.  Ronnie Rocco won both 20-lap novice features. It was a rough weekend, to say the least.

Thirty five years ago in 1977, Stafford’s Friday night racing was open competition as their NASCAR season ended on Labor Day. With 33 cars on hand, Ronnie Bouchard 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. At Plainville Stadium Ronnie Rocco won the 50-lap modified feature followed by Ronnie Wyckoff, Charley Jones, Tommy Berndt and Tom Hughes. 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.

Thirty 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 five 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.

Twenty 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.

Fifteen years ago in 1997, Dennis Gada went pole to pole to beat out Rick Donnely 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.

Ten 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 Pasteryak's 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.

Five years ago in 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Thompson Speedway for Modified Mania. Donnie Lia and car owner Bob Garbarino who were currently enjoying a dream season out time trailed thirty-five other Whelen Modifieds to score their third Busch Pole of the season. Lia and his Mystic Missile toured the 5/8-mile oval in 18.885 seconds. Ronnie Silk was aecond fastest with Matt Hirschman, third. Lia picked the pole starting position for the 150 lap main event. Ron Yuhas Jr picked the outside pole while Hirschman picked third.
Heavy rain at 4:00pm on Sunday forced officials to postpone the event to first to Saturday September 22nd and then on Monday to Sunday, September 23rd.

In True Value Modified Series action at the Thompson it was great to see Mark Mockovak in his new spot with what has become a very popular series in New England. Thirty-two True Value Modifieds were on hand for qualifying for their segment of Modified Mania at the Thompson Speedway. Chris Pastryak, Andy Seuss and Jimmy Kuhn won three Heat Races. The 75-lap True Value Modified Racing Series portion of Modified Mania at Thompson International Speedway was postponed after completing only 2 laps because of inclement weather. Andy Seuss was leading the event when the torrential rain began.

In regular NASCAR Whelen Weekly Racing action at the Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modified heat winners were Jimmy Blewett, Tommy Cravenho and Danny Cates. Glenn Boss scored the victory in the lone TIS Modified heat. Norm Wrenn and Jeff Zuidema of scored heat race wins for the Pro-Fours.

Matt Hirschman went pole to pole as he led every lap of the Race of Champions main event before the rains came in forcing the postponement of the Whelen Modified Tour 150 and the True Value Modified Racing Series. The True Value Modified Racing Series completed only two laps with Andy Suess of Hampstead, NH, holding the point before torrential rains hit the speedway.

Three of the other scheduled events of Modified Mania II were completed before the rains came with Todd Ceravolo taking down the Sunoco Modified main event and Leo Oliveira scored the TIS Modifieds victory. Thompson regular Norm Wrenn scored the Pro-Four Victory. Hirschman, the current Central Region point leader, led every lap en route to the victory. The second-generation driver jumped from his third-place starting spot to lead the opening lap and would not be headed. Rick Kluth ran strong in the second spot for much of the race. In the late stages, with Hirschman out front, Kluth turned back advances of a charging Woody Pitkat. The current Northern Region leader, Pete Brittain, who had run a conservative race up to this point, turned it on with only a hand full of laps remaining. With five laps to go, Hirschman continued to stretch his lead while Pete Brittain caught Kluth. That battle for second heated up over the final laps when Brittain got a run on Kluth in turn one. A single lap later, Brittain was able to make the pass on Kluth to move into the second spot. Time ran out as Brittain could do nothing but chase the potent Hirschman. At the checkers, it was all Hirschman. Brittain finished second over Rick Kluth and Woody Pitkat. Lenny Fisher rounded out to the top five By virtue of technical inspection, Leo Oliveira was declared the winner in the TIS Modified main event.

The Stafford Motor Speedway began their fall series of Friday night racing. Keith Rocco took the SK Modified feature win, Dillon Moltz won the Late Model feature, Chris Matthews won the SK Light feature, Andrew Durand won the Limited Late Model feature, and Dan Flannery won the DARE Stock feature.

The 40-lap SK Modified feature took the green with Wade Mattesen charging past Richie Pallai, Jr. to take the early lead. Pallai would battle back by Mattesen on lap-5 to reclaim the lead. Rocco followed Pallai past Mattesen, and Pallai and Rocco ran nose to tail for the lead over the next several laps. Rocco moved by Pallai on a lap-11 restart, and from that point on, he would not be headed at the front of the field as he scored his third SK Modified feature win of the 2007 season. Kerry Malone finished a distant second to Rocco, with Ted Christopher, Curt Brainard, and Todd Owen rounding out the top-5. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship hopeful Woody Pitkat suffered through several spins but came back to finish 9th.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Dennis Gada got a little closer to an unprecedented seventh Modified Track title as he scored his fifth win. Two race meets remain of the 2007 season. Gada currently trails Rob Janovic by 16 points. For the last two races Gada needs to run hard and run to win. Keith Rocco finished second and Janovic was third. Gada moved from fourth to second after a crash with 24 laps to go. Seven laps later, Gada moved underneath Rocco and cruised to his 55th career SK win. Tyler Chadwick and Jeff Paul rounded out the top five.Bruce Thomas Jr. unofficially clinched the Late Model championship, winning his 11th feature of the season by overtaking Ron Yuhas Jr. with eight laps to go in the 30-lap feature. Thomas won the Mini Stock title in 2001. Kyle James won his first career race in the Mini Stock feature. In the Sportsman feature, Walt Hovey Jr, won again.

In NASCAR Nextel Cup action at Richmond Jimmie Johnson hit his stride at exactly the right time, winning two straight races to roll into the Chase for the championship. Dale Earnhardt Jr. never had a chance, the victim of five faulty motors when his season was on the line. Johnson easily raced to his series-best sixth victory of the season. But Earnhardt, suffered his third blown motor in the past seven races to finish 30th. Kyle Busch was the Busch Series winner.

Last year, 2011, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour traveled to Canada for the first Tour event to be run out of the country, the Delaware 150 at the Delaware (Ont.) Speedway. Erick Rudolph earned his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 21 Means 21 Pole Award Presented by Coors Light Saturday in qualifying for the inaugural Delaware 150. Rudolph, from Ransomville, N.Y., posted a fast lap of 17.585 seconds (102.360 mph). A slim field of 18 cars was on hand. Many competitors who are tour regulars including Mike Stefanik, Woody Pitkat, and Ron Yuhas jr felt that it was not cost effective to make the long haul to Canada. Also missing was Ted Christopher.

Ron Silk appeared to have a game plan that even a 48-minute rain delay could not derail. He patiently waited for the right moment and won the Delaware 150. In the tour’s inaugural race beyond the borders of the United States, Silk started from the outside pole position and held on to that track position until it was time make his move. That time came with a Lap 107 pass of Erick Rudolph, who led the race’s first 106 circuits after earning his second career pole position. From there, it looked as if it was going to be smooth sailing for Silk behind the wheel of the Eddie Partridge No. 6 T.S. Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet. By Lap 132, he built a 1.222-second lead on Rudolph, but a spin in Turn 4 by Rowan Pennink brought out the caution flag and allowed weather into the equation.

Pennink’s broken oil line forced NASCAR officials to display the red flag to allow the clean-up crew easier access to the spill which trailed from Turn 1 all the way into Turn 3 on the half-mile track. In the meantime, rain began to fall on the track. The weather coupled with the clean up sent the cars to pit road on Lap 143. After the weather delay, Silk survived two green-white-checkered finish attempts before beating Doug Coby to the finish line. Todd Szegedy picked up third followed by James Civali and Eric Beers in fourth and fifth, respectively. Eric Berndt, Justin Bonsignore, D.J. Kennington, Jaime Tomaino and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top 10.

The race was slowed due to caution a season-high 13 times. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to familiar territory for its next outing to take on its counterparts from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in the UNOH Showdown. Each tour will have a 125-lap feature event followed by a 50-lap exhibition event with competitors from each tour pitted against one another.

It looked like Ted Christopher and crew chief Brad LaFountaine had kissed and made up as the Hartford Courant reported that the Ed Whelen No.36 will make its return to the Whelen Modified Tour Series at the Thompson Speedway in the UNOH Showdown. Both Christopher and LaFountaine were at the top of their game and when this condition exists there are differences of opinion. Car owner Ed Whelen shut the team down when the in-fighting got out of hand.

In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway track owner Don Hoenig was forced to cancel the event due to the adverse conditions created by Hurricane Irene. The track property incurred little damage but the big problem was no electricity. There is a generator on site but it is unable to handle the entire electrical load that is required.

The Stafford Motor Speedway began the month of September with a new face in victory lane at the conclusion of the SK Modified feature. Woody Pitkat nailed down his first win of the 2011 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Corey Hutchings picked up his first win of 2011 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Cipriano scored his fifth win of 2011 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, D.J. Burnham picked up his first career victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande picked up his division leading 5th win of the 2011 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Curt Brainard took the lead at the drop of the green with Brian Sullivan and Sean Foster locked in a side by side duel for second. Side by side behind Brian Sullivan and Foster was Nichole Morgillo and Dan Avery. Sullivan got cleared of Foster for second with Avery taking third. Glen Reen was now into fourth and Woody Pitkat was up to fifth with 8 laps compete.

Brainard held the lead until lap-9 when Sullivan went to the front, but his lead was short lived as Avery moved to the front on lap-10. Pitkat moved into second behind Avery with Eric Berndt moving by Sullivan to take over third place. Pitkat quickly moved by Avery to take the lead on lap-12. Berndt got by Avery for second place on lap-17 while Pitkat continued to lead the race.

After a trip through the grass that lost his several positions a few laps earlier, Ryan Preece was charging his way back towards the front of the pack as he moved into sixth on lap-18. Berndt pulled to the outside of Pitkat and the two cars began to run side by side for the race lead with Pitkat able to keep Berndt behind him at the start/finish line.

Berndt made the pass for the lead on lap-22 as Preece went by Todd Owen to take over fifth place. The order was now Berndt ahead of Pitakt, Avery, Glen Reen, and Preece. The top-5 remained unchanged until lap-33 when Preece moved by Reen for fourth place, but Reen came right back and took the spot back. Preece made another pass on Reen for fourth place on lap-37 in turns 1+2 and this time he made the pass stick. As the cars came back around and down the frontstretch, Reen made a run back to the inside of Preece and the cars touched wheels with Reen climbing Preece's tires, which launched his car into the air for a split second and the caution came out as Reen's car was showering sparks as it made its way back to pit road.

Back under green, Pitkat charged into the lead with Berndt settling into second. Todd Owen made a great move to get up to third with Preece behind him in fourth. Pitkat lead Berndt to the checkered flag by less than a car length to score his first victory of the 2011 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Berndt was Owen, Preece, and Brainard.

Among the missing were Keith Rocco and Ted Christopher, the division's biggest stars. Rocco was suspended from competition for one event following his crash with Eric Berndt on August 26. Christopher was at the Oswego Speedway competing in a SuperModified event. Rocco's car was in competition with Berndt doing the driving. Christopher finished seventh at Oswego.

At the Waterford Speedbowl Woody Pitkat carried his winning ways over to the shoreline oval as he won the Thunder on the Sound SK Modified event. Pitkat brought his Thompson car, the No. 00 of Jimmy Paige. Starting mid field, Pitkat drove a smart race and was in the right place at the right time. When Todd Ceravolo encountered fuel delivery problems while leading with 17 laps to go in the 150 lap event Pitkat was in the cat bird seat, ready to pounce. Once in the lead Pitkat was never headed. Ceravolo, driving a car owned by Harry Rhaume, rebounded to finish fifth. Pitkat, who got the jump on the final restart ahead of Diego Monahan, ran unchallenged the rest of the way. Ted Christopher raced by Monahan but had nothing left to throw Pitkat’s way. Monahan held back Rob Janovic for third, while Janovic rebounded from a late pit stop to take fourth.

The event was one of eight features as part of the track’s Thunder on the Sound program, presented by the Connecticut National Guard. The win, carrying a $5,000 payday, was Pitkat’s first at the Speedbowl and came in just his second career start in the SK Modified® division at the track.

At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, John Fortin continued his hot streak by winning again, which further reduced points leader Justin Bonsignore's point lead. Bonsignore had a lot on his plate as he headed to Canada for the Whelen Modified Tour Series event held there following the Riverhead event.

In NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action, New Englander Andy Suess held off the field in a 14-lap dash to the checkered flag to win the Newport News Shipbuilding 150 in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action on Saturday at Langley Speedway in Virginia.

Seuss started from the outside pole position and fell back early, but he battled back to take the lead on Lap 129 and led the rest of the way. A debris caution on Lap 132 set up a sprint to the finish that he was able to manage in his No. 11 Phoenix Pre-Owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet. John Smith crossed the line in second followed by Thomas Stinson, who led a race-high 88 laps, in third. Polesitter and defending tour champion Burt Myers finished fourth while Jason Myers finished in the fifth position. A light field of 13 cars was on hand.

In the annual Labor Day Modified Classic at the Oswego Speedway in New York, Chuck Hossfeld ran a smooth, heady race, avoiding all the tangles that shortened the field to just 10 finishers. The Ransomville, NY driver was rewarded with a $6,500 winner’s check in a hectic green-white-checkers finish.

Both Tony Hirschman and Jimmy Zacharias lost top-three finishes when they tangled on lap 198. Daren Scherer pushed Hossfeld to the finish, but had to settle for second. Lee Sherwood, Kyle Ebersole and Earl Paules completed the top five.
Otto Sitterly could not have waited any longer. The New York driver passed teammate Mike Lichty on the last turn of the final lap to win the Budweiser International SuperModified Classic at the Oswego Speedway. It was the only time Sitterly led in the 200-lap race, which is the top event of the year in supermodified racing.

Carl Edwards recovered after a pit-stop penalty early in the race and held off Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night. With the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee bearing down on Georgia, NASCAR postponed its Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway until 11 a.m. Tuesday. Jeff Gordon won the rain-delayed NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his third victory of the season and 85th of his career.

In some sad news, Dick Beauregard passed-away in Hesperia, CA. One of the biggest names to have emerged from Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl during its early history, in a relatively-short Speedbowl career of only a decade he notched pair of Modified titles along with 45 feature victories. In the Non-Ford division he annexed the checkers on 20 occasions. Both controversial and immensely-popular at the same-time, he retired in 1962 as a Modified champion. Also passing was Raymond "Hully" Bunn, 91, of Bristol. His passion for racing spanned over 60 years. He won the first 100 Mile Langhorne National Open for Modified Sportsman Stock Cars, which is now known as the Race of Champions. He also won the first race ever held at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York. His winning spirit on the racetrack carried through to him professionally as owner of B&M Machine Shop and B&M Gem Shop, as well as a proud member of the 7th armored division commanded by Gen. Patton during World War II

That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com

This week are several Vintage photos, Courtesy of SpeedwayLineReport.com & Dave Dykes RacingThroughTime.com
Click on Photo for Full Size


Fred Shultz


Don MacTavish


Bill Scrivener

T
Jerry Dostie

Corky Cookman

Steve "S.J." Evonsion

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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