Sixty years ago in 1953, Red
Foote made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as
he won a 25 lap Sportsman event on Wednesday. Freddy Luchesi was the
Saturday night winner. Lou Tetreault and Tom Van Epps were the
Fifty five years ago in 1958,
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain.
Fifty years ago in 1963, Area
Auto Racing News reported that Rene Charland won a 100 lap Modified
event at Islip and Wild Bill Slater was the Modified winner at Old
Bridge. At the Wall Stadium, Bill Chevalier was declared the
Modified Track Champion and Bill Brice, the Sportsman Champion.
Years later Brice would become a respected NASCAR Official on the
Whelen Modified Tour Series. Billy Harman won what was believed to
be his first race at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry
Dostie was the Bomber winner. The Stafford Speedway records indicate
that Ernie Gahan won the season ending event held on dirt in the
John Koszela Woodchopper Spl. The Rounds family in Rhode Island
claims that Gahan was off chasing points and Koszela put Don Rounds
in the car for the final event.
Forty five years ago in 1968,
Bugsy Stevens, driving the legendary Ole Blu of Len Boehler, closed
out the season and wrapped up the modified track championship with a
convincing win on Sunday at Stafford. Don MacTavish finished second
with Fred DeSarro, third. Fred Harbach and Holly Wilder rounded out
the top five. Leo Cleary made it two in a row at Norwood on Saturday
night and at the Fulton Raceway in New York on Sunday, Richie Evans
took his first of 40 victories he would earn in nine seasons. Ed
Yerrington ended a long dry spell as he won the 30 lap Modified
feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Donnie Bunnell
was the Daredevil winner.
Forty years ago in 1973, the
NASCAR Modified action was in the southland. Richie Evans scored a
one-two punch as he won the Martinsville 150 on Saturday afternoon
and won a 100 lapper at the Caraway Speedway on Saturday night. At
Martinsville, Jerry Cook finished second and was followed by Bugsy
Stevens and Paul Radford. Cook also finished second at Caraway as
Satch Worley finished third with Stevens, fourth. Ray Hendrick,
driving the Dick Armstrong No.1 finished fifth. Hendrick had blown
an engine at Martinsville, which necessitated Hop Harrington and
crew making a hasty motor change. At the Waterford Speedbowl in New
England, Joe Trudeau was the 30 lap Modified winner and Bill Sweet
took the Grand Americans.
Thirty five years ago in 1978,
Waterford ran on Saturday night and it was Roland LaPierre Jr.
taking the win. Eddie Flemke finished second with Pete Fiandacca,
third. Oswego ran their season ending 30 lapper which saw George
Kent brave the cold and hold off Richie Evans for the win. Jerry
Cook finished third with Doug Hewitt, fourth. Seekonk ran a 100-lap
open competition event on Sunday and it was Ronnie Bouchard in the
Bobby Judkins 2x taking the win over Geoff Bodine.
Thirty years ago in 1983, the
Fall Final was a 100 lapper. Richie Evans took the win. Kenny
Bouchard, driving for Ted Marsh, finished second and was followed by
Corky Cookman and Bugsy Stevens. Jerry Pearl won the companion SK
modified event with Kerry Malone, second. In Winston Cup action at
North Wilkesboro, Darrell Waltrip was the pole sitter and race
Twenty five years ago in 1988,
the Fall Final featured the SK Modifieds and Ted Christopher took
the win over Bob Potter and Jerry Pearl.
Twenty years ago in 1993,
Waterford ran a 150-lap event. Ricky Young took the win after taking
over the lead on lap 106 when Bob Potter pitted with a soft tire.
Mark LaJunesse finished second and was followed by Jim Broderick,
Potter and Bob Georgiades. At Riverside Park, Stan Gregger took a
win over Ed Kennedy. At the Fall Final at Stafford, Mike Stefanik
took the lead from Jeff Fuller on lap 83 and went on to win the
150-lap event. Satch Worley finished second and was followed by Rick
Fuller and Jeff Fuller. Steve Chowanski was the SK Modified winner.
John Anderson won the SK event but was disqualified after it was
discovered that his engine had an illegal crankshaft. Hermie Sadler
recorded his first Grand National win at Rougemont, N.C. In Winston
Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Rusty Wallace took the lead with 100
laps to go and went on to take the win over Dale Earnhardt and Harry
Gant announced that he would retire as a driver at seasons end.
Fifteen years ago in 1998, the
Modified Tour Series was scheduled for Flemington but was washed
out. Waterford ran their season finale 100 lapper and it was young
gun, Eric Berndt taking the win. Tucker Reynolds finished second and
was followed by Bert Marvin, Mark LaJunesse and Todd Ceravolo. In
Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Mark Martin took the win over Ward
Burton. The event was stopped midway when sewage backed up and
flowed across the backstretch. Mike McLaughlin won the 300-mile
Ten years ago in 2003, The
NASCAR Modified Tour Series was at the Stafford Speedway with the
Busch North Series for the annual Fall Final. All qualifying was
completed on Saturday but rain-washed out the main events, which
were to be run on Sunday. The event was been re-scheduled for the
following Saturday with a rain date of Sunday. There were 42
Featherlite Modifieds at Stafford. Nevin George was the top
qualifier with a speed of 98.382 mph. Series point leader Todd
Szegedy was a tick slower as his speed was 98.291 mph. Ted
Christopher was third fastest with a speed of 98.167 mph. The
re-draw for starting positions showed Szegedy on the pole with Eric
Beers, outside pole. Eddie Flemke Jr. drew third with Tony Hirshman
and Jamie Tomaino making up the front five. Nevin George drew 7th
and Christopher, eighth. The long awaited return of Reggie Ruggerio
turned into a non-event, event. Ruggerio, who teamed up with Long
Island car owner Gary Cretty had the miss-fortune of having clutch
problems and missed most of the practice and set-up sessions.
Needless to say, he didn’t qualify.
Joey McCarthy took the Busch Pole for the Busch North Series Fall
Final. Mike Johnson was second with Matt Kobyluck, third. Current
series point leader Andy Santerre, who was hoping to sew up the
series title, will start sixth. Christopher, Jerry Marquis and Mike
Stefanik saw double duty. Christopher starts 11th, Marquis, 16th and
Stefanik, 18th. Twenty-nine cars will go to post.
In Thursday night Thunder action at Thompson, Eric Berndt managed to
avoid a serious last lap wreck to sew up his first ever Modified
Track Championship. Berndt knew what he had to do going into the
final event of the point season. With a healthy cushion on second
place runner Todd Ceravolo, Berndt drove conservatively and in the
end finished fifth. Ceravolo, who finished third, could only gain if
Berndt had trouble, which he didn’t. Third generation driver Bobby
Santos III lined up on the front row along side Kelly McDougall.
McDougall, a rookie, had no business starting on the point, as she
was clearly slower than those behind her. Santos got the jump and
looked to be on his way to his first modified win until the last lap
when his hopes ended up in the wall in turn four. Ted Christopher,
who is known to intimidate his competition, put the pressure on as
the pair took the white flag. Christopher took the lead between
turns one and two. Santos took it back in three; Christopher took it
back in four in the run to the checker. Santos bumped with Kerry
Malone and hit the wall, ending his night in 16th spot. Malone
limped under the checkered flag with severe front damage and was
credited with fourth place. Jeff Malave finished in second spot and
garnered enough points to tie with Todd Ceravolo for second in the
final track standings. Sixth through tenth finishers in the 30 lap
feature were Bert Marvin, Ron Yuhas Jr., Matty Adanti, Kelly
McDougall and Butch Perry. David Berghman won the Pro Stock division
track title in fine style as he took the win in his main event.
Other feature winners were Woody Pitkat in the Late Models, Shawn
Monahan, three in a row in the Limited Sportsman and Joe Godbout in
the Mini-Stocks. Scott Bronczyk was crowned the Late Model Champ,
Glenn Boss, the Limited Sportsman Champ and Ray Veins, the Mini
The Stafford Speedway recently issued a notice stating that Bo
Gunning had been suspended indefinitely. After viewing videotapes of
the incidents leading up to the suspension it appeared that race
officials over-reacted. First off, Gunning was not denying that he
threw a punch at Ted Christopher but if one were to view why he did
what he did maybe Christopher had it coming as he did attempt to
take Gunning out and as a matter of fact he succeeded. Gunning was
also accused of assaulting track owner Jack Arute Sr. The video
showed a verbal confrontation between the two. Gunning later
apologized and it was accepted. It was also stated that Gunning hit
another car after the caution had been displayed. The video clearly
shows Ted Christopher slamming into Gunning after the yellow had
been displayed. Race officials took no action against Christopher as
they said they didn’t see it. Evidently race officials at Stafford
are not allowed to view videos of events and are not allowed to let
a recorded video influence their decisions. Bo Gunning is no saint
and he will be the first to admit it but he feels that whenever Ted
Christopher is involved in a situation they tend to look the other
way. Gunning swears he never said he was going to “Take care of
Teddy”. What he did say to Kerry Malone was that he would not race
with him, as he knew he was running for a championship. Gunning made
a similar statement to Eric Berndt and Todd Ceravolo on the final
night for track points at Thompson.
At the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night in regular Dodge Series
weekly racing series competition Dennis Gada got his seventh
SK-Modified win of the year. Gada, who had been involved or
collected in many wrecks during the 2003 season, managed to keep
most of the destruction behind him. Gada started near the front,
which meant that he would have a fighting chance of staying alive in
the point race. Looking for his fifth straight championship, Gada
added 10 points to his lead over Ed Reed Jr. Reed finished sixth.
The action was hot and heavy as Dennis Charette finishing second.
Ron Yuhas Jr., Chris Pasteryak and John Brouwer Jr. rounded out the
top five. Allen Coats won the Late Model war but it was Corey
Hutchins who clinched the Championship. Other Saturday night winners
at the shoreline oval were Dave Zemke in the Sportsman division,
Dave Trudeau in the Mini Stocks and Mike Beebe Jr. in the Legends.
NASCAR made it official the following Tuesday when they announced
that Dennis Gada was officially the New England Regional Weekly
Racing Series by Dodge Champion. It wasn’t a cakewalk by any means
for the four-time Waterford Speedbowl Modified Champion. In 18
events he garnered six wins and 11 top ten finishes. Modified racing
at Waterford can be rough and tumble at times and Gada has had more
than his share of tumbles. Starting in the rear or near the rear
just about every week Gada ran to win rather than just finish as his
record shows. Much of the credit goes to car owner Harry Wyant and
his crew who did yeoman’s work to keep the mighty No.3 on the track
and in contention. For his efforts Gada received $45,000+ in awards.
With one more week to go, Gada stood a good chance of breaking the
track championship record of Al Gaudreau and Dick Dunn who have four
track titles in a row. Ed Dachenhausen, a Waterford alumni, won the
North East Regional Championship. Dachenhausen raced at the Chemung
Speedrome in New York where he won 12 out of the 19 events he ran.
Mark McFarland who raced at the Old Dominion Speedway in Virginia
was named as the National Champion as well as winning the Atlantic
Regional Championship. McFarland pocketed $213,000 for his efforts.
Other regional champions included Tom Seets, Heartland, Mark Wertz,
Southeastern Coastal, Jerry Robertson, Northwest, Rip Michaels,
Sunbelt and Kyle Berck, Midwest. Following Gada in the New England
Region standings were Jeff Strunk, who raced at the Grandview
Speedway in Pennsylvania, Scott Bonney, who raced at the Lee USA
Speedway in New Hampshire, Eric Berndt, who raced at Thompson,
Dwight Jarvis, who raced at Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire,
Bobby Babb, who raced at the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine, John
Fortin, who raced at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Rick
Houlihan, who raced at Seekonk in Mass, Jeff Crowley, who raced at
the Star Speedway in New Hampshire and Kerry Malone, who raced at
Stafford. The top-10 received their awards in Nashville, Tenn. in
early November. The Short Track regionals honor second division
drivers. Ryan Posocco, who raced at Stafford, is the New England
Champion. Aaron Fellows, who raced at the Claremont Speedway in New
Hampshire, finished second. Waterford Late Model Champion Corey
Hutchins finished third followed by Scott Bronczyk, who raced at
In Winston Cup action at Talladega, Elliott Sadler took the Busch
Pole. Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified tenth but had his time dis-allowed
when inspectors determined that his right side body panel was too
low. Earnhardt started in the rear and made up a lost lap to finish
second to Michael Waltrip. Sadler had a good run going until four
laps to go when he flipped violently.
Five years ago in 2008, the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed to Martinsville VA for the
Made In American Whelen 300 which was be the 13th of 16 races on the
2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule.
For many years, the northern contingent has had a stranglehold on
victory lane while southern competitors played second fiddle. Burt
Myers became the first Southern driver to win a Modified tour race
in a NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville since Johnny Bryant in
1985. Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitor Myers changed all
that as he powered his way to victory at the historic Virginia oval.
Of the 43 Modifieds on hand, Myers was fourth fastest in time trials
and for the start, redrew the outside pole, starting along side
another southerner, Bobby Hutchens. At the start Myers almost saw
his day end before it started as he tangled with Hutchens at the
initial drop of the green and triggered a massive wreck on the front
stretch. Fortunately for him NASCAR declared the start false and
mandated a complete restart with Hutchens and Myers back on the
front row. Myers led the restart with fastest timetrialer Ryan
Preece in tow. By the fifth go-round Preece had the lead. Preece
pretty much dominated from then on, at least until lap 270 of the
300 lap event when Myers got by him in traffic. Myers led the final
laps to collect the win and the famous Martinsville Speedway
Grandfather Clock trophy. Preece finished second and was credited
with being the first Northern Whelen Modified. Matt Hirschman
finished third and was followed by Reggie Ruggerio and Ted
Christopher. Rounding out the top ten were Todd Szegedy, Woody
Pitkat, Ed Flemke Jr, Rowan Pennick and Brian Loftin.
Eleven of the original 43 starters finished on the lead lap. Sixteen
caution periods for 88 laps slowed the event. Among those were had
problems were outside pole sitter George Brunnhoelzl III who lost an
engine, Hossfeld wrecked, Mike Stefanik lost a driveshaft, Ronnie
Silk wrecked, Jimmy Blewett had his battery short out, Bob Grigas
lost a rear end, Wade Cole lost his steering, Ken Heagy had rear end
trouble, Andy Seuss wrecked, Billy Pauch wrecked as did Rick Fuller
and Glen Reen. Richard Savory had an alternator malfunction and Jake
The following Tuesday the Hartford Courant reported that NASCAR
officials have made the decision to disqualify Myers from his
victory in Saturday's event at Martinsville. The decision handed the
event victory to 17-year old Ryan Preece who drove Ole Blu, which
crossed the finish line second to Myers. NASCAR officials would not
comment on the situation. A NASCAR official did confirm that parts
were confiscated from Myers' car following Saturday's event and
taken to the NASCAR Research and Development Center for further
In non-NASCAR Modified racing, Tony Hirschman came out of retirement
to win the annual Race of Champions at the Oswego Speedway in New
York state. In True Value Modified Series racing at the All Star
Speedway, Jon McKennedy took the win over Chris Pasteryak and Dwight
Thursday Night Thunder at Thompson International Speedway saw Keith
Rocco clean house as he picked up his fifth win of the season in the
Sunoco Modified division. Rick Gentes resumed his late season
mastery of the Late Models and Scott Michalski continued his hot
streak in Mini Stock competition. Glenn Boss turned his luck around
with a dominating TIS Modified win. Both Jay Macedonio in the Pro
Stocks and Ed Puleo in the Limited Sportsman division enjoyed their
his first wins of the season.
Rocco motored by surprise Sunoco Modified championship contender
Danny Cates to take the lead near the half way mark of the 30 lap
feature. Cates took the early lead with a stout pack of cars
battling from second position on back. When thing shuffled out by
lap five Cates continued to lead Todd Ceravolo and Rocco. Jimmy
Blewett had made tracks to the front and into the fourth position.
Tom Cravenho rounded out the top five. At lap 10, Ceravolo had his
hands full holding off the advances of Rocco. Rocco dove low into
turn four trying to get a run on Ceravolo. Rocco drifted up the
track taking Ceravolo with him. Blewett peaked low looking to make
it three wide. The veteran thought the better of it and settled back
in line in third. Rocco was able to steal the second position from
Ceravolo. Rocco was applying heavy pressure to Cates, who had
encountered lapped traffic, when the caution flew for a spinning
Carl Oberg. Under the caution, Ceravolo relinquished the third spot
to head to pit road. He was not able to continue.
Cates and Rocco went wheel-to-wheel for the first lap of the restart
before Cates, relinquished the lead to Rocco. Blewett took chase of
Cates but quickly became the hunted. Cravenho made a strong move
exiting turn three to get alongside Blewett eventually taking the
position away. Both Blewett and Cravenho were able to get by Cates
as Rocco was getting away from the field. Blewett and Cravenho were
locked in a heat battle for the second position when both slipped up
in the corner. Blewett was able to continue. Cravenho was forced to
lift falling back to third. Cravenho gathered it up moving back by
Cates once again.
In the closing laps Rocco had checked out on the field to win his
fifth victory of the season. Blewett was a distance second followed
by Cravenho. Cates settled for the fourth position ahead of Kerry
Malone, who quietly came home fifth to extend his point lead.
Rounding out the top ten were Bert Marvin, Tim Sullivan, Ricky
Shawn, Josh Sylvester and Woody Pitkat. Ceravolo ended up 18th in
the final rundown.
The Stafford Motor Speedway closed out their Friday night racing
series for 2008. Woody Pitkat picked up his fourth win of the 2008
season in the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Joe Rzeszutek picked up
his second win of 2008 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Mark Bakaj
scored win number 4 of 2008 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature,
Andrew Durand scored his third win of 2008 in the 20-lap Limited
Late Model feature, and Todd LaPorta was a first time career winner
in the 15-lap DARE Stock season. Ryan Posocco clinched his fourth
Late Model track championship with a third place finish with four
more championships to be decided next weekend at the 36th Annual
CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend.
In the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, Woody Pitkat drove to his
fourth feature victory of the 2008 season. Corey Hutchings took the
early race lead and held the lead until lap-6 when Chris Jones moved
to the front. Pitkat moved to second on lap-8 and he took the lead
from Jones on a lap-11 restart. Over a long green flag stretch,
Pitkat was steadily stretching his advantage over the rest of the
field. Several late cautions kept the field tight, with Pitkat
holding off Keith Rocco to the checkered flag. Zach Sylvester
finished third, Ted Christopher finished fourth, and Jones rounded
out the top-5. Heading into next weekend's CARQUEST Fall Final
Weekend, Keith Rocco holds a 14-point lead over Ted Christopher.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, competitors were forced to start off the
night on the wrong foot as they were told that they would not be
receiving their checks for the previous week’s racing because of the
fact that track operator Jerry Robinson was ill and was unable to
sign checks. The Jeff Pearl web site reported a direct confrontation
with track operator Robinson and one of his employees. “I began the
evening approaching official #1 who took the heat and offered that
Jerry was in the hospital passing a stone at least on Friday and
believed that the reason for no checks”. “The official took my
beating graciously and was very empathetic.” Robinson was in fact at
the Speedbowl on Saturday night. Jeff Pearl’s wife approached
Robinson and very politely asked if the drivers would be getting
paid. “He got right in my face (if I had my glasses on I swear there
would be spit on them), and was emphatically told "NO!" she said.
Competitors at the Speedbowl were NASCAR members and its time that
the sanctioning body went to bat for them. Its not right what
Robinson was doing! NASCAR needed to step in. What Robinson was
doing was against everything that NASCAR stands for. Competitors
have shelled out their hard earned money to belong to NASCAR and the
sanctioning body needs to protect them. Rumors had already been
circulating concerning a possible labor type action.
Despite all the discontent the show at the shoreline oval went on.
Keith Rocco won the USG Night 35-lap SK Modified feature. Other
feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Ed Lamb Jr.
(Sportsman), Kyle James (Mini Stock), Jay Palmer (Legends), and
Robert Norman (Super-X Cars).
Starting from the outside-pole, Rocco held-off a determined Ron
Yuhas Jr. to the checkers in leading every circuit of the event.
Point-leader Dennis Gada gave chase for several circuits before
Yuhas bolted into second following a lap-twelve restart.
Rounding-out the top-5 was Gada, Jeff Pearl, and Tyler Chadwick.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Dover Downs Greg Biffle made it a
sparkling 2-for-2 in the Chase for the championship using another
late pass with nine laps to go and went on to hold off Matt Kenseth
and Carl Edwards and bolster his bid for the Sprint Cup title. Kyle
Busch made it eight victories this season in the Nationwide Series,
leading 157 laps and absolutely dominating to win on Saturday in a
green-white-checkered flag finish. Matt Kobyluck and the Mohegan Sun
Racing team locked up their first NASCAR Camping World Series East
Championship Friday at Dover after posting a third place finish in
the Sunoco 150 at Dover International Speedway. Kobyluck, a ten-year
veteran of the series, left the event with a 219-point advantage
over second place driver Austin Dillon with one race remaining on
Last year, 2012, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour traveled to Loudon, NH for the F.W. Webb 100 at
the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Thirty One Modifieds were on hand
for the event. In early Friday morning practice Donnie Lia was the
fastest of the fast as he topped the speed chart in NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour practice. Lia toured the Magic Mile in 28.952 seconds
at an average speed of 131.556 mph. Rowan Pennink was second
quickest in the 95-minute practice session, turning a lap of 29.196
seconds (130.456 mph). He was followed by Ron Silk, Ted Christopher
and Patrick Emerling. Completing the top 10 were Eric Beers, Doug
Coby, Jimmy Blewett, Mike Stefanik and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
regular Ryan Newman.
Lia carried his speed over to qualifying as he won the Coors Light
Pole for the F.W. Webb 100. The two-time tour champion lapped the
Loudon oval in 29.352 seconds at an average speed of 129.763 mph.
Doug Coby, was second quickest with a lap of 29.571 seconds (128.802
mph). He was followed by Ron Silk, Ryan Preece and Ted Christopher.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman turned in the sixth
fastest lap on his first qualifying lap, then bounced off the Turn 2
wall on his second lap. Newman drove to the garage with damage to
the nose of his car. Jimmy Blewett, Justin Bonsignore, Eric Goodale
and Mike Stefanik completed the top 10 in qualifying.
Doug Coby held on in a two-lap dash to the finish to win the F.W.
Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to score his fifth NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour win of the season. In a race that featured lead
changes on nearly every lap early on, Coby took command on Lap 84
and never relinquished the top spot. While he charged to the
checkered flag after a restart with two laps remaining, second-place
running Ted Christopher ended up slamming the wall after contact
from Donny Lia, who went on to take the runner-up spot as the race
finished under caution. Lia, who restarted fourth clipped
Christopher from behind and turned him into the front stretch wall.
Christopher bounced off the wall and careened into the inside wall
that protects the pit area.
Christopher used a few choice expletives to express his displeasure
with Lia's driving. Lia had a different story. “We were gonna fight
for the win and I got a run there on the 3 car [Christopher] and got
into the back of him, unintentionally, and caused a wreck,” Lia
said. “It’s racing, I feel really bad about it, by no means was it
intentional. I got a run and was trying to go to the bottom and got
him in the left rear corner.” Following Coby and Lia across the
finish line were Ron Silk, Ryan Newman and Rowan Pennink. Eric
Beers, Richie Pallai Jr., Matt Hirschman, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Ryan
Preece rounded out the top 10.
Perfect weather, clear and in the low 70's greeted competitors
alike. Prior to the start of the event Boehler Racing Crew Chief
Scott Richards gave Ted Christopher his marching orders. "Turn the
fans on when the green drops and treat the first 50 laps as a
practice session". After starting fifth he ran consistently between
fifth and tenth until the half way break. Following the break
Christopher began his march to the front. By lap 76 Christopher was
in the lead as he passed Doug Coby in turn three. Coby and
Christopher were left to settle it prior to the hit by Lia.
The planned 50 lap break took a lot of pressure off crews to perform
but it robbed the fans of the excitement that pit stops generate.
The only excitement was the possibility of a fire when an individual
who was fueling Patrick Emerling's car accidentally spilled a lot of
gas on the ground. Woody Pitkat, who was parked directly behind
Emerling stated "Who ever fueled the 07 is a retard".
Mike Stefanik, who won the July race in Loudon returned with a new
car and great expectations for a repeat performance. Stefanik
started tenth and got as high as sixth at one point before his
engine suffered an internal malfunction on lap 31 and ended his day.
Sixteen of the original 31 starters finished on the lead lap. In
addition to Christopher getting wrecked on lap 99 Eric Goodale was
also collected in the same incident. Wade Cole started 30th and
finished two laps down in19th spot. Extremely under funded, Cole
stayed out of trouble and all things considered had a good day.
Mike Christopher made his only start of 2012. Starting 28th, his car
appeared to be under powered as he was never a factor as he too was
two laps down at the finish ending his day in 20th spot. Long
Islander Johnny Bush also had an off day as he was also two laps
down in 21st position.
Patrick Emerling, who finished 12th on the lead lap, triggered a big
wreck on lap 92 in turn one that took out Woody Pitkat, Bryan Chew,
Todd Szegedy and Matt Hirschman. Emerling bounced off the lapped car
of Jimmy Blewett.
Donny Lia, who went on to take the runner-up spot as the race
finished under caution, was not penalized for his over
aggressiveness by NASCAR.
There were five cautions for 17 laps. The event went non-stop until
the mandatory stop at lap 50. The second caution was for Jimmy
Blewett who spun between turns three and four. The third caution
came on lap 87 when it appeared that Blewett dropped oil on the
track. The third caution was for the Emerling triggered wreck on lap
92, the fourth and fifth cautions were for the Christopher wreck and
the ultimate finish under caution.
There were 23 official lead changes among six drivers. D. Lia 1-3;
R. Preece 4; D. Lia 5; R. Preece 6-11; R. Silk 12; R. Preece 13-14;
R. Silk 15; R. Preece 16; R. Silk 17; R. Preece 18-19; D. Lia 20-23;
R. Silk 24; D. Lia 25; D. Coby 26; D. Lia 27; D. Coby 28; D. Lia
29-45; P. Emerling 46; D. Lia 47-61; D. Coby 62-68; D. Lia 69-73; D.
Coby 74-76; T. Christopher 77-83; D. Coby 84-100. There were
numerous lead changes within the laps.
Doug Coby leads the point standings by 22 over Ryan Preece. Ron Silk
sits third with Don Lia, fourth. Todd Szegedy rounds out the top
The purse for the 100 lap modified event was $159, 528. With Doug
Coby earning $12,000 plus for his win, a nice amount but when one
considers past winners were earning upwards of $18,000 grand, that
is a big drop. Donny Lia earned $8,600 for second and Ronnie Silk
earned $6,600 for third but the big question is why wasn’t the field
filled, even if it was teams pulling out a backup car just to do a
start and park for the roughly $2,000 to take the green. In the
past, that was a common factor but with the field being short, that
$159,000 purse was reduced by $10,000.
A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway stated that the
Whelen Modifieds would be back for two events in 2013. That
announcement would leave one to believe that Speedway Motorsports
has no intention of moving any events away from NHMS at this time.
The Whelen Modified Tour Series heads to the Stafford Motor Speedway
for the Fall Final this weekend.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night it was a well
deserved week off as track management and competitors prepare for
the season ending Fall Final that is scheduled for this coming
In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl the NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series racing program was highlighted by twin
35-lap SK Modified® features, the premier weekly division at the
track. Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard won the first of the two races, his
fifth of the year, while Tom Abele Jr. of Norwich won the night’s
second feature, his first on the season. Cam McDermott of North
Scituate, RI picked up his second checkered flag of the year in the
SK Light Modifieds. Dan Darnstaedt of Durham scored the Street Stock
feature race win and Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI grabbed his
first Mini Stock division victory of 2012. The X-Car division
competed in an event for their Saturday Showdown Series, won by
Wayne Shifflett of Preston.
Among the surprise entries at the shoreline oval was NEAR Hall of
Fame Legend Bob Potter. The 71-year old is a six-time Speedbowl
track champion. He has been in the driver’s seat giving race fans at
Stafford Motor Speedway the racecar experience in the two-seater SK
Light Modified this season at the track. Potter also won five SK
Modified championships at Stafford and ranks fourth all-time on the
track’s SK Modified win list with 24 career victories, drove for car
owner Pat Doherty in the SK Light Modified feature event. Potter
NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach Fla announced that Lee Pulliam,
24, of Semora, N.C., won the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
national championship in just his sixth year of racing and fourth
year in asphalt Late Models. Pulliam rolled up 22 wins, 30 top fives
and 32 top 10s in 36 starts to run away with the national
championship. He out-distanced runner-up Keith Rocco, 794-748. Rocco
dislocated his wrist and broke a bone in an accident during practice
at Thompson July 29. He had surgery and missed an entire weekend of
Rocco has nothing to be ashamed of as he finished second in the
final standings for the second straight year and third time in four
years. Rocco had 14 wins, 26 top fives and 32 top 10s in 43 starts
racing his asphalt Modified at Connecticut’s Thompson International
Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl. He won his
fifth straight state title and has finished in the top five
nationally seven consecutive seasons.
Only four points separated the rest of the top five. CE Falk III
finished third with 728, followed by Nate Monteith with 726 and Ryan
Preece with 724 Pulliam’s wins were spread among four tracks
including 10 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., nine at South
Boston (Va.) Speedway, two at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C., and
one at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. He placed
third in points at Motor Mile and South Boston running a partial
schedule at each. He also won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
In Sprint Cup racing Denny Hamlin put together a dominating
performance at Loudon. Despite qualifying 32nd, Hamlin charged up
through the field and drove into the lead before lap 100. Once out
front, Hamlin was never seriously challenged as he drove to his
first victory at the 1.058-mile asphalt oval. The victory, the 100th
for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sprint Cup competition, moved Hamlin up to
third in the series standings, only seven points out of the lead.
Jimmie Johnson finished second and moved into the championship lead
by one point over Brad Keselowski, who finished sixth. Jeff Gordon
rebounded from his 32nd-place finish at Chicagoland and finished
third. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne completed the top five.
Austin Dillon completed a sweep of the season’s two NASCAR
Nationwide Series races at Kentucky Speedway with a dominant victory
in Saturday’s Kentucky 300. Dillon led 65 laps, driving his
grandfather Richard Childress’ Chevrolet on the day after the team
owner’s birthday. He beat Sam Hornish Jr. to the checkered flag by
1.059 seconds for his second victory of the season in his rookie
season in the series.
This week are several vintage racing
photos from the collection of the late Danny Pardi, courtesy
of SpeedwayLineReport.com & RacingThroughTime.com.
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: