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11-22-13: Thirty years ago in 1983, Eddie Bohn won the 150 lap Turkey Derby. Tom Baldwin finished second with Corky Cookman, third. Rounding out the top five was Brian Ross and Tont Siscone. Twenty years ago in 1993 Ken Woolley was the overall winner of the Turkey Derby. The big block modifieds had been replaced by the small blocks. Ten years ago in 2003, Jimmy Blewett won two of the three triple 50's that made up the Turkey Derby of the Wall Stadium Speedway. Five years ago in 2008, Down on the New Jersey shore the Wall Township Speedway reopened for the annual Turkey Derby. Wall Township, modeled after the famed Lonsdale Arena Speedway in Rhode Island was silent throughout the 2008 season. The historic speedway received a good shot in the arm and had a successful event which hopefully leads to a grand reopening in 2009. According to reports, Jimmy Blewett roughed up Matt Hirschman on lap 89 to take the lead which led to the 100 lap Tour Type Modified win. Hirschman, who was extremely unhappy with Blewett, finished second. Hirschman had attempted to run the 100 lap contest non-stop while Blewett elected to pit for fresh tires during the event. Steven Reed finished third and was followed by Earl Paules and Tom Rogers. MORE>>
11-15-13: Five years ago in 2008, former champion Rick Fuller announced that he had retired from racing. Fuller, of Auburn, Mass., made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut in the series’ inaugural race on March 31, 1985 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway with a 13th place finish in the Icebreaker. Ultimately, Thompson became the site of his last race when was caught up in an early accident and came home 30th in the No. 77 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Modified in the Xtra Mart World Series on Oct. 19. Fuller compiled 20 wins, 145 top fives, 231 top 10s and 11 Coors Light Pole Awards in 439 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. His win total ranks seventh in tour history. The highlight of Fuller’s distinguished career was his championship season of 1993. A year after his brother, Jeff, had captured the title, Fuller strung together a win and 14 top 10s in 17 starts to finish 93 points ahead of Reggie Ruggiero for the crown. Fuller has become a color commentator for the Stafford Speedway telecasts seen on NESN. MORE>>
11-08-13: Five years ago in 2008, At the Waterford Speedbowl the Hartford Courant reported that Terry Eames would be legally rid of Jerry Robinson on November 30 and that he would be taking an active part in running the shoreline oval in 2009. Eames, who had also had his share of financial problems, leased the track to Robinson for the 2007 season and from the beginning of the season the track had been on a downhill slide. Since Eames purchased the track in 2000. He had not been good at paying his bills and has had foreclosure problems of his own and ended up selling off some of the property the track was located on in order to avoid foreclosure. Eames also told the Courant that he may bring on other individual investors in an operational capacity, but that his own personal involvement in the operations of the facility would be part of any agreements made. In the mean time competitors who raced in the season ending Fall Finale on October 5 had still not been paid.  MORE>>
11-01-13: Thirty five years ago in 1978, Fred DeSarro was laid to rest on November 4. The following day, the Thompson Speedway hosted a benefit race which saw all proceeds go to Fred’s kids and wife. The pit area was jammed, as was the grandstand. The competitors raced for nothing and the entire purse was donated. Bugsy Stevens, who had been a fierce competitor and close friend, was driving the Joe Brady No.41 and was driving down the backstretch on the parade lap when a ball joint broke. Stevens swore that DeSarro had given him a message and became quite upset. Brady's car was towed off and Stevens joined chief starter Dick Brooks and his assistant Bob Gelinas on the starter stand. Stevens dropped the green and the race was on. The event was scheduled for 50 laps. Geoff Bodine took an early lead and was cruising to another win. When Brooksie waved the white flag, Bodine slowed and as the checker waved the next time around, Bodine turned into the infield pit area and the rest of the field followed suit. The Speedway became so quiet that one could hear a pin drop! MORE>>
10-25-13: Forty five years ago in 1968, Ray Hendrick won the first ever 500-lap race for the modifieds at Martinsville. Thompson also ran with Fred DeSarro taking the win. Don Collins won the season ending 100 lapper at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Rick Taylor was the Daredevil winner. Thirty five years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine scored his 54th victory of the season in the Dick Armstrong No.1 as he won the season ender at Martinsville. George Summers finished second and was followed by Satch Worley, Bobby Santos, Charlie Jarzombek and Ronnie Bouchard. Richie Evans annexed his second driving title. It was also 35 years ago this week that Fred DeSarro passed away after lying in a coma for close to a month after an accident at Thompson. Cale Yarborough made it three in a row Winston Cup Championships. Bobby Allison was second with Darrell Waltrip, third. Ronnie Thomas was the Rookie of the Year and Butch Lindley was the Late Model Sportsman Champion. MORE>>
10-18-13: Sixty five years ago this week in 1948, Robert "Red" Byron from Atlanta, Ga. was crowned the first Nascar Modified champion. Sixty years ago in 1953, Herb Thomas was declared the Winston Cup, then called Grandnational, champion. Lee Petty finished second. Joe Weatherly was the NASCAR Modified Champion. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Lee Petty won his second Winston Cup championship. Buck Baker was second. Budd Olsen was the NASCAR Modified champion and Ned Jarrett won his second NASCAR Sportsman championship. Wild Bill Slater closed out the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with a 25 lap win. Joe McNulty was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963, Joe Weatherly won his second Winston Cup championship. Rene Charland won his second of four NASCAR Sportsman championships and Eddie Crouse won the NASCAR Modified championship. MORE>>
10-11-13: Sixty years ago in 1953 Ray DeLisle won the season ending 100 lap Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Delisle was forced to share the winning prize money with Red Foote whom he had dumped in order to take the lead. Bud Matter was the non-Ford feature winner. Ted Swaim was the winner of the third annual Race of Champions at the Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Fifty five years ago in 1958, at the Race of Champions in Langhorne, Pa., Jim Delaney took the win and Dutch Hoag finished second. Langhorne was a one-mile dirt circle dirt track. Red Foote won the 25 lap Sunday afternoon Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963, Dutch Hoag took the win in the 100 mile Race of Champions at the Langhorne Speedway. Budd Olsen finished second and was followed by Wally Dallenbach, Ralph Smith, Neil Haight, Lou Lazzaro and Kenny Shoemaker. George Pendergast made it two in a row at te New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the season ending 25 lap Modified feature at the shoreline oval. Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. MORE>>
10-04-13: ixty years ago in 1953, Dave Roghoff won the 100 lap Fall Championship at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Schreiber was the non-Ford winner. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Wild Bill Slater won the 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford race winner and Turk Hewitt was the master in the Bombers. Fifty years ago in 1963, everybody's friend George Pendergast was the 50 lap Modified race winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. During his racing career George would wear many hats including that of STP representative, Thompson Speedway promoter and Advertising Manager for Speedway Scene, a regional Racing Trade paper. Pendergast was quite a character, to say the least. Dick Caso was the Bomber division winner at the Speedbowl. Forty five years ago in 1968, Bob Potter won the 30 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Wayne Smith was the Daredevil winner. MORE>>
09-27-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Fred Luchesi took the top spot in the final Saturday night Sportsman event that was run at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Tom VanEpps was the non-Ford winner. Fifty five years ago in 1958, rain washed out all racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1963, the Speedbowl was again awash. Forty five years ago in 1968, Fred DeSarro won the season ender at the Norwood Arena. Leo Cleary, driving for Joe Brady sewed up the track championship. Little did anyone know there would only be one more year of open wheeled modified competition at the famed Massachusetts oval. Daring Dick Caso dazzled the troops at the New London Waterford Speedbowl where he won the 36 lap Modified feature. Matt Tinker was the Daredevil winner. At Thompson, on Sunday, Don MacTavish took the feature win. The Thompson win ended up being his last, as he would lose his life in Daytona during the Permatex 300. MORE>>
09-20-13: 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 non-Ford winners. 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. MORE>>
09-13-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Don Collins was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night while Red Foote took top honors on Saturday night. Lou Tetreault went two for two as he was the non-Ford winner on both nights. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ray Delisle was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner and Bob Duffy was the Bomber winner. Duffy ran the Parts Counter at the John Ahr Ford Company in Westerly RI and was the engine builder for Hully Bunns Race of Champions winning car at Langhorne in 1951. Fifty years ago in 1963 Area Auto Racing News reported that Eddie Flemke, in a borrowed car normally driven by fellow Eastern Bandit Dennis Zimmerman, won the season ending race and wrapped up the track championship at the Old Bridge Speedway in New Jersey. Flemke had demolished his own ride, known as the Grey Ghost, in an accident the previous week at the Southside Speedway in Richmond, VA. MORE>>
09-06-13: the New London - Waterford Speedbowl staged three events in six days. Red Foote was the Wednesday and Saturday night 25 lap winner in the Sportsman division and Ray Delisle won a 50 lapper for the Sportsman on Labor Day. Non-Ford winners at the Bowl were Jack Connell, Bud Matter and Tom VanEpps. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Johnny Sandberg was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Other winners at the shoreline oval were Charlie Webster and Jack Wilson. Fifty years ago in 1963, Joe McNulty won a 50 lap Langhorne Race of Champions qualifier at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. McNulty finished 18th in the Columbus Day Classic. Jerry Dostie was the Bomber division winner at the Speedbowl. Racing on the dirt at Stafford was cancelled due to rain. MORE>>
08-30-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fred Luchesi was the Saturday night winner. Bud Matter and Johnny Savage were the non-Ford winners. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Don Collins was the 25 lap Modified winner on Wednesday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Johnny Sandberg took the Modified win and Ted Stack, the non-Ford win, at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Fifty years ago in 1963, Ray Delisle won a 50 lapper for the Modifieds at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night and Don Collins took a 25 lap Modified feature on Sunday. Walt Dombrowski and Jerry Dostie took Bomber events. George Janoski was the winner on the dirt at Stafford. The NASCAR Modifieds had a Championship event at the Southside Speedway in Richmond, VA. Ray Hendrick took the win over Red Foote, Mel Bradley, Eddie Crouse and Sonny Hutchins. The Eastern Bandits didn't fare so well. Eddie Flemke started on the outside pole but crashed out of the event and finished 28th. Dennis Zimmerman started on the pole and ended up 17th and Rene Charland finished 11th. MORE>>
08-23-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Red Foote made it three in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 25 lap Sportsman winner on Wednesday night. Don Collins broke the streak as he took the win on Saturday night. Non-Ford winners were Frank Chapman and Bud Matter. Fifty five years ago in 1958 Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 went two for two at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won 25 lap Modified features on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Dick Beauregard and Ray Moran were the non-Ford winners at the shoreline oval. Fifty years ago in 1963, Area Auto Racing News reported that Wally Dallenbach, driving the Dick Barney No.14 had a ten race winning streak going at various New Jersey speedways. Barney's cars are still in competition today. Dallenbach made it 11 in a row as AARN reported that he won at the Vineland Speedway in the Garden State. MORE>>
08-16-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Red Foote, originally from Meriden, CT went two for two at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won 25 lap Sportsman events on Wednesday and on Saturday. Bud Matter and Frank Chapman were the non-Ford winners. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ray Moran made it three in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night 25 lap Modified feature. Don Collins was the Saturday night winner. Non-Ford winners were Dick Beauregard and Ted Stack. Fifty years ago in 1963, Mario "Fats" Caruso won the biggest race of his career as he beat a stellar field of Modified greats as he won the first annual Trenton 200 at the one mile New Jersey State Fairgrounds Speedway. Caruso had won the night before at Norwood and did an all nighter to make it to Trenton for early morning inspection. Southern invader Ray Hendrick finished second and was followed by Perk Brown, Gil Hearne and Runt Harris. Sixth through tenth were Eddie Crouse, Bill Wimble, Ed Ortiz, Joe Thurman and Eddie Pieniazek. MORE>>
08-09-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Freddy Luchesi was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Delisle was the 100 lap Mid-Summer Championship on Saturday night. Bud Matter and Lou Tetreault were the non-Ford winners. Fifty five years ago in 1958 Ray Moran won his first and second of three in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday. Dick Beauregard and Don Bachand were the non-Ford winners. Fifty years ago in 1963, Area Auto Racing News was promoting what was to be the first Trenton Modified 200 which bring the best Modified drivers from the north and south together for what would become a mid-August tradition.at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds 1 mile speedway. Among the weekly winners were Pete Corey on the dirt at Stafford, Hank Stevens at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Tom Green at Old Bridge, Mario "Fats" Caruso at Fort Dix (New Egypt) and Richie Massing at Wall Stadium. MORE>>
08-02-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Leo Boudreau was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the non-Ford winner. Johnny Thompson, who began his racing career at the Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode Island, was the Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Thompson, a refrigeration mechanic by trade would enjoy his greatest days during the 1960s at the Norwood Arena. Lou Tetreault was the Saturday night non-Ford winner. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ray Moran was the Wednesday night winner in the Modifieds at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner and Turk Hewitt was the Bomber winner. Johnny Sandberg was the Saturday night Modified winner at the Speedbowl. Moran and John Arrigoni won support races. Fifty years ago in 1963 trade publication Area Auto Racing News reported that Eddie Flemke led the Eastern Bandits on a southern swing that took them to the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas Virginia for a 200 lap Modified event. Flemke started 28th and by the time the race was flagged two to go Flemke had taken the lead only to run out a fuel and was forced to give way to New Jersey driver Bob Rossell who went on to take the win. MORE>>
07-26-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Legary was the non-Ford winner. Saturday night winners at the Speedbowl were Ray Delisle in the Sportsman and Bud Matter in the non-Fords. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Sam Mazzella was the non-Ford winner. Wild Bill Slater, who had recently taken over the driving chores of the Bombacci - Vitari Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 recorded his first win, a 50 lapper. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963 Area Auto Racing News reported that Eddie Flemke recorded another win at Old Bridge Speedway in New Jersey. At Riverside Park Speedway the team of Buddy Krebs and Ed Patnode were the winners of the annual 500 lap team race. The team of Danny Galullo and Dick Dixon was second and Billy Greco and Sal Dee were third. Over at Plainville Stadium Jerry Wheeler won the 25 lap feature held over from the previous week because of rain. In the schedule 50 lap Midseason title race driving the #62 Frank Carnmolla Modified, Jerry Wheeler edged out George Lombardo for the win. George Hotchkiss was third, Bob Vivari fourth and Dean Anderson fifth. MORE>>
07-19-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Freddy Luchesi continued his winning ways at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night 25 lap Modified feature. Red Foote was the Saturday night winner. Ray Legary was the non-Ford winner on both nights. Fifty five years ago in 1958 Dick Beauregard was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Delisle won a 50 lap Mid-Season Modified Championship event on Saturday night. Charllie Webster and Beauregard were the non-Ford winners. Fifty years ago in 1963 Area Auto Racing News reported that the Eastern Bandits remained at their home base, the Norwood Arena in Norwood, Mass. Bandit leader Eddie Flemke made a wise choice as he won the Saturday night NASCAR Modified feature. Charlie Webster was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Walt Dombrowski was the Bomber winner. Racing on the Dirt at Stafford Springs was rained out. MORE>>
07-12-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Joe McNulty was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Eccleston was the non-Ford winner. Freddy Luchesi was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval. Bud Matter was victorious in the non-Fords. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ray Moran won the Wednesday night Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. The Saturday night Modified feature winner saw Moran again in victory lane. The event was actually run on Aug 2 because of rain. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963 Charlie Webster was the winner of the 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Kenny Shoemaker was the Friday night winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Forty five years ago in 1968, modified action started on Thursday night at Catamount Stadium where Bugsy Stevens took the win. Stevens carried his winning ways over to Stafford on Friday night where he beat out Fred Harbach for the win. Smokey Boutwell, Fred DeSarro and Frank Faria rounded out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Lou Lazzaro out dueled Phil Spiak for the win. MORE>>
07-05-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, rain cancelled Wednesday night racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. The Modifieds had Saturday night off. Bud Matter won a special event for the non-Fords. Fifty five years ago in 1958 Ray Moran won a Thursday night Fourth of July Special Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. Red Foote was the Saturday night Modified winner at the Connecticut shoreline oval. Charlie Webster was the 25 lap non-Ford winner and Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. Fifty years ago in 1963, Area Auto Racing News reported that Dennis Zimmerman led the charge of the Eastern Bandits at Old Bridge, NJ where he won the Sunday night Modified feature over Frank Myroncuk and Joe Kelly. Eddie Flemke finished seventh in a borrowed car. Al DeAngelo was the Modified winner at the Islip Speedway on Long Island. MORE>>
06-14-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Joe McNulty was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner and Fred Luchesi was the Saturday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Tetreault and Tommy Van Epps were the non-Ford winners. Van Epps showed a lot of raw talent but unfortunately would never be able to show it as he lost his life in an auto wreck the following winter. Fifty-five years ago in 1958, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. On Saturday night at the shoreline oval Red Foote made it two in a row in the Modifieds. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963 at the Utica-Rome Speedway Rene Charland picked up his fourth victory of the year at the Vernon, New York oval. Cam Gagliardi finished second with Ken Meahl, third. Everybody’s fried George Pendergast was the 50 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with Don Collins second followed by Ted Stack, and Dick Dunn. Ernie Rankin was the Bomber winner. Racing on the dirt at Stafford fell victim to rain. MORE>>
06-07-13: Sixty five years ago in 1948 the Norwood Arena in Norwood, MA opened. The Midgets were the headline division. Johnny Bernardi was the inaugural winner. At Cherry Park in Avon, Ct. Ted Tappett won his 11th feature of the 1948 season and 2nd of the season at Cherry Park over Len Duncan and George Rice. The Class B feature was won by George Flemke over Jerry Jerome and Walt Fusco. Sixty years ago in 1953, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl staged events on Sunday, Wednesday and the following Saturday. Joe McNulty was the Sunday winner while Red Foote won on Wednesday and Cy Yates won on Saturday. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Red Foote was the Saturday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the Wednesday night Non-Ford winner while Hank Stevens won on Wednesday. MORE>>
05-31-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Freddy Luchesi made it three in a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night feature. Bud Matter was the non-Ford winner. Red Foote broke the Luchesi streak as he won a 50 lap Sportsman feature on Saturday night. Ted Dean was the non-Ford winner. Fifty-five years ago in 1958, Dick Beauregard, the guy they loved to hate, won the 25 lap Modified event on Thursday night. Hank Stevens was the non-Ford winner. Red Foote was the Saturday night Modified winner and Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963, Steady Eddie Flemke Sr. won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Bill Wimble finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Lee Millington and Bob Zeiglar rounded out the top five. Ernie Gahan made it three in a row on the dirt at Stafford. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ted Stack was the Thursday night 50 lap Modified feature winner. Maine transplant Jerry Dostie was the Bomber feature winner. MORE>>
05-24-13: Sixty-five years ago in 1948, Bill Baker was the Midget Feature at Avon's Cherry Park over Buddy Chase and Rex Records also in the field was Sparky Belmont would would become a familiar name in the Modifieds in the 50's and 60's. The B Feature would see Johnny Kay take the win over Johnny Carpenter and Dick Eagan.   Sixty years ago in 1953, Rhode Island invader Freddie Luchesi scored a one-two punch at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Bob Tyson and Bob Cahoon who both began their racing at the closed Kingston Fairgrounds in RI were the non-Ford winners. Fifty-five years ago in 1958, Ray Moran was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster made it three in a row in non-Ford action at the Connecticut shoreline oval. MORE>>
05-17-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl began its summer schedule which included holding races on Wednesday and on Saturday. Massachusetts invader Red Bolduc was the Wednesday night winner and Red Foote was victorious on Saturday night. Non-Ford winners were Bud Matter and Bob Tyson. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Don Collins was the Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner at the Ct shoreline oval. Fifty years ago in 1963 Rene Charland was well on his way to the NASCAR Sportsman Championship as he made it two in a row at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Cam Gaglairdi finished second with Ed Ortiz, third. The then dirt Stafford Springs Speedway began its second year under the NASCAR sanction with Ernie Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Jim Koehler, Dick Bundy and Don Rounds. Rain prevailed at Waterford and Plainville. MORE>>
05-10-13: Sixty five years ago in 1948, George Rice was the winner of the Midget feature at Avon, Ct's Cherry Park. He was followed by Bob Disbrow, Rex Records, Tony Bonadies, Al Keller and Dee Toran. At Candlelight Stadium in Bridgeport, Ct. 26 year old Mariano Marozzi of Hartford was killed when his Midget hit the guard rail avoiding another car which was stopped on the track. Sixty years ago in 1953, Red Foote made it two in a row in Sportsman competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter was the non-Ford winner. At Plainville Stadium, Red Foote was the Sportsman winner followed by George Lombardo and Ray Delisle. Dee Rogof was the Non-Ford winner ahead of Frank Fiola and Frank Belbusti. On a sad note, 21 year old Arthur Johnson of Madison, Ct. was killed when his car rolled over and he was ejected with the car landing on him. MORE>>
05-03-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, Melvin "Red" Foote was the 50 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter was the non-Ford winner. Fifty five years ago in 1958, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1963 it rained at the Utica-Rome Speedway. It remained dry at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl where Charlie Webster took the 25 lap Modified win over Ted Stack, Tony Mordino, Ray DeLisle and Dick Watson. Walt Dombrowski, who eventually become a Modified standout, was the Bomber winner. At Riverside Park Speedway Billy Greco took the win over Ed Patnode, Danny Galullo, Jocko Maggiacomo and Jerry Humiston. On Sunday afternoon Plainville Stadium got off their Novice feature before the rain came postponing the Modified feature. Elton Hill took the win over Ronnie Wyckoff and Ernie Olson. Both Hill and Wyckoff would go on to stellar careers in the Modifieds. MORE>>
04-26-13: Sixty five years ago in 1948, the Midgets were at the peak of popularity. At Cherry Park Speedway in Avon, Ct. The one legged marvel Bill Schindler took the win over Al Keller, Russ Klar and George Rice. Sixty years ago in 1953, racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl rained out for the third week in a row. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Dick Beauregard was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1963, Buddy Krebs took the 30 lap feature at Riverside Park Speedway followed by Jocco Maggiacomo, Charlie Centenaro, Danny Galullo and Dick Dixon. Jim Luke won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Ken Meahl finished second with Bobby Cain, third. Rene Charland and Lou Lazzaro rounded out the top five. Bill Slater was the winner at Norwood Arena. On Sunday George Lombardo was the winner of the 25 lap Open Competition feature at Plainville Stadium over Ray Sikorski, Tom Casella, Bob Vivari & Bobby Bishop. MORE>>
04-19-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, it rained again at Waterford. Fifty five years ago in 1958, Ted Stack won the season opening 25 lap Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Rene Charland was the Modified winner at the Plainville Stadium. Fifty years ago in 1963, the Utica-Rome Speedway opened for the season. Tom Kotary won the 25-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature. Robbie Kotary finished second with Jim Luke, third. Rene Charland and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, everybody's friend, George Pendergast, was the 25-lap Modified winner. At Plainville Stadium Bob Vivari took the win over Tony Mordino, Rudy Bruzik, Carl Spetts and Bobby Bishop. Adolph Pecka beat out Elton Hill in the Novice division. Danny Galullo was the winner at the Riverside Park Speedway. Walt Czepiel was second followed by Ed Patnode, Ralph Boehm and Johnny Lobo. At Thompson Speedway Bud Crotty took the win over Garvin Cooper and Tony Cortex. MORE>>
04-12-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, rain washed out Sunday racing action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1963, Wild Bill Slater won the Easter Sunday Opening Day 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. followed by Charlie Webster and Hank Stevens. Daring Dick Caso was the Bomber feature winner over Ed Yerrington. At Riverside Park Speedway Don Smart won the 30 lap feature over Sal "Dee" De Lucia, Billy Heeber, Charlie Brayton and Gene Bergin. At Plainville Stadium the winner was Tony Mordino. Chuck Brennen was second followed by Dean Anderson, Tom Cassella. Ron Wyckoff took the 25 lap Novice feature followed by Jim Smith, Elton Hill, Will Schubert and Dave Alkas. Fifty five years ago in 1968, Steve Evonsion won the 50 lap feature over Bart Rocco, Pete Baggie, Joe Wilcox and Danny Galullo. MORE>>
04-05-13: Sixty years ago in 1953, New London native Dom DeLaura won the season opening 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Tetreault was the 20 lap non-Ford winner. Forty five years ago in 1968, Don Flynn scored the win at the Riverside Park Speedway which was a 1/5 mile oval at the time. Don was followed by Bobby Bard, Johnny Cambino, Johnny Lobo and Tony "Jap" Membrino. Bob Potter won the opening day 30 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Dunn was second followed by Dick Caso, Sal Dee and Newt Palm. Ed "Butch" Reed was the Novice winner. Forty years ago in 1973, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Thirty five years ago, in 1978, the Modifieds ran a spring event at the 1-1/2 mile Trenton Speedway. Richie Evans took the lead and the win when Bugsy Stevens ran out of gas with two laps to go. MORE>>
03-29-13: Thirty years ago, in 1983, Greg Sacks rebounded from a blown engine at Martinsville as he won the New England season opening IceBreaker at Thompson. Sacks took the lead from Richie Evans with three laps to go in the 83-lap contest. George Kent finished second as Evans faded to third at the checker. Ray Miller and John Rosati rounded out the top five. Evans, who started on the pole, was forced to pit after suffering a flat left rear tire on the second lap. Sacks, who started on the outside pole, led until lap 46 when Evans re-took the lead. Evans clearly had the fastest car but his hard charge to the front took its toll on his tires. Cale Yarborough was the Winston Cup winner in Atlanta. Twenty five years ago, in 1988, Riverside Park opened their season with a 100 lapper, which was won by Reggie Ruggerio. Mike Stefanik in the Jack Koszela 15 finished second with Stan Greger, third. Rounding out the top five were Long Island invader Tom Baldwin and Marty Radwick. MORE>>
03-22-13: Forty five years ago in 1968, Bugsy Stevens scored his first of many Martinsville wins as he won the Dogwood 300. Forty Years ago in 1973, Paul Radford took the modified win at Martinsville. Richie Evans finished second with Gene Bergin, Ed Flemke and Denis Giroux rounding out the top five. Thirty years ago, in 1983, the NASCAR Modifieds had their season opener at Martinsville. Richie Evans started on the pole and ended up winning the event. Greg Sacks started on the outside pole. His run lasted one lap as he lost an engine going into turn three and headed for the pits. It was not a good weekend for Sacks as he received word on Sunday morning that his sister and brother-in-law were involved in a bad accident on Long Island. His brother-in-law perished and his sister was seriously injured. Evans and Tony Hirschman pretty much dominated the event. Hirschman ended up in second spot and was followed by Brett Bodine, Roger Treichler, Bob Fuller and Joe Mamolito. Ray Hendrick, Martinsville’s winningest driver, announced his retirement. MORE>>
03-15-13: Thirty five years ago in 1978, the NASCAR Modifieds made their annual early spring trip to Martinsville. Richie Evans, who had 143 victories to his credit going into the 1978 season, added another to the list as he won the 250-lap event. Geoff Bodine, who would end up with 55 wins at season’s end finished second. Billy Hensley finished third with Jerry Cook and Brian Ross rounding out the top five. New England favorites Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro did not have luck on their side as they both dropped put with mechanical problems. DeSarro lost an engine and Stevens lost a transmission. Thirty years ago, in 1983, Richard Petty took the Winston Cup win at Rockingham after Geoff Bodine wrecked in the late stages while leading. Bill Elliott finished second with Darrell Waltrip, third. Bodine ended up 19th. Ron Bouchard was 20th. MORE>>
03-08-13: Twenty years ago in 1993, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Richmond for a 25 lap event which served as a preview of an up-coming event. Jeff Fuller took the event over Doug Hevron, Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggerio and Mike Ewanitsko. Mark Martin made the Busch Grandnational event at Richmond a no-contest affair as he coasted to an easy win over Joe Nemachek. In Winston Cup action, Davey Allison beat out Rusty Wallace by 4.38 seconds for the win. Fifteen years ago in 1998, Steve Park, well on his way to becoming a NASCAR Winston Cup superstar suffered a major setback at Atlanta when he crashed during a practice session and suffered a broken leg, collarbone and broken teeth. The actual event, which was run on Monday because of rain, was won by Bobby Labonte. Ten years ago in 2003 Ryan Newman was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Atlanta. Bill Elliott was the outside pole sitter. Bobby Labonte took the lead from Jeff Gordon with 11 laps to go in the 325 lap-400 mile contest. MORE>>
03-01-13: Thirty five years ago in 1978, the NASCAR Modifieds had an early season event at Hickory, North Carolina. Geoff Bodine took the win over Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Wayne Anderson, Gary Cretty, Joe Thurman and Fred Harback. Fifteen years ago in 1998, Jim Spencer took the lead with 25 laps to go and went on to win the Busch Grandnational 300 at Las Vegas. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. Randy Lajoie provided some excitement on the last lap when he flipped. Mark Martin was the Winston Cup winner. Ten years ago in 2003 the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series racing teams headed for Las Vegas. Because of intermittent rain qualifying for both events were run at night. Many of the teams arrived late after they were stuck in an ice storm in Texas. Terry Labonte was the Winston Cup Busch Pole sitter. Matt Kenseth took the lead after a pit stop on lap 237 and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win. Michael Waltrip finished third. MORE>>
02-15-13: Fifty five years ago in 1958 it was the final event to be run on the old beach-road course in Daytona Beach. Bill France Sr. had a vision for a vast super speedway and it would become a reality one-year later when the 2-1/2 mile high banked Daytona International Speedway would be completed and run its first event. On the beach it was Paul Goldsmith taking the poll position for the 49 car-starting field. Goldsmith toured the 4.1 mile circuit at 140.570 mph. Jim Thompson was second fastest with Cotton Owens, Eddie Pagen and Lee Petty making up the top five. Fifty years ago in 1963, Marvin Panch, the driver of the famous Wood Brothers No.21 was testing a prototype Maserati when he lost control and flipped. The car caught fire and had it not been for the efforts of a group of spectators that included Ernie Gahan, Eddie Flemke and southern driver Dwane “Tiny” Lund Panch would have burned up in the fire. The group pulled him from the inferno and saved his life. From his hospital bed Panch requested that the Wood Brothers put Lund in his place to drive in the up-coming Daytona 500 which he won. MORE>>

2012

11-30-12: Thirty five years ago in 1977, the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium in New Jersey was a 150-lap open competition modified event that drew modifieds from all over the northeast. Local favorite Gil Hearne showed his home court advantage as he took the top spot. Ronnie Bouchard finished second. Jim Hendrickson, Tom Baldwin, and Fred Harbach rounded out the top five. Blistering cold and wind greeted spectators and competitors alike. Following Harbach were Charlie Jarzombek, Jim Hoffman, Gene Bergin, John Rosati, Richie Evans, Sonny Seamon, Robert Hendrickson, Ollie Silva, Geoff Bodine and Maynard Troyer. Thirty years ago, in 1982, at the Turkey Derby, Lenny Boyd took the win over Tony Hirshman, John Rosati, Gil Hearne and Jim Tyler. Twenty five years ago, in 1987, Tom Mauser survived to win the Turkey Derby. Reggie Ruggerio finished second with Tony Siscone, Tony Ferrente Jr. and Tom Baldwin in hot pursuit. In a surprise announcement, the Stafford Speedway announced that they would drop the Tour Modifieds completely from their schedule for the 1988 season. MORE>>
11-23-12: Thirty years ago, in 1982, in Winston Cup action at Riverside California, Darrell Waltrip took the pole and finished third behind winner Tim Richmond. Third was good enough as Waltrip wrapped up the 1982 Winston Cup division championship, his second in a row. Ronnie Bouchard finished sixth. Twenty five years ago, in 1987, the Oswego Speedway, the undisputed Super Modified Capitol of the World announced that they had signed a sanction with NASCAR for four Winston Modified Tour events in 1988. A year later, those in power at Oswego would express their feelings that they were not happy with the way NASCAR ran their programs and would not invite them back again. Fifteen years ago, in 1997, Joe Nemachek scored an emotional victory as he won the BGN 300 at Homestead, Fla., a track that claimed the life of his brother. Randy LaJoie finished second and sewed up his second divisional title. Ted Christopher ran strong in the early going but broke an axle and ended up 34th. Ten years ago in 2002 The Busch North Series competitors were somewhat in a dither after NASCAR announced that in 2003, their rules would be combined with those of NASCAR’s Winston West division. MORE>>
11-16-12: Twenty years ago, in 1992, NASCAR’s Winston Cup division saw the end of one era and the beginning of another. Richard Petty drove his last race at Atlanta and officially retired from driving. Rick Wilson was named as his replacement. It was also at Atlanta that Jeff Gordon made his Winston Cup debut. Ten years ago in 2002, The Busch North Series got some good news at their awards banquet when NASCAR Touring Series Director Chris Boals announced that the successful television package with the Speed Channel had been renewed, with expanded national television coverage for the BNS in 2003 and beyond. This was a definite shot in the arm for competitors who were in the process of securing sponsorship for their race teams. The Speed Channel had also announced that they would cover USAC events in 2003. The Stafford Speedway announced plans for a special invitational event for SK-Modifieds and Late Models. Tentatively scheduled for October 11, 2003, with a possible format of twin features for each division plus a grand finale for each, should make for an exciting day of racing.  MORE>>
11-09-12: Thirty five years ago, in 1977, Geoff Bodine capped a successful season with double wins for the weekend. Chemung ran a 100-lap Open Competition event on Saturday. Following Bodine at the finish were Merv Treichler, George Kent, Maynard Troyer, and Eddie Flemke Sr. Westboro closed out their season with a 50 lapper on Sunday. After an all night ride, Bodine took that one too. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by George Murray, Bugsy Stevens, Joe Howard and John Rosati. Thirty years ago, in 1982, the only action was at Atlanta where Bobby Allison took the 500-mile win over Harry Gant. Twenty five years ago, in 1987, the rained out Fall Final at Stafford was run with Reggie Ruggiero taking the win over Jeff Fuller, Brian Ross, Bugsy Stevens, George Brunnhoelzl and Tony Hirschman. For Bugsy Stevens, the day marked the end of his modified career as he stepped out of the Garbarino Mystic Missile for the final time. A NASCAR Modified driver since 1966, Stevens garnered three NASCAR National Modified Championships plus numerous track titles. MORE>>
11-02-12: Sixty years ago in 1952, Dick Beauregard was declared Sportsmen Champion at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl after driving several different cars to the driver points title. The night Beauregard was honored at the track as Champion he received a trophy, a television set, a watch and a cake in front of the Speedbowl crowd. However, the night ended with Dick and Moe Gherzi having a post-race scuffle on the backstretch. Gherzi spun out while racing with Beauregard and Don Collins for position during the feature. As the cars lined up to go back into the pits after the race, Gherzi hit Beauregard's car with his own car from behind, the two then got out of their cars to confront each other. The verbal confrontation gathered a crowd where reports in the New London Day the following day claimed unidentified people were struck by others, but little else was reported. Freddie Luchesi led the division in wins with 9. Don Collins had 7 feature wins including a 50-lapper in June. Cy Yates (3), Ray Delisle (2), Mike Ward and Jim Holt won the other regularly scheduled 50 lap Sportsmen events. MORE>>
10-26-12: Sixty five years ago racing history was made in Rhode Island. Noted writer Pete Zanardi tells it best: Lonsdale Arena, a relatively short-lived high-banked third-mile oval just outside Providence, Rhode Island, hosted one of the of the most important events in stock-car racing history on Oct. 26, 1947. The late Bill Tuthill, the man who organized it, believed “it was the most significant stock-car race ever run.” The race, Tuthill said some 35 years later, “opened the way into the sport for everybody, and without it a lot of tracks that were built for midgets would have gone out of business.” Tuthill was a “midget guy,” part of the huge success the sport enjoyed. Still, he saw signs of trouble ahead. “Big money,” was taking over. He decided to see if stock cars, running with some success on the dirt in the South, could run on small asphalt midget tracks. Lonsdale, with its high banks and 34,000 seats, was the place to do it. Tuthill paid a young radio guy in Pawtucket, R.I., named Chris Schenkel (who went to national fame) $25 a week to help out and the Providence Journal didn’t hurt, especially when Rhode Island native Sammy Packard became the first entry. MORE>>
10-19-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Don Collins broke Ray Delisle's strangle hold on victory lane at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Mike Dooley was the Claiming Car feature winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out the season with a 50 lap Sportsman feature which was won by Red Foote. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins, who won 11 features was declared the Sportsman Track Champion. Ted Stack was the non-Ford Champion. Forty years ago, in 1972, the Modified season came to a close at Martinsville where Bobby Santos put the Art Barry No.09 in victory lane. Mike Loescher finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Bernie Miller and Melvin ”Puddin” Swisher. Rounding out the top ten were Hank Thomas, Bugsy Stevens, Ray Hendrick, Leo Cleary and RE Brim. Sixty-one modifieds were on hand. MORE>>
10-12-12: Fifty five years ago, in 1957, Chevrolet was enjoying its first year with the 327 small block V-8. With fuel injection heads plus a four-barrel carburetor and duel exhaust, the 327 put out more horsepower per pound of engine weight than any engine that would be built for many years to come. Glenn Guthrie was the winner of the Langhorne Race of Champions. In Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Don Collins took the 25 lap win. Mike Banning was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Frankie Schenieder took the big one at Langhorne. Ted Stack won the season ending Modified 75 lapper at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
10-05-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Ray Delisle won the 25 lap Sportsman feature that was run on Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the Claiming Car feature winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957, George Lombardo made it two in a row in Sunday Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Benny Derosier in the Art Tiezzi No. 230, was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Rene Charland won the season ending Connecticut State Fair 50 lap Modified event at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Rain prevailed at Waterford. Forty five years ago in 1967, Donald ”Dutch” Hoag became the first four time winner of the Race of Champions, which, at the time was run at the one mile Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Hoag was a winner at Langhorne on both the dirt and asphalt surfaces. MORE>>
09-28-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Joe McNulty won the final Wednesday night Sportsman feature of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter made it three in a row in Claiming Car action. The shoreline oval shifted to Sundays with twin 25 lap Sportsman features which were won by Ray Delisle and Fred Luchesi. Fifty five years ago in 1957, the New London-Waterford shifted to Sunday afternoon programs. George Lombardo, who normally raced at the Plainville Stadium was up for the occasion as he took the win in the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Dick Beauregard won the 25 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bobby Santos Sr won the 35 lap Connecticut State Bomber Championship. At Plainville Stadium Harry Bliss won the 100-lap Open Competition feature and George Hotchkiss was the Novice winner. MORE>>
09-21-12: Sixty-Five years ago, in 1947, George Rice, who is being inducted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in November, was the winner of the midget feature at Cherry Park Speedway in Avon, Ct. Chet Conklin was second followed by Bert Brooks. Fifty Years ago in 1962, Ernie Gahan made it four in a row on the Stafford dirt winning the 25 lap feature. Rene Charland was second follow by George Janoski, southerner Eddie Crouse and Bill Slater. Bob Leach was the Novice winner. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ray Moran won the 25-lap feature followed by Ted Stack and Don Collins. At Plainville Stadium Johnny Georgiades was the winner of the season closing 150-lap feature. Jack Lecuyer was second followed by Bobby Bard, Hank Williams and Al Jencik. Ernie Olson was the winner of the 75-lap Novice feature. MORE>>
09-14-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Dick Beauregard was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Johnny Sandberg was the Claiming Car winner. A 50 lap September Championship was held at the bowl on Saturday night with Mike Ward taking the win. Sandberg made it two in a row in Claiming Car action. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Don Collins made it three in a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack made it two in a row in the non-Fords. Fifty years ago in 1962, Ernie Gahan made it three in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway followed by Don Rounds and George Janoski. Russ Betz was the Novice feature winner. At Plainville Stadium George Lombardo won the 100 lap feature followed by Hank Williams, Bob Vivari, Russ Faust and Danny Devoe. Adolph Pecka was the Novice winner. George Pendergast was the Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Joe Savard was the Bomber feature winner. MORE>>
09-07-12: 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. MORE>>
08-31-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 the Waterford Speedbowl ran on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Cy Yates and Don Collins were the respective winners. Ray Legary and Bud Matter were the Claiming Car winners. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Johnny Sandberg was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Irwin Fox was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins won a 50 lapper at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Dick Beauregard won a special 75 lap Labor Day weekend special Modified event with Don Collins second followed by Dick Watson and Ted Stack.  Ed Moody and Bill Scrivener were the Bomber feature winners. Ernie Gahan won his first of four in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Gahan was followed by George Janoski, Don Rounds and Bill Slater. At the Riverside Park 5th of a mile oval Gene Bergin won the 200 lap feature followed by Buddy Krebs, Jery Humiston, Danny Galullo and Don Smart. Over at Plainville Stadium Harry Bliss in the Flying 8 was the winner of the 100 lap feature. MORE>>
08-24-12: Sixty-Five years ago in 1947, 7500 fans watched Lloyd Christopher of Miami, Fl. win the Midget event a Avon' Ct. Cherry Park Speedway. He was followed by George Rice and Tony Bonadies. Ralph Lund hit the fence and flipped with the driver thrown on the race track. Lund lost his shoes in the wreck but walked away from the mishap. Sixty years ago in 1952 Freddy Luchesi continued his winning streak at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won 25 lap Sportsman features on both Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Dean was the Wednesday night Claiming Car winner while Harold "Curley" LeMay took Claiming Car honors on Saturday night. Fifty five years ago in 1957, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran on Thursday night instead of Wednesday in order to accommodate a guest appearance of the Lone Ranger. Moe Gherzi was the Sportsman winner and Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Red Foote was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. MORE>>
08-17-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Cy Yates and Fred Luchesi were declared co-winners of a 25 lap Sportsman feature on Wednesday night after a photo finish at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the Claiming Car winner. Luchesi came back on Saturday night to record an uncontested win. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins took another Sportsman win at the Bowl on Saturday night and Danny Gallulo paid a surprise visit as he won the non-Ford feature. Fifty years ago in 1962, Hank Stevens scored a popular win as he took the Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Don Collins was second followd by Charlie Webster, Dick Watson and Dick Beauregard. Ed Moody made it three in a row in the Bombers at the shoreline oval. At Riverside Park Speedway Charlie Brayton was the winner followed by Ned Kenney, Rebel Harris, Frank Blum and Dick Dixon. George Lombardo won his 5th feature of the season. Tony Mordino ws second followed by Tony "Jap" Membrino, Dean Anderson and Johnny Georgiadas. Adolph Pecka was the Novice winner followed by Kenny Orr and Dave Gindel. MORE>>
08-10-12: Sixty five years ago in 1947, the Lonsdale Sports Arena, just outside of Providence, R.I. opened. Lonsdale featured a 1/3-mile high-banked speedway with the midgets as headliners. Lonsdale was also one of the first speedways to hold races for production automobiles, which was the forerunner of what we consider today as being stock cars. Lonsdale took four months to build and was dubbed the Worlds Greatest Midget Track. The chutes were 45 feet wide with a 7-foot bank. The turns were 60 feet wide with a 15-foot bank. Lonsdale ran until 1953 when the track was severely damaged by a flood, which wiped out half of the backstretch. The track was never rebuilt. The remains are still there on the banks of the Blackstone River. If in operation today, the track would be perfect for the modern modifieds as it would be comparable to a mini-Bristol. Wall Stadium, in Belmar, NJ is a carbon copy of the Rhode Island oval. Sixty years ago in 1952, rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Cy Yates won the 50 lap mid-season Sportsman championship at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner. MORE>>
08-03-12: Sixty years ago in 1952, Fred Luchesi was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stu Eidell was the Claiming Car winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the Speedbowl with Bud Matter victorious in the Claimers. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc went two for two as he won Sportsman features at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Dean followed suit as he won non-Ford features on both nights at the shoreline oval. Fifty years ago in 1962, Bill Slater was the winner on dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night over Rene Charland followed by Ernie Gahan, Jim Kohler and Dick Bundy. Dave Frass was the Novice winner. Charlie Webster was the Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday. Ed Moody was the winner in the Bombers. At Plainville Stadium Tony Mordino came back from a two week suspension to win the main event. John Georgiades was second followed by Russ Faust, Rudy Brusik and Ted Bassett. George Hotchkiss won the Novice feature With John Cosmus second. At Riverside Park Speedway Jocco Maggiacomo won the 75 lap feature followed by Jerry Humiston, Billy Greco, Gene Bergin and Danny Gallulo. MORE>>
07-27-12: Sixty-Five years ago in 1947 Ted Tappett was the winner of the 50 lap Midget feature at Avon, Ct's. Cherry Park. Sixty years ago in 1952 Fred Luchesi, driving the Sgambato No.9 was the Wednesday night Sportsman feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Tex Pearce was the Claiming Car winner. On Saturday night, Steady Eddie Flemke who would become a legend in his own time, won the 25 lap Sportsman feature. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957, rain washed out the racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Saturday night at the bowl was a different story as Red Foote took the Sportsman feature win and Squeaky Rogers took the non-Ford win. Fifty years ago in 1962, Rene Charland won the mid-season 30 lapper on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. At Waterford, Ted Stack won the 25 lap Modified feature. Ed Gladue was the Bomber feature winner. At the 5th mile Riverside Park oval the team of Dick Dixon and Danny Galullo won the annual 500 lap team race. MORE>>
07-20-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Billy Tibbert was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the Claiming Car winner. The Sportsmn had Saturday night off at the Speedbowl and it was just as well as the Claiming Car feature fell victim to rain after 17 laps with Jack Stansell being declared the winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Red Foote made it three in a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won on Wednesday night. Irwin Fox was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins brought a halt to Foote's win streak as he won the 50 lap Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Ron Narducci was the Modified winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Forty five years ago in 1967, Fred Harbach scored his first and only win at Stafford on Friday. Dick Watson finished second with Leo Cleary, Fred DeSarro and Bill Slater rounding out the top five. MORE>>
07-13-12: Sixty five years ago in 1947 Cherry Park in Avon, Ct. ran a 25 lap Midget event before a reported 12,000 fans with Chet Gibbons taking the win over George Rice with Dutch Schaeffer third. Some of the name drivers competing included George Flemke, Ted Tappett, Al Keller and Rex Records. Sixty years ago in 1952 rain prevailed on Wednesday night action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Saturday night at the shoreline oval Cy Yates made it two in a row when he won the 25 lap Sportsman main event. Harold “Curley” LeMay was the 20 lap Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Red Foote made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night Sportsman feature. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Rain ruled the roost at Waterford on Saturday night. MORE>>
07-06-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 George Lombardo was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Johnny Sandberg made it two in a row in Claiming Car action at the Connecticut shoreline oval. Cy Yates won a 50 lap special for the Sportsman division at the Speedbowl on Saturday night. Bud Matter was the Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Moe Gherzi made it two in a row as he won the 25 lap Sportsman feature on Wednesday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Red Foote was the Sportsman winner on Saturday night while Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran on Wednesday and on Saturday. Dick Beauregard was up for the task as he won both Modified features as was Ed Moody who won both Bomber features. Ron Narducci displaced Bill Slater from victory lane as he won on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. At Plainville Stadium Harry Bliss was the winner in the 25 lap Open Competition feature over Tony Mordino. Rudy Brusik was third followed by Russ Faust and Dean Anderson. MORE>>
06-29-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Don Collins was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner. Saturday night Sportsman action at the Speedbowl saw Al Riley take the Sportsman main event while Johnny Sandberg won his fifth of the year in the Claiming Car ranks. Fifty five years ago in 1957, the New London-Waterford shifted to its summer schedule of running on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Red Foote was the 25 lap Sportsman winner on Wednesday night and Moneybags Moe Gherzi was the 50 lap Sportsman winner on Saturday night. Squeaky Rogers was the non-Ford winner on Saturday night. Fifty years ago in 1962, Bill Slater continued his winning ways on the dirt at Stafford as he made it three in a row. At Waterford, Dick Beauregard won his first of five Modified features in a row. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. At Plainville Stadium George Lombardo won his third straight feature in the 75 lap Silver Cup Open-Competition race. Harry Bliss was second followed by Bobby Bishop, Tony "Jap" Membrino and Dean Anderson. MORE>>
06-22-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Wes Kingsley was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Everett Harris was the Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc, who normally raced at the Norwood Arena, ventured to Connecticut where he won the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Bill Slater made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. At Waterford, George Pendergast was the 25 lap Modified feature winner. Lou Caso was the Bomber winner. Forty five years ago in 1967, Bugsy Stevens was the Friday night winner at Stafford over Gene Bergin, Bobby Santos, Pete Hamilton and Leo Cleary. It was Stevens’ first win at Stafford. Double features were on tap at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Rene Charland took the opener and was followed by Bill Wimble, Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro and Guy Chartrand. Kenny Shoemaker won the nightcap over Richie Evans, Wimble, Lazzaro and Flemke. Hamilton, who had taken over the Worcester Sand and Gravel No.69 that had formerly been driven by Mario "Fats" Caruso took the Saturday night win at Norwood Arena. MORE>>
06-15-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Johnny Sandberg, who was a R&D Sound and Vibration Technician at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, CT, went two for two in Claiming Car action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Don Collins was the Sportsman winner on Saturday night as rain prevailed before the Sportsman feature could be completed on Wednesday night. Fifty five years ago in 1957, Melvin "Red" Foote was the 25 lap Sportsman feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Wild Bill Slater, who was known for his proficiency on asphalt was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Don Collins was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. MORE>>
06-08-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Charlie Brayton was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Don Collins won a 50 lapper on Saturday night. Lou Tetreault went two for two in the Claiming Cars as he won on both nights at the Connecticut shoreline oval. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins was the winner of the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beuregard was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Ron Narducci made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Dick Beauregard was the 25 lap Modified winner. Lou Caso was the Bomber division winner. Forty five years ago in 1967, Eddie Flemke made it clear that he liked the new asphalt at Stafford as he made it two in a row. Fred Harbach finished second with Bobby Santos, third with Fred DeSarro and Joe Trudeau rounding out the top five. Rain put a damper on action at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. A little further west at the Spencer Speedway Jim Shampine took a Friday night win. MORE>>
06-01-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 Red Bolduc was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Harold “Curley” LeMay took the top spot in the Claiming Cars. Saturday night racing was rained out. Fifty five years ago in 1957 rain washed out the action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1962, Ron Narducci made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Waterford ran a 50 lap Modified event on Tuesday which was won by Dick Beauregard and a 25 lap Modified event on Saturday night which was won by Ted Stack. Ed Gladue was the Bomber winner on both nights. Forty five years ago in 1967, the Stafford Speedway made the official transition from dirt to asphalt with the season opening 100 lapper for the NASCAR Modifieds. Smooth as silk asphalt along with new grandstands and fencing welcomed competitors and fans. Steady Eddie Flemke who was to become a modified legend in his own time took the victory over Pete Hamilton, Dick Watson, Bob Santos and Fred Harbach. MORE>>
05-25-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl began its summer schedule which saw two nights of racing, Wednesday and Saturday at the shoreline oval. Fred Luchesi was the 25 lap Sportsman winner on Wednesday night while Don Collins won the 25 lap Sportsman feature on Saturday night. Following successful racing careers both drivers were inducted into the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame. John Sandberg and Charlie Webster were the Claiming Car winners. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins made it three in a row and four for the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner. A special 100 lapper was run on Thursday (Memorial Day) which was won by Wild Bill Slater. Desrosier was again the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962, Hank Stevens made it two in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Gladue was the Bomber winner. Ron Narducci was the Friday night winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. MORE>>
05-18-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the second week in a row. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins made it two in a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the non-Ford winner. NASCAR incurred one of its darkest and near tragic days when a Mercury driven by Billy Myers in a Grand National (Cup) event got launched into the grandstand, injuring several people. No fatalities incurred but a few days later the major auto makers pulled out of NASCAR Racing. Fifty years ago in 1962 Hank Stevens captured his second Modified feature win of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Moody was the Bomber winner. Ernie Gahan was the Modified winner on the dirt at Stafford. Forty five years ago in 1967 Newt Palm made it four out of five as he won the Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Emery was the Daredevil winner. MORE>>
05-11-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins was the 50 lap April Championship winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1962 Dick Beauregard recorded his third Modified feature win at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Caso was the Bomber feature winner. The Stafford Speedway began their dirt season with hometown favorite George Janowski taking the win. Forty five years ago in 1967 the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY opened for the season. A New England invasion captured four of the top five spots. Mario “Fats” Caruso took the win with Eddie Flemke and Gene Bergin following. Kenny Shoemaker finished fourth with George Pendergast rounding out the top five. Bill Wimble was the big winner at Fonda on Saturday night. Ernie Gahan and Pete Corey followed. Fulton’s main event went to Jim Shampine. For the second week in a row the Utica – Rome Speedway fell victim to rain. The skies in southeastern Connecticut remained clear as Charlie Webster captured the final Sunday afternoon Spring Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl MORE>>
05-04-12: Sixty years ago in 1952, the guy they loved to hate, Dick Beauregard, was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Johnny Sandberg, who in later years would become a Modified standout at the shoreline oval, was the Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Johnny Sandberg was the 25 Lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Joe Rosenfield was the 10 lap Non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962 Hank Stevens was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stevens would become very proficient in the Midgets in later years. Ed Gladue was the 15 lap Bomber feature winner. Forty five years ago in 1967, Billy Blum won at Fulton while at Fonda; Rene Charland beat out Maynard Forette and Jeep Herbert for the win. Rain-washed out Utica Rome and Waterford on Sunday. MORE>>
04-27-12: Sixty years ago in 1952 rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Don Collins was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Benny Desrosier was the 10 lap non-Ford winner Fifty years ago in 1962, Dick Beauregard made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 25 Lap Modified feature. Ed Moody, who in later years would become the assistant tech inspector at the Stafford Speedway, won the 15 lap Bomber feature. Forty five years ago in 1967, the only racing was in New York State and in Connecticut. Fulton Raceway ran on Saturday night with Maynard Troyer taking the win. The Fonda Speedway opened for the season with Pete Corey taking the win over Jeep Herbert and Bill Wimble. Also opening for the season was the Utica-Rome Speedway where Fran Kitchen took the win over Kenny Shoemaker, Bernie Miller, Ray Sitterly and Frank Mathalia. In Connecticut at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Newt Palm made it three in a row when he won the 30 lap Modified feature. Ron Emery was the Daredevil winner. MORE>>
04-20-12: Sixty years ago in 1952, Don Hall was the 25 Lap Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Harold "Curley" LeMay was the Claiming Car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1957 Ray Moran won the opening day 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1962 Dick Beauregard won the opening day 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Caso was the 15 lap Bomber winner. Forty five years ago in 1967, Martinsville ran a 100 lap modified event with Sonny Hutchins of Richmond, Va. taking the win. In the Grandnational (Winston Cup) event, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough lapped the field as they finished one-two in the 500 lap event. The Fulton Raceway in New York cleared away the snow for an open competition event that was won by Lee Osborne. Newt Palm made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 30 lap Modified feature. Jiggs Beetham, who in later years would team up with Bob Potter as his car owner, was the 15 lap Daredevil feature winner. MORE>>
04-13-12: Forty five years ago in 1967, the Grandnationals (Winston Cup) was at North Wilkesboro. Darel Deringer took the win. Forty years ago in 1972, it was dubbed the Greatest Race in the History of Spring. Dick Berggren, Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd conceived the idea of a high paying short track sprint of 80 laps called the Spring Sizzler. It was run at the Stafford Speedway and was such a rousing success; track owner Jack Arute bought the rights to the event. Close to 100 cars and 12,000 spectators were on hand for the inaugural event. Eddie Flemke, a Modified legend in his own time, appeared to have victory in hand until the closing stages when his car suffered a broken water pump, forcing him out. Fred DeSarro had dogged Flemke most of the way took over the point and went on to record the victory. Denis Giroux finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens, Leo Cleary, Jerry Cook, Moose Hewitt, Ray Miller, Bob Santos, Bob Potter and Marcell Corivieu. MORE>>
04-06-12: Forty five years ago in 1967, Newt Palm was the opening day winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. John DeLong was the 15 lap Daredevil feature winner. Forty years ago in 1972, Bowman-Grey Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. opened for the season on Saturday night. Wayne Lambreth took the win over Lloyd Ashby and Jerry Cook. At South Boston on Sunday, Max Berrier took the top spot with Gerald Compton, Paul Walton, Jerry Cook and Ashby rounding out the top five. Steady Eddie Flemke, driving the Frank Vigliorolo No.34 which was the original Bob Judkins Pinto, breezed to an easy win as he dominated the competition at the 50 lap Blast Off at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bob Mott was the Sportsman Sedan winner. Thirty five years ago in 1977, a 200-mile NASCAR National Modified Championship event was run at the Trenton, N.J. Fairgrounds on the 1-1/2 mile kidney shaped oval. Jerry Makara took the win over Fred DeSarro, Satch Worley and Geof Bodine. It was also the season opener at Thompson where Bugsy Stevens was the Small Block Modified winner. Freddie Schulz finished second with Ronnie Bouchard, third. MORE>>
03-30-12: Forty five years ago in 1967, the Dogwood 300 was run at Martinsville to open the season. Ray Hendrick in the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11 cleaned house! Forty years ago in 1972, it was quiet in the northeast as the NASCAR Modifieds were at Hickory, NC. for a 125 lap event. Richie Evans took the win over Geoff Bodine, Gerald Compton, Satch Worley and John Bryant. Thirty five years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens took the Small Block Modified portion of the season opening Ice Breaker at Thompson. Leo Cleary finished second with Ronnie Bouchard, Dick Caso and Ollie Silva rounding out the top five. The event was marred by an accident that took the life of Dave Peterson. This incident was the beginning of a scandal, which led to one of the speedway employees getting put in an embarrassing position when it was discovered that pit sign in sheets were missing, and Petersons name was found added on a sheet where it didn't belong. MORE>>
03-23-12: Thirty five years ago in 1977, the Modifieds traveled to Martinsville for a 250 lapper. Paul Radford in the Wayne "Speedy" Thomas No.07 took the win. Ray Miller finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Bill Dennis and Joe Thurman. Radford also won the Late Model portion of the Martinsville event. Thirty years ago in 1982, forty five Modifieds were on hand for the Dogwood 500 in Martinsville only to get rained out. In Winston Cup action at Atlanta, Dale Earnhardt was the pole sitter but it was Darrell Waltrip taking the win. Ron Bouchard finished 36th after losing an engine. Twenty five years ago in 1987, a somewhat lean field of 43 Modifieds was on hand for the Dogwood event at Martinsville. Reggie Ruggiero was the pole sitter. Little did anyone know but this event would be marred by tragedy. Charlie Jarzombek had qualified out of the top 20 but was headed to the front when on lap six, while coming down the front stretch, his throttle stuck. Charlie, a 20 plus year veteran, attempted to spin the car and in doing so, bounced off the inside curb and shot for the wall at full throttle. After going up and over Kerry Malone, Jarzombek made hard contact with the concrete wall. MORE>>
03-16-12: Forty years ago in 1972, the NASCAR Modifieds and the Late Model Sportsman (Grandnationals) were at Martinsville for the Dogwood 500.Seventy six Modifieds were on hand. Bugsy Stevens, in the Sonny Koszela No.15 took the win over Mike Loescher, Fred DeSarro and Ray Hendrick. Rounding out the top ten were Bernie Miller, Charlie Jarzombek, Richie Evans, Geoff Bodine, Lou Lazzaro and Lew Hennesy. Sonny Hutchins in the Emanual Zervakas No.01 was the Late Model winner with Jimmie Hensley, second. Thirty five years ago in 1977, the Modifieds traveled to Hickory, N.C. for a 250-lap event. Satch Worley, in the Clarence's Steak House No.26 took the win over Paul Radford, Jerry Cook, Wayne Anderson and Dave Nichols. Geoff Bodine, in the Dick Armstrong No.1 lost an engine while running second on lap 212.Attrician was so high that Bodine still finished 12th. Thirty years ago in 1982, the Modifieds were quiet as Darrell Waltrip took the pole and eventual win at Bristol in their spring Winston Cup event. Brian Ross and Bob Garbarino, who had been together as a team for almost ten years, went their separate ways. Shortly there after it was announced that Bugsy Stevens would be driving the Mystic Missile for the 1982 season. MORE>>
03-09-12: Twenty five years ago in 1987, Alan Kulwicki took the Winston Cup pole at Richmond but it was Dale Earnhardt who took the win over Geoff Bodine. Twenty years ago in 1992, Harry Gant came from the back to win the Grandnational event. Bill Elliott won the Winston Cup event by 18 inches over Alan Kulwicki. Jeff Fuller made his Winston Cup debut and finished 14th. Fifteen years ago in 1997, qualifying for Winston Cup and Busch Grandnational divisions at Richmond was rained out. Both events would be started based on points. Jeff Burton started 41st and dominated most of the Busch GN event that is until the last lap, when Jason Keller wailed him. After taking the lead, Keller went into turn three too hard and while he was trying to regain control, allowed Mark Martin to scoot by and take the win. Jeff Green ended up second after Burton and Keller spun together while in sight of the finish line. Ted Christopher started 40th and ended up 17th, three laps down. In Winston Cup action, Rusty Wallace took the win after almost being wrecked by Jeff Gordon. Dale Jarrett finished second. MORE>>
03-02-12: Forty years ago in 1972, Richard Petty started third and took the Winston Cup win at Richmond. Thirty five Years ago in 1977, Cale Yarborough won the Winston Cup event at Richmond, VA. Thirty years ago in 1982, Benny Parsons was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. The event was rained out and rescheduled. NASCAR did not have a next clear day policy at the time. Twenty five years ago in 1987, Davey Allison was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. Geoff Bodine was second fastest. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event was cancelled because of heavy rain and not rescheduled. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Winston Cup event with Ricky Rudd, second. Twenty years ago in 1992, Ward Burton won the 200 mile Busch Grandnational event at Rockingham. Bill Elliott in the Junior Johnson No.11 was the Winston Cup winner. Fifteen years ago in 1997, Mark Martin was the pole sitter for both the Busch Grandnational and Winston Cup events at Rockingham. Martin won the BGN event while Jeff Gordon took advantage of Dale Jarrett's late slip and won the Winston Cup event. On a sad note, George "Moose" Hewitt, a former track champion at Waterford, passed away at the age of 62. MORE>>
02-24-12: Forty five years ago in 1967, the Thursday qualifiers were 100 miles. Lee Roy Yarbrough passed AJ Foyt with five laps to go to win the first of two qualifiers run. Fred Lorenzen, NASCAR's Golden Boy at the time, drafted his way to win the second event and became the first to go the 100-mile distance without stopping for fuel. Lorenzen actually ran out on the last lap and coasted across the finish line. In the 500, Mario Andretti, after starting 12th, led a one-two sweep for Holman and Moody as they won the big race. Lorenzen finished second. Forty years ago in 1972, Dave Marcis and Bobby Allison won the 125's at Daytona. The Permatex 300 for the Late Model Sportsman (Grandnational) was won by Bill Dennis. Grant Adcox finished second. Joe Thurman, Dave Marcis and Jerry Cook rounded out the top five. Also in the 300 and making a good showing was Fred DeSarro who finished 14th in Len Boehlers Chevelle, Rene Charland, 15th, Maynard Forette, 18th and Lou Lazzaro, 21st. AJ Foyt, driving for the Wood Brothers, won the 500. Charlie Glotzbach finished second, one lap down. Jim Vandiver, Benny Parsons and James Hylton rounded out the top five. MORE>>
02-17-12: Forty five years ago in 1967, Curtis Turner in a Smokey Yunick Chevelle took the pole for the ninth annual Daytona 500.Turner toured the 2-1/2 mile oval at 180.831 mph. Second fastest and taking the outside pole was Richard Petty. Petty went 179.068 mph. A total of 56 cars attempted to qualify. Forty years ago in 1972, Bobby Issac in the K & K Dodge took the pole for the Daytona 500. Second fastest was AJ Foyt. Andy Hampton won the ARCA 300 at Daytona. Iggy Katona finished second with Red Farmer, third. Speedweeks in Daytona was the beginning of a big year of change for NASCAR. Bill France Sr, who formed NASCAR, stepped down as President and in his place was Bill Jr, 38 years old at the time. Before he stepped down, France Sr. reorganized the Grandnational (Winston Cup) tour into a 31-event championship program, which eliminated events of less than 250 miles and dirt track events. MORE>>

2011

12-02-11: Forty years ago in 1971, some of those in competition were Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41, Denis Giroux in the Emmerick Associates No.50, Bob Karvonen in his own No.99, Ray Miller in his No.7, Don Flynn in his own No.25, Hank Stevens in the Freddy's TV No.23, Ernie Gahan, Moose Hewitt in the Bob Johnson No.17, Bugsy Stevens in the Sonny Koszela Woodchopper Spl,No.15,Fred DeSarro in Len Boehlers Ole Blu,No.3,Gene Bergin, Ed Yerrington, Leo Cleary in the Mystic Missile, Jerry Cook, Richie Gomes, Lou Austin, Dave O'Neil, Billy and Freddie Schulz, Ralph "Hop" Harrington in the Dick Armstrong No.1, Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55, Bernie Miller, Tony Russo, Winston Barrows, Moe Gherzi, Ronnie Shawn, Roland LaPierre Sr, Ernie Caruso, Lou Toro, Ray Sitterly, Rene Charland, Ray Hendrick in the Tant/Mitchell No.11, Eddie Flemke in the Art Barry No.09,Roger Treichler, Dutch Hoag, Eddie Pieniezak, Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda No.69,Max Berrier, Billy and Jimmy Hensley, Mike Loescher, Paul Radford, Satch Worley, Bill Henry, Hank Thomas, Dick Fowler, Jim Hendrickson, Andy Romano, Phil Libby, Tom Sutcliff, Gary Winters, Wayne Anderson, Bill Scrivner MORE>>
11-25-11: Forty five years ago in 1966, an era came to an end when it was announced that the half mile dirt track at the Stafford Springs Fairgrounds would be paved for the 1967 season. Stafford had been a Friday night hot bed as many of the big guns from New York including Kenny Shoemaker, Pete Corey, Maynard Forette, Don Wayman and Lou Lazzaro would come to Stafford to do battle with the likes of Bill Slater, Bob Janoski, Gene Bergin and Rene Charland. Once paved, Stafford became part of the weekend circuit known as the Circuit of Champions which consisted of Stafford on Friday night, Norwood Arena on Saturday night and Thompson on Sundays. It was the beginning of the Golden Era of Modified Racing in New England. Thirty five years ago in 1976, the Thanksgiving weekend Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium was a true Open Competition Modified event which drew cars from through out the northeast. It was 65 degrees on race day with 63 Modifieds on hand for the 150-lap event. Seasoned veteran Jim Hendrickson, driving the Tony Ferrente Sr. No.x3 took the win. MORE>>
11-18-11: Thirty five years ago in 1976, the Falconi family that was operating the Westboro Speedway tried something different as they promoted a Modified race for mid November with heated grandstands. The Falconi's owned and operated an oil company and closed in the under part of the grandstand and used huge fuel oil powered heaters. Needless to say, the experiment worked, as everyone was toasty warm. Leo Cleary in the Tiger Tom Dunn T-5 led the 50 lap main event from pole to pole. Bugsy Stevens finished second and was followed by George Murray, Mike Murphy, Bob Santos, Pete Fiandaca, Dick Caso and Roland LaPierre Jr. Ten years ago in 1991, the Oswego Speedway was put up for sale with a price tag of $3 million. In Winston Cup racing at Atlanta, Jerry Nadeau was in the lead and heading for the win when he ran out of gas with less than a half lap to go. Bobby Labonte took the lead with less than 100 yards to go and went on to record the win. Nadeau coasted across the finish line in fourth spot. MORE>>
11-11-11: Thirty five years ago in 1976, the Modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Geoff Bodine ended his modified season with a win over Paul Radford and John Bryant. Thirty years ago in 1981, the Thompson Speedway hosted their annual banquet. Taking top honors were Richie Evans, the Modified Champion, Dave Wandzy, the Street Stock Champ and Ron Cote, the late model champ. Special awards included most Improved in the Modifieds, Corky Cookman, Late models, Fran Colson and Street Stock, Jack Crosby. Rookie honors went to Ed Kennedy in the Modifieds, Rick Armstrong in the Late Models and Rick Fuller in the Street Stocks. Dick Williams, who promoted the speedway during the year, announced that he was not renewing his lease. Twenty-five years ago in 1986, Ben Dodge was hired by NASCAR to help out in the promotion and publicity of the Featherlite Modified Tour. Waterford held their annual banquet, which honored Bob Potter as the SK Modified champion and Brian McCarthy as the Super Stock champion. Most improved honors went to Ed Flemke Jr in the SK's and Chuck Zentarski in the Super Stocks. Rookie of the Year honors went to David Gada in the Modifieds and Dave Wheeler in the Superstocks. MORE>>
11-04-11: Fifty years ago in 1961 Wild Bill Slater won the season ending 35 lap Modified feature at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Moody was the Bomber feature winner. Forty five years ago in 1966, Ernie Gahan won the Nascar National Modified Championship. Finishing second in his first year of NASCAR Modified competition was Carl Bugsy Stevens. Ray Hendrick finished third. Don MacTavish was the Sportsman Champion. Following MacTavish in the standings were Wild Bill Slater, Rene Charland, Ralph Earnhardt, Bill Wimble, Tiny Lund, Joe Thurman, Pete Hamilton and Andre Manny. David Pearson was the Grandnational (Nextel) Cup Champion. Forty years ago in 1971, NASCAR declared Jerry Cook the National Modified Champion. For the year, Cook entered 74 sanctioned events. Of those, he recorded four wins and 44 top tens, including 28 top fives. Cooks win percentage was 5%. Fred DeSarro finished second. DeSarro entered 66 events and recorded 19 wins and 31 top tens including 28 top fives. DeSarro's win percentage was 29%.Bugsy Stevens finished third in points. Stevens entered 58 events and recorded 25 wins and 33 top tens including 25 top fives. Stevens' win percentage was 43%. Richard Petty was the Grandnational (Nextel) Cup Champion.  MORE>>
10-28-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Dave Humphrey won the first ever Modified Championship at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in style as he won the final racing program of the year, a 25 lap Modified event. Humphrey, who also took the title at the Seekonk Speedway narrowly edged out Moe Gherzi for the title. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Wild Bill Slater won the 50 lap season ending Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago saw rain wash out the racing at the Waterford Speedbowl. Forty five years ago in 1966 at the World Series at Thompson, season ending twin 50's were won by Sal Dee and Bugsy Stevens. Ed Flemke Sr was the overall winner. Forty years ago in 1971, NESMRA promoted the World Series event at Thompson which saw Supers and Modifieds running together. The Supers of the day were very unreliable which gave the full bodied cars a chance. The 50 lap main event was won by Eddie West in a Super, who had a two lap lead on the field. Don McLaren, also in a Super was second. Finishing third was Eddie Flemke who drove the Mystic Missile. MORE>>
10-21-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Don Collins was the 25 lap Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty five years ago in 1956 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl had a 100 lapper on Sunday afternoon which was won by Don Collins. Leo Cleary, in his first ever appearance at the shoreline oval, was the 15 lap non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961 saw rain prevail at the Waterford Speedbowl. Forty years ago in 1971, The Race of Champions at Langhorne and the Cardinal 500 at Martinsville went head to head because of a previous rain out at Langhorne. Many of the NASCAR Modified contingents at Langhorne withdrew their entries as they were committed to the Martinsville event. Needless to say, both events went off as planned. At Langhorne, it was to be the last ever event to be held at the one mile circle track and it was Roger Treichler taking the win over Jim Shampine. Bob Merz finished third with Graeme Bolia and Lou Lazzaro rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Mike Loescher, Will Cagle, Chuck Boos, Sonny Seamon and Gary Iulg. MORE>>
10-14-11: Seventy years ago in 1941, the Thompson Speedway suffered its first fatality as Tony Willman was thrown out of his midget after crashing and was hit by Howard Bumpus. This was one of the last events to be run before the start of World War II. Sixty years ago in 1951 the inaugural Race of Champions was run at the one mile circular dirt surfaced Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Pete Zanardi wrote the following: New Englanders Hully Bunn and Dick Eagan, teammates in cars prepared by Bob Duffy, were enjoying a successful 1951 season. A $4,250 purse lured them to the National Sportsman Stock Car Championship at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway on Oct. 14, 1951. Promoted by Al Gerber and Irv Fried, it was the first of what became the Race of Champions, for many years the premier modified/sportsman race in the country. It was the culmination of Langhorne’s 25th season. “We had wins all over the place,” recalls Bunn, “We won at Stafford Springs (Conn.), Morristown (N.J.), Bainbridge (Ohio). Dick definitely had more wins than I did.” MORE>>
10-7-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran its final Wednesday night race meet. Charlie Busiere took the 25 lap Modified win and Jim Tourjee winning in the Claimers. At the Speedbowl on Sunday, George Lombardo took the Modified win and Charlie Webster in the Claiming Cars. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Don Collins took all the money as he won a 75 lap Modified event on Sunday afternoon at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961 Don Hall closed out the season at the Stafford Speedway with a win. Red Foote was the Saturday night winner at Norwood. At Waterford, Ted Stack won the 25 lap Modified feature. Ed Moody was the winner in the Bombers. Forty-five years ago in 1966, an era came to an end in Stafford Springs Connecticut as Pete Corey would win the last ever dirt track feature. The track would be paved over the winter months and would open in 1967 with an all-new look and all new competitors with the exception of a few. Corey would never again race in Connecticut, as he would do his entire racing in New York from then on. MORE>>
09-30-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran its final Wednesday night race meet. Charlie Busiere took the 25 lap Modified win and Jim Tourjee winning in the Claimers. At the Speedbowl on Sunday, George Lombardo took the Modified win and Charlie Webster in the Claiming Cars. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Don Collins took all the money as he won a 75 lap Modified event on Sunday afternoon at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961 Don Hall closed out the season at the Stafford Speedway with a win. Red Foote was the Saturday night winner at Norwood. At Waterford, Ted Stack won the 25 lap Modified feature. Ed Moody was the winner in the Bombers. Forty-five years ago in 1966, an era came to an end in Stafford Springs Connecticut as Pete Corey would win the last ever dirt track feature. The track would be paved over the winter months and would open in 1967 with an all-new look and all new competitors with the exception of a few. MORE>>
09-23-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 there was no racing except for Claiming Cars on Wednesday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jim Tourjee was the winner. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Dick Beuregard, the guy everyone loved to hate, won the final Saturday night Modified feature of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, a 50 lapper. Lou Tetreault was the non-Ford winner. The Speedbowl would shift to Sunday afternoons for the remainder of the season. Fifty years ago in 1961 Bob Hall made it two in a row in dirt action at Stafford. Sam Mazzella was the 25 lap Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Daring Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. Forty five years ago in 1966, Pete Corey continued to be the master on dirt at Stafford as he took the Friday night win. Fred DeSarro driving his home built 327 Chevy Sportsman mount won the Bay State 200 at Norwood Arena. Pete Corey closed out the season at the Fonda Speedway with a win over Jeep Herbert and Lou Lazzaro. MORE>>
09-16-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Wes Kingsley was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jim Tourjee was the Claiming Car winner. On Saturday night, Dave Humphrey took the Modified main while Tourjee made it two in a row in the Claimers. Fifty five years ago Melvin "Red" Foote was the 25 lap Modified winner on Wednesday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. The Saturday night action at the shoreline oval was rained out. Fifty years ago in 1961, Bob Hall was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Red Foote took the win at Norwood on Saturday night with Jack Malone, second. Ted Stack, a truck driver for New London Sand and Gravel, won a 50 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ed Moody made it two in a row in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1966, the Fonda and Utica-Rome Speedways closed out their racing seasons. At Fonda, Pete Corey took the win over Jeep Herbert and Lou Lazzaro. At Utica-Rome Kenny Shoemaker took the win over Lazzaro, Jerry Cook, Sonny Seamon and Wimble. Rain prevailed at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
09-09-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Dave Humphrey, who would go on to become the first Modified Champion at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, was the 25 lap Modified winner on Wednesday night. Moe Gherzi won a 25 lapper on Saturday night and on Labor Day, Wild Bill Slater won a 50 lap Modified feature.  Fifty-five years ago in 1956 Don Collins was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Red Bolduc won a 100 lapper at the shoreline oval on Labor Day.  Fifty years ago in 1961, Ted Stack was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Johnny Sandberg was the Wednesday night winner. It rained at the shoreline oval on Saturday night but cleared by Labor Day where Don Bachand put one of the early versions of the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missiles in victory lane. MORE>>
09-02-11: 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 winner. 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 Waterford. MORE>>
08-26-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Wednesday night racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl rained out. On Saturday night at the shoreline oval Moe Gherzi made it two in a row in Modified competition. Dick Dombrowski was the claiming car winner. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Charlie Webster was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the Saturday night winner. The non-Ford division was on strike. Fifty years ago in 1961 twin 25 lap features were run on the dirt at Stafford Springs. Recording victories were Ted Stack and Ernie Gahan. Bill Slater was declared the winner at Norwood after Rene Charland was penalized for rough riding and placed last after a last lap incident. Charland with Slater on the outside, came off the fourth turn, side by side on the final lap. Charland attempted to move Slater up but the Connecticut driver held fast as the two made contact, sliding under the checkered flag. Gene Bergin ended up second with Leo Cleary, third. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Dick Beuragard went two for two as he won on both Wednesday and Saturday. Ed Moody went two for two as he won on both nights in the Bombers. MORE>>
08-19-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Steady Eddie Flemke Sr, who would become a Modified Legend in his own time, was the Wednesday night winner at what was then called the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Moneybags Moe Gherzi, who drove the Garuti Brothers No. 14 was the Saturday night winner at the shoreline oval. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Don Collins was a double winner as he annexed victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and on Saturday. Non-Ford winners at the bowl were Arnie Harris and Charlie Webster. Fifty years ago in 1961, Ernie Gahan was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. He backed it up with by winning the mid-season championship at Norwood on Saturday night over Red Foote, Bill Slater, Leo Cleary and Joe McNulty. It was also in this night that young Dick Berggren won the Novice division consolation. Joe McNulty of Gales Ferry, CT became the fourth different driver from New England to win a feature at the Old Bridge Speedway in New Jersey. McNulty, who just beat out Bill Slater, Red Foote, Ernie Gahan and Dennis Zimmerman, took the lead in the 25 lap event on lap one from Ron Narducci. MORE>>
08-05-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 “Money Bags Moe” Gherzi was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. The Speedbowl also ran on Saturday night where Dave Humphrey would take the 25 Lap Modified win. Ed McAvoy was the Claiming Car winner on both nights. Fifty five years ago in 1956 Gene White, who in later years reburnished fiberglass yachts at the Mystic River Marina, was the Wednesday night 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. On Saturday night, Wild Bill Slater was the 50 lap Mid-Summer Championship. Tony Mordino and Ray LeGary were the Claiming Car winners. Fifty years ago in 1961, Ernie Gahan was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. At Old Bridge, NJ, Bill Slater took a 100 lap win. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Dick Beuregard was the Wednesday night Modified winner. Hank Stevens was the winner at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Bomber winners at the Speedbowl were Fred Latham and Daring Dick Caso. MORE>>
07-29-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl got their Wednesday and Saturday night events in the record book. Johnny Schmitz won on Wednesday and Dave Humphrey on Saturday. Claiming Car winners were Bob Foster and Dom DeLaura. Fifty five years ago in 1956, Melvin “Red” Foote, who lived in Meriden CT at the time was the Wednesday night Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In later years Foote would relocate to the Richmond, VA area and would remain an active competitor through the 1960’s. Squeeky Rogers was the non-Ford winner. Rain prevailed on Saturday night at the shoreline oval. Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan was the winner at the Norwood Arena. Old Bridge, NJ was the Sunday night stop for many including the Eastern Bandits that were led by Eddie Flemke. Promoter Bob Streeter posted $3140 for a 100 lap event. Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 led a New England sweep of the top five as he beat out Flemke by less than a wheel. Ernie Gahan finished third and was followed by Gene Bergin and Elton Hill. MORE>>
07-22-11:Sixty years ago in 1951, Dave Humphrey was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Beebe was the Claiming Car winner. No racing was held on Saturday night. Fifty five years ago in 1956, Johnny Sandberg was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Lou Tetreault was the non-Ford winner. Tetreault won the 25 lap Modified event on Saturday night while Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961, Arnie Harris won the 25 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Caso made it two in a row in Bomber competition. Saturday night racing at the shoreline oval washed out. Forty five years ago in 1966, Elton Hill was the Friday night winner at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. MORE>>
07-15-11: Sixty years ago in 1951, Wes Kingsley was the Wednesday night winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. On Saturday night a young man by the name of Bill Slater won his first ever Modified feature at the shoreline oval. Fifty five years ago in 1956, John Georgiates, who in later years would become a pit steward at the Stafford Motor Speedway where his son John raced and his son-in-law Dan Pardi oversaw the early days of the SK Modified division, was the Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ralph Banning was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961, Ernie Gahan, driving the John Koszela Woodchopper Special, made it four in a row on the dirt at Stafford. Taking the lead on the final lap of the feature, Eddie Flemke went on to score his second victory of the year at the Norwood Arena on Saturday night. Ted Stack won 25 lap Modified features on Tuesday and Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ed Moody and Daring Dick Caso shared top honors in the Bombers. MORE>>
07-08-11: Sixty years ago in 1951, Dave Humphrey, who would become the New London-Waterford Speedbowl’s first Modified Champion, won the Wednesday night 25 lap feature. Dick Foster was the Claiming Car feature winner. No races were run on Saturday. Fifty-five years ago in 1956, Dick Beauregard was the season opening Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner. Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan made it three in a row on the dirt at Stafford on Friday night. At Norwood on Saturday night Larry Antonellis took the win over Eddie Flemke and Gahan. Don Collins, who would record over 100 lifetime wins at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was the 50 lap Modified winner on Saturday night at the shoreline oval. Bill Scriviner was the Bomber winner. MORE>>
07-01-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 Moe Gherzi, fresh off his Saturday night win at the New London-Waterford annexed a 25 lap Modified win on Wednesday night. The shoreline oval fell victim to rain on Saturday night.Fifty-five years ago in 1956, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was preparing for their season opener. The track had been for sale but there were no takers. Fifty years ago in 1961 Ernie Gahan made it two in a row on the dirt in Friday night action at the Stafford Speedway as 4000 fans looked on. Ron Narducci finished second with Jim Koehler, third. Bill Slater was a little off his game as he finished fourth. Slater got redemption on Saturday night at Norwood as he beat out Eddie Flemke and Bobby Sprague for the win. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl raced on Friday and Saturday nights. Dick Beauregard, the driver they loved to hate, won on Friday night with Ted Stack taking the win on Saturday night. Ed Moody made it six in a row in Bomber competition as he won on both nights. MORE>>
06-24-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the Wednesday night racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was cancelled due to rain. New Britain CT native “Money Bags” Moe Gherzi won the 25 lap Modified main at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Fifty years ago in 1961, Emanuel Zervakas won the Yankee 500 NASCAR Grand National event at the Norwood Arena. Ernie Gahan was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Ted Stack returned to his winning ways at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won his sixth Modified feature of the year. Stack also won the non-Ford feature while Ed Moody made it four in a row in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1966, Rene Charland was at the top of his game as he won the Friday night feature at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Frank Mathalia finished second with Pete Hamilton, third. Dennis Zimmerman and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five. Pete Corey mastered the dirt at Stafford. At the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night Jerry Cook took the win over Kenny Shoemaker and Bill Wimble. Charlie Webster won a 50 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
06-17-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the Wednesday racing card at the Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. The Speedbowl did run on Saturday night with Don Romeo taking the win. Fifty years ago in 1961 Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith resigned their positions at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after a board of directors meeting. Wild Bill Slater put the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 in victory lane at the Norwood Arena. George Pendergast was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Moody made it three in a row in the Bombers and Ted Stack won in the non-Fords also at the shoreline Connecticut oval. Forty five years ago in 1966 Don MacTavish took the Friday night win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Jerry Cook finished second with Dick Dixon, third. Eddie Flemke and Pete Hamilton rounded out the top five. Racing on the dirt at the Stafford Speedway was rained out. Pete Corey made it two in a row at Fonda on Saturday night. Newt Palm, who would become one of the all-time greats at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl won the 30 lap Modified feature there on Saturday night. MORE>>
06-10-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford adopted a summer schedule which would see racing at the shoreline oval twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The first Wednesday event was a 50 lap Memorial Day special that was won by Chauncey “Jocco” Maggiacomo. The scheduled Saturday night event fell victim to rain. Fifty years ago in 1961 Mario “Fats” Caruso was the Saturday night winner at the Norwood Arena in Norwood, MA. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ted Stack made it five in a row in Modified competition. Ed Moody made it two in a row in the Bombers and Arnie Harris made it two in a row in the non-Fords. Forty five years ago in 1966 rain washed out the Friday night racing program at the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY. It stayed dry in Connecticut as Bill Wimble was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Jerry Dostie, driving Art Barry’s #909 was the Saturday night Modified feature winner at Norwood. MORE>>
06-03-11: Sixty five years ago in 1946 D. Anthony Venditti saw the fruits of his labor come to life as he opened his Seekonk Speedway on Route 6 in Seekonk, Mass. Sixty years ago in 1951 Ed “Spinner” Smith, who in later years would become a Pit Steward at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, won the 25 lap Modified feature at the shoreline oval. Fifty years ago in 1961, rain washed out the Modified programs planned for Saturday night and Memorial Day Monday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. The Bombers and the non-Fords were able to get their events in on Monday. Ed Moody won what ended up being six in a row in the Bombers. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Forty five years ago in 1966 the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran a 30 lapper. Eddie Flemke, fresh off his Memorial Day win, made it two in a row at the 4/10 mile speedway. MORE>>
05-27-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl reopened with a new asphalt surface with a one lane dirt buffer on the outside. Stu Hillbrem was the 25 lap Modified winner. Fifty years ago in 1961, Ron Narducci was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Ted Stack made it four in a row when he won a 50 lap Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stack also won the non-Ford feature, his third in a row. Joe Maynard was the Bomber winner. Forty five years ago in 1966, Pete Hamilton became the first repeat winner of the season at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Dennis Zimmerman finished second with Eddie Flemke, third. Hamilton and Zimmerman were a second-generation version of the fabled Eastern Bandits led by Flemke. Jerry Cook and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five. Pete Corey made it two in a row on the dirt at Stafford. MORE>>
05-20-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the final touches were being done to the new asphalt surface at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Fifty years ago in 1961, Johnny Thompson was the Saturday night winner at the Norwood Arena. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Ted Stack made it three in a row in Sunday Modified action at the shoreline oval. Stack also won the non-Ford feature while Joe Maynard was the Bomber winner. Forty-five years ago in 1966 New York hot shoe Pete Corey was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Jerry Cook broke the stronghold that New England drivers held at the Albany Saratoga Speedway as he won the Friday night 30 lap feature. Mario “Fats” Caruso finished second and was followed by Dennis Zimmerman, Rene Charland and Gaston Demaris. Crowd favorite Pete Corey went two for two on the weekend as he took the 25 lap win at Fonda on Saturday night over Irv Taylor and Ernie Gahan. Dave Dias was the Saturday night winner at Norwood. MORE>>
05-13-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was closed as the facility was being prepped for asphalt that would replace the crushed stone. Fifty years ago in 1961 Mario “Fats” Caruso won the left over 50 lap opening night Modified event at the Norwood Arena. Rene Charland finished second with Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8, third. Caruso came back to win the regularly scheduled 25 lapper at the Massachusetts oval. Racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was canceled due to rain. Forty five years ago in 1966 Steady Eddie Flemke continued the New England driver domination of the Albany Saratoga Speedway as he won the Friday night 30-lap feature. Dennis Zimmerman finished second with Lou Toro, Mario “Fats” Caruso and Jerry Cook rounding out the top five. At the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night Kenny Shoemaker showed one and all who was boss as he won a 101-lap feature. MORE>>
05-06-11: Sixty years ago in 1951, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran it’s third and final race on their crushed stone surface. Taking the win was NEAR Hall of Fame inductee Don Rounds. Because of extremely dusty conditions it was determined to cover the 1/3 mile oval with asphalt. Fifty years ago in 1961 rain interrupted the opening night program at the Norwood Arena in Norwood, MA. It was announced that Carl Merrill would hold the position of NASCAR Chief Steward. Merrill would hold that position until the track closed in the fall of 1972. Ted Stack made it two in a row in Modified competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stack also won a 25 lap Bomber feature. Eddie Moody won the Bomber feature. MORE>>
04-28-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran it’s second event which was won by Stan Woods. Fifty years ago in 1961 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran it’s rescheduled opener which was won by Ted Stack. Joe Maynard was the Bomber winner and Charlie Webster was victorious in the Non-Fords. Forty five years ago in 1966 Pete Hamilton, who would go on to become the 1970 Daytona 500 winner took the Friday night 30-lap win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Rene Charland finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Dick Dixon and Dennis Zimmerman. The entire above mentioned have since been inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY began its sixth season with Bill Wimble taking a 30 lap win over Ernie Gahan, Frank Mathalia, Eddie Flemke Sr. and Lou Toro. Rain washed out the Sunday afternoon program at the Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
04-22-11: Sixty years ago in 1951 what was then known as the New London-Waterford Speedbowl enjoyed it’s grand opening. The opening of the Speedbowl would fill a southern New England void that was created when the track at the Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode Island was shut down. According to John Brouwer Jr's “A Racing History of the New London Waterford Speedbowl”, it took 40 men approximately 7 months to complete construction, a project, at the time, costing over $150,000.00. The first event was held on Sunday April 15, 1951. That night's feature winner was Bob Swift and the crowd was reported around 5,700, far short of the 8,000 who showed up the week before to watch the first practice session (that highly anticipated exhibition caused a 3-hour traffic delay in all directions). The original track was made of crushed blue stone. Over the first 3 weeks of operation, attendance continually dwindled due to poor spectator visibility through the dust created from the track surface. The owners promptly closed the track and re-opened on Tuesday May 15th with an asphalt racing surface. MORE>>
04-15-11: Forty five years ago in 1966 the Fonda Speedway in upstate New York opened for the season with a 25-lap main event. Lou Lazzaro took the win over Irv Taylor and Ron Narducci. Hank Stevens was the 30 lap Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Martin Shaw was the winner in the Bombers. Forty years ago in 1971, it was all-quiet with no racing. Thirty five years ago in 1976, the Modifieds were at Hickory in North Carolina. Satch Worley took the win over Paul Radford, John Bryant, Wayne Anderson and Jerry Cook. Thirty years ago in 1981, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford was the big modified event of the weekend. With 13000 fans looking on, Bob Polverari raced and beat the legendary Richie Evans to the finish line in the 80 lap, no holds barred event. MORE>>
04-08-11: Forty five years ago in 1966, Lou Toro was the opening day 30 lap Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Bunnell was the Bomber winner. Forty years ago in 1971, the only racing action saw Bugsy Stevens take a 30 lap open competition win at Thompson. Little did anyone know that it was Stevens' last ride in the mighty no.3 of Len Boehler that had carried him to three NASCAR National Modified Championships. Stevens had been hired by Sonny Koszela to replace Fred DeSarro who, after a disagreement, had been let go. Bob Santos finished second and was followed by Leo Cleary and Ralph "Hop" Harrington. Harrington was in the recently purchased Tant/Mitchell Coupe that had been bought by Richard Armstrong. The Modifieds also ran at Hickory, N.C. Ray Hendrick took the win there and was followed by Max Berrier, Joe Thurman and Paul Radford. MORE>>
04-01-11: Forty years ago in 1971, Thompson opened their season with Modifieds and Supers running together. Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41 took the 50-lap win. Lou Austin finished second. Howie Brown, in a Supermodified, finished third. The Supers were very unreliable as most failed to finish. Rene Charland finished fourth and was followed by Bob Karvonen, Ernie Gahan and Billy Schulz. Jerry Glaude won the open competition opener at the Waterford Speedbowl. George Summers finished second and was followed by Joe Trudeau and Walt Dombrowski. Thirty five years ago in 1976, it was all-quiet. Thirty years ago in 1981, The Thompson Speedway opened the season with Dick Williams as the promoter, under warm 70-degree skies. With over 12,000 fans on hand, Richie Evans followed up his Martinsville win with another win. George Kent finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Kenny Bouchard. Because of the huge crowd, Williams added $3,000 to the race purse and paid every non-qualifier $50.00. MORE>>
03-25-11: Forty years ago in 1971, the Modifieds and Busch Grandnationals shared the twin bill at Martinsville. Ray Hendrick was the 250-lap Grand National Late Model winner. The Modified 250 saw on of the biggest wrecks ever as over a dozen cars piled up in turn four in the closing stages. Sneaking thru and taking a surprise win was popular Bernie Miller from Cannestota, N.Y. Jimmy Hensley finished second. Bobby Santos finished third and was followed by Leo Cleary, Jerry Cook and Mike Loescher. Fred DeSarro was the defending national champion and the outside pole sitter. During the opening laps, he and Ray Hendrick banged wheels and DeSarro parked it for the day with front-end problems. Unknown to him at the time, the Martinsville race was to be his last in the Koszela N0.15 as car owner Sonny Koszela was in the process of securing the services of Bugsy Stevens. MORE>>
03-18-11: Thirty five years ago in 1976, Ray Hendrick had a lap on the field at Martinsville when he crashed and handed the victory in the Dogwood 500 to Jerry Cook. Brian Ross finished second and was followed by Charlie Glazier, Harry Gant, Melvin Chilton, Jerry Dostie, Chuck Ciprich and Wayne Anderson. Thirty years ago in 1981, Martinsville was the scene of one of the wildest finishes ever seen in a modified event. Arch rivals Richie Evans and Geoff Bodine banged wheels and bumpers for most of the 250-lap event. A restart, with three laps to go, set the stage for one of the most spectacular Modified race finishes ever seen. With Bodine leading, Evans was on a mission and pulled out all the stops. After taking the white flag, Evans wailed Bodine in the rear hard enough to get him squirrelly and was able to take the lead going down the backstretch. MORE>>
03-11-11: Thirty-five years ago in 1976, the Modifieds paid a visit to the Hickory Speedway in North Carolina. Richie Evans took the win over Ray Hendrick, Satch Worley, Billy Hensley, Billy Middleton and Paul Radford. Thirty years ago in 1981, Harry Gant tendered his resignation from the Jack Beebe Race Hill Farms Winston Cup effort. In his place was New England Modified hot shoe, Ronnie Bouchard. Twenty years ago in 1991, the modified tour opened the season at Martinsville. Thirty-four cars were on hand but the spectator count was down. During practice, Bob Park broke his shoulder after being involved in a wreck. Jeff Fuller took the 200 lap win over Carl Pasteryak, Tom Baldwin and Rick Fuller. Fifteen years ago in 1996, the only racing was at Homestead, Fla. Dave Reszendes in a truck owned by Geoff Bodine won the truck race after a bumping incident with Jack Sprague on the last lap. Bobby Labonte was the Busch Grandnational winner. MORE>>
03-04-11: Last year, 2010 with Speedweeks in Florida and the New Smyrna World Series history most of the auto racing snow birds had headed back north to await the beginning of the 2010 season at their favorite tracks. For the most part race fans and teams endured the cold, wind and rain during their stays in the sunshine state. The racing at New Smyrna could have been better but the somewhat short fields didn’t help. Ted Christopher was off his game a bit as many thought he would clean house in Fla. Keith Rocco had a chance to prove himself but he blew it when he went after Ron Silk. Rocco has a lot of raw talent but he needed to tone it down a bit. A big disappointment was the fact that Burt Myers didn’t come to New Smyrna to trade paint with the northern boys. Myers has become somewhat of a racing personality because of his part in the Mad House reality show on the Speed Channel. MORE>>

2010

11-19-10: Last year, 2009, Howard Hodge reported that Chuck Hossfeld would be driving Ed Bennett's car on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2010. Chuck replaced Eric Rudolph. The Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor to officially honor Ted Christopher, Jim Peterson, Michael Gervais, Jr., Andrew Durand, and Don Wood as the 2009 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions. With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Matt Buckler and Joe Coss serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 40th annual Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the five track champions, it also honored the top-20 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. Other awards that were presented during the evening's festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, Most Improved Driver Awards, Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards, and the Craftsman Mechanic of the Year Award. MORE>>
11-12-10: Last year, 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala in Concord, N.C. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at which Donny Lia and the rest of the touring series champions were honored. The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Gala featured the champions and top drivers from all of NASCAR’s North American regional touring series including invitees from the NASCAR Camping World Series East, the NASCAR Camping World Series West, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. NASCAR champions Jason Bowles (Camping World Series West), George Brunnhoelzl III (Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Donny Lia (Whelen Modified Tour, Philip Morris (Whelen All-American Series), Andrew Ranger (Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1) and Ryan Truex (Camping World Series East) were honored at the end of the week during awards ceremonies at the Concord Convention Center. In a somewhat related matter, Keith Rocco was released as the driver for Eddie Partridge Racing. NASCAR also announced that they were working on final details of televised coverage of a select number of Whelen Modified races with Versus and SPEED. MORE>>
11-05-10: Forty years ago in 1970, Fred DeSarro was officially crowned the NASCAR National Modified Champion. Driving cars owned by Sonny Koszela, DeSarro entered 76 events and recorded 25 wins. In addition to the wins DeSarro recorded 37 top tens. DeSarro beat out Jerry Cook by 776 points. Bernie Miller finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke Sr and Dick Fowler. Ed Yerrington, who would eventually become the NASCAR Chief Steward and later promoter and general manager at Stafford, was the Stafford modified champion. Thirty five years ago in 1975, Jerry Cook who became an employee of NASCAR was the Modified Champion. Geoff Bodine was the track champion at Stafford while Fred DeSarro was the champ at Thompson. Other New England track champions were George Murray at Seekonk, Jerry Dostie at Monadnock, Dick Dunn at Waterford and Kenny Bouchard was the Yankee All Star League Champ. On Long Island, Charlie Jarzombek and George Wagner were tied for top honors and at Islip; Fred Harbach was the track champion. Up in New York State, Richie Evans was the track champion at Shangri-La (Tioga), Maynard Troyer at Lancaster and Sonney Seamon at Fulton. MORE>>
10-29-10: Forty years ago in 1970, the season came to an end with the running of the Cardinal 500 for the NASCAR Modifieds and Late Model Sportsman (Busch Grandnationals). Ray Hendrick was at the top of his game as he cleaned house as he won both 250-lap events. In the modified event, Jerry Cook finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro, Leo Cleary, Bugsy Stevens and Bernie Miller. Thirty years ago in 1980, the Stafford Speedway held their annual banquet. Honored were Richie Evans, the Modified champ, Jerry Marquis, the Sportsman champ and Jim Ward, the Strictly Stock champ. Mike Stefanik was awarded Rookie of the Year in the modifieds and Dan Avery was the Rookie in the Sportsman. Most improved modified competitor was Corky Cookman. Seymour the clown presented his own version of year end awards including a do it my way award which depicted a plaster a hand giving an obscene gesture which was presented to NASCAR representative Bob Smith. When Seymour made the presentation he remarked, "That’s what the Modifieds think of NASCAR". Needless to say, Smith didn't see the humor in it! MORE>>
10-22-10: Forty years ago in 1970, the Supers and the Modifieds ran together at the Thompson World Series. Howard Brown in a Super took the win that saw the race get the checkered flag before going the entire posted distance. Fred DeSarro in the Sonny Koszela No.15 had a special Can-Am set up on the engine and when NESMRA officials saw that an "outsider" might win the race, they ended it. Twenty five years ago in 1985, one of the saddest, darkest days of modified racing occurred a Martinsville when champion and most popular driver Richie Evans lost his life in a practice crash. For whatever reason, the orange No.61 hit the wall in turn three and from then on, modified racing, as we knew it would never be the same. In addition to being a fierce competitor, Evans had the best interest of the division at heart and was consulted by promoters and the sanctioning body on a regular basis. Evans had over 500 wins to his credit along with nine national championships. With heavy hearts, the show at Martinsville went on because he would have wanted it to. John Bryant took the win over Bugsy Stevens, Tom Baldwin, George Kent, Doug Hevron, Brian Ross, Tony Hirschman and Jamie Tomaino. MORE>>
10-15-10: Sixty years ago, in 1950, Ralph Moody won a scheduled modified race at Thompson. Forty five years ago in 1965 promoters Al Gerber and Irv Fried paved the legendary Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway, a dirt oval since 1926. Pete Zanardi, a close friend of Bill Slater, wrote the following: Jim McElreath won in a champ car on June 20 and again Aug. 8. The Modifieds got their chance in the $23,000 National Open Oct. 12. Gerber and Fried brought the National Open to Langhorne in 1951 and very soon it was seen as “the poor man’s Indianapolis.” A few tons of asphalt wasn’t going to change that. Sixty-two Modifieds lined up behind pole sitter Dutch Hoag. Ron Lux set fast time, but Dutch Hoag’s guaranteed starter status put him on the pin. A number of tracks sent “guaranteed starters” to Langhorne, a key in the event’s stature. Bill Slater survived a multitude of crashes to carry away the gigantic trophy. The final 20 laps were especially crazy. Coming from 18th, Slater, in the legendary V8, led only the final two of what turned out to be 128 laps because of the reds and yellows. “Langhorne demanded a reliable car and it demanded patience. MORE>>
10-08-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Dutch Hoag, a Modified legend in his own time, won the Race of Champions on the one mile dirt track in Langhorne, PA. Dick Tobias finished second with Wally Dallenbach, third. Bob Malzahn and Carl Van Horn rounded out the top five. George Pendergast won the season ending 25 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner and Dick Dunn was victorious in the Bombers. Don Collins was crowned the track’s Modified Champion. Ted Stack was the non-Ford Champion and Newt Palm was the Bomber Champion. Forty five years ago in 1965, the Langhorne Speedway, formerly a one-mile circle dirt track, was paved. Langhorne was the site of the annual Race of Champions, which attracted close to 200 modifieds; the best there was east of the Mississippi River. Taking the win was New England top dog Wild Bill Slater. Slater, who had won just about everything there was to win became a New England legend that day as he drove his famous Connecticut Valley Rocket, the V-8, to an undisputed win. MORE>>
10-01-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 George Pendergast scored a 50 lap win at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Moran won in the non-Fords and Ed Moody in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1965 Don Collins won a 50 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Sunday. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber winner. Johnny Thompson was the winner at the Norwood Arena. Forty years ago in 1970, cousin’s Merv and Roger Treichler finished one-two in the Race of Champions at Langhorne. Finishing third was an outlaw driver from Rome, N.Y. by the name of Richie Evans. Dick Watson won the season ending 36 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bob Gada SR was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Walt Dombrowski was crowned the Modified Champion at the Speedbowl. Ron Cote was the Late Model Daredevil Champion. Thirty five years ago in 1975, the Race of Champions moved to Trenton in 1972 and it was still the race to win. Ray Hendrick, driving a Dick Armstrong owned Mustang took the win over Merv Treichler, Bugsy Stevens, Charlie Jarzombek and Richie Evans. MORE>>
09-24-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Ernie Gahan closed out the season at the Stafford Springs Speedway with a win on the dirt. Don Collins scored a one – two punch at the Waterford Speedbowl as he scored wins in the Modifieds and non- Fords. Ed Moody won in the Bombers. Forty-five years ago in 1965, Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket No. V-8 won the first ever-open wheel Modified race at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. Bob Bahre, who purchased the speedway in 1964, tore down the original wooden grandstand and erected a new steel high rise grandstand that would hold 15,000. New York driving legend Pete Corey scored his fourth win on the dirt at Stafford on Friday night. Dick Watson registered a 50-lap win at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber winner and Bob Lee was the Late Model Daredevil winner. MORE>>
09-17-10: Fifty years ago in 1960, George Janoski, a local favorite, was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Dick Watson was the 25 lap Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ray Moran was the non-Ford winner and Dick Dunn took the win in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1965 the Stafford Springs Speedway was quiet. Newt Palm won the 30 lap September Championship at the Waterford Speedbowl. Daring Dick Caso won in the Bombers and Bill Scrivner was the Late Model Daredevil winner. The Albany-Saratoga Speedway wound up their inaugural season with a 100 lapper which was won by Dick Dixon. Don Collins finished second followed by Frank Mathalia and Don Flynn. Billy Greco was crowned the track’s first Modified Champion. Lou Lazzaro was the winner at Fonda and at Norwood Mario “Fats” Caruso was the Modified winner while Johnny Thompson was the Sportsman winner. At the Utica-Rome Speedway Richie Evans scored his first career Modified win over Sonny Seamon and Bernie Miller. MORE>>
09-10-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Ron Narducci scored his second win of the year on the dirt at Stafford. Wild Bill Slater who had left the Waterford Speedbowl for greener pastures at the Norwood Arena returned to his old haunts on Wednesday night and won the Modified feature at the shoreline oval. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Ed Moody prevailed in the Bombers. Don Collins resumed his winning ways on Saturday night. Forty-five years ago in 1965 there was no racing on the dirt at Stafford. Charlie Webster was the 30 lap Modified winner at Waterford. Eddie Bunnell was the winner in the Bombers. Rene Charland was the winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway over Tom Kotary and Jerry Cook. Forty years ago in 1970, the Thompson Speedway ran their first and only 500 lap modified event. Forty-two cars started and after a long grind, Bugsy Steven’s was first across the stripe. Bernie Miller finished second and was followed by Ed Yerrington, Fred DeSarro, Jimmy Griffin, Johnny Thompson and Bob Karvonen. Other weekend action saw Stevens take the win at Stafford over Yerrington, Jerry Cook and Leo Cleary and at Utica-Rome where Ray Sitterly took the win over Lou Lazzaro, Dave Lape and Cook who flew in from Thompson. MORE>>
09-03-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Ernie Gahan, one of the chosen few to win on both dirt and asphalt at Stafford took the Friday night win on the dirt. Gahan continued his hot streak over to Saturday night at Norwood where he took his second win of the weekend. Bill Slater finished second with Red Foote, third. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran on three different days, Wednesday, with Don Collins taking the Modified win, Collins again on Saturday and Billy Harman on Sunday. Forty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble scored his seventh win on the dirt at Stafford. Sal Dee was the 75 lap Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday night. Charlie Webster was the Sunday Modified winner. Back then, a track could run two nights a week and make money! Twin 50’s were run at the Albany – Saratoga Speedway. Elton Hill won the first 50 and was followed by Jerry Humiston, Billy Greco and Don Flynn. Greco won the second 50 with Flynn, 2nd. Ed Patnoad finished third with Humiston, fourth. Fonda was shut down for a fair. The New Yorker 400 at the Utica – Rome Speedway was split into two, 200 lap events. Rene Charland, with two second place finishes, was declared the overall winner. MORE>>
08-27-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Lionel Arel was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Don Collins was the Wednesday night Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm was the winner in the Bombers. George Pendergast was the Modified winner at the Bowl on Saturday night. Stack repeated in the non-Fords and Dick Dunn was the Bomber feature winner. Forty five years ago in 1965 Pete Corey was the Modified feature winner at Stafford on Friday night. Bob Potter was the Modified winner at Waterford. Charlie Krashen was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Don Flynn was a surprise winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Sunday. Tony Mordino finished second followed by Mike Nelson and Eddie Flemke. Rain prevailed at Fonda while Jerry Cook got his sixth win of the year at the Utica – Rome Speedway. Forty years ago in 1970 the long Labor Day weekend began at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. on Friday night. Double features were on tap, which would settle the track title. Fred DeSarro recorded a fourth and a fifth as he sewed up the modified track championship. Guy Chartrand in the Ed Cloce Hemi-Cuda won the first one and was followed by Jerry Cook and Dave Lape. MORE>>
08-20-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 the rains descended on the Stafford Springs Speedway turning the track into a mud bog. Dick Beauregard recorded 25 lap Modified wins at the Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Stack and Ed Moody followed suit as they recorded wins in the non-Ford and Bomber divisions respectively. Forty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble made it four in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. Dick Dunn took the checkers at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Charlie Savage, who would become the first SK Modified Champion when the division was formed at Stafford, was the Bomber feature winner. Steady Eddie Flemke won the first ever extra distance Modified event, a 100 lapper, at the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY. Frank Mathalia finished second and was followed by Billy Harman and Elton Hill. Kenny Shoemaker made it two in a row at the Fonda Speedway as he won a 100 lapper. At Utica – Rome rain prevailed for the third time of the season. MORE>>
08-13-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Ron Narducci broke into victory lane at Stafford as he scored a win on the dirt in Friday night Modified action. Tommy Fenley, who had won four in a row at Stafford, hooked a rut in turn 1 and flipped completely out of the track and into the woods. Ted Stack scored a clean sweep at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won both Wednesday and Saturday night Modified events. Forty five years ago in 1965 rain washed out the racing action at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Charlie Webster was the Modified victor at Waterford. Bill Scrivner was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Kenny Shoemaker scored his fifth win at Fonda and at Utica-Rome Rene Charland ended a dry spell as he won out over Tom and Dave Kotary. Forty years ago in 1970, the All Star League moved into the 1/5 mile Islip Speedway on Wednesday. Richie Evans took the 100-lap win over George Brunnhoelzl, Jim Hendrickson, Gary Winters, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke. In regular Friday night action at Malta, Fred DeSarro beat out Rene Charland and Dick Fowler for the win. DeSarro carried his win streak to Stafford on Saturday night where he won a 50-lap double point event over Eddie Flemke and Leo Cleary. Jerry Pennock and Eddie Pieniezak split the twin 25's at Fonda and at Plattsburg; Canadian Andre Manny took the victory. MORE>>
08-06-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 rain was the big winner at Stafford Springs on Friday night. Ted Stack won the Modified and Non-Ford features on Wednesday night at the Waterford Speedbowl. Newt Palm was the Bomber winner. Don Collins, Dick Beauregard and Ed Moody were the Saturday night winners. Forty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble made it three in a row in Friday night Modified action on the dirt at Stafford. Newt Palm was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Glaude was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Elton Hill was the 25 lap Modified feature winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY on Sunday. Frank Manafort finished second and was followed by Danny Gallulo and Dick Dixon. Robbie Kotary won at Fonda while Utica – Rome fell victim to rain. MORE>>
07-31-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley made it four in a row in Friday night competition on the dirt at Stafford Springs. Rain washed out the Wednesday and Saturday night racing programs at the Waterford Speedbowl. Forty-five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble made it three in a row at the Stafford Springs Speedway as the New Yorkers continued to dominate the competition at the Connecticut oval. Sal Dee, who had been shutout of the winner’s circle at the Waterford Speedbowl since winning on opening day, took the 30 lap Modified win at the shoreline oval. In United Modified action at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Billy Greco won his second feature of the year. Elton Hill finished second with Ed Patnode, third and Dick Dixon, fourth. Bob Bruno won at the Fonda Speedway and at the Utica – Rome Speedway Jerry Cook won an unprecedented three in a row as he raced to the top spot in a 150 lapper at the central New York oval. Forty years ago in 1970, the All Star League traveled to New Jersey for two mid week events. On Tuesday at Wall Stadium, local runner Don Stives took the win over Maynard Troyer. MORE>>
07-24-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley, one of the all time greats that raced at the Kingston Fairgrounds in Southern Rhode Island made it three in a row at Stafford Springs on Friday night. Ted Stack was the Wednesday night Modified winner at what was then called the New London – Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm was the Bomber winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Modified winner at the shoreline oval. Stack was the non-Ford winner and Palm repeated in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble kept the locals at bay as he took the Modified feature at Stafford on Friday night. Don Collins was the Modified winner at Waterford. Bill Scrivner made it two in a row in the Bombers. . Dick Dixon was the 25 lap Modified feature win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Bill Gurney was second with Lou Carangelo, third. Lou Lazzaro won a 100 lapper at the Fonda Speedway while Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell was cleaning house at Norwood. Jerry Cook made it two in a row at Utica-Rome as he beat out Tom and Dave Kotary for the win. MORE>>
07-16-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford Springs. Dick Beauregard was the Wednesday night winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. He carried his win streak to Saturday night when he won again. Also recording wins on Saturday night was Hank Stevens in the non-Fords and Eddie Moody in the Bombers. Freddie Schultz was the big winner at the Norwood Arena. Forty five years ago in 1965 the ever popular Pete Corey took the Friday night win at Stafford Springs. Joe Trudeau scored a popular win at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Bill Scrivner was the Bomber feature winner. A new speedway in the northeast made its debut. Joe Lesik built a 4/10 asphalt oval in Malta, NY. He tried for a NASCAR sanction but was denied. He aligned his track with the United Stock Car Club of Harvey Tattersall for the first year of racing. The speedway, which in coming years would see the best of New York state and New England do battle, opened on July 16. Billy Greco took the opener and was followed by Don Flynn, Ed Patnode and Jerry Humiston. MORE>>
07-10-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley, a former competitor at the half mile Kingston Fairgrounds in Rhode Island was the Modified feature winner at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Don Collins was the big winner at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won Modified events on Wednesday and Saturday. Ted Stack, in the non-Fords and Ed Moody followed suit as they also recorded double features at the shoreline oval. Red Foote was the winner at the Norwood Arena. Forty-five years ago in 1965 Don Wayman made it two in a row on the Dirt at Stafford Springs on Friday night. Ed Moody was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Krashen was the Bomber winner. Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row in Saturday night action at the Fonda Speedway. Ken Orr took the win at Riverside Park and Tom Kotary took the win at Utica-Rome. Finishing second was an unknown by the name of Richie Evans. Dave Kotary was third. MORE>>
07-03-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 rain washed out the Wednesday night racing program at what was called then, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl. By Saturday night the skies had cleared and bad boy Dick Beauregard won the Modified feature. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Daring Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. Freddie Schultz was the winner at the Norwood Arena. Forty five years ago in 1965 Don Wayman was the Friday night winner at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Rain prevailed at the Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Lazzaro got his third feature win at the Fonda Speedway. At Riverside Park it was George Circosta and at the Utica-Rome Speedway Dave Kotary took the 30 lap win over Sonny Seamon and Tom Kotary. MORE>>
06-25-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 rain was the big winner at the Stafford Springs Speedway. The Waterford Speedbowl began their summer schedule which consisted of race dates on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Joe McNulty won the opening night Wednesday Modified feature. Red Foote, who in later years would make a name for himself in Virginia was the non-Ford winner. Dick Dunn was the Bomber feature winner. Don Collins won double features on Saturday night at the Speedbowl. Ed Moody was the Bomber feature winner. Forty five years ago in 1965 it rained again at Stafford. At the Waterford Speedbowl Dick Watson won the 50 lap June Championship for the Modifieds. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber feature winner. Kenny Shoemaker recorded his fourth feature win of the season at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night. Holly Wildler won at Riverside Park and on Sunday at Utica-Rome it was Jerry Cook over Eddie Flemke and Don Moon. MORE>>
06-18-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Don Collins continued his domination at the Waterford Speedbowl as he made it five wins in a row driving the famous V-8. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Ed Priest was the Bomber winner. Red Bolduc, a crowd favorite at the Norwood Arena died from injuries sustained in a violent crash. Forty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble scored his second win of the season at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Racing at the Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. Leo Cleary put the M-2 in victory lane at the Norwood Arena on Saturday night while Irv Taylor was winning the main event at the Fonda Speedway. Bob Zieglar broke Eddie Flemke’s win streak at Utica-Rome. Flemke settled for second with Rene Charland, third. Forty years ago in 1970, the Albany-Saratoga Speedway started the weekend off with a 100 lapper. NASCAR modified point leader Fred DeSarro in the Koszela Woodchopper took the win over Bugsy Stevens and Leo Cleary. In twin 25 action at Stafford on Saturday night Billy Greco took the opener over Don Flynn and Ernie Gahan. MORE>>
06-11-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Bill Slater returned to victory lane at the Stafford Springs Speedway. At the Waterford Speedbowl Don Collins ran his streak to five in a row as he won both Modified and non-Ford events at the shoreline oval. Walt Perkins was the Bomber winner.  Forty five years ago in 1965 Ernie Gahan broke the strangle hold the NY drivers held at Stafford as he won the Friday night Modified feature. Bob Steadman won his first and only feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber winner. Bill Wimble won at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night and at Utica-Rome on Sunday, Eddie Flemke made it two in a row as he won a 30 lapper over Don Moon and Billy Harman. Forty years ago in 1970, Bugsy Stevens beat out Fred DeSarro on Friday night at Malta. In twin 25 action at Stafford on Saturday night, Ed Yerrington beat out neighbor Moose Hewitt and Eddie Flemke for the win. DeSarro scored a victory in the second 25 lapper. Bernie Miller finished second. At Fonda, Jerry Pennock and Lou Lazzaro shared victory lane and at Plattsburg, Gene Mangino won out over Dick Fowler and Andy Romano. MORE>>
06-04-10: Fifty years ago, in 1960, Wild Bill Slater, driving the Connecticut Valley Rocket, V-8, won a 100 mile modified event at the Trenton Fairgrounds in New Jersey. The night before, Slater made it six wins in a row at the Norwood Arena as 8000 spectators looked on. Slater took the lead on the last lap from Mario “Fats” Caruso. Wally Silva finished third. Ernie Gahan was the winner on the dirt at Stafford. Don Collins won three Modified features in one day at the Waterford Speedbowl as the shoreline oval presented triple Modified features. Newt Palm was the Bomber winner. Forty five years ago in 1965 New Yorker Bill Wimble won his first of eight season wins at Stafford on Friday night. Dick Dunn won a 50 lap Modified event at the Waterford Speedbowl. Eddie Bunnell was the Bomber winner. Freddie Schultz took the Modified win at Norwood. Lou Lazzaro was the winner at the Fonda Speedway and Steady Eddie Flemke won a 100 lapper at the Utica-Rome Speedway over Rene Charland and Elton Hill. MORE>>
05-29-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 George Janoski and Bill Slater won the opening night NASCAR Modified features at the Stafford Springs Speedway. It was the beginning of the second year that NASCAR sanctioned races at the Connecticut oval. Slater carried his winning ways over to Saturday night at the Norwood Arena where he made it five features in a row at the fast ¼ mile oval. Local favorite Don Collins was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the Non-Ford winner and Newt Palm made it three in a row in the Bombers. Waterford also ran on Monday. Collins and Webster continued their win streaks as they each won twin features that were part of the Memorial Day program. Forty five years ago in 1965 Don Wayman continued the domination of the New York drivers as he recorded the Friday night Modified win on the dirt at Stafford. Rain washed out the racing at the Waterford Speedbowl. Waterford scheduled an event for Monday which was won by Charlie Webster. Bob Potter was the Bomber winner.Irv Taylor took the win at Fonda on Saturday night. Sunday night at Utica-Rome Rene Charland scored his second win as he held off Jerry Cook and Eddie Flemke SR. MORE>>
05-21-10: Seventy years ago in 1940 a brand new race track in opened in Thompson, CT. The land on which the track was built had been transformed from a dairy farm into a speedway following the farm’s destruction at the hands of the infamous 1938 hurricane. Property owner John Hoenig had constructed the largest race track in the northeast and had bucked conventional wisdom by making the racing surface out of macadam instead of the traditional dirt, clay or wood that topped most tracks of the day. Hoenig had built the first ‘asphalt’ race track in the United States. Racers of the day could not wait to test the all-new, high banked speedway. None had ever raced on a surface like the one Hoenig had used, but that did not keep them or race fans away. A full field of racecars and the huge grandstands were filled to capacity for this grand opening. Opening day had brought virtually every big name in the sport. The grandstands, made from trees that had been blown down in the hurricane, were full and when the time trial session was complete, it was the D’Amore #10 that had set the fast time of the day at 26.4 seconds. “Dizzy” Vance then drove the D’Amore #10 to a win in the very first qualifying race at Thompson. MORE>>
05-14-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Bill Slater made it three in a row at the Norwood Arena. He also took his third Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl as the shoreline oval continued to run on Sundays. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm annexed his second win in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1965 Ron Narducci was the opening Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. At the Waterford Speedbowl Ray DeLisle was the Modified feature winner and Daring Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. At Fonda, Ken Shoemaker made it two in a row and three for the year in Modified action at the New York State oval. Lou Smith was fatally injured after his car hit the wall during the feature. At Utica-Rome it rained. Forty years ago in 1970, Fred DeSarro hit full stride in his quest for the NASCAR Modified National Championship as he won on Friday night at Malta and twin 50's at Stafford on Saturday night. Eddie Flemke was just as hot as he finished second to DeSarro in all three events. MORE>>
05-07-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Joe McNulty, driving the Bounty Hunter of Robert “Slim” Ross was the Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the Non-Ford winner and Ed Moody won in the Bombers. Bill Slater made it two in a row at the Norwood Arena. Forty five years ago in 1965 Jerry Dostie was the Modified winner at Waterford while Bill Scrivner won his third feature in the Bomber ranks. Kenny Shoemaker recorded his second win of the year at Fonda. Don Flynn took the win at Riverside Park and at Utica-Rome Rene Charland took the win over Frank Mathalia and Ken Meahl. Forty years ago in 1970, Lou Lazzaro was the top dog at Malta on Friday night. Lazzaro, who ran the same car on asphalt as he did on dirt, beat Eddie Flemke to the stripe. Guy Chartrand finished third with Fred DeSarro, fourth. Lazzaro carried his winning ways over to Saturday as he won the first half of the twin 25-lap program at Fonda. Rene Charland, who finished second to Lazzaro in the opener, won the nitecap. At Airborne Park on Saturday night, Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda took the top spot over Gene Mangino and Dick Nephew. Racing at Stafford, Thompson and Utica-Rome was rained out. MORE>>
04-30-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 the Waterford Speedbowl suffered their first rainout of the year. After dominating at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 1959 Bill Slater and the Connecticut Valley Rocket No. V-8 went on the road to Norwood Arena in Norwood, MA. Norwood had just secured a NASCAR sanction and the word was out that the race purses were high. Slater took full advantage as he started a string of six features in a row on this weekend at the Route 1 oval. Forty five years ago in 1965 Ed Moody, who would eventually become the assistant to the chief technical inspector at Stafford in the late 70’s won the Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. His engine builder was Bruce Watt. Marvin Chase, who was an inspector for the Connecticut DMV made it two in a row in Late Model Daredevil action. Lou Lazzaro was the top dog on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night and at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday Elton Hill took the win over Eddie Flemke SR and Mario “Fats” Caruso. MORE>>
04-23-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Wild Bill Slater made it two in a row in Modified action at the Waterford Speedbowl. Red Foote, another New England Legend, was the non-Ford winner and Dick Dunn was the Bomber feature winner. Forty five years ago in 1965 NEAR Hall of Fame member Dick Watson was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Marvin Chase was the Bomber winner. Ken Shoemaker was the winner at the Fonda Speedway. Lou Smith took the 30 lap opener at Utica-Rome. Sadly, Smith would lose his life on May 15 in a violent crash at the Fonda Speedway. Carl Wojcyk took the win at the Riverside Park Speedway. Forty years ago in 1970, the Albany Saratoga Speedway opened for the season on Friday night. With no NASCAR Modified racing in New England on Friday night, the 4/10 mile upstate New York oval would draw the best from New England and Long Island every week through out the season. MORE>>
04-15-10: Fifty years ago in 1960 Wild Bill Slater, driving the famous Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8, was the 25 lap Modified feature winner at what was called then, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Webster was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm was victorious in the Bombers. Forty five years ago in 1965 Sal Dee became an early season repeat winner as he notched the 35 lap Modified win at Waterford. Bill Scrivner was the Bomber winner. Forty years ago in 1970, Martinsville ran their spring 100 lap modified event on Saturday afternoon. To no ones surprise, Ray Hendrick took the win over Jerry Cook, Jimmy Hensley and Fred DeSarro. Stafford ran twin 25's on Saturday night. Leo Cleary, driving the Koszela NO.15 took the opener over Bob Melnick and Ed Yerrington. Yerrington came back to win the nightcap despite a lot of pressure from Bill Greco and Don Flynn. At Fonda, Jerry Pennock and Lou Lazzaro shared victory lane .Don Wayman finished second to Pennock and was followed by Lee Millington and Rene Charland and Bob Langevan. Cook managed to fly back to Fonda where he recorded a sixth. At Thompson on Sunday, Bugsy Stevens and Moose Hewitt shared victory lane as they both won 25 lap events. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Glynn Shafer took the Modified win while Larry Crandall was victorious in the Late Model Daredevils. MORE>>
04-09-10: Forty five years ago in 1965 Ray Delisle was the 30 lap Modified winner at was then called the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Charlie Savage took the Bomber main. Forty years ago in 1970, the Stafford Speedway and the Thompson Speedway were running twin 25 lap features for the Modifieds. When the Norwood Arena decided to drop the Modifieds at the end of the 1969 season Stafford petitioned NASCAR to change their race dates from Friday to Saturday nights. NASCAR allowed Stafford to change their race night and in doing so opened up the flood gates at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway to the New Englanders who wanted to race on Friday nights. Taking the opening 25 lapper at Stafford was Carl Bugsy Stevens driving the mighty no. 3 of Len Boehler. Ralph “Hop” Harrington driving the famous Tant/Mitchell coupe that had been purchased by Richard Armstrong finished second. Fred DeSarro in the Joe Brady No. 41 finished third. Jerry Dostie and Roland LaPierre Sr rounded out the top five. Harrington won the nightcap with Stevens a close second. Billy Greco, Ted Stack and Ed Yerrington rounded out the top five. MORE>>
04-02-10: Forty five years ago in 1965 Joe Trudeau won the 25 lap Sunday afternoon Modified event at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Scrivner was the Bomber feature winner. Forty years ago in 1970, the Waterford Speedbowl had their scheduled opener rained out for the second week in a row. It stayed dry long enough for Fulton to get their opener in. Guy Chartrand in the Ed Cloce Hemi-Cuda took the win over Lou Lazzaro. At South Boston in Virginia, Ray Hendrick won a 400 lap modified event. Billy Hensley finished second and was followed by Jimmy Hensley, Melvin Chilton and Satch Worley. Thirty five years ago in 1975, the only event scheduled was the Fulton opener, which ended up getting snowed out for the second week in a row. The Ontario Speedway Operating Company in California headed by Parnelli Jones and Tony Hulman turned over the keys to the speedway on March 31 after having two non-profit seasons. The City of Ontario, which owns the speedway, took over the day to day operation of the track. This was the beginning of the end for the west coast racing facility. MORE>>
03-26-10: Forty five years ago in 1965 the fabulous Sal Dee in the Flying 70 won the opening day 30 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. A youthful Bob Potter won the Bomber 15 lapper. Forty years ago in 1970 the Waterford Speedbowl’s opening day event was rained out. Thirty five years ago in 1975, a 200 lap modified event at Hickory; N.C. was cancelled after the promoter received only 16 entries. The modifieds have never been scheduled there since. Fulton was scheduled to open for the season but ended up being cancelled because of snow. Thirty years ago in 1980, the season opening Ice Breaker at Thompson was rained out and was rescheduled for the following week which was Easter. Twenty five years ago in 1985, the IceBreaker at Thompson went off without a hitch. Richie Evans took the 75 lap win over Jeff Fuller, Brian Ross and Jamie Tomaino. MORE>>
03-19-10: Forty years ago in 1970, the new look of Late Model Modifieds made their debut at Martinsville for the annual Dogwood 500. Fifty two cars were in the pit area for time trials. Pete Keller was the NASCAR official in charge. Many of those in the field had installed abbreviated nerf bars, which extended to the outer edge of tires that stuck out beyond body panels. It was Keller’s command decision to have all nerf bars removed. During the running of the consolation events on Saturday numerous wrecks were caused when competitors ran up over wheels of others. Keller was eventually told to resign or get fired from NASCAR when he was convicted of Income Tax evasion. Among those in the field was Eddie Flemke in a Mustang owned by Bob Garbarino, Ray Hendrick in a Camaro owned by Jack Tant and Clayton Mitchell, Fred DeSarro in a Mustang owned by Joe Brady, Leo Cleary in a Corvair owned by Sonny Koszela and Bugsy Stevens in a Corvair owned by Len Boehler. MORE>>
03-12-10: Thirty years ago in 1980, the season opening Dogwood 500 was on tap. Mike Porter took the Grandnational win but it was Geoff Bodine who stole the show. Bodine was in contention to win when he suffered a flat tire on lap 211 of the 250-lap contest. Pitting under green and losing only one lap, Bodine charged to the front until his motor blew. Bodine had better luck in the modified half as he recorded his sixth win. Bodine had his hands full with Richie Evans in the early going but Evans' run came to a halt on lap 53 as he hit the wall after suffering a flat tire. Maynard Troyer ended up second and was followed by Jerry Cook and George Summers. Ten years ago in 2000 Don Hoenig, owner of the Thompson Speedway won his court case to evict Gordon "Butch" Davis and Brian LaForte as they were over $100,000 in arrears in their lease payments. Hoenig also announced that the season opening Icebreaker scheduled for April 2 was cancelled to a later date. MORE>>
03-05-10: Thirty five years ago in 1975, the NASCAR Modifieds made their annual spring trek to Martinsville for a 250-lap event. Bugsy Stevens in the Koszela No.15 took the win over Ronnie Bouchard, Jerry Cook and Mike Loescher. A horrific fire on the front stretch marred the day when Brian Ross in the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile was rear ended by a bumper-less car driven by Melvin Chilton. Chiltons bare frame rail tore into Ross' fuel cell and ignited the fuel. Flames raged as high as the grandstand roof but luckily Ross emerged unhurt. To add insult to injury, when fire crews arrived on the scene, the fixture that was supposed to dispense the purple-K wouldn't work and the fire had to be extinguished with water and hand held extinguishers. Twenty years ago in 1990, Reggie Ruggiero started 17th and took the lead from Jamie Tomaino on lap 142 and went on to win the season opening 200 lapper at Martinsville. Jeff Fuller finished second and was followed by Jamie Tomaino, George Kent and Jerry Cranmer. MORE>>
02-26-10: Twenty five years ago in 1985, the cup cars of NASCAR were at Richmond, Va. Darrell Waltrip was the Busch Pole sitter. Dale Earnhardt Sr took the win with Geoff Bodine, second. Fifteen years ago in 1995, Kenny Wallace was the Grandnational (Busch Racing Series) winner at Richmond. In Winston (NEXTEL) cup racing Jeff Gordon was the Busch Pole sitter and Terry Labonte was the winner. Ten years ago in 2000, the action was in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hank Parker was the pole sitter for the Busch Series event and Ricky Rudd was the NEXTEL Cup pole sitter. Mark Martin was the apparent Busch Series winner when Jack Sprague spun him with four laps to go. Jeff Burton got lucky as he went low, avoided the wreck and went on to take the win. Burton made it two for two as he also won the NEXTEL Cup event. Burton had just taken the lead from Mark Martin when the rains came. The event never restarted and Burton was declared the winner. In other news, Thompson Speedway owner Don Hoenig was in the process of having Butch Davis evicted from the speedway when he ran into a snag. The presiding judge had been a lawyer for Hoenig in a past case. MORE>>
02-19-10: Forty-five years ago, in 1965, Rockingham was in its first season. Richard Petty was the pole sitter and Curtis Turner took the win. Forty years ago in 1970, at Rockingham, Charlie Glotzback was the pole sitter and Richard Petty took the win. Thirty-five years ago in 1975, Buddy Baker was the pole sitter and Cale Yarborough was the race winner at Rockingham. Thirty years ago in 1980, Darrell Waltrip was the pole sitter and Cale Yarborough took the win at Rockingham. Twenty-five years ago in 1985, Terry Labonte was the pole sitter at Rockingham with the late Neil Bonnett taking the win. Twenty years ago in 1990, Kyle Petty could do no wrong as he won both the pole and the event at Rockingham. Petty absolutely excelled at this track. MORE>>
02-12-10: Forty years ago in 1970, Pete Hamilton, driving a Petty Superbird, was an upset winner in the Daytona 500.The event was televised on closed circuit TV. Among the first to greet Hamilton in victory lane were Steady Eddie Flemke, Billy Harman and George Pendergast. Thirty five years ago in 1975 the NASCAR Modifieds were part of Daytona speedweeks as they ran a 200-mile event on the 4.1-mile infield road course. Merv Treichler took the win over Fred DeSarro, Jerry Cook, Billy Osmun, Don Flynn and Will Cagle. Bobby Allison and Dick Brooks were the 125-mile qualifying race winners and in the 500 Benny Parsons scored an upset victory after late event leader David Pearson spun out. MORE>>
02-05-10: Forty five years ago in 1965 Goodyear introduced their new Lifeguard Inner Tire for cars in competition at the Daytona International Speedway. The inner tire was designed to eliminate the loss of control when the outer tire loses air because of a puncture or from being worn out. Among those who were missing at Daytona was Richard Petty who decided to try Drag Racing because the Chrysler Corp pulled out of racing because NASCAR would not allow the Hemi engine to compete. Thirty five years ago in 1975, the Modifieds were not part of the New Smyrna World Series. They were, however, a part of Speedweeks as they were scheduled to race on the road course of the Daytona Speedway. Thirty years ago in 1980, Geoff Bodine led a full field of 39 entries to win the opening night event at New Smyrna. Maynard Troyer was a pre race favorite but blew his Hutter big block power plant. Gary Balough finished second and was followed by Richie Evans, Doug Hewitt, Merv Treichler and Jerry Cook. MORE>>

2009

11-20-09: Last year, 2008, former champion Rick Fuller announced that he had retired from racing. Fuller, of Auburn, Mass., made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut in the series’ inaugural race on March 31, 1985 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway with a 13th place finish in the Icebreaker. Ultimately, Thompson became the site of his last race when was caught up in an early accident and came home 30th in the No. 77 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Modified in the Xtra Mart World Series on Oct. 19. Fuller compiled 20 wins, 145 top fives, 231 top 10s and 11 Coors Light Pole Awards in 439 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. His win total ranks seventh in tour history. The highlight of Fuller’s distinguished career was his championship season of 1993. A year after his brother, Jeff, had captured the title, Fuller strung together a win and 14 top 10s in 17 starts to finish 93 points ahead of Reggie Ruggiero for the crown. Fuller has become a color commentator for the Stafford Speedway telecasts seen on NESN. MORE>>
11-13-09: Twenty five years ago in 1984, Dale Earnhardt won the Winston Cup event at Atlanta. On November 9, Jack Arute stated that most of the Stafford “Officials Team” would be running the show at Waterford during the tenure of his lease. Arute also unveiled plans to move the pit “On Gate” to the turn four area. Fifteen years ago in 1994, Greg Sacks was the pole sitter at Atlanta but Mark Martin was the eventual winner in the season ending Winston Cup event. Dale Earnhardt won the series championship. Rusty Wallace lost second spot in points after he ran over debris from a fiery crash that involved Geoff Bodine. Hoosier Tire announced that they were dropping out of Winston Cup and Busch Grandnational racing and Martinsville Speedway announced that they were dropping the Busch Grandnational series from their schedule for 1995. On November 15, George Korteweg ended his tenure as track operator and promoter at the Waterford Speedbowl as he announced that he had sold his interest in the track to the Waterford Sports Center, owners of the property. Korteweg was responsible for the repaving of the track and new lighting. MORE>>
11-06-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Martinsville finally got to run the annual Cardinal 500.Ray Hendrick in the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11 picked up his 31st win of the season. Bugsy Stevens finished second and put himself in the NASCAR record book as the first three time NASCAR National Modified Champion. Perk Brown finished third and was followed by Jerry Cook, Leo Cleary, Billy Hensley, Richie Evans, Bernie Miller, Don Diffendorf and Don Miller. The final Modified standings showed Stevens the champion. Rounding out the top ten were Cook, Bobby Santos, Jimmy Hensley, Fred DeSarro, Billy Hensley, Don Miller, Lou Lazzaro and Ray Hendrick. Thirty five years ago in 1974, the 1975 season began on Nov 10,1974. The Modifieds ran at the then paved Metrolina Fairgrounds Speedway in North Carolina. Harry Gant in the William Mason No.45 took the win over Jerry Cook, John Bryant and Bugsy Stevens. MORE>>
10-30-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Thompson ran a 500 lap Modified event. Bugsy Stevens all but sewed up his third consecutive NASCAR National Modified Championship as he took the win. A virtually unknown Richie Evans finished second and was followed by Dave Lape, Fred DeSarro, Bob Santos and Lou Lazzaro. In the Southland, Ray Hendrick won both ends of a twin bill for modifieds and late model sportsman at the Beltsville Speedway in Maryland. Thirty five years ago in 1974, it was off to Martinsville for the annual twin 250's for the Modifieds and Late Models. As he had done all year, Ronnie Bouchard dominated the Modified 250 and capped off a very successful season. Richie Evans finished second and was followed by Merv Treichler and Bugsy Stevens. Jerry Cook finished fifth and sewed up the 1974 Nascar modified championship by scant 77 points over Evans. In the final point run down, Geoff Bodine finished third and was followed by Stevens, Charlie Jarzombek and Bouchard. Ray Hendrick won the late model 250 with Reds Cagle, second  MORE>>
10-23-09: Forty years ago in 1969, triple 25's closed out the season at Thompson. Taking the wins were Smokey Boutwell, Bill Greco and Eddie Flemke. The overall winner was Boutwell. Flemke ended up second and was followed by Freddie Schulz, Red O'Keefe, Greco, Ernie Gahan, George Pendergast and Sal Dee. The Nascar Modifieds were at North Wilkesboro where Max Berrier took the win over Ray Hendrick, Perk Brown, Jimmie Hensley, Billy Hensley and Jerry Cook. Fred DeSarro finished a distant 28th after an early race crash that saw him break a steering box. Thirty five years ago in 1974, Riverhead ran their season finale with Charlie Jarzombek taking the win over Geoff Bodine and Keilor. Thompson ran open competition big and small block events. Ronnie Bouchard won both events, driving the Manchester Sand and Gravel No.10 in the small block event and the Bob Johnson No.17 in the big block event. In the small block event, Tony Russo finished second and was followed by Fats Caruso and Mike Weeden. In the big block event, Bugsy Stevens finished second with Weeden, third. MORE>>
10-16-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the big event of the weekend was the annual Race of Champions at the Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, Pa. Ray Hendrick and Dutch Hoag were the pole sitters. These two legends put on one of the greatest races ever seen as they ran wheel to wheel for 90 laps until Hoag lost oil pressure and had to drop out. From there on, Hendrick cruised to the 200-mile victory. Roger Treichler finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Chuck Boos, Merv Treichler, Guy Chartrand and Richie Evans. Thirty five years ago in 1974, the Race of Champions had moved to Trenton and was stretched to 300 miles in the 1-1/2 mile kidney shaped oval. Fred DeSarro who had had a sub par season showed up with a tri-colored creation owned by Len Boehler and proceeded to put on one of the best all time performances at the New Jersey oval. DeSarro was in the hunt all day but it all came down to the last lap when he and long time rival Bugsy Stevens came off of turn four wheel to wheel. With the crowd on its feet, the two raced to the finish line with DeSarro winning by less than six inches. Stevens finished second with Satch Worley, third. MORE>>
10-09-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Norwood Arena, long a part of the tri-track-modified circuit in New England ran its last Modified event. The track would continue for a couple more years but would run only late models. Roland LaPierre Sr. won the final event. He was followed by Eddie Flemke, Fred DeSarro, Bugsy Stevens, Bob Melnick and Billy Schulz. Freddie Schulz was the final modified driving champion and Dick Armstrong was the final modified championship owner. An industrial park now sits on the former site of the high banked 1/4 mile speedway in Norwood, Mass. The Norwood Arena Speedway was the fastest 1/4 Mile NASCAR stock car racing track in the 1960's. The Modifieds ran their final event of the year at Stafford on Sunday. Leo Cleary, driving the Sonny Koszela No.15 took the win over Smokey Boutwell, Ed Yerrington, Bill Slater, DeSarro and Flemke. Airborne Park in Plattsburg, N.Y. ran a double point event also on Sunday. Jerry Cook took the win over Dick Fowler and Bugsy Stevens. Stevens was trying to overcome a 441 point deficit that Jerry Cook held for the NASCAR Modified Championship. MORE>>
10-02-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Nascar Modified championship point contenders headed for Martinsville for a Saturday afternoon 100 lap event. Bugsy Stevens was the point leader and furthered his lead with a win over Jerry Cook. Ray Hendrick finished third and was followed by Perk Brown and Lennie Pond. Fred DeSarro finished 12th. DeSarro flew back north to Norwood on Saturday night and finished fourth in a car owned by Leo Hill. Billy Schulz took the win over Ed Flemke and Freddie Schulz. Islip also ran on Saturday night and it was Gary Winters taking the win over Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach. Stafford ran a 150-lap event on Sunday afternoon, which saw Smokey Boutwell in victory lane. The Bugman finished second and was followed by DeSarro, Ted Stack and Bill Greco. The Waterford Speedbowl ran their season ending event with Don Collins in his famous No. 106 taking the win. Donnie Bunnell was the late model winner. MORE>>
09-18-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Smokey Boutwell made it two in a row at Stafford as he won the final Friday night program of the season. Fred DeSarro finished second and was followed by Dick Elliot, Leo Cleary, Bill Slater, Jack Malone and Dick Watson. Albany-Saratogo ran a 100 lapper and it was none other than Rene Charland taking the win over Dick Clark, Dick Fowler and Lou Lazzaro. At Norwood on Saturday, Leo Cleary showed the kids the fast way around as he took the win. Bob Baccioce finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Eddie Flemke. At Airborne it was Dave Gaul over Guy Chartrand and Jerry Cook and at Islip, Billy Spade won out over Jim Hendrickson and Herbie Hulse. Newt Palm won at Waterford. Thompson closed out the weekend with a 100 lapper. Bugsy Stevens won a classic duel with Smokey Boutwell. MORE>>
09-11-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the rained out 150 lap Labor Day classic at Stafford was run on Friday night. Nathan "Smokey” Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 took the win over Bugsy Stevens, Eddie Flemke, Ted Stack, Ollie Silva and Bill Slater. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Marcel Corriveau took the win over Guy Chartrand, Ron Narducci and Lou Lazzaro. At Norwood arena on Saturday, Johnny Thompson in his Cobra powered No.122 outhandled the field and took the win. Bob Melnick finished second with Freddie Schulz, third. Down on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl it was Daring Dick Caso taking the Modified win. Jack Barton was the Daredevil winner. At Airborne Park it was Marcel Goddard over Dick Fowler and Dick Nephew and at Islip and Thompson it rained. MORE>>
09-04-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Labor Day weekend meant many extra distance events were on the schedule. Albany -Saratoga started it off with a regular program, which saw Lou Lazzaro take the top spot over Bugsy Stevens and Jerry Pennock. Saturday night at Norwood Eddie Flemke won a double point event over Freddie Schulz and Bob Bacciocce. At Airborne it was Dick Nephew over Guy Chartrand and in South Boston, Va., Mr Modified, Ray Hendrick won a 400 lapper over Perk Brown and Jimmie Hensley. Charlie Jarzombek made it two in a row at Islip as he beat out Jim Hendrickson and Fred Harbach. Waterford ran on Saturday night as well as on Monday. Fred “Fuzzy” Baer was the Saturday night winner with Don Collins taking the victory on Monday. Lou Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he won the Utica-Rome 400 on Sunday night. MORE>>
08-29-09: Twenty years ago in 1989, Jerry Pearl was the Friday night winner at Stafford as he drove the S&S Racers No.33 to a convincing win, beating out Steve Chowanski. Bob Potter all but locked up the track championship at Waterford on Saturday when he took the win at the shoreline oval. The mod tour series was at Riverside where Mike Stefanik won out over Tom Baldwin. At Riverhead, Carl Miller held off Tom Tillotson and at Thompson on Sunday, Ted Christopher was the winner.  Fifteen years ago in 1994, Thompson ran on Wednesday with Ted Christopher taking the win over Tom Tagg. The Mod Tour was at Stafford on Friday. Jeff Fuller took the lead at the 3/4 mark of the 150 lapper to win out over Reggie Ruggiero. MORE>>
08-21-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the All Star League visited Islip on Wednesday for a 100-lap event. Taking the win was home track favorite Fred Harbach. Gary Winters finished second and was followed by Richie Evans, Jack Reinhard, Artie Tappen and Will Cagle. Albany Saratoga ran a 100-lap double point event on Friday, which saw Eddie Flemke clean house. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook and Bernie Miller. Stafford was closed. Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny Thompson with his small block Ford took the win over Freddie Schulz, Fred DeSarro and Marty Bezema. Fonda ran their rained out 200 and at the checker it was Lou Lazzaro who prevailed. Kenny Shoemaker finished second and was followed by Ron Narducci and Rene Charland. Airborne Park in Plattsburg ran a 100-lap double point event and it was invader, Bugsy Stevens taking the win. At Islip Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach shared the spotlight as they each won separate events. Hometown favorite Charlie Webster was the Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Big Mike Daignault was the Daredevil winner. At Thompson on Sunday night it was Eddie Flemke over Stevens and Moose Hewitt and at Utica-Rome Jerry Pennock beat out Dave Lape for the win. MORE>>
08-14-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Eddie Flemke was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Don Flynn finished second and was followed by Sal Dee, Leo Cleary in the Koszela 15 and Ray Miller. Albany-Saratoga ran twin events and Lou Lazzaro was unstoppable as he won both. The first event saw Dick Clark finish second with Rene Charland, Bobby Santos and Jerry Cook following. In the nightcap, Andy Romano finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens. Flemke made it two for two as he won at Norwood on Saturday. Fred DeSarro finished second with Freddie Schulz, third. Rain washed out the Fonda 200 as Cliff Tyler was winning at Islip and Guy Chartrand was winning at Airborne Park. Newt Palm was the Modified winner at Waterford. Lazzaro made it three for three as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday and at Thompson on Sunday Bugsy Stevens showed the way. Thirty five years ago in 1974, Riverhead ran a 100 lapper on Wednesday, which saw Joe Krukowski, take an upset over Charlie Jarzombek and Junior Ambrose. Freeport ran a 200 on Friday night, which saw Geoff Bodine take the win on the flat 1/4-mile oval. Richie Evans finished second with Bugs Stevens and Maynard Troyer following. Saturday night action at Islip, Waterford and Stafford rained out. At Shangri-La, Mike Loescher took the win with Don Diffendorf finishing second. Merv and Roger Treichler finished one-two at Lancaster, also on Saturday. In Sunday action, Maynard Troyer beat out Richie Evans at Fulton and at Thompson, Fred DeSarro and Eddie Flemke finished one-two. MORE>>
08-07-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Lou Lazzaro was on a tear up in New York State as he won a special event at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on Thursday night, Fonda on Saturday night and Utica-Rome on Sunday. Rain at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night spoiled a clean sweep for the likable driver. Smokey Boutwell made it two in a row at Stafford on Friday night. Freddie Schulz finished second. Schulz finished second at Norwood on Saturday night as Bugsy Stevens ruled the roost. Eddie Flemke, driving the Greg Mills-Dave Welch 79 finished third with Leo Cleary, fourth. Bob Potter was the Modified winner at Waterford. Donnie Bunnell was the Daredevil winner. Islip ran a 100-lap double point event on Saturday. Jim Hendrickson took the win with Gary Winters, second. Fred DeSarro paid a surprise visit and finished third. Guy Chartrand won at Airborne and DeSarro got lucky at Thompson. Thompson ran a 100 lapper and DeSarro was holding a commanding one-lap lead on Jerry Cook with one to go. With a tire going down, DeSarro slowed enough for Cook to unlap himself and as he took the checker, Cook was exiting turn four. One more lap and Cook would have had the win. MORE>>
07-31-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Stafford ran a 100 lapper with Nathan "Smokey" Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 taking the win. Bob Santos in the Art Barry 909 finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Freddie Schulz and Jim Hurtubise in the Bob Judkins 2x. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Maynard Forette took the win over Lou Lazzaro and Ron Narducci. Saturday night at Norwood saw Freddie Schulz in the Dick Armstrong No.14 take the win. Bob Melnick finished second. Daring Dick Caso made it two in a row in Modified competition at Waterford. Wayne “Mysterious” Smith was the Daredevil winner. At Fonda, Jerry Cook got a win. Lazzaro finished second and was followed by Rene Charland and Kenny Shoemaker. At Islip it was Lou Hennessy over Jim Hendrickson and at Airborne Park it rained. Boutwell made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Thompson on Sunday night. Fred DeSarro in his own No.00 finished second with Leo Cleary in the Koszela 15, third. Double points were on tap at Utica-Rome on Sunday and Lazzaro was there to take the gold. Bugsy Stevens finished second with Dick Clark, third. MORE>>
07-24-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the All Star League was in full swing. Starting on Wednesday night at the Norwood Arena, Bugsy Stevens used his home track advantage to take on the best in the east and dusted the field as he won the 100 lapper. Freddie Schulz finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Leo Cleary, Fred DeSarro, Johnny Thompson and Jack Malone. The top seven were all Norwood Arena regulars. The league moved to Stafford on Friday night and Stevens continued his winning ways. Flemke came home in second spot and was followed by Nathan "Smokey" Boutwell. Boutwell was driving the famous No.28 co-owned by the Garuti Brothers and Jack Arute. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Ed Pieniezak was the winner over Bernie Miller and Maynard Forette. Back at Norwood for their regular Saturday night program, Johnny Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 was the victor. Jack Malone finished second and was followed by DeSarro and Stevens. At the Waterford Speedbowl Daring Dick Caso took the top spot in the 36 lap Modified feature. Fonda and Airborne rained out. On Sunday at Thompson, Boutwell ruled the roost. DeSarro finished second with Stevens and Bob Santos following. MORE>>
07-03-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Fourth of July weekend started of on Friday at Stafford and at Malta. Stafford ran a 100 lapper which saw southern invader Ray Hendrick make an appearance. Bugsy Stevens was the kingpin and made it known that he was not about to play second fiddle to the man they called Mr. Modified. Stevens took the event with Hendrick, second. Fred DeSarro finished third with Bobby Santos, fourth. Dave Kotary was the winner at Malta with Guy Chartrand, second. Saturday night at Norwood, Billy Schulz beat out Johnny Thompson and Roland LaPierre Sr. for the win. At Islip, Fred Harbach was the winner with Booker T. Washington Jones finishing second. At Fonda, Kenny Shoemaker made it two in a row and at Airborne Park; Guy Chartrand made it four in a row. Glynn Shafer made it two in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 50-lap holiday special. Larry Crandall was the Daredevil winner. At Thompson, on Sunday, it was Bugsy Stevens holding off DeSarro for the win. MORE>>
06-26-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Bob Santos, in the Art Barry 09, beat out Smokey Boutwell to win the Friday Modified feature at Stafford. Ernie Gahan was third. Albany Saratoga ran twin features with Lou Lazzaro and Guy Chartrand sharing victory lane. Saturday night at Norwood, Fred DeSarro took a hard fought win over Johnny Thompson and Bugsy Stevens. At Fonda, Kenny Shoemaker in the Bob Judkins 2x beat out Lazzaro and Jerry Cook and at Islip; Al Hansen took the top spot over Jim Hendrickson. At the Waterford Speedbowl Glynn Shafer, driving for Ron Yuhas Sr, took the Modified win. Big Mike Daignault was the Daredevil winner. After successive rain outs, Utica-Rome got to run and it was Lou Lazzaro making it three in a row. Jerry Cook finished second with Phil Spiak, third. MORE>>
06-19-09: Forty years ago in 1969 rain washed out Friday night action at Stafford and at Albany-Saratoga. Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 dusted the field. Bugsy Stevens finished second. At Fonda, Lou Lazzaro continued his hot streak to five in a row as he beat out Jerry Pennock and Ken Shoemaker for the win. Guy Chartrand made it three in a row for Ed Cloce's Hemi-Cuda at Airborne and at Islip, Island favorite Jim Hendrickson beat out Fred Harbach and Gary Winters. Bob Potter made it two in a row as he took the Modified win at the Waterford Speedbowl. Don Bunnell was the Daredevil winner. At Thompson on Sunday, Fred DeSarro held off Eddie Flemke and Bugsy Stevens for the win. Utica-Rome rained out. MORE>>
06-12-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Charlie Jarzombek returned to Stafford but this time Bugsy Stevens was ready for him as the defending National Champion was not about to let an outsider get the best of him. When the checker dropped at 30 laps, Stevens had defended his home turf and Jarzombek had to settle for second. Bobby Santos finished third and was followed by Holly Wilder and Tom Sutcliff. At Albany-Saratoga, Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row and three out of four at the upstate N.Y. oval. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by Rene Charland and Bernie Miller. Lazzaro repeated at Fonda on Saturday running his string to four in a row at the place they called the track of champions. Kenny Shoemaker, in the Bobby Judkins 2x finished second with Ken Platt, third. At Norwood, Eddie Flemke in the Dave Welch-Greg Mills 79 took the win over Johnny Thompson, Billy Schulz and Pete Hamilton. Bob Potter was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Les Fletcher was the Daredevil winner. Thompson ran their 200 on Sunday. Ray Hendrick was scheduled to drive the Tant/Mitchell 11 but became fogbound at the Newark Airport. Ralph "Hop" Harrington was given the ride and ride he did as he won the event going away. Bugsy Stevens finished second with Fred DeSarro, third. Racing at Utica-Rome on Sunday night was rained out. MORE>>
06-05-09: Forty years ago in 1969, rain washed out both Stafford and Albany-Saratoga on Friday. Saturday night at Norwood it was Freddie Schulz taking the top spot over Bob Santos, Eddie Flemke, Johnny Thompson and Bugsy Stevens. Lou Lazzaro made it three in a row at Fonda. Don Wayman finished second with Dave Lape and Jerry Cook rounding out the top four. Jim Hendrickson beat out Pat Moon at Islip and at Airborne Park it was Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda beating Denis Giroux and Phil Spiak to the checker. Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday. Lazzaro used the same car on both dirt and asphalt. Cook finished second with Bugsy Stevens, third. Thompson was silent as a sports car event was held on the road course-oval. Don Collins won the Modified 30 lapper at the Waterford Speedbowl. Don Bunnell was the Daredevil winner. MORE>>
05-29-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Stafford Motor Speedway started the Memorial Day weekend off with a 100 lap event. Charlie Jarzombek, in one of his first off-island trips made the one to Stafford a successfull one as he won the 100 lapper in his radical off-set coupe. Fred DeSarro finished second and was followed by Bobby Santos, Jerry Cook, Bob Karvonen, Ed Yerrington Frank Faria, Moe Gherzi and Wild Bill Slater. Lou Lazzaro won at Malta and repeated at Fonda and also in the first of twin features at Utica-Rome. Rene Charland finished second to Lazzaro at both Malta and at Fonda. Thompson ran on Sunday afternoon and it was Bugsy Stevens taking the win over DeSarro Lou Austin, Fred Harbach, Smokey Boutwell and Slater. Stevens hot footed it up the Mass Pike and made it to Utica in time to run the consi. Stevens finished third in the first feature behind Lazzaro and Jerry Cook. Bernie Miller won the Utica nite cap and Stevens ended up seventh. Dick Dunn was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
05-22-09: Forty years ago in 1969 the newly formed New England Drivers and Owners Club headed by Dick Armstrong called a drivers strike against Stafford, Norwood and Thompson as club members felt they were running for sub-par purses. Stafford did run with a short field with Bugsy Stevens taking the win over Ernie Gahan and Don Flynn. Norwood and Thompson cancelled their racing events. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Lou Lazzaro took the top spot over Jerry Cook and Richie Evans. At Fonda on Saturday night, Dave Lape beat out Lazzaro for the win with Andy Romano, third. At Islip, Ron Theil won out over Charlie Jarzombek and Jim Hendrickson. Joe Trudeau was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet Jr took the Grand American win. Racing at Utica-Rome on Sunday rained out. MORE>>
05-15-09: Forty years ago in 1969 rain washed out Friday night action at Stafford and Malta. Saturday night at Norwood, Freddie Schulz got Dick Armstrong his first win as a car owner. Jack Malone finished second and was followed by Johnny Thompson, Lou Austin, Fred DeSarro and Bugsy Stevens. Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row at Fonda and Rene Charland was again second. Ron Narducci was third with Ray Sitterly, fourth. At Islip, Cliff Tyler took the win at the tough 1/5 mile oval. Mousie Kempster finished second with Japanese driver, George Tet, third. Dick Caso took the Modified win at Waterford. On Sunday it rained out at Thompson and it snowed at Utica-Rome. Thirty five years ago in 1974 a 100 lapper scheduled for Utica-Rome on Friday was rained out. At Freeport, George Wagner took the top spot over Ted Wesnoski, Fred Harbach and Bob Park and at Metrolina in North Carolina, John Bryant took the win over Pudin Swisher and Harry Gant. At Stafford on Saturday night it was Steady Eddie Flemke in the Judkins 2x over Don Flynn. Geoff Bodine outran Richie Evans at Shangri-La and at Islip, George Wagner made it two for two on the weekend. Gary Winters finished second and was followed by Jim Hendrickson in the Ferrente x3. Dick Dunn was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
05-08-09: Forty years ago in 1969, action in the northeast shifted into high gear. At Stafford on Friday night, Fred DeSarro in his own No.11 took the opening night win. Eddie Flemke in the Garuti-Arute No.14 was second. Gene Bergin, in the Garbarino Bros.V-4 was third with Bugsy Stevens in the Len Boehler No.3 and Ed Yerrington in the Freddies TV No.23 rounding out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., Jerry Cook took the win and was followed by Richie Evans and Lou Lazzaro. Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 took the victory over DeSarro, Stevens and Jack Malone. At Fonda, Lou Lazzaro beat out Rene Charland for the win. Daring Dick Caso was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. MORE>>
05-01-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Norwood Arena began what was to be its last season of being the Saturday night stop for the NASCAR Modifieds. Jack Malone, Kerry's dad took the win over Eddie Flemke, Bobby Santos, Johnny Thompson, George Savory and Don McCullah. Martinsville ran their spring 100 lap modified event and it was Mr. Modified, Ray Hendrick, taking the win over Bugsy Stevens, Jimmy Hensley, Jerry Cook and Lenny Pond. Fonda also opened their NASCAR modified season with Lou Lazzaro taking the win over Rene Charland, Ron Narducci and Jerry Cook. Richard Petty was the Grandnational (Cup) winner at Martinsville and Bugsy Stevens was the Sunday afternoon winner at the Thompson Speedway. MORE>>
04-24-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Bill Slater, one of the greatest drivers to ever turn a wheel in New England retired as a driver and went to work for Mal Barlow as the Race Director and General Manager of the Stafford Speedway. At the Waterford Speedbowl George “Moose” Hewitt was the Modified winner while Bill Sweet made it two in a row in Daredevil action. Thirty five years ago in 1974, the competition was in New York State. At Shangri-La on Saturday, Maynard Troyer took the top spot over Geoff Bodine, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook. At Fulton on Sunday, the roles were reversed as Bodine took the top spot and Troyer played second fiddle. Evans and Cook again followed. Art Moran Sr, who was the head mechanic at Ed Yerrington’s Service Station, was the Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Cote made it three in a row in Grand American action. MORE>>
04-17-09: Forty years ago in 1969 the scheduled season Saturday night opener at the Norwood Arena was rained out. The skies cleared the following day as Fred DeSarro took the win at the Thompson Speedway. At the Waterford Speedbowl Charlie Webster took the Modified win and Bill Sweet won his first of four in a row at the shoreline oval. In Grandnational (Cup) racing at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina, Bobby Allison took the win.  Thirty five years ago in 1974 there was plenty of action both in the north and the south. Three nights of Modified racing in North Carolina saw Richie Evans score a victory at Metrolina on Friday night over Harry Gant, Jerry Cook and Paul Radford. Radford turned the tables on Saturday night at Hickory as he won a 100 lapper over Gant, John Bryant, Cook and Evans. MORE>>
04-10-09: Forty years ago in 1969, the Stafford Speedway opened for the season with an open competition program featuring the Supermodifieds. Nolan Swift, the undisputed king of the Oswego Speedway took the win. Don Kibbe was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Wayne “Mr. Mysterious” Smith was the Daredevil winner. In NASCAR Grandnational (Cup) action at Richmond David Pearson took the win. Thirty five years ago in 1974, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford was on. Taking the win was Carl" Bugsy" Stevens. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by Merv Treichler in the Garbarino Bros. Mystic Missile, Dynamite Ollie Silva and Jerry Cook. Bill Scrivener was the Modified winner at Waterford and Ron Cote scored his first of three in a row at the shoreline oval. MORE>>
04-03-09: Forty years ago in 1969, Ed Yerrington Sr won the season opening 30 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Jim Mazzella was the 20 lap Daredevil winner. Thirty five years ago in 1974, Don Bunnell won the season opener at the Waterford Speedbowl. Rick Elnicki was the Grand American winner. Thirty years ago this week in 1979, Thompson opened for the season. Ronnie Bouchard won the small block Modified feature over John Rosati and Dunk Rudolph. Rudolph was subsequently disqualified when it was found that his car's engine had illegal heads. Bobby Fuller was the late model winner. The speedway sported a new look as the Connecticut DMV mandated that the Speedway eliminate all light poles from the infield. MORE>>
03-27-09: Thirty years ago in 1979, a late winter snowstorm cancelled a scheduled modified event at the Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA. The event was not rescheduled. Despite the success of the 1978 season at the Waterford Speedbowl under the Dick Williams' Coastal Racing League, Harvey Tattersall Jr did not renew their lease and once again took over the day-to-day operations of the Speedbowl under his United Stock Car Championship banner. Race Director Bill Slater & Chief Starter Dick Brooks left with Williams. Twenty five years ago, in 1984, Eddie Flemke, a modified legend in his own time, passed away. Flemke had put in a long day plowing snow and had come home to rest. When he failed to come into his house his wife went to check on him, as he had not exited his vehicle. Mrs. Flemke sadly discovered that he husband had suffered a heart attack and had passed away at the age of 53. During his career Flemke won over 600 features and played a vital part in the development of the racing careers of Pete Hamilton, Richie Evans and Ronnie Bouchard. MORE>>
03-20-09: Twenty-five years ago, in 1984, the Winston Cup cars were at Atlanta. Buddy Baker was the pole sitter. Benny Parsons took the win. Ronnie Bouchard qualified 7th and finished 12th. Doug Hevron qualified 31st and wasn't as lucky as he lost a rear end and finished 30th. Twenty years ago in 1989, the Modifieds were off as they were making preparations for the upcoming season that would open up a week later in the northeast. Fifteen years ago in 1994, Mike Stefanik was informed that he had been released from the Busch Grandnational-Lux Air ride and on a sad note, Dick McCabes' wife Rosalie passed way. Subsequently, McCabe who was one of the top drivers in the Busch North Series would lose interest in racing and would end a brilliant career. Ten years ago in 1999, Riverside Park was slated to open the Featherlite Modified season but heavy rain changed their plans. Bob Polverari was the Busch pole sitter. At Darlington, Matt Kenseth was the Grandnational winner. Jeff Burton was the Winston Cup winner. MORE>>
03-13-09: Forty years ago, in 1969, the NASCAR Modifieds started their season with the Dogwood 500 at Martinsville. The hot tire was the Firestone Indy-Supersport Steamroller, which was fifteen inches wide. Ray Hendrick, driving the legendary Tant/Mitchell No. 11, established himself as the one to beat as he took the pole for the 500-lap event. Defending Modified Champion Carl Bugsy Stevens in the mighty No.3 of Len Boehler was second fastest. At the drop of the green, the two ran wheel to wheel in a contest to see who was to be supreme. Their race ended on lap 19 when the two came together on the front stretch and crashed into the wall. Fred DeSarro, who was in his own car at the time, assumed the lead on lap 20 and all but dominated the field. DeSarro's hope for a win came to a halt on lap 492 when his battery shorted out and he coasted to the pit. Jerry Cook, who was running second, a lap down, assumed the lead and went on to record his first major victory. MORE>>
03-06-09: Twenty five years ago in 1984, the Winston Cup visited Rockingham. Harry Gant was the pole sitter. Bobby Allison took the win. Ronnie Bouchard qualified 12th and finished 21st after losing an engine. Geoff Bodine had a better day. He qualified 13th and finished sixth. Twenty years ago, in 1989, Rusty Wallace was the Rockingham winner. Fifteen years ago, in 1994, the Winston Cup and Grandnational divisions were in Richmond. In Grandnational action, David Green was the pole sitter. Joe Nemachek took the win over Kenny Wallace and Hermie Sadler. Randy LaJoie suffered his third wreck in a row as he got collected in oil dumped by Mike Wallace and ended up in the wall. Ten years ago, in 1999, the International Speedway Corporation teamed up with developer Donald Trump to explore possibilities of building a speedway in the New York City metro area. MORE>>
02-27-09: Thirty years ago in 1979, a late winter snowstorm cancelled a scheduled modified event at the Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA. The event was not rescheduled. Despite the success of the 1978 season under the Dick Williams' Coastal Racing League, Harvey Tattersall Jr did not renew their lease and once again took over the day-to-day operations of the Speedbowl under his United Stock Car Championship banner. Race Director Bill Slater & Chief Starter Dick Brooks left with Williams. Twenty five years ago, in 1984, Eddie Flemke, a modified legend in his own time, passed away. Flemke had put in a log day plowing snow and had come home to rest. When he failed to come into his house his wife went to check on him, as he had not exited his vehicle. Mrs. Flemke sadly discovered that he husband had suffered a heart attack and had passed away at the age of 53. During his career Flemke won over 600 features and played a vital part in the development of the racing careers of Pete Hamilton, Richie Evans and Ronnie Bouchard. MORE>>
02-20-09: Twenty years ago in 1989, Richmond was still the second stop for the Winston Cup and Busch Grandnationals. Needless to say, the entire weekend was cancelled as snow blanketed the area. Fifteen years ago in 1994, Harry Gant came from the rear to win the Grandnational event at Richmond. New England competitor, Jeff Barry, started 31st and finished 26.In Winston Cup action; Bill Elliott won by 18 inches over Alan Kulwicki. Jeff Fuller made his debut and finished 29th after losing a water pump. Ten years ago, in 1999, pole qualifying for both the Winston Cup and Busch Grandnationals at Rockingham rained out. Points and postmarks determined the starting lineups. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was given the pole position for the BGN event and Ricky Rudd, the pole position for the Winston Cup event.  MORE>>
02-13-09: Fifty years ago in 1959, fifty nine starters took the green for the inaugural Daytona 500. As 41,921 spectators looked on, Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp crossed the finish line in what appeared to be Beauchamp by a whisker. There was no photo finish camera but Petty was declared the winner, 61 hours later. Beauchamp was put back to second spot with Charlie Griffith, third. The event, which went non stop without a caution, had an average speed of 135.521 mph. For his efforts, Petty received $19,050. MORE>>
02-06-09: Fifty years ago in 1959, Bill France's dream came true as the Daytona Speedway was completed and the doors were opened for practice and qualifying for the inaugural Daytona 500. Seventy-five cars were on hand and in time trials, Glenn Fireball Roberts took the pole with a speed of 140.581 mph in a 1959 Pontiac. Second fastest was Tim Flock in a 1959 Ford Thunderbird. During the opening week, the track claimed its first life when Marshall Teague rolled his Indy type car five times before being ejected onto the racetrack. Forty five years ago in 1964, Ford products were clearly outclassed in Daytona 500 qualifying. Forty six entries were on hand with Paul Goldsmith taking the pole with a speed of 174.910 mph in a Plymouth. Richard Petty, also in a Plymouth, was second fastest. The Fords were 15 mph slower. MORE>>

2008

12-11-08: A Look Back At The 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Season: he Thompson Speedway officially opened the 2008 racing season in the northeast on April 6 and began the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series. For a good part of the day it was misting and threatening rain. Eddie Flemke Jr brought back fond remembrances of his father’s Thompson 300 win in 1978 as he elected not to pit when the leaders did and it paid off handsomely, $7,920, to the second generation driver. Flemke, who started eighth, was running third and he inherited the lead on lap 71 when leader Todd Szegedy and second-place Reggie Ruggiero pitted. Flemke led until lap 92 when the race was finally red flagged because of extremely heavy mist that coated the track and made it unsafe. It was also the first win for Gary Teto, Flemke’s car owner. MORE>>
11-14-08: Last year, 2007, it looked like Jimmy Blewett, who had 15 wins to his credit in 2007, would be spending his non-touring Saturday nights at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island in 2008. Blewett would compete on the tour in 2008 but not in the familiar Eddie Partridge No. 12. Blewett was scheduled be driving the George Bierce No. 19 that was driven by Ronnie Silk. Partridge consummated a deal that will saw both race teams merged into one. To supplement the Bierce team Partridge would supply an additional car plus motors and transmissions. Blewett and the Partridge SK Modified would compete weekly at the Stafford Motor Speedway and at the Thompson Speedway. Silk was a candidate to drive the Curt Chase No.77 as well as the Boehler No. 3, which is if Bobby Santos III is committed to racing in the south. Eric Beers, who lives down the street from Tony Hirschman, will be stepping into the Massachusetts based No. 46 that was driven by Dick Houlihan. MORE>>
11-07-08: Last year, 2007, it looked like former Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Tony Hirschman had lost his sponsor/car owners as they told him they were retiring from the sport. Hirschman, who was on the Gary Danko radio show, stated that the owners (the Kehele’s) got the team together at the Stafford Fall Final and told them they were retiring at seasons end. Hirschman, who had nothing left to prove, could very well retire himself and devote his time to his son Matt’s career. The younger Hirschman had recently scored an impressive win in the North/South Shootout. In other Whelen Modified Tour news it looked like Series Champion Don Lia would be replacing Terry Cook on the Craftsman Truck series in 2008. If that was the case a strong rumor had Bob Garbarino retiring from the sport. Tour regular Wade Cole scored a victory in Connecticut politics when he was elected First Selectman in the town of Hartland. The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island announced at their annual banquet that they would host the Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday night, August 2. The Stafford Speedway was expected to announce their Tour dates at their annual banquet. MORE>>
10-31-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Ray Hendrick won the first ever 500-lap race for the modifieds at Martinsville. Thompson also ran with Fred DeSarro taking the win. Thirty years ago in 1978, Fred DeSarro was laid to rest on November 4. The following day, the Thompson Speedway hosted a benefit race which saw all proceeds go to Fred’s kids and wife. The pit area was jammed, as was the grandstand. The competitors raced for nothing and the entire purse was donated. Bugsy Stevens, who had been a fierce competitor and close friend, was driving the Joe Brady No.41 and was driving down the backstretch on the parade lap when a ball joint broke. Stevens swore that DeSarro had given him a message and became quite upset. Brady's car was towed off and Stevens joined chief starter Dick Brooks and his assistant Bob Gelinas on the starter stand. MORE>>
10-24-08: Sixty years ago this week in 1948, Robert "Red" Byron from Atlanta, Ga. was crowned the first Nascar Modified champion. Fifty-five years ago in 1953, Herb Thomas was declared the Winston Cup, then called Grandnational, champion. Lee Petty finished second. Joe Weatherly was the NASCAR Modified Champion. Fifty years ago in 1958, Lee Petty won his second Winston Cup championship. Buck Baker was second. Budd Olsen was the NASCAR Modified champion and Ned Jarrett won his second NASCAR Sportsman championship. Forty-five years ago in 1963, Joe Weatherly won his second Winston Cup championship. Rene Charland won his second of four NASCAR Sportsman championships and Eddie Crouse won the NASCAR Modified championship. Forty years ago in 1968, Thompson Speedway ran their season ender. Bugsy Stevens took the win and was followed by Fred DeSarro, Eddie Flemke, Leo Cleary, Bob Santos and Don MacTavish. Stevens sewed up his second of three Nascar Modified championships. MORE>>
10-17-08: Forty years ago in 1968, A Sunday afternoon modified event scheduled by the Lee Raceway in New Hampshire was rained out. Thirty five years ago in 1973,the Northeast racing season had ended and race teams were getting ready for their annual trip to Martinsville. Thirty years ago in 1978 ,the modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Ronnie Bouchard, driving the Bobby Judkins No.2x took the win over Richie Evans, Jerry Cook and Harry Gant. Gant drove the famous William Mason No.45.The only action in New England was at Waterford where Bugsy Stevens in the Brady Bunch No.41 won a 100 lap open competition event which drew 60 modifieds. Dick Dunn in the Albert Gaudreau No.3 finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke and Bruce "Gomer" Taylor. MORE>>
10-10-08: This week, we go way back. Fifty years ago in 1958, at the Race of Champions in Langhorne, Pa., Jim Delaney took the win and Dutch Hoag finished second. Langhorne was a one-mile dirt circle track. Forty years ago in 1968, Dutch Hoag won the Race of Champions at Langhorne Pa. It was his fifth win at the historic oval that went from dirt to asphalt in 1965. The event was not NASCAR sanctioned. NASCAR sanctioned the Albany-Saratoga Speedway and a 100-lap double point event was run to keep the NASCAR drivers from going to Langhorne. Eddie Flemke took the win over Bob Bruno, Rene Charland, Ernie Gahan and Ron Narducci. Thompson also ran and it was Lou Austin taking the win. MORE>>
10-03-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Fred DeSarro won the season ender at the Norwood Arena. Leo Cleary, driving for Joe Brady sewed up the track championship. Little did anyone know there would only be one more year of open wheeled modified competition at the famed Massachusetts oval. At Thompson, on Sunday, Don MacTavish took the feature win. The Thompson win ended up being his last, as he would lose his life in Daytona during the Permatex 300 in 1969. Thirty five years ago, in 1973, the annual Race of Champions was run at Trenton on the mile and a half kidney shaped speedway. Richie Evans took the win and was followed by Eddie Flemke and Roger Treichler. MORE>>
09-26-08: Forty 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. Thirty five years ago in 1973, the 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. MORE>>
09-19-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took the victory at Stafford on Friday night. Leo finished second with Fred DeSarro, third. Bobby Santos and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five. On Saturday afternoon, Martinsville ran their Fall 100 with Jimmy Hensley taking the win. Saturday night at Norwood, Leo Cleary took the top spot and at Malta, Richie Evans closed the track’s season with a 50-lap win over Ron Narducci, Jerry Cook, Dave Gaul and Lou Lazzaro. Bugsy Stevens closed out the weekend with a win at Thompson on Sunday. Thirty five years ago in 1973, the big event of the weekend was the All-Star 300 at the Islip Speedway on Long Island. Jim Landry, the former Supermodified pilot from Rochester, N.H., took a surprise win over Jerry Cook, Bugsy Stevens and Jim Hoffman. MORE>>
09-12-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Freddie Schulz was the Saturday night winner at the Norwood Arena. At the Albany – Saratoga Speedway, Sonny Seamon made a rare appearance and walked off with the win. Pete Corey finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Dave Gaul and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five. No one knew it at the time but it would be the last time fans would get to see MacTavish in action at the Malta oval as he would lose his life in a violent accident in Daytona in February of 1969. Thompson ran a 200-lap event on Sunday with Bugsy Stevens taking the win. MORE>>
09-05-08: Forty years ago in 1968, the weekend action started at Lee Raceway on Thursday night where Fred DeSarro took the win. It rained at Stafford on Friday night. Albany-Saratoga ran on Saturday night with Andy Romano taking the win over Maynard Forette, Lou Lazzaro, Rene Charland and Richie Evans. Bugsy Stevens ruled Norwood and at Islip, it was George Brunnhoelzl Sr. Gene Bergin, in the M-6 was the Sunday winner at Thompson. Thirty five years ago in 1973, Tioga ran on Saturday night. Geoff Bodine took the win over Richie Evans and Jerry Cook. Bugsy Stevens blew the engine in the Koszela No.15 and ended up driving Pete Fiandacca's No.135 to an 11th place finish. At Malta on Sunday, Richie Evans won a 150-lap contest. Bugsy Stevens, driving for Joe Brady, finished second. Leo Cleary finished third with Fred DeSarro, fourth. MORE>>
08-29-08: Forty years ago, in 1968, the Labor Day weekend started at Stafford on Friday night where Eddie Flemke took the win over Bugsy Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Gene Bergin and Fred Harbach. With the Fonda Speedway closed the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran on Saturday night. Lou Lazzaro won the scheduled 50-lap event. Eddie Flemke finished second with Pete Corey, Dave Kotary and Don MacTavish rounding out the top five. Freddie Schulz in the Dave Welch/Greg Mills No.79 won at Norwood. Bugsy Stevens won at Thompson on Sunday night and at the Utica-Rome Speedway, twin 200’s made up the New Yorker 400. Lou Lazzaro won both ends of the 400. In the first 200, Eddie Flemke finished second and was followed by Bernie Miller, Sonny Seamon and Ron Narducci. Seamon finished second in the nightcap with Fred Harbach, Narducci and Dick Fowler rounding out the top five. Fred DeSarro won the Labor Day Bardahal 400 at Norwood. MORE>>
08-22-08: Forty years ago, in 1968, heavy rain forced the cancellation of Friday night racing at the Stafford and Albany-Saratoga Speedways. Frank Faria won at Norwood on Saturday night while at Fonda; it was Jerry Cook over Ray Sitterly and Eddie Pieniezek. On Sunday it was the annual Trenton 200, which pitted the best of the north against the best of the south. Mr. Modified, Ray Hendrick, driving the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11 took the win. Thirty five years ago in 1973,Malta started the week off with a 30 lapper that saw Richie Evans take the win over Denis Giroux and Jerry Cook. At Stafford, on Saturday, Giroux again finished second but this time it was behind race winner, Bugsy Stevens. At Tioga it was Geoff Bodine over Cook and at Utica-Rome it was Evans again but over Maynard Forette. Pocono ran a special modified event with Stevens taking the win. MORE>>
08-15-08: Forty years ago, in 1968, Bugsy Stevens added another win to his record at Stafford as he beat out Bobby Santos, Billy Harman, Smokey Boutwell and Tom Sutcliff. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Phil Spiak took a surprise win. Don MacTavish finished second with Pete Corey; third, Dave Lape and Richie Evans rounded out the top five. In other Friday night action, Eddie Brunnhoelzl Sr. won at Riverhead. Norwood Arena had the Bay State 200 scheduled but the event fell victim to rain. Ron Narducci beat out Jerry Cook and Andy Romano for a 100 lap win at Fonda. At Thompson, on Sunday, Eddie Flemke took the win and at Utica-Rome, Dave Kotary won a 50 lapper over Lou Lazzaro, Ed Pieniezek, Ron Narducci and Richie Evans. MORE>>
08-08-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Eddie Flemke began the weekend with a win at Stafford on Friday night. Driving the Bobby Judkins 2x, Flemke beat out Gene Bergin, Bugsy Stevens, Don MacTavish and Bob Santos. Pete Corey made a rare appearance at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway and walked away with a win. Andy Romano finished second with Jerry Cook, Dave Lape and Dave Kotary rounding out the top five. Lou Lazzaro made it two in a row at Fonda on Saturday night as he won a 50 lapper at the historic oval over Corey and Ed Pieniezek. Leo Cleary put the Joe Brady 41 in victory lane at Norwood and at Islip, John Berkowski took the win. Bugsy Stevens took a win at Thompson on Sunday night and at Utica-Rome, Pete Corey got his second win of the weekend as he took the 30-lap win over Jerry Cook, Bernie Miller, Sonny Seamon and Lou Lazzaro. In open competition action at Fulton on Sunday, Jim Shampine took the win. MORE>>
07-25-08: Forty years ago in 1968, the All Star League visited Fonda on Wednesday night. Lou Lazzaro made it three in a row as he took the 100-lap win. Jerry Cook finished second with Ron Narducci, third. Stafford fell victim to rain on Friday night It stayed dry at Malta where Eddie Pieniezek took the win over Richie Evans, Bob Bruno, Jerry Cook and Bernie Miller. At Norwood on Saturday night, Bugsy Stevens took the win. Jerry Cook beat out Andy Romano and Dick Clark at Fonda and at Fulton, Maynard Troyer got his first of 45 wins at the upstate New York track. Ernie Caruso collected the checker at the Riverside Park Speedway. The Bugman continued his win streak as he won at Thompson on Sunday night and at Utica-Rome, Ken Platt was a surprise winner over Al Tomasi, Lou Lazzaro, Maynard Forette and Dick Clark. MORE>>
07-18-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Maynard Troyer scored his first of 66 wins at the Lancaster Speedway in western New York. Don MacTavish took the double point win at Thompson on Sunday night and at Utica-Rome, Rene Charland hit pay dirt as he took the win over Lou Lazzaro, Sonny Seamon, Richie Evans and Ray Sitterly. Thirty five years ago in 1973, Richie Evans went two for two as he won at Malta on Friday night and at Utica-Rome on Sunday. All racing on Saturday night was washed out. Jerry Cook finished second at Malta and was followed by Fred DeSarro, and Ronnie Bouchard. At Utica, Sonny Seamon finished second and was followed by Cook and DeSarro. MORE>>
07-11-08: Forty years ago in 1968, modified action started on Thursday night at Catamount Stadium where Bugsy Stevens took the win. Stevens carried his winning ways over to Stafford on Friday night where he beat out Fred Harbach for the win. Smokey Boutwell, Fred DeSarro and Frank Faria rounded out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Lou Lazzaro out dueled Phil Spiak for the win. Jerry Cook finished third with Ken Canestrary and Pete Corey rounding out the top five. Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he also won at Fonda on Saturday night over Cook and Dave Lape. Roland LaPierre Sr. was the Saturday night winner at Norwood Arena. and Lee Osborne was the winner at the Fulton Raceway. Bugsy Stevens won twin 25’s at Thompson on Sunday and at Utica-Rome, Dick Fowler took the win over Robbie Kotary, Sonny Seamon, Dick Clark and Bernie Miller. MORE>>
07-04-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 Bill Wimble won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Ed Ortiz finished second with Jim Luke, third. Bob Zeigler and Rene Charland rounded out the top five. Forty years ago in 1968, Leo Cleary and Bugsy Stevens started the weekend with 25 lap wins at the Catamount Stadium on Thursday night. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night with Bugsy Stevens taking the win over Fred Harbach, Smokey Boutwell, Leo Cleary and Frank Faria. A t the Albany-Saratoga Speedway 50 laps was the main event. Don MacTavish drove to a convincing win over Andy Romano, Jerry Cook, Rene Charland and Lou Lazzaro. Leo Cleary took the top spot at Norwood on Saturday night while at Fonda Lou Lazzaro took the victory over Dave Lape and Don MacTavish. Thompson ran twin 25’s on Sunday with Bugsy Stevens taking them both. Utica Rome rounded out the weekend on Sunday night with Dick Fowler taking the win over Robbie Kotary, Sonny Seamon, Dick Clark and Bernie Miller. MORE>>
06-27-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 Ken Meahl won a 60 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica- Rome Speedway. Cam Gagliardi finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Ed Ortiz and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five.
Forty years ago in 1968, rain washed out racing at Stafford and Malta on Friday night. Rain also washed out Fonda on Saturday night. The sky cleared at Norwood where Mr. Leo Cleary took the win. Joe Krukowski won at Islip and Don Flynn won at Riverside Park. Thompson cancelled the races on Sunday. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper with Andy Romano taking the win over Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Dave Kotary and Ron Narducci. Sam Reakes won at Fulton. Don Diffendorf won at the Spencer Speedway. MORE>>
06-20-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 at the Utica-Rome Speedway Rene Charland picked up his fourth victory of the year at the Vernon, New York oval. Cam Gagliardi finished second with Ken Meahl, third. Forty years ago in 1968, Kenny Shoemaker went two for two as he won on the asphalt at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night and on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night. Bernie Miller finished second at Albany and was followed by Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro and Dave Lape. At Fonda, Ray Sitterly finished second with Dave Lape, third. In Friday night action at Stafford Mr. Leo Cleary put the Joe Brady 41 in victory lane. Bill Slater finished second with Bugsy Stevens, Tommy Borget and Ralph “Hop” Harrington rounding out the top five. Saturday night at Norwood saw Roland LaPierre Sr. take the win. At Thompson on Sunday, Steady Eddie Flemke in the Bob Judkins 2x took the win and in Sunday night action at Utica-Rome Dave Kotary took the win over Bill Henry, Ken Shoemaker, Dave Gaul and Dick Clark. MORE>>
06-13-08: Forty-five years ago in 1963 Ernie Gahan won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman 25 lap feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Bob Zeigler finished second with Jim Luke, third. Forty years ago in 1968, Don Wayman was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Richie Evans finished second and was followed by Dave Gaul, Ray Sitterly and Ken Canestrary. Bugsy Stevens put the mighty No.3 of Len Boehler in victory lane at Stafford. Don MacTavish finished second with Eddie Flemke, Holly Wildler and Mario Fats Caruso rounding out the top five. Saturday night action at Norwood was rained out. At the Fulton Raceway Bob Merz scored his first of ten features he would win in three years of competing at the track. Rene Charland was the top banana at Fonda as he beat out Ed Pieniezek for the win. Sunday action at Utica-Rome and at Thompson rained out. MORE>>
06-06-08: Forty five years ago in 1963, Steady Eddie Flemke Sr. won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Bill Wimble finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Lee Millington and Bob Zeiglar rounded out the top five. Forty years ago in 1968, Bob Bruno was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Robbie Kotary finished second and was followed by Hop Harrington, Ed Pieniezek and Dave Kotary. At Stafford, Eddie Flemke got the best of Bugsy Stevens in traffic and came out the winner. Stevens finished second and was followed by Leo Cleary, Dick Watson and Tommy Borget. Fred DeSarro, driving his own 327 Chevy powered Sportsman took down the Saturday night feature at Norwood. Ronnie Mayer took the win at Riverside Park and on the dirt at Fonda, Eddie Pieniezek took the win over Lou Lazzaro and Don Wayman. Thompson was idle on Sunday. At the Utica-Rome Speedway Bernie Miller scored a popular win over Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke. MORE>>
05-30-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 Rene Charland made it three in a row as he won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Bill Wimble finished second with Jerry Cook, third. Bob Zeigler and Ken Meahl rounded out the top five. Forty years ago, in 1968, on the Memorial Day weekend the Albany-Saratoga Speedway presented a 100-lap event. Jerry Cook rose to the occasion and took the win over Hop Harrington. At Stafford, Bugsy Stevens in the mighty No.3 of Len Boehler took the win over Fred DeSarro, Eddie Flemke, Fred Harbach and Tommy Borget. At Norwood, on Saturday night, Mr. Leo Cleary in the Joe Brady No.41 took the win. On the dirt at Fonda, Lou Lazzaro was unbeatable as he beat out Jerry Cook and Eddie Pieniezak for the win. Rain washed out activities at Thompson. At Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro, in the same car he ran on dirt the night before changed tires and springs and went out and won on the pavement. Paul Hamel finished second with Jerry Cook, Dick Clark and Richie Evans rounding out the top five. MORE>>
05-23-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 Rene Charland was well on his way to the NASCAR Sportsman Championship as he made it two in a row at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Cam Gagliardi finished second with Ed Ortiz, third. Forty years ago, in 1968, Bugsy Stevens made it two in a row at Stafford on Friday night. Eddie Flemke, the previous week’s winner, finished second. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell finished third with Reno Tulonen and Leo Cleary rounding out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Lou Lazzaro took the top spot over Don MacTavish, Jerry Cook, Rene Charland and Andy Romano. Bugs Stevens took his winning ways to Norwood on Saturday where he dusted the field. At Fonda, Ray Sitterly scored a surprise victory over Kenny Shoemaker and Ron Narducci and at Fulton, Dutch Hoag scored the first of 12 events he would win over the next three seasons. Eddie Flemke put the 2x of Bobby Judkins in victory lane at Thompson while at Utica-Rome twin features were on tap. MORE>>
05-16-08: Forty-five years ago in 1963 Mr. Rene Charland took the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman win at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Lou Lazzaro finished second with Tom Kotary, third. Jim Luke and Jeep Herbert rounded out the top five. Forty years ago, in 1968, the action was hot and heavy at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway where Rene Charland held off charging Don MacTavish for the win. Bernie Miller finished third with Dave Kotary and Ed Pieniezek rounding out the top five. At Stafford, Bugsy Stevens took the top spot over Jack Malone, Bill Slater, Lou Toro and Joe Trudeau. Saturday night action at Norwood and Fonda rained out. Bugs Stevens made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Thompson on Sunday afternoon. Sunday night racing at Utica-Rome fell victim to rain. MORE>>
05-09-08: Forty five years ago in 1963 it rained at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Forty years ago in 1968, Jerry Cook took the win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Dave Kotary finished second with Ron Narducci, Dave Lape and Eddie Pieniezek rounding out the top five. At Stafford, Eddie Flemke made it two in a row despite a lot of pressure from Bugsy Stevens, who finished second. Fred DeSarro finished third and was followed by Sal Dee and Lou Toro. Bugsy Stevens made it two in a row at the Norwood Arena on Saturday night. At Fonda it was Lou Lazzaro over Ed Pieniezek and Dick Clark. Sunday racing at Thompson and Utica-Rome rained out. MORE>>
05-02-08: Forty-five years ago in 1963, Jim Luke won the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman feature at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Ken Meahl finished second with Bobby Cain, third. Rene Charland and Lou Lazzaro rounded out the top five. Forty years ago in 1968 the Fonda Speedway opened for the season with Eddie Pieniezek taking the win over Jerry Cook and Ron Narducci. Ray Hendrick won the Spring 100 at Martinsville. Steady Eddie Flemke, in the Bobby Judkins No.2x went two for two as he won season openers at Norwood Arena on Saturday night and Thompson on Sunday afternoon. In other northeast action, Don Diffendorf won the season opener at Fulton Raceway in New York on Sunday. MORE>>
04-25-08: Forty-five years ago in 1963 the Utica-Rome Speedway opened for the season. Tom Kotary won the 25-lap NASCAR Sportsman feature. Robbie Kotary finished second with Jim Luke, third. Rene Charland and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five. Forty years ago in 1968 there was no Spring Sizzler as most of the extra distance-added purse events were run in the fall after Labor Day. Ray Hendrick won a 100 lap modified event at Martinsville on Saturday afternoon. Norwood Arena in Massachusetts opened for the season with Eddie Flemke taking the win. At Fonda, Eddie Pieniezak took the win on the dirt over Jerry Cook and Ron Narducci. Flemke made it two for two on the weekend as he won the Sunday afternoon event at Thompson. Also running on Sunday was Fulton where Don Diffendorf took the win. Thirty-five years ago in 1973, Ed Flemke got even for a disappointment suffered 12 months prior when he turned the tables on Fred DeSarro to win Sizzler II. DeSarro, who had won the original Sizzler when Flemke's water pump broke, finished second and was followed by Maynard Troyer, Paul Radford, Guy Chartrand and Richie Evans. MORE>>
04-18-08: Thirty-five years ago in 1968, Don Wayman was the opening night winner at Fonda. Jerry Cook finished second with Dick Clark, third. Stafford began their second season on asphalt the way they began their first as Eddie Flemke took the opening day win over Bugsy Stevens, Jerry Dostie, Don MacTavish and Jerry Cook. Thirty years ago, in 1973, Steady Eddie Flemke made up for his bitter defeat a year earlier as he won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford. Flemke led the inaugural event until a broken waterpump sidelined him in the closing laps. Fred DeSarro who won a year earlier, finished second with Maynard Troyer, Paul Radford and Guy Chartrand rounding out the top five. MORE>>
04-11-08: Thirty years ago, in 1978, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford drew 111 Modifieds. Maynard Troyer scored the win and led a top three sweep of New York drivers. Richie Evans finished second with Geoff Bodine, third. Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro rounded out the top five. Kenny Bouchard led the early going until being passed by Geoff Bodine on lap 8. Bodine led until lap 44 when Troyer brought the crowd of 13,000 to their feet as he took the lead John Rosati won the non-qualifiers event over Eddie St Angelo, Jim Tyler and Jerry Bartlet. MORE>>
04-04-08: Forty years ago in 1968, SJ Evonsion scored his first win at the Riverside Park Speedway which was a 1/8 mile oval at the time. Thirty years ago, in 1978, the Modifieds ran a spring event at the 1-1/2 mile Trenton Speedway. Richie Evans took the lead and the win when Bugsy Stevens ran out of gas with two laps to go. Twenty five years ago, in 1983, all was quiet Twenty years ago, in 1988, all was quiet Fifteen years ago in 1993, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was in Richmond, VA. Mike Stefanik took the lead from Jan Leaty with three laps to go as he went on to record the victory. Jeff Fuller finished second with Leaty third over Mike Ewanitsko and Doug Hevron rounding out the top five. MORE>>
03-28-08: Twenty five years ago, in 1983, Greg Sacks rebounded from a blown engine at Martinsville as he won the New England season opening IceBreaker at Thompson. Sacks took the lead from Richie Evans with three laps to go in the 83-lap contest. George Kent finished second as Evans faded to third at the checker. Ray Miller and John Rosati rounded out the top five. Evans, who started on the pole, was forced to pit after suffering a flat left rear tire on the second lap. Sacks, who started on the outside pole, led until lap 46 when Evans re-took the lead. Evans clearly had the fastest car but his hard charge to the front took its toll on his tires. Cale Yarborough was the Winston Cup winner in Atlanta. Twenty years ago, in 1988, Riverside Park opened their season with a 100 lapper, which was won by Reggie Ruggerio. Mike Stefanik in the Jack Koszela 15 finished second with Stan Greger, third. Rounding out the top five were Long Island invader Tom Baldwin and Marty Radwick. MORE>>
03-21-08: Forty years ago in 1968, Bugsy Stevens scored his first of many Martinsville wins as he won the Dogwood 300. Thirty-five Years ago in 1973, Paul Radford took the modified win at Martinsville. Richie Evans finished second with Gene Bergin, Ed Flemke and Denis Giroux rounding out the top five. Twenty-five years ago, in 1983, the NASCAR Modifieds had their season opener at Martinsville. Richie Evans started on the pole and ended up winning the event. Greg Sacks started on the outside pole. His run lasted one lap as he lost an engine going into turn three and headed for the pits. It was not a good weekend for Sacks as he received word on Sunday morning that his sister and brother-in-law were involved in a bad accident on Long Island. His brother-in-law perished and his sister was seriously injured. Evans and Tony Hirschman pretty much dominated the event. Hirschman ended up in second spot and was followed by Brett Bodine, Roger Treichler, Bob Fuller and Joe Mamolito. Ray Hendrick, Martinsville’s winningest driver, announced his retirement. MORE>>
03-14-08: Thirty years ago in 1978, the NASCAR Modifieds made their annual early spring trip to Martinsville. Richie Evans, who had 143 victories to his credit going into the 1978 season, added another to the list as he won the 250-lap event. Geoff Bodine, who would end up with 55 wins at season’s end finished second. Billy Hensley finished third with Jerry Cook and Brian Ross rounding out the top five. New England favorites Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro did not have luck on their side as they both dropped put with mechanical problems. DeSarro lost an engine and Stevens lost a transmission. Twenty-five years ago, in 1983, Richard Petty took the Winston Cup win at Rockingham after Geoff Bodine wrecked in the late stages while leading. Bill Elliott finished second with Darrell Waltrip, third. Bodine ended up 19th. Ron Bouchard was 20th. MORE>>
03-07-08: Fifteen years ago in 1993, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Richmond for a 25-lap event, which served as a preview of an up-coming event. Jeff Fuller took the event over Doug Hevron, Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggiero and Mike Ewanitsko. Mark Martin made the Busch Grandnational event at Richmond a no-contest affair as he coasted to an easy win over Joe Nemachek. In Winston Cup action, Davey Allison beat out Rusty Wallace by 4.38 seconds for the win. Ten years ago in 1998, Steve Park, well on his way to becoming a NASCAR Winston Cup superstar suffered a major setback at Atlanta when he crashed during a practice session and suffered a broken leg, collarbone and broken teeth. Bobby Labonte won the actual event, which was run on Monday because of rain. MORE>>
02-29-08: Thirty years ago in 1978, the NASCAR Modifieds had an early season event at Hickory, North Carolina. Geoff Bodine took the win over Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Wayne Anderson, Gary Cretty, Joe Thurman and Fred Harbach. Ten years ago in 1998, Jim Spencer took the lead with 25 laps to go and went on to win the Busch Grandnational 300 at Las Vegas. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. Randy Lajoie provided some excitement on the last lap when he flipped. Mark Martin was the Winston Cup winner. Five years ago in 2003 the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series racing teams headed for Las Vegas. Because of intermittent rain qualifying for both events were run at night. Many of the teams arrived late after they were stuck in an ice storm in Texas. Terry Labonte was the Winston Cup Busch Pole sitter. Matt Kenseth took the lead after a pit stop on lap 237 and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win. Michael Waltrip finished third. In last lap action, Jimmie Johnson and Sterling Marlin wrecked while fighting for eighth spot. Joe Nemachek won the Busch Series race over Kevin Harvick. MORE>>
02-22-08: Thirty years ago in 1978 Benny Parsons won the Richmond 400 as 20,000 spectators looked on. Lenny Pond finished second with Cale Yarborough, third. Darrel Waltrip and Dick Brooks rounded out the top five. Twenty-five years ago in 1983, Bobby Allison won the Richmond 400 Winston Cup event. Twenty years ago in 1988, the Winston Cup division of NASCAR was at Richmond and the tire war between Hoosier and Goodyear was on. Hoosier had the tire to beat. Morgan Shepherd took the pole on Hoosiers and Neil Bonnett took the win, also on Hoosiers. MORE>>
02-15-08: Fifty years ago in 1958 Paul Goldsmith went pole to pole to win what was to be the last event run at Daytona on the 4.1 mile beach-road course. Goldsmith led all 39 laps and collected $4550 for his efforts. Curtis Turner finished second in the 49-car field. Jack Smith, Joe Weatherly and Gwyn Staley rounded out the top five. Forty-five years ago in 1963, two hundred-mile qualifying races were held on Thursday to set the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. Junior Johnson in the Ray Fox Chevrolet won the first qualifier over Paul Goldsmith, AJ Foyt, Larry Frank and Dan Gurney. Northern hot shoe Red Foote started 21st and finished 16th. USAC driver Johnny Rutherford passed Rex White with five laps to go to win the second qualifier. White finished second and was followed by Fred Lorenzen, Ned Jarrett, Nelson Stacey and Tiny Lund. MORE>>
02-08-08: Fifty years ago in 1958 it was the final event to be run on the old beach-road course in Daytona Beach. Bill France Sr. had a vision for a vast super speedway and it would become a reality one-year later when the 2-1/2 mile high banked Daytona International Speedway would be completed and run its first event. On the beach it was Paul Goldsmith taking the poll position for the 49 car-starting field. Goldsmith toured the 4.1 mile circuit at 140.570 mph. Jim Thompson was second fastest with Cotton Owens, Eddie Pagen and Lee Petty making up the top five. MORE>>

2007

11-30-07: Thirty years ago in 1977, the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium in New Jersey was a 150-lap open competition modified event that drew modifieds from all over the northeast. Local favorite Gil Hearne showed his home court advantage as he took the top spot. Ronnie Bouchard finished second. Jim Hendrickson, Tom Baldwin, and Fred Harbach rounded out the top five. Blistering cold and wind greeted spectators and competitors alike. Following Harbach were Charlie Jarzombek, Jim Hoffman, Gene Bergin, John Rosati, Richie Evans, Sonny Seamon, Robert Hendrickson, Ollie Silva, Geoff Bodine and Maynard Troyer. MORE>>
11-23-07: Twenty-five years ago, in 1982, in Winston Cup action at Riverside California, Darrell Waltrip took the pole and finished third behind winner Tim Richmond. Third was good enough as Waltrip wrapped up the 1982 Winston Cup division championship, his second in a row. Ronnie Bouchard finished sixth. Twenty years ago, in 1987, the Oswego Speedway, the undisputed Super Modified Capitol of the World announced that they had signed a sanction with NASCAR for four Winston Modified Tour events in 1988. A year later, those in power at Oswego would express their feelings that they were not happy with the way NASCAR ran their programs and would not invite them back again. Fifteen years ago, in 1992, NASCAR’s Winston Cup division saw the end of one era and the beginning of another. Richard Petty drove his last race at Atlanta and officially retired from driving. Rick Wilson was named as his replacement. It was also at Atlanta that Jeff Gordon made his Winston Cup debut. MORE>>
11-16-07: Fifteen years ago, in 1992, NASCAR’s Winston Cup division saw the end of one era and the beginning of another. Richard Petty drove his last race at Atlanta and officially retired from driving. Rick Wilson was named as his replacement. It was also at Atlanta that Jeff Gordon made his Winston Cup debut. Five years ago in 2002, The Busch North Series got some good news at their awards banquet when NASCAR Touring Series Director Chris Boals announced that the successful television package with the Speed Channel had been renewed, with expanded national television coverage for the BNS in 2003 and beyond. This was a definite shot in the arm for competitors who were in the process of securing sponsorship for their race teams. The Speed Channel had also announced that they would cover USAC events in 2003. MORE>>
11-09-07: Thirty years ago, in 1977, Geoff Bodine capped a successful season with double wins for the weekend. Chemung ran a 100-lap Open Competition event on Saturday. Following Bodine at the finish were Merv Treichler, George Kent, Maynard Troyer, and Eddie Flemke Sr. Westboro closed out their season with a 50 lapper on Sunday. After an all night ride, Bodine took that one too. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by George Murray, Bugsy Stevens, Joe Howard and John Rosati. Twenty-five years ago, in 1982, the only action was at Atlanta where Bobby Allison took the 500-mile win over Harry Gant. MORE>>
11-02-07: Thirty years ago, in 1977, rainouts split the modified fields of cars as some went to Martinsville for the Cardinal 500 and some went to Thompson for the World Series. Martinsville had the NASCAR sanction and drew most of the top stars. The World Series, at that time was open competition. Bugsy Stevens took the win in Virginia. Local favorite Billy Hensley finished second with Brian Ross, Hank Thomas and Brett Bodine rounding out the top five. At Thompson, Fred DeSarro took the win over Freddie Schulz, Leo Cleary, George Summers and Bobby Clark. MORE>>
10-26-07: Thirty ago, in 1977, the Monadnock Speedway hosted a 100 lap, open-competition event. Dynamite Ollie Silva was the class of the field as he cleaned house on this cool fall day. Ray Miller finished second with Reggie Ruggiero, Bugsy Stevens and John Rosati rounding out the top five. Little did anyone know, Silva’s racing career would come to an end the following year at the Winchester, New Hampshire track when his car flew off the back stretch and hit a tree. The NASCAR Modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Jerry Cook, Paul Radford, Wayne Anderson, Roger Hill and Bob Park. Twenty five years ago, in 1982, It was all-quiet on the racing front. The Winston Cup division of NASCAR had a scheduled event at Rockingham, North Carolina but because of rain, had to be postponed to the end of the month which would conflict with the season ending Cardinal 500 at Martinsville. MORE>>
10-19-07: Thirty-five years ago, in 1972, the Modified season came to a close at Martinsville where Bobby Santos put the Art Barry No.09 in victory lane. Mike Loescher finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Bernie Miller and Melvin ”Puddin” Swisher. Rounding out the top ten were Hank Thomas, Bugsy Stevens, Ray Hendrick, Leo Cleary and RE Brim. Sixty-one modifieds were on hand. Thirty years ago, in 1977, Thompson’s World Series fell victim to rain. The only modified action was in the Southland at the Hickory Speedway in North Carolina. Jerry Cook took the win over Paul Radford.
10-12-07: Fifty years ago, in 1952, the Race of Champions was in its second year of existence on the one-mile circular Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Jim Delaney scored his first of three ROC victories. Hully Bunn who had won the previous year finished a distant 39th. Also in the field and finishing 58th was Ralph Moody, then from Taunton, Mass. Fifty years ago, in 1957, Chevrolet was enjoying its first year with the 327 small block V-8. With fuel injection heads plus a four-barrel carburetor and duel exhaust, the 327 put out more horsepower per pound of engine weight than any engine that would be built for many years to come. Glenn Guthrie was the winner of the Langhorne Race of Champions. MORE>>
10-05-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Donald ”Dutch” Hoag became the first four time winner of the Race of Champions, which, at the time was run at the one mile Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Hoag was a winner at Langhorne on both the dirt and asphalt surfaces. Al Tasnady finished second with Don MacTavish, Bill Wimble and Irish Jack Murphy rounding out the top five. Thirty-five years ago in 1972, Geoff Bodine in his Plymouth Valiant bodied modified won the Race of Champions at the Trenton New Jersey Fairgrounds. In addition to the non-conventional body, Bodine's chassis was that of an International Scout which sported independent coil-over shock suspension on all four wheels. The big surprise of the day was the run turned in by Gene Bergin who came from a dead last starting spot to finish second. MORE>>
09-28-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the season was slowly but surely winding down. The only action was at Stafford where Gene Bergin made it three in a row and locked up the first asphalt modified championship by taking a hard fought win over Dick Watson and Bob Melnick. Rounding out the top five were Fred Harbach and Jerry Wheeler. Bill Slater was crowned the Sportsman Champion. The midgets also ran at Stafford that weekend with Lou Fray taking the win over George Monson. The only other action was the All-Star League which ran on the dirt at the 1-1/8 mile Nazareth Speedway. Frankie Schnieder took the win over Will Cagle, Dick Havens, Sonny Hutchins and Lee Hendrickson. MORE>>
09-21-07: Forty years ago, in 1967, rain washed out all racing in New England. The only action was at the Utica-Rome Speedway where a 150-lap season finale was held. Don MacTavish took the win over Jerry Cook, Bill Wimble, Sonny Seamon and Kenny Shoemaker. Wimble was crowned the Modified Track Champion and Bernie Miller was the Sportsman champion. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Richard Petty won the 500-lap event by four laps over Dick Hutcherson. Thirty-five years ago, in 1972, the modifieds headed to Martinsville for a 100 lapper. Local favorite Paul Radford took the win over Denis Giroux, Jerry Cook, Billy Hensley and Bugsy Stevens. Stevens’ hopes of a fourth national title were going away as Cook held an 890-point lead. Jim Shampine took the season ending Oswego Modified-Sportsman 200.Eddie Flemke finished second with Mike Loescher, Roger Treichler and Geoff Bodine rounding out the top five. MORE>>
09-14-07: Forty years ago, in 1967, Gene Bergin made it two in a row at Stafford. Don MacTavish finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro, Jerry Wheeler and Rene Charland. The USAC Sprinters were also on hand for the Joe Csiki Memorial. Former Eastern Bandit Dennis Zimmerman, who would go on to become a Rookie of the Year at Indianapolis, won the event. Gene Bergin finished second with Earl Halaquist, third. Zimmerman and Bergin would also be inducted into The New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame. Norwood Arena ran their annual Bay State 200, which was won by another Hall of Famer, Ralph "Hop” Harrington. The Albany Saratoga Speedway wrapped up their season with a 50 lapper, which was won by Dave Kotary. Don MacTavish finished second and was followed by Rene Charland, Bill Wimble and Eddie Flemke. Bill Wimble was named as the Modified Champion. George Pendergast was the Sportsman Champion. MORE>>
09-07-07: Forty 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 Patnode and Guy Chartrand. At Fonda, on Saturday night, Bill Wimble took the win over Ray Sitterly and Jerry Cook. 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. Thirty-five 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. MORE>>
08-31-07: Forty years ago, in 1967, Leo Cleary paid a surprise and rare visit to Riverside Park where he won the Wednesday night All Star League 100. Jack LeCuyer finished second and was followed by Bill Wimble, Eddie Flemke, Gene Bergin, Buzzie Reutiman and Rene Charland. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night to start off the Labor Day weekend with Sal Dee taking the win over Smokey Boutwell, Bill Slater, Don Flynn and Bobby Santos. Albany Saratoga ran a 200 lapper with Don MacTavish taking the win over Bill Wimble, Richie Evans, Pete Hamilton and Eddie Flemke. At Norwood on Saturday, Bill Slater and his V-8 ruled the roost. The New Yorker 400 at Utica-Rome took center stage on Sunday night. Run in two-two hundred lap segments, Don MacTavish won the opening segment over Bugsy Stevens, Bill Wimble, and Jerry Cook. Dave Kotary won the nite-cap over Eddie Flemke, Jean Paul Cabana, Lou Lazzaro and Cook. The annual Labor Day afternoon Bardahl 400, also a two-segment event, was run at Norwood. Fred DeSarro and Bugsy Stevens were the winners. Before the tires and engines could cool, crews loaded their cars and headed for Stafford for the Labor Day evening 100. Gene Bergin took the win over Dick Watson, Maynard Forette, Ed Patnode and Rene Charland. MORE>>
08-24-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the All Star League visited the tight 1/5th mile oval at Islip on Long Island. Eddie Flemke, a master of the bullrings, lived up to his reputation as he won the 100-lap event over Jerry Cook, Bill Wimble and Fred Harbach. Rain prevailed on the East Coast for the entire weekend, wiping out all racing. Thirty five years ago in 1972, Fred DeSarro went two for two as he won at Seekonk on Friday night and at Stafford on Saturday night. At Seekonk, Billy Clarke finished second and at Stafford, Leo Cleary, Ernie Gahan, George Summers and Hop Harrington, rounded out the top five. Bob Santos took the Friday night win at Malta. Ron Bouchard finished second with Richie Evans, third. At Fonda, on Saturday night, Maynard Forrette beat out Harry Peek and Al Castrucci for top honors. Modifieds from all over the East Coast converged on the Pocono Raceway for the Flight 216 modified event on the ¾ mile oval. Ninety-eight modifieds were on hand. MORE>>
08-17-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the All Star League paid a visit to the Flemington Speedway on Wednesday night. Frankie Schneider, one of the top dirt track drivers of the day took the win over Budd Olsen, Jackie Hamilton and Bob Pickell. Friday night at Stafford saw Eddie Flemke take the win over Hank Stevens, Bill Slater, Fats Caruso and Lou Toro. Albany Saratoga on Friday and Fonda on Saturday fell victim to rain but at Norwood it was dry as Bob Melnick took the win. The up state New York rains continued into Sunday and washed out Sunday night action at Utica-Rome. MORE>>
08-10-07: Sixty years ago in 1947, the Lonsdale Sports Arena, just outside of Providence, R.I. opened. Lonsdale featured a 1/3-mile high-banked speedway with the midgets as headliners. Lonsdale was also one of the first speedways to hold races for production automobiles, which was the forerunner of what we consider today as being stock cars. Lonsdale took four months to build and was dubbed the Worlds Greatest Midget Track. The chutes were 45 feet wide with a 7-foot bank. The turns were 60 feet wide with a 15-foot bank. Lonsdale ran until 1953 when the track was severely damaged by a flood, which wiped out half of the backstretch. The track was never rebuilt. The remains are still there on the banks of the Blackstone River. If in operation today, the track would be perfect for the modern modifieds as it would be comparable to a mini-Bristol. MORE>>
08-03-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the month of August began with a Wednesday night visit by the All-Star League at the Fonda Speedway. Rene Charland took on the best in the business and in the end prevailed in the 100-lap event at the New York oval. Pete Corey finished second with Maynard Forrette, Jack Farquar and Frankie Schenieder rounding out the top five. At Stafford, on Friday night, Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took a hotly contested win in the nights Modified feature. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 finished second. Rounding out the top five were Leo Cleary, Sal Dee and Wild Bill Slater. Albany Saratoga ran a 150 lapper with Ernie Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Bill Wimble, Jerry Cook and Ed Patnoad. Rene Charland continued to be unbeatable at Fonda as he made it three in a row on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Ken Canistrary, third. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night. Steady Eddie Flemke, a master of the short tracks, took the win over Fred Harbach, Lou Lazzaro, Don MacTavish and Bill Wimble. MORE>>
07-27-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the All Star League paid a Wednesday night visit to the Wall Stadium in Belmar, N.J. Gene Bergin took the 100 lap win over Eddie Flemke, Tommie Elliott, Ernie Gahan, Bill Wimble and Don Stives. It rained at Stafford and at the Albany Saratoga Speedways on Friday night. Spencer Speedway managed to get their races in with Merv Treichler taking the win. Saturday night action saw Rene Charland make it two in a row at Fonda as he won over Don Wayman and Maynard Forette. Dutch Hoag continued his win streak at Fulton and at Riverside Park Jerry Humiston took the win. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, Bill Wimble took the win over Dave Lape, Richie Evans, Dick Clark and Rene Charland. MORE>>
07-20-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Fred Harbach scored his first and only win at Stafford on Friday. Dick Watson finished second with Leo Cleary, Fred DeSarro and Bill Slater rounding out the top five. Harback, one of the top guns from Long Island, raced at Stafford, Norwood and Thompson throughout 1967.Rene Charland was the winner of a 40 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Bill Wimble finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Jerry Cook and Ernie Gahan rounded out the top five. Charland made it two for two as he won a 100 lapper at Fonda on Saturday night. Wimble and Gahan followed. Gene Bergin was the Saturday night winner at Norwood and Dutch Hoag won again at Fulton. Sunday action at Thompson and Utica-Rome rained out. MORE>>
07-13-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Bobby Allison recorded his first ever Winston Cup (then called Grandnational) win as he won a northern tour event at Oxford Plains on a Tuesday night. . Richard Petty finished second. The All Star League visited Middletown, N Y on Wednesday where Frankie Schenieder took the win over Pete Corey. The Winston Cup Northern Tour headed for Fonda, NY for a Thursday night show where Richard Petty beat out Bobby Allison. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bugsy Stevens was the top banana as he outran Smokey Boutwell for the win. Dick Watson, Leo Cleary and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five. Ernie Gahan took the Friday night 30 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Robbie Kotary finished second and was followed by Kenny Shoemaker, Dick Nephew and Guy Chartrand. The NASCAR Winston Cup (GN) traveled to Islip on Saturday night for a 500 lap contest on the tight 1/5 mile oval. Richard Petty won by three laps over James Hylton MORE>>
07-06-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night with Gene Bergin in the M-6 taking the win over Fred DeSarro, Fred Harbach, Eddie Flemke and Tommie Elliott. At the Albany Saratoga Speedway Kenny Shoemaker took the top spot over Andy Romano, Bill Wimble, Don Wayman and Dick Clark. At Norwood Arena on Saturday night, Mr. Leo Cleary took top honors as he won the modified main event for the second week in a row. Fonda’s victory lane belonged to Bill Wimble as he out ran Dave Lape and Andy Romano for the win. Utica Rome ran their rained out 100 lapper from the week before and it was Eddie Flemke taking the win over Bill Wimble, Rene Charland, Don MacTavish and Ernie Gahan. MORE>>
06-29-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Eddie Flemke won a 50 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Stafford had a 100 lapper scheduled but was forced to cancel due to rain. Following Flemke were Pete Hamilton, Bernie Miller, Elton Hill and Lou Lazzaro. Leo Cleary was the Saturday night feature winner at the Norwood Arena. At Fonda, Pete Corey took the win over Bill Wimble and Lazzaro. Thompson and Utica-Rome fell victim to rain. The All Star League, the brainchild of Larry Mendelsohn and Lou Figari made its debut at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Fred Harbach took the 100 lap main event over Bill Wimble, Pete Corey, Rene Charland, Ernie Gahan, Kenny Shoemaker and Eddie Flemke. MORE>>
06-22-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Bugsy Stevens was the Friday night winner at Stafford over Gene Bergin, Bobby Santos, Pete Hamilton and Leo Cleary. It was Stevens’ first win at Stafford. Double features were on tap at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Rene Charland took the opener and was followed by Bill Wimble, Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro and Guy Chartrand. Kenny Shoemaker won the nightcap over Richie Evans, Wimble, Lazzaro and Flemke. Hamilton, who had taken over the Worcester Sand and Gravel No.69 that had formerly been driven by Mario "Fats" Caruso took the Saturday night win at Norwood Arena. At Fonda, it was Rene Charland over Lou Lazzaro and Jack Farquar. At the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night George Pendergast beat out Richie Evans, Pete Corey, Billy Harman and Rene Charland for the win. MORE>>
06-15-07: Forty years ago in 1967, rain washed out weekend racing at Stafford, Norwood and Thompson. Spencer Speedway got their show in with Bob Hudson taking the win. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night local favorite Clayton “Sonny” Seamon took the win over Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro, Kenny Shoemaker and Andy Romano. Thirty five years ago in 1972, Gene Bergin, in the Dick Armstrong No.1 took the top spot in Friday night action at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. Bob Santos finished second with Richie Evans, Bugsy Stevens and Fred DeSarro rounding out the top five. Ray Miller, in the Meyers-Sweatland Mustang, took Stafford by storm on Saturday night. Following Miller at the finish were Fred DeSarro, Billy Harman, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke. MORE>>
06-08-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Eddie Flemke made it clear that he liked the new asphalt at Stafford as he made it two in a row. Fred Harbach finished second with Bobby Santos, third with Fred DeSarro and Joe Trudeau rounding out the top five. Rain put a damper on action at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. A little further west at the Spencer Speedway Jim Shampine took a Friday night win. At the Norwood Arena on Saturday night, Johnny Thompson put his Ford Cobra powered mount in victory lane. The NEMA midgets gave Stafford a try on Sunday with Johnny Coy taking the win over Russ Klar, Jerry Wall and George Konklin. Fulton Raceway ran on Saturday and Sunday. Dutch Hoag won the Saturday event with Don Diffendorf winning on Sunday. Flemke made it two in a row at the Utica – Rome Speedway. Ernie Gahan finished second with Elton Hill, third. Bernie Miller and Dick Clark rounded out the top five. MORE>>
06-01-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the Stafford Speedway made the official transition from dirt to asphalt with the season opening 100 lapper for the NASCAR Modifieds. Smooth as silk asphalt along with new grandstands and fencing welcomed competitors and fans. Steady Eddie Flemke who was to become a modified legend in his own time took the victory over Pete Hamilton, Dick Watson, Bob Santos and Fred Harbach. With Stafford opening it drew some of the competitors away from the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Most of the New Yorkers were glad to see them go. When the checker dropped it was still a New Englander in the top spot as Ron Narducci took the win over Robbie Kotary, Guy Chartrand, Marcel Coriveau and Ernie Gahan. Dutch Hoag continued to win at Fulton and at Fonda Maynard Forette held off Bill Wimble and Dick Clark for the win. In Sunday night action at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Eddie Flemke took his second hundred MORE>>
05-25-07: Forty years ago in 1967 Don MacTavish took the top spot at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. It was an all New England top five as Pete Hamilton finished second and Tommy Borget finished third. Billy Harman and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five, At the Fonda Speedway Irv Taylor beat out Lou Lazzaro and Dave Lape and at the Utica-Rome Speedway Bill Wimble outlasted Bruce Dostal for the win. Dick Clark, Dave Lape and Rene Charland rounded out the top five. The Albany Saratoga Speedway ran a 100 lapper on Monday to celebrate Memorial Day. MacTavish made it two in a row at the Malta oval. Pete Hamilton again finished second with Lou Lazzaro, third. Guy Chartrand and Ernie Gahan rounded out the top five. MORE>>
05-18-07: Thirty-five years ago in 1972, Eddie Pieniezak was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. Jerry Cook, Eddie Flemke, Richie Evans and Lou Lazzaro rounded out the top five. Saturday night racing at Stafford, Waterford, Islip and Fonda rained out. Utica-Rome remained clear as hometown favorite Clayton "Sonny" Seamon took the win over Richie Evans, Bill Henry, Ron Holmes and Bernie Miller. Thirty years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens took the top spot at Stafford on Friday night. Geoff Bodine finished a strong second with Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Dick Caso rounding out the top five. MORE>>
05-11-07: Forty years ago in 1967 the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY opened for the season. A New England invasion captured four of the top five spots. Mario “Fats” Caruso took the win with Eddie Flemke and Gene Bergin following. Kenny Shoemaker finished fourth with George Pendergast rounding out the top five. Bill Wimble was the big winner at Fonda on Saturday night. Ernie Gahan and Pete Corey followed. Fulton’s main event went to Jim Shampine. For the second week in a row the Utica – Rome Speedway fell victim to rain. MORE>>
05-04-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Billy Blum won at Fulton while at Fonda; Rene Charland beat out Maynard Forette and Jeep Herbert for the win. Rain-washed out Utica Rome on Sunday. Thirty-five years ago in 1972, Maynard Forette was the Friday night winner at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta; N.Y. Bernie Miller finished second and was followed by Guy Chartrand, Lou Lazzaro, Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Santos and Richie Evans. At Fonda on Saturday night, Lou Lazzaro, using the same car that he ran on asphalt the night before, took the win over Kenny Shoemaker and Harry Peek. At the tight 1/5 mile oval at Islip, Charlie Jarzombek took the win over Jim Hendrickson and Wayne Anderson. Stafford ran a 30 lapper on Sunday afternoon with Gene Bergin in the Dick Armstrong No.1 taking the win over rookie Ronnie Bouchard. Leo Cleary finished third and was followed by Fred DeSarro, George Summers, Ray Miller and Nathan "Smokey" Boutwell. Sunday night racing at Utica-Rome rained out. MORE>>
04-27-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the only racing was in New York State. Fulton Raceway ran on Saturday night with Maynard Troyer taking the win. The Fonda Speedway opened for the season with Pete Corey taking the win over Jeep Herbert and Bill Wimble. Also opening for the season was the Utica-Rome Speedway where Fran Kitchen took the win over Kenny Shoemaker, Bernie Miller, Ray Sitterly and Frank Mathalia. Thirty-five years ago in 1972, the NASCAR Modifieds were in Martinsville for a 100 lap event which saw Bugsy Stevens take the win over Gene Bergin, Jerry Cook and Max Berrier. Islip opened for the season on Saturday night with Fred Harbach taking the win over Jim Hendrickson, George Wagner and Cliff Tyler. At Fonda, Jack Johnson dusted Lou Lazzaro and Maynard Forette for the win. MORE>>
04-20-07: Forty years ago in 1967, Martinsville ran a 100 lap modified event with Sonny Hutchins of Richmond, Va. taking the win. In the Grandnational (Winston Cup) event, Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough lapped the field as they finished one-two in the 500 lap event. The Fulton Raceway in New York cleared away the snow for an open competition event that was won by Lee Osborne Thirty-five years ago in 1972, hot off his Spring Sizzler victory, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row at Stafford as he won the Sunday afternoon 30-lap event. Bob Santos finished second and was followed by Hop Harrington, Ray Miller, Moose Hewitt, Rene Charland and Bernie Miller. South Boston also ran a modified event with Max Berrier winning the 75 lapper over Ray Hendrick, Paul Radford and Jerry Cook. Saturday night racing at Fonda rained out. MORE>>
04-13-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the Grandnationals (Winston Cup) was at North Wilkesboro . Darel Deringer took the win. Thirty-five years ago in 1972, it was dubbed the Greatest Race in the History of Spring. Dick Berggren, Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd conceived the idea of a high paying short track sprint of 80 laps called the Spring Sizzler. It was run at the Stafford Speedway and was such a rousing success; track owner Jack Arute bought the rights to the event. Close to 100 cars and 12,000 spectators were on hand for the inaugural event. Eddie Flemke, a Modified legend in his own time, appeared to have victory in hand until the closing stages when his car suffered a broken water pump, forcing him out. MORE>>
04-06-07: Thirty-five years ago in 1972, the only action was in the southland. Bowman-Grey Stadium in Winston-Salem , N.C. opened for the season on Saturday night. Wayne Lambreth took the win over Lloyd Ashby and Jerry Cook. At South Boston on Sunday, Max Berrier took the top spot with Gerald Compton, Paul Walton, Jerry Cook and Ashby rounding out the top five. Thirty years ago in 1977, a 200-mile NASCAR National Modified Championship event was run at the Trenton , N.J. Fairgrounds on the 1-1/2 mile kidney shaped oval. Jerry Makara took the win over Fred DeSarro, Satch Worley and Geof Bodine. It was also the season opener at Thompson where Bugsy Stevens was the Small Block Modified winner. Freddie Schulz finished second with Ronnie Bouchard, third. MORE>>
03-30-07: Forty years ago in 1967, the Dogwood 300 was run at Martinsville to open the season. Ray Hendrick in the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11 cleaned house! Thirty-five years ago in 1972, it was quiet in the northeast as the NASCAR Modifieds were at Hickory , NC . for a 125 lap event. Richie Evans took the win over Geoff Bodine, Gerald Compton, Satch Worley and John Bryant. Thirty years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens took the Small Block Modified portion of the season opening Ice Breaker at Thompson. Leo Cleary finished second with Ronnie Bouchard, Dick Caso and Ollie Silva rounding out the top five. The event was marred by an accident that took the life of Dave Peterson. MORE>>
03-23-07: Thirty-Five years ago in 1972, Richard Petty started third and took the Winston Cup win at Richmond. Thirty Years ago in 1977, Cale Yarborough won the Winston Cup event at Richmond , VA. Twenty-five years ago in 1982, Benny Parsons was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. The event was rained out and rescheduled. NASCAR did not have a next clear day policy at the time. Twenty years ago in 1987, Davey Allison was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. Geoff Bodine was second fastest. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event was cancelled because of heavy rain and not rescheduled. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Winston Cup event with Ricky Rudd, second. MORE>>
03-16-07: Thirty-five years ago in 1972, the NASCAR Modifieds and the Late Model Sportsman (Grandnationals) were at Martinsville for the Dogwood 500.Seventy six Modifieds were on hand. Bugsy Stevens, in the Sonny Koszela No.15 took the win over Mike Loescher, Fred DeSarro and Ray Hendrick. Rounding out the top ten were Bernie Miller, Charlie Jarzombek, Richie Evans, Geoff Bodine, Lou Lazzaro and Lew Hennesy. Sonny Hutchins in the Emanual Zervakas No.01 was the Late Model winner with Jimmie Hensley, second. MORE>>
03-02-07: wenty years ago in 1987, Alan Kulwicki took the Winston Cup pole at Richmond but it was Dale Earnhardt who took the win over Geoff Bodine. Fifteen years ago in 1992, Harry Gant came from the back to win the Grandnational event. Bill Elliott won the Winston Cup event by 18 inches over Alan Kulwicki. Jeff Fuller made his Winston Cup debut and finished 14th. Ten years ago in 1997, qualifying for Winston Cup and Busch Grandnational divisions at Richmond was rained out. Both events would be started based on points. Jeff Burton started 41st and dominated most of the Busch GN event that is until the last lap, when Jason Keller wailed him. MORE>>
02-23-07: Thirty-Five years ago in 1972, Richard Petty started third and took the Winston Cup win at Richmond. Thirty Years ago in 1977, Cale Yarborough won the Winston Cup event at Richmond, VA. Twenty-five years ago in 1982, Benny Parsons was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. The event was rained out and rescheduled. NASCAR did not have a next clear day policy at the time. Twenty years ago in 1987, Davey Allison was the Winston Cup pole sitter at Rockingham. Geoff Bodine was second fastest. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event was cancelled because of heavy rain and not rescheduled. Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the Winston Cup event with Ricky Rudd, second. MORE>>

2006

12-22-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971,some of those in competition were Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41, Denis Giroux in the Emmerick Associates No.50,Bob Karvonen in his own No.99,Ray Miller in his No.7,Don Flynn in his own No.25,Hank Stevens in the Freddy's TV No.23,Ernie Gahan, Moose Hewitt in the Bob Johnson No.17,Bugsy Stevens in the Sonny Koszela Woodchopper Spl,No.15,Fred DeSarro in Len Boehlers Ole Blu,No.3,Gene Bergin, Ed Yerrington, Leo Cleary in the Mystic Missile, Jerry Cook, Richie Gomes, Lou Austin, Dave O'Neil, Billy and Freddie Schulz, Ralph "Hop" Harrington in the Dick Armstrong No.1,Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55,Bernie Miller, Tony Russo, Winston Barrows, Moe Gherzi, Ronnie Shawn, Roland LaPierre Sr, Ernie Caruso, Lou Toro, Ray Sitterly, Rene Charland, Ray Hendrick in the Tant/Mitchell No.11,Eddie Flemke in the Art Barry No.09,Roger Treichler, Dutch Hoag, Eddie Pieniezak, Jean Guy Chartrand in the Hemi-Cuda No.69 MORE>>
11-24-06: Forty years ago in 1966, an era came to an end when it was announced that the half mile dirt track at the Stafford Springs Fairgrounds would be paved for the 1967 season. Stafford had been a Friday night hot bed as many of the big guns from New York including Kenny Shoemaker, Pete Corey, Maynard Forette, Don Wayman and Lou Lazzaro would come to Stafford to do battle with the likes of Bill Slater, Bob Janoski, Gene Bergin and Rene Charland. Once paved, Stafford became part of the weekend circuit known as the Circuit of Champions which consisted of Stafford on Friday night, Norwood Arena on Saturday night and Thompson on Sundays. It was the beginning of the Golden Era of Modified Racing in New England. MORE>>
11-17-06: Thirty years ago in 1976, the Falconi family that was operating the Westboro Speedway tried something different as they promoted a Modified race for mid November with heated grandstands. The Falconi's owned and operated an oil company and closed in the under part of the grandstand and used huge fuel oil powered heaters. Needless to say, the experiment worked as everyone was toasty warm. Leo Cleary in the Tiger Tom Dunn T-5 led the 50 lap main event from pole to pole. Bugsy Stevens finished second and was followed by George Murray, Mike Murphy, Bob Santos, Pete Fiandaca, Dick Caso and Roland LaPierre Jr. MORE>>
11-08-06: Thirty years ago in 1976, the Modifieds ran a special event at Kingsport, Tenn. Geoff Bodine ended his modified season with a win over Paul Radford and John Bryant. Twenty five years ago in 1981, the Thompson Speedway hosted their annual banquet. Taking top honors were Richie Evans, the Modified Champion, Dave Wandzy, the Street Stock Champ and Ron Cote, the late model champ. Special awards included most Improved in the Modifieds, Corky Cookman, Late models, Fran Colson and Street Stock, Jack Crosby. Rookie honors went to Ed Kennedy in the Modifieds, Rick Armstrong in the Late Models and Rick Fuller in the Street Stocks. Dick Williams, who promoted the speedway during the year, announced that he was not renewing his lease. Twenty years ago in 1986, Ben Dodge was hired by NASCAR to help out in the promotion and publicity of the Featherlite Modified Tour. MORE>>
11-03-06: Forty years ago in 1966, Ernie Gahan won the Nascar National Modified Championship. Finishing second in his first year of NASCAR Modified competition was Carl Bugsy Stevens. Ray Hendrick finished third. Don MacTavish was the Sportsman Champion. Following MacTavish in the standings were Wild Bill Slater, Rene Charland, Ralph Earnhardt, Bill Wimble, Tiny Lund, Joe Thurman, Pete Hamilton and Andre Manny. David Pearson was the Grandnational (Nextel) Cup Champion. MORE>>
10-27-06: Forty years ago in 1966 at the World Series at Thompson, season ending twin 50's were won by Sal Dee and Bugsy Stevens. Ed Flemke Sr was the overall winner. Thirty five years ago in 1971, NESMRA promoted the World Series event at Thompson which saw Supers and Modifieds running together. The Supers of the day were very unreliable which gave the full bodied cars a chance. The 50 lap main event was won by Eddie West in a Super, who had a two lap lead on the field. Don McLaren, also in a Super was second. Finishing third was Eddie Flemke who drove the Mystic Missile. Howard Brown, in a Super was fourth. Rounding out the top six were Bob Potter in the Billy Simons Excavator Special and Leo Cleary in the Armando Riccio Flying Nine. MORE>>
10-20-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971, The Race of Champions at Langhorne and the Cardinal 500 at Martinsville went head to head because of a previous rain out at Langhorne. Many of the NASCAR Modified contingents at Langhorne withdrew their entries as they were committed to the Martinsville event. Needless to say, both events went off as planned. At Langhorne, it was to be the last ever event to be held at the one mile circle track and it was Roger Treichler taking the win over Jim Shampine. Bob Merz finished third with Graeme Bolia and Lou Lazzaro rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Mike Loescher, Will Cagle, Chuck Boos, Sonny Seamon and Gary Iulg. Among those who chose not to go to Martinsville were Ray Hendrick who finished 32nd, Geoff Bodine who finished 27th and Charlie Jarzombek who finished 26th. Richie Evans, who was under suspension from NASCAR, finished 28th. MORE>>
10-13-06: Sixty five years ago in 1941, the Thompson Speedway suffered its first fatality as Tony Willman was thrown out of his midget after crashing and was hit by Howard Bumpus. This was one of the last events to be run before the start of World War II. Forty years ago in 1966, Will Cagle won the 100 mile National Open, (Race of Champions) at the Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Ray Tilley finished second with Bill Wimble, third. Jerry Dostie and Frank Myronchuk rounded out the top five. Bill Slater, who won the 1965 version, finished 15th. MORE>>
10-06-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971, the annual Race of Champions was scheduled to be run at the Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, Pa. It rained all weekend and competitors were dismayed and split over the fact that the event would go head to head with the season ending NASCAR modified event at Martinsville. Thompson also had an event scheduled but that too, was rained out. Thirty years ago in 1976, Fred DeSarro in the Len Boehler Ole Blu made up three laps and was closing on leader Maynard Troyer when Troyer took the win in the annual Race of Champions at Trenton. DeSarro settled for second and was followed by Charlie Jarzombek, Geoff Bodine, Bugsy Stevens, Paul Radford, Merv Treichler, Jerry Cook and Bob Potter. Thompson Speedway ran a 30 lap program which saw Freddie Schulz take the win over Jim Landry, Ron Cote, Dick Dunn and Nick Gardinia. MORE>>
09-29-06: Thirty five 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 Wyckoff. Thirty years ago in 1976, the Modifieds were silent as race teams made ready for the upcoming Race of Champions at Trenton. MORE>>
09-22-06: Forty years ago in 1966, Fred DeSarro driving his home built 327 Chevy Sportsman mount won the Bay State 200 at Norwood Arena. Pete Corey closed out the season at the Fonda Speedway with a win over Jeep Herbert and Lou Lazzaro. The Utica-Rome Speedway also ran their season finale with Kenny Shoemaker taking the win. Lazzaro finished second with Jerry Cook, third. Sonny Seamon and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five. MORE>>
09-15-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971, Islip, Stafford and Oswego were still running as the season was winding down. Jim Shampine won the Oswego 200 for Modifieds. At Islip, Jim Hendrickson, in the Tony Ferrente x3, ruled the roost. Cliff Tyler finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook and Gary Winters. At Stafford on Sunday afternoon, Bugsy Stevens in the Koszela Woodchopper took the win over Fred DeSarro, Denis Giroux and Ray Miller. Howie Brown won the NESMRA Supermodified feature at Thompson over Paul Richardson and Eddie West. MORE>>
09-08-06: Forty years ago in 1966, the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran their final event of the season. Kenny Shoemaker took the win over Elton Hill, Jerry Cook, Bill Wimble and Hank Stevens. Fonda got back in action on Saturday night with twin features that were won by Lou Lazzaro and Bill Wimble. In the first feature, Wimble finished second with Pete Corey, third. Jeep Herbert finished second in the second event with Cook, third. Twin 200’s made up the New Yorker 400 at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. MORE>>
09-01-06: Forty years ago in 1966 the Albany Saratoga 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. Thirty five 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. MORE>>
08-25-06: Forty years ago in 1966, Kenny Shoemaker took the Friday night win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Eddie Flemke finished second with Pete Hamilton, third. Frank Mahalia and Rene Charland rounded out the top five. The Fonda Speedway was closed for the town’s annual fair. Bill Wimble was the Sunday night winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Charland was second with Flemke, third. Bernie Miller and Lou Lazzaro rounded out the top five. MORE>>
08-18-06: Forty years ago in 1966, Bill Wimble went two for two as he won the Friday night 30 lapper at the Albany- Saratoga Speedway and followed it up with a 111 lap win at Fonda on Saturday night. Don MacTavish finished second on Friday night and was followed by Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton and Elton Hill. Lee Millington finished second at Fonda with Charland, third. The annual North-South battle at what was then a one mile speedway in Trenton, NJ was on tap for Sunday. The event started 60 cars and was won by Ray Hendrick driving the Tant/Mitchell No.11. Fellow Virginian Bill Dennis finished second with Runt Harris, third. MORE>>
08-11-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Steady Eddie Flemke, the master of the short tracks, took the Friday night win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Flemke led a New England sweep of the top five with the exception of Lou Lazzaro who finished fourth. Pete Hamilton finished second with Elton Hill, third. Rounding out the top five was Dick Dixon. Lazzaro won at Fonda on Saturday night over Bill Wimble and Pete Corey. MORE>>
08-04-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Andy Romano scored a popular win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Jerry Cook finished second with Bill Wimble, third. Wild Bill Slater and Pete Hamilton rounded out the top five. Romano finished third to Irv Taylor and Lee Millington at Fonda on Saturday night. Utica Rome ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night. Bill Wimble took the win over Rene Charland, Elton Hill, Jerry Cook and Eddie Flemke. MORE>>
07-28-06: Forty years ago in 1966 twin 54 lap features were run at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Pete Hamilton took the first one over Don MacTavish, Rene Charland, Leo Cleary and Lou Lazzaro. Bill Wimble took the nightcap as Hamilton had to settle for second. Elton Hill, Phil Spiak and Hank Stevens rounded out the top five. Rene Charland took the top spot on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night. Pete Corey finished second with Guy Chartrand, third. Steady Eddie Flemke was the Sunday night winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway. MORE>>
07-21-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Elton Hill was the Friday night winner at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Don MacTavish finished second with Jerry Cook, third. Dick Dixon and Rene Charland rounded out the top five. Ernie Gahan padded his point lead in his quest for the NASCAR National Modified Championship as he won a 107 lap event on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night and a 30 lapper on the asphalt at the Utica Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Gahan drove the same car in both events. MORE>>
07-14-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Kenny Shoemaker took the top spot in a 40 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Dick Dixon finished second with Eddie Flemke, third. Jerry Cook, who had become an accomplished dirt track racer, won a 50 lapper at Fonda on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Ernie Gahan, third. At Lancaster, Donald “Dutch” Hoag was the winner. The NASCAR Grandnational Northern Tour visited the 1/5 mile Islip Speedway on Long Island. MORE>>
07-07-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Eddie Flemke and the second generation of the Eastern Bandits took the top five spots at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Pete Hamilton took the win and was followed by Dennis Zimmerman, Flemke, Elton Hill and Rene Charland. At Fonda on Saturday night Bill Wimble broke the toe hold on Fonda’s victory lane that Jerry Cook held. Guy Chartrand finished second with Cook, third. Elton Hill won at Utica-Rome on Sunday night. Flemke finished second and was followed by Wimble, Charland and Cook. MORE>>
06-30-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Wild Bill Slater took on the New York gang and walked away the Friday night winner at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Jerry Cook finished second with Gaston Demaris, third. Dennis Zimmerman and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five. Cook stepped it up a bit as he won at Fonda on Saturday night over Ron Narducci and Bill Wimble. The Utica Rome Speedway ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night with former NASCAR Sportsman Champion Rene Charland taking the win. Eddie Flemke finished second with Frank Mathalia, Cook and Wimble rounding out the top five. MORE>>
06-23-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Rene Charland was at the top of his game as he won the Friday night feature at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Frank Mathalia finished second with Pete Hamilton, third. Dennis Zimmerman and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five. At the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night Jerry Cook took the win over Kenny Shoemaker and Bill Wimble. Ernie Gahan, who was well on his way to becoming the 1966 NASCAR Modified Champion took the Sunday night win at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Shoemaker and Charland followed with Mathalia fourth and Hamilton, fifth. MORE>>
06-16-06: Forty five years ago in 1961 Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith resigned their positions at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after a board of directors meeting. Forty years ago in 1966 Don MacTavish took the Friday night win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Jerry Cook finished second with Dick Dixon, third. Eddie Flemke and Pete Hamilton rounded out the top five. Pete Corey made it two in a row at Fonda on Saturday night. Jerry Cook finished out the weekend with a win over Eddie Flemke at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Irv Taylor, Ernie Gahan and Kenny Shoemaker rounded out the top five. MORE>>
06-08-06: Forty years ago in 1966 rain washed out the Friday night racing program at the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY. Pete Corey edged Bill Wimble at Fonda. Ernie Gahan finished third. Kenny Shoemaker ventured to the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night where he held of an up and coming Richie Evans. Pete Hamilton finished third with Eddie Flemke and Bill Wimble rounding out the top five. MORE>>
06-02-06: Forty years ago in 1966 the Albany Saratoga Speedway ran a 30 lapper. Eddie Flemke, fresh of his Memorial Day win, made it two in a row at the 4/10 mile speedway. Elton Hill finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Dennis Zimmerman and Don MacTavish. At the Fonda Speedway Bill Wimble recorded his second victory of the year. Kenny Shoemaker and Pete Corey rounded out the top three. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night Don MacTavish took a 100 lap win over Wimble, Flemke, Cook and Frank Mathalia. MORE>>
05-26-06: Forty years ago in 1966, Pete Hamilton became the first repeat winner of the season at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Dennis Zimmerman finished second with Eddie Flemke, third. Hamilton and Zimmerman were a second generation version of the fabled Eastern Bandits led by Flemke. Jerry Cook and Don MacTavish rounded out the top five. Jerry Cook won his first race, a 25 lapper, at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Gene Bergin, third. Kenny Shoemaker ruled the roost at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Eddie Flemke finished second with Gaston Demarais, third. Frank Mathalia and Jerry Cook rounded out the top five. MORE>>
05-19-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Jerry Cook broke the stronghold that New England drivers held at the Albany Saratoga Speedway as he won the Friday night 30 lap feature. Mario "Fats" Caruso finished second and was followed by Dennis Zimmerman, Rene Charland and Gaston Demaris. Crowd favorite Pete Corey took the 25 lap win at Fonda on Saturday night over Irv Taylor and Ernie Gahan At Utica-Rome on Sunday night Cook backed up his Friday night win with a victory at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night. Lou Toro finished second with Bill Wimble, third. Dave Kotary and Richie Evans rounded out the top five. MORE>>
05-12-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Steady Eddie Flemke continued the New England driver domination of the Albany Saratoga Speedway as he won the Friday night 30-lap feature. Dennis Zimmerman finished second with Lou Toro, Mario "Fats" Caruso and Jerry Cook rounding out the top five. At the Fonda Speedway on Saturday night Kenny Shoemaker showed one and all who was boss as he won a 101 lap feature. Lou Lazzaro finished second with Ron Narducci, third. MORE>>
05-05-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Friday night racing at the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY was cancelled because of rain. Bill Wimble took the 25 lapper At Fonda on Saturday night over Lou Lazzaro and Pete Corey. Gene Bergin made the long haul from his home in Manchester, Ct to Utica – Rome where he won the Sunday night 30 lap feature. Lou Toro finished second with Jerry Cook, Dave Kotary and Don MacTavish. MORE>>
04-28-06: Forty years ago in 1966 Pete Hamilton who would go on to become the 1970 Daytona 500 winner took the Friday night 30-lap win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Rene Charland finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Dick Dixon and Dennis Zimmerman. The entire above mentioned have since been inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY began its sixth season with Bill Wimble taking a 30 lap win over Ernie Gahan, Frank Mathalia, Eddie Flemke Sr. and Lou Toro. MORE>>
04-21-06: Forty years ago in 1966 the Albany Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY received a NASCAR sanction for their Friday night Modified and Sportsman racing events. Malta, which had opened in mid-1965, had been sanctioned by Harvey Tattersall’s United Stock Car Racing Club. Speedway owner and promoter Joe Lesik had originally tried for a NASCAR sanction in 1965 but had been shot down because of opposition from John Hoenig of the Thompson Speedway. Lou Toro won the NASCAR opening 30 lap event and was followed at the finish by Gene Bergin, Frank Mahalia, Kenny Shoemaker and Bill Wimble. Saturday night racing on the dirt at the Fonda Speedway was rained out. MORE>>
04-14-06: Forty years ago in 1966 the Fonda Speedway in upstate New York opened for the season with a 25-lap main event. Lou Lazzaro took the win over Irv Taylor and Ron Narducci. Twenty five years ago in 1981, the Spring Sizzler at Stafford was the big modified event of the weekend. With 13000 fans looking on, Bob Polverari raced and beat the legendary Richie Evans to the finish line in the 80 lap, no holds barred event. Reggie Ruggiero finished third and was followed by Bernie Miller, Corky Cookman and Bugsy Stevens. Eddie St Angelo was the non-qualifiers winner. At Darlington, Darrell Waltrip took the win over Harry Gant. MORE>>
04-07-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971, the only racing action saw Bugsy Stevens take a 30 lap open competition win at Thompson. Little did anyone know that it was Stevens' last ride in the mighty no.3 of Len Boehler that had carried him to three NASCAR National Modified Championships. Stevens had been hired by Sonny Koszela to replace Fred DeSarro who, after a disagreement, had been let go. MORE>>
03-31-06: Thirty five years ago in 1971, Thompson opened their season with Modifieds and Supers running together. Bobby Santos in the Joe Brady No.41 took the 50 lap win. Lou Austin finished second. Howie Brown, in a Supermodified, finished third. The Supers were very unreliable as most failed to finish. Rene Charland finished fourth and was followed by Bob Karvonen, Ernie Gahan and Billy Schulz. Jerry Glaude won the open competition opener at the Waterford Speedbowl. George Summers finished second and was followed by Joe Trudeau and Walt Dombrowski. MORE>>
03-24-06: Thirty-five years ago in 1971, the Modifieds and Busch Grandnationals shared the twin bill at Martinsville. Ray Hendrick was the 250 lap GN winner. The modified 250 saw on of the biggest wrecks ever as over a dozen cars piled up in turn four in the closing stages. Sneaking thru and taking a surprise win was popular Bernie Miller from Cannestota, N.Y. Jimmy Hensley finished second. Bobby Santos finished third and was followed by Leo Cleary, Jerry Cook and Mike Loescher. MORE>>
03-17-06: Thirty years ago in 1976, Ray Hendrick had a lap on the field at Martinsville when he crashed and handed the victory in the Dogwood 500 to Jerry Cook. Brian Ross finished second and was followed by Charlie Glazier, Harry Gant, Melvin Chilton, Jerry Dostie, Chuck Ciprich and Wayne Anderson. MORE>>
03-10-06: Thirty years ago in 1976, the Modifieds paid a visit to the Hickory Speedway in North Carolina. Richie Evans took the win over Ray Hendrick, Satch Worley, Billy Hensley, Billy Middleton and Paul Radford. Twenty five years ago in 1981, Harry Gant tendered his resignation from the Jack Beebe Race Hill Farms Winston Cup effort. In his place was New England Modified hot shoe, Ronnie Bouchard. MORE>>
02-17-06: Five years ago in 2001 Dale Earnhardt Sr. was buried in a private ceremony. Richard Childress announced that Kevin Harvick would drive the Goodwrench car that would be painted white and carry the number 30.NASCAR announced that the lap belt had broken on the Childress No.3.In Winston Cup qualifying at Rockingham; Jeff Gordon took the pole with Steve Park on the outside. MORE>>
02-10-06: Forty five years ago in 1961, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts and Joe Weatherly were the winners in the wreck marred 100 mile qualifiers. Lee Petty received life threatening injuries which all but ended his racing career when he crashed out of the track with Johnny Beauchamp. Marvin Paunch, in a Smokey Yunick built 1960 Pontiac, won the 500 after Roberts lost an engine with 13 laps to go. The spectator count was 51,287 and the winner’s share of the race purse was $21,050. MORE>>

2005

12-19-05: LOOKING BACK AT THE 2005 WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SEASON The Whelen Modified Tour opener at the Thompson Speedway provided a surprise ending and almost a new winner. Zack Sylvester was well on his way to victory until a stalled car on lap 146 of the 150 lap Modified main event bunched the field. It ended up being a green- white checkered situation. Sylvester led the restart with Chuck Hossfelt and Ted Christopher in tow. MORE>>
11-11-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970, Fred DeSarro was officially crowned the NASCAR National Modified Champion. Driving cars owned by Sonny Koszela, DeSarro entered 76 events and recorded 25 wins. In addition to the wins DeSarro recorded 37 top tens. DeSarro beat out Jerry Cook by 776 points. Bernie Miller finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke Sr and Dick Fowler. Ed Yerrington, who would eventually become the NASCAR Chief Steward and later promoter and general manager at Stafford, was the Stafford modified champion. MORE>>
11-04-05: Twenty-five years ago in 1980, the Stafford Speedway held their annual banquet. Honored were Richie Evans, the modified champ, Jerry Marquis, the Sportsman champ and Jim Ward, the Strictly Stock champ. Mike Stefanik was awarded Rookie of the Year in the modifieds and Dan Avery was the Rookie in the Sportsman. Most improved modified competitor was Corky Cookman. Seymour the Clown presented his own version of year end awards including a do it my way award which depicted a plaster a hand giving an obscene gesture which was presented to NASCAR representative Bob Smith. When Seymour made the presentation he remarked, "that’s what the modifieds think of Nascar". Needless to say, Smith didn't see the humor in it!  MORE>>
10-28-05: Thirty five years ago in 1970,the Supers and the Modifieds ran together at the Thompson World Series. Howard Brown in a Super took the win that saw the race get the checkered flag before going the entire posted distance. Fred DeSarro in the Sonny Koszela No.15 had a special Can-Am set up on the engine and when NESMRA officials saw that an "outsider" might win the race, they ended it. MORE>>
10-20-05: Thirty years ago in 1975, the season came to an end at Martinsville. Geoff Bodine took the win with Bugsy Stevens, second. Satch Worley finished third and was followed by Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Ronnie Bouchard, Maynard Troyer and Fred DeSarro. MORE>>

10-14-05: Fifty-five years ago, in 1950, Ralph Moody won a scheduled modified race at Thompson. hirty-five years ago in 1970, the NASCAR modifieds were at Beltsville, Maryland for a 200-lap event. Jerry Cook took the win over Eddie Flemke and Billy Hensley. At Thompson, Jerry Dostie, in the Ted Marsh 55, held off Leo Cleary and Lou Austin for that win. Dick Armstrong bought the famous Tant/Mitchell No.11 that was formerly driven by Ray Hendrick. With Hop Harrington at the wheel, a solid fourth place finish was recorded. MORE>>

10-06-05: Forty years ago in 1965, the Langhorne Speedway, formerly a one-mile circle dirt track, was paved. Langhorne was the site of the annual Race of Champions, which attracted close to 200 modifieds; the best there was east of the Mississippi River. Taking the win was New England top dog Wild Bill Slater. Slater, who had won just about everything there was to win became a New England legend that day as he drove his famous Connecticut Valley Rocket, the V-8, to an undisputed win. MORE>>

9-29-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970, the modifieds were at the monster mile, Dover Downs for twin 100s for Late Model Modifieds and the All Star League modifieds. Ray Hendrick in the Tant/Mitchell Camaro cleaned house as he won both events. Bugsy Stevens in the Len Boehler 3 recorded two seconds. Charlie Jarzombek walked away from a mean wreck during the All Star event. Driving his offset coupe, the popular Long Island driver got launched into the turn two fence and almost went out of the high-banked speedway. Also running that day was Thompson where Bob Santos took the 30-lap win over Hop Harrington, Ed Yerrington and Moose Hewitt. MORE>>

9-23-05: Forty years ago in 1965, Wild Bill Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket No. V-8 won the first ever open wheel Modified race at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. Bob Bahre, who purchased the speedway in 1964, tore down the original wooden grandstand and erected a new steel high rise grandstand that would hold 15,000. MORE>>

9-15-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970, Thompson ran their first and only 500 lap modified event. Forty-two cars started and after a long grind, Bugsy Stevens was first across the stripe. Bernie Miller finished second and was followed by Ed Yerrington, Fred DeSarro, Jimmy Griffin, Johnny Thompson and Bob Karvonen. Other weekend action saw Stevens take the win at Stafford over Yerrington, Jerry Cook and Leo Cleary and at Utica-Rome where Ray Sitterly took the win over Lou Lazzaro, Dave Lape and Cook who flew in from Thompson. MORE>>

9-08-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970,the twin 25's took a strange twist at Stafford on Saturday night. Bugsy Stevens won the first one and was followed by Ed Flemke, Ed Yerrington and Lou Toro. Just past half way in the second 25,the red flag was displayed because a major fire had broken out in the town of Stafford and the fire truck and ambulance had to leave. When it was determined that the emergency vehicles would not return, then leader, Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55 was declared the winner. It was to be Harman's only career win at Stafford. MORE>>
9-01-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970 the long Labor Day weekend began at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. on Friday night. Double features were on tap, which would settle the track title. Fred DeSarro recorded a fourth and a fifth as he sewed up the modified track championship. Jean-Guy Chartrand in the Ed Cloce Hemi-Cuda won the first one and was followed by Jerry Cook and Dave Lape. MORE>>
8-25-05: Thirty-five years ago in 1970 Friday night racing at Malta rained out. In twin 25 lap action at Stafford on Saturday night, Mr. Leo Cleary put the Garbarino Bros.4 in Victory lane as did Eddie Flemke in the Garuti Bros.14. At Fonda, Harry Peek and Eddie Pieniezak did the trick and at Plattsburg, Dick Nephew took the win. MORE>>
8-18-05: Thirty five years ago in 1970, the All Star League moved into the 1/5 mile Islip Speedway on Wednesday. Richie Evans took the 100-lap win over George Brunnhoelzl, Jim Hendrickson, Gary Winters, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke. In regular Friday night action at Malta, Fred DeSarro beat out Rene Charland and Dick Fowler for the win. DeSarro carried his win streak to Stafford on Saturday night where he won a 50-lap double point event over Eddie Flemke and Leo Cleary. MORE>>

8-12-05:
Thirty-five years ago in 1970, it was a very busy week. Tuesday the All Star League visited the Catamount Stadium in Vermont. Richie Evans won the 100 lapper over Bugsy Stevens, Geoff Bodine and Maynard Troyer. The following night the league moved to Stafford Springs where Bugsy Stevens used his home track advantage to take the win over Don Diffendorf, Evans, Bodine and Eddie Flemke. MORE>>

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene for over 3 decades.
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