The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

June 17, 2016

  Sixty five 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 five 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.

  Fifty 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. Glynn Shafer was the winner in the Bombers and Bob Clear was the Late Model Daredevil winner. 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.

  Forty five years ago in 1971, Bugsy Stevens went two for two as he won the twin 25's at Thompson on Friday night. Dynamite Ollie Silva finished second in the first event and was followed by Ernie Gahan and Daring Dick Caso. Following Stevens in the nightcap was Gahan, Silva and Bob Santos who was subbing for Fred DeSarro who was injured the previous week when he hit an infield light pole. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, also on Friday, Lou Lazzaro took the win over Guy Chartrand and Denis Giroux. Stafford ran a 30 lapper on Saturday night. Stevens made it three for three on the weekend as he beat out Billy Harman and Bob Vee. In other Saturday night action, Eddie Brunnhoelzl won at Islip and Don Wayman won at Fonda. At the Waterford Speedbowl Jerry Glaude won out over Bob Tetreault, Walt Dombrowski and Dick Watson. Big Mike Daignault was the Sportsman Sedan winner. At the Fulton Raceway, Richie Evans made it two in a row. Lou Lazzaro made it two for two on the weekend as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday night. Bernie Miller finished second with Dick Clark, third. The Waterford Speedbowl ran a mid-week open competition event on Wednesday. The 150 lap event drew forty cars and a full house. Bugsy Stevens took the win over Ron Wycoff, Jerry Glaude, Bobby Santos and Don Bunnell.

  Forty years ago in 1976, Wayne Anderson was the Thursday night winner at New Egypt. Fred Harbach finished second. On Friday night, Riverhead ran a 100 lap double point event and it was Greg Sacks, in his family owned modified, taking the win. Charlie Jarzombek finished second and was followed by Jim Tyler and Jerry Cook. Rain washed out Saturday night racing at Stafford and Islip but somehow, Riverside got their show in as Bob Polverari took the win over Johnny Lobo and Pete Fiandaca. Waterford also beat the rain as Dickie “Doo” Ceravolo scored his second Modified win of the year. Keith Eves was the Grand American Late Model winner. At Thompson on Sunday, Geoff Bodine made it two in a row as he again beat Fred DeSarro, Bob Santos and Ed Flemke. In other weekend action, Ronnie Bouchard won the Yankee 100 at Monadnock and Bugsy Stevens won at Westboro.

  Thirty five years ago in 1981, On Friday night, Stafford rained out. At Spencer, George Kent took the win over Maynard Troyer and Doug Hewitt. Alan and Fred Harbach finished one-two at New Egypt. Saturday night was a busy one. Rodney Tulba beat out Jerry Pearl and Bob Potter at Waterford and at Westboro, Ronnie Bouchard was the kingpin as he out dueled veteran George Savory for the win. George Wagner kept Alan Harbach at bay at Islip and at Seekonk it was George Summers over Kenny Bouchard and John Rosati. At Riverside it was Richie Evans over Marty Radwick. Geoff Bodine won the South Boston 200 Late Model Sportsman event over Sonny Hutchins. The Danbury Racearena fell victim to rain. The Modified Tour was at Thompson on Sunday. Richie Evans pitted on lap 10 with a flat tire but was able to come back and take the lead and eventual win. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third. In Winston Cup action at Riverside, Cal, Darrell Waltrip took the win.

  Thirty years ago in 1986, the Modified tour was at Star Speedway for a Wednesday night event which saw John Blewett Jr take the win over Kenny Bouchard and Reggie Ruggiero. Friday night at Stafford saw Dave Reszendes take a well earned win as he held off Reggie Ruggiero and Jeff Fuller. Ted Christopher was the SK Modified winner. Spencer ran a 100 lapper that drew only 18 cars. Jim Spencer took the win over George Kent and Jan Leaty. New Egypt also ran on Friday night and they too, had a light field. Jerry Solomito took the win. Riverside ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Stan Greger taking the win over Bob Polverari and John Rosati. Jim Spencer made it two for two on the weekend as he beat out Don Pratt for the win at Shangri-La on Saturday night. At Waterford it was Rick Donnelly over Bob Potter and at Riverhead it was Mike Ewanitsko over Tom Baldwin

  Twenty five years ago in 1991, Bob Potter became a surprised winner at Stafford after leaders Mike Christopher and Bo Gunning took each other out on the last lap. Tom Tagg finished second with Bob Georgiades, third. A major fiasco occurred at Flemington on Saturday night during the closing moments of the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour. Reggie Ruggiero was leading the final lap when the yellow flag was waved and the yellow light came on. Figuring the event would restart and go green-white-checker, Ruggiero lifted. George Kent, who was running fourth at the time, stood on the gas, passing Ruggiero and as he came under the starters stand, was given the checkered flag and the win. Ruggiero came across in second spot and was extremely upset after the event was over. Jan Leaty finished third and was followed by Mike Stefanik and Steve Park. At Waterford, Ted Christopher got his third win of the year and at Riverhead, Wayne Anderson was the top dog. At Riverside, Jerry Marquis in the Judkins 2x won out over Dan Avery. Marquis also finished second to Kirby Monteith at Monadnock on Sunday. Sunday night SK action at Thompson rained out.

  Twenty years ago in 1996, Ted Christopher recorded his 38th career victory at Stafford on Friday night. Steve Park finished second with Curt Brainard, third. At Waterford on Saturday night, Scott Spaulding took the lead from Eric Berndt with nine laps to go and went on to record a popular win. Berndt finished second and was followed by Don Fowler and David Gada. Matt Kobyluck was the late model winner. Richie Gallup beat out Ted Riggott at Riverside and it was Don Howe at Riverhead. Jay Miller got his first Pro Stock win at Stafford and Rick Martin made it four out of six at Seekonk. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Jeff Gordon took the pole and the win.

  Fifteen years ago in 2001 Ted Christopher was the Thursday night winner at Thompson over Josh Steeves and Kerry Malone. Christopher took the lead on lap 12 of the 30 lap feature and won by a full straight. Christopher followed up his Thompson win with a win at Stafford on Friday night as he beat out Lloyd Agor and Willie Hardie for the top spot. John Brouwer Jr held off Ed Reed Jr at Waterford with Ron Yuhas Jr, third. Mike Curtiss scored his first ever win at Riverhead and at Lancaster, Siege Fidenza won the Bud 100 at Lancaster after drawing the pole and leading all the way. Rob Summers in the Bear Motorsports No.14 was an early contender but faded to seventh at the checker. Kevin Harvick won the BGN Outback 300 at Kentucky and in Winston Cup action at Pocono; Ricky Rudd took the win over Jeff Gordon.

  Ten years ago in 2006 the Thompson Speedway grandstands can normally hold close to 16,000 fans when filled to capacity. On Thursday night they looked to be about half full. Not bad considering it was a mid week event. The speedway management team headed by Ben Dodge and Russ Dowd prided themselves in running a fast, efficient race program. The final checkered flag of the night was waved at 9:20pm. Taking victories were Keith Rocco in the Sunoco Modifieds, George “Mad Dog” Bessette in the Pro Stocks, Rick Gentes in the Late Models, Ed Puleo in the Limited Sportsman, Shelly Perry in the Mini Stocks and Roger Larsen in the Thompson Modifieds. Rocco, a second-generation racer, staged a knock down, drag out, door-to-door battle with Jimmy Blewett and Jeff Malave. As close as they ran, they never touched which is a true testimate of their abilities. In the end Malave settled for second over Blewett, Bert Marvin and Tom Cravenho. There were 165 cars, including 27 Sunoco Modifieds on hand.
  The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted a double header on Friday night, which included the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series and the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Touring Series. When one mentions the “Big One” in racing circles most people think of the high-speed multi-car wrecks that occur in NASCAR’s Nextel Cup events. The Stafford Speedway had their own version during the running of the 40 lap SK Modified feature. A mid race bump and grind took out the front-runners. Eric Berndt was in the right place at the right time as he managed to drive through the carnage to take the lead and the ultimate win. Jeff Malave finished second, with Todd Owen third. Woody Pitkat was on a mission after an earlier spin and he charged through the field in the closing laps to come home fourth. Zach Sylvester rounded out the top-5. Berndt’s victory, combined with Pitkat’s fourth place finish, makes Berndt the new SK Modified points leader heading into this coming Friday night’s action. John Blewett III, who took over the driving chores of the Eddie Partridge No. 12 finished 26th. Ted Christopher, who was on hand to drive a Busch East car did not have a ride for the SK Modified feature.
  In Late Model feature action, Jim Peterson ended Woody Pitkat’s three-race winning streak with his 21st career Late Model victory. Chris Matthews was the winner of the SK Light Modified feature to become the first repeat feature winner in that division, Charlie Newman scored his first career victory in the Limited Late Model feature event, and David Gambacorta came away the winner of the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event.
  Sean Caisse won his second straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race of the season. Caisse came out the winner after a fierce duel with Matt Kobyluck in the TSI Harley-Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. The pair, who started on the front row, were the only race leaders, swapping the lead among themselves eight times. Caisse took the lead for the final time after Kobyluck got wiggly in speedy-dry on a restart with 12 laps to go. Mike Olsen, who shadowed the leaders for much of the race, was third for the second week in a row. Dave Dion, making his 2006 debut, charged into contention in the closing laps to grab fourth, while southern visitor Jody Lavender made up for a late-race disappointment on home turf in South Carolina a week ago by completing the top five. Charles Lewandoski, Ryan Seaman, Joey McCarthy, Jeff Anton, and Bryon Chew were sixth through tenth. It represented a best career finish for both Lavender and Lewandoski. Stafford favorite Ted Christopher was a prime contender until an accident, which also involved John Salemi sent him to the pits after 122 laps. A few laps later, a strong run by Mike Johnson ended in a turn one accident. Brian Hoar, runner-up in the season opener, never took the green flag due to last-minute engine trouble. Ten caution periods resulted in 63 laps being run under the yellow flag. Attrition was high, with only 18 cars running at the finish, of whom a dozen were on the lead lap.
  The Stafford Speedway suspended Jimmy Blewett for the remainder of the 2006 season. During the running of the SK Modified feature of June 9 Frank Ruocco drove Blewett up high coming out of turn four. Blewett appeared to retaliate and tagged Ruocco, sending him into the wall. Blewett said he got loose and it wasn’t intentional. The Stafford management felt that it was intentional. Needless to say, it looked like John Blewett III would be in the Eddie Partridge No.12 at least at Stafford for the rest of the year. After viewing a video of the incident one could see that Blewett was being over aggressive. A couple of weeks off rather than a full season would have been more appropriate for the first offense.
  At the Waterford Speedbowl. Danny Field won the 20-lap Mini Stock and Jim Procaccini won the 20-lap Sportsman feature. Robert Gingras III won the True Value Modified Racing Series event. The race, scheduled for 100 laps, was stopped after 53 laps because of track and state curfew rules. The SK Modified and Late Model features were postponed because of a rain delay of over 2 hrs. Grigas III won his first race ever on the TVM tour. He led every lap from the pole. Jimmy Dolan was 2nd and Dale Evonsion 3rd. Jeff Pearl was the highest finishing Speedbowl regular as he finished fifth.
  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at Jennerstown, PA on Saturday night. After being silent for 48 days NASCAR’s oldest division didn’t disappoint as Eddie Flemke Jr. led from the start to almost the end when Ted Christopher in the Ed Whelan No.36 stole his thunder. With two laps of the 100-lap distance remaining Christopher and Tony Hirschman slipped by as Flemke faded to third. Eric Beers and Don Lia rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jerry Marquis, Chuck Hossfeld, Todd Szegedy, Doug Coby and Jon McKennedy. Unofficially Christopher now leads the series standings with a 30 point margin over Mike Stefanik. Stefanik finished the race in 11th. Hirschman was the Bud Pole Winner, setting fast time in qualifying. Flemke earned the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award. Steve Whitt was the recipient of the Powerade Power Move of the Race Award. Jon McKennedy was the rookie of the race. There were 35 Modifieds on hand.
  Other weekend winners were Kasey Kahne in the rain shortened Michigan 400, David Gilliland in a Busch Series event at Kentucky Speedway, JR. Bertuccio at Riverhead and Steven Reed over John Blewett III at Wall Township.

  Five years ago in 2011 The Whelen Modified Tour continued on Spring Break for another two weeks before returning to action with the Monadnock 200 on June 25 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H.
  The weekend started off on a wet note as Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway fell victim to heavy rain and high winds. Its too bad that the weather front didn't arrive earlier as competitors and fans were already on hand when the plug was pulled on the night's racing. The fields of both Sunoco (SK) Modifieds was up two to 11 but there is still a long way to go to get a full field. The Valenti Modified Racing Series will highlight the competition this coming Thursday night at the Thompson International Speedway. This impressive touring series boasts a roster of Modified drivers that includes many of the very best drivers in the entire northeast. Thursday night’s appearance will be the first of two scheduled races for the VMRS at Thompson this year. Their feature will be 75 laps.
  The VMRS was scheduled for an event at the Seekonk Speedway on Saturday but because of foul weather in the forecast the event was cancelled.
  The Stafford Motor Speedway was the scene of the 38th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100. Ryan Preece took home the $2,600 winner's check by taking the checkered flag in the 100 lap contest, Dillon Moltz captured his second feature victory of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. took down his third win of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Kevin Gambacorta picked up his first win of 2011 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Josh Wood was a winner for the second consecutive week in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
  Preece went under Woody Pitkat in turn 4 on lap-32 to take race lead. Frank Ruocco was able to complete the pass on Pitkat on lap-99, but no one had anything for Preece as he took the checkered flag. Ruocco nipped Pitkat at the line for second, with Ted Christopher and Curt Brainard rounding out the top-5. Among those missing from the starting grid was NASCAR Champion Keith Rocco who suffered a dislocated shoulder in a needless wreck in a heat race. Rocco was trailing Adam Skowyra when Skowyra triggered a wreck that collected the defending national champion. The Hartford Courant reported that Skowyra was given the black (pit for consultation) flag numerous times, which he ignored. Instead of stopping scoring of the car why didn't officials just throw the caution and remove the driver from the track.
  The Stafford officials are just as responsible for Rocco's injuries as are Skowyra's lack of taking heed after receiving the black flag. Back in the early 1970's NASCAR Competition Director Jerry Cook was involved in a similar situation. Cook's car was leaking fluids in the late stages of an event. He was given the black flag numerous times which he ignored. He later stated that he was unable to tell who the flag was directed at. The late Jack Arute stated that this type of situation at his track would never happen again as he purchased and had installed a lighted sign in turn one where the black flagged car's number would be displayed in big numbers so there would be no second guessing as to who the flag was directed at. Arute called the sign "The Jerry Cook Light".
  In an unrelated matter, the SK Modified division was born at the Stafford Motor Speedway in 1982, twenty nine years previous. Why was this event called the 38th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100??
  In action at the Waterford Speedbowl rain prevailed at the shoreline oval plus the precipitation bought some much needed healing time for Keith Rocco.
  In the Southland at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, rain prevailed.
  At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, it rained there too.
  In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at the Pocono Raceway, Jeff Gordon took the win.

  Last year, 2015, The stars and cars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series made their second stop of the season at the Thompson International Speedway at the Thompson Motorsports Park with a field of 30 Modifieds. Color Him Gone is the only way to describe Doug Coby's dominate run at Thompson this past Wednesday night. Starting on the outside pole after being edged out of the top spot by Woody Pitkat, Coby took the lead in turn four just before completing lap two. Coby, with Pitkat in tow, set a torrid pace for 81 green flag laps before the first caution of the night flew on lap 82 when Anthony Nocella and Patrick Emerling came together between turns three and four. Just about all the lead lap cars pitted. Staying out to get his lap back was Ryan Preece who had gone a lap down after being sent to the rear on the start along with Todd Szegedy for making unapproved changes to their cars after qualifying.
  Quick pit stop action by crew chief Phil Moran and his crew got Coby out of the pit without losing the lead. Preece was the recipient of the "Lucky Dog" award and was waved around to the tail end of the field and into the same lap as the leaders. Coby led the field to the restart on lap 89. Justin Bonsignore came out of nowhere to roll into the second spot as Pitkat began to fade. Just as the field had completed 100 laps Ron Silk had come to a halt in turn four with suspension issues. On the restart on lap 106 Coby, with much determination, opened up a ten car lead leaving Bonsignore in the dust.
  Coby sprinted to the 125 lap finish unchallenged. Bonsignore finished second. Szegedy rebounded fron his earlier penalty and brought the Garbarino Mystic Missile home in third spot. Keith Rocco, who started third, turned in a strong run with the Robert Our entry and finished fourth. Rounding out the top five was Pitkat. Sixth through tenth was Bobby Santos, Preece, Eric Goodale, Timmy Solomito and Ted Christopher.
T  here were fourteen cars on the lead lap at the finish. Its amazing that NASCAR continues to allow Melissa Fifield to compete or better said to ride around on the track at all but at a crawl while the ultra fast Modifieds attempt to avoid her. On lap 54, at least three laps down to the leader she all but took out Woody Pitkat who was running second to Doug Coby at the time. It makes no sense and adds nothing to the show to allow her to run with the Modifieds. Wake up NASCAR before someone gets hurt or destroys their equipment!
  In the Sunoco (SK Modified) event Preece took his lumps for causing an accident and was penalized to the rear for rough riding but still took the checkered flag. Cam McDermott led the early going while all were watching Preece and Keith Rocco who beat and banged each other until Preece nearly sent Rocco into the wall. Both were warned and told to knock it off or they would be penalized. Preece was eventually sent to the back of the field for rough racing during a lap nine caution which ended strong, and potentially top five, runs by Shawn Thibeault and Ed Pulio. Preece made his way to fourth place in two laps on the restart and eventually took the lead on lap eighteen.
  A brief red flag on lap twenty-two bunched up the field but on the restart it was all Ryan Preece who maintained the lead and never looked back. Preece would survive one more caution before leading the final seven laps on route to victory lane and extending his points lead in the series. Preece said that it was a hard fought race and a good win but he did feel bad for contact that led to his penalty and caused damage to Thibeault and Pulio’s cars. “I’m just really upset how I got into Shawn Thibeault there. I feel bad for him and I’ll talk to him later,” said Preece. “Obviously that dampens the win right there, but (my team) gave me a great car. It’s really fun driving with them. They have great attitudes.”
  Woody Pitkat finished a strong second while Rocco managed a third place finish and McDermott had to settle for a fourth place finish despite his early run at the front. Kerry Malone rounded out the top five.
  In late Model action, the twenty-five lap Late Model feature included a massive wreck with less than ten laps to go that created a chaotic finish when early leader Jeff Rocco, who showed some muscle stretching out a two-and-a-half car length lead in the opening laps, was collected on a restart following a late race caution. It appeared that Rocco was taken out intentionally but it was later learned that the accident was a result of mis-communication between Rocco and his spotter. His brother, Keith Rocco, created a bit of his own drama when the cars came to the line for the restart, taking the battle for first and second nearly three-wide. Keith Rocco would settle for a 4th place finish while Late Model all-time win leader Rick Gentes added to his win total beating Brian Tagg to the line by .362 seconds. Larry Gelinas went on to finish third.
  Other Wednesday night winners at Thompson were Ryan Waterman winning a spirited battle over Corey Hutchins and Eric Bourgeois in the Monster Mini-Stocks and the Vintage Outlaws.
  The Mr. Rooter event was somewhat of a reunion of some of the all-time greats of the past in New England racing. Among those on hand was George Savory, Billy Harman, Billy Greco, Dickie Doo Ceravolo and George Summers. Among the missing was Mr Leo Cleary who is still in Florida recovering from a recent illness.
  At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the temperature was up and the tension was high. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins were Michael Gervais, Jr. in a wild 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn was a winner for the third consecutive week in the Late Model feature, Daniel Wesson was a first time winner in only his 8th start in the SK Light feature, David Arute got his first win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn recorded her first win of the season in the DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell got his third win of the season in the Legend Cars Feature.
  In the closing moments of the SK Modified 40 lapper Woody Pitkat and Ryan Preece were racing side by side for the lead with neither driver giving an inch. Pitkat was able to edge Preece at the line for the lead on lap-36 and they remained side by side on lap-37 with Pitkat again leading by a nose at the line. That scenario repeated itself on lap-38 but as they raced out of turn 2 on lap-39, they touched wheels and both cars spun with Preece climbing over Pitkat’s front tire to bring the caution out and set up a green white checkered finish. This put Rowan Pennink into the lead with Gervais on his outside and Eric Berndt was now third with Tyler Hines on his outside in fourth. Pitkat was done for the evening, while Preece was able to keep going and he restarted in seventh place.
  Gervais got a great restart and he powered his way past Pennink and into the lead but Pennink came back strong and was right on Gervais’ bumper as they took the white flag. Pennink made on last effort in turn 4 on the final lap but Gervais was able to hold him off and record his first win of the 2015 season. Hines finished third, with Avery and Berndt rounding out the top-5. Preece finished sixth. Following the conclusion of the event Pitkat felt that Preece intentionally took him out while Preece stated that a hole opened up and he went for it. The only way one could pass judgment on this incident would be from an overhead view.
  Following the SK Modified feature a confrontation between the Pitkat and Preece teams took place in the pit area. As a result, Stafford Motor Speedway officials announced the following Tuesday that NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division driver Woody Pitkat had been suspended for the next event at the track. Pitkat’s car owner, Adam Skowyra was also suspended for the next event for: “Unsportsmanlike conduct, off-track. Actions detrimental to the sport.” Preece was fined $150 for what was termed: “Actions detrimental to the sport, unsafe conduct off-track, violation of safety rules.” Preece had been penalized for the on-track incident after it took place.
  Tom Fox, director of racing operations at Stafford Speedway said Skowyra was involved in a physical confrontation with Preece and was suspended for that. He said Pitkat was suspended because he is responsible for his team’s actions. Fox said there was no physical confrontation between Pitkat and Preece following the event.
  Keith Rocco keeps rolling along at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he continues to build on his record setting feature win total. Rocco recorded his fourth SK Modified win of the season at the shoreline oval bringing his track win total to 111 wins. The win also brought Rocco closer to a career overall total of 200 wins which now total 198 which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways.
  Twin 30 lap SK Modified features were on tap on what has to be considered one of the best nights, weather wise, for racing. In the first feature, Rocco chased Ted Christopher to the finish line. Christopher took the lead on lap 25 in opening 30 lapper which was slowed by only one caution. Paul Kusheba, who started on the pole. finished third. Rounding out the top five were Diego Monahan and Tim Jordan. Making his first start of the year was Kyle James who started 20th and finished tenth. In the SK Modified night-cap, Rocco started ninth and by lap 12 was in the top spot in the caution filled event. James started 20th again, avoided all the wrecks as he finished second. Christopher started tenth but ended up 19th after being involved in a wreck. Tyler Chadwick, Joe Gada and Ed Puleo rounded out the top five.
  Other Saturday night winners at the Speedbowl were.Jack Aquilina in the Limited Sportsman, Corey Barry in the SK Lites, Cory Dimatteo in the Legends and Jordan Hadley in the Mini Stocks. The Late Models had the night off.
  Round two of the much touted Tri-Track Series was run at the high banked 1/4 mile Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Matt Hirschman was the big winner of the 100 lapper as he took advantage of Woody Pitkat and Chris Pasteryak who were battling for the lead with two laps to go. Hirschman started 22nd on the field. Mike Holdredge who worked his way into the feature by qualifying in a b-main, started 27th and wound up third behind Steve Masse. Zane Zeiner and Todd Patnoad rounded out the top five. Pasteryak and Pitkat ended up 13th and 15th respectively. Sixth through tenth were Anthony Nocella, Andy Jankowiak, Ryan Preece, Doug Coby and Todd Annarummo.
  Total payout - $47,419.14. Matt Hirschman received a whopping $6000 for his efforts. Masse was awarded $3600 and Holdredge, $2600. Pitkat, who led numerous laps ended up 15th at the finish Because of the fact that he had led a ton of laps his pay for the night was $3075.
  Ron Silk executed a bump and run at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night that ultimately led to a victory. Silk was pinch hitting in the Bill Park car that has been driven to two wins at Riverhead by Ryan Preece. Jason Agugliaro was on the receiving end of Silk's bump. Vinny Biondolillo was runner-up while Tom Rogers Jr. crossed the line thirdHowie Brode and Shawn Solomito completed the top five. Agugliaro faded to seventh.
  Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Tim Brown cruised to an easy 76th career victory in the 100-lap Modified Division race at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday night. Burt Myers, who qualified among the top-four and accepted the Colors Edge Challenge, which moved him to the back of the field but with a chance to claim a $3,000 prize, wound up leaking water around the midpoint in the race and finished 12th. Chris Fleming finished second with Joe Ryan Osborne, third. David Calabrese and Ronnie Clifton rounded out the top five.
  Kurt Busch inherited the lead from Kyle Larson on lap 133 of the rain-shortened Michigan 400 Sprint Cup event, and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to score the victory in a race that was called after 138 of a scheduled 200 laps. A series of rain showers turned the event into a day-long, start-stop-start affair that wasn’t official until after 6 p.m. ET. Making his first XFINITY Series start since being injured in the season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February, Busch drove by Chase Elliott with less than five laps left and drove to victory in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 at Michigan Int’l Speedway.

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

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

Looking Back Archive

Source: Phil Smith / Looking Back A Bit
Posted: June 17, 2016

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