July 8, 2016
Sixty five 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.
Sixty 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 five 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.
Fifty 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. Jeep
Herbert was the Friday night winner on the dirt at Stafford. Johnny Thompson
was the winner at Norwood on Saturday night. At Fonda on Saturday night Bill
Wimble broke the toehold on Fonda’s victory lane that Jerry Cook held. Guy
Chartrand finished second with Cook, third. At the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl Walt Dombrowski won the held over 35 lap Modified feature. Moose
Hewitt was the winner in the Bombers. Charlie Webster was the regular 25 lap
Modified feature winner at the shoreline oval. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber
winner and Bill Sweet was the late model Daredevil winner. Elton Hill won at
Utica-Rome on Sunday night. Flemke finished second and was followed by
Wimble, Charland and Cook. The NASCAR Grandnational Northern Tour visited
the Bridgehampton Raceway on Long Island David Pearson took the win over
James Hylton and Marvin Panch. Two days later they traveled to Oxford Plains
where Bobby Allison scored his first Grandnational win. Rene Charland
finished 15th, Fats Caruso finished 16th and Ernie Gahan was 19th.
Forty five years ago in 1971, the
Thompson Speedway dropped its NASCAR sanction for weekly Modified racing
citing the fact that driver demands for increases in the race purse were too
steep. In their place was the New England Supermodified Racing Association (NESMRA).
Events were run with Modifieds and Supermodified running together. Big Don
McClaren was the first winner of the new Friday night series. Meanwhile many
of the New England NASCAR modified hot shoes headed up the Mass. Pike to the
Albany Saratoga Speedway. Bugsy Stevens won the Friday night event over Fred
DeSarro, Guy Chartrand, Ken Cannestrari and Eddie Flemke Sr. While most of
the New England contingent headed home Eddie Flemke elected to stay in New
York State for a 200 lapper at Fulton Raceway. Flemke’s choice ended up
being a wise won as he took the win over Dave Hafner, Gary Cornelious,
Ronnie Wallace and Ben Stephens. Waterford winners were Bob Potter on Sunday
and Dick Watson on Saturday night. Because of the holiday weekend, Stafford
ran on both Saturday and on Monday. On Saturday night, Ernie Gahan led the
way over Ray Miller, Bob Melnick and Hop Harrington. Stevens, who had won at
Malta the previous night, experienced mechanical problems and finished
18th.Stevens bounced back from his set back at Stafford to make it an almost
perfect weekend as he won a 100 lapper at Utica-Rome on Sunday night and a
150 lap Fourth of July Classic on Monday at Stafford. At Utica-Rome, home
town favorite Bernie Miller finished second and was followed by Fred
DeSarro, Dave Lape and Jerry Cook. Leo Cleary finished second at Stafford
with Hop Harrington, Jerry Cook and Bernie Miller rounding out the top five.
Saturday night action at Fonda saw Lou Lazzaro take the top spot over Dave
Lape. The All Star League paid a visit to Islip on Wednesday night with
Jerry Cook taking the 100 lap win over Richie Evans, Merv Treichler and Rene
Forty years ago in 1976, rain washed
out Thursday night action at New Egypt. Friday night at Riverhead, Jim Tyler
took the win over Charlie Jarzombek. At Islip on Saturday, Tyler finished
third behind Fred Harbach and Greg Sacks. Geoff Bodine was again the top dog
at Stafford as Ron Bouchard and Bob Vee, followed. Other Saturday night
winners included Leo Cleary at Westboro and Bob Polverari at Riverside.
Donnie Bunnell won the Waterford 200 Modified Championship. Dick LaFlesh was
the late model Grand American winner. Geoff Bodine was out to make it four
out of five at Thompson when a power blackout ruined his chances as the
racing was cancelled for the evening.
Thirty five years ago in 1981,
Monadnock ran an open competition event on Wednesday night. Forty Modifieds
were on hand. Home track favorite Punky Caron took the win after Ronnie
Bouchard dropped out with engine problems while leading at the half way
mark. Kenny Bouchard finished second and was followed by John Rosati, Kirby
Monteith and Reggie Ruggiero. At Stafford on Friday night, promoter Ed
Yerrington announced that the weekly modified purse was increased to
$11,900.A crowd of 7130 was on hand as Reggie Ruggiero took the 30 lap main
event. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by Richie Evans, Bob
Polverari and Ray Miller. Other Friday night winners were Jerry Cook at
Spencer and Jamie Tomaino at New Egypt. Double features were run at
Waterford on Saturday night. Bob Potter and George "Moose" Hewitt shared top
honors. At Seekonk it was Bugsy Stevens over Eddie St Angelo and Rick
Donnelly and at Westboro, Jeff Fuller in the Tiger Tom Dunn T-5 won out over
Corky Cookman and Mario "Fats" Caruso. Richie Evans won a 200 lapper at
Riverside over Reggie Ruggiero and Jerry Cook and on Long Island, at Islip;
it was Charlie Jarzombek leading the way to victory lane over Wayne Anderson
and Tom Baldwin. At Lancaster, Roger Treichler got his fourth win of the
season over Billy Colton. At Danbury the LaJoies dominated again as Don was
the Modified winner and Randy was the Sportsman winner. Richie Evans capped
off the weekend with a win at Thompson on Sunday over Brian Ross and Larry
Record. In Busch Grandnational action at South Boston, Geoff Bodine took the
Thirty years ago in 1986, Spencer
Speedway started off the weekend with a NASCAR Modified tour event on
Thursday. Jeff Fuller took the win over Jim Spencer, Jan Leaty, Brian Ross
and Tony Hirschman. At Stafford on Friday night, Jamie Tomaino won the July
4th 100 lapper George Brunnhoelzl Jr finished second with Mike Stefanik,
third. Also on Friday night, New Egypt ran a Race of Champions qualifier,
which was won by Jim Spencer. Saturday night saw Bob Potter over Mark
LaJunesse at Waterford, Stan Greger over Bob Polverari at Riverside, Don
Howe at Riverhead and George Kent winning double features at Shangri-La. The
action shifted to Oswego on Sunday for the running of the Port City 150.
Mike McLaughlin took the 75 lap win over Jim Spencer, Brian Ross and George
Brunnhoelzl. In Winston Cup action at the Daytona 400,Tim Richmond took the
Twenty five years ago in 1991, the
Connecticut Department of Motor vehicles announced that because of budget
cuts, they would not be able to provide inspectors at racing events over the
holiday weekend and track promoters would not be allowed to operate, thus
shutting them down. Stafford Speedway owner Jack Arute was very adamant over
the fact that Stafford would not shut down as he would go to jail first.
Arute stood tall but it was all for nothing as it rained at Stafford on
Friday. Arute did prove a point as Waterford ran on Saturday night. Bert
Marvin was the winner. The Modified Tour was at Jennerstown where Mike
Stefanik took the win over Bob Park. Other Saturday night action saw Jerry
Marquis over Stan Greger at Riverside and Bill Park over Don Howe at
Twenty years ago in 1996, Richard
Armstrong passed away after a long battle with cancer. Armstrong owned
Modifieds driven by Ray Hendrick, Hop Harrington, Freddie Schulz, Geoff
Bodine and Ronnie Bouchard. Armstrong’s Modifieds driven by Bodine won
record 55 races in 1978. Armstrong was also the President of the New England
Drivers and Owners Club. Armstrong fought numerous battles with track
promoters and NASCAR and did a lot to improve race purses. The Modifieds
could use someone like Armstrong today! Steve Chowanski and Steve Park won
twin 50's at Stafford on Friday night. At Waterford, Mike Gada held off Jim
Broderick and Jeff Pearl. Tom Fox got his 46th career late model win.
Riverside ran a 100 lapper with Reggie Ruggiero taking the win over Dan
Avery and Steve Park. Mike Ewanitsko was the winner of the Riverhead holiday
program. Don Howe finished second with Bill Park, third. In Winston Cup
action at Daytona, Sterling Marlin won the rain shortened Pepsi 400.Terry
Labonte finished second in the event which went 117 laps of the scheduled
160.In Busch GN action at Milwaukee, Buckshot Jones took the win after Dick
Trickle spun out with three laps to go.
Fifteen years ago in 2001, Lee USA
Raceway in New Hampshire ran an open competition Modified event on Friday
night which drew 37 Modifieds. Rob Summers took the win over Doug Meservey
and Eric Beers. Those on hand said there was lots of rough stuff and spot
stealing going on during the event. Todd Szegedy was the SK Modified winner
at Stafford over Curt Brainard and Lloyd Agor. Dennis Gada got his fifth win
of the season at Waterford on Saturday night. Ed Dachenhausen finished
second. Joe Hartmann went pole to pole as he won a 50 lapper at Riverhead
over Howie Brode and Don Lia. Down at the Jersey shore, Dave Michael won at
Wall Stadium. Tioga presented the Richie Evans Memorial 61 lap event which
was won by Zane Zeiner. In Winston Cup action at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona
Beach, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip finished one-two. Tony Stewart
was given the black flag after he drove below the yellow line after being
moved down by Johnny Benson. Stewart lost his temper in post race
confrontations with NASCAR and a southern reporter and was fined $10,000 and
put on probation in addition to be required to apologize to NASCAR and the
reporter for his actions.
Ten years ago in 2006 The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour finally got to run the rained out Memorial Day Weekend,
Connecticut Classic 150 at the Stafford Motor Speedway. John Blewett III had
chosen not to chase tour points as he had indicated that he would like to
annex the Wall Township Track Championship to his racing career. Blewett had
no race conflictions on the Fourth of July as he traveled to Stafford
Springs with his family owned Modified and earned his first NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Series win of 2006. His win came at the expense of his brother
Jimmy whom he passed for the lead with 15 laps to go in the 150-lap event.
Donnie Lia finished third with Zach Sylvester and Mike Stefanik rounding out
the top five. John Blewett stopped for tires while the field was under
caution on lap 65, Jimmy did not stop. He restarted the race in 10th and
worked his way back to the front. Jimmy Blewett's second place finish in the
Eddie Partridge/T.S Haulers entry gave the series a 1-2 by brothers for the
first time since 2004. Calling the shots in the Partridge camp was Brad
Jimmy Blewett led the first 69 laps and swapped the lead with James
Civali four times before John, who started 12th. made the pass for the win.
Civali dropped out with ignition problems while running second on lap 101.
Jimmy Blewett and Civali were among a handful of drivers who elected not to
pit for fresh tires during the race.
There were 42 Modifieds on hand. Mike Stefanik was the Busch Pole sitter.
Stefanik re-drew 6th spot while Ronnie Silk drew the pole. Jimmy Blewett
drew the outside pole. Rookie Ron Yuhas got a scare on lap 23 when his car
crashed into backstretch wall and caught fire. Yuhas emerged unhurt. Eric
Berndt won the SK Modified 40 lapper, Tom Butler, the Late Model feature,
Joseph Ferrigno, the Limited Late Models, Sean Foster the Limited Late
Models, Chris Matthews, the SK Lights and Jeff Jolly, the DARE Stocks. Kenny
Horton was disqualied from his runner-up finish in Tuesday night's SK
Modified race at Stafford for failing to make weight. Also, Joey Ferrigno
was stripped of his Limited Late Model victory after failing to meet
The clock began ticking as NASCAR announced several changes to its
organization in relation to its Weekly and Regional racing programs. George
Silbermann was named the Managing Director of Racing Operations, with a
focus on the weekly and regional racing levels; Richard Buck was named
Director of Touring Series; and Bob Duvall was named Director of Weekly
Racing. The job security in these positions has not been very good.
The Thompson Speedway and the North East Midget Association paid tribute
to Marvin Rifchin on Thursday night. The tire manufacturer had been a
mainstay in auto racing for decades. Rifchin’s contributions to the sport of
auto racing were felt in both oval track and drag racing. His notoriety
comes from both his innovations with race tires and his generosity to the
racing community. After being down on power and suffering through handling
problems Todd Ceravolo had things go his way as he took the win in the
Sunoco Modifieds. It was tough going right from the start. Jimmy Blewett was
an early casualty as he parked the Eddie Partridge No.12 before one lap was
completed. After a complete restart Ceravolo jumped out to an early lead.
Jeff Malave and Bert Marvin brought out the caution shortly after the ten
lap mark. Ceravolo continued to lead with Joe Lemay, second. Malave, who had
restarted in the rear made a tremendous charge as he moved into the third
spot on the final lap. Keith Rocco finished fourth with Tom Cravenho, fifth.
Other winners were Randy Cabral in the NEMA Midgets, George Bessette in the
Pro Stocks, Dennis Perry in the Late Models, Danny Cates in the Limited
Sportsman, Rick Blanchard in the Mini Stocks and Roger Larsen in the
The Stafford Motor Speedway was the scene of Woody Pitkat throwing a
one-two punch on Friday night as he won the SK Modified 40 lapper and the
Late Model 30 lapper. Pitkat and Bo Gunning staged a late race battle. The
end result was Gunning spinning to the infield with two laps to go. Pitkat
then had to hold off Chris Jones before recording the win. Rounding out the
top-5 behind Pitkat and Jones was Jeff Baral, Todd Owen, and Chris Osella.
Pitkats Late Model win was his fourth of the year. Kyler Cafro and Kevin
Gambacorta were both first time feature winners in the SK Light and Limited
Late Model feature events respectively, and Stacey Botticello became the
first repeat DARE Stock feature winner of the 2006 season.
At the Waterford Speedbowl the main topic of conversation is the
impending foreclosure on the property by the Washington Mutual Bank, holders
of the mortgage. The mortgage holder, T.H.E Enterprises (Terry Eames) had
been trying to drum up revenue to keep the track afloat but has been
unsuccessful. There had been individuals who had indicated that they would
be interested in taking over the property and keep it as a race track. The
big stumbling block was that Eames wanted to be part of any management team
that takes over. The Speedbowl was in it’s then current fix because of
Eames’ management and it would not be good business to keep him around if
and when the property is sold or foreclosed upon. Had it not been for the
efforts of Bill Roth and Pete Zanardi there would have been no 2006 season
at the shoreline oval.
Rob Janovic Jr. became the season’s first two-time SK-Modified winner,
besting point leader Dennis Gada by a car length in Saturday night’s 35-lap
feature at Waterford Speedbowl. The first double winner came in the ninth
race of the season. The other winners – Glenn Colvin (Late Models), Richard
Staskowski (Sportsman) and Jeff Miller (Mini Stocks) won for the first time
this season. A lap 29 restart, the second of the race, was the final
challenge for Janovic. Getting the edge on the green, he got a great run out
of two and was never challenged. Taking the lead four laps in, Janovic’s
only other challenge came on a lap 12 restart against Chris Pasteryak.
Colvin wound up the winner in a feature red-checkered by a horrendous crash
involving five cars 12 laps short of the scheduled 30 laps. Contact between
Bruce Thomas Jr. and Jay Stuart, running one-two, coming out of turn four
started the crash. Jay Lozyniak went over Allen Coates and barrel-rolled
several times before coming to a stop on his roof on the front stretch.
Larry Goss was also involved. Colvin, the early leader, was running third in
a tight bunch with Thomas and Stuart when the mayhem started. The Speedbowl
management was seriously considering giving the Late Models at least a week
of as an “Attitude Adjustment”
A bang from Jeff Gordon's bumper sent Matt Kenseth spinning out of the
lead with four laps to go in regulation during Sunday's Nextel Cup race at
Chicagoland Speedway, allowing Gordon to hold on in a two-lap overtime
period to win his second race of the season and 75th of his career. In Busch
Series racing, Casey Mears stretched the fuel and grabbed his first ever
NASCAR win (at any level) at the Chicagoland Speedway. Carl Edwards finished
second and trimmed 15 points from Kevin Harvick's lead.
Five years ago in 2011 The Whelen
Modified Tour made its second visit of the season to the Thompson Speedway.
Despite the fact that there were only 27 Modifieds on hand, 20 of them were
potential winners. In New Jersey they refer to Jimmy Blewett as "Show Time".
In New England that moniker belongs to Ted Christopher. Christopher put on a
display of hard charging - belly to the ground racing as he scored a
convincing win in the Budweiser ‘King of Beers’ 150 at the high banked,
northeastern Connecticut oval. After setting fast time for the pole position
Christopher was sent to the rear of the field at the start of the race after
missing the driver’s meeting, and then had to come through the field again
after getting involved in a spin on Lap 66, but it didn’t stop the
Plainville, Conn., driver from picking up his fourth-consecutive NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour win at Thompson. Christopher pitted for a second time
on Lap 121 and knifed through the field after restarting outside the top 10.
He made the decisive pass of Ron Silk on Lap 142 and survived a four-lap
sprint to the finish after the final caution flag was given to the field on
The victory was the 40th in Christopher’s Whelen Modified Tour career and
13th at Thompson. He has won seven of the last nine races at the .625-mile
oval. Silk held on for second and point leader Rowan Pennink enjoyed another
consistent run with a third-place finish. Bobby Santos and Eric Berndt
completed the top five. Todd Szegedy, Doug Coby, Eric Beers, James Civali
and Eric Goodale rounded out the top 10.
Rowan Pennink inherited the pole position for the start and after taking
the lead at the initial start led the opening 56 laps before giving way to
Doug Coby. Bryon Chew became the first casualty when his engine expired on
lap 29. Matt Hirschman was having a less than impressive run in the early
going as he became a lapped car on lap 50. Hirschman rebounded to finish
12th after a pit stop for adjustments and receiving the Lucky Dog award
which put him back on the lead lap. The first caution of the night flew for
Mike Stefanik who stopped on the racing surface after his engine sputtered
and quit. It was later determined that the fuel pump on his engine had
malfunctioned and quit. Stefanik ended up 26th. Under caution, Pennink
pitted along with Bobby Santos, Todd Szegedy and Ron Silk. Coby, who chose
not to pit, inherited the lead with Justin Bonsignore hot on his tail.
Shortly after the green came out on lap 62, Santos came alive as he moved
into the second spot.
The second caution flew on lap 66 when three cars including that of
Christopher made contact in turn three. Coby led the restart on lap 71.
Pennink, who had made his way to fourth, moved into the second spot on lap
72 as Santos began to fade. Shortly after completing lap 75 Pennink shot by
Coby as they entered turn three. Bonsignore, who had been running in the top
five, dropped out on lap 83 when his battery shorted out and killed his
engine. Bonsignore ended up 24th in the final run-down. The third caution
flew on lap 118 for Wade Cole who spun in turn two. Meanwhile, a determined
Christopher had worked his way back into the top ten. Shortly after the
field restarted on lap 124 Ronnie Silk took the lead in turn two.
Christopher had now broken into the top five. On lap 133 Christopher passed
Santos for third only to see the field slow again for a spin by Richie
Pallai. One lap after the lap 139 restart Christopher shot from third to
second and after completing lap 141 took the lead from Silk in turn four. A
minor spin on lap 142 and a restart on lap146 did not hinder Christopher's
efforts as he sprinted home the winner.
It was simply a fantastic race, especially the last half. The checkered flag
dropped at 10:02pm.
In regular weekly action at Thompson, Keith Rocco waged a heated battle
with Ryan Preece to score a victory in the Sunoco Modifieds. Mike O’Sullivan
was victorious in the Super Model division. His triumph was matched by his
brother Tommy O’Sullivan who scored his second straight Late Model feature
win. Chris Douton earned the victory in a rough-and-tumble Limited Sportsman
feature. Glenn Boss wired the field to score his first TIS Modified feature
win of the season. Danny Field continues to make history at Thompson
International Speedway with his sixth consecutive victory in the Mini
The Sunoco Modified field which drew a season high 14 cars saw Rocco take
down a hotly contested event to score his third win of the season at
The Stafford Motor Speedway started the week off on Tuesday night with
the 8th annual CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday program. Chris Perley won the 50-lap
ISMA Supermodified feature, Russ Stoehr won the 30-lap NEMA Midget feature
event, and Norm Wrenn made it four wins in a row at Stafford by taking the
25-lap Pro-4 Modified feature event. In the CARQUEST Champions For Charities
event, Keith Rocco took the checkered flag but the real winner was charity
as the 14 champion drivers raised over $40,000 for their selected charities.
In the Supermodified feature, Perley made the pass for the lead on lap-43
and he led the remaining 7 laps as early leader Ted Christopher began to
fall back from Perley. Johnny Benson came home in third behind Perley and
Christopher, with Timmy Jedrzejek, and Russ Wood making up the top-5.
In regular Friday night action at Stafford Keith Rocco carried his
winning ways over. Rocco was the big winner of the night as he doubled up by
winning both the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event and the 30-lap Late Model
feature, Joey Cipriano took his third feature win of the season in the
20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Cory Casagrande was the winner of the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cory's brother Kyle Casagrande nailed
down his third win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In action at the Waterford Speedbowl, the shoreline oval presented the
Speedbowl.com 300 mid-season championship event Saturday evening. In all,
six divisions were on hand with five competing in extra-distance length
races. Scoring NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories were Keith Rocco,
who claimed his second consecutive and sixth overall win in the SK Modified®
division on the year. Ray Parent Jr. won the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late
Model feature, Ed Puleo took the Street Stocks and Ken Cassidy Jr. was the
winner in the Mini Stock feature. Dana Dimatteo was the benefactor of a
last-lap tangle in the Legends Cars race, vaulting him to the checkered
flag. Twelve-year old Ken Morin Jr. rounded out the winners on the night,
taking down the Bandolero feature win.
For Rocco, the 100 lap win capped off a perfect weekend as his stats
showed three for three in open wheel Modified competition. The defending
NASCAR National Champion had also won the Late Model event at Stafford on
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, NH for a 100 lapper on Saturday night. Jon McKennedy scored his
first ever win at the fast quarter mile oval. McKennedy, who started seventh
broke the strangle hold that Kirk Alexander had previously held as he won
the previous four races at the place they call "Mad Dog". McKennedy took the
lead from Alexander on lap 65 and never looked back. Alexander finished
second and was followed by Les Hinckley, Rowan Pennink and Rob Goodenough.
Sixth through tenth were Dwight Jarvis, Mike Holdridge, Jim Boniface, Chris
Pasteryak and Max Zachem.
The race, slowed by three caution flags, was completed in 40 minutes.
There were 23 race teams entered in the event, 17 cars were running at the
conclusion, 14 on the lead lap.
In the Southland at the Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC, L.W. Miller
capped off a dominating run Friday night with a furious finish to claim the
Whelen Southern Modified Tour Firecracker 150 presented by Budweiser. Miller
held off George Brunnhoelzl III on two green-white-checkered finish attempts
before claiming his first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified win since August
Andy Seuss finished third. John Smith and Burt Myers were fourth and fifth,
The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC was silent.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Shawn Solomito was the Modified
Joey Logano picked up his first win of the season Friday night with a
last-lap push from teammate Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at
Daytona International Speedway. It comes on the heels of him winning the
pole at Sonoma then finishing a career-high sixth on the road course.
In Sprint Cup action at Daytona, Matt Kenseth pushed David Ragan for the
final two laps as Ragan cruised to his first career Sprint Cup win in 163
Last year, 2015, Keith Rocco kept
rolling along at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he continued to build
on his record setting feature win total. Rocco recorded his fifth SK
Modified win of the season plus a win in the Late Model division at the
shoreline oval bringing his track win total to 113 wins. The win also took
Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 201 wins which also include
victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways.
Rocco's 200th career win came early Saturday night as he won the Late
Model feature. He annexed no. 201 later in the evening when he won the SK
Modified event. In the SK event he held off arch rival Ted Christopher to
make it five out of eight at the shoreline oval. Rocco took the lead from
Tyler Chadwick on lap 10. Following Christopher was Joe Gada, Matt Gallo and
Diego Monahan. Other Saturday night winners were Al Stone III in the Limited
Sportsman, Mark Panaroni in the Mini Stocks and Paul Buzel in the SK Lites.
The big event last week was the 11th annual Open Wheel Wednesday event at
the Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA. This years event carries a total purse
payout of $37,200 with $10,000 going to the winner of the 100 lap event. Due
to an impending weather forecast that called for showers and thunderstorms
in the Seekonk area on Wednesday, the series and track officials decided to
move the event to Thursday, July 2.
When the gates opened on Thursday forty two modifieds rolled in. Five
qualifying heats were sent to post along with two consolations. Heat winners
were Ryan Preece, James Civali, Norm Wrenn, Chuck Hossfield and Doug Coby.
Consi winners were Keith Rocco and Zane Ziener. "B" Main winner was Anthony
Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza reported that
Richard Savary went two for two at Seekonk Speedway in 2015. Back in June,
Savary claimed the win in the Valenti Modified Racing Series event and on
Thursday he scored the win in round three of the Northeast Race Cars and
Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series and took $10,000 home with him.
In a re-cap produced by Souza, James Civali and Steve Masse brought the
ground pounders to the green with Dick Houlihan and Richard Savary closely
following in behind. The story of the start of the race was a few quick
sprints. A lap two caution for a spin involving four drivers, one of which
Keith Rocco, slowed the field up for the first time. Once the field got back
to green, the yellow light was on before driver’s even knew it. Zane Zeiner
spun his No. 79 mount in turn four drawing the second straight caution and
this time, Savary lined up to the outside of the front row. For the next
five laps under the green following the restart, Savary and Civali battled
wheel-to-wheel for the lead, neither giving an inch.
The third caution of the event flew on lap nine when Andy Jankowiak came
to a halt. It was put together as a “quick yellow” and it sent the field
back under the green with Civali and Savary on the front row. The two
drivers continued their torid battle for the lead, rising fans to their
feet. It was one of the best battles the Action Track of the East has seen
in recent years. Once Savary cleared for the lead on lap 31, Todd Annarummo
and Woody Pitkat were working the outside and coming through the field. They
drove their way from 12th and 14th starting positions respectively and found
themselves inside the middle of the top ten by half way. Savary led Civali
by five car-lengths at the crossed flags with the drivers in third through
eighth giving everything they had to catch them. The drivers were
nose-to-tail, not giving anything when suddenly Tommy Barrett jumped out of
line and passed Chuck Hossfeld for the third spot. Barrett continued to
march forward when he passed Masse for third.
Leaders were in heavy lapped traffic when the fourth caution of the event
flew on lap 67. It was thrown when Dwight Jarvis and Anthony Nocella spun in
turn two and the pit stop game began to take shape. Leaders Savary and
Civali stayed on the track under the yellow, closely followed by Pitkat,
Pasteryak and Annarummo. Drivers that pitted included Masse, Matt Hirschman,
Keith Rocco and Tommy Barrett.
Savary grabbed the lead on the ensuing restart, but caution quickly flew
again when Barrett spun in front of the field on the front stretch,
collecting defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby. Zenier
left the speedway on a wrecker after the incident.
The green flag flew once again on lap 72, and Savary went back to
command. A massive crash in turn two collected Masse, Nocella, Barrett, Dick
Houlihan and others as the sixth caution flag of the event flew on the
Speedway. Savary went back to leading the field when the green flag came
back out and the race was on for second on back. Civali cut to the bottom to
hold second spot, while Pitkat moved into third and Annarummo found a hole
into fourth. With ten laps to go the field was strung out single file with
Civali trying his best to close the gap to Savary. Beers was working hard on
Annarummo in fourth, but failed to make the pass.
Savary went on to drive away with the event and score the big payday of
$10,000. Civali came home second, with Pitkat third, Annarummo fourth and
Beers fifth. Sixth thru tenth were Patrick Emerling, Matt Hirschman, Chris
Pasteryak, Joe Doucette and Chuck Hossfeld.
Final pay-outs were as follows: Richard Savary $11,680 ( including $1480
in lap money, $100 CN Crown Award, $100 Seals-It, James Civali $4020
(including $520 in lap money), Woody Pitkat $5395 ( including $500 from
Bridgewater Raynham Overhead Door and $2395 Coil Over Commander, Todd
Annarummo $2000 and Eric Beers $2500 ( including $1000 from Bridgewater
Raynham Overhead Door).
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night it was the SK Light Xtra
Mart Xtra D program night. Xtra Mart Convenience Stores put up a $500 bonus
that was split evenly among the top-5 finishers in the extra distance SK
Light feature event. Rowan Pennink scored his fifth win of the season in the
SK Modified® feature in what turned out to be a thrilling finish, Tom Fearn
also scored win #5 of the season in the Late Model feature, Payton Henry was
a first time winner in 2015 by taking the checkered flag in the 25-lap Xtra
Mart Xtra D SK Light feature, Justin Bren dominated the Limited Late Model
feature for his first win of the season, Tyler Trott scored his third win of
2015 in the DARE Stock feature, and Cory DiMatteo scored his third win of
the season in the Legend Cars feature.
Pennink led Matt Galko at the finish to pick up his fifth win of the 2015
season. Woody Pitkat finished third, with Mike Gervais, and Eric Berndt
rounding out the top-5.
Ryan Preece scored his third win of the season at the Riverhead Raceway
on Long Island as he won the the July 4th Modified 65 Lap feature at the
historic quarter mile oval. Timmy Solomito finished second with Tom Rogers
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC it
was all quiet. George Brunnhoelzl III took home the checkered flag in the
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Daggett & Shuler Attorneys at Law Rusty
Harpe Memorial 150 for his 12th career victory at the Caraway Speedway in
North Carolina. Jason Myers finished as the runner-up with Eric Goodale in
third. Kyle Ebersole and Joe Ryan Osborne rounded out the top five while
Gary Putnam, Seuss, Bobby Measmer Jr., Frank Fleming and JR Bertuccio
completed the top 10.
Joe Skotnicki has purchased both the New York State based Race of
Champions Dirt and Asphalt Series’ from Andy Harpell and will become the
director of both series’ in 2016. Harpell wants to focus his efforts 100% on
Five Mile Point Speedway, a dirt track in upstate New York. Skotnicki is a
current member of management at Lancaster National Speedway, and former
director of DIRTcar Northeast and a former employee of NASCAR.
In NASCAR Sprint cup and Xfinity series racing, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had
the fastest car in Sunday’s rain-delayed Coke Zero 400, but his ride to the
finish was far from the night’s most spectacular.
Earnhardt led a race-high 96 laps and held off challenges from Hendrick
Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson as well as Denny Hamlin to score the
25th win of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. His victory lane celebration,
however, was muted after a breathtaking multi-car crash coming to the finish
line left Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS flying into the
catchfence. Dillon was unhurt after what was one of the worst accidents in
recent NASCAR history. NBC, which was broadcasting its first Cup race since
November 2006, reported during its telecast – which didn’t conclude until 3
a.m. ET – reported that three fans were treated for minor injuries after
Dillon found himself at the front of the NASCAR XFINITY Series field
after a late-race caution eliminated race leader Brian Scott and several
other contenders. He then had to survive a green-white-checkered restart
before scoring his third XFINITY Series victory of the year in the Subway
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, email@example.com.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Looking Back Archive
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