The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

July 22, 2016

  Sixty five 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.

  Sixty 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 five 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.

  Fifty 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. Joe Tiezzi scored his first and only win on the dirt at Stafford. The Norwood Arena hosted a Trenton qualifier. George Pendergast scored a surprise win. During a post race celebration Pendergast tripped over a trailer and fell, breaking his arm. 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. Following Gahan at Fonda were Jerry Cook and Bill Wimble. Wimble finished second at Utica-Rome with Eddie Flemke, Dave Kotary and Bernie Miller rounding out the top five. Billy Blum took the win at the Shangri-La Speedway. Don Collins was the 30 lap Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Marvin Shaw was the winner in the Bombers and Bill Sweet was the Daredevil winner at the Connecticut shoreline oval.

  Forty five years ago in 1971, Lou Lazzaro took the top spot at Malta on Friday night. Maynard Forette finished second and was followed by Bernie Miller, Jerry Cook and Fred DeSarro. At the Fulton Raceway Don Diffendorf, driving the radical coach that would grace the 1972 Spring Sizzler poster, took a 60 lap win over Richie Evans, Merv Treichler, Mike Loescher and Sonny Seamon. Mike Beebe took the Saturday night win at Waterford over Don Kibbe and Art Moran. Rain washed out Stafford and Fonda on Saturday night. While the NASCAR Modified point chasers were at Utica-Rome on Sunday, a bit of modified history was made at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine when car owner Bobby Judkins and driver Gene Bergin debuted an all-new Pinto bodied Modified. Bergin won the open competition event and the winds of change in the modified division were beginning to blow. Ernie Gahan finished second. At Utica-Rome, Ron Newman took the win over Dave Lape and Lou Lazzaro. Seekonk also held an open comp event on Sunday, which was won by hometown favorite George Summers. Ronnie Bouchard finished second with Fred Astle Sr, third

  Forty years ago in 1976, Fred Harbach made it two in a row at New Egypt on Thursday night. Bob Park finished second with Jerry Cook, third. A 100 lapper scheduled for Riverhead on Friday night was rained out. Geoff Bodine took the Saturday night win at Stafford over Fred DeSarro and Dick Caso but the big news was that NASCAR Chief Steward, Ed Yerrington, had been named to take over the position of General Manager and Promoter as of August 1. Jackie Arute had been promoting the facility and had got an opportunity to pursue a career in broadcasting as an announcer for the Daytona based Motor Racing Network. Other weekend winners were Pete Fiandaca making it two in a row at Riverside Park, Bob Potter made it two in a row at Waterford and George Murray at Seekonk. Geoff Bodine’s domination at Thompson came to an end when his engine was torn down in a post race inspection and was found to be 61/1000 over stroke. Second place finisher Fred DeSarro was awarded the win.

  Thirty five years ago in 1981, Richie Evans scored his 299th career modified victory at Stafford on Friday night. Hot on his tail was Ronnie Bouchard, Reggie Ruggiero and Brian Ross. Evans scored No.300 at Shangri-La the following night. Other Friday night winners were Marty Radwick at Monadnock, George Kent at Spencer and John Blewett Jr. at New Egypt. Waterford ran twin features on Saturday night with Rodney Tulba and Sleepy Knapp taking the wins. George Murray ruled at Seekonk and Joe Howard at Westboro. Other Saturday night winners were Fred Harbach at Islip, Jamie Tomaino at Wall, Billy Layda at Danbury and Stan Greger at Riverside. The stage was set for a classic battle between Richie Evans and Geoff Bodine at Thompson on Sunday with an 81 lapper. Carl Pasteryak led the first four laps before being overhauled by Corky Cookman. Cookman led until lap 16 when he lost a transmission. Evans assumed the lead and appeared headed for win No.301 when his engine went up in smoke on lap 54.From then on it was Bodine all the way to the checker followed by Ray Miller, George Kent, Reggie Ruggiero and Bentley Warren. It was also at this event that a young upstart by the name of Mike Stefanik was given the opportunity of driving the Richie Evans back-up car known as the Grey Ghost. Stefanik was, at one time in contention in the top five when he fell victim to a shorted out battery.

  Thirty years ago in 1986, New Egypt ran what was to be their last NASCAR sanctioned Modified event on Wednesday. It was a 150 lapper with George Kent taking the win over Jerry Cranmer, Jamie Tomaino and Jim Spencer. The competitors were paid by checks, which ultimately bounced. Once NASCAR got wind of this, the sanction was pulled. Kent made it two for two as he won a special event at Holland on Thursday night. Stafford ran twin 25's on Friday night. John Anderson, in the Mario Fiore No.44 took the opener over Brian Ross and John Rosati. Rosati came back to win the nightcap over Mike Stefanik and Charlie Jarzombek. Saturday night at Riverside Park saw Ed Kennedy go pole to pole, non stop, to win the 50 lap main event. Dan Avery finished second. Rick Holmberg won at Riverhead and it was Jim Spencer over Jan Leaty at Shangri-La. At Thompson on Sunday, the 300 outside pole position was up for grabs. Brian Ross left no doubt that he was after the spot as he cleaned house, beating out Jim Spencer and Mike McLaughlin for the win. Other weekend winners included Leo Cleary at Seekonk and Jamie Tomaino winning the Garden State Classic at Wall Stadium over Doug French. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Tim Richmond took the win.

  Twenty five years ago in 1991,Bob Georgiades, son of John Georgiades, scored his first ever win as he won the SK Modified main at Stafford on Friday night Steve Chowanski finished second with Bob Potter, third. The Modified Tour was also at Stafford. Jeff Fuller was the class of the field. Despite starting last because he missed the time trials and heats Fuller had the field covered as he took the win over Steve Park, Reggie Ruggiero and Tom Baldwin. On Saturday, Bruce Del won at Riverside and Bill Park at Riverhead while rain prevailed at Waterford.

  Twenty years ago in 1996, Riverside Park hosted the Featherlite Modified Tour on Wednesday. Jerry Marquis, in the Art Barry No.21, took the win over Steve Park, Mike Ewanitsko and Rick Fuller. Waterford ran on Thursday because of a fireworks display was planned for New London on Saturday night. Mark LaJunesse took the win over Bob Potter and Scott Spaulding. Tom Fox, in the Al Gaudreau Late Model, won his seventh feature of the year. Stafford rained out on Friday and on Saturday; Mike Ewanitsko won the Richie Evans memorial 76 lapper at Riverhead over Chuck Steuer and Tom Baldwin. At Riverside, it was Reggie Ruggiero over Richard Savory. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Rusty Wallace took the win and at Oxford Plains, Larry Gelinas won the Oxford 250.

  Fifteen years ago in 2001 Thursday night match race between Steve Park and Michael Waltrip at Thompson drew 11,000 fans. In regular race action, Ted Christopher made it five in a row as he took the lead from Bert Marvin on lap 23 of the 30 lap SK-Modified feature. Marvin finished second with Kerry Malone, third. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series ran a 100 lap event at Loudon on Friday afternoon. Tony Hirschman passed Ted Christopher on lap 97 and held on to take the win. Christopher finished second but was moved back to last on the lead lap, 21st, when it was discovered that his crew put an illegal tire on the left front. Mike Stefanik was moved up into second. Rob Summers, Dan Avery and Chris Kopec rounded out the top five. Lloyd Agor was the Friday night winner at Stafford as Christopher, who flew in from Loudon, finished second. John Sandberg had taken the checker as the leader but was disqualified, as he didn't make weight. Dennis Gada got his sixth feature at Waterford on Saturday night. Tom Fox finished second. At Riverhead, Howie Brode went pole to pole, holding off Ken Heagy for the win. In Winston Cup action at Loudon, Dale Jarrett took the win with Jeff Gordon, second. On a sad note, it was announced that long time Modified Racing supporter Sonny Richards had passed away.

  Ten years ago in 2006, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made its first of two stops at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. A total of 35 teams were signed in the pit area preparing for practice before the event was canceled shortly after noon. The Thompson Speedway beat the rains that came with tropical storm Beryl on Thursday night. Scoring his second Sunoco Modified feature victory of the season was Keith Rocco. Rick Gentes also scored his second of the season in Late Model action. Fred Astle, Jr. claimed his first Pro Stock feature win of the season while career firsts went to Brian Blaise and Tim Sullivan in Limited Sportsman and TIS Modified competition respectively. Rick Blanchard of Pascoag, RI continued his domination of the Mini Stock division with his fourth win of the season.
  Rocco jumped out from his third place starting spot and led the entire 30 lap distance. On a single file restart, with four laps to go, Rocco led a battle for second. Woody Pitkat dove underneath Tom Cravenho but Cravenho held strong . On the white flag, it was a replay of the same move by Pitkat. This time the move worked. Pitkat took second from Cravenho by inches to earn the runner-up spot to winner Rocco. Cravenho, whose crew worked feverishly during the week to get his car repaired after last week’s incident, finished third. Jeff Malave and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five.
The Stafford Motor Speedway was the scene of the 33rd annual SK Modified 100. Todd Owen was the big winner of the evening, outlasting last year's winner Willie Hardie. In other weekly action, Woody Pitkat made it three in a row as he took home his sixth Late Model feature win of the season, Brit Andersen was a first-time winner in the SK Light feature, Sean Foster became a two-time winner in the Limited Late Model feature, Carla Botticello outlasted Norm Sears for her first win of the season in the DARE Stock feature, and Kenny Horton won the 21 Means 21 SK Modified feature. In the 33rd annual Coors Light SK Modified 100 feature, John Blewett, III and Lloyd Agor were the early race leaders, setting a blistering pace at the front of the field. Near the midway point of the race, Bo Gunning, who was last week's SK Modified feature winner, moved out front and led the half-way point to pick up a $100 bonus from Reliable Welding and Speed. Gunning's good run turned sour when he and Frank Ruocco made contact while racing for the lead, which sent Gunning spinning and Ruocco to pit road for three fresh tires. Owen took over the lead of the race with Gunning and Ruocco's spin, and he led the rest of the way, outlasting Willie Hardie over the final 10-laps to take the win. Rounding out the top-5 behind Owen and Hardie were Jeff Malave, Ruocco, and Zach Sylvester. In the 30-lap Late Model feature, hometown favorite Woody Pitkat, didn't take the lead of the race until lap-25, and then had to survive several restart situations to nail down his sixth feature win of the 2006 season. Wayne Coury, Jr. led the first 24-laps of the race from the pole position, but his night ended with a crash in turn 1. Late Model points leader Jim Peterson finished second behind Pitkat, with Tom Butler, Tom Fearn, and Mark Lewis rounding out the top-5.
  Denny Hamlin completed the Pocono sweep by winning the Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday in Long Pond, dominating the field for his second career victory. Hamlin's first victory came six weeks ago at Pocono when he recovered from a spin through the grass and held on after a late restart. This race was easier, as Hamlin led 151 of 200 laps, putting him eighth in the Nextel Cup points standings. Hamlin's teammate Tony Stewart nearly self-destructed and Dale Earnhardt Jr. slipped in his pursuit of the title. Stewart, the defending Cup champion, was black-flagged early in the race for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer. Stewart had been pushed up the track and against the wall by Bowyer, and waved a hand out the window as the cars separated. He then swerved directly into the side of Bowyer's car, sending it spinning into Carl Edwards. Stewart was flagged for aggressive driving, and had to pull into the pits for a one-lap penalty that dropped him to 41st. Stewart wasted no time getting back on the lead lap. But on the next round of pit stops, Edwards gave him a retaliatory shove that spun Stewart and earned Edwards a penalty. Stewart still worked his way to a seventh-place finish, moving him back to 10th in the standings. Kevin Harvick held off Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer by .271 seconds Saturday to win the Goody's 250 Busch race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway - the first series race at the track since 1994. The victory was Harvick's series-leading fourth of the season. Harvick is one of six Nextel Cup drivers who are running full-time schedules in both that series and Busch this season .It was Harvick's 21st career Busch win and ties him for seventh place all time with Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Harry Gant. Mark Martin leads the series with 47 victories. Harvick's No. 21 Chevrolet was by far the dominant car Saturday, leading 149 of 250 laps. He did, however, have to navigate several tricky restarts as the race was marred by a track-record 19 cautions covering 87 laps.

  Five years ago in 2011 The Whelen Modified Tour headed to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past Saturday, July 16 for the F.W. Webb 100. It appears that the winds of change are beginning to blow as only thirty four cars were on hand for practice and qualifying. Sprint Cup ringer Ryan Newman, who clearly has a distinct advantage because of his Sprint Cup team, was the top qualifier as he was over one mile per hour faster than Ron Silk who was second fastest. Todd Szegedy was third fastest with Bobby Santos and another Cup ringer, Andy Petree, rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman and Ted Christopher. Justin Bonsignore experienced engine trouble and did not take time. He was given the last starting spot in the 34 starting spot field.
  Ryan Newman capitalized on a relatively caution-free race to sail to his fourth straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race Saturday in the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With the power and technology behind that car he all but stunk up the show as he could out power and pass the competition at will. Newman, who will also won the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.058-mile oval, led a race-high 61 laps. He passed Ron Silk on Lap 84 and won by 1.901 seconds over runner-up Todd Szegedy.
  The race was slowed by just two cautions and featured an 88-lap green-flag run to the checkered flag. Newman led the first 33 laps and drifted back to third under the long run before moving back to the front in the closing stages. Szegedy edged Ron Silk at the finish line for second. Matt Hirschman and Doug Coby rounded out the top five. Points leader Rowan Pennink was sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Ron Yuhas Jr., Ed Flemke Jr. and Woody Pitkat. Ted Christopher was the last car on the lead lap as he finished 11th. The race featured four lead changes among three drivers. Newman led 61 of the 100 laps.
  NASCAR impounded the #7NY car and brought the car down to Concord, NC to NASCAR facilities for testing. NASCAR will announce their official decision this coming Wednesday. It had been strongly hinted that Newmans car is illegal or has illegal parts and there could very well be a disqualification coming in the near future. In the words of NASCAR Media Coordinator Jason Cunningham, "We don't take away wins anymore, if there is a penalty to be assessed it would not affect the finish of the race".
  According to those on hand the race was taped, but who knows when it will be shown!
  In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Woody Pitkat earned his second Sunoco Modified victory this season as he was awarded the win in the special 50-lap feature event. Pitkat took the lead from Danny Cates on lap 28 and appeared to be on his way to victory until the final lap of the race. Contact with Keith Rocco had Pitkat cross the line second, but a penalty issued to Rocco for the contact handed him the win. Rocco drove deep into turn three of the final lap and made contact with Pitkat, who saved his car but lost the lead. Track officials issued a penalty to Rocco, who took the checkers first, and put Pitkat into victory lane. Rocco was awarded fifth place. Rick Fuller was moved up to the runner-up spot. Andrew Charron and Joe Allegro followed.
  In other Thursday night Thunder action Tyler Poulin was the Mini Stock winner, halting Danny Field's win streak. Tom O'Sullivan was the Late Model winner, Derek Ramstron won the non-stop Super Latemodel feature, Shawn Monahan won the Limited Sportsman Feature and Cam McDermott won the Thompson Modified feature.
  The Stafford Motor Speedway avoided a couple of pop-up showers as Keith Keith Rocco picked up his fifth victory of the 2011 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ryan Posocco took his first feature win of the 2011 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Matt Galko recovered from an early race incident to take his third feature win of the 2011 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Shawn Thibeault picked up his third win of 2011 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande picked up his fourth feature victory of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Casagrande's feature victory tied him with Stacey Botticello and Norm Sears as the winningest drivers in DARE Stock history with 10 career feature wins each.
  Ted Christopher made a move to the inside of early leader Glen Reen in turn 3 on lap-23 to take over the race lead. Rocco caught Reen and he moved into second on lap-27 while Christopher continued to hold the lead. With 10 laps to go Christopher had a lead of several car lengths over Rocco, who had an advantage of several car lengths over Reen in third. Rocco closed the distance to Christopher and he made a power move to the inside of Christopher in turn 3 on lap-36 to move into the race lead. Christopher bobbled slightly in turn 1 on lap-38, which allowed Rocco to stretch his lead out by a couple of car lengths. Christopher caught back up to Rocco on the final lap, but Rocco was too strong to be overtaken and he took his fifth win of the 2011 season by a car length. Rounding out the top-5 behind Rocco and Christopher was Reen, Dan Avery, and Woody Pitkat.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco made it three in a row in SK Modified competition. Bruce Thomas Jr. won his fourth feature in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model s, Ed Puleo rallied late in the Street Stock s to win his fifth race of the year, but in the Mini Stocks it was the first of the year for Nick Pappacoda who wound up taking the checkered flag. Paul French was victorious in the SK Light Modifieds, his second in three events for the division. Patrick Williams won the X-Car feature.
  Following Rocco in the SK Modified feature was Jeff Pearl, Kyle James, Joe Perry and Frank Mucciacciaro.
  The Valenti Modified Racing Series was in action at the Cannan Speedway in New Hampshire. Louie Mechalides was the only purple and yellow car in the field. He drew the pole, led all the laps and won the race. It was ironic that the late Ricky Miller, for whom the race was named, drove a purple and yellow car. Mike Stefanik finished second and was followed by Norm Wrenn, Kirk Alexander and Chris Pasteryak. There were thirty cars on hand.
  The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC hosted twin 25 lap Modified features. Tim Brown won the pole position for the first race with a qualifying lap of 13.298 seconds (67.7 mph) on the quarter-mile track. He held off Burt Myers in a side-by-side battle in the first lap, and again survived pressure from runner-up Myers in the closing laps. Jonathan Brown finished third. In the second Modified race, Jason Myers, went pole to pole to record his first victory of the season. Chris Fleming finished second, after slipping past a sliding Brad Robbins in the eighth lap. Robbins finished third after picking up two spots by bumping and squeezing past Austin Pack and Steven Truell in the opening laps. Burt Myers was eighth in the second race and Tim Brown ninth, maintaining Myers' 28-point lead margin in the standings.
  At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Don Howe came out of retirement to win the Modified feature. Howe hadn't won in 15 years.
Modified driver Chris Young bought the Bronson Speedway in Florida, which held their first event in late-June. Young is exploring the possibility of hosting a Tour-Type Modified event at the track during Speedweeks next February.
  In some sad news Kenneth J. Gouvin, 83, passed away after a lengthy illness on Thursday, July 7, 2011. During his younger years Kenny raced at the Kingston Fairgrounds in Kingston, RI.
  In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Loudon, Ryan Newman's first victory of the season from the pole and Tony Stewart's second-place finish gave Stewart-Haas Racing its first 1-2 start and finish. Kyle Busch joined an elite list in auto racing history, becoming the third NASCAR driver to win 100 races. Busch's victory in the Nationwide Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway also tied him with Mark Martin for first place in career Nationwide Series victories with 49. Busch has 22 wins in Sprint Cup and 29 in the Trucks Series.

  Last year, 2015, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH for a twin bill which was run in conjunction with the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races that were also run.
  The All-Star Shootout, run on Friday, consisted of a 20-car field that primarily featured champions and race winners from NASCAR’s Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours who were pre-qualified for the special event. Not even the late-race invert of the leaders could derail Woody Pitkat’s plans to return to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pitkat, in the Long Island based Buzz Chew #88, took the lead for the sixth and final time in the last of the All-Star Shootout and held off Ryan Preece and Donny Lia in a sprint to the finish in Friday’s 35-lap non-points event.
  Leading at the Lap 20 break, an invert of the top six in the running order sent Pitkat from the first to the third rows to restart with 15 to go. He quickly moved his way back into contention and to the lead with three to go. As the three-way battle developed, Preece held the point position at the white flag, but Pitkat came out on top. Preece crossed the finish line second and Lia held on for third. Justin Bonsignore followed in fourth with Bobby Santos fifth. Ted Christopher, Eric Goodale, Ron Silk, Ryan Newman and Andy Seuss brought home the top 10.
  There was joy in Mystic Connecticut as Todd Szegedy put the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile in victory lane at the conclusion of Saturday's Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by Donate Life New England at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Mystic Missile is no stranger to victory lane in Loudon as Szegedy gave Garbarino his seventh win at the New Hampshire oval and first since 2009. After much resistance Garbarino went with a NASCAR Spec engine.
  Starting fifth, Szegedy battled up front all day while leading 22 laps. He was able to fend off runner-up Donny Lia and third-place Bobby Santos after a late-race caution set up the final dash as he beat Lia to the line by .041 seconds. Patrick Emerling and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Ryan Preece finished sixth ahead of Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Keith Rocco and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Chase Dowling.
  Preece, who entered the event tied with Doug Coby atop the championship points standings, now leads Pitkat by four points and Szegedy by 19. Coby had a rough day to say the least. After he won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day and led 12 laps in the first half of the race, he was caught up in a multi-car incident following the second-half restart on Lap 55 and wound up finishing 30th. He dropped to fourth in points, 25 behind Preece.
  Twenty three of the 34 starters, 19 on the lead lap, were running at the finish. There were five cautions including the mid-race full field caution. The first caution came on lap 12 when Andy Seuss spun in turn four. Seuss ws able to restart. From there to the half way mark the field stayed under green. Shortly following the half way restart a mass front stretch tangle ensued when Don Lia ran into Doug Coby which in turn sent him out of control across the track into Woody Pitkat who in turn was hit by his brother in law, Bobby Santos. Ted Christopher and Jeff Goodale were also collected in the melee. Pitkat and Santos were able to drive away. Goodale, Christopher and Coby were towed off, done for the day. The fourth caution was displayed when Gary Putnam got loose and collected Andy Seuss and Shawn Solomito.Seuss escaped but Putnam and Solomito were done for the day. The fifth and final caution came on lap94 when Troy Talman hit Rowan Pennink while trying to pass in turn three. Collected in the process was Seuss and Anthony Nocella. All four cars were eliminated.
  At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night it was the Girls Night Out / Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk program with all 6 divisions in action plus a track walk that raised money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Taking down feature victories were on the night were Ryan Preece in the SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett in the Late Model feature, Stephen Kopcik in the SK Light feature, Al Saunders in the Ltd. Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano in the DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo in the Legend Cars feature.
  In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Preece went around early leader Joey Cipriano to take over the lead on lap-15. With eight laps to go Rowan Pennink made his move to take over second but Preece had nearly the full length of the straightaway for good cushion over Pennink. In taking the checkered flag Preece made it two in a row at Stafford. Pennink settled for second with Cipriano, Ronnie Williams, and Eric Berndt rounding out the top-5.
  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl returned to action after a week off. Veteran drivers Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco, who competed earlier in the day at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, hustled back in time to take part in the weekly Saturday night card at the Connecticut shoreline oval and both came away with victories. Christopher captured the 35-lap SK Modified feature while Rocco visited Victory Lane after winning the 30-lap Late Model feature. Rocco continues to set records as he now has 114 combined wins at the Speedbowl and an overall total of 202 wins at Connecticut tracks.
  The other Speedbowl feature winners were Brandon Plemons (25-lap Limited Sportsman), Keith Cassidy Jr. (25-lap Mini Stock) and Dana Dimatteo (Legends Cars).
  In the SK Modified feature, Christopher started 11th and worked his way to the front, finishing ahead of Rob Janovic Jr. (second) and Diego Monahan (third). Joe Gada and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five. Rocco also worked his way to the front of the Late Model feature after starting seventh. He took the checkered flag ahead of runnerup Christopher Garside and Jason Palmer, who placed third.
  Tom Rogers Jr. scored his fourth Modified win at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Riverhead paid the price for a high car count at Loudon as only 12 cars were on hand.
  Area Auto Racing News reported that Riverhead Raceway owners Barbara and Jim Cromarty have entered into a purchase agreement to sell the last remaining speedway on Long Island to Eddie and Connie Partridge. The Cromartys have owned the Riverhead Long Island oval since 1984.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Burt Myers ended a two-month dry spell shortly before thunder storms opened up on the Winston-Salem area. Jason Myers finished second in the 25 lapper with Robert Jeffreys, third. New York invader Andy Jankowiak finished fourth with Junior Miller, fifth.
  On a sad note, Michael Jaworecki‎ sends word that Long Island Modified competitor Chris Young passed away this past weekend.
  Kyle Busch continued his march towards the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by winning Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In Xfinity Series competition, Denny Hamlin had trouble keeping his car on the bottom of the track in Saturday’s Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It caused him to spin early on, but it ended up helping him drive to victory.

  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: July 22, 2016

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