July 29, 2016
Sixty five years ago in 1951 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
got their Wednesday and Saturday night events in the record book. Johnny
Schmitz won on Wednesday and Dave Humphrey on Saturday. Claiming Car winners
were Bob Foster and Dom DeLaura.
Sixty years ago in 1956, Melvin “Red”
Foote, who lived in Meridan CT at the time was the Wednesday night Modified
feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In later years Foote
would relocate to the Richmond, VA area and would remain an active
competitor through the 1960’s. Squeeky Rogers was the non-Ford winner. Rain
prevailed on Saturday night at the shoreline oval.
Fifty five years ago in 1961 Ernie
Gahan was the winner at the Norwood Arena. Old Bridge, NJ was the Sunday
night stop for many including the Eastern Bandits that were led by Eddie
Flemke. Promoter Bob Streeter posted $3140 for a 100 lap event. Wild Bill
Slater in the Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 led a New England sweep of the
top five as he beat out Flemke by less than a wheel. Ernie Gahan finished
third and was followed by Gene Bergin and Elton Hill. Rain washed out the
Wednesday night Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
shortly after qualifying had been completed which set the stage for double
features on Saturday night. Ted Stack won the held over Modified feature
while Newt Palm was the winner of the regular event. Non-Ford winners were
Bill Staubley and Dave Hill.
Fifty years ago in 1966 twin 54 lap
features were run at the Albany Saratoga Speedway on Friday night. Pete
Hamilton took the first one over Don MacTavish, Rene Charland, Leo Cleary
and Lou Lazzaro. Bill Wimble took the nightcap, as Hamilton had to settle
for second. Elton Hill, Phil Spiak and Hank Stevens rounded out the top
five. Ernie Gahan was the Friday night winner at Stafford while Billy Schulz
took the win at Norwood on Saturday night. Rene Charland took the top spot
on the dirt at Fonda on Saturday night. Pete Corey finished second with Guy
Chartrand, third. Dick Dunn was the 30 lap Modified feature winner at the
Waterford Speedbowl. Gordon Page was the Bomber winner and Howard “Jiggs”
Beetham who in later years would become a championship Modified car owner
with Bob Potter as his driver, was the Daredevil winner. Steady Eddie Flemke
was the Sunday night winner at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Jerry Cook finished
second and was followed by Bill Wimble, Kenny Shoemaker and Frank Mathalia.
Forty five years ago in 1971, the
Albany-Saratoga Speedway presented a 100 lapper on Friday night. Lou Lazzaro
was the top gun as he was first under the checker. Eddie Flemke, in the Art
Barry No.09 finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro, Maynard
Forette and Rene Charland. At the Fulton Raceway Open Competition Modifieds
and Supermodifieds were on tap. Jim Shampine won the Modified 30 lapper over
Dick Clark, Guy Chartrand, Dave Nichols and Ronnie Wallace. Ken Andrews was
the Supermodified winner with Nolan Swift, second. In NESMRA action at the
Thompson Speedway on Friday night Big Don MacClaren took the main event over
Dynamite Ollie Silva and Jim Landry. George Allum took his 14th Late Model
win. Stafford ran a 30 lap Pocono qualifier on Saturday night. Leo Cleary,
in the Garbarino No.4, took the win and the guaranteed spot for the upcoming
August event. Rene Charland, in the Bob Johnson No.17, finished second and
was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Daring Dick Caso. Dick Dunn put the Al
Gaudreau No.3 in victory lane at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night
Angie Cerese finished second with Ronnie Wycoff, third. Ron Cote was the
Sportsman Sedan winner. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night, popular Bernie Miller
took the win over Ray Sitterly, Bugsy Stevens and Dave Lape.
Forty five years ago in 1976, the
Yankee All Star league was at Waterford on Wednesday night. Sixty four cars
were on hand for the 100 lapper that saw Bugsy Stevens, in the Bob Judkins
2x take the win over Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Ed Flemke. Dynamite
Ollie Silva won twin features at Monadnock on Friday night. Riverhead, on
Friday and Islip, on Saturday, each ran 150 lap events. At Riverhead,
Charlie Jarzombek was untouchable as he won, going away, over Fred Harbach,
Jerry Cook and Gary Winters. At Islip, New York City policeman George Wagner
took the top spot over Jerry Cook and Jim Tyler. Steady Eddie Flemke, who
had become a modified legend in his own time, put the Bill
Thornton-Manchester Sand and Gravel No.10 in victory lane at Stafford on
Saturday night. Fred DeSarro finished second and was followed by Geoff
Bodine. Other Saturday night action saw George Allum the Modified winner at
Waterford and George Murray in victory lane at Seekonk. Westboro rained out.
Geoff Bodine came back from a disqualification the previous week to record
win N0.6 at Thompson on Sunday night. For the second week in a row, Bodine's
engine was protested by runner-up Fred DeSarro. Bodine countered with a
protest of DeSarro's engine. Both engines were torn down and both were
declared legal by the Thompson tech inspection staff. Leo Cleary finished
Thirty five years ago in 1981, Richie
Evans scored his 28th of the season and the 301st of his career at Stafford
on Friday night. Reggie Ruggiero finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third.
Marty Radwick won a Race of Champions qualifier at Monadnock and George Kent
beat out Greg Sacks for the win at Spencer. Glynn Shafer won a ROC qualifier
at Waterford on Saturday night over Dale Holdredge. George Kent made it two
for the weekend as he bested Richie Evans and Greg Sacks at Shangri-La.
Marty Radwick copied Kent as he carried his win over to Riverside on
Saturday. In other Saturday night action, Joe Howard won at Westboro, Don
Howe at Islip, Jamie Tomaino at Wall, and Roger Treichler recorded his
seventh of the season at Lancaster. Danbury ran twin Modified features with
Billy Layda and Rit Patchen taking the wins. In Busch Grandnational action
at South Boston, Geoff Bodine slugged it out to win over Tommy Ellis and Bob
Pressley. Once the dust had settled, Bodine headed north to Oswego where he
won a 75 lap modified event over Richie Evans, George Kent and Jerry Cook
.In Winston Cup action, Ronnie Bouchard in the Jack Beebe Race Hill Farms
entry scored an upset victory at Talladega as he passed Darrell Waltrip and
Terry Labonte in a five car draft coming off the fourth turn. Bouchard, a
rookie, started 10th and won by a mere two feet in a photo finish. It was
one of New England’s brightest racing moments!
Thirty years ago in 1986, Jeff Fuller
was the Friday night winner at Stafford. George Brunnhoelzl Jr. finished
second and was followed by Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino. Rain washed out
Waterford and Riverside. At Seekonk, Gomer Taylor took the win over Pete
Swartz and Ray Lee. Scott Spaulding was the Charger winner. Jim Spencer went
two for two as he scored at Spencer and at Shangri-La. Sunday action at
Thompson rained out.
Twenty five years ago in 1991, the
Modified tour invaded Riverside Park on Wednesday for a 150 lapper. Reggie
Ruggiero in the Ed Cloce No.69 dodged the bullet as he won the caution
filled event. Richie Gallup finished second with Mike Stefanik, third.
Stafford rained out on Friday .The skies cleared on Saturday as Reggie
Ruggiero made it two for the week at Riverside. Mike Gada and Ricky Young
finished one-two at Waterford and John Brouwer Jr won his first ever late
model event, also at Waterford. At Riverhead, Brian miller beat out Fred
Vordermeir for top honors.
Twenty years ago in 1996, Waterford
ran on Thursday night in front of an almost empty grandstand. Track
management did not get the word out that they were racing and nobody came.
Tucker Reynolds Jr. took the win over Mike Gada and Bob Potter. Ted
Christopher scored his 39th career win at Stafford on Friday night. Steve
Park, Jim Broderick, Bo Gunning and Curt Brainard followed. Andy Santarre
won the Busch North Series event Jim Broderick passed Ted Christopher with
seven to go at Waterford on Saturday. Christopher hung on to finish second
with Mark LaJunesse, following. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at the
Holland, NY. Speedway for a 150 lap event. Jerry Marquis, in the Art Barry
No.21 took the win over Mike Stefanik, Steve Park and Ed Flemke Jr. Marquis,
who took the lead from Flemke, led the final 90 laps. Tom Jensen won at
Riverside and Tom McCann won at Riverhead. Oswego hosted the New York State
Championship series on Sunday. Mike Stefanik took the 100 lap win over Mike
Ewanitsko and George Kent. Jeff Gordon took the win in the rain shortened
Winston Cup Talledega 500.The event, which started 3-1/2 hours late, saw a
horrendous accident as Dale Earnhardt Sr. hit the wall and before landing on
his roof was hit hard by Derike Cope and Robert Pressley. Earnhardt, known
for his toughness, walked to the ambulance under his own power, even after
suffering a broken left collarbone and broken sternum. Greg Sacks was the
winner of the Saturday Busch Grandnational event.
Fifteen years ago in 1991 Thursday
night racing at Thompson, rained out. Friday night at Stafford belonged to
Eric Berndt as he beat out Ed Spiers for the win. Ted Christopher, looking
to run for the track championship, retired with a burned piston, finished a
distant 28th. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Holland,
N.Y. Eddie Flemke Jr. lost a clutch in warm-ups and missed the drivers
meeting. Flemke did make it out for time trials and even after taking the
pole, had to start in the rear because he missed the meeting. Maybe it was a
blessing in disguise as he was able to avoid wrecks and spins that brought
out eight cautions. Flemke avoided the trouble and took the lead from Ted
Christopher on lap 138 and never looked back. Christopher finished second
and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak, Jerry Marquis and Tony Hirschman. At
Waterford, Dennis Gada made it three in a row and his seventh overall as he
passed Jeff Pearl with two to go. Don Fowler finished third with Jay Miller
and Mark LaJunesse rounding out the top five. At Riverhead, Chris Young beat
out John Fortin and Bill Park. Reggie Ruggerio turned 50 and at Lebanon
Valley, Ken Tremont scored his 95th win at the New York dirt oval. The win
was also the 200th career win overall. In Winston Cup action at Pocono,
Bobby Labonte passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the closing laps to take the win.
Jeff Purvis substituted for Mike Skinner at Gateway International and ran
away with the Busch Grandnational event held there.
Ten years ago in 2006 the week was a
busy one for competitors and fans in the southern New England region. The
weekend started off on Wednesday when the True Value Modified Racing Series
paid a visit to the Seekonk Speedway. The event, Modified Madness, carried a
purse of $31,000 and was sponsored by Viveiros Insurance. Forty-two
competitors from nine states attempted to qualify for the 26-car event at
the 1/3-mile Bay State oval, which drew the largest crowd of the season at
the track, which has been in continuous operation since 1946.
Defending True Value Modified Racing Series champion Kirk Alexander
started on the pole after winning his qualifying heat and led the first 30
laps while former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion Ted
Christopher gradually worked his way to second from his sixth place starting
spot. Christopher pulled alongside Alexander and the pair raced wheel to
wheel for several laps before the second of six cautions waved for a minor
incident involving Jack Bateman on lap 34. Christopher, driving the Joe
Brady No.00 took the lead on the restart and proceeded to pace the next 49
circuits with Alexander never less than a car length away. Andy Seuss passed
Louie Mechalides for third three laps before the halfway mark, with Ed
Brunnhoelzl III in fifth, ahead of Bobby Grigas, Rob Summers, Les Hinckley,
and local favorites Vinnie Annarummo and Dick Houlihan. On lap 51, Hinckley
got loose in turn three, resulting in a multi-car pileup that saw John
Blewett III hitting the outside concrete nose-first. After a Brunnhoelzl
spin triggered a lap 77 restart, Alexander hounded Christopher, looking for
a way back around the leader. As the duo entered turn three on lap 83,
Alexander put the bumper to the leader which resulted in Christopher
spinning into the infield grass to bring out the final caution. The True
Value Modified Racing Series officials chose not to penalize Alexander for
the contact. Mechalides and Seuss ran a spirited battle for second during
the final sprint to the checkers, but no one would catch Alexander, who
claimed the $10,000 win. “I know,” the victor acknowledged, as many of the
spectators voiced their displeasure at the outcome. “We were racing very
hard out there. I got into him. I didn’t mean to, and I backed off and tried
to let him save it, but he went around. I don’t like to win a race that
way.” Mechalides earned $3,500 for his stellar runner-up effort while Seuss
was equally pleased with his third place finish, worth $2,500. Chuck
Hossfeld came from 26th to finish fourth, ahead of former Seekonk competitor
Bobby Grigas, Cement Palace regular Vinnie Annarummo, and John McKennedy.
Chris Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, and Rob Goodenough rounded out the top ten.
Christopher ended up 13th. Defending race winner Donnie Lia was involved in
a heat race crash and ended up among the 16 non-qualifiers.
At the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night, Joe Lemay scored his career
first victory as the Sunoco Modifieds went pole to pole. Lemay ran to the
victory nearly a half straightaway ahead of second place finisher Tom
Cravenho Bert Marvin turned his early season bad luck around as he finished
third. Woody Pitkat and Jimmy Blewett rounded out the top five. Pitkat took
over the point lead with his finish. In the Pro Stocks Jeff Zuidema dodged a
bullet in the Pro Stock main event to take down his third win of the season.
After destroying his car the week before, Zuidema’s crew pulled out a potent
back-up car, enabling Zuidema to score the victory. Rick Gentes made it two
straight in the Late Models. Leo Oliviera of Raynham, MA became the third
different winner in three weeks in the TIS Modified division and Shelly
Perry scored her third Mini Stock victory of the season.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Holland Int. Speedway on
Saturday night. There were 30 cars on hand which wasn’t bad considering the
distance competitors had to travel. Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Champion Tony Hirschman ended a long dry spell as he scored his first
victory of the season in the Paul Graff Trucking 100. Hirschman, driving the
Kamco Supply Chevrolet, passed Todd Szegedy on lap 34 and led the rest of
the race holding off challenges from Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik
Hirschman started the race in the sixth position. He was in the Top-3 by lap
15, and was second by lap 24. He raced wheel to wheel with Szegedy for a
couple laps before pulling ahead for good. It was the 35th career win for
Hirschman and his second at Holland. He now trails Stefanik by 21 points in
the race fore the series championship. Christopher held off a late race
challenge by Mike Stefanik and finished second. Stefanik, who led the first
10 laps before giving way to Szegedy, was third in the Diversified Metals
Chevrolet. Eddie Flemke, winner of the series last race at Holland, finished
fourth in the Red Line Oil/Ron Bouchard Chevrolet. Jerry Marquis rounded out
the Top-5 in the Reynolds Auto Wrecking Dodge. The race distance was
increased to 117 laps as 27 laps of caution were run but only 10 counted
toward the scheduled race distance of 100 laps. Second generation driver
Matt Hirschman set fast time in qualifying to record his first Bud Pole
Award. Jimmy Blewett was the Featherlite Most Improved Driver. Marquis
collected the Powerade Power Move of the Race Award. Danny Sammons was the
Rookie of the Race.
There were four cautions for 27 laps. Sixth through tenth were Szegedy,
Sammons, Dick Houlihan, Jimmy Blewett and James Civali. The next race for
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is at Riverhead, N.Y.this coming Saturday on
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to the weather as violent
thunderstorms hammered most of Connecticut on Friday night.
At the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl led from start to finish and
survived a number of restarts as he romped to victory in the 35-lap
SK-Modified feature Saturday. It was his second victory of the season and
the 21st career win for Pearl. Chris Pasteryak finished second with point
leader Dennis Gada edging Rob Janovic for fourth. Point leader Tim Jordan
won his fourth Late Model feature of the season. Other winners included
Ronnie Oldham Jr. in the Sportsman 20 lapper and Ken Cassidy in the 20-lap
Mini Stock event. Mark Bakaj won the INEX 50-lap Legends National Qualifier.
The Nextel Cup stars were off. In Busch Series racing, Carl Edwards
overtook Denny Hamlin with nine laps left Saturday and held on to win the
Busch Silver Celebration 250 at Gateway International Speedway in Madison,
Ill. In other action Howie Brode won the Tom Baldwin 77 at the Riverhead
Raceway on Long Island.
Five years ago in 2011, The
Whelen Modified Tour enjoyed the weekend, the hottest of the year, off. The
big news of the week was that NASCAR did the right thing when they stripped
Ryan Newman of his win at Loudon after his car was declared blatantly
illegal after a thorough tech inspection at the NASCAR R & D Center in North
Carolina. NASCAR announced on Wednesday (July 20), that Ryan Newman and the
Kevin "Bono" Manion No. 7 team were disqualified and stripped of their
victory and fast-time award from the July 16 race at New Hampshire Motor
Speedway. Todd Szegedy was awarded New Hampshire’s $15,000 plus race winner.
Newman's car was found to have an air leak in the area around the intake
manifold. Since the Modifieds run with a restrictor plate at New Hampshire
it was an item specifically checked in detail by officials as that could
produce additional horsepower. Newman's car was taken to the NASCAR Tech
Center in Concord, N.C., where it was determined that it did not conform to
NASCAR rules. The intake manifold ports did not completely seal to the
cylinder head ports. The use of metal, shim-type intake manifold gaskets,
which are not permitted, were used.
Mike LaRochelle, crew chief of car No. 7, has been suspended from all
NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Kevin Manion has
been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31,
Ronnie Silk was running second on the last lap of the July 16 New
Hampshire Modified race when he made an all-out attempt to pass Newman. But
Silk slid high, allowing Szegedy to pass.
In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Keith Rocco
continued his domination of the Sunoco Modified division with his fourth win
of the season at Thompson International Speedway. Rocco's season totals
shows 17 wins in 31 starts at Thompson, Stafford and at Waterford. With 11
Sunoco Modifieds going to post, Rocco started fifth. Ryan Preece took the
lead on the start from Danny Cates. By lap 3, Rocco moved into the second
spot and the show was on. Both competitors raced side by side and swapped
the lead until lap 19 when Rocco took the lead for good. Preece finished a
strong second but had nothing for Rocco in the late stages. Cates finished
third and was followed by Rick Fuller, Woody Pitkat and Todd Ceravolo.
John Falconi won hands down in the Late Models. He dedicated his win to
the late Steve May. Shawn Monahan came from a tenth starting spot to record
his fifth Limited Sportsman feature win of the season. Jay Sundeen scored
his second victory of the 2011 season in the TIS Modifieds. With his eighth
victory on Thursday night Danny Field hopes to begin a new win streak in the
Mini Stock division.
In the special Tour type Modified 40 lapper that drew 15 cars Ryan Preece
started on the outside pole and at the drop of the green jumped out ahead of
pole sitter Keith Rocco and never looked back as he dominated the entire
event, taking the checker over Mike Stefanik, Todd Szegedy, Rocco, Richard
Savory and Steven Reed. Finishing a distant ninth was Gary Putnam who was
driving a Modified that was being worked on by Kevin Manion, the crew chief
of the disqualified car that Ryan Newman drove at Loudon.
Preece had legendary car owner and engine builder Bobby Judkins in his
pit area helping out. Judkins, who is Preece's grandfather, brought his
famous 2x Modified to New England to compete in the Modified Racing Series
events. Judkins has hundreds of victories to his credit with drivers Eddie
Flemke Sr, Jerry Marquis and Gene Bergin behind the wheel.
Rounding out the night was the PASS Super-Late Models that went the 100
lap distance. Johnny Clark of Hallowell, ME, took down the victory in the
Pro All Star Series Super Late Model 100-lapper son. There was plenty of
drama in the PASS National Championship event beginning with an incident in
turn one of the opening lap. Top guns Jay Fogleman, Scott Chubbuck, Cassias
Clark, Alan Tardiff, Preston Peltier and others were involved. The drama
continued on lap 25 when Derek Ramstrom got alongside Mike Rowe in turn
three in a battle for the lead. Ramstrom lost the handle on his #35
collecting Rowe in the process. Both cars retired from the event with
Lou Modestino advised that Doug Coby really had the other 23 Tour Type
Modified drivers covered at Seekonk Speedway’s 7th Annual Open Wheel
Wednesday 100 lap race. Taking the lead early on and holding off Matt
Hirshman, Coby took the $10 grand first place money back to the Nutmeg
State. The event has been a fan favorite since the inception of the race.
Getting the leftovers were; Todd Annarummo, Mike Stefanik and Chris
Pasteryak who placed third through fifth.
Surviving three restart challenges, Randy Cabral (Bertrand 47) won the
Northeastern Midget Association’s 25-lap feature at Seekonk Speedway’s Open
Wheel Wednesday. It was the first win of the season for Cabral, the fourth
winner in the last four NEMA races.
The Stafford Motor Speedway took the brunt of the heat on Friday as
temperatures were just shy of the 100 degree mark at race time. Stafford ran
its biggest weekly race of the season, the 8th Annual CARQUEST SK 150. Keith
Rocco took the checkered flag and the $3,500 winner's check for his third
consecutive and sixth overall victory of the 2011 season, Dillon Moltz
picked up his third win of the 2011 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature,
Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his fourth win of 2011 in the 20-lap SK Light
Modified feature, Carla Botticello picked up her first win of 2011 in the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Don Wood scored his third win of 2011
in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Rocco's win gave him 18 wins in 32 starts for the season, overall.
Following Rocco at the finish was Woody Pitkat, Ryan Preece, Eric Berndt and
Frank Ruocco. Among the missing was Ted Christopher who was in SuperModified
competition at the Oswego Speedway in upstate New York where he finished
Rocco now had 29 career victories at Stafford, moving him past Mike
Christopher for third place on the all-time win list in the division at the
track. Ted Christopher is the all-time leader with 94 victories and Bo
Gunning is second with 47 wins.
Among the missing in New England was Ted Christopher who took his show on
the road to upstate New York. At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburg,
NY Christopher moved the three-race old SuperModified of Clyde Booth
steadily forward from his 12th starting spot, ran down early leader and
former track record holder Robbie Summers on lap 21 of the 50-lap
$3,200-to-win feature and then drove off into the night. He led Summers and
Mark Sammut to the stripe by more than a straightaway with Chris deRitis and
Tim Jedrzejek rounding out the top five.
At the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco did what few have done as he made
it three for three on the weekend, the second time this year that he has
scored a home run! Rocco joined an elite group in early July, consisting of
Richie Evans and Geoff Bodine who had similar weekend success during their
racing careers. At the shoreline oval, the second generation racer now has
four SK Modified features in a row.
Vin Esposito took down the checkered flag in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall
Late Models, his second on the year. In Street Stock action, Michael Caprio
Jr. wired the race in dominating fashion to claim his first career win in
the division, while Ken Cassidy Jr. rounded out the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series winners by taking his fifth win in the Mini Stocks this
year. In the Legends Cars it was David Garbo Jr. taking his third
consecutive win, and in the visiting New England Truck Series Corey Coates
nailed down an extra-distance win.
Following Rocco in the SK Modified feature was Rob Janovic who beat out
Kyle James for second, with Tom Abele and Tyler Chadwick completing the
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Oxford Plains Speedway in
Maine last weekend. Joe Doucette won his first ever VMRS race which drew
only 18 cars. Chris Pasteryak finished second with Max Zachem, third. Rowan
Pennink and Norm Wrenn rounded out the top five.
Before a huge “Oxford 250” weekend crowd, pole-sitter and present point
leader Pasteryak jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and
appeared to be in cruise mode when a lap 62 caution flag brought the race
leader back to the rest of the field. Up to that point, Les Hinckley and
Dwight Jarvis staged a torrid second place battle until Doucette came into
the picture and second place on lap 73. Doucette chased after Pasteryak,
reeled him in, and made several attempts to pass the leader but the 2008
series champion was equal to the challenge. On lap 97, Doucette, with the
huge crowd cheering on each pass attempt, finally was able to squeeze by
Pasteryak, to go on and win his first ever VMRS race.
The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC hosted a 100 lap NASCAR
Modified event. Burt Myers started seventh in the random draw and had to
slowly make his way toward the front. Jonathan Brown started first and led
the first 84 laps, then Myers took the lead and held it the rest of the way.
Dean Ward finished third and Burt's brother, Jason, was fourth.
The Modified race had six cautions, and Burt Myers, who had his fastest
qualifying lap of the season at 13.200 seconds, took the lead after the
fifth caution. He also added to his season points lead on Tim Brown, who was
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Ron Silk won the 77 lap
Baldwin-Evans-Jarzombek Memorial. The 77-lap modified race attracted 30 cars
vying for 28 spots. Many non-regulars paid a visit as well as NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour competitors, who used the event as a warm for next week's Tour
event. Among the Tour regulars was the most recent Tour winner Todd Szegedy,
who by all accounts is not the biggest fan of Riverhead’s tight confines
despite having won at another quarter-mile track (Monadnock Speedway in
N.H.) earlier this year. Szegedy managed to turn in a strong performance
finishing second behind another Tour driver, Ronnie Silk. Silk, winner of
the May 27th Tour race at Stafford, put on a dominating performance after
starting from the front row. Szegedy made a late run on Silk but was unable
to complete the pass. Silk held on to win.
The 61st running of the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200 was held at
the Oswego Speedway in Oswego, NY and honored the memory of Modified great
Richie Evans. Evans a three time winner of the Race of Champions in 1973, 79
and 80 was also recently nominated in to the NASCAR Racing Hall of Fame.
Tara and Richie, Jr. were Grand Marshals at the race. Saturday marked the
61st running of the 200 and also would have been Richie Evans 70th birthday.
Zane Zeiner held off Tony Hirschman in the closing moments to capture the
61st annual Race of Champions 200-lap modified special at the Lake Ontario
shore speedway. Zeiner took the lead with 42 laps remaining and held on to
grab the $10,000 top prize plus a good portion of the record $22,000 lap
prize fund. Hirschman, who has won this event four times, had to settle for
a close second at the checkers. Pole sitter Erick Rudolph finished third
after an early spin with Lee Sherwood and Jimmy Zacharias completing the top
Kyle Busch won the 38th Annual TD Bank 250 at the Oxford Plains Speedway.
In some sad news, Shirley J. (O'Rourke) Yerrington, 79, of 31 Trading
Cove Circle, Norwich, beloved wife of the late Edwin F. Yerrington Sr.,
passed away. During Ed's tenure as General Manager of the Stafford Motor
Speedway Shirley oversaw the press box.
Carl Edwards dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday night
at Nashville Superspeedway. The Sprint Cup series enjoyed the weekend off.
ESPN announced that Allen Bestwick would replace Marty Reid for all
Sprint Cup races, practices and qualifying. Reid would be the play-by-play
announcer for Nationwide Series telecasts and ESPN's IndyCar coverage.
Last year, 2015, The NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour returned to action on Saturday, July 25, for the O’Reilly Auto
Parts 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Twenty eight cars were on
hand for time trials with Ryan Preece taking the pole with a time of 12.428
seconds around the high banked quarter mile oval. Doug Coby was second
fastest and started outside pole. Coby passed Ryan Preece on Lap 45 and was
able to remain at the point in the caution filled 200 lap race. Preece faded
and ended up going a lap down and finished tenth. Woody Pitkat followed
closely in second with Justin Bonsignore coming up just a little short in
his bid for a third straight win at the quarter-mile track finishing third.
Todd Szegedy and Troy Talman completed the top five. For Coby and Talman it
was redemption of sort as they wrecked the previous week at Loudon. Eric
Goodale rebounded from an early incident to finish sixth with Shawn
Solomito, Andy Seuss, Chase Dowling, and Preece rounding out the top 10.
The race was slowed six times by caution with a pair of red flags thrown
during the race for track cleanup caused by a pair of multicar accidents.
Coby's average speed was calculated to be 46.071 mph. The first caution came
on lap 32 when Keith Rocco had a steering malfunction, a possible broken
rack and pinion, and clipped Eric Goodale, sending him into the wall.
Rocco's crew was unable to make repairs and he ended up in 28th finishing
position. The second caution came on lap 49 when Anthony Nocella ran into
the tire barrier in turn one and suffered a flat. The third caution came on
lap 63 when Ken Heagy hit the wall in turn two. The fourth caution was
displayed when Timmy Solomito, Anthony Nocella, Bobby Santos and Heagy
tangled in turn two All were able to rejoin the field except Nocella. Wade
Cole brought out the fifth caution on lap 118 when he spun in turn four. The
sixth and final caution waved on lap 126when Andy Seuss got out of shape and
collected Santos, Jeff Goodale, Solomito, Joe Osborne and Max Zachem.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 race was shown, taped delayed on NBC Sports
Net on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ron Williams got the
benefit of Ryan Preece's overly aggressive driving style as he was awarded
the SK Modified win. In the closing moments of the 42 lap feature Rowan
Pennink made a move to the inside of Preece for the lead in turn 4 with 5
laps to go and he took the lead but Preece came back strong with a crossover
move in turn 3 on the very next lap and he was the leader at the line by a
nose. Preece got clear of Pennink as they hit the line to complete lap 40
but Pennink made another move to the inside of Preece in turn 3 to take the
lead as they came to the white flag. Preece gave Pennink a tap to the
bumper, upsetting Pennink's foreward motion, as the cars were coming to the
checkered flag and Preece took the checkered flag with Williams edging out
Keith Rocco for second. Pennink crossed the line in fourth but NASCAR
Officials penalized Preece back to fifth place for his move on the final
lap, making Williams the winner thanks to his last lap pass on Rocco. Matt
Galko finished third, Pennink was fourth, and Preece rounded out the top-5
after the penalty was applied.
For Williams it was his third win of the year in the SK Modified®
feature, Tom Butler was a first time winner in the Late Model feature, D.J.
Burnham scored his third win of the year in the SK Light feature, Andrew
Hayes took down his third win of the season in the Limited Late Model
feature, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. won for the second time this year in the DARE
Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo was a winner for the time this season in
the Legend Cars feature.
When the cat is away, the mice will play at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. In the Modified division and Late Model division at the shoreline
oval "The Cat" Keith Rocco was at a tour event at the Monadnock Speedway in
New Hampshire. "The Mice", Tyler Chadwick in the SK Modifieds and Jason
Palmer in the Late Models, took advantage of Rocco's absence and recorded
wins in their respective divisions. Chadwick, who dedicated his win to his
recently murdered sister, started 10th. Joe Gada finished second with Rob
Janovic, third. Craig Lutz and Diego Monahan rounded out the top five. Ted
Christopher, who bypassed the Monadnock event, finished seventh. Palmer beat
out Vinnie Esposito and Joe Curioso. Other winners were Paul Buzel in the SK
Lites, Brad Caddick in the Mini-Stocks and Chris Myer in the Limited
The NASCAR Modifieds had the week off at the Riverhead Raceway on Long
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC twin
50's were run for the NASCAR Modifieds. Jason Myers won the first 50-lap
race, holding off Tim Brown. It was his fourth win of the year and also his
22nd win of his career, tying him with his grandfather Billy Myers, who died
in a race at Bowman Gray in 1958, for 19th on the all-time wins list. Chris
Fleming finished third and Burt Myers was fourth. In the second 50 lapper,
In the second race, John Smith won his second of the year and held off
Ronnie Clifton, who started first. Clifton started first because they had
the Madhouse Scramble and Jason Myers drew 14th, which meant the field was
inverted starting at 14.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series had an event scheduled for last Friday
at the Devils Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont. With showers and
possible thunderstorms expected until at least 6:00 p.m., management from
Devil’s Bowl Speedway and the Valenti Modified Racing Series agreed to
postpone the inaugural Newport Chevrolet-Buick-GMC 100.
Kyle Busch’s remarkable comeback tour continued at the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway where he scored the biggest victory in his career in Sunday’s 22nd
annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The
Brickyard. It was Busch’s third win in a row and his fourth in the last five
races. Joey Logano finished second. It completed a clean sweep as he beat
out Ryan Blaney for Xfinity Series win at Indy the day before.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit