June 23, 2017
Sixty five years ago in 1952 Wes Kingsley was the 25 lap
Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Everett Harris was
the Claiming Car winner.
Sixty years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc,
who normally raced at the Norwood Arena, ventured to Connecticut where he
won the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dick
Beauregard was the non-Ford winner. At the Islip Speedway, Johnny Rocco took
the win over Johnny Coy. Harry Hebbenstreit, who in later years would serve
as the General Manager of the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, finished third.
Fifty five years ago in 1962,
Bill Slater made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs
Speedway. At Waterford, George Pendergast was the 25 lap Modified feature
winner. Lou Caso was the Bomber winner.
Fifty years ago in 1967, Bugsy
Stevens was the Friday night winner at Stafford over Gene Bergin, Bobby
Santos, Pete Hamilton and Leo Cleary. It was Stevens’ first win at Stafford.
Double features were on tap at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Rene Charland
took the opener and was followed by Bill Wimble, Eddie Flemke, Lou Lazzaro
and Guy Chartrand. Kenny Shoemaker won the nightcap over Richie Evans,
Wimble, Lazzaro and Flemke. Hamilton, who had taken over the Worcester Sand
and Gravel No.69 that had formerly been driven by Mario "Fats" Caruso took
the Saturday night win at Norwood Arena. At Fonda, it was Rene Charland over
Lou Lazzaro and Jack Farquar. Newt Palm made it two in a row at Waterford.
At the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night George Pendergast beat out Richie
Evans, Pete Corey, Billy Harman and Rene Charland for the win.
Forty five years ago in 1972, rain
put a damper on the racing in New York State as Malta, Fonda and Utica-Rome
pulled the plug because of the wet stuff. Bugsy Stevens was the Saturday
night winner at Stafford over Eddie Flemke, Leo Cleary and Ronnie Bouchard.
At Islip, Japanese driver George Tet was the winner at the tight 1/5 mile
oval. Cliff Tyler finished second with Charlie Jarzombek, third. Waterford's
features were washed out after qualifying was completed.
Forty years ago in 1977, still
going strong was Bugsy Stevens, now in the Koszela 15, as he blasted his way
thru the field at Stafford to record a popular win over Geoff Bodine, Ray
Miller and Brett Bodine. The rain stayed north and washed out Friday night
action at Monadnock. Saturday night at Seekonk, Leo Cleary in the Tom Dunn
T-5 Pinto Wagon showed the quick way around the 1/4 mile oval as he took the
win over Jim Wilkins, John Rosati and George Murray. Waterford and Westboro
were victims of rain but at Riverside it stayed dry long enough for Bob
Polverari to record a win over Reggie Ruggiero. All racing for the weekend
on Long Island was also wet. At Thompson on Sunday, Fred DeSarro made it
four in a row. Geoff Bodine settled for second and was followed by Leo
Cleary, Ronnie Bouchard and Ray Miller.
Thirty five years ago in 1982, Richie
Evans scored his 11th of the season with a 150 lap win at New Egypt on
Wednesday night. Tony Siscone finished second with Jerry Cook, third. New
Egypt ran again on Friday night with Siscone turning the tables with a win
over Evans and John Blewett Jr. Greg Sacks, enjoying his best season ever,
recorded his 12th win of the season at Stafford on Friday night. Bugsy
Stevens finished second with George Summers, third. Tom Bolles was the SK
Modified winner. Dan DeRosier beat out Reggie Ruggiero and Bob Polverari at
Riverside and at Thompson, Richie Evans and Reggie Ruggiero each scored
victories. Rain washed out Waterford and Islip. In Winston Cup action at
Michigan, Cale Yarborough took the win.
Thirty years ago in 1987, Rick Fuller
was the Friday night SK Modified winner at Stafford. Richie Gallup finished
second with Jerry Pearl, third. Ricky Shawn was the Late Model winner.
Dickie Doo Ceravolo made it two in a row at Waterford on Saturday night as
he beat out Moose Hewitt and Jerry Pearl for the win. At Riverside, Dan
Avery took the win over Bob Polverari and Reggie Ruggiero and at Riverhead,
Wayne Anderson went pole to pole to take the win over Tom McCann. Out in
South Central New York at Shangri-La, Tony Hirschman took the win and in
Winston Cup action at Riverside, Tim Richmond took the win.
Twenty five years ago in 1992, rain
drenched the northeast, washing out Stafford's Busch North Series event on
Friday night and Waterford on Saturday night. The NASCAR Featherlite
Modified Tour Series Modifieds were at Flemington for a 200 lapper which was
won by local favorite Doug Hoffman. Jan Leaty finished second with Ed Flemke
Jr, Tim Arre and Jeff Fuller rounding out the top five. Mike Ewanitsko ruled
the roost at Riverhead and at Riverside, Bruce D'Assandro beat out John
Zavisa and Ed Kennedy for the win.
Twenty years ago in 1997, Steve
Chowanski started his weekend right with a win at Stafford on Friday night.
Bo Gunning finished second with Jim Broderick, third. At Waterford on
Saturday night, Todd Ceravolo got his fourth win of the season after Jim
Broderick was disqualified with an illegal transmission. Don Fowler ended up
second with Dennis Gada, third. Mike Stefanik recorded his sixth modified
win of the season as he won the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Touring Series
201 lap event at Riverhead. After taking the lead on lap 66, Stefanik
survived nine cautions for 42 laps on his way to victory. His average speed
was 46.708 mph. Mike Ewanitsko finished second and was followed by Ted
Christopher, Tim Connelly and Rick Fuller.Ted Riggott got his fourth win at
Riverside and in Busch North Series action at Thompson on Sunday, Jerry
Marquis took the win over Martin Truex, Tom Bolles, Rick Fuller and Mike
Stefanik. Marquis started sixth and was running third on lap 31 of the 150
lap event when Kelly Moore dumped leader Dale Shaw. Shaw went to the back
and Moore pitted for a stop and go. In Winston Cup action at Fontana in
California, Jeff Gordon took the checker on fumes as he ran out of gas on
the cool down lap.
Fifteen years ago in 2002, Bert
Marvin made it three in a row in Thursday night Thunder action at Thompson.
Marvin started 17th and followed Ted Christopher to the front. He passed
Christopher on lap 7 and leader Stu McCarthy on lap18 of the 30-lap feature.
McCarthy finished second and was followed by Christopher, Bo Gunning, Tom
Bolles and Ron Yuhas Jr. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour traveled to
Richmond, Virginia for a 150-lap event. Rookie sensation Todd Szegedy took
the win after passing Mike Stefanik on lap 95. Stefanik finished second with
Nevin George, Jerry Marquis and Chuck Hossfeld rounding out the top five.
Stafford ran a 100 lapper for the SK-Modifieds. Mike Christopher drove the
Mystique Motorsports No.13 for his brother who was at Richmond. Mikey
started dead last and ended up taking the win over Jim Williams, Tucker
Reynolds and John Lobo. Waterford was the scene of “The Big Wreck” on
Saturday night. Jim Civalli got loose coming out of turn four on lap nine
and ended up collecting 15 of the 22 starters in a grinding wreck. Among
those sustaining race-ending damage were Dennis Gada, Jeff Pearl, Don Fowler
and David Gada. Tom Fox survived to take the win over Ron Yuhas Jr., Dennis
Charette and Jay Miller. Chris Young won at Riverhead and John Blewett III
took Wall Township. Andy Santerre won the Busch North Series 150 at Holland
and Greg Biffle won the Busch Grandnational event at Milwaukee. The Winston
Cuppers had the weekend off.
Ten years ago in 2007, The 2007
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour got back into action on Thursday night at the
Thompson Speedway with the Charter Cable, Internet, Telephone 150. There
were 38 Modifieds on hand to qualify for the 35 starting spots.
Second-generation driver Richard Savory, driving the Art Barry No. 21 was
the Busch Pole sitter. Second fastest was Don Lia in the Bob Garbarino
Mystic Missile. The re-draw for starting spots saw Ryan Preece picking the
pole position with James Civali picking the outside pole. Lia ended up
winning the rain-shortened event after taking the lead on lap 34. Rain began
to fall as the field completed lap 80 of the 150-lap distance. The field
circled the 5/8-mile oval under caution for 20 more laps when the event was
finally called. Among those who were hoping to restart the event was Ted
Christopher who felt that he had something for the leader. Christopher, who
was scheduled to start ninth, started scratch after suffering a flat tire
just prior to the event. Christopher drove a determined race and was in the
process of putting himself into position to challenge the leader when the
skies opened up. Christopher was forced to settle for the runner-up spot in
the final rundown. Bobby Santos III, driving the Boehler family entry
finished third in his best effort to date. Former champions Tony Hirschman
and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five. Pole sitter Civali and Eddie
Flemke led the early going as they swapped the lead numerous times in a
brilliant exhibition of high speed driving. Civali ended up 7th and Flemke,
Woody Pitkat’s debut in the series started with a bang as he hit the wall
in final practice. The Roger Hill crew was able to make repairs and Pitkat
was afforded a starting spot because of an owner’s provisional. In spite of
all his pre-race trouble Pitkat drove to a solid 10th place finish.
Among those on hand to take in the event and mingle with old friends were
NEAR Hall of Fame driving legends Leo Cleary, Billy Harman, Ronnie Bouchard
and George Summers.
The True Value Modified Series continued to attract competitors from the
Whelen Modified Tour Series including former series champion Mike Stefanik.
The True Value Series ran a 100 lap event at the ¼ mile Seekonk Speedway on
Saturday night. Taking the win was local favorite Vinnie Annarummo. Louie
Mechalides started 24th on the field and finished second. Stefanik got as
high as seventh until spinning out shortly after the halfway mark. Also in
the field but finishing out of the top ten was Ted Christopher.
In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Jimmy
“Showtime” Blewett jumped out at the start of the 30 lap Sunoco Modified 30
lapper and proceeded to go pole to pole to win the event. Tom Cravenho
finished second with Keith Rocco, third. Kerry Malone and John Blewett
rounded out the top five. In other Whelen All-American Series competition
George Bessette was victorious in the Pro Stock division while Larry Barnett
took top honors in the Limited Sportsman division. It was a night for
repeats as three of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions featured
back-to-back winners. Marc Jenison won the the Late Models, Mike Romano, the
Mini Stocks and Tim Sullivan, TIS Modifieds.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway, rain prevailed.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl
defending SK Modified champion Dennis Gada used the outside groove to pass
early leader Jay Miller with four laps remaining in capturing his second
feature race of the season. The event marked the 52nd SK Modified victory of
the 6-time champions career. Zach Sylvester, driving a car owned by Dick
Ceravolo and Miller completed the top-three.
Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Dwayne Dorr
(Sportsman), Danny Field (Mini Stock), Randy Cabral (Northeastern Midget
Other weekend winners were Chris Young at Riverhead, after it was
determined that apparent winner Ken Heagy had altered his tires. Ken Woolley
won the Sunoco Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour race Saturday
night at the Wall Township Speedway.
In Nextel Cup racing Juan Pablo Montoya used his well-honed road-racing
skill to save his tires, stretch his fuel to the limit, and win the
Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infinion Raceway for his first NASCAR Nextel Cup
victory. In Busch Series action at the Milwaukee Mile Denny Hamlin proved
you don't necessarily have to be around for the green flag to take the
checkered flag. And Aric Almirola sulked away from what will go down in the
record books as his first career NASCAR Busch Series victory. After missing
the start of the race because his helicopter couldn't find a place to land,
Hamlin rallied to take the checkered flag in a wacky AT&T 250 at the
Milwaukee Mile. But because Almirola, a substitute driver, started the race
in Hamlin's car, NASCAR officially will credit Almirola with the victory,
points and prize money. In Victory Lane, Hamlin said it wasn't his decision
to kick Almirola out of the car. According to NASCAR officials, it was the
first time a relief driver had won a race a Busch series race since Jack
Ingram turned his car over to Harry Gant at Darlington Raceway on April 13,
Five years ago in 2012, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series headed to the Waterford Speedbowl. The event,
the first since 2006, drew 24 cars and a packed house of fans. Doug Coby,
the Racing Realtor, remained hot as a pistol as he took the win. Coby led
119 laps in the No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Supply
Chevrolet to his third victory in five races to start the 2012 season. It is
his fifth career victory overall, and first in Whelen Modified Tour events
Justin Bonsignore crossed the line second with Ryan Preece in third. Ron
Yuhas Jr. and Donny Lia rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were
Rowan Pennink, Eric Beers, Keith Rocco, polesitter Ted Christopher and Jon
There were three lead changes among three drivers. Christopher led from
the opening green to lap 43. Coby took over on lap 44 and led the rest of
the way except for lap 146 when Preece led momentarily.
Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw racing in heat that was close to
the 100 degree mark. Ted Christopher is also close to the 100 feature win
mark at the Big T as he scored his 95th career win. Christopher, who won his
first victory at the Stafford Motor Speedway in 1986, has 96 SK Modified
wins at the Arute family owned oval as well as 33 Modified wins at
Waterford. Christopher's win was his second of the year at the northeastern
Other feature winners included Tommy O’Sullivan in the Late Models, Cam
McDermott in the Lite Modifieds and John Lewinski-Loh in the Thompson
Modifieds. Jim Banfield in the Super Late Models and Jesse Gleason in the
Limited Sportsman scored their first season wins and Chad Baxter was
victorious in the Mini Stocks.
In the Sunoco (SK) Modified feature as the green dropped John Catania and
Kerry Malone went into turn one double-file with Malone getting the lead
coming out of turn two. Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece moved into second
and third with Preece all over Christopher’s bumper for the second position.
Woody Pitkat and Keith Rocco made it a five-car bumper-to-bumper train up
On lap nine, Christopher shot to the bottom and took over the lead with
Preece in tow. Malone squeezed into third, but was quickly passed by Woody
Pitkat and Keith Rocco. The frontrunners approached lapped traffic at lap
13, but continued in a tight formation without a hiccup. On lap 22, Pitkat
broke free of the trio to make a bid on Preece, but lost momentum and turned
his focus to Rocco, who threatened his third place position. Pitkat regained
himself as Christopher continued to lead Preece less than a car length in
front of him. Christopher never faltered and drove straight to the checkered
flag. Preece settled for second with Pitkat, third. Rocco and Malone rounded
out the top five.
The Stafford Speedway fell victim to rain and high wind that hammered
central Connecticut on Friday afternoon. The Valenti Modified Series race
that was also scheduled will be rescheduled to Friday, September 14th.
In regular weekly racing at the Waterford Speedbowl Rob Janovic Jr.
scored his first win of the season in the track's SK Modified feature, while
Greg Moran Jr. picked up a first career victory in the Street Stock division
and Sean Caron was back in the winner's circle in the Mini Stock division
for the first time since 2010. Bruce Thomas Jr. took the Late Model division
race, the only repeat winner.
Janovic was the third leader in the 35-lap Modified feature, taking over
from Kyle James following a lap-16 caution flag. Janovic raced the outside
lane like a veteran, taking command down the backstretch to lead lap 17 just
before the race's halfway point. Over the second half of the race Janovic
had to hold off Jeff Pearl on two additional restarts, the final coming on
lap 33 to set up a final sprint to the finish. Janovic held and went on to
the checkered flag, his first of the year. Pearl, James, Tom Abele Jr. and
Diego Monahan rounded out the top-five finishers.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina twin 25 lap Modified
features were the order of the night. Tim Brown went pole to pole to win the
opening event while John Smith was victorious in the second event.
Tom Rogers Jr. became the first NASCAR Modified repeat winner of the 2012
Whelen All-American Series at Riverhead Raceway as he won the Rapid Recovery
night 35-lap feature.
In Sprint Cup action, Clint Bowyer raced to his first victory on a road
course, and first with Michael Waltrip Racing, by holding off Kurt Busch at
Sonoma in California. Bowyer dominated Sunday's race by leading 70 of the
The NASCAR Nationwide Series ran at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Nelson Piquet Jr took the win.
Last year, 2016, NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour action resumed on Wednesday, June 15 at the Thompson
Motorsports Park Speedway. Twenty nine cars were on hand for the event.
Bobby Santos ended a long dry spell as he broke the stranglehold that
Doug Coby had on the division. Santos, who had tire issues early on staged a
lat race rally and passed Max Zachem on the final lap to take the win.
Zachem settled for second after coming within one lap of his first career
tour win. The 23-year-old from Preston, Connecticut, was making his 23rd
career start and led a race-high 43 laps. Rookie Matt Swanson finished
third, followed by Patrick Emerling and Jeff Goodale.
Ryan Preece, who is running NASCAR XFINITY Series full-time this season,
came back after a spin to finish sixth. Rowan Pennink, Brendon Bock, Jimmy
Blewett and Ken Heagy rounded out the top 10. Coby, who earlier in the day
won his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, wound up 11th after
being black flagged for passing too early on a restart.
Fifteen of the original 29 starters were on the lead lap at the finish.
Ron Silk, Shawn Solomito, Justin Bonsignore and Andrew Krause were
eliminated in accidents with less than 15 laps to go. Craig Lutz and Nick
Salva were also accident victims as were Chase Dowling and Dave Sapienza.
Melissa Fifield finished a career high 19th, some six laps down. Last but
not least was Woody Pitkat who retired after completing three laps when his
clutch went bad.
Doug Coby continued to lead the point standings, holding a 19 point edge
over Max Zachem. Zachem continued to impress with his extremely strong runs
as he came within a tick of scoring his first win in the Tour series. Rowan
Pennink, Donnie Lia and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five.
In regular weekly racing action at Thompson Keith Rocco made it four in a
row in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds. A touch of the Flu didn't slow him
down as he scored his 220th overall career win. Ronnie Williams finished
second in a car maintained by Rocco. Ryan Preece finished third with Rowan
Pennink and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top five.
Other winners were Paul Charette in the Late Models, Dan Cugini in the
NEMA Lites, Brent Gleason in the Limited Sportsman and Wayne Burroughs in
the Mini Stocks.
In weekly racing at Stafford, taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series weekly feature wins on the night were Eric Berndt in the SK Modified®
feature, Kevin Gambacorta in the Late Model feature, Daniel Wesson in the SK
Light feature, Justin Bren in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra
Fearn crossed the finish line first but was disqualified in post race tech
for a ride height issue, making Tyler Trott the winner, and Noah Korner in
the Legend Cars feature.
In the SK Modified feature, Rowan Pennink was able to make a pass stick
on Keith Rocco to move into second on lap-38 as Eric Berndt was the leader.
Berndt led Pennink and Rocco to the checkered flag to pick up his first win
of the 2016 season. Stephen Kopcik finished fourth and Ted Christopher
rounded out the top-5.
Third year SK Modified division driver Paul Kusheba IV scored his long
awaited first career victory in the division Saturday to showcase the racing
card at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Anthony Flannery was victorious
in the Late Model feature. Tony Membrino Jr. scored victory in the SK Light
Modified feature. Al Stone III was victorious in the Limited Sportsman
feature. Charles Canfield won the Mini Stock feature. Duane Noll won in the
debut of the track’s new Truck division in weekly racing action at the
In the SK Modified feature Kusheba took the lead early on and survived
numerous restarts to record the victory. Rob Janovic Jr. finished second
with Dennis Perry, Joey Gada and Todd Owen rounding out the top five.
The NASCAR Modifieds ran twin 50s at the Bowman Gray Stadium in
Winston-Salem, NC. Burt Myers broke a season long dry spell as he qualified
for the pole position and led every lap to record the win. Lee Jefferies and
Tim Brown followed. James Civali, driving the Hills Enterprises No.79
started on the pole but spun out of the lead which allowed John Smith ended
up with the win with Jason Myers, second. Jason Myers, Brandon Ward, Burt
Myers and Tim Brown rounded out the top five. Civali recovered from his spin
to finish 11th.
Area Auto Racing News scribe Kevin Rice reported that Modified car owner
David Hill was injured and his former driver, Joe Ryan Osborne from
Kannapolis, N.C. was arrested during an altercation in the pit area
following Saturday night’s second 50-lap Modified race at NC’s Bowman Gray
Hill told Area Auto Racing News that he approached Osborne’s car just to
talk to him as Osborne was passing by Hill’s pit stall on the way to his own
stall. Osborne then drove forward, and then spun his car around with Hill
hanging onto Osborne’s helmet to avoid being thrown from the car and run
over. Bystanders told Rice that Hill was thrown high into the air when
Osborne was trying to get away, but fortunately he escaped with minor
injuries and was not transported to a hospital. Osborne says that he was
released by police with no bail after charges were reduced to misdemeanors
The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island saw Kyle Soper take the Modified
Two Massachusetts racers scored big wins in Maine on Saturday night in
twin 50s for the Valenti Modified Racing Series at the Oxford Plains
Speedway. Anthony Nocella of Woburn, and Jon McKennedy, of East Chelmsford,
took decisive wins at the 1/3 mile speedway. Only two caution flags slowed
the race. 17 cars finished on the lead lap. Three yellows were displayed in
the second event. 9 cars finished on the lead lap.
Following Nocella in the first event was McKennedy. David Schneider
finished third with Richard Savary and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top
five. George Sherman was the runner-up in the second 50 lapper with Chris
Pasteryak. Russ Hersey and Colby Fournier rounded out the top five.
NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors had the weekend off. Sam Hornish Jr. hadn’t
raced in NASCAR since November of 2015, but it didn’t slow him down as he
dominated the NASCAR XFINTY Series American Ethanol E15 250 at Iowa Speedway
for his fourth career series victory. Hornish, got the call from Joe Gibbs
Racing to drive the No. 18 Toyota in place of Matt Tifft. Tifft was forced
to miss Sunday’s race because of a back injury, opening the door for Hornish
to step in. Hornish eventually beat Ty Dillon to the finish line by nearly
1.5 seconds for his first XFINITY Series victory of the year in his first
start of the season. He led a race-high 183 laps en route to the triumph.
In some sad news, noted championship car owner and NEAR Hall of Fame
member Mario Fiore had been fighting a valiant battle with cancer. On Friday
close friend David Salzarulo was informed by Mario's physician that all
treatment is now for comfort. While we will not stop hoping for a miracle,
the racing community is praying for comfort and a miracle.
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.
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