The Chrome Horn - Looking Back A Bit with Phil Smith

July 14, 2017

  Sixty five years ago in 1952 rain prevailed on Wednesday night action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Saturday night at the shoreline oval Cy Yates made it two in a row when he won the 25 lap Sportsman main event. Harold “Curley” LeMay was the 20 lap Claiming Car winner.

  Sixty years ago in 1957 Red Foote made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night Sportsman feature. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Rain ruled the roost at Waterford on Saturday night. Al DeAngelo took the win at Islip. Rookie Fred Harbach finished fourth.

  Fifty five years ago in 1962, Waterford continued to run on Wednesday and Saturday. Dick Beauregard continued his win streak as he won Modified features on both nights bringing his streak to five in a row. Ed Gladue won Bomber features on both nights. George Janoski was the victor on the dirt at Stafford Springs.

  Fifty years ago in 1967, Bobby Allison recorded his first ever Winston Cup (then called Grandnational) win as he won a northern tour event at Oxford Plains on a Tuesday night. . Richard Petty finished second. The All Star League visited Middletown, N Y on Wednesday where Frankie Schenieder took the win over Pete Corey. The Winston Cup Northern Tour headed for Fonda, NY for a Thursday night show where Richard Petty beat out Bobby Allison. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bugsy Stevens was the top banana as he outran Smokey Boutwell for the win. Dick Watson, Leo Cleary and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five. Ernie Gahan took the Friday night 30 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Robbie Kotary finished second and was followed by Kenny Shoemaker, Dick Nephew and Guy Chartrand. Rain washed out the action at Waterford. The NASCAR Winston Cup (GN) traveled to Islip on Saturday night for a 500 lap contest on the tight 1/5 mile oval. Richard Petty won by three laps over James Hylton.

  Forty five years ago in 1972, the Seekonk regulars went on strike and track owner D. Anthony Venditti wasteed little time as he secured a NASCAR sanction for Friday night. The Seekonk strikers went to Thompson where they formed the World Racing Association. At Seekonk, Freddie Schulz took the opening night feature over Ernie Gahan, Bobby Sprague, Lou Austin, Brian Ross and George Summers. At Malta, Dave Lape took the win over Jerry Cook, Bernie Miller, Lou Lazzaro and Maynard Forette. Stafford ran their rained out 150 on Saturday night with Ronnie Bouchard taking the win over Bugsy Stevens and Brian Ross. At Fonda, Jack Johnson won out over Lou Lazzaro, Kenny Shoemaker and Harry Peek. Jerry Glaude was the Modified winner at Waterford. Charlie Jarzombek won at Islip and in Sunday night action at Utica-Rome, rain prevailed. Stafford ran a mid-week open event on Wednesday with Eddie Flemke taking the win over Ron Bouchard.

  Forty years ago in 1977, the Star Speedway hosted an open competition modified event on Wednesday. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Bugsy Stevens and Dave Thomas. On the same night, New Egypt ran a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier which was won by Wayne Anderson. Geoff Bodine finished second with Maynard Troyer, third. Friday night at Stafford saw Fred DeSarro return to victory lane. Geoff Bodine finished second with John Rosati, third. Georgie Summers turned the tables on Bugsy Stevens at Seekonk on Saturday night as he put the Frank Fedderici 77 in victory lane. At Waterford it was Glynn Shafer in the Ron Yuhas No.6 taking the top spot over Rick Donnelly and Moose Hewitt and at Westboro, it was the Shrewsbury Flash, Mario "Fats" Caruso. Geoff Bodine finished his weekend with wins at Riverside and Thompson.

  Thirty five years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks returned to top form as he won the Friday night event at Stafford over Kenny Bouchard, Bugsy Stevens and Corky Cookman. Double features were on tap at Waterford on Saturday night. Mark Lajunesse won an 82 lapper over Glynn Shafer and Moose Hewitt and in the regular 35 lapper, Bob Potter added to his win total. Marty Radwick beat out Ronnie Bouchard at Riverside and at Thompson on Sunday, George Summers put the Art Barry No.21 in victory lane. Other weekend winners were Richie Evans at New Egypt, Jerry Cook at Spencer and Rick Donnelly at Seekonk.

  Thirty years ago in 1987, the Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Riverhead for a Wednesday night event. Mike Ewanitsko took the win over Wayne Anderson, Bob Park and Jamie Tomaino. Wayne Dion was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Racing at Waterford on Saturday night was fogged out but not at Riverside Park where Bruce Del took the win. Tony Hirschman beat out George Kent at Shangri-La and at Riverhead, Tom McCann and Tom Baldwin sat in victory lane while Mark Tooker won his fourth in a row in the Blunderbust division. Jamie Aube walked away with $31,100 after winning the Oxford 250 over Dave Dion and at Thompson on Sunday night, Kerry Malone took the top spot over Richie Gallup and Bo Gunning.

  Twenty five years ago in 1992, Mike Paquette was the Friday night winner at Stafford. At Monadnock it was Jerry Marquis in the Bobby Judkins 2x over Reggie Ruggiero. Waterford staged a 40 lapper on Saturday which saw Jerry Pearl out run Harry Rice for the win. Ricky Young finished third. Lenny Fischer took the win at Riverhead while Dan Avery took top honors at Riverside. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Loudon for a 75 lapper. Reggie Ruggiero, in the Ed Cloce No.69 took the win which had a surprise crash filled ending. With three laps to go, Jan Leaty, running second, wrecked and collected Ed Flemke Jr, Charlie Pasteryak, Satch Worley, Jeff Fuller and Steve Park. Fuller and Park restarted and finished second and third, driving around on flat tires. Tom Bolles finished fourth with Ricky Fuller, in the Mario Fiore No.44, fifth.

  Twenty years ago in 1997, because it was Winston Cup weekend in Loudon, Stafford and Waterford adjusted their schedules. Stafford ran a 50 lapper on Tuesday night, which saw Bo Gunning take the win over Ed Flemke Jr, Jim Broderick, Mike Christopher and Bob Potter. At Waterford on Friday night, Jim Broderick took the win over Steve Chowanski, Mike Gada and Eric Berndt. Things got real nasty at Riverside Park on Saturday night. Reggie Ruggiero was leading the 50 lap event when, during a caution, he was rammed by Ted Riggott. Ruggiero returned the favor. Officials wanted to put both competitors to the rear and after a heated argument, both were parked for the night. Richie Gallup ended up taking the win over Renee Dupuis, Ed Speirs and Mike Ewanitsko. At Riverhead, Dave Kruk got his first win. At Loudon, the Featherlite Modified Touring Series went 57 laps with Tim Connolly taking the win in the Mystic Missile. Connolly took the lead from Reggie Ruggerio on lap 25. Rick Fuller finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho, Jan Leaty, Tony Hirschman and Mike Stefanik. Jerry Marquis was the Busch North Series winner as he beat out Ricky Craven and Bob Dragon. Jeff Burton won the Winston Cup event as 88,000 spectators looked on. Dale Earnhardt Sr. finished second with Rusty Wallace, third. Ernie Irvan was made aware of the fact that he was out of the Robert Yates No.28 at season's end.

  Fifteen years ago in 2002, Doug Coby was the Friday night SK-Modified winner at Stafford. Bo Gunning finished second and was followed by Lloyd Agor and Ted Christopher. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine for a 150-lap event. The event, which carried a purse of $67,775, drew 32 Modifieds. David Berghman, son of three time Modified champion Carl Bugs Stevens, scored his first ever Modified Tour win. Berghman started ninth and took the lead on lap 115. Fred Vordermeir finished second with Todd Szegedy, Ricky Fuller and Nevin George rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher, one of the pre-race favorites, was headed for the front when he rubbed wheels with Nevin George and suffered a flat tire, which cost him three laps. The Waterford Speedbowl was quiet on Saturday night as the races were cancelled because of a fireworks display in New London, Ct. Thompson, which normally runs on Thursday night, ran on Saturday night with the Busch North Series. Brad Leighton won the 150-lap event. In Sunoco-SK Modified competition Ron Yuhas JR survived 10 cautions to take the win. Yuhas took the lead from Kenny Bouchard with one lap to go. A big wreck on lap 17 collected 10 cars including those of Eric Berndt, Bo Gunning, and Eric Berndt. Chris Young took his third victory at Riverhead and Harry Reed beat out Dave Michael at Wall Township. In other weekend action, George Kent won the Race of Champions Tour event at Cayuga and Scott Robinson won the 29th Oxford 250, which paid $36,900 to win. Kevin Harvick won the Winston Cup event at the Chicagoland Speedway. Johnny Sauter won the companion Busch Racing Series event.

  Ten years ago in 2007 The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors were on their mid-summer break. Their next event would be a “Flash Format” contest at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night, August 4. Donny Lia, who had won four of the seven events run so far in 2007, led the series’ point standings with a 53 point edge over Matt Hirschman. Lia was also the top money winner with $43,300 in the bank. Todd Szegedy, who had been in second spot, slipped to third. James Civali, with two wins, sat in fourth spot with Ron Silk rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jimmy Blewett, Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik, Ed Flemke Jr and Jamie Tomaino. Fifty-seven different drivers had entered into competition so far. The qualifying format for the first ever NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour “Flash” event at Riverhead Raceway was announced by WMT director Ed Cox in conjunction with Barbara and Jim Cromarty of Riverhead Raceway.
  In True Value Modified Series racing Les Hinckley captured his third win of the season in the 100 lap Mid-Summer Modified Shootout at Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH. The True Value Modified Racing Series event served as a guaranteed starter race for Mod Mania 400 weekend at Thompson, CT; in September 8, 9.
  The Thompson Speedway was quiet on Thursday night as they hosted a special event on Saturday night. Sean Caisse of Pelham, NH, led all but two lap to score the victory in the NASCAR Busch East Series Pepsi 100. Ben Rowe of Turner, ME turned in a dominating performance to take top honors in the Pro All Star Series 75-lapper during Thompson’s Full-Fendered Frenzy. In weekly series action, Mark Jenison of Danielson continues to show his prowess in the late Model division with this third win in four weeks while Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, kept the streak alive for his racing family with his victory in the Limited Sportsman division. After being shut out of victory lane thus far in the 2007 season, Rick Blanchard of Pascoag, RI, swept the twin bill for the Mini Stocks.
  The Busch East Series event started under a shower of fireworks in honor of the Freedom Team Salute that honors the fine men and women of our military. Brigadier General Steven Scorzato, Assistant Adjunct General of the CT National Guard, gave the command to start engines. The fireworks continued well into the night as Sean Caisse survived a number of late race restarts in the caution-marred event to post victory.
  Rookie Marc Davis led lap one but it was all Caisse from that point on. Despite a single slip on lap 92 when Matt Kobyluck snuck in to lead a lap, Caisse showed the way throughout nine caution periods. In the late stages of the event, as Caisse worked to hold off Kobyluck, Olsen and Joey Logano were locked in a battle of their own. The sparks flew late in the race with a pair of cautions for incidents further back in the pack. After two failed attempts to end the race under green, the yellow checker flew for Caisse on lap 108. In the end it was like old home night for the Busch East Series at Thompson with a New England sweep of the podium. Sean Caisse of Pelham, NH held off all the challenges from Matt Kobyluck of Uncasville, CT and Mike Olsen of North Haverhill, NH. Joey Logano and Brad Leighton rounded out the top five.
  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Keith Rocco drove to victory lane in the 40-lap SK Modified feature for his second win of the season, Glen Reen took the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature for his third win of the season, Andrew Durand scored his 4th win of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Carla Botticello scored her second feature win of the 2007 season by winning the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. The 30-lap Late Model feature was halted by rain with two laps complete. The race will be resumed from lap-3 at a date to be determined. The lead was swapped fast and furiously at the start of the race with Kerry Malone leading lap-1, Brad Hietala leading lap-2, and then Frank Ruocco leading lap-3. Ruocco led the race until lap-31 when Rocco moved past Ruocco to take over the lead. A caution with 32 laps complete slowed the field and set up a series of restarts that saw Woody Pitkat and then Ruocco put back a row for jumping the restarts. This put Ted Christopher alongside Rocco for the restart, but Ruocco got under Christopher on the restart for second while Rocco continued to set the pace out front. Christopher got back around Ruocco for second place on lap-38, but couldn't make a pass on Rocco for the victory. Christopher finished second, with Pitkat, Ruocco, and Ronnie Silk rounding out the top-5.
  Christopher hopped a plane on Saturday morning which took him to Virginia where he won a 150 lap Modified event at the Franklin County Speedway which is a few miles north of Martinsville.
  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Dennis Gada passed early leader Tyler Chadwick with 16-laps to go and went on to win the 35-lap SK Modified feature at the shoreline oval. It was the third of the season and 53rd career victory for the defending track champion. Gada, who started ninth, chased 18-year-old Chadwick, the only other leader, for several laps before the final yellow showed. He took the lead after a lap of side-by-side combat and went on to a seven car-length win over Chadwick. Shawn Monahan, Rob Janovic Jr. and Diego Monahan finished nose-to-tail behind Chadwick. Other winners included Ed Reed Jr. in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jack Aquilina in the Sportsman 20-lapper, Joe Godbout in the Mini Stock 20 lapper and Chris Bakaj in the Mini Stock 20 lapper.
  Tony Stewart finally broke through for his first victory of the season, holding off Matt Kenseth on several late-race restarts Sunday to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Stewart broke a 20-race winless streak dating to last season thanks in part to a hard crash by contender Jimmie Johnson, who was running second behind Stewart with 45 laps left when his tire went flat. Kevin Harvick was the Busch Series winner.

  Five years ago in 2012, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ended a three week break as they headed to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Saturday, July 14. With 34 cars on hand Ron Silk won his second consecutive pole at New Hampshire and sixth of his career during qualifying for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Friday. The Norwalk, Conn., driver outdistanced the field with a lap of 29.492 seconds (129.147 mph) around the 1.058-mile oval. Ryan Preece qualified second at 29.842 (127.632), followed by points leader Doug Coby at 29.880 (127.470). Eric Berndt and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman completed the top five.
  Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik, at 54 years of age, edged Ron Silk by .003 of a second to win the Town Fair Tire 100 in a photo finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. Stefanik and Silk swapped the lead 17 times over the final 48 laps of the 100-lap event on the 1.058-mile oval. Stefanik took the lead for the final time on Lap 97 and held on for his 72nd career victory. It was also Stefanik's eighth win at New Hampshire, where he is the winningest driver.
  Stefanik was quick to credit his crew chief Brad Lafontaine. In just their sixth race together on the Tour, they've now won one of the biggest races on the schedule. Stefanik, having seen Lafontaine win Modified races with drivers ranging from champions Jeff Fuller to Ted Christopher, isn't surprised. “I've always admired Brad Lafontaine's ability to give his previous drivers fantastic cars,” Stefanik said. “I'm still a student of the game. I study everybody's car, how much wheel in it they have. You just know who's driving the good cars and who's struggling and it just seemed like more often than not, he's given his drivers what they need to win the race.
  Points leader Doug Coby closed late to finish third after pitting four times in the first half of the race to adjust the car. Coby leads Silk, 261-244. Eric Beers finished fourth and Todd Szegedy fifth. Rowan Pennink finished sixth, followed by Andy Seuss, Donny Lia, Zane Zeiner and Woody Pitkat.
There were seven caution periods for 26 laps. The first caution lap was displayed on lap 7 when Eric Berndt spun on his own in the turn four area. Undamaged, he was able to rejoin the field. The second caution came on lap 11 when Ron Yuhas spun in the turn two area and hit the outside wall. Also involved was Jon McKennedy in the Hillbilly Racing entry. Yuhas exited car unhurt but car was towed. McKennedy drove away. Keith Rocco's day went sour on lap 25 when he hit the outside wall on the frontstretch bringing out caution number three. Rocco rejoined the field on lap 32. The fourth caution was for Ryan Blaney who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 37. Caution number five was for Ryan Newman who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 46. Newman drove away with a flat right front tire. This caution was considered as the half way break. Ted Christopher's day came to an end on lap 52 when he tangled with Patrick Emerling for the sixth caution. Emerling drove away but Christopher was not as fortunate as a wrecker was required to remove his car to the pit area. Rich Pallai and Justin Bonsignore brought out the seventh and final caution on lap 62 when they wrecked.
  In some real sad news, Wild Bill Slater passed away at the age of 83. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey.
  He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement everywhere. He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job.
  Slater’s long list of accomplishments included winning 8 straight features at Norwood, and 7 straight wins at Stafford. In 1959 he posted twenty wins at Waterford. He also took down two championships at Waterford and one at Stafford. He won the 100 mile race at Trenton New Jersey four times, and was a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove in The Daytona Permatex 300 four times from 1963 to 66. He is most known for his long time association with the Vitari-Bombacci owned V8. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotional side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson.
  One of Slater's biggest accomplishments was the fact that it was he who convinced the Arute Brothers, Jack and Chuck, to lease and ultimately buy the Stafford Motor Speedway.
  In Valenti Modified Racing Series action at the Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, NH. Les Hinckley took the win over Chris Pasteryak, Rowan Pennink, Jon McKennedy and Dwight Jarvis. Hinckley started third in a 21-car field, took the lead on lap 38, and went on to win the 112-lap ‘Ricky’s Race For Kids’ event at the New Hampshire oval before a large crowd. The win was Hinckley’s second this season, his third at Canaan, and his 17th career victory with the Valenti Modified Racing Series
  The race is an annual event organized by retired racing legend Donnie Miller and his family in honor of Ricky Miller who passed away in 2004 from race related injuries. The event also benefits David’s House, a home away from home for families with sick children.
  Hinckley chased pole-sitter Jon McKennedy at the drop of the green flag staying right behind the leader until he passed the Chelmsford, MA., driver. The only pressure Hinckley received came late in the race following a lap 102 caution flag. Chris Pasteryak challenged the race leader but Hinckley was never headed.
  Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw a special PASS North 75-lap event that featured hometown hero Derek Ramstrom in victory lane. Ramstrom previously won two track championships in the Super Late Models (Pro Stocks) at Thompson. Ryan Preece held off Keith Rocco for the Sunoco Modified win while Tommy O’Sullivan, John Lowinski-Loh, Scott Sundeen, Troy Talman and Dave Trudeau were all victorious in other NASCAR Whelen All American Series action.
  Ramstrom inherited the lead following a lap 61-accident that took out Larry Gelinas, who dominated just prior to that. Ryan Preece reclaimed the lead on a late-race restart with two laps to go and held off a determined Keith Rocco to earn his fifth Sunoco Modified feature victory this season. Kerry Malone took the early lead with Preece jumping into the second position. Keith Rocco challenged immediately and took over second before going in front of Malone for the lead on lap three in turn two. Preece, however, was waiting in the wings and catapulted his No. 31 machine from third to first on the backstretch. When things worked out, it was Preece followed by Rocco, Malone, and Ted Christopher. The top-four ran single file for the next several laps with Christopher keeping his front bumper attached to Malone’s rear bumper. On lap 16, Christopher dove low to make a challenge on Malone, but couldn’t get by and settled back into fourth. Up front, Preece was extending his lead over Rocco. The field got strung out as the leaders began to deal with lapped traffic when a car spun out of turn two and brought the caution out at lap 25. On the restart, Rocco got in front of Preece, who was looking to the outside groove to get by. Rocco closed the door on his challenge as Preece continued to look for a way around. Preece went high on lap 27 as they came across the start/finish line, but Rocco closed the door again. He went low on lap 28 and got side-by-side with Rocco who slowed in the high groove of turn two allowing Preece to drive right back out front. Rocco attached his No. 4 to the bumper of Preece, but there was no stopping the No. 31 machine that drove straight to the checkers.
  Rocco settled for second with Christopher, third. Malone and Dennis Perry rounded out the top five. A slim field of nine Sunoco Modifieds were on hand.
  At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the SK Modifeds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models each raced an extra 2 laps, while the DARE Stock feature was one lap longer as part of the 5 Star Series Mid-Season Stretch. Ted Christopher picked up his third win of the season in the 42-lap SK Modified® event, Woody Pitkat picked up win number 2 in the 32-lap Late Model feature, Dylan Kopec got his fifth win in the 22-lap SK Light feature, Dennis Botticello got his first win of the season in the 22-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders picked up his third win of the year in the 16-lap DARE Stock feature.
  It was the perfect ending of a long day for Ted Christopher as he out distanced Keith Rocco for the win. Both Christopher and Rocco had been at Loudon all day. Todd Owen finished third behind Christopher and Rocco, with Frank Ruocco and Danny Cates rouding out the top-5.
  In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco made a high speed trip from Loudon and scored a one-two punch at the shoreline oval. Rocco scored two wins on the night in NASCAR action, taking victories in both the SK Modified® and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model features. Josh Galvin won the night’s Street Stock race and Mark Panaroni picked up the victory in the Mini Stock feature. The Bandolero race was won by Ken Morin Jr. The spotlight was on the track’s INEX Legend Cars division as it competed in a special 50-lap feature presented by Big Y World Class Markets. Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY was the big winner.
  Rocco reached the front in a hurry in the night’s 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature. Rookie competitor Al Stone led the opening lap before giving way to Joe Perry. Rocco made moves early to place himself in the top-three runners by lap-4. Rocco first went by the inside of Joe Gada then Perry two laps later to race into the lead. Jeff Rocco finished second with Rob Janovic Jr., third. Kyle James and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five. Bruce Thomas finished second in the Late Model finish.
  In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Dean Ward got his third win of the season as he held off Junior Miller for a 100 lap win. Tim Brown, seeking a record ninth Bowman Gray title, finished third and took over the lead in the season standings from Jason Myers, who struggled much of the night and finished 10th.
  In NASCAR Modified action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Ted Christopher, who finished 29th at Loudon, flew to Long Island where he finished second to Tom Rogers Jr in the tracks NASCAR Modified feature.
  Brad Keselowski took advantage of lapped traffic to win Saturday’s F.W. Webb 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick led Keselowski by nearly a full second when he ran up behind lapped traffic with 21 laps remaining. Keselowski guided his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge around Harvick’s Chevrolet and went on to beat Harvick to the checkered flag by .717 seconds for his second victory of the season.
  A pit miscue by Denny Hamlin allowed Kasey Kahne to grab his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season Sunday during the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  Last year, 2016, Ted Christopher left little doubt that he is the undisputed King of the SK Modifieds at the Stafford Motor Speedway after he won the 3rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k, which paid the winner $5,000 out of a purse of over $27,000. With the Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Sales Gambler’s Challenge bonus of $5,600 and a total heat race bonus of $2,000 from Wheelers Auto of Hamden, the total posted awards were over $33,000. The Gambler’s Challenge was voted on by the fans on how it would be paid out and the top-3 choices were put into a hat in victory lane with Doug Dunleavy pulling a chip with the winning formula on it. Dunleavy pulled the winner takes all chip, giving Christopher a final payday of $11,175.
Christopher, the nine time track champion, took the lead in the 100 lap event from Eric Berndt on lap 66 and went on to record his 125th overall win at the Connecticut oval. His SK Modified total victories number 103.
  In other feature action, Michael Wray won the Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno won the SK Light feature, Duane Provost won the Limited Late Model feature, and Trace Beyer was the winner of the DARE Stock feature for the second week in a row.
  In the SK Modified 100 Rowan Pennink finished a strong second with Berndt, third. Ron Williams and Mike Christopher, Jr. rounded out the top-5.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series also raced on Friday night with an event at Claremont, NH. Woody Pitkat, a regular in the series, found himself between a rock and a hard place as he had a commitment to race at Stafford in their SK 5K event. Pitkat procured Todd Szegedy to take his place in the Claremont event and Szegedy produced! Szegedy took the lead from Todd Patnoad on lap 15. Dave Schneider, Jon McKennedy, Todd Patnode, and Mike Willis Jr rounded out the top five. Pitkat finished sixth at Stafford.
  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl went silent on Saturday night because of a huge fireworks display sponsored by Foxwoods Casino in the New London harbor.
  While the sky was being lit up in New London the racing action shifted to the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway which hosted its “For The Fans” night with several racing series taking to the track throughout the evening to provide for a great show, despite a little bit of input from Mother Nature.
  The event saw several on-site promotions for fans to enjoy as well as a special barbecue and celebration for the women of racing as well to compliment the theme of the day. Despite a late shower that pushed the final event back by two hours and forced the rescheduling of the night's Sunoco Modified event, the evening proved to be a fun one for all who attended and saw a few familiar names reach victory lane for the first time this season.
  The second triple crown event for the Limited Sportsman series was the main feature for the night, closing the evening after the two-hour rain delay halted action on the track. When drivers finally got onto the track however, the action was worth the wait with a popular name returning to victory lane.
  After two dominant seasons, series regular Corey Hutchings has had a tough go in 2016, but his luck finally turned around after the man known to many as “The Entertainer” made a strong push during the second half of the 20-lap main feature to return to victory lane, overcoming some tough competition from other regulars Al Stone, Scott Sundeen, Ryan Waterman and Jesse Gleason.
  At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island John Baker won his first career NASCAR Modified feature in the first Twin 30 feature while championship leader Shawn Solomito won the nightcap. Ageless "Dynamite" Dan Turbush at 65-years young won the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series Riverhead Nationals 55-lapper earning $2,000 for his 80th career win at Riverhead.
  In Modified competition below the Mason-Dixon line Danny Bohn rolled up at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday aiming to leave with the $9,000 Fans’ Challenge prize money. That didn’t pan out for the former champ, so he grabbed the checkered instead. The heat was on from the beginning as a first-lap caution flag led to the first of many double-file restarts. Brandon Ward took to the outside and tried to muscle ahead of Bohn. Ward couldn’t make the pass stick – at first. On the third restart, some mind games between Bohn and Ward allowed Ward to rocket into the lead. As they moved into turn one, Bohn gave a stiff shot to the bumper of Ward to send him spinning out of the lead he held so briefly. Evidently officials felt it was a "racing deal" as Bohn went on to grab the checkered with Burt Myers finishing second and Tim Brown taking third.
  Lee Jeffreys ended up pulling off what Bohn had initially aimed at. Jeffreys elected to start in the rear and then finished fourth to earn the $9,000 Fans’ Challenge prize pool.
  Brad Keselowski had just enough fuel to hold off Carl Edwards in the final laps to win Saturday's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway for his series-best fourth victory of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and his second straight. Despite yet another green-white-checkered finish in a NASCAR stock car race, Kyle Busch put an exclamation point on a dominant performance at Kentucky Speedway in Friday night’s ALSCO 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
  It was Busch’s 81st career XFINITY Series victory, as he led 185 of 201 laps for his fourth consecutive victory on a 1.5-mile race track. It was his fifth victory of the season.

  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 14, 2017

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