August 4, 2017
Sixty five years ago in 1952, Fred Luchesi was the Wednesday
night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stu Eidell was
the Claiming Car winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Sportsman winner
at the Speedbowl with Bud Matter victorious in the Claimers.
Sixty years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc
went two for two as he won Sportsman features at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Dean followed suit as he won
non-Ford features on both nights at the shoreline oval. Islip ran a 100
lapper with Jim Hendrickson taking the win.
Fifty five years ago in 1962, Bill
Slater was the winner on dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday
night. Charlie Webster was the Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday. Ed
Moody was the winner in the Bombers.
Fifty years ago in 1967, the month of
August began with a Wednesday night visit by the All-Star League at the
Fonda Speedway. Rene Charland took on the best in the business and in the
end prevailed in the 100-lap event at the New York oval. Pete Corey finished
second with Maynard Forrette, Jack Farquar and Frankie Schenieder rounding
out the top five. Bill Wimble had taken the lead from Charland on lap 96
only to lose it two laps later when his throttle jammed on the low end. At
Stafford, on Friday night, Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took a
hotly contested win in the nights Modified feature. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell
in the Garuti-Arute No.14 finished second. Rounding out the top five were
Leo Cleary, Sal Dee and Wild Bill Slater. Albany Saratoga ran a 150 lapper
with Ernie Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Bill Wimble, Jerry Cook
and Ed Patnoad. Rene Charland continued to be unbeatable at Fonda as he made
it three in a row on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Ken
Canistrary, third. Daring Dick Caso took the top spot in Modified
competition at Waterford. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night.
Steady Eddie Flemke, a master of the short tracks, took the win over Fred
Harbach, Lou Lazzaro, Don MacTavish and Bill Wimble.
Forty five years ago in 1972, Ralph
“Hop” Harrington, driving the Dick Armstrong No.1, won the Friday night 50
lapper at Seekonk. George Summers finished second with Ernie Gahan, Fred
DeSarro and Ronnie Bouchard rounding out the top five. At the
Albany-Saratoga Speedway, also on Friday night, Eddie Flemke took the win
over Denis Giroux, Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Santos and Bernie Miller. Stafford
ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Leo Cleary, in the Mystic Missile,
taking the win over Bugsy Stevens, Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Ernie
Gahan. Dave Lape won on the dirt at Fonda over top guns Kenny Shoemaker,
Jerry Cook and Lou Lazzaro. Glynn Shafer scored his third win at Waterford.
At Islip, it was Charlie Jarzombek and at Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro beat out
Richie Evans, Sonny Seamon and Jerry Cook. Lazzaro used the same car at
Utica-Rome, which was paved, that he used at Fonda.
Forty years ago in 1977, Westboro ran
a 50-lap open competition event on Wednesday night. Ronnie Bouchard took the
win over Bugsy Stevens, John Rosati and Mike Weeden. Stafford ran a 100
lapper on Friday night. Bugsy Stevens scored a popular win as he beat out
Geoff Bodine, Ray Miller and Ronnie Bouchard. Friday night at Riverhead saw
Charlie Jarzombek win out over Wayne Anderson and Tom McCann. At Seekonk on
Saturday, Bugsy Stevens made it two for two on the weekend as he won a 100
lapper over Ed Flemke, George Murray and George Summers. Geoff Bodine beat
out Bob Polverari at Riverside and at Westboro, it was Pete Scwartz over
Frank Kulhman. Rounding out the weekend was Sunday night at Thompson where
Fred DeSarro scored another victory, Ray Miller finished second with Keith
Williams and Dick Caso rounding out the top four. In other weekend action,
Maynard Troyer went two for two as he won at Spencer and at Lancaster.
Thirty five years ago in 1982, Corky
Cookman scored his biggest win as he took the victory in the Manchester Oil
Heat 100 at Stafford. Charlie Jarzombek finished second with Ray Miller,
third. Pre race favorite Greg Sacks was a dnf. with a flat tire. Monadnock
ran an 82-lap event that saw Marty Radwick hold off Ronnie Bouchard and
Dennis Albro for the win. In other Friday night action, Jerry Cook beat out
Doug Hewitt at Spencer, Tony Siscone took a hotly contested win over Richie
Evans at New Egypt and at Riverhead, Bill Park won the Thompson 300
qualifier. Waterford ran an 82 lapper on Saturday night. Randy LaJoie beat
out veterans Jerry Pearl and Moose Hewitt for top honors. At Riverside, Bob
Polverari took the win and at Seekonk, Eddie StAngelo won out over Ronnie
Bouchard and Billy Clarke. George Brunnhoelzl won a Thompson 300 qualifier
at Islip and Billy Griffin won out over Richie Evans and Doug Hewitt at
Shangri-la. Bob Polverari backed up his Saturday night win at Riverside with
a Sunday night win at Thompson. Corky Cookman finished second with Kenny
Thirty years ago in 1987, Jim Spencer
mastered the Star Speedway as he won a 150 lap Featherlite Modified Tour
Series event on Wednesday night. Jeff Fuller finished second with Mike
McLaughlin, third. In SK-Modified action at Stafford on Friday night, Ronnie
Rocco took the win over John Jensen and Richie Gallup. At Waterford on
Saturday, Bob Potter scored his 75th career win at the shoreline oval. Harry
Rice finished second with Dickie Doo Ceravolo, third. Reggie Ruggerio took a
100-lap win at Riverside over Mike Stefanik and Bob Polverari and at
Shangri-La, Jim Spencer went two for two as he won the scheduled modified
and Busch North Series events. Oswego ran a modified special on Sunday,
which was won by Doug Hevron. Jan Leaty finished second with Brian Ross,
Jamie Tomaino and George Brunnhoelzl rounding out the top five. Sunday night
action at Thompson rained out.
Twenty five years ago in 1992, it
rained out for the sixth time at Stafford. Double features were on tap at
Waterford on Saturday night. Sharing the winners circle were Bob Potter and
Moose Hewitt. Phil Rondeau recorded his seventh win of the season in Late
Model action at the shoreline oval. Tommy Bolles unseated Jerry Marquis at
Riverside as Dan Watts beat out Mike Ewanitsko at Riverhead. Jerry Cranmer
got his sixth of the season at Wall Stadium and at Tioga, Ron Shepherd beat
out Lee Sherwood for the win. Mike Mclaughlin was the Busch North Series
winner at Holland and at Indianapolis Raceway Park; Joe Nemachek got his
first NASCAR Busch Grandnational win.
Twenty years ago in 1997, the NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Thompson on Thursday night for a
150-lap event. Ricky Fuller, in the Art Barry 21, took the lead from Mike
Ewanitsko on lap 89 and never looked back Mike Stefanik finished second with
Reggie Ruggerio, Tom Cravenho and Tim Connolly rounding out the top five.
Ewanitsko faded to 14th, one lap down. Friday night at Stafford saw Jim
Broderick score his sixth win of the season in the SK-Modified division.
Using Mopar power, Broderick took the lead on lap 35 of the 50-lap contest.
Jeff Malave finished second with Ken Barry, third. Tucker Reynolds Jr. took
the lead from Todd Ceravolo with two laps to go at Waterford on Saturday
night. Ceravolo finished second with Jeff Pearl, third. Ted Christopher took
the win at Riverside over Ted Riggot and at Riverhead, John Fortin won out
over George Brunnhoelzl. Randy Lajoie won the Grandnational event at the
Indianapolis Raceway Park and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ricky Rudd
made a mileage run and walked off with the win and the $571,000 first prize.
Bill Slater celebrated his birthday on August 4 and NASCAR Scorer Morris
Metcalf celebrated his birthday on August 6
Fifteen years ago in 2002 The NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on
Saturday night. A temperature in the mid 90’s made the 200 lap contest a
test of man and machine. It was a long hot summer day and night for just
about everyone on hand, including the close to 6000 spectators. The speedway
opened around 10:30 am for inspection and pit parking. Forty-five Modifieds
were on hand. Eddie Flemke JR has had limited success at the Long Island
oval up until now but last Saturday night was his night as he set fast time,
11.790 seconds, on the quarter mile. That was only the beginning as the
second-generation driver pulled the pole and led all 200 laps. The Hills
Enterprises- Ron Bouchard Auto Stores No.79 handled like it was on a wire.
Early race pressure from Eddie Brunnhoelzl then late race pressure from John
Fortin didn’t rattle Flemke who hugged the white line over the entire
distance. Fortin finished second with Brunnhoelzl, third. Ted Christopher
got in the event as a provisional and after starting 26th, drove a good
heads up race to finish fourth. Rounding out the top five was Chuck
Hossfeld, in the Mystic Missile. Nine cautions for 53 laps took their toll.
Local runner David Roys went out after ten laps after being involved in an
accident Tom Cravenho went the same route on lap 20. Riverhead Bad Boy, JR
Bertuccio got a round of applause when he dropped out with a flat tire on
lap 76 and Frank Vigliarolo dropped out on lap 100 with overheating
Many of the top tour runners were involved in minor skirmishes and thru
no fault of their own ended up with poor finishes. David Berghman got caught
in the pits as his crew made repairs and only completed 117 laps. Mike
Stefanik had his ignition go south on lap139 and ended the night in 23rd
spot. Stefanik was not a factor before the malfunction. Former modified Tour
champion Wayne Anderson finished 22nd after his engine overheated. Anderson,
then in his late 50’s, raced only at Riverhead. John Blewett III was hoping
for a good night and had a solid top ten going when he got clipped and broke
a steering arm. Blewett also got caught in the pits and was only able to
complete158 laps for a 21st place finish. Todd Szegedy continues to dazzle
the troops as he drove to a consistent seventh in the final rundown. Jerry
Marquis had been leading the standings also had his problems with bent
suspension parts and finished 20th, 30 laps down. Because of Marquis’
misfortune, Szegedy now led the point standings. While the night was good
for some, it was a night of frustration for others, as 17 Modifieds didn’t
Among those who didn’t make it were Carl and Charlie Pasteryak, Fred
Vordermeier, Jake Marosz, Wade Cole, Renee Dupuis and Dave Etheridge, Mike
Christopher, Jim Kuhn and Tony Ferrante Jr. It got real nasty at Stafford on
Friday night as a severe thunder and lightning storm forced the Arute family
to pull the plug on the evening’s racing. Waterford ran a 100 lapper for the
SK-Modifieds on Saturday night which saw Ron Yuhas Jr take the lead with two
laps to go and go on to win the event. Eric Berndt led most of the event but
got snookered on the final restart when he held back and Yuhas went. Both
drivers were trying to out-fox each other and Yuhas got the last laugh.
Ten years ago in 2007, the 2007
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors ended their summer break when they
made their annual visit to the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Blue skies,
90 degree temps and high humidity greeted the 34 cars that showed for the 28
starting spots. The top seven qualified based on their time trial. Ted
Christopher took the Busch Pole as he toured the quarter mile oval in 11.815
seconds. Second fastest was local veteran Bill Park. Howie Brode was third
fastest. Othe969r time trial qualifiers were Jerry Marquis, Tony Ferrante,
Donny Lia and Mike Stefanik. Twenty five lap heat races were won by Jimmy
Blewett and James Civali. Among the tour regulars who didn’t qualify were
Woody Pitkat and Jake Marosz. Bob Grigas, who was qualified, was sent
packing after he drove his car to his hauler before getting permission from
tour officials. Among the missing was Zach Sylvester who reportedly had
ceased his relationship with Curt Chase and the No.77.
Mike Stefanik won the re-draw as he drew the pole starting spot. Ferrante
drew the outside pole. Just as the Riverhead 140 was about to get the green
some of the track lights in turn one went out.
After a one hour delay the Riverhead event got under way. Don Lia and Bob
Garbarino continued their golden year as they put another victory in their
corner, their fifth in eight events. Lia inherited the lead when Mike
Stefanik and Ted Christopher were involved in a wreck in the closing laps
and led the final six laps. It was a slam-bang affair as seven caution
periods slowed the event for 66 laps. Bill Park ended up in second spot.in
the green-white-checkered finish. Ronnie Silk finished third, followed by
Justin Bonsignore and James Civali. Danny Sammons, Matt Hirschman, Howie
Brodie, Jamie Tomaino and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10. Stefanik ended
up 11th, Christopher was 15th. Stefanik led the first 116 laps after
starting on the pole. Christopher used lapped traffic to get by him on lap
115, and Stefanik took the lead back again on lap 137 before the two clashed
two laps later.
The True Value Modified Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in
Maine. Kirk Alexander won with Mike Holdridge second and Ed Dachenhausen
third. There were five lead changes. According to reports 30 cars were on
hand and a big crowd witnessed the event. Jack Bateman was leading at the 75
lap mark when he ran over debris on the track and suffered a flat tire.
In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway the
temperatures were in the 90’s as Bert Marvin kept his cool as he took the
win in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature. Marvin, who has the reputation of
being a hot head at times, was coming off a one race suspension for
The hot and steamy weather was equaled only by the action on the track at
Thompson International Speedway on Thursday night. Bert Marvin of Waterford
made a strong statement returning to competition in style by dominating the
Sunoco Modified main event. The veteran grabbed the lead early in the race
and went on to dominate the 30-lap feature. On the opening lap, Kerry Malone
dove to the inside of a side-by-side battle between pole sitter Dave
Salzarulo and Josh Steeves to make it three-wide for the lead. Malone could
not keep up his momentum and fell back to third. Marvin meanwhile appeared
to be on rails, easily driving to the lead on lap three. Woody Pitkat had
already worked his way into the second spot followed by Malone. John Blewett
had his hands full holding off Keith Rocco for fourth. Jimmy Blewett, who
got out of shape on the front stretch, had gathered it in and was running
alone in sixth ahead of Tommy Cravenho. Marvin was enjoying a sizeable lead
as Pitkat began to feel the pressure from Malone. Rocco got alongside John
Blewett and was able to take away the fourth spot as the flagman showed the
crossed flags. On the same lap, Jimmy Blewett retired to pit road. Rocco
then made it a three car battle for the second spot. Marvin entered lapped
traffic as Pitkat, Malone and Rocco ran nose-to-tail. John Blewett was able
to reel in the group as well. Marvin easily maneuvered through lapped
traffic, enjoying his half-straightaway lead. Malone made his bid for the
second spot on lap 25. He got inside of Pitkat but could not muster up the
pass. The bid opened the door for Rocco, who then got alongside Malone. The
running order remained unchanged as the first caution of the event flew on
lap 25 when Shelly Perry dumped fluid on the front stretch. Back under
green, Marvin easily worked his way out to a solid lead over Pitkat. Malone
resumed his defense of third position from Rocco. John Blewett quietly
watched from the fourth spot. While Marvin was running away with the lead,
Rocco made a last ditch effort on Malone for third. He got out of shape
trying to drive around Malone on the final lap. Rocco slid out of the groove
losing positions to both John Blewett and Tommy Cravenho. In the end Marvin
sat in victory lane. Pitkat helped pad his standing in the Whelen
All-American National Standing with his runner-up spot. Malone, who sits
third in the national standings finished third. John Blewett, and Tommy
Cravenho completed the top five.
Steve Michalski of Dayville won post-race tech to earn his first victory
of the season in the Mini Stock 25-lapper. Fred Astle of N. Westport, MA,
scored his long-awaited first win of the 2007 season. Mark Jenison of
Danielson continues his impressive 2007 season with his fourth Late Model
victory. Kurt Vigeant of Oxford was tops in the TIS Modified division while
Ernie LaRose of Plainfield checkered the Limited Sportsman main.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor
Speedway Woody Pitkat was cool as a cucumber as he made it three in a row in
SK Modified competition. Ryan Posocco made it two in a row in Late Model
competition. Brit Andersen took down the SK Light feature win for his third
win of the 2007 season, Sean Foster won the Limited Late Model feature for
his third victory of 2007, and Dan Flannery scored his first career victory
in the 15-lap DARE feature event.
The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat continue his white hot
summer streak with his third consecutive SK Modified feature victory. Todd
Owen took the early race lead and led the first three laps. Jeff Malave
moved past Owen on lap-4 to take the lead, but he was overtaken on lap-6 by
Zach Sylvester for the race lead. Sylvester held the lead until lap-26 when
Pitkat moved out front. A caution with 28 laps complete slowed the action,
but Pitkat ran the final 12 laps of the race with no challenge from Frank
Ruocco to take down the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and
Ruocco was Keith Rocco, Kenny Horton, and Eric Berndt.
The Hartford Courant reported that the Arute family that operates the
speedway was currently embroiled in some serious in fighting. Some of the
children of former track owner Jack Arute Sr. claim they are owed a
financial sum from the Speedway. Wayne Arute, David Arute, Rob Arute, Danny
Arute and Heidi Howarth have filed a claim in Hartford Superior Court
against Mark Arute, his wife and track vice president Lisa Arute, track
president Jack Arute Jr. and Stafford Motor Speedway. Jack Arute Sr. died on
April 3, 2006. The Arutes had owned and operated the Stafford Motor Speedway
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl
Jeff Pearl annexed his fifth win of the season in the SK Modified 35 lap
feature. Pearl took the lead on lap five from Frank Mucciacciaro Jr and was
able to hold Dennis Gada at bay in the closing laps. Rob Janovic finished
third. Mucciacciaro and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five.
Veteran Nokie Fornoro needed only a record six minutes and eight seconds
to win the caution-free 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature. It
was Fornoro's first Speedbowl win since 1985. Point leader Bruce Thomas Jr.
prevailed in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Other winners were Dwayne Dorr
(20-lap Sportsman) and Randy Churchill Jr. (Mini Stock 20 lapper). It was
the first-ever win for Churchill.
In Busch Series racing in Montreal Canada Marcos Ambrose should have won
the race. Robby Gordon insisted he did. In the end, it was Kevin Harvick who
celebrated the victory in the inaugural Busch race in Canada. It was a
controversial finish that thrilled the crowd, infuriated NASCAR and
jeopardized Gordon's participation in the Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
Gordon refused to forfeit his position in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in
Montreal when ordered to by NASCAR late in the race and officials said he
intentionally knocked Ambrose out of the race, and then refused to pull off
the track as ordered. He also celebrated as if he had won - behavior that is
expected to earn him a suspension before the Nextel Cup event at Pocono. The
finish capped a wild final few laps that heated up when Gordon began
charging through the field to the front, where Ambrose seemed to be heading
to his first NASCAR victory. Gordon was second on a restart with four laps
to go, and a multi-car accident brought out a caution. Gordon passed Ambrose
at the same time as the accident to take the lead, but Ambrose spun him to
reclaim it seconds later. Gordon was idling sideways as the field roared by
him, but he raced back to the front under yellow and gave Ambrose a
retaliatory bump. He then tried to move into the lead because he thought he
was in first - or at worst, second - when the caution came out. NASCAR
instead ruled he was 13th, based on where Gordon was when he righted his car
following the spin from Ambrose. He vehemently refused to move back, and
NASCAR warned him they would not score him if he didn't forfeit his
position. When the race resumed with three laps to go, Gordon was still
holding second place but immediately spun Ambrose to take the lead. NASCAR
then ordered him off the track. He refused that order, too, and led the
field around the course for the final three laps. But NASCAR refused to
acknowledge him, and waved the black flag at him every time he crossed the
line. He finished 18th - based on the amount of laps he completed before he
was disqualified - but Gordon celebrated as if he won by doing victory
burnouts at the same time Harvick did Gordon wasn't being scored and Ambrose
had faded back to seventh after being spun by Gordon. It put Andy Pilgrim
into the lead, but Harvick raced his way past him and took Montreal native
Patrick Carpentier with him.
In Nextel Cup racing Kurt Busch's winless drought is over. Busch
dominated Pocono Raceway from the opening lap on Sunday and raced his way
back into championship contention, giving himself a perfect belated birthday
gift: a trip to Victory Lane. A day after he turned 29, Busch snapped a
51-race losing skid that lifted him into the 11th and final spot of the
Chase for the Nextel Cup standings with five races left until the
championship races start. Busch, who had surged to 13th in the standings
entering the Pennsylvania 500, led all but 25 laps and made his second
career Pocono victory look easy. The 175 laps led was a Pocono record. The
race didn't include Robby Gordon, who was suspended by NASCAR early Sunday
morning for his conduct at the Busch Series race in Montreal a day before.
Earnhardt was second and Denny Hamlin, who swept both races at Pocono last
year, finished third. Points leader Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded
out the top five.
Five years ago in 2012, the Whelen
Modified Tour Series visited the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night.
Doug Coby, was not detered by the 90 degree heat as he made it
three-for-three in Whelen Modified Tour events at the historic half mile so
far this year as he turned in another dominant performance for his fourth
overall triumph of the 2012 season.
Coby inherited the lead when leader Eric Beers came to pit road along
with the majority of the front-runners on Lap 48. He more than held his own
down the stretch, however, as the lead was never relinquished, or really in
question. It was his fourth career victory at Stafford. Jimmy Blewett
finished second with Todd Szegedy third. Beers and Ted Christopher rounded
out the top five. Pole winner Ryan Preece, Jon McKennedy, Woody Pitkat, Eric
Goodale and Justin Bonsignore completed the top 10. There were 27 cars on
With the victory, Coby extended his lead in the season standings on
Preece to 309-268. There were 12 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Six
cautions slowed the field for 30 laps. The most serious involved Steve Masse
who was pinch hitting for Keith Rocco in the Boehler No. 3 and Frank Pallai
who clobbered the wall in turn 3 on lap 44. Officials were forced to throw
the red in order to repair the fence.
NASCAR announced that leading NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
Keith Rocco, who had 42 career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins at
Stafford, was recently injured in a practice accident at the Thompson
Speedway and would not compete in the Stafford 150. Rocco underwent surgery
in Farmington for left wrist injuries and expects to be on the sidelines at
least two weeks. Rocco is also slated to be married to Cassie Ceravolo on
Labor Day weekend.
In what had to be considered one of the most exciting and competitive
Modified events of the year Matt Hirschman picked up the win in the Seekonk
Speedway Wednesday night Modified Madness event and the $10,000 first prize
payoff. Starting sixth, Hirschman ran in the front pack until lap 40 when he
tangled with Chris Pasteryak when they were slugging it out for the lead.
Hirschman rallied from the rear. With three laps to go Ryan Preece was
leading but got snookered when Hirschman made a cross-over move to steal the
lead and go on for the eventual win. Preece held on for second, with Steve
Masse third, Todd Annarummo and Pasteryak rounded out the top five. David
Berghman, Eric Berndt, Wentz, Doug Coby oby and Louie Mechalidas rounded out
the top ten.
Hirschman's record for 2012 is noting short of fantastic. In addition to
the $10,000 won at Seekonk Hirschman won $15,000 at Oswego, NY and $9,000 at
the Star Speedway in Epping, NH, all in different cars.
Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw Ryan Preece romp to his sixth win
of the season after driving out to almost a half a lap lead over the rest of
the field. Dennis Perry took the top spot at the start with Kerry Malone
attached to his bumper and Ryan Preece in third. On lap four, Todd Ceravolo
challenged Preece by diving to the bottom. Preece retaliated by going high
and drove around Malone for the second spot. Preece’s charge wasn’t
finished, however, and on lap five, he drove by Perry for the lead. Perry
held on to second while Ceravolo took over third. On lap seven, Ceravolo
went by Perry for second, but caution flew just moments later slowing their
pace. On the restart, Preece drove right back out front followed by Ceravolo
and Malone. Coming up through the field, however, was Bobby Santos running
in the sixth place. Preece stretched out his lead over Ceravolo as Santos
charged by Malone on lap 16 to take over the third spot. Preece was on fire
and, despite lapped traffic, continued to hold a dominating advantage over
the rest of the field and went on to the checkers unchallenged. Ceravolo
finished second with Bobby Santos, third. . Richie Gallup and Dennis Perry
rounded out the top five.
Other winners included Duane Noll who dominated the 20-lap New England
Truck Series race, Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds, John Falconi in the
Late Model division, Steve Kenneway in the Limited Sportsman division, and
Scott Michalski in the Monster Mini Stocks. Paul LaPlante won the Antique
Racers feature event.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series feature action, Woody Pitkat was the big winner of the
evening by doubling up and taking the checkered flag in both the SK
Modified® and Late Model feature events. The SK Modified® victory was
Pitkat’s second of the season and the Late Model win was his third of the
season. Also scoring feature wins were Frank Cardile in the 20-lap SK Light
feature, David Arute in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Cliff
Saunders in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Cardile’s win was his first of
the season, Arute’s win was the first win of his career, and Saunders’ win
was his second of the season. Arute is the grandson of Jack Arute Sr.
In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl it was a case of now you
see it, now you don't. Keith Rocco who severely injured his wrist got some
help from Doug Coby to win the SK Modified feature at the shoreline oval.
After an opening caution after the drop of the green Rocco, who started the
race, pitted and was replaced by Coby. Coby did a masterful job as he came
from the rear to score the apparent win. The win was later dis-allowed when
track officials stated that Rocco and Coby did not follow the rule book. The
Waterford Speedbowl rulebook states: “Driver changes are permitted after the
completion of the initial green flag lap only. Points and money will be
awarded to the driver that completes the initial green flag lap.” After
reviewing a video it was determined that Rocco did not complete the opening
lap and went directly to the pit area for the driver change. The win was
awarded to Coby. It is what it is! The responsibility lies with Rocco, Coby
and the car owner as they failed to read and understand the rules of making
a driver change. It would have made for a great story which perhaps would
have put Rocco back in the lead of the NASCAR national standings.
In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in
Winston-Salem NC the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour made their annual
stop at the historic oval. George Brunnhoelzl III led most of the way, hung
on through a bumpy ending that altered the finish order of several cars
trailing him and won the Strutmasters.com 199. Brunnhoelzl, a two-time and
defending tour champion, won for the fourth time in six races this season.
It was his third straight victory, matching Brian Loftin's record string for
Burt Myers, a five-time Bowman Gray champion, was the top qualifier for a
tour-leading 24th time. He held the lead until Brunnhoelzl, who started from
the outside pole, took charge in the 24th lap with a pass on the outside.
Brunnhoelzl lost the lead temporarily with 17 laps left when Ryan nudged
ahead. But Brunnhoelzl regained the lead for good after a tap that loosened
Myers, who was driving with a severely sprained right wrist suffered in a
wreck Friday night, battled Preece for the second spot until Preece sent
Myers spinning. Myers finished ninth. Preece finished 11th, after getting
collected in collision with Andy Seuss on the final lap. Tim Brown finished
second. Canadian Cole Powell, who started at the rear of the 25-car field,
finished third. Jason Myers was fourth and Andy Seuss fifth. L.W. Miller,
who had won the previous two tour races at Bowman Gray, struggled in
qualifying, started 17th and finished 13th in a race that had a tour-record
Tom Rogers Jr was the NASCAR Modified feature winner at the Riverhead
Raceway on Long Island. Ted Christopher finished second.
Penske Racing announced that A.J. Allmendinger has been released as driver
of the No. 22 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger
was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for a positive drug test.
Jeff Gordon drove into the lead during a restart as leaders Jimmie
Johnson and Matt Kenseth made contact, causing mayhem at the front of the
pack. Moments later, the impending rain clouds opened up above the track and
drenched the two-mile triangle, forcing NASCAR to call the race and give
Gordon the surprise triumph in the Pennsylvania 400. It was Gordon’s first
victory of the year, the 86th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career and his record
sixth at Pocono.
Kasey Kahne managed to sneak through the mayhem, but not without cutting
his right-rear tire. Thanks to the caution period slowing the cars down he
was able to stay on track and finished the race in second.Martin Truex, Jr.
was scored third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.
Elliott Sadler rebounded from the disappointment of his jumped-restart
penalty last week in Indianapolis to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Iowa.
Last year, 2016, It was one hot night
as the Thompson Motorsports Park sprang back into action on Wednesday with
the 3rd Annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint. The speedway celebrated “For
the Drivers Night” with all drivers receiving free admission to the race as
local racing series and the annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint took center
The 20/20 event consisted of three segments, two 20 lap races and a third
ten-lap feature, with the first event ordered by qualifying, the second
inverting the field for the starting lineup based off the finishing
positions in the first event and the third and final segment utilizing
timing in the first race to set the field.
Ryan Preece won the first 20 lapper after a heated battle with Rowan
Pennink. After a rocky start that saw John Catania get trashed after hitting
the wall near the entrance of turn one, Preece took the lead on lap seven
and proceeded to set a torrid pace to the conclusion. Preece celebrated in
victory lane, giving credit to his crew for helping him gain early momentum
in the 20/20 feature. “It was pretty tough there,” Preece said. “We’ve just
been struggling with the brakes with this car and it’s been making it so
free, to fly up here and win, it’s a lot of fun for me,” Preece said after
the first segment.
Keith Rocco, who finished fourth behind Ron Williams, rallied in the
second 20 lapper to score a win over Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Preece and
Preece won the ten lap finale after a little over-agressive display of
driving. Preece rode Rocco high in turn one in the early stages and did the
same to Rowan Pennink at the lap 5 mark. While Rocco was attempting to
recover from almost hitting the wall he accidently hit Woody Pitkat who
spun. Rocco was put to the rear but in the end recovered and finished third.
Pennink finished second. Ronnie Williams and Steven Kopcik rounded out the
In Late Model action, Lloyd Anderson and Matt Lowinski-Loh slugged it out
as the two sought their first ever respective wins in the series. In the end
it was Lloyd Anderson who came out of top over Lowinski-Loh, or so it
appeared. Anderson celebrated in victory lane after crossing the line in a
backup car but the win was stripped away as after the event Anderson’s team
was informed they were disqualified from the Late Model race due to a right
front lower control arm of the car that did not meet specified measurements.
This turn of events put an end to an interesting Late Model feature and gave
the win to Lowinski-Loh, his first in the series. Rick Gentes finished
second in the adjusted results after spinning across the finish line
Jesse Gleason was a surprise winner in the Limited Sportsman after Corey
Hutchings, who was clearly the class of the field, was eliminated by Phil
Jaques in a deliberate incident.
In the Mini Stocks reigning champion Dave Trudeau celebrated his fourth
victory of the season in his mission to defend his 2015 series title. In the
Lite Modifieds Corey Barry took advantage of a mid race caution and strong
restarts to claim a dominating victory in a 20-lap dash. Damon Tinio had
control of much of the first half of the event before he lost control of his
car in turns one and two after the halfway point, leaving the door open for
Barry to claim the win while Wesley Prucker and Marcello Rufrano rounded out
the top three.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night each NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series division race had an extra two laps in distance added to
their feature events. Joining Stafford’s five NWAAS divisions in action were
the Legend Cars as well the Junior Outlaws and Senior Champs from the Monday
Night Wild Thing Kart Series. Taking down feature wins on the night were Dan
Avery in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model
feature, Daniel Wesson in the SK Light feature, Al Saunders in the Ltd. Late
Model division, Alexandra Fearn in the DARE Stock division, Teddy Hodgdon in
the Legend Cars division, Mike Perry in the Senior Champs division, and
Tyler Chapman in the Junior Outlaw division.
In the 42 lap SK Modified event Avery started on the pole and led every lap.
Rowan Pennink got by Keith Rocco to move into second with two laps to go.
Woody Pitkat was fourth behind Rocco with Williams in fifth. Pennink made a
strong move to the inside of Avery as they were coming to the checkered flag
but he couldn’t make it stick as Avery took the checkered flag for his first
win since the 2013 season. Rocco finished third with Pitkat and Ron Williams
rounding out the top-5.
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain half way thru
their racing program. NASCAR officials confirmed Monday, Aug 1 that they had
suspended New London-Waterford Speedbowl SK Light Modified driver Andrew
Molleur indefinitely for providing false age information on a NASCAR license
application. Molleur had been temporarily suspended by NASCAR while they
investigated issues with his age that came to light after he won his first
SK Light Modified feature at the Speedbowl on July 2.
At the Star Speedway in Epping, NH Matt Hirschman won the Northeast Race
Cars & Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series SBM 125 on Saturday night. For
his efforts he pocketed $10,000. Les Hinkley finished second with Josh
Cantara, third. Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five.
Jon McKennedy led most of the event before he made a fatal mistake when
he decided not to pit for a fresh tire which most drivers, including
Hirschman opted for. After catching up to McKennedy, a caution and restart
with 25 laps to go put Hirschman to the outside of McKennedy. When the green
waved, Hirschman wasted little time as he moved to the point after McKennedy
spun his tires.
Hirschman, now in the lead opened up a good lead while Les Hinckley
caught and passed McKennedy for second. With two laps to go and a big lead
for Hirschman, McKennedy spun in turn four after contact from Richard Savary
while the two raced for third.
Following the restart Hinkley attempted a charge but Hirschman was long
gone. McKennedy ended up 15th and Savory, 19th..
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series had the weekend off. Doug Coby
with three event wins led Timmy Solomito by 34 points. Solomito also had
three wins. Donny Lia sat in third spot with Justin Bonsignore and Max
Zachem rounding out the top five.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island rain ruined the night.
In action at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in North Carolina twin 50's were on
tap for the NASCAR Modifieds. Tim Brown won the opener over Burt Myers and
John Smith. Jason Myers, who finished fifth in the opener, won the second 50
lapper over Joseph Brown and Ronnie Clifton.
In NASCAR Sprint cup racing at the Pocono Raceway Sunday's event was
postponed until Monday because of rain. Chris Buescher, who drives for under
funded Front Row Motorsports and hadn't finished better than 14th all
season, was the beneficiary. NASCAR called the red flag with 22 laps left
and parked the cars on pit road. Buescher could only sit and wait in the No.
34 Ford, though NASCAR let drivers get out of their cars after about 10
minutes as they waited wait out the gloomy conditions.
He was declared the winner after about an 80-minute delay. He was doused
with beer and water in a makeshift victory lane celebration inside a garage
stall. Brad Keselowski was second, followed by Regan Smith, Kevin Harvick
and Tony Stewart. Jeff Gordon finished 28th driving for the injured Dale
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail, email@example.com.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Looking Back Archive
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