September 8, 2017
Sixty five years ago in 1952 at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl Ray Delisle was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner and Bud
Matter was the Claiming Car winner. Twin 50's were run on Saturday night
with Delisle and Cy Yates recording Sportsman wins while Matter recorded
another claiming car victory.
Sixty years ago in 1957 Don Collins
made it two in a row in Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1962, Ernie
Gahan made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. At
the Waterford Speedbowl Dick Beauregard was the 25 lap Modified winner. Ed
Moody was the Bomber winner.
Fifty years ago in 1967 Friday night
racing at Stafford rained out. Bugsy Stevens, a regular competitor at
Stafford made the right call as he and car owner Len Boehler traveled to the
Albany Saratoga Speedway where Stevens finished fourth behind Don MacTavish,
Ed Patnoad and Guy Chartrand At Fonda, on Saturday night, Bill Wimble took
the win over Ray Sitterly and Jerry Cook. Bill Scrivener was the Modified
winner at Waterford. The Utica-Rome Speedway closed out their season on
Sunday night with local favorite Clayton “Sonney” Seamon taking the win over
Dick Fowler, Bernie Miller, Jerry Cook and Dave Kotary. After three
successive rain-outs the Annual Trenton 200, which drew 60 cars, got to run.
Bugsy Stevens, in the mighty no. 3 of Len Boehler, scored the big win over
Donnie Allison and Fred DeSarro.
Forty five Years ago in 1972, Malta
and Stafford ran head to head on Saturday night. Lancaster had a big open
show on Sunday with qualifying on Saturday afternoon, which meant that many
teams raced back and forth on the Thruway. Bugsy Stevens was the winner at
Malta over Jerry Cook, Ed Pieniezak and Ron Newman. Because he chose to
concentrate on the NASCAR Modified point title, Stevens elected to by-pass
Lancaster in order to be in one piece for an extra point event at Utica-Rome
on Sunday night. Bobby Santos was driving for Art Barry and the two decided
to go for all three. Santos qualified at Lancaster on Saturday afternoon,
raced to Malta where he finished sixth, raced back to Lancaster where he won
the 200 lap open and then sped to Utica-Rome where he finished eighth.
Richie Evans finished second to Santos at Lancaster and did it one better as
he won at Utica-Rome. Fred DeSarro, Eddie Flemke, Ray Hendrick and Ernie
Gahan followed Santos and Evans at Lancaster. At Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro,
Jerry Cook, Fred DeSarro and Ollie Silva followed Evans. At Stafford, Leo
Cleary in the Mystic Missile took the win over Ronnie Bouchard, Ernie Caruso
and Ed Yerrington. Jerry Dostie made it two in a row at Waterford. It was a
rough weekend, to say the least.
Forty years ago in 1977, Stafford’s
Friday night racing was open competition as their NASCAR season ended on
Labor Day. With 33 cars on hand, Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Geoff
Bodine, Ed Flemke and Bob Polverari. Saturday night was extremely busy.
Seekonk ran twin features, a 50 lapper and a 35 lapper. Taking the win in
the 50 was Corky Cookman over Eddie StAngelo and George Summers. StAngelo
won the 35 and was followed by Ronnie Bouchard, John Rosati and Cookman. At
Westboro, Freddie Schulz, in the Tom Dunn Pinto wagon, took the win over
George Savory, Fats Caruso and Joe Howard. The NASCAR Modifieds ran a 150
lapper at Richmond where Maynard Troyer took the top spot. Paul Radford
finished second with Ray Hendrick, Joe Thurman, Harry Gant and Jerry Cook
following. Islip presented a 100-lap double point event. Charlie Jarzombek
ruled the roost as he beat out Tom McCann, Geoff Bodine, Wayne Anderson and
Eddie Flemke. Waterford fell victim to rain and ended their season. Moose
Hewitt was declared the modified track champion. On Sunday, Fred DeSarro
took the win at Thompson over Freddie Schulz, Ray Miller and John Rosati.
Freeport ran a 200 lapper that saw Long Island favorite Jim Hendrickson take
the win over Maynard Troyer and George Brunnhoelzl Jr. At Monadnock it was
Bob Karvonen taking the win over Punky Caron and Pete Fiandaca.
Thirty five years ago in 1982, the
Thompson 300 took center stage. A huge field of 106 modifieds was on hand.
Greg Sacks, who had won just about every major race in what is now
considered his best season didn’t let this big one get away. After leading
from lap 14 thru 134 when he pitted for fuel and tires, Sacks re-took the
lead on lap 151 and led the remaining 149 laps to take the $10,000 win.
Kenny Bouchard finished second with Gomer Taylor and Ray Miller on the lead
lap at the finish. Doug Hewitt finished fifth, one lap down. Tony Hirschman,
SJ Evonsion, George Brunnhoelzl, Dick Trayner and Dave Thomas rounded out
the top ten. Dick Caso won the companion non-qualifiers event. In other
weekend action, Jerry Cook won an 82 lapper at Shangri-La over Jim Spencer
and Doug Hewitt and at New Egypt, John Blewett Jr won a 200 lapper over
Richie Evans, Bob Polverari and Jerry Cook.
Thirty years ago in 1987, the
Thompson Speedway lost their entire 300 program to rain. Riverside Park was
able to get their program in with Kenny Bouchard taking the win over Reggie
Ruggiero, Bob Polverari and John Rosati. In Winston Cup action at Richmond,
Dale Earnhardt, who started eighth, took the win.
Twenty five years ago in 1992,
Monadnock closed out their season on Friday night. Jerry Marquis, in the Bob
Judkins 2x, won his seventh feature and sewed up the Modified Championship
at the fast ¼ mile oval. At Waterford, on Saturday night, Don Fowler went
pole to pole to win the modified feature over Ricky Young, Bert Marvin, Jim
Broderick and Jerry Pearl. In late model action, Tom Gaudreau went pole to
pole to win his first late model feature. With their regular season over,
Riverside Park ran open competition modifieds and added SK-Modifieds to
their line-up. With only seven showing up, the SK’s were grouped together
with the modifieds. Dan Avery took the modified feature over Jerry Marquis
and Bobby Gee. Chris Jones was the first SK to finish as he came across the
finish line in 11th spot. The Thompson 300 was the big show of the weekend.
Rick Fuller, in the Mario Fiore 44 took the win over Doug Hevron, Tom
Baldwin, Chris Aman and Jamie Tomaino, all on the lead lap. Pole sitter
Steve Park, finished sixth.
Twenty years ago in 1997, Dennis Gada
went pole to pole to beat out Rick Donnely and Todd Ceravolo at Waterford.
Punky Caron got his 72nd career win at Monadnock and Dave Berube beat out
Reggie Ruggerio at Riverside. The Thompson 300,now a Busch Grand National
event saw the total domination of Mike Stefanik for the win. Stefanik, who
started on the outside pole, led 290 of the 300 laps and closed to within
nine points of current leader Dave Dion. Ricky Fuller finished second with
Andy Santarre, third. At Richmond, Steve Park took the lead with 42 laps to
go and took his third win of the year. His boss, Dale Earnhardt, who
suffered a blackout the previous week at Darlington, was cleared to drive.
Dale Jarrett was the eventual Winston Cup winner at Richmond and finally,
Jan Opperman, who had been confined to a wheelchair since 1991, passed away.
Fifteen years ago in 2002 The NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway for the annual
300, the series’ longest event. Temperatures in the 90’s made the 300 a test
of man and machine Forty-four Modifieds were on hand to qualify for the
forty starting spots. Tony Hirschman, on the mend since a crash at Seekonk,
was the Busch Pole sitter. Mike Stefanik took advantage of Charlie
Pasteryak’s miss-fortune and took the win, which was worth $16,400. It has
been an up and down year for the defending series champion and he had also
all but written himself off as far as being able to repeat. Because of the
fact that the 300 is an endurance run, things can change in an instant.
Stefanik started 10th and led three times at various stages had all but
accepted to finishing second to Charlie Pasteryak when fate reared its ugly
hand in Pasteryak's direction as he ran out of gas with six laps to go. It
was a tough pill for Pasteryak to swallow as he and his team gambled and
lost. Pasteryak had pitted on lap 211 and decided on not taking on gas. It
was a decision that left him about a gallon short. That gallon of gas cost
Pasteryak $14,500, the difference between first and fourteenth. The 300 paid
$16,400 to win. Pasteryak, who lost two laps in the process, earned $1,900.
There were only six cars on the lead lap at the finish including 65-year-old
Bob Polverari, who finished sixth. Congratulations to Tony Ferrante, Jr. on
his career best, since 1997 at Jennerstown, second place finish. Ferrante
collected $6,405 for his efforts. L.W.Miller ended up third after a
questionable confrontation with Chuck Hossfeld. Hossfeld had been running in
the lead pack and possibly could have had a top five finish until he lost
two laps due to the confrontation. John Blewett III finished a solid fourth
with former series champion, Jamie Tomaino rounding out the top five. Sixth
and the final car on the lead lap was 65 year old Bob Polverari. There were
18 caution periods for 99 laps, one lap short of a third of the posted
Among the casualties were Rick Fuller who took a hard shot, rear first,
into the concrete on lap 48 and Jim Willis who flipped and slid down the
front chute on his roof on lap 187. It appeared that Tom Cloce brushed the
front chute wall and when he bounced off, Willis was there. Willis got in
the air and hit the starters stand as he was going over. It could have been
disastrous and chances are, Bob Slade was counting his blessings after that.
Ted Christopher was among the front runners until getting bit by ignition
problems. Among the others who had mechanical problems were David Berghman,
Jerry Marquis and Ed Flemke Jr. Pole sitter Tony Hirschman had a legitimate
shot to win the event as he was one of the faster cars. Hirschman’s car was
black-flagged after numerous NASCAR officials confirmed that he was leaking
fluid. Hirschman ignored the black flag to pit and NASCAR pulled his
scorecard. When he finally pitted, the leaking had stopped. With gage
temperatures normal, chances are it was fuel but none the less, he was
leaking. It doesn’t look like John Sneade will be participating in any
NASCAR events in the near future after the show he put on under the starters
stand. He went somewhat postal and had to be escorted off the track and his
car was removed to the pit area.
The series point standings showed Ed Flemke Jr. was still in the lead by
37 points over Jerry Marquis. Mike Stefanik’s win moved him from seventh
spot to third, only 59 points behind Flemke. Ricky Fuller and Todd Szegedy
rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Chuck Hossfeld, Ted
Christopher, Nevin George, David Berghman and Jamie Tomaino.
The regular weekly racing in Southern New England saw Ted Christopher
taking his 74th career win at Stafford on Friday night. Tommy Fox got his
fourth at the Waterford Speedbowl despite the fact that the two slugs that
started on the front row almost destroyed the entire field. Jay Miller
finished second and was followed by Don Fowler and Ron Yuhas Jr. Yuhas was
the only Waterford competitor to race at Thompson on Saturday afternoon and
made it in time for the Waterford event.
The first of two weekend 20 lap features for the SK-Modifieds was run
late Saturday afternoon with Bo Gunning taking the win over Ted Christopher
and Jeff Malave. Numerous wrecks sidelined half the field. Among the bent
cars was that of Ron Yuhas Jr. Yuhas headed for Waterford while his dad and
crew took the mangled remains to their race shop in Groton where a new front
and rear clip was installed after an all niter. Ted Christopher won the
second 20 lapper, run on Sunday, over Gunning, Malave, Bert Marvin and Eric
Berndt. Yuhas finished 22nd.
Belated condolences went out to the family of Bunk Sampson who lost his
long battle with cancer and passed away. Bunk, a dedicated former director
of the NASCAR Busch North Series was laid to rest a week previous. He was
perhaps one of the most sincere and fairest NASCAR Officials ever employed
by the sanctioning body and while the BNS director, he put his heart and
soul into what he did.
Ten years ago in 2007, the 2007
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Thompson Speedway for Modified Mania.
Donnie Lia and car owner Bob Garbarino who were currently enjoying a dream
season out time trailed thirty-five other Whelen Modifieds to score their
third Busch Pole of the season. Lia and his Mystic Missile toured the
5/8-mile oval in 18.885 seconds. Ronnie Silk was aecond fastest with Matt
Hirschman, third. Lia picked the pole starting position for the 150 lap main
event. Ron Yuhas Jr picked the outside pole while Hirschman picked third.
Heavy rain at 4:00pm on Sunday forced officials to postpone the event to
first to Saturday September 22nd and then on Monday to Sunday, September
In True Value Modified Series action at the Thompson it was great to see
Mark Mockovak in his new spot with what has become a very popular series in
New England. Thirty-two True Value Modifieds were on hand for qualifying for
their segment of Modified Mania at the Thompson Speedway. Chris Pastryak,
Andy Seuss and Jimmy Kuhn won three Heat Races. The 75-lap True Value
Modified Racing Series portion of Modified Mania at Thompson International
Speedway was postponed after completing only 2 laps because of inclement
weather. Andy Seuss was leading the event when the torrential rain began.
In regular NASCAR Whelen Weekly Racing action at the Thompson Speedway
Sunoco Modified heat winners were Jimmy Blewett, Tommy Cravenho and Danny
Cates. Glenn Boss scored the victory in the lone TIS Modified heat. Norm
Wrenn and Jeff Zuidema of scored heat race wins for the Pro-Fours.
Matt Hirschman went pole to pole as he led every lap of the Race of
Champions main event before the rains came in forcing the postponement of
the Whelen Modified Tour 150 and the True Value Modified Racing Series. The
True Value Modified Racing Series completed only two laps with Andy Suess of
Hampstead, NH, holding the point before torrential rains hit the speedway.
Three of the other scheduled events of Modified Mania II were completed
before the rains came with Todd Ceravolo taking down the Sunoco Modified
main event and Leo Oliveira scored the TIS Modifieds victory. Thompson
regular Norm Wrenn scored the Pro-Four Victory. Hirschman, the current
Central Region point leader, led every lap en route to the victory. The
second-generation driver jumped from his third-place starting spot to lead
the opening lap and would not be headed. Rick Kluth ran strong in the second
spot for much of the race. In the late stages, with Hirschman out front,
Kluth turned back advances of a charging Woody Pitkat. The current Northern
Region leader, Pete Brittain, who had run a conservative race up to this
point, turned it on with only a hand full of laps remaining. With five laps
to go, Hirschman continued to stretch his lead while Pete Brittain caught
Kluth. That battle for second heated up over the final laps when Brittain
got a run on Kluth in turn one. A single lap later, Brittain was able to
make the pass on Kluth to move into the second spot. Time ran out as
Brittain could do nothing but chase the potent Hirschman. At the checkers,
it was all Hirschman. Brittain finished second over Rick Kluth and Woody
Pitkat. Lenny Fisher rounded out to the top five By virtue of technical
inspection, Leo Oliveira was declared the winner in the TIS Modified main
The Stafford Motor Speedway began their fall series of Friday night
racing. Keith Rocco took the SK Modified feature win, Dillon Moltz won the
Late Model feature, Chris Matthews won the SK Light feature, Andrew Durand
won the Limited Late Model feature, and Dan Flannery won the DARE Stock
The 40-lap SK Modified feature took the green with Wade Mattesen charging
past Richie Pallai, Jr. to take the early lead. Pallai would battle back by
Mattesen on lap-5 to reclaim the lead. Rocco followed Pallai past Mattesen,
and Pallai and Rocco ran nose to tail for the lead over the next several
laps. Rocco moved by Pallai on a lap-11 restart, and from that point on, he
would not be headed at the front of the field as he scored his third SK
Modified feature win of the 2007 season. Kerry Malone finished a distant
second to Rocco, with Ted Christopher, Curt Brainard, and Todd Owen rounding
out the top-5. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship
hopeful Woody Pitkat suffered through several spins but came back to finish
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl
Dennis Gada got a little closer to an unprecedented seventh Modified Track
title as he scored his fifth win. Two race meets remain of the 2007 season.
Gada currently trails Rob Janovic by 16 points. For the last two races Gada
needs to run hard and run to win. Keith Rocco finished second and Janovic
was third. Gada moved from fourth to second after a crash with 24 laps to
go. Seven laps later, Gada moved underneath Rocco and cruised to his 55th
career SK win. Tyler Chadwick and Jeff Paul rounded out the top five.Bruce
Thomas Jr. unofficially clinched the Late Model championship, winning his
11th feature of the season by overtaking Ron Yuhas Jr. with eight laps to go
in the 30-lap feature. Thomas won the Mini Stock title in 2001. Kyle James
won his first career race in the Mini Stock feature. In the Sportsman
feature, Walt Hovey Jr, won again.
In NASCAR Nextel Cup action at Richmond Jimmie Johnson hit his stride at
exactly the right time, winning two straight races to roll into the Chase
for the championship. Dale Earnhardt Jr. never had a chance, the victim of
five faulty motors when his season was on the line. Johnson easily raced to
his series-best sixth victory of the season. But Earnhardt, suffered his
third blown motor in the past seven races to finish 30th. Kyle Busch was the
Busch Series winner.
Five years ago in 2012, The Whelen
Modified Tour headed to the Thompson Speedway for the UNOH Showdown which
brought together NASCAR's Whelen Northern and Southern Modified Tours which
each had 75 lap features plus were combined for a 50 lap All green flag
In other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Cam McDermott earned his
13th season victory in the Lite Modified division and Chad LaBastie
checkered the Thompson Modifieds.
In UNOH Showdown qualifying at Thompson, Ryan Preece captured the pole
for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Rob Fuller won the pole for the
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Preece of Berlin, Conn., lapped the
.625-mile oval in 18.828 seconds at an average speed of 119.503 mph, to earn
his fourth pole at Thompson, his fifth pole of the year and the 11th of his
career. With just one previous start in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour
and 11 starts in the Whelen Modified Tour, Fuller of Boylston, Mass., had a
lap of 18.947 seconds (118.752 mph) in taking his first career pole. Justin
Bonsignore had the second quickest lap among NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
drivers and was followed by Bobby Santos, Doug Coby and Rowan Pennink.
Rounding out the top 10 were Todd Szegedy, Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik,
Ron Silk and Eric Beers. In NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour qualifying,
meanwhile, Tim Brown was second quickest at 19.090 seconds (117.863 mph).
Andy Seuss was third fastest, with Steve Masse fourth and Burt Myers fifth.
They were followed by Danny Bohn, George Brunnhoelzl III, Matt Hirschman,
John Smith and Jason Myers. There were 25 Whelen Modifieds and 21 Whelen
Southern Modifieds on hand. Of the 21 southern cars only 14 actually race in
the south, the rest were from the north.
The heavy overnight rains cleared which allowed both fans and competitors
at Thompson to enjoy a full day of racing. Ted Christopher, pinch hitting
for injured Keith Rocco, put the Boehler No.3 in for one of the biggest
paydays that they have seen in quite some time as he took the top spot in
the 2nd Annual UNOH Showdown 50 lap shootout. Christopher took the lead on
lap six when he dove under Bobby Santos Santos to take over the lead coming
out of turn two. Ryan Preece, Santos, Justin Bonsignore, and Mike Stefanik
rounded out the top-five at lap seven. Donny Lia joined the front-runners in
sixth as all of the top cars pulled away from the rest of the field. The
race went under a red flag on lap 24 when Stefanik lost his power steering
and dropped some oil on the track. Christopher drove to the front on the
restart with Preece attached to his rear bumper. Preece tried to get by on
the high line, but Christopher shut the door. Preece continued to pressure
Christopher while Jimmy Blewett became a part of the mix in third. Blewett
got by Preece for second on lap 37 while Christopher put a car length of
breathing room over Blewett.
The top-five cars fanned out over the next several laps with Christopher
keeping his distance from Blewett through lapped traffic. Christopher
cruised to the checkers to score his first victory of the day and score a
$15,000 paycheck. Preece finished third followed by Lia and Doug Coby. Sixth
through ninth were Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Santos and Andy Seuss. Burt
Myers rounded out the top ten.
Justin Bonsignore won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire
Northern 75 under a yellow checkered after Ron Silk crashed in the turn two
wall on the white flag lap. Bonsignore took the lead away from Ryan Preece
at lap 68 and survived a late-race restart after caution set up a
green-white-checkered finish at lap 81. Preece took the early lead and
dominated most of the race before Bonsignore used the outside groove to take
the lead in turn three seven laps before the scheduled conclusion of the
race. A caution flew at lap 72 for a wreck in turn three that involved Rowan
Pennink and Patrick Emerling and set the stage for Bonsignore to take the
win. It was the Holtsville, NY-native’s second career NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour victory and his first at Thompson Speedway.
Bobby Santos ended up second and was followed by Ryan Preece, Todd
Szegedy and Ted Christopher. Sixth through tenth were Mike Stefanik, Donny
Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai.
Andy Seuss earned his 12th career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
victory after taking the lead on lap 24 of the 75-lap Green Pointe Energy
Southern 75 portion of the UNOH Showdown weekend schedule. Seuss used the
high groove to hold off a hard-charging Matt Hirschman through lapped
traffic to take the checkered flag. The race was only slowed by one caution
period. Seuss, who started from the third position, took the lead from Burt
Myers coming out of turn four on lap 24. Hirschman took over the second
position on lap 43 and pressured Seuss until the end. Pole sitter Rob
Fuller, who was forced to start in the rear when his crew chief missed the
drivers meeting, finished third. Burt Myers and Tim Brown rounded out the
top five. Sixth through tenth were Steve Masse, Danny Bohn, George
Brunnhoelzl, III, John Smith and Cole Powell.
In Sunoco (SK type) Modified competition Ryan Preece took the checkers
for the 10th time this season. Preece had built up a large enough lead to
hold on for the win after something broke in his power steering with ten
laps to go in the event. Woody Pitkat finished second over Keith Rocco.
Kerry Malone, Jimmy Zacharias and Dennis Perry followed.
Other Sunday winners at Thompson included Damon Tinio in the Late Models,
Scott Sundeen in the Limited Sportsman and Eric Bourgeois in the Mini
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series feature action, taking wins were Michael Gervais, Jr. in
the SK Modified® feature, Jim Peterson in the Late Model feature, Dylan
Kopec in the SK Light feature, Cory Casagrande and D.J. Burnham in the twin
Ltd. Late Model features, and Jeremy Lavoie was a first time winner in the
DARE Stock feature.
Ryan Preece had closed the gap to Gervais as the leaders took the white
flag. Preece got a good run to the inside of Gervais in turn 1, but he got
sideways in turn 2 and Gervais pulled away slightly. Preece got a good run
back through turns 3+4, but he came up just short at the checkered flag as
Gervais picked up his second feature victory of the 2012 season. Woody
Pitkat came home third, with Todd Owen and Ted Christopher rounding out the
In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl the Rocco Brothers
scored a one-two punch as they beat the rain, finishing one-two in the SK
Modified feature. Kyle James finished third with Jeff Pearl, fourth. Rob
Janovic rounded out the top five. The Rocco brothers had words in the pit
area later on as Jeff felt his brother deliberately blocked him as he
attempted to pass for the lead. For some strange reason a bad storm front
moving from west to east along the shore of Long Island Sound opened up as
it reached the I-95-395 split in East Lyme and left the speedbowl in a
weather window which allowed the shoreline oval to complete most of its
racing program. Dillon Moltz drove to his sixth victory of the year in the
Late Models race, while Bill Leonard took his second win in the Mini Stock
division and Tommy Barrett Jr. won the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing
Series feature. The scheduled Street Stock feature was rained out.
Keith Rocco was suspended for the remainder of the 2012 racing season at
Waterford. Rocco was cited by track steward Scott Tapley for: “Participating
in or inciting a fight - In this case, as a competitor that entered into
another competitors pit area and physically abused a competing team
member/patron; Unsportsmanlike conduct, endangering the safety of others in
the pit area; Threatening or physical confrontations.”
Rocco said he confronted Mike Pane after the event concerning disparaging
remarks Mike Pane allegedly made about the way Rocco drove against his
brother in a battle for the lead during Saturday’s race.
In Valenti Modified Racing Series action, Tommy Barrett, who is being
coached by Hall of Fame car owner Mario Fiore, started the race last out of
the 22 drivers after running into problems during his qualifying race.
Barrett started to challenge race leader Chris Pasteryak at the midway
point. Once in the lead, Barrett held on through multiple restarts to win.
Pasteryak ended up second while series points leaders Rowan Pennink was
third. Jon McKennedy and Rob Goodenough rounded out the top five.
Tom Rogers took the NASCAR 50 lap Modified win at the Riverhead Raceway
on Long Island. Howie Brode finished second. Among the missing were regulars
Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece who were in competition at Thompson. Shawn
Solomito, with his third place finish, wrapped up the Modified Track
Kevin Harvick was in the right place at the right time, picking up his
first NASCAR Nationwide Series triumph of the season at Richmond Int’l
Raceway during the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. Harvick was running
second behind Spring Richmond winner Kurt Busch when Busch made contact with
the No. 39 Ford of Dexter Stacey on lap 227, sending Stacey spinning and
allowing Harvick to drive by on the outside to take the lead away.
Clint Bowyer saved just enough fuel to grab his second NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series triumph of the season early Sunday morning at Richmond Int’l Raceway,
but maybe more importantly Jeff Gordon finished second to claim the final
spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Bowyer, who cut a tire and spun out on
lap 236 after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya, somehow managed to save
enough gas during the final run pick up the victory. He jokingly thanked
Montoya in victory lane for the contact that eventually allowed him to win
Last year, 2016, The NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Series traveled to the Oswego Speedway on Saturday night. Doug
Coby literally cleaned house. Coby had never taken a lap around Oswego
Speedway before Saturday. He hadn't even seen it in person before he arrived
at the historic upstate New York track in the morning. It didn't take the
three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion long, though, to find the
fast way around in his No. 2 Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Construction
Chevrolet. Coby led twice for a race-high 121 laps en route to capturing the
Toyota Mod Classic 140.
Saturday's win was the fourth of the season for the Milford, Connecticut,
driver, and his first since July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coby
extended his championship points lead to 20 over Justin Bonsignore, who
finished third, with four races remaining. Timmy Solomito finished second.
After Bonsignore, Rob Summers and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five.
Chuck Hossfeld, filling in for Jimmy Blewett in the No. 4, finished sixth.
Rowan Pennink was seventh, followed by Chase Dowling, Ron Silk and Craig
Coby qualified second behind Coors Light Pole Award winner Bobby Santos,
and led the first 61 laps on the .625-mile oval. After pitting and coming
out 11th, he quickly worked his way back up through the field and took the
lead from Rowan Pennink on Lap 91. Coby beat Solomito to the checkered by
.812 seconds. With his 21st career win, Coby moved into sole possession of
seventh place on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour all-time wins list. He is
seven behind Mike Ewanitsko.
A light field of 21 cars were on hand. The smartest decision of the race
had to be that made by Melissa Fifield who chose to stay home and avoid the
continued embarrassment of being told to park it for going too slow!
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on Saturday, Sept.
10, for the AnytimeRealty.com 150 at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its third and final visit of the
2016 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 7th Annual VMRS 80. Taking
the checkered flag was Jon McKennedy after a dramatic unfolding of events
over the final laps of the race. Both Woody Pitkat and McKennedy had the
wick turned up to full as they were running their fastest laps of the race
in the closing laps. McKennedy was slowly reeling Pitkat in and with 2 laps
to go, the margin was .399 seconds after Pitkat was nearly a full second
The race complexion changed drastically with 78 laps complete. Ted
Christopher and Richard Savary got together with Savary bouncing off the
wall while in turn 1, Pitkat was going by the lapped car of Colbey Fournier
when they made contact as the caution was coming out for Savary in turn 4.
Pitkat had a flat right front tire and he had to come to pit road for a new
tire, which put McKennedy and Pennink on the front row for the green white
checkered restart. McKennedy took the lead with Pennink and Gallup behind
him. The caution came out again for a multicar spin in turn 4 involving
several cars to set up another green white checkered restart.
McKennedy took the lead with Pennink sticking right with him. Jeff Gallup
was third with Dave Etheridge in fourth. Pennink couldn’t get close enough
to McKennedy as McKennedy took down his first VMRS win at Stafford. Gallup
finished third with Etheridge and Dylan Kopec rounding out the top-5.
In regular Friday night NASCAR racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway taking
feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature, Josh Wood in the
Late Model feature, David Arute in the SK Light feature, Cliff Saunders in
the Limited Late Model feature, and Tyler Trott in the DARE Stock feature.
For Rocco the win was three-fold. It was his fourth anniversary married
to Cassie Ceravolo, it stretched his win streak at Stafford to 12 years
running and it was his 43rd overall victory at the track. It was no easy
task as he diced it out with Ted Christopher for the victory. Steven Kopcik
finished third with Dan Avery fourth and Rowan Pennink fifth.
Congratulations to David Arute in garnering his first SK Lite win. Arute
is the son of Stafford CEO Mark Arute and the grandson of the late Jack
The action shifted to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday
night. Ronnie Williams picked up his first career SK Modified feature
victory Other winners were Tony Membrino Jr. who won the SK Light Modified
feature; Keith Rocco who won the Late Model feature; Al Stone III who won
the Limited Sportsman feature and Jacob Perry won the Mini Stock feature.
Williams made the pass for the lead out of turn four coming to the
checkered flag. Ted Christopher finished second. Matt Galko finished third
with Tom Abele Jr. and Diego Monahan rounding out the top five.Rocco got his
fourth consecutive victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature. It was the
seventh victory overall. The 14-year old rookie Jacob Perry got his second
consecutive victory and third win overall in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
Keith Rocco who recorded one win in the Late Model division at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl and one in the SK Modifieds at the Stafford Motor
Speedway brought his Waterford track win total to 133 wins. The wins also
took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 232 wins which also
include victories at Thompson and 43 at Stafford Speedway.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Martin Truex Jr. held off Kevin Harvick to
score his second victory of the season and his first in Darlington’s Labor
Day classic. Elliott Sadler held off a furious late-race challenge from
Denny Hamlin to win Saturday’s VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR
XFINITY Series race at Darlington Raceway. Ryan Preece recorded a career
high tenth place finish.
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891.Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.E-Mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit