September 29, 2017
Sixty five years ago in 1952 Joe McNulty won the final Wednesday
night Sportsman feature of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Bud Matter made it three in a row in Claiming Car action. The shoreline oval
shifted to Sundays with twin 25 lap Sportsman features which were won by Ray
Delisle and Fred Luchesi.
Sixty years ago in 1957, the New
London-Waterford shifted to Sunday afternoon programs. George Lombardo, who
normally raced at the Plainville Stadium was up for the occasion as he took
the win in the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval. Arnie Harris
was the non-Ford winner.
Fifty five years ago in 1962, Dick
Beauregard won the 25 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bobby
Santos Sr won the 35 lap Connecticut State Bomber Championship.
Fifty years ago in 1967, the season
was slowly but surely winding down. The only action was at Stafford where
Gene Bergin made it three in a row and locked up the first asphalt modified
championship by taking a hard fought win over Dick Watson and Bob Melnick.
Rounding out the top five were Fred Harbach and Jerry Wheeler. Bill Slater
was crowned the Sportsman Champion. The midgets also ran at Stafford that
weekend with Lou Fray taking the win over George Monson. Dick Dunn recorded
a Modified win at Waterford. The only other action was the All-Star League
which ran on the dirt at the 1-1/8 mile Nazareth Speedway. Frankie Schneider
took the win over Will Cagle, Dick Havens, Sonny Hutchins and Lee
Forty five years ago in 1972, many of
the modified teams in he northeast were making preparations for the
following week’s Race of Champions at the Trenton Fairgrounds in New Jersey.
Waterford ran their season ending 50 lapper which was won by Dick Dunn in
Budda's Bullet owned by Al Gaudreau. Dick Dunn was declared the Modified
Champion and Ron Cote, the Daredevil Champion at Waterford for the 1972
Forty years ago in 1977, for the
second week in a row, rain washed out the 300 lap All Star event at Islip as
well as a scheduled 100 lapper at Seekonk and a 30 lap event at Thompson.
Thirty five years ago in 1982, the
NASCAR Modifieds visited the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine for a 100-lap
event. The third mile oval provided some hot competition but when all was
said and done, Richie Evans sat in victory lane. George Kent finished second
and was followed by Dave Thomas, Bob Park, Jerry Cook, Brian Ross, George
Murray and Mike McLaughlin. Waterford ran a 50 lapper for the Modifieds,
which saw Glynn Shafer take the top spot over Dickie Doo Ceravolo and Randy
LaJoie. Brian McCarthy won the Super Stock event. On Saturday night at the
Shangri-La Speedway, Jim Spencer took the win with Richie Evans, second and
Jerry Cook, third. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, N.C., Darrell
Waltrip won both the pole and the race
Thirty years ago in 1987, Mike
McLaughlin scored a convincing win as he won the Annual Thompson 300. Doug
Hevron finished second with Brian Ross, George Kent and Dave Reszendes
rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher won the 50 lap SK-Modified event
over Ronnie Rocco and Bob Potter. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville,
Darrell Waltrip took the win with Dale Earnhardt finishing in second spot.
Twenty five years ago in 1992, rain
again washed out the entire weekend of racing.
Twenty years ago in 1997, Jim
Broderick won his fourth of the season at Waterford on Saturday night. Don
Fowler finished second with Mark LaJunesse, third. At the Fall Final 300 at
Stafford, Tim Connolly took the lead on the final lap and scored a popular
win. Jerry Marquis finished second and was followed by Rick Fuller, Tony
Hirschman and Ed Flemke jr. Ricky Fuller drew the pole and led the first 149
laps. Reggie Ruggiero led from lap 150 to173 before giving way to Jan Leaty
who led from lap 174 to 186.Fuller led again from 187 to 235 when he pitted
for tires. Connolly assumed the point and led the way until lap 237 when he
gave way to Marquis. During the last five laps, Connolly charged to the
front from fourth spot. In SK modified action, Bill Sharp went pole to pole,
crossed the line first and was disqualified because of illegal cylinder
heads Mike Christopher was awarded the win with Bob Potter, second. Winston
Cup action at Martinsville was rained out and the event was run on Monday.
Rusty Wallace was leading with 20 laps to go when NASCAR said he jumped a
restart and black-flagged him in for a stop and go which handed the win to
Jeff Burton. Dale Earnhardt finished second. Wallace was later fined for
swearing on TV and was fined $5,000 which he paid in pennies (500,000).
Fifteen years ago in 2002 The NASCAR
Featherlite Modified Tour Series and the Busch North Series were at Stafford
for the Fall Final-Twin 150s. Both Touring series were well represented with
48 Featherlite Modifieds and 34 Busch North cars in the pit area. Chuck
Hossfeld, fresh of his recent win at Loudon was the Busch Pole Sitter as he
toured the half-mile oval in 18.369 seconds. Mike Johnson was the Busch
North Series pole sitter. His time was 20.004. The big surprise of the day
was the fact that Ted Christopher failed to qualify his Busch North Series
entry. A capacity crowd was on hand. Chuck Hossfeld and car owner Bob
Garbarino made the decision to go non-stop. Mike Stefanik and car owner Art
Barry decided to do it with one stop with the hopes of fresh rubber giving
them the edge at the finish. Needless to say, Stefanik and Barry made the
right call, as they were able to over power Hossfeld on lap 91. Stefanik
pitted relatively early on lap 59 and passed many of those ahead of him when
they pitted on lap 84. With the exception of a brief moment when Hossfeld
took the lead back from lap 126 to 128 Stefanik remained in control.
Stefanik’s win coupled with Ed Flemke’s misfortune; put the defending
Featherlite Modified Tour Series champion in the point lead. David Berghman
had the big steam at the end but had to settle for second spot in the final
order. Hossfeld held on to finish third with Jerry Marquis and Ted
Christopher rounding out the top five. Flemke had his hopes dashed on lap 92
when his car suffered terminal damage after a confrontation with Joey
Caraccia. Flemke was very upset over the fact that he was taken out of the
event and possibly out of the championship picture.
The series point standings showed Mike Stefanik in the lead by 8 points
over Jerry Marquis. Chuck Hossfeld sat in third spot, 44 points behind the
leader. Rounding out the top five were Ted Christopher and Ed Flemke. Sixth
through tenth were Rick Fuller, Todd Szegedy, Nevin George, David Berghman
and Jamie Tomaino.
Ten years ago in 2007, the 2007
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour converged on the Stafford Motor Speedway for the
annual Fall Final. There were 39 Modifieds on hand for qualifying. Eric
Beers who has not been a tour regular this year was the Busch Pole sitter as
he toured the half-mile oval in 18.267 second fastest. Second fastest was
Doug Coby who was pinch-hitting for Dick Houlihan. Current point leader
Donny Lia was third fastest. Rounding out the top five in time trials were
Todd Szegedy and Ronnie Silk. The re-draw for starting positions for the 150
lap Fall Final saw Szegedy picking the pole with Lia picking the outside
pole. Lia knew he needed to finish ninth or better to wrap up the
championship for himself and car owner Bob Garbarino. He did it with two
positions to spare as he finished seventh. Lia led only one lap and was
content to pace himself and stay out of trouble as Mike Stefanik went on to
take the win. Stefanik passed Matt Hirschman on lap 91 to take the lead. Ted
Christopher followed but was shuffled back to third spot on lap 115 after a
bump and grind with Tony Hirschman. Hirschman held off Christopher to finish
second. Matt Hirschman finished fourth with Ronnie Silk, fifth. Eight
caution periods for 42 laps kept Stefanik’s average speed at 63.395 mph.
Carl Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, Jerry Marquis and Billy Pauch JR were
eliminated in wrecks. Jamie Tomaino lost an engine and Woody Pitkat retired
with suspension problems.
There was joy in Mystic CT and joy on Long Island at Jericho. For Bob
Garbarino, winning the Whelen Modified Tour Series Championship was a life
long dream. Garbarino has built and owned NASCAR Modifieds since the early
1960s and has raced them from Maine to North Carolina. From humble
beginnings at the Waterford Speedbowl Garbarino has become one of the most
professional and well respected car owners in the Modified division. Before
the days of the Troyer chassis and the Hutter engines Garbarino fabricated
his own chassis and built his own engines in a single one car garage that is
attached to his home. Many top named drivers have sat in the seat of
Garbarino Modifieds known as the Mystic Missile Don Bachand, Dick Watson,
Joe Kelly, Leo Cleary, Gene Bergin, SJ Evonsion, Eddie Flemke, Geoff Bodine,
Brian Ross, Bugsy Stevens, Jerry Marquis and Tim Connelly are a few that
come to mind. All of his many years of hard work came to bare last Sunday
night as the impact of winning the championship settled in. Through it all
and equally deserving is Joan Garbarino who has served as scorer, trip
planner, lots of patience and moral support. For Lia it was also a first for
him. Lia cut his racing teeth at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island and
honed is skills on bigger tracks from Connecticut to Florida. Lia’s record
for the season includes six wins and 11 top fives in 15 races.
The Stafford Motor Speedway closed out its 2007 NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series season with the 35th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend.
Woody Pitkat capped a spectacular 2007 SK Modified season by capturing his
8th feature victory of the year, but it was Ted Christopher who locked up
the championship by 34 points over Pitkat with a second place finish. In the
40-lap Late Model feature, it was 16-year old Dillon Moltz driving to his
second feature win of the season with Corey Hutchings taking the Late Model
title in his rookie season at Stafford with a third place finish. The 50-lap
SK Modified® feature took the green flag with Wade Mattesen taking the lead
from John Cleary on the opening lap of the race. Mattesen held the race lead
until lap-3 when Woody Pitkat made a hard charge to move from third place to
the lead. Once Pitkat was out front, he put on a dominating drive to score
his eighth feature victory of the 2007 season. Pitkat had Ted Christopher
chasing him for much of the race and several caution periods kept the two
cars in close proximity. But the final 22 laps of the race ran green and
Pitkat was never seriously challenged by Christopher as he slowly extended
his lead lap by lap. Christopher finished second with Ken Barry, Brad
Hietala, and Bo Gunning rounding out the top-5.
A penalty for speeding on pit road sent Kyle Busch to the back of the
pack. All he did after that, with the help of a lot of yellow flags, was
pass everyone else on the track. Busch slipped inside of Matt Kenseth with
just over 17 laps to go, then held off Kenseth's challenges after a late
restart to win Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. Busch's car
failed the post-race inspection because the intake manifold did not meet
NASCAR specifications. Kenseth dove inside the white line just before the
finish of the Yellow Transportation 300, but couldn't slip past Busch's No.
5 Chevrolet. Busch won by .085 of a second on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, his
third victory in his last six races and the 10th of his career. In Nextel
Cup racing, darkness finally ended the disaster at Kansas Speedway, where
the Chase for the championship field imploded and the finish of Sunday's
event was in question long after winner Greg Biffle crossed the finish line.
Biffle scored his first win of the season by winning a race that was stopped
twice for rain delays, was shortened 85 miles because of darkness, ended
under caution and saw six Chase drivers finish 29th or worse. And when
Biffle's sputtering car slowed before the finish line, title contenders
Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson passed him and both believed they finished
ahead of him. Johnson, who finished third to reclaim the points lead, said
Biffle wasn't the winner. “NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Biffle was
the winner because the race ended under caution, the field was frozen and
passing is not allowed under caution.
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.
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