RPW Exclusive: Looking Back A Bit With Phil Smith – First Week Of August

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Sixty five years ago in 1953, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Legary was the non-Ford winner. Saturday night winners at the Speedbowl were Ray Delisle in the Sportsman and Bud Matter in the non-Fords.

Sixty years ago in 1958, Red Foote was the Wednesday night Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Sam Mazzella was the non-Ford winner. Wild Bill Slater, who had recently taken over the driving chores of the Bombacci – Vitarri Connecticut Valley Rocket V-8 recorded his first win, a 50 lapper. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner.

Fifty five years ago in 1963 Area Auto Racing News reported that Eddie Flemke recorded another win at Old Bridge Speedway in New Jersey. Dick Watson was the 25 lap Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Dostie was the Bomber winner. Ernie Gahan won on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway.

Fifty years ago in 1968, the Lee Raceway ran an open competition modified event. Leo Cleary, one of the top guns at the Norwood Arena took the win driving the Joe Brady No.41. Stafford cancelled because of rain, early on Friday, allowing competitors ample time to get to the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Cleary made the trip worth while as he took the 30-lap win over Bugsy Stevens, Eddie Flemke, Jerry Cook and Dave Kotary. Cleary tried to carry his winning ways over to Norwood but his efforts fell short as Johnny Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 took the win. Fonda ran a 50 lapper with Lou Lazzaro taking the win over Jerry Cook and Eddie Pieniezek. Walt Dombrowski was the Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Gilbert was the Daredevil winner. Don MacTavish, in the Wright-Zauntner No.24 that had been vacated by Kenny Shoemaker took the win at Thompson on Sunday night. At Utica-Rome, Richie Evans ruled the roost as he beat out Dave Lape for the win. Sonny Seamon, Robbie Kotary and Rene Charland rounded out the top five. Leo Cleary used his time at Malta to good advantage as he came back on the following Tuesday to win the All Star League 100. Fred DeSarro finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook, Don MacTavish and Bugsy Stevens.

Forty five years ago in 1973, Albany-Saratoga started the weekend off with a 30 lapper. Jerry Cook took the win. Denis Giroux finished second with Bugsy Stevens, third. Double points were up for grabs at Stafford on Saturday and Bugsy Stevens was there to take the top spot. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by Fred DeSarro and Bobby Santos. Maynard Troyer went two for two as he won at Tioga on Saturday and Utica-Rome on Sunday. Charlie Jarzombek cleaned house at Islip as he beat out Jim Hendrickson, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook. Dick Dunn in the Al and Peg Gaudreau No.3 scored a one-two punch at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won a 100 lap Open Competition event on Wednesday and backed it up with a 30 lap Modified win on Saturday night. Big Mike Daignault was the Grand American Late Model winner on Saturday at the Connecticut shoreline oval. Monadnock ran a 100 lapper on Sunday with Bobby Santos taking the win over Brian Ross and Ray Miller.

Forty years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine continued his domination of the Yankee All Star League as he won the Wednesday night 100 lapper at Seekonk. George Summers finished second with Fred DeSarro, third. Maynard Troyer had a grand slam as he went four for four as he won at Lancaster on Wednesday, Spencer on Friday, Lancaster again on Saturday and Utica-Rome on Sunday. A 100 lapper scheduled for Stafford on Friday was rained out but the skies stayed clear at Monadnock where Punky Caron took the win. Rain washed out Waterford and Riverhead on Saturday but at Seekonk, Traveling Man, Pete Fiandaca held off Geoff Bodine and Ron Bouchard for the win. At Riverside it was Stan Gregger and on Sunday at Thompson, it rained.

Thirty five years ago in 1983,Thompson ran a Thompson 300 qualifier on Wednesday. Greg Sacks blew away the competition. Richie Evans and Bugsy Stevens followed. Friday at Stafford, Brett Bodine beat out Greg Sacks and Jeff Fuller. Spencer ran a 100 lapper with Richie Evans taking the win over George Kent and Mike McLaughlin. Saturday at Oswego it was Evans again with Brian Ross, a close second. Stan Gregger got his sixth win of the season at Riverside and Eddie StAngelo won a 100 lapper at Seekonk. Jan Leaty won twin events at Tioga. At Thompson, on Sunday, it rained. Other weekend winners included Fred Harbach at Riverhead, John Blewett jr. at New Egypt and Roger Treichler at Lancaster. In Winston Cup action at Talledega, Cale Yarborough set a new pole qualifying record of 201.774mph but Dale Earnhardt took the win.

Thirty years ago in 1988, Riverhead hosted the mod tour series on Wednesday for a 201-lap event. Bob Park took the win over Reggie Ruggiero and Wayne Anderson. Ruggiero got his sixth of the season at Monadnock on Friday and at Stafford, Ted Christopher and Jerry Pearl finished one-two. Waterford ran twin features on Saturday night with Ricky Young and John Anderson sharing victory lane. Jerry Marquis won at Riverside and Dan Jivenelli won at Riverhead. Oswego hosted the Modifieds and it was Mike McLaughlin taking the win.

Twenty five years ago, in 1993, the Mod Tour Series visited Holland on Thursday. The event, with a lean $39,325 purse only drew 23 cars. Jeff Fuller took the win with his brother Rick, second. On Friday, Stafford canceled after 20 laps because of fog. At Waterford on Saturday, David Gada beat out Jim Broderick and Bob Potter for the win and at Riverhead; Dan Jivenelli scored a victory over Ed Brunnhoelzl. During the running of the tracks figure eight division feature, driver Bill Batsche lost control of his car and smashed into the fourth turn wall. Several officials who perhaps were standing where they shouldn’t have been were injured. Track co-promoter, Barbara Cromarty suffered eight broken ribs and two broken legs. At Riverside, Jerry Marquis held off Chris Kopec for the win.

Twenty years ago, in 1998, the Modified Tour Series ran at Thompson on Wednesday night. Mike Stefanik scored his 9th win of the season after taking the lead from Ed Flemke Jr. on lap 67 of the 150-lap event. Tim Connolly finished second and was followed by Chris Kopec and Tony Ferrente Jr. Scott Quinn was the SK modified winner. Mike Christopher scored his third win of the season at Stafford on Friday night. At Waterford on Saturday, Dennis Gada scored his fourth win and in the late Models, Alan Coates got his eighth win of the season. At Riverside, Ed Spiers held off Bob Polverari for the win. The mods and Busch North divisions were at Loudon on Sunday. Stefanik made it ten for the season, taking the lead from Reggie Ruggiero on the final lap. Jan Leaty suffered a fractured skull in a crash during warm-ups when his left rear tire went down and he hit the wall, very hard. Dale Shaw was the BGNN winner. At the Winston Cup Brickyard 400, Jeff Gordon won the event plus the No-Bull $1million bonus. Dale Jarrett was by far the fastest before running out of gas and losing four laps. Jarrett made them up but ran out of time. Mark Martin finished second.

Fifteen years ago in 2003 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Riverhead raceway on Long Island on Saturday night. Donnie Lia, a native Long Islander and rookie contender on the tour scored his first tour series win on home turf. Lia started on the pole and with the exception of laps 43 through 46 led every lap of the 200-lap contest. Frank Vigliarolo caught Lia on a re-start but his position at the point didn’t last as Lia powered by in short order. Riverhead regular Chuck Steuer was the Busch Pole sitter and drew a seventh starting spot. Steuer ended his night in 19th spot as a result of a defective tire. Ted Christopher finished second, over two seconds behind the leader. Howie Brode, another Riverhead regular, finished third. Attrition was extremely high as only six finished on the lead lap. Vigliarolo finished fourth and was followed by Jamie Tomaino and Chuck Hossfeld. Rounding out the top ten were Jerry Marquis, John Blewett III and Jimmie Broderick, one lap down, and Wayne Anderson, three laps down. Eight caution periods for 61 laps kept the average speed of the race at 36.526 mph. Series point leader Todd Szegedy lost a little ground in his quest for the series title as he finished 15th, 20 laps down. Lia’s share of the $64,175 purse was $5,700. In Thursday night Thunder action at Thompson, Kerry Malone went pole to pole to record his first win in quite a while. Bert Marvin finished second and was followed by Bob Santos III, Bo Gunning, Ron Yuhas Jr., Eric Berndt, Jeff Malave and Todd Ceravolo. Jim Broderick relieved Malave mid-race Malave was recuperating from broken bones in his hand. David Berghman was the Pro Stock winner. Other winners included Charles Bailey in the Late Models, Shawn Monahan in the Limited Sportsman and Rod Rixham in the Mini-Stocks. Rain played havoc at the Stafford Speedway. Heavy showers in the Connecticut area forced speedway officials to pull the plug on the night’s activities. At the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night, Dennis Gada made up for lost ground as he out-ran Ed Reed Jr. to take the win in the 35 lap SK-Modified main event. Jeff Pearl finished third. The NEMA Midgets were on hand for the annual Boston Louie Memorial event. Joey Paine Jr. was awarded the win after apparent winner Randy Cabral was found to have been too wide, about an inch in wheelbase. This is the third time this has happened during the year in the NEMA ranks. Bruce Thomas Jr. was the Late Model winner. Charlie Pasteryak was the Legends Car winner and Jim Procaccini was the limited Sportsman winner. Kelly Moore took the win in the Busch North Series event at Seekonk In Winston Cup action in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Kevin Harvick took the win over Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. Brian Vickers was the winner of the Busch Racing Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Ten years ago in 2008, The third event of the four race WaterSnoGo Modified Showdown took place on Saturday, July 26 at the All-Star Speedway in Epping, NH. With no other major Modified event scheduled for the weekend, a large number of entries were received for the prestigious event. The race was 125 green flag laps in length, paying $5,000 to the winner. Matt Hirschman won his fourth race in a row after he led the race from start to finish. Jon McKennedy finished second and was followed by Chris Pasteryak, Jimmy Kuhn, Jr and Ryan Preece. Sixth through tenth were Ken Barry, Mike Ordway Jr., Jimmy Blewett, Ronnie Silk and Mike Stefanik.

The Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder program was cancelled as heavy rains and severe thunderstorms caused the management of the Thompson International Speedway to pull the plug as the speedway complex was all but flooded out.

The Whelen All-American Series NASCAR race event at Stafford Motor Speedway featured the 5th Annual CARQUEST SK 150. Woody Pitkat scored the $4,000 winner’s check by coming back from a flat tire, which put him two laps down at one point with a late race pass for the win. Joe Rzeszutek wired the field in the 30-lap Late Model feature for his first win of the 2008 season, Harry Wheeler became a first-time career winner in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Andrew Durand nailed down his second feature victory of the 2008 season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Jeff Jolly scored his first win of the 2008 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event.
In the 150-lap SK Modified feature event, Todd Owen took the lead from the pole and led the first 9 laps before giving way to Chris Jones on lap-16. Jones led to lap-27 when Frank Ruocco took over the lead. Ruocco then led to lap-54 when Keith Rocco took the lead on a restart, but Ruocco would retake the lead on lap-56. Ruocco remained out front until lap-93 when Ronnie Silk moved to the point. Silk then held the lead up to lap-102 when Ruocco went back out front. Ruocco held the race lead until Silk beat Ruocco back to the start/finish line on lap-124 with the caution coming out one lap later.

Silk held the point through lap-138. On a restart on lap-139, Rocco charged into the lead with a great move in turn 3, but a determined Silk moved back to the point several laps later on lap-141. Woody Pitkat, who had earlier spun with a flat tire and lost two laps, gained his two laps back with lucky dog awards and was now in the thick of the mix for the race lead and the battle for the win. Pitkat moved to second on lap-142 and he took the race lead for the first time on lap-143. Ruocco got back to second, but it was too late for him to catch Pitkat, who took down his third feature victory of the 2008 season. Ruocco came home second, with Rocco, Kenny Horton, and Jeff Malave rounding out the top-5. Pre-race favorite Ted Christopher, who was celebrating his fiftieth birthday, finished 23rd.

At the Waterford Speedbowl Doug Coby and Tyler Chadwick won the Town Fair Tire Night twin 35-lap SK Modified features. Other feature winners were Tim Jordan (Late Model), Al Stone III (Sportsman), Ben Bargnesi (Mini Stock), and Max Zachem (Legends).

In the first of two 35-lap SK Modified features, pole-sitter Doug Coby battled with Jeff Paul during the opening stages. Upon a restart with fifteen circuits remaining the leader faltered, causing a chain-reaction that damaged several top cars, most able to return after going pitside. Entering the midway point, it was again Coby and Paul, with Rob Janovic Jr. closing quickly. During the final laps, Coby took total command. Rounding-out the top-5 was Paul, Janovic, Jeff Pearl, and Shawn Monahan. Starting from the pole, young Tyler Chadwick led the entire measure of the caution-filled SK Modified nightcap to snare his first-ever victory. Not an easy feat, he held-off the advances of some of the Speedbowl’s best including Doug Coby, Jeff Paul, and defending champion Dennis Gada during several tense late-race restarts. Following the winner was Paul, Coby, Gada, and Jeff Pearl.

The foreclosure issues at the shoreline oval were once again in the news. Somewhere in the neighborhood of around $22,000 in property taxes had not been paid. Rocco Arbitell who held the mortgage on the Speedbowl property said it’s the responsibility of Terry Eames. Eames claims it’s the responsibility of track operator Jerry Robinson The issue had become a war of words between the two. The outcome would be decided in court at a future date.

Kyle Busch led all but three laps Saturday night to win the Kroger 200, his sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the season. Busch’s win was Toyota’s 15th in 22 Nationwide races, but the first event since NASCAR’s mandate Wednesday to cut down the horsepower in Series engines knocked 15 horsepower out of Toyota’s engines. NASCAR changed the parameters after rival teams complained, even though Toyota was within the rules. Busch also won the event at O’Reilly Raceway Park in 2004. Polesitter Colin Braun finished second Saturday, and Mike Bliss moved up from 17th to finish third.

Jimmie Johnson celebrated his second Sprint Cup victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a burnout. Appropriately, one of his tires exploded. He was lucky he made it that long Sunday. Tire troubles derailed the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard when Goodyear’s product wasn’t durable enough to withstand more than 10 or so laps at a time. It created a chaotic and confusing caution-filled race that ended when Johnson outran Carl Edwards in a seven-lap sprint to the finish. Goodyear and NASCAR were left to explain why the 400-mile race became a debacle. The tire issue cropped up Saturday, when drivers learned during the first practice they could only last three to 10 laps before the rubber wore down to the cords. NASCAR and Goodyear hoped the conditions would improve as it has in years past, once enough rubber was laid on the track. But the first-time use of the Car of Tomorrow prevented any improvement. The lack of downforce on the car, combined with a higher center of gravity, created conditions that made it very hard on the right side tires. There were 11 yellow flags, and NASCAR had to throw six competition cautions to force teams to pit and change tires. It meant the longest green-flag run was an embarrassing 12 laps, causing teams to fear both tire failures and a possible supply shortage. Johnson fretted the final two stops, unsure what the right strategy would be. He took two tires on his final stop to emerge from pit road as the leader, then held off Edwards and Denny Hamlin over a final seven-lap green flag run to the finish line. Sprint Cup points leader Kyle Busch finished 15th. Busch was coming off a win Saturday night in the Nationwide Series Kroger 200 in Clermont, Ind. The win gave Toyota its 15th victory in 22 Nationwide races this season. It was Busch’s 15th win of the season spanning NASCAR’s three series, breaking the record of 14 set by Kevin Harvick in 2006.

Five years ago in 2013, Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway was cancelled due to rain for the second week in a row. Thursday marked the third time this year weather has affected the Valenti Modified Racing Series at Thompson. The division was scheduled to run a feature at the track on May 19, but that was cancelled because of rain.

Sunoco Modified competitor Dennis Perry was at the speedway and gave this report. “Went to Thompson today to grab a couple trucks and wow have they torn it up. Will be interesting to see how they run the show next week as there is barely any tar or grass in the pit area. The only tar is in the line where they have the tours pit and the road out back is all dirt now. Guess we will all be going old school and pitting in the dirt again. Just hope the idiots who come off the track ticked off don’t tear up the dirt roads so the nose on the mods drag”.

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the Whelen Modified Tour Series was in town. Doug Coby brought back fond memories of Geoff Bodine and Ray Hendrick who raced at Stafford back then and would lap the field on their way to victory. Coby did just that with a dominating run that put him in victory lane and back in contention to defend his series title. Ryan Preece, who continues to lead the point standings went from the penthouse to the outhouse on the next to last lap as he went from second spot to 16th after incurring a flat tire which resulted in a spin.

Donnie Lia, who has had a so-so season in the Mystic Missile reaped the benefits of Preece’s misfortune as he inherited the runner-up spot. Ted Christopher, pole sitter Bobby Santos and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Coby’s performance was so strong he was able to lap all but the top seven. following Silk on the lead lap was Eric Goodale and Woody Pitkat. Rounding out the top ten and down a lap were Mike Stefanik, Cole Powel and Ron Yuhas Jr. There were 26 Modifieds on hand for the event that drew a standing room only crowd.

In other Friday night action at Stafford, Eric Berndt was a first time winner on the season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray extended his streak of consecutive podium finishes to 11 with his fourth win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Ronnie Williams took down his second win in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Albert Saunders claimed his second win in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Brandon Michael scored his first win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Like Coby, Berndt reaped the benefits of Ryan Preece’s misfortune. Preece was the class of the SK Modified field but was the victim of contact and ultimately a spin by Dan Avery. It was a possible payback as Preece had moved Avery out of his way earlier in the event.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series returned to action Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Me. Steve Masse took the lead with seven laps to go and went on to win the 100 lapper. Anthony Nocella finished second with Chris Pasteryak, third. Richard Savory and Rowan Pennink rounded out the top five.
Masse started on the pole and led the first 63 laps before giving way to David Pinkham in a restart on lap 64. Pinkham led through lap 92 and then faded to finish 9th.

Action at the Waterford Speedbowl saw Diego Monahan go pole to pole, but had to survive nine caution flags before winning the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Other winners in the Speedbowl’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series were Keith Rocco in the Late Model feature, Bill Leonard in the Mini Stock race and Corey Barry in the SK Light Modified feature.

Monahan was lucky to be out front of a wild SK Modified race. In addition to the nine caution flags, Monahan had to endure 13 restart attempts. Point leaders Rocco and Todd Ceravolo of Gales Ferry found themselves among the lead pack only to meet misfortune over the event. Rocco spun off turn four on lap 11, restarted at the rear and worked back up to the front only to get caught up in another incident battling Tyler Chadwick for third on lap 21. After pitting for a flat left rear tire, Rocco got back into contention for the win and had the final shot at Monahan on the final restart with two laps remaining. He lined up outside of Monahan, but couldn’t find any traction in the top groove of the track and Monahan went on to record his first win since 2007. Rocco finished in second while Ceravolo rebounded from a spin on lap-17 to come back for third.

Down in the south land at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC twin 50’s for the NASCAR Modifieds were run on Friday night and the NASCAR Southern Modified tour visited on Saturday night.

Tim Brown, who registered his 69th career victory and was two away from matching Junior Miller’s record total, held off challenges by Dean Ward, who was the fastest qualifier for the first time this season, and then Burt Myers, to win the first 50 lapper. In the second 50 lapper, Jason Myers survived a three-lap drag race with pole-sitter Tommy Neal and then fended off challenges from Danny Bohn through four more restarts on the way to his fourth victory of the season and 14th overall.

Ryan Preece usually competes at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday nights. This week he turned right instead of turning left at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge exit as he headed to North Carolina. The 700 plus mile drive paid off as he won the pole starting position and after leading all 199 laps at the flat quarter mile speedway, recorded his first win in NASCAR’s Whelen Southern Modified Tour. Preece survived nine restarts and was able to outdistance Burt Myers who finished second.

Canadian driver Cole Powell finished third for the second straight year in the tour race at Bowman Gray. Danny Bohn was fourth, and Tim Brown fifth. Woody Pitkat, who also made the the 12 hour trip, fell on misfortune and finished 19th.

At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island twin 30’s were run for the Modifieds. Timmy Solomito and Howie Brode took the wins.

Brad Keselowski overcame an early pit road penalty and overheating issues to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Kasey Kahne beat out Jeff Gordon in the Pocono Sprint Cup event.
Tony Stewart’s championship chances were officially over for the season. The three-time NASCAR champion broke his right leg Monday night at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, where he flipped his 360 winged sprint car while leading with five laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. He had surgery Tuesday on the upper and lower parts of his leg, and Stewart-Haas Racing said he’ll need a second surgery.

He remained hospitalized and there was no timetable for his return to racing. Max Papis was tabbed to replace Stewart this weekend in the No. 14 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen, where Stewart is a five-time winner and his streak of 521 consecutive starts would end.

Last year, 2017, The Stafford Speedway played host to the Whelen Modified Tour Series along with their weekly venue of Friday night racing. Ryan Preece, who just confirmed he would compete in the NASCAR Infinity Series VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 23, won the WMT 150 after starting last because officials determined that his car was too low, won the Modified Tour event while Stephen Kopcik, scored his very first career SK Modified® feature victory, Michael Bennett won the Late Model feature, Dan Wesson, the SK Light feature, Al Saunders, the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson took the checkered flag first in the DARE Stock feature but he was found to have an illegal timing chain in his engine and he was disqualified from the feature, making Johnny Walker the winner.

There were 28 cars on hand. Preece took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn’t look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30. Although it looked like Coby was en route to winning for the 11th time at Stafford after leading 135 laps, a few late caution flags allowed the rest of the field to close to his back bumper. After a multiple car crash on the frontstretch on lap 144, Preece got his chance at Coby, lining up to his outside on a restart with just two laps remaining. When the green flag flew, Preece used the outside lane and powered around Coby going into turn one. He never looked back. Justin Bonsignore finished third. Timmy Solomito took the championship points lead with a fourth-place finish, while Jon McKennedy completed the top five.

Rob Summers was sixth, followed by Dave Sapienza, Craig Lutz, Gary Putnam and Matt Swanson. Rowan Pennink, who held the points lead coming into the event, finished 17th and is seven points behind Solomito. Preece is fifth in points, one behind Eric Goodale and Bonsignore and 26 back of Solomito.

There were 9 caution flags, which consumed 43 laps. The first caution flew on lap 36 when Ted Christopher slowed in turn two. Max Zachem got into the back of Christopher after Christopher slowed. He was running just inside the top five when he slowed. The second caution flew on lap 45 for Wade Cole who took a trip into the wall in turn one. The third caution came on lap 60 for Walter Sutcliffe and Gary McDonald who came together in turn four. The fourth caution flew on lap 100 for Shawn Solomito who spun in turn two. The fifth caution ended up a red flag as a crash on the backstretch collected Rowan Pennink, Max Zachem and Calvin Carroll. Yellow No. 6 was for debris in turn one. Ronnie Williams and Brendon Bock spun in turn three on lap 126 for caution 7. Caution No. 8 was for Bobby Santos who spun in turn two. The ninth and final caution came on lap 144 when Andrew Krause, Ronnie Williams and Woody Pitkat got collected when Eric Goodale didn’t go on a restart and was clobbered by Rowan Pennink.

Keith Rocco continued to rule the roost as he took down the 35-lap SK Feature for the fourth time in 2017, and for the 142nd time in his career. It was Todd Owen’s grabbing the lead as the green flag flew. It wasn’t long for Teddy Christopher to power his way to the lead. With Christopher pacing the field it was Rocco working around the high side to move into second. The Berlin, CT driver used the inside groove to move past Christopher and had to hold off a quick charging Kyle James and cruised to the checkered flag for the win. Rounding out the top five was Rocco, Kyle James, Christopher, Owens and Dylan Izzo.

Other winners at the Connecticut shoreline oval were: Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series (35-laps) Joshua Stringer, NLWS Trucks (Combination Race) Joshua Stringer, Limited Sportsman (25-laps) Chris Meyer, Pro 4 Modifieds (25-laps) Rob Richard, SK Lite Modifieds (25-laps) Andrew Molleur and Mini Stock (25-laps) Wayne Burroughs.

Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead notched his third NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified win of 2017 Saturday night in the Elvis Night 50 and in the process took over the championship lead by 1 point over John Fortin Sr. 403 to 402. The triumph was the 46th of Tom’s NASCAR Modified career moving him to just 4 wins behind Jim Malone Sr. on the all time win list, Malone won 50 times at the historic quarter mile oval.
Dillon Steuer was runner-up while Howie Brode crossed the line third. Chris Young and Dave Brigati were in the hunt all race long and rounded out the top five at the finish.

Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on Saturday night, Danny Bohn was looking for his first win of the season at the North Carolina track, but Jason Myers, Burt Myers, John Smith, and Brandon Ward had other ideas on their minds. The four drivers each had a shot at up to $12,000 via the Fan’s Challenge, which was a challenge accepted by all. While they contested their battle, it was James Civali and Bohn who fought it out for the race win, with Bohn ultimately taking his first Bowman Gray checkered flag of the season
Civali started first via the redraw and held the position for the first 78 laps, only to have it taken after Bohn got the perfect restart, jumping out front and leading them back to the line. After that, it was all Bohn, who lived up to his “Bad to the Bohn” moniker, fending off a late charge by Civali and winning for the first time of the season at “The Madhouse.”

Bohn started in the ninth position, but made his way through the field by the time his golden opportunity came up, and he made the most of it. He worked his way around Civali, but not without controversy, as Bohn appeared to have possibly jumped the start while making contact with Civali.
While Bohn and Civali were slugging it out for the lead, Smith, Jason Myers, and Burt Myers were racing to get into the top four to win the Fan’s Challenge after Brandon Ward retired early.

Jason and Burt Myers both made their ways through the field rather methodically, while John Smith was on the hunt from the word go. In the end, all three drivers found their way to the top ten, and then top five, and battled it out for the $12,000 Fan’s Challenge. When all was said and done, Civali settled second, followed by John Smith in third, Jason Myers in fourth, and Joe Ryan Osborne completing the top five. Point leader Burt Myers finished sixth.
Because of the fact that Jason Myers and John Smith finished in the top four, both drivers split the $12,000 prize evenly, with $6,000 to Jason Myers and $6,000 to John Smith.

Northeast Dirt Modified racing driver Brett Hearn celebrated with fans, fellow competitors and track officials at New York’s Albany-Saratoga Speedway after winning for the 900th time on Friday night!

In NASCAR Monster Energy Cup racing, Martin Truex Jr. played the fuel mileage game perfectly on Sunday at Watkins Glen Int’l, holding off Matt Kenseth to win the I Love New York 355 at The Glen. Despite spinning from the lead during the first stage, Kyle Busch drove to a dominant victory in Saturday’s Zippo 200 At The Glen NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen Int’l.

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, RI.

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