Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Sixty five years ago in 1953, Freddy Luchesi was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ray Delisle was the 100 lap Mid-Summer Championship on Saturday night. Bud Matter and Lou Tetreault were the non-Ford winners.
Sixty years ago in 1958 Ray Moran won his first and second of three in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday. Dick Beauregard and Don Bachand were the non-Ford winners.
Fifty five years ago in 1963, Area Auto Racing News was promoting what was to be the first Trenton Modified 200 which bring the best Modified drivers from the north and south together for what would become a mid-August tradition.at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds 1 mile speedway. Among the weekly winners were Pete Corey on the dirt at Stafford, Hank Stevens at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Tom Green at Old Bridge, Mario “Fats” Caruso at Fort Dix (New Egypt) and Richie Massing at Wall Stadium.
Fifty years ago, in 1968, Bugsy Stevens added another win to his record at Stafford as he beat out Bobby Santos, Billy Harman, Smokey Boutwell and Tom Sutcliff. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Phil Spiak took a surprise win. Don MacTavish finished second with Pete Corey; third, Dave Lape and Richie Evans rounded out the top five. In other Friday night action, Eddie Brunnhoelzl Sr. won at Riverhead. Norwood Arena had the Bay State 200 scheduled but the event fell victim to rain. Ron Narducci beat out Jerry Cook and Andy Romano for a 100 lap win at Fonda. Newt Palm was the Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet was the Late Model Darevevil winner at the shoreline oval. Roger Treichler won a 30 lapper at Lancaster. At Thompson, on Sunday, Eddie Flemke took the win and at Utica-Rome, Dave Kotary won a 50 lapper over Lou Lazzaro, Ed Pieniezek, Ron Narducci and Richie Evans.
Forty five years ago in 1973, Albany-Saratoga ran a 100 lapper. Bugsy Stevens took the win and was followed by Eddie Flemke and Denis Giroux. At Stafford on Saturday night it was Daring Dick Caso in the Billy Simons Excavator No.9 taking the win over Leo Cleary and Ronnie Bouchard. Bill Scrivener was the 30 lap Modified feature winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Nels Wohlstrom was the 20 lap Grand American Late Model winner at the shoreline oval. At Utica-Rome on Sunday, Richie Evans took the win over Bugsy Stevens and Maynard Troyer.
Forty years ago in 1978, Westboro ran the Yankee All Star League on Wednesday. Geoff Bodine continued his domination of the series as he won the 100-lap event. At New Egypt, Richie Evans beat out Wayne Anderson. Evans repeated the following night at Holland. Friday night at Stafford Eddie Flemke took the victory. Bobby Vee finished second with Geoff Bodine, third. Riverhead ran a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier. Charlie Jarzombek took the win over Greg Sacks and Wayne Anderson. At Waterford, Jerry Pearl won a close one over Dick Dunn and Moose Hewitt. At Spencer Speedway, Maynard Troyer won his 34th feature of the year. Reggie Ruggerio cleaned house at Riverside while Geoff Bodine continued his winning ways at Seekonk. Other weekend winners were Charlie Jarzombek at Islip; Eddie Flemke at Thompson and Richie Evans beat out Geoff Bodine to win a 100 lapper at Monadnock.
Thirty five years ago in 1983, Monadnock ran a 100 lapper on Tuesday. Kenny Bouchard took the win over Marty Radwick and Ray Miller. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday. Brett Bodine took the win over Reggie Ruggerio and Bob Polverari. A regular 30 lapper was also run and Kenny Bouchard took the win. Jeff Fuller finished second. At Spencer, Richie Evans and Mike McLaughlin finished one-two. Saturday at Wall Stadium, an unknown by the name of Ray Everham beat out Tony Siscone for the win. At Waterford, it was Moose Hewitt over Bob Potter and at Islip, Bill Park took the victory. Don Howe won at Riverhead and Kenny Bouchard won at Riverside. Seekonk ran a 200 lapper on Sunday. Bugsy Stevens led all 200 laps to take the win. Brian Ross finished second with Mike McLaughlin, second. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Cale Yarborough took the win over Darrell Waltrip. Ronnie Bouchard qualified fourth and finished 12th.
Thirty years ago in 1988, Ted Christopher was the Friday night winner at Stafford and Reggie Ruggerio go his seventh of the season at Monadnock. Harry Rice held off Larry Lanpher for the win at Waterford and Jerry Marquis won a 200 lapper at Riverside. Oxford Plains ran a 100 lapper, which saw Mike McLaughlin, take the win over Brian Ross. Other weekend winners were Ron Shepherd at Tioga, Bill Park at Riverhead and Tom Tagg at Thompson.
Twenty five years ago in 1993, Mark Martin cleaned house at Michigan as he won both the Busch Grand National and Winston Cup events. Thompson ran a Wednesday special for SK’s with Richie Gallup taking the win over Eddie St Angelo. It rained at Stafford on Friday night. The Modified Tour was at Riverhead for a 201 lapper. Wayne Anderson took the lead from Jan Leaty on the last lap and took the win. Leaty finished second with Doug Hevron, third. It was a typical slam bang affair with 15 cautions for 73 laps. Ted Christopher beat out Ricky Young at Waterford and at Riverside, Brian Schofield scored his first career win.
Twenty years ago, in 1998, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Stafford Speedway for a Friday night 150-lap event. Rick Fuller took the win but it was Mike Ewanitsko who stole the show, despite the fact that he finished second. Ewanitsko had taken the lead from Chris Kopec on lap 80 and had his car on cruise control when he suffered a flat left front tire. Fuller assumed the lead when Ewanitsko pitted during a timely caution on lap 93. Restarting in the rear, Ewanitsko charged to the front. At the 145-lap mark, Ewanitsko had moved into third spot and passed second place runner Mike Stefanik with one lap to go. Time ran out as Fuller took the win with Ewanitsko glued to his bumper. Stefanik hung on for third and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak and Dan Avery. Numerous spins caused the field to run under caution on 12 occasions for 52 laps; Bob Georgides won the companion 50 lapper for the SK-Modifieds. Todd Szegedy finished second with Bo Gunning, third. Todd Ceravolo passed Mike Gada with two laps to go to win the 35-lap feature at Waterford on Saturday night. Gada finished second with his brother Dennis third. Mark Lajunesse and Jerry Pearl rounded out the top five. Dan Avery and Bob Polverari won twin features at Riverside Park. Joe Hartmann beat out Chris Young and John Fortin at Riverhead. The Busch North Series visited the Star Speedway where Kelly Moore took the win over Brad Leighton and Tracy Gordon. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Jeff Gordon made it five in a row. Mark Martin finished second. The Saturday Busch Grandnational event went non-stop with Jeff Burton taking the win.
Fifteen years ago in 2003, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night for a 105-lap event. There were 42 cars on hand for time trials. John Blewett III took the pole. Bob Polverari was second fastest. Jimmie Kuhn drew the pole starting position and took the lead at the start. The first caution flew before the first lap was completed as Jim Broderick, Kevin Kanopka and Renee Dupuis tangled in turn four. The re-start came on lap six with Todd Szegedy taking the lead as the field entered turn one. Defending Champion Mike Stefanik was on the move. After starting ninth, Stefanik was fourth by lap 9, third by lap 1 and second by lap 34. The second caution occurred on lap 36 when Tom Bolles spun in turn four. It was then that most of the field pitted for fresh tires with the exception of Szegedy and Stefanik. The field went back to green and from then on went non-stop. Stefanik took the lead on the re-start and went on to record his 65th career win in Mod Tour competition. Szegedy finished second and was followed by Ed Flemke Jr., Chuck Hossfeld and Jerry Marquis. Eric Berndt took the win in the 30 lap Sunoco SK type modified event. Berndt took the lead on a lap 19 re-start when early leader Jeff Malave missed a shift on the re-start. Todd Ceravolo ended up second and was followed by Bert Marvin, Kerry Malone and Ted Christopher. A near capacity crowd was on hand. On Friday at Stafford, track owner Jack Arute spoke to competitors at the drivers meeting and told them he wasn’t happy with their performance as the SK Modified events had become rolling demolition derbies. Jeff Baral took the 50-lap win over Lloyd Agor and Frank Ruocco. Dennis Gada was the Saturday night winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. In victory lane he announced that 2003 would be his last in the SK Modifieds as he felt it was time to move on. Ron Yuhas Jr. finished second with Jeff Karns, third. Mike Andrews took the win at Riverhead and Kevin Flockart shared victory lane with Mike Carpenter after they won the twin 35’s at Wall Township. The Busch North Series was at the Adirondack Speedway where Dale Quarterly took the win over Martin Truex and Andy Santerre. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Ryan Newman took the win over Kevin Harvick. During the post race cool down lap Jimmy Spencer spun Kurt Busch around on pit road. After exiting his car Spencer attacked Busch, punching him several times. NASCAR suspended Spencer for one event and fined him $25,000. Kevin Harvick won the rain shortened Busch Series event, also at Michigan. It was also on this weekend that Sunoco and NASCAR announced a 10-year agreement and on a sad note, Steve Danish, a former DIRT star at Fonda, had passed away.
Ten years ago in 2008, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season reached its midway point when the New England Dodge Dealers 150 was run at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Jimmy Blewett, who was running third on the final lap got a gift from NASCAR when apparent winner Ryan Preece was stripped of the victory and placed last on the lead lap. Preece passed Todd Szegedy for the lead on a lap 86 restart and led until a lap 149 restart when Szegedy went by him on the green flag before the last lap confrontation. Szegedy admitted that he roughed up the leader in order to make the pass. Shortly after taking the lead Preece gave Szegedy a slight tap as they entered turn one which caused Szegedy to spin in turn two. Evidently NASCAR director Chad Little felt that Preece needed to be penalized as he made the call that stripped him of the win. Ed Flemke ended up in second spot and was followed by Doug Coby who has, along with Woody Pitkat, replaced James Civali in the Don King No. 28, Matt Hirschman, Eric Beers, Kevin Goodale, Mike Stefanik, Danny Sammons, Carl Pasteryak and Charlie Pasteryak. Chuck Hossfeld finished 15th and holds an 86 point lead over Ted Christopher.
There were eight caution laps for 46 laps and seven lead changes among five drivers. Among those who failed to qualify were Tom Abele, Jr., Jake Marosz, Reggie Ruggiero, Renee Dupuis, Gary McDonald and Frank Ruocco, who attempted qualifying after crashing in practice.
Doug Coby held off Blewett over the closing laps to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature. Corey Hutchings started on the pole and led every lap on the way to victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature. It was the first victory of the season for Hutchings. Ryan Posocco passed Woody Pitkat for second place. During the running of the event Steven Reed hung a job on Keith Rocco. No action was taken by the track.
In the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, it was Coby taking down his first feature win of the 2008 season with a dominating drive. Zach Sylvester took the early race lead and he lead the first 8 laps before Coby took over the lead on lap-9. Jimmy Blewett followed Coby past Sylvester and moved into second place. The race was slowed by caution with 17 laps complete with Coby still out front. The final 23 laps of the race ran green to checkered with Coby dominating the action. Blewett and Chris Jones put on a spirited battle for second in the closing laps, which allowed Coby to pull away. Blewett came home second behind Coby, with Jones, Frank Ruocco, and Wade Mattesen rounding out the top-5.
Thursday night Thunder Racing at Thompson was cancelled due to rain.
At the Waterford Speedbowl, Tyler Chadwick held off Ron Yuhus Jr. over the final 14 laps to claim the 35-lap SK-Modified feature Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl. It was the second win in three weeks for Chadwick. The win earned Chadwick a spot in SK-Modified segment of the North-South Shootout in October. Jason Palmer won the 50-lap National Qualifier Legends event. Tony Macrino won the 35-lap Late Model feature. Ronnie Oldham Jr. won both h Sportsman 20 lap features. Louie Bellisle ruled the Mini Stock 20 lapper.
In True Value Modified Series racing, Les Hinckley chased race leader Jonathan McKennedy for 94 laps on Saturday night before making an outside pass to go and win the “Wiscasset Ford 100” at the Wiscasset Raceway in Wiscasset, ME. For Hinckley , it was his second win of the 2008 season and his 11th career win with the True Value Modified Racing Series. The race, originally scheduled in June but postponed by rain, was run following a two hour rain delay because of downpours. Drivers and race crews then dealt with late night dampness and fog, which created a different race surface than what drivers practiced on mid-afternoon. McKennedy and Hinckley started one-two in an 18 car line-up and were quick to pull away from the field with Ed Dachenhausen, Tony Ricci, and Jimmy Dolan in pursuit. The race was caution free until lap 42 when Dolan came to a stop after a minor spin. It was later learned that a mechanical issue would force the Bethel , CT. , veteran out of the event.The race resumed following a caution flagged re-start, with McKennedy again enjoying a comfortable margin. McKennedy won the Black Mountain Painting half-way leader award but Hinckley continued to stay within striking distance. Completing the top ten at the half century mark were Peter Jarvis, Ricci, Chris Pasteryak, Mike Holdridge, Vinnie Annarummo, Dachenhausen, Rob Goodenough, and Dale Evonsion. Late in the race Jarvis was closing on Hinckley and Hinckley appeared to be biding his time with McKennedy. On lap 94, as the cars exited the second turn, with Hinckley and McKennedy side by side, the 06 powered by the race leader while flagman John Spence Jr. displayed five laps to go when they came to the line. McKennedy was all over the new leader at one point trying to make a pass but was unable too and had to settle for second. Dwight Jarvis finished third followed by Chris Pasteryak, Mike Ricci, Mike Holdridge, Vinnie Annarummo, Bob Goodenough, Jack Bateman and Ed Dachenhausen,
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action, Kyle Busch led 52 laps from the pole and won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International to become the first driver in NASCAR’s history to win three road course races in one season. After a 43-minute red-flag stoppage due to a multicar pileup with eight laps to go, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Stewart, who was bidding for his fifth win here in seven starts. Stewart settled for his second straight runner-up finish trails Jeff Gordon by 10 points for sixth in the standings.Marcos Ambrose of Tasmania, who started last in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, finished an amazing third a day after winning the Nationwide race. Ambrose was followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex Jr.
On a sad note, New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame member Johnny Kay, an outstanding Midget driver for over 25 years, died on Aug. 11. He was 85. A win in the 1954 “Night Before the 500″ at Indianapolis’ 16th Street was the crowning event for Kay who posted victories under a number of banners including ARDC, AAA, USAC and NEMA from the post War 1940s through the 1960s.
Five years ago in 2013, Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway finally broke the three week string of rain-outs. Bobby Santos held off Donny Lia to take the checkered flag in the Whelen Modified Tour Series Budweiser 150. Other winners at Thompson on Thursday night were Woody Pitkat who led the NASCAR Whelen All American Series action with a come-from-behind win in the Sunoco Modified division. Glenn Boss, Cam McDermott, Joe Baxter, and Bill McNeil also won their division feature events
In the Modified Tour event, Santos took the lead on the start of the Bud 150 and commanded the field until caution slowed the pace at lap 25 for a backstretch accident involving Bryon Chew and Rick Fuller. Santos continued his dominance on the restart and led by half-a-straightaway until caution came out again at lap 109. The entire field came down pit road during the caution period. Santos stalled his machine when trying to exit his pit stall allowing Todd Szegedy to beat him out and take over the lead. Santos was relegated to sixth for the restart. Szegedy’s time out front didn’t last as he went high in turn two and brushed the wall on the restart paving the way for Justin Bonsignore to lead the field. On the restart, Santos rocketed right back to the lead before caution slowed the pace again. Bonsignore got the lead back for the restart and held off Santos until lap 134 when Santos got by in the middle of turn three and four. A caution set up a lap 141 restart with Santos leading the field into turn one. Donny Lia and Rowan Pennink rounded out the top-three. Caution flew at lap 148 and set up a green-white-checker finish, but a front stretch accident quickly saw a halt to the race. Pennink got hit from behind and flipped front to back until he was back on his tires. The driver was able to walk away from the accident. The race resumed at lap 157 with Santos in the lead, and despite Donny Lia’s challenges, Santos went on to win his second of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
Eric Goodale finished third, followed by Doug Coby and Woody Pitkat. Current point leader Ryan Preece got stung again as he spun on the final lap and ended up 13th. Preece was running 6th. Ron Silk, Jimmy Blewett, Jamie Tomaino, Todd Szegedy and Ron Yuhas Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Rowan Pennink was also denied a top finish when he was hit from behind while running third on lap 152, causing him to roll end over end. Pennink ended up 18th.
In Sunoco Modified action, an early-race accident didn’t derail Woody Pitkat from victory. Pitkat came from the rear of the field after a lap one accident to inherit the lead at lap 24. Pitkat held off Dennis Perry on a late-race restart en route to the checkered flag and the point lead. On the start, Paul Newcomb headed into turn one as the leader, but a tangle between Pitkat and John Catania brought the race under caution before the first lap was complete. Dennis Perry hung with Newcomb on the restart and grabbed the lead coming out of turn two. Ryan Preece made his presence known by taking over the second position using the bottom groove. Preece then drove underneath Perry on lap three and battled side-by-side with him for a full circuit before settling in out front coming out of turn two.
A caution at lap six tightened the field up, but it was not stopping Preece, who jumped right back out front. Todd Ceravolo maneuvered his machine into second followed by the hard-charging Keith Rocco, who was filling Ceravolo’s rear-view mirror. On lap 10, Ceravolo got high in turn two enabling Rocco to move into second and set his sights on Preece, who was leading by a comfortable ten car length advantage.
Further back in the field, Pitkat was proving to be a factor as he maneuvered around Ceravolo for the fourth spot. Up front, Rocco had reeled in Preece by lap 16 and was attached to his rear bumper as he looked for a way around. Preece, however, was not shaken by the pressure and continued to hold him off.
The race took a dramatic turn of events on lap 24 when the leaders came around turn one only to have a lapped car in the middle of the track. Preece didn’t have enough time to react and he had nowhere to go but into the wall. Rocco was collected as well and the duo both had significant damage.
Pitkat inherited the lead for the restart with Perry on the outside groove. Pitkat held off his challenges and drove to the front heading into turn two. Kerry Malone settled in third. Rocco, involved in the accident, was up to eighth and on the move. Meanwhile, Pitkat put some distance over the rest of the field, and despite the battles behind him, drove on to the checkered flag.
Nick Boivin ended up fourth with Matt Gallo, rounding out the top five. Keith Rocco, Todd Ceravolo, Jay Sundeen, Rick Shawnand John Catania comprised the remaining top ten.
A big change in the landscape of the Thompson Speedway was taking place as contractors were literally moving mountains as they reconfigured the speedway property for the new road course which was is expected to be up and running by 2014. Jonathan Hoenig attended the NWMT driver’s meeting and made a statement. He stated that despite rumors Thompson is committed to being an oval track. The Hoenig family would still like to have three 2014 NWMT races. The construction started at the track early so that hopefully the facility will be ready for IceBreaker 2014 weekend which had been originally scrubbed. In a somewhat cautioned statement Hoenig alluded that the track expects to run a limited oval track racing schedule in 2014.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ryan Preece scored his division leading 7th win of the 2013 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray extended his streak of consecutive podium finishes to 12 with his fifth win of the season in the Double Distance 60-lap Late Model feature, Chase Dowling took down his fifth win in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, David Arute claimed his third win in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande scored his second win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Preece made a move by Rowan Pennink to take over second place on lap-15 and he pulled alongside Woody Pitkat for the lead on lap-16. Pitkat was hanging tough in the outside groove and he wasn’t about to give up the lead easily but Preece took the lead on lap-17. Eric Berndt was able to get around Danny Cates and move into the fourth position before the caution came out with 19 laps complete as Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun and collected the car of Ted Christopher.
Preece took the lead on the restart with Pitkat right behind him. Pennink and Berndt were side by side for third with Owen and Cates right behind the side-by-side duo. Pennink cleared Berndt on lap-21 and the top-6 cars were now single file with Preece beginning to stretch out his lead over Pitkat. Membrino and Dave Salzarulo spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 26 laps complete.
Pitkat hung with Preece for a lap before settling back into line behind him in second. Berndt was third, with Pennink and Owen making up the top-5. Right behind Owen was Cates, Cipriano, Foster, Curt Brainard, and Matt Galko. The top-5 shuffled on lap-31 as Pennink got out of shape and fell back several spots to eighth, moving Owen into fourth and Cates into fifth as Preece, Pitkat, and Berndt continued to run in the top-3 spots. Preece slowly pulled away from Pennink and he cruised to his seventh win of the 2013 season. Pitkat finished second, with Berndt, Owen, and Cates rounding out the top-5.
Action at the Waterford Speedbowl saw Keith Rocco make it two in a row, seven for the year, in a photo finish over Tyler Chadwick in the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Chadwick, who led from the start, took advantage of a solid restart following a lap 32 caution to hold the top spot. He held off Rocco through lap 33, but as they came off the fourth corner prior to the start of the final lap, Rocco tucked in behind Chadwick and gave a bump to his rear bumper as the cars entered turn one. That allowed Rocco to dive under Chadwick who drifted up the track just enough to leave the opening. The two ran side-by-side to the checkered flag and photo finish.
Rocco’s win was his 51st career win in a SK Modified at the shoreline oval. Rocco had a busy night as he also finished second in the Late Model race and third in the truck feature.
In other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races Saturday night, Jason Palmer won his first Late Model race of the season, Corey Hutchings won the Street Stock feature and took over the division point lead, Ian Brew won in the Mini Stock division, Giovanni Giarratana won the Legend Cars race and Duane Noll too checkered in the New England Truck Series.
Rounding out the top five in the SK Modified feature was Craig Lutz, Rob Janovic and Frank Mucciacciaro Jr.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series traveled to the Seekonk Speedway on Saturday night, 32 cars strong, for a 100 lapper. Home track favorite Todd Annarummo took the win over Steve Masse, Richard Savary, Tommy Barrett and Louie Mechalides. Annarummo started fourth and took the lead on lap 32.
Max Zachem, Rowan Pennink, Todd Patnode, Chris Pasteryak, and Norm Wrenn, finished sixth through tenth.
Despite eight caution flags, the race was completed in 51 minutes with 15 of the original 24 starters finishing on the lead lap. For the second consecutive race, 32 race teams entered the event.
Tires used by series points leader Tommy Barrett Jr. along with tires from Steve Masse and Richard Savary were confiscated on suspicion of treatment by detection from the measuring meter used.
Barrett, was declared disqualified on Monday by the Valenti Modified Racing Series from aturday’s event at Seekonk Speedway for using illegally tampered tires during the event. Also disqualified from the event for the same tire issue were Steve Masse and Richard Savary.
All three drivers were removed from the Seekonk results and none were credited any points or purse for the race. Lou Mechalides was moved to second place in the Seekonk results and Max Zachem
Down in the south land at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC rain made it two in a row at the historic speedway. The final race date of the season is scheduled next Saturday night. In the event of another rainout, the season finale will be moved to Aug. 31, the lone rain date available. Bowman Gray hosts football games during the fall months.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Dave Brigati and Ron Silk scored 30 lap Modified victories.
Bill Park was inducted onto the Wall of Fame at Riverhead Raceway. Bill won 32 features as a driver at Riverhead along with four NASCAR Modified track championships. Wayne Anderson and late Joe Biondolillo Jr were also inducted onto the Wall of Fame at Riverhead. Wayne won 32 features as a driver to go along with his five NASCAR Modified track championships. Biondolillo was a six time Riverhead Raceway champion with 53 career wins in 13 seasons.
Nearly 18 years of motorsports tradition ended on Saturday morning, Aug 17, when at 6:00 Eastern Time Fox pulled the plug on SPEED in the United States and started its new ESPN competitor, Fox Sports 1.
After a sad eulegy from Mike Joy tracing the history of what started in 1995 as Speedvision, Curt Menefee appeared to welcome viewers to Fox Sports 1 before the network’s first program, an on-tape college football preview, was aired. While much of the SPEED programming will appear on either Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2 (which had no real introduction or transition other than a Fuel TV bug turning into a Fox Sports 2 one) it’s still a very sad day for racing fans.
AJ Allmendinger was the winner at the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Joey Logano was the Sprint Cup Series winner at Michigan.
Last year, 2017, In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series racing on Wednesday the competition didn’t know that Patrick Emerling was a dancer as he did the “Bristol Stomp” with a near perfect performance, capping it off with a win. The Orchard Park, New York, driver was fastest in practice, won the Coors Light Pole Award and proceeded to lead 148 of the 150 laps en route to his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory.
The win for the 24-year-old came in his 78th career start and just his third of 2017. He held off challenges from Chase Dowling and Justin Bonsignore on restarts in the first half of the race, then held off four-time tour champion Doug Coby in the dash to the finish.
Justin Bonsignore finished third. Chase Dowling and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five at Bristol. Andy Seuss was sixth, followed by Rowan Pennink, Ronnie Williams, Bobby Santos and Matt Swanson.
There were 26 cars on hand. The unification of the Modified tours did very little to enhance the car count.
The Stafford Motor Speedway announced that due to weather, Friday night’s racing program was canceled. It was their sixth rain out.
At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, the field of cars continue to grow. On hand for Saturday’s racing program were 18 sk’s, 13 sk lights, 16 mini stocks, 11 legends, 16 limiteds and 9 late models. Kyle James continued his strong showings at the shoreline oval on Saturday night with a victory in the SK Modified 35-lap feature event. The first caution waved as a ten-car wreck occured between turns one and two. Most of the cars were done for the night, including the point leader, Keith Rocco. The restart of the event had James sitting on point and from there it was all James. With the win James now sits atop of the points battle. Rounding out the top-5 included Ted Christopher, Diego Monahan, Stephen Masse and last week’s winner Rob Janovic Jr.
Other Speedbowl winners were Late Models (30-laps): Anthony Flannery over Keith Rocco, Legends (25-laps): Joey Ternullo over Anthony Marvin, SK Lite Modifieds (25-laps): Matt Galko over Dana DiMatteo, Bryan Narducci, Limited Sportsman (25-laps): Jordan Hadley over Adrien Paradis III and Mini Stock (25-laps): Jordan Hadley, Sean Caron and Jacob Perry.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, Dillon Steuer drove to his third NASCAR Modified win of 2017. Following the 15year old at the finish was Kyle Soper. John Fortin Jr., Tom Rogers Jr. and Dave Brigati rounded out the top five.
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on Saturday night, the historic ¼ mile speedway closed out their season with the Carolina Farm Credit 150. Brandon Ward won the battle but it was Burt Myers who won the war for the Modified Track Championship. Myers finished fourth to easily out distance James Civali who finished fifth. Jonathan Brown finished second in the 150 with Bobby Measmer Jr, third. It was Myers’ eighth track title.
The Modified Touring Series and the Valenti Modified Racing Series which have had a season long rivalry ran head to head on Saturday night. At the MTS Exit Realty 125 at Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire there were 15 cars on hand. Rowan Pennink took the lead on lap 109 from Eric Goodale, In the closing laps Goodale faded to third as Woody Pitkat eased into the runner-up spot. Richard Savory finished fourth with Kirk Alexander rounding out the top five.
Anthony Nocalla got his fourth Valenti Modified Racing Series victory of the season in the 75-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series event at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine. Troy Talman of Oxford, Mass. was second and Tony Ricci of Westbrook, Me. was third. Nocella, of Woburn, Massachusetts, outraced fog and a strong finish from a late charging Troy Talman, of Oxford, MA, to capture his fourth win of the season Saturday night. The win was also Nocella’s second consecutive at Beech Ridge and 10th career win tying him with Rowan Pennink on the series all-time win list.
There were 18 cars on hand.
Kyle Busch completed a dominant weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night by winning the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. The victory, his 40th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, allowed Busch to complete the three-race sweep of the NASCAR national events at the historic half-mile oval for the second time in his career. He became the first driver to complete the sweep in 2010.
Unlike his victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series races earlier in the weekend, Busch didn’t have the dominant car on Saturday night. That honor belonged to rookie Erik Jones, who started from the pole and led more than half of the race. Jones finished secoud.
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, RI.