RPW Exclusive: Looking Back A Bit; Third Week Of May

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1949, Seekonk fell victim to rain.

Sixty five years ago in 1954 at the New London Waterford Speedbowl the shoreline oval management shifted to a two nights a week scheduler running on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Dick Beauregard, the guy they loved to hate was the Sportsman winner on Wednesday and Moe Gherzi was the winner on Saturday. Irwin Fox and Charlie Schreiber were the non-Ford winners. At Seekonk, Ray Delisle took thre A division main with Ed Hoyle taking the top spot in the B division.

Sixty years ago in 1959 Pete Corey was the Friday night winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Scotland Connecticut native Don Collins was the 25 lap Sportsman winner at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Rene Charland, who became a regular at the shoreline oval won the non-Ford feature while John Arigoni was the Bomber feature winner. At the Buffalo Civic Stadium in upstate western New York, Bill Rafter took the win over Jim Lerkins. At Seekonk, Deke Astle was the 25 lap A division winner.

Fifty five years ago in 1964, Rene Charland was the Friday night winner in racing on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Bill Wimble finished second with George Janoski, third, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran a 30 lap Modified May championship which saw Ted Stack taking the win. Bill Staubley was the winner in the Bombers. Tony Cortez was the 30 lap A division winner at Seekonk. Ray Lackey was the 15 lap Cadet winner.

Fifty years ago in 1969 the newly formed New England Drivers and Owners Club headed by Dick Armstrong called a drivers strike against Stafford, Norwood and Thompson as club members felt they were running for sub-par purses. Stafford did run with a short field with Bugsy Stevens taking the win over Ernie Gahan and Don Flynn. Norwood and Thompson cancelled their racing events. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Lou Lazzaro took the top spot over Jerry Cook and Richie Evans. At Fonda on Saturday night, Dave Lape beat out Lazzaro for the win with Andy Romano, third. At Islip, Ron Theil won out over Charlie Jarzombek and Jim Hendrickson. Joe Trudeau was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet Jr took the Grand American win. At Seekonk, Fred Astle Sr was the Class A winner and Bob McKinnen was the B division winner. Racing at Utica-Rome on Sunday rained out.

Forty five years ago in 1974 Utica-Rome suffered their third rainout in a row. At Freeport it cleared and Art Tappen beat out Ted Wesnoski and Lew Hennessy. At Islip, Wesnoski again had to settle for second as Gary Winters beat him to the stripe. Wayne Anderson finished third. At Stafford on Saturday night, Bugsy Stevens won a close one over Kenny Bouchard and Jerry Dostie. Maynard Troyer was the kingpin in New York State as he went two for two, taking checkers at Lancaster and Fulton. Joe Trudeau was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. George Summers made it two in a row at Seekonk. Joe Oliver was the Late Model winner.

Forty years ago in 1979, Bobby Santos beat out Bugsy Stevens and Leo Cleary for the win at Stafford on Friday night. Spencer ran a 100 lapper which saw Maynard Troyer dominate over Satch Worley, Jerry Cook and Doug Hewitt. Worley was driving for Lee Allard. At Shangri-La, Richie Evans won out over George Kent and Jerry Cook and on the Island at Islip, it was Charlie Jarzombek. Waterford, Seekonk, Riverside and Westboro rained out, as did Thompson on Sunday.

Thirty five years ago in 1984, Ray Miller hit full stride as he won at Stafford in the Mike Greci No.01.Reggie Ruggerio finished second with Richie Evans, third. At Spencer, George Kent beat Jan Leaty and at Shangri-La, Ron Shepherd bested Kent for the win. Rain washed out Islip, Waterford and Riverside. Randy LaJoie scored a Nascar-North win at Sannair in Canada and in Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Richard Petty scored his 199th career win.

Thirty years ago in 1989, Mike Christopher was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Bugsy Stevens passed Norman Holden on the last lap to win the Pro-Stock event at Seekonk and at Riverside; Reggie Ruggiero beat out Bob Polverari for the win. Local favorite Larry Lanphear beat out Ted Christopher and Bob Potter at Waterford and at Riverhead it was Chris Young. Sunday action at Monadnock saw Jerry Marquis taking the win over Reggie Ruggerio.

Tewnty five years ago in 1994, Steve Chowanski won the Friday night SK Modified event at Stafford. Mike Paquett finished second with Ted Christopher, third. At Waterford, Mark LaJunesse was leading the early going until he was drilled into the turn two fence. Dennis Gada was the eventual winner and was followed by David Gada, Jim Broderick, Jerry Pearl and Todd Ceravolo. At Riverside, Bob Gegetskas held off Richard Savory for the win and at Riverhead, Bob Park won out over Don Howe. The Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth where Jeff Fuller, in the Sheba No.8, took the 150 lap win over Satch Worley, Wayne Anderson and Reggie Ruggerio. A big wreck after the finish involved Tim Arre, Mike Ewanitsko and Russ Franz. Ricky Craven won the Grand National 200 that was also run at Nazareth. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jeff Gordon won the Winston Open and Geoff Bodine won the Winston.

Twenty years ago in 1999, Jerry Marquis was the SK-Modified feature winner at Stafford. Lloyd Agor finished second. At Waterford on Saturday night, Dennis Gada made it three in a row as he took the win over Mike Holdredge and Bert Marvin. At Riverside Park it was Billy Bolton over Rob Summers and Ed Spiers and at Riverhead, Frank Vigliorolo took the win over Ken Matlack, Chris Young and Howie Brode. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth along with the Busch Racing Series and Busch North Series who had a combined event. Tony Hirschman wrecked in practice and after his crew made repairs, came back to take the Busch Pole. Ted Christopher was second fastest. It was all for nothing as the event was rained out. The event was re-scheduled for July 16. After a 5-1/2 hour delay, the Nazareth Busch Series event was run. Matt Kenseth, who had taken the lead on lap 151, was still leading when the event was stopped because of darkness on lap 168. Kenseth was declared the winner. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second with Tim Fedewa, Dave Blaney and Adam Petty rounding out the top five. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Tony Stewart flew in from Indianapolis and won the Winston Open. Terry Labonte won The Winston. Stewart finished second. Ernie Irvan triggered a big wreck that took out 11 cars.

Fifteen years ago in 2004 the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania, for the final time as the International Speedway Corporation had decided to close the facility. With 44 cars on hand Ted Christopher was clearly the fastest as he toured the one mile oval at 133.963 mph. Second fastest was Todd Szegedy who’s speed was 133.660 mph. John Blewett III qualified third with Kenny Barry, fourth. It was ungodly hot with temperatures in the high 80’s and humidity that would make one feel like they were melting. Todd Szegedy redeemed himself from a disqualification earlier in the year as he won the event. Szegedy took the lead following the first caution of the event and never looked back. Christopher pitted later in the event and spent the race trying to get to the front at the end. His bid fell short as the laps ran out and he had to settle for third. Doing an outstanding job was Kenny Barry who finished second, 0.10 seconds behind the winner. Eddie Flemke finished fourth and continued to maintain the point lead for the 2005 championship. Rounding out the top five was Jerry Marquis. Chuck Docherty took his first SK-Modified win in three years at Stafford on Friday night. Dochery, who started on the pole, led the entire 40-lap distance. Mike Holdredge finished second with Brad Hietala, third. Woody Pitkat and Jeff Malave rounded out the top five. Ryan Posocco was the late model winner and Fred Nees Jr. won the DARE Stock event. The Waterford Speedbowl and the Thompson Speedway went head to head on Saturday night. Waterford who had their regular Dodge Weekly Racing event and Thompson who ran the Busch North Series event along with their regular divisions both suffered in attendance as they were both plagued with unseasonably cold weather. At Thompson Brad Leighton won the Busch North Series event. Defending series champion Andy Santerre made a late race bid to take the lead on lap 145 but ended up in the grass and ultimately hit the wall in the 150-lap event. Mike Stefanik ended up second, followed by Dave Dion, Dale Quarterly and Ryan Moore. Todd Ceravolo started third and led every lap of the 30 lap Sunoco Modified feature. Because of wrecks and spins it took three restarts to get the event going, finally with a single file start. Jeff Malave finished second, three car lengths behind. Ted Christopher made it back from Nazareth and finished third. Eric Berndt and Shawn Monahan rounded out the top five. Dennis Botticello took advantage of a last lap confrontation between Corey Hutchings and Rick Gentes. Fighting for the lead coming off the fourth turn, Hutchings and Gentes made contact and both slid up the track giving Botticello the chance to steal a win, which he did. Rob Janovic took the SK-Modified win at Waterford. Dennis Gada ended up in second spot with Chris Pasteryak, third. Ted Christopher had entertained trying to make it to Waterford after Thompson but it didn’t happen. Ron Yuhas Jr. and Doug Coby rounded out the top five. Corey Hutchings made a fast trip down I-395 to Waterford and won the late model feature. Norman Root was the Sportsman winner. Dave Silvia was the Mini-Stock winner and Silas Hiscock Sr. was the Legends winner. Ted Christopher was able to breathe a little easier once he found out that he didn’t have to contend with Chuck Hossfeld at Stafford in SK-Modified competition anymore. Hossfeld had been driving the No.47 Wisk-Clorox SK-Modified. Hossfeld announced last week that he had resigned as the driver in order to concentrate on the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series. It sounded like Hossfeld and car owner Bob Garbarino had a father-son talk after his confrontation with Christopher at the recent tour event at Waterford. Hossfeld had also been driving his own car on open Saturday nights at the Lancaster Speedway in western New York. Christopher had to feel like a yo-yo after the weekend. His travels started on Friday when he flew to Nazareth, Pa. To practice his Featherlite Modified. He then flew to the Stafford Speedway in Connecticut for their Friday night Dodge Weekly Racing Series SK-Modified event. Saturday morning it was back in the plane to Nazareth for Modified Tour qualifying. Once completed he flew back to Connecticut where he raced at Thompson. Sunday morning it was back to Nazareth. Other weekend winners were Steve Whitt at Wall Township and JR Bertuccio at Riverhead.

The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was in Charlotte, North Carolina last weekend for the running of the Nextel All Star event. The Busch Racing Series was at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. Matt Kenseth got a little richer as he won the $1 million first place money that the Nextel All Star event paid the winner. It was the longest short race ever seen. At the Busch Series race at Nazareth Martin Truex Jr. waited until the final turn of the final lap to take the lead and ace the win. Bobby Hamilton looked to be the winner until running amuck a lapped car. Hamilton drifted up after slight contact and that’s all she wrote. It was the fourth win for the New Jersey native.

Ten years ago in 2009, the Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing action. Taking down feature victories were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified feature and Ryan Posocco in the Late Model feature. Tony Santangelo scored his second consecutive SK Light Modified feature win, while Shawn Thibeault took his first career Limited Late Model feature victory. With two DARE Stock feature events on the card, Robert Thompson and Todd LaPorta drove to CARQUEST Victory Lane.

The 40-lap SK Modified feature took the green flag with the action at the front of the pack fast and furious. Keith Rocco moved to the lead on lap-2 after riding side by side with Curt Brainard for the first lap. Frank Ruocco made a bid for the lead on lap-3, taking the lead from Rocco in turn 3 only to have Rocco pull the crossover move and retake the lead coming out of the fourth turn. Rocco held the lead until lap-12 when Ted Christopher made a move to the inside of Rocco in turn 4. Christopher and Rocco ran nose to tail until lap-23 when Rocco made a bottom shot move on Christohper in turn 1 to retake the lead. Rocco began to stretch his lead out over Christopher, but his lead was erased when the caution came out with 37 laps complete for a spin by Nichole Morgillo. On the restart, Christopher was judged to have jumped the restart and was penalized one lap. That put Woody Pitkat alongside Rocco for the restart. After several more caution periods, it was down to a green white checkered finish. Pitkat hung tough on the outside of Rocco, but he came up a half car length short at the checkered flag. Rounding out the top-5 behind Rocco and Pitkat was Ruocco, Jeff Malave, and Curt Brainard. Christopher, who parked his car after being penalized, ended up 15th. The defending Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion felt that the call by race director Frank Sgambato was unfair. Christopher told the Hartford Current that he will not be back at Stafford except for Whelen Modified Tour Series events.

The Waterford Speedbowl was forced to cancel their NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program and Little League Night festivities due to inclement weather. A persistent fog, mist, and drizzle intensified as the practice rounds were underway and continued into the evening.

Congratulations went out to nationally recognized public relations, motorsports marketing and promotions specialist Ernie Saxton who had been named recipient of the 2009 Leonard J. Sammons Jr. Memorial Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to auto racing. Saxton would be honored when the 18th annual Northeast Modified Hall of Fame driver inductions and special award ceremonies take place Sunday, May 24 on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds in New York State.

General Motors and Chrysler announced that they were eliminating close to 2,000 dealerships.

Tony Stewart passed Matt Kenseth with two laps to go in a thrilling final 10-lap shootout to win for the first time in 11 All-Star event starts at the Lowes Motor Speedway. It was the first victory since he left Joe Gibbs Racing after two championships and 10 successful seasons, to become co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards.

After a follow-the-leader parade for most of the first three segments, the action picked up at the drop of the flag of the final shootout. Kyle Busch used a three-wide pass to dart from fourth to first, aggressive driving that slowed the cars behind him. Denny Hamlin ran into the back of Jimmie Johnson, sending Johnson into a spin that he masterfully saved from a race-ending accident. A caution period set up another restart, and this time Jeff Gordon raced to the front. Newman decided to enter the action with a three-wide move to the outside, and Gordon and Kyle Busch touched at least once before all three cars collided.

It sent Gordon into a spin through the grass then back up across the track, where he crashed into the outside wall to end his race.

Kenseth eventually moved to the front, but he and Busch knew Stewart was coming quickly. Stewart was third on the final restart with five laps to go, and made several charges for the lead before finally getting past Kenseth with two laps remaining. The late-race action moved the attention back to the track after a week spent discussing Jeremy Mayfield’s indefinite suspension for failing a random drug test. Despite his ban from the track, Mayfield was on track property early Saturday night, complete with camera crew in tow, as he watched J.J. Yeley drive the Mayfield Motorsports entry to a 22nd-place finish in the preliminary race. Mayfield spoke with reporters who found him in the infield, insisting his positive test was not because of illegal drug use. Instead, he said it was the combination of a prescription drug, which he would not identify, and Claritin-D, which he said he used to combat allergies at Richmond that were “really, really bad.” Mayfield said he has hired legal representation and has undergone drug tests since his suspension. He declined to reveal those results.

Five years ago in 2014, the Big Event in New England was the first annual Bull Ring Bash at the Lee Speedway in Lee, NH. This event, promoted by Dick Williams and his “Racing Guys” drew a huge field of 34 Modifieds, the largest drawing of asphalt Modifieds to date in 2014. Four qualifying heats were run with Tommy Barrett Jr, Todd Annarummo, Matt Swanson and Matt Galco taking the wins, Matt Hirschman won the 14 car consi with Dennis Perry a very competitive second. Johnny Kay was the Dash for Cash winner for non-qualifyers.

Jeff Rocco jumped out to an early lead at the drop of the green. The first caution flew on lap 30 for Josh Cantara who spun. The second caution was for Jim Storace who spun on lap 47. When the green came out on lap 46 Annarummo shot into the lead with Rowan Pennink hot on his heels. Rocco faded to third. Following the top three at the half way mark was Todd Ceravolo, Galco and Barrett.

By the time the field had clicked off 60 laps Annarummo and Pennink had opened up a sizable lead. On lap 62 Pennink took charge as he moved into the lead. Rocco, who had been running third apparently had used up his tires and began to fade. By lap 71 he was tenth. Tommy Barrett Jr had slipped out of the top ten by the 3/4 mark brought out the third caution of the day on lap 75. Among those who pitted for fresh tires were Barrett, Pennink, Annarummo, Ryan Preece, Max Zachem, Rocco, Ceravolo, Perry and Jim Dolan. Pennink was the first car out of the pits as Steve Masse assumed the lead.

When the green waved Masse jumped out as Pennink moved inside the top 15. Jim Storace brought out caution Number 4 on lap 79 as he spun on the backstretch. On the restart, Richard Savory and Justin Bonsignore moved in behind Masse and Todd Szegedy. Jim Dolan and Storace spun, bringing out caution No. 5 as the field attempted to restart. As the field finally restarted Masse continued to lead as Savory moved into second. On lap 81 Dolan spun again, bringing out caution No. 6. Dolan’s car lost a lot of water and oil and had to be towed off the track. Masse maintained the lead on yet another restart. With 11 laps remaining, Matt Hirschman has come out of nowhere as he moved into the third spot. On lap 90 he passed Savory who spun, bringing out caution no. 7 and set his sights on Masse. Hirschman shot into the lead on the restart. Jim Storace spun for the third time bringing out the eighth yellow. Masse was given back the lead for the restart. When the green dropped, Pennink and Barrett tangled bringing out yellow no.9.

On the restart Hirschman made it official as he took the lead over Masse. Two laps later Chris Pasteryak gets loose and spins just after turn one, bringing out caution no.10. Hirschman maintained his lead on the restart. With five laps to go Johnny Kay – “Dash for Cash” winner hit the front stretch wall a ton, bringing out caution no. 11. Hirschman continued to lead Masse as the field restarted. With four laps to go, Preece, driving the famous Ole Blu, turned up the wick. As Hirschman took the checkered flag for the win action behind him boiled over. Preece made a move to pass for second. Preece and Masse were side by side racing hard for checkers when they both got out of shape. Masse spun around and Annarummo went sideways over him after being accidentally hit. Dennis Perry was also in the tangle. Preece ended up second with Perry, third.

Rowan Pennink ended up fourth with Max Zachem, fifth. Sixth through tenth were Jon McKennedy, Todd Ceravolo, Richard Savory, Justin Bonsignore and Spencer Davis

The Stafford Speedway fell victim to a rainy forecast for Friday night.

The Waterford Speedbowl beat an early evening shower to get their Saturday night racing program in the record books. Kyle James, after some early season bad luck, recorded his first victory of the year in SK Modified® ranks. Keith Rocco continues his domination of the Late Model ranks as he won his fifth straight Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature. Rocco is now five for five in the Late Models on the season. Ken Cassidy Jr. continued his mastery of the Mini Stock division. Paul French won his first SK Light Modified race on the year and Paul Bigelow came away with the victory in the NEMA Lite feature. Josh Galvin won the night’s Street Stock race, his second in a row.

In the closing laps of the SK Modified feature James had two heavy hitters behind him for the run to the checker. Ted Christopher lined up to his outside and Keith Rocco behind him in third. Christopher got a good restart to stay with James for a lap, but James pulled ahead into the lead with nine laps to go. From there, James slowly distanced himself as the race ran uninterrupted through the checkered flag. Rocco was able to grab second at the finish and Rob Janovic Jr. got by Christopher in the closing laps to take third. Christopher settled for fourth with Craig Lutz, fifth.

The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island was also threatened by rain but they endured and got their racing program in. A less than favorable weather forecast produced two 1-hour rain delays but in the end the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program was for the most part completed. Former three time NASCAR Modified champion John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville made a triumphant return to victory lane as he swept the headlining Twin 30 NASCAR Modified features.

In Modified racing in the southland, Bowman Gray fell victim to rain.

In some sad news, Danny Field, a long time racer from Deep River, Ct. who excelled in the Mini Stock ranks at the Waterford Speedbowl and at the Thompson Speedway passed away after battling cancer since the previous fall. A Pipefitter by trade at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton Ct, Field was a true backyard racer who built and maintained his own cars, racing out of his wallet.

During his racing career he won Mini Stock division championships at Waterford in 2005, 2006 and 2009 as well as Mini Stock Championships at Thompson in 2008 and 2011 along with the 2012 Northeast Mini Stock tour.

An emotional Saturday night opening ceremony at the Waterford Speedbowl began the night’s program following a brief rain delay earlier in the evening. The track honored the memory of multiple time track champion with much of his family and closest supporters in attendance. Field’s younger brother Eddie paced the Mini Stocks with an honorary pole-position behind the wheel of his brother’s #18 machine, pulling off the track before the start of the race.

Jeff Gordon held off Kevin Harvick over the final laps and went on to win the 5-Hour Energy 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night.The victory was by .112 seconds and was the first of the year for the four-time champion and his third at Kansas Speedway.

Last year, 2018 The Stafford Motor Speedway opened the weekend on Friday night with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action and the Valenti Modified Racing Series for the 5th Annual VMRS 80. Keith Rocco set a Stafford SK Modified® division record with his 6th consecutive win dating back to the final 2 races of the 2017 season. Also taking wins were Tom Fearn in the Late Model division, Andrew Molleur in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Johnny Walker in the Street Stock feature.

In the 40 lap SK modified event Rocco started 14th and fought his way to take the lead on lap 24. with 5 laps to go, Rocco, Joey Cipriano, and Eric Berndt were running nose to tail in a 3-car train for the lead with Ron Williams, Mike Gervais, and Rowan Pennink in another 3-car train for fourth behind the lead trio. Rocco took the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win in four starts this season and his sixth consecutive SK Modified® win dating back to the end of the 2017 season, setting a Stafford Speedway SK Modified® record for consecutive wins. Cipriano finished second with Berndt, Williams, and Gervais making up the top-5. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 255 wins which also include 149 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, 58 at Thompson and 48 at Stafford Speedway.

Not to take anything away from Rocco’s SK Modified record but Geoff Bodine is the all time record holder for consecutive wins as he recorded seven in a row from 5/12/78 to 6/23/78 when the track ran real modifieds. Bodine drove a car owned by Richard Armstrong that was designed and built by Bodine, Billy Taylor and Ralph Hop Harrington.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of two visits during the 2018 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 5th Annual VMRS 80. Taking the checkered flag was Rowan Pennink, who started deep in the field and bided his time before making a charge to the front over the final 30-laps of the race. Pennink was starting to come to life as he moved up to third on lap-66 and then took second from Rocco one lap later. With 10 laps to go, Pitkat had a nearly 3 second lead over Pennink with Anthony Nocella, Donnie Lashua, and Keith Rocco making up the top-5. The caution came out with 71 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Robbie to set up a 9-lap dash to the finish.

Pitkat took the lead on the restart with Lashua nearly taking second from Pennink but he slotted back into line in third. Nocella was fourth with Willis in fifth and Etheridge in sixth. With 5 laps to go, Pennink was right on the bumper of Pitkat looking for the lead. Pennink was able to get to the inside of Pitkat with 3 laps to go and he was able to complete the pass with 2 laps to go. Pennink led Pitkat to the checkered flag to pick up his third Valenti Modified Racing Series win of the 2018 season in four races. Lashua finished third with Nocella and Mike Willis rounding out the top-5. Sixth thru tenth were Dave Etheridge, Les Hinckley, Jr., Richard Savary, Keith Rocco and Jeff Gallup.

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl cancelled for the second week in a row. Track management advises that there is a big show coming this Saturday to the Bowl! The Full Fendered Throwdown presented by Belltown Motors Tire Service Center and Belltown Recycling!

Across the big pond on Long Island, the Islip 300 at the Riverhead Raceway was cancelled due to impending rain. A star studded field of Tour Type Modified drivers were all set to go toe to toe on the demanding quarter mile oval Saturday in a $32,650 spectacular but will now have to wait another month to do so. Prior to making the decision to rain out the Islip 300 Riverhead Raceway GM John Ellwood and race director Scott Tapley searched for a suitable make-up date. With the NASCAR WMT, Race of Champions, Valenti Modified Racing Series and Tri-Track Series all having an open date on June 16th as of press time that date was selected.

Due to the forecast for rain and thunderstorms throughout the day, Sunday’s Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Pepsi was cancelled. The 30-lap feature race for the Limited Sportsman race will be added to the Thompson 125. Anyone who has reserved a garage for the race can contact the office for a full refund. The speedway will try again on Wednesday, June 13 for their next event, which features four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Divisions, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and the NEMA Lites.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the rain stayed on the coast. Jason Myers took the first 25-lap Modified Division race on Saturday, earning his second win of the season while brother Burt Myers finished second.

Jonathan Brown won the follow-up on what became a beautiful night for racing with hardly any rain.