RPW Exclusive: Looking Back A Bit; Fourth Week Of June

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY RI – Seventy years ago in 1949, Jin Holt scored his fourth win of the year at Seekonk.

Sixty five years ago in 1954 Johnny Thompson, who in later years be one of the top guns at the Norwood Arena, was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Money Bags Moe Gherzi was up to the task on Saturday as he won the 50 lap July 4th Sportsman event in the Garutti Bros. No.14. Tom Van Epps and John Chiangi were the non-Ford winners. At Seekonk, Freddy Luchesi was the A division winner and Ed Hoyle was the B division winner at Seekonk.

Sixty years ago in 1959, George Janoski was the Friday night winner on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Bill Slater in the V-8 went two for two as he scored Sportsman division wins at the New London Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday. Charlie Webster and Rene Charland were non Ford winners while Ben Hewitt and Walt Dombrowski were Bomber winners. Dave Humphrey made it two in a row at Seekonk. Bill Torrisi took the win at the Buffalo Civic Stadium. The following day Jeno Begolo won a 50 lapper at Lancaster.

Fifty five years ago in 1964 it was announced that NASCAR Grandnational (Cup) driver Glenn “Fireball” Roberts had passed away after being badly burned at the Charlotte Motor Speedway back in May. New Jersey driver Tommie Elliott had a near perfect weekend as he went three for four as he scored feature wins at Fort Dix on Thursday, Vineland on Friday and at Wall Stadium on Saturday. Joe Kelly was the spoiler as he won at Old Bridge on Sunday while Elliott finished fifth. Al DeAngelo won at Islip and Bill Wimble got his fourth at Fonda after Lou Lazzaro was disqualified for rough riding. Wimble also made it three in a row, five for the year on the dirt at Stafford Springs. George Janoski and Rene Charland followed. Ray Moran was the winner of a 50 lap Fourth of July Special Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Dave Humphrey was the A division winner at Seekonk.

Fifty years ago in 1969, the Fourth of July weekend started of on Friday at Stafford and at Malta. Stafford ran a 100 lapper which saw southern invader Ray Hendrick make an appearance. Bugsy Stevens was the kingpin and made it known that he was not about to play second fiddle to the man they called Mr. Modified. Stevens took the event with Hendrick, second. Fred DeSarro finished third with Bobby Santos, fourth. Dave Kotary was the winner at Malta with Guy Chartrand, second. Saturday night at Norwood, Billy Schulz beat out Johnny Thompson and Roland LaPierre Sr. for the win. At Islip, Fred Harbach was the winner with Booker T. Washington Jones finishing second. At Fonda, Kenny Shoemaker made it two in a row and at Airborne Park; Guy Chartrand made it four in a row. Glynn Shafer made it two in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won the 50-lap holiday special. Larry Crandall was the Daredevil winner. Dick Costa was the A division winner at Seekonk. At Thompson, on Sunday, it was Bugsy Stevens holding off DeSarro for the win.

Forty five years ago in 1974 the holiday weekend started on Wednesday, July 3 when Stafford ran a 150 lapper. Jerry Cook took the win over Geoff Bodine, Brian Ross and Richie Evans. Cook backed his Stafford win with a 100-lap win at Utica-Rome on Friday night. Evans finished second with Bernie Miller, third. Freeport was also scheduled to run on Friday but was rained out. In action on Saturday night, Bugsy Stevens won at Stafford. Ronnie Bouchard was the runner-up. At Islip, Jim Hendrickson in the Ferrente x3 beat out Gary Winters and Charlie Jarzombek. Glynn Shafer won the scheduled 30 lap Modified event at Waterford. Ron Cote was the Grand American late model winner. Fulton ran twin events on Sunday with Evans and Bodine each taking victories. In other weekend action, Gene Bergin beat out Fred DeSarro at Star Speedway on Thursday. DeSarro beat Deke Astle at Seekonk on Saturday and at Thompson on Sunday, won out over Angie Cerese and Tony Russo. Paul Radford won a 100 lapped at Oswego plus scored victories at Metrolina and Hickory in North Carolina. George Summers made it two in a row at Seekonk.

Forty years ago in 1979, the Fourth of July weekend started on Wednesday at Westboro with an open competition 50 lapper. The event drew 33 cars. On the start, nine cars were wrecked including pre race favorites George Summers and Bugsy Stevens. Geoff Bodine who was trying to make a name for himself in the Southland came north and took a ride with Lee Allard. Bodine won the 50 lapper and was followed by Charlie Jarzombek, Fats Caruso and Jerry Cook. On Thursday night the action switched to Holland. Maynard Troyer blew while leading and opened the door for Richie Evans to step in and take the win. Cook finished second with George Kent, third. On Friday night, Stafford presented the annual Ferrara 100. Bodine and Satch Worley driving Allard team cars finished one-three with Ronnie Bouchard being the spoiler, finishing second. Cook was fourth. On Saturday the racers got a break as all racing in New England and New York State rained out. On Sunday the Modifieds ran at Oswego and at Thompson. At Oswego it was a repeat of Stafford as Bodine and Worley were again one-three. This time Richie Evans was the spoiler. Roger Treichler was fourth. In small block action at Thompson, George Savory took the win over Leo Cleary and Ron Bouchard who borrowed the ride of Fats Caruso after his own suffered engine problems

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Thirty five years ago in 1984, Spencer Speedway had an event scheduled for July 4th but it was rained out. Friday night at Stafford belonged to Reggie Ruggiero as he beat out Brett Bodine and Kenny Bouchard for the win. Riverside and Waterford rained out on Saturday but Riverhead was able to get their show in with Wayne Anderson holding off Tom Baldwin for the win. Shangri-La ran double features with Jim Spencer scoring a one-two punch, winning both. Racing at Thompson on Sunday also rained out.

Thirty years ago in 1989, the Modified tour series visited Riverhead on Wednesday. Reggie Ruggiero went pole to pole to win the 151-lap event over Dan Jivenelli, Mike McLaughlin and Steve Park. Park had been running second at the 125-lap mark when he tangled with Mike Ewanitsko. Rounding out the top five was Wayne Anderson. At Stafford on Friday, Mike Christopher took the 35 lap SK Modified win over Bob Potter. Waterford ran a 50 lapper with David Gada taking the win. Riverside set an all time attendance record as the track reported 9264 spectators on hand. Bob Polverari won the Modified event over John Zavisa. The Mod tour series headed for Oswego on Sunday. Tony Hirschman held off Mike McLaughlin who finished second with Ruggiero, third. In other weekend action, Jeff Malave won at Riverhead; Randy Hedger at Shangri-La and Tony Jankowyak won a Race of Champions qualifier at Pulaski, VA.

Twenty five years ago in 1994, Stafford started the holiday weekend off with a 100 lapper, which was won by John Anderson. On Saturday night at Waterford, Phil Rondeau scored one of his two modified wins as he beat out Mark LaJunesse, Bob Potter, John Anderson and Todd Ceravolo. Jerry Young was the late model winner. At Riverside Park, Reggie Ruggiero all but owned the place as he crossed the finish line ahead of Tom Cravenho and Dan Avery. At Riverhead it was Bill Park over Eddie Brunnhoelzl. On Sunday, July 3, Ed Flemke Jr. scored his first ever-Modified tour win as he won a 102-lap contest at Tioga. Wayne Anderson finished second with Chris Aman, third. On Monday, July 4, Lancaster ran a 150 lapper. New England invader Rick Fuller took top honors over Jim Rudolph and Jan Leaty. In Winston Cup action at Daytona, Jim Spencer did the bump and grind with Ernie Irvan over the final laps and raced home the winner, by inches.

Twenty years ago, in 1999, Brad Leighton took the lead on lap 43 in the Busch Grandnational North 150 at Stafford after Dave Dion spun in oil. It was Leighton’s fourth win of the year. Jeff Taylor finished second with Dion, third. Stafford’s SK Modified event rained out. Waterford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Eric Berndt taking the win over Jeff Pearl and Tucker Reynolds. Riverhead went to Frank Vigliaro Jr. In 100-degree heat, Bert Marvin went pole to pole at Thompson. Todd Ceravolo finished second with Tom Tagg, third. At Riverside, Rob Summers won a 125 lapper over Ted Riggott and Bob Polverari. In Busch Grandnational action at Milwaukee, Casey Atwood hit Jeff Green on the final lap and went on to take the win over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Glenn Allen. In Winston Cup action under the lights at Daytona, Dale Jarrett took the lead on lap 146 of the 160-lap distance and took the win over Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Burton.

Fifteen years ago in 2004, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was on their mid season break. The next event would be at the Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. With eight of the 19 scheduled events already in the record books Eddie Flemke Jr. sat atop the point standings with a 70-point lead over former series champion Tony Hirschman. Flemke, who won at Waterford on May 15, had finished in the top five on seven occasions. Flemke and his Roger Hill owned race team had a game plan to run hard and run safe in 2004 and if their first half performance was any indication, they could very well be sitting at the head table at season’s end. Hirschman, who won at Stafford on May 28 and at Lake Erie on June 12, had a total of five top fives. Jerry Marquis, who won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford on April 25 and at Riverhead on June 5, sat in third spot despite being the division’s top money winner. Marquis was 113 points out of the lead and including his wins, has 5 top fives. Ted Christopher, who won the season opening IceBreaker at Thompson, was 156 points out of the lead in fourth spot. Christopher’s win came at the expense of Todd Szegedy who was disqualified when officials determined he had an illegal rear end gear. Ricky Fuller, all though winless, rounded out the top five. Fuller had one top five in eight starts and is 238 points behind the leader. Sixth through tenth in the standings were Jamie Tomaino, Chuck Hossfeld, Tony Ferrante Jr., Tom Bolles and Tom Cravenho. Kenny Barry was the leading rookie and sat in 11th spot. Other Modified Tour Series winners at the mid-season mark are Todd Szegedy at Nazareth on May 23 and Reggie Ruggiero at Wall Township on June 26. The Featherlite Modified Tour Series had been one of the strongest in NASCAR as events consistently draw between 40-50 cars per event.

The Busch North Series was also off for the weekend. Car counts could have been better but the dedication of those in competition was very high.

Cool heads on a hot night prevailed at Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Bert Marvin who has had more than his share of bad luck in 2004 finally got a break and recorded his first win of the season as he took the top spot in the Sunoco Modified SK type event. Marvin jumped into the lead on lap two and never looked back. Pole sitter Adam Norton spent a lot of time looking in his mirror as he bounced off or cut off just about everyone who attempted to pass. The mirror driving didn’t work as he ended up 12th at the finish. Kerry Malone finished second but had nothing for Marvin. Bo Gunning, Ted Christopher and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five. David Berghman became a three-time winner in the Pro Stock division while Ryan Posocco got his first in Late Model action. Other winners were Scott Sundeen in the Limited Sportsman, Roger Larson in the Mini Stocks and Randy Cabral in the NEMA Midgets.

Ted Christopher beat out defending SK Modified champion Kerry Malone at Stafford on Friday night. The modifieds played second fiddle to the Late Models who were showcased in a 100 lapper that went to Tom Butler. Rounding out the top five in the SK Modified feature were Chuck Docherty, Woody Pitkat and Jeff Baral.

Ted Christopher carried his winning ways from Stafford over to Waterford on Saturday night as he made it two out of three for the weekend. Christopher led the 100-lap feature from lap 30. Tom Fox finished second but had nothing for Christopher. Keith Rocco, who is on Christopher’s crew, made it two in a row in Sportsman competition. Phil Rondeau waited until the final lap of the Late Model feature to steal the glory from Allen Coates as he won the exciting Late Model feature. It was announced that Late Model driver Brandon Plemons had been suspended from racing at any NASCAR track for the remainder of 2004. Plemons, who was also fined $250, deliberately smashed his car into the driver’s door of Carl Erickson on June 26.

The Nextel Cup division and the Busch Racing Series of NASCAR were at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Mike Wallace was the surprise winner of the Busch Series event as he went from fifth to first in the final lap. If Jason Lefler hadn’t been so intent on mirror driving and spinning out his competition he might have won. The Pepsi 400 got a two hour late start because of monsoon type rain in central Florida. Jeff Gordon was the eventual winner. Two spectators were slightly injured from lightning earlier in the day. It had been learned that former modified ace Greg Sacks has entered the upcoming Nextel Cup event at Chicagoland. Sacks would drive a former Ray Everham car now owned by himself, James Wilsburg and Ed Raabs. Wilsburg is a former crew chief for Sacks when he drove Modifieds.

Ten years ago in 2009, In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway rain prevailed.

Ted Christopher returned to familiar ground at the Stafford Motor Speedway. Christopher drove to his second victory of the 2009 season and his third overall win in the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Jim Peterson took down his first win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen scored his third win of the 2009 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Shawn Thibeault picked up his first career victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande picked up his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature a week after his twin brother won his first career DARE Stock feature.

The Waterford Speedbowl celebrated the nation’s birthday in grand fashion, hosting the 12th annual Pepsi 300 on a beautiful summer evening. The Speedbowl’s leaders in the four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions each performed up to their lofty status. Keith Rocco checkered the SK Modified race, Bruce Thomas Jr. won in the Late Models, and Danny Field was the Mini Stock winner. Ronnie Oldham finished in second in the Street Stocks, while it was Walt Hovey taking down the event win.

The True Value Modified Series visited the ultra fast ¼ mile high banked Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Kirk Alexander started the race on the outside pole and did what he does best; he drove his car hard right to the front to capture the lead. He then held on to the number one position for 100 laps to dominate and win the TVMRS race. Les Hinckley was Mr. Consistent during the night of competition running at a steady pace to come across the start finish lien in second. Running in the top ten in points for the TVMRS, young Rowan Pennink has continued his competitive run with the series finishing the night with a podium finish. Dwight Jarvis and Rob Goodenough rounded out the top five.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup action in Daytona, Kyle Busch passed Tony Stewart right before the final lap to take the lead, but Stewart chased him down and calculated his next move. Stewart closed in on Busch’s bumper, and slight contact sent Busch drifting up the track. Busch slid back down to maintain his lead, then tried to slide in front of Stewart to block Stewart’s next move. The cars were too close together and Stewart hooked Busch’s right corner to send Busch sailing into the wall.

The contact triggered a multiple crash behind them, but Stewart sailed through for his second points win of the season. The two-time series champion was leading the points in his first season as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, which he overhauled from a backmarker team into a title contender after 10 seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing. It was a horrendous wreck for Busch, who climbed from his car apparently unscathed but had to be forced by four NASCAR officials into a waiting safety vehicle. He finished 14th and refused to comment after the race. Jimmie Johnson was second, and Denny Hamlin, Busch’s teammate, finished third. Carl Edwards was fourth, and Kurt Busch fifth.

Clint Bowyer won the Nationwide Series race at Daytona, holding off Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards in a green-white-checkered finish.

Five years ago in 2014, The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of three visits during the 2013 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the Inaugural VMRS 80. Taking the checkered flag was former Stafford SK Modified® regular and 2003 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Todd Szegedy.

Ted Christopher started on the pole of the 80 lapper and led until lap 9 before giving way to Eric Goodale. Goodale had built up a comfortable lead but Christopher was beginning to erase that advantage as the race neared the halfway point of 40-laps. The top-2 cars had a margin of a half straightaway back to the trio of Keith Rocco, Todd Szegedy, and Rowan Pennink. With 44 laps complete, Dave Schneider, Norm Wrenn, Mike Willis, Jr., and Todd Owen spun coming out of turn 4 directly in front of Goodale, who had to stop to avoid crashing into the spun cars. Goodale was able to maintain the race lead for the restart.

On the restart, Christopher got a good run on the outside of Goodale and he moved back to the race lead for the first time since lap-9. Szegedy was also on the outside of Goodale and he was trying to take over second. Szegedy cleared Goodale after a lap of side by side racing and now Rocco was on the outside of Goodale and he got around Goodale to move into third on lap-47.

Szegedy was now looking to make a move around Christopher for the race lead. With Szegedy looking for a way around Christopher, Rocco was looking for a way to make a pass on Szegedy as the action at the front of the pack was picking up in a hurry. The caution came back out with 50 laps complete for Dylan Kopec, who spun in turn 4.

The restart order was Christopher and Szegedy on the front row, Rocco and Goodale in the second row, Pennink and Tommy Barrett in the third row, Justin Bonsignore and Anthony Nocella in the fourth row, and Chris Pasteryak and Richard Savary in the fifth row.

On the restart, Savary got into the turn 2 wall and Matt Mead spun in turn 2 to bring the caution right back out before a lap could be completed. Back under green, Christopher took the lead with Szegedy quickly slotting himself into second behind Christopher. Rocco was third, with Goodale and Pennink lined up behind him. Szegedy made a strong move on lap-53, but Christopher was able to keep Szegedy behind him. Szegedy made another strong move on lap-58 to get alongside Christopher and he made his move stick for the lead on lap-59. With Szegedy now in front, he began to slowly pull away from Christopher after riding behind him for so many laps. Szegedy was continuing to stretch out his advantage over Christopher in the closing laps while Rocco was applying heavy pressure to Christopher’s bumper in a fight for second. Szegedy led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first VMRS feature victory. Christopher was able to hold off Rocco for second, with Pennink and Goodale rounding out the top-5.

There were 33 Valenti Modifieds on hand. In other Friday night racing at Stafford, Chase Dowling beat out Woody Pitkat to win the 45-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature. It was the first career SK Modified victory for Dowling, who was making his fourth start in the division. Pitkat finished second with Dan Avery, third. Dylan Menditto won the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature. Johnny Walker, won for the second consecutive time in the 20-lap DARE Stock feature and Austin Bessette was the Limited Late Model winner.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday night. The event drew 28 cars and a full house of spectators for the Mr. Rooter 161. Donnie Lia in the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile was the pole sitter. Bobby Santos was second fastest. Lia jumped out at the start and led the event for 133 laps before an inside move by Santos on the low side between turns three and four caught Lia by surprise. Santos had tried to pass Lia numerous times on the outside but to no avail. Lia, finished second. Ted Christopher finished third. Santos and Lia ran the event non-stop without a pit stop while Christopher pitted and came from the rear to the front. Justin Bonsignore and Patrick Emerling were fourth and fifth, respectively. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat, Keith Rocco, Ron Yuhas, Jr. and Doug Coby.

The shoreline oval took its toll on many of the competitors. One of those was Tommy Barrett who had worked his way from a 14th starting position to the runner-up spot when he fell victim to a flat tire and hit the wall which ultimately placed him 24th in the final run-down. Ron Silk was also a contender until a bout Timmy Solomito and the wall in turn three ended his night on lap 145. Silk ended up 20th.

Justin Bonsignore took over the points lead from Doug Coby, who finished 10th, by two points. Santos is third, three back of Coby. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour now heads to the Riverhead (New York) Raceway this coming Saturday, June 28.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Ed Puleo picked up his second SK Modified® win of the season and Bruce Thomas Jr. landed his second Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature win of 2014. Bill McNeil took his first Street Stock victory and Ray Christian III won the Mini Stocks.

At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Former Legend Race Car champion Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead at just 18-years old realized his life long dream Saturday night when he topped a non-stop 35 lap NASCAR Modified feature at Riverhead Raceway. Modified weekly racing appears to be in trouble on the Island as only 12 cars were on hand.

In Modified racing in the Southland, Tim Brown ended a long dry spell as he won the first of what was supposed to be two 25 lap features for the Modifieds at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.

Brown won the pole and led wire-to-wire to win Saturday’s only race in the Modified Division. Rain finally ended racing for the night just as the Modified cars lined up for the second race. Brown, who now has 71 victories at the place they call “The MadHouse” trails all time winner Junior Miller by two wins. Miller, who is in his 60’s is still an active competitor at Bowman Gray and has recently purchased a new car from North East Race Cars. Burt Myers, the Modified Division points leader, stayed glued to Brown’s tail most of the race and wound up second.

Carl Edwards held off a late charge from eight-time road course winner Jeff Gordon to win the Sonoma Toyota/Save Mart 350, his first road course victory and the 23rd triumph of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Gordon finished second with Dale Earnhardt Jr, third. Brendan Gaughan won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Last year, 2018, The Stafford Motor Speedway started the weekend of racing off with a new winner in their SK Modified division, Joey Cipriano. Cipriano started on the outside pole and led the entire 40 lap distance. Other winners were Tom Fearn, who extended his Stafford track record with a 6th consecutive Late Model win, Marcello Rufrano scored win number four of the 2018 season in the SK Light feature, Ryan Fearn took down his third win of 2018 in the Limited Late Model feature, and Brandon Michael scored his second win of the season in the Street Stock feature.

Mike Christopher Jr finished second with Steven Kopcik, Glen Reen, and Ronnie Williams rounding out the top-5.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed south last Saturday, June 23, to the 3/8 mile Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. Ryan Preece passed Justin Bonsignore for the lead on Lap 131, and he never looked back en route to his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the season.

The triumph was the 22nd of his career, and his first at the 0.396-mile Virginia oval. The 27-year-old has now been to Victory Lane in seven of his last 19 stars in Whelen Modified Tour competition.

When the caution flew on Lap 103 for a planned mid-race break, Bonsignore, Doug Coby and Eric Goodale elected to stay on the track and take over the top three spots. On the restart, Coby lost positions, and eventually cut down a left-rear tire which caused him to crash that ended his night.

On the following green flag, Preece began to hound the back bumper of Bonsignore’s No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet, and attempted to make the pass multiple times but to no avail. Finally, on lap 131, Preece took the bottom lane off turn two, and cleared to the point down into turn three. He was not challenged for the remainder of the race.

Bonsignore settled for second, with Matt Hirschman charging back up through the field late to finish in third. Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five. Chase Dowling finished sixth, followed by Ronnie Williams, Rowan Pennink, Chris Pasteryak and Blake Barney.

Preece was out front in the No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet for a race-high 83 laps, while Bonsignore was out front for 25 laps.

Bonsignore holds a 23-point advantage in the championship standings over Dowling, while Timmy Solomito is 44 points back in third. Craig Lutz, who had his motor expire on lap 29, dropped to fourth in the standings.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Riverhead Raceway on Saturday, July 7. In a somewhat related matter, Jeff Rocco who drove Eddie Harveys Ni.1 to a 15th place finish drove all night from Langley in Virginia to the Mid-Ohio Road course where he finished second in an event run there.

While the Whelen Modified Tour headed south the Valenti Modified Racing Series headed north to the New Hampshire International Speedway for the New England Short Track Showdown. On and off rain all but wiped out Saturday’s activity at the Loudon oval with the exception of one bright spot. In his first ever laps around New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jacob Perry recorded the fastest lap during Saturday’s abbreviated Modified Racing Series practice session for the New England Short Track Showdown.

Sunday’s weather wasn’t much better except it was dry. The racing was great, too bad hardly anyone saw them as the grandstands were all but empty. Ron Silk won the 50 lap Valenti Modified Racing Series 50 lapper while Reid Lanpher accomplished a rare feat as he beat Eddie MacDonald at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Lanpher powered around the 10-time NHMS winner on the final lap to win the $5,000-to-win Granite State Pro Stock Series race. Alby Ovitt won the Street Stock race which was red-checkered with 13 laps remaining and Nick Maniatis won the North East Mini Stock Tour feature.

In the VMRS 50 lapper, Silk started outside front row and was quickly joined by Anthony Nocella and Woody Pitkat, as the class of the field. The three swapped the lead position several times throughout the 50-lap sprint.

Three caution flags created very competitive restarts with several drivers making up ground and making things interesting over the final 12-laps. Jon McKennedy was making one of his late race charges when he developed brake issues and fell off the pace. Nocella, who was punted by Silk in the closing laps, e overcame it for the top-five finish. Pitkat was troubled by a kill switch issue to knock him from winning his second consecutive series race at NHMS.

Richard Savary finished second with Les Hinckley, third. Rounding out the top five was David Schneider and Nocella,

Down on the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl rain prevailed, washing out Saturday nights program. The Speedbowl did run its Wacky Wednesday program. Dylan DeCoster started on the pole and led every lap to capture the 25-lap X-Car feature as part of the Speedbowl’s Wild and Wacky Wednesday.

In other action Wednesday, Don Berge, at the age of 55, showed he still knows how to get to victory lane when he overwhelmed he field in the extra-distance 35-lap X-Car feature. John O’Sullivan survived a frantic battle with Peter Bennett to prevail in the 25-lap Legends feature while Ethan Simmons pulled in his first Bandolero feature victory after the winner was disqualified due to a technical violation.

Across the big pond on Long Island, the rain and mist that wiped out Waterford moved to eastern Long Island and wiped out the Racing at the Riverhead Raceway.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, It was another great night for the Myers family at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday. Burt Myers held off Tim Brown for the win in the 100-lap Modified race, and brother Jason Myers and Chris Fleming split the $9,000 Fans’ Challenge after finishing third and fourth respectively.

Burt Myers, an eight-time Modified champion, cruised for his fourth win of the year and 77th for his career.

Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series race in Sonoma on Sunday, using a clever pit strategy to cruise to his second career victory on the challenging road course.

Truex easily held off Kevin Harvick for his second win in three weeks and his third victory of the season in his Furniture Row Racing Toyota.

The defending Cup Series champion waited to pit until the 81st lap, a full eight laps later than Harvick. Truex and his crew chief, Cole Pearn, appeared to use a bit of trickery on the decision, bluffing an earlier move to the pits and enticing Harvick into pit lane instead.

The decision left fresher tires on Truex’s car down the stretch and allowed him to pass Harvick for the lead around the final hairpin turn with 20 laps to go.

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