Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago Ted Tappett was the Class A winner at Seekonk.
Sixty five years ago in 1954, Wednesday night racing at the New London Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain. Moe Gherzi took the Saturday night Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval and Tom Van Epps made it four in a row in non-Ford action. Norm Duquett was the winner at Seekonk
Sixty years ago in 1959 George Janoski made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Fred Luchesi with the Sgambato No.9 cleaned house in the Sportsman division at the New London Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday night. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner. Walt Dombrowski was the winner in the Bombers. Bill Slater regained his winning ways on Saturday night at the Speedbowl as he put the mighty V-8 in victory lane in the Sportsman division. Tom Sutcliff was the non-Ford winner and Dombrowski made it two in a row in the Bombers.. Don Coy won a 200 lap midget event at the Buffalo Civic Stadium and Ken Owens was the winner at the Lancaster Speedway. Seekonk rained out.
Fifty five years ago in 1964, Bill Wimble made it six in a row on the dirt at Stafford Springs as he outran local favorites George Janoski and Ernie Gahan. Billy Harman made it two in a row in Modified action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Glaude was the Bomber winner at the Waterford Ct. oval. At the cement palace in Seekonk, Ma, George Summers took his first win of the year.
Fifty years ago in 1969, the All Star League was in full swing. Starting on Wednesday night at the Norwood Arena, Bugsy Stevens used his home track advantage to take on the best in the east and dusted the field as he won the 100 lapper. Freddie Schulz finished second and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Leo Cleary, Fred DeSarro, Johnny Thompson and Jack Malone. The top seven were all Norwood Arena regulars. The league moved to Stafford on Friday night and Stevens continued his winning ways. Flemke came home in second spot and was followed by Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell. Boutwell was driving the famous No.28 co-owned by the Garutti Brothers and Jack Arute. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Ed Pieniezak was the winner over Bernie Miller and Maynard Forette. Back at Norwood for their regular Saturday night program, Johnny Thompson in his Ford powered No.122 was the victor. Jack Malone finished second and was followed by DeSarro and Stevens. At the Waterford Speedbowl Daring Dick Caso took the top spot in the 36 lap Modified feature. Fonda and Airborne rained out. At Seekonk, Jon Astle took the 50 lap A main. Eddie StAngelo was the Late Model winner. On Sunday at Thompson, Smokey Boutwell ruled the roost. DeSarro finished second with Stevens and Bob Santos following.
Forty five years ago in 1974, Geoff Bodine in his own No.99 dominated the upstate New York circuit as he went three for three as he took wins at Utica-Rome on Friday, Shangri-La on Saturday and Fulton on Sunday. On Long Island, Charlie Jarzombek equaled Bodine’s fete as he also went three for three as he took wins at Freeport on Friday, Islip on Saturday and Riverhead on Sunday. At Stafford, Bugsy Stevens won a Trenton qualifier. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was awarded the spot. Stevens also won on Friday at Malta. Donnie Bunnell made it two in a row in Modified action at the Waterford Speedbowl. Ron Cote was the Grand American Late Model winner. At Monadnock, Dynamite Ollie Silva was the winner. George Summers recorded his seventh win of the year at Seekonk.
Forty years ago in 1979, Stafford presented Modified Madness on Tuesday. Richie Evans and Maynard Troyer finished one-two in the 50-lap open comp event that drew 28 modifieds. Ronnie Bouchard made a run to the front but was hampered with a slipping clutch and was held to a third place finish. Rounding out the top five were Jerry Cook and Bugsy Stevens. Bouchard redeemed himself on Friday as he returned to Stafford and beat the pants off of Evans who had to settle for second. Bouchard continued his hot streak and went on to win at Seekonk on Saturday and again at Thompson on Sunday. Evans traveled to Islip on Saturday where he won a 150 lapper. A trip to Monadnock produced a DNF. Brian Ross was the Monadnock winner over Jerry Cook and Reggie Ruggiero. Other weekend winners included George Kent at Spencer and Shangri-La, Ruggiero at Riverside and Peter Schwartz at Westboro. Bob Potter won a 200 lapper at Waterford over Dick Ceravolo and it was also on this weekend that Tom Rosati, at 19 years of age, won the Oxford 250.
Thirty five years ago in 1984, Monadnock and New Egypt ran special events on Wednesday. Reggie Ruggiero won a 100 lapper at Monadnock while Jim Spencer beat out Richie Evans at New Egypt. The action switched to Star Speedway on Thursday where Evans took the top spot over Brett Bodine. Stafford rained out on Friday but at Spencer, Tom Druar won a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier. Saturday action saw Dale Holdredge score a popular win at Waterford and at Riverside, Ruggiero was the top dog. Other weekend winners were Tony Siscone winning the Garden State 200 at Wall, Charlie Jarzombek taking a 75 lapper at Oswego and in Winston Cup action at Talledega it was Dale Earnhardt.
Thirty years ago in 1989, the Modified Tour Series was at Stafford for a 125-lap event. Mike Stefanik took the win over Mike McLaughlin and Tom Bolles. Riverhead ran a Race of Champions qualifier on Saturday with invader, George Kent taking the win over McLaughlin. Sunday at Thompson, Jeff Barry was the SK modified winner.
Twenty five years ago in 1994, the Modified Tour Series was at Riverside Park for a Wednesday event. Mario Fiore was without a driver and joined forces with Jerry Marquis for a one shot deal. Needless to say, the mighty No.44 found the fastest way around and Marquis won the show. Jeff Fuller finished second and was followed by Steve Park, Richie Gallup and Ed Kennedy. Thompson ran SK’s the same night with John Sneade taking the win over Frank Cardile. John Anderson won the Friday night SK modified feature at Stafford with Steve Chownnski, second. Bob Potter, driving with a broken wrist, finished third. Saturday night action at Waterford, Riverside and Riverhead rained out. In Winston Cup action at Talledega, Jim Spencer took the win over Bill Elliott.
Twenty Years ago, in 1999, the Modified Tour was at Thompson on Thursday night. Tim Connolly started sixth, pitted for right side tires on lap 64 and took the lead which resulted in an eventual win on lap 90.Charlie Pasteryak finished second and was followed by Tony Hirschman, Rick Fuller and Chris Kopec. A packed house was on hand at Stafford on Friday night for the running of BGNN 150, which was won by Dennis Demers. Curt Brainard was the SK modified winner. Tucker Reynolds ruled the roost at Waterford despite the efforts of Dennis Gada and at Riverhead; Dan Jivenelli beat back the advances of Howie Brode. It was a good night for Ed Spiers as he took down the win at Riverside. Brad Hietalla finished second
Fifteen years ago in 2004, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon on Friday. The purse for this event was $151,203. Ted Christopher found himself at the top of the 47 car heap as he took the Busch Pole with a speed of 128.537 mph. John Blewett III was second fastest with a speed of 128.363 mph. Part time tour competitor Jan Leaty was third with rookie Kenny Barry, fourth. Rounding out the top five was Don Lia. Defending race winner Chuck Hossfeld qualified a distant 19th, a little over two miles per hour slower than the pole sitter did. Heavy rain on Friday afternoon forced NASCAR to reschedule the event to Saturday afternoon following the Busch Series and Busch North Series events.
The Saturday weather held and the Modified Siemens 100 was run. Since the advent of Stock Car racing in the late 1940’s there have been fathers and sons, fathers and grandsons and brothers and sisters racing against each other but last Saturday at Loudon identical twin brothers, Ted and Mike Christopher, in almost identical cars finished one-two in what had to be one of the greatest NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series event ever run. The Christopher’s drove Modifieds owned by Jim Galante. The Christopher’s moved into the top spots on lap 65 and outran a determined Mike Stefanik to the finish at lap 108.
The history-making event saw Ted Christopher jump out to take the lead at the start followed by John Blewett III and Jan Leaty. Reggie Ruggiero became the first casualty as he lost an engine on lap 6. The first of nine caution flags was waved on lap 10 when Wade Cole incurred a flat left front tire. Kenny Barry had moved into the third spot as Jan Leaty began to fade the victim of a slipping clutch. The caution period lasted until lap 18 before going back green. Barry took the lead away from Christopher but his time on the point was short lived as he lost control and spun on lap 19, bringing out the second caution. Blewett took the lead on the restart on lap 25 but could only hold off Christopher for one lap as the former New England Regional champion powered his way back into the lead. Christopher along with Blewett and Donnie Lia opened up a 15-car length lead under the green flag period that lasted until lap 35 when Lia got to lead one lap until Christopher took it back. The third caution flew on lap 37. Christopher and a good portion of the field pitted for tires. Lia and Blewett chose to stay on the track and led the restart on lap 42. Two laps later a mass tangle unfolded and collected among others, Richie Gallup, Ed Flemke, Charlie Pasteryak, Ted Christopher and Tom Baldwin. All except Baldwin and Gallup were able to restart on lap 51 with Todd Szegedy taking the lead. Lia took it back on lap 52 with Szegedy, Doug Coby and Tony Hirschman in tow. Gregg Shivers pounded the front stretch wall on lap 55 bringing out the fifth caution. Lia pitted on lap 57, giving the lead back to Szegedy. Szegedy led the restart on lap 62 with Coby running second and Hirschman, third. Mike Christopher, who started 17th in the 42-car field, broke into the top five with his brother Ted on his bumper. The Christopher brothers made a determined bid of high speed bump drafting as they raced their way into the lead on lap 64. The sixth caution flew on lap 65 when Coby came to a halt after losing an engine. Just before the caution the Christopher’s traded spots which put Ted in the lead. On the lap 72 restart Szegedy was third followed by Blewett, Hirschman, Eric Beers and Zack Sylvester. The action slowed on lap 79 when Ronnie Silk lost an engine on the backstretch, bringing out the seventh caution. The field went green on lap 82. By lap 85 Blewett had gotten by Szegedy but had nothing for the high flying Christophers. Debris on the track brought the eighth caution on lap 86. The green came back out on lap 90 with Mike Stefanik mustering a challenge to the leaders. Unsuccessful, Stefanik got shuffled out of the front pack. Blewett and Szegedy got together and wrecked on lap 99, bringing out the ninth and final caution which set the stage for a green-white-checkered finish. The final green flew on lap 106. The Christophers were not to be denied as they streaked one-two under the checkered flag. Stefanik finished third and was followed by Hirschman, Lia, Sylvester, Flemke, Rick Fuller, Ken Barry and Charlie Pasteryak. For their efforts, the Christophers pocketed $18,300 combined. Eddie Flemke continued as the Series point leader with a 42-point edge on Tony Hirschman. Jerry Marquis, Ted Christopher and Rick Fuller rounded out the top five.
The Busch North Series was also at Loudon. Thirty-five cars were on hand with Mike Olsen taking the pole position with a speed of 124.674 mph. Dale Quarterly took the win as 43,000 spectators looked on.
In Wednesday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway hundreds of fans stood in line in close to 90-degree heat to get their autographs from Nextel Cup stars Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne. Kahne later took part in a match-exhibition race with Eric Berndt, Bo Gunning, Ted Christopher and Todd Ceravolo. In actual Sunoco-SK type modified competition Kerry Malone scored his second win of the season in a fast paced event that went non-stop from pole to checker. Malone started fourth and took the lead from Richard Savory on lap 2. The racing was intense as Bert Marvin glued himself to Malone’s bumper for almost the entire distance. Marvin tried on numerous occasions to make a pass but Malone had the power to hold him off. With seven laps to go Marvin made a bonsai move which almost cost him the runner-up spot but managed to gather it in so as to maintain his position. Ted Christopher, who started seventh, had nothing for the front runners and finished third. Jeff Malave and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five. In Pro Stock competition the old adage that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree came true as all one had to do was watch David Berghman in action. Berghman grew up in the shadow of his famous dad, 3-time NASCAR Modified Champion Carl “Bugsy” Stevens. Now retired, Stevens sits proud as a peacock watching his son perform as he did in years gone by. Berghman came from a tenth starting spot to fourth in four laps and by lap eight was glued to leader Chuck Docherty. Berghman, who operates DB Racecar Fabrication, had his tires fade as Norm Wrenn moved into the second spot. Docherty, who drives for Rollie Linblad, was headed for the win until being accidentally struck and spun by Wrenn as they came off the fourth turn and headed for the checkered flag. Wrenn took the win with Berghman second. Docherty, who eventually hit the infield wall, finished third as he spun out of control. Wrenn apologized in victory lane as he was booed loudly by the near-capacity crowd. In other action, Charles Bailey III reaped the reward of winning the Late Model feature when Larry Barnett had the miss-fortune of having his transmission implode while he was in the lead. Scott Sundeen won the Limited Sportsman feature and Randy Jurcik was victorious in Mini-Stock action. Thompson switches back to Thursday night this week.
Heavy rain at Stafford forced the Arute Family to pull the plug on the nights racing. Ted Christopher with six wins in 12 starts led the point standings with a 54-point edge over defending SK-Modified champion Kerry Malone. Christopher also leads the New England Region of the Dodge Weekly Racing Series. Although winless, Malone has six top five’s in 13 starts and has a four point lead over Willie Hardie. Todd Owen and James Civali round out the top five.
The SK-Modifieds were scheduled for a night off at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday. Defending five-time champion Dennis Gada, with one win in 15 starts held a slim two point lead over Ed Reed Jr. Reed, with two wins, leads Chris Pasteryak by 42 points. Tom Fox and Ron Yuhas Jr. rounded out the top five. A scheduled program at the shoreline oval was rained out.
The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH. Kurt Busch outran Jeff Gordon to take the Nextel Cup event and Matt Kenseth cruised to a win in the Saturday Busch Racing Series event.
The New York Times reported that the International Speedway Corporation had offered to pay $100 million for land on Staten Island in New York City where they hoped to build an 80,000 seat-3/4 mile speedway. The land in question was a former oil tank farm owned by GATX. If, in fact, this proposed speedway gets built it will all but put the proposed speedway in Plainfield, Connecticut on the “Never Happened” list.
Ten years ago in 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour continued on “Summer Break before heading for the Riverhead Raceway. Ted Christopher continued to lead the point standings with a 17-point cushion over Todd Szegedy. Thirty-nine points behind Szegedy was Don Lia. Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece who rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk, Jimmy Blewett, Woody Pitkat and Ed Flemke, Jr.
It was hinted that The Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY could be returning to its roots as an asphalt speedway if local officials have their way. The Malta oval was a mecca for NASCAR Modified racing from 1966 to 1974. The best in the business from New York and New England would converge every Friday night for some of the best competition ever seen. Originally built as an asphalt speedway, the speedway became a dirt track in the late 70’s.
The Thompson Speedway management took the bull by the horns as they created the position of “Competition Director” and hired Mike Chapman to fill that position. His job would be that of a cop as he would be making judgment calls during the running of the weekly events at the northeast Connecticut oval. NASCAR Chief Steward Richard Brooks would remain in his position and would focus more on the technical end of the racing programs. In recent weeks Brooks had preached and threatened competitors for weeks, especially to those in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds. The deliberate wrecking and rough riding continued with no action taken. It would be Chapman’s job to step on those who deliberately wreck or spin other competitors.
As rain began to fall Chapman held his first drivers meeting and laid down the law and announced that he wasn’t there to make friends. Chapman stated that he would not tolerate the beating and banging that has become the norm, especially in the Modifieds. One who deliberately takes out the leader goes to the back or to the pits. One who drives like a windshield wiper goes to the back and one who deliberately crashes into another competitor will be dealt with. Chapman talks the talk, hopefully he will walk the walk!
In other news from Thompson, the speedway had become a part of a great new service titled “Rained-Out.com”. Rained-Out.com sends notifications of cancellations or delays to mobile phones, pagers, blackberries or e-mails. The service was free for member tracks or users.
Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway was rained out as over four inches of rain fell on Thursday night into Friday morning.
The 6th Annual CARQUEST SK 150 was on tap at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Frank Ruocco came up the big winner, as he led the final 130-laps to score his first SK Modified feature victory of the 2009 season. In other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Dillon Moltz took down his fourth win of the 2009 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen took his fourth win of the 2009 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Norm Sears took his first career Limited Late Model feature win in 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders became the first repeat DARE Stock feature winner of the 2009 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Unofficial SK Modified third place finisher Tom Bolles’ car was found to exceed the maximum left side weight percentage allowed and he was penalized from his finishing position of third place to the last place finishing position of 27th place.
The racing action at Waterford Speedbowl took on a different look as the Saturday divisions were schedule to race on both Wednesday and Saturday. Corey Hutchings grabbed his first open-wheel win at the ‘Bowl, holding off the competition in a fiercely competitive SK Modified event. Bruce Thomas Jr. prevailed late to win the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model event, while it was Walt Hovey Jr taking the Street Stock win. Defending Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock champion Ken Cassidy Jr. returned to Victory Lane, as did Ryan Morgan in Legends Car action.
With the win, Hutchings had now captured victories in three of the Speedbowl’s four NASCAR divisions. He was a past Street Stock and Late Model track champion.
The regular divisions returned on Saturday night and it was high tide at the shoreline oval. The four inches of rain that fell on the Thompson also put the Speedbowl under water. The infield was finally drained and the racing went on as planned. Because of delays qualifying heat events were eliminated.
There two first time winners this season reaching victory lane as Jeff Pearl won the SK Modified race while Adam Cantor took his first NEMA Midget event of the year. Bruce Thomas Jr. returned to victory lane in the Late Models, and Ed Puleo and Kyle James repeated in the Street Stock and Mini Stock races.
Thomas, the two-time defending Late Model division champion, wracked up his ninth victory in 12 events this year. Tim Jordan, who dogged Thomas until the final lap crashed into the turn three wall. A video indicated that Jordan over drove and lost control. After viewing the video Jordan was quoted on the Jeff Pearl.com website as saying “I hit the wall by misjudging. Just wanted to let the racing community know that. I screwed up.”
In Sprint Cup action, Jimmie Johnson cashed in on the most expensive speeding ticket in NASCAR history, grabbing an improbable third victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when a penalty to Juan Pablo Montoya blew the race wide open. In a performance that mirrored his dominating Indianapolis 500 victory nine years ago, Montoya was in cruise control as he led 116 laps and built a 5-second lead over the competition. Then NASCAR flagged him for speeding on a routine pit stop with 35 laps remaining, and the driver became unglued.
The penalty took him out of contention and relegated him to an 11th-place finish. Montoya, who had moved as high as sixth in the Sprint Cup standings as he ran out front, instead lost a spot and is now 10th in the race for the Chase for the championship. The difference in his paycheck was severe: Johnson earned $448,001 for the victory, while Montoya’s share of the purse was knocked down to $224,048. Mark Martin finished second with Tony Stewart, third.
In Nationwide Series racing at the O’Reilley Raceway Park, Carl Edwards started 42nd out of 43 drivers because he spent the day at Brickyard 400 qualifying and got into the Saturday night race on owner points took the win. He moved up 15 spots by the end of the fourth lap, and took the lead for good in lap 179.Kyle Busch, who started 41st and qualified because of owner points, finished second.
Five years ago in 2014, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. for the Whelen All-Star Shootout on Friday and the Sunoco 100 on Saturday.
In the Friday All-Star Shootout Ryan Newman took the win over Justin Bonsignore and Mike Stefanik. Ron Silk and Bobby Santos rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Preece, Chuck Hossfeld, Todd Szegedy, Ted Christopher and JR Bertuccio. In a lame brain move, NASCAR pulled the plug on the event after 37 laps when it reached its 30-minute time limit. Silk held the lead over Patrick Emerling and Ryan Preece into the halfway break at Lap 20. A random draw determined a 10-car invert and put Doug Coby and Bonsignore on the front row, with Newman restarting fifth. The race featured six official lead changes and Newman was credited with leading the final 16 laps.
A nasty crash eliminated Donnie Lia and Patrick Emmerling on Lap 27. Emerling and Lia make contact and spun in turn four. A lot of damage was inflicted to both cars.
Bobby Santos scored his first win at Loudon as he won the Sunoco 100 in fitting style. In a race that featured multiple lead changes on nearly every lap, 35 official lead changes, the Franklin, Mass., driver made just one pass for the lead and led just one lap Saturday. Santos drove his No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet by Ted Christopher in Turn 4 of the last lap en route to taking the win.
It was Santos’ 13th career win but first in 16 career starts at the 1.058-mile oval. Doug Coby also got by Christopher and finished second by just .065 seconds. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman was fourth and NASCAR Next driver Ryan Preece came home fifth. The top five cars finished within three-tenths of a second of the leader. Justin Bonsignore finished sixth, followed by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Tommy Barrett Jr., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader Andy Seuss, Ron Silk and Chuck Hossfeld.
Silk, who won the Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying Saturday morning, led a race-high 36 laps. Preece led 30 laps and Christopher 28. The 36 lead changes broke the Whelen Modified Tour all-time race record of 30, also at Loudon on July 7, 2000. The race went into overtime, to a total of 110 laps, with two green-white-checkered finishes following late race cautions. The race had seven caution periods for 30 total laps. During the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Christopher and Newman swapped the front spot three times within the lap on the restart but a wreck by Donny Lia brought out the caution flag before the white flag was show. On the ensuing restart, Christopher initially got away before Santos and Co. chased him down on the final lap.
There were seven caution flags for 30 laps. Fifteen of the original 30 starters finished on the lead lap. Among those who ran into misfortune was Rowan Pennink who wrecked on lap 102, ending his day in 17th spot. Donnie Lia wrecked his second car in two days on lap 101 and ended up 18th. Eric Goodale who also wrecked twice on the weekend had his day end on lap 97 in 19th spot. Patrick Emmerling was also a crash victim as he completed only 94 laps and ended up in 20th. Todd Szegedy was in contention for the win when his engine expired on lap 89 finishing his day in 22nd spot. Glen Reen finished 23rd after being involved in an accident on lap 88. JR Bertuccio was also an accident victim as he was swept up on lap 81 which placed him in 24th spot. Woody Pitkat and Ken Heagy finished 25th and 26th with blown engines while Ron Yuhas Jrfinished 27th with a blown transmission. Melissa Fifield qualified 11.664 mph off the pole speed After she completed 24 laps it was felt in her best interest that she call it a day, finishing 29th. Finishing dead last was Mike Stefanik who dropped out on lap 22 with mechanical problems.
Santos had now closed to within two points of Coby for the championship lead with his third win in six races. Christopher was eight points behind Santos and Bonsignore was two points further back. Silk completes the top five, one point of defending tour champion Preece.
In action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night, Ryan Preece, who had made a hasty trip from Loudon, scored his fourth win of the season by the process of elimination and being in the right place at the right time. Preece inherited the lead in the closing laps after Keith Rocco and Ron Williams wrecked as they fought for the lead followed by a wreck between Doug Coby and Dan Avery who also wrecked as they fought for the lead. Ted Christopher finished second with Sean Foster, third. Woody Pitkat, and Tom Bolles rounded out the top five.
Other Friday night winners at Stafford were Adam Gray in the Late Model feature, Jeremy Sorel in the SK Light Modified feature, Albert Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn in the DARE Stock feature, and Brendon Bock in the Legend Cars feature.
In NASCAR Modified action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Kyle Elwood to his second win of the season as he bested a ten car starting field.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl took a week off as the track gave way to Sailfest in New London. Racing action at the shoreline oval resumes this coming Saturday.
In Modified racing in the Southland, the effects of the full moon were evident at the Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday night. Dean Ward recorded his first modified win in close to two years as the fireworks went off behind him. Burt Myers, who started in 19th place because of the blind draw to determine the starting order, was making a big run to the front, running fifth on lap 95, when Junior Miller came calling. Perhaps it was the full moon — or, more likely the grudge Burt Myers and Miller have carried over from previous races — but the two drivers soon tangled. After their initial wreck, the two drivers played a game of catch me if you can all over the infield before Miller ducked into the pits; he didn’t return to the race. Myers also went to the pits to get a flat tire fixed and he came back out to finish the race. Jason Myers finished second. A capacity crowd showed its displeasure with Burt Myers as he was greeted with a shower of bottles and cans from the grandstand when he returned to the track from the pit area. Myers ended up 13th .
In NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Loudon, NH, Brad Keselowski led a race-high 137 of 305 laps in the Camping World RV Sales 301, his second victory of the weekend. The Rochester Hills, Mich. native also won Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at NHMS. Ryan Preece finished 14th in the Nationwide Series event driving for Tom Baldwin Racing.
Last year, 2018, John Fortin Sr. became the first Wednesday night Riverhead Raceway winner since Mike Stefanik won a WMT race on June 24th, 1992. It was John’s 32nd career win and ties him for 5th on the all time win list with Wayne Anderson and Bill Park. CJ Lehmann of Shirley turned his best performance of the year with a solid runner-up tally in the Sypher Industries Chevy keeping the pressure on the eventual race winner until the conclusion of the race. Championship leader Kyle Soper would come out on top in the race for third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. John Beatty Jr. and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of completed the top five.
Off the success of Wednesday night’s event Riverhead Raceway has announced the Wednesday Night NASCAR Special II. On Wednesday night August 22nd the NASCAR Modifieds will go to post in Twin 50 feature events that were originally set for Saturday August 25th. The Mods will now have the 25th off. Joining them on the mid week special will be the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars,Street Stocks and a 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby!
Open Modified competition returned to Stafford for the Bud Light 80. Stafford’s five NWAAS divisions were also be in action with the SK Modifieds® running the regularly scheduled 40-lap feature as well as the TC 13 Shoot Out in memory of Ted Christopher.
Eric Berndt won a thriller in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, outdueling Ronnie Williams for his first win of the 2018 season. Glen Reen came up the big winner of the TC 13 Shoot Out and he took home the winner’s check of $1,313 along with a $113 bonus. Other feature winners included Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Bryan Narducci in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Tess Beyer was a career first time winner in the Street Stock feature. Eric Goodale won the open competition Modified event.
In the SK Modified feature, Berndt and Ron Williams came to the white flag side by side. They were still side by side down the backstretch with Williams backing off going into turn 3 to make a move to the inside of Berndt in turn 4. Berndt was able to hold off the challenge of Williams to take his first win of the 2018 season. Todd Owen came home third with Troy Talman fourth and Keith Rocco fifth.
Eric Goodale used a great pit stop to climb from seventh to second after a round of pit stops and he led the final 41 laps to win the Bud Light 80. Chase Dowling finished second with Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink, and Joey Cipriano rounding out the top-5.
While Stafford was running their open competition Modified event which consisted of mostly Valenti Modified Racing Series cars (17), the VMRS was actually at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire for twin 50 lap events. With 22 cars on hand Samuel Rameau won the opening 50 lap event over Brian Robie, Todd Patnode, Tony Ricci and Andy Shaw. Rameau started on the pole. Anthony Nocella who finished last in the first one took the victory in the nite-cap. Nocella, after starting last, took the lead on lap-32 when he passed the events only other leader, Dan Meservey Jr. Todd Patnoad finished second and was followed by Meservy Jr, Russ Hersey and Rameau.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action this coming weekend at the New Hampshire International Speedway.
On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, all was quiet on Saturday night as SailFest and Fireworks prevailed in New London.
The Thompson Motorsports Speedway came alive last Saturday night. The speedway hosted its second annual King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 featuring the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Based on a turnout of a paltry 13 field, it may be their last. Tyler Ankrum was the winner.
In other action at Thompson, Ryan Preece broke the stranglehold grip on victory lane in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds that was formerly held by Keith Rocco. Preece passed for the lead as he and Rocco exited out of turn four on lap 23. Woody Pitkat ended up in third spot and was followed by John Studley and Troy Talman. Sixth thru tenth were Todd Owen, Marcello Rufrano, Joey Gada, Kyle James and Kyler Cafro.
Ryan Morgan dusted the Late Model field while Bryan Narducci made it three in a row in the Lite Modifieds. Shawn Monihan was the Limited Sportsman winner and Wayne Burroughs was the Mini Stock winner.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina James Civali, who hadn’t raced at Bowman Gray in eleven months, held off Jonathan Brown Saturday night to win the 100-lap Modified race. Bobby Measmer Jr. was third and Burt Myers was fourth. In 100-lap races, Bowman Gray implements a redraw for all drivers who qualified. Civali, in the Hill’s Enterprises entry, qualified 10th, but he drew second just behind Zach Brewer, who drew the pole. It didn’t take long for Civali to shake off some of the rust after not racing at Bowman Gray for 11 months. He dominated for much of the race, and he was able to withstand 12 cautions to fend off the hard-charging Brown, who started ninth.
Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, passing Brad Keselowski and then Kurt Busch late on the way to repeating as champion on Saturday night.
Everyone’s talking about the Monadnock Speedway’s pending sale to Norman Wrenn Jr., a 58-year-old retired Pro Stock driver and New Hampshire businessman who owns two propane gas companies in Greater Nashua. Monadnock is a ¼ mile high-banked oval located in Winchester, NH.
Wrenn bought Lee USA Speedway in February, and Star Speedway in Epping after longtime owner Bob Webber Sr. passed away in January. Both are near the New Hampshire seacoast, about 75 miles from Winchester.
Wrenn’s intention is to establish a tri-track series with motor racing at Lee on Friday nights, Monadnock on Saturday nights and Star on Sunday afternoons.
The Monadnock sale won’t be finalized until November to avoid disrupting current licensing agreements.
On a sad note, former NASCAR Chief Steward at the Stafford Speedway and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Dick Grote passed away on June 15, 2018 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.