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

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1949, Bill Rafter was the 20 lap winner at the Buffalo Civic Center in New York. Paul Carr was the Seekonk winner

Sixty five years ago in 1954, Dick Beauregard was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Tetreault won a special 50 lapper for the non-Fords. Twin 50’s for the Sportsman and non-Fords were run at the shoreline oval on Saturday night. Tetreault went two for two on the week as he walked off with the 50 lap non-Ford win and Moe Gherzi took the top spot in the Sportsman event. At the Seekonk Speedway Ray Moran was the A division winner and Eddie Hoyle won in the B division.

Sixty years ago in 1959 George Janoski made it five in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran a 50 lap New England Sweepstakes Sportsman event which carried a $10,000 purse, huge for the time. Because of a rain delay Bill Slater actually took the win a week later but it was well worth the wait as he pocketed $2,000 for his efforts. Tom Sutcliff was the non-Ford winner. Seekonk also cancelled because of rain.Fred Brink was the winner at the Lancaster Speedway in western New York.

Fifty five years ago in 1964 Gene Bergin, one of the chosen few to win on the dirt and asphalt surfaces at the Stafford Speedway took the Friday night win over Pete Corey and George Janoski on the dirt at the nutmeg oval. Bill Wimble was the Saturday night winner at the Fonda Speedway. Irv Taylor won at the Victoria Speedway. Elton Hildreth was the Sunday night winner at Old Bridge in New Jersey and Mike Rubino won at Islip on Long Island. Don Collins was the 75 lap Modified winner and Bill Staubley was the Bomber winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bobby Sprague was the 35 lap A division winner at Seekonk. Bobby Clarke was the Cadet division winner.

Fifty years ago in 1969, Lou Lazzaro was on a tear up in New York State as he won a special event at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on Thursday night, Fonda on Saturday night and Utica-Rome on Sunday. Rain at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night spoiled a clean sweep for the likable driver. Smokey Boutwell made it two in a row at Stafford on Friday night. Freddie Schulz finished second. Schulz finished second at Norwood on Saturday night as Bugsy Stevens ruled the roost. Eddie Flemke, driving the Greg Mills-Dave Welch 79 finished third with Leo Cleary, fourth. Bob Potter was the Modified winner at Waterford. Donnie Bunnell was the Daredevil winner. Islip ran a 100-lap double point event on Saturday. Jim Hendrickson took the win with Gary Winters, second. Fred DeSarro paid a surprise visit and finished third. Guy Chartrand won at Airborne and DeSarro got lucky at Thompson. Thompson ran a 100 lapper and DeSarro was holding a commanding one-lap lead on Jerry Cook with one to go. With a tire going down, DeSarro slowed enough for Cook to unlap himself and as he took the checker, Cook was exiting turn four. One more lap and Cook would have had the win. Jon Astle was the A division winner at Seekonk. George Ponte won in the B division.

Forty five years ago in 1974, Riverhead and Freeport rained out. Geoff Bodine attempted a three for three sweep in New York State as he won on Friday at Utica-Rome and Saturday at Shangri-la but fell short at Fulton on Sunday as Richie Evans won the scheduled 100 lapper. Bugsy Stevens was the Stafford winner with Kenny Bouchard, second. At Waterford on Saturday night Glynn Shafer took the Modified win and Don Fowler was victorious in the Grand American late models. The only racing on Long Island for the weekend was at Islip where Jim Hendrickson took the win over Gary Winters and George Brunnhoelzl Jr. Georgie Summers added to his feature win total at Seekonk as he took the A division win. Eddie StAngelo was the B division winner. Fred DeSarro took the Sunday night win at Thompson over Ronnie Bouchard and Eddie Flemke.

Forty years ago in 1979, The Westboro Speedway ran an open competition event on Wednesday, which saw Ronnie Bouchard take the win over Pete Schwartz, Leo Cleary and Mario”Fats”Caruso. New Egypt also ran on Wednesday and it was Richie Evans holding off Bill Park and Tony Siscone. Bouchard backed up his Westboro win with a win at Stafford on Friday night. Evans made a late race charge but settled for second. All racing on Saturday night rained out.

Thirty five years ago in 1984, Thompson ran on Tuesday night. The event drew only 17 cars with the win going to Bob Polverari. George Murray finished second. Holland ran twin 50’s on Wednesday night with Jim Spencer and Doug Hewitt taking the wins. At Stafford on Friday, Reggie Ruggiero took the win over Kenny Bouchard and Charlie Jarzombek. Ray Miller took the win at Riverside Park on Saturday while at Waterford; Bob Potter beat out Mark LaJunesse for the win. Other weekend winners included Tom Druar at Spencer, Tom Baldwin at Riverhead and Chris Young at Islip. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Darrell Waltrip won the non-stop event.

Thirty years ago in 1989, the Modified Tour Series was at Riverhead on Wednesday for a 201-lap event. Mike Ewanitsko used his home track advantage to set on the pole and lead all 201 laps on the tough 1/4-mile oval. Reggie Ruggerio finished second with Tony Hirschman, third. Stafford rained out on Friday. The tour headed for Oswego for a 100 lapper on Saturday, which saw Mike Stefanik take the win over Brian Ross, Mike McLaughlin and George Kent. At Waterford, Gary Dyer held off Don Bunnell and Phil Rondeau for the Modified win. Rondeau, by the way, recorded his eleventh win of the year in the late model division. At Riverside it was Stan Gregger and in regular Saturday night action at Riverhead, Rick Holmberg held off Dan Jivenelli for the win. The DIRT cars of New York State ran a special asphalt race on Sunday at Thompson. It was a no contest affair as Geoff Bodine took the win. Mike Christopher won in the SK’s.

Twenty five years ago in 1994, Mike Christopher beat out Tom Tagg at Thompson on Wednesday night. Stafford rained out on Friday. At Waterford on Saturday, Chris Jones held off Mark LaJunesse and Bert Marvin. Dan Avery was victorious at Riverside Park. Former Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton was a special guest and went out and won a special event. Mike Ewanitsko continued his dominance at Riverhead as he won the Charlie Jarzombek 76 lapper. Don Howe finished second. The mods and Busch North ran a twin bill at Thompson on Sunday. Reggie Ruggiero scored his 35th career Tour win after early leader Jeff Fuller tangled with his brother Rick, crashing out of the event on the 112th lap. Kelly Moore was the Busch North series winner. In Winston Cup action at the Brickyard 400.Rick Mast received $50,000 for his Busch Pole effort. Jeff Gordon won the event, four car lengths ahead of Brett Bodine. A bit of a family feud erupted when Brett dumped his brother Geoff during the running of the event.

Twenty years ago, in 1999, the No-Bull 100 at Stafford was rained out after 46 laps. Jeff and Jerry Pearl finished one-two at Waterford on Saturday night. The mod tour was at Riverhead for 201 laps of thrashing. Tom Cravenho took the lead from Mike Ewanitsko who had led for 178 laps and went on to record the win. Ewanitsko finished second with John Blewett III finishing third. Tim Connolly and Tony Hirschman rounded out the top five. Ted Riggott won out over Rick Miller at Riverside. In Winston Cup action at the Indianapolis Speedway, Dale Jarrett took the win over Bobby Labonte.

Fifteen years ago in 2004, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. The night was cool but the action was hot as Donnie Lia won the 200-lap event. Lia took the lead from Riverhead regular Chris Young on lap 49 and survived seven restarts to take the win. Frank Vigliarolo Jr., another Riverhead regular finished second while Young faded to finish 19th. Former Modified Champion Wayne Anderson who now confines his racing to Riverhead finished fourth. Anderson started 22nd in the 28-car field. Rounding out the top four was Tour regular Jerry Marquis. The event drew 45 Modifieds. Tony Ferrante Jr. was the fastest of the fast as he took the Busch Pole. Ferrante drew the fourth starting spot and finished in fifth position. Jamie Tomaino and John Fortin rounded out those that finished on the lead lap. Eric Beers, Howie Brode and Tony Hirschman rounded out the top ten, one lap down. Hirschman now leads the point standings by 9 over Eddie Flemke Jr. who finished 11th. It was a rough night for many including Tom Cravenho, Ted Christopher, Todd Szegedy, Mike Stefanik, Chuck Hossfeld and Nevin George who got caught up in various wrecks that slowed the action. Out of the 200 laps run, 59 of them were under caution. Among those who failed to qualify was John Blewett III. Blewett and car owner Curt Chase became embroiled in a dispute over a difference of opinion and Blewett left the speedway before qualifying. Chase did not put another driver in his car as he loaded up and went home.

The Featherlite Modifieds would take three short days off before heading for the Stafford Motor Speedway on Wednesday night for the Dodge Dealers 150. This would be the first ever mid-week visit that the tour had made to Stafford as previous events there have been run on Friday nights or on Sundays. It had also been learned that NASCAR had been talking to the Hart family that owns the New Smyrna and Orlando Speedworld speedways. Jim Hunter, Chris Boals and Ed Bennett represented the sanctioning body. Among the items that were discussed was bringing the Featherlite Modified Tour and the Busch North series to compete in Florida during Speedweeks. It had also been rumored that the Featherlite Modifieds, which were dumped in favor of the Craftsman Truck Series, may return to Martinsville. Now that the International Speedway Corporation owns the Virginia track maybe they realized that the trucks don’t draw enough to justify their huge purse. Also in the rumor mill was word that the Modifieds may pay a visit to the Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina. In the end, the rumors were just that, Rumors..

On Thursday night the Thompson Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl went head to head. Thompson presented their regular Thursday night Thunder program while the Speedbowl presented an event labeled the Funkmaster Flex Super Series Invitational. The Waterford event drew what the Hartford Courant said was 8,000 spectators, which was awful hard to believe. Thompson had a late but rather healthy crowd for their event. Many of those at Waterford had never been there before and were drawn by the expected live entertainment. Those at Thompson were there to see the racing.

In Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway the highlight of the evening was a 75-lap contest for the Pro Stocks. Once a rough and tumble crashfest, the Thompson Pro Stocks had evolved into a highly competitive division worth watching. David Berghman took the lead on lap 54 and went on to record his sixth win of the season. Berghman did a masterful job of using the high banks to his advantage and conserved his tires so they would last to the end. Ron Smith, who led the early going, finished second. Norm Wrenn finished third. The speedway graciously altered their schedule in order to accommodate Sunoco Modified point leader Ted Christopher who was racing at Waterford. Needless to say, even with the Sunoco Mods running last, Christopher didn’t make it. Crewmember Keith Rocco took his car and started in the rear. Richard Savory led the charge of initial start. On the second re-start Bert Marvin turned into Bo Gunning causing both to hit the wall at the exit of turn 2. Todd Ceravolo took the lead on the third re-start but before he could complete a lap Savory hit Ceravolo causing him to get loose. Jeff Malave slipped by as Ceravolo gathered it in. Ceravolo pressured Malave and was able to get his nose under him for the lead on lap 26. Malave ran second for a lap until doing a bump and run which allowed him to get back into the lead and take the eventual win. Eric Berndt slipped by for second at the finish. Ceravolo finished third and in doing so, took the point lead. Kerry Malone and Adam Norton rounded out the top five. In other action, Corey Hutchings pitted while leading at Waterford, charged up the road to Thompson and proceeded to take the win in the Late Model division. Jessie Gleason was the Limited Sportsman winner and Shane Michalski was the Mini Stock winner.

At Waterford, also on Thursday, Allen Coates reaped the benefits of a crash between Ted Christopher and Phil Rondeau as he reaped a $10,000 payoff for winning the Funkmaster Flex Invitational. Woody Pitkat finished second and took home $6,000. Rondeau finished third and received $4,000. Numerous wrecks precipitated 18 caution periods.

Ted Christopher made it six in a row at Stafford on Friday night. The current track and regional point leader started 15th and wasted little time as he took the lead from Frank Ruocco on a restart on lap 29 of the 40 lap feature. Ruocco had nothing for Christopher as he chased him the rest of the way to the finish. Jim Civale, Shawn Tryon and Chuck Docherty rounded out the top five. Things got ugly in the Late Model feature. Tom Butler, Ryan Posocco and Mike Quintiliano were running three wide in the closing stages when Butler hit the wall. Possoco and Quintialano then went at it and on the final lap Posocco found himself in the wall. Quintiliano took the checkered flag but was disqualified to last on the lead lap for rough riding. Joe Rzeszutek was awarded the win. Eric Grant was the DARE winner.

Ron Yuhas Jr. made it two in a row in SK Modified action at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Yuhas blew away the field as he finished a considerable distance ahead of Dennis Cherette. Don Fowler finished third with Ed Reed Jr., fourth. Phil Rondeau was the Late Model winner. Jeff Paul, at 16 years of age, a veteran of the Quarter Midget ranks, won the Legends feature and Ed Gertsch tookhis fifth victory of the year in the Sportsman ranks.

The Nextel Cup and the Busch Racing Series divisions of NASCAR were in Indiana. The Busch Series raced at the Indianapolis Raceway Park and the Nextel Cup cars were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In Busch Series competition at the Indianapolis Raceway Park, Kyle Busch took the win over Johnny Sauter and Jason Lefler. Jeff Gordon left little doubt that he had a handle on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he won the Brickyard 400 over Dale Jarrett.

Ten years ago in 2009, the legend of car owner, the late Len Boehler and his famous ‘Ole Blu No.3 continued to live on as Ryan Preece scored his second Whelen Modified Tour Series in six days. Preece, who is the grandson of another legend, Bobby Judkins won the Town Fair Tire 150 at Stafford on Friday night.

Preece took the lead on lap 104 from Ted Christopher and held off the defending champion to record his third overall win. Preece, who started fourth, moved into second spot by lap seven. The top two never pitted and it was a matter of Preece wearing the defending champion down.

According to reports a near capacity house witnessed the event. There were 32 cars on hand for the available 31 starting spots. In a generous move the Stafford management agreed to allow all cars to start the event.

Chris Pasteryak, who continues to make a name for himself, finished third, which tied his best career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour effort, previously also set at Stafford . Eric Beers and Rowan Pennink. Erick Rudolph, Donny Lia, Jimmy Blewett, Woody Pitkat and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top 10 finishers. The Coors Light Pole Award winner, Eric Berndt, finished 16th. It was a relatively clean and fast race, which produced only five short caution periods for 25 laps.

Christopher regained the season points lead with his runner-up effort. He led Szegedy by 14 points after seven events.

In tour related news it had been announced that James Civali had been hired by Hillbilly Racing to drive a team car to Ronnie Silk. Civali will be in competition at Bristol, Loudon, Martinsville, and the North South Shootout.

In regular Friday night action at Stafford, Frank Ruocco took down his second consecutive SK Modified feature win, Jim Peterson took his second Late Model feature win of the 2009 season, David Webb was a first time career winner in the SK Light Modified feature, Dan Flannery came up a first time career winner in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Victoria Bergenty was also a first time career winner in the DARE Stock feature.

In Thursday night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Ted Christopher and Todd Ceravolo each scored victories in the twin 50-lap Sunoco (Sk-type) Modified features. George Bessette broke into victory lane for his first of the season in the Super Late Models. Tommy O’Sullivan was the Late Model winner while Scott Sundeen earned his second of the season in the Limited Sportsman division. Brian Sullivan took down his fourth TIS Modified win of the season and Tim Taylor took the Mini Stock win, his sixth of the season.

Ted Christopher, who was feeling the effects of the flu, won the first 50 lapper for the Modifieds. Todd Ceravolo finished 16th in the opener as he dropped out with an overheating engine. A blown head gasket was suspected. After some discussion the decision was made to install a new radiator plus pour some “stop-leak” into the engine block. It was a gamble but it worked as Ceravolo was able to out-distance Christopher to take the win in the second 50 lapper

At the Waterford Speedbowl, Vermont native Brian Hoar scored his second consecutive ACT Late Model Tour win Saturday in the Nutmeg State 100, while it was Keith Rocco winning his fifth SK Modified event of the Speedbowl season. Walt Hovey Jr. won his third Street Stock race of the year, and Bill Leonard captured his second Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock event. Jason Palmer was the winner in the Legends Car race.

The True Value Modified Series went “up country” to Maine. Jon McKennedy outlasted a very competitive field Saturday night as he capturing the 100 lap True Value Modified Racing Series event at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME. The race, in front of a big crowd, featured five different leaders.

On lap 88, McKennedy took the lead passing Pinkham. McKennedy then opened up a comfortable margin over Pinkham and cruised to the victory. Jarvis was third followed by Carl Pasteryak, and Jack Bateman rounding out the top five.

NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams traveled to Watkins Glen, NY. Marcos Ambrose won the Zippo 200 for his second Nationwide Series win. Kyle Busch finished second, his 10th race in a row where he finished first or second. There were 6 cautions for 20 laps and 7 lead changes among 7 leaders.

Tony Stewart won the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on a steamy Monday, muscling an ill-handling car in the early going and then holding off Australian Marcos Ambrose over the final 21 laps for his Cup-record fifth victory at the famed road course.

Five years ago in 2014, the final event of the three race Tri-Track series was a 100 lapper at the Seekonk Speedway. This race paid $10,000 to win and was supplemented by a $10,000 point fund. Tommy Barrett Jr saved the best for last as he snookered Todd Annarummo on lap 86 and walked off with the $10 grand as a capacity crowd looked on. Annarummo faded in the final laps and wound up fourth. Jon McKennedy finished second with Matt Hirschman, third. Richard Savory rounded out the top five.

Open Wheeled Wednesday, co promoted by the Seekonk Speedway, the Racing Guys headed by Dick Williams and Jim Schaefer, drew a huge field of 45 Modifieds. Four heats and two consolations were required to set the field. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Preece, Vinnie Annarummo, Rowan Pennink, Paul Newcomb and Anthony Nocella. There were 17 cars on the lead lap at the finish.

At the Stafford Speedway the Inaugural NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k, which paid the winner $5,000 out of a purse of over $27,000 was the main event. Stafford Speedway held an online vote prior to the race with fans able to vote on the qualifying procedure, the number of laps for the feature, the tire rule, and how the lineup would be handicapped. The qualifying, tire rule, and handicapping procedures were decided by the fan vote prior to the race but the lap number remained a mystery to everyone. A weighted draw was held just prior to the start of the race with the top-3 fan choices of 76, 80, and 100 laps in a bucker. The 100-lap chip was drawn, making the race 100-laps long. After a 2014 season that has seen more downs than ups for Huntingdon Valley, PA driver Rowan Pennink, he used a strong move in turns 3+4 to take the lead from Ryan Preece as they were heading towards the white flag and took home the $5,000 winner’s check.

Pennink was all but on Ryan Preece’s back bumper when he made a pass for the lead in turns 3+4. The two cars came to the white flag side by side but as they went into turn 1, Preece spun and did a quick 360 turn and kept going, but it was all Pennink at the front and he took the checkered flag and the $5,000 payday that came with it. Ted Christopher finished second, with Frank Ruocco, Keith Rocco, and Glen Reen rounding out the top-5.

In other feature action during the night, Jay Stuart recorded his second consecutive Late Model feature victory, Dylan Menditto won the SK Light feature, David Arute took his first Ltd. Late Model checkered flag of the 2014, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. picked up his first win of the 2014 season in the DARE Stock feature, and Mike Christopher, Jr. picked up his first Stafford Speedway win of the year in the Legend Cars feature.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl the annual Nostalgia Night hit the track Saturday with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing joined by vintage displays and motorsports action, plus racing by the Northeastern Midget Association. Taking NASCAR wins was Keith Rocco, winner of both the special Charlie Mitchell Memorial SK Modified® feature plus Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race, tying yet another track record in the process. Rocco’s SK Modified® triumph marked his 62nd in the division at the Speedbowl, tying him atop the division’s all-time win list with Dennis Gada, the only seven-time champion in track history. Rocco’s first victory at the shoreline oval was in 2008. Rocco began the night a winner in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Model ranks, winning for the second consecutive week and eighth time of the year in that division.

In other Speedbowl action, Al Stone III came away with a hard- nosed win in the Street Stocks, while Wayne Burroughs Jr. was victorious for the first time this season in the Mini Stocks. In NEMA action, the Shane Hammond Memorial race was won by Seth Carlson and the NEMA Lites feature went to To win the SK Modified event, Rocco used a stellar move on another of the division’s all-time best, Ted Christopher. Christopher inherited the lead after leaders Ed Puleo and Tyler Chadwick tangled battling for the lead on lap-14. Christopher and Rocco, who were third and fourth on the track, narrowly avoided the melee and made up the front row for the ensuing restart.

In Modified racing in the Southland, NASCAR Officials penalized Burt Myers and Tim Brown by docking them 100 points in the championship point standings. “We believe that these penalties will send a message that this is something we can not tolerate,” said NASCAR Chief Steward John Horton, about the crashing that occurred while the caution was displayed during the Modified feature at the Bowman Gray Stadium run on July 19.

The deduction dropped Brown from the points lead down to fourth, and Myers fell from second down to fifth in the points standings. With nine races left in the season, including a double-points race during the season finale, Brown and Myers had both indicated that they would sit out the rest of the season at the Winston-Salem, NC track. Myers relented and was in the field this past week. Jason Myers and Dean Ward, were the winners of twin 50-lap races for the featured Modified Division. Jason Myers led all the way in a caution-free first race on a relatively calm night. Ward fended off a few challenges in the second race on his way to a second victory in two weeks. Tempers were cool for the most part after a heated car-bashing clash last weekend that resulted in penalties for multi-time champions Tim Brown and Burt Myers.

Tom Rogers Jr was the Richie Evans, Charlie Jarzombek, Tom Baldwin Memorial Modified winner at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Ron Silk finished second with Ryan Preece, third.

Ty Dillon returned the famed number 3 to the top of the scoring pylon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in the Lilly Diabetes 250. Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, passed pole winner and race leader Kyle Busch on a restart with 24 laps to go in the 100-lap race.

Jeff Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth NASCAR Winston Cup Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

Last Year, 2018, At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Eric Berndt continued his hot streak of late, scoring his fourth consecutive top-2 finish with a win in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn tied Ryan Posocco as the winningest Late Model driver in Stafford history with his 9th win of the 2018 season, Andrew Molleur notched his third win of the year in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost came up a winner for the second week in a row in the Limited Late Model feature, Jason Lafayette was a first time Stafford feature winner in the Street Stock feature, and Brian Sullivan won the Wild Thing Karts Sr. Champs exhibition feature.

With 10 laps to go in the SK Modified feature, Berndt, who took the lead on lap 16, was still in command with Stephen Kopcik giving chase. Kopcik finished second with Ron Williams, Mike Christopher, Jr., and Chace Dowling rounding out the top-5. Sixth through tenth were Tyler Hines, Matt Galko, Dan Avery, 9) Glen Reen and Keith Rocco.

On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, rain ended the night of racing early postponing the Modifieds which will run double features this coming Saturday night. Feature winners before the rain were Pro 4: Randy Cabral, NEMA Lite: Jake Trainor, SK Lite: Wayne Burroughs, Limited Sportsman: Jason Chicolas, Mini Stocks: Charles Canfield, STAR Sportsman: Robert Seward Sr. and STAR Modifieds: Gregg Massini.

Matt Buckler had taken over the duties of putting out press releases of the events at the Speedbowl and is doing an outstanding job.

The Tri-Track Modified Series invaded the Star Speedway in Epping, NH. The event, originally scheduled for Saturday was postponed because of heavy rain and run on Sunday. Todd Patnode held off the likes of Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, and Les Hinckley to win $6,000 at the New Hampshire ¼ mile oval. Tommy Barrett rounded out the top five.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Tim Brown continued his winning ways with his second Modified win in as many weeks, and Joseph Brown won the second 25-lap Modified race.

Tim Brown, who hadn’t won since May 5, won one of the Modified races until last week, carried the momentum into this week with a win. Tim Brown defeated Lee Jeffreys, Burt Myers, Bobby Measmer Jr. and Randy Butner.

Joseph who finished 11th in the first Modified race, started second with Daniel Beeson on the pole. Joseph Brown defeated Chris Fleming, Jason Myers, John Smith, and Joseph Brown’s brother, Jonathan, finished fifth. It was Joseph Brown’s first win of the season and second in his career at Bowman Gray. Joseph Brown won for the first time since May 28, 2011.

Racing at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island honored and remembered “Tiger” Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans & “Charging” Charlie Jarzombek with the running of the annual 77-lapper in their memory. It was a night of nostalgia with the LIVARS vintage race cars and the Cromarty Wall of Champions induction ceremony plus 6 great NASCAR divisions.

John Fortin Sr. and his Long Island Truck Parts team who also won the most recent NASCAR Modified race some 17-days prior. “When I first made the step up to the Modifieds Tom Baldwin gave me plenty of advice, the what to do and not to do of the game so to speak” Fortin revealed, “it’s an honor to win his, Richie and Charlie’s race all three were icons of our game”. As to his early race struggles and his unlikely trip to victory lane John was very forthright. “we shouldn’t have won this race tonight, the rear is barely in the car after contact, we had two flats but my guys just kept digging and here we are. We caught a break when Kyle and John got together, hey we’ve lost a few that way too”.

John Fortin Jr. was runner-up and was on cloud nine afterwards, “Dad and I have always wanted to finish one-two, tonight we got the job done. It wasn’t pretty but we did it”. Roger Turbush was an impressive third at the finish Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead faded to fourth while Jon McKennedy of wheeling the Tommy Baldwin Racing 7NY was fifth after running a majority of the race in or just outside the top three.

Christopher Bell made history Saturday at Iowa Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity as he became the first series regular to score three straight victories since Dale Earnhardt Jr. did it in 1999.

The NASCAR Monster Cup cars were at the Pocono Raceway. Kyle Busch was set to start second but his No. 18 Toyota was one of 13 cars dumped to back of the pack for flunking post-qualifying inspection. That was nothing but a minor bump for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver who matched Kevin Harvick for most wins this season.

The race was red flagged with six laps left in the wake of a violent wreck by Darrell Wallace Jr. Wallace lost the breaks in his No. 43 Chevrolet and the car shot across the grass and slammed into the wall. There were several tense seconds during a wait for Wallace to put down his window net. He sat on the track and slumped against the car before he taken to the track medical center.

Once the race resumed, Busch zipped away and he surged ahead again on the final restart in overtime to add to his win total. Busch held off a pair of young drivers aiming for their first career Cup win.

Daniel Suarez, the first Mexican driver to win the pole for a Cup race, finished second and Alex Bowman was third.

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