Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1949, Charlie Barry won out over Jack White at the Buffalo Civic Stadium in New York. At Seekonk, Paul Carr won the main event.
Sixty five years ago in 1954 the New London Waterford Speedbowl suffered it’s only fatality. Jack Griffin, a close friend of George Summers died from injuries sustained after his car flipped 10 times on the front stretch of the shoreline oval. Griffin was pronounced dead on arrival at the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, Ct. Sparky Belmont, who normally raced at the Plainville Stadium, made a surprise visit to Waterford on Wednesday and took the victory in the Sportsman main event. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Harold “Curley” LeMay was the Sportsman winner at the shoreline oval on Saturday night with Big Bob Cahoon taking top honors in the non-Fords. At Seekonk, Dave Humphrey and Red Bolduc were the A division winners. Fred Astle Sr also won an A division feature at the cement palace.
Sixty years ago in 1959, Don Rounds, racing out of Warwick, RI took the Friday night win on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Wild Bill Slater went two for two at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won 25 lap Sportsman features on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Charlie Webster and Ray DeLisle were the non-Ford winners and Newt Palm was a double winner in the Bombers at the Connecticut shoreline oval. Red Marlow won a 50 lap midget event at Seekonk.
Fifty five years ago in 1964 New Jersey driver Joe Kelly won the Trenton 200 on the one mile Trenton NJ State Fairgrounds Speedway. Charlie Roberts added that Kelly won the race with one arm in a cast. Ray Hendrick was second with Perk Brown, third. Bobby Allison and Irv Taylor rounded out the top five. Among those in the field was Rene Charland who finished 18th, Mario “Fats” Caruso who finished 26th, Bill Slater who finished 28th and Eddie Flemke who finished 37th. Kelly also won the previous night as he went pole to pole to win the Garden State 100 at the Wall Stadium. Wally Dallenbach finished second with Eddie Flemke, third. Roberts, who spent considerable time at Wall stated “In 1964, the “Garden State Classic” at Wall was 300 laps. It was always billed as a 100-mile race because the track was purported to be a 1/3-mile when in fact is was about the most true 1/4 you’ll ever find.”
He added, “I measured it with a thousandths-reading road rally odometer and it was 0.25 on the inside and 0.29 on the fence.” On a sad note, dirt tracker Jackie McLaughlin lost his life in an accident at the Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania.
Gene Bergin scored his second win of the season on the dirt at Stafford Springs and Al DeAngelo won at Islip. Following Bergin at Stafford was George Janoski and Bill Wimble. Billy Harman won his third Modified feature of the year, a 75 lapper, at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Scrivener was the Bomber winner at the Conn. shoreline oval. At the Seekonk Speedway, Dave Dias was the 30 lap A division winner and Hank Goff was the 15 lap Cadet winner.
Fifty years ago in 1969, the All Star League visited Islip on Wednesday for a 100-lap event. Taking the win was home track favorite Fred Harbach. Gary Winters finished second and was followed by Richie Evans, Jack Reinhard, Artie Tappen and Will Cagle. Albany Saratoga ran a 100-lap double point event on Friday, which saw Eddie Flemke clean house. Guy Chartrand finished second and was followed by Jerry Cook and Bernie Miller. Stafford was closed. Saturday night at Norwood, Johnny Thompson with his small block Ford took the win over Freddie Schulz, Fred DeSarro and Marty Bezema. Fonda ran their rained out 200 and at the checker it was Lou Lazzaro who prevailed. Kenny Shoemaker finished second and was followed by Ron Narducci and Rene Charland. Airborne Park in Plattsburg ran a 100-lap double point event and it was invader, Bugsy Stevens taking the win. At Islip Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach shared the spotlight as they each won separate events. Hometown favorite Charlie Webster was the Modified feature winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. Big Mike Daignault was the Daredevil winner. Bobby Sprague was the A division winner at Seekonk while Walt Trip won in the B division. At Thompson on Sunday night it was Eddie Flemke over Stevens and Moose Hewitt and at Utica-Rome Jerry Pennock beat out Dave Lape for the win.
Forty five years ago in 1974, Don Howe got the best of Charlie Jarzombek at Riverhead on Wednesday. Frank Curtiss finished third with Junior Ambrose, fourth. On that same night, the master, Eddie Flemke, gave a young driver named Reggie Ruggiero a lesson as he won a 100 lap open event at Plainville Stadium. Jim Cash finished third with Bobby Bard, fourth. Friday night at Freeport, Jarzombek played second fiddle again as he finished second behind Dan MacNamara. Donnie Bunnell was the Modified winner at the Waterford Speedbowl. A 200 lapper scheduled at Islip on Saturday rained out. Bugsy Stevens was king of the hill at Stafford despite the efforts of Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Bouchard. At Seekonk, George Summers recorded his 10th win of the year in the A division. Flash Flannagan was the B division winner. In New York State action, Dick Clark won at Utica-Rome, Merv Treichler won at Lancaster, Geoff Bodine won at Shangri-La and Richie Evans won at Fulton. In Sunday night action at Thompson, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row and at Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard was the victor.
Forty five years ago in 1979, Bill Brown sold Monadnock Speedway to Bill Davis and at Danbury, starter Ted Abbot was struck and killed while flagging a race at the historic oval. Stafford ran twin 25’s on Tuesday and drew 75 modifieds. Geoff Bodine won the first 25 and was followed by Ron Bouchard, Jerry Cook and Bugsy Stevens. Cook won the nightcap with Bodine following and Leo Cleary in third spot. At New Egypt on Wednesday night, John Blewett Jr. took the win over Jerry Cook and Richie Evans. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard scored a popular win over Evans and Kenny Bouchard. Seekonk ran a 50 lapper on Saturday, which saw Geoff Bodine take the win over Leo Cleary and Bugsy Stevens. After two successive rain outs, Waterford got their show in and it was Rick Donnelly taking the win over Moose Hewitt and Dick Ceravolo. At Shangri-La, Richie Evans got his 44th win of the season. Jerry Cook finished second with George Kent, third. At Lancaster it was Maynard Troyer over Roger Treichler and at Thompson on Sunday, Ronnie Bouchard beat John Rosati. Also on Sunday, Brian Ross secured twin wins at Monadnock.
Thirty five years ago in 1984, Waterford ran a special 82-lap open competition event and it was local favorite Bob Potter beating out Kenny Bouchard for the win. At Stafford on Friday night, Brian Ross took a popular win over Bugsy Stevens and Charlie Jarzombek. New Egypt ran a 200 National Championship event that saw George Kent beat the heat and the competition. Bob Park finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Spencer also ran on Friday and it was now Winston Cup crew chief Doug Hewitt taking the win. In Saturday night action it was Brett Bodine taking a 200 lap win over Reggie Ruggiero and Richie Evans at Riverside. Ruggiero drove a car owned by Mike Grecci who was the crew chief for Andy Santarre. At Waterford it was Bob Gada Jr. over Bob Potter and at Islip it was Al Hansen in victory lane. Tony Hirschman beat out Gil Hearne for a win at Wall Stadium and at Thompson on Sunday, Art Davis was the winner. In Winston Cup action at Nashville, Geoff Bodine took the pole but ended up 22nd with a broken rear. Terry LaBonte took the win.
Thirty years ago in 1989, Tom Tagg was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. At Monadnock they were still running Modifieds and Reggie Ruggiero took the win. Waterford rained out on Saturday but on Sunday it cleared as Thompson hosted the Modifieds. Mike Stefanik won out over Reggie Ruggiero and Doug Hevron. Ruggiero won the companion SK event.
Twenty five years ago in 1994, Thompson’s Wednesday show rained out. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bob Potter held off Mike Paquette. Rick Fuller was the winner of the Pro Stock 100.Saturday night at Waterford, Scott Spaulding got his first ever Modified win as he beat out Mike Gada and Jerry Pearl. Riverhead ran a Race of Champions qualifier, which was won by Tom McCann, and at Riverside, Dan Avery took the win. The Modified Tour Series was at Loudon. The scheduled 100-lap event was called after 23 laps due to rain. Steve Park was awarded the win with Reggie Ruggiero second and Ed Flemke Jr., third. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Ernie Irvan was severely injured after a cut tire forced him to crash at high speed into the wall. After a long recovery period, Irvan survived to race and win again.
Twenty years ago, in 1999, Willie Hardie won the postponed NO-Bull 100 at Stafford. Jerry Marquis finished second. Ted Christopher won the regular Friday night SK 50 lapper. Earlier in the day, Christopher qualified on the outside pole for a Grandnational event at Michigan but had his time disallowed because of illegal shocks. Mike Gada went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night to win out over Ron Yuhas Jr. Riverside and Riverhead rained out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the Grandnational and Bob Labonte was the Winston Cup winner at Michigan. Last but not least, Kenny Tremont got his 13th win of the year at Lebanon Valley as he charged from third to first on the last lap.
Fifteen years ago in 2004, with heavy hearts the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour headed back to Stafford on Wednesday after Tom Baldwin had been laid to rest. Services were held at the Lucia and Orlando Funeral Home in Patchogue on Long Island. National Speed Sport correspondent Gary London reported that thousands came to the wake and funeral of the popular Long Island driver. After only three days off the tour returned to Thompson on Sunday to continue the event that was halted due to the Tom Baldwin accident. The infield light poles in turns one and three had been moved outside the track. The concrete blocks that protected them were also gone.
At Stafford, a fitting tribute was presented in honor of Tom Baldwin. Video clips of his highlights in Stafford events were shown and on the parade laps of the main event seventh place starting spot was left open in his honor. Forty-six modifieds were on hand for the Dodge Dealers 150. Donnie Lia was the Busch pole sitter. Nevin George drew the pole starting position and John Blewett III drew the outside pole. Lia drew seventh. Nevin George took the lead at the start and led through lap 54. John Blewett III took the lead on a re-start but his position at the point lasted only one lap as George took it back on lap 56. Todd Szegedy, who didn’t pit for tires, took the lead on lap 81 when George developed problems and ended up dropping out with a bad clutch. Szegedy led the remaining laps and crossed the finish line 1.14 seconds ahead of current series point leader Tony Hirschman. Eric Beers, Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino rounded out the top five. Tom Bolles, who lives in nearby Ellington, finished a respectable sixth, just ahead of leading Rookie candidate Ken Barry. Barry’s teammate Sean Caisse resigned his ride prior to the event and is looking to pursue a racing career elsewhere. Rounding out the top ten were Donnie Lia, Chuck Hossfeld and Doug Coby. Hossfelds car owner, Bob Garbarino, stated that he was extremely hurt by recent action taken by Stafford owner Jack Arute. When Hossfeld quit his Friday night SK Modified ride Arute became enraged as he felt that Garbarino had cost him one of his top weekly drivers. Arute instructed his announcing team not to mention Garbarino’s name or his business, The Mystic River Marina. Garbarino had supported the speedway since it was initially paved in 1967. Ted Christopher and Reggie Ruggiero, two of the pre-race favorites, failed to finish. Ruggiero, who started 18th, dropped out with suspension problems after completing 45 laps. Christopher, who started 22nd, lasted until lap 52 when he broke an axle. Tony Hirschman stretched his point lead to 55 over Ed Flemke Jr. Flemke finished on the lead lap in 13th spot. Flemke was running in third spot on the final lap when he spun as a result of a tire going flat. Jerry Marquis, who finished a distant 23rd after completing only 91 laps because of an early tangle with Ruggiero and Christopher, lost a little ground but still maintained third spot. Christopher and Lia rounded out the top five.
The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour returned to Thompson on Sunday to complete the Bud Racing 150 that had been halted when Tom Baldwin had his unfortunate accident. Not returning to re-start the event were Bobby Santos III, Sean Caisse, Ronnie Silk and Ken Wooley. Caisse, who was the Busch Pole sitter, had announced that he had quit the Art Barry No.21. Prior to the start of the event speedway announcer Russ Dowd paid an emotional tribute to the fallen Baldwin, one that left more than one with damp eyes. Ted Christopher, who was leading when the event was stopped on August 19 when the field took the green on lap 14. Shortly after Donnie Lia took the lead on lap 41, John Blewett III developed overheating problems with his Sheba No.8 and parked it on lap 44. Blewett, by the way, had won the Garden State Classic at the Wall Township Speedway on Saturday night. At just about the same time Tom Cravenho parked the Eddie Partridge No. 12 when it developed an oil leak. Lia led the field until he pitted on lap 81and handed the lead to Kenny Bouchard as the field completed the fourth of six caution periods. Bouchard’s lead lasted one lap as a determined Tony Hirschman bolted into the lead on lap 83. Doug Coby posed a potential threat but couldn’t compete with the former series champion who went on to take the eventual win. Coby and Eddie Flemke Jr. slugged it out for second spot until five laps remained and he ran out of gas, stopped and brought out the sixth and final caution. With a green-white-checkered finish Hirschman out powered Flemke for the win. Jimmy Kuhn finished a career best third with Ted Christopher fourth and Rick Fuller, fifth. Rounding out the top twelve on the lead lap were Dave Etheridge, Jerry Marquis, Eric Beers, Jeff Malave, Jamie Tomaino, Charlie Pasteryak and Renee Dupuis. Hirschman now leads Flemke by 65 points. Roy Smith won the Pro Stock event that had also been postponed from August 19.
In Thursday night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway Kerry Malone won one for the Tiger. Malone, who was a close friend of Tom Baldwin, won the 75 lap Sunoco Modified event and in victory lane dedicated his win to the fallen competitor. Jeff Malave ended up in second spot with Todd Ceravolo, third. Bo Gunning and Kelly McDougal rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher was a late contender until being spun out by Adam Norton. Norton was put to the rear for his actions. Christopher recovered to finish seventh while Norton played it cool to finish ninth. Jeff Zuidema was the Pro Stock winner. Point leader David Berghman was collected in a wreck while running third and finished out of the top 10. Other Thursday night winners were Dennis Botticello in the Late Models, Glenn Boss in the Limited Sportsman and Todd Henshaw in the Mini Stocks.
Twin 40 lap SK Modified features were on the racing card at Stafford Friday night. Steve Chowanski went pole to pole to win the opening feature while Chris Jones won the nightcap after finishing second to Chowanski in the first event. Chuck Docherty finished second in the opening event and was followed by Ted Christopher and Todd Owen. Christopher finished second to Jones who withstood some horrendous pressure. Woody Pitkat finished third with Frank Ruocco and Todd Owen rounding out the top five. Ryan Posocco, who had won the Late Model event at Stafford on Wednesday, came back to make it two for two in Late Model Competition. Vince Gambacorta finished second in the DARE Stock event and was awarded the win after apparent winner Scott Hitchcock was disqualified.
Jeff Pearl won his third SK Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Pearl had to hold of an overheating Dennis Gada. Tom Fox finished third. Carl Errickson won the Late Model feature and Richard Brooks; son of Thompson Speedway Chief Steward Dick Brooks, won the Mini-Stock feature. Other winners were John Mainetti in the X-modifieds and James Trenary in the Legends Cars.
John Blewett III won the 100 lap Garden State Classic at the Wall Township Speedway.
The Nextel Cup Cars and the Busch Racing Series were in Bristol; Tenn. Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored a clean sweep as he won both events at the ultra-fast half-mile speedway.
Ten years ago in 2009, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Bristol, TN for a Wednesday night event. The posted race purse of $91,575 drew 42 Whelen Modifieds including 27 from the North. Late afternoon rain forced NASCAR to cancel time trials forcing the field to go to post based on points. Ted Christopher led the field to the starting green with Southern Modified point leader George Brunnhoelzl, III on the outside. Christopher led the first 107 laps as Brunnhoelzl faded. Donny Lia started seventh and by lap 100 had placed the Bob Garbarino Mystic Missile firmly in second spot. Seven laps later Christopher faltered and Lia scooted into the lead. Lia lost the lead to Christopher when he jumped a restart on lap 138 and was told by NASCAR to let Christopher by. Three laps later Lia was back in the lead and preceded to open up a fairly good lead which he maintained to the 150 lap mark and the checkered flag. Christopher held on for second and was followed by Ryan Preece who brought the mighty No. 3, Ole Blu, of the Boehler family home in third spot. That particular version of the legendary Modified was actually built by the late Len Boehler in 1996! George Brunnhoelzl III and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Todd Szegedy, Rowan Pennink, Ed Flemke Jr., Burt Myers and Erick Rudolph.
The racing was nothing short of being fantastic. A big plus was the fact that Mike Joy and Dick Berggren called the race for the Speed Channel.
In Thursday night Thunder action at Thompson the aggressive driving in the Sunoco Modifieds continued. Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco slugged it out to the end. Lots of leaning along with bump and run. Neither hit the wall so there was no foul. Christopher used retaliatory moves to score his fourth win of the season. Derek Ramstrom won a wild one in the Super Late Models while Rick Gentes scored the victory in the Late Models. Larry Barnett padded his point lead with his fifth Limited Sportman victory of the season. Another point leader, Brian Sullivan was victorious in the TIS Modifieds. Rick Blanchard was declared the Mini Stock winner.
Tim Sullivan led the field to green but he would not lead the opening lap. Rowan Pennink took over the top spot and began to motor out to an advantage over Danny Cates. A bobble by Sullivan nearly collected Keith Rocco, who was forced out of the groove. Woody Pitkat had worked his way into the third position. The outside groove was the fast way around as Christopher had moved into the third spot with Rocco in tow. On lap 9, Christopher was able to dive inside Cates for second. Rocco, once again, followed TC through and into third. Christopher caught Pennink while Rocco caught the bumper of Christopher. The top three ran nose-to-tail.
At halfway, Rocco was able to slide below Christopher when he bobbled exiting turn four on lap 15. The caution flew on lap 16 for an incident on the backstretch involving Andy Gaspar and Wayne Arute. Leader Pennink opted to use the outside groove on the restart but it was Rocco in the low groove gaining the advantage. Christopher was able to get around Pennink as well. The action was slowed for a spin by Harry Rheaume. Rocco was up to the challenge on the restart but an incident further back in the pack brought out the caution once again. A spin by Bert Marvin collected Tim Sullivan and Todd Ceravolo. Sullivan’s car sustained significant damage. On the restart, Rocco was up to the challenge once again. After a short battle with Pennink, Christopher remained in the second position. Christopher dove beneath Rocco in turn one. They went wheel to wheel through turn two. Christopher got the edge on the backstretch but Rocco did the slingshot move exiting four. They crossed the stripe even. In turn one, Rocco was the leader once again. Pennink ran in the third spot with heavy pressure from Pitkat. Cates ran alone in the fifth position.
With two laps to go, Christopher got along side Rocco. The duo streaked under the white flag with Rocco ahead by inches. Rtocco maintained a slight advantage on the back stretch. Coming out of four Rocco tried holding Christopher low. Christopher retaliated riding high out of four. Rocco drifted up in the marbles making way for Christopher to take the checkers. Pennink came through for second. Pitkat was able to grab third spot at the checkers. Rocco had to settle for fourth ahead of Cates. There were 16 Sunoco Modifieds on hand.
Heavy rain plus warnings of possible tornados forced the Stafford Motor Spedway event to cancel Friday nights racing.
The Waterford Speedbowl completed a fast paced NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program on a hot Saturday bolstered by two green-to-checkered flag races. Threats of storms generated by Hurricane Bill failed to put a damper on the night’s racing. Corey Hutchings captured an exciting SK Modified race in down to the wire fashion, Vin Esposito returned to the winner’s circle in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, points leaders Ronnie Oldham Jr. and Jason Palmer won the Street Stock and Legends Car events and Nick Pappacoda was a first time feature event winner in the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks.
The SK Modifieds rebounded from the previous week’s caution-marred feature to put on a classic 35-lap shootout. Corey Hutchings prevailed in a close contest over last week’s winner Tyler Chadwick. The pair raced the final several laps side-by-side. Joe Perry on the pole with Hutchings on the outside pole brought the field to green and the pair ran the initial laps alongside one another before Hutchings edged ahead into sole possession of the lead on lap four.
The action up front was singling out with Hutchings moving out over Perry. Justin Gaydosh was in third holding back the challenges of Jeff Pearl and Chadwick as the event stayed green through halfway. The top points contenders were mired back outside the top ten having difficulty moving through the competitive field.
Gaydosh got loose in turn two on lap 19, allowing Chadwick to duck under Pearl and take over the fourth spot after the two had battled for several laps. Pearl and Rob Janovic Jr. moved past Gaydosh on lap 23 when his #94 car began to lose some handling. Ron Yuhas Jr. and Keith Rocco had finally made some progress, moving into sixth and eighth respectively when the first caution finally waved on lap 24 for Joe Gada and Tom Abele who suffered separate incidents on different parts of the track.
Chadwick edged Perry on the restart, moving in to pressure Hutchings. He pulled outside looking for a repeat trip to victory lane. Janovic also moved past Perry into third. Yuhas finally emerged in the top five, moving past Pearl as the field raced to lap 30. Caution waved on that circuit for Jeffrey Gallup.
Chadwick was alongside Hutchings for the final restart. The two stayed glued together over the final five laps to the finish, with Hutchings able to prevail by .031 seconds over Chadwick. Janovic finished third, Yuhas got up to fourth, and Perry put in his best effort in the open-wheel SK’s running with the leaders all night for fifth. Jeff Pearl finished sixth and was followed by Rocco, Dennis Gada, Josh Sylvester and Jef Paul.
In a sad note, former track Modified champion Dick Ceravolo, a longtime competitor and car owner at the Speedbowl, suffered serious injuries in an accident at his home on Friday afternoon. Known to many as Dickie Doo, Ceravolo was attempting to jumpstart a farm tractor that had accidentally been left in gear. The tractor bolted and pinned him between his truck and the tractor while his wife Joyce watched in horror. Ceravolo was transported to the Yale-New Haven Hospitol where he was put on life support. Among his injuries was a crushed chest plus back and head injuries. At 70 years of age, the former driver is in excellent physical shape, which will work to his advantage in what could be a long recovery.
Ceravolo won eight career Modified features from 1976-1987 at the Waterford Speedbowl. He was the 1988 SK Modified division champion at track despite not winning a feature during the season. Ceravolo surprised many when he announced his retirement at the season ending banquet after his championship year. He was the car owner champion the following year after hiring Bob Potter as his driver. In recent years he has been a fixture at the Thompson Speedway where he fields a Sunoco Modified that is driven by his youngest son, Todd. His oldest son, Rick, is the crew chief of the Ceravolo family effort.
In True Value Modified Series racing at the Seekonk Speedway Chris Pasteryak took the 100 lap win over Les Hinkley, Rowan Pennick, Mike Holdredge and Steve Masse. On the third turn of the final lap Pennink made a move to pass Hinckley and got him sideways. Hinckley did a fantastic save the car and made it across the finish line in second. Pennink settled in for third as he backed off the gas to avoid causing a wreck.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing there were no last-lap fireworks Saturday night as Kyle Busch and Mark Martin staged a side-by-side charge to the checkered flag. Busch emerged the winner. It snapped his 13-race Sprint Cup Series winless streak while Martin settled for second. David Ragan held off teammate Carl Edwards on a two-lap sprint to the finish Friday night to win the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards settled for second.
The World Racing Group, Inc. announced on August 14 that it has completed its previously announced going private transaction. World Racing sanctions and promotes dirt track auto racing. Based in Concord, N.C. they own and operate the three highest profile national touring series for dirt track racing in the United States which include The World of Outlaws® Sprint Car Series, The World of Outlaws Late Model Series(SM) and The Super DIRTcar Series™. Under the terms of the transaction, the Company conducted a 1-for-101 reverse stock split whereby each 101 shares of the Company’s common stock was converted into one share of common stock. Holders of less than 101 shares of common stock prior to the reverse stock split will receive a cash out price of $0.10 per share. The result of the reverse stock split was a reduction in the number of the Company’s stockholders of record to fewer than 300. As a result, the Company would immediately cease to be a public reporting company.
Five years ago in 2014, The big news of the weekend was that NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed a sprint car driver who was walking on a dirt track during a race in upstate New York on Saturday night. A video of the crash at Canandaigua Motorsports Park showed driver Kevin Ward Jr. walking toward Stewart’s car before being hit and hurtled 50 feet. The 42-year-old Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion and frequent competitor at local sprint car events, was questioned by local police and released.
The Stafford Motor Speedway played host to the Whelen Modified Tour Series last Friday night. Woody Pitkat, who had a combined total of 71 wins at Stafford added a Whelen Modified Tour win to his résumé. His win was also the first for car owner Buzz Chew of Long Island.
Pitkat dominated the Call Before You Dig 811 150 and beat Ron Silk to the line by over four seconds to pick up his first career win in his 86th tour start. Donny Lia followed Silk in third with points leader Doug Coby and Eric Goodale completing the top five. Rowan Pennink finished sixth and Ted Christopher seventh. Justin Bonsignore, Ryan Preece and Matt Hirschman rounded out the top 10.
Pitkat started second to pole sitter Bobby Santos and quickly drove his No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet to the lead on Lap 3 stayed out front for the bulk of the first half of the race until a caution on Lap 76 for Patrick Emerling stalling on the track brought the leaders to the pits. Pitkat came out of the pit stop in eighth place with Donny Lia in the lead, Ryan Preece second and Ron Silk third.
Pitkat quickly moved up through the field and was up to fourth by Lap 92 and was second to then leader Ron Silk by Lap 102. Pitkat closed in and passed Silk on Lap 115 for the lead where he remained the rest of the night.
The race was slowed just two times by caution with the first yellow flag given to the field on Lap 7 after Tommy Barrett Jr. stopped on the track with a flat tire. There were 23 Modifieds on hand for the event.
Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Ryan Preece, who won his fourth SK Modified® feature of the 2014 season, Michael Bennett scored his first feature win in almost 4 years to the exact date in the Late Model feature, Stephen Kopcik was a first time winner in the SK Light Modified feature, Andrew Hayes picked up his second victory of 2014 in the Limited Late Model feature, and David Comeau won his second DARE Stock feature of 2014.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl the Connecticut shoreline oval hosted the seventh annual Wings & Wheels event on Saturday night in front of a jam packed grandstand. Fans were treated to some of the fastest and most sophisticated short track racecars in the country as the International Supermodified Association made their only visit of the season and was joined by the popular Valenti Modified Racing Series, Northeastern Midget Association and NEMA Lites, plus the home track NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® and SK Light Modifieds. Ted Christopher ended a long dry spell dating back to 2004 with his win in the Valenti Modified Racing Series feature. Mark Sammut checkered the 50-lap ISMA Supermodified race. A first time winner visited Victory Lane in the SK Modified® feature in surprise fashion after an exciting conclusion, with Agawam, MA driver Jeff Gallup recording the win. Randy Churchill took his third SK Light Modified win of the year. In NEMA action, John Zych Jr. won the Midget feature and Dan Cugini won the companion NEMA Lite race.
Christopher scored his third career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory in the night’s 100-lap feature. He started the race in the outside pole position and tucked behind early leader Stephen Masse. Masse led through a lap-42 caution flag following a quick opening sprint. Christopher had a great restart and powered ahead of Masse on the top of the track through turns one and two and led every lap until the finish. He led comfortably over the middle of the race which stayed clean until the final laps. Christopher’s biggest test was a red flag with three laps remaining for a huge wreck that collected no less than ten cars. He restarted cleanly over series point leader Justin Bonsignore and closed out the win, his first at the track since July of 2004 when he took his last SK Modified® victory at the track. Bonsignore was second and Masse ended up third. Chris Pasteryak and Tom Abele Jr rounded out the top five.
Gallup’s first career SK Modified® victory came following a wild finish through the final corners coming to the checkered flag. Gallup battled Waterford’s Shawn Monahan for most of the 35-lap feature, riding the outside of the track to stay in contention for the win. Monahan seemed to have control throughout, with heavy hitters Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco trailing behind in third and fourth position. Rocco got by Christopher with four laps remaining and sat behind the Monahan-Gallup duel. Monahan finally cleared Gallup on the final lap, and Rocco followed suit by diving inside Gallup. As the lead pack entered turn three coming to the checkered flag, Rocco made contact with Monahan’s rear bumper, sending his car up the track. Monahan feverishly tried to keep his car from spinning but could not, dropping through the field as he spun off turn four to the infield. Rocco crossed the finish line first, but was quickly penalized for overaggressive driving dropping him to 16th in the final rundown, giving Gallup the win. Woody Pitkat steered through the wild conclusion and finished second while Christopher wound up third. Gallup is a second generation racer. Tim Jordan and Joe Gada rounded out the top five.
In Modified racing in the Southland, Saturday night’s races scheduled for the Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina were cancelled because of rain.
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island hosted twin 50’s for the Modifieds with Tom Rogers Jr. recording both wins. Ryan Preece finished second in both events.
AJ Allmendinger beat Marcos Ambrose on a two-lap dash to the finish to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on a somber Sunday. The victory made his one-car team for JTG Daugherty Racing eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup title. Allmendinger held off Ambrose through the first two turns and opened a lead after both cars bumped and won going away.
Last year, 2018, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the Thompson Motorsports Park last Wednesday but the big story of the week concerned NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian Z France who was arrested by police following charges of driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone in the Hamptons section of Long Island. Police said France went through a stop sign, had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit, smelled of booze and slurred his words during his arrest in Sag Harbor. France was also in illegal possession of oxycodone, they said. He spent the night in jail and announced his leave from NASCAR about eight hours later.
Now he’s on indefinite leave to “focus on my personal affairs,” as he stated in a two-sentence statement. NASCAR, also using only two sentences, acknowledged that Brian France had taken a leave and stated that Jim France, his uncle, and the vice chairman and executive vice president, was assuming the roles.
At Thompson a huge crowd was on hand for the Bud 150. Justin Bonsignore started from the top spot after winning his first Thompson pole and led the first 15 laps, but gave the lead up to Chase Dowling in the approach to lapped traffic. He took the lead back on lap 79, and even though he pitted during a caution on lap 89 for tires, it didn’t take him long to get back to the front. He passed Doug Coby for the lead on lap 96 and never lost the top spot en route to the victory.
Matt Swanson, who got the call to drive the Boehler Racing No. 3 after the birth of Rowan Pennink’s first child, finished second. The result was his best career run on the Whelen Modified Tour in his first start with the BRE Racing team. Doug Coby, who led four laps, charged back through the field after spinning on lap 123, and finished third. Chase Dowling and Bobby Santos III rounded out the top five. Woody Pitkat was sixth, followed by Andrew Krause, Craig Lutz, Chris Pasteryak and Timmy Solomito.
The event was run in just short of an hour, 58 minutes to be exact. Three cautions for only 15 laps slowed the action. The first caution came on lap 88 for Dave Sapienza who spun on the back stretch. Sapienza re-started and finished 14th, two laps down. The second caution was for Coby who spun in turn 2 and the third, on lap 133 was for debris on the track. Twenty five of the original 27 starters finished the event. Melissa Fifield’s latest excuse was power steering and Ron Silk had rear-end problems with his mount.
The Bud “King of Beers” 150 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, August 15, at 7 p.m.
The Sunoco Modifieds started off the evening and resulted in yet another battle between two of the best drivers in the division. After handing Keith Rocco his first loss of the year in July, Ryan Preece continued to be the biggest threat to the points leader and reining division champion as the two drivers were nose to tail for most of the 30-lap feature. Both drivers worked their way to the top three by the end of the third lap before a caution on lap four gave Keith Rocco the opportunity to take the lead on a restart. Preece remained on Rocco’s bumper eventually working the bottom line of the track in an attempt to gain an edge on his rival. Rocco however would not be denied and charged his way to yet another win in the Sunoco Modifieds, his fourth of the season in five events. Woody Pitkat finished third and was followed by Ronnie Williams and Troy Talman. Sixth through tenth were Timmy Jordan, Kyle James, Todd Owen, Adam Gada and Joey Gada.
One of the best races of the night was the 20-lap feature run by the Limited Sportsman division as Shawn Monahan looked to continue his division-leading dominance in search of his third win of the season. The event began with Meghan Fuller looking for her first win at Thompson. She showed some promise early leading a good portion of the first ten laps before a lap nine caution set up a restart that did not work in Fuller’s favor. Scott Sundeen took advantage of the restart to claim the top spot and after contact with Monahan. Fuller’s day was finished in a wreck on lap 16. Sundeen maintained the lead but Monahan and Ryan Waterman would not let Sundeen get away. With two laps remaining Waterman worked his way to the second position preparing for a potential race-winning move on the final lap while Monahan waited in the wings for his time to strike. The three-way battle for the lead culminated in one of the best finishes at Thompson so far in 2018 as it all came to a head in the final turn of the race. In a last-ditch effort to win the event Waterman dove deep, pushing Sundeen out of the gruve and, in turn, losing his own grip coming out of turn four. This opened the door for Monahan to make a charge for the win rubbing doors with Waterman resulting in Monahan going across the line sideways for his third victory of the season. Both Sundeen and Waterman finished outside the top ten, Sundeen due to the final lap incident and Waterman due to the contact he made trying to make the final pass.
The Late Models saw Ryan Morgan score his second consecutive win and third overall on the year in the division at Thompson. The win didn’t come as Morgan had to fight off a last lap charge by Tom Carry, III resulting in a near-photo finish for the victory.
Other winners were Todd Bertrand in the NEMA Midgets and Wayne Burroughs who claimed his fourth win of the season in the Mini Stocks.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Keith Rocco carried over his winning ways from Thompson as he ended a long dry spell at the Arute family owned Speedway. Rocco, who hadn’t won at Stafford since May 18, started fourth, took the lead from Troy Talman on lap 3 and with stood three restarts to record the win. Joseph Cipriano finished second and was followed by Chase Dowling, Eric Berndt and Todd Owen.
The win gave Rocco a career total of 258 wins which include 49 at Stafford, 60 at Thompson and 149 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl,
Other Friday night winners included Kevin Gambacorta who outlasted Tom Fearn to pick up his first Late Model win of the season, Marcello Rufrano who added to his SK Light division leading total with his 6th win of the year, Duane Provost who scored his fourth Limited Late Model win of the year, and Michael Hopkins who took down his second win of the year in the Street Stock feature.
On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Due to rain on Saturday, and an unfavorable forecast for Sunday, the Speedbowl management cancelled the scheduled Wings and wheels event. Racing continues this week with Wild n Wacky Wednesday, Saturday for Military Night, and Sunday for Monster Truck Mayhem!!
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Tim Brown did something that no other Modified driver has ever done in the 70-year history of Bowman Gray, he won both 50-lap races on the same night. Brown defeated Jason Myers in the first race, followed by Bobby Measmer Jr., Jonathan Brown and Chris Fleming.
In the second 50-lap race, Tim Brown defeated Burt Myers, Jason’s brother, John Smith was third and Jonathan Brown was fourth.
Racing at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island was cancelled due to rain.
In NASCAR Monster Cup racing, Kevin Harvick capped off his father-son weekend by dominating a race and putting 6-year-old son Keelan in the passenger seat to hold the flapping, checkered flag out of the window. Harvick broke a tie atop NASCAR’s Big 3 by easily winning at Michigan International Speedway for his Cup high seventh victory of the season.His No. 4 Ford finished 3-plus seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford on Sunday in the Consumers Energy 400. Points leader Kyle Busch finished third in his No. 18 Toyota, more than 4 seconds behind Harvick.
Justin Allgaier passed rookie Austin Cindric with four laps left and held on Saturday to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
On a sad note, Tom Ormsby who created web site vintagemodifieds.com passed away in Florida after a long illness.