RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: First Week Of September

RPW Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WAVERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1950 Rusty Rushton won a 500 lap Stock Car event at Seekonk. Mickey Gill won a preliminary event.

Sixty five years ago in 1955, Red Bolduc was a double winner as he won the Modified and non-Ford events at the Seekonk Speedway.

Sixty years ago in 1960 Ernie Gahan, one of the chosen few to win on both dirt and asphalt at Stafford took the Friday night win on the dirt. Gahan continued his hot streak over to Saturday night at Norwood where he took his second win of the weekend. Bill Slater finished second with Red Foote, third. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl ran on three different days, Wednesday, with Don Collins taking the Modified win, Collins again on Saturday and Billy Harman on Sunday. Seekonk ran a 200 lapper for the A division which was won by Dan Stanton. Bob Pike was the Novice winner.

Fifty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble scored his seventh win on the dirt at Stafford. Sal Dee was the 75 lap Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday night. Charlie Webster was the Sunday Modified winner. Back then, a track could run two nights a week and make money! Twin 50’s were run at the Albany – Saratoga Speedway. Elton Hill won the first 50 and was followed by Jerry Humiston, Billy Greco and Don Flynn. Greco won the second 50 with Flynn, 2nd. Ed Patnoad finished third with Humiston, fourth. Fonda was shut down for a fair. The New Yorker 400 at the Utica – Rome Speedway was split into two, 200 lap events. Rene Charland, with two second place finishes, was declared the overall winner. Bill Wimble won the first 200 with Jerry Cook, third. Fred Harbach won the night cap with Jerry Humiston, third. At Seekonk on Saturday, Pete Salvatore was the 30 lap A division winner. Bobby Clark was the B division winner. Seekonk also ran on Monday, Labor Day. Bugsy Stevens was the Modified winner

Fifty years ago in 1970, the twin 25’s took a strange twist at Stafford on Saturday night. Bugsy Stevens won the first one and was followed by Ed Flemke, Ed Yerrington and Lou Toro. Just past half way in the second 25,the red flag was displayed because a major fire had broken out in the town of Stafford and the fire truck and ambulance had to leave. When it was determined that the emergency vehicles would not return, then leader, Billy Harman in the Ted Marsh No.55 was declared the winner. It was to be Harman’s only career win at Stafford. Yerrington was placed in second spot and was followed by Stevens, Bob Vee and Bobby Santos. Denis Giroux won a double point event at Plattsburg. Fred DeSarro finished a disappointing 16th after dropping out with mechanical problems. Dick Watson was the 30 lap Modified winner at Waterford. Joe Arcana was the A division winner at Seekonk. George Ponte was the B division winner.

On Sunday at Thompson, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke each won 25 lappers and at Utica-Rome on Sunday night, it rained. At the South Boston Speedway in Virginia, Sonny Hutchins was the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman winner.

Forty five years ago in 1975, Maynard Troyer won the Lancaster 200 over Paul Radford, Richie Evans and Lou Lazzaro. Dick Dunn scored a big win as he won the Fall Stinger 100 at the Waterford Speedbowl. At Islip, Charlie Siebert took the win and at Fulton, Jerry Cook beat out Evans and Sonney Seamon for the win. Leo Cleary was the small block modified winner at Thompson. At Seekonk, George Summers won a 50 lapper and Joe Curillo was the B winner.

Forty years ago in 1980, Jeff Fuller in the Tom Dunn T-5 took the win at Westboro over Bugsy Stevens and Mike Weeden. At Riverside it was Ray Miller over Richie Evans and Bob Polverari and at Waterford a 200 lapper was on tap and Bob Potter took the win over Moose Hewitt. Sunday afternoon at Thompson, Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Fuller and John Rosati. At the conclusion, Bouchard and Rosati headed for Monadnock for a Sunday night event. Bouchard drove and Rosati flew. Much to many surprised fans, Bouchard arrived 15 minutes before the consi and made it into the show. Rosati got there late and never got a chance to qualify. Mike Weeden took the win with Bouchard, second and Marty Radwick, third. Islip ran a 250-lap event on Sunday. Charlie Jarzombek led for 247 laps when he lost an engine and handed the eventual victory to Richie Evans. George Wagner finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Despite losing an engine, Jarzombek still finished fourth. Other weekend winners were Don LaJoie at Danbury, Roger Treichler at Lancaster, Gil Hearne at Wall, Jim Shampine at Star and George Kent at Shangri-La. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Bobby Allison took the win. Harry Gant crashed with 50 to go as he was trying to take the lead.

Thirty five years ago in 1985, Spencer Speedway ran on Friday night with Jan Leaty taking the win over Randy Hedger and Doug Hewitt. The annual Thompson 300 was on tap and with temperatures in the 90’s it proved to be a test of man and machine. Richie Evans led 155 laps to win the event over Doug Hewitt and Bob Polverari. Doug Hevron had been running second with four to go when he suffered a flat and had to pit. Wayne Dion was the Thompson SK Modified winner. Riverside Park ran open competition on Saturday night with Reggie Ruggerio taking the win over Polverari and Richie Gallup. Chris Young ended the season at Riverhead with a win. The first ever Enduro was run at Waterford and drew 268 cars and 8000+ people. Richie Evans sewed up the NASCAR Northeastern Regional Championship and in Winston Cup action at Richmond, Geoff Bodine was the pole sitter and Darrell Waltrip took the win.

Thirty years ago in 1990,the Thompson 300 was a double header with the Busch North Series, which gave fans the best of both worlds. Mike McLaughlin won the modified portion, which paid $15050 to win. Satch Worley finished second with Doug Hevron, third. Forty-one cars started the event. Kenny Bouchard was the Busch North series winner. The pit fee was $40.00.Reggie Ruggerio got his fifth of the season at Monadnock on Friday night and Jim Broderick went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night.

Twenty five years ago in 1995, Mike Gada went pole to pole at Waterford on Saturday night. Mark LaJunesse finished second with John Anderson, third. Matt Kobyluck was the late model winner. The Busch North Series ran at Stafford. Ted Christopher was leading with two laps to go when Andy Santarre dumped him. Tom Bolles was in the right spot at the right time and took the win. At Riverside, Reggie Ruggerio got his fourth win of the season over Steve Park. The Thompson 300 ran on Sunday. Steve Park won the preliminary Pro Stock 100 and came back to win the 300.In the Banzul No.8; Park led five times for 155 laps. Ricky Fuller finished second and was followed by Mike Stefanik, Jamie Tomaino and Charlie Pasteryak. Point leader Tony Hirshman, wrecked. Barefoot Bob McCready won the Lebanon Valley 200 DIRT event and at Richmond, Dale Jarrett was the Grandnational winner and Rusty Wallace was the Winston Cup winner.

Twenty years ago, in 2000, Willie Hardie won the final Friday night SK modified event of the season at Stafford. Zack Sylvester finished second with Frank Wainwrite finished third. Ted Christopher finished seventh and wrapped up the 2000 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series North East Championship. Stafford closed out their regular Friday night series with the announcement that the Pro Stocks would be eliminated for the 2001 season. At Waterford on Saturday night, Dennis Gada got his sixth win of the season. Ed Dachenhausen and Eric Berndt followed. Riverhead ran twin features to close their season. Taking the wins were J.R.Bertuccio and Frank Vigliorolo. Scott Quinn took the win at Thompson on Sunday after Todd Ceravolo lost an engine. Ted Christopher finished second with Kerry Malone, third. In Winston Cup action at Richmond, Jeff Gordon took the win but a post race inspection showed that Gordon’s car had a magnesium intake manifold. The win was allowed. Gordon and car owner Rick Hendrick were docked 100 points and fined $25,000.Jeff Burton was the BGN winner at Richmond.

Fifteen years ago in 2005 The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on Saturday night. With gasoline approaching the $3.50 per gallon mark there were not too many race fans heading south from New England. Forty-six Northern and Southern Modifieds were on hand for qualifying which was held on Friday night. Chuck Hossfeld was the quickest as he took the Busch Pole with a speed of 99.979 mph. Eric Beers was second fastest at 99.355 mph. Tony Hirschman, Don Lia and John Blewett III rounded out the top five. The top eight redrew for starting spots. Ted Christopher, who qualified seventh, drew the pole. Hossfeld drew the outside pole.

A 50 lap Last Chance qualifier, won by Reggie Ruggiero preceded what had to be one of the best attended stand alone, non Nextel Cup events at the Virginia oval. Years ago stand alone Modified events at Martinsville drew in excess of 20,000 fans.

Ted Christopher got back on track in his quest for the Whelen Modified Tour Series Championship, as he was able to out duel Mike Stefanik for the win. Christopher, who led a total of 164 laps of the 250-lap event, took the lead for the final time on lap 227. John Blewett III finished a strong third with Eric Beers and Doug Coby rounding out the top five. A total of 46 Modifieds were on hand. The Speed Channel taped the race which was tentatively scheduled to be shown sometime in December. Ted Christopher had regained the Series point lead from Tony Hirschman. Jerry Marquis was third with Chuck Hossfeld fourth and Eric Beers, fifth.

Jeff Malave all but saw all his hopes for a NASCAR Division IV championship go up in smoke on Thursday night at the Thompson Speedway. Malave, a former Long Islander who now lived in Manchester, CT., was a scant two points behind Donny Reuvers of Shakopee, MN. Malave ended his night in the wall after Ronnie Silk made a bonsai move on Todd Ceravolo for the lead. Silk hit Ceravolo, spinning him to the infield. Malave got collected. Malave, who was quite upset, stated that Silk had no business doing what he did. While Malave’s crew was trying to make repairs Ceravolo was given his spot back which allowed him to eventually record his third win of the season. Kerry Malone, who had had a string of bad luck, finished second. John Sandberg, who was under suspension at Stafford finished third and was followed by Ricky Shawn and Ron Yuhas Jr. The Division IV Championship, which would end on September 18, was worth $25,000 to the winner. During the early going it appeared that Jimmy Blewett had a good chance of recording his first feature at Thompson when he was forced to retire with motor problems. Other Thursday night winners were Jeff Zuidema in the Late Models, Fred Astle Jr in the Pro Stocks, Danny Cates in the Limited Sportsman, Scott Michalski in the Mini Stocks and Leo Olivero in the Thompson Modifieds.

Jeff Malave’s bad luck carried over to the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Malave hit the second turn wall on lap 33 of the 40 lap feature. Frank Ruocco led all but the first two laps of the feature as he notched the win. Woody Pitkat gave him some late race heat but in the end had to settle for second. Jeff Baral finished third with Mike Holdredge and Kenny Horton rounding out the top five. Other Friday night winners were Tom Fearn in the Late Models, Andrew Durand in the Limited Late Models and Mike Sweeney Jr in the DARE Stocks.

The Waterford Speedbowl continued to be a one-groove race track as Dennis Charette held his line on the bottom after taking the lead on the ninth lap of the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Rob Janovic finished second. Janovic started 14th. Ronnie Silk finished third with Don Fowler and Ron Yuhas rounding out the top five. Allen Coates was the Late Model winner with Bruce Thomas, second and Rob Summers finished third. Other Saturday night winners were Chis Bakaj in the Legends, Danny Field in the Mini Stocks and Dan Darnstaed in the Sportsman.

Ten years ago in 2010, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series continued on their late Summer break. Bobby Santos retook the point lead from Ted Christopher. Santos led by 32 points. Mike Stefanik, Todd Szegedy and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Preece, Erick Rudolph, Eric Goodale, Eric Beers and rookie Justin Bonsignore.

With nine races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule two time Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Don Lia and SS Green Light Racing parted ways.

The Thompson International Speedway announced that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) had imposed an indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition on four drivers following an incident on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at the Thompson International Speedway. NASCAR is the sanctioning body for races at Thompson and NASCAR officials are in charge of the competition at the speedway. The official penalty notice from NASCAR cited the drivers for “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”

Race drivers Fred Michalski of Dayville, CT, Scott and Trevor Michalski of South Killingly, CT and Scott Jassaume of Danielson, CT all received the same penalty from NASCAR. In addition, the Speedway informed these drivers and Ruth Michalski of South Killingly, CT that they were no longer welcome on the property in and around the race track. This action is a result of an attack that the above made on Mini Stock driver Rick Blanchard following the feature held on August 19.

In Thursday night action at the northeast Connecticut oval the Speedway played host to the Modified Racing Series for the second time in 2010. In the end it was “one of their” own standing in victory lane with Rowan Pennink scoring his third Modified Racing Series victory. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Ted Christopher earned his ninth Sunoco Modified feature event of the season. Mike O’Sullivan bested a strong field to post the victory in the Super Late Models.

Wayne Coury, Sr. celebrated with a win in the Late Models. Joe Arena earned a hard-fought victory in the Limited Sportsman division. John Studley streaked to consecutive victories in the TIS Modifieds. It was a night banner night for Mike Gorgieveski who scored his first career victory in the Mini Stocks.

Ted Christopher ended a long dry spell scored his first victory of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature. It was Christopher’s first win at Stafford in over a year and overall his 92nd SK Modified win at the track he calls home. Woody Pitkat took advantage of a green white checkered restart to nail down his sixth victory of 2010 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his eighth win of 2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dave Yardley won his second feature of 2010 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cory Casagrande matched his brother Kyle as a three-time winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl Teenager Anthony Flannery won the 50-lap Raceceiver Legends National Tour race, earning a guaranteed starting position to the Legends Cars Nationals event held at Langley, VA Speedway in October. Tyler Chadwick won his second consecutive SK Modified® race and third on the season. Bruce Thomas Jr. and Ken Cassidy Jr. won their third races of the year in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock divisions. Al Stone rounded out the winners by taking his third consecutive Street Stock win, his fifth overall on the year. For Thomas, it was his 50th career win

Chadwick recieved a gift while running third in the closing laps when a heated battle between Doug Coby and Todd Ceravolo boiled over with Coby spinning in turn one. The pivotal moment of the race came on lap 28. Ceravolo was penalized to the rear for his involvement, handing the lead to Chadwick.

Following Chadwick at the finish was Keith Rocco followed by Rob Janovick, Jeff Paul, and Joe Gada. Coby ended up seventh and Ceravolo was 11th.

In some sad news, John Small, who manned the announcers booth at what was then-known as the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl in the mid 50’s to mid 60’s passed-away at age 97. One of the most popular announcers in the early history of the shoreline oval, Small’s booming voice and talented delivery set the standard for calling the races at the Eastern Connecticut oval for many of the raceways formative seasons. He was extremely-popular with fans and competitors alike. In 1952, he began a long career in radio where he hosted many country music radio shows and was known as Cousin Johnny. Mr. Small, among many other things, was a past Mayor of the Town of Groton, CT

The Modified Racing Series headed for the Thompson Speedway for their second visit of the year. Rowan Pennink who has called Thompson International Speedway home for the last few seasons competing in the NASCAR All American Series Weekly, claimed the victory in Modified Racing Series 75. Mike Stefanik showed the way in the early going before relinquishing the lead to Bobby Santos III. Stefanik would retire from the event two laps shy of halfway. Santos led through lap 56 before giving up the battle to Pennink. Three laps later, Ted Christopher moved by Santos and into second. In a repeat of the Sunoco Modified event earlier in the evening, Pennink and Christopher waged a heated battle for the lead. A late race restart with less than 15 laps to go gave Christopher his best shot at Pennink’s lead. After a quick bid, Christopher had to settle back in line in second. The lead duo stretched their advantage over third running Santos. An incident involving the previous week’s winner Todd Annarummo brought out the caution with seven laps remaining. Pennink was up for the challenge on the single-file restart. Pennink went on to claim his third MRS win of the season over Christopher, Santos and Eric Goodale. Les Hinckley recovered from a practice crash to finish fifth.

NASCAR reinstated crew member Randy LaJoie upon his successful completion of a counseling program following his June 22 suspension for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

Boris Said came back from an early spin and won the Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, edging Max Papis by a nose on a green-white-checkered finish to win the crash-filled event. NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors enjoyed the weekend off.

Five years ago in 2015, At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night taking down weekly feature wins were Woody Pitkat in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Daniel Wesson in the SK Light feature, David Arute in the Ltd. Late Model feature, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the DARE Stock feature, and Mikey Flynn in the Legend Cars feature.

Pitkat led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2015 season and the very first win for his car owners, the Skowyra family. Ted Christopher finished second, with Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink, and Matt Galko rounding out the top-5.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Stafford Speedway on Friday night. Chris Pasteryak took the lead from Woody Pitkat on a restart with 20 laps, of the 80 lap feature, to go and then held Pitkat off to the checkered flag to pick up his 5th VMRS feature win of the 2015 season.

Mike Willis, Jr. finished third with Ted Christopher and Norm Wrenn rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth included Dave Etheridge, Keith Rocco, Dylan Kopec, Dan Meservy, Jr and Matt Swanson. There were 32 cars on hand.

Dylan Kopec brought the field to green leading the first 9-laps when Rowan Pennink displaced Kopec and led the field until lap-11. Todd Szegedy held the top spot for one circuit before Pitkat took the lead and became the class of the field. The race stayed green until lap-58 when the first of a series of caution flags and a red flag were needed for spins and crashes. Todd Szegedy, while running second and after a restart, spun collecting four other cars that would change the scenario for others when the race went back to green.

Pitkat led the field to a short-lived green flag with Pasteryak, Norman Wrenn, Kopec, and David Schneider following. Following another yellow flag on lap-60, Pasteryak sprinted by Pitkat on the re-start when the race leader did not come up to speed. Pitkat then put on a tremendous drive to catch Pasteryak but fell short at the finish by 0.118 seconds.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returned to action at the Langley Speedway in Virginia on Saturday night. George Brunnhoelzl III, the four-time tour champion from Long Island won the Coors Light Pole Award and cruised to the win in the Bayport Credit Union 150 presented by Budweiser. Brunnhoelzl’s No. 28 Composite Tech/Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer/Oval Speed Chevrolet finished .387 seconds ahead of Kyle Ebersole, who edged Andy Seuss for the runnner-up spot.

It was Brunnhoelzl’s 24th career win and second at Langley. He also had a pair of seconds and a third in the last six tour races at the .396-mile oval. Brunnhoelzl led 141 laps and pulled away from Seuss on a Lap 148 restart. Burt Myers finished fourth and his brother Jason Myers, the championship points leader entering the night, was fifth. Jason Myers now leads Seuss and Burt Myers by just one point apiece, and Ebersole by five. Brunnhoelzl, in search of a fifth title, is just nine points out of the lead.

Jeremy Gerstner was sixth, followed by Bobby Measmer Jr., Frank Fleming, Joe Ryan Osborne and David Calabrese. There were 14 cars on hand.

In regular weekly action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco celebrated the fact that his wife Cassie was expecting their second child by ending a long dry spell in the SK Modified ranks at the shoreline oval. Rocco had been winless in the SK Modifieds at the bowl since July 4. After starting seventh and taking the lead on lap 13 of the SK Modified 35 lapper Rocco cruised to his fifth victory of the year in the division. His track win total was then 118 wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 208 wins which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways. Following Rocco was Ted Christopher, Paul Kusheba IV, Joe Gada and Zach Sylvester.

Timmy Jordan took the lead early and held the lead through the first caution of the event which came out on the first lap. Only 3 laps later Jordan was stripped of the lead as Paul Kusheba IV took the lead away. With 23 laps remaining in the event Keith Rocco took the lead away from Kusheba IV and was able to keep that lead through the rest of the race. There were 2 more yellow flags that were thrown in the event.

Other Saturday night winners at the Speedbowl were Jason Palmer in the late Models over Keith Rocco, Ed Gertsch in the Limited Sportsman, Jordan Hadley in the Mini Stocks and Dana Dimatto in the Legends.

The Riverhead Raceway ran twin 30’s for the NASCAR Modifieds on Saturday night. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead took a big step towards his third career Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified championship Saturday night when he swept the Miller Lite night Twin 30 feature events for his 7th and 8th victories of the season. The second race was shortened to 16-laps when a massive multi car pile-up entering turn three ensued, the wreck was the worst of it’s kind in recent memory doing serious damage to several race cars. For the most part all drivers were able to walk away from the carnage.

When the first race concluded Tom Rogers Jr. was first under the checker flag in the Jessup Landscaping Chevy with Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. settling for runner-up money in the TS Haulers Chevy. Rookie driver Kyle Soper of Manorville kept himself in the mix for the win and was third over the line in the Jack Anthony Pools entry. Ron Silk was fourth with Dave Sapienza of Riverhead completing the top five.

When the field lined up for the second Twin 30 Ryan Preece was well aware if he were to have a chance at passing Tom Rogers Jr. it would have to be on the initial drop of the green and that is exactly what he did but again Tom Rogers was equal to the task. Ryan did all he could to gain a run on Tommy to the outside and in the process might have used up his right rear tire as he got loose as the race wore on. Sensing the current WMT championship leader was fighting his car Kyle Soper on lap 15 was able to work his way under Preece for second just one lap before the “big one” unfolded.

As the field entered the third turn contact was made by two cars with the result finding no less than 7 cars getting caught up by the exit gate. Involved were Vinny Biondolillo, Ron Silk, John Fortin Sr., Kyle Ellwood, Rob McCormick, John Fortin Jr. and Ken Darch. Fortin Jr. was transported to the hospital with an injured left wrist/arm but was released to seek further care from an Orthopedic specialist on Tuesday, all other drivers were okay. Ken Darch received the most damage to his car when his body was torn from the car, the “brain” bar part of NASCAR’S rigid safety requirements as well as Darch’s helmet had tire marks on them indicating how lucky the veteran driver was to walk away. With just six cars left on the track NASCAR officials threw the checker flag with Tom Rogers Jr. earning his 39th career NASCAR Modified win. Kyle Soper was second to Rogers in the second race while Ryan Preece crossed the line third. Howie Brode of East Islip and Dave Sapienza completed the top five.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Carl Edwards captured his first Southern 500 win in the race’s return to Labor Day weekend. Denny Hamlin led 117 of 147 laps in the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, but the Joe Gibbs Racing driver needed a flawless final 10 laps to emerge victorious. Hamlin, who also won the pole, passed JGR teammate Daniel Suarez with three laps to go to clinch his fourth career win at Darlington.

Last year, 2019, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series has headed into the home stretch. “The Men that live by the Grace of God and 600 horsepower headed for the track that is considered the Super Modified capitol of the World, the Oswego Speedway located overlooking the beautiful Lake Ontario in New York State.

Leading up to the trip to upstate New York was somewhat of a major change in the roster of entrants. Internet racing web site RaceDayCT reported on August 27 reported that Woody Pitkat and Danny Watts have parted ways on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. In 11 races driving for Watts in 2019, Pitkat had one victory, at Wall Stadium Speedway in May. He also finished inside the top 10 three other times, and was 10th in the series championship standings. Pitkat replaced the late Ted Christopher who lost his life in a plane crash. As reported by RaceDayCT, Chase Dowling filled the seat for this past weekend’s Toyota Mod Classic 150 at Oswego. Pitkat didn’t sit idle for long as NASCAR announced that he will team with Eddie Harvey Racing for the longest race of the season, the Musket 250 at Loudon and will also drive the No. 1 for the final two races of the year at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. This leaves Burt Myers without a Tour modified ride. Myers has hinted that he will take his own car to Loudon for the big one. It was also announced that Chuck Hossfeld would be pinch hitting for Jimmy Blewett who suffered a broken ankle at Wall Stadium.

Twenty seven Modifieds made up the field at Oswego with Rob Summers taking the pole position, 17.550 seconds. Five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby was second (17.555 seconds), while Bobby Santos III posted the third fastest lap in qualifying. Justin Bonsignore, and Eric Goodale, driving a brand new Fury entry, completed the top five.

Justin Bonsignore scored his fourth victory of the season in the Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s at Oswego Speedway, earning the victory as part of the track’s annual Classic Weekend.

It was the 24th career win in Whelen Modified Tour competition for Bonsignore and his first at the ‘Steel Palace’ of Oswego. For the first 64 laps, he chased the back bumper of Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole winner Rob Summers in the race for the lead. He passed Summers at lap 65, and led through until a caution at lap 99, when Tyler Rypkema spun. During the caution period Bonsignore pitted for fresh tires. His crew got him out at the front of the cars that also pitted and took fresh tires, but, he had to restart third, behind Patrick Emerling and Tommy Catalano. Within one lap he was back in the lead.

In the end, Bonsignore had to hold off defending race winner Matt Hirschman on a final dash to the finish, but was able to accomplish the task. He beat Matt Hirschman to the line by .146 seconds. Following Hirschman, former Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk was third, with Craig Lutz and Bobby Santos III completing the top five. Doug Coby was sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Timmy Solomito, Chase Dowling and Tommy Catalano. Fifteen of the original 27 starters were on the lead lap at the finish.

Summers, who crashed at the finish, finished 11th. Chris Pasteryak, Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling and Sam Rameau made up the top fifteen. Amy Catalano, making her first Whelen Modified Tour start finished 17th, one lap down at the finish. All things considered; it was a pretty good run on her maiden voyage.

Absolutely fantastic race announcing was provided by the Oswego Speedway staff for the FansChoice.tv live stream. NASCAR needs to hire that guy as he didn’t miss a trick during the entire event.

On the downside was the usual poor performance by Melissa Fifield and Wade Cole who were continually in the way with their slow speeds. Cole went the distance and finished eight laps down. After being lapped numerous times, Fifield finally gave up after completing 59 laps

Coby leads Bonsignore by 37 points, with Ron Silk 44 back with four races remaining in the championship points schedule. The Toyota Mod Classic 150 presented by McDonald’s will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 5, at 6 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the second appearance at New York’s Riverhead Raceway on Saturday, September 7.


In weekly racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night plus with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80, Keith Rocco was a winner for the second consecutive week in the SK Modified® feature, Tyler Leary won for the first time in nearly 2 years in the Late Model feature, Bryan Narducci scored his second consecutive and eighth overall feature win of the 2019 season in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost secured his second win of 2019 in the Limited Late Model feature, and George Bessette, Jr. took down his second consecutive and fourth overall win of 2019 in the Street Stock feature. In the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80, Chase Dowling took the lead on lap-24 of the 80-lap event and he led the rest of the way, holding off Keith Rocco on several late restarts to win the event.

In the SK Modified 40 lapper, with 10 laps to go, Cory DiMatteo had closed the gap to leader Troy Talman and was right on his back bumper. Rocco and Glen Reen weren’t far behind in third and fourth. DiMatteo took the lead from Talman on lap-32 with a pass coming out of turn 2. DiMatteo’s pass for the lead allowed Rocco and Reen to close right up to the back bumper of Talman and Rocco took second on lap-33 with Reen taking third as Talman fell back to fourth.

Rocco took to the outside lane and ran side by side with DiMatteo for lap-36 before falling back into line. Rocco again went to the outside of DiMatteo on lap-38 and the two were wheel to wheel at the line. The three leaders touched going down the backstretch with DiMatteo spinning and Reen hitting the wall to bring the caution out with 38 laps complete. Rocco brushed against the wall as he had white stripes all around his right side tires but he stayed on track in the lead for the restart. Ron Williams was now second for the restart with Michael Gervais and Talman in the second row.

Rocco took the lead with Williams right behind him in second. Williams couldn’t get close enough to Rocco on the final lap to make a move as Rocco took down his second consecutive win and fifth overall of the 2019 season. Gervais finished third with Todd Owen and Talman rounding out the top-5.

In the SK Light 20 lapper, Bryan Narducci, who started 15th, made a move to the inside of Teddy Hodgdon on lap-15 to take over the lead. Hodgdon spun on lap-16 going down the backstretch and rejoined at the rear of the field as the race stayed green. Chris Matthews was now second with Alexander Pearl third, Bob Charland fourth and Wesley Prucker fifth as Narducci started to stretch out his lead. Narducci led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his eighth win of the 2019 season. Matthews finished second with Pearl, Charland, and Prucker rounding out the top-5.


On the east end of Long Island, Third generation driver CJ Lehmann lived out his racing dreams Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway as he scored a hard fought first career NASCAR Modified victory in the Ken Heagy Motorsports Chevrolet. For the fifth time this year John Baker was runner-up in the Staria Automotive Chevy which was actually a back-up car the team dusted off after a August 24th crash hurt their primary car. Defending champion and current championship leader Kyle Soper made a late race pass of Tom Rogers Jr. to bring his Eastport Feeds Chevy home third. Rogers and John Beatty Jr. completed the top five.

The Thompson Motorsports Park returned to racing last Sunday. Prior to the event SK light competitor Bryan Narducci and SK Modified competitor Todd Owen received some good news. After an extensive appeal process, a decision regarding penalties, fines and disqualifications stemming a recent Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park penalty report has been overturned.

Originally, Sunoco Modified driver Todd Owen and SK Light Modified driver Bryan Narducci had been penalized following results of a laboratory test regarding tire samples taken on Sunday, August 4. However, after the appeal, through Thompson Speedway’s determination, no evidence was found that the drivers intentionally treated the tires as prohibited in Thompson rules. Therefore, Narducci has been credited with the victory in the Sunday, August 4 SK Light Modified feature, and Owen has been credited with his third-place finish in the Sunoco Modified feature.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials will reconsider this section of the rulebook — which will allow officials to further define the process in the future.

In on track action at Thompson Woody Pitkat scored a one-two punch as he won the Sunoco (Sk type) Modified 30 lapper and the Late Model feature. Pitkat took the lead from Todd Owen on lap six and had checked out from second place Keith Rocco when the caution waved on lap 29. On the restart it was Ron Williams that helped Pitkat get away from Rocco, but it was also Williams that then went on the aggressive and went after Pitkat and actually got under Pitkat as the pair came to the white flag side-by-side. Pitkat was able to clear Williams as they exited turn two on the final lap. Williams settled for the runner-up spot while Rocco was third. Todd Owen and Troy Talman rounded out the top five.

Bryan Narducci continues to dominate the SK Lights as he completed his weekend by making it two for two. Since the division began at Thompson 12 events were run and Narducci has won 10. He has all but wrapped up the division title at the track..

Other Sunday winners at Thompson were Ryan Waterman who scored his second Limited Sportsman win of 2019 in a brand new car and Scott Canfield earned his second victory of the season in the Mini Stocks.

At Darlington, Cole Custer, who finished second to Hamlin on the track in the Xfinity race was declared the winner.NASCAR announced that Hamlin’s car failed heights after the race. The car was found to be too low on the left front and too high on the right rear

Erik Jones won the rain delayed Darlington 500 Monster Cup event.