RPW Exclusive: Looking Back A Bit: First Week Of August

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1949, Ronnie Kling was the winner at the Buffalo Civic Center in New York. Seekonk rained out.

Sixty five years ago in 1954, Joe McNulty was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. Lou Tetreault continued his win streak as he made it three in a row in non-Ford action at the shoreline oval. Double features were run on Saturday night at Waterford with Moe Gherzi and Dom DeLaura taking Sportsman wins and John Chiangi and George LaChapelle taking wins in the non-Fords. At Seekonk, Norm Bonaface was the A division winner and George Smaldone was the B division winner.

Sixty years ago in 1959, Japanese driver George Tet halted George Janoski’s win streak at Stafford Springs Speedway as he won the Friday night Modified feature on the dirt at the Connecticut oval. On the asphalt at the New London Waterford Speedbowl Bill Slater was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner and Don Collins was the Saturday night Sportsman winner. Dick Beauregard and Tom Sutcliff were the non-Ford winners. At Seekonk, Don Hall was the A division winner.

Fifty five years ago in 1964, Kenny Shoemaker ruled the roost as he won on the dirt at Stafford Springs on Friday night over Gene Bergin and Irv Taylor. Wild Bill Slater was the big winner at Norwood on Saturday night. Other weekend winners were Bob Rossell at Old Bridge, Irv Taylor at Fonda, Al Hansen at Islip and Ernie Gahan at Victoria. Sal Dee (Delucia) won his first ever Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ken Dayton was the 30 lap A main winner at Seekonk. Frank Faria was the 15 lap Cadet winner.

Fifty years ago in 1969, Eddie Flemke was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Don Flynn finished second and was followed by Sal Dee, Leo Cleary in the Koszela 15 and Ray Miller. Albany-Saratoga ran twin events and Lou Lazzaro was unstoppable as he won both. The first event saw Dick Clark finish second with Rene Charland, Bobby Santos and Jerry Cook following. In the nightcap, Andy Romano finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens. Flemke made it two for two as he won at Norwood on Saturday. Fred DeSarro finished second with Freddie Schulz, third. Rain washed out the Fonda 200 as Cliff Tyler was winning at Islip and Guy Chartrand was winning at Airborne Park. Newt Palm was the Modified winner at Waterford. Bill Anderson was the A division winner at Seekonk. Walt Tripp was the B division winner. Lazzaro made it three for three as he won at Utica-Rome on Sunday and at Thompson on Sunday Bugsy Stevens showed the way. Noted car owner Mario Fiore scored his first ever win as the late Gary Colturi put his Late Model in victory lane at Westboro.

Forty five years ago in 1974, Riverhead ran a 100 lapper on Wednesday, which saw Joe Krukowski, take an upset over Charlie Jarzombek and Junior Ambrose. Freeport ran a 200 on Friday night, which saw Geoff Bodine take the win on the flat 1/4-mile oval. Richie Evans finished second with Bugs Stevens and Maynard Troyer following. Saturday night action at Islip, Waterford and Stafford rained out. George Murray took the Modified win at Seekonk. Flash Flannagan was the B division winner.At Shangri-La, Mike Loescher took the win with Don Diffendorf finishing second. Merv and Roger Treichler finished one-two at Lancaster, also on Saturday. In Sunday action, Maynard Troyer beat out Richie Evans at Fulton and at Thompson, Fred DeSarro and Eddie Flemke finished one-two.

Forty years ago in 1979, Geoff Bodine was leading the closing laps of a 100 lapper at Stafford when he missed a shift on a restart which allowed Richie Evans to sneak in to take the win. Bodine managed to finish second and was followed across the stripe by Bugsy Stevens and Ronnie Bouchard. It was a good weekend for Evans as he also scored wins at New Egypt, Holland and Shangri-La. A bad storm washed out all events in New England on Saturday and Sunday. Other weekend winners were Doug Hewitt at Spencer, Dwight Jarvis at Claremont and Roger Treichler at Lancaster.

Thirty five years ago in 1984, Thompson ran a 100 lap modified event on Wednesday. Richie Evans pitted on lap 48 and blasted his way to the front to take the lead from Jim Spencer on lap 68 and never looked back. Spencer faded and was overtaken by Reggie Ruggiero and Brett Bodine. Wayne Dion was the SK modified winner. Bob Polverari was in the spotlight at Stafford on Friday night as he beat out Jeff Fuller for the win. Riverhead ran an 84-lap national championship event also on Friday. Island favorite Don Howe took the win over Tom Baldwin, Spencer and Evans. The action switched to Islip on Saturday night where John Blewett Jr. won a 200-lap event over Spencer and Bob Park. Other weekend winners were Gomer Taylor at Waterford, Billy Griffin at Spencer and Tony Siscone at New Egypt.

Thirty ago in 1989, the only action in the northeast was at Thompson where Reggie Ruggiero won a 100 lapper over Doug Hevron, George Kent and Mike Stefanik. Rain washed out all weekend racing. The racing world was saddened with the announcement that Tim Richmond died as a result of aids at the age of 34 on August 13.

Twenty five years ago in 1994, Stafford ran twin events with Bo Gunning and Frank Wainwright taking the wins. Gunning was taken to the hospital during the running of the second event after a bad crash with Richie Gallup. Racing at Waterford was cancelled after 11 laps were completed when Ted Christopher hit the fence, after riding over a wheel, getting airborne and almost taking out the starters stand. Reggie Ruggiero won at Riverside and it was John Fortin over Chuck Stuer at Riverhead. A Mod Tour event scheduled for Thompson on Sunday was rained out. Mark Martin cleaned house in Michigan as he won both BGN and Winston Cup events there.

Twenty years ago, in 1999, Thompson ran a 100 lapper for the SK’s on Thursday night. Bert Marvin took the win after early leader Scott Quinn ran into a lapped car. Kerry Malone finished second with Jamie Asklar, third. At Stafford on Friday night, Willie Hardie took the win over Lloyd Agor and at Waterford it rained. John Fortin won at Riverhead and at Watkins Glenn, Ted Christopher passed Tony Hirschman to take the win. Hirschman finished second with Tim Connolly, third. Bryan Wall was the Busch North winner

Fifteen years ago in 2004, a scheduled Wednesday night Featherlite Modified Tour Series event at the Stafford Speedway drew 47 Modifieds but had the misfortune of getting rained out. In a somewhat childish move the Stafford management informed its announcing team that they were not to mention that Bob Garbarino was the owner of the Mystic Missile that was driven at the time by Chuck Hossfeld. The Stafford management was upset over the fact that Garbarino had forced Hossfeld to give up his Friday night SK Modified ride as he was acquiring too many bad habits by running an SK at Stafford.

At the Thompson Speedway Bo Gunning, in the Eddie Partridge entry, took the Thursday night Thunder Sunoco Modified win. Kerry Malone finished second with Bert Marvin, third. Ted Christopher had a rough night as he wrecked two cars.

Stafford’s regular Friday night program rained out.

Eddie Reed Jr took the Saturday night SK Modified win over Ron Yuhas Jr, Rob Janovic and Dennis Gada. Sal Accardi was the winner at the Riverhead Raceway.

The NASCAR Cup division was at the Watkins Glen Speedway. Tony Stewart, suffering with stomach flu, took the win but was unable to go to victory lane as he had a personal accident within his drivers suit.

On a sad note, NEAR Hall of Fame member Dynamite Ollie Silva passed away at the age of 75. Silva, who won over 500 features, was a headliner for the New England Supermodified Racing Association (NESMRA) for years. A pedal to the metal racer, Silva had his racing career cut short after he hit a tree on the backstretch at the Monadnock Speedway in 1978.

Ten years ago in 2009, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night for the New England Dodge Dealers presentation of the Budweiser 150. A generous purse of $84,168 was posted for the event. Day long misty conditions and a forecast of heavy rain for the evening forced NASCAR officials and the Thompson Speedway management to postpone the event to Thursday night, September 3.

In Friday night action at Stafford, Ted Christopher was the winner in the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Ryan Posocco was the winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen was the winner in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Kevin Gambacorta won the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Barry Fluckinger was the winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

At the Waterford Speedbowl, the 2nd annual Wings ‘n Wheels event was run in front of a packed house of fans on a hot summer night. Scoring victories were Tyler Chadwick in the SK Modifieds, Lou Cicconi in the ultra fast ISMA SuperModifieds, Rowan Pennink in the True Value Modifieds and Russ Stoehr in the NEMA Midgets. It was a long night as racing at the shoreline oval concluded at 12:20am on Sunday morning.

The SK Modified feature turned into a rolling demolition derby with many of the top contenders being knocked out of the event. Justin Gaydosh and Tom Abele Jr. shared the front row of the 25 lap event. Gaydosh moved out to the lead but the first of eight cautions waved on lap four when Dennis Charette spun out of the back half of the top five after contact entering turn one, collecting Josh Sylvester who was making his first Speedbowl appearance. Sylvester was done for the night. Eventual winner Chadwick, actually spun in turn one to bring out the second caution early in the event. He benefited by a series of multi-car incidents at the front of the field in the first ten laps, improving his position back to within striking distance.

The first of the key incidents occurred when Corey Hutchings challenged Gaydosh in the outside groove. The pair raced a little too hard for the lead, causing Hutchings to spin across the front stretch. He clipped Rob Janovic Jr which blocked the track. The wreck also collected point leader Keith Rocco and 2007 division Rookie of the Year Glenn Pressel III. The Janovic, Hutchings, and Pressel machines received extensive damage and retired from the event. Dennis Gada and Yuhas were the new front row when racing resumed. But before a lap could be completed Gada lost a left rear tire, sending him spinning into turn three wall. The field finally got some competitive racing in when the action resumed. Yuhas pulled out to the lead with Chadwick becoming a serious factor. He moved to second around the outside of Jeff Pearl on lap 12. Jeff Paul followed Chadwick into third. Chadwick was all over the leader by lap 16. Further back, Rocco was looking to re-enter the top five after his earlier incident on the back bumper of Charette. Rocco found his way past on lap 19 after looking in both the high and low grooves.

Chadwick made a daring inside maneuver entering turn one on lap 25 to pull alongside Yuhas. He completed the pass to claim sole possession of lead as the field hit the stripe the next time around. Chadwick had to master one final restart to go on to his first win of the season, coming after taking a week off to regroup. Yuhas, Paul, Pearl, and Rocco completed the top-five.

Rowan Pennick took advantage of Mike Stefanik’s soured engine and went on to record his first victory in the True Value Modified Series. Stefanik looked strong through the latter stages when signs of smoke started to show from his #66 machine. Pennink capitalized when the motor began to falter, Stefanik pulling low off turn four with seven laps remaining. Pennink went on to his first series win and is the eighth different winner in as many True Value Modified events held at the ‘Bowl. Chris Pasteryak came back from a mid-race pit stop to claim second and Kenny Horton scored his best effort in the series finishing third. Stefanik ended up in 15th spot. Rob Goodenough and Jacob Dore rounded out the top five.

Young driving sensation Ryan Morgan of Mystic, CT raced for the first time at Seekonk Speedway driving a “Allison Legacy” car. These cars are third scale NASCAR Sprint Cup cars running a sealed Mazda engine capable of speeds reaching 125-130 MPH. Morgan started the 25 lap feature event last, in sixteenth position, at the drop of the green he moved forward and was in fifth spot by lap thirteen when he was hit in the rear by another car, after a quick trip to the pits for repairs, he restarted in the rear again. As the raced progressed, Morgan worked to the front again and with three laps remaining was in second position, however, because of the earlier damage that shifted the rear more than four inches, he was not able to hold the car in the low part of the race track and settled for fourth at the stripe.

With Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch fighting it out on the final lap, Ron Keselowski swooped in to grab the lead in the final turn and hold on to the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. Vickers finished second and Busch third, and they exchanged some heated words on pit road afterward.

After a surprising gamble on gas by his crew chief Ryan Pemberton, Vickers drove conservatively to conserve fuel on Sunday. Then he pounced when race leader Jimmie Johnson’s tank ran dry, taking the lead with two laps to go and holding on to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway,

Five years ago in 2014, It was heard on the grapevine that the management of the Seekonk Speedway was putting a plan in place to add Modifieds to their Saturday night schedule in 2015. A lot of this depended on what the future held after the impending auction sale of the Waterford Speedbowl property which is slated for October.

The New England Antique Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees for 2014 were announced. Inductees included drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny. They, along with the still to be announced pioneer class, would be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame banquet Sunday, Nov. 16th, at The Lodge at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.

The Sunoco Modifieds reclaimed center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) for their 20/20 Sprint event on Whelen Night, this past Wednesday, July 30th. A real good crowd turned out for the mid-week event. Ryan Preece took advantage of missteps from his competition to claim victory in a special 20/20 Sprint event of the Sunoco (SK) Modified Series.

The first segment saw Thompson regular Keith Rocco dominate while another Thompson Speedway regular and current Sunoco Modified points leader Ryan Preece battled Kerry Malone and Woody Pitkat for position in the top four. Pitkat dropped out with mechanical issues. Malone ended up second with Todd Ceravolo, third and Preece, fourth. Preece started on the pole with Rocco on the outside. Rocco’s luck ran out in the second segment as his car slowed on lap 11 as it lost power. Preece, who had taken the lead on lap 9, never looked back as he went on to take the win over Cam McDermott, Todd Ceravolo and Kerry Malone.

Preece went pole to pole to win the final 10 lap sprint. Malone finished second with McDermott, third and Ceravolo, fourth. The over-all finish saw Preece as the winner with Malone second, McDermott, third, Ceravolo, fourth and Troy Talman, fifth.

Other Wednesday night winners were, Jeff Smith in the Late Models, Joe Baxter in the Mini Stocks and Corey Hutchings in the Limited Sportsman. The final checkered flag dropped at 9:00pm sending fans and competitors home at an early hour.

The heavy rain that blanketed New England last weekend held off long enough for the Stafford Motor Speedway to get in their Friday night card of auto racing. Rowan Pennink made it two in a row by winning the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Joey Ferrigno spun and then won the 20-lap SK Light feature with a last lap pass, Duane Provost scored his third win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, Brandon Michael scored his first win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo became the first repeat Legend cars feature winner of the season in the 20-lap race. Jim Peterson used a mid-race pit stop under caution to his advantage to adjust the handling on his car and he charged his way back through the field to win the 60-lap Xtra Mart Xtra D Late Model feature.

Pennink led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive SK Modified® victory of the season. Preece beat Rocco to the checkered flag by a nose fro second, with Williams, and Avery rounding out the top-5.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl the shoreline oval overcame a slow start to the day due to early rain Saturday, but rebounded for another night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. The racing was highlighted by an extra-distance feature for the SK Modified® division, which was claimed by Keith Rocco, who turned in a record setting performance. A pair of drivers picked up their ninth wins of the year, Rocco again in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Model division and Josh Galvin in the Street Stocks. Joining them in the winner’s circle were Corey Barry and Ken Cassidy Jr. each winning for the fifth time of the season in the SK Light Modified and Mini Stock divisions, respectively. Dan Meservey Jr. won the Pro 4 Modifieds of New England feature.

Rocco’s SK Modified® win was the 63rd of his career. More significantly, that makes him the division’s all-time wins leader in the track’s 64-year history. Overall, his grand total shakes out at 98 wins which include his late model victories. Rocco dodged early incidents which plagued the 40-lap feature, eliminating multiple cars from competition. The race began with Jeff Gallup and Craig Lutz on the front row but only one lap was completed before Shawn Monahan was collected in bumper tag throughout the field, bringing out the yellow flag.

Gallup briefly led before Lutz got around him on lap-3. Tim Jordan moved into second position and Ed Puleo third before Ted Christopher got caught up in a skirmish on the backstretch to bring out the caution flag on lap-8. A major incident occurred after the restart among cars battling for a spot among the top five. Several cars wrecked in turn one on lap-9 including Nichole Morgillo, Kyle James, Rob Janovic Jr., Jeff Rocco and Jeff Goodale, who were each done for the evening with considerable damage. Keith Rocco also received damage in the wreck, however he stayed on the race track.

Jordan got by the outside of Lutz on the next restart, leading lap-10. Lutz and Puleo made contact entering turn one on lap-12 sending Lutz around, dropping both from the lead cars as caution waved again. Rocco jumped up to third for the ensuing restart, then moved to second on lap-13 on the inside of Paul Kusheba. He stayed on Jordan’s rear bumper until he found room to his inside on lap-15, pulling into the lead. The remainder of the race ran without another yellow flag and the field fired off the final stretch of laps under the green flag. Jordan finished runner-up and Tyler Chadwick was third. Kusheba and Diego Monahan completed the top five.

With the win, Rocco moved ahead of Dennis Gada to ascend to the top of the SK Modified® division’s win list. Gada, the only seven time champion in track history, dominated the division in the late 1990’s through recent years prior to his retirement as a driver. The SK Modifieds® have been the headline at the track since 1985.Rocco also checkered the 30-lap Valenti Auto Mall Late model feature, his ninth of the year and third in a row in the division.

In Modified racing in the Southland, Danny Bohn survived a spin in the last lap of the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour Strutmasters.com 199 at Bowman Gray Stadium after getting clipped by Joe Ryan Osborne, who was engaged in a battle for position with Gary Putnam at the tail end of the lead lap. Bohn somehow managed to recover and finish first. Canadian Cole Powell finished second, and Luke Fleming was third.

Andy Seuss kept his lead in the tour standings. The Hampstead, N.H., driver recovered from a collision with Jason Myers that dropped him back to 11th, but he worked his way back to fifth. It was a tough night for Bowman Gray’s Myers brothers, who between them had won three of the previous nine tour races at the stadium. Jason Myers was running fourth when he slammed into the guardrail coming out of the final turn on a restart just past the midway point, and his car was too damaged to continue. Burt Myers’ car wouldn’t start as result of a motor problem after his arrival for afternoon practice. He borrowed a car from fellow Bowman Gray driver John Smith and scrambled to get it to the track in time to race, without benefit of any practice laps. Burt Myers, who had to start at the rear of the 19-car field, made it up to eighth at one point but had car issues near the midway point and lost two laps. He wound up 10th.

NASCAR Modified Tour regulars Ron Silk and Tommy Barrett, facing a long trip from the Northeast, canceled their scheduled appearances because of the threat of rain.

Riverhead Raceway on Long Island had a light field of 10 Modifieds. Taking the win was Jason Agugliaro over Tom Rogers Jr. Ryan Preece finished third.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed a season sweep of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Pocono Raceway Sunday by winning the GoBowling.com 400. Earnhardt came out on top of a crazy day at the 2.5-mile venue that included intense pit strategy, wild restarts, a 13-car pileup on lap 117 and a three-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Brad Keselowski survived a late-race battle for the lead with Michael McDowell, then pulled away to win Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Last year, 2018, At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the Whelen Modified Tour Series was in the house along with the Regular weekly divisions. Doug Coby ended a long dry spell as he won the Starrett 150, Glen Reen won in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn became Stafford’s winningest Late Model driver in history with his 46th career win in the Late Model feature, Mark Bakaj became a 2-time winner this season in the SK Light feature that saw a spectacular 3-wide photo finish at the finish, Jeremy Lavoie won for the 8th time this season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Tess Beyer won for the second time this year in the Street Stock feature.

The victory in the Starrett 150 was the first of the season for Coby, his 24th career in Whelen Modified Tour competition and the 11th of his career at the historic Stafford half-mile. Coby found himself racing Justin Bonsignore for the lead on lap 13 when the two made contact and Coby went sliding through the grass, narrowly avoiding disaster and entering the track back in the 15th position. Luckily for him, the wreck left him with no damage, but from there, it was an uphill battle for the veteran. After pitting numerous times, he slowly worked his way back up through the field, and stayed out during a caution on lap 118, taking the lead of the race and putting himself in position to control the finish.

A caution on lap 140 gave the field one more chance to pass Coby, but no one could make it happen. Woody Pitkat charged through the field after pitting for fresh Hoosier rubber during a caution late and crossed the line second. Eric Goodale made a charge through the field late and finished third, followed by Rowan Pennink, who led a race-high 50 laps. Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five. Craig Lutz was sixth, followed by Justin Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Kyle Bonsignore and Chris Pasteryak.

Nearly 1/3 of the event was run under caution as the yellow flag flew on 11 occasions for 47 laps. Among those who failed to finish were Bobby Santos who crashed on lap 139, Jon McKennedy who had suspension problems on lap132, Ron Williams had suspension problems on lap121, Chase Dowling crashed on lap 83, Burt Myers lost his power steering on lap 42, Melissa Fifield dropped out on lap 23 because her crew forgot to remove her car cover and Dave Sapienza who’s car died on the start.

Among the missing from the WMT line-up was Ryan Preece. Preece was at Watkins Glen, NY practicing for last Saturday’s Xfinity Series event in which he finished third. It was recently announced that Joe Gibbs Racing had signed Craftsman Tools as a primary sponsor for Preece in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for multiple races for the remainder of 2018, which will add at least four more races to his venue. Modified car owner Eddie Partridge will continue to field a car for Preece when he is available.

In the 40 lap SK Modified feature, Reen took the lead on the restart following a caution on lap 32 with Matt Galko applying heavy pressure from second. Tom Bolles was third with Tyler Hines in fourth and Todd Owen in fifth. Mike Christopher Jr was just behind Owen in sixth after an earlier spin. Reen held Galko off to the checkered flag to pick up his first feature win of the season to go along with his victory in the July 13 TC 13 Shoot Out. Bolles finished third with Hines and Christopher rounding out the top-5.

On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, races were cancelled shortly after 2:00pm because of heavy rain. Sunday was designated as a rain date and boy, was it hot! Fans and competitors endured as the entire race program was run off in temperatures over 90 deg.

Rob Janovic was the winner of the left over SK Modified event. Kyle James finished second with Andrew Molleur, third. James won the regular SK Modified feature over Justin Albernaz and Janovic. Anthony Flannery won a spirited battle over Ryan Morgan in the Late Models and Peter Bennett was victorious in the Legends. Twin features were run for the Limited Sportsman with Al Stone III and Jason Chicolas taking the wins. Shawn Monahan was the Outlaw Street winner and Brett Meservy took the top spot in the Pro Fours.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Jason Myers dominated the last 40 laps of the 100-lap Modified race to win his third race of the season. It was also his 33rd career win at Bowman Gray, tying him with Robert Jeffreys on the careers wins list. John Smith was second, Bobby Measmer Jr. was third, Jonathan Brown was fourth and Tim Brown was fifth. Myers started 13th and weaved his way to first with about a third of the race remaining.

Racing at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island went on in spite of a threat of rain. Timmy Solomito of Islip made a surprise visit to his old stomping grounds Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway and promptly went out and mastered a late race restart to win the night’s 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature event for his 20th career victory tying him with Howie Brode and Ronnie Herra for 18th on the all time win list. Making the win sweeter for the driver known as “The Natural” was his brother Shawn, a former two time champion at Riverhead called the shots as his crew chief.

As the race hit it’s final five laps it appeared as though Tom Rogers had things in control and would be headed for his 50th career win in a NASCAR Modified. Low and behold a late race yellow would wave on lap 46 setting up a four lap dash for the cash and double file restart pitting Rogers against Solomito. As the field hit the throttle off turn four Rogers car broke ever so slightly loose off the corner allowing Solomito to ride the outside lane to the race lead. Once gaining the lead on the start of the 47th lap Solomito steering the Anti 3 Protect Services hit his marks on the final three laps to drive off to a very much needed and popular win. Tom Rogers Jr. with his runner-up finish in the Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm Chevy moved into the championship lead as he seeks his fifth career title reflected after the race, “guess Jim Malone Sr. was smiling down tonight and we’ll have to wait to get that 50th win to tie him. Great run by Timmy on the final restart, we still had a great night and were able to take advantage of Kyle’s early misfortune” Jon McKennedy was third over the line in the Accell Construction, Inc. Chevy. Young guns Chris Young of Calverton and John Fortin Jr. of Holtsville completed the top five with solid performances.

Joey Logano passed Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski on a restart in the closing laps Saturday and held off his final challenge to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International in a race that was red-flagged for rain, forcing the drivers to briefly run on grooved rain tires. Logano beat AJ Allmendinger by 3.3 seconds. Justin Allgaier was third, followed Ryan Preece.

After eight runner-up finishes in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition, Chase Elliott finally kicked down the door to victory lane during Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen Int’l. His first trip to victory lane was far from a forgone conclusion as Elliott had to hold off defending Watkins Glen race winner and reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. in the run to the checkered flag.

NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France was arrested on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to a Sag Harbor Village (New York) Police Department news release.

According to the news release, France was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug 5, held overnight and arraigned Monday morning at the Sag Harbor Village Justice Court, where he was released on his own recognizance.

“Mr. France was observed operating a 2017 Lexus northbound on Main Street failing to stop at a duly posted stop sign,” the news release said. “Upon traffic stop, it was determined that Mr. France was operating said vehicle in an intoxicated condition.

No other information was immediately available. TMZ first reported the arrest of France in the Hamptons.

NASCAR CEO Brian France Arrested for DUI and Oxycodone

Brian France was arrested for DUI and oxycodone possession on Sunday. TMZ Sports has the details.

Under NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, Brian France could be suspended and required to go through a recovery program, or he could be subjected to drug testing.

Statement from NASCAR: “Brian France has taken an indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR as chairman and chief executive officer. Effective immediately, NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France has assumed the role of interim chairman and chief executive officer.”

On a sad note, Jimmy “The Junkman” Savage passed away on Saturday at the age of 85. A friend to just about everyone, the Junkman lived and breathed all his life for Modified Racing. For over 60 years Savage was the heart and soul of Bob Garbarino’s Mystic Missile and Art Barry’s Racing Team. He is survived by his wife Pat and son Jimmy.

Jimmy was a Korean War Veteran, serving in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1956. Shortly after his military service, he worked for Electric Boat for 34 years retiring in 1995 as a tank tester technician.

His greatest passion was building and maintaining NASCAR Whelen Modified race cars with the crews of Art Barry in Preston and Bob Garbarino in Mystic. Jim was also a 5 time NASCAR modified champion crew member.

Among the many testimonials was that of Donnie Lia. “RIP to Jim Savage. One of the best guys you could ever meet at the track and life in general. I had the honor and privilege to work with and become friends with him while driving for Bob. I can still hear him everyday “Do your best, and forget the rest” which he would tell me in my ear each and every time I got in the Race car. I’ll never forget that, and him. My heart goes out to Jim Savage and family on this sad day. RIP to a great man with an incredibly huge heart and personality.”

Dick Berggren, a highly respected member of the racing press pretty much summed it up, “He was very, very special.”

Savage was laid to rest on Tuesday, Aug 7 at 11am at the Riverbend Cemetary in Westerly, RI. Calling hours were from 5-8pm on Monday, Aug 6, at the Mystic Funeral Home in Mystic, Ct.