Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago Charlie Barry won two features during the week at the Buffalo Civic Center in New York. At Seekonk, Ed Hild was the winner.
Sixty five years ago in 1954, a scheduled 50 lap Sportsman Championship scheduled for the New London Waterford Speedbowl was rained out. The non Fords got to run with Tom Van Epps taking the win.
Sixty years ago in 1959, the scheduled event at the Stafford Springs Speedway was rained out. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl switched to Sunday afternoons. Don Collins won the 25 lap Sportsman feature while Ted Stack took top honors in the non-Fords and Newt Palm in the Bombers.
Fifty five years ago in 1964, Bill Wimble won on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway in the season finale. Wimble was declared the Modified Track Champion. George Janoski was the Sportsman champion and Bobby Santos was the Hobby Division Champion. For the season Wimble recorded 11 wins including six in a row from June 19 to July 24. Area Auto Racing News reported that Frank Wisniewski scored an upset win at Islip and that Jim Hendrickson lost his bid for the track championship after crashing out of the event. Gene Gamache took the track title. Parnelli Jones was the Indy Car winner at the Trenton Fairgrounds and Kenny Shoemaker won at the Victoria Speedway in New York.
Dick Dunn closed out the season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with a 75 lap Modified win. Dick Caso was the Bomber winner. Ray Delisle, who drove the Billy Simons Excavator Spl to 5 wins was declared the Modified track champion. Jerry Dostie was awarded Rookie of the Year Honors. Ed Gladue was the Bomber division Champion. The Speedbowl had a perfect season weather wise, no cancellations or rain-outs. At Seekonk, Joe Rosenfield was the 30 lap A division winner. Dick Machado was the Cadet winner.
Fifty years ago in 1969, the Nascar Modified championship point contenders headed for Martinsville for a Saturday afternoon 100 lap event. Bugsy Stevens was the point leader and furthered his lead with a win over Jerry Cook. Ray Hendrick finished third and was followed by Perk Brown and Lennie Pond. Fred DeSarro finished 12th. DeSarro flew back north to Norwood on Saturday night and finished fourth in a car owned by Leo Hill. Billy Schulz took the win over Ed Flemke and Freddie Schulz. Islip also ran on Saturday night and it was Gary Winters taking the win over Charlie Jarzombek and Fred Harbach. Stafford ran a 150-lap event on Sunday afternoon, which saw Smokey Boutwell in victory lane. The Bugman finished second and was followed by DeSarro, Ted Stack and Bill Greco. The Waterford Speedbowl ran their season ending event with Don Collins in his famous No. 106 taking the win. Donnie Bunnell was the late model winner. At Seekonk, Bobby Sprague won the A division event.
Forty five years ago in 1974, the Mods were still running on Saturday afternoon at Martinsville. Paul Radford took the win over Satch Worley, Geoff Bodine and Jerry Cook. Richie Evans had one of his off days and finished 8th. A 300 lapper was held at Franklin County, which is on the way home that evening, and it was John Bryant taking the win over Evans and Cook. Islip ran on Sunday afternoon with George Wagner taking the win over Jim Hendrickson and Evans. In open competition action at Thompson, Fred DeSarro made it two in a row. Dick Caso finished second with Tony Russo, fourth. At Seekonk George Summers was on top again as he recorded his 13th win of the year, a 50 lapper.
Forty years ago in 1979, Leo Cleary sewed up the modified track championship at Seekonk in fine style as he won out in the final event of the year. Cleary had replaced the late Fred DeSarro in the mighty No. 3 of Len Boehler. Jerry Cook finished second with John Rosati, third. At Monadnock it was Reggie Ruggiero over Allen Whipple and at Oswego Maynard Troyer took the win and was followed by Richie Evans and Bodine. Jack Johnson won at Syracuse and at Claremont; Whipple made it two for two.
Thirty years ago in 1989, the Stafford Fall Final was a 200-lap event. Reggie Ruggiero in the Fiore No.44 was the man to beat as held off Tony Hirschman for the win. Bob Potter won the SK portion of the Fall Final.
Twenty five years ago in 1994 at the Stafford Fall Final, Wayne Anderson, driving the Len Boehler No. 3, took advantage of Charlie Pasteryak’s flat right front tire on lap 146 of the 150 lap Modified Tour Series event and sprinted to his biggest win. Anderson also took advantage of Reggie Ruggiero’s engine trouble and was able to take the point lead for the series title. Jeff Fuller ended up second and was followed by Rick Fuller and Ed Flemke Jr. Pasteryak, after a tire change, came back to finish fifth. Ted Christopher was the 30 lap SK Modified winner as he beat out Mike Paquette and Mike Christopher. Bob Potter finished fourth and became the first four time Track Champion since Bugsy Stevens. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Geoff Bodine lapped the field as he led 335 of the 400 laps run to take the win. Terry Labonte finished second.
Twenty years ago, in 1999, the Featherlite Modifieds were at Martinsville for a Saturday afternoon 200 lapper. Rob Summers was the Busch Pole sitter in the Bear Motorsports No.14.Mike Ewanitsko took the lead at the start and paced the field for the first 84 laps. Ed Kennedy led from lap 85 through 107 when Summers took the point. Summers led until lap 133 when Reggie Ruggiero took over the top spot which he held for the remainder of the event. Satch Worley finished second and was followed by Ricky Fuller, Charlie Pasteryak and Kennedy. Ted Christopher was running third in the closing stages until he ran out of gas and ended up 19th.Waterford closed out their season on Sunday with a 100 lapper which saw rookie Ron Yuhas Jr. score his first win. Bert Marvin finished second and was followed by Jeff Pearl, Rick Donnelly, Eric Berndt and Ted Christopher. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon won his first race without the guiding hand of Ray Everham. During the running of the event, Kenny Irwin parked Tony Stewart. Stewart blew his stack and threw his shoe guards at Irwin. NASCAR decided that it wasn’t a nice thing to do and fined Stewart $5,000.
Fifteen years ago in 2004, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was off as competitors were getting ready for the final battle, which would be held on the high banks of the Thompson Speedway on October 17. After 18 events Tony Hirschman of North Hampton, Pa. led Eddie Flemke JR of New Britain. It was guaranteed to be a slugfest as Hirschman held a 30-point lead. Flemke knew he had to go flat out, no holds barred, if he hoped to beat Hirschman and capture his first series title. Flemke hoped to accomplish something his famous father never did, become the Modified Tour Series Champion. The elder Flemke won over 500 races but for the most part was a money racer. Flemke Sr. raced for a living in a time when there was no such thing as a full time racer. Going into the final event, Hirschman was the series top winner with four victories to his credit. Flemke had two. Consistency had been a big part of the game. Hirschman had finished out of the top ten only three times. Flemke had 13 top fives. Jerry Marquis, Ted Christopher and Jamie Tomaino rounded out the top five. Another battle going on was for Rookie of the Year honors. Kenny Barry of Griswold, CT and Zach Sylvester of Hebron staged a season long battle for the honor. Both had done quite well as they were in the top ten in points. Barry sat in ninth with an 85-point edge over Sylvester, who was tenth. Sixth through eighth going into Thompson were Rick Fuller, Donnie Lia and Chuck Hossfeld. In the rumor mill was word that Chuck Hossfeld could be moving into the Don Barker No.50 that was to be vacated by Todd Szegedy who was supposed to be moving on to the Busch Series and word on the street was that Mike Stefanik, who was out of the Kopec No.16 at season’s end could be spending a lot of time in Mystic, CT. in 2005. The Busch North Series traveled to the Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey on Saturday to wrap up their season. Andy Santerre had already wrapped up the series title. Mother Nature had other ideas as the Jersey shore oval was hit with rain forcing NASCAR and the speedway management to reschedule the event to Saturday night, October 17.
The Dodge Weekly Racing Thursday night Thunder at Thompson had to be halted because of rain and was continued to Friday night. Prior to the rainout at the driver’s meeting Ben Dodge alluded to the fact that something new was in the works for the speedway in 2005. Further investigation indicated that the Thompson Speedway would host a new class of racecar in the form of a Florida Type-IMSA Modified. The Florida Modifieds, run at New Smyrna, will give Thompson and its competitors a low cost alternative open wheel division. Tentatively the division is said to have a crate or spec type engine and run on tires similar to those used in the Late Model division. For Todd Ceravolo it had to be the longest 24 hours he ever spent. Prior to the event the Ledyard CT driver was placed seventh in the starting lineup. Directly in front, in fifth spot was his closest competition for the track championship, Jeff Malave. Ceravolo and his brother Rick had spent the entire week burning the midnight oil after a devastating wreck on September 23. Ceravolo had a plan but it had to be put on hold for 24 hours because of rain. Just the waiting can play head games! Ceravolo started seventh and played a waiting game as he watched Ted Christopher slug it out with Jeff Malave for the lead. Christopher won out in the end despite a last lap inside surge by Malave. Eric Berndt ended up third. Ceravolo finished fourth and clinched the track title, his second. Buzz Artiano finished fifth after a late race spin took Bo Gunning out of contention. At 40, Ceravolo felt its time to step back and more or less retire from the sport. He left his options open as he stated that if the right deal surfaced he might re-emerge. In other action, Charles Bailey III won the Late Model feature over RJ Marcotte. Corey Hutchings finished fifth and sewed up the Late Model title. David Berghman had already iced the Pro Stock title as he finished up the regular season in fine style with a win. Glenn Boss won the Limited Sportsman feature and Scott Michalski took top honors in the Mini Stocks. Jeff Malave made up for his disappointment on Friday night with a win on Saturday in the 50 lap open competition Sunoco Modified event that was run in conjunction with the Pro All Star Series. Malave started sixth and took the lead from Bo Gunning on lap 36. Bert Marvin moved into second spot in the closing stages and after a few aggressive tries, settled for second at the finish. Marvin was later disqualified when he refused inspection of his clutch and flywheel. Gunning, who finished third, was moved into second spot. Rounding out the top five were Ted Christopher, Jim Civalli and Zach Sylvester. Rick Gentes was the Late Model winner and Jimmie Silvia was the Limited Sportsman winner. Scott Mulkern won the PASS 100 after a spirited battle with Ben and Mike Rowe. Ted Christopher gave the event some local spice as he ran in the top five before dropping out with mechanical problems.
The Stafford Motor Speedway was quiet with the only thing on the schedule remaining was the 2004 awards banquet, which would be held on Friday, November 12. Ted Christopher was the 2004 SK-Modified Champion. Christopher, of Plainville, CT had now tied with Bob Potter with five division championships. Potter, of Occum, CT is retired. Christopher scored eight wins on his way to the title. Todd Owen finished second with defending champion Kerry Malone, third. Rounding out the top five are Frank Ruocco and Woody Pitkat. Ryan Posocco, with seven wins, defended his title beating Mike Quintillano by 64 points. Tom Butler, Craig Collins and Marc Atkinson round out the top five. Kevin Gambacorta is the DARE Stock Champion.
Rain played havoc at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Michael Pepe was the Legend Car winner and Richard Brooks was the Mini Stock winner before the rains came. The action was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon where Shawn Monahan won his first SK Modified race. Rob Janovic finished second with Ron Yuhas Jr., third. Chris Pasteryak and Ed Reed Jr. rounded out the top five. Dennis Gada kept his title hopes alive as he finished 8th.
The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was at the Talledega Speedway in Alabama. The Busch Series was off and will resume in Kansas City next weekend. NBC anchor and Coventry, RI resident Allen Bestwick was among the missing as he was in the hospital recovering from surgery to repair a broken leg received while playing hockey. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the high-speed chess game that saw repeated four-wide competition.
The New York Daily News reported that City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had gone on record that he was not a fan of auto racing and was not in favor of the International Speedway Corporation proposed speedway on Staten Island.
Ten years ago in 2009, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Stafford Motor Speedway for the Fall Final. With the exception of a brief practice session on Saturday, the Whelen Modifieds spent the day waiting for the rain to stop. There were 32 Whelen Modifieds on hand for the event that carried an $84,013 purse.
The entire program was run on Sunday. The sun was bright with very few clouds in the sky. Most important, the grandstands appeared to be full. Donny Lia and Ted Christopher, who have had somewhat of a war with words recently, slugged it out in time trials with Lia coming out on top with Christopher, second fastest. Rich Pallai Jr, who is a regular SK Modified competitor, qualified third in his Modified Tour debut. The top six redrew for starting positions, which placed Eric Berndt on the pole with Pallai on the outside in second spot. Lia drew fourth and Christopher fifth.
It was Lia’s race to win and Christopher’s to lose. Lia pitted shortly after the 1/3 mark and was able to work his way to the front, taking the lead from James Civali on lap 85 and from there never looked back as he went on to record the win. For Christopher, his day turned sour on lap 17 after he tangled and spun with Doug Coby. From there on, he spent more time in the pits than on the track as he had a final finishing position of 31st which ultimately cost him the point lead . Lia held a 26 point lead over Ryan Preece. Preece finished a strong third behind runner-up Doug Coby. Civali and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennick, Eric Beers, Mike Stefanik, Reggie Ruggiero and Erick Rudolph.
Ten cautions for 42 laps slowed the event which kept Lia’s average speed down to 61.971 mph. Seventeen of the original 32 starters finished on the lead lap. Among those who failed to finish were Glen Reen who ran out of gas on lap 147 and pole sitter Eric Berndt who lost an engine on lap 129. Keith Rocco was eliminated in an accident as was Rob Summers, Carl Pasteryak and Christopher. Christopher goes into Thompson 109 points in arrears.
In regular weekly racing Keith Rocco rebounded from his recent suspension in fine style as he won the 40 lap SK Modified feature. It was his sixth win of the year. Woody Pitkat appeared to have victory in sight until his transmission went south with four laps to go. Todd Owen finished second with Brit Anderson, third. Ted Christopher, who had already sewed up the SK Modified Track Championship, took a hard shot into the wall in the turn four area after tangling with Josh Sylvester, was never a factor. Matt Gallo and Kerry Malone rounded out the top five. Christopher ended up in 22nd spot. Frank Ruocco, who had been running second to Christopher in points, did not compete. Woody Pitkat moved into second in the final standings. In other Stafford weekly division action, Andrew Hayes won the 15 lap Dare Stock feature, Chad Baxter the Mini Stocks, Heather DesRochers won in the SK Lights and Shawn Thibeault won the Limited Late Model feature.
Ben Dodge JR was presented the annual Jack Arute Sr. Award by the Speedway officials. The 2009 recipient, a longtime track announcer, was recognized for his 37 years of dedication to the track.
At the Waterford Speedbowl heavy, all day, rain washed out all racing. Bruce Thomas, who had won 10 of 17 features at the Speedbowl this year, was the beneficiary of the track calling off the final Saturday event of the season due to rain as he wrapped up the Late Model championship. Keith Rocco hada six-point lead as he chased down his first season title in the SK-Modified division, the closest margin of any division. Ron Yuhas Jr. was in second in the track’s premier division. The rainout eliminated Rob Janovic Jr., Jeff Paul and seven-time SK-Modified champion Dennis Gada from title contention. In other division races, Brandon Plemons led the Mini Stock division by eight points over Walt Hovey Jr. In the Street Stock division, Danny Field had an 18-point lead over Kyle James, with Lou Bellisle III in third place.
The True Value Modified Series headed to the Twin State Speedway in Claremont, NH. The Twin State race was the first of three races to wind up the 2009 season for the True Value Modified Racing Series. A heated point battle between Jon McKennedy, Rob Goodenough, and Rowan Pennink, all but guaranteed a new series champion. McKennedy has already visited victory lane earlier this season at Twin State. Pennick did not compete as he was at Stafford for the Fall Final.
This year’s race honored the late Ricky Miller along with the late Donnie Ayer and the late Kirby Monteith. Matt Hirschman took the win over Jacob Dore and Kenny Barry. Hirschman was later disqualified when it was discovered that his carburetor was illegal.
The New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame announced seven inductees for their 2010 induction class. NASCAR Modified car owners Bob Garbarino and Billy Simons along with Vic Miller. Drivers Geoff Bodine, Mike Murphy, George Savory, and Pete Fiandaca, and racing contributor and official Frank Ferrara.
The dirt had been removed from the 4/10-mile Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY. The word on the condition of the asphalt is that it was in good shape. The paved surface would be washed and would be in top form when the True Value Modifieds visit in 2010. During the late 1960s and early 1970s the speedway was a mecca for Modified Racing, drawing the best of New York and New England to do battle.
Dick Ceravolo continued to show a slight improvement in his condition. Late last week “Dickie Doo” opened his eyes for the first time in six weeks. Showing a big smile, the popular former Waterford Modified Champion was awake and alert. Because of the fact that he was still on a ventilator he was unable to speak but was able to respond by moving his head, yes or no.
Joey Logano passed points leader Kyle Busch with three laps left to take the win at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, pulling out his fourth Nationwide victory less than a week after a spectacular crash during a Sprint Cup race one week previous at Dover DE. Tony Stewart took the NASCAR Sprint Cup win, also at Kansas City.
Five years ago in 2014, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to Loudon, NH for the FW Webb 100. Woody Pitkat held off Todd Szegedy on a green-white-checkered finish to earn his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory. It was Pitkat’s first trip to Victory Lane in 16 starts at the Loudon, New Hampshire oval. Szegedy crossed the line second and championship points leader Doug Coby finished third. Ted Christopher and Rowan Pennink completed the top five. Patrick Emerling, Donny Lia, Bobby Santos, Tommy Barrett Jr. and Mike Stefanik rounded out the top 10.
Coby’s third place finish, combined with a mid-race engine failure for Justin Bonsignore, resulted in a big points swing. Coby entered New Hampshire four points up on Bonsignore, but leaves with a 448-422 edge.
The action started as soon as the green flag dropped with the lead up for grabs throughout the first half of the race. There were a total of 15 lead changes among four drivers throughout the event. Pitkat and his Buzz Chew entry proved to be the class of the field, however. The Stafford, Connecticut, native posted his fifth top-five finish in 11 races this year after grabbing the checkered flag ahead of 18-time race winner Szegedy.
The F.W. Webb 100 ran relatively clean in the first half of the race, but the final half was not without incident with eight cautions and one red flag lasting 20 minutes. The red flag was caused by a six-car accident coming out of turn two on Lap 99.
The NASCAR Modifieds, 27 of them, rolled into Loudon for registration and inspection on Thursday. Included in the field were eight competitors running the NASCAR Spec engine. Tommy Barrett, Justin Bonsignore, Ted Christopher, Ryan Newman, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Timmy Solomito, and Danny Watts.
Friday dawned bright and chilly as temperatures were in the 40’s before the sun came up. The first practice was slated for 8:30am. Prior to the start of the practice the teams of Ryan Newman and Gary McDonald’s team were told that they would be held for five minutes at the beginning of this practice session due to the fact that their spotters were late to the driver/spotters meeting. Twenty four of the 27 cars entered took part in the practice session. Fastest of the fast was Timmy Solomito in the Wayne Anderson No. 75. Ron Silk was second fastest with Todd Szegedy, third. Among those who did not take part was Ryan Newman who arrived at Loudon during the wee hours and chose to get some sleep. Ken Heagy and Gary McDonald also missed the practice.
Just about everyone took part in the second and final practice with many testing their drafting skills. When the session closed shortly after noon Bobby Santos was on top of the speed charts. His soon to be brother in law, Woody Pitkat was second fastest with Donny Lia, third.
Shortly before 5:00pm as the sun was fading fast in the west NASCAR Sprint Cup top gun Brad Keselowski set a new track record with a speed of 139.614. Despite the fact that the track was cold it was lightning fast. The Modifieds finally got on the track for qualifying at 5:45pm.
Ryan Newman, from South Bend, Indiana, posted a fast lap of 29.067 seconds (131.035 mph) to capture the F.W. Webb 100 pole for the second year in a row. Ron Silk joined Newman on the front row after his fast lap of 29.136 (130.725) qualified second. July NHMS winner Bobby Santos was third-fastest at 29.193 (130.470). Five-time Loudon victor Ted Christopher qualified fourth and defending F.W. Webb 100 winner Todd Szegedy was fifth. Woody Pitkat, points leader Doug Coby, Donny Lia, Rowan Pennink and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.
Once qualifying ended another race began as competitors headed to the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. Ryan Preece, who was 10 points behind Ted Christopher for track championship honors opted for a helicopter ride for the tune of $3500. Christopher said that by the time he ran his lap and got to the helipad, he estimated that it would be close to 7:00 p.m. before he would take off. He said the trip from Loudon to Stafford is 50 minutes in a helicopter without a headwind. He felt that those factors plus the heavy price tag for the helicopter ride were not cost effective and made driving a much better option. Woody Pitkat who also planned to fly, sided with Christopher as the two drove to Connecticut together. All three made it in time for their main event. Pitkat faired the best as he ended up in second spot. Preece ran in the top five, survived a flat tire and a wreck and finished seventh. Christopher recovered from a spin to finish ninth.
It was Jamie Tomaino’s 600th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start. The grandstand population was extremely good.
The first caution of the day came on lap 3 when Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece rubbed nerf bars causing both cars spin.
The second caution came on lap 17 when Tommy Barrett spun on his own in turn two. No damage as Barrett restarted and pulled away.
Caution No. 3 was for Matt Hirschman on lap 25 when he took a head on hit into the Safe barrier in between turn three and four. It appeared that his car had a broken brake rotor causing him to make a sharp left turn into the wall. Hirschman removed himself from the wrecked vehicle.
Doug Coby was the cause of caution No.4. On lap 55 Coby and Patrick Emerling make contact. One lap later Coby hit the outside wall in turn two.
Glen Reen’s day came to an end on lap 79 when he hit the front stretch wall and his right front wheel came off causing caution No. 5.
Things got interesting with five laps to go. Ryan Newman was trying to get under Doug Coby to make the pass when he hit Coby’s rear and spun on the apron in turn 4, bringing out caution No. 6. At that point Newman had enough for the day and parked it.
With the end in sight, the field took the green on lap 99 and a wreck again slowed the progress of the event. Four cars were involved in a massive pile up in turn two. Mike Stefanik spun coming out of turn two, came across the track and hit Danny Watts as Timmy Solomito was hit from behind by Ron Yuhas JR. Yuhas went up and over, landing on his roof for caution No. 7 which turned into a 20 minute red flag condition. Yuhas emerged unhurt.
The final restart came on lap 103. Bobby Santos put the bumper to Pitkat setting up a bump draft which put Pitkat out in front and in the lead. Todd Szegedy tried every trick to upset the leader but Pitkat never wavered as he streaked under the checkered flag for his first New Hampshire win. Pitkat’s margin of victory was 0.298 seconds. Officially there were 15 lead changes among four drivers.
The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island closed out their season this past Saturday night. Howie Brode won the Modified 50 Lap main event over John Fortin.
The Stafford Motor Speedway closed out their Friday night series last week. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Michael Gervais, Jr. in the SK Modified® feature, Michael Scorzelli was a first time career winner in the Late Model feature as was Stephen Kopcik in the SK Light feature, Glenn Bartkowski in the Limited Late Model feature, and Jordan LaMothe in the Legends Car feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. won the DARE Stock feature.
Gervais and Woody Pitkat were locked in a side by side duel for the lead for the final 2 laps and coming to the checkered flag, Gervais held off Chase Dowling on his inside and Pitkat on his outside to take his first win of the 2014 season. Pitkat barely beat Dowling to the line for second with Rowan Pennink and Frank Ruocco rounding out the top-5.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Diego Monahan, Anthony Ryan Jr. and Pete Zaikarite were first-time winners at the Waterford Speedbowl this season Monahan was a dramatic winner of the SK-Modified feature, Ryan won the Late Model race and Zaikarite captured the Mini Stock feature. Al Stone III (Street Stocks), Paul Buzel (SK Light Modifieds) and Mike Christopher Jr. (Legend Cars) also earned trips to Victory Lane.
Monahan came out on top of a wild 35-lap SK Modified race where more than three cars each had a shot to win over two green-white-checkered flag attempts to finish the race. Monahan battled with his brother Shawn and three-time track champion Keith Rocco over a thrilling final nine laps that began with a lap 26 restart. Diego Monahan held the lead through lap 33, but Rocco made a charge coming to the white flag only to have a spin behind the leaders return the race to the yellow caution flag.
On the restart Diego Monahan fended off an outside bid by his brother over the final lap to earn the win with Rocco getting past Shawn Monahan to finish second.
Christopher won a special 50-lap Legends Car feature for his 24th overall win of the year.
In Modified racing in the Southland, Burt Myers led every lap to win the Southern National 150 at Southern National Motorsports Park in North Carolina, after holding off a hard charge from George Brunnhoelzl III, to pick up his third victory in the past four races. Kyle Ebersole, who won one week previous at South Boston Speedway, followed in third with David Calabrese and rookie Joe Ryan Osborne completing the top five.
In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, Joey Logano helped Team Penske strengthen its grip as the organization to beat for the championship, pulling away on an overtime restart to win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and advance to the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. Logano raced to his fourth victory of the season, leading 73 laps and surviving a NASCAR season-high 15 cautions that wrecked results for several Chase drivers. He took the lead from Kevin Harvick with 27 laps left and went on to his seventh career Cup victory.
Brendan Gaughan surged past rookies Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon in a wild three-wide run after a final restart for a hard-earned victory in Saturday night’s 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Elliott and Dillon initially battled for the lead on Lap 192 before Gaughan’s No. 62 Chevrolet rocketed forward on the outside to make it three abreast, getting past both drivers a couple of laps later with Brian Scott in tow. Gaughan went on to his second career victory by .878 seconds over Scott, followed by Dillon, Elliott and Regan Smith in a top-five sweep by Chevys
The Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina had taken another step towards being a part of racing history as attorneys for track co-owners Andy Hillenburg, of Harrsburg, N.C., and Bill Silas, of Stuart, Fla., were due in Richmond County Superior Court.
Attorneys David M. Schilli and Brian L. Church, represent the Salisbury bank Farmers and Merchants. The bank owns the note on the loan. According to court records, Hillenburg and Silas owed $4,532,796.23 as of Aug. 8. The parties are due in court at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. Both Hillenburg and Silas, who together own Rockingham Racing Park LLC, were served on Aug. 28.
Last year, 2018, One of the most anticipated short-track weekends in New England was on deck last weekend, as the New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosted its first “Full Throttle Weekend.”
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will took center stage in the inaugural Musket 250. The longest race in Whelen Modified Tour history that included live pit stops and put some of the best modified drivers and teams in the country up against their toughest test yet for a $25,000 first-place prize. Also on the docket was NASCAR’s K&N Series and NASCAR’s Canadian Pintys Series.
Chase 0ne Dowling led 30 other drivers to take the pole position for the Musket 250 at NHIS. Dowling toured the mile oval to the tune of 129.344mph, just a tick faster than Justin Bonsignore who went 129.072mph. Rounding out the top five was Patrick Emerling, Ron Silk and Doug Coby.
Drama at high speed is the only way to describe how the Musket 250 at Loudon played out. It all came down to the final lap. Chase Dowling was in the right place at the right time when Ryan Preece tried to make a move on Justin Bonsignore in turn three. When Bonsignore and Preece made contact, Dowling cut to the bottom, slid past Patrick Emerling and beat him back to the finish line.
Dowling’s road to the victory was definitely not an easy one. He started from the pole and led 54 laps, but over the course of the 250-lap distance, Dowling was shuffled in and out of the top five.
Teams pitted more than once under the green flag, something that Dowling had never dealt with in his career. He pitted for the final time on lap 220, and came out in fifth for the restart.
After a caution with 14 laps to go bunched the field up, Dowling found himself fourth heading down the backstretch on the final lap.
Emerling finished second. In his first trip north to New Hampshire, nine-time Bowman Gray Stadium modified division champion Burt Myers escaped the final corner and finished third. Andy Seuss finished fourth, while Preece limped across the line following the crash to finish in fifth driving for Gary Putnam. Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Jon McKennedy, Eric Goodale and Ron Silk.
The top five were on the lead lap at the finish. Among those who failed to finish were Calvin Carroll, Matt Swanson and Jeff Rocco who crashed hard in turn one, Todd Cooper who had an electrical problem on lap 20, Gary McDonald dropped out with rear end problems on lap 77, Ronnie Williams lost an engine on lap 106, Melissa Fifield’s excuse this week was clutch problems on lap 114, Ken Heagy lost a rear end on lap 116, Bobby Santos wes in the top five when his rear end broke on lap 216 and Chris Pasteryak and Blake Barney crashed together on lap 233.
The Musket 250 aired live via a stream on FansChoice.TV who did an outstanding job of covering the event, and will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m.
The long-term plans are for the Full Throttle Weekend to continue in place of the September Cup Series event that came to New Hampshire each fall for 20 years before Speedway Motorsports Inc., the parent company of NHMS, shifted that race to Las Vegas beginning this year. The 250-lap Modified race is the marquee event and carries the highest stakes of the tour’s season. An estimated 15,000 spectators witnessed the event.
In other weekend action at Loudon, Derek Kraus took the lead from Brandon McReynolds with five laps to go. A late caution two laps later gave it right back. Kraus, the pole winner, spun his tires on the restart and came off the throttle as contact lifted his rear wheels from the track, steering him momentarily into the outside wall. As Kraus tried to recover in his No. 1 David Gilliland-owned Toyota, McReynolds slid by in his No. 74 Chevrolet to retake the lead and rolled away to win the K&N Series Apple Barrel 125. Kevin Lacroix took an early lead and won the Visit New Hampshire 100, the first NASCAR Pinty’s Series race in the United States.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway it was all quiet as competitors prepare for the season ending 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend which will include the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (150), SK Modified® (40), Late Model (30), SK Light (20).
Congratulations to Keith Rocco who finished third in the final NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings. It was the 11th time in the last 12 years that Rocco has finished in the top-five in the national standings and the eighth time since 2009 that he’s been in the top three. He also won his 10th Connecticut Whelen All-American Series championship. Rocco’s career overall total victories is 260 wins which also include 150 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, 60 at Thompson and 50 at the Stafford Speedway.
NASCAR also announced that Bryan Narducci was named the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III national champion. In his rookie season in the SK Light Modified division at the Stafford Motor Speedway Narducci has five victories, 15 top-fives and 16 top-10’s in 20 starts.
Narducci will be honored for his achievement as an honored guest at the NASCAR Awards in Charlotte on Dec. 7. The young third generation racer is the grandson of Ron Narducci and Jerry Pearl.
In addition NASCAR announced that Marcello Rufrano, was named Friday as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series UNOH Youth Achievement national champion.
On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl racing resumed after an unplanned week shut down. Racing news web site RaceDayCt announced that The 2018 racing season will continue at the Speedbowl under new management,.
George Whitney, who had been operating the track since June 2017, terminated his lease. Mike Serluca has taken over operations of the facility for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Kyle James said he only had one chance to pull out an SK Modified victory at New London-Waterford Speedbowl Saturday, to hope leader Todd Owen made a mistake and then pounce on it. There was one flaw, however, to James strategy. “Todd didn’t make any mistakes,” James said. Owen was able to hold off James over the final 25 laps to collect his third 40-lap SK Modified win of the season. Owen’s victory was just one of the highlights during a dramatic re-opening night at the Speedbowl.
Andrew Krzeminski came from fourth to first during the final three laps to nail down the first win of his career in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
Keith Caruso captured his first-ever SK Lite Modified win at the Speedbowl in the second race of an SK Lite doubleheader. Brett Gonyaw roared past Bert Ouellette on a restart with two laps remaining to win the first SK Lite race.
Anthony Flannery pulled away from Jason Palmer on two late restarts for his fourth win in the last five races. Adrien Paradis took advantage of some mechanical difficulties by leader Jordan Hadley on his way to his first win of the season,
Rob Richardi led every lap to win his second consecutive Ct. Pro Four Modified win. P.J. Peters remained undefeated in the Pro Four Lite division.
Following Owen and James in the SK Modified event was Matt Galko, Rob Janovic Jr. and Timmy Jordan.
In NASCAR Xfinity Series racing at Richmond, Christopher Bell surged past race leader Matt Tifft after a restart on Lap 237 of 250 and pulled away to beat Ross Chastain to the finish line by .566 seconds.Ryan Preece finished 18th.
Kyle Busch passed Brad Keselowski with 38 laps to go and held off hard-charging Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Richmond.