RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit; First Week Of December

RPW Exclusive Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Five years ago, 2014, The never-ending saga and soap opera at the Waterford continued.

Internet racing web site RaceDayCT reported Ed DeMuzzio, a creditor in the foreclosure case involving the Speedbowl, filed a “motion to reconsider” with the court, asking the judge that approved the sale price set at the auction to reconsider that ruling. The motion is not a formal appeal of the approval.

DeMuzzio had been facing a Thursday, Dec 6 deadline to file a formal appeal of the approval of the sale price set at the Oct. 18 foreclosure auction. “We’re going to file what is called a motion to reconsider and ask that the judge reconsider or reexamine his earlier ruling with regard to our motion for our hearing to set aside a new sale date,” said DeMuzzio’s attorney, Michael Bonnano. “That is not an appeal. It is a practice book provision that allows the court to do exactly what it says, which is reconsider the earlier ruling. “It can be withdrawn at anytime, just like the appeal can, but it’s something that tolls the appeal the period. That’s the intent at this time, to ask the court to reconsider its earlier decision.”

A formal appeal of the approval of sale could delay transfer of the property from owner Terry Eames to Bemer for more than a year and could put the 2015 racing season at the track in jeopardy. DeMuzzio is at risk of losing $250,000, which includes about $110,000 invested in the property and about $140,000 in accrued interest, if the court approves the sale price.

On Nov. 3 in New London Superior Court, judge Emmet Cosgrove heard objections to the sale filed by DeMuzzio and his company CCI Inc. Cosgrove filed a memorandum of decision on Nov. 14 in which he denied objections to the sale filed by DeMuzzio and approved the sale.

This could drag on for a long time. Hopefully DeMuzzio would back off, lick his wounds and take a loss on his taxes.

The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) released a creative and innovative seven (7) event schedule featuring twelve different touring series and sanctioning bodies, and boasting over $500,000 in posted awards. Two weekend events, and a five event Wednesday summer series, with four rain dates, make up the calendar. The schedule was highlighted by four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, two new Triple Crown Series, and significant enhancements to the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing.

For the 29th season, the track would operate under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banner, offering Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock competitors the benefits of NASCAR membership, awards, as well as state and national championship competition.

Shortly after the season ending Whelen Modified Tour Series event at Thompson Donnie Lia informed Bob Garbarino that he was leaving Mystic Missile Racing to seek other avenues. Lia and Mark Sypher whom Glen Reen drove for in 2014 announced that they had joined forces to run the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) in the No. 8 Chevrolet. Lia, who had 17 wins in the touring series, would pilot a LFR Chassis in 2015. Numerous rumors concerning the future of Mystic Missile Racing have come to light but have not been confirmed.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series staged their 11th annual Awards Banquet at the Best Western Executive Inn in Manchester, NH. Taking center stage was series driving champion Justin Bonsignore and series owner champion Art Barry. Bonsignore was the fifth champion in the 11-year series history.

In his victory speech Bonsignore thanked his pit crew for their hard work and dedication, crew chief Kenny Barry, Spafco Race Cars & Parts, Spearpoint Racing, series sponsor Bob Valenti Auto Mall, VMRS officials, and gave a heartfelt thank you to car-owner Barry for making it possible and for giving him the opportunity and privilege to be part of a race team loaded with successful history for over 60 years.

Barry, of Preston, CT, when introduced, received a rousing standing ovation for his second series title and for his dedication to modified racing. An emotional Barry thanked all for their support and was read a special message from his wife, Deb, who for the first time was unable to attend due to illness.

In addition to Bonsignore, the top 14 drivers in the standings received recognition and awards from series president Jack Bateman including; runner-up Rowan Pennink, Richard Savary, Chris Pasteryak, Max Zachem, Mike Willis. Jr, Steve Masse, Keith Rocco, Norm Wrenn, Todd Szegedy, Dylan, Kopec, Tommy Barrett, Woody Pitkat, Matt Mead, and Ted Christopher.

The 2014 Specialty Awards, chosen by series officials were presented. Those included Spafco Most Improved Driver: David Schneider, Tough Luck Award: Matt Mead, Sportsmanship Award: Willie Doucette, Mechanic of the Year: Kenny Barry, Rookie of the Year: #38 Michael Willis Jr, Dedication to Racing Award: Norm Wrenn, Volunteer of the Year Award: Ryan Doucette, Above and Beyond Award: Warren Alston and the Bob Polverari 7-11 Award: Norm Wrenn.

During their annual series banquet Saturday, Valenti Modified Racing Series officials announced a tentative 17-race schedule for the 2015. The schedule includes 14 definite events with the possibility of three more added whenever the foreclosure issues were decided at the Waterford Speedbowl.

This is the final looking back for 2019. Looking Back returns in February in rime for Speedweeks in Florida. Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.