Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WAVERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1950, Hank Stevens was the winner at Seekonk. Sixty five years ago in 1955 Fred Astle Sr was the Sportsman winner at Seekonk. Joe Rosenfield was the non-Ford winner.
Sixty years ago in 1960 Tommy Fenley, one of the all time greats that raced at the Kingston Fairgrounds in Southern Rhode Island made it three in a row at Stafford Springs on Friday night. Ted Stack was the Wednesday night Modified winner at what was then called the New London – Waterford Speedbowl. Dick Beauregard was the non-Ford winner and Newt Palm was the Bomber winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Modified winner at the shoreline oval. Stack was the non-Ford winner and Palm repeated in the Bombers. At Seekonk Don Hall was the A division winner while Ed Hoyle won in the Cut Downs and Bill Silvia took the Sportsman win.
Fifty five years ago in 1965 Bill Wimble kept the locals at bay as he took the Modified feature at Stafford on Friday night. Don Collins was the Modified winner at Waterford. Bill Scrivner made it two in a row in the Bombers.. Dick Dixon was the 25 lap Modified feature win at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Bill Gurney was second with Lou Carangelo, third. Lou Lazzaro won a 100 lapper at the Fonda Speedway while Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell was cleaning house at Norwood. Jerry Cook made it two in a row at Utica-Rome as he beat out Tom and Dave Kotary for the win. At Seekonk Joe Rosenfield was the 30 lap Modified winner, Eliot Goff was the B division winner.
Fifty years ago in 1970, the All Star League invaded the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Tuesday for a 100-lap event. Although on the outs with NASCAR, Richie Evans was allowed to run at this NASCAR sanctioned track, as the league events were open competition. Evans used his entry to good advantage as he won the 100 lapper over Maynard Troyer, Mike Loescher, Lou Lazzaro and Fred DeSarro. Regular Friday night racing at the Malta, NY speed plant was rained out.
In twin 25-lap action at Stafford on Saturday night, Fred DeSarro scored a one-two punch as he won both events. In the first event, Moose Hewitt finished second with Ed Yerrington, third. The nightcap saw Ernie Gahan in the runner-up spot over Bernie Miller, Yerrington and Bob Santos. Fonda legend, Ken Shoemaker was the winner at the track of champions on Saturday night while at Plattsburg it was Denis Giroux over Dick Fowler and Ron Narducci. Dick Watson took the Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet was the Late Model Daredevil winner. At Seekonk, Deke Astle put the Warren Madison No. 8 in victory lane in the A division. Don Dionne was the B division winner.
DeSarro continued his win streak as he won twin 25’s at Thompson on Sunday. Santos finished second in both events. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night it was Lou Lazzaro over Dave Lape and Ron Fazio. Ted Hairfield won a Late Model Sportsman event at South Boston.
Forty five years ago in 1975, Brian Ross beat the heat with a popular win at Stafford over Ronnie Bouchard. Islip ran a double point event with Don Howe taking the win over George Wagner and Jerry Cook. Richie Evans chose not to go and instead went to Shangri-la where he won out over George Kent and Dick Finnerty. Bob Potter won the 35 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bill Sweet was the Grand American Late Model winner. It rained at Fulton but not at Lancaster where Roger Treichler was victorious over Maynard Troyer. Westhampton cancelled because of the heat and at Capitol City it was Maynard Troyer over Jerry Cook. George Murray was the A division winner at Seekonk. Ken Hazard was the Late Model winner.
Forty years ago in 1980, Thompson had an open competition event scheduled for Wednesday night but it was rained out. Ronnie Bouchard and Richie Evans ruled the modified roost as they each won just about everything in New England. Bouchard won Thursday night at Monadnock, Friday night at Stafford, Saturday night at Westboro and the first of two events at Thompson on Sunday. Evans, who finished third at Stafford behind Brian Ross, won at Riverside on Saturday night and won the nightcap at Thompson. Maynard Troyer was also a double winner on the weekend as he won at Spencer and at Lancaster. Other weekend winners included Fred Harbach at New Egypt, George Kent at Shangri-la, Charlie Jarzombek at Islip, Allen Whipple at Clairmont and Lou Funk at Danbury. At Waterford, the modifieds went on strike over tires. Monadnock announced that they were shutting down until August 10th and a planned auction to sell the land that the Westboro Speedway was located on was cancelled.
Thirty five years ago in 1985, the Circle of Champions (Modified Tour) visited New Egypt on Wednesday. Richie Evans took the win over George Kent and Tony Hirshman. Evans repeated on Friday night at Spencer where he won a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier. Like at New Egypt, Kent and Hirshman followed. Friday night racing at Stafford rained out. Saturday night at Waterford, Rick Donnelly won over Dale Holdredge and at Riverside Park; Reggie Ruggiero won a 100 lapper that was in addition to a Race of Champions qualifier was a Thompson 300 qualifier. George Kent was victorious at Shangri-La after Evans crashed and at Riverhead it was Eddie Brunnhoelzl over Tom Baldwin. Other weekend winners were Tony Siscone at Wall, Tom Drurar at Lancaster and Kerry Malone at Thompson. In Winston Cup action at Talledega, Bill Elliot was the pole sitter and Cale Yarborough took the win.
Thirty years ago in 1990, the modified tour made a mid week stop at Riverside. Reggie Ruggiero cleaned house as he started 19th and at the checker at 150 laps had lapped all but the top three. Pole sitter Mike Stefanik finished second and was followed by Mike McLaughlin and Mike Ewanitsko. Tom Tagg won his first ever feature at Stafford on Friday night and at Waterford on Saturday, Ted Christopher took the win and in the late models, Jay Stewart got his fifth of the season. Ruggiero continued his win streak to Monadnock where he made it four in a row and went on to Riverside where he made it three for three for the week. Bo Gunning took the checker at Thompson but was disqualified with an illegal carburetor. Bob Potter was awarded the win. In other weekend action, Siege Fidenza won the Tom Druar Memorial at Lancaster and Frank Vigliorolo won at Riverhead.
Twenty five years ago in 1995, John Anderson topped Ted Christopher at Stafford on Friday night. At Waterford on Saturday, the late Scott Spaulding beat out Mike Gada and Jerry Pearl. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Holland, NY speedway for a 150 lapper. Mike Ewanitsko took the lead from Steve Park on lap 132 and led the remaining circuits to record the win. Park finished second and was followed by Ed Flemke Jr., Jamie Tomaino, Jan Leaty and Satch Worley. Other Saturday night action saw Dan Avery in victory lane at Riverside Park and Chuck Steuer in the top spot at Riverhead. The best event of the weekend was an open competition event at Oswego on Sunday which drew 50 modifieds and was the scene of a hard fought victory by Tim Connolly who at that time was driving the Bobby Fuller No.17.Ricky Fuller finished second with Tom Cravenho, third.
Twenty years ago, in 2000, racing at Thompson on Thursday night was washed out. Rookee Mike Johnson went pole to pole to win the Busch North Series 150 at Stafford on Friday night. Ted Christopher blew an engine while running second on lap 88.It wasn’t a total loss as Christopher recorded his 46th career victory in SK modified competition. Zack Sylvester finished second. Dennis Gada beat out Ronnie Silk at Waterford on Saturday and George Kent was the winner of the Race of Champions Trail event at Holland.
Fifteen years ago in 2005 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series driver Nevin George was one of 25 drivers in competition in the latest version of the Jack Roush Racing Gong Show. The Gong Show consisted of a 13 part series that would begin in the fall on the Discovery Channel. The winner would be awarded a fully sponsored ride in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Among the other contestants was Jason Boyd who drove the Florida Modified owned by Bobby Judkins. David Berghman was designated to drive the Ralph Solhem No. 0 when George was unavailable
The late Len Boehler began fielding Modifieds at the Seekonk Speedway some forty years ago. It was only fitting that Eric Beers, who was presently driving for Boehler Racing was able to garner his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series win on Saturday night at the track where it all began. Currently owned and managed by Janice and Michael Boehler and based in East Freetown, Mass, Boehler Racing has been responsible for numerous NASCAR Tour and track championships during its tenure. At the track known as the cement palace, Beers started sixth and ended up taking the lead for the eventual win on lap 31. John Blewett III, pinch-hitting for Mike Stefanik, drove another legendary car, the No.00 of Joe Brady, to a solid runner-up finish. Brady, who began his career in the late 1960’s at the Norwood Arena, is also responsible for numerous wins and track championships. Jerry Marquis started 16 and finished third. His car owner, Bob Garbarino, has also been in the Modified Racing business since the mid 60’s. Garbarino got his start at the Waterford Speedbowl. The top three car owners at Seekonk had collectively over 120 years of racing under their belts. Modified Tour point leader Ted Christopher led the first 30 laps before giving way to Beers. Christopher faded in the late going as he finished 17th on the lead lap at the finish. Christopher continues to lead Tony Hirschman by 60 points as the tour headed next to the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. There were 31 Modifieds on hand.
Todd Ceravolo and his family were on vacation in Michigan. He cut it short to be at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. His trip back to Connecticut paid off as he made it two in a row in Sunoco SK type Modified competition. The second-generation racer started sixth on the 19 car-starting field and by lap 11 had taken the lead and was long gone. Ceravolo’s dad, Dick, is a former Modified Champion at the Waterford Speedbowl. Richard Savory, another second-generation racer and the son of George Savory, finished second. Jeff Malave finished third with Bert Marvin and Bo Gunning rounding out the top five. Larry Barnett, who is almost a neighbor of Ceravolo, won the 40 lap Limited Sportsman feature that went non-stop. Other winners at Thompson were Dennis Perry in the Late Models, Scott Michalski in the Mini Stocks and Roger Larsen in the Thompson Modifieds.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the Seekonk Speedway on Saturday night. During the driver’s meeting at the recent event at Beech Ridge it was stated that the Seekonk Speedway would not honor the agreement of allowing teams to pre-sign up to 10 crew members at a discounted rate of $25.00 per driver. Ed Cox (tour director) was called on the Thursday prior to the Beech Ridge event by the Seekonk management to let the teams know it would be $40.00 per person. This did not go over well with the teams. There was a petition signed by all drivers/owners at Beech Ridge and handed to NASCAR. It stated if the sign-in was not honored (10 crew @ $25.00) there would be no race. By Monday, July 25, the dispute was resolved as the Seekonk promoter agreed to honor the 10 per car at $25.
It was a long night at Stafford on Friday as the remaining laps of the Coors Light 100 were run plus the regular weekly program. Willie Hardie ended a string of bad luck as he took the win. Hardie took the lead early on from Don Lia. Lia faded in the closing moments and ended up sixth at the finish. Chuck Docherty finished second. Bo Gunning didn’t lose his feel for the half mile oval as he brought the Eddie Partridge owned mount home in third spot. Woody Pitkat won the regularly scheduled 40 lapper. Chuck Docherty recorded another runner-up finish with Hardie coming home third. Todd Owen finished fourth with Gunning, fifth. The big story of the night was that Ted Christopher lost the point lead after crashing out of both events. Ryan Posocco was the Late Model winner and Fran Siana was the DARE Stock winner.
The Waterford Speedbowl was the scene of a lot of excitement on Saturday night as Late Model division point leader Allen Coates was tossed out of the opening event after he intentionally tried to take out the leader, Bruce Thomas. For his actions Coates was disqualified with no points or money. The opening Late Model event had been held over since a rain out on June 18. Coates was allowed to race in the night’s regular Late Model event but could only manage a third behind Dennis Botticello. Shawn Monahan was the SK Modified winner. Dennis Gada finished second with Rob Summers, third. Other Waterford winners were Phil Evans in the Mini Stocks, Chris Bakaj in the Legends and Ron Oldham in the Sportsman.
In Busch North action at the Adirondack Speedway Matt Kobyluck made it two in a row as he passed Ryan Moore with eight laps to go and held off Andy Santerre to take the win. The Nextel Cup division of NASCAR was off. In Busch Racing Series action Reed Sorenson beat Mike Wallace at Gateway International.
Ten years ago in 2010, The Stafford Motor Speedway held their annual Extreme Tuesday event smack dab in the middle of a 100 plus degree heat wave. Fans and competitors as well as machines were put to the test. Mike Ordway, Sr. won the 50-lap ISMA Supermodified feature, Randy Cabral won the 30-lap NEMA Midget feature event, and Norm Wrenn made it three in a row at Stafford by taking the 25-lap Pro-4 Modified feature event.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors enjoyed a week off as they prepared to head to the high banked, quarter mile, Monadnock Speedway in Winchester,
The Thompson International Speedway continued with their Thursday Night Thunder Series. Danny Cates was extremly strong in his victory in the Sunoco Modified main event. Brian Sullivan shined in the TIS Modified annual extra-distance event. While Shawn Monahan turned in a repeat winning performance in the Limited Sportsman division and it was a night of firsts in the Super Late Models and Mini Stocks. Larry Gelinas, driving for Rollie Linblad, earned his first-ever Thompson victory in a hotly contested Super Late Model feature. Dwayne Dorr turned in a dominating performance to score his first Mini Stock victory of 2010. John Falconi of North Grafton, MA, was awarded the victory in the Late Models when officials discovered illegal cylinder heads on Rick Gentes’ motor.
The Modified Racing Series ventured to the Lee USA Speedway for the Laticrete Port City 100. Jon McKennedy took the win over Dwight Jarvis, Jimmy Kuhn, Andy Seuss and Rowan Pennink before a huge crowd.
The win was McKennedy’s eighth career victory with the Modified Racing Series, sponsored by Bob Valenti AutoMall.Com., and his second at the Lee oval. The race was competitive right from the start with five different leaders and seven lead changes throughout the 100 lap green flag race.
Pole sitter Dwight Jarvis led the opening lap with Mike Ordway Jr taking over the top spot on lap two. The Fremont, NH., driver led the field until lap 16 when another local favorite, Louie Mechalides, took the lead. Mechalides set the pace before yielding the top spot to Milford, CT., standout Doug Coby on lap 34. It was Coby’s turn at the front as he opened up a sizeable lead before Jarvis took it back for two laps when Coby slowed. Mechalides and Jarvis then swapped the lead with Jarvis prevailing through lap 73, when a fast closing #73, McKennedy, powered by. Heavy traffic created a close finish as Jarvis was 0.325 behind the winner at the checkered flag.
A total of 31 race teams entered the event. 24 cars started the race with 20 cars finishing, 12 cars finished on the lead lap.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway, Frank Ruocco took his second victory of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Keith Rocco picked up his first career Late Model feature victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett scored his third win of the 2010 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Rob Dow won his first race of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Nick Salva was a first time career winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
For the record, Rocco had 18 wins for the season. His NASCAR total is sixteen. In addition to his Late Model win at Stafford, Rocco also recorded an SK Modified win at New Smyrna in Florida.
The Waterford Speedbowl did not have their regular Saturday night divisions scheduled because of a Fireworks display on the Thames River in New London. An Enduro had been scheduled but was scrubbed because of impending rain.
The Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem North Carolina was back in action with a 100 lap Modified main event. Northern invader Ted Christopher made his first ever start at the flat quarter mile oval driving for Roger and Sandra Hill. Tim Brown won the caution-filled 100-lap Modified Division race at thetrack they call the MadHouse. Brown led all but one of the final 33 laps to grab his third win of the year. The luck of the draw following time trials found Christopher starting on the pole. The invader led the first 24 laps before being passed by Jonathan Brown. Jonathan Brown would wreck later in the event and limped home in 18th place, but there were plenty of fireworks around Christopher, who tangled with Junior Miller on the 79th lap and sent Miller to the pits. Miller finished the race in 19th and wasn’t very pleased with Christopher. The Winston-Salem Journal Now quoted both Miller and Christopher following the race. “We had a shot at winning this race and that weasel from up North came in here and just flat wrecked us there at the end,” Miller said. “I was pushing (Brown) when (Christopher) came across the hood and tore the front end off”. Christopher, one of the top drivers on the Whelen Modified Tour, said that he would like to race at Bowman Gray again. “At least I can say I led at Bowman Gray,” said Christopher, who finished 15th. “I tried to race with Junior and those guys and that guy has to be the biggest idiot in the world. He should probably retire”. Christopher added, “I don’t mind and everybody says they move people and stuff but he damn threw the whole car at me and planted me hard and I said, ‘Oh well, I can play at that game.’
Following Tim Brown at the finish was Brian Loftin and Burt Myers. Rupert Sink and Dean Ward rounded out the top five. Jason Myers ended up 13th, Christopher, 15th, Jonathan Brown, 18th and Junior Miller, 19th.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island rain washed out the 77 Lap Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans, Charlie Jarzombek Memorial NASCAR Modified event
Even Kyle Busch acknowledged that his landmark victory in Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide series race at Chicagoland Speedway probably wouldn’t have happened if not for Brad Keselowski’s costly mistake. With Joey Logano out front and an overtime restart looming, Keselowski ran out of gas just before the green flag fell. Busch was able to move closer to Logano, then pounced on the restart and held on for the win.
David Reutimann blew past Jeff Gordon and cruised to the victory in the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.
Five years ago in 2015, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to action on Saturday, July 25, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Twenty eight cars were on hand for time trials with Ryan Preece taking the pole with a time of 12.428 seconds around the high banked quarter mile oval. Doug Coby was second fastest and started outside pole. Coby passed Ryan Preece on Lap 45 and was able to remain at the point in the caution filled 200 lap race. Preece faded and ended up going a lap down and finished tenth. Woody Pitkat followed closely in second with Justin Bonsignore coming up just a little short in his bid for a third straight win at the quarter-mile track finishing third. Todd Szegedy and Troy Talman completed the top five. For Coby and Talman it was redemption of sort as they wrecked the previous week at Loudon. Eric Goodale rebounded from an early incident to finish sixth with Shawn Solomito, Andy Seuss, Chase Dowling, and Preece rounding out the top 10.
The race was slowed six times by caution with a pair of red flags thrown during the race for track cleanup caused by a pair of multicar accidents. Coby’s average speed was calculated to be 46.071 mph. The first caution came on lap 32 when Keith Rocco had a steering malfunction, a possible broken rack and pinion, and clipped Eric Goodale, sending him into the wall. Rocco’s crew was unable to make repairs and he ended up in 28th finishing position. The second caution came on lap 49 when Anthony Nocella ran into the tire barrier in turn one and suffered a flat. The third caution came on lap 63 when Ken Heagy hit the wall in turn two. The fourth caution was displayed when Timmy Solomito, Anthony Nocella, Bobby Santos and Heagy tangled in turn two All were able to rejoin the field except Nocella. Wade Cole brought out the fifth caution on lap 118 when he spun in turn four. The sixth and final caution waved on lap 126when Andy Seuss got out of shape and collected Santos, Jeff Goodale, Solomito, Joe Osborne and Max Zachem.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 race was shown, taped delayed on NBC Sports Net on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. ET
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ron Williams got the benefit of Ryan Preece’s overly aggressive driving style as he was awarded the SK Modified win. In the closing moments of the 42 lap feature Rowan Pennink made a move to the inside of Preece for the lead in turn 4 with 5 laps to go and he took the lead but Preece came back strong with a crossover move in turn 3 on the very next lap and he was the leader at the line by a nose. Preece got clear of Pennink as they hit the line to complete lap 40 but Pennink made another move to the inside of Preece in turn 3 to take the lead as they came to the white flag. Preece gave Pennink a tap to the bumper, upsetting Pennink’s foreward motion, as the cars were coming to the checkered flag and Preece took the checkered flag with Williams edging out Keith Rocco for second. Pennink crossed the line in fourth but NASCAR Officials penalized Preece back to fifth place for his move on the final lap, making Williams the winner thanks to his last lap pass on Rocco. Matt Galko finished third, Pennink was fourth, and Preece rounded out the top-5 after the penalty was applied.
For Williams it was his third win of the year in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Butler was a first time winner in the Late Model feature, D.J. Burnham scored his third win of the year in the SK Light feature, Andrew Hayes took down his third win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. won for the second time this year in the DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo was a winner for the time this season in the Legend Cars feature.
When the cat is away, the mice will play at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In the Modified division and Late Model division at the shoreline oval “The Cat” Keith Rocco was at a tour event at the Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire. “The Mice”, Tyler Chadwick in the SK Modifieds and Jason Palmer in the Late Models, took advantage of Rocco’s absence and recorded wins in their respective divisions. Chadwick, who dedicated his win to his recently murdered sister, started 10th. Joe Gada finished second with Rob Janovic, third. Craig Lutz and Diego Monahan rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher, who bypassed the Monadnock event, finished seventh. Palmer beat out Vinnie Esposito and Joe Curioso. Other winners were Paul Buzel in the SK Lites, Brad Caddick in the Mini-Stocks and Chris Myer in the Limited Sportsman.
The NASCAR Modifieds had the week off at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC twin 50’s were run for the NASCAR Modifieds. Jason Myers won the first 50-lap race, holding off Tim Brown. It was his fourth win of the year and also his 22nd win of his career, tying him with his grandfather Billy Myers, who died in a race at Bowman Gray in 1958, for 19th on the all-time wins list. Chris Fleming finished third and Burt Myers was fourth. In the second 50 lapper, In the second race, John Smith won his second of the year and held off Ronnie Clifton, who started first. Clifton started first because they had the Madhouse Scramble and Jason Myers drew 14th, which meant the field was inverted starting at 14.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series had an event scheduled for last Friday at the Devils Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont. With showers and possible thunderstorms expected until at least 6:00 p.m., management from Devil’s Bowl Speedway and the Valenti Modified Racing Series agreed to postpone the inaugural Newport Chevrolet-Buick-GMC 100.
Kyle Busch’s remarkable comeback tour continued at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he scored the biggest victory in his career in Sunday’s 22nd annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard. It was Busch’s third win in a row and his fourth in the last five races. Joey Logano finished second. It completed a clean sweep as he beat out Ryan Blaney for Xfinity Series win at Indy the day before.
Last year, 2019, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The All-Star Shootout was scheduled for Friday, July 19 and the ninth race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was scheduled for Saturday, July 20. Near record heat in the mid 90s greeted fans and competitors. There were 41, including three duplicates, modifieds on hand. Matt Swanson is itching to visit Victory Lane, and he’s hoping he can do it on the biggest stage the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour offers.
Matt Swanson, driving the Boehler family’s Ole Blu, was fastest in the only practice session of the weekend for Whelen Modified Tour teams on Friday morning. Swanson set his fast time of 28.479 seconds (133.741 mph). Following Swanson on the speed chart was Justin Bonsignore, Patrick Emerling, Chase Dowling and Blake Barney. Making his Whelen Modified debut was Jacob Perry. In his first time out he out qualified Melisa Fifield and Wade Cole by 2 mph.
Patrick Emerling edged two other NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour veterans in a three-wide finish to win the sixth annual All-Star Shootout on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Emerling became the sixth different winner of the non-points event in its six-year history and scored his first win at the ‘Magic Mile’.
The 26-year-old had come close to winning in the Granite State before, but nothing compares to holding the checkered flag at NHMS. His margin of victory was a mere .022 seconds. Going into turn three on the final lap, Emerling shot to the bottom of Bobby Santos III and pulled ahead, but Santos wasn’t about to give up. He crossed under Emerling, and ran wheel to wheel down the front stretch, while defending series champion Justin Bonsignore cut to the bottom of both of them and made it three-wide coming down the frontstretch. Santos, making his first start in the Whelen Midifieds in 2019, was pinch hitting for injured Dave Sapienza.
Emerling led just four of the 35 laps. Bonsignore ended up third, just .067 seconds back, while Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Craig Lutz, who started from the pole and led 15 laps, finished sixth. Ryan Newman, Timmy Solomito, Jimmy Blewett and Tommy Catalano completed the top 10.
Sixteen of the 20 starters finished on the lead lap. The All-Star Shootout will air on NBC Sports Net on Thursday, July 25, at 6 p.m.
Ron Silk picked up his third career victory at the ‘Magic Mile’ in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 on Saturday, outlasting a field of 38 drivers on the biggest stage of modified racing. It was the third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Silk, and his first at the 1.058-mile since 2011. He beat Doug Coby on what turned out to be the final restart. On an overtime restart, a hard crash in turn one involving Tyler Rypkema caused severe damage to the SAFER Barrier. With the repair time estimated at around 25 minutes and the Xfinity Series race broadcast window approaching, NASCAR made the decision to call the race and give Ron Silk, the leader, the victory. It was the second win of the season for the former series champion and his 12th career.
Silk didn’t lead a lap until the final stages. Following a caution with just 20 laps remaining, Silk chased the back bumper of Eric Goodale, before taking the lead from him on lap 85. From there, he never relinquished the top spot, while drivers jostled for position in the draft behind him.
The field lined up for a green-white-checkered finish on lap 101, but a quick crash in turn one slowed the field again. While safety crews went to work on the wall, the race was deemed complete in overtime. Silk took the checkered flag uder caution, seven laps after the scheduled distance.
“We raced really hard the whole day,” Silk said. “There was certainly no guarantee that I would have won. But we were leading at the right time today. Bummer circumstances that we didn’t get to finish (under green).”
Coby crossed the line second, while Chase Dowling finished third. Jon McKennedy, who earned his first Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award in qualifying, led 19 laps and finished fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth. Eric Goodale was sixth, followed by Justin Bonsignore, Rob Summers, Tommy Catalano and Craig Lutz.
There were ten cautions for 45 of the 107 laps run. Because of the intense heat less than 1000 fans were in the grandstand. Those who were there were irate because the race didn’t finish under green. In a statement from NASCAR, “Due to extensive wall repair required after an incident in turn 1 during the closing laps, and the requirements associated with preparing the track for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race ended under caution in NASCAR Overtime.”
Twenty two of the original thirty eight starters were running at the finish. Among those who failed to finish were Jacob Perry who crashed on lap 2, Walter Sutcliff who crashed on lap 3, Calvin Carroll who crashed after completing 19 laps, Todd Cooper who dropped out after completing 20 laps with mechanical issues, Woody Pitkat dropped out after completing 26 laps because of a crash, Andrew Molleur made it 27 laps before crashing, Timmy Catalano went 41 laps before crashing out, Joey Mucciacciaro lost an engine after completing 50 laps, Anthony Nocella and JB Fortin crashed in turn 3 on lap 60, Patrick Emerling crashed on the front stretch on lap 70, Bryan Dauzat crashed in turn three on lap 80, Melissa Fifield completed 85 laps before giving up, Max Zachem and Bobby Santos III were eliminated after Santos was punted by Justin Bonsignore on lap 96 and Tyler Rypkema brought out the final caution on lap 101 after hitting the wall in turn 1.
The Eastern Propane & Oil 100 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, July 31, at 6 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track after a week off on Friday, August 2 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut.
On the east end of Long Island, Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead ended a two month absence from NASCAR Modified victory lane at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night when he won the 50-lap feature event for his 54th career win on a hot sultry night that saw temperatures hover in the low to mid 90’s all afternoon and evening. It was Tom’s second win of the 2019 season. John Baker once again found himself the runner-up at the finish, “this is our 4th second place this year, we are getting there and soon we’ll be over there” Baker said glancing over at victory lane after exiting his Staria Automotive Chevy. Kyle Soper was third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy while John Beatty ck and Dylan Slepian rounded out the top five.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ronnie Williams continued his winning ways taking the SK Modified® feature after a thrilling last lap pass on the previous week’s winner Stephen Kopcik, Tom Fearn continued his dominance in the Late Model division with his 3rd consecutive win, Bryan Narducci won for the third consecutive week in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn was a winner for the 2nd consecutive week in the Limited Late Model feature, and Jason Lafayette scored his second win of the season in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40 lapper for the SK Modifieds. Cory DiMatteo and Mike Christopher Jr were out front in the closing laps with Troy Talman and David Arute behind them. Mike Christopher was slowly starting to reel DiMatteo in and with 9 laps to go the margin between the two leaders was one second. Joey Cipriano’s car appeared to lose an engine to bring the caution out with 36 laps complete and set up a four lap sprint to the finish.
DiMatteo took the lead on the restart with Christopher behind him in second. As the cars hit turn 3, the two leaders touched and spun, collecting multiple cars behind them to bring the caution back out with 36 laps complete. This put Williams into the lead for the restart with Michael Gervais in second. The second row would be Stephen Kopcik and Keith Rocco with Marcello Rufrano and Dan Wesson in the third row.
Williams took the lead on the restart with Kopcik behind him in second. Gervais was third with Rocco fourth and Wesson fifth. Williams and Kopcik touched wheels on lap-38 but kept going while Wesson made a strong move to the inside of Rocco to move up to fourth. Kopcik took the lead coming to the white flag lap but Williams made a power move going into turn 3 to retake the lead and he led Kopcik to the finish line in a thrilling finish. Gervais finished third with Wesson and Rocco rounding out the top-5.
In the SK Lite 20 lapper, Narducci started 16th.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium Burt Myers continued his winning ways. Myers, who started slowly this season, picked up his third victory of the season Saturday in the first 25-lap Modified race. He started on the pole and was able to hold off Jonathan Brown for the win. Myers had a comfortable lead, but there was a caution on lap 18, which forced a seven-lap shootout.
In NASCAR Cup series racing at Loudon, NH, Kevin Harvick crossed the finish line 0.210 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin on Sunday. Harvick gave Hamlin a late opening when he had trouble navigating a group of cars that were off the lead lap. After nearly catching him on the back stretch, Hamlin made another run through the final two turns but couldn’t regain the lead. Erik Jones was third, and Ryan Blaney fourth.
Christopher Bell moved into a tie for the NASCAR Xfinity Series victory lead with five, dominating Saturday in hot conditions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bell led 186 of the 200 laps in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota — losing the lead only when he pitted on Lap 33 — and finished more than four seconds ahead of Cole Custer.