RPW Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WAVERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1950, Frank Gordon was the Modified winner at the Seekonk Speedway.
Sixty years ago in 1960 Ron Narducci broke into victory lane at Stafford as he scored a win on the dirt in Friday night Modified action. Tommy Fenley, who had won four in a row at Stafford, hooked a rut in turn 1 and flipped completely out of the track and into the woods. Ted Stack scored a clean sweep at the Waterford Speedbowl as he won both Wednesday and Saturday night Modified events. Seekonk fell victim to rain. The NASCAR Grandnationals (Cup) invaded the South Boston Speedway in Virginia where Junior Johnson took the win.
Fifty five years ago in 1965 rain washed out the racing action at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Charlie Webster was the Modified victor at Waterford. Bill Scrivner was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Kenny Shoemaker scored his fifth win at Fonda and at Utica-Rome Rene Charland ended a dry spell as he won out over Tom and Dave Kotary. Bugsy Stevens was making a name for himself as he scored his seventh win of the season in the Modified division at Seekonk. Elliott Goff was the B division winner.
Fifty years ago in 1970, the All Star League moved into the 1/5 mile Islip Speedway on Wednesday. Richie Evans took the 100-lap win over George Brunnhoelzl, Jim Hendrickson, Gary Winters, Lou Lazzaro and Eddie Flemke. In regular Friday night action at Malta, Fred DeSarro beat out Rene Charland and Dick Fowler for the win. DeSarro carried his win streak to Stafford on Saturday night where he won a 50-lap double point event over Eddie Flemke and Leo Cleary. Jerry Pennock and Eddie Pieniezak split the twin 25’s at Fonda and at Plattsburg; Canadian Andre Manny took the victory. At Islip, Charlie Jarzombek was the winner. Dick Dunn braved the heat as he won the 30 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Bill Sweet was the Late Model Daredevil winner. Billy Clarke was the A division winner at Seekonk. Frank Dias was the B division winner.
Many of the east coast NASCAR modified stars of the day traveled to Trenton Speedway for the annual North-South 200.Needless to say the event was postponed for a week because of rain. At Utica-Rome on Sunday night it was dry as Lou Lazzaro took the win over Rene Charland and Robbie Kotary. Lenny Pond was the Late Model Sportsman winner at the South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
Forty five years ago in 1975, Bugsy Stevens was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Ray Miller finished second with Geoff Bodine, third. Islip ran a 200 lapper on Saturday. Invader Jerry Cook took the win. Bob Park finished second with Fred Harbach, third. Shangri-La and Lancaster rained out. Bob Potter in the Roger Bonnville No. 110 won the Schafer Beer sponsored Grand Slam 50 lapper. Dick Laflesh was the Grand American Late Model winner. At Seekonk, Don Dionne took the Modified division feature. Lou Russo was the Late Model winner.
At Fulton on Sunday, Maynard Troyer ruled the roost. Richie Evans tried his best but had to settle for second. It was reported that 1972 Indy 500 winner Mark Donohue had passed away after a three hour brain operation in Austria. His injuries and ultimate death resulted from injuries received during a practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Forty years ago in 1980, Tony Siscone was the winner at New Egypt on Wednesday night. John Blewett JR finished second with Alan Harbach, third. At Stafford on Friday, Ronnie Bouchard won a close one over John Rosati and Richie Evans. Bouchard went to Westboro on Saturday and got rained on. Evans went to Riverside where he won out over Ray Miller. At Shangri-La it was George Kent over Greg Sacks and at Thompson on Sunday, Bouchard continued his winning ways as he took the victory over Leo Cleary and Richie Evans. Other weekend winners included Kent at Spencer, Fred Harbach at Islip, Tim Mislin at Lancaster, Bob Potter at Waterford, Jim Hendrickson at Wall and John Rosati at Monadnock.
Thirty five years ago in 1985, Star Speedway ran the Modifieds on Wednesday with Jeff Fuller taking the win. At Stafford on Friday night, Brian Ross had the quick way around as he took a hotly contested win over Kenny Bouchard and Charlie Jarzombek. Mike Christopher was the SK winner. It was also on this night that someone stole the electronic drive on scales out of the infield when the officials weren’t looking. They were never found or recovered. At Waterford on Saturday, Dale Holdredge got one for the good guys as he beat out Richie Gallup and Kenny Bouchard. SJ Evonsion showed that he hadn’t forgotten his way around Riverside as he beat John Rosati to the stripe. Thompson ran a 100 lap-300 qualifier on Sunday. Richie Evans took the win over Jeff Fuller and Jim Spencer. With his win, Evans was guaranteed a pole starting position in the Thompson 300, which paid $10,000 to win. Other weekend winners were Billy Colton at Spencer, Wayne Anderson at Riverhead, Jerry Cranmer at Wall and Ronnie Bouchard at Seekonk.
Thirty years ago in 1990, Mike Christopher was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. At Waterford, Ted Christopher in the Ronnie Berndt No.54 won a 75 lap Race of Champions qualifier over Dennis Gada and Moose Hewitt. Riverside Park ran twin events with Richie Gallup and Tom Bolles sharing top honors and at Riverhead; Mike Ewanitsko won the 101 lap Charlie Jarzombek Memorial. Lou Lazzaro won his 106th career event at Fonda and Bugsy Stevens was the Pro Stock winner at Seekonk.
Twenty five years ago in 1995, Waterford ran on Thursday and on Saturday. Bert Marvin won the Thursday night event over Todd Ceravolo and Mike Gada. On Sat, Jeff Pearl took the win over Jim Broderick and Eric Berndt. Friday night at Stafford, Bo Gunning took the SK modified feature over John Anderson and Tony Sylvester. Point leader Bob Potter was extremely upset when he got dumped and put out of contention. At Waterford on Saturday night, Jeff Pearl took the modified win over Jim Broderick and Eric Berndt. John Brouwer JR won the late model event after Larry Cote and Phil Rondeau wrecked. At Riverside it was Brian Schofield over Steve Park and Dave Berube and at Riverhead, Don Howe took the win. The Featherlite Modified Tour was at Loudon. Mike Stefanik started dead last in the 40 lapper and made a determined charge to the front to pass Ted Christopher for the lead and eventual win in the closing stages. Tony Hirshman ended up second and was followed by Charlie Pasteryak and Rick Fuller. Dale Jarrett was the winner of a non-stop Busch Grandnational event at Michigan but was disqualified with an illegal intake manifold, giving the win to Mark Martin. Bobby Labonte was the Winston Cup winner. Robbie Crouch was the Busch North winner at Star and Jack Johnson sewed up his tenth track title at Fonda.
Twenty years ago, in 2000, Ted Christopher, in his first outing in the Gary Cretty No.25, took the pole and all but ran away with the Featherlite Modified Tour event run at Thompson on Thursday night. Jerry Marquis finished second with Reggie Ruggiero, third. During warm-ups, Rob Summers and Carl Pasteryak had their cars destroyed as NASCAR officials were not paying attention when they waved on of the cars to enter the track. Christopher also won the 30 lap SK modified event. Stafford rained out on Friday and Dennis Gada recorded his fifth win at Waterford on Saturday. Jeff Pearl finished second with Ron Yuhas JR, third. Ted Christopher has his potentially winning car destroyed after he ran over a wheel and crashed violently. It was also a year ago that Jimmy Blewett got his first ever win at Wall Stadium. In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Rusty Wallace took the win. Todd Bodine was the GN winner.
Fifteen years ago in 2005 Tony Hirschman cruised to a convincing win in the NASCAR New England Dodge Dealers 150 at the Thompson Speedway on Thursday night. Hirschman, the top time trialer, started seventh after the top ten redrew. Doug Coby, driving the Mansfield Ct. based No.77 of Curt Chase, started on the pole and led the first 80 laps before pitting. Coby ended up 14th after bad luck reared its ugly head. Ricky Fuller came from 18th to finish 2nd, his best finish in quite a while. Eric Beers started 19th and finished third. Mike Christopher had his best run to date in the Hills Enterprises No.79 as he took advantage of John Blewett III’s transmission problems in the late going. Blewett had only high gear. Rounding out the top five was Chuck Hossfeld. Sixth through tenth were Blewett III, Marquis, Tom Bolles, Donnie Lia and Dave Etheridge. Ted Christopher entered the event as the point leader but left in the runner-up spot, some 63 points in arrears. Christopher ended up 20th after experiencing a flat tire and an encounter with Tyler Haydt. Former series champion Mike Stefanik had one of those nights he would like to forget. Stefanik took a hard trip into the first turn wall after blowing a right rear tire on a lap 112 restart. In other Thursday night action at Thompson, Tom Cravenho ran away with the 30 lap Sunoco SK type Modified feature. Todd Ceravolo finished second with Ricky Shawn, third. Eric Bourgeois was the Mini Stock winner, Larry Barnett in the Sportsman div, Jeff Zuidema in the Late Models, Norm Wrenn in the Pro Stocks and Roger Larsen in the Thompson Modifieds.
Prior to the running of the Bud 150 at Thompson last Thursday NEAR Hall of Fame driver George Summers was honored for his many years as a driver, 1952 to 1983 with over 200 wins and numerous track championships. Summers paced the field in a Connie LaJoie Vega Modified that he had driven at Seekonk and Westboro. Summers had the distinction of winning the last race in which he drove which was the 1983 World Series at Thompson where he put the Art Barry No.21 in victory lane. Prior to pacing the field Summers received instructions on driving from George Savory!
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Kenny Horton took the win in the 40 lap SK Modified feature. Horton started third and after putting away Jeff Malave on the second lap, led the balance of the event to record the win. The first 29 laps went non-stop until the full moon syndrome kicked in which resulted in eight cautions for accidents. In the end, following Malave at the checker was Willie Hardie in the runner-up spot with Ted Christopher, third. Malave and Chuck Docherty rounded out the top five. Worth noting was the impressive run turned in by Jimmy Blewett who became the new hired gun for the Eddie Partridge Racing stable. In his first ever race at Stafford, Blewett finished an impressive sixth. Jim Peterson was the 30-lap Late Model winner and Andrew Durand was the Limited Late Model winner.
Waterford Speedbowl SK Modified competitor Diego Monahan was looking to become the first ever driver to win in all divisions at the shoreline oval. Rob Janovic had other ideas. Janovic went into no-mans land (the outside groove), on lap 19 of the 35 lap SK Modified feature, to take the lead and eventual win. Monahan, trying to protect his second place spot, ran Jeff Pearl into the turn three wall. That cost Monahan a top five finish as track officials put him to the back of the field. Ronnie Silk inherited second spot but had nothing for Janovic and had to settle for a runner-up finish. Dennis Gada, Rob Summers and Jay Miller rounded out the top five. Other winners were James Procaccini in the Sportsman, Allen Coates in the Late Models, Phil Evans in the Mini Stocks and Jason Palmer in the Legends.
It had been just about a year since Don Hawk came on the scene to oversee the Modifieds of NASCAR. After asking many in the Thompson pit area what they thought of his job performance the general conclusion is he has done what NASCAR has allowed him to do. It was a big plus that Hawk was instrumental in getting Martinsville back on the Schedule plus raising the purses. Television coverage of Modified Tour Series events never happened but it wasn’t his fault. He did try. The general overall attitude of competitors and officials was the best that it had been in many years. It was hoped that Hawk could convince his bosses at NASCAR headquarters to give him a broader range in which to operate. The Modifieds were and still are an extremely healthy division and should stay that way for many years to come. Needless to say NASCAR ended up canning Hawk and in his place went another company “Yes Man”. It must be noted that competitors were extremely unhappy that there would be a half hour hot dog break in the middle of this year’s Thompson 300.
Competitors in the southland got out of control which resulted in a bloody fight after a NASCAR-sanctioned Mini-Stock race at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC on August 13 which resulted in the indefinite suspensions of a driver and a car owner, NASCAR officials said. The victim, Maynard Peters, 47, was released Tuesday from Forsyth Medical Center after surgeries on his face and nose. He said he had 15 fractures in bones around his eyes and a broken nose, and that he wouldn’t be able to work or eat solid food for at least six weeks. In notices issued to driver Kris Bradley and car owner James Rupert Sink, NASCAR officials said that they were suspended for actions detrimental to stock-car racing, failure to follow directives from NASCAR officials and fighting. Jerry Cook, NASCAR’s competition administrator, said he was still gathering information from police and stadium officials. He said it was too early to say how long the suspensions would last. Winston-Salem police were also investigating Saturday’s fight, but no charges had been filed, police Lt. Bill Cobb said. Peters said their cars made contact during the first stadium-stock, Mini Stock race of the night, causing Bradley to spin out. The fight started because they disagreed on who was at fault. Peters said he remembered about four men kicking and stomping on his head outside the Bowman Gray field house, where drivers collect their money when the races are finished. Sink had been involved in a racetrack fight before. He was convicted in Forsyth District Court in 2004 of misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury after he and other drivers were involved in a fight with driver Gary Brewer on Aug. 21, 2004. Brewer had a broken finger and cuts on his face, court papers said. Winston-Salem Speedway Inc. runs NASCAR-sanctioned racing on Saturday evenings during the summer at the Bowman Gray Stadium, which is owned by the city of Winston-Salem in North Carolina.
The New London Day reported that one of the major partners in New England Raceway LLC, which is proposing to build a $343 million auto racetrack in Plainfield, Ct, is embroiled in a stock-trading controversy involving another corporation. Gilbert Rossomando of Milford, who along with principal partner Eugene Arganese has promoted the racetrack development, was listed as a director and officer of Host America, a Hamden Ct-based company that was the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and the target of several lawsuits. Host America, which trades as CAFE on the Nasdaq exchange, has experienced a dramatic rise and fall. For most of its 19 years, it primarily operated as a food-service provider for schools, companies and government programs such as Head Start and Meals on Wheels. Recently, it has branched out into energy conservation.
Ten years ago in 2010, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made its third of four appearances at the Stafford Motor Speedway. There were 30 Modifieds on hand for the 150 lap Town Fair Tire 150 that carried a purse of $82,476. Ron Silk, who drives for Eddie Partridge was the pole sitter. The top six redrew for starting positions. Bob Grigas started the race on the pole with Erik Rudolph on the outside.
Todd Szegedy ended the longest non winning streak of his career when he won the Town Fair Tire 150 at Stafford. Szegedy, who had been winless since September 2008 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, took the lead from Mike Stefanik on Lap 100 en route to his 14th career win. It was the third triumph at Stafford for Szegedy, who led a race-high 54 laps. Stefanik finished second and Ron Silk third. It is the fifth-straight top-five finish for Silk, who earned the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day. Erick Rudolph and Ted Christopher rounded out the top five.
Eric Beers, Eric Goodale, Bobby Grigas III, Chuck Hossfeld and George Brunnhoelzl III completed the top 10. There were six caution periods, mostly for minor spins, for a total of 39 laps. In addition to Szegedy, lap leaders included Erik Rudolph, Doug Coby, Ron Silk and Mike Stefanik.
Point leader Bobby Santos suffered a blown motor in the Mystic Missile that brought out a red-flag for cleanup on Lap 100 and ended his day early. As a result, the 67-point advantage he brought into the race on Christopher was narrowed to just six. Stefanik remained third in the standings, 56 points out of first.
Conspicuous by their absence was James Civali and the Roger Hill No.79 who were at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC qualifying for a Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series event that was held on Saturday night.
The Thompson International Speedway fell victim to heavy rain plus thunder and lightening on Thursday night
The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted their regular Friday night divisions in addition to the Whelen Modified Tour. Woody Pitkat won his second race of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Michael Bennett romped to his second Late Model feature win of 2010 in the 30-lap feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his fourth consecutive and sixth overall win of 2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dan Flannery scored his fifth win of the 2010 season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders picked up his first victory of the 2010 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Keith Rocco was hoping to move closer to sewing up the NASCAR National title but his hopes were dampened as he failed to finish. Rocco spun with a tire rub to bring the caution out with 37 laps complete and ended up 15th in the final tally. Rocco needed three more wins to clinch the title.
In action on the Connecticut shoreline at the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco got a little closer to his goal as he beat out Todd Ceravolo for the SK Modified win on Saturday night. Rocco would need two more wins to sew up the coveted national title. Rich Staskowski recorded his first career win in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race. Al Stone III won his third Street Stock division event of the year to keep pace in the championship standings. Louis Bellisle doubled up the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock field, winning his second consecutive race, while teenager Anthony Flannery won his 14th Legends Cars race this season but first since July 3rd.
In the SK Modified main event Ceravolo made a move to the outside of Rocco headed into turn three of the final lap. He was able to pull alongside in a sprint to the finish out of turn four. Ceravolo fell a half-car length short at the checkered flag, while Rocco recorded his second consecutive and ninth Speedbowl win of the season. Rob Janovic, Tom Abele and Jeff Paul completed the top five.
The Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem North Carolina hosted the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour on Saturday night. LW Miller used his bumper to take the lead from Burt Myers and went on to record his first victory in the Strutmasters.com 199. Miller, the 2007 Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, registered his first tour victory since 2008. He won for the 11th time overall on the tour, matching Brian Loftin’s record of 11 career wins. With 16 laps to go, Miller put the bumper to Myers with a tap in the North turn. Myers slipped and the rest was history. “Bump and Run” is an acceptable practice there.
Myers took the lead on the 36th lap from younger brother Jason Myers, who started last night’s 199-lap main event from the pole position. He successfully held off Miller in four double-file restarts after cautions, but knew, with 25 laps to go, that his lead was in jeopardy. Miller’s car was getting better, and Myers’ worse. Myers hung on for second, John Smith finished third, Jason Myers fourth and Andy Seuss fifth. With his victory, Miller climbed past James Civali as the leader in tour standings after five races. Civali finished 13th, 16 laps down, at the finish.
Congratulations to Kenny Barry who scored his second career win Saturday night with the Northeast’s Modified Racing Series, sponsored by BobValentiAutomall.com, at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME. Barry became the tenth different winner in eleven races and the fifth different winner of the “Beech Ridge 100.” Series point leader, Jon McKennedy, took the lead from pole-sitter Jacob Dore, on lap three and set the pace for the next 63 laps before being passed by Barry. Barry led the final 33 laps to pick up the win, the first for his father, noted car builder Art Barry.
For the second race in a row Dwight Jarvis finished second followed by Mike Holdridge, Todd Annarummo and Les Hinckley III. Sixth through tenth were Max Zachem, Rowan Pennink, David Pinkham, Jack Bateman and Eddy Spiers.
Juan Pablo Montoya erased 113 races of futility Sunday, winning a duel with Marcos Ambrose and the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Montoya, who started third, pulled away on a late restart from Ambrose, his biggest challenger all day, and beat Kurt Busch by 4.7 seconds in the 90-lap race around the 11-turn, 2.45-mile layout.
Marcos Ambrose started from the pole for the first time at Watkins Glen International, dominated the Nationwide Zippo 200 on Saturday and won the race for the third straight time. He led 60 of 82 laps, had a perfect driver rating of 150, and beat Joey Logano by 2.8 seconds.
Speedway Motorsports let the cat out of the bag when they announced that they were taking the spring Sprint Cup race from Atlanta and moving it to the Kentucky Speedway. New Hampshire’s two dates appeared to be saved.
Five years ago in 2015, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway at the Thompson Motorsports Park on Wednesday for the Bud “King of Beers” 150, the tenth race in the fifteen-race season for the tour. Doug Coby used true grit and sheer determination to win the event. Coby was the second fastest of the 30 cars on hand. Patrick Emerling was the fastest and was the Coors Lite Pole sitter.
Emerling led the field to the start but his glory at the front was short lived. Donnie Lia, who started fourth, was on the move as he took over the top spot on the backstretch of lap six. As Emerling began to fade, Coby began to move as he planted himself on Lia’s bumper on lap 8. Coby dove under Lia in turn three on lap 14 to take the lead. The first of seven cautions flew on 18 when the about to be lapped Melissa Fifield spun in turn four and almost trashed the front runners who were closing in on her. Earlier in the evening during qualifying Fifield found herself dead last in 30th spot some 7.93mph off the pole speed of 120.00mph.
The field restarted and took the green on lap 21 with Coby on cruise control, clearly the dominate car. Ted Christopher moved into second with Woody Pitkat, third and Lia, fourth. The second caution flew on lap 31 when Craig Lutz spun in turn four and ended up stalled on the infield grass. The field went back to green on lap 35 with Coby out front with Lia moving into the second spot and Christopher slipping to third, Chase Dowling fourth and Woody Pitkat, fifth. Pitkat moved up a spot on lap 36. The third caution flew on lap on lap 40 when Dave Salzarulo hit the wall in turn four. The green flew on lap 45 with Coby on the point followed by Todd Szegedy who moved into second. Christopher slipped to third with Pitkat, fourth. Jeff Goodale spun in turn three on lap 85 for the fourth caution. Coby led the entire field to the pit area. Some got gas while some took on new tires.
Chase Dowling, who didn’t pit, led the field to the start on lap 191. At the drop of the green Dowling didn’t go and Coby did. It took four laps for NASCAR to make a decision that they felt that Coby jumped the restart. Coby was black flagged which meant a stop and go penalty in the pit area.
Coby was saved by the bell as the caution flew on lap 85 when Shawn Solomito. He was penalized for potentionally bringing out the caution. Coby pitted but emerged in front of the pace car which actually put him a lap on the field. Coby was then held at the start-finish line in order to let the field by which placed him at the raer of the lead lap cars. Coby had a few choice words for NASCAR while talking to his crew on the radio.
Christopher assumed the lead when the green was finally displayed on lap 102 with Eric Goodale and Szegedy in tow. In a “Hammer Down” style Coby was on the move. By lap 110 he was tenth and by lap 115 he was eighth. By then Pitkat had moved into second. The caution flew again on lap 124 when Christopher recieved a tap in turn four which sent him into the turn four wall. NASCAR felt the contact was a “Racing Deal” and took no action against Pitkat. Pitkat led the restart on lap 129 with Segedy second, Ryan Preece, third and Eric Goodale, fourth, Lia, fifth and Coby, sixth. By lap 134, Coby was fourth. The caution flew on lap 135 for Derek Randstrom who spun on the front stretch. The green was displayed with ten laps to go with Pitkat leading over Szegedy, Eric Goodale and Coby. One lap later Coby turned up the wick as he surged by the top three in a brilliant and calculated move as he resumed the lead.
At the finish it was Coby over Pitkat and Szegedy. Eric Goodale and Lia rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Preece, Emerling, Justin Bonsignore, Christopher and Timmy Solomito. Emerling scored his first career Modified feature win at the Lancaster Speedway in up-state New York on Saturday night as he captured the 110-lap feature. Emerling inherited the lead for good on lap 76 when Matt Hirschman pitted under caution for tires. He led the final 34 laps and survived a late-race challenge from Chuck Hossfeld to secure the victory.
In other racing at Thompson on Wednesday night, Jeff Rocco who has won three Late Model features in a row made it a special night as he donated his entire winner’s purse to Chase Bennett in his fight against leukemia. Rocco won the race handily after relinquishing the lead nine laps into the event with Keith Rocco finishing second. The Sunoco Modified Series saw a trio of familiar names run up front as Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat and Keith Rocco finished first through third respectively with strong showings all around. Preece took the lead early while Pitkat and Rocco worked their way up from outside the top five and took advantage of their well handling cars and a few cautions to move their way through the field.
Preece said he used the opportunity to race in the Sunoco Modified at Thompson prior to the Whelen Modified Race by trying different grooves on the racetrack and was happy to come away with the win. “I didn’t know which lane to go on the restart and as racers we try to play games. I just knew what was on the top and then on the bottom it was just a little bit of contact going into three there, and then I don’t know if it knocked the toe in but it just really snugged my car quite a bit there. I was happy we didn’t have any cautions because I know those guys were pretty good behind me – We’re just happy it went green to the end and we were able to pull that win off.” rounding out the top five were Kerry Malone and Bert Marvin. Ryan Morgan finished sixth with a bent rim thanks to Bert Marvin.
Dave Trudeau took the win in the Monster Mini Stocks and John Zych, Jr. claiming his third victory of the season in the NEMA Midgets.
In a combined effort FANSCHOICE .TV and VictoryLaneradio .com did an outstanding job of web casting the event. The crowd was not affected at all. Looks like the management of the Stafford Motor Speedway shot themselves in the foot as they banned these web casts. Track manager Josh Vanada stated ” We are talking with NASCAR to do one more event this season.”
At the Stafford Motor Speedway last Friday night it was Ingersoll Rand contingency night with bonuses going to the winners of the SK Modified®, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock features. Ronnie Williams took his fifth win of the year in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn collected his seventh win in the Late Model feature, Payton Henry scored his second win in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost took down his second win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano won for the second time this year in the DARE Stock feature, and Teddy Hodgdon was a career first time winner at Stafford in the Legend Cars feature.
In the SK Modified 40 lap feature Williams got around Ryan Preece to take over the lead on lap-26 while Todd Owen got out of shape behind them, allowing Woody Pitkat and Rowan Pennink to both get by as Owen fell back to fifth. Keith Rocco was right on Owen’s bumper in sixth with Williams and Preece beginning to distance themselves from the pack. Pennink went by Pitkat to move into third with 12 laps to go and nearly a full straighaway gap to make up in order to close in on the lead duo of Williams and Preece.
With 5 laps to go, Pennink was slowly reeling the two leaders in as Preece was staying right on Williams’ back bumper and he was looking high and low for a place where he might be able to make a pass for the lead. The opportunity for Preece never materialized as Williams led him back to the checkered flag to pick up his fifth win of the 2015 season. Pennink finished third, with Rocco and Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
Stafford as well as Thompson and Waterford were feeling the pinch of the current economy as they both drew 16 cars for the SK Modified events. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl drew 18 cars for their SK Modified program
Whelen Modified Tour Series car owner Eddie Partridge consummated the deal that put the Riverhead Raceway in his name after plunking down a cool$4-million Friday morning to Barbara and Jim Cromarty. Partridge, who also owns TS Haulers in Calverton, New York, said that current track general manager John Ellwood would remain in control, and will help run the track along with Partridge’s nephew, Tom Gatz. And for the present time, they would be running Riverhead Raceway at its current location. Although that could change a few years down the road. Partridge alluded to the fact that he would someday like to build a speedway on the former Grumman property in nearby Calverton. In the mean time it will be racing as usual at Riverhead.
Web site Long Island Jam reported the Partridge’s own Hoosier Tire of Calverton which supplies tires at Riverhead Raceway along with the fuel and TS Haulers Racing which fields a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car for driver Ryan Preece and say their up for the challenge of owning a racetrack. “This is all new to us. Like the Cromarty’s they didn’t know anything about racing and all of a sudden they owned a racetrack,” Ed Partridge said, “We know about racing, we’re just going to come in here, clean the place up, try to make it more friendly to the families and the kids and go about it that way.” The Partridge’s nephew Tom Gatz and current track GM John Ellwood are also looking forward to 2016 and the future of Riverhead Raceway. “We’re very excited, I’m excited to be working with John [Ellwood] as well and excited about what the future is going to be here at the raceway and we’re really looking forward to it” Gatz said.
Saturday at Riverhead Raceway car owner Carl Zeh was posthumously inducted into the Riverhead Wall of Fame along with drivers Mike Ewanitsko and Robin Vollmoeller.
In NASCAR Modified action at the Long Island east end oval Ryan Preece scored his fourth win over Tom Rogers JR and Kyle Soper.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC the historic venue ran it’s 1000th NASCAR event. In celebration track management admitted women for $2.00 each. Close to a capacity crowd witnessed the event. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison was the starter for the first 50-lap race, and Burt Myers came all the way from 12th to defeat his brother Jason. And Dean Ward won his second race of the year, defeating Jason Myers.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series suffered a major setback when Richard Savory, one of the series top competitors announced that he was all done with the series. Savory stated that series owner has gone too far with his late and somewhat cloudy decisions. He cited too much lag time in making calls and decisions. A strong rumor being circulated at Thompson was that Bruton Smith was considering moving one of the New Hampshire Sprint Cup dates to Las Vegas in the near future.
In regular weekly action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Ted Christopher took the SK Modified win over Rob Janovic Jr. Diego Monahan. Keith Rocco and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five. Christopher took the lead with 30 laps remaining in the SK Modified feature. Keith Rocco kept rolling along as he continued to build on his record setting feature win total. Rocco recorded a win in the Late Model division 50 lapper at the shoreline oval bringing his track win total to 116 wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 204 wins which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways. It was the eighth victory in 10 Late Model division starts this year for Rocco.
Other Saturday night winners were Al Stone III won the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature. Ken Cassidy Jr. took the top spot in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
In NASCAR Sprint cup racing at the Michigan Speedway, Matt Kenseth started in the lead, stayed there for most of the race and finished with his third Sprint Cup victory of the season Sunday, beating Kevin Harvick by 1.7 seconds. Regan Smith bumped his way past Alex Tagliani in the Carousel a turn from the finish Saturday to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Last year, 2019 In regular weekly action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ronnie Williams was the winner of the SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray won the Late Model feature, Mark Bakaj won the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie won the Limited Late Model feature, and Meghan Fuller won the Street Stock feature, her third of the year.
In the SK Modified 40 lapper, Williams got a good run to the inside of Marcello Rufrano on lap-31 and he took second with a pass going into turn 3. Williams was right on Mike Christopher’s back bumper as they completed lap-33 with Rufrano, David Arute, Keith Rocco, Glen Reen, and Michael Gervais lined up behind them. Williams was looking high and low and he made a move to the inside of Christopher in the middle of turns 3+4 to take the lead on lap-35. Christopher came right back with a crossover move to retake the lead on lap-36.
The two leaders took the white flag with Christopher leading Williams into turn 1. Williams got a good run through the first two corners and as the cars headed into turn 3 Williams sent it in deep to the inside of Christopher and the two cars touched with Williams coming off turn 4 to take the checkered flag by a nose in front of Christopher with Rufrano nearly making it a 3-wide finish. Arute finished fourth with Reen rounding out the top-5. Rocco finished sixth. Point leader Todd Owen was eliminated on lap 2 when he got into the turn 3 wall and came to pit road with heavy damage to his right front suspension.
In the SK Lite 20 lapper, Mark Bakaj was able to beat Puleo to the checkered flag by a half car length to pick up his second win of the 2019 season. Bakaj received a gift from Bryan Narducci who had a transmission go sour on a restart while leading. Steven Chapman finished third with Mikey Flynn and Robert Bloxsom rounding out the top-5. Chapman’s car was found to be 2 pounds underweight in post race inspection and he was penalized two positions back to fifth, promoting Flynn to third and Bloxsom to fourth.
After 100 laps of ground-pounder action, it was Anthony Nocella taking down the win in the Thunder in the Mountains 100 at White Mountain Motorsports Park, along with the $3,500 going to the victor in the inaugural Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge presented by RaceChoice. Nocella, who started on the pole, got around Woody Pitkat with 32 laps to go and didn’t look back. Behind Nocella was Mike Willis in second. Andy Jankowiak was third, followed by Richard Savary and Kirk Alexander. The event drew a light field of 11 cars.
On the east end of Long Island, A near capacity crowd turned out for the I Love America Night program at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night. When the 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature event was checkered former three time champion John Fortin Sr. earned his 33rd career victory tying him with Chris Young for 4th on the all time win list. In a twist of irony the driver Fortin had to ward off for his first win of 2019 would be Chris’s son Christopher Young. Second generation driver Chris Young would again settle for runner-up money in his Riverhead Building Supply Chevy and noted afterwards looking over at Fortin in victory lane, “that’s it, he’s cut off. He tied my Dad but no more” the youngster said with a laugh. Enjoying a solid season John Baker was third in his Elite Towing entry while championship leader Kyle Soper and Tom Rogers Jr. completed the top five. Rogers trimmed 19 points off Soper’s championship lead between the heat race and feature points on the night and now trails the defending champion by 60 markers.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium twin 50s were run for the Modifieds. Brandon Ward won the first 50-lap Modified race after regaining the lead with seven laps remaining. Ward picked up his third win of the season after defeating Tim Brown, Jonathan Brown and Jason Myers.
John Holleman IV, who was making his Modified debut after being a fixture in the Sportsman Series, qualified fourth and drew the pole. Holleman trailed Ward with 12 laps left, but he slipped past Ward for the lead. The lead was short-lived after Ward went past Holleman just five laps later. Jonathan Brown won the second 50 lapper. Danny Bohn finished second in the nitecap.
Austin Cindric raced to his second straight NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday, holding off Christopher Bell at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 20-year-old Cindric won the previous week on the road course at Watkins Glen.
Kevin Harvick raced to the 47th NASCAR Cup victory of his career and his second in less than a month Sunday, pulling away from the pack to win at Michigan International Speedway for the second straight year. Late in the race, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver created a cushion between his Ford and the competition and finished more than a second ahead of Denny Hamlin. Kyle Larson was third, more than 16 seconds behind Harvick. He was followed by Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez and points-leader Kyle Busch. Ryan Preece finished a strong seventh.