RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: First Week Of August
Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1946, Babe Stein and Bill Randall scored Midget wins at Seekonk.
Seventy years ago in 1951 Billy Tibbert and Ray Delisle were the weekly Modified winners at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter and Ed McAvoy were the Claiming Car winners. Seekonk fell victim to rain.
Sixty five years ago in 1956 it rained on Wednesday at Waterford. Saturday night saw Johnny Sandberg take the 25 lap Modified victory at the shoreline oval. Freddy Luchesi won a 200 lap Sportsman event at Seekonk. Lenny Brown was victorious at Old Bridge.
Sixty years ago in 1961 Dick Beuregard was the Wednesday night winner at Waterford. Ted Stack was the 50 lap Modified winner on Saturday. Billy Clarke was the Class A winner at Seekonk. Norwood Arena saw Hop Harrington in victory lane over Eddie Flemke and Fats Caruso. At Old Bridge, Wally Dallenbach was the top dog. Jack Hart won a grueling 500 lapper at Islip over Johnny Rocco, Al DeAngelo and Eddie Flemke.
Fifty five years ago in 1966 Rene Charland scored his third win of the year at Catamount on Thursday night. Steady Eddie Flemke, the master of the short tracks, took the Friday night win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Flemke led a New England sweep of the top five with the exception of Lou Lazzaro who finished fourth. Pete Hamilton finished second with Elton Hill, third. Rounding out the top five was Dick Dixon. Pete Corey made it two in a row on the dirt at Stafford. Lazzaro won at Fonda on Saturday night over Bill Wimble and Pete Corey. Lee Osborne won at Lancaster. Charlie Webster made it two in a row at the Waterford Speedbowl. Jerry Gladue was the Bomber winner and Jiggs Beetham was victorious in the Daredevils. Deke Astle was the Class A winner at Seekonk. Bugsy Stevens scored his first ever win at Norwood. Sunday night action at the Utica-Rome Speedway was rained out. Down in the southland at the South Boston Speedway Ray Hendrick won a 150 lap Modified event
Fifty years ago in 1971, Ken Cannestrari was the Friday night winner at Malta as he held off Fred DeSarro, Bugsy Stevens and Ed Pieniezak for the win. In NESMRA action at Thompson Don MacClaren took the win. Saturday night at Stafford belonged to Fred DeSarro as he put the Ole Blu of Len Boehler in victory lane. Gene Bergin finished second and was followed by Bugsy Stevens and Hop Harrington. At Fonda, young upstart Jack Johnson took on the veterans and came out on top for the win. Maynard Forette finished second and was followed by Kenny Shoemaker and Jerry Cook. Bob Potter got his fourth win of the season at the Waterford Speedbowl. Mark Geer finished second with Joe Trudeau, third. Eddie Hoyle was the Class A winner at Seekonk. Many of the top guns in modified racing headed for the Pocono Raceway on Sunday. Bryan Osgood was the eventual winner over Fred DeSarro and Chuck Boos. The big story of the day was the fact that Dick Armstrong brought a virtually unknown driver to wheel the former Tant/ Mitchell coupe that he had purchased and if not for a blown engine, would have stole the thunder of the day. Virtually unknown outside of Seekonk and Westboro, Ronnie Bouchard started dead last in the consolation event, won that, and after starting in the tail end of the 40 car starting field, worked his way to the front. Even with a dnf, the Kid from Fitchburg “made his bones” and served notice that he would be one to reckoned with in the future. In other Sunday action, Utica-Rome ran on Sunday night with Dave Lape taking the win over Ralph Holmes and Ray Sitterly. At the Fulton Raceway Bob Merz won in the Modifieds and Ken Andrews in the Supermodifieds.
Forty five years ago in 1976, the Yankee All Star League visited Thompson on Wednesday night. Geoff Bodine, who had been winning just about everything in sight, added another victory to his ever growing list. In fact, Bodine ended up going three for three on the weekend as he won a 100 lapper at Stafford on Saturday night and the regular small block modified 30 lapper at Thompson on Sunday night. Fred DeSarro finished second at Thompson on Wednesday with Ronnie Bouchard, Leo Cleary and Kenny Bouchard rounding out the top five. At Stafford it was the same story, DeSarro and Bouchard with Eddie Flemke and John Rosati rounding out the top five. Flemke shuffled the mix on Sunday as he finished second and was followed by DeSarro, Rosati and Moose Hewitt. Fred Harbach went two out of three for the weekend as he won at New Egypt on Thursday night and a 200 lapper at Islip on Saturday night. Charlie Jarzombek was the spoiler as he won a 100 lap Trenton qualifier at Riverhead on Friday. Waterford suffered their fourth rainout of the season on Saturday night. Seekonk also fell victim to rain.
Forty years ago in 1981, Monadnock ran an 81 lapper on Wednesday night. Despite a light field of 19 cars, the racing was good. Richie Evans took the win over Allen Whipple, Ray Miller and Dennis Albro. Friday night at Stafford, Ray Miller put the Mike Greci No.01in victory lane after Reggie Ruggiero lost a clutch in the closing laps. John Rosati brought the Tuck Hoffman No.73 home in second spot and was followed by Kenny Bouchard and Richie Evans. Glynn Shafer, in the Ron Yuhas No.6 won the 30 lap Thompson 300 qualifier at Waterford on Saturday night. Westboro ran a Race of Champions qualifier, also on Saturday with Gomer Taylor taking the win and guaranteed spot. Ray Miller made it two in a row as he took top honors at Riverside as he beat out Richie Evans for the win. Thompson had their ROC qualifier on Sunday and it was Evans beating out Bugsy Stevens and George Summers for the win. Other weekend winners were Jerry Cook at Spencer, Bugsy Stevens and Mike Murphy at Seekonk and Tommy Ellis over Geoff Bodine in a Grandnational event at South Boston. Don and Randy LaJoie again dominated the competition at Danbury as Don took the Modified main and Randy, the Sportsman main.In Winston Cup action at Michigan, Talladega 500 winner Ronnie Bouchard was the Busch Pole sitter but fell by the wayside at the half way mark with a blown engine. Richard Petty was the eventual winner.
Thirty five years ago in 1986, the Featherlite Modified Tour was at Riverhead for a Wednesday night 150 lap event. It was a good night for the Long Island Gang as they ruled the roost. Tom Baldwin took the lead at the start and kept the point until getting trapped by a lapped car which allowed Mike Ewanitsko to slip by and take the lead on lap 80.Ewanitsko led until lap 119 when he got loose and Riverhead regular Dan Jivenelli took the top spot. Jivenelli led the rest of the way to the finish and was followed by Jim Spencer, Reggie Ruggiero,Jeff Fuller and George Kent. The Manchester Oil Heat 100 at Stafford on Friday night was rained out but not before the SK event was run with Jeff Fuller taking the win. Reggie Ruggiero won the Thompson 300 qualifier at Riverside where it was announced that Race Director Gene Murphy had passed away after suffering a heart attack. In other Saturday night action, Bob Potter won his sixth of the season at Waterford over Ed Flemke Jr and Larry Ross. On Sunday, Oswego ran a 75 lapper, which saw Brian Ross take the win over Greg Sacks and Jamie Tomaino. Other weekend winners included George Kent at Spencer and Shangri-La, Bob Park at Riverhead, Leo Cleary at Seekonk and Kerry Malone at Thompson. In Winston Cup action at Watkins Glen, Tim Richmond took the win after Geoff Bodine lost an engine
Thirty years ago in 1991, racing at Stafford on Friday night rained out. On Saturday night, Don Bunnell put his family owned modified in victory lane at Waterford. The Bunnells had been active in racing at Waterford since the early 1950’s. Jerry Marquis won his fifth main event at Riverside, which also was a Race of Champions qualifier. Ed Kennedy finished second. At Riverhead, Mike Ewanitsko and Don Howe finished one-two in the Charlie Jarzombek 76 lapper. Winston Cup star Ken Schrader paid a visit to Seekonk where he won the headline Pro Stock event. On Sunday, the Busch North Series and the Featherlite Modifieds shared top billing at Thompson. Ricky Craven beat out Tony Hirschman for the Busch North Series event and Jeff Fuller took top honors in the modified event. Mike Ewanitsko finished second with Mike Stefanik, third. On a sad note, long time Winston Cup independent racer, J. D. McDuffie was killed in a head on crash with a wall at Watkins Glen.
Twenty five years ago in 1996, Lloyd Agor was the Friday night SK modified winner at Stafford. Curt Brainard finished second with Steve Chowanski, third. On Saturday night at Waterford, veteran Bob Potter recorded his 96th career win at the shoreline oval. Jim Broderick finished second and was followed by Phil Rondeau and Eric Berndt. The modified tour was at Riverhead for a 201 lapper. Mike Stefanik took the lead from Tim Connolly on lap 178 and cruised on to victory. Connolly ended up in second spot and was followed by Steve Park, Charlie Pasteryak and Tony Hirschman. In other Saturday night action, Dave Berube scored his first modified win, that coming at Riverside Park
Twenty years ago in 2001 Ted Christopher scored his seventh and eighth wins in twin events run at Thompson on Thursday night. Bert Marvin scored two runner-up finishes. During one of the many wrecks in the first feature Jim Broderick suffered a broken arm which would put him out of action for the remainder of the season. Michael Boehler scored his first win as a Featherlite Modified Tour Series car owner when Jerry Marquis took the win at Chemung on Friday night. Marquis took the lead from Reggie Ruggiero who lost his brakes on lap 145 of the 157-lap event. Car owner Garry Cretty was extremely unhappy when Ted Christopher chose to run the Stafford Speedway instead of going to Chemung. It was a moot point as Stafford rained out. Mark LaJunesse beat out Ron Yuhas and Jay Miller for top honors at Waterford on Saturday night. At Riverhead, Donnie Lia scored his first ever-modified win. In Busch North Series action at Watkins Glen, Ted Christopher was the fastest and the favorite to win until he broke two panhard bar bolts. Tom Carey was the eventual winner. In Winston Cup action at the Glen, Jeff Gordon made it look easy as he recorded his 57th career win on NASCAR’s elite circuit.
Fifteen years ago in 2006, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Somewhere up in the heavens the late Jack Arute had an ear-to-ear smile. His track was packed with fans, the pits were jammed with Modifieds and the New England Dodge Dealers 150 was one of the best Modified races in many moons. James Civali, who has nothing but the highest respect for the elder Arute, took the win after battling side by side and nose to tail with Reggie Ruggiero. Despite a night that had a hint of fall in the air the action was hot and heavy. A last lap desperation move by Ruggerio took him out of the runner-up spot and placed him ninth in the final rundown. Ruggerio felt that Civali was using too much track and put the bumper to the rear of the Don King owned mount. Ruggerio then spun to the infield and opened up the second spot to Kenny Barry who went on to record his best ever finish. Ditto for Chris Pasteryak and Matt Hirschman who finished third and fourth. Mike Stefanik rounded out the top five.
There were 41 NASCAR Whelen Modifieds on hand for the third of four events scheduled for the Stafford Speedway in 2006. Tony Hirschman, who was the Busch Pole sitter, led the first 72 laps of the event when he appeared to take himself out of the event after “playing games” on a restart with Civali. Hirschman ended up 21st. Sixth through tenth in the final rundown were Todd Szegedy, Ed Flemke, Zach Sylvester, Ruggiero and Tom Bolles. Based on the fact that Ted Christopher finished in 22nd spot, Mike Stefanik was able to stretch his point lead to 101.
Ken Horton won the SK Modified event over Chris Jones and Ted Christopher. Jim Peterson picked up his second Late Model feature win of 2006, Brit Andersen was a winner for the third consecutive week in the SK Light feature, Rob Dow took his first career Limited Late Model feature win, and Raymond Grassetti took his first DARE Stock feature win of the 2006 season.
The Thompson Speedway fell victim to rain. Before the rains came Jeff Malave and Jimmy Blewett took down heat race wins. Other qualifying heat races winners included Kurt Vigeant in the TIS Modifieds and Mike Romano in the Mini Stocks. Ed Puleo and Kevin Bowe shared qualifying victories in the Limited Sportsman division.
It was a big night of racing at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday. Rob Janovic Jr. became the first three-time SK-Modified winner in the first SK-Modified feature, a make-up from a previous rainout. Janovic started on the outside pole and led every lap of the non-stop event. Point leader Dennis Gada took second with 11 laps to go and finished less than a car length behind. Diego Monahan was third. Shawn Monahan and Tommy Fox rounded out the top five.
Diego Monahan won for the second time in second 35-lap SK-Modified feature. Monahan held off Janovic and Gada for 17 laps in what was clearly the most exciting battle of the season. Monahan, who led the entire race, won a guaranteed spot in the heralded North South Shootout race in North Carolina in November. Chris Pasteryak and Shawn Monahan rounded out the top five. Last weeks SK Modified winner Jeff Paul recorded a 10th and a sixth.
Tim Jordan passed six cars on the outside including Glenn Colvin for the lead with eight left en route to his fifth Late Model victory. Mark St. Hilaire nipped Colvin for third with Dave Zemke and Larry Goss following.
Dwayne Dorr took over on lap 12, survived a restart with four laps remaining and went on to grab his ninth Sportsman feature of the season. Dorr and eventual runner-up Billy Gertsch Jr.ran side-by-side for several laps on either side of a mid-race restart. Point leader Richard Staskowski was third.
Chris Willliams won the Mini Stock race which was red checkered at the midpoint. Officials stopped the race after the 10th caution. The red/checkered ended a Williams/Bill Leonard battle.
Mark Bakaj beat back brother Chris on two restarts over the final five laps and went on to win the Legends feature. Jason Palmer, Michael Gervais Jr. and Aaron Drake completed the top five. Kevin Harvick passed Tony Stewart on the front straightaway with three laps to go Sunday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and stole a caution-plagued Nextel Cup race that had seemed to belong to pole-sitter Kurt Busch from the start. Kurt Busch held off Robby Gordon in a stirring last-lap duel Saturday to win the Busch Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
Ten years ago in 2011, The Stafford Motor Speedway played host to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series for the Town Fair Tire 150. The event drew 28 cars.
Ted Christopher recorded his 41st career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory amid rumors that his ride in the Ed Whelen No. 36 is in jeopardy. Christopher led the final 15 laps of the 150 lap grind after taking the lead from Mike Stefanik. Stefanik had nothing for the Stafford All-Time winner as he settled for the runner-up spot at the checkered flag. Bobby Santos finished third followed by Eric Beers and Eric Goodale. Sixth through tenth were Rowan Pennink, point leader Ron Silk, Eric Rudolph, Doug Coby and Jimmy Blewett.
The win was Christopher’s 11th tour win at Stafford, where he is a seven-time track champion in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He is the track’s wins leader over all divisions with 113 victories.
There were two caution periods for fourteen laps. The first yellow was displayed on lap 116 when Doug Coby and Todd Szegedy spun in turn four. Szegedy hit the wall as Coby went down in the dirt in the inside of the track. It appeared as though James Civali triggered the incident as got loose as the leaders were approaching him. Civali drove away. The second yellow was for Ron Yuhas who spun without incident.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature racing at Stafford, Keith Rocco recovered from a “Bump and Run” by Ted Christopher to take his third consecutive and sixth feature win of the 2011 season in the SK Modified® feature, J.J. Hill scored a dominating first win of 2011 by leading all 30 laps in the Late Model feature, Joey Cipriano nailed down his fourth win of 2011 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Duane Provost picked up his first career win in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Josh Wood beat his father Don to the checkered flag to record his third win of the 2011 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway Ryan Preece earned his second Sunoco Modified feature event win of the season holding back some strong competitors. Rick Fuller and Preece were locked in a heated battle for the top spot in the opening laps. With heavy pressure from Preece, Fuller held the spot for two circuits before giving way to the charge of Preece. By lap three, Keith Rocco had moved into third with Woody Pitkat and Danny Cates occupying the top five. On lap five, Fuller got a run on Preece but a lapped car impeded his progress. The veteran settled back in line in second. Fuller immediately had to contend with Rocco; who was all over the back bumper. The top five ran nose-to-tail in a high-speed freight train. Preece continued to show the way over Fuller, Rocco, Pitkat, and Cates.
During the long green flag run Cates began to fall back slightly. Fuller and Preece got away from Rocco by a single-car length. Pitkat ran in fourth several car lengths behind Rocco. The top-three began to break away from the pack with Preece holding back Fuller and Rocco. The lead trio continued to run together over the second half of the race. With five laps to go Rocco lost the lead duo. Fuller continued to dog Preece as Rocco faded back several car lengths behind. Fuller never lost the back bumper of Preece; but, could not muster up a real assault on the leader over the final laps.
It was one for the history books for Glenn Boss who scored his fiftieth career win at Thompson in the extra-distance spotlight event for the TIS Modifieds. For the second time this season, the O’Sullivan Brothers of Springfield, MA, shared victory lane at Thompson. Big brother Mike scored the victory in the Super Late Models with Tommy earning top honors in the Late Models. Shawn Monahan continued his domination in the Limited Sportsman division with his sixth win of the season. It was a convincing win for Chad Baxter of Pascoag, RI, in the Mini Stocks.
At the Waterford Speedbowl fans and competitors went away happy as the impending rain held off allowing the entire racing program to be run. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Rob
Janovic Jr. snapped a dry spell that dated back to August of 2009 to score his first win of the season in the SK Modified® division. In a special 50-lap Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Wayne
Helliwell Jr. took down the win. Al Stone won his second consecutive and fifth Street Stock race of the year, while defending track champion Ken Cassidy Jr. won his sixth Mini Stock feature on the year. Rob Richardi Jr. won the night’s visiting Pro Four Modifieds of New England feature.
Janovic started the 35-lap SK Modified® feature in third position, quickly moving up to second position in the opening lap behind Nichole Morgillo. Janovic wasted no time in his pursuit of the lead, diving underneath Morgillo on lap-3 in turn one to successfully take over the lead.
While Janovic went unchallenged to the win, Tyler Chadwick and Kyle James crossed the stripe in second and third position. Morgillo kept Keith Rocco at bay to take fourth over him at the checkered flag.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine. Like their big brothers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, car counts are suffering because of the economy as only 20 were on hand for the event. Mike Holdredge took a well earned win after taking the lead from Rowan Pennink on lap 57 of the 100 lap event. Pennink faded to fourth before being spun by Tony Ricci on lap 70. Pennink rallied and worked his way to the top five by lap 84 when he tangled with Steve Masse while fighting for third spot. Les Hinckley finished second and was followed by Dwight Jarvis, Tony Ricci and Joey Jarvis. Rounding out the top ten were Max Zachem , Louie Mechalides, Joe Doucette, Jacob Dore and Chris Pasteryak.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Justin Bonsignore made it two in a row in NASCAR Modified competition with another visit to victory lane this week in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing.
The Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC was in action for two nights last weekend, Friday and Saturday. The regular Saturday night racing program, twin 50 Modified events, was moved to Friday to make way for a NASCAR Southern Whelen Modified Tour event, 199 laps, on Saturday night. As usual, competitors roughed each other up as the “Bump and Run” is the accepted way of passing at the flat quarter mile oval. A tangle between Joseph “Bobo” Brown and Burt Myers in the first of two scheduled 50-lap Modified races ended with Jason Myers, Burt’s brother, coming out the loser. The winner turned out to be unrelated Tim Brown, who took the checkered flag. The second scheduled Modified race was canceled because of rain.
In Saturday night Whelen Southern Modified Tour action, LW Miller became the first driver to win a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Bowman Gray Stadium two years in a row with a victory Strutmasters.com 199. Last year, Miller took the lead from Burt Myers with 17 laps left and held on from there. This time, Miller didn’t wait so long as he took the lead from pole-winner and series leader George Brunnhoelzl just before the half-way mark and then held off Myers in the closing laps.
Sweeping both dirt track Modified races at historic Fonda (New York) Speedway on Wednesday evening, August 10, Brett Hearn, of Sussex, New Jersey, reached a career milestone, winning his 800th feature event race. Hearn’s total victories, garnered over a 37-year racing career, place him among the all-time winners in any form of American motorsports.
At Fonda, Hearn first won a holdover 30-lap feature race passing Alton Palmer on the final lap. He followed that victory by the n winning the 60-lap “Thunder on the Thruway” evening finale, this time out running Matt DeLorenzo. Hearn won a total of $9,000 for his two victories. The wins were Hearn’s tenth and eleventh of the 2011 season. His 800-win career record includes 471 Big-Block Modified victories, 327 in Small-Block Modified competition, and two United Racing Company (URC) sprint Car wins. A master of extra-distance races, Hearn has posted 330 (41 percent of all his wins) in races of 50 laps or longer.
Brad Keselowski went out and raced all 500 miles of the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway with a broken left ankle. Competing with a brace on his ankle, Keselowski sped off on the final restart late in the race to pick up his second victory of the season. Blinded by smoke billowing from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s car on the final lap, Carl Edwards slammed into his Roush Fenway Racing teammate and inadvertently pushed him to victory in a wild finish to the NASCAR Nationwide race at Newton, Iowa.
Five years ago in 2016, At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in front of a packed house, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was on hand with 25 cars for a 150 lapper. Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore were in the right place at the right time as leaders Doug Coby and Bobby Santos had fuel delivery problems on the closing laps. Coby, who led twice, first from the start to lap 12, then from lap 16 to lap 143, saw his vision of victory disappear when his car sputtered on lap 144 and totally quit one lap later. Santos suffered the same fate on lap 151, after slowing on lap 150. Justin Bonsignore led laps 150 and 151 before being overtaken by Blewett. Coby ended up 20th and Santos, 17th. Brendon Bock, Chase Dowling and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Ron Silk, Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito, Woody Pitkat and Craig Lutz.
If the fields of Modifieds continued to dwindle Melissa Fifield, who finished 22nd may finally break the top twenty. She completed 121 laps before being black flagged for going too slow. At that point she had been lapped 19 times!
Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano was a first time winner in his very first career SK Light start, Justin Bren won the Limited Late Model feature, and Ryan Fearn scored the DARE Stock feature win.
In the SK Modified feature, Pennink led Michael Gervais to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2016 season. Keith Rocco finished third with Danny Cates and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl their annual Wings & Wheels program on Saturday night. Jon McKennedy held off Richard Savary to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing feature in the main event. Tyler Chadwick topped the field in the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Cory DiMatteo was the winner of the SK Light Modified feature. John Zych Jr. won the 25-lap NEMA Midget feature. PJ Stergois was the winner in the NEMA Lite feature. Geoffrey Sutton won the 25-lap ATQMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature. Mike McVetta won the 50-lap ISMA SuperModified feature
In the VMRS 100, McKennedy, who started sixth in the 29-car field, rallied after being involved in a lap 32 crash that collected nearly half of the field. Ted Christopher spun as he exited turn two and ultimately collected 17 cars. Savary went to the lead by Woody Pitkat on lap 70 restart with McKennedy following him to second. Three laps later McKennedy went to the outside to take over the lead for good. Savary hung on to finish second with Woody Pitkat, third. Rounding out the top five was Mike Willis Jr and Dave Etheridge. Chris Pasteryak, Donnie Lashua, Geoff Gernhard, Brandon Dion, and Keith Rocco, rounded out the top ten.
In the 35 lap SK Modified feature, Chadwick picked up his second victory of the season. Ted Christopher finished second and Diego Monahan was third. Bo Gunning took the field to the green from the pole with Chadwick to his outside and the pair put on a show over the opening segment of the race. On lap 6, Chadwick edged Gunning out for the lead at the line, but the pair remained side-by-side in the lead battle.
With 20 laps left Gunning was able to get Chadwick to tuck in behind in second. A lap later slight contact between the two sent Gunning sliding sideways in turn two to bring out a caution and put Chadwick in the lead. On the ensuing restart it was Joey Gada getting by Adam Gada for second place with hristopher following to third place and Monahan to fourth. Caution flew again with 12 laps remaining and on the restart it was Christopher moving to second place past Joey Gada, with Monahan moving to third. But Chadwick was up to the task of keeping Christopher at bay over the final 10 laps. Christopher took one bumping shot at Chadwick on the final lap, but Chadwick held his line. Rounding out the top five was Joey Gada and Dennis Perry.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Defending NASCAR Modified champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and his team plotted out strategy Saturday afternoon in the pit area of Riverhead Raceway and when the night’s 40-lap feature event was over that game plan worked to perfection as Rogers won his first feature event of 2016 after starting last. It was only the 5th start of the season for Rogers who is on the road to recovery after some early season health concerns. Said Rogers, “we decided this afternoon (Saturday) instead of using up our tires in the heat race that I’d take the green and pull into the infield. We knew that would start us last but with a 13-car field we felt we could march towards the front”
In action at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in North Carolina Tim Brown and Burt Myers finished one-two in a rain shortened 100 lapper on Friday night. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour visited Bowman-Gray on Saturday night and ran the Strutmasters.com 199. Burt and Jason Myers finished one-two with Andy Seuss, third.
In NASCAR Sprint cup racing, Denny Hamlin came up one corner short of his first road course victory earlier this season at Sonoma Raceway, but on Sunday at Watkins Glen Int’l he made up for it by winning the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. Martin Truex finished second with Joey Logano, third. In Xfinity Series racing at Watkins Glen, Joey Logano won Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series from the pole, giving Team Penske its first XFINITY victory in what has been a disappointing season so far. The win in the Zippo 200 was the second straight at the 2.45-mile road course for the 26-year-old driver, who led 67 of 82 laps and drove his car to the limit, keeping teammate Brad Keselowski behind him until a broken track bar mount forced Keselowski’s No. 22 Ford out of the race after 79 laps.
Last year, 2020, The weekend was a busy one, at least in Connecticut and on Long Island. The Stafford Motor Speedway ran their Modified Open on Friday and their 5K SK Modified event on Saturday. In addition the New London-Waterford Speedbowl had its Grand re-opening on Saturday night and across Long Island Sound the Riverhead Raceway ran their regular weekly racing program.
At Stafford on Friday night, it was the Inaugural NAPA Auto Parts Open Modified 100 with tour style modifieds taking center stage for a 100-lap race around the Connecticut half-mile. Stafford’s Limited Late Models and Street Stocks were also in feature action. Keith Rocco took the checkered flag in the NAPA Auto Parts Open Modified 100 to become the first repeat winner of an open modified race at Stafford. Weekly wins were scored by Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature and Zack Robinson in the Street Stock feature.
Rocco recovered from a mid-race spin, as a result of a tire losing air, to take over the lead. Rocco pulled to the outside of Matt Galko and took the lead by a nose at the line to complete lap-86. Rocco cleared Galko on lap-87 with Mike Christopher Jr taking second. Galko fell back to third with Ron Silk fourth and Eric Goodale now in fifth.
With 5 laps to go it was still Rocco out front followed by Christopher, Galko, Goodale, Silk, Cam McDermott, Stephen Kopcik, Craig Lutz, Tommy Barrett, and Jeff Gallup. Rocco led the field to the checkered flag to win the NAPA Auto Parts Open 100. Christopher finished second with Galko, Goodale, and Silk rounding out the top-5.
The win was Rocco’s 70th at Stafford. His overall career total was 282 wins which also include 150 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl and 63 at Thompson.
On Saturday night it was the 6th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k, which paid the winner $5,000 out of a purse of over $27,000. Joining the SK Modifieds® in feature action were Stafford’s Late Models and SK Lights. Chase Dowling took the lead from Marcello Rufrano on lap-84 of the 100-lap NAPA SK 5k and pulled away from the competition to take the checkered flag and the $5,000 payday that goes with it. In other weekly feature action, Adam Gray came up a winner for the second consecutive week in the Late Model feature and Steven Chapman scored his first career victory in the SK Light feature.
In the 100-lap NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K feature event, Marcello Rufrano charged into the lead at the drop of the green by going around Matt Vassar. Rufrano withstood numerous restarts before giving way to Dowling. Once he took the lead, Dowling slowly stretched out his advantage over Owen and he took the checkered flag to join Ronnie Williams as the only 2-time winners of the NAPA SK 5k. Christopher finished third with Williams and Rufrano rounding out the top-5. Friday night’s SK Modified winner Keith Rocco was looking to make it two in a row but was involved in an early race spin which hampered the handling of his car. Rocco rallied to finish sixth. Rounding out the top ten were Noah Korner, Tony Membrino, Jr., Michael Gervais, Jr and Matt Vassar.
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl was reborn on Saturday night after being silent for close to two years. Bob Gelinas, a former Assistant Starter at the Speedbowl and at the Thompson Speedway was the honorary starter. Timmy Jordan took the top spot in the 35 lap SK Modified feature. Rob Janovic Jr. was second and Joey Gada third. Rounding out the top five were Joey Ternullo and Kyle James. Eleven SKs comprised the field. The field of cars is expected to grow this coming week as there will be no confliction with Stafford on Saturday night.
Jason Palmer was victorious in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Tyler Chapman was second and Ryan Lineham third. Glen Boss and Ryan Morgan rounded out the top five. Wayne Burroughs Jr. scored the win in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature. Todd Taylor was second and Paul LaPlante third.
Shawn Monahan won the 25-lap Street Stock feature. Ryan Waterman was second and Joe Arena third. It was Doug Curry taking the checkered in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature. Charles Canfield was second and Sean Caron third. Jordan Churchill took the top spot in the 25-lap Legends feature and Ken Cassidy won the Truck feature.
On the East end of Long Island, another first in the 70-year history at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night as Kyle Soper driving for Wayne Anderson scored his 17th career NASCAR Modified victory by being in the right place at the right time when the first and second place car came together with just three laps to go in the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series 50-lap feature event. What made the night historic was the seven division program was run off without and fans in the general admission seating due to Covid-19 restrictions. The race however was streamed on RiverheadRaceway.TV as a pay per view and the early returns were very positive in the joint venture with Speed Sport.
There was also Modified racing in the southland at the Franklin County Speedway in Calaway, Va. The Modifieds from Bowman Gray were invited to compete in twin events. Tim Brown won the opener and was followed by Burt Myers, Eddie Bohn, Jason Myers and James Civali. The second event fell victim of rain. As a statement of good will, the speedway management paid the second race purse to the finishers of the first event.
Kevin Harvick’s victory in Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway gave the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford team a weekend race sweep and a whole lot of momentum as the NASCAR Cup Series closes out its regular-season schedule at the end of this month.
Harvick’s win is a series-best sixth of the season and 55th of his career – placing the 44-year-old Californian in 10th on the NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list, tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. Harvick was able to pull away from the field on a restart with 30 laps remaining but had to hold off a charging Denny Hamlin in a duel between the series’ two winningest drivers in the final handful of laps. Ultimately Harvick took a .093-second win over Hamlin. Ryan Preece finished 16th.
July 22, 1972 Ronnie Bouchard made it two in a row at Stafford. Bobby Santos, who finished second to Eddie Flemke in a 200 lapper at Malta the night before scored another runner up finish. Fred DeSarro, Phil Spiak and Moose Hewitt rounded out the top five.