Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1947, Eddie Casterline was the Midget feature winner at Seekonk. Seventy years ago in 1952 Red Bolduc was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Harold “Curley” LeMay took the top spot in the Claiming Cars. Saturday night racing was rained out. The Midgets were running at Seekonk with Len Duncan taking the 50 lap win.
Sixty five years ago in 1957 rain washed out the action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Tex Ring was the winner at Islip on Long Island. Bobby Sprague was the Sportsman winner at Seekonk. At Old Bridge in New Jersey, Pete Frazee took the win over Don Stumph.
Sixty years ago in 1962, Ron Narducci made it two in a row on the dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Waterford ran a 50 lap Modified event on Tuesday which was won by Dick Beauregard and a 25 lap Modified event on Saturday night which was won by Ted Stack. Ed Gladue was the Bomber winner on both nights. Bill Slater continued on his record setting pace as he made it six in a row at Norwood. At Islip, Jim Hendrickson beat out Al DeAngelo for the win. George Tet finished third. Babe Brouillette was the Class A winner at Seekonk. At Old Bridge, Joe Kelly took the win over Eddie Flemke and Tommie Elliott. Kelly repeated on Memorial Day.
Fifty five years ago in 1967, the Stafford Speedway made the official transition from dirt to asphalt with the season opening 100 lapper for the NASCAR Modifieds. Smooth as silk asphalt along with new grandstands and fencing welcomed competitors and fans. Steady Eddie Flemke who was to become a modified legend in his own time took the victory over Pete Hamilton, Dick Watson, Bob Santos and Fred Harbach. With Stafford opening it drew some of the competitors away from the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Most of the New Yorkers were glad to see them go. When the checker dropped it was still a New Englander in the top spot as Ron Narducci took the win over Robbie Kotary, Guy Chartrand, Marcel Coriveau and Ernie Gahan. Dutch Hoag continued to win at Fulton and at Fonda Maynard Forette held off Bill Wimble and Dick Clark for the win. Charlie Webster took the 30 lap Modified feature at Waterford. Winston Barrows, who in later years would team up in a Modified effort with Craig Kirchoff and George Brennan won the 15 lap Daredevil feature at the shoreline oval. Saturday night at the Norwood Arena Eddie Flemke carried over his winning ways at Stafford to take the win. Leo Cleary finished second with Bob Melnick, third. Joe Rosenfield was the Class A winner at Seekonk. Sunday afternoon at Thompson Leo Cleary won a 100 lapper over Don MacTavish and Dick Dixon In Sunday night action at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Eddie Flemke made it three for three as took his second hundred lap feature win of the weekend over Dave Kotary and Kenny Shoemaker. Guy Chartrand and Bill Wimble rounded out the top five.
Fifty years ago in 1972, Friday night at Malta, Bugsy Stevens won a 100 lap double point event over Maynard Forette, Lou Lazzaro, Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Bouchard. Saturday night at Stafford saw Fred DeSarro take the win over Denis Giroux, Bob Santos and Gene Bergin. Islip also ran on Saturday night. Charlie Jarzombek took a 100 lap win over Art Tappen, Tom Baldwin and George Wagner. Don Bunnell was the Modified winner at Waterford. Jon Astle was the Class A winner at Seekonk.Bob Santos won a 100 lapper at Utica-Rome on Sunday night. Bernie Miller finished a strong second with Denis Giroux, Richie Evans and Jerry Cook rounding out the top five. Dave Dion was the Late Model Sportsman winner at Norwood.
Forty five years ago in 1977, Bugsy Stevens scored a popular victory at Stafford on Friday night as he beat Geoff Bodine to the stripe. Ron Bouchard finished third with John Rosati, fourth. At Monadnock, Pete Fiandaca scored an upset victory over Punky Caron and Allen Whipple. Also on Friday night, Fred Harbach took top honors at Riverhead over Charlie Jarzombek and Wayne Anderson. Seekonk ran a 50 lapper on Saturday night. George Summers rose to the occasion as he beat Eddie StAngelo and Corky Cookman to the stripe. Geoff Bodine beat out Reggie Ruggiero at Riverside Park and at Waterford, Moose Hewitt won out over Donnie Bunnell, Eddie Bunnell and Dick Ceravolo. At Westboro, Mike Murphy took the win over Mike Weeden and Gomer Taylor. Fred Harbach made it two for two as he mastered the tight Islip oval on Saturday night. Just down the road, Artie Tappen won at Freeport. Fred DeSarro remained king of the hill in small block action at Thompson on Sunday night. Geoff Bodine finished second with Ron Bouchard, third.
Forty years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks continued to be the top dog in modified racing as he went two for two as he won at Stafford on Friday night and the modified portion of the Port City 150 at Oswego on Sunday. All racing in New England, on Saturday was cancelled because of rain. At Shangri-La, George Kent was declared the winner as Richie Evans was considered a lap down at the finish. John Blewett Jr. won at Islip and Roger Treichler at Lancaster. Racing at Thompson was cancelled due to a power failure and in Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Neil Bonnett overcame a 135 degree track temperature to win the World 600 by 1-1/2 car lengths over Bill Elliott.
Thirty five years ago in 1987, Rick Fuller put the Brad Lafountain SK-66 in victory lane at Stafford on Friday night. Ted Christopher finished second with Richie Gallup, third. At Waterford, on Saturday night, Mark LaJunesse took the win over Rick Fuller, Bob Potter and Ted Christopher. Riverside Park ran a 50 lapper with Bob Polverari winning out over Reggie Ruggiero. It was a son-father sweep at Riverhead as Steve Park took the win over his dad, Bob. The NASCAR Modified Tour was at Monadnock on Sunday for a 150 lapper. Jim Spencer took the win over Tom Baldwin, Mike Stefanik and Dave Reszendes. At Thompson on Sunday night, Bo Gunning beat out Mike Christopher for top honors. Gil Hearne scored his 86th career win at the Wall Stadium and in Winston Cup action at Dover Downs, Davey Allison got his second win in his rookie season. Mark Martin was the Grandnational winner at Dover Downs
Thirty years ago in 1992, Bo Gunning and Steve Chowanski shared victory lane at Stafford as twin features were run. Bob Potter scored two-seconds. David Gada scored his second victory of the season at Waterford on Saturday night. Jim Broderick finished second with Scott Poirier, third. Phil Rondeau scored his fourth victory of the year in the late models. Todd Ceravolo, second. Ed Kennedy out-lasted Jerry Marquis at Riverside as rain washed out the action at Riverhead and Jamie Tomaino was involved in a fiery road crash while on the way to Shangri-La.
Twenty five years ago in 1997, Jim Broderick took the lead with two to go as he powered by Steve Chowanski with his Mopar powered modified at Stafford. Chowanski finished second with Bob Potter, third. Waterford ran double features on Saturday night with Tucker Reynolds Jr and Todd Ceravolo sharing top honors. Ted Riggot won at Riverside and George Brunnhoelzl ended a long dry spell as he won at Riverhead. Brunnhoelzl’s last win had been the 1987 Race of Champions at Pocono. The Featherlite Modified and Busch North Series were at Loudon. Mike Stefanik scored his 39th career Mod Tour victory after taking the lead from Ted Christopher on lap 82 of the 100 lap event. Reggie Ruggiero ended up second and was followed by Jan Leaty, Tim Connelly and Christopher. Dale Shaw was the Busch North Series winner. Dave Dion, Mike Stefanik, Jerry Marquis and Andy Santarre rounded out the top five. Waterford regular Tom Fox started 13th and had a good run going until getting parked by Kelly Moore. In Winston Cup action at Dover, Ricky Rudd took the win. Bob Labonte was the Grandnational winner.
Twenty years ago in 2002 Thompson pulled the plug on its Thursday night races after 1-1/2 inches of rain fell on the speedway. Ted Christopher recorded his 60th and 61st career wins at Stafford as he took the Friday night SK Modified Twin Bill features. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Riverhead for a 200 lapper. Ted Christopher survived to take the win over Jerry Marquis, John Blewett III, Chuck Hossfeld and David Berghman. It was a wild night to say the least. JR Bertuccio was running second to Rick Fuller when a bold move saw Bertuccio hit Fuller and took him out. Bertuccio also backed up over Jeff Fuller. NASCAR officials parked the Long Island hot shoe and had him suspended for two weeks with a fine of $1,000. The suspension effectively cost Bertuccio a shot at the NASCAR Regional and National Championship titles. At Waterford, Dennis Gada won out over Ron Yuhas Jr. and at Wall Township, Mike Carpenter took the win. Waterford’s night didn’t go without incident as officials parked John Brouwer Jr. after they felt that he intentionally backed over Jeff Pearl. Brouwer left the Speedbowl in a very hot mood and swore he would never return. In Winston Cup action at Pocono, Dale Jarrett took the win after Ricky Rudd suffered a flat tire with four laps to go. Mark Martin finished second. In other weekend action, Mike Johnson won the Busch North Series event at Beech Ridge over Matt Kobyluck, Jack Sprague won his first ever Busch Series event at Nashville, Ken Tremont scored his 99th career win at Lebanon Valley and dirt tracker Jimmy Horton got his 100th win at Bridgeport, Pa.
Fifteen years ago in 2007 the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour continued to regroup before coming alive for their “Summer Session” which begins on Thursday, June 21 at the Thompson Int. Speedway. Jimmy Blewett held a slim three point lead over James Civali. Two points behind Civali was Matt Hirschman. Blewett and Civali have won, Hirschman had not. Donny Lia with two wins to his credit sat in fourth spot, thirteen points behind Hirschman. Rounding out the top five was Todd Szegedy. Sixth through tenth were Zach Sylvester, Jerry Marquis, Mike Stefanik, Ronnie Silk and Jamie Tomaino. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series continued to be strong as 52 different drivers had entered into competition in four events.
Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway was canceled when Thunder Showers descended upon the speedway shortly after qualifying was completed.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Woody Pitkat won the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Scott Cook, the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen, the 20-lap SK Light feature, Sean Foster the Limited Late Model feature, and Carla Botticello the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat and Zach Sylvester duel for much of the race, with Pitkat having to hold off Ted Christopher to take his first win of the 2007 season. Sylvester took the lead at the drop of the green, and set the early pace. Pitkat settled into second, but moved past Sylvester on lap-6 to take over the lead. Pitkat then held the lead until lap-20 when Sylvester moved back out front. Sylvester then held the lead until lap-33, when Pitkat moved back by Sylvester to take the lead back. Ted Christopher followed Pitkat by Sylvester to move into second. Christopher hounded the bumper of Pitkat, but was unable to make a pass for the win. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Sylvester was Todd Owen, Sylvester, and Ryan Posocco.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl scored his 25th career win at the shoreline oval. Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Jack Aquilina (Sportsman), Joe Godbout III (Mini Stock), and Chris Bakaj (Legends).
Pearl passed early leader Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. on the ninth lap. With the victory, Pearl earned a guaranteed starting spot for this Saturday’s True Value Modified Tour 100 at the Speedbowl. Diego Monahan, Dennis Charette, Ron Janovic Jr., and Frank Ruocco (subbing for Jimmy Horton), rounded-out the top-5. Sixth through tenth were Zach Sylvester in a new entry owned by Dick Ceravolo, Shawn Monahan, Wendell Dailey, Mucciacciaro and Jay Miller.
In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. collecting his 3rd feature victory of the season. After a long intense side-by-side battle with multi-time champion Allen Coates that resulted in one of the closest finishes in Speedbowl history, Following Thomas and Coates was Tony Macrino, Ernie Bertrand, and Larry Goss.
Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; scored his second win of the season Sunday afternoon, June 3, at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH; capturing the “Canaan 100” for modified race cars, his seventh career win with the True Value Modified Racing Series. The second generation driver captured the same event last spring at the Granite State oval. “I’ve always loved this place, we came here year’s ago with the pro stock, won an open comp show, love to come back,” Hinckley said, after being chased to the finish by point leader Kirk Alexander, Hinckley, who started the race 15th out of 28 racers, took the lead from Louie Mechalides; at lap 50, and was never headed. Mechalides pursued Hinckley until lap 90 when he yielded the second spot to Alexander. Alexander gave chase to Hinckley but was unable to get close enough to contest for the win. Lou Mechalides, Dwight Jarvis and Andy Seuss rounded out the top five.
There were 450 people in the stands at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. And it’s not just the front gate that was dwindling. Car counts were down, as well. Only the Blunderbusts and Modifieds had full fields. There were 16 cars for a double-point Charger race, 12 cars for the Late Model race, and 10 cars for the Figure Eights.
Carl Edwards, who passed Matt Kenseth with 13 laps left in the Busch Series Dover 200, extended his overall points lead and won for the third time this season. He popped his head out of the window, pumped his fist to the crowd and nailed his trademark backflip, making a clean landing on the concrete. The Nextel Cup race scheduled for Sunday was run on Monday. Martin Truex Jr became a first time winner as he took the checkered flag in the rescheduled event.
NASCAR Vice Chairman William C. France, whose leadership helped turn a family-owned company into a national phenomenon, died at 1:00pm on June 4, 2007 at his home in Daytona Beach, Fla. at the age of 74. France served as NASCAR’s president from 1972-2000, taking over from his father, NASCAR founder William H.G. “Big Bill” France. In 2000, France, known as “Bill Jr.”, became NASCAR’s CEO and the chairman of the newly created NASCAR Board of Directors.
Ten years ago in 2012, Thursday night Thunder began at the Thompson Speedway. Ted Christopher- Sunoco Modifieds, Tommy O’Sullivan-Late Models, and Jay Sundeen-Thompson Modifieds, dominated their divisions in Thompson International Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder by leading every lap of their features to claim the first TNTT victory of the season. Ed Puleo-Limited Sportsman and Jim Helger-Mini Stocks were also feature winners.
Ted Christopher held off a hard-charging Keith Rocco in the 30-lap SK Modified feature. John Catania and Shawn Thibeault brought the field back to green after an accident that collected Woody Pitkat and Andrew Charron stopped the action before the first lap was complete. Thibeault claimed the lead on the outside on the restart after running-side-by-side almost the entire first circuit, but it was Ted Christopher who officially led the lap after a turn four bid. Ryan Preece was coming up quick and moved into the second spot coming off turn two of lap three and used the inside lane to get alongside Christopher on lap four. Keith Rocco and Todd Ceravolo got in line behind Christopher and relegated Preece to the fourth spot. The four cars ran bumper to bumper until lap 10 when Preece took the outside groove to challenge Ceravolo for third. Preece fell back into line by lap 11 as Rocco looked for a way around Christopher. The action remained tight at the halfway mark with Christopher, Rocco, Ceravolo, and Preece still hooked at the bumpers. Rocco looked high and low for a way around Christopher, but the 13 machine held steady. The four cars began to lap the field by the 25th circuit as they set a torrid pace that could not be matched. At lap 28 Rocco slammed Christopher in turn one and almost lost control of his mount, Ceravolo shook things up by going low under Rocco for a battle that allowed Christopher to get some breathing room and take the checkered flag unchallenged. Ryan Preece did a sneaky on Ceravolo and stole the third spot at the finish. Ceravolo, and Kerry Malone rounded out the top five. John Catania finished sixth with Dennis Perry, seventh. Perry drove one of the fleet of cars owned by Butch Perry and did a masterful job of running with the top dogs.
Christopher drove a car that hadn’t run at Thompson in eight years. It was probably one of the cars built by Barry Kuhnel for Christopher when he raced for Jim Galante. Despite the fact that Christopher would end up second at Riverhead on Saturday night he said his racing at the Long Island Speedway has not been enjoyable. Too much slam-bang, bump and run plus too many delays in the racing program in general. As far as his victory at Thompson was concerned, Christopher commented “You got to know who you are racing with”. Obviously alluding to the fact of the hard slam by Rocco in the closing moments.
The tale of the tape showed 17 Sunoco Modifieds including three SK Lites, 26 Limited Sportsman, 24 Mini Stocks, 7 Thompson Modifieds and 7 Late Models. The SK Lites ran with the Sunoco Modifieds and were paid $300-$200 and $100 respectively plus their finishing position. Ben Dodge stated that the format was similar to the “340” bonus program that ran in conjunction with the Modifieds at Riverside Park years ago. Back in action after a year off is Kerry Malone, one of the original SK Modified competitors when the division was started. Also it was good to see Ryan Morgan back in action after a devastating wreck earlier in the year in a Late Model at the Waterford Speedbowl. The Ledyard High School senior finished fourth in the Thompson Modifieds and has not lost his touch or desire to compete. The wrecked Late Model has been completely rebuilt and is expected to return to Waterford in the not so distant future.
The final checkered flag at Thompson on Thursday was dropped at 8:45pm.
Regular Friday night racing at Stafford saw Ryan Preece score his first SK Modified® feature victory of the season, Keith Rocco picked up his second Late Model feature win, Dylan Kopec picked up his second consecutive and fourth SK Light feature win, D.J. Burnham picked up his second consecutive Limited Late Model feature victory, and Kyle Casagrande won his second consecutive and third DARE Stock feature event of the 2012 season.
At the Waterford Speedbowl rain prevailed for the second week in a row.
In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, the Modifieds were scheduled to run on Friday night but fell victim to rain. The NASCAR Kids and Nephews (K&N) Development series played to a full house of fans on Saturday night. Third-generation racer Corey LaJoie captured his much-anticipated first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at historic track.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Shawn Solomito took the win with Ted Christopher, second.
Supermodified racing fan favorite Chris Perley officially announced his retirement as he approached the start of what would have been his 25th year in racing, and 20th with the winged supermodifieds. Perley retired from competition as the all-time ISMA victories leader with 69 wins to go along with six ISMA titles.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway marked the end of an era for Dr. Dick Berggren, who celebrated his 70th birthday on May 27. After 12 years patrolling pit road for NASCAR on FOX, Berggren filed his final report at Dover, the same track where he made his NASCAR broadcasting debut in 1981 alongside his current NASCAR on FOX colleague, Mike Joy.
Berggren took a hobby and turned it into a career, something we should all be proud of. The most important thing, despite being a national sports reporter Berggren never forgot where he came from.
Joey Logano took advantage of a pair of lapped cars to catch and pass Ryan Truex to win Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover Int’l Speedway.
NASCAR has suspended 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch until June 13 after Busch threatened a reporter at Dover Int’l Speedway Saturday.
Jimmie Johnson continued his dominance at Dover Int’l Speedway, leading 289 laps en route to victory in the FedEx 400. It was Johnson’s seventh victory at Dover, moving him into a tie with Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for the most victories ever at the one-mile concrete oval. It was his 57th career Sprint Cup victory and second of the season.
In some sad news, Former driver and car owner Cotton Owens passed away age 88 only weeks after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Owens would officially enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame when the enshrinement ceremonies happen on Friday, February 8, 2013. Owens was more than successful behind the wheel, winning nine times in NASCAR’s premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course which marked Pontiac’s first NASCAR victory. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Lee Petty. Concurrently Owens raced NASCAR modified stock cars and won the 1953-54 championships as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR’s early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired Junior Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, David Pearson.
Five years ago in 2017, The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series in addition to its NASCAR weekly venue. Jon McKennedy passed Ryan Preece with 4 laps to go to take the win in the Mod Touring Series 125 which drew 20 cars. Matt Galko won his first SK Modified® feature victory after 6 seasons, Tom Fearn won in the Late Model division, Joey Ferrigno won in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost won in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Hydar was a first time career winner in the DARE Stock feature.
In the MTS 125 McKennedy’s persistence behind Preece finally paid off on lap-121 as he was able to make a move entering turn 3 to take over the race lead. Preece wasn’t able to get back to McKennedy as McKennedy took the checkered flag. Chris Pasteryak finished third with Richard Savary and Keith Rocco rounding out the top-5. Sixth was Woody Patkat who was followed by Mike Holdridge, Dylan Kopec, Les Hinckley and Ted Christopher.
Galko took the lead following a restart on lap 38 of the 40 lap contest from Chase Dowling who was still on his outside when they took the white flag side by side. Preece was right on the leaders’ bumpers if one of them slipped up but Galko was able to get a slightly better run coming out of the last corner and he beat Dowling to the checkered flag by a half car length to pick up his first career SK Modified® feature victory in his fifth season in the division. Preece finished third with Ron Williams and Rowan Pennink rounding out the top-5.
In weekly action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, defending Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified champion Shawn Solomito took full advantage of a rare pole starting position to race his way out of an early season slump posting a wire to wire victory in the 40-lap NASCAR Modified feature Saturday night. In the NEMA Midget Allan Cantor Memorial presented by IGA Food Markets former NASCAR Modified champion Justin Bonsignore scored a popular first career NEMA victory in their 25-lap main event.
Howie Brode came home second while John Fortin Sr. crossed the line third. Tom Rogers Jr. and point leader Vinny Biondolillo completed the top five.
When the New London-Waterford Speedbowl failed to open because of track owner Bruce Bemer’s personal problems it left a lot of competitors high and dry including all time winner Keith Rocco. Rocco has 135 wins at the Connecticut shoreline oval, 80 of those in an SK Modified. Rocco entered a late model at the Seekonk Speedway this past Saturday night and finished a solid third behind local runners Charlie Rose and Vinny Arrenegndo. Ryan Morgan who formerly ran in the Sunoco Modifieds and now in the Late Models at Thompson also planned on racing at the Speedbowl but was also left without a place to go on Saturday nights. Morgan took his family owned late model to Seekonk. Where he started 13th and went forward for the first 7 laps then got stuck on the outside and went backwards because of a bad lane. A determined Morgan was not to be denied as he missed some pretty wild wrecks and ended up coming back up to a 4th place finish. Other winners at the track they call the cement palace were Rick Martin in the Pro Stocks, Barry Shaw in the trucks and Vinny Panglelinan in the Sportsman.
The NEW Exit Realty Modified Touring Series rolls into Seekonk Speedway for its first race at the famed 1/3 mile oval this coming Saturday night, June 10. The Seekonk Speedway is located on Route 6 in Seekonk, Mass at the Gateway to Cape Cod.
Down in the south land, Burt Myers waited for his chance, and then he took advantage late in 100-lap Modified Division race on Saturday night at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.
Myers, the points leader, passed Chris Fleming on lap 84 on a restart and held on from there to win for the third time this season. Showing patience after starting from the third row, Myers worked his way up and was content to stay behind Fleming for nearly half the laps. With the double-file restarts in play, it was Myers who used that to his advantage.
After qualifying, the field was determined by a blind draw and Myers was in the sixth position. He said it was a good spot to be in because it’s such a long race.
Fleming, a veteran driver at Bowman Gray, was driving in his fourth race of the season and was coming off a second-place finish last week in one of the twin 25-lap races. He finished second again and was in no mood to talk afterwards.
Fleming did an outstanding job of staying in front through five of the eight caution flags. Randy Butner, who wound up fourth, led for the first 30 laps before Fleming overtook him on a restart.
Tim Brown, who is second in the points behind Myers, worked his way up from 15th to finish third.
The final caution came on lap 94, and Myers was able to withstand a challenge from Fleming during one more restart. Myers stayed in front for the final five laps and increased his points lead ever so slightly over Brown.
Jimmie Johnson matched Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winners list with his 83rd series victory on Sunday at Dover Int’l Speedway. Johnson led only seven laps during Sunday’s AAA 400, but he was out front when it mattered to earn his 11th NASCAR Cup Series victory on Dover’s concrete one-mile oval.
Kyle Larson earned respect around the garage for his refusal last year to bump the race leader down the stretch for a win in the NASCAR Cup race at Dover.
A year later, Larson had no concerns about adhering to an unwritten race code. Larson started from the pole and easily won the Xfinity race at Dover International Speedway for his second straight victory in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
Congratulations went out to Bob Mueller who retired from Troyer Race Cars after 29 years of service. “The last 29 years have been a real ride”, he said. “There have been good times and bad times, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not everyone has the opportunity to turn their hobby and passion into a living. My thanks to Bill Colton and all my co-workers at Troyer Race Cars for a great 29 years”.
Last year 2021, Friday night at the Stafford Motor Speedway all restrictions on attendance were lifted and it was back to normal at the half mile oval with Chase Dowling coming out on top of a 3-wide duel that lasted several laps after a midrace restart to pick up his first SK Modified® feature win of the 2021 season. Kevin Gambacorta borrowed a ride from Andy Marchese and drove to his first Late Model win in nearly 2 years; Nick Anglace scored his first career SK Light win in a thrilling duel with Alexander Pearl that came down to the last lap with Anglace taking the win by the nose of his car; Alexandra Fearn won for the second time this season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. his second consecutive Street Stock feature.
At the halfway point of the 40 lap SK Modified feature, Dowling held a lead of several car lengths over a 5-car train of Bryan Narducci, Michael Gervais, Matt Vassar, Tyler Hines, and Teddy Hodgdon. Gervais made a move to the inside of Narducci on lap-21 to move into second. Hodgdon spun coming down the front stretch that brought the caution out with 22 laps complete.
On the restart, Narducci spun after being bumped which collected the cars of Hines, Meservey, Wesson, and Korner to bring the caution right back out. Vassar was sent to the rear by Stafford officials for making contact with Narducci. The restart saw a flurry of action at the front of the field as Gervias took the lead on the outside of Dowling but Dowling came right back to make it 3-wide with Gervais and Marcello Rufrano with Dowling coming away with the lead before Rufrano went to the front on lap-26. Todd Owen was on a charge, moving into third behind Rufrano and Dowling on lap-27. Dowling went back to the front on lap-28 with a pass in turns 3+4. With 10 laps to go, Dowling held the lead with Rufrano, Owen, Michael Christopher, Jr., and Gervais right behind him.
Christopher got by Owen to move into third and he took second from Rufrano on lap-38 to move into second place with 2 laps to go. Christopher couldn’t catch Dowling as Dowling notched his first win of the 2021 season. Rufrano finished third with Owen and Gervais rounding out the top-5. Defending SK Modified champion Keith Rocco, fresh off a win, was collected in an early wreck and ended his night in 20th position.
In the SK Lite 20 lapper, Nick Anglace powered around Alexander Pearl on a lap 17 restart to take the lead. Steven Chapman was third followed by Sullivan and Bob Charland. Pearl came back to the inside of Anglace going down the backstretch on the final lap and he inched his nose in front of Anglace going into turn 3. Anglace kept his foot in the gas and they came off turn 4 side by side nose to nose with Anglace nipping Pearl by the slightest of margins to collect his first career SK Light victory at Stafford. Steven Chapman finished third with Bob Charland and Brian Sullivan rounding out the top-5.
The Tri-Track Modified Series took center stage on Saturday night at the Star Speedway in Epping, NH. With the Whelen Modified Tour on an off weekend the event drew 33 Modifieds.
Jon McKennedy charged by Chris Pasteryak on a restart with 35 laps to go and never looked back en route to his second career Tri Track Open Modified Series presented by All Phases Renovations win. Driving the Tommy Baldwin 7ny McKennedy broke a streak of bad luck to open his 2021 Tri-Track season with the checkered flag.
McKennedy failed to finish his qualifying race after contact and had to qualify for the race through a consi round. He started deep in the 28-car field and drove his way to the victory. McKennedy also collected a $500 bonus courtesy of Green Construction Management LLC for being the Hard Charger of the race and gaining the most positions from start to finish. Matt Swanson finished second and Chris Pasteryak third. Anthony Sesley and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Cam McDermott was sixth, collecting a $500 bonus courtesy of Rameau Family Motorsports, while Ronnie Williams, Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley and Anthony Nocella finished the top-10.
Pre race favorite Matt Hirschman finished 13th after suffering from a vibration. Rounding out the top fifteen were Brian Robie, Sam Rameau, Hirschman, Max Zachem and Chase Dowling
In a race that saw varying pit strategies throughout the field, Dowling took the lead early and looked to have the dominant car. While McKennedy, Swanson and Pasteryak elected to pit early, Dowling tried the opposite strategy, pit late and hope to make his way through the field. A late-race spin for Matt Hirschman brought out the caution, and after the round of pit stops, McKennedy found himself in second place behind Chris Pasteryak.
Zachem, Tommy Barrett, Pasteryak and Williams were the heat winners and Hirschman, the consolation
In action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night Andrew Molleur redeemed himself with a 35 lap victory in the SK Modified division. In the final race of 2020 Molleur gave one away due to driver error and was determined to not to let this happen again. Todd Owen, who started 10th, finished second while Joe Gada finished third.
In other action, Jordan Haley led every lap in the 30-lap feature to grab his first ever Late Model win. Chris Garside battled through a green-white checker finish to capture his first ever Mini-Stock win while Ryan Waterman dominated the 25-lap Street Sock feature. John O’Sullivan grabbed two victories. He won the SK Lite Modified race in a wild finish and also pulled down his third straight win in the Legends. Allen Coates pulled away from Emma Monahan to win the 25-lap Truck feature. It was the 88th career victory at the Speedbowl for Coates.
John Fortin Jr was the NASCAR Modified winner at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Howie Brode finished second with John Baker, third. Tom Rogers and Roger Turbush rounded out the top five.
Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of The Americas after rain caused limited visibility and standing water on the race track. Ryan Preece finished 15th.
North Carolina Speedways, both big and small got some good news as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has pledged $45 million dollars to the motorsports industry as part of the state’s share of the federal American Rescue Plan. The state will receive $575 million from the federal government and Cooper intends to use it to address housing needs in the aftermath of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional funds will be allocated to education needs, infrastructure and broadband expansion to close the digital divide, and providing clean drinking water to communities in need.
Part of the plan as outlined by North Carolina Budget Director Charlie Perusse would also address sports and entertainment facilities with $30 million combined going to Rockingham, North Wilkesboro and Charlotte Motor Speedway to the tune of roughly $10 million each. Short tracks and dirt tracks across the state were also eligible to receive a portion of a $10 million allocation for such venues.
The plan also called for $5 million to develop and market what the state is calling a motorsports and moonshine heritage trail.
August 2,1968 Eddie Flemke began the weekend with a 50-lap win on Friday night. Driving the Bobby Judkins 2x, Flemke beat out Gene Bergin, Bugsy Stevens, Don MacTavish and Bob Santos
Read all about it in the all-new book, The Modified Years At Stafford, by the Grace of God and 600 hp, which is gaining interest and has become a must have in race fans and competitors library. The book documents Modified Racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway from 1967 to 1986. Race by Race, Year by Year, it’s all there. Read all about it! Books are now available on Amazon.com and Coastal 181 (877-907-8181 toll free) and are available thru Stafford’s web site at the track in their store. Order yours now. Makes a great gift!