Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1947, Frank Simonetti annexed the Midget win at Seekonk.
Seventy years ago in 1952 rain prevailed on Wednesday night action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Saturday night at the shoreline oval Cy Yates made it two in a row when he won the 25 lap Sportsman main event. Harold “Curley” LeMay was the 20 lap Claiming Car winner. At Seekonk, “Frank Knickerbocker” and Red Bolduc were the Stock Car winners at Seekonk.
Sixty five years ago in 1957 Red Foote made it two in a row at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he won the Wednesday night Sportsman feature. Ted Stack was the non-Ford winner. Rain ruled the roost at Waterford on Saturday night. Al DeAngelo took the win at Islip. Rookee Fred Harbach finished fourth. Hop Harrington made it four in a row in Sportsman action at Seekonk. Two features were run over the weekend at Old Bridge. Bill McCarthy won out overGeorge Tet on Saturday and MvVarthy repeated on Sunday.
Sixty years ago in 1962, Waterford continued to run on Wednesday and Saturday. Dick Beauregard continued his win streak as he won Modified features on both nights bringing his streak to five in a row. Ed Gladue won Bomber features on both nights. George Janoski was the victor on the dirt at Stafford Springs. Dan Stanton was the Class A winner at Seekonk. At Old Bridge Jim Hoffman took the win over Joe Kelly.
Fifty five years ago in 1967, Bobby Allison recorded his first ever Winston Cup (then called Grandnational) win as he won a northern tour event at Oxford Plains on a Tuesday night. . Richard Petty finished second. The All Star League visited Middletown, N Y on Wednesday where Frankie Schenieder took the win over Pete Corey. The Winston Cup Northern Tour headed for Fonda, NY for a Thursday night show where Richard Petty beat out Bobby Allison. In Friday night action at Stafford, Bugsy Stevens was the top banana as he outran Smokey Boutwell for the win. Dick Watson, Leo Cleary and Gene Bergin rounded out the top five. Ernie Gahan took the Friday night 30 lapper at the Albany Saratoga Speedway. Robbie Kotary finished second and was followed by Kenny Shoemaker, Dick Nephew and Guy Chartrand. Rain washed out the action at Waterford. Norwood beat the rain as Leo Cleary took the win. Joe Rosenfield was the Class A winner at Seekonk. The NASCAR Winston Cup (GN) traveled to Islip on Saturday night for a 500 lap contest on the tight 1/5 mile oval. Richard Petty won by three laps over James Hylton
Fifty years ago in 1972, the Seekonk regulars were still on strike and track owner D. Anthony Venditti wasted little time as he secured a NASCAR sanction for Friday night. The Seekonk strikers went to Thompson where they formed the World Racing Association. At Seekonk, Freddie Schulz took the opening night feature over Ernie Gahan, Bobby Sprague, Lou Austin, Brian Ross and George Summers. At Malta, Dave Lape took the win over Jerry Cook, Bernie Miller, Lou Lazzaro and Maynard Forette. Stafford ran their rained out 150 on Saturday night with Ronnie Bouchard taking the win over Bugsy Stevens and Brian Ross. At Fonda, Jack Johnson won out over Lou Lazzaro, Kenny Shoemaker and Harry Peek. Jerry Glaude was the Modified winner at Waterford. Charlie Jarzombek won at Islip and in Sunday night action at Utica-Rome, rain prevailed. Stafford ran a mid-week open event on Wednesday with Eddie Flemke taking the win over Ron Bouchard. George Savory took the Late Model win at Norwood.
Forty five years ago in 1977, the Star Speedway hosted an open competition modified event on Wednesday. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Bugsy Stevens and Dave Thomas. On the same night, New Egypt ran a 100 lap Race of Champions qualifier which was won by Wayne Anderson. Geoff Bodine finished second with Maynard Troyer, third. Friday night at Stafford saw Fred DeSarro return to victory lane. Geoff Bodine finished second with John Rosati, third. Georgie Summers turned the tables on Bugsy Stevens at Seekonk on Saturday night as he put the Frank Fedderici 77 in victory lane. At Waterford it was Glynn Shafer in the Ron Yuhas No.6 taking the top spot over Rick Donnelly and Moose Hewitt and at Westboro, it was the Shrewsbury Flash, Mario “Fats” Caruso. Geoff Bodine finished his weekend with wins at Riverside and Thompson.
Forty years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks returned to top form as he won the Friday night event at Stafford over Kenny Bouchard, Bugsy Stevens and Corky Cookman. Double features were on tap at Waterford on Saturday night. Mark Lajunesse won an 82 lapper over Glynn Shafer and Moose Hewitt and in the regular 35 lapper, Bob Potter added to his win total. Marty Radwick beat out Ronnie Bouchard at Riverside and at Thompson on Sunday, George Summers put the Art Barry No.21 in victory lane. Other weekend winners were Richie Evans at New Egypt, Jerry Cook at Spencer and Rick Donnelly at Seekonk.
Thirty five years ago in 1987, the Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Riverhead for a Wednesday night event. Mike Ewanitsko took the win over Wayne Anderson, Bob Park and Jamie Tomaino. Wayne Dion was the Friday night winner at Stafford. Racing at Waterford on Saturday night was fogged out but not at Riverside Park where Bruce Del took the win. Tony Hirschman beat out George Kent at Shangri-La and at Riverhead, Tom McCann and Tom Baldwin sat in victory lane while Mark Tooker won his fourth in a row in the Blunderbust division. Jamie Aube walked away with $31,100 after winning the Oxford 250 over Dave Dion and at Thompson on Sunday night, Kerry Malone took the top spot over Richie Gallup and Bo Gunning.
Thirty years ago in 1992, Mike Paquette was the Friday night winner at Stafford. At Monadnock it was Jerry Marquis in the Bobby Judkins 2x over Reggie Ruggiero. Waterford staged a 40 lapper on Saturday which saw Jerry Pearl out run Harry Rice for the win. Ricky Young finished third. Lenny Fischer took the win at Riverhead while Dan Avery took top honors at Riverside. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Loudon for a 75 lapper. Reggie Ruggiero, in the Ed Cloce No.69 took the win which had a surprise crash filled ending. With three laps to go, Jan Leaty, running second, wrecked and collected Ed Flemke Jr, Charlie Pasteryak, Satch Worley, Jeff Fuller and Steve Park. Fuller and Park restarted and finished second and third, driving around on flat tires. Tom Bolles finished fourth with Ricky Fuller, in the Mario Fiore No.44, fifth.
Twenty five years ago in 1997, because it was Winston Cup weekend in Loudon, Stafford and Waterford adjusted their schedules. Stafford ran a 50 lapper on Tuesday night, which saw Bo Gunning take the win over Ed Flemke Jr, Jim Broderick, Mike Christopher and Bob Potter. At Waterford on Friday night, Jim Broderick took the win over Steve Chowanski, Mike Gada and Eric Berndt. Things got real nasty at Riverside Park on Saturday night. Reggie Ruggiero was leading the 50 lap event when, during a caution, he was rammed by Ted Riggott. Ruggiero returned the favor. Officials wanted to put both competitors to the rear and after a heated argument, both were parked for the night. Richie Gallup ended up taking the win over Renee Dupuis, Ed Speirs and Mike Ewanitsko. At Riverhead, Dave Kruk got his first win. At Loudon, the Featherlite Modified Touring Series went 57 laps with Tim Connolly taking the win in the Mystic Missile. Connolly took the lead from Reggie Ruggerio on lap 25. Rick Fuller finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho, Jan Leaty, Tony Hirschman and Mike Stefanik. Jerry Marquis was the Busch North Series winner as he beat out Ricky Craven and Bob Dragon. Jeff Burton won the Winston Cup event as 88,000 spectators looked on. Dale Earnhardt Sr. finished second with Rusty Wallace, third. Ernie Irvan was made aware of the fact that he was out of the Robert Yates No.28 at season’s end.
Twenty years ago in 2002, Doug Coby was the Friday night SK-Modified winner at Stafford. Bo Gunning finished second and was followed by Lloyd Agor and Ted Christopher. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine for a 150-lap event. The event, which carried a purse of $67,775, drew 32 Modifieds. David Berghman, son of three time Modified champion Carl Bugs Stevens, scored his first ever Modified Tour win. Berghman started ninth and took the lead on lap 115. Fred Vordermeir finished second with Todd Szegedy, Ricky Fuller and Nevin George rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher, one of the pre-race favorites, was headed for the front when he rubbed wheels with Nevin George and suffered a flat tire, which cost him three laps. The Waterford Speedbowl was quiet on Saturday night as the races were cancelled because of a fireworks display in New London, Ct. Thompson, which normally runs on Thursday night, ran on Saturday night with the Busch North Series. Brad Leighton won the 150-lap event. In Sunoco-SK Modified competition Ron Yuhas JR survived 10 cautions to take the win. Yuhas took the lead from Kenny Bouchard with one lap to go. A big wreck on lap 17 collected 10 cars including those of Eric Berndt, Bo Gunning, and Eric Berndt. Chris Young took his third victory at Riverhead and Harry Reed beat out Dave Michael at Wall Township. In other weekend action, George Kent won the Race of Champions Tour event at Cayuga and Scott Robinson won the 29th Oxford 250, which paid $36,900 to win. Kevin Harvick won the Winston Cup event at the Chicagoland Speedway. Johnny Sauter won the companion Busch Racing Series event.
Fifteen years ago in 2007 The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors were on their mid-summer break. Their next event would be a “Flash Format” contest at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night, August 4. Donny Lia, who had won four of the seven events run so far in 2007, led the series’ point standings with a 53 point edge over Matt Hirschman. Lia was also the top money winner with $43,300 in the bank. Todd Szegedy, who had been in second spot, slipped to third. James Civali, with two wins, sat in fourth spot with Ron Silk rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jimmy Blewett, Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik, Ed Flemke Jr and Jamie Tomaino. Fifty-seven different drivers had entered into competition so far. The qualifying format for the first ever NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour “Flash” event at Riverhead Raceway was announced by WMT director Ed Cox in conjunction with Barbara and Jim Cromarty of Riverhead Raceway.
In True Value Modified Series racing Les Hinckley captured his third win of the season in the 100 lap Mid-Summer Modified Shootout at Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH. The True Value Modified Racing Series event served as a guaranteed starter race for Mod Mania 400 weekend at Thompson, CT; in September 8, 9.
The Thompson Speedway was quiet on Thursday night as they hosted a special event on Saturday night. Sean Caisse of Pelham, NH, led all but two lap to score the victory in the NASCAR Busch East Series Pepsi 100. Ben Rowe of Turner, ME turned in a dominating performance to take top honors in the Pro All Star Series 75-lapper during Thompson’s Full-Fendered Frenzy. In weekly series action, Mark Jenison of Danielson continues to show his prowess in the late Model division with this third win in four weeks while Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, kept the streak alive for his racing family with his victory in the Limited Sportsman division. After being shut out of victory lane thus far in the 2007 season, Rick Blanchard of Pascoag, RI, swept the twin bill for the Mini Stocks.
The Busch East Series event started under a shower of fireworks in honor of the Freedom Team Salute that honors the fine men and women of our military. Brigadier General Steven Scorzato, Assistant Adjunct General of the CT National Guard, gave the command to start engines. The fireworks continued well into the night as Sean Caisse survived a number of late race restarts in the caution-marred event to post victory.
Rookie Marc Davis led lap one but it was all Caisse from that point on. Despite a single slip on lap 92 when Matt Kobyluck snuck in to lead a lap, Caisse showed the way throughout nine caution periods. In the late stages of the event, as Caisse worked to hold off Kobyluck, Olsen and Joey Logano were locked in a battle of their own. The sparks flew late in the race with a pair of cautions for incidents further back in the pack. After two failed attempts to end the race under green, the yellow checker flew for Caisse on lap 108. In the end it was like old home night for the Busch East Series at Thompson with a New England sweep of the podium. Sean Caisse of Pelham, NH held off all the challenges from Matt Kobyluck of Uncasville, CT and Mike Olsen of North Haverhill, NH. Joey Logano and Brad Leighton rounded out the top five.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Keith Rocco drove to victory lane in the 40-lap SK Modified feature for his second win of the season, Glen Reen took the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature for his third win of the season, Andrew Durand scored his 4th win of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Carla Botticello scored her second feature win of the 2007 season by winning the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. The 30-lap Late Model feature was halted by rain with two laps complete. The race will be resumed from lap-3 at a date to be determined. The lead was swapped fast and furiously at the start of the race with Kerry Malone leading lap-1, Brad Hietala leading lap-2, and then Frank Ruocco leading lap-3. Ruocco led the race until lap-31 when Rocco moved past Ruocco to take over the lead. A caution with 32 laps complete slowed the field and set up a series of restarts that saw Woody Pitkat and then Ruocco put back a row for jumping the restarts. This put Ted Christopher alongside Rocco for the restart, but Ruocco got under Christopher on the restart for second while Rocco continued to set the pace out front. Christopher got back around Ruocco for second place on lap-38, but couldn’t make a pass on Rocco for the victory. Christopher finished second, with Pitkat, Ruocco, and Ronnie Silk rounding out the top-5.
Christopher hopped a plane on Saturday morning which took him to Virginia where he won a 150 lap Modified event at the Franklin County Speedway which is a few miles north of Martinsville.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Dennis Gada passed early leader Tyler Chadwick with 16-laps to go and went on to win the 35-lap SK Modified feature at the shoreline oval. It was the third of the season and 53rd career victory for the defending track champion. Gada, who started ninth, chased 18-year-old Chadwick, the only other leader, for several laps before the final yellow showed. He took the lead after a lap of side-by-side combat and went on to a seven car-length win over Chadwick. Shawn Monahan, Rob Janovic Jr. and Diego Monahan finished nose-to-tail behind Chadwick. Other winners included Ed Reed Jr. in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jack Aquilina in the Sportsman 20-lapper, Joe Godbout in the Mini Stock 20 lapper and Chris Bakaj in the Mini Stock 20 lapper.
Tony Stewart finally broke through for his first victory of the season, holding off Matt Kenseth on several late-race restarts Sunday to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Stewart broke a 20-race winless streak dating to last season thanks in part to a hard crash by contender Jimmie Johnson, who was running second behind Stewart with 45 laps left when his tire went flat. Kevin Harvick was the Busch Series winner.
Ten years ago in 2012, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ended a three week break as they headed to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Saturday, July 14. With 34 cars on hand Ron Silk won his second consecutive pole at New Hampshire and sixth of his career during qualifying for the Town Fair Tire 100 on Friday. The Norwalk, Conn., driver outdistanced the field with a lap of 29.492 seconds (129.147 mph) around the 1.058-mile oval. Ryan Preece qualified second at 29.842 (127.632), followed by points leader Doug Coby at 29.880 (127.470). Eric Berndt and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman completed the top five.
Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik, at 54 years of age, edged Ron Silk by .003 of a second to win the Town Fair Tire 100 in a photo finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. Stefanik and Silk swapped the lead 17 times over the final 48 laps of the 100-lap event on the 1.058-mile oval. Stefanik took the lead for the final time on Lap 97 and held on for his 72nd career victory. It was also Stefanik’s eighth win at New Hampshire, where he is the winningest driver.
Stefanik was quick to credit his crew chief Brad Lafontaine. In just their sixth race together on the Tour, they’ve now won one of the biggest races on the schedule. Stefanik, having seen Lafontaine win Modified races with drivers ranging from champions Jeff Fuller to Ted Christopher, isn’t surprised. “I’ve always admired Brad Lafontaine’s ability to give his previous drivers fantastic cars,” Stefanik said. “I’m still a student of the game. I study everybody’s car, how much wheel in it they have. You just know who’s driving the good cars and who’s struggling and it just seemed like more often than not, he’s given his drivers what they need to win the race.
Points leader Doug Coby closed late to finish third after pitting four times in the first half of the race to adjust the car. Coby leads Silk, 261-244. Eric Beers finished fourth and Todd Szegedy fifth. Rowan Pennink finished sixth, followed by Andy Seuss, Donny Lia, Zane Zeiner and Woody Pitkat.
There were seven caution periods for 26 laps. The first caution lap was displayed on lap 7 when Eric Berndt spun on his own in the turn four area. Undamaged, he was able to rejoin the field. The second caution came on lap 11 when Ron Yuhas spun in the turn two area and hit the outside wall. Also involved was Jon McKennedy in the Hillbilly Racing entry. Yuhas exited car unhurt but car was towed. McKennedy drove away. Keith Rocco’s day went sour on lap 25 when he hit the outside wall on the frontstretch bringing out caution number three. Rocco rejoined the field on lap 32. The fourth caution was for Ryan Blaney who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 37. Caution number five was for Ryan Newman who hit the outside wall at the entrance to turn two on lap 46. Newman drove away with a flat right front tire. This caution was considered as the half way break. Ted Christopher’s day came to an end on lap 52 when he tangled with Patrick Emerling for the sixth caution. Emerling drove away but Christopher was not as fortunate as a wrecker was required to remove his car to the pit area. Rich Pallai and Justin Bonsignore brought out the seventh and final caution on lap 62 when they wrecked.
In some real sad news, Wild Bill Slater passed away at the age of 83. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey.
He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement everywhere. He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job.
Slater’s long list of accomplishments included winning 8 straight features at Norwood, and 7 straight wins at Stafford. In 1959 he posted twenty wins at Waterford. He also took down two championships at Waterford and one at Stafford. He won the 100 mile race at Trenton New Jersey four times, and was a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove in The Daytona Permatex 300 four times from 1963 to 66. He is most known for his long time association with the Vitari-Bombacci owned V8. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotional side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson.
One of Slater’s biggest accomplishments was the fact that it was he who convinced the Arute Brothers, Jack and Chuck, to lease and ultimately buy the Stafford Motor Speedway.
In Valenti Modified Racing Series action at the Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, NH. Les Hinckley took the win over Chris Pasteryak, Rowan Pennink, Jon McKennedy and Dwight Jarvis. Hinckley started
third in a 21-car field, took the lead on lap 38, and went on to win the 112-lap ‘Ricky’s Race For Kids’ event at the New Hampshire oval before a large crowd. The win was Hinckley’s second this season, his third at Canaan, and his 17th career victory with the Valenti Modified Racing Series
The race is an annual event organized by retired racing legend Donnie Miller and his family in honor of Ricky Miller who passed away in 2004 from race related injuries. The event also benefits David’s House, a home away from home for families with sick children.
Hinckley chased pole-sitter Jon McKennedy at the drop of the green flag staying right behind the leader until he passed the Chelmsford, MA., driver. The only pressure Hinckley received came late in the race following a lap 102 caution flag. Chris Pasteryak challenged the race leader but Hinckley was never headed.
Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw a special PASS North 75-lap event that featured hometown hero Derek Ramstrom in victory lane. Ramstrom previously won two track championships in the Super Late Models (Pro Stocks) at Thompson. Ryan Preece held off Keith Rocco for the Sunoco Modified win while Tommy O’Sullivan, John Lowinski-Loh, Scott Sundeen, Troy Talman and Dave Trudeau were all victorious in other NASCAR Whelen All American Series action.
Ramstrom inherited the lead following a lap 61-accident that took out Larry Gelinas, who dominated just prior to that. Ryan Preece reclaimed the lead on a late-race restart with two laps to go and held off a determined Keith Rocco to earn his fifth Sunoco Modified feature victory this season. Kerry Malone took the early lead with Preece jumping into the second position. Keith Rocco challenged immediately and took over second before going in front of Malone for the lead on lap three in turn two. Preece, however, was waiting in the wings and catapulted his No. 31 machine from third to first on the backstretch. When things worked out, it was Preece followed by Rocco, Malone, and Ted Christopher. The top-four ran single file for the next several laps with Christopher keeping his front bumper attached to Malone’s rear bumper. On lap 16, Christopher dove low to make a challenge on Malone, but couldn’t get by and settled back into fourth. Up front, Preece was extending his lead over Rocco. The field got strung out as the leaders began to deal with lapped traffic when a car spun out of turn two and brought the caution out at lap 25. On the restart, Rocco got in front of Preece, who was looking to the outside groove to get by. Rocco closed the door on his challenge as Preece continued to look for a way around. Preece went high on lap 27 as they came across the start/finish line, but Rocco closed the door again. He went low on lap 28 and got side-by-side with Rocco who slowed in the high groove of turn two allowing Preece to drive right back out front. Rocco attached his No. 4 to the bumper of Preece, but there was no stopping the No. 31 machine that drove straight to the checkers.
Rocco settled for second with Christopher, third. Malone and Dennis Perry rounded out the top five. A slim field of nine Sunoco Modifieds were on hand.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night the SK Modifeds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models each raced an extra 2 laps, while the DARE Stock feature was one lap longer as part of the 5 Star Series Mid-Season Stretch. Ted Christopher picked up his third win of the season in the 42-lap SK Modified® event, Woody Pitkat picked up win number 2 in the 32-lap Late Model feature, Dylan Kopec got his fifth win in the 22-lap SK Light feature, Dennis Botticello got his first win of the season in the 22-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders picked up his third win of the year in the 16-lap DARE Stock feature.
It was the perfect ending of a long day for Ted Christopher as he out distanced Keith Rocco for the win. Both Christopher and Rocco had been at Loudon all day. Todd Owen finished third behind Christopher and Rocco, with Frank Ruocco and Danny Cates rouding out the top-5.
In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco made a high speed trip from Loudon and scored a one-two punch at the shoreline oval. Rocco scored two wins on the night in NASCAR action, taking victories in both the SK Modified® and Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model features. Josh Galvin won the night’s Street Stock race and Mark Panaroni picked up the victory in the Mini Stock feature. The Bandolero race was won by Ken Morin Jr. The spotlight was on the track’s INEX Legend Cars division as it competed in a special 50-lap feature presented by Big Y World Class Markets. Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY was the big winner.
Rocco reached the front in a hurry in the night’s 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature. Rookie competitor Al Stone led the opening lap before giving way to Joe Perry. Rocco made moves early to place himself in the top-three runners by lap-4. Rocco first went by the inside of Joe Gada then Perry two laps later to race into the lead. Jeff Rocco finished second with Rob Janovic Jr., third. Kyle James and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five. Bruce Thomas finished second in the Late Model finish.
In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Dean Ward got his third win of the season as he held off Junior Miller for a 100 lap win. Tim Brown, seeking a record ninth Bowman Gray title, finished third and took over the lead in the season standings from Jason Myers, who struggled much of the night and finished 10th.
In NASCAR Modified action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Ted Christopher, who finished 29th at Loudon, flew to Long Island where he finished second to Tom Rogers Jr in the tracks NASCAR Modified feature.
Brad Keselowski took advantage of lapped traffic to win Saturday’s F.W. Webb 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick led Keselowski by nearly a full second when he ran up behind lapped traffic with 21 laps remaining. Keselowski guided his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge around Harvick’s Chevrolet and went on to beat Harvick to the checkered flag by .717 seconds for his second victory of the season.
A pit miscue by Denny Hamlin allowed Kasey Kahne to grab his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season Sunday during the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Five years ago in 2017, The NASCAR Whelen Modified converged on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for two events, the Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout (non-points) and the Eastern Propane and Oil 100. The event drew 31 cars, not including back-ups.
In a move he may come to regret, Ryan Preece “moved” Ryan Newman on the last lap in order to win the Shootout. Behind the wheel of his No. 6 Simoniz Wax Chevrolet, Preece used a last lap pass of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman in turn one of the white-flag lap to take down the win after a hard charge from the back of the field.
In a random draw for starting positions Preece drew 19th, which put him in the last row for the 35-lap main event. That gave him an uphill battle to make it to the front. By the competition caution at lap 20, Preece had climbed inside the top 10. Then, shortly after the green at the restart, Preece worked his way into the top two and began to close on Newman, who had pulled out front. He hit the back bumper of the leader with just eight laps to go and haunted the No. 77 Chevrolet all the way until they hit the line with two laps to go.
As they went into Turn 1 on the final lap, Preece pulled out to the bottom and drove in under Newman. The two made slight tire contact, Newman went up the track, and Preece went on to pull away and roll into Victory Lane. Newman, who won the inaugural All-Star event in 2014, crossed the line second at the finish. Patrick Emerling, who made his first Whelen Modified Tour start of the season on Friday, finished third. Former champions Andy Seuss and Doug Coby rounded out the top five.
Donny Lia, Ted Christopher, David Sapienza, Timmy Solomito and Max Zachem rounded out the top 10.For Preece it ended up being a career signature weekend as he also recorded runner-up finishes in the Whelen Modified Tour and Xfinity series events.
In the Whelen Modified Tour 100 Bobby Santos ended a long dry spell as he took the win. In the closing stages Santos was locked in a four-race battle for the lead with Doug Coby, Ryan Preece and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman. Newman and Coby got together with two laps to go when Newman tried to split the difference between Coby and Santos and take second. The caution pushed the race to 105 laps and gave Santos the opportunity to make a run at Preece, who won Friday’s 35-lap non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout.
On the final green flag, Santos’ No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet powered by Preece from the bottom lane and drove away in the final two circuits. Santos led just those two laps. He started second, but dropped back early and had to work back through the traffic in the middle of the race. Preece, who led a race-high 54 laps, settled for second. It was the fifth top-five in six races for the Berlin, Connecticut driver and helped him close the gap to just 39 points to the top of the championship standings despite missing a race.
David Sapienza also made a late charge through the field and finished third, giving him his second straight podium finish on the Whelen Modified Tour. Brendon Bock scored a fourth place finish while Chase Dowling rounded out the top five. Andy Seuss was sixth, followed by Ted Christopher, Max Zachem, Rowan Pennink and Shawn Solomito. Christopher drove almost the entire race with a broken hand suffered in an early race accident,
Timmy Solomito, who entered the weekend as the points leader, was involved in a multiple-car crash at Lap 20 that took him out of the race. Pennink moved into first by seven over Timmy Solomito, with Eric Goodale 22 points behind. Max Zachem and Justin Bonsignore round out the top five, while Preece is sixth. There were 16 lead changes among four different drivers.
The Stafford Speedway suffered its fifth rainout in the past 11 weeks.
There was no racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night or was there? Rumor had it that Keith Rocco got another win but that’s only a rumor and rumor had it that Jacob Perry won in the Mini Stocks. No info was released by the track.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway the Modifieds had the night off but there was no lack of action at the tight quarter mile oval. It was Monster Truck Saturday at Riverhead Raceway with a large crowd on hand on a warm & pleasant evening. In the headlining 50-lap Late Model feature event Chris Turbush of Wading River rewarded his hard working team who burnt the midnight oil during the week to repair a heavily damaged car by making a last lap pass of Kyle Soper of Manorville to claim the win. Rookie driver Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck scored his first career Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate victory when he topped their non stop 30-lap main event.
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC, Burt Myers, the defending champion, drew first and led start to finish in the 100 lap Modified feature as he cruised past Brandon Ward. Danny Bohn was third, Myers’ brother Jason was fourth and Chris Fleming was fifth.
In NASCAR cup racing at Loudon, Denny Hamlin held off Kyle Larson over the final laps Sunday to send Joe Gibbs Racing to victory lane for the first time this season. One of the top organizations in NASCAR, JGR had yet to have any of its four drivers win until Hamlin took the lead with 33 laps left and held off the hard-charging Larson on the final lap.
Kyle Busch dominated yet again to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He won for the third time this season and 89th time in his career in the second-tier series. On Saturday night, he told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he plans to retire from the Xfinity Series when he gets to 100 victories.
Last year, 2021, The Tri-Track Modified Series descended upon the Seekonk Speedway, in 95-degree heat, last Wednesday. Forty-four cars were on hand for the $10,000 to win. A big thunder storm and a power outage caused by a power line down in the Seekonk area forced race officials to pull the plug on the event and re-schedule it to Wednesday, August 25.
Congratulations to George Murray, Joe Rosenfield and Wally Saleeba for being inducted to the Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame.
Based on a forecast for heavy rain and thunder the Stafford Speedway postponed its Midstate Site Development Street Stock 30 Weekly Racing event
Stephen Kopcik and the #21 team continues to impress week after week. 1 win on the season but 7 top 5’s has the 2015 SK Light Modified champion sitting atop the SK Modified point standings heading into July. Following Kopcik are Tod Owen, Tyler Hines, Mike Christopher Jr, Ronnie Williams, Chase Dowling, Keith Rocco, Michael Gervais Jr, David Arute and Andrew Molleur.
In action along the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl The SK Modified® Fast 5 Race honoring Ed Flemke Sr and Ed Flemke Jr was cancelled. No make up date was announced.
The Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina was silent to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Southern Modified action moved to the Caraway Speedway for a SMART event. Gary Putnam scored his first Modified win since 2015 on Saturday night, taking the checkered flag with the SMART Modified Tour at Caraway Speedway. Putnam set fast time in qualifying but started sixth due to a redraw. The Concord, NC native methodically worked his way through the field, taking the lead just before a caution on lap 72 of the 99 lap event. Caleb Heady, who won the tour’s second race of the season at Florence Motor Speedway, finished second. Joey Coulter completed the top three, while Brian Loftin and Jimmy Wallace completed the top five.
Sixth thru eleventh included James Civali, Danny Bohn, Jeremy Gerstner, Dennis Holdren, Jason Myers and Burt Myers.
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island also fell victim to rain.
Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America on Sunday in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. He won by 5.705 seconds over Christopher Bell. Kyle Busch was third, followed by Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin. Ryan Preece finished 40th after his engine expired.
At the conclusion of the 1969 season the Norwood Arena Speedway management announced that they were dropping the modifieds off their racing program. Stafford announced that in 1970 the speedway would switch to Saturday nights.
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 siteor at the track in their store. Order yours now. Makes a great gift!