Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1947, Lloyd Christopher w Levesque was the Class A winner at Seekonk. as the Midget division winner at Seekonk.
Seventy years ago in 1952, Fred Luchesi was the Wednesday night Sportsman winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Stu Eidell was the Claiming Car winner. Don Collins was the Saturday night Sportsman winner at the Speedbowl with Bud Matter victorious in the Claimers. At Seekonk, Roland Banville won a 50 lap Stock Car event at Seekonk.
Sixty five years ago in 1957, Red Bolduc went two for two as he won Sportsman features at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Ted Dean followed suit as he won non-Ford features on both nights at the shoreline oval. Islip ran a 100 lapper with Jim Hendrickson taking the win. Hop Harrington made it two in a row at Seeekonk. Lenny Brown and Pete Frazee scored wins at Old Bridge.
Sixty years ago in 1962, Bill Slater was the winner on dirt at the Stafford Springs Speedway on Friday night. Charlie Webster was the Modified winner at Waterford on Saturday. Ed Moody was the winner in the Bombers. ? Levesque was the Class A winner at Seekonk.
Fifty five years ago in 1967, the month of August began with a Wednesday night visit by the All-Star League at the Fonda Speedway. Rene Charland took on the best in the business and in the end prevailed in the 100-lap event at the New York oval. Pete Corey finished second with Maynard Forrette, Jack Farquar and Frankie Schenieder rounding out the top five. Bill Wimble had taken the lead from Charland on lap 96 only to lose it two laps later when his throttle jammed on the low end. Canadian Andre Manny took the win at the Catamount Stadium on Thursday night. Bugs Stevens finished second with Jerry Cook, third. At Stafford, on Friday night, Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took a hotly contested win in the nights Modified feature. Nathan “Smokey” Boutwell in the Garuti-Arute No.14 finished second. Rounding out the top five were Leo Cleary, Sal Dee and Wild Bill Slater. Albany Saratoga ran a 150 lapper with Ernie Gahan taking the win over Rene Charland, Bill Wimble, Jerry Cook and Ed Patnoad. Rene Charland continued to be unbeatable at Fonda as he made it three in a row on Saturday night. Bill Wimble finished second with Ken Canistrary, third. Daring Dick Caso took the top spot in Modified competition at Waterford. At the Norwood Arena Bugsy Stevens took the win over Fred DeSarro and Leo Cleary. At Thompson on Sunday Gene Bergin had the M-6 in top form as he took a 50 lap win over Sal Dee and Leo Cleary. Bobby Sprague made it three in a row at Seekonk. Utica-Rome ran a 100 lapper on Sunday night. Steady Eddie Flemke, a master of the short tracks, took the win over Fred Harbach, Lou Lazzaro, Don MacTavish and Bill Wimble.
Fifty years ago in 1972, Ralph “Hop” Harrington, driving the Dick Armstrong No.1, won the Friday night 50 lapper at Seekonk. George Summers finished second with Ernie Gahan, Fred DeSarro and Ronnie Bouchard rounding out the top five. At the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, also on Friday night, Eddie Flemke took the win over Denis Giroux, Bugsy Stevens, Bobby Santos and Bernie Miller. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Saturday night with Leo Cleary, in the Mystic Missile, taking the win over Bugsy Stevens, Ronnie Bouchard, Fred DeSarro and Ernie Gahan. Dave Lape won on the dirt at Fonda over top guns Kenny Shoemaker, Jerry Cook and Lou Lazzaro. Glynn Shafer scored his third win at Waterford. At Islip, it was Charlie Jarzombek and at Utica-Rome, Lou Lazzaro beat out Richie Evans, Sonny Seamon and Jerry Cook. Lazzaro used the same car at Utica-Rome, which was paved, that he used at Fonda.
Forty five years ago in 1977, Westboro ran a 50-lap open competition event on Wednesday night. Ronnie Bouchard took the win over Bugsy Stevens, John Rosati and Mike Weeden. Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night. Bugsy Stevens scored a popular win as he beat out Geoff Bodine, Ray Miller and Ronnie Bouchard. Friday night at Riverhead saw Charlie Jarzombek win out over Wayne Anderson and Tom McCann. At Seekonk on Saturday, Bugsy Stevens made it two for two on the weekend as he won a 100 lapper over Ed Flemke, George Murray and George Summers. Geoff Bodine beat out Bob Polverari at Riverside and at Westboro, it was Pete Scwartz over Frank Kulhman. Rounding out the weekend was Sunday night at Thompson where Fred DeSarro scored another victory, Ray Miller finished second with Keith Williams and Dick Caso rounding out the top four. In other weekend action, Maynard Troyer went two for two as he won at Spencer and at Lancaster.
Forty years ago in 1982, Corky Cookman scored his biggest win as he took the victory in the Manchester Oil Heat 100 at Stafford. Charlie Jarzombek finished second with Ray Miller, third. Pre race favorite Greg Sacks was a dnf. with a flat tire. Monadnock ran an 82-lap event that saw Marty Radwick hold off Ronnie Bouchard and Dennis Albro for the win. In other Friday night action, Jerry Cook beat out Doug Hewitt at Spencer, Tony Siscone took a hotly contested win over Richie Evans at New Egypt and at Riverhead, Bill Park won the Thompson 300 qualifier. Waterford ran an 82 lapper on Saturday night. Randy LaJoie beat out veterans Jerry Pearl and Moose Hewitt for top honors. At Riverside, Bob Polverari took the win and at Seekonk, Eddie StAngelo won out over Ronnie Bouchard and Billy Clarke. George Brunnhoelzl won a Thompson 300 qualifier at Islip and Billy Griffin won out over Richie Evans and Doug Hewitt at Shangri-la. Bob Polverari backed up his Saturday night win at Riverside with a Sunday night win at Thompson. Corky Cookman finished second with Kenny Bouchard, third.
Thirty five years ago in 1987, Jim Spencer mastered the Star Speedway as he won a 150 lap Featherlite Modified Tour Series event on Wednesday night. Jeff Fuller finished second with Mike McLaughlin, third. In SK-Modified action at Stafford on Friday night, Ronnie Rocco took the win over John Jensen and Richie Gallup. At Waterford on Saturday, Bob Potter scored his 75th career win at the shoreline oval. Harry Rice finished second with Dickie Doo Ceravolo, third. Reggie Ruggerio took a 100-lap win at Riverside over Mike Stefanik and Bob Polverari and at Shangri-La, Jim Spencer went two for two as he won the scheduled modified and Busch North Series events. Oswego ran a modified special on Sunday, which was won by Doug Hevron. Jan Leaty finished second with Brian Ross, Jamie Tomaino and George Brunnhoelzl rounding out the top five. Sunday night action at Thompson rained out.
Thirty years ago in 1992, it rained out for the sixth time at Stafford. Double features were on tap at Waterford on Saturday night. Sharing the winners circle were Bob Potter and Moose Hewitt. Phil Rondeau recorded his seventh win of the season in Late Model action at the shoreline oval. Tommy Bolles unseated Jerry Marquis at Riverside as Dan Watts beat out Mike Ewanitsko at Riverhead. Jerry Cranmer got his sixth of the season at Wall Stadium and at Tioga, Ron Shepherd beat out Lee Sherwood for the win. Mike Mclaughlin was the Busch North Series winner at Holland and at Indianapolis Raceway Park; Joe Nemachek got his first NASCAR Busch Grandnational win.
Twenty five years ago in 1997, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Thompson on Thursday night for a 150-lap event. Ricky Fuller, in the Art Barry 21, took the lead from Mike Ewanitsko on lap 89 and never looked back Mike Stefanik finished second with Reggie Ruggerio, Tom Cravenho and Tim Connolly rounding out the top five. Ewanitsko faded to 14th, one lap down. Friday night at Stafford saw Jim Broderick score his sixth win of the season in the SK-Modified division. Using Mopar power, Broderick took the lead on lap 35 of the 50-lap contest. Jeff Malave finished second with Ken Barry, third. Tucker Reynolds Jr. took the lead from Todd Ceravolo with two laps to go at Waterford on Saturday night. Ceravolo finished second with Jeff Pearl, third. Ted Christopher took the win at Riverside over Ted Riggot and at Riverhead, John Fortin won out over George Brunnhoelzl. Randy Lajoie won the Grandnational event at the Indianapolis Raceway Park and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ricky Rudd made a mileage run and walked off with the win and the $571,000 first prize. Bill Slater celebrated his birthday on August 4 and NASCAR Scorer Morris Metcalf celebrated his birthday on August 6
Twenty years ago in 2002 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night. A temperature in the mid 90’s made the 200 lap contest a test of man and machine. It was a long hot summer day and night for just about everyone on hand, including the close to 6000 spectators. The speedway opened around 10:30 am for inspection and pit parking. Forty-five Modifieds were on hand. Eddie Flemke JR has had limited success at the Long Island oval up until now but last Saturday night was his night as he set fast time, 11.790 seconds, on the quarter mile. That was only the beginning as the second-generation driver pulled the pole and led all 200 laps. The Hills Enterprises- Ron Bouchard Auto Stores No.79 handled like it was on a wire. Early race pressure from Eddie Brunnhoelzl then late race pressure from John Fortin didn’t rattle Flemke who hugged the white line over the entire distance. Fortin finished second with Brunnhoelzl, third. Ted Christopher got in the event as a provisional and after starting 26th, drove a good heads up race to finish fourth. Rounding out the top five was Chuck Hossfeld, in the Mystic Missile. Nine cautions for 53 laps took their toll. Local runner David Roys went out after ten laps after being involved in an accident Tom Cravenho went the same route on lap 20. Riverhead Bad Boy, JR Bertuccio got a round of applause when he dropped out with a flat tire on lap 76 and Frank Vigliorolo dropped out on lap 100 with overheating problems.
Many of the top tour runners were involved in minor skirmishes and thru no fault of their own ended up with poor finishes. David Berghman got caught in the pits as his crew made repairs and only completed 117 laps. Mike Stefanik had his ignition go south on lap139 and ended the night in 23rd spot. Stefanik was not a factor before the malfunction. Former modified Tour champion Wayne Anderson finished 22nd after his engine overheated. Anderson, then in his late 50’s, raced only at Riverhead. John Blewett III was hoping for a good night and had a solid top ten going when he got clipped and broke a steering arm. Blewett also got caught in the pits and was only able to complete158 laps for a 21st place finish. Todd Szegedy continues to dazzle the troops as he drove to a consistent seventh in the final rundown. Jerry Marquis had been leading the standings also had his problems with bent suspension parts and finished 20th, 30 laps down. Because of Marquis’ misfortune, Szegedy now led the point standings. While the night was good for some, it was a night of frustration for others, as 17 Modifieds didn’t qualify.
Among those who didn’t make it were Carl and Charlie Pasteryak, Fred Vordermeier, Jake Marosz, Wade Cole, Renee Dupuis and Dave Etheridge, Mike Christopher, Jim Kuhn and Tony Ferrante Jr. It got real nasty at Stafford on Friday night as a severe thunder and lightning storm forced the Arute family to pull the plug on the evening’s racing. Waterford ran a 100 lapper for the SK-Modifieds on Saturday night which saw Ron Yuhas Jr take the lead with two laps to go and go on to win the event. Eric Berndt led most of the event but got snookered on the final restart when he held back and Yuhas went. Both drivers were trying to out-fox each other and Yuhas got the last laugh.
Fifteen years ago in 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors ended their summer break when they made their annual visit to the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Blue skies, 90 degree temps and high humidity greeted the 34 cars that showed for the 28 starting spots. The top seven qualified based on their time trial. Ted Christopher took the Busch Pole as he toured the quarter mile oval in 11.815 seconds. Second fastest was local veteran Bill Park. Howie Brode was third fastest. Other time trial qualifiers were Jerry Marquis, Tony Ferrante, Donny Lia and Mike Stefanik. Twenty five lap heat races were won by Jimmy Blewett and James Civale. Among the tour regulars who didn’t qualify were Woody Pitkat and Jake Marosz. Bob Grigas, who was qualified, was sent packing after he drove his car to his hauler before getting permission from tour officials. Among the missing was Zach Sylvester who reportedly had ceased his relationship with Curt Chase and the No.77.
Mike Stefanik won the re-draw as he drew the pole starting spot. Ferrante drew the outside pole. Just as the Riverhead 140 was about to get the green some of the track lights in turn one went out.
After a one hour delay the Riverhead event got under way. Don Lia and Bob Garbarino continued their golden year as they put another victory in their corner, their fifth in eight events. Lia inherited the lead when Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher were involved in a wreck in the closing laps and led the final six laps. It was a slam-bang affair as seven caution periods slowed the event for 66 laps. Bill Park ended up in second spot.in the green-white-checkered finish. Ronnie Silk finished third, followed by Justin Bonsignore and James Civali. Danny Sammons, Matt Hirschman, Howie Brodie, Jamie Tomaino and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10. Stefanik ended up 11th, Christopher was 15th. Stefanik led the first 116 laps after starting on the pole. Christopher used lapped traffic to get by him on lap 115, and Stefanik took the lead back again on lap 137 before the two clashed two laps later.
The True Value Modified Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine. Kirk Alexander won with Mike Holdridge second and Ed Dachenhausen third. There were five lead changes. According to reports 30 cars were on hand and a big crowd witnessed the event. Jack Bateman was leading at the 75 lap mark when he ran over debris on the track and suffered a flat tire.
In regular Thursday Night Thunder action at the Thompson Speedway the temperatures were in the 90’s as Bert Marvin kept his cool as he took the win in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature. Marvin, who has the reputation of being a hot head at times, was coming off a one race suspension for un-sportsmanlike conduct.
The hot and steamy weather was equaled only by the action on the track at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday night. Bert Marvin of Waterford made a strong statement returning to competition in style by dominating the Sunoco Modified main event. The veteran grabbed the lead early in the race and went on to dominate the 30-lap feature. On the opening lap, Kerry Malone dove to the inside of a side-by-side battle between pole sitter Dave Salzarulo and Josh Steeves to make it three-wide for the lead. Malone could not keep up his momentum and fell back to third. Marvin meanwhile appeared to be on rails, easily driving to the lead on lap three. Woody Pitkat had already worked his way into the second spot followed by Malone. John Blewett had his hands full holding off Keith Rocco for fourth. Jimmy Blewett, who got out of shape on the front stretch, had gathered it in and was running alone in sixth ahead of Tommy Cravenho. Marvin was enjoying a sizeable lead as Pitkat began to feel the pressure from Malone. Rocco got alongside John Blewett and was able to take away the fourth spot as the flagman showed the crossed flags. On the same lap, Jimmy Blewett retired to pit road. Rocco then made it a three car battle for the second spot. Marvin entered lapped traffic as Pitkat, Malone and Rocco ran nose-to-tail. John Blewett was able to reel in the group as well. Marvin easily maneuvered through lapped traffic, enjoying his half-straightaway lead. Malone made his bid for the second spot on lap 25. He got inside of Pitkat but could not muster up the pass. The bid opened the door for Rocco, who then got alongside Malone. The running order remained unchanged as the first caution of the event flew on lap 25 when Shelly Perry dumped fluid on the front stretch. Back under green, Marvin easily worked his way out to a solid lead over Pitkat. Malone resumed his defense of third position from Rocco. John Blewett quietly watched from the fourth spot. While Marvin was running away with the lead, Rocco made a last ditch effort on Malone for third. He got out of shape trying to drive around Malone on the final lap. Rocco slid out of the groove losing positions to both John Blewett and Tommy Cravenho. In the end Marvin sat in victory lane. Pitkat helped pad his standing in the Whelen All-American National Standing with his runner-up spot. Malone, who sits third in the national standings finished third. John Blewett, and Tommy Cravenho completed the top five.
Steve Michalski of Dayville won post-race tech to earn his first victory of the season in the Mini Stock 25-lapper. Fred Astle of N. Westport, MA, scored his long-awaited first win of the 2007 season. Mark Jenison of Danielson continues his impressive 2007 season with his fourth Late Model victory. Kurt Vigeant of Oxford was tops in the TIS Modified division while Ernie LaRose of Plainfield checkered the Limited Sportsman main.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway Woody Pitkat was cool as a cucumber as he made it three in a row in SK Modified competition. Ryan Posocco made it two in a row in Late Model competition. Brit Andersen took down the SK Light feature win for his third win of the 2007 season, Sean Foster won the Limited Late Model feature for his third victory of 2007, and Dan Flannery scored his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE feature event.
The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat continue his white hot summer streak with his third consecutive SK Modified feature victory. Todd Owen took the early race lead and led the first three laps. Jeff Malave moved past Owen on lap-4 to take the lead, but he was overtaken on lap-6 by Zach Sylvester for the race lead. Sylvester held the lead until lap-26 when Pitkat moved out front. A caution with 28 laps complete slowed the action, but Pitkat ran the final 12 laps of the race with no challenge from Frank Ruocco to take down the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Ruocco was Keith Rocco, Kenny Horton, and Eric Berndt.
The Hartford Courant reported that the Arute family that operates the speedway was currently embroiled in some serious in fighting. Some of the children of former track owner Jack Arute Sr. claim they are owed a financial sum from the Speedway. Wayne Arute, David Arute, Rob Arute, Danny Arute and Heidi Howarth have filed a claim in Hartford Superior Court against Mark Arute, his wife and track vice president Lisa Arute, track president Jack Arute Jr. and Stafford Motor Speedway. Jack Arute Sr. died on April 3, 2006. The Arutes had owned and operated the Stafford Motor Speedway since 1971.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl annexed his fifth win of the season in the SK Modified 35 lap feature. Pearl took the lead on lap five from Frank Mucciacciaro Jr and was able to hold Dennis Gada at bay in the closing laps. Rob Janovic finished third. Mucciacciaro and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five.
Veteran Nokie Fornoro needed only a record six minutes and eight seconds to win the caution-free 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature. It was Fornoro’s first Speedbowl win since 1985. Point leader Bruce Thomas Jr. prevailed in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Other winners were Dwayne Dorr (20-lap Sportsman) and Randy Churchill Jr. (Mini Stock 20 lapper). It was the first-ever win for Churchill.
In Busch Series racing in Montreal Canada Marcos Ambrose should have won the race. Robby Gordon insisted he did. In the end, it was Kevin Harvick who celebrated the victory in the inaugural Busch race in Canada. It was a controversial finish that thrilled the crowd, infuriated NASCAR and jeopardized Gordon’s participation in the Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Gordon refused to forfeit his position in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal when ordered to by NASCAR late in the race and officials said he intentionally knocked Ambrose out of the race, and then refused to pull off the track as ordered. He also celebrated as if he had won – behavior that is expected to earn him a suspension before the Nextel Cup event at Pocono. The finish capped a wild final few laps that heated up when Gordon began charging through the field to the front, where Ambrose seemed to be heading to his first NASCAR victory. Gordon was second on a restart with four laps to go, and a multi-car accident brought out a caution. Gordon passed Ambrose at the same time as the accident to take the lead, but Ambrose spun him to reclaim it seconds later. Gordon was idling sideways as the field roared by him, but he raced back to the front under yellow and gave Ambrose a retaliatory bump. He then tried to move into the lead because he thought he was in first – or at worst, second – when the caution came out. NASCAR instead ruled he was 13th, based on where Gordon was when he righted his car following the spin from Ambrose. He vehemently refused to move back, and NASCAR warned him they would not score him if he didn’t forfeit his position. When the race resumed with three laps to go, Gordon was still holding second place but immediately spun Ambrose to take the lead. NASCAR then ordered him off the track. He refused that order, too, and led the field around the course for the final three laps. But NASCAR refused to acknowledge him, and waved the black flag at him every time he crossed the line. He finished 18th – based on the amount of laps he completed before he was disqualified – but Gordon celebrated as if he won by doing victory burnouts at the same time Harvick did Gordon wasn’t being scored and Ambrose had faded back to seventh after being spun by Gordon. It put Andy Pilgrim into the lead, but Harvick raced his way past him and took Montreal native Patrick Carpentier with him.
In Nextel Cup racing Kurt Busch’s winless drought is over. Busch dominated Pocono Raceway from the opening lap on Sunday and raced his way back into championship contention, giving himself a perfect belated birthday gift: a trip to Victory Lane. A day after he turned 29, Busch snapped a 51-race losing skid that lifted him into the 11th and final spot of the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings with five races left until the championship races start. Busch, who had surged to 13th in the standings entering the Pennsylvania 500, led all but 25 laps and made his second career Pocono victory look easy. The 175 laps led was a Pocono record. The race didn’t include Robby Gordon, who was suspended by NASCAR early Sunday morning for his conduct at the Busch Series race in Montreal a day before. Earnhardt was second and Denny Hamlin, who swept both races at Pocono last year, finished third. Points leader Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.
Ten years ago in 2012, the Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Doug Coby, was not detered by the 90 degree heat as he made it three-for-three in Whelen Modified Tour events at the historic half mile so far this year as he turned in another dominant performance for his fourth overall triumph of the 2012 season.
Coby inherited the lead when leader Eric Beers came to pit road along with the majority of the front-runners on Lap 48. He more than held his own down the stretch, however, as the lead was never relinquished, or really in question. It was his fourth career victory at Stafford. Jimmy Blewett finished second with Todd Szegedy third. Beers and Ted Christopher rounded out the top five. Pole winner Ryan Preece, Jon McKennedy, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore completed the top 10. There were 27 cars on hand.
With the victory, Coby extended his lead in the season standings on Preece to 309-268. There were 12 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Six cautions slowed the field for 30 laps. The most serious involved Steve Masse who was pinch hitting for Keith Rocco in the Boehler No. 3 and Frank Pallai who clobbered the wall in turn 3 on lap 44. Officials were forced to throw the red in order to repair the fence.
NASCAR announced that leading NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Keith Rocco, who had 42 career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins at Stafford, was recently injured in a practice accident at the Thompson Speedway and would not compete in the Stafford 150. Rocco underwent surgery in Farmington for left wrist injuries and expects to be on the sidelines at least two weeks. Rocco is also slated to be married to Cassie Ceravolo on Labor Day weekend.
In what had to be considered one of the most exciting and competitive Modified events of the year Matt Hirschman picked up the win in the Seekonk Speedway Wednesday night Modified Madness event and the $10,000 first prize payoff. Starting sixth, Hirschman ran in the front pack until lap 40 when he tangled with Chris Pasteryak when they were slugging it out for the lead. Hirschman rallied from the rear. With three laps to go Ryan Preece was leading but got snookered when Hirschman made a cross-over move to steal the lead and go on for the eventual win. Preece held on for second, with Steve Masse third, Todd Annarummo and Pasteryak rounded out the top five. David Berghman, Eric Berndt, Wentz, Doug Coby oby and Louie Mechalidas rounded out the top ten.
Hirschman’s record for 2012 is noting short of fantastic. In addition to the $10,000 won at Seekonk Hirschman won $15,000 at Oswego, NY and $9,000 at the Star Speedway in Epping, NH, all in different cars.
Thursday night Thunder at Thompson saw Ryan Preece romp to his sixth win of the season after driving out to almost a half a lap lead over the rest of the field. Dennis Perry took the top spot at the start with Kerry Malone attached to his bumper and Ryan Preece in third. On lap four, Todd Ceravolo challenged Preece by diving to the bottom. Preece retaliated by going high and drove around Malone for the second spot. Preece’s charge wasn’t finished, however, and on lap five, he drove by Perry for the lead. Perry held on to second while Ceravolo took over third. On lap seven, Ceravolo went by Perry for second, but caution flew just moments later slowing their pace. On the restart, Preece drove right back out front followed by Ceravolo and Malone. Coming up through the field, however, was Bobby Santos running in the sixth place. Preece stretched out his lead over Ceravolo as Santos charged by Malone on lap 16 to take over the third spot. Preece was on fire and, despite lapped traffic, continued to hold a dominating advantage over the rest of the field and went on to the checkers unchallenged. Ceravolo finished second with Bobby Santos, third. . Richie Gallup and Dennis Perry rounded out the top five.
Other winners included Duane Noll who dominated the 20-lap New England Truck Series race, Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds, John Falconi in the Late Model division, Steve Kenneway in the Limited Sportsman division, and Scott Michalski in the Monster Mini Stocks. Paul LaPlante won the Antique Racers feature event.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature action, Woody Pitkat was the big winner of the evening by doubling up and taking the checkered flag in both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events. The SK Modified® victory was Pitkat’s second of the season and the Late Model win was his third of the season. Also scoring feature wins were Frank Cardile in the 20-lap SK Light feature, David Arute in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Cardile’s win was his first of the season, Arute’s win was the first win of his career, and Saunders’ win was his second of the season. Arute is the grandson of Jack Arute Sr.
In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl it was a case of now you see it, now you don’t. Keith Rocco who severely injured his wrist got some help from Doug Coby to win the SK Modified feature at the shoreline oval. After an opening caution after the drop of the green Rocco, who started the race, pitted and was replaced by Coby. Coby did a masterful job as he came from the rear to score the apparent win. The win was later dis-allowed when track officials stated that Rocco and Coby did not follow the rule book. The Waterford Speedbowl rulebook states: “Driver changes are permitted after the completion of the initial green flag lap only. Points and money will be awarded to the driver that completes the initial green flag lap.” After reviewing a video it was determined that Rocco did not complete the opening lap and went directly to the pit area for the driver change. The win was awarded to Coby. It is what it is! The responsibility lies with Rocco, Coby and the car owner as they failed to read and understand the rules of making a driver change. It would have made for a great story which perhaps would have put Rocco back in the lead of the NASCAR national standings.
In NASCAR Southern Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour made their annual stop at the historic oval. George Brunnhoelzl III led most of the way, hung on through a bumpy ending that altered the finish order of several cars trailing him and won the Strutmasters.com 199. Brunnhoelzl, a two-time and defending tour champion, won for the fourth time in six races this season. It was his third straight victory, matching Brian Loftin’s record string for consecutive wins.
Burt Myers, a five-time Bowman Gray champion, was the top qualifier for a tour-leading 24th time. He held the lead until Brunnhoelzl, who started from the outside pole, took charge in the 24th lap with a pass on the outside. Brunnhoelzl lost the lead temporarily with 17 laps left when Ryan nudged ahead. But Brunnhoelzl regained the lead for good after a tap that loosened Preece.
Myers, who was driving with a severely sprained right wrist suffered in a wreck Friday night, battled Preece for the second spot until Preece sent Myers spinning. Myers finished ninth. Preece finished 11th, after getting collected in collision with Andy Seuss on the final lap. Tim Brown finished second. Canadian Cole Powell, who started at the rear of the 25-car field, finished third. Jason Myers was fourth and Andy Seuss fifth. L.W. Miller, who had won the previous two tour races at Bowman Gray, struggled in qualifying, started 17th and finished 13th in a race that had a tour-record 13 cautions.
Tom Rogers Jr was the NASCAR Modified feature winner at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Ted Christopher finished second.
Penske Racing announced that A.J. Allmendinger has been released as driver of the No. 22 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for a positive drug test.
Jeff Gordon drove into the lead during a restart as leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth made contact, causing mayhem at the front of the pack. Moments later, the impending rain clouds opened up above the track and drenched the two-mile triangle, forcing NASCAR to call the race and give Gordon the surprise triumph in the Pennsylvania 400. It was Gordon’s first victory of the year, the 86th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career and his record sixth at Pocono.
Kasey Kahne managed to sneak through the mayhem, but not without cutting his right-rear tire. Thanks to the caution period slowing the cars down he was able to stay on track and finished the race in second.Martin Truex, Jr. was scored third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.
Elliott Sadler rebounded from the disappointment of his jumped-restart penalty last week in Indianapolis to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Iowa.
Five years ago in 2017, The Stafford Speedway played host to the Whelen Modified Tour Series along with their weekly venue of Friday night racing. Ryan Preece, who just confirmed he will compete in the NASCAR Infinity Series VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 23, won the WMT 150 after starting last because officials determined that his car was too low, won the Modified Tour event while Stephen Kopcik, scored his very first career SK Modified® feature victory, Michael Bennett won the Late Model feature, Dan Wesson, the SK Light feature, Al Saunders, the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson took the checkered flag first in the DARE Stock feature but he was found to have an illegal timing chain in his engine and he was disqualified from the feature, making Johnny Walker the winner.
There were 28 cars on hand. Preece took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn’t look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30. Although it looked like Coby was en route to winning for the 11th time at Stafford after leading 135 laps, a few late caution flags allowed the rest of the field to close to his back bumper. After a multiple car crash on the frontstretch on lap 144, Preece got his chance at Coby, lining up to his outside on a restart with just two laps remaining. When the green flag flew, Preece used the outside lane and powered around Coby going into turn one. He never looked back. Justin Bonsignore finished third. Timmy Solomito took the championship points lead with a fourth-place finish, while Jon McKennedy completed the top five.
Rob Summers was sixth, followed by Dave Sapienza, Craig Lutz, Gary Putnam and Matt Swanson. Rowan Pennink, who held the points lead coming into the event, finished 17th and is seven points behind Solomito. Preece is fifth in points, one behind Eric Goodale and Bonsignore and 26 back of Solomito.
There were 9 caution flags, which consumed 43 laps. The first caution flew on lap 36 when Ted Christopher slowed in turn two. Max Zachem got into the back of Christopher after Christopher slowed. He was running just inside the top five when he slowed. The second caution flew on lap 45 for Wade Cole who took a trip into the wall in turn one. The third caution came on lap 60 for Walter Sutcliffe and Gary McDonald who came together in turn four. The fourth caution flew on lap 100 for Shawn Solomito who spun in turn two. The fifth caution ended up a red flag as a crash on the backstretch collected Rowan Pennink, Max Zachem and Calvin Carroll. Yellow No. 6 was for debris in turn one. Ronnie Williams and Brendon Bock spun in turn three on lap 126 for caution 7. Caution No. 8 was for Bobby Santos who spun in turn two. The ninth and final caution came on lap 144 when Andrew Krause, Ronnie Williams and Woody Pitkat got collected when Eric Goodale didn’t go on a restart and was clobbered by Rowan Pennink.
Keith Rocco continues to rule the roost as he took down the 35-lap SK Feature for the fourth time in 2017, and for the 142nd time in his career. It was Todd Owen’s grabbing the lead as the green flag flew. It wasn’t long for Teddy Christopher to power his way to the lead. With Christopher pacing the field it was Rocco working around the high side to move into second. The Berlin, CT driver used the inside groove to move past Christopher and had to hold off a quick charging Kyle James and cruised to the checkered flag for the win. Rounding out the top five was Rocco, Kyle James, Christopher, Owens and Dylan Izzo.
Other winners at the Connecticut shoreline oval were: Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series (35-laps) Joshua Stringer, NLWS Trucks (Combination Race) Joshua Stringer, Limited Sportsman (25-laps) Chris Meyer, Pro 4 Modifieds (25-laps) Rob Richard, SK Lite Modifieds (25-laps) Andrew Molleur and Mini Stock (25-laps) Wayne Burroughs.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead notched his third NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified win of 2017 Saturday night in the Elvis Night 50 and in the process took over the championship lead by 1 point over John Fortin Sr. 403 to 402. The triumph was the 46th of Tom’s NASCAR Modified career moving him to just 4 wins behind Jim Malone Sr. on the all time win list, Malone won 50 times at the historic quarter mile oval.
Dillon Steuer was runner-up while Howie Brode crossed the line third. Chris Young and Dave Brigati were in the hunt all race long and rounded out the top five at the finish.
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on Saturday night, Danny Bohn was looking for his first win of the season at the North Carolina track, but Jason Myers, Burt Myers, John Smith, and Brandon Ward had other ideas on their minds. The four drivers each had a shot at up to $12,000 via the Fan’s Challenge, which was a challenge accepted by all. While they contested their battle, it was James Civali and Bohn who fought it out for the race win, with Bohn ultimately taking his first Bowman Gray checkered flag of the season
Civali started first via the redraw and held the position for the first 78 laps, only to have it taken after Bohn got the perfect restart, jumping out front and leading them back to the line. After that, it was all Bohn, who lived up to his “Bad to the Bohn” moniker, fending off a late charge by Civali and winning for the first time of the season at “The Madhouse.”
Bohn started in the ninth position, but made his way through the field by the time his golden opportunity came up, and he made the most of it. He worked his way around Civali, but not without controversy, as Bohn appeared to have possibly jumped the start while making contact with Civali.
While Bohn and Civali were slugging it out for the lead, Smith, Jason Myers, and Burt Myers were racing to get into the top four to win the Fan’s Challenge after Brandon Ward retired early.
Jason and Burt Myers both made their ways through the field rather methodically, while John Smith was on the hunt from the word go. In the end, all three drivers found their way to the top ten, and then top five, and battled it out for the $12,000 Fan’s Challenge. When all was said and done, Civali settled second, followed by John Smith in third, Jason Myers in fourth, and Joe Ryan Osborne completing the top five. Point leader Burt Myers finished sixth.
Because of the fact that Jason Myers and John Smith finished in the top four, both drivers split the $12,000 prize evenly, with $6,000 to Jason Myers and $6,000 to John Smith.
Northeast Dirt Modified racing driver Brett Hearn celebrated with fans, fellow competitors and track officials at New York’s Albany-Saratoga Speedway after winning for the 900th time on Friday night!
In NASCAR Monster Energy Cup racing, Martin Truex Jr. played the fuel mileage game perfectly on Sunday at Watkins Glen Int’l, holding off Matt Kenseth to win the I Love New York 355 at The Glen. Despite spinning from the lead during the first stage, Kyle Busch drove to a dominant victory in Saturday’s Zippo 200 At The Glen NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen Int’l.
Last year, 2021, Stafford Speedway and Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair brought the Gambler’s Challenge back to the speedway for the July 23 Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night program. The Gambler’s Challenge was available to SK Modified® and SK Light Modified teams and pushed the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Modified® feature to over $14,000 and the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Light feature to over $10,000 based on a 27-car starting field.
Keith Rocco and Bryan Narducci were back in the SK modified field after serving a one event suspension but Ron Williams, also involved in the occurrence that precipitated the suspension was no where to be found. Ronnie Williams and his Adam Skowyra owned team were not at the track. Skowyra was not happy with the decision and alluded to the fact on FaceBook that his car would no longer compete at Stafford.
In the SK Modified 40 lapper, Stephen Kopcik, who started eighth, took the lead from Marcello Rufrano on lap-22 with Noah Korner, Mike Christopher Jr, and David Arute making up the top-5. Kopcik led Rufrano and the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2021 season. Christopher finished third with Korner, fourth in the event went non-stop without a caution. Rocco started 14th and ended up fifth at the finish. Kopcik, who scored his second win of the 2021 season. It was Michael Christopher, Jr. continuing his big money winning ways as he was the lucky draw winner of the SK Modified® Gamblers Challenge worth an extra $5,800 from his third place finish.
Other feature winners on the night were Derek Debbis who won the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night SK Light feature for the second consecutive season and in the process, he took home $5,600 in purse and contingency money thanks to the Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge bonus of $3,750, Kevin Gambacorta in the Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn in the Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Johnson was a career first time winner in the Street Stock feature.
Coming up this Friday at Stafford is the 4th Annual Bud Light Open Modified 80 plus a regular weekly program.
The Tri-Track Modified Series was at the Star Speedway in Epping, NH on Saturday night for the SBM 125. The event drew 41 Modifieds which necessitated five qualifying heats. Matt Hirschman who is known for his tire management and success in big money events drove to the win and was rewarded with a winning purse of over $14,000.
After winning his qualifying heat race, Hirschman took part in a 12-car redraw to determine the starting lineup and started the race from the pole position. He led the first 78 laps, essentially unchallenged, before he took his car to pit road for a fresh Hoosier tire.
Rejoining the field in 13th spot, Hirschman made a determined march to the front. After breaking into the top five on lap 95 of the 125 lap event he was able to close on leader Jon McKennedy, taking the lead on lap 112. In the closing laps he survived numerous restarts for cautions and one red flag to score the win. McKennedy finished second Chase Dowling third, Ronnie Williams fourth and Ron Silk fifth. The run marked the third consecutive top-five for Silk to open the Tri Track season, which gives him a comfortable lead in the championship standings at the halfway point of the six-race schedule.
Max Zachem finished a strong sixth and was followed by Justin Bonsignore, Brian Robie, Dana DiMatteo and NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece to round out the top-10. Sam Rameau, who won the Tri Track season opener at Monadnock Speedway on May 1 and entered the race second in the championship standings, struggled most of the day and finished 23rd.
Through the Pepsi Challenge, the following drivers earned $300 for winning qualifying heat and consi races: Chase Dowling, Brian Robie, Jon McKennedy, Matt Hirschman, Earl Paules, Cam McDermott and Anthony Nocella.
Race winner Matt Hirschman winnings total was $17,232.50. That is counting the pink tire money at $100 because it’s not yet counted as he travels home. Lap money $8,232.50, additional Star bonuses $800, $7,500 to win. $600 combined bonuses for heat win and fastest lap of the race from Tri-Track.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track at Monadnock Speedway for race four of the six-race schedule on Saturday, August 14.
At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl the SK Modifieds had the night off. Jonathan Puleo was a rookie all over again. Even though he won the 2018 New London-Waterford Speedbowl SK Lite Modified title, he had never stepped inside car owner Larry Goss’ SK Lite until Saturday.
Puleo started 12th in the 19-car field, calmly moved up through the field and roared underneath Buddy Charette with 9 laps to go en route to his first win of the season. Puleo has seven career SK Lite wins, but this was his first since 2018.
In other action, Ryan Waterman grabbed his fourth win of the year in the 30-lap Street Stock feature, Charles Canfield came alive in a green-white-checker finish to win the 30-lap Mini Stock feature. Jason Palmer held off Jordan Hadley and Ray Christian en route to his fourth Late Model win of the year and Jim Boyle nailed down his second consecutive Truck feature.
The Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina continued their season on Saturday night with Danny Bohn taking the win.
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island presented the Paul McElearney Memorial Late Model 60 which was won by Jeremy McDermott. The Modifieds ran 50 laps with Kyle Soper taking the win overRoger Turbush.