RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: Final Week Of September

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1952 Ray Delisle won the 25 lap Sportsman feature that was run on Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Ted Dean was the Claiming Car feature winner. Dave Humphrey won a non-Ford event at Seekonk

Sixty five years ago in 1957, George Lombardo made it two in a row in Sunday Sportsman action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Benny Desrosier, in the Art Tiezzi No. 230, was the non-Ford winner. Red Bolduc won a 100 lap Sportsman event to end the season at Seekonk. Johnny Zeke was the winner at Old Bridge over Pete Frazee.

Sixty years ago in 1962, Rene Charland won the season ending Connecticut State Fair 50 lap Modified event at the Stafford Springs Speedway. Rain prevailed at Waterford. George Summers closed out the year with his third Class A win of the year.

Fifty five years ago in 1967, Catamount Stadium in Milton Vermont closed out their season on Thursday night with a 200 lapper. Eddie Flemke in the Bob Judkins 2x took the win over Leo Cleary in the M-2, Wild Bill Slater in the V-8 and Don MacTavish in the Circle J. Donald”Dutch”Hoag became the first four time winner of the Race of Champions, which, at the time was run at the one mile Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Hoag was a winner at Langhorne on both the dirt and asphalt surfaces. Al Tasnady finished second with Don MacTavish, Bill Wimble and Irish Jack Murphy rounding out the top five. Waterford closed out their season with a 30 lapper which was won by Charlie Webster. Newt Palm, with 10 Modified feature wins to his credit in the L&M was declared the Modified Track Champion. Bill Sweet was the Daredevil Champion. George Summers was the Class A winner at Seekonk.

Fifty years ago in 1972, Geoff Bodine in his Plymouth Valiant bodied modified won the Race of Champions at the Trenton New Jersey Fairgrounds. In addition to the non-conventional body, Bodine’s chassis was that of an International Scout which sported independent coil-over shock suspension on all four wheels. The big surprise of the day was the run turned in by Gene Bergin who came from a dead last starting spot to finish second.

Forty five years ago in 1977, Maynard Troyer was the big winner at the Pocono Race of Champions. Troyer took the lead from Geoff Bodine in the late stages of the event. Bodine settled for second with Richie Evans, Fred DeSarro and Ronnie Bouchard rounding out the top five. Events that were scheduled at Seekonk, Thompson and Monadnock were rained out.

Forty years ago in 1982, Greg Sacks continued his season long domination in the modifieds as he won the 100 lap Fall Final at Stafford. Sacks took the lead from Richie Evans on lap 22. George Kent finished second with Bob Polverari, Richie Evans and Reggie Ruggerio rounding out the top five. Hector LeClair won the Busch North Series portion of the Fall Final. It was also on the same weekend that Waterford ran a special event for Strictly Stocks, which saw Brian McCarthy, take the win over Tom Fox. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Darrell Waltrip took the win.

Thirty five years ago, in 1987, the entire Fall Final weekend at Stafford was rained out. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, Terry Labonte took the win over Dale Earnhardt. Pole sitter, Bill Elliott, finished third. Doug Hevron won a preliminary SMART Tour event that was run on Saturday.

Thirty years ago, in 1992, Bob Potter won the final Saturday night SK-Modified feature at Waterford over David Gada and Moose Hewitt. Ted Christopher recovered from a crash and finished eighth and garnered enough points to secure the track championship. Jim Broderick was also a contender for the title but dropped out early with a broken rear end. C.J.Freye took the late model feature after Phil Rondeau lost a timing chain, while leading, with two laps to go. At Riverside Park, Jerry Marquis and the Bobby Judkins No.2x won their twelfth feature of the year at the Massachusetts oval. Rick Fuller settled for second. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at Stafford for the 150 lap Fall Final. Mike Stefanik had everyone covered as he won, going away. Jeff Fuller finished second with Mike Ewanitsko, Chris Amen and Satch Worley rounding out the top five. Bob Potter made it two for two on the weekend as he won the SK-Modified portion of the Fall Final. With the win, came the track championship. Mike Paquette finished second with Bob Georgiades, third. During the running of the 30-lap feature Ted Christopher and Bo Gunning were eliminated in a wreck. Officials felt that Richie Gallup had caused it and ejected him out of the race. Gallup’s car owner felt the decision was unfair and vowed that his car would never compete at Stafford again.

Twenty five years ago in 1997, Waterford ran a 100 lapper that was won by Jeff Pearl. Caution laps didn’t count. A total of 27 yellows were thrown and a total of 160 caution laps were run in addition to the 100 green laps .It took two hours and 45 minutes from green to checker. Todd Ceravolo finished second with Dennis Gada, third. Jim Broderick was in Flemington, N.J. during qualifying and was given a promoters option to start the event. After starting in the rear, Broderick worked his way to the front to take the lead on Lap 25.Broderick led until lap 73 when he ran out of gas and had to pit. In Modified Tour action at Flemington, Mike Stefanik scored his ninth win of the season. Stefanik took the lead from Ken Woolly on lap 209 of the 250-lap contest. Wooly finished second and was followed by Tony Hirshman, Jan Leaty and Doug French. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Geoff Bodine was the pole sitter in event that saw Dale

Jarrett take the win. Jim Spencer won the All Pro 300 GN event. The re-paving of the Stafford Speedway was begun and it was announced that Don Hoenig had leased the Thompson Speedway to Brian LaForte and Gordon”Butch”Davis, both key figures at the Polar Beverage Company. Both stated that they were in it for the long haul and would bring the speedway into the 21st century.

Twenty years ago in 2002 The Waterford Speedbowl closed out their 2002 season with the running of the Fall Finale on Sunday. Dennis Gada did what he had to do as he jumped out front on lap 22 and never looked back as he had a relatively easy time of winning the scheduled 100 lapper and the track’s SK-Modified Championship, his fourth in a row. Gada’s track title tied the record previously held by Dick Dunn who won the championship from 1972 to 1975. Gada drove for Harry Wyatt who, in addition to Gada’s championships, has two others when Jim Broderick drove his car. Dunn, who is now retired from driving, drove for Albert and Margaret Gaudreau. Gada’s closest challenger for the title was Ed Reed Jr. Reed started nine spots behind Gada in the 100 lapper and got as close as third in the closing laps. Ron Yuhas Jr. finished second. Tom Fox and Stafford Speedway Track Champion Bo Gunning rounded out the top five. It was perhaps, one of the smoothest extra distance events ever run at the shoreline oval. One of the best displays of driving skills was that of mini-stock competitor Richard Brooks Jr. Brooks got dumped into the front stretch wall in the early going and after pitting and re-starting in the rear, finished a close second behind race winner Brandon Plemons. The late model 100 was rough and tumble and ended when Mark St Hillaire drilled Cory Hutchings on the final lap as they exited turn four. Allen Coates, who had previously won the Dodge Weekly Racing Short Track title finished fifth and wrapped up the track title. Tom Silva won the 50-lap sportsman race and Randy Cabal won the NEMA Midget 25 lapped. Second generation Sportsman driver Keith Rocco showed a lot of potential as he ran with the front-runners during most of the event. Rocco is the son of Modified great Ronnie Rocco. Also impressive was Bob Santos III who came from a dead last starting spot in the NEMA main to be in a position to contend when his motor soured.

Fifteen years ago in 2007, in Whelen Modified Tour news rumor had it that Ed Cox may retire as the Tour Director. His replacement was rumored to be former Nextel Cup driver Chad Little. Employed by NASCAR, Little was the sanctioning body’s Director of Racing Development in Mexico.

The Seekonk Speedway closed out their 62nd season with the Annual D.Anthony Venditti Memorial Racing Festival. A vital part of that event was the True Value Modified Series. Conceived and owned by Modified racer Jack Bateman, the series had become an affordable alternative to those who couldn’t afford to travel or compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series. Behind the scenes it was a known fact that NASCAR officials had asked Modified competitors not to support the series.

A lot of confusion and indecision had placed a dark cloud over the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series at various times during the 2007 season. Ben Dodge had the experience and the ability to make the True Value Modified Series the top racing division in the northeast. In addition to his promoting skills Dodge is also a former Modified car owner who understands the ins and outs of being a car owner. Although they won’t go public because of possible retaliation from NASCAR many of the prominent drivers and car owners felt the time was right for a change.

Vinnie Annarummo of Swansea, Mass. passed Kirk Alexander of of Swanzey, N.H with just three laps remaining to win the D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Festival of Racing True Value Modified Series 100 lap event at Seekonk Speedway. Alexander’s second place finish clinched the 2007 series point championship. It was the third win at Seekonk this season for Annarummo and a hard fought victory. After starting the event in third he was placed to the rear of the field following a lap 2 accident with Andy Seuss. Annarummo methodically worked his way back to the front to take the lead on lap 81. Alexander then retook the lead on lap 86 and held off the challenges of Annarummo for the next 11 laps before the final pass for the win.The 2007 True Value Modified Series Championship is the third for Alexander in the last four years. He also is the series leader in career wins. Les Hinckley, who entered the event 14 points behind Alexander, suffered suspension failure and finished 25th. Alexander’s 56-point margin with one race remaining mathematically eliminated Hinckley who was assured of second place in the standings. Dick Houlihan, Chris Pasteryak and Rob Goodenough rounded out the Top-5 at Seekonk.

The New England Antique Racers announced their choices for inductees for the Class of 2008 Hall of Fame. Drivers include Dave Alkas, Dave Darveau, Dick Batcholder and the late Howie Brown, car owners Joe Brady and the late Mike Scrivani Sr. along with media members Dr. Dick Berggren and writer Pete Zanardi will be inducted at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT on Sunday, January 27th

The Busch Series had the weekend off. NASCAR announced that Nationwide Insurance would become title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, replacing Anheuser-Busch’s Busch brand at the start of the 2008 season. Nationwide Insurance would also become the official auto, home and life insurance provider of NASCAR. In Nextel Cup action at Talledega Jeff Gordon agreed to turn parade laps for much of the race before surging past Jimmie Johnson on the final lap and holding off his teammate to become the career victory leader at restrictor-plate tracks. He parlayed his decision into his 12th career plate win and fifth victory this season, and moved back on top of the points standings. He led Johnson by nine points with six races remaining in the Chase for the championship. Dave Blaney was third in the best finish this year for a Toyota driver. Title contender Denny Hamlin was fourth and was followed by Ryan Newman, who was leading late in his Dodge, and Mears.

Vic Coffey was unbeatable Sunday afternoon at the New York State Fairgrounds’ one-mile track as he scored his second victory in the Rite Aid 200 DIRT modified race. Coffey led the final 46 laps to collect over $50,000 in prize money. Chasing Coffey’s Sweeteners Plus modified to the finish was Tim Fuller, the point leader in the chase for the Mr. DIRT national modified championship.

Ten years ago in 2012, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enjoyed a weekend off as competitors prepare for the season ending World Series of Speedway Racing at the Thompson Speedway..

With one race remaining Doug Coby held a 17-point lead over Ryan Preece and 18 over defending tour champion Ronnie Silk. Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five but had been mathematically eliminated from championship contention.

The big event for the weekend was the annual D. Anthony Venditti Memorial at the Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA. Venditti, along with his wife Irene built the quarter mile with their bare hands. The speedway has been operated continuously by the Venditti family since opening day in 1946.

The highlight of the weekend was the Valenti Modified Racing Series 100. The event drew 33 Modifieds. Rowan Pennink started on the pole and led the entire race receiving pressure early on from Geoff Gernhard, Steven Masse, Todd Annarummo and again from Masse on laps 50-53 when the fifth caution flag was displayed then followed by a red flag when the skies opened to end the event. With 53 laps completed the race by rule was officially completed. Pennink’s win, his sixth VMRS victory, is his first Seekonk victory, his second victory this season, and he clipped 20 points off Jon McKennedy’s point lead as the two battle it out for the series championship with two races remaining. Pennink entered the day 57-points behind McKennedy. The points now show McKennedy with 530 and Pennink with 493.

The rains ended what was shaping up to be another classic finish at the famed oval. Masse and Annarummo were strong with a hard charging Les Hinckley who started 13th and running fourth at lap 53, methodically working his way to the front. Rounding out the top five was Geoff Gernhard. Sixth through tenth were Mark Bakaj, Max Zachem, Norm Wrenn, Tim Jordan and Jon McKennedy.

In other Seekonk action Derek Ramstrom captured the 50 lap Pro Stock feature.

In weekend action at the Waterford Speedbowl Mother Nature interfered with WaterfordSpeedbowl’s Finale Weekend on Sunday afternoon after just two of the scheduled six races were completed. The visiting Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) and INEX Legend Cars races were finished before the rain began to fall. Scoring the two race victories were Russ Stoehr of Bridgewater, MA in the 25-lap NEMA feature and Dave Garbo Jr. of Stonington in the Legend Cars.

The scheduled 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock feature was halted after 22 laps due to wet weather. The remainder of that race, along with the rest of the scheduled races, were postponed until Saturday, October 27. Sunday’s event was rain-checked by management, meaning ticket stubs and wristbands from Finale Weekend will be honored on October 27. The October 27 date will include racing by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds, Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, Street Stocks and the remaining 28-laps of the Mini Stock feature. There were 29 SK Modifieds on hand.

The Speedbowl Management’s cash drawer at the pit gate was bulging as over 200 race cars jammed Waterford Speedbowl’s pit area on Saturday for its Finale Weekend of racing. Qualifying racing for thirteen divisions along with eight main events took place over the day, with six more races being set for Sunday at the track.

Taking NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories Saturday were Corey Hutchings in the Street Stocks and David Webb in the SK Light Modifieds. Duane Noll won an entertaining Outlaw Stock feature, Dylan Duhaime was the winner of the NEMA Lite series feature and Ivoryton racer Mark Panaroni won the visiting Northeast Mini Stock Tour race. Rounding out feature winners included Eric Finkbein Jr. in the Super X-Cars, Scott Limkemann in the X-Cars and Rene Morgillo in the Bandoleros. Keith Rocco passed Dylan Duhaime with three laps to go to win the 25-lap NEMA Lites feature but was disqualified after NEMA officials stated the wing on his Midget was not approved.

Brett Hearn, the all-time victor in Super DIRT Week’s granddaddy race collected his sixth title in the Big Block Modified VP Small Engine Fuels 200 on Sunday in a rain-shortened affair at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. After starting third, the Sussex, N.J., driver took the lead on the sixth lap from pole-sitter Billy Decker and never trailed again. His biggest challenge was hedging a bet that he wouldn’t run out of gas before the race was called off because of a storm approaching slowly from the west.

Running 113 laps on his only tank of fuel, he won the gamble, he estimated, with about 10 laps to spare. The victory was worth $50,000. Placing second was Waterloo’s Matt Sheppard, followed by Baldwinsville’s Jimmy Phelps. Justin Haers, of Phelps, and Pat Ward, of Genoa, rounded out the top five.

None of them pitted during the race, opting to follow Hearn’s lead.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup action, Tony Stewart tried to block his way to victory at Talladega Superspeedway. The strategy backfired badly. Stewart triggered one of the biggest wrecks ever seen in NASCAR racing. The “big one” came on the last lap, when Stewart’s attempt to hold on for the win ended with his car sailing through the field and triggering a 25-car accident. Matt Kenseth won the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 under caution, and everyone else was left wondering what happened to cause so much damage. Stewart took full responsibility for causing the accident. He had charged to the lead on the first lap of a two-lap sprint to the finish but got too far ahead of the pack to keep any drafting partners.

Matt Kenseth was charging on the outside, and Michael Waltrip was leading a line of traffic on the inside. Stewart was blocking all over the track, and said he mistakenly chopped across the front of Waltrip’s car, triggering the accident. Jeff Gordon was scored in second place, and Kyle Busch in third.

Five years ago in 2017, In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action on the flat quarter mile track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Doug Coby used lapped traffic in Turn 4 with 11 laps remaining in the 150-lap feature to get by Danny Bohn and win the Southern Slam 150. The Milford, Connecticut, native started from the front after winning the Coors Light Pole earlier in the day and jumped out to an early lead. The five time Tour champion held back a charging Ryan Preece, the defending race winner, and Corey LaJoie on many occasions within the first half of the race.

Bohn was able to pass Coby on a restart on Lap 81 on the outside and stayed out front until Coby made his bold move to get back in front and hold on for his 24th career win. Bohn ended up second while rookie Calvin Carroll finished third. Jamie Tomaino rebounded after being involved in the first caution of the race on the green flag lap to finish fourth and Bobby Measmer Jr. completed the top five.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West rookie Derek Kraus finished sixth with CJ Lehmann, Lauren Edgerton, LaJoie and Preece rounding out the top 10. The race was slowed three times by caution for 13 laps. Preece and LaJoie both fell out of the race due to mechanical issues ending their pursuit for a win. There were 12 cars on hand.

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out it’s Saturday night season which saw Keith Rocco score a two-fer. Rocco scored his ninth win in 14 SK Modified events along with his fourth win in the Late Models. Rocco brought his track win total to 149 victories, 89 of those in an SK Modified. Rocco also has 49 career Late Model victories, four Limited Sportsman division wins, three Valenti Modified Racing Series victories, two Truck Series wins, one Pro Four Modified win and one NEMA Lite win during his career at Waterford. He now has a career overall total of 251 wins, which also include victories at Thompson, and 45 at Stafford Speedway.

Rocco will take the SK Modified points lead into the division’s final event of the season at the Speedbowl on Oct. 22. The Late Model victory clinched Rocco’s second consecutive Late Model championship at the shoreline oval. Following Rocco in the SK Modified event was Ronnie Williams and Kyle James.

In other action at the Speedbowl, Bryan Narducci recorded his third victory in six SK Light Modified division 25-lap feature, Jacob Perry of Pawcatuck got his second win of the season in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature and Chris Meyer got his sixth win of the season in the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature.

Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, drove to his second win of the season Sunday afternoon when he captured the ‘Advanced Gas Distributors’ 75- lap modified race sanctioned by the Valenti Modified Racing Series. The race was part of the 34th annual Oktoberfest race program at Lee USA Speedway, Lee. NH. The win was also the second for long-time car owner Warren Mordenti.

Point leader Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Massachusetts’s finished runner-up, and in doing so, locked in the 2017 VMRS championship. Westbrook, Maine, veteran Tony Ricci returned to the series this season after taking a break from modified racing and finished a strong third. Sammy Rameau, of Westminster, Massachusetts, at age 15, made a late race charge to finish in a respectable fourth place, followed my Grantham, New Hampshire’s Mike Willis Jr.

Early race leaders Les Hinckley III, and Jeffrey Gallup, finished sixth and seventh, 17-year old Ryan Doucette an impressive eighth, Mike Douglas ninth, and Jimmy Zacharias, rounded out the top-ten. Thirteen of the 18 cars that started the race finished on the lead lap. The race was slowed by three caution periods for minor spins.

Burt Myers picked up his fifth Southern Modified Racing Series victory of the season Saturday in the Fall Spectacular 75 at Hickory Motor Speedway. It was his series-high seventh career victory on the tour.

Point leader Jeremy Gerstner wheeled into the lead at the start and set the pace for the first 42 laps. On lap 43 Brandon Ward dove inside of Gerstner into turn three and took the lead off turn four.

As the lead duo and Danny Bohn battled for the top spot, Myers closed in again. On lap 59 Myers surged inside Ward off turn two and took the lead into the third and fourth corner. Bohn followed Myers into second and kept a close watch on the reigning series champ, but was never able to mount a challenge.

Myers rolled to the victory over Bohn. Ward held on for a third-place finish. Andy Seuss was fourth with Jason Myers in fifth.

Matt Sheppard stole $50,000 from Peter Britten Sunday, driving by the Australian in the last corner to win the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, the finale of Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway.

The victory was his 11th with the Super DIRTcar Series this year and catapulted him to the championship lead over Billy Decker despite missing two races earlier this year because of a suspension.

Martin Truex Jr. continued his march towards the championship round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with a victory Sunday afternoon during the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Alex Bowman made a statement on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway by storming to his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory during the Drive for the Cure 300.

The victory for Bowman, who has been tabbed by Hendrick Motorsports to take over for the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2018, is the first of his career across NASCAR’s three national divisions.

American Racer Tires out, Hoosier Tires in for 2018 for the Modified Touring Series (MTS). American Racer informed MTS that they were discontinuing support of the series, Before the ink even dried the MTS had hooked up with Hoosier for 2018.

Last year, 2021, There were smiles coming down from the heavens following the Friday night SK Modified feature at Stafford. Jack Arute Sr had invented the SK Modified division back in the 80’s and on Friday night David Arute made his grandfather proud as he won the feature in a green-white checkered finish. Equally as proud were David’s parents, Mark and Lisa Arute who operate the Stafford Motor Speedway.

High drama was the name of the game in the final moments. With 10 laps to go, Matt Vassar was in the lead with Teddy Hodgdon, Noah Korner, Arute, and Marcello Rufrano giving chase. Hodgdon was closing in on Vassar and with 5 laps to go, was right on Vassar’s back bumper. Korner and Arute were also closing in on the lead duo to make it a 4-car train for the lead and the win. Hodgdon made a pass to the inside of Vassar in turn 1 on lap-38 to take over the lead but Vassar came back to the inside of Hodgdon in turn 3 with a bottom shot crossover move and the two cars touched with Hodgdon going around to bring the caution out and set up a green white checkered finish. Vassar was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Hodgdon. It appeared that Hodgdon was just as much at fault as he dropped a bit to block. This put Korner and Arute on the front row with Christopher and Rufrano in row 2 for the restart.

Korner took the lead but as the field came to the white flag, several cars got together in turn 3 including Cory DiMatteo, Troy Talman, Dan Wesson, Jon Puleo, and P.J. Peters to bring the caution back out. The next restart saw Arute take the lead by a nose at the line as the field took the white flag. Arute and Korner raced side by side over the final lap and they touched coming out of turn 4 to the checkered flag with Arute edging Korner out by a nose to record his first SK Modified® points paying feature win after winning the TC 13 Shoot Out on September 10. Rufrano finished third with Mike Christopher Jr fourth and Tyler Hines rounding out the top-5.

Todd Owen clinched the SK Modified® championship a week previous and he celebrated his championship in NAPA Victory Lane along with the other four track champions.

In other Friday night season ending action, Adam Gray won the Late Model feature, Tyler Barry started fourth in the SK Light feature which went non-stop and scored his first win, Jeremy Lavoie won his fourth Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Hydar scored in the Street Stock feature. With NAPA Championship Night serving as the final race of the 2021 season, track championships were clinched by Michael Bennett in Late Model division, Derek Debbis in the SK Light division, Alexandra Fearn in the Limited Late Model feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the Street Stock division. Alexandra Fearn made he debut in the Late Model division where she finished tenth.

Saturday night at the New London Waterford Speedbowl saw Todd Owen annex his second SK Modified Track Championship of the weekend. Owen’s sixth-place run, combined with a fifth-place effort by Cory DiMatteo, gave Owen an 8-point victory over DiMatteo in the standings.

Andrew Molleur pulled away from Mike Christopher after an early restart to rack up his third SK win of the season. Anthony Flannery finished third with Rob Janovic, fourth. DiMatteo rounded out the top five.

In other action, Jason Palmer romped to his 10th Late Model win of the year and vaulted into the point lead by two points over second-place finisher Ray Christian. Ethan Durocher struck for the first time in the SK Lite Modifieds, Nickolas Hovey pulled down his first Street Stock win,. Charles Canfield roared to his second straight Mini Stock victory and John O’Sullivan rolled to his eighth Legends win of the season, putting a padlock on the track title one race ahead of schedule.

The Modified Racing Series (MRS) presented twin 40 lap events at the Lee Speedway in New Hampshire. Jacob Perry scored his third series victory of the 2021 season. Perry also finished 13th in the second feature for the division, which is part of the Octoberfest weekend at Lee. Rusty Poland was the winner of the second 40 lapper

Down in the southland at the Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia, Brandon Ward won the SMART Racing Series Stanley Law Group 99. Caleb Heady finished second with Burt Myers, third. Max Zachem was the only New England entry. He finished 11th.

Rain spoiled the tribute to Ron Bouchard and his win in 1981 at the Talladega Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr was scheduled to drive the Race Hill Farm Buick that Bouchard drove to one of the most exciting finishes at the track. The entire event was rained out and rescheduled to Monday.

On tap this weekend, the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park presents the 59th annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10. The weekend is highlighted by the $20,000-to-win Sunoco Thompson 300 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. The 17-division program also includes the Sunoco Modified Triple Crown Series, ACT Late Model Tour, PASS Super Late Models, NEMA Midgets and Lites, all local divisions, and much more. Visit www.acttour.com/thompson-speedway for the full schedule of events. Three-day general admission to the Sunoco World Series is $75 for adults, $20 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under.

The Hartford Courant reported that on Wednesday, Sept 29, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the April 2019 conviction of New London-Waterford Speedbowl owner Bruce Bemer. The court ruled 7-0 that prosecutors in the case against Bemer did not prove he knew that men he paid for sex acts were victims of human trafficking.

The 67-year old Bemer was convicted in April 2019 of four counts of patronizing a trafficked individual and also of an accessory to a sex trafficking operation. He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison but He has been out on an appeal bond since his conviction.

According to the Hartford Courant: “The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Raheem L. Mullins, disagreed with both the prosecution and the jury.” The decision read: “In other words, the defendant asserts that the state did not produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he knew or reasonably should have known that the men were engaged in prostitution because they had been compelled or induced to do so by means of fraud or coercion. We agree.”

Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement Wednesday evening reported by the Hartford Courant: “We’re disappointed in the decision and that the Connecticut Supreme Court did not see the evidence as the jury did.”

Now that the legal system has done its thing it will be interesting to see if NASCAR opens the sanction door to the shoreline oval. After all, what Bemer did or didn’t do is no worse than New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft did or didn’t do or how about the fact that Brian France was arrested on a drug charge. Interesting thoughts!

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