RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: Second Week Of October

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1952 Don Collins broke Ray Delisle’s strangle hold on victory lane at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Mike Dooley was the Claiming Car feature winner.

Sixty five years ago in 1957 the New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out the season with a 50 lap Sportsman feature which was won by Red Foote. Benny Desrosier was the non-Ford winner. Don Collins, who won 11 features was declared the Sportsman Track Champion. Ted Stack was the non-Ford Champion.

Sixty years ago in 1962, Frankie Schenider won the 12th Annual National Open (Race of Champions) at the one mile dirt Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. Pete Corey finished second. Junior Johnson won the NASCAR Grandnational (Cup) event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Fifty five years ago in 1967, Dutch Hoag won the 17th annual National Open at the Langhorne Speedway. Buddy Baker won the National 500 at Charlotte.

Fifty years ago, in 1972, the Modified season came to a close at Martinsville where Bobby Santos put the Art Barry No.09 in victory lane. Mike Loescher finished third and was followed by Eddie Flemke, Bernie Miller and Melvin”Puddin”Swisher. Rounding out the top ten were Hank Thomas, Bugsy Stevens, Ray Hendrick, Leo Cleary and RE Brim. Sixty-one modifieds were on hand.

Forty five years ago, in 1977, Thompson’s World Series fell victim to rain. The only modified action was in the Southland at the Hickory Speedway in North Carolina. Jerry Cook took the win over Paul Radford.

Forty years ago, in 1982, Greg Sacks and the invincible Ernie Wilsburg No.5 continued their domination of the modified division as they cleaned house at the World Series at Thompson; George Kent finished second with Kenny Bouchard in third spot. Rounding out the top five were Reggie Ruggerio and George Summers. New Egypt, which was asphalt at the time also, ran with Jerry Cranmer taking the win over Wayne Anderson, John Blewett JR, Jerry Cook and Lenny Boyd. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Darrell Waltrip took the win over Ricky Rudd.

Thirty five years ago, in 1987, Reggie Ruggiero won the 50 lap modified portion of the Thompson World Series. Ruggiero was with some hot company as he had Jimmy Spencer on his bumper for most of the way. Ruggerio started sixth and took the lead from Mike Stefanik on lap 11. Spencer started tenth and bulled his way to the front. Moving into second on a lap 16 restart, Spencer used every trick in the book to no avail as Ruggerio was on top of his game and wasn’t about to be denied. Jamie Tomaino had a strong run going in third spot by the half way mark but a slowly leaking tire was his un-doing. Tomaino’s miss-fortune opened the door for Mike Mclaughlin, who moved into third. Mike Stefanik and George Kent were running fourth and fifth in the late stages but they too, ran into problems. Stefanik pitted with a flat with ten to go and Kent spun out. Jeff Fuller, who was driving for Art Barry, moved into fourth spot and remained there to the finish. Ricky Fuller rounded out the top five. Tom Baldwin finished sixth and was followed by Don Howe, Carl Pasteryak, George Kent and Doug Hevron. Bob Potter won the 35 lap SK Modified portion. Ted Christopher finished second and wrapped up the Tri-Track championship. Jerry Pearl finished third.

Thirty years ago, in 1992, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was in Martinsville for a 200-lap event. Jan Leaty was the pole sitter but in the end it was Mike Stefanik taking the win over Wayne Anderson. Jeff Fuller finished third and wrapped up the series championship. Doug Hevron and Mike Ewanitsko rounded out the top five. Also, on the same day, was the Octoberfest at Lee Raceway where Ted and Mike Christopher finished one-two.

Twenty years ago, in 1997, Waterford ran its final event on Saturday night. Jim Broderick took the lead on lap 26 of the 35-lap event and went on to record his fifth win of the year. Todd Ceravolo finished second and sewed up the track championship. Tucker Reynolds was third with Jeff Pearl, fourth. Ted Christopher scored an impressive win in BGNN action at Lime Rock. After starting tenth, Christopher took the lead for the final time with two laps to go. Kim Baker finished second with Dennis Doyle, third. Mike Stefanik finished ninth and became the first driver to ever win the Busch North and Modified championships in the same year. It was a very hectic weekend In addition to the Busch North Series event at Lime Rock the Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway for the World Series. The 125 lap main event was full of excitement and the crowd of over 10,000 got their money’s worth. Mike Ewanitsko, driving the Sheba Racing No.8, dove under Rick Fuller with two laps to go in an attempt to take the lead. Fuller tried to pinch him off but instead ended up spinning out after making contact. Tony Hirshman ended up in second spot with Tim Connolly, Jamie Tomaino and Ed Flemke JR rounding out the top five. Fuller, driving the Art Barry No.21 recovered to finish seventh. Ed Flemke JR was the winner of the SK-Modified feature over Mike Christopher, Ted Christopher and Scott Quinn. In Busch Grand National action at Fontana, California, Steve Park was the pole sitter with Bob Labonte on the outside. Labonte had the race won until he ran out of gas with less than ten laps to go and handed the win to Todd Bodine. Park finished second.

Twenty years ago in 2002, The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour was at Martinsville. Forty seven Modifieds were on hand to qualify for the forty starting spots. Ken Woolley Jr. took the Busch Pole with Ricky Fuller, Mike Stefanik, Chuck Hossfeld and Ted Christopher rounding out the top five. L.W. Miller took the win. The racing was far from mundane. Fuller jumped out to take the lead on the start. Fred Vordermeir was the first casualty as he hit the wall on lap 15 after suffering a cut tire. Jerry Marquis, who is a contender for the tour series championship, suffered a major setback on lap 28 when his engine soured, forcing him to park it for the day. Also having engine problems which put them out were Eric Beers, Tom Baldwin and Tim Arre. Fuller led until lap 76 when Woolley mustered the required steam and took the point. Woolley led until lap 94 when fellow New Jersey competitor and former series champion Jamie Tomaino took his turn in the lead. Tomaino, having one of his best runs in quite a while, led until lap 150 when L.W. Miller took command. Miller never looked back and went on to take his first ever Modified Tour Series win. Once Miller took the lead the rest of the field turned up the wick and that’s when the action started. Todd Szegedy and Chuck Hossfeld got into a side-swiping duel when Szegedy dove under Hossfeld in turns three and four on lap 165.Szegedy drifted up as he came out of four and pinched Hossfeld into the wall. Hossfeld came off the wall and moved down on Szegedy who in turn dumped him into the wall, then spun himself and triggered a big wreck that took out David Berghman, Tony Hirschman and ultimately Ed Flemke Jr. A red flag was required to remove the wrecked cars that blocked the track. The next big incident of the day occurred on lap 190 when Ricky Fuller drilled Ted Christopher and spun him out. Christopher, far from being a happy camper was able to recover and finish ninth. Fuller finished second and was followed by Tom Cravenho, Jamie Tomaino, John Blewett III, Robbie Summers and Charlie Pasteryak.

Shortly after the completion of the event Christopher met with tour officials in the NASCAR trailer. Evidently he didn’t like what they had to say and what they did or didn’t see. Christopher left the trailer in a huff, slamming the door so hard it almost came off the hinges. The tape of the incident was available. Pictures don’t lie and NASCAR should have taken some action on this issue.

The Busch North Series couldn’t get a break as rain washed out the season finale at Lime Rock again

Wall Stadium ran a Race of Champions Tour event on Sunday. Jimmie Blewett took the win. Ken Woolley Jr. and John Blewett III made it back from Martinsville and ended up second and third. George Kent, who previously sewed up the 2002 ROC title crossed the finish line in third spot but was disqualified after a post race inspection revealed that he had tires that had been chemically altered.

Fifteen years ago in 2007, when NEAR announced their choices for induction into the Hall of Fame, class of 2008, two unique individuals appeared on the list. Pete Zanardi and Dr. Dick Berggren are two New England natives who have dedicated their lives and careers to auto racing. Zanardi, a retired sports writer was one of the first to cover weekly racing and give recognition to competitors in the print media. He wrote about many in national publications and he mentored many including yours truly. He was responsible for setting up the original public relations department when Jack Arute bought the Stafford Speedway. His biggest accomplishment could very well be the effort he put in to save the Waterford Speedbowl from extinction. Berggren began his career as a race driver at Stafford. He also took a lot of pictures and after a short driving career the camera won out. During his early years his photos were published in the now defunct Cavalcade of Auto Racing that was owned by Jim Moffat. The photos led to printed stories. He received a doctorates degree which should have led to a teaching career but auto racing won out as Berggren expanded his racing and eventually became the editor of the now defunct Stock Car Racing Magazine. Along the way he teamed up with racing buddies Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd and conceived the original Spring Sizzler at Stafford. He also became a broadcaster as a pit reporter of televised NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup Racing, a labor of love he continues to do. He also fulfilled a life long dream of owning his own magazine, Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated which is distributed nationally each month. Most of all, despite all the fame and notoriety both Zanardi and Berggren have been loyal to their roots in auto racing in New England.

The wheels were still turning at some tracks. Matt Hirschman won a special event staged at the All Star Speedway in Epping, NH. It was also the weekend for the annual Octoberfest at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. Andy Seuss won the True Value Modified Series event there after Kirk Alexander suffered a flat tire while leading with three laps to go. Mike Douglas ended up in second spot with Chris Pasteryak, third. Down in the south land Bad Boy James Civali drove the Hills Enterprises No.79 to a convincing win at the Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA

It was announced that Modified stock cars would return to Vermont in 2008, as the True Value Modified Racing Series would make its debut at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl during the 46th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, Sunday, May 25. TVMRS founder and competitor Jack Bateman of Canaan, NH tested his car at the high-banked ¼-mile oval and made the agreement with Thunder Road Promoter Tom Curley to bring the touring series to “The Nation’s Site of Excitement” for a 100-lap event as part of a doubleheader with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Thunder Road Late Models. The last official Modified race at Thunder Road was in June 1965, won by former National Champion Dick Nephew of Mooers Forks, NY. Canadian legend Jean-Paul Cabana won the Memorial Day Classic in 1965 at the wheel of a Modified car, as well.

The France family, which owns the International Speedway Corporation and Pennsylvania International Raceway, Inc. (PIR), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, terminated its agreement with NZSW, LLC for the sale of 158 acres on which Nazareth Speedway is located. The land was to be sold to NZSW, LLC for approximately $19 million. PIR intends to retain the approximately $2 million in non-refundable deposits as the agreement was terminated in accordance with its terms as a result of a default by NZSW, LLC. Nazareth Speedway suspended major motorsports event operations after the completion of the track’s 2004 events and its results of operations are presented as discontinued operations in the Registrant’s consolidated financial statements. The property continued to be marketed and a sale was expected to occur in fiscal 2008. Needless to say, it didn’t.

In Nextel Cup action Jimmie Johnson made the pass he didn’t allow Jeff Gordon to make in the spring, sneaking inside Jeff Gordon with 44 laps to go and held on to win at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for his series-high seventh victory of the year. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates who have dominated the Nextel Cup series all season did it again in the Subway 500 at the tricky track where their superiority is most apparent, and Johnson got some unexpected late help from Ryan Newman to tighten the Chase. Newman challenged Gordon for second with nine laps to go, getting increasingly more physical, and finally passed him on the inside on the 494th circuit as Johnson opened a lead of nearly 2 seconds. He then had to withstand a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, with Gordon lurking third and ready to take advantage if the leaders faltered. They didn’t, and Johnson held on through one lap before the race-record 21st caution came out. Johnson gained in the Chase with four races left, cutting Gordon’s lead to 53 points.

Ten years ago in 2012, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour traveled to Loudon, NH for the F.W. Webb 100 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Thirty One Modifieds were on hand for the event. In early Friday morning practice Donnie Lia was the fastest of the fast as he topped the speed chart in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice. Lia toured the Magic Mile in 28.952 seconds at an average speed of 131.556 mph. Rowan Pennink was second quickest in the 95-minute practice session, turning a lap of 29.196 seconds (130.456 mph). He was followed by Ron Silk, Ted Christopher and Patrick Emerling. Completing the top 10 were Eric Beers, Doug Coby, Jimmy Blewett, Mike Stefanik and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ryan Newman.

Lia carried his speed over to qualifying as he won the Coors Light Pole for the F.W. Webb 100. The two-time tour champion lapped the Loudon oval in 29.352 seconds at an average speed of 129.763 mph. Doug Coby, was second quickest with a lap of 29.571 seconds (128.802 mph). He was followed by Ron Silk, Ryan Preece and Ted Christopher. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman turned in the sixth fastest lap on his first qualifying lap, then bounced off the Turn 2 wall on his second lap. Newman drove to the garage with damage to the nose of his car. Jimmy Blewett, Justin Bonsignore, Eric Goodale and Mike Stefanik completed the top 10 in qualifying.

Doug Coby held on in a two-lap dash to the finish to win the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to score his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season. In a race that featured lead changes on nearly every lap early on, Coby took command on Lap 84 and never relinquished the top spot. While he charged to the checkered flag after a restart with two laps remaining, second-place running Ted Christopher ended up slamming the wall after contact from Donny Lia, who went on to take the runner-up spot as the race finished under caution. Lia, who restarted fourth clipped Christopher from behind and turned him into the front stretch wall. Christopher bounced off the wall and careened into the inside wall that protects the pit area.

Christopher used a few choice expletives to express his displeasure with Lia’s driving. Lia had a different story. “We were gonna fight for the win and I got a run there on the 3 car [Christopher] and got into the back of him, unintentionally, and caused a wreck,” Lia said. “It’s racing, I feel really bad about it, by no means was it intentional. I got a run and was trying to go to the bottom and got him in the left rear corner.” Following Coby and Lia across the finish line were Ron Silk, Ryan Newman and Rowan Pennink. Eric Beers, Richie Pallai Jr., Matt Hirschman, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10.

Perfect weather, clear and in the low 70’s greeted competitors alike. Prior to the start of the event

Boehler Racing Crew Chief Scott Richards gave Ted Christopher his marching orders. “Turn the fans on when the green drops and treat the first 50 laps as a practice session”. After starting fifth he ran consistently between fifth and tenth until the half way break. Following the break Christopher began his march to the front. By lap 76 Christopher was in the lead as he passed Doug Coby in turn three. Coby and Christopher were left to settle it prior to the hit by Lia.

The planned 50 lap break took a lot of pressure off crews to perform but it robbed the fans of the excitement that pit stops generate. The only excitement was the possibility of a fire when an individual who was fueling Patrick Emerling’s car accidentally spilled a lot of gas on the ground. Woody Pitkat, who was parked directly behind Emerling stated “Who ever fueled the 07 is a retard”.

Mike Stefanik, who won the July race in Loudon returned with a new car and great expectations for a repeat performance. Stefanik started tenth and got as high as sixth at one point before his engine suffered an internal malfunction on lap 31 and ended his day.

Sixteen of the original 31 starters finished on the lead lap. In addition to Christopher getting wrecked on lap 99 Eric Goodale was also collected in the same incident. Wade Cole started 30th and finished two laps down in19th spot. Extremely under funded, Cole stayed out of trouble and all things considered had a good day.

Mike Christopher made his only start of 2012. Starting 28th, his car appeared to be under powered as he was never a factor as he too was two laps down at the finish ending his day in 20th spot. Long Islander Johnny Bush also had an off day as he was also two laps down in 21st position.

Patrick Emerling, who finished 12th on the lead lap, triggered a big wreck on lap 92 in turn one that took out Woody Pitkat, Bryan Chew, Todd Szegedy and Matt Hirschman. Emerling bounced off the lapped car of Jimmy Blewett.

Donny Lia, who went on to take the runner-up spot as the race finished under caution, was not penalized for his over aggressiveness by NASCAR.

There were five cautions for 17 laps. The event went non-stop until the mandatory stop at lap 50. The second caution was for Jimmy Blewett who spun between turns three and four. The third caution came on lap 87 when it appeared that Blewett dropped oil on the track. The third caution was for the Emerling triggered wreck on lap 92, the fourth and fifth cautions were for the Christopher wreck and the ultimate finish under caution

There were 23 official lead changes among six drivers. D. Lia 1-3; R. Preece 4; D. Lia 5; R. Preece 6-11; R. Silk 12; R. Preece 13-14; R. Silk 15; R. Preece 16; R. Silk 17; R. Preece 18-19; D. Lia 20-23; R. Silk 24; D. Lia 25; D. Coby 26; D. Lia 27; D. Coby 28; D. Lia 29-45; P. Emerling 46; D. Lia 47-61; D. Coby 62-68; D. Lia 69-73; D. Coby 74-76; T. Christopher 77-83; D. Coby 84-100. There were numerous lead changes within the laps.

Doug Coby leads the point standings by 22 over Ryan Preece. Ron Silk sits third with Don Lia, fourth. Todd Szegedy rounds out the top five.

The purse for the 100 lap modified event was $159, 528. With Doug Coby earning $12,000 plus for his win, a nice amount but when one considers past winners were earning upwards of $18,000 grand, that is a big drop. Donny Lia earned $8,600 for second and Ronnie Silk earned $6,600 for third but the big question is why wasn’t the field filled, even if it was teams pulling out a backup car just to do a start and park for the roughly $2,000 to take the green. In the past, that was a common factor but with the field being short, that $159,000 purse was reduced by $10,000.

A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway stated that the Whelen Modifieds would be back for two events in 2013. That announcement would leave one to believe that Speedway Motorsports has no intention of moving any events away from NHMS at this time. The Whelen Modified Tour Series heads to the Stafford Motor Speedway for the Fall Final this weekend.

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night it was a well deserved week off as track management and competitors prepare for the season ending Fall Final that is scheduled for this coming weekend.

In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program was highlighted by twin 35-lap SK Modified® features, the premier weekly division at the track. Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard won the first of the two races, his fifth of the year, while Tom Abele Jr. of Norwich won the night’s second feature, his first on the season. Cam McDermott of North Scituate, RI picked up his second checkered flag of the year in the SK Light Modifieds. Dan Darnstaedt of Durham scored the Street Stock feature race win and Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI grabbed his first Mini Stock division victory of 2012. The X-Car division competed in an event for their Saturday Showdown Series, won by Wayne Shifflett of Preston.

Among the surprise entries at the shoreline oval was NEAR Hall of Fame Legend Bob Potter. The 71-year old is a six-time Speedbowl track champion. He has been in the driver’s seat giving race fans at Stafford Motor Speedway the racecar experience in the two-seater SK Light Modified this season at the track. Potter also won five SK Modified championships at Stafford and ranks fourth all-time on the track’s SK Modified win list with 24 career victories, drove for car owner Pat Doherty in the SK Light Modified feature event. Potter finished eighth.

NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach Fla announced that Lee Pulliam, 24, of Semora, N.C., won the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in just his sixth year of racing and fourth year in asphalt Late Models. Pulliam rolled up 22 wins, 30 top fives and 32 top 10s in 36 starts to run away with the national championship. He out-distanced runner-up Keith Rocco, 794-748. Rocco dislocated his wrist and broke a bone in an accident during practice at Thompson July 29. He had surgery and missed an entire weekend of racing.

Rocco has nothing to be ashamed of as he finished second in the final standings for the second straight year and third time in four years. Rocco had 14 wins, 26 top fives and 32 top 10s in 43 starts racing his asphalt Modified at Connecticut’s Thompson International Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl. He won his fifth straight state title and has finished in the top five nationally seven consecutive seasons.

Only four points separated the rest of the top five. CE Falk III finished third with 728, followed by Nate Monteith with 726 and Ryan Preece with 724

Pulliam’s wins were spread among four tracks including 10 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., nine at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, two at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C., and one at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. He placed third in points at Motor Mile and South Boston running a partial schedule at each. He also won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Virginia championship.

In Sprint Cup racing Denny Hamlin put together a dominating performance at Loudon. Despite qualifying 32nd, Hamlin charged up through the field and drove into the lead before lap 100. Once out front, Hamlin was never seriously challenged as he drove to his first victory at the 1.058-mile asphalt oval. The victory, the 100th for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sprint Cup competition, moved Hamlin up to third in the series standings, only seven points out of the lead. Jimmie Johnson finished second and moved into the championship lead by one point over Brad Keselowski, who finished sixth. Jeff Gordon rebounded from his 32nd-place finish at Chicagoland and finished third. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne completed the top five.

Austin Dillon completed a sweep of the season’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Kentucky Speedway with a dominant victory in Saturday’s Kentucky 300. Dillon led 65 laps, driving his grandfather Richard Childress’ Chevrolet on the day after the team owner’s birthday. He beat Sam Hornish Jr. to the checkered flag by 1.059 seconds for his second victory of the season in his rookie season in the series.

Five years ago in 2017, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out their racing season last week with BowlStrong-Fall Finale. Third generation driver Bryan Narducci of Colchester continues to dazzle the competition as he won the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature on Saturday night. Other Saturday winners were Anthony Flannery in the Late Models and Joe Squeglia in the Granite State Pro Stocks to name a few. Over 155 cars in 12 divisions were in competition.

There were 22 Modified Touring Series cars on hand Sunday for their season finale. Three qualifying heats were run. Heat winners were Jon McKennedy, Chris Pasteryak and Les Hinkley. Sk Modified heat winners were Keith Rocco, Dylan Izzo, and Todd Owen.

Keith Rocco accomplished what other competitors did not when he recorded a grand-slam in track championships in one year. Stafford, New London-Waterford (SK Modified and LateModel) and Thompson. Bob Potter and Ted Christopher recorded championships at all three but never all in the same year. Bugsy Stevens was a champion at both Stafford and Thompson as well as at Seekonk but never ran weekly at Waterford.

For Rocco it was touch and go until the final moments at Waterford. Kyle James won the 80 lap contest while Rocco first suffered a flat tire and then got collected in a wreck. When all was said and done, Rocco was credited with a 16th place finish and a one point advantage to secure the championship. James ended up second in the point chase.

After spending seven laps in the pits for repairs, Rocco rejoined the track with nine laps to go. Four laps later a weld on the chassis in the left front, broke, causing the left front tire to lay over and smoke. Rocco was shown the black flag with four laps remaining. He pulled off three laps later.

Following a period of heated discussion, the scorers at first awarded the championship to James by two points over Rocco. But immediately objections came up from the Rocco crew, who made their way to the fronstretch and contended that Rocco had made up enough positions from cars that had fallen out of the race before pulling off to win the championship.

Rocco’s track win total is 149 wins, 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 the shoreline oval. His career total sits at 251 wins which also include victories at Thompson and 45 at Stafford Speedway.

In the 125 Modified Touring Series championship event Rowan Pennink took the win and the top prize of $5,000 while Eric Goodale who finished second won the series championship that brought with it a $10,000 check. Chris Pasteryak finished third with Tommy Barrett and Jon McKennedy rounding out the top five.

In racing action below the Mason-Dixon line Danny Bohn won the Southern Modified Racing Series 75 at the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina. Burt Myers finished second with Jeremy Gerstner, third. Jason Myers and Tim Brown rounded out the top five.

Matt Hirschman became $10,000 richer after earning his first victory at Wyoming County Int’l Speedway in Perry, NY during the third running of American Racer 100 for tour-type modifieds on Saturday.

A restart with around 40-laps remaining would see Jimmy Zacharias and Chuck Hossfeld on the front row, but it was Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman moving into second and third, behind Jimmy Zacharias. Austin Kochenash and Mike Leaty got together on the front straightaway to bring out the red flag on lap 63. Both Kochenash and Leaty climbed out of their racecars under their own power. Eric Beers would take the lead on the restart as Matt Hirschman moved into second, shifting Zacharias back to third. Hirschman would look underneath Beers for the lead on lap 66 and would take the lead on lap 67. Andy Jankowiak would move into the top five on lap 70 after passing Barber. Tony Hanbury came to a stop in turn four to bring out the caution on lap 89.

Hirschman would lead the final 11 circuits to grab the victory in the American Racer 100. Beers finished second, followed by Jimmy Zacharias in third.

All roads lead to the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts Saturday for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS). Officials have announced a bounty on Matt Hirschman, in the upcoming Haunted Hundred at Seekonk. Hirschman is undefeated in TTOMS competition thus far in 2017; scoring victories in the lucrative Open Wheel Wednesday and SBM IV events at Seekonk and Star Speedways respectively as well as the most recent event at Star. Any competitor who dethrones Hirschman will receive a $1,500 bonus (should Hirschman also be on the lead lap). If Hirschman out-duels the competition yet again, he will take home the $1,500 bonus.

A total of 34 teams have filed entries thus far for the Haunted Hundred. Pit gates will open at 8am on Saturday, October 28. Grandstands will open at 11am with racing starting at 1pm. Pit admission is $35. Adult general admission is $25 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Also on the racing card is a 50-lap main event for Late Models and a 30 lapper for the INEX Legends. Building on a Seekonk Speedway Halloween tradition, prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Children and adults alike are invited to participate in the costume contest. The rain date for the Haunted Hundred is Sunday, October 29.

A tip of the hat to Paula and Chad Bouchard of Ron Bouchard Auto Stores who visited the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster recently to present the club with a new van they donated to the club.

The donation was made through the Bouchard family’s RB Racing Charity. The van, a 2017 Nissan NV worth $35,000, can seat up to 12 children and will be used to transport club members to and from events.

NEAR Hall of Famer Billy Harman was feted at a surprise birthday party held in his honor last Sunday at the American Legion in Niantic, CT. Among those who celebrated with him was Ray Miller, Bob Potter, Dennis Zimmerman, Bugsy Stevens,Dickie Doo Ceravolo, George Summers and Richard Brooks.

Just when you thought there was no room for any additional Modified racing series along comes Joe Lewandoski, former Riverside Park Speedway general manager, who announced there would be a touring SK Light Modified division for the 2018 racing season in the Northeast. Details will be announced on Sunday, Nov 19 at Hoosier Tire East in Manchester, CT. Lewandoski did elaborate that there would be no conflictions with any weekly tracks as this series would run on Wednesdays and Sundays from April thru Sept.

Martin Truex Jr. was the NASCAR Monster Cup winner at Kansas. Christopher Bell won the Kansas XFINITY race. It was his 1st XFINITY Series win in his 5th career start.

Last year, 2021, The big news was the fact that the Stafford Motor Speedway had made the decision to drop the NASCAR sanction for the annual Spring Sizzler which is scheduled for April 23 and 24, 2022. The NAPA Spring Sizzler in 2022 will be an Open Modified format. This will be the 50th annual Spring Sizzler which is the brainchild of Dick Berggren, Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd. The original Sizzler was an 80 lap open competition event won by Fred DeSarro in the mighty no.3, Ole Blu, of Len Boehler. Eddie Flemke was leading the closing moments when his water pump broke and took him out of contention.

Jack Arute Sr saw the value of the event and purchased the rights and the Spring Sizzler name and in doing so, kept the event at Stafford and it has been the season opening event ever since.

Stafford dropped it’s weekly NASCAR sanction this past season and will be interesting to see if the sanction for the remaining two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series events remain in place or fall by the wayside. During the previous season the car counts and paid attendance was very good. Plus the fact that FloRacing live streamed all events except the tour events gave the track exposure like never before. As a bonus, the competitors were able to cash in on the televised events both monetarily and exposure for their sponsors.

On tap last weekend, from the looks of the grandstand and the pit area at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl it appeared that the track had finally turned the corner. A big wreck going into turn three on lap 42 changed all that. The crash after 42 laps had been completed in the 100-lap SK Modified feature, part of the final day of the three-day Finale weekend at the track.

Timmy Jordan had been slugging it out for fifth place with Glen Reen coming off of turn two when contact between them sent Jordan riding up the wall on two wheels coming down the backstretch. Once he cleared the pit gate he took out at least six sections of fence and their posts. Jordan exited his car unhurt while at least two were transported to a local hospital with undisclosed injuries. Among those injured was Bob Gada Sr. An in-car video clearly showed that Reen came up into Jordan to block his progress.

Keith Rocco was leading the race at the time of the crash with Andrew Molleur in second and Dennis Gada in third and Jon Puleo in fourth spot. No word as to when or if the event will be completed.

Kyle Larson was the NASCAR Cup winner at the Texas Speedway. Ryan Preece got collected in an accident and finished 36th.

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