RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: First Week Of November

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Fifty five years ago in 1967 Thompson Speedway closed out their season and it was Bugs Stevens taking the win along with sewing up the NASCAR National Modified Championship, the first of three in a row he would win in the mighty no.3 of Len Boehler. Following Stevens at Thompson was Ralph “Hop” Harrington, Eddie Flemke and Leo Cleary.

Forty five years ago, in 1977, Geoff Bodine capped a successful season with double wins for the weekend. Chemung ran a 100-lap Open Competition event on Saturday. Following Bodine at the finish were Merv Treichler, George Kent, Maynard Troyer, and Eddie Flemke Sr. Westboro closed out their season with a 50 lapper on Sunday. After an all night ride, Bodine took that one too. Ronnie Bouchard finished second and was followed by George Murray, Bugsy Stevens, Joe Howard and John Rosati.

Forty years ago, in 1982, the only action was at Atlanta where Bobby Allison took the 500-mile win over Harry Gant.

Thirty five years ago, in 1987, the rained out Fall Final at Stafford was run with Reggie Ruggiero taking the win over Jeff Fuller, Brian Ross, Bugsy Stevens, George Brunnhoelzl and Tony Hirschman. For Bugsy Stevens, the day marked the end of his modified career as he stepped out of the Garbarino Mystic Missile for the final time. A NASCAR Modified driver since 1966, Stevens garnered three NASCAR National Modified Championships plus numerous track titles. The SK’s also closed out their season with Bob Potter taking the win over Kerry Malone and Ted Christopher. Phil Rondeau was the Late Model winner.

Thirty years ago, in 1992, the Race of Champions was at the Flemington, New Jersey Fairgrounds. Because of the fact that it was a non-NASCAR sanctioned event the absence of the top NASCAR Modified pilots was evident, with the exception of a few. It was very cold and the crowd was way off but the annual running of the event still drew 54 modifieds. New Jersey runner Lenny Boyd took the win over Mike Ewanitsko, Tony Siscone, Ricky Fuller and Ken Woolley. Long Islander Mark Tooker won the Street Stock event. Tony Sylvester finished second with Jerry Young, third. The Triple A-SK Modifieds were also on the race card. Brian Sisco took the win over Roger Heffler and Ted Christopher

Twenty five years ago, in 1997, Joe Nemachek scored an emotional victory as he won the BGN 300 at Homestead, Fla., a track, which claimed the life of his brother. Randy LaJoie finished second and sewed up his second divisional title. Ted Christopher ran strong in the early going but broke an axle and ended up 34th.

Twenty years ago in 2002, the Busch North Series capped off their 2002 season on Saturday night with their annual awards banquet. Guest of honor was the 2002 series champion Andy Santerre who took the title by a mere nine points over Matt Kobyluck. Over $360,000 in point funds and special awards were handed out. Judging from what news filtered out it looked like the Busch North Series could very well be running a combined event with NASCAR’s Winston West division at the end of 2003. The event, which would be run in the south in conjunction with a Winston Cup event could be costly but will give competitors in both divisions needed exposure.
Driver Bo Gunning and car owner Eddie Partridge were officially crowned the 2002 SK-Modified Champions at Stafford’s annual banquet. Jim Peterson took top honors in the Late Model division. Gunning and Peterson received gold diamond rings and champions jackets as well as a trophy.

Fifteen years ago in 2007, it looked like former Whelen Modified Tour Series Champion Tony Hirschman had lost his sponsor/car owners as they told him they were retiring from the sport. Hirschman, who was on the Gary Danko radio show, stated that the owners (the Kehele’s) got the team together at the Stafford Fall Final and told them they were retiring at seasons end. Hirschman, who had nothing left to prove, could very well retire himself and devote his time to his son Matt’s career. The younger Hirschman had recently scored an impressive win in the North/South Shootout.

In other Whelen Modified Tour news it looked like Series Champion Don Lia would be replacing Terry Cook on the Craftsman Truck series in 2008. If that was the case a strong rumor had Bob Garbarino retiring from the sport. Tour regular Wade Cole scored a victory in Connecticut politics when he was elected First Selectman in the town of Hartland. The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island announced at their annual banquet that they would host the Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday night, August 2. The Stafford Speedway was expected to announce their Tour dates at their annual banquet.

It was announced that Preston, Connecticut Modified car owner and builder Art Barry would join a select group when he would be inducted into the New York State Stock Car Association’s Hall of Fame on January 19, 2008. Barry’s five-decade career as a NASCAR modified owner and fabricator had seen him build scores of asphalt cars for himself and others. He first came to the forefront of the New York racing scene at the Albany-Saratoga, Airborne Park and Utica-Rome Speedways with a winning coupe driven by Bobby Santos, grandfather of current NASCAR up and comer Bobby Santos 3rd. Since that time, his own cars had been wheeled by such notables as Leo Cleary, Bob Potter, Eddie Flemke, Brett Bodine, George Summers, Jeff Fuller, Greg Sacks, his son, Ken and Mike Stefanik, with whom he won the NASCAR national championship in 2000 and 2001. A tireless worker, Barry is also known for helping others perfect their car’s handling, whether or not they were customers of his Spearpoint Auto fabrication business. Prior to teaming up with Santos at the Norwood Arena in Massachusetts Barry fielded a Modified for Chapin, CT’s Joe Trudeau

Joining Barry as inductees would be drivers Buzzie Reutimann, “Barefoot Bob” McCreadie, who has an amazing 507 documented feature wins at some 54 speedways from Canada to Australia, Maynard Troyer and the late Les Deuel, a sportswriter, who covered the local racing scene for both the Albany Times-Union and the racing trade papers

The newest NYSSCA Hall of Fame members would be inducted at the association’s annual awards banquet, set for Saturday, January 19th at the Polish Community Center on Washington Avenue Extension in Albany, NY.

For the 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, Stafford Motor Speedway announced they would institute a tire rule for its SK Modified and SK Light Modified divisions. The tire rule would limit the number of tires that teams would be able to purchase each week and use during the course of the 2008 season. SK Modified teams would be allowed to purchase 2 tires each week at the track, while SK Light teams would be allowed to purchase one tire each week at the track. The Waterford Speedbowl management was looking at similar rules. This type of tire rule is not new; in fact it was first used in 1978 when Dick Williams leased the Waterford Speedbowl from the late Harvey Tattersall.

Connecticut native Joe Lewandoski, who at one time managed the now closed Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass., resigned after three years as general manager at the Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania. Lewandoski resigned less than two weeks after saying he planned to return for the 2008 season. In that time, he discovered he needed a new challenge in his racing career.

Kyle Busch’s run of bad luck officially ended Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Busch followed his Friday night Truck Series win with a victory Saturday in the Busch Series, giving him a chance today in the Nextel Cup event to become the first driver to sweep all three of NASCAR’s national series at the same track on the same But Kenseth, who had no power steering, had nothing for Busch on the restart and he jumped out to a lead of about six car-lengths and coasted toward his fourth Busch Series win of the year. It was the final Busch Series race of Busch’s career at Hendrick. He’s leaving the team at the end of the season as it makes room for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Busch isn’t scheduled to race next weekend in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson took command of the Nextel Cup championship Sunday, winning at Phoenix International Raceway to open a daunting lead over his teammate in the race to the title. It was his 10th win of the season, most since Jeff Gordon won 13 in 1998 and barring a collapse in next week’s finale, Johnson will become the first driver to win consecutive championships since Gordon did it in 1997 and 1998. Gordon was off all day. He had a tire rub after making contact with Kevin Harvick, and finished a disappointing 10th. Greg Biffle finished second and Matt Kenseth, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, was third. Tony Stewart was fourth and was followed by Ryan Newman, Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch, who was trying to become the first driver to win three of NASCAR’s national races at the same track on the same weekend, finished eighth

Ten years ago in 2012, With the 2012 season now history NASCAR posted the official point standings for the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Doug Coby had been officially named as the series champion. After fourteen races, which Coby won five, Coby beat Ryan Preece by 11 points for the title. Preece recorded two wins. Defending series champion Ron Silk also won two races and finished third, 23 points in arrears of the champion. Donny Lia, with one win, finished fourth with Todd Szegedy, fifth.

A total of 52 different drivers entered into competition during the fourteen race season. Sixth through tenth were Eric Beers, Justin Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Ted Christopher and Ron Yuhas JR.

The New York based Super Dirt Series finished out their season with a special event held at the dirt track at the Charlotte Speedway. Brett Hearn finished the hot streak he started at Syracuse in early October by winning the Super DIRTcar Series big-block modified season finale Saturday night during the PEAK Motor Oil World of Outlaws World Finals. Hearn’s fourth victory of the season completed a string of victories that included the annual 200-miler at the New York State Fairgrounds and the Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway.

Meanwhile, Matt Sheppard finished fourth and became the first driver to win three consecutive series championships.

Australian racer Peter Britten set the pace throughout the 40-lap event on the four-tenths-mile dirt track and Hearn tried to pass him time and time again, finally getting the job done on lap 32. Hearn also tied the all-time victory record in the DIRTcar modified division with his 373rd triumph.

Britten held off Jimmy Phelps to finish second with Sheppard and Tim McCreadie completing the top five.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup racing at the Texas Speedway, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski were side-by-side on the final restart, but Johnson charged his No. 48 Chevrolet hard on the outside, cleared Keselowski on the backstretch and led for the final 1 1/2 laps. Johnson won from the pole for the second week in a row, and increased his series lead by five to seven points.

Kevin Harvick became a five-time NASCAR Nationwide winner at Texas, leading 127 of 200 laps on Saturday night. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had the most important finish, battling an ill-handling car that slid around the track all night and still managed to finish fourth. That got his No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford even with Elliott Sadler for the Nationwide points lead with two races remaining.

Five years ago in 2017, A trio of well-travelled post-World War II drivers – Midget icon Dutch Schaefer and Modified standouts Joe McNulty and Henri “Red” Barbeau – were the Veterans Committee selections for induction into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame this past Sunday. All three inductions were made posthumously.

Long Islander Schaefer and New Englanders McNulty and Barbeau joined drivers Russ Wood, Bobby Gahan, Gardiner Leavitt, and brothers Jeff and Rick Fuller, crew chief Steve Bird, car owner Tom Dunn, and announcer/promoter Ben Dodge Jr. in the Class of 2017 of the NEAR Hall of Fame. Brian Danko was awarded the Charlie Mitchell/Jack Ratta Media Award and Scott Tapley was presented the Frank Maratta award. The induction ceremony was held at Maneely’s Banquet Hall in South Windsor, Connecticut.

Justin Allgaier, William Byron, Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric took the four spots in the Xfinity Series championship race.

All four berths in the championship were on the line Saturday at Phoenix Raceway, where Byron raced to his fourth victory of the season. The other three drivers made it into the Homestead-Miami finale on points.

In Monster Cup racing at Phoenix, Matt Kenseth won for the first time this season, snapping a 51-race winless streak, to earn one final victory celebration.

The New London Waterford Speedbowl management announced that Opening Weekend for the 2018 season will take place Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th 2018. Management also announced that there will be an Open Practice on Friday May 4th 2018 for teams who are taking part in the 2018 Blast-Off Weekend. Qualifying for all divisions will take place on Saturday with features to follow for the NEMA Midgets, NEMA Lites, Modified Racing Series, Ct. Pro-4 Mods, X-Cars, Super-X Cars, and Bandolero Cars. Sunday will start with a Pit Party for all fans beginning at 11 am. Awards for Best Appearing cars in each of the Saturday Night Divisions will be presented with feature racing for the Legend Cars, Trucks, Mini-Stocks, Sportsman, SK Lites, Late Models, and SK Modifieds to follow the Pit Party.

Dan Meservey Sr has announced that the shoreline oval will host the Pro 4’s for 8 shows in 2018. The dates that are locked in are May 5th, June 23rd, July 7th & 28th, Aug 4th & 18th, Sept. 22nd & Oct 20th. The series will work in conjuction with the Pro 4 Tour that will be promoted by Bob Guphill of the New England Mini Stock Tour. The total effort should bring 16 dates to the table. There will be separate points involved and a special event on the last show at Waterford

Speaking of the Speedbowl, congratulations went out to Kyle Gero on his 2017 X-Car championship. Kyle is the son of Kim and Mike Gero and the grandson of the late George “Moose” Hewitt.

“Our goal was to go out and race every single race like it was a must win,” Gero said. “We worked so hard week in and week out It was non-stop work. A lot of people didn’t put in the effort during the week in the shop that we did. My dad always says if you arrive at the track and have to work on your car, you’ve screwed up. You have to be ready when you get there.”

Gero obviously was ready. He captured seven wins in 11 starts to capture the 2017 X-Car championship by 23 points over Wayne Shifflett. In 2018, Gero plans on moving up to the Limited Sportsman division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Keith Rocco has plans to run in the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing Fuels trio of races to be held this coming winter. Len Sammons Motorsports Productions received confirmation from Rocco declaring his intentions to race in the Allentown (PA), Atlantic City (NJ) and Albany (NY) races.Rocco, who has never driven a Three Quarter Midget nor raced indoors, has acquired the car Ryan Preece has raced in recent Indoor races with considerable success.

Preece recently announced that he will drive the car now solely owned by Donnie Preece, Ryan’s uncle, in the three-race Indoor Auto Racing Series. Donnie Preece acquired sole ownership of the car from the late Ted Christopher’s wife Quinn shortly after the racing legend’s death in a private plane crash.

Noted auto racing scribe Lou Modestino had an opportunity to talk to Wayne Darling of Seekonk who promoted the recent Tri-Track Haunted 100 at the Seekonk Speedway. The event drew 34 Modifieds and only 24 started the main event. Darling and Mark Pennink are the co-promoters of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series that present paved Modified events at selected venues. Among the topics discussed were racing tires for paved track Modifieds and the 2018 TTOMS schedule.

Darling and his partners in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series continues to move that Modified Tour in the right direction with a quality show at selected tracks in the New England area. Four or five races could be in store for fans for the 2018 racing season.

Darling went on to say, “I’d like to do four races next year, maybe five. It looks like two at Seekonk Speedway and two more at Star Speedway in Epping, NH.” He didn’t give a hint which the third track could be. It might be the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut, provided it gets sold to the current promoter by the present owner, who was charged with a crime this past spring

As far as tires were concerned, Darling had this to say: “If you race at a particular speedway, you have to run the track tire. Although I like the Hoosier because that’s the one I’ve used for a long time because they work well on Modified paved race track cars. They cost about $160 apiece. I also don’t know that much about the American Racing Tire or how good they are and how long they last.”

“We’ve heard the same about American Racing Tires, and that a lot of Modified drivers don’t like them as they are too hard. Some feel that they last longer than the Hoosiers. However, the American Racing Tire was used by the recently-established (2017) Exit Realty Modified Touring Series,” he added. Principal of that tour, Gary Knight, recently announced that he’s switching to the Hoosiers in 2018 in an effort for his young Modified series to draw more entries at his events in both New England and Long Island, NY. The three other New England Modified Tour-Type clubs are the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Tri-Track Open Modified Racing Series and the Valenti Modified Racing Series that also utilize the Hoosier tires.

In other related Modified Tour news from Modestino, organizer Bob Carrita announced that he will start a new Modified tour utilizing American Racing Tires called the American Modified Series in the wake of the Exit Realty Modified Touring Series, switching to Hoosier Tires in 2018. ERMTS’ Gary Knight made the announcement of going with the Hoosier brand following his season-ending event at the Waterford,Conn. because he is trying to increase his car counts for the 2018 racing season.

Knight’s decision had a ripple effect on the American brand taking a big hit on its racing tire market share in the New England/New York market. Carrita, along with Bill Galloway of American Race Tires, had no alternative because all four current Modified tours, NASCAR, Valenti, Tri-Track and Exit Realty, will all be on Hoosiers next year. It all boils down to increasing American’s marketing share . The American race Tire brand is getting squeezed out of the Modifieds by Hoosier. It appears to be a tire war with American looking in from the outside because Hoosier now has a 75 percent marketing share.

Modified Touring Series champion Eric Goodale had this to say. “I’ve heard a lot of BS about the series for awhile and I can tell you that I have received every check that was due to me and Gary A Knight has delivered on everything he said he was going to. All I know is that every time I strapped in my Modified I was having fun and banging wheels with some of the best! Good luck to both American Racer and the MTS in the future!”

All this news begs the question on where the additional Modified Tour entries are going to come from. There’s concern that the region could have five Modified type tours with only 15 entries each, which would not be good. Consider the fact that when the Exit Realty Series and the Valenti Modified Tour had conflicting race dates, the fields at those two venues were around 15 each. We’re talking about ticket prices here ranging from $25 to $45. Fans paying that amount of money should expect to see at least 24 entries or better still 30 race cars in the pits.

“That’s not the whole story on the regional paved track Modified scene”, stated Modestino. “Joe Lowendowski, formerly manager of the now shuttered Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, as well as a former top level NASCAR official, announced a proposed new Modified tour for 2018. Lowendowski revealed that his tour will have a crate motor rule. He will try to draw the Sk Light type Modifieds which race weekly at a some New England ovals. Joe’s talking about mid-week Wednesday and Sunday programs in 2018 if it does get off the ground.”

Last year, 2021, On November 1 NASCAR announced Whelen Modified Tour dates at Langley Speedway and Riverhead Raceway. The series will return to historic Langley Speedway in Virginia for the first time since 2018, and for only the third race in series history, on April 23. The spring date will be the third race on the calendar, after the already-announced season-opening events at New Smyrna Speedway (Florida) on February 12 and Richmond Raceway on April 1. The Whelen Modified Tour will also return to the storied fifth-mile Riverhead Raceway in New York, where the series has raced every year since 1985, with the exception of the COVID-impacted 2020 season. There will be three Riverhead dates on the 2022 schedule – May 14, June 25 and September 17.

A bit of a rub has surfaced between the Stafford Motor Speedway over this announcement as April 23 is the qualifying day for the 50th annual Spring Sizzler which is open competition. Is this a power play on NASCAR’s part or is it just an oversight? For Modified fans it’s a no-brainer. The Sizzler has the juice to draw the bigger attendance. Competitors on the other hand have a challenge. Most Whelen Modified Tour competitors have two cars. One can go to Langley and one to Stafford. Teams can get an alternate driver to qualify the car at Stafford while the Tour driver races at Langley. An overnight ride or a plane ride can get a driver to Stafford in plenty of time. Years ago Martinsville ran a 150 lapper for the Modifieds as a preliminary to their Sunday Cup events. Shortly after the checker would draw northern competitors like Bugs Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Jerry Cook and Bob Park to name a few, would run to their choice of transportation and make it to Stafford or Thompson the next day in plenty of time to compete. It’s not easy but it’s do-able!

A line has been drawn in the sand! NASCAR announced on Wednesday, November 3 a total of 13 races in the 2022 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with additional dates and venues to be announced in the future. The schedule features some of the most popular short tracks in the northeast as well as historic tracks in Virginia and Florida. The Stafford Speedway did not re-up for any events.

“It will be special to start the season off at New Smyrna Speedway,” said Jimmy Wilson, Senior Director, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. “The Daytona Beach area is obviously the heart of NASCAR racing. We can’t wait to add the track to our history books.”

After opening the 2021 season for the Whelen Modified Tour, Martinsville Speedway will serve as the season finale and the stage upon which the champion is crowned on Thursday, October 27. This will mark the first time in 30 years – and sixth time overall (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991 – Martinsville has hosted the final Whelen Modified Tour race of the year.

The race adds championship flair to the NASCAR weekend at the half-mile track that also serves as the host of the penultimate races for the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Additionally, Wall Stadium (Wall Township, New Jersey) – which has hosted five Whelen Modified Tour races (most recently in 2019) – rejoins the calendar on Saturday, July 9. Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire, which hosted the series in 2020 for the 13th time, also returns, hosting a race on Saturday, June 18. The schedule is rounded out by stops at Jennerstown Speedway (Pennsylvania) on Saturday, May 28, and Oswego Speedway (New York) on Saturday, September 3.

“Riverhead and Thompson, as well as the addition of Monadnock Speedway, are key tracks for our drivers and teams who are based in the Northeast,” Wilson added. “We’re looking forward to returning to race in front of some of the most passionate fans in motorsports.” Wilson failed to state that the Stafford fans are also passionate Modified racing fans.

In Modified Racing action at the North-South Shootout in North Carolina, Matt Hirschman edged Patrick Emerling for the top spot in qualifying for the 19th Annual John Blewett III North-south Shootout in Memory of Charles Kepley. The duo, separated by only .160 of a second, will lead the field to the start of the 150 lapper. Row two is made up of Tommy Baldwin Racing teammates, Caleb Heady and Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett. Blewett is the brother of John Blewett III. Burt Myers rounded out the top five qualifiers. There were 23 cars on hand. Prior to the start of the event Hirschman elected to take the back row challenge. Giving up the pole starting position and starting at the rear would award Hirschman a $2,000 bonus if he were to win.

Hirschman got by Jimmy Blewett on a restart with seven laps remaining to win the 150-lap 19th John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout. It was the seventh North-South Shootout victory for the Northampton, Pa. driver. Hirschman took home a little more than $9,000 for the victory, which included a $2,000 bonus for starting last in the 23-car field and winning after grabbing the pole position.

Blewett held on to finish second and Caleb Heady was third. Rounding out the top six were Kyle Scisco, Burt Myers and Ronnie Williams.

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl capped off their season with the continuation of the Fast Five event that was cut short three weeks previous when Glen Reen drilled Timmy Jordan into the backstretch wall which resulted in the catch fence being destroyed in the turn three area. Keith Rocco, who was leading at the time of the stoppage went on to record the win, bringing his track win total to 154 wins, 93 of those in an SK Modified. Rocco also has 49 career Late Model victories, four Limited Sportsman division wins, four Valenti Modified Racing Series victories, two Truck Series wins, one Pro Four Modified win and one NEMA Lite win during his career at Waterford.

The win also took Rocco to a career overall total of 299 wins which include 154 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, 70 at Thompson and 75 at Stafford Speedway.

Following Rocco at the finish was Cory DiMatteo, Mike Christopher Jr, Dennis Gada and Andrew Molleur. Reen was credited with 19th spot and Jordan was credited with 20th.

When the SK Modified® race resumed, Keith Rocco led the field to green. He would then fall back to as low as 4th, when a caution that re-racked the field with 3 to go proved to be pivotal. He would rocket off the line and take the lead from Mike Christopher Jr and hold off a last lap attack from Cory DiMatteo to take home a cool $7000 pay day. Todd Owen’s third place finish was enough to award him the Fast Five Series Championship.

Mike Christopher Jr, who was originally supposed to be at the North South Shootout, restarted the race in sixth and charged like a man on a mission into the lead just 10 laps into the day. Cory DiMatteo, who was substituting for Jeff Rocco, was forced to start last for the driver change. He was up to second place and knocking on Christopher’s door by lap 73, even looking into the lead on lap 78.

A few minor incidents slowed the pace nearing the end of the race, setting up a three lap shootout for the $7000 pay day. After one false start, the leaders were able to sort it out by the second attempt which put on a show to the finish. Rocco would get the advantage going into turn 1 when Christopher chose the outside. They would wind up three wide into turn 1 on the following lap when Dimatteo would give it all he had on the inside. Dimatteo would make another bottom shot move on Rocco during the white flag lap and the pair would drag race to the line, with Rocco taking the win by only 0.071 seconds. Rocco accredited experience as what got him in the winners circle.

In other action at the shoreline oval, A special 40 lap Open Mini Stock race was won by Northeast Mini Stock Tour regular Mike Viens. Enduro winners included Beth Parks in the Ladies race, Maine’s Jamie Heath in the Full Size race, and Steven Brooks going back to back in the Compact Enduros.

In NASCAR Cup racing action, Kyle Larson closed his comeback season in NASCAR with his first championship, where he capped his return from a nearly yearlong suspension with a title-winning victory at Phoenix Raceway. Martin Truex, the 2017 champion, finished second and was followed by Denny Hamlin. Ryan Preece finished 20th.

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