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

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy five years ago in 1948 the driver’s strike at Seekonk was in week No.2

Seventy years ago in 1953, Red Foote made it two in a row in Sportsman competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Bud Matter was the non-Ford winner.

Sixty five years ago in 1958, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl went two for two in the rain.

Sixty years ago in 1963 Mr. Rene Charland took the 25 lap NASCAR Sportsman win at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Eddie Flemke won his first of three in a row at Fort Dix in New Jersey, Lou Lazzaro finished second with Tom Kotary, third. Jim Luke and Jeep Herbert rounded out the top five. Racing at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl was cancelled due to cold conditions. Billy Clarke made it two in a row at Seekonk. Norwood cancelled because of rain.

Fifty five years ago, in 1968, the action was hot and heavy at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway where Rene Charland held off charging Don MacTavish for the win. Bernie Miller finished third with Dave Kotary and Ed Pieniezek rounding out the top five. At Stafford, Bugsy Stevens took the top spot over Jack Malone, Bill Slater, Lou Toro and Joe Trudeau. Stevens carried his winning ways over to Norwood on Saturday night. Saturday night action at Lancaster, Seekonk and Fonda rained out. At the Waterford Speedbowl, Newt Palm was the 30 lap Modified winner. Bugs Stevens made it three for three on the weekend as he won at Thompson on Sunday afternoon. Sunday night racing at Utica-Rome fell victim to rain.

Fifty years ago in 1973, weekend action began Friday night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., where Fred DeSarro took the win over Eddie Flemke. On Saturday, at Stafford, Ronnie Bouchard came from deep in the field to make it three in a row. Don Flynn finished second. Bob Melnick took the Late Model win at Seekonk. Dan McNamara won at Islip over Charlie Jarzombek and Jim Hendrickson. George Allum took his third Modified win at Waterford. In Sunday action at Lee, Bugsy Stevens led the way over Freddie Schulz, Moose Hewitt and Bob Santos. Utica-Rome and Tioga rained out.

Forty five years ago in 1978, Geoff Bodine made it two in a row in Friday night action at Stafford. Bugsy Stevens finished second and was followed by Ronnie Bouchard and Leo Cleary. Bodine ended up going three for three as he also won at Seekonk on Saturday and at Thompson on Sunday. At Waterford, Dick Dunn beat out Blaine Belz and at Westboro, Joe Howard took the win. Other weekend winners were Maynard Troyer at Spencer and George Kent at Fulton.

Forty years ago in 1983, the weatherman won at Stafford as it rained. At Waterford on Saturday, Joe Tiezzi won out over Glynn Shafer and Ted Christopher. At Riverside, it was Mike Stefanik and at Islip, Fred Harbach was still winning. George Kent won out over Richie Evans at Spencer and at Tioga, Kent slipped to third behind Evans and Jim Spencer. In Winston Cup and Grandnational action at Dover Downs, Ricky Rudd took the GN win and Bobby Allison won the WC 500


Thirty five Years ago in 1988, the weatherman got another at Stafford. Richie Gallup got his third win at Waterford over Larry Lanphear and Bob Potter. At Riverside, Jerry Marquis took the win and in Modified Tour Series action at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Mike McLaughlin earned a victory over Jeff Fuller and Reggie Ruggiero. Fred Harbach won at Riverhead and at Monadnock, Kenny Bouchard took the win.

Thirty years ago in 1993, Rick Donnelly got his first Stafford win. Bob Potter finished second and was followed by Mike and Ted Christopher. A.J.Foyt officially retired from Indy Car racing after making one final lap around the fabled Brickyard. Bob Potter scored his 89th career win at Waterford on Saturday night over Mark Lajunesse and Larry Lanphear. Ron Rocco was going for second spot until getting walled by Jim Dolan who never turned when they entered turn three. Cris Kopec got his first win at Riverside after rookie Jim Houghton was disqualified with illegal gears. Bob Park won at Riverhead and in BGNN action at Monadnock, Robbie Crouch took the win over Kelly Moore and Mike McLaughlin. In Winston Cup action at Sears Point, Geoff Bodine survived a vicious hammering from Ricky Rudd to take the win.

Twenty five years ago in 1998, Curt Brainard scored his first ever win at Stafford. In his 112th try, Brainard took the lead on lap three and led to the checker at the 50-lap mark. Steve Chowanski finished second with Mike Christopher, Chris Jones and Frank Wainwright rounding out the top five. Matt Kobyluck was running a Pro Stock when he crashed hard and suffered a broken shoulder blade and numerous broken ribs. At Waterford on Saturday night, Rick Donnelly survived 13 cautions to win the 35-lap feature that took over an hour to run. Tucker Reynolds finished second and was followed by Bert Marvin, Dennis Gada and Mike Gada. Allen Coates was the late model winner. Coats’ win was the 198th for engine shop, Larry’s Automotive. Jim Broderick scored his first win at Riverside Park. Ed Spiers, Richie Gallup, Ted Riggot and Brad Hietella followed. Howie Brode scored his first ever win at Riverhead as he won out over George Brunnhoelzl. The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series was at Nazareth for a 100 lapper. Mike Stefanik took the win after a tough battle with Tom Baldwin and Ed Flemke Jr. Dan Avery finished fourth with Jamie Tomaino rounding out the top five. Tim Fedewa won the Busch Series event that was also run at the Pennsylvania oval. Dale Earnhardt Jr was a pre-race favorite but got wrecked after a pit stop. Randy Lajoie wasn’t too happy with Buckshot Jones after being dumped into the wall. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Mark Martin won the Winston after Jeff Gordon ran out of gas on the last lap. Jeremy Mayfield won the Winston Open.

Twenty years ago in 2003 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series traveled to Nazareth, Pa. Ted Christopher was the class of the field as he won the 100-lap event that was extended to 107 laps because of a late race caution. Christopher and Busch Pole sitter John Blewett III were the only leaders in the event that was slowed by 8 caution periods for 47 laps. It was Christopher’s race to lose as he had the dominant car for just about the entire distance. Christopher led the first 94 laps before giving way to Blewett who led only laps 95 through 97 before Christopher took charge for good. It was Christopher’s second Modified tour victory of the year as he had previously won the Spring Sizzle at Stafford. Blewett finished second. Eddie Flemke, who has had a string of bad luck, got the monkey off his back with a strong run, which placed him third at the finish. Nevin George and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five. Thirty-eight cars were on hand, a little light considering the event. Not to insult anyone but there were at least eight cars that didn’t belong in the field. Based on his strong second place finish, John Blewett III took over the point lead from Chuck Hossfeld. Hossfeld crossed the finish line in 8th spot but was placed last, 19th, on the lead lap for jumping the final re-start. Hossfeld had now slipped to fourth in the standings. Trailing Blewett by one point was Todd Szegedy. Christopher moved up into third and Jerry Marquis sat in fourth. Ted Christopher had a busy weekend for himself. In addition to racing at Nazareth, he competed at Stafford on Friday night where he finished sixth after qualifying through the consolation and on Saturday night at Waterford he finished third in a rough night at the shoreline oval. At Stafford, Brad Hietala passed Jim Civali on a lap 30 re-start and went on to take the victory in the 50 lap main event. Hietala started in seventh position. Mike Holdredge finished second with defending track champion, Bo Gunning, finishing third. Civali finished fourth with Jay Miller rounding out the top five. Rookie Curt Lenahan started on the pole and captured his first ever win at Waterford on Saturday night. For the most part, many of the heavy hitters in the modified ranks were collected in wrecks, which were the norm at the shoreline oval. Jay Miller survived to finish second with Ted Christopher, third. Ron Yuhas Jr. and John Brouwer Jr. rounded out the top five. The Busch North Series was at the Lake Erie Speedway where Andy Santerre took the win over Mike Johnson and Mike Stefanik. Kelly Moore was the pole sitter and led the early going before losing two laps when he cut down two tires and had to pit. Moore ended up 16th. In Winston Cup action at Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson took the lead from Jeff Gordon on lap three of the final 20 lap leg of The Winston and went on to score the win. Kurt Busch finished second. In Busch Series action at Nazareth, Ron Hornady took the win after leading 148 of the 200-lap distance. Brian Vickers finished second with Mike Bliss, third.

Fifteen years ago in 2008, gas prices ranged from $3.75 to $4.00 per gallon. The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to rain for the second week in a row. The Arute family that owns and operates Stafford announced that NASCAR New England, the hour long Television production that covers the weekly racing would be back on NESN for ten episodes during the 2008 season. The tentative starting date would be in late June.

The Waterford Speedbowl.enjoyed another good night of competition with Keith Rocco making it two in a row in SK Modified competition. Rocco took the lead from Jay Miller with 13 laps remaining in the 35 lap feature. Miller faded shortly after as Jeff Pearl moved into the second spot. Pearl tried repeatedly to overtake Rocco but was forced to back out of it when it became obvious that Rocco would wreck anyone who attempted to pass. Rather than wrecking Pearl made a smart decision to settle for second spot. Rob Janovic finished third and was followed by Ron Yuhas Jr and Tyler Chadwick.

In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. recording his third feature of the season. Thomas battled with Ron Yuhas Jr. during the last half of the event before finally getting the advantage as the two approached lapped traffic and Thomas was able to sneak-by on the inside. Following Yuhas was Tim Jordan, Vin Esposito, and Ed Reed Jr. Other Feature winners were Walt Hovey Jr. (Sportsman), Randy Churchill (Mini Stock), Jason Palmer (Legends), and Randy Cabral (NEMA Midgets).

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and the True Value Modified Series were in the middle of their “Spring Break”. To date both series had enjoyed good counts despite the high costs of traveling. The Whelen Modifieds have had 41 Modifieds enter into competition while the TVMS has had 39. With the two major series on break the All Star Speedway in Epping, NH hosted a special 100 lap open competition event for Modifieds. Mike Stefanik took the win over Andy Seuss and Ron Silk. The event drew 31 cars.

Wayne Anderson won Saturday nights NASCAR Modified feature at the Riverhead Raceway just one week after a hard crash on opening night. Anderson started on the pole and led every lap.

Kyle Busch won the battle of attrition Saturday night as one of NASCAR’s least popular drivers overcame a pit-road penalty and several scrapes with the wall to win the Sprint Cup Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Carl Edwards finished second, Jeff Gordon was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr finished fourth.. Tony Stewart had never won at Darlington before, but he was dominant Friday night in gliding to victory in the Nationwide Diamond Hill Plymouth 200, the first race on the track’s repaved surface.

Ten years ago in 2013, The Valenti Modified Racing Series paid a visit to the Thompson on Sunday. Twenty eight Modifieds were on hand. Unfortunately rain prevailed.

The Stafford Motor Speedway Friday night series saw Rowan Pennink score his first ever win at the Connecticut oval. Pennink, who also races at Thompson on a weekly basis plus the Valenti Modified Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, travels from Huntingon Valley, PA each and every week in order to race. Shortly after the drop of the green in the 40 lap feature Pennink went to the lead past Michael Gervais and never looked back. Sean Foster, who moved into the runner-up spot at the mid point of the event, tried everything he could to get by Pennink, but Pennink held him off at the checkered for his first career SK Modified® feature victory. Glen Reen finished third, with Ted Christopher and Doug Coby rounding out the top-5.

In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl, it was a little chilly to say the least as summer has yet to kick in. Scoring victories were Kyle James of Ashaway, RI in the SK Modifieds® and Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models. A pair of defending champions earned their first 2013 wins, Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon and Paul French of Andover in the Mini Stocks and SK Light Modifieds, respectively. Ryan Waterman of Danielson was a first-ever winner in the Street Stock feature. All five were first time winners in 2013.

James picked up his win surviving a wild 35-lap race in the SK Modified® division. James, who started in last position, dodged incidents which resulted in eight caution flags that plagued the race. He started the race in 23rd position after problems plagued him in practice and qualifying. The race began with rookie Tyler Jackson and Ed Puleo battling for the lead from their front row starting positions. Jackson bobbled exiting turn two on lap-2 creating a traffic jam behind him which resulted in a caution when Diego Monahan spun into turn-3. Puleo took the lead on the restart as Jeff Rocco and Tom Abele climbed to second and third on the track.

Nichole Morgillo and Justin Gaydosh spun in tandem out of turn two battling in a tight pack of cars just outside the top-five for the second caution flag on lap-10. The restart was not kind to Jeff Rocco as he made heavy contact with the retaining wall exiting turn two while running. Ted Christopher was collected and pitted for repairs, returning at the tail end of the field while Rocco’s night was over. Only one lap was completed before caution was back out on lap-11 as more mayhem broke out behind Puleo. Another bobble by Jackson out of turn two resulted in several cars making contact and Monahan again the victim, stopped on the track with a flat tire. Keith Rocco took the opportunity to head to the pits for adjustments during the yellow.

Craig Lutz took over at the front with a daring three-wide maneuver after racing went back to green. He looked inside of Puleo down the back chute coming to lap-14 as Puleo fended off a challenge to his outside by Abele. Lutz cleared both exiting turn four to streak into the lead, holding the top spot through lap-22 when Puleo fought back and found room to his inside. Behind Puleo Todd Ceravolo eventually came away with second position in a battle that saw three cars tangle on lap-24. Abele and Lutz both tried racing under Brett Gonyaw in turn two, coming together to bring out the next caution flag and sending each to the pit area for repair. The melee bumped James up to third position and into contention. James was able to get ahead of Ceravolo on the restart, trailing Puleo when Jeffrey Gallup and Christopher wrecked in turn four battling for fourth on lap-25. Once in second, James used the next restart to stay outside of Puleo and take command on lap-27 when Puleo got loose to his inside fighting to hang on to his lead. James survived a final restart on lap-33, besting Ceravolo to race to the checkered flag. Ceravolo wound up second while Puleo ran up front all night, leading much of the race, to place third. Keith Rocco and Lutz both rebounded from their hurdles to round out the top-five.

In NASCAR Modified Racing at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Howie Brode of East Islip snapped a nearly three year winless spell when he swept the Twin 30 NASCAR Modified feature events at the east end oval under threatening skies which forced the features to be moved up in the track’s running order with unexpected rain showers all around the facility. For Brode it was his 12th career win at Riverhead and his first since he won on July 17th, 2010 when he was triumphant in the Baldwin, Evans & Jarzombek 77 Memorial. Ryan Preece finished second, while defending champion Shawn Solomito was third place tally. Ron Silk and Tom Rogers Jr. rounded out the top five.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC Burt Myers scored his 52nd career win at the 1/4 mile flat oval that encircles a football field. Myers survived nine restarts and managed to hold the lead until the end of the 104 lap contest. Myers, who has won two of four Modified races this season, moved up from the second row to the outside of the front row after Robert Jeffreys, who drew the second position, wasn’t able to start.

Ed Carpenter, the local boy whose mother is married to former Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George, took the pole position for the Indianapolis 500. Carpenter, the owner/driver of Ed Carpenter Racing, was the proverbial “Little Guy” going up against the best teams in the sport owned by the legendary Michael Andretti and Roger Penske. And in the end, it was the “Little Guy” that would lead the field to the green flag to start the 97th Indianapolis 500 as Carpenter won the 2013 Indianapolis 500 pole with a four-lap average of 228.762 miles per hour in a Dallara/Chevrolet.

Jimmie Johnson, the five-time NASCAR champion became the first four-time winner of NASCAR’s annual All-Star race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, breaking a tie with the late Dale Earnhardt and teammate Jeff Gordon.

In some sad news, former short-track ace Dick Trickle died Thursday at age 71 from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Lincoln County (N.C.) Sheriff’s Department. Trickle, who won well over 1,000 short-track features in his career, ran his last NASCAR race in 2002. Trickle’s body was found near his pickup truck in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C. The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call at around noon Wednesday, from a man, apparently Trickle, who said there would be a dead body, and it would be his.

Five years ago in 2018, The Stafford Motor Speedway opened the weekend on Friday night with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action and the Valenti Modified Racing Series for the 5th Annual VMRS 80. Keith Rocco set a Stafford SK Modified® division record with his 6th consecutive win dating back to the final 2 races of the 2017 season. Also taking wins were Tom Fearn in the Late Model division, Andrew Molleur in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Johnny Walker in the Street Stock feature.

In the 40 lap SK modified event Rocco started 14th and fought his way to take the lead on lap 24. with 5 laps to go, Rocco, Joey Cipriano, and Eric Berndt were running nose to tail in a 3-car train for the lead with Ron Williams, Mike Gervais, and Rowan Pennink in another 3-car train for fourth behind the lead trio. Rocco took the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win in four starts this season and his sixth consecutive SK Modified® win dating back to the end of the 2017 season, setting a Stafford Speedway SK Modified® record for consecutive wins. Cipriano finished second with Berndt, Williams, and Gervais making up the top-5. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 255 wins which also include 149 victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, 58 at Thompson and 48 at Stafford Speedway.

Not to take anything away from Rocco’s SK Modified record but Geoff Bodine is the all time record holder for consecutive wins as he recorded seven in a row from 5/12/78 to 6/23/78 when the track ran real modifieds. Bodine drove a car owned by Richard Armstrong that was designed and built by Bodine, Billy Taylor and Ralph Hop Harrington.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of two visits during the 2018 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 5th Annual VMRS 80. Taking the checkered flag was Rowan Pennink, who started deep in the field and bided his time before making a charge to the front over the final 30-laps of the race. Pennink was starting to come to life as he moved up to third on lap-66 and then took second from Rocco one lap later. With 10 laps to go, Pitkat had a nearly 3 second lead over Pennink with Anthony Nocella, Donnie Lashua, and Keith Rocco making up the top-5. The caution came out with 71 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Robbie to set up a 9-lap dash to the finish.

Pitkat took the lead on the restart with Lashua nearly taking second from Pennink but he slotted back into line in third. Nocella was fourth with Willis in fifth and Etheridge in sixth. With 5 laps to go, Pennink was right on the bumper of Pitkat looking for the lead. Pennink was able to get to the inside of Pitkat with 3 laps to go and he was able to complete the pass with 2 laps to go. Pennink led Pitkat to the checkered flag to pick up his third Valenti Modified Racing Series win of the 2018 season in four races. Lashua finished third with Nocella and Mike Willis rounding out the top-5. Sixth thru tenth were Dave Etheridge, Les Hinckley, Jr., Richard Savary, Keith Rocco and Jeff Gallup.

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl cancelled for the second week in a row. Track management advises that there is a big show coming this Saturday to the Bowl! The Full Fendered Throwdown presented by Belltown Motors Tire Service Center and Belltown Recycling!

Across the big pond on Long Island, the Islip 300 at the Riverhead Raceway was cancelled due to impending rain. A star studded field of Tour Type Modified drivers were all set to go toe to toe on the demanding quarter mile oval Saturday in a $32,650 spectacular but will now have to wait another month to do so. Prior to making the decision to rain out the Islip 300 Riverhead Raceway GM John Ellwood and race director Scott Tapley searched for a suitable make-up date. With the NASCAR WMT, Race of Champions, Valenti Modified Racing Series and Tri-Track Series all having an open date on June 16th as of press time that date was selected.

Due to the forecast for rain and thunderstorms throughout the day, Sunday’s Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Pepsi was cancelled. The 30-lap feature race for the Limited Sportsman race will be added to the Thompson 125. Anyone who has reserved a garage for the race can contact the office for a full refund. The speedway will try again on Wednesday, June 13 for their next event, which features four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Divisions, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and the NEMA Lites.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the rain stayed on the coast. Jason Myers took the first 25-lap Modified Division race on Saturday, earning his second win of the season while brother Burt Myers finished second.

Jonathan Brown won the follow-up on what became a beautiful night for racing with hardly any rain.

Last year, 2022, The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ended a six week vacation as the series ventured across the big pond (Long Island Sound) to the Riverhead Raceway on the east end of Long Island. A hefty purse of $83,450 was up for grabs for the 32 competitors who pre-entered. Jimmy Blewett was slated to drive the Tom Baldwin 7NY but was forced to withdraw because of illness in his family. Doug Coby, a former winner at Riverhead was given the nod to occupy the seat in his absence.

Coby rocketed to his third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win in the last four races at the New York bullring after starting third on the grid. Because of rain delays the 30 cars that showed for the event were lined up based on their practice speed. After passing polesitter Timmy Solomito, Coby was nearly uncontested for the rest of the evening at Riverhead as he perfectly executed multiple restarts and methodically carved his way through the ever-prevalent lapped traffic around the quarter-mile bullring.

The closest challenge Coby received came during a green-white-checkered attempt, where he was tasked with holding off the hard-charging Patrick Emerling, who had climbed his way up from the 15th starting position. Ron Silk with Dylan Slepian, fourth. Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth included John Baker, Kyle Soper, John Beatty, Jr., Eric Goodale and Kyle Bonsignore.

For many it was not a good day. Jon McKennedy and Dave Sapienza who finished 17th and 18th missed their set-ups. Jake Johnson was like a fish out of water in the Boehler No. 3, finishing 24th, 60 laps down. Justin Bonsignore went into the event with high hopes but it all came to an end on lap 58 with a broken traction bar in his rear suspension. He finished 25th and Craig Lutz ended his day on lap 124 after a trip into the wall with Mathew Brode. Lutz was credited with 26th. Dead last as usual was Melissa Fifield who gave up after nine laps.

In a statement from track PR Director Bob Finan, “teamwork in full display on Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway. The team put together by Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz led by John Ellwood coupled with Jimmy Wilson and the NASCAR WMT group had a never say quit attitude payoff. When the drizzle and rain hit after final practice it would have been so easy to call it a day. But not this group, nope folks paid good money to travel to and see the Miller Lite 200. Rain be damned the entire show was presented and to those who braved the elements and laid down their hard-earned money, thank you. You are the reason we do what we do. Job well done.”

Fans and competitors will have two high paying modified events to take in this weekend. Friday night at Stafford will see the Call Before You Dig 81 lap open competition event. The action shifts to the Lee Raceway in New Hampshire on Saturday night for a 175 lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series event. A lot of good competition is heading our way!

As the Whelen Modified Tour heads up-country to Lee, NH Eric Goodale continues to lead the point standings with a slim two-point edge over Ron Silk. Tommy Catalano, who is having a break-out season sits in third spot with Jon McKennedy, fourth, some 12 points out of the lead. Rounding out the top five is Austin Beers, 18 points back. Sixth thru tenth include Kyle Bonsignore, Craig Lutz, Dave Sapienza and Justin Bonsignore.

Among the 24 pre-race entries for the Lee event are Matt Hirschman and young Jacob Perry who will be making his maiden run with the big boys on the Whelen Modified Tour.

After a weeks delay because of rain the Stafford Motor Speedway began their weekly Friday night season under clear skies and warm temperatures. A near full pit area was a great way to start the season. Included were 30 SK Modifieds, 29 SK Lights, 22 Street Stocks and 30 Late Models and Limited Late Models.

David Arute recorded the SK Modified® feature victory, his second win in the last 3 races dating to the NAPA Fall Final last season; Kevin Gambacorta locked down the Late Model feature win, Tyler Chapman won the SK Light feature after a spirited battle with Tyler Barry, Rich Hammann notched the Limited Late Model win, and Bobby Stirk, III was a first-time winner in the Street Stock feature. The kids big wheel race was won by 6-year-old Cameron Chandonnet from Ludlow, MA.

In the SK Modified 40 lapper, Brian Sullivan and Cory DiMatteo went side by side for a full lap on the lap one restart with Sullivan taking the lead at the line by a nose. Sullivan got clear into the lead on lap-2 and behind him DiMatteo and David Arute were side by side for second with Michael Christopher, Jr. in fourth and Ronnie Williams in fifth. Arute took second from DiMatteo on lap-4 and he charged his way past Sullivan on lap-5 to move into the lead.

From that point on there was no denying Arute. At the halfway mark, it was still Arute in front followed by DiMatteo, Bryan Narducci, Ron Williams, Marcello Rufrano, Todd Owen, Stephen Kopcik, Mike Christopher, Matt Swanson, and Jon Puleo. With 10 laps to go, Arute was still in control of the race with Narducci now in second followed by DiMatteo, Rufrano, Williams, Kopcik, Owen, Christopher, Swanson, and Tyler Hines. Rufrano was able to make a move to the inside of DiMatteo on lap-36 to move into third while Narducci was still trying to get close enough to Arute to make a bid for the lead. Narducci couldn’t get close enough to Arute to make a move as Arute took down his first win of the 2022 season. Rufrano finished third with DiMatteo and Kopcik rounding out the top-5.

This Friday at Stafford will see the 4th Annual Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 plus the regular weekly racing divisions.

Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem NC fell victim to rain for the second week in a row.

Congratulations and a big shout-out to Matt Hirschman and the #60 race team on their win at the Evergreen Speedway in Pennsylvania in their 75 lap season opening race. Hirschman started 14th. It was his tenth win in 13 starts for the year so far. His life time win total is 207.

In NASCAR Cup action, Kurt Busch survived a weary day of tire attrition, then pinched his way past Kyle Larson for the lead with eight laps to go, before driving away from the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion to win for the first time at Kansas – and give the up-and-coming 23XI Racing team owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA great Michael Jordan its second win ever.

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