51's Modified Madness Presented by Advance Auto Parts Compiled by Mike Twist
North, South, Dirt and Asphalt...All The Latest From the Mod-ern Racing World
PASS MODS: TAYLOR GETS SEASON GOING WITH SPEEDWAY 95 VICTORY
After starting out his PASS Modified season with finishes of 11th and 13th at Beech Ridge and Speedway 95 respectively, Jason Taylor wanted to jump start his year a little bit when the series visited Speedway 95 for the second time this past weekend.
The #99 PASS Modified of Jeremey McCormick goes for a ride at Speedway 95. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Taylor did just that, by driving his #8 Modified to victory lane ahead of Richie Morse and Mark Lucas. 2006 PASS Modified champion Chris Staples finished fourth. Steve Bennett, Jr. rounded out the top five finishers.
Taylor now joins Kenny Harrison and Gary Norris as PASS Modified winners this season. The tour returns to action on June 17th at Unity Raceway (ME).
DIRT: DOUBLE DOSE OF REUTIMANNS
Beware: Fans attending the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Cedar Ridge RV Center-WRWD 107.3/99.3 FM event at Orange County Fair Speedway on Thursday, May 31 may suffer ‘double’ vision upon arrival. A pair of Reutimanns are slated to be back in town along with the famous double-zero numbered Big-Block Modified, still exhibiting the standard blue roof, white doors and signature #00 in red.
With the entire all-star appearance spearheaded by Cedar Ridge RV Center president Joey Barbagallo Jr., Dover Brake, long-time sponsor of the Reutimann-run DIRTcar Modified, is backing the Orange County appearance of NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year candidate and Busch Series driver David Reutimann. Reutimann will pilot owner Dave Cruickshank’s brand-new no. 00 Dover Brake/Bicknell ride with M.J. Corigliano Towing & Recovery (Boonton, NJ), Tibbits Masonry (Utica, NY), Leslie Home Improvement and JSV Fabrication lending sponsorship support.
fun,” said Buzzie, 66, the inaugural Super DIRT Week winner on the Syracuse Mile in 1972, who plans to make the flight from Zephyrhills, Fla. to Newburgh, N.Y. on Thursday. “I haven’t been back for awhile so I’m looking forward to taking the trip. I know David is anxious, he’s always wanted to have a good run at Orange County but never had the equipment to get it done.”
While Buzzie last chased Small-Block Modified titles at DIRTcar tracks in the north country, David got his feet dirty following the group’s Central New York circuit during the early 1990s. Brewerton (9th in points), Canandaigua and Cayuga County Fair speedways filled out his summer slate in 1994, the same year he ranked 40th in the overall Mr. DIRTcar Modified standings . The younger Reutimann also competed in a number of special events, with his best finishes at Super DIRT Week (15th) and Eastern States Weekend (11th) recorded in 1995.
David Reuttimann (NASCAR Photo)
“I never had much success racing back then in New York, always seemed to have some kind of motor trouble or something go wrong from week to week,” recalled David, 37, who began his affiliation with Darrell Waltrip Motorsports in the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series. “Hopefully, I’ll have some better luck next week at Middletown. Whatever happens it should be a lot of fun, it’s where I grew up and one of my favorite places on the planet.”
David began competing in go-karts as a teenager and moved on to dirt-track Modifieds. When he wasn't racing, he worked on wrenching cars in the family shop. His big break came in 2002 when Brian Pattie, an old friend and former crew chief for Cup regular Joe Nemechek, got him a job testing cars. He ran his first Busch Series races in 2003 and joined up the following year with Waltrip's truck team.
General admission for the Advance Auto Parts SDS Cedar Ridge 75 is $22 and reserved seats in the covered grandstand are $25. Parking on the fairgrounds is free, while there is a $1.00 charge for drive-in section parking. The drive-in parking fee goes towards the drivers’ point funds. Gates open for the main grandstands and drive-in section at 4:00 pm, with Integra Shocks Modified Time Trials set for 6:30 pm.
RIVERHEAD: BIG WEEKEND OF RACING AHEAD
The first of three crucial double point races for the NASCAR Modifieds of the Whelen All-American Series will unfold this Saturday evening June 2nd at Barbara and Jim Cromarty’s Riverhead Raceway. Two other divisions will also go extra laps for double points as the Chargers and Blunderbusts will race for 30-laps on the five division program.
Defending NASCAR Modified champion Chuck Steuer of Bohemia will look towards this race as a big stepping stone in defense of his 2006 crown, but a star studded field will be out trying to get the jump on Chuck. Among them are Sal Accardi Jr., Bill Park, Wayne Anderson, Chris Young, Dan Jivanelli, J.R. Bertuccio, Tom Rogers Jr., John Fortin, Howie Brode, Dave Brigati and Dave Sapienza.
BOWMAN-GRAY: MYERS IS LUCKY AND GOOD
Burt Myers has said that he’s not exactly a fan of Bowman Gray Stadium’s 100-lap Modified races. But after Saturday night’s Whelen 100, maybe he’s changing his mind.
“Maybe drawing the pole tonight made up for the last 100-lapper,” said Myers. “Maybe it is a little karma. Last time for the 100-lap race, I qualified on the pole and drew 17th.”
Myers shot out to an early lead and held on to take the win in the Whelen 100. There were a few times when Myers had to sweat though, particularly when going through congested traffic as he passed lapped cars. “You’re worried about what’s going on. I would try to time passing the lapped cars to where I would get a gap between me and the second place car – to where I passed them and maybe he didn’t.,” said Myers.
Myers in victory lane. (BG Photo)
Bowman Gray Stadium allows a random draw to determine the starting lineup for their 100-lap races for the GMAC Insurance Personal Pit Crew Modified Series. The draw scatters the fastest cars throughout the field, creating an exciting race for the fans as the faster cars have to fight their way to the front. But a few drivers such as Myers feel disappointed when they qualify well and start in the back of the pack.
Burt Myers of Walnut Cove has been a dominant force in qualifying, taking the first two poles of 2007. But a lot changed tonight for Myers as his car slipped during qualifying, giving him a disappointing 21st fastest qualifying time.
Instead, the fastest lap belonged to Bobby Hutchens of Lexington, his first pole ever. “I think going out last had a lot to do with it,” said Hutchens about winning the pole. “Since the middle of last year we’ve been creeping up on our times. I think we had three or four outside poles last year, and we’ve been in the top 5 or 6 these first couple of weeks. I think I actually learned something tonight in qualifying because of the slippery conditions. I actually changed my driving style, and we’re going to try that again next week,” said Hutchens.
When the competitors randomly drew for starting position, it was Myers who drew the pole.
Arrangements are also being finalized to have Reutimann’s legendary racing father, Buzzie Reutimann, for many years the most popular Modified driver at Orange County, make a return to Middletown as well. Buzzie won 33 feature races on Orange County’s Hard Clay track, including the 1972 Eastern States 200, and was crowned Modified track champion in 1972 and 1974.
Also planning to be in attendance are fellow Nextel Cup/Busch Series driver Carl Edwards and his car owner Jack Roush. Reutimann competes for two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip's team of Toyota Camrys in the Japanese automaker's first season on NASCAR's top circuit.
“David will be flying over with Carl from Dover and I’ll be coming up from Florida, hopefully we’ll all get there at the same time, meet some old friends and have a lot of
What happened next wasn’t pretty either as seven of the oncoming 19 cars got together.
After a complete restart, Strohl then took command of the race but his stay out front was short lived as Kevin Graver, Jr., hustled around to the lead after three tours.
Strohl remained second but was hotly perused by Quinn. By lap 10 he made it to the runner-up spot and then set course for the lead.
With the same momentum that thrust him into second, Quinn used the ensuing circuit via the top side of the track to cruise past Graver for the lead.
As Quinn was heading the pack Chip Santee emerged into the picture. Santee darted his way up to second by lap 15 and was then making a valid attempt to get around the leader. However, on lap 19 while racing under close-quarters with Quinn and several others, he got nipped and went into a spin. The incident also gathered up third place running Graver.
When racing resumed Quinn was still out front but now had Snyder behind him. A chance of a repeat win quickly fell by the wayside for Snyder as Don Wagner unseated him and then went to work on Quinn.
Despite being caught up in the opening lap melee, Wagner was running very strong. Repeated attempts at passing Quinn, though, were futile, as the rookie remained focused over the remainder of the race and the former Factory Stock champ and Street Stocker runner earned his career frist victory as a Modified driver.
Santee rebounded to take third with Snyder and Jones completing the top five.
WYOMING COUNTY INT’L SPEEDWAY: PLENTY OF UPCOMING ACTION
Stock car racing is never dull at the BullRing a 1/3 mile asphalt oval, designed for side-by-side automotive competition. Celebrating 47 years of enjoyment, our divisions may have evolved, but the idea still remains…if you enjoy driving fast and your competitive spirit keeps you striving to finish first…then you and your friends will enjoy the entertainment at Wyoming County International Speedway.
This weekend WCIS will be competing on Sunday afternoon, fans will enjoy a full show of TQ Midgets, 4 cylinders, Mini-cups, SST Modifieds, and a 50 lap Super Stock, Dave London Memorial Event. London passed away earlier this year but will always remembered as a past champion of WCIS. The orange Ford #89 is now a part of racing history. London competed across the region for many years and passes the racing torch to his son. Jody London will honor his father’s racing past at WCIS by acting as honorary starter, and trophy presenter for the SS 50 lap event. Jody will be joined by family and friends of the racing family. All fans will have a chance to meet some of the stock car drivers during the intermission with the 2nd session of ‘Meet the Drivers’.
Teams are asked to maintain home track rules or fully abide by the posted WCIS rules. An added weight disadvantage may be placed on over competitive visiting cars. Teams are requested to call the speedway tech official Dennis Murphy Jr. for rule clarifications. After market bodies and 9” rear-ends will not be legal.
The rained out, second race of last week’s Twin 25s for the SST Modifieds will be postponed until Sunday, June 10th. Kid Rudolph #12 and TJ Potrzebowski #51 battled back and forth for the win but will now start tail for the inverted 25 lap finale.
Father’s Day at the BullRing is traditionally a big day for all as the Race of Champions Modifieds pound into the BullRing. Will the track surface hold up to the 700 horsepower open-wheel machines? WCIS management have been sealing and patching the McAdams surface, in preparation…but time will tell if the track conditions play and roll in the outcome of one of the most action packed races of the ROC tour.
RIVERHEAD: STAFF CHANGES TAKE PLACE
Riverhead Raceway owners and promoters Barbara and Jim Cromarty made a major announcement Saturday evening concerning the managerial structure of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series staff at the historic quarter mile oval.
It was announced that Mike Cappiello and Jim Maggio have been appointed co-chief stewards effective with the May 26th program. Cappiello and Maggio will handle all duties associated with the chief steward’s position. Both Mike Cappiello and Jim Maggio are veteran NASCAR Whelen All-American Series officials who have been with Riverhead Raceway in various capacities over the years and bring vast experience to the position.
Bill Denniston who had been serving as chief steward will remain with Riverhead Raceway as the track coordinator.
The 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series continues this Saturday evening June 2nd featuring a 50-lap NASCAR Modified feature with time trial qualifying and double points.
Reuttiman is no stranger to DIRT Mods, as shown in this 1993 vintage photo (DIRT Photo)
The victory earned Horton a spot in the True Value Modified Series Town Fair Tire 100 on June 9th. This Saturday’s 35-lap feature winner will also get a TVMS berth.
Horton was challenged by eventual runner-up Dennis Gada for most of the race. Don Fowler, the only other leader, was fourth.
“This season it’s been all about catching a break,” said Horton. “I had a great car for the Budweiser Modified Nationals (the season opener), got in the lead and blew it. We should have won that day. Tonight I was worried about the tires. It took a few laps for them to come in and give me the bite I needed, and I knew Dennis Gada was right there. My guys were on the radio telling me to calm-down and that the car would come back to me if I had a little patience. I listened, and it worked.”
SUNOCO MODS: MARVIN MASTERS THOMPSON
Tommy Cravenho (#31) is leading the Sunoco Modified points at Thompson. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
“I’d be a fool to say it was an easy win. They’re never easy. Even if it seems easy on the race track, all week long you’ve worked to get to that point. Most of our work is done before we even get here,” said Myers. “I just can’t say enough about my crew.”
Randy Butner of Pfafftown finished behind Myers in second, and pole-qualifier Bobby Hutchens was able to make his way up to third after drawing sixth.
DIRT: HoF CLASSIC GETS RAINED OUT
With nearly 40 Big-Block Modifieds signed in and the grandstands continuing to fill, a second blast of rain mixed with pounding thunder and lightning flashes forced DIRTcar officials to cancel round three of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series at Cayuga County Fair Speedway on Sunday. A make-up date is pending at this time.
Just as the driver’s meeting concluded a sudden downpour sent the teams scurrying for cover after 5:30 p.m., yet within minutes the clock was again ticking until the time the first cars would turn trackside for the initial set of hot laps. But before a single wheel could be turned, the skies opened up once more at 6 o’clock to put an early end to Hall of Fame Sunday at The Port.
“We’re currently reviewing the remainder of Cayuga County’s 2007 schedule and discussing the options available,” said DIRTcar Racing NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Cory Reed. “We had a great field of cars and the track was in tip-top shape for two big 53-lap Modified features.”
SK MODS: CANNONBALL LANDS IN WATERFORD VICTORY LANE
Kenny “Cannonball” Horton admits to having experienced less than ideal luck during his early season outings at the Waterford Speedbowl (CT) in 2007. That luck changed on Saturday evening when he notched the third victory of his young career in the 35-lap SK Modified feature.
Bert Marvin of Waterford, CT, turned in a commanding performance to score the Sunoco Modified victory at Thompson International Speedway (CT) on Thursday night. Marvin took advantage of his pole starting position to run out to a sizeable lead. In the early going, Buddy Charette had a tremendous showing running in the second spot. Ronnie Silk was being chased by Keith Rocco while Tommy Cravenho ran all alone in the fifth spot.
Silk dove low in an attempt to get by Charette but the bid fell short when the caution flew on lap 14 for an incident that found Harry Rheaume hard against the outside wall. The caution erased the half-straightaway lead that Marvin had built up. Under the caution a total of nine cars headed to pit road to make adjustments including John Blewett, Shelly Perry and Dan LaJeunesse.
Keith Rocco got a tremendous run on the restart taking over the third spot from Silk and the second spot from Charette. An incident that involved Jimmy Blewett brought out the event’s second caution negating the pass for second. Back under green, Rocco was able to retake the second spot. Cravenho had moved into third.
Cravenho got a good run on Rocco exiting turn four. Contact between the two sent Rocco spinning and the pack scattering. Brian Tagg sustained the most damage.
After another quick caution, Marvin once again darted out to the lead. He started to stretch out the lead a bit as things got busy from second back. Charette lost the spot to Cravenho but fought off the bid by Kerry Malone for third. Woody Pitkat, who had been quiet all night, was suddenly inside the top five. The Blewett Brothers had
recovered from early race incidents to run in sixth and seventh. Rocco was making his way back fighting with Todd Ceravolo for position.
Marvin continued to stretch his lead even when things had settled down inside the top five. A battle was brewing between Pitkat and Malone as Charette tailed Cravenho. Pitkat proved to have little for Malone while Charette could not mount a challenge either.
The triumph was all Marvin’s, who celebrated with his crew in victory lane. Cravenho finished second. Charette had a solid run finishing in the third spot. Malone and Pitkat rounded out the top five. The finishing order from sixth to tenth was John Blewett, Jimmy Blewett, Keith Rocco, Todd Ceravolo and Josh Steeves.
TVMRS: TIME FOR CANAAN
Saturday the True Value Modified Racing Series will visit Canaan Fair Speedway (NH) for a 100-lap show. The Mods will be featured along with Canaan’s regular racing divisions. Grandstand admission is only $15 for adults.
To see the cars and stars of the True Value Modifieds before raceday, you can visit the car show at Shaker Vallery Auto on Route 4 in Enfield. On Saturday from 10am to 1pm, several TVMRS racers and weekly competitors from Canaan will take part in the show.
DIRT: BEER BELLYS AND UGLY TRUCKS
Its K&S Car Wash $20 CARLOAD night at Cayuga County Fair Speedway on June 3
with a jam-packed, five-division race card plus the first Beer Belly & Ugly Truck Contest highlight the evening show.
The Sunday night program features a fast-paced card of Big-Block Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks and BattleKarz plus a special appearance by the New York Modified Midgets in a series event. Qualifying heat races are scheduled to start at 7 o’clock with spectator gates swinging open at 5 p.m. and pit gates unlocking at 4 p.m. for all competitors.
Only the rain and steady front-runner Jimmy Phelps have kept Danny Johnson from improving on his perfect 3-for-3 record in the Modified ranks at The Port in ’07. Phelps leads the current CCFS point standings after four feature events while Johnson also trails runner-up Steve Paine despite missing one show in the early going. Local favorite Vince Vitale and weekly Pennsylvania invader Butch Tittle remain in close pursuit.
MAHONING VALLEY: SYDER AND QUINN SPLIT WINS
On Saturday, Five-time Mahoning Valley Modified track champion Rod Snyder, Jr., of Lehighton, burst through for his first win in two seasons and in doing so reached the 20-win plateau in his illustrious career at the Lehighton paved ¼-mile with a Modified stock car.
The race was the make-up event from a May 12 rainout. At the drop of the green it was Rodney Gruber the early leader and was quickly tailed by Lou Strohl. After a lap three restart Strohl was in front and coming on strong was fourth place starter Snyder.
With ten laps complete the two veterans, Strohl and Snyder, then engaged in a close nose-to-tail race for the top spot and it was classic watching these two, who own over 50 feature wins between, them battle for supremacy.
Snyder was trying every move possible to get by but Strohl was hanging tough. It came down to a restart on lap-23 that Snyder was able spring into the lead. Once out front there was no denying him career Modified victory #20. Aside from the 20 mod wins he also has 9 Late Model verdicts.
Point leader Earl Paules, Kevin Graver, Jr., Scott Lesher and Strohl completed the top five.
In the regular scheduled feature it was rookie Mike Quinn of Ashfield, taking a surprise win in only his sixth ever start with a Modified.
Quinn started sixth and made a solid outside pass on lap 11 and then had to hold off defending champ on Wagner en-route to the popular win.
For the outset of the 35-lap trek Gruber held the pole but it was Bobby Jones who came from third up to first with the opening circuit. However, seconds prior to reaching the start/finish line Jones got tagged from the back and went into a wild tailspin in front of the entire pack.
Myers takes his victory lap. (BG Photo)
Kenny Horton in victory lane (Keith Cyr / Race Dog Photo)
The True Value Mods are ready to rumble this weekend. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Mike Quinn (Top) and Rod Snyder, Jr. (Bottom) split the wins at Mahoning Valley this past week. (MV Speedway / Henry Wilt Photos)