I Wonder Where The Yellow Went?

– Friday, February 29th, 1980 –


Have you ever traveled several hundred miles or even a short distance for that matter to spend your hard earned money to see a big race, only to sit and watch the event finish under a caution flag?

Well!.. During “Speed Weeks ’80”, hundreds of thousands of die hard racing fans ventured to Florida from all over the United States, Canada and as far away as Europe and Australia to see not one, not two but three big races finish under the yellow and the number would have been four except for a distance of a few hundred yards.

Personally, I feel there are two super exciting times in a race. One is the final few laps to the checkered flag and the other is when the cars rumble off the fourth turn in anticipation of the green flag.

Were you one of the thousands who sat in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway on February 15th, 16th or 17th of this year?… Do you feel you were robbed by having to sit and watch the races on those dates completed under caution?… If not, you should be, even though there was some good action during the three events.

Think about it for a minute!… Did you drive south to the “Big D” with gasoline prices averaging around $1.15 a gallon?… Using Buffalo, N.Y. Or Springfield, Ma. As a point of origin since both are about 1,200 miles from Daytona and if your vehicle gets around fifteen miles per gallon then it had to cost you about $215, including toll cost, to make the round trip. Add to that, food cost, lodging plus your tickets to the speedway and if you didn’t spend a conservative figure of $500 for six days, including two days traveling time, then you’re lying through your hat.

If you took the wings of man south, you paid around $300 for your flight unless you got the super saver for just under 200 big ones. This means you had to spend in the neighborhood of $700 including the car you leased to get around with while in Daytona.

Now how do you feel?… You’re starting to think you got robbed huh?…Well! How do you think Harry Gant felt when he had to settle for second in the “Sportsman 300” because he got caught in the wrong place when the yellow fell and especially when he and everyone else knew he had the fastest car at the end of the race… He felt just like Richie Evans did a couple of years ago as the latter got caught behind Darrell Waltrip when the caution came out with three laps to go in the “Modified 200”.

BouchardEven though this year’s “Mod 200” ended under yellow it would have taken nothing short of a miracle to catch Evans. Neil Bonnett, who finished third, said it best when referring to the Rapid Roman he stated; “Every time they dropped the green flag he laid two black strips down the speedway.”

In the case of the “Daytona 500” if the caution flag hadn’t of come out when it did, Buddy Baker may have once again met with failure on the tri-oval at the “Big D” as the very popular driver ran out of gas rolling onto pit road after taking the checkered flag. What would have happened if the race had finished under green? Would Baker have run out of gas before the end?… If so, could Bobby Allison, who finished second, have caught Baker?… Would it have been a dash to the finish?… You’ll never know as you wuz robbed!

The Sunday prior to the “500”, the “ARCA 200” almost ended under yellow when the starter dropped the green at the entrance to pit road some four-hundred yards from the finish and then immediately flew the checkered flag to end the event. Lake Speed, who had been leading the race under yellow, lost the dash to finish line to Joe Rezek.

Last year’s “Daytona 500”, which will be remembered for its wild finish when Cale Yarborough faced the tag team of Donnie and Bobby Allison, started with a yellow flag as did the opening “Winston Western 500” at Riverside, California this season.

The only reason a race would start under yellow is because of rain but there’s no logical explanation for doing this so why the hell start the race at all?

These super facilities get big bucks for tickets to see events such as those at “Speed Weeks ’80”, for instance if you saw the “Busch Clash” and “ARCA 200” on the 10th, the “Twin 125-mile Qualifiers” on the 14th, the “Modified 200” and “Florida 100” the following day, Saturday’s “Sportsman 300” and the “Big D 500”, then the least amount you could have paid for a place in the grandstands is $66 which definitely wouldn’t have been the best seats in the house. For super seats covering the five days of aforementioned events you’d have spent well over a hundred dollars and then be relegated to sit and watch while a race finishes under a boring yellow flag.

The only reason a race should ever finish under caution is because of an act of God such as rain, snow or fog but to end an event in such a matter because of a blown motor, accident or for any other reason just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s you, Joe Q. Public, who more or less foots the bill for a week such as “Speed Weeks ’80”... As one high NASCAR official stated, “This week of racing brings approximately fifty-million dollars to the Daytona area.”… If that’s the case then, they should let the fan get his fifty-million dollars worth meaning let the public see a race start and finish under the green. There’s going to be caution periods during a race for one reason or another that can’t be helped but something can be done about a yellow flag at the start or the finish of a race.

There’s a few alternatives for solving this problem such as; 1. Continue to run lap under the yellow until such time as the green can be dropped for at least two laps… 2. Red flag the race at its conclusion and until such time as the green can be waved to run either two or five laps… 3. Red flag any race within five laps of the finish when the yellow comes out and until such time as the green can be thrown to finish the event. If it happens on either of the last two laps then stop the race until such time as two circuits can be run under green.

One other thing about the yellow flag… When it comes out, it should mean just what it’s intended to, slow down not race back to the start-finish line. Equipment can be destroyed and someday somebody is going to get killed because of this foolish rule… Revert back to the last lap for a line up… Several new-comers were caught with their pants down on some caution flags because they’re under the habit of slowing down and holding their position in this situation as that’s the rule where they run normally… What’s going to happen sometime is that one of these fellows used to slowing down immediately when the yellow comes out is going to get rear ended by one of the guys used to racing to the line causing a serious or fatal injury to one or both involved and possibly causing a chain reaction accident that could be heard around the world…

Have you ever been driving along at let’s say 65 mph and all of a sudden come up on some guy doing 40? Tou had to react quickly by passing if possible or slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting him in the rear end.. Well what about the guy who’s racing back to the line at 190 mph only to come up on some fellow who’s honored the caution by slowing down to let’s say 140. Could get hairy, huh? The only possible reason I can figure why they race back to the line is because of scoring and if so why not do as stated before, revert to the last lap under green?

I spoke to a promoter, a Grand National car owner and a driver. All three felt that finishing a race under yellow was robbing the fan. In fact, the next time you see Stafford Motor Speedway promoter Ed Yarrington ask him his opinion on the aforementioned subject.
Until next time, as the Pepsodent commercial used to say; “I wonder where the yellow went?” or I wished it would!

Speedline Celebrates Year of Tremendous Success

– Friday, February 8th, 1980 –


Whether at home or in your car, as you move the needle across the dial of your radio you’ll pass stations broadcasting everything from music to news to talk shows and if you live in the area of Nashua, N.H. or happen to be in and around that vicinity between the hours of six and eight some Tuesday evening, dial in FM106 and you’ll hear the very popular SPEEDLINE auto racing talk show originating from the studios of WOTW Radio in Nashua.

Speedline-1The show was born on February 20th of last year out of the dream of two dedicated racing individuals, Bob Watson and John Spence.

Watson, the Racing Director at Lee Speedway, and Spence, P.R. Man and Announcer at the same track, had been thinking about some type of racing program for some time. When WOTW changed hands, these two gentlemen contacted the powers to be at the station about their idea and after some three weeks of negotiations SPEEDLINE went on the air.

The first program was an hour long and featured a guest considered by many to be the most popular driver in New England. That individual was none other than the “Travelin’ Man”, Pete Fiandaca.

SPEEDLINE expanded to an hour and a half two weeks later and with the show rapidly growing in popularity the following week it moved to its present two hour format.

The thing that’s unusual about this racing talk show in comparison to other programs of its type is that this particular show has run continuously through the winter months with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s week.

Speedline-2Many well-known racing people have graced the SPEEDLINE studio including such individuals as Ron and Ken Bouchard, Geoff Bodine, Carl Merrill, Dave Thomas, Ed Yerrington, Larry Record, Lee Allard, Stevie Bird, Ken Smith, Paul Mathews, Smokey Boutwell, Lee Smith, Bob Bonser, Dave Kane, Dick Williams, John McMullin, Phil Miller, Don MacLaren, Dave Kolenda, Russ Conway, Ross Niciewsky, Mike Dawalga and yours truly has been a guest on two occasions. You have to add one more name, probably the most popular of all, to the long list of guests who have been on the show, that being Seymour the Clown who reeked havoc with Watson and Spence the time he visited.

Some people who are expected to be on the show in the months to come are Indy Champ Car owner and driver Bill Alsup along with his motor builder Robbie Patterson, Tom Curley, Director of NASCAR North: Oxford Plains Speedway Promotional Director, Tom Elliman; Lou Modestino, Oxford Public Relations Director; Dick Stevens and Lee Emery, Claremont Speedway modified driver/owners and Speedway Scene columnists “BonesBourcier and the Ol’ Nerf.

Gerry Hervieux joined the show in May of last year as the NASCAR-Winston Cup Grand National correspondent. Hervieux’s insight into Grand National racing adds a special dimension to the program and through him a half hour phone call was set up with G.N. Star Neil Bonnett.

When asked why he wanted to put together a program such as this, Spence replied: “Watson and I love racing and we’ve always worked well together in the past at both Lee and Hudson Speedway and we felt the area needed a show of this type.”

Evidently the area did need a program such as this and even though the show face a short period of turmoil during the late summer, canceling operations for one week, it still has been a tremendous success.

When asked what they thought of the show, nearly all of the drivers, owners and fans contacted replied that they felt the show is professionally done and is a definite plus for the sport of auto racing.

To emphasize the shows popularity, one car owner living in the outlying reaches of WOTW drives downtown parking the right side of the car on the side walk so he can hear the show. He said the only problem is when the traffic light on the corner turns yellow he gets a lot of static. Another owner drives twenty-miles to a shopping center so he can listen to the program.

Tuesday night, following the Daytona 500, SPEEDLINE will celebrate one year on the air. Let’s hope this is the first of many years for the Watson and Spence produced show as auto racing needs ’em. “Happy Anniversary” to SPEEDLINE…..

NERF’ers Niblets….. Attended the Albany-Saratoga Speedway Awards Banquet last weekend and what a night. Had a long conversation with track champion Jack Johnson who was wearing his 1979 Schaefer Championship Ring exemplifying his victory in the modified segment of the prestigious race. Also spoke in length with A-S and Lebanon Valley Speedway Sportsman Champion Don Ackner who will move up to run full time with the modifieds in 1980. A-S Promoter C.J.Richards has posted a $25,000 point fund for ’80 with $7,000 going to this year’s mod champ. Not bad!… Sat with JoAnn and Don Davies, writers of the New York Modified column, plus Diane and Kenn Van Wert, who pen Just Stompin’ Thru both in Speedway Scene, at the A-S Banquet. We all received a mug from A-S management and I won’t say who, but we had a candle thief at our table, right JoAnn…. Ooops! ….. Rumor has it that CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) and USAC (United States Auto Club) will be getting back together soon with CART as the driving force. Evidently USAC has seen the writing on the wall as this year’s Indianapolis 500 has been billed as an open competition Indy Champ Car race. Who says owner-driver run organizations can’t work…. Word has it that 1979 Winston West Grand National Rookie of the Year, Tim Williamson, who succumbed to injuries suffered during the running of the Stock Car Products 300 three weeks ago, was to try his hand at the Winston Cup Grand National trail this season competing ten events. He is also featured in the new Stock Car Racing Magazine Poster BookUSAC has announced a ten-race series for their Indy Champ Car division and fifteen-event tour for stock cars. The Texas World Speedway in College Station, Texas, will be the sight for the opener in both divisions as the Stockers compete there on March 9th and the Indy cars on April 26th… CART PPO Automotive Indy Car Series opens at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona on March 2nd. We’re only 49-days away from the Northeastern auto racing opener that being ICE BREAKER ’80 at Thompson Speedway. The two-day show, running March 29th and 30th, will feature late models, midgets and street stocks on Saturday while the modifieds, mini-modifieds and super modifieds compete Sunday. It’s always a super duper show but bundle up as the events name generally holds true. Other big openers shortly after includes the Spring Sizzler on April 12th and 13th at Stafford Motor Speedway, the first Oxford Plains Speedway Late Model Open on April 20th and NASCAR North’s Spring Green at Catamount Stadium on the same day…. Stafford is running three 100-lap events during the regular season including the Nutmeg 100 on May 30th, the Ferrara 100 on July 4th and the Winston 100 on August 8th. The Annual 200 at Stafford will run on Friday night, August 29th instead of Labor Day Monday. The 2nd Annual Fall Final for late models and modifieds will get off the mark on September 29th and 30th… Thompson has planned three 100 lap champion shows for mods on May 4th, June 1st and August 3rd plus two Wednesday events on July 23rd and August 13th. The Thompson 300 is set for September 12th, 13th, and 14th while the World Series will run October 4th and 5th… Oxford has scheduled six other open shows, besides their opener, including May 5th and 25th, June 15th, August 10th and 31st and September 28th plus the prestigious Oxford 250 on July 13th… Really John Spence! Best man at who’s wedding? Ya gotta be kiddin! Who’d marry ‘im!… Super Star Series Round 1 will open the season at Star Speedway on April 26th and 27th while Lee Raceway will open the Sunday before with the first leg of the five race Pepsi Cola Series. Til’ next time, “Keep the Rat Fat, subscribe today!..”

** All photos were taken directly from the original published column **

The SBM 125 IV Has Arrived!



This week is not so much about a column, it’s about a race and all the information you need to know to prepare yourself for The SBM 125 IV at Star Speedway on Saturday, June 14th!  It’s the second jewel of the triple crown that is the Tri-Track Open Modified Series.  A race that was the dream of one Kevin Rice who put an idea in motion and stuck with it.  In “OPEN SEASON” Kevin spoke of his early days writing for Oswego Speedway’s racing program, The Oswego Eagle.  It’s the drive that was key to his dive into race promotions like so many before him; “I got satisfaction from how my work as a writer helped short track racing.”

SBM 125 creator Kevin Rice poses in victory lane with 2 time SBM 125 Champion Matt Hirschman in 2013. Howie Hodge photo.
SBM 125 creator Kevin Rice poses in victory lane with 2 time SBM 125 Champion Matt Hirschman in 2013. Howie Hodge photo.

For the last few years Kevin Rice along with help and support made up of fans, drivers, teams and everything in between have turned an idea of an old school open Modified race into reality.  This year he’s had plenty of assistance from one of the Modified division’s biggest supporters, Jim Schaefer.

Without looking at the posted purse money, just a glance at the contingency awards and lap sponsors it’s very evident that the Northeast asphalt Modified community is alive and well where the SBM 125 Open Modified event is concerned.

The facility the SBM 125 takes place at has seen it’s fare share of open Modified racing history.  Star Speedway in Epping, NH, known as the track “Where Champions are Made”, is a high banked quarter mile asphalt oval that breeds nothing, but fast and exciting action.

It was recently announced that Ben Dodge was chosen as this year’s Grand Marshal and yet again what a fine choice for a representative of the event and the asphalt Modifieds.  Ben is known by everyone in the racing community and has been a friend to fans and competitors alike for decades.  Again, what a fantastic choice for the SBM 125 IV Grand Marshall!  Alright Ben!!!

The SBM 125 IV has nearly $45,000.00 payout up for grabs.  The base purse is $31,400.00.  The possible winning take home including bonuses could reach $10,000.00.  $1,000.00 is guaranteed to start this old school open Modified race.  That’s the least you can take home as a starter, but with contingency award money the possibilities are endless.

RELOADED’s Fast Dozen to Watch..

*Order is random.

  1. Tommy Barrett Jr. in his family familiar #9 Modified was a strong contender at last years SBM 125 being one of few that seemed to have a little something for eventual winner Matt Hirschman until mechanical issues ended the charge.
  2. Jon McKennedy will be back in his own Modified. The inaugural SBM 125 Champion is one of Modified’s most talented and can’t be counted out.
  3. Ryan Preece returns in the Boehler Racing Enterprises Ole’ Blue and is coming off of a runner up finish at the Bullring Bash. Look out for this Modified ace.
  4. Andy Jankowiak wrecked his main Modified last week in Race of Champions competition, but he’s a true racer and true racers race. Working all week repairing the car, he and crew will be making the 5 plus hour trip to compete in the SBM 125. A true Modified competitor.
  5. Rowan Pennink will be in the familiar colors of his VMRS ride. The driver is always a factor when he hits the track. Can he be the one to break Matt Hirschman’s strangle hold as Open King?
  6. Woody Pitkat will be piloting Stan Mertz’s #6 Modified in the SBM. Pitkat is the definition of old school Modified pilots. Point him to the empty seat of any Modified and he’ll strap himself inand ready to compete. Another racer’s racer.
  7. Matt Hirschman?  What’s not to be said about Matt Hirschman and any event he enters. Just seems when the big money is on the line “Money” instantly becomes the driver to beat.
  8. Steve Masse is hot off of an absolute dominating performance in the most recent VMRS event at Seekonk Speedway. He’s run very well in the SBM in the past and has to be a favorite to contend.
  9. Richard Savary and his team are one’s to keep an eye on. Savary has already won this season on the VMRS and was one of the biggest challengers at the Bullring Bash.
  10. Todd Szegedy who holds the fastest time and heat lap in SBM 125 history will have his sights set on the big money and that comes with performing and being the first to pass under the checkered flag.
  11. Justin Bonsignore has to be a favorite to give “Money” a run for the SBM 125 money.  Legendary car owner Art Barry always has his Modified’s fine tuned for battle and this dynamic duo will be a force to be reckoned with at Star.
  12. Dennis “The Underdog” Perry shocked the the open fans with a podium finish in the Bullring Bash at Lee USA Speedway.  Will he and his tight knit team match their performance in the SBM 125? Do not count the Underdog out by any means!

*Honorable mention.. Max Zachem. This young Modified pilot just keeps improving and moving forward. His 4th place finish in the recent VMRS event at Seekonk shows if there is a sleeper type pick to open some eyes this Saturday at Star, my bet would be Max.

Alright Modified fans, PACK THE HOUSE at Star Speedway this Saturday night for the old school open we know as the..

SBM 125 IV

SBM 125 Fast Facts

The winners of the first three SBM events have earned a total of $25,781.64. TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PLUS!!! (SBM I- $7,225) (SBM II- $8,792) (SBM III- ($9,764.64).

SBM I was also 125 laps, but it was completed in just under 34 minutes with only one caution. Much like SBM III, everyone pitted at the same time because of the long green run, leading to the rule change for pit safety at the June 14 race this year.

Best average finishers are- #1 Matt Hirschman at 2.67 with finishes of 6th, and two wins. #2. Ryan Preece is at 3.33 with finishes of 5th, 2nd and 3rd, Preece has an average payoff of $3,270 per race despite being winless in the SBM. He hopes to change that driving “Ole Blue” this year on June 14 at Star Speedway. They earned $1,324 for a 16th place finish last year with Ted Christopher.

The fastest qualifying lap in SBM history was 12.291 seconds by Todd Szegedy in his only lifetime appearance at Star Speedway in 2012. Pole last year was 12.347 by Matt Hirschman. Szegedy also had the fastest final heat race lap to get the Mountainside Graphix Screenprinting & Embroidery bonus in ’12 at 12.632. Can he beat Hirschman again?

SBM 125 Champions

2011 – SBM 125 I – #73 – Jon McKennedy – Howie Hodge photo.   SBM 125 I – Video from the Race – By David McGuire

2012 – SBM 125 II – #59 – Matt Hirschman – Howie Hodge photo.    SBM 125 II – Video of the Race – By David McGuire

2013 – SBM 125 III – #59 – Matt Hirschman – Howie Hodge photo.   SBM 125 III – Video of the Race – By David McGuire

And now let’s look at those who have helped make this event so special..

SBM 125 IV Lap Sponsors

Lap 1  –  Norm Wrenn III, #1M Pro Four Modified Race Team
Lap 2  –  SPAFCO Race Chassis
Lap 3  –  $53- In Loving Memory of Michael J. Perry from Carol Perry
Lap 4  –  Tour Fan Ed
Lap 5  –  JRD Racing #05 Jacob Dore
Lap 5A  –  CCP Pasteryak Race Team
Lap 6  –  Cliff Nelson Motorsports from Bruce Bachta
Lap 7  –  Ryan Gath Electrical Services www.yourelectricsource.com
Lap 8  –  Good Luck Mike Douglas Jr. #23 from the Theriaults
Lap 9  –  Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists 617-770-0629
Lap 10  –  Ted Krajewski
Lap 11  –  www.NEMRS.biz New England Motor Racing Supply- Butch Valley
Lap 11A  –  Good Luck “Southern Style” to Andy Seuss #11
Lap 12   –  Derek Griffith Motorsports Pro Stock #12
Lap 13  –  El Gee Products/Masse Racing from Andrew Truchinskas
Lap 14  –  Derek Griffith Motorsports GSPSS Pro Stock Race Team
Lap 15  –  CCP Pasteryak Racing
Lap 16  –  Tour Fan Ed
Lap 17  –  www.myracenews.com Your source for short track racing news
Lap 18  –  In Memory of Ed Friend Sr., from Eddie Friend
Lap 19  –  Majowicz/Webber Motorsports #19 350 Supermodified
Lap 20  –  Broad Brook Heating & Cooling
Lap 21  –  Broad Brook Heating & Cooling
Lap 22  –  Tour Fan Ed
Lap 23   –  Douglas Automotive of Manchester, NH (603) 625-5854
Lap 24  –  Tour Fan Ed
Lap 25  –  VMRS Champion Roscoe Racing #25 from Gary Casella
Lap 26   –  Tour Fan Ed
Lap 27  –  Furst Edition Photography – Stephen Furst
Lap 28  –  C.A. Ordway Builders
Lap 29  –  “Welcome to our world Hayden Guillemette- The Youngest SBM 125 Fan of All!”
Lap 30  –  Race Track Responder – Andy Biron
Lap 31  –  Good luck to Ryan Preece and Mike Douglas Jr. from Prodigy Plumbing & Drain 603-998-1146
Lap 32  –  www.WaddellCommunications.com Shawn Waddell
Lap 33  –  Seekonk Grand Prix Go-Kart Track- Seekonk, Mass
Lap 34  –  J & R Precast
Lap 35  –  J & R Precast
Lap 36  –  Barry Goldberg- Thank you Kevin Rice for SBM IV and Good Luck Jerome Bettis- future Hall of Famer
Lap 37  –  Good Luck to all from Chris Buchman
Lap 38  –  In Honor of Supermodified driver Jim Martel from Jim Verge
Lap 39  –  Good Luck to All from Bruce Bachta
Lap 40  –  Valenti Family of Dealerships – www.bobvalenti.com
Lap 41  –  Richard Johnson
Lap 42  –  Good Luck to all from Strictly Stock 42
Lap 43  –  In Honor of Six-Time Champion “Wild” Bill Greco from Jim Verge
Lap 44  –  www.NEMRS.biz New England Motor Racing Supply from Butch Valley
Lap 45  –  Good Luck to All from Bruce Bachta
Lap 46  –  In Loving Memory of Tommy Cormier from Rob MacRae and the #52 Race Team
Lap 47  –  LCM Racing Engines
Lap 48  –  LCM Racing Engines
Lap 49  –  Seekonk Grand Prix Go-Kart Track- Seekonk, Mass
Lap 50  –  http://www.chem3.com/
Lap 51  –  http://www.chem3.com/
Lap 52  –  In Loving Memory of T.C. from the #52 Outlaw Late Model Team
Lap 53  –  Norm Wrenn #53 VMRS Race Team
Lap 54  –  Beard’s Auto and Truck Repair, Merrimack, NH
Lap 55  –  $$$- RESERVED FOR NICKEL AND DIME LAP- and $25 from Racing Against Cancer 100
Lap 56  –  Cliff Nelson Motorsports
Lap 57  –  $57- In Memory of Paul Szaban from Bruce Bachta
Lap 58  –  Beard’s Auto and Truck Repair, Merrimack, NH
Lap 59  –  $100- J&J Motorsports and Matt Hirschman
Lap 60  –  Hirschman’s Cellar Dwellers
Lap 61  –  Butch Valley, in memory of Richie Evans
Lap 62  –  Preece Racing
Lap 63  –  LATICRETE HALFWAY BONUSES – $2000 ($200 to each team running in positions 1-10)
Lap 64  –  Preece Racing
Lap 65  –  Valenti Family of Dealerships – www.bobvalenti.com
Lap 66  –  Good Luck this season, 2013 ROC Rookie of the year Austin Kochenash- Algie Graffam
Lap 67  –  Dave Meredith and Family
Lap 68  –  www.WaddellCommunications.com – Shawn Waddell
Lap 69  –  C.A. Ordway Builders
Lap 70  –  Good Luck Andy Seuss #70 from Rockingham Boat of Hampstead, NH
Lap 71  –  Hannaford Racing Engines and the #71 Modified of Josh Cantara
Lap 72  –  Mike and Lisa Chapman
Lap 73  –  McKennedy Brothers Mason Contractors (978) 459-5148
Lap 74  –  Preece Racing
Lap 75  –  CCP Pasteryak Race Team
Lap 76  –  Preece Racing
Lap 77   –  www.NEMRS.biz New England Motor Racing Supply- Butch Valley Jr
Lap 78  –  Merrimack House of Pizza
Lap 79  –  In Loving Memory of Roger Hill from Sandra Hill
Lap 80  –  Seekonk Grand Prix
Lap 81  –  Seekonk Grand Prix
Lap 82  –  Seekonk Grand Prix
Lap 83  –  Seekonk Grand Prix
Lap 84  –  Village Bake House, Groton CT – Good Luck All Drivers
Lap 85  –  Village Bake House, Groton CT – Good Luck All Drivers
Lap 86  –  http://www.chem3.com/
Lap 87  –  http://www.chem3.com/
Lap 88  –  In Support of Jim Boniface and Family -Rev Scott RWJM.
Lap 89  –  Good Luck Competitors from Jillian Leonard
Lap 90  –  Cliff Nelson Motorsports from Bruce Bachta
Lap 91  –  Gary Noe -GN Auto Core 607-321-9904
Lap 92  –  Good Luck to #92 Anthony Nocella from Nocella Paving of Woburn, Mass
Lap 93  –  George Sherman #93 Racing Team
Lap 94  –  A-1 Automotive of Ashland MA – Mike Horn
Lap 95  –  Sherwood Racing Wheels- from Lee Sherwood
Lap 96  –  In Memory of “Irish” Jack Murphy and his Shamrock #6 from Marsha Gadzera
Lap 97  –  Good Luck to all Teams from Dr. Mom Says, “School is Cool!” and Tony “the Tuna”- proud sponsor of the #97 Supermodified
Lap 98  –  In Honor of Retired Racer Ron Narducci from James Osterhoudt
Lap 99  –  $100 -Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists 617-770-0629
Lap 100  –  $200 – Gary Laro at “Powderkeg Powdercoating” – (603) 892-8019 – “Good luck to Mike Douglas Jr. #23”
Lap 101  –  The Billerica Project – Go Purple – from Rob MacRae
Lap 102  –  Good Luck Competitors from Jillian Leonard
Lap 103  –  In Memory of Lenny Boehler and Jimmy Fournier from Jennifer Fournier Ready
Lap 103A  –  www.AutomartUsedCars.com and the #03 Super Late Model of Joe Squeglia
Lap 104  –  www.WaddellCommunications.com – Shawn Waddell
Lap 105  –  Good Luck Competitors from Jillian Leonard
Lap 106  –  In Loving Memory of Harold Whitney from Pete Newsham
Lap 107  –  Majestic Motors Merrimack NH 603-424-6122
Lap 108  –  Majestic Motors Merrimack NH 603-424-6122
Lap 109  –  Majestic Motors Merrimack NH 603-424-6122
Lap 110  –  Good Luck to all from Marilyn and Don Toal
Lap 111  –  Good Luck Competitors from Jillian Leonard
Lap 112  –  Majestic Motors Merrimack NH 603-424-6122
Lap 113  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 114  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 115  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 116  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 117  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 118  –  Red Roof Inn
Lap 121   –  www.WaddellCommunications.com – Shawn Waddell
Lap 122  –  Better Maintenance Sheet metal of Rowley, Mass
Lap 123  –  Tisdell Transmission Sponsored #23 Modified of Mike Douglas Jr
Lap 124  –  Dedicated to his father, Rocco “Butch” D’Alessandro from Ron D’Alessandro
Lap 125  –  Hannaford Racing Engines and Josh Cantara #71 Modified

  • Lap sponsors contributed $50.00 a lap unless noted otherwise.
  • Lap money will be split between the leader of the lap, and a random driver in the top ten unless noted otherwise.

SBM 125 IV Contingencies & Awards

  • 2nd Annual Chuck Montville Car Owner of the Race Award $350 from Steve Mendoza plus a plaque from Danger Designs
  • Waddell Communications Fast Time Award $100 and plaque
  • Crown Award – $100
  • Heat Bonus – $200 -Tisdell Transmissions of Londonderry, NH.
  • First Timer Bonus – $300 – Messina’s Flooring of Salem, NH.
  • Top VMRS Bonus – $250 to highest VMRS finish from Bruce Bachta and 30 pack from Lu-Mac’s Package Store
  • Top Finishing Father – $100 from Carl Rice
  • Sherwood Racing Products – $60 Gift Certificate – 7th place
  • Hard Charger Award from Russ Wood Sr – $200 to the driver gaining the most positions
  • FastTrac Concessions -Star Modified Bonus – $350 ($150,100,100)
  • Shirley Z Award – $200
  • Danger Designs Best Appearing Car – $100 and plaque
  • Whelen Tour Highest Finisher – $200 from Rockingham Boat
  • Longest Tow ( 3 teams) – $500/300/200 from Doug Dunleavy
  • Top 3 ROC Finishes from Fred Wilcox – $300 (150/100/50)
  • Highest Finish for a driver from MA – $100 from Linda and Glen Chartier
  • Fastest Last Lap of the 4 Heat races – $100 from Mountainside Graphix Screenprinting & Embroidery
  • Tough Luck Award – $250 sponsored by J&J Motorsports (Voted on by media members)
  • First Car One Lap Down Award – $100 from Gary Laro at “Powderkeg Powdercoating” – (603) 892-8019

Schedule of Events for the SBM 125 IV

Saturday, June 14 – Star Speedway, Epping, NH

Grandstand General Admission
Adults: $25.00
Seniors and Juniors: $20.00
Children 10 and Under with Paid Adult: Free Admission
Pit Area
Pit Pass: $35.00

11:00 AM  –  Gates open (for parking haulers only)
11:30 AM  –  Pit Pass Window Opens
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM  –  Tech & Tires
1:15 PM  –  SBM 125 Drivers Meeting
1:45 PM  –  General Admission Opens
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM  –  SBM 125 Modified Practice
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM  –  Star divisions rotating practice
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM  –  SBM 125 Final Practice- Scuff Session
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM  –  Star Weekly Divisions final practice
4:00 PM  –  Tech and Time Trial Lineup Prep. (TEAMS MUST HAVE CARS READY BY THIS TIME!)
4:30 PM  –  SBM Modified Time Trials to set heat lineups only
5:15 PM  –  Star weekly division heats: Stricklys, Roadrunners and Outlaws
6:00 PM  –  12 Lap SBM 125 Modified heats
6:40 PM  –  Roadrunner Feature
7:00 PM  –  Strickly Stock Feature
7:30 PM  –  Mod B Main
7:45 PM  –  Outlaw Late Model Feature
8:10 PM  –  SBM 125 Pre-race
* Driver Introduction
* National Anthem
* SBM 125 IV Grand Marshal, Ben Dodge gives the commands.
* SBM Mod 125 Green Flag 8:30 PM

Need Sponsorship Dollars? Go Get ‘Em!!!


The BIG Picture.. It all starts with Exposure..

After Stafford Motor Speedway’s Spring Sizzler most of us checked out the online racing news sources along with comments on the social pages by friends in the sport involving the happenings from Sizzler weekend.

During my reading I was very pleased to see a post on the social pages by National Speed Sport News with a photo of Bobby Santos III celebrating his Sizzler victory. I “liked” National Speed Sport News a while back as they are an outstanding source for coverage in many of the open wheel happenings around the nation. Publisher and co-owner, Ralph Shaheen is originally a Northeastern boy and knows plenty about Modified racing in the Northeast so when he took the reigns of the publication made famous by Chris Economaki and family it only said big things were to come. The story may have been the actual NASCAR press release, but I shared the it to a related group page for a reason, to give kudos to the publication for recognizing a Northeast Modified tradition and the division.

What soon followed on the post was a case of hardheadedness by one commenter. They questioned why someone would share a post and attempt to push traffic to the National Speed Sport News website that they believed had no interest in making any kind of effort to cover the Modifieds on any level. They followed it up by claiming National Speed Sport News didn’t care enough about the Modifieds to offer them any true coverage of the division. If that were the case they wouldn’t have made an effort to post it. Furthermore, what’s wrong with national exposure? So much for recognizing the big picture.

If a post on any regional division or series by a national publication receives a high number of shares and “likes” that national publication takes notice because the link is hit. It’s called feedback. It’s something that anyone who works or has worked for a website, in social media, or racing publication should be quite familiar with. Those “likes” or feedback via write ins gives props to the publication for that exposure by the fan base regardless of whether it was a NASCAR press release.

It’s not rocket science to recognize when a national publication gives any coverage, regurgitated or not, it’s still coverage and if you have ever been a part of the promotional side of things where sponsorship is sought after and signed, most all coverage is good coverage as far as the almighty dollar is concerned. When it comes from the likes of a national publication that coverage becomes major exposure which reaches many fans that may not be familiar with a particular division. In this case National Speed Sport News took the time to post something about the Whelen Modified Tour and that is a good thing for Northeast asphalt Modified racing no matter which way you slice it or how one tries to spin it.

Coverage on a national level boosts exposure to those that might not yet be exposed to the type of racing. It’s a national publication, one with a high traffic website that reaches millions of online viewers not to mention those subscribing to the printed publication. The way to gain new fans, unfamiliar with a division or series, is through that national exposure. Many fans are business owners or operators and have set aside advertising money just waiting to be put to good use. These are potential sponsors. That’s potential sponsorship dollars that could come to teams in desperate need to not only continue competing, but improve. Sponsorship dollars that could dish out bigger purse money for a division or series that so desperately needs it. Funding or contingencies that can give a great boost for a tour or series.

Who else benefits from it? That’s right, the local news sources; television stations, radio stations, websites and publications that may only cover the regional racing or touring series. They all prosper from the additional exposure. Those new sponsors see the local coverage and dish out advertising dollars to those entities to promote their sponsorship investment and their product. So, contrary to what the closed minded might think, it’s not only the national publication that could land advertising dollars, it’s the locals who cover it as well.

Why have I brought this subject up, you ask? Well, as what some had predicted, National Speed Sport News coverage has taken a dive head first into television.

Less than two months after the Sizzler MAVTV (available on over 50 service providers including; DirectTV, Comcast, & Dish) and National Speed Sport News have come together to bring a bi-weekly two hour block of shows, hosted by Ralph Shaheen. “SPEED SPORT Magazine” which will pretty much be a televised edition of what you commonly see in their publication. The second hour is titled “SPEED SPORT” and will provide coverage of racing events across the nation. Check out the link to the announcement by MAVTV here for information regarding the shows bi-weekly format.

If you tuned in to their first show then you know they featured coverage of Oswego Speedway’s Richie Evans Memorial Modified event won by “Money” himself, Matt Hirschman, which just took place the week before. Rather peculiar for a national racing publication/website that supposedly doesn’t care to give the division any coverage, wouldn’t you say? Now there’s word they have been contacting other series in the Modified division for video coverage to provide more exposure.

Kudos to National Speed Sport News and any future coverage of our beloved asphalt Modified division that could use the national exposure!

This weeks NERF’ers Corner features something that Robert Echo believed in, helping the teams get the money needed to compete.

When I read the following column I thought for 1980 this little piece by the “Ol’ NERF” had to be a boost to those who knew how to prep and set up they’re cars, but lacked the know how to seek sponsorship.

Many from back in the day will tell you that he offered his assistance for free with no strings attached.  There were times back in the 80’s that Robert Echo would meet an owner or team over lunch, or before an event, or a lengthy phone conversation.  Just to give pointers and help teams continue on by getting those needed extra funds to compete.  He was a strong believer on giving back to the sport he took so much enjoyment from.

I hope you enjoy this latest reopening of the NERF’ers Corner time capsule as much as they did back in the 80’s.

On a sad note, Anne Fiore, mother of legendary Modified car owner and racing personality Mario Fiore, passed away this past Tuesday.  On behalf of NERF’ers everywhere we pass along our thoughts and prayers to the Fiore family and friends.  Best wishes.

Yours in Racing,


– Friday, March 21st, 1980 –


Have you ever figured out what it costs you in dollars and cents to racing week in and week out?

Well!…If you happen to be one of the lucky die hard racing fans then all you have to do is load the loved ones into the family car making sure there’s a full tank of go juice aboard and enough bucks in the ol’ wallet to cover the price of tickets, some snack bar delicacies, a few beers and you’re off to the races.

Then again, if you happen to serve as a driver of some race car, you’ll most likely need all of the above plus you fire suit and helmet.

Now comes the fun part of going racing every week, if you want to call it that, which is that of being the car owner or the man who pump the mainline dollars into the sport of auto racing.

As a car owner, it helps if you own Fort Knox, a bank or a loaded Brink’s truck but if you don’t it still doesn’t matter because you still need a good supply of Uncle Sam’s greenbacks to keep your racing operation on the move.

Unless you hold down two or three jobs, have your wife working, mortgage your house, personal car or whatever else you might find, then you must come up with another means of raising some green stuff to support your race car.

Marty Radewick was just one of the many Robert Echo assisted with getting sponsorship through the years. Howie Hodge photo
Marty Radewick was just one of the many Robert Echo assisted with getting sponsorship through the years. Marty seen here at at speed at Riverside Park Speedway in one of the Tom Thomas Racers. Howie Hodge photo

Let’s face it!… In the last two or three years the number of race cars, especially in the asphalt modified field, has dwindled substantially… and why?… Because of the continuing high cost of building a race car. You can’t afford to build a car at eight to ten thousand dollars, buy motors costing some eight to twelve grand and tires at a hundred and fifty bucks apiece and continue to keep your race car running…. So what do you do then?… You either park your car and let it rust in the rain… or you get your act together, if you love the sport, and go find yourself a sponsor to help with the financial end of your operation.

So now we’ve got down to the brunt of this week’s column… Is there sponsor’s available?… If so!… Where do you find them?…How do you find them?… How do you get a potential sponsor to turn over his hard earned dollars to you especially if he’s never been involved with racing or ever seen a race?

Yes!… There are hundreds of sponsors available out there in the racing land… In fact!… The next time you drive through your home town, take a look at how many businesses are lined up down both sides of the street and they all spend money on advertising whether it be radio, television, in the newspapers or on that sign hung over their store front.

Billions and billions of good ol’ American dollars are spent every year by very big business and very small business and all those in between… So why aren’t you getting some of this advertising money?… You’re in a very highly conscious advertising market.

You might feel there are many businesses out there that aren’t good prospective sponsors… Hogwash!…Every business on every block is a good prospect and while some are better than others, they all are potential sponsors.

If you don’t believe it, take a look around your house and think about all the things you and the family use that come from almost every business imaginable. There’s food, clothing, cigarettes, sundries, pharmaceuticals, appliances, books, furniture, tools, automobile and even the haircut and hairdo you and your better half got recently… So!… Now you can see just how many potential sponsors are waiting for somebody to ask.

I’ve now covered three of the four items in regards to sponsor hunting… The availability!… Where to hunt!… How to find them!… Now I’ll try to give you some idea of how to get money out of a prospective sponsor.

You must first put together a proposal book explaining all the facets of your racing operation and at the same time giving the potential sponsor some insight into the sport of auto racing and what it has to offer them.

List your experience and years in racing as an owner and then do like wise for your driver… List information and statistics on your race car… List the speedway you’ll run on a regular basis and the estimated attendance at same… List all tracks you plan to compete at and there projected attendance figures… List statistics on Northeastern racing including estimated attendance and then do the same for the National racing scene… List any other pertinent information that might be of interest to a prospective sponsor… List your projected racing budget for the coming season… Enclose several photos of your race car in your proposal… Make sure that everything put together in the book is neatly typed and use an appealing report cover, preferably of the imitation leather grain style which can be purchased for under a dollar… Also, make several duplicates of the book off a copy machine using the same type cover. You can leave one of these with the potential sponsor after giving your presentation with the original.

When going out to see a prospective sponsor, make sure you dress appropriately. Wear a suit if your prospect is big business such as a manufacturer, large chain store or any big firm. Dress casually if you’re going to see a small business such as a tavern , service station, the corner shoe store or neighborhood grocery.

If your going after a big dollar sponsor, don’t be afraid to tell them that you’ll paint and letter the car in their company colors or colors of their choice.

I hope the information I’ve given in this column has served a purpose to someone in racing land who’s been trying to figure out how to get a sponsor.

Now!… All you have to do is psyche yourself into a positive frame of mind and go get that sponsor you’ve sorely needed. Why not go after some of those advertising dollars that are available?… You deserve them!… Go get ’em!

You can also raise money through raffles, fund raising dinners and what about community sponsored race car?

The Ol’ Nerf’s spent his lifetime in sales, public relations, promotional work and sponsor hunting of one kind or another.

If you’d like more information, suggestions or just want to discuss how to find a sponsor, give me a call at 413/XXX-XXXX or drop me a line at (address withheld). I’ll be glad to give you what moral support I can.

NERF’ers Nibblets…  Promoter C.J. Richards of Albany-Saratoga Speedway has added Winters Performance and Kendall Oil to the $25,000 Point Fund he’s offering at the Malta track in 1980…  Bob Polverari’s trip to Martinsville,VA. Speedway for the “Dogwood 500” came to an abrupt halt early due to a motor problem. Tough luck for “Rapid Robert’s return to racing especially after qualifying ninth in the field…  After reading the story on Jack Gelgut’s Depot Square Racing Team, what I want to know is what will happen if someone paints out the Depot in the name. Let’s see now, there’s square meals and could be a squa—oops…  It was good to hear one of my friends is out of the hospital after some serious internal problems. Get well wishes are in order for Becky Colt, sister and fan of Claremont Speedway modified driver Dick Stevens…  Thanks for the support of the “Cutter Connection” down Portland, Tennessee way. It’s great to hear from fans as super as Don, Nancy, Karen, Kelly and Father Steven Cutter who reads the Ol’ Nerf’s column faithfully…  Word has it that the grounds are starting to quake and shake up Claremont way. Could it be that Big Foot has come out of hibernation and is on the rampage upon hearing that the CODA track is opening on May 10th with the “Dale’s Radiator -CODA ’80 Opener”!…  Till next week; Roast the Rat” on April 11th, support the “NARAC Fund” and get a friend a “Scene” Subscription!