NERF'ers Corner by Robert Echo

FALL SEASON IS UPON US

– FRIDAY, AUGUST 25TH, 1978 – PAGE 4 –

“FALL SEASON IS UPON US”

Labor Day weekend brought about the end of regular season racing at most New England Speedways and at the same time kicks off two solid months of open extra distance events throughout the Northeast.

The weekend itself is probably the biggest of the year in auto racing in the Northeast and anywhere else for that matter.

The Oswego Classic Weekend at Oswego, NY at Oswego Speedway begins the weekend’s asphalt action on September 1st while on the same night, dirt trackers can do their thing at the Montgomery County Fair Races in Fonda, NY at the Fonda Speedway.

The Fonda races will run through Labor Day with racing for Modifieds and Late Model Sportsman. Oswego will feature Modifieds on Saturday night in the Genesse 200 with a posted purse of $30,000 while the Supermodifieds will will battle for $55,000 on Sunday night in the International Classic 200.

On Saturday night you can also see extra distance races such as the Riverside 200 at Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, MA, and the Labor Day 78 at Plattsburg International Raceway in Plattsburg, NY for Late Models. Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Maine will host Late Model and Limited Sportsman plus Modifieds for their two-day event tabbed the Labor Day Classic which will start on Saturday.

Thompson Speedway in Thompson, Conn. Will host a big 7-in-1 show on Sunday as their Labor Day Special with Modifieds, Late Models and Street Stock racing plus a demolition derby, powder puff derby, auto crash show, and aerial fireworks. You can see coupe racing in the Labor Day Special on Sunday at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, Vermont while Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY will host their Labor Day Classic 100 on the same day for dirt track Modifieds.

Geoff Bodine was in the thick of his winning ways with 46 wins by the 25th of August, 1978.  He would soon walk away with the '78 200 at Stafford.  Howie Hodge photo.
Geoff Bodine was in the thick of his winning ways with 46 wins by the 25th of August, 1978. He would soon walk away with the ’78 200 at Stafford. Howie Hodge photo.

Monday will be a big day in Stafford Springs, Conn., as the Stafford Motor Speedway hosts the 200 at Stafford which is sanctioned as a NASCAR National Modified Championship race carrying a purse of $28,000. The New York State Dirt Modified Championship will be held on Monday in Syracuse, NY at the New York State Fairgrounds while at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, NY the R.M. Petrocci Memorial for dirt Modifieds will be held on the same day.

Other big races during the next couple of months are the NESMRA Classic at Star Speedway in Epping, NH on September 9th for Supers and Modifieds and on the following day, Islip Speedway in Islip, LI, NY will host the 1978 All Star 300 another NASCAR National Modified Championship race with a purse of $23,000.

The weekend of September 15th through 17th will find Thompson Speedway hosting the Thompson 300 which will carry the largest purse in the Northeast for Modifieds, that being $50,000.

On September 23rd, Trenton International Speedway in Trenton, NJ will host the Machinist Union 150 for USAC Championship and Mini Indy Cars while Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia will have the Modifieds for the Autumn 150 and the next day Martinsville will host the Grand Nationals in the Old Dominion 500.

1978 Tom Rosati Wrapped up his second Limited Sportsman Championship at Stafford. He made the decision to try his hand with Northern Tour Late Models and wound up shocking the Northeast with an epic win at the 1979 Oxford 250.  Howie Hodge photo.
1978 Tom Rosati wrapped up his second Limited Sportsman title at Stafford. He made the decision to try his hand with Northern Tour Late Models the next season and earned an epic win at the 1979 Oxford 250 at 19 years old. Howie Hodge photo.

Congrats to Tom Rosati for wrapping up his second straight Limited Sportsman title. Rosati who will campaign exclusively on the Northern NASCAR circuit next season, has sold his car to Dick Armstrong.  Ricky Armstrong will wheel the new #1 entry of the Nu-Style Jewelry Racing Team… The Stafford Banquet has been set for January 13th at the Sheraton Sturbridge on US Route 20 in Sturbridge, Mass. While the Riverside Park Banquet will be held on November 18th at the Chez Josef in Agawam, Mass…. NASCAR Executive Vice President Lin Kuchler has resigned to take the position of Executive Director of the American Motorcyclist Association. Replacing Kuchler is Bill Gazeway, who has been NASCAR’s Winston Grand National Competition Director and Bob Smith, NASCAR’s Marketing Manager.  Winston Grand National Technical Director, Ray Hill will assume Gazeway’s former duties…. The “Rapid Roman” is now leading the “Cookie Monster” by 132 points in the chase for the NASCAR National Championship.  Richie Evans now has 3,036 to Jerry Cook’s 2,904. Cook picked up 16 points on the current leader last week…. Modified and Late Model Sportsman drivers went into the stands for charity at the NASCAR National Championship race at Monadnock Speedway on August 20th and using their helmets collected well over $1,250 from a capacity crowd. That’s what puts auto racing drivers and fans among the greatest people in the world…. The “Radical Racer”, owned by Fred Felton and driven by

Driver Marty Radewick and Fred Felton's Radical Racer Modified. Jim Snape photo.
Driver Marty Radewick and Fred Felton’s 11 Mass Radical Racer Modified woes with NASCAR officials was resolved with both sides communicating and working together. Jim Snape photo.

Marty Radewick, returned to Stafford two weeks ago with one change.  They widened the roll bar hoops at the roof of the car about 6 to 8 inches.  On the right side of the car only, while the car’s width remains the same at all other points. Felton stated, “We gave a little and NASCAR gave a little.” Felton also told me that Bruce Watt had been very understanding and helpful during the “Radical Racer” conflict…. The racing world is always saddened when tragedy strikes the sport. 42 year old C.H. Whorton of Tulsa, Oklahoma was killed a couple of weeks ago at the Tulsa Speedway when he backed his Modified onto the track after a spinout and was t-boned by another car. Our deepest sympathy to the family, relatives, and friends of C.H. Whorton.

Maynard Troyer was on a hot streak in 1978.  Howie Hodge photo.
Maynard Troyer and his famous #6 Modified were not the only ones on a hot streak in 1978.  Howie Hodge photo.

Geoff Bodine has won 46 races so far this season to lead the Nations Modified drivers, but there are some other big winners in the Northeast. Maynard Troyer has collected 37 wins, Richie Evans has 30 wins to his credit and Punky Caron has entered victory lane 19 times. You put this bunch together and you could call them auto racing’s Fearsome Foursome…. Fred Felton told me recently that he is really happy with the job that Marty Radewick has been doing in his car. He stated, “Marty drives like a man with 20 years experience instead of only a few years.” Radewick retired the Claremont Top Ten Drivers Trophy last Saturday by winning it twice in a row for the 11 Mass Racing Team. Felton’s car won last years races with Kirby Montieth at the wheel. It’s only the first time since the trophy was instituted nine years ago that a car has won back to back…. Have you seen all those Booker TWhat It Is – tee shirts?  Well, with Riverside Park going full NASCAR next year, we won’t have to worry about anyone runnin’ those Fat Motors will we?…. To Becky Coit of the #6 Racing Team; I think your poem on Ollie Silva was just super and you only confirm what I said earlier in this column about racing people…. It’s beginning to look like old times at Yarrington’s Yard. August 11th saw 51 Modifieds at Stafford and the following week there were 45. Last week’s total was 35, but weather seems to hold down the number of cars as Bugsy Stevens and Bobby Vee were among the missing.

To all of the people who don’t like what I write in NERF’ers Corner, all I have to say is don’t read it and you won’t get your ulcers in an uproar. If you continue to read this column, then as the Fonz would say; A-y-y-y-e-e-e, Sit On It!…. Until next week remember; “NERF’ers Do It Trackside.

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