Former Modified Events

Don Bunnell in the #318 coupe he drove to a victory in the 1976 Bicentennial 200

MODIFIED CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

In the 1950’s & 1960’s, there were several “Championship” race promotions, usually named after the calendar month or whichever season of the year the event was held.  But during the 1960’s, there were a string of events at the end of the season called “Modified Championships” that always attracted the Speedbowl’s biggest stars.  The original and most common promotional title was the Connecticut State Modfiied Championship.  They varied in length from 50 laps to 100 laps, which the last 3 events were.  There was a different winner every time the event was run.  It was not run in 1967, returned for one year in 1968 before being discontinued permanently.

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1962Ted Stack75CT State Modified Championship
1963George Pendergast50CT State Modified Championship
1964Dick Dunn75New England Modified Championship
1965Dick Watson100CT State Modified Championship
1966Newt Palm100Fall Modified Championship
1967  event not held
1968Don Collins100Fall Modified Championship

HOTT WHEELS 100

One of the last successful promotions from the original Speedbowl ownership group was the Hott Wheels 100 event.   In its first year of 1973 it was an open competition event slated to start the Speedbowl’s season.  The original date was rained out twice, and finally ran on April 22 as the second event of the year.  George Allum took the win, one of his 4 victories in the first 6 events that season.  

Ollie Silva dominated the second event in his #0 car, basically a Super Modified with a Pinto body on it.  He lapped the entire field during the event with a majority of the field lapped at least a 2nd time as well.  Silva’s performance in this 1974 event was profiled in our documentary series on the history of NLWS.

Hott Wheels 100 brought big names throughout the northeast’s modified scene, but was discontinued after only 2 years when the track was sold to Harvey Tattersall Jr prior to the 1975 season.

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1973George Allum100 
1974Ollie Silva100Silva lapped the entire field

THE FALL STINGER

The Fall Stinger was a United Stock Car Racing Club event that president Harvey Tattersall Jr started at Westboro (MA) Speedway.  Fred DeSarro won the inaugural event in 1972. When Tattersall bought the Speedbowl in early 1975, he moved the event to the shoreline oval.  It was part of the Grand Slam Series of extra-distance events which Tattersall ran in the late 1970’s. Dick Dunn won the first Stinger held at Waterford.

It was the only career wins at the Speedbowl for winners Bob Polverari and John Rosati.  Rosati’s performance was notable for beating Rick Donnelly, who had a record-setting year at the Speedbowl in 1979 in his new Troyer chassis Pinto.  Rosati came from a lap down early in the field to pass Donnelly once to get his lap back under green, then a second time to take the lead and eventually the win.

The Stinger was not held in 1977 or 1978, but returned for one more event in 1979, then discontinued altogether.

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1972Fred DeSarro100 *held at Westboro Speedway
1973Deke Astle100 *held at Westboro Speedway
1974Bugs Stevens125 *held at Westboro Speedway
1975Dick Dunn100Dunn also won Modified Track Championship
1976Bob Polverari100 
1977 event not held
1978  event not held
1979John Rosati100 

WATERFORD 200

The Waterford 200 started in 1976 as the Bicentennial 200 in celebration of America’s 200th birthday.  Speedbowl regular Don Bunnell won the event in his #318 coupe and took home $1776 for the victory.  The following season, it was rebranded to the Waterford 200.  Like many United promotions, when Dick Williams took over in 1978, he did not carry over the same events.  It returned for 1979 and 1980 (both won by Bob Potter) before Williams took over again in 1981 when it was discontinued.

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1976Don Bunnell200promoted as the Bicentennial 200
1977Joe Tiezzi200 
1978  event not held this season while Dick Williams was track operator/promoter
1979Bob Potter200Race of Champions qualifier
1980Bob Potter200Potter also won Modified Track Championship

MATCO TOOLS 100

Dick Williams, who leased the track in 1978, returned in 1981 for a second stint as track operator under his Coastal Racing Association banner.  They introduced an annual event called the Matco Tools 100 in which the winner would receive a rolling tool cart in victory lane.

The event was run every year of Williams’ last tenure at Waterford (1981-84) on Labor Day weekend. It was also the last event of the season in 1981 and 1984.  The Matco Tools 100 was dominated by Bob Potter who won the 1st 3 events. Veteran Dale Holdridge broke Potter’s win streak in 1984 (Potter finished 4th). The event was discontinued when the Arute family leased the track in 1985 and implemented their own schedule of events & promotions.

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1981Bob Potter100 
1982Bob Potter100 
1983Bob Potter100Potter also won Modified Track Championship
1984Dale Holdridge100 

WATERFORD 200 – THE SHOWDOWN

In 1989, the Korteweg family created a different version of the old Waterford 200 called The Showdown, now featuring SK Modifieds (or CT Modifieds as they were sometimes called during the Korteweg era).  They initially started out as a 200 lap event run as the last point event of the season.  In 1991, it was moved to Labor Day Weekend, where it remained for 3 seasons (although the 1993 event was rescheduled to late October due to rain).  In 1992, the SK race was shortened to 150 laps, with Late Models (30) and Ltd Sportsman (20) lap counts added in to account for the 200.  In 1994, the event was again moved to a mid-summer event in late July with another adjusted lap distribution among the 3 divisions.  

All winners of the SK race were Speedbowl Champions, although none of them won the Showdown during their championship season. Dave Gada was the only driver to win the event twice. This event was discontinued in 1995 when Terry Eames became the new Speedbowl promoter.  

YEARWINNERLAPSNOTES
1989Dave Gada200 
1990Bob Potter200 
1991Ted Christopher200 
1992Dave Gada150200 laps revised to include SK Mods (150), Late Models (30) and Ltd Sportsmen (20)
1993Ricky Young150 
1994Jeff Pearl125200 laps revised again to SK Mods (125), Late Models (50) and Ltd Sportsmen (25)

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