Monday March 26, 2007

ARCHIVES
By Brian Danko                                 

For Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, CT, the past couple of months haven't been the best in the life of the 2000 NASCAR Whelen modified tour champions life. Marquis was notified in mid January by car owner, Bob Garbarino that he was shutting down the team because the crew chief, Greg Schroder, was leaving his employment at the Mystic River Marina and didn't want to run the car without giving it 100% effort.

Marquis, was then left to scramble and find a ride and sponsors and thankfully for one of the modified tours most consistent drivers, he was able to hook up with long time modified car owner, Joe Brady and the famous 00 Brady Bunch Chevrolet. "It's a load off my mind to finally get this done. I am excited about getting together with Joe and making this work out for the both of us." Jerry said by phone.

While Brady has been around the modified division since 1968, he is returning to the tour full time with a driver known for his ease driving style and getting the job done. In 188 starts, Marquis has amassed 19 wins, 73 top five's and 109 top tens with career winnings of more than $623,000.

Reynolds Auto Wrecking of E. Taunton, MA will be one of the sponsors going with Marquis on the Brady 00 while both Marquis and Brady are looking for more sponsors before the start of the season opener at Thompson Speedway on April 15th.

Word has it now that Garbarino is contemplating running the #4 car that has graced the modified division since the 1960's with Donnie Lia driving but as of yet no official word is out.

MODIFIEDS GET SOME TELEVISION
NASCAR announced that the modified tour would have three events televised this season with the first one on Speed Channel from the New Hampshire International Speedway on June 30th. The second event will be from the Mansfield Motorsports Park in Ohio reportedly live on HDNET on Saturday, August 25th and the third one-week later from the Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, September 1st.

It is believed that the races from New Hampshire and Martinsville Speedways will be on a taped delayed basis but that has yet to be confirmed.

While some television is better than none, one must wonder why the second modified tour race at New Hampshire Speedway in September isn't going to be televised. The cameras are set up, personal is at the track but no TV.

STEFANIK VOTED BY MEDIA TO REPEAT
Mike Stefanik was once again voted by the racing media that covers the modified tour as the driver most likely to win the season long championship. Stefanik, who has captured seven modified tour titles and two Busch East titles for a record nine NASCAR championships, the most of any driver in the history of NASCAR racing. Stefanik totaled 132 points with six members of the media voting him first place votes while five time modified tour titlest, Tony Hirschman  ranked second in the media voting with 119 points and two first place votes. Ted Christopher was third in the voting with 114 points while last years points runner up, Eddie Flemke, Jr. was voted fourth with Todd Szegedy fifth. When notified, Stefanik said, "I have to thank all the members of the media who voted for me. It is a long season and you need the breaks to go your way."

In the NASCAR Whelen Southern modified tour, two-time champion, Junior Miller and Tim Brown were voted co-champions by the media of the southern circuit. Burt Myers was voted third with L.W. Miller fourth and Jason Myers fifth.

STAFFORD SPEEDWAY TELEVISION SET
One again, the racing events from the Stafford Motor Speedway will be shown on NESN (New England Sports Network) starting on Saturday, June 2nd.

The show will run for 15 straight weeks and will be shown from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and joining announcers Matt Buckler and Ben Dodge, Jr. in the booth will be 1993 NASCAR modified tour champion, Rick Fuller.Randy LaJoie, multi-time Busch series champion will also offer a series of safety tips.

Stafford Speedway has always been one of the leaders in getting their events on television and the production is first class, just like the racing at the fast half-mile oval.

SAD NEWS
On Saturday, March 17th, Ben Dodge, Jr. lost his mother, Edie. Edie was a longtime fixture at the Riverside Park Speedway running the souvenir stand while Ben was promoting the races at the track known simply as "The Park".

Edie was always an easy person to talk to and loved being around the racing people.

Our regrets go out to Ben Dodge. Ben has always been a close friend of mine and many media members and people in racing. Our thoughts and prayers go to Ben in this difficult time.

STEADY EDDIE FLEMKE BOOK OUT SOON
A new book on Eddie Flemke, Sr. is scheduled to be out next month and is being offered by Coastal 181, the fine folks who bring you many great racing books.

Auto racing journalist, Bones Bourcier, oversaw the book, titled, Steady Eddie Flemke, Modified Racing's fastest professor.

You can order it for $23.95 plus $6.00 in shipping and handling and if ordered by April 25th, you will get a free frameable 8 1/2 x 11 print of Eddie Flemke.

The address of Coastal 181 is 29 Water St., Newburyport, MA 01950

NHIS HAS BUSCH SERIES RACE SPONSOR
Camping World and RV's.com have joined together to sponsor the NASCAR Busch series race at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, June 30th.

BRIAN DANKO'S COLUMN CAN BE FOUND EACH WEEK IN AREA AUTO RACING NEWS.  FOR THE MOST IN AUTO RACING NEWS SUBSCRIBE BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.