was “Home Town Night” Saturday at the New London Waterford
Speedbowl, as nearby Niantic and Waterford drivers captured both
feature races at the oval! Doubtless many of the drivers who had
traveled down from Massachusetts and from as far downstate as
Stamford didn’t appreciated that so much prize money stayed within
a 10-mile radius of the track, but they did their best to make it
an exciting night, the hariest yet seen this year at Waterford.
Driving the well set-up R.I.-11 car, owned by Coventry Racing
Enterprises, Bill Harman, of Niantic, won his first feature at the
Speedbowl in some ten years. Remembered fondly by old time racing
fans as the rising young star behind the wheel of the L&M car of
years gone by, Harman was plainly the favorite of the crowd, many
of whom rooted him all the way.
Future Hall of Famer Billy Harman
took down the Speedbowl feature in the Coventry Racing #11. (File
the 14th lap it was evident the 30-lap Modified/Sportsman
Division feature was developing into a ding-dong battle between
Harman, Dick Dunn, Joe Trudeau, Lou Toro and Jerry Pearl of
Colchester. Things narrowed down to a four-way battle, with Art Moran
and Mike Beebe also moving into hard contention after the 20th
lap when Toro’s 04 car reportedly blew a tire and then smashed into
the wall on the first turn sustaining damage to both the front and
rear ends. After a delay of some ten to fifteen minutes the race
resumed with Harmon, Dunn and Pearl in it all the way. Harman held on
to the lead fighting off determined forays by both Pearl and Dunn, who
in the end had to settle for second and third spots respectively.
The race was also notable for a first lap, first turn pile-up just
after starter Low Mazzocci dropped the green flag to signal the start
of the race, as a dozen cars piled up. On the restart most of them
were back in the race.
Bob Gada won the Grand American
Gada took Grand American Division honors for the night in brisk
fashion in the fast 36-sedan. Lat week’s winner Don Fowler in Car
26 was a close second, but once he got out in front, Gada, the
Waterford wheeler was in control all the way. It was his first win
of the young season.
The management of the track announced that this coming Saturday
night the Modified/Sportsman Division will run a 100-lap Memorial
Day special feature. Racing will commence, as usual at 7:30 P.M.,
but the gates will open half an hour earlier at 5 P.M. A full
program of both Modified/Sportsman and Grand American Division
Racing has been arranged.
Modified/Sportsman, 30-laps: Harman, Pearl, Dunn, Trudeau, M. Beebe.
Grand American, 20-laps: Gada, D. Fowler, Horn, Charbonneau,