At Saturday evening’s NEAR Movie Party, it was announced that three new inductees will join the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame Class of 2008. The Veterans Comittee has selected Johnny Gamell, George Lombardo, and Fred Luchesi as the latest members. Dave Alkas, Dave Darveau, Dick Bathchelder, the late Howie Brown are all a part of the class. Car owners Joe Brady and the late Mike Scrivani, Sr. along with the multi-talented Dick Berggren and writer Pete Zanardi will also be inducted at the NEAR banquet in January.
Johnny Gammell, an
George Lombardo’s career includes a pair of track championships at the Plainville Stadium in the mid-1960s. A standout at Joe Tinty’s quarter-mile oval, Lombardo won an incredible 11 consecutive races in one season. He was also a winner at Riverside Park Speedway (9 wins between 1953 and 1959), and the Waterford Speedbowl.
Fred Luchesi was a multi-track champion in the 1950s including Lonsdale, Norwood, Seekonk, Waterford and Westboro during this rough-and-tumble era. Of those facilities, only Seekonk and Waterford have survived to the present day as the stock car and track building boom of the post-war era has seen many former tracks closed and redeveloped.
Congratulations to all three of these racing pioneers on their well-deserved inductions.
An updated list of all the NEAR Hall of Fame members will be added later today.