Norwood, MA — Some of Fred Luchesi’s peers felt that he retired from racing too early. The Pawtucket, RI racer had a very impressive resume. Consider that he was a NASCAR Champion back in 1948 the year that sanctioning body was formed for his string of wins at the Kingston Fairgrounds in RI. From that point on Luchesi won a number of features at such venues as Lonsdale Arena in RI, Westboro, Norwood Arena, Thompson in Conn., Dover, NH and Seekonk Speedway among several other tracks. As a matter of fact, a knowledgeable observer revealed that Luchesi won just about every feature at Lonsdale in 1955 right up through Hurricane Carol which inundated the venue that ultimately resulted in the demise of that oval. Fred’s ability to win on both dirt and paved ovals proved his versatility. He even took in the big dirt track at Langhorne Speedway in Penn. “I was in that very famous wreck that took out a bunch of cars. The film clip hit all of the newsreels in theaters and the TV news programs at that time,” he said. The Ocean State driver wasn’t just limited to racing in New England and the northeast, either. He managed to take major events in Ontario, Canada.
Towards the end of his career, Luchesi confined his efforts to a two car team which raced at Seekonk Speedway with Fred driving one while the late Bobby Sprague of Foxborough, MA drove theother. During that era it was common to see drivers and teams competing on dirt tracks and taking the same machine to paved tracks. The only changes required were grooved tires for dirt and slicks for paved tracks and some minor adjustments to suspension systems. Unlike today where a pavement car is much different than one especially built to race on dirt. Some observers feel that the 50’s, 60’s and into the early 70’s were the best of times for stockcar racing. Racing several nights a week all over New England and the northeast were the norm.