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.
Antique racecars from three separate clubs have been invited. In addition, all racecars are welcome to the Annual Norwood Arena Reunion. Interest is very high on the co-featured car show that features street antiques, muscle cars and classics will be part of the show. Dash plaques will be given out to the racecars, street antiques, muscle cars and classics for the first 60 entries. There will also be a trophy for the best racecar and street machine awarded by peers.
Coastal 181, a publishing company, is expected to bring new motorsports books to the 4th annual show which depict racing during it’s very best years at tracks all over New England and the northeast. Collectable vendors are also expected. Don Thomas, the Norwood Arena Webmaster, plans to his have his vast array of equipment so that fans, drivers, car owners and officials will be able to check the latest information on his website.
Host Marty Bezema, Sr. will welcome the crowd who can remember the fantastic racing days at the Norwood Arena Speedway. It’s set to get underway at 11 a.m. and to be completed by 4 p.m. Rain or shine, on Sunday, June 1. This is a must attend event if your an old race fan as well as new to the sport. If you have any pictures, news stories or scrapbooks bring them along. A table will be provided for that purpose. Hot Dogs and Hamburgers will be served free in Marty’s Cafe on the property of the Bezema dealership. For further information call Bezema Buick, Pontiac, GMC at 781-769-4700. The Bezema dealership is located at 401 Providence Hwy. (US Rt. 1) in Norwood, MA on the Auto Mile.
Sources:Lou Modestino/Norwood Arena Reunion PR