NEAR Honors Hodges With Ratta Award

Photographers Howie and Mary Hodge, mainstays on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series, are the winners of the New England Antique Racers Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award. The Hodges will accept the award at the 14th annual New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame induction banquet Sunday, Jan. 31 at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.

The Hodges, who have been recording New England racing history for 30 years, will share the limelight with 12 new members of the Hall of Fame. Howie started snapping pictures “seriously” in 1979. Mary joined him three years later.

The Hall of Fame “Class of 2010” includes drivers Geoff Bodine, the late Mike Murphy, George Savary, Pete Fiandaca and the late Chuck Arnold, car owner/builders Billy Simons, Bob Garbarino, Vic Miller and Marty Harty and contributors extraordinaire Frank Ferrara and the late Archie Blackadar.

Ticket forms will be on the NEAR website ( in the near future.

Hodge calculates he and his wife of 46 years have visited 130 racetracks and traveled almost a quarter-million miles as photographers. They have been part of the Modified Tour since 1991, “taking to the road” after almost a decade as the track photographer at Stafford Motor Speedway and, briefly, at Waterford Speedbowl.

The Hodges, who spent a number of years photographing the Busch North Series as well, have captured classic images up and down racing’s hierarchy.

Previous Ratta Award winners include Lou Modestino, Charlie Mitchell, Val LeSieur, Sam Weisberg and Chris Economaki.

Sources: NEAR PR

November 2009
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