Maine Resident Was The 1966 National Champion
Daytona Beach, FL — Ernie Gahan, the 1966 NASCAR Modified national champion, passed away Thursday night at his home in Cranberry Isles, Maine at the age of 83.
Gahan, originally from Dover, N.H., got his start in auto racing at his hometown track – Dover Speedway – in 1948 after serving more than two years as an Army military policeman in Germany following Word War II. After getting his start at Dover, Gahan competed in the NASCAR Sportsman division until 1965, when he moved over to Modifieds.
Gahan compiled 6,560 points during his 1966 run to the title to distance himself from runner-up Bugs Stevens and third place Ray Hendrick. Driving a 1936 Chevrolet coupe, Gahan won 15 of the 71 races he entered that season, but led Hendrick by just 48 points heading into the season finale in Atlanta, Ga. Hendrick was caught up in an early race accident and Gahan crossed the line 10th to earn the crown.