John DeLeo, driving the Anderson Brothers #22, won NEMA’s first visit to Stafford Speedway on Sept. 13, 1953. A New Britain native, DeLeo, defeated Bill Bichteman and Bert Brooks on the fifth-mile paved oval that was inside the half-mile dirt.
CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday will mark the 33rd NEMA visit to Stafford.
“A damn fine car,” DeLeo says of the Ford V60 car owned by a Springfield, MA family that built truck bodies.
“The thing about the small tracks,” continued DeLeo, 84, “if you got into the groove, it was difficult for the others to get by you.” The well-traveled DeLeo also won that year at the quarter mile in Manchester, NH.
A World War II veteran (Marines), DeLeo raced from 1948 through 1953, retiring when he became a father.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR