A trio of modified racing pioneers – Moe Gherzi, Jerry Humiston and Roland Lapierre – are the veterans committee selections to join the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The trio will be inducted along with drivers Reggie Ruggiero and Joey Kourafas, owner/mechanics Mario Fiore and Jim Jorgensen and track operators/promoters Irene Venditti and Donald Hoenig at the 15th annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday Jan. 29 at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
Ticket information and order forms will be available soon on the NEAR website (www.NEAR1.com).
The colorful Gherzi was one of Southern New England’s first racing stars. Driving for a number of owners including the Scambato and Garuti families, Gherzi, who started in the Midgets, built an impressive stock car resume in the formative years at Plainville Stadium, Riverside Park and the Waterford Speedbowl. Following his 25-plus years in the cockpit, Gherzi was racing director at Plainville.
Humiston was one of the United Stock Car Club’s brightest stars for over two decades driving both Modifieds and Grand American cars. While the Bay State native is usually associated with Riverside Park (three championships, two 500 wins), his prowess stretched throughout the northeast with wins as far away as Utica-Rome Speedway
The popular Lapierre is associated with the number 134 which he picked up when he was the 134th car in line at Lonsdale Arena during the late 1940s. “Pappy” scored his first victory at Lonsdale in 1950 and his last at Norwood Arena in 1969, four years before he retired. In between the Rhode Island native raced at over 25 venues finding success at now legendary ovals like Keene, NH, the Medford Bowl, and Westboro, West Peabody and Seekonk Speedways.
Sources: Dave Dykes/NEAR PR