Archive for February 14th, 2012

Racer’s Expo 2012

[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Joey Mucciacciaro Prepares for 2012 Legends National Title Bid

Joey Mucciacciaro's family has been involved in racing for nearly three decades. He knew that he wanted to become a race car driver when he was older. His favorite driver was Richie Evans. "My dad was on a modified team with my uncle Danny (the previous owner of New DWY Chassis/Chassis Dynamics), and driver Johnny Anderson,” said Mucciacciaro. “I always loved hearing stories about my dad's old race team."

At fifteen years old, the Wolcott, CT driver is a young veteran. He began his career in Quarter Midgets at Silver City at the age of five. "I loved it my first time behind the wheel,” said Mucciacciaro. More travel came with the territory, as they got more serious about racing. In his final season of Quarter Midget racing, Mucciacciaro won 3 track championships and more than 32 wins. Mucciacciaro moved to the faster Legends Cars for a new challenge. "We had several top-5 finishes and took home the (2010) Rookie of the Year.”

In 2011, Mucciacciaro competed twice a week in Legends at Waterford Speedbowl. "I've learned so much racing head to head against a bunch of great drivers and pushing my equipment to the limit week in and week out,” said Mucciacciaro. “It's also given me a big advantage when getting in the Midget and racing at (Waterford) because I've learned my way around there." More seat time has been critical for Mucciacciaro. “Driving these cars has helped me in both divisions,” said Mucciacciaro. “The Legends taught me throttle control and how to drive a car that is nearly out of control each lap. The NEMA (Lite) taught me consistency and smoothness. I benefit from what they teach me when I'm driving a different car."

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NEMA Announces VIP Fan Initiative as Part of 2012 Market Expansion

Brockton, MA — When the Northeastern Midget Association membership met in November of 2011 they were vocal about a need to connect with their fans. Following through with this desire, the drivers and owners have established a presence on the Northeastern Midget Association Facebook fan page, and Facebook open group.

NEMA’s membership saw this as a perfect opportunity to interact with their fans, and it is paying off. Fans can talk to most of the drivers in the series simply by posting questions and comments, with the response from drivers coming back sometimes in minutes. Membership in the open group has grown over 100 percent since this concerted effort was endorsed by NEMA membership in December. The group has gone from about 150 to well over 400 in a few short weeks.

With this great response from the fans, the membership wishes to take their new relationships one step further. With that, NEMA is going to implement their Facebook VIP Fan of the Race. Each week on Monday, we will pick one fan *two weeks* before each NEMA race from our Facebook fan page, or Facebook open group to be our guest at the races. NEMA will supply them with a pit pass, give them a VIP tour of the pits, allow them to work with a few teams during the day as a special crew member, as well as participate in other activities during the race day. These activities can include riding in an official push vehicle, dropping the checkered flag on NEMA’s famed four wide salute, standing in victory lane with the winning teams and other VIP’s for that particular race event. NEMA members realize the need to reach out to their fans, and are excited to give one fan a race the time of their lives.

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Seekonk Speedway Photographer Johnny Mercury Passes Away

John B. Verissimo (AKA:Johnny Mercury), who was Seekonk Speedway's track photographer for 33 years, passed away on Sunday. He was the recipient of the D. Anthony Venditti Memorial award at last month's banquet.

NEW BEDFORD — John B. Verissimo, 87, of Acushnet, died February 12, 2012 at St. Luke’s Hospital after a long illness. He was the husband of Lydia D. (Medeiros) Verissimo.

Born and raised in New Bedford, he lived in Acushnet most of his life. He was formerly employed as a photographer at the Seekonk Speedway for many years. Mr. Verissimo served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Fairhaven.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Robin Quintin of New Bedford; a son, John Verissimo of New Bedford; a sister, Maria Cardin of Somerset; and 2 grandchildren.

His Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 21st at 10 AM in Our Lady of Fatima Church. Burial will follow in St. John’s Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford.

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