Archive for the 'NEAR' Category Page 2 of 5



Connecticut’s Plainville Stadium Remembered at 5th Annual Reunion

BERLIN, CT — The gates where locked for the final time over three decades-ago. The place remained unceremoniously silent for a period of time before Dame Progress finally intervened & claimed another pound of flesh from Connecticut’s stock car racing landscape.

Sadly, these days it’s a fate that’s becoming a stark reality for many of our nations short tracks.

The reasons surrounding the demise of Joe Tinty’s little oval of asphalt known as Plainville Stadium are irrelevant now. What’s not is the fact that the track that meant so-much to people was gone in what seemed like blink-of-an-eye.

Continue reading ‘Connecticut’s Plainville Stadium Remembered at 5th Annual Reunion’

Milt Blood Passes at 74

Milton Estes Blood-lifelong resident of Pepperell; 74

PEPPERELL — Milton Estes Blood, 74, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2013 at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Brighton, MA. surrounded by his loving family.

Milton was born on November 12, 1938, son of Lester E. and Lillian D. (Bouchard) Blood of Pepperell, both of whom predeceased him. He was also predeceased by two brothers, Raymond L. Blood and Gerry H. Blood.

Milt was a lifelong Pepperell resident and attended the Pepperell schools. Following high school, he served two years in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He made a career as a longhaul truck driver, driving for several large companies such as Bemis Bag Co. of Pepperell, Subler Trucking of Maine, and Pepsi (EPIC Enterprises) of Ayer, MA. He also drove for several smaller private companies and owned his own trucks during his career. Milt also had a great passion for auto racing and was a very accomplished driver in the New England Super Modified racing circuits, driving his own cars and also for several other car owners.

[View Guest Book]

Continue reading ‘Milt Blood Passes at 74′

Memories to be Rekindled at Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion on Saturday, October 12th

2013 Plainville Reunion Banner

BERLIN, CT — It closed over three decades-ago, but Connecticut’s ¼-mile Plainville Stadium is still recalled for hosting some of the biggest names in the business. Drivers such as the legendary “Steady Eddie” Flemke, Denny Zimmerman, Reggie Ruggiero, Charlie Jarzombek, Ron Wyckoff, Ray Miller, the late Dick Watson, and still-more of the sports heavy-hitters all toured the tight, demanding oval during its colorful history.

Add Saturday night regulars such as New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame members Dave Alkas, the late Tony Mordino and George Lombardo, along-with the celebrated Don Moon, Sparky Belmont, & the colorful Tony “Jap” Membrino, and it set the stage for some of the best racing action ever witnessed in the Nutmeg State.

Saturday, October 12th, the Nutmeg Kart Club in conjunction with the Berlin Lions Club World of Wheels presents the Fifth Annual

Plainville Stadium Reunion. The event takes-place from 10am – 4pm at the Berlin Fair Grounds located 430 Beckley Road, East Berlin, Ct. The rain date is October 13th.

Continue reading ‘Memories to be Rekindled at Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion on Saturday, October 12th’

Former NEMA Midget Champion Lou Fray Passes at 88

LouFraysharedthe1970championship

Lou Fray of Shelton, CT passed away on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at age 88.

Born in Derby, CT on September 4, 1925, Fray was a stalwart midget competitor across four decades, with victories in ARA, ARDC, NASCAR, NorthEastern Midget Asssociation (NEMA) and the Super Midget Racing Club (SMRC) competition. He won races at Albany-Saratoga, Catamount, Oxford Plains, Quebec City, Stafford, Westboro, and West Haven.

He finished 10th in points on the NASCAR Midget circuit in 1958.

He was co-champion of the NEMA Midgets in 1970 with Dave Humphrey. Fray was a consistent finisher in the NEMA point standings, with five additional top-5 seasons between 1965 and 1972. He drove for car owners like John McCarthy, Bob Pascale, and Young.

He also won three consecutive titles from 1975-77 in the SMRC. Although he retired in the late 1980s, Fray was a a trustee of the Atlantic Coast Old Timers Auto Racing Club in recent years.

Continue reading ‘Former NEMA Midget Champion Lou Fray Passes at 88′

Impressive Cast Set for NEAR Fame Fete

An all-star cast will induct an equally impressive group of inductees at the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelleys in South Windsor, CT. It is the 16th NEAR Hall of Fame class.

Steve Pellerin and Bruce Elder will be inducting fellow Maine natives Ralph Nason and Stan Meserve respectively. Open cockpit racing is well represented by Chris Romano and Dick Monahan who will honor multi-time Northeastern Midget Association champions Drew Fornoro and Billy Eldridge respectively.

Lew Boyd will bring forth Bob Sharp, arguably New England’s greatest road racer.

Continue reading ‘Impressive Cast Set for NEAR Fame Fete’

NEAR Hall of Famer Rene Charland Passes at 84

Rene Charland “Da Champ”: November 13, 1928 – September 30, 2013

Rene M Charland, legendary stock car driver who blazed numerous tracks from Canada to Florida passed away peacefully on Monday Sept 30 at the Wilkinson Residential Care Facility in Amsterdam, NY where he had resided for the past several years.

Mr Charland was born in Chicopee, MA on November 13, 1928 the son of Adelard and Noella Lamoureux Charland. After serving his time in the US Marines and Merchant Marines, Mr Charland resettled in the Chicopee area and later was a resident of Agawam, MA before locating to Upstate NY in the 1960’s. After returning from his act of duty in the service he tried on many masks, working for Remington Arms in Springfield, Ma and running his own speed shop and radio station before turning the throttle full bore on his racing career which began in 1947.

Rene was a 4-time Nascar National Sportsman Champion from 1962 thru 1965. He was one of the original Eastern Bandits that enjoyed tickling the skills of the drivers in the South. He was also a member of the AllStar League for many years. He was inducted into many Hall of Fames thru-out his life span; the New England Antique Racers(NEAR), Dirt Motorsports ,Riverside Park, Fonda Speedway, Utica-Rome and Albany-Saratogas as well as many more. He was named as one of Nascar’s Top 50 Drivers at Stafford Motor Speedway as well. His career wins exceeded 800, his track championships were numerous and covered many states in the country to achieve his records.

[View Guestbook]
[Sign Guestbook]

Continue reading ‘NEAR Hall of Famer Rene Charland Passes at 84′

2013 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions Take Center Stage on Sunday, November 10th

Drivers Stan Meserve, Brian Ross, Drew Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob Stefanik, Bill Eldridge and Bob Sharp along with car owner Ron Berndt will be inducted at the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelley’s located at 65 Rye Street in South Windsor, CT.

Seven drivers and one car owner representing hundreds of victories and dozens of championships comprise the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013. It is the 16th class and brings the membership to well over 115.

Tickets are priced at $45.00 each. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. with dinner served at Noon.

Continue reading ‘2013 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions Take Center Stage on Sunday, November 10th’

Long Time Speedbowl Competitor & Engine Builder Nick Dinsmoor Passes at 71

Nick Dinsmoor 11/29/1941 – 09/23/2013

Nicholas James Dinsmoor Nov. 29, 1941 – Sept. 23, 2013 – Uncasville Nicholas James Dinsmoor, 71, of Uncasville and formerly of Salem, passed away Monday (Sept. 23, 2013) at the Wm. W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.

Born Nov. 29, 1941, he was the son of the late Claire and Lily (Reynolds) Dinsmoor, Jr. Mr. Dinsmoor served proudly with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from 1960 to 1965, serving on one of the first nuclear submarines.

An avid automotive enthusiast, he worked as an engine machinist and very active with the stock car racing circuit in the area for many years. In his spare time, he also enjoyed fishing.

View/Sign Guest Book

Continue reading ‘Long Time Speedbowl Competitor & Engine Builder Nick Dinsmoor Passes at 71′

NEAR Hall of Fame Tickets Now On-Sale for November 10th Induction Ceremony

Seven drivers and one car owner with hundreds of victories and dozens of championships comprise the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.  It is the 16th class and brings the membership to well over 115.

Drivers Stan Meserve, Brian Ross, Drew Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob Stefanik, Bill Eldridge and Bob Sharp and car owner Ron Berndt will be inducted at the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT. Tickets a priced at 45.00 each and the doors open at 11:00 a.m. with dinner served at Noon.

Ticket order forms are available on The New England Antique Racers/Auto Racers Hall of Fame website www.near1.org

Ticket Order Form (PDF)
Ticket Order Form (DOC)

Continue reading ‘NEAR Hall of Fame Tickets Now On-Sale for November 10th Induction Ceremony’

Danbury SNYRA Reunion Sunday Sept. 22

EPSON MFP imageThe annual SNYRA Reunion honoring the Danbury Fair Racearena will be held at the Danbury PAL Building (35 Hayestown Road, Danbury, CT 06811) from 11AM – 4PM.

Ratta/Mitchell Award to Pete Vander Veer

Pete V photoPeter Vander Veer, a standout auto racing writer for over 30 years, will receive the Jack Ratta/Charlie Mitchell Award at the 16th annual New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Banquet  Sunday,  Nov. 10  at the Lodge at Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT.

A contributor to a number of outlets, Vander Veer joins Hall of Fame inductees Stan Meserve, Brian Ross, Drew Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob Stefanik, Bill Eldridge, Bob Sharp and Ron Berndt on the honoree list.

The award memorializes two outstanding motor sports journalists – Ratta who wrote for the Manchester Union Leader and Mitchell, a sportswriter/editor for many years at the Norwalk (CT) Hour. Like Vander Veer, Mitchell was recognized for his reporting on the entire sporting scene.

Continue reading ‘Ratta/Mitchell Award to Pete Vander Veer’

Jess A. Ruggiero Passes at 93

Jess A. Ruggiero, 93, of New Britain, died Sunday, (September 1, 2013) at the Hospital of Central CT at New Britain General. He was the beloved husband of Josephine (Germano) Ruggiero for 65 years. Jess was born in Bethel, VT and was the son of the late John and Fannie (Ezzo) Ruggiero. He was a resident of New Britain for 70 years and worked as a Foreman for Stanley Works for several years. Jess was very devoted to his family and enjoyed going to the races, especially watching his son Reggie race. He also enjoyed going to his son’s business Race Works every day, visiting with all the guys. He had a passion for hunting and fishing. In addition to his wife, Jess is survived by his son, John Ruggiero and his wife, Kim of Rocky Hill, his two grandsons, John Ruggiero, Jr. of Harrisburg, NC and Anthony Ruggiero of Bristol, his three lovely great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Lauren and Massimo, his two sisters-in-law, Angeline Mackiewicz and Pauline Paganetti and his brother-in-law, Sam Germano.

A Celebration of Jess’ life will be held Saturday September 7, 2013 at 11 a.m. at St. Ann Church, 101 North Street, New Britain, CT. Burial with full military honors will be in Fairview Cemetery, 120 Smalley Street, New Britain, CT. The American Flag will be presented to Jess’ wife Josephine. There are no calling hours. Service of comfort provided by the Paul A. Shaker / Farmingdale Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Avenue, New Britain, Ct. To extend condolences to the Ruggiero family or to share a memory of Jess, please visit our website at shakerfuneralhome.com.

Continue reading ‘Jess A. Ruggiero Passes at 93′

Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion Slated for Saturday, October 12th

BERLIN, CT — Silenced at the dawn of the 1980’s, Connecticut’s ¼-mile Plainville Stadium was a hotbed of New England racing action for over 3-decades hosting some of the biggest names in the business. Drivers such as the legendary “Steady Eddie” Flemke, Denny Zimmerman, Reggie Ruggiero, Don Moon, Ron Wyckoff, Ray Miller, the late Dick Watson, and many-more of the sports heavy-hitters all toured the tight, demanding oval during its colorful history.

Saturday, October 12th, the Nutmeg Kart Club in conjunction with the Berlin Lions Club World of Wheels presents the Fifth Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion. The event takes-place from 10am – 4pm at the Berlin Fair Grounds located 430 Beckley Road, East Berlin, Ct.

In 2008, Plainville’s all-time winner Dave Alkas and 2-time champion George Lombardo took their places in the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame along with previously inducted members Flemke, Zimmerman, Watson, and Miller. Pioneering driver & former Stadium Race Director Moe Gherzi is a 2012 HOF inductee. Popular championship car owner Ron Berndt, a longtime Plainville campaigner, will enter the Hall of Fame later this year at the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT.

Continue reading ‘Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion Slated for Saturday, October 12th’

12th Annual SNYRA Reunion September 22

EPSON MFP image

The Southern New York Racing Association announces that it will have its 12th Annual Reunion on Sunday September 22nd 2013 from 11AM to 4 PM, at the Danbury PAL Building. The Reunion location is 35 Hayestown Road, Danbury Connecticut.

It is also the 32nd year since the last race at the Danbury Fair Racearena. The Southern New York Racing Association raced Stock Cars from the 1950s to 1981 when the track was shut down to make way for the Danbury Mall.

Save that date! Open to Everyone. See some Vintage Race Cars on display. Meet some Drivers, Car Owners & Fans of the Danbury Racearena.

For more information: call Steve Forster at (203) 654-1002 or Dan Evon at (203) 938-0338.

Continue reading ’12th Annual SNYRA Reunion September 22′

Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion Slated for Saturday, October 12th

BERLIN, CT — Silenced at the dawn of the 1980’s, Connecticut’s ¼-mile Plainville Stadium was a hotbed of New England racing action for over 3-decades hosting some of the biggest names in the business. Drivers such as the legendary “Steady Eddie” Flemke, Denny Zimmerman, Reggie Ruggiero, Don Moon, Ron Wyckoff, Ray Miller, the late Dick Watson, and many-more of the sports heavy-hitters all toured the tight, demanding oval during its colorful history.

Saturday, October 12th, the Nutmeg Kart Club in conjunction with the Berlin Lions Club World of Wheels presents the Fifth Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion. The event takes-place from 10am – 4pm at the Berlin Fair Grounds located 430 Beckley Road, East Berlin, Ct.

In 2008, Plainville’s all-time winner Dave Alkas and 2-time champion George Lombardo took their places in the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame along with previously inducted members Flemke, Zimmerman, Watson, and Miller. Pioneering driver & former Stadium Race Director Moe Gherzi is a 2012 HOF inductee. Popular championship car owner Ron Berndt, a longtime Plainville campaigner, will enter the Hall of Fame later this year at the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT.

Continue reading ‘Fifth-Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion Slated for Saturday, October 12th’

NEAR Hall of Famer Chick Stockwell Dies

Nine-Time Danbury Champion was 85

Charles ‘Chick’ Stockwell of Woodbury, CT passed away Monday at age 85.

Stockwell began his driving career in 1949. He raced throughout New England at tracks such as Eastern States Expo, Lime Rock, Plainville, Riverside Park, Seekonk, Stafford, Thompson, Waterford, West Haven and Westboro. He also raced at Albany-Saratoga, Arlington, Empire, JFK Stadium, Langhorne, Lebanon Valley and Middletown.

Stockwell will best be remembered for his home track, Danbury Fair Racearena. Stockwell raced there from 1952 to 1981. In that span, he won nine track championships (1954-55, 1960-63, 1968, 1970-71) and 51 features (1955-80). He was voted the Most Popular Driver six consecutive times from 1976 to 1981.

Continue reading ‘NEAR Hall of Famer Chick Stockwell Dies’

NEAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013

 Seven drivers and one car owner with hundreds of victories and dozens of championships comprise the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013. It is the 16th class and brings the membership to well over 115.

Drivers Stan Meserve, Brian Ross, Drew Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob Stefanik, Bill Eldridge and Bob Sharp and car owner Ron Berndt will be inducted at the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT.

The New England Antique Racers website www.near1.com will have complete times and ticket prices in the near future.

Continue reading ‘NEAR Hall of Fame Class of 2013′

Billy Greco’s NEAR Fundraising Picnic Goes-Green on Sunday, August 11th

WEST HAVEN, CT — It’s for a worthy cause, and thanks to New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy “Gramps” Greco it’s all happening on Sunday, Aug 11th at the Polish American Club located at 194 W. Spring Street in West Haven, CT.

Serving as a fundraiser for the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Greco’s “First Annual NEAR Picnic” goes-green at noon and wraps-up at 6:00.

To be held under the pavilion on the grounds of the Polish American Club, the event is a rain or shine affair. Tickets are economically-priced at $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for those 12 to 16 years of age. Purchase includes food, and a chance to win one of many door prizes to be offered throughout the day. There will also be a cash bar and raffle drawings.

NEAR Vice President Bill Henry reports that there will be a lot happening at the event to please New England race fans.

Continue reading ‘Billy Greco’s NEAR Fundraising Picnic Goes-Green on Sunday, August 11th’

Billy Greco’s NEAR Fundraising Picnic Gains Momentum

WEST HAVEN, CT —  It’s for a worthy cause, and thanks to New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy “Gramps” Greco it’s all happening on Sunday, Aug 11th at the Polish American Club located at 194 W. Spring Street in West Haven, CT.

Serving as a fundraiser for the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Greco’s “First Annual NEAR Picnic” goes green at noon and wraps-up at 6:00.

To be held under the pavilion on the grounds of the Polish American Club, the event is a rain or shine affair. Tickets are economically-priced at $20.00 for adults, and $10.00 for those 12 to 16 years of age. Purchase includes food, and a chance to win one of many door prizes to be offered throughout the day. There will also be a cash bar.

A display of vintage race cars adds to the festivities. Also expected to be in attendance are many of the drivers that contributed to the rich history of the sport in New England. It’s the perfect opportunity to do a little “bench-racing” and perhaps get an autograph from your favorite driver.

Continue reading ‘Billy Greco’s NEAR Fundraising Picnic Gains Momentum’

NEAR Heats Up For Month of July

This July the New England Antique Racers will have one of its’ busiest months on the 2013 schedule. On Saturday the 6th, NEAR will invade the Canaan Fairgrounds Speedway in West Lebanon, NH for a fun packed day of warm ups, qualifying and feature races. Reminisce of the good old days, the cars and stars of yesterday will pack up and travel to a new addition to the schedule; Twin State Speedway in Claremont, NH on the 7th. NEAR will have exclusive use of the speedway in the afternoon and will follow that up with 2 heat races and 2 features.

After a week off, the teams will head to Baystate Auto Show in Dedham MA on July 17th. All types of racing equipment will be on display for this one. To end the month of July, the Waterford Speedbowl will welcome NEAR on the 27th, again warm ups, heats and features will highlight the action. If you have not seen these beautiful coupes, coaches, Pintos, and Vegas at speed, take a step back in time and take in a July show or two. You’ll be glad you did.

Continue reading ‘NEAR Heats Up For Month of July’

Hall of Famer Billy Greco to Host NEAR Fundraiser on Sunday, August 11th

WEST HAVEN, CT — New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy Greco will host a picnic and car show on Sunday, Aug 11th at the Polish  American Club located at 194 W. Spring Street in West Haven, CT.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the NEAR mobile museum.

To be held under the pavilion on the grounds of the Polish American Club, the event is a rain or shine affair which runs from noon to 6pm. Tickets are economically-priced at $20.00 for adults, and $10.00 for those 12 to 16 years of age. Purchase includes food, and a chance to win one of many door prizes which will be offered throughout the day.

Continue reading ‘Hall of Famer Billy Greco to Host NEAR Fundraiser on Sunday, August 11th’

Former Norwood Arena Driver Glenn Legere Passes at 74

Glenn J. Legere

Glenn J. Legere, age 74, entered into eternal life peacefully June 6, 2013.

Glenn was a lifelong Weymouth resident. Mr. Legere was employed at a very early age as an auto body technician in Boston where his craftsmanship was well known. He was an accomplished stock car driver from 1959 until 1968. He raced primarily at Norwood Arena where he powered his #M3 Chevy coupe to a 1961 Championship. Glenn also traveled to other tracks along the east coast where he quickly earned a reputation as a force to be reckoned with.

He loved spending time with his family. He was the beloved son of the late Alphonse and Evelyn Marie (Dowd) Legere; devoted father of Michael, Guy, Steven and David Legere, and their mother, Helen (Rice) Legere, all of Weymouth, and Glen J. Jr. of Weymouth, Linda OLeary of Middleboro, Lauren Ladabouche of Braintree, and Barbara Pfrang of Framingham, and their mother, Christine Ladabouche; loving brother of Virginia Roso Martin of Weymouth, Kevin Legere of Weymouth, Karen Lee Legere of Weymouth, Cheryl Cox of Ashland, N.H., and the late Richard Legere. Also survived by 19 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Continue reading ‘Former Norwood Arena Driver Glenn Legere Passes at 74′

2-Time United Stock Car Racing Grand American Champion Bob Devine Passes at 85

Robert A. Devine
January 15, 1928 – May 26, 2013

Robert A. Devine, of New Fairfield, husband of Frances (Bacon) Devine, passed away May 26, 2013, at Danbury Hospital from complications of lung cancer. He was born January 15, 1928 in Towners, NY the son of Roy and Alice (Russell) Devine. He was raised in Washington, CT and attended Washington Schools. He married Frances Bacon July1, 1951. They have resided in New Fairfield, CT since 1953.

He was a veteran of the Korean War and a member of the New Fairfield Veterans Association. He worked as an automobile mechanic and later as a Service Manager for Dan-Ridge Chevrolet, Baron Motors, and Bantam Toyota. He was a Stock Car Driver racing with NASCAR, USAC, and United Stock Car Racing. He was the 1956 &1962 United Stock Car Racing Grand American Champion. He raced on tracks from New England to Virginia. He later co-owned a Modified Stock Car driven by his son Stephen at Lebanon Valley Speedway from 1979-2003. He was elected to the Lebanon Valley Speedway Hall of Fame in 1998. He was elected to the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame in 2013.He was an avid photographer who won lots of awards as a member of the Candlewood Camera Club.

He is survived by his sons Stephen of Washington Depot, CT and Brian of Truckee, CA two grandchildren Brian M. of Truckee, CA and Olivia of New Preston, CT. He was predeceased by his brothers Woodrow and Clifford Devine and his sister Amy Smith. He is survived by a sister Joan Peterson and husband John of Washington, CT.

Continue reading ‘2-Time United Stock Car Racing Grand American Champion Bob Devine Passes at 85′

New England Antique Racers Part of 4th Annual Royals Garage Car Show at Historic Lime Rock Park

LAKEVILLE, CT — The New England Antique Racers (NEAR), have been invited to participate in the Royals Garage Car Show at Lime Rock Park on Sunday, May 26th.

The event benefits the Wounded Warrior Fund.

With the club already part of a busy weekend at the historic Connecticut road course, NEAR Vice President Bill Henry states that members present with their cars & haulers on Friday and Saturday may leave them overnight for the show.

“It’s really an enjoyable event,” states Henry. “Even if Sunday is the only day you can be here, I urge club members to attend. It’s obviously for a great cause and it allows us to connect with race fans from all-over the Northeast.”

Continue reading ‘New England Antique Racers Part of 4th Annual Royals Garage Car Show at Historic Lime Rock Park’

Former United Stock Car Racing Club Champion Frank Belbusti Passes at 85

Frank A. Belbusti

Frank A. Belbusti 85, of Woodbridge beloved husband of Patricia Spragg Belbusti passed away on May 7, 2013 in CT. Hospice. Loving father of Frank (Jill) Belbusti and George (Gina) Belbusti all of Orange and the late Lynne Belbusti. Grandfather of Heather Aportria, Frank Belbusti III and Anthony and Lucia Belbusti. Also survived by 4 great grandchildren. Brother of Ann (Thomas) Coppla of Placida, FL John (Jane) Belbusti of Oxnard, CA and George (Colleen) Belbusti of West Haven and the late Eugene Belmont. Uncle of Kim Zabilowski and Gina Bohan.

Frank was born in New Haven on October 31, 1927 son of the late Anthony and Mary DeFelice Belbusti. Frank was a graduate of West Haven High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He established and was a lead craftsman for Belbusti Builders.

He was a driver for the United Stock Car Racing Club becoming circuit and West Haven Speedway Champ. Frank excelled at horseshoes becoming top performer at the West Haven Italian American Club where he was a member for many years. His ability as a pool player was renowned. He was a bowler and sponsor for many years in West Haven and Milford. Frank was a private pilot and lover of aircraft. He joined the Mercury Flying Club members on regular flights to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and other New England sites. On his flight to Nashua, NH on November 12, 2007 he met President Barack Obama.

View Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

Continue reading ‘Former United Stock Car Racing Club Champion Frank Belbusti Passes at 85′

Waterford Championship Car Owner Al Gaudreau Passes at 70

Albert E Gaudreau
June 23, 1942 – April 27, 2013

NORWICH – Albert E. Gaudreau, 70, passed away in Norwich on Saturday, April 27th with family by his side.
He was born on June 23, 1942, the son of the late Albert J. and Annie (Mazarelli) Gaudreau. He was the beloved husband of Margaret “Peg” (Rude) Gaudreau who survives him. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary just last year.

Albert was born and raised in Norwich along with his brother Tom who now resides in Griswold with his wife Mary (Frye) Gaudreau.
Al graduated from NFA in 1960. After high school he worked as a welder at Electric Boat and for the plumbers and pipe fitters union. In 1976 he started Al’s Quality Auto and Marine Electric in New London which he ran until 2005.

Al and his wife Peg were avid auto racers. He built and owned many winning race cars in New England. He made many lifelong friends in the racing community and affectionately earned the nickname, “Buddha”. During the 70’s his car, called “Buddha’s Bullet” won 5 modified championships at the Waterford Speedbowl. In the 90’s he and his son Tommy raced Late Models and won two championships. In recent seasons he was been involved with his son Tom in a successful drag racing team. He was a great competitor and was rewarded with many checkered flags and victory lane celebrations.

Guestbook

Continue reading ‘Waterford Championship Car Owner Al Gaudreau Passes at 70′

Balloting Deadline for 2013 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions Approaching Quickly

Wednesday April 17th is the final day in-which ballots will be accepted for potential inductees into this year’s edition of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Ballots may downloaded from the NEAR website at www.near1.com and must be completed and sent to Hall of Fame, 112 Central Street #2, Somerville, MA. 02143. Ballots must reach this address on or before the deadline to be eligible for consideration.

Hall of Fame Executive Committee Chairman Bruce Cohen states that this year’s ballots have again included a number of individuals worthy of potential induction.

“We’ve again received a large number of ballots representing a true cross-reference of some of New England racing’s most noteworthy personalities,” he said recently. “Every year since the HOF was started in 1998, participation in the process has increased. As-always, we’re very-pleased that people are responding, and that our outreach to the racing community has been successful. It remains very-rewarding to know that so-many people are interested in preserving our region’s rich auto racing history.”

Continue reading ‘Balloting Deadline for 2013 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductions Approaching Quickly’

Ellie Seymour Passes at 85

Elena A. Seymour

Ellie Seymour, widow of New England Auto Racing and National Sprint Car Hall of Famer ‘Boston’ Louie Seymour, passed away Saturday in Boston. She was the mother of NEMA Midget champions Bobby and Mike.

Elena A. (Birri) Seymour, 85, of Marlborough, died Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after an illness. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time and are in the care of the John P. Rowe Funeral Home Inc., 57 Main St., Marlborough.

Continue reading ‘Ellie Seymour Passes at 85′

NEAR Hall of Famer Charlie Elliott Passes at 96

Charles Leroy Elliott

New England Racing Hall-of-Famer had a creative 75 year career.

He built three new speedways with his own hands and refurbished three more. Some of the greatest drivers in auto racing history thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans on those race tracks, leaving decades of lasting memories.

New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall-of-Famer “Charlie” Elliott, 96, passed away in his sleep today, March 20, at his home in Hernando, FL.

Self-educated, his common sense approach, quiet vice-grip handshake and humor matched by a determined work ethic were his characteristics, building a legendary career from New England to Florida.

Continue reading ‘NEAR Hall of Famer Charlie Elliott Passes at 96′

Thunder Road 2013 Schedule Announced

Devil’s Bowl Dirt Modifieds to Run Memorial Day Classic

Thunder Road officials have put the final touches on the schedule for the Nation’s Site of Excitement for the 2013 season, kicking off the year with the Merchants Bank 150 on April 27th and 28th and closing out with the 51st running of the Vermont Milk Bowl on October 5/6.

The schedule will include 18 overall events at the Barre highbanks, with 14 of them counting towards the Late Model Track Title. The stars of the American Canadian Tour will start the year at the Merchants Bank 150 on April 27/28, and the chase to become the next King of the Road will begin with the 51st Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 26. The Devil’s Bowl Bond Auto Parts Dirt Modifieds will make their first Thunder Road appearance to run a 50-lap feature before the Late Model’s 100-lap classic.

Three-time Late Model King of the Road Phil Scott is excited to get the year started.

Continue reading ‘Thunder Road 2013 Schedule Announced’