The annual SNYRA Danbury Racearena reunion will be Sunday September 21, 2014 from 11am-4pm. The Danbury PAL Building is located at 35 Hayestown Road, Danbury, CT 06811.
Sources: Nicholas Teto, YankeeRacer.com
The annual SNYRA Danbury Racearena reunion will be Sunday September 21, 2014 from 11am-4pm. The Danbury PAL Building is located at 35 Hayestown Road, Danbury, CT 06811.
Sources: Nicholas Teto, YankeeRacer.com
James W. Acker, 77, of Plymouth, husband of Winnie (Kobryn) Acker passed away Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at Bristol Hospital.
Jim was born June 10, 1937, in Tarrytown, N.Y. He was the son of the late Lester and Dorothy (Hunt) Acker and has been a resident of Plymouth most of his life. Before his retirement he was employed as a truck driver. Jim was a devoted husband to his wife of 53 years, Winnie. Together they shared the joy of raising their three loving children, Lee, Terri and Jim. Jim’s greatest joy in life were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In addition to his family Jim loved his home at the Cape.
Cape Cod was the family’s second home where many cherished memories were shared with family and friends. Jim was a longtime car enthusiast. He was one of the original members of Drag-N- Run Car Club of Bristol. He passed his love of auto racing and classic cars onto his sons, son-in-law and grandsons. His love of classic things carried over to antiques. He and Winnie spent many happy times hunting for treasures at flea markets and tag sales. He was also a member of the Coast Guard Aux. and High Riders Snowmobile Club.
Paul was predeceased by his parents Joseph and Anna (Genga) Baldaserini, brother Primo and sister, Gina. He is survived by a brother, Gino Baldaserini of Ridgefield, and several nieces and nephews.
Paul was a World War II and Korean War veteran, serving in the Army Air Corp and U.S. Air Force.
Drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny make up the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.
They, along with the still to be announced pioneer class, will be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame banquet Sunday, Nov. 16th, at The Lodge at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.
Banquet ticket information will be announced shortly and will be posted on the New England’s Antique Racers’ website (NEAR1.org) in the near future.
NORWOOD, MA — The recently held 10th Annual Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions at Bezema Motors on US Rt. 1 in Norwood, MA was a major success. The annual event drew the largest crowd ever of race drivers, race car owners, classic cars and race cars along with motorcycles as well as several collectible vendors. Trophies for top 12 vehicles as well as dash plaques were awarded to the owners.
Among the oval track drivers and car owners that turned out included; Daryl Stampfl of Norwood, Henry Stampfl of Plainville, Denny Stampfl of Foxborough, Bill Singersen of Norwood, Ed Gendreau of Medfield, Bill Statham of Sharon, Jack Lane, Jeff Horn of Ashland, Jack Malone of Needham, Joe Brady of Stoughton, Leo Cleary of Hanover. Also, 1970 Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton of Newton, George Savary of Westwood, Joe Kourafas of Randolph, Don McCollough of Walpole, Pete Desjardins of Wrentham, Jerry Capozzolli of Stoughton and multiple NASCAR Modified champion Bugs Stevens of Rehoboth as well as Jim Callahan of Medfield.
On the drag racing side, Ray Heliger of Little Compton, RI showed up with his King and Marshall AA Fuel Dragster as did multi-faceted Tom Dunn of Wrentham. Dunn was a drag racing star in the early days of drag racing before he turned to oval track action and built potent Modified machines piloted by Leo Cleary. Dunn also arranged to have one of his early model dragsters brought to the event. Also present was Al Sergini of Canton who worked his way up through the drag racing ranks up to the top of the sport with his Brute Force Funny car. Sergini won his share of NHRA Nationals during his career.
Leonard ‘Gig’ Stephens of North Reading, Mass., passed away on May 19 at age 87.
He made 12 USAC Champ Car/Gold Crown Series (IndyCar) starts from 1959 to 1972 at Langhorne, Milwaukee and Trenton. His best career finish was sixth in 1967 at Trenton in the #71 Atamian Ford for Karl Hall (Halibrand/Offy).
He raced in the Midgets from the 1940s to the 1960s. He won at Seekonk Speedway in 1949 in a UCOA sanctioned event and at Norwood Arena in 1951. He had six ARDC Midget wins from 1955 to 1960 at Hatfield, Wall, Trenton, Freeport, Danbury and Williams Grove. He won a NEMA Midget race at Catamount in 1965 in the Bahre Offy.
Thanks to racing historian R.A. Silvia for pointing this out to me this afternoon.
The Hillsgrove village in Warwick is best known for the T.F. Green Airport now. When the airport was in its infancy seven decades ago, a race track was still visible south of the airport.
The Hillsgrove track was mentioned to Silvia years ago as the site of motorcycle and auto racing in the early 1900s. Other than maps, aerial photos and a rare article, hopes seemed slim to verify the existence of racing.
Until now! A recent ebay auction featured a trophy from an Iowa collector. The 1906 motorcycle race trophy declared: “First Prize/Five Mile State Championship/Presented by A.W. Harris Oil Company/Motorcycle Race Held by/Providence Motorcycle Club/Hills Grove/Sept. 22 1906/Won by F.E. Domina/Time 7 Min and 30 2/5 Sec”.
Norwood, MA — Bezema Motors on US Route 1, the AutoMile in Norwood, MA, is pleased to host the Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions for the tenth year in a row. For the past decade on the first Sunday in June, the Bezema family has hosted this event for the well known Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South.
The Bezema family will once again serve lunch to attendees courtesy of Norwood’s newest restaurant, Boston’s Baddest Burgers and Sandwich Co.
This year’s celebration will be another opportunity to meet legendary competitors who raced at the long-shuttered racing venue. New this year will be trophies for the top three classes for oval race cars, drag racing cars, classic cars and motorcycles. Attendees will be able to to share their memorabilia, programs, pictures and autographs. They will also get the opportunity to take photos of race cars, hot rods, classics and motorcycles featured at this event. It’ll also be a chance to get autographs for those picture and programs that are unsigned.
Berlin native Scott Zipadelli will be in attendance for the Summer Knights Car Show and Swap Meet in Berlin on April 27.
“There should be about 400 to 600 hot rods there,” Zipadelli said. “They are raising money for an 18- month-old girl (Daniela Ciriello), who has a rare blood disease (that) lives in the area. So it’s really cool to be able to go home and help the Summer Knights with this wonderful event. Anytime you can go back home and help a needy family is a good thing. It should be a lot of fun for a great cause.”
Zipadelli has been a Nationwide Series crew chief since 2007 for JTG Racing, Braun Racing and RAB Racing. He has worked with a variety of drivers including Kelly Bires, Jason Leffler and Kenny Wallace.
“The business is always moving and changing so it seems like every few years things change,” Zipadelli said. “I was stuck in a rut so it was time for me to leave the team I was with in 2012 and start over so when TSM (Turner Scott Motorsports) approached and we talked for some time and then finally worked out a deal.”
Daniel Daniel ” Butch ” Gaudiosi
(February 9, 1926 – April 8, 2014)
Beloved Husband & Father
Mr. Daniel “ Butch “ Gaudiosi, 88 of Oakville, passed away peacefully, Tuesday, April 08, 2014 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Carol (McLean) Gaudiosi.
Dan was born in Waterbury on February 9, 1926, son of the late Donato and Angelina ( Grosso ) Gaudiosi. He was a veteran of the U.S.Navy, having served his country honorably during WWII. He worked for the Town of Wolcott as a master mechanic for over 10 years until his retirement. “Little Dan” Gaudiosi raced at the former West Haven Speedway in Connecticut, he was certainly one of the track’s best ever. He claimed the 1957, 60 & 64 championships. Dan remains one of only two driver’s to have claimed 3 titles during the tracks almost 2 decade long history of running the coupes. Dan was particularly good at another former oval track, the much missed Plainville Stadium.
He was very proud of his 1948 Harley Davidson, which he rode for over 60 years, enjoyed fishing and the outdoors, but his real love was spending time with his family.
Dave Dykes, whose “Racing Through Time” website has become a Mecca for the growing number of auto racing nostalgia buffs, will be one of six John Wentworth Good Sport honorees at the Connecticut Sportswriters Alliance Gold Key Dinner Sunday, April 27 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, CT.
The award is named after long-time New Britain Herald Sports Editor John Wentworth. Each year the Alliance awards six people who have provided a service to the sporting public. “Racing Through Time” is one of New England’s most popular sites.
“A Labor of Love,” according to Dykes, it is the culmination of a lifetime of collecting historic auto racing photographs.
On March 28th the world lost one of it’s heroes when Irene Venditti , 94, left the world of the living, passing away peacefully in her sleep.
She was born in Seekonk on August 21, 1919, the last surviving child of eight born to Joseph and Mary Mellen . She graduated from Hope High in Providence and married D. Anthony Venditti in 1938. She is survived by 3 of her 4 children, Adrienne, a registered nurse, Francis, a raceway director, & Annie, designer. Her younger son, Anthony tragically passed away in 1980. She is survived by 7 grand-children and 6 great-grand children.
Ice played an important part in Irene’s life. Her father farmed the ice at what is now called the Grist Mill, she met her husband while ice skating at Burr’s Pond in Seekonk and in the 1960’s they opened an outdoor ice rink, Iceland. Irene’s youngest daughter, Anne, became an accomplished competitive and professional figure skater, as a direct result of Irene’s endless dedication and support.
Tune-in Monday, March 24th at 7 pm for a night of stories, as over 20 of the best racers, past and present get together on the Victory Lane Radio Network.
Spencer, MA — Never has a night on the racing airwaves in New England meant so much for so many. Monday, March 24th at 7pm will bring some of the greatest racers the New England area has ever seen, together for the very first time.
This collection of racers have over 1000 feature wins and have amassed well over 100 track championships. Dirt or asphalt, it didn’t matter; winning was the only thing on the minds of these competitors.
Springfield, MA — The New England Antique Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame Mobile Museum will be present at the Frank Marrata Auto & Race-A-Rama Show on the weekend of March 1st & 2nd. To be held at the Eastern States Better Living Center in Springfield, MA. the event runs from 10-9 on Saturday & 10 to 5 on Sunday.
The mobile museum features a visual history of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame. Instituted in 1998 and administered by NEAR, the HOF currently boasts over 100 inductees including notable names such as Richie Evans, Ron Bouchard, Bugs Stevens, Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton, Fred DeSarro, Ed Flemke, Sr. and Bill Slater.
Also featured within the museum are several rare memorabilia items representing decades of auto racing history throughout the region.
Former Plainville Stadium Winner at was 72
February 18, 1942 – February 21, 2014 Plainville, Connecticut
Elliott Case Beveridge, 72, of New Britain, passed away surrounded by his family on Friday, February 21, 2014.
Born in New Hampshire, he was the son of the late Raymond and Barbara (Case) Beveridge. A lifelong resident of Plainville, Elliott attended local schools, and was a well-known, talented mechanic and racing enthusiast since childhood. He spent many days racing at Plainville Stadium, recently attending their reunion where he was awarded for his expertise, was a member of the Lucas Oil Outlaws, who won this year’s championship where Elliott was awarded Mechanic of the Year, and has been a longtime member of the DMA-USAC and NEMA Midgets racing teams. In addition to racing, he had a love for the outdoors, taking frequent trips to Black Watch Farm in Vermont alongside his lifelong buddy, Frank Manafort, and was affiliated with the American Legion and Mickey’s AC.
He is survived by his children, Ron and his wife, Geraldine of Bristol and Christine Szpunar and her husband, Stephen of Burlington; his brother, Bob; his sisters, Betsy, Charlotte, and Marcia; his grandchildren, Stephen, Joshua, Alexander and Carli; his girlfriend, Julia Waite and many nieces, nephew, and many friends, including Barry Jack, Billy Bergenty, and Don Moon.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Doug, George, and Bruce. .
NEAR Hall of Famer was 89
He leaves his wife of 69 years, Anna Mae (Deery) Tulonen; one son, Rodney Arthur Tulonen and his wife, Patricia Magrosky, of Springfield, VT; two daughters, Joanne Tulonen of Seattle, WA. and Elaine T. Pierce and her partner, Joel Slutsky, of Alstead, NH; six grandchildren, Gregory Tulonen, Sarah Pritchett, Melissa O’Dell, Michael O’Dell, Lucie Pierce and Jeremie Pierce and four great-grandchildren, Simone Parker, Connor and Riley Tulonen and Alina O’Dell; and many nieces and nephews, including Nancy, Ronald and David Riikonen, who became part of the family. He also leaves a close family friend, Claude Caswell, who was considered another son. He was predeceased by a daughter, Betty Tulonen, a sister, Elvi Berkio and two brothers, Urho and Toivo Riikonen.
Mr. Tulonen was born in Lunenburg, on August 20, 1924, a son of the late Emil Kaarle and Alina (Bjorbacka) Riikonen Tulonen. He was raised in Lunenburg and attended schools there. When he was young he worked for the Crocker-Burbank Company, and then moved to Custom Auto Body where he worked until starting his own business as a front end alignment specialist until he retired. But his real love was racing cars.
South Paris Driver was Three-Time Oxford Plains Champion, 2009 Maine Motorsports HOF Inductee
According to the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, Al Hammond of South Paris, Maine has passed away at age 70.
“The Maine Vintage Race Car Association and the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame are saddened over the passing of Al Hammond. Al was a great racer, a nicer person, a Hall of Fame member and a much respected member of the association. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Al’s wife Delores and family, his many friends and fans.”
Born on June 3, 1943, Hammond was a three-time (1970, 1973-74) Pro Stock/Sportsman champion at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine. Hammond had 81 career wins at Oxford (fourth overall wins, second in the division) and was the Triple Crown champion at 1968, 1970, 1975.
Hammond also drove races in the ACT Pro Stock Tour, PASS North Super Late Models, NASCAR Nationwide, K&N Pro Series East, Grand American and North Tour.
Hammond was inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl management was deeply saddened to learn one of the most celebrated car owners in track history, Margaret Gaudreau, passed away Tuesday evening at home after her battle with ALS. Gaudreau, of Norwich, CT, was 68.
Gaudreau, known as “Peg” throughout the racing community, owned Modifieds during the 1970’s built by her late husband Al, who passed away in April. Together they fielded one of the most dominant race teams of all-time at Waterford, claiming five consecutive Modified division owner’s titles from 1972-1976 and more race wins than any other during the decade.
Peg’s number 3 car, affectionately known as “Buddha’s Bullet” after Al, became widely recognized across northeast racing circles with Dick Dunn behind the wheel. Peg and her husband made countless lasting friendships in racing, including some of the sport’s biggest stars of the era such as Richie Evans and Ed Flemke among others. The Gaudreau’s remain one of the Speedbowl’s most well-known and respected race teams of all-time.
Springfield, MA — On Sunday afternoon January 5, the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) conducted its annual meeting at the Dante Club in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Presiding was current club president, Al Feeney.
Among items on the slate was an announcement of thus-far secured events for the 2014 racing season. Also on the agenda was the presentation of several awards.
New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy Greco received the prestigious Frank Marratta Award. Established in 1981, the club’s longest-running award is presented yearly to a dedicated individual that routinely serves as a goodwill ambassador of the sport. Among the most-admired racers within our region, Greco remains a very active NEAR member. Among his contributions in 2013 was a successful club fundraising picnic held in August. A stalwart of the Tattersall families former United Stock Car Racing Club, he was a multi-time champion. His decades-long career concluded following a run with the Southern New York Racing Association at Connecticut’s former Danbury Fair Racearena. He was inducted into the HOF in 1999.
Our 2014 Class for the Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame sponsored by WPRO AM will be announced on january 18th at the Speedway Awards Banquet at the venus de Milo. The Speedway and the Wall of fame committee would like to thank the thousands that voted in our second year election.
Photos, videos, programs, scrapbooks, etc. I’ve spent over 10 years compiling historical data and preserving photos and videos. Submitted items can be scanned and returned. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCARBOROUGH, ME —
Thursday, May 01-Open Practice all divisions
Friday, May 02-Open Practice all divisions
Saturday, May 03-PASS Season’s Opener
Saturday, May 10-NASCAR & Thunder Practice Sessions
Saturday, May 17-NASCAR & Thunder Practice Sessions
Saturday, May 24-2014 Season’s Opener
Sunday, May 25-Day of Destruction Series
Saturday, May 31-NWAAS
Saturday, June 07-NWAAS
Thursday, June 12-Thursday Thunder Opens through Aug. 14th
Saturday, June 14-Budweiser Sport Series 125
Thursday, June 19-Thursday Thunder
Saturday, June 21-NASCAR Nite Autograph Session
Thursday, June 26-Thursday Thunder
Saturday, June 28-Pro Series 125/Wildcat 50 125
Thursday, July 17-Miller Lite American Celebration & Fireworks Show
Continue reading ‘2014 Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Schedule Announced’
The late Kevin Lackey who passed-away unexpectedly last month, was a lifelong Plainville Stadium fan. An unwavering interest in the history of Joe Tinty’s former Connecticut ¼-miler led to his ownership of one of the track’s most-celebrated coupes, the Farone #43 which was driven to many wins by Elton Hill. This car is presently for sale with all proceeds going to aid Kevin’s family with funeral expenses. If interested, please contact Chris Hawkins at 860-424-6265.
Anne M. Empey
Anne Marie (Newell) Empey, aged 74, of Middleboro, passed away on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at the Sachem Rehabilitation and Nursing Home surrounded by her family. She was predeceased by her parents, and companion Bill Somers.
Born in Boston, the daughter of the late Paul Grant Newell and Alice (Mulkerin) Newell, she lived in Middleboro for the past 11 years, she resided in Hanover for over 30 years prior to moving to Middleboro. Anne was a graduate of St. Gregory’s High School, class of 1957. She graduated from the Catherine Laboure School of Nursing in 1960 and was a Registered Nurse. She worked for a short time for the VA Hospital in Boston before going to work at the Linda Richards Nursing Home in Codman Square Dorchester, by the time the former became the Edgewood Nursing Home she had become a nursing supervisor, ending her career there as the Director of Nursing. She then worked for the Mass Department of Public Health Tuberculosis division until retiring in 1997.
She was very active in supporting youth athletics in Hanover, and served as President of the Hanover High School Sports Boosters club in the 1980s. She was also the Hanover High School PTA representative to the school board. She was a longtime parishioner of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hanover. Anne was a founding member of the South Shore Visiting Nurses Association which she remained an active member of even after retiring. She was an avid NASCAR racing fan and worked as the Chief Score Keeper at Stafford Springs Motor Speedway, Thompson, Seekonk, and Westboro Speedways; she also scored races at the Norwood Arena, Lee, Lakeville, and Star Speedways; she was the traveling scorer for the New England Mini Modified tour and the Big Rig Racing tour scoring at tracks up and down the East Coast.
The Northeastern Midget Association announces the release of NEMA Vintage photo’s on DVD just in time for Christmas. The presentation is from the collection of one of the most respected journalist, historians and statisticians in New England, Pete Zanardi.
The range of drivers, owners, tracks and race cars depicted in the collection are the who’s who in Northeastern midget racing. The forefathers that laid the foundation for present day racing are illustrated in color and black and white photo’s complete with captions. Bill Randall, Ray Roberts, Ronnie Evans and Jerry Russo just to name a few drivers from NEMA’s infancy.
The early cage days drivers are represented by Bill Roth, Lee Smith, Hank Stevens and Len Thrall for example. And to finish out the last couple of decades are the Fornoros, Stoehrs, Scrivanis, Seymours and many many more.
Newburyport, Mass. — Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced today the release of its latest title, “WICKED FAST: Racing Through Life with Bentley Warren,” by Bones Bourcier.
Bentley Warren’s approach to life is mirrored by the tongue-in-cheek slogan of his high-octane watering hole, Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel, Maine: “Who has more fun than us? We do!”
Whether mingling with customers or catching up with racing friends, Warren’s fun-meter is usually pegged. You can find him by following the laughter, or, if you dare, the thunder of his hot-rod Harley.
South Windsor, CT — On Sunday November 10, the New England Antique Racers (NEAR), presented the 16th annual New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Conducted at Manelley’s Banquet Hall in South Windsor, CT., the HOF celebrates literally hundreds of feature victories, championships, and untold contributions to the sport of auto racing within the New England region.
Instituted in 1998, the HOF now boasts membership of well-over 100 deserving individuals.
Opening comments by NEAR President Al Feeney along with a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner & God Bless America performed by past NEAR President Bob Seller and his wife began the day. Award-winning sportswriter Matt Buckler served as Master of Ceremonies.
Inducted this year were drivers Ralph Nason, Stan Meserve, Drew Fornoro, Bill Eldridge, Bob Sharp, Brian Ross, the late Bob Stefanik, and longtime car owner Ron Berndt.
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.
Doors open at 11:00 with dinner served at Noon.
Hundreds of victories and dozens of championships comprise this year’s New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame class. It brings the membership to well over 115.
Inductions are a result of a nomination/selection process that includes voting by a special selection committee and the living members of the Hall.
Bruce T. Sperry Sr.
January 13, 1941 – October 29, 2013
Bruce T. Sperry Sr. 72, of Wallingford, loving husband of 48 years of the late Mirtha Ruiz Sperry, died Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at MidState Medical Center in Meriden.
Bruce was born in Meriden, January 13, 1941, a son of the late Miles Sperry and Lois Affleck Sperry and had been a Wallingford resident for many years. He was a self-employed auto mechanic and was also employed at Ulbrich Steel in Wallingford.
He is survived by his daughter Zunilda Rocco and her husband Ronald, of Berlin; his son Bruce Sperry, Jr. and his wife Lynn of Waterford; his grandchildren Keith Rocco and his wife Cassandra of Berlin, Jeff Rocco of Wallingford, Evan Sperry and Elise Sperry, both of Waterford, his sister Robin Mezzanotte of Southington; his brother Miles Sperry and his wife Gerry of Meriden; his sister-in-law Beverly Sperry of Meriden; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Lee Sperry.
UNITED, Riverside Park & West Haven Winner in 1960s-70s
CHARLES CENTINARO October 1, 1933 – October 22, 2013
He was born Oct. 1, 1933 in Waterbury, son of the late Charles and Jenny (DiNova) Centinaro. Charles was employed for many years as a manager for Sandy’s Catering Service. He was an avid race car driver and one of the most winning racers of his era, finding success at Pine Bowl Speedway in NY, West Haven Speedway, Plainville Stadium and Riverside Park in Massachusetts. He was an absolute standout within the United Stock Car Racing Club and the Springfield Exposition Center in MA. Charles was a gentle, loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who will be deeply missed.
In addition to his wife he is survived by his two daughters, Judi Cruz and husband William of Plantsville and Sandra Cwiertniewicz and husband Ted of Branford, a brother Joseph Centinaro of Naugatuck, 3 grandchildren, Taylor and Austyn Cwiertniewicz of Branford and Eric Centinaro of TN. He was predeceased by a son Marc Charles Centinaro.