Archive for the 'NEAR' Category Page 2 of 5



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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NEAR Hall of Famer Red Foote Passes at 85

Red_FooteFOOTE, Melvin “Red,” 85, of Chesterfield, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Red is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Loretta Foote; his stepdaughter, Linda Strasburg; stepgrandson, Michael (TiAnna) Talley; stepgranddaughter, Michelle (Richard) King; sisters-in-law, Rev. Beverly J. Samford and Julianna Duke.

Red enjoyed racing stockcars for 35 years, is formerly known as one of the “Eastern Bandits” and was inducted into the New England Hall of Fame for racecar drivers in 1999. After retirement he spent much time at Newpoint Campground on his boat fishing. Red was devoted to his cats and his good friends at Dutchgap. Red will be remembered for his quick wit, humor and willingness to help others and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 at Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, 6500 Iron Bridge Rd (Rte 10). His graveside service will be February 8, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Bethel UMC Cemetery in Alberta, Va., with the Rev. Beverly J. Samford officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Richmond SPCA at 2519 Hermitage Road, Richmond, Va. 23220.

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Carl Merrill Passes at 88

Carl Merrill, 1924-2013

Alderman Carleton P. Merrill, a lifelong Newton resident, died on Jan 23, 2013. He was 88.

Carleton was elected 13 times to serve as an Aldermen-at-Large from Ward 1 in Newton. His first term was the 1950-1951 term. He then skipped a few years and served 3 terms from 1956 – 1961. In 1962 he became the Veterans Agent for the City and served in that role until 1995 when he retired. Upon retirement he again ran as an Aldermen from Ward 1 and served 8 1/2 terms from 1996 until his death. Carleton graduated from Newton High in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW II.

An avid stock car racing fan, Carleton had owned and raced his own car. He was a NASCAR official and had officiated at Norwood, Westborough and Thompson Speedways and had officiated at the Daytona 500 several times. Carleton was also a member of the VFW and American Legion Post 48.

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9th Annual Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunion Goes Sunday, June 2, 2013 at Bezema Motors

NORWOOD, MA — For the past eight years the first Sunday in June at Bezema Motors on US Rt. 1, the AutoMile, has seen the Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunion grow. There's no doubt about the fact that this annual gathering of the faithful race fans, officials, drivers and race car owners brings back the memory of this great venue that entertained thousands of fans every weekend from the time it opened in 1948 right up through it's demise in 1972.

This event celebrates all of the historical stockcar, midget, sports car, drag racing and motorcycle events held on the quarter-mile oval and adjacent 1/8 mile drag racing strip in southeastern Massachusetts. Several race drivers earned their reputation for no-hold barred competition on the oval as well as the drag strip.

It will be celebrated for the ninth time on Sunday, June 2, 2013 when the vintage stockcars of NEAR and STAR converage on Bezema Motors that day. In additio, there will be other vintage race cars of all types on display at the event. All types of race cars, both vintage and contemporary, are welcome.

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New England Antique Racers (NEAR) Announce 2013 Schedule, Club Elections Completed

 

NEAR has announced its 2013 schedule with the season opener slated for Sunday, April 28th at the Berlin, Connecticut Fairgrounds. A “rain or shine” Summer Knights still-show, sign-in starts at 8:00.

NEAR visits several New England speedways from Connecticut to Maine throughout the 2013 season presenting both still and running shows.

Also on the agenda are several reunion events and auto shows. Newly-added for 2013 is New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Billy Greco’s First Annual NEAR Picnic. The event takes place on Sunday, August 11th the Polish American Club, West Spring Street in West Haven CT. A still-show highlights the day. 

A detailed schedule with full information on each event will soon appear on the NEAR website at www.near1.com.

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Sondra (Briggs) Grady Passes at 76

NISKAYUNA – Sondra Briggs Grady, 76, of Primrose Lane died Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at St. Peter's Hospice Inn. 

Sondra was born in Poughkeepsie and was a graduate of Watervliet High School and SUNY Albany, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and master's degree in education.

She was a high school teacher with the Niskayuna school district for 22 years, retiring in 2000.

At one time, she was in charge of public relations for Albany Saratoga Speedway and also worked at Fonda Speedway.

She was a member of AAUW, a volunteer at Proctors and a former member of Schenectady Business and Professional Women.

She will be remembered as an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and a member of Business, Marketing Educators Association.
She is survived by her husband of 52 years, John D. Grady; one son, John Chris Grady and his companion, Kathleen Santamaria, of Saratoga; godchildren Noah and Leah Hitchcock; a niece, Lynn Volgel; and many other lifelong friends.

She was predeceased by her sister, Doris Volgel.

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Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik Passes at 69

Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik

Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik, 69, of Enfield, beloved widow of Robert S. Stefanik, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at her home.

A daughter of the late Dominick and Angelina (Tamaro) Cimino, she was born Aug. 24, 1943, on the family farm. Barbara was a lifetime resident of the community and a communicant of St. Patrick Church. She was employed by The Viking Co. before retiring several years ago.

Barbara is survived by her son, Robert "Rob" Stefanik of Melrose, Mass.; a daughter, Cynthia Naavaro Carmickle of Tampa, Fla.; her siblings, Joseph Cimino, Eleanor Maniscalchi, Adeline Cusimano, and Rosemarie Olschafskie all of Enfield; sister-in-law, Mildred Cimino; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a brother, John Cimino. She will be greatly missed by Rob's pet dog, Big Ed.

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Former Midget Car Owner Tony Yacovone Passes at 93

Tony Yacovone was a midget car owner with ARDC and NEMA spanning the 1940s through the 1960s, winning at Candlelite, Plainville and Stafford. His drivers included NEAR Hall of Famer Sparky Belmont, Buddy Chase, Bill Dils, and NEMA champion Bill Eldridge.

Anthony J. Yacovone

Anthony J. Yacovone 1919 – 2012

EAST LONGMEADOW – Anthony "Tony" Joseph Yacovone, 93, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on December 8, 2012. Born in Springfield, he was the son of the late Enrico and Rachel (Carosella) Yacovone. Tony proudly served as a Motor Machinist's Mate, First Class in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the European and Pacific Theaters. He also took part in the Normandy Invasion. In 1956-1964 he was the owner/operator of Yacovone Auto Body. After which he worked for Springfield Lincoln until he retired in 1977. He was a member of the Springfield American Legion and a communicant of St. Paul's Church in Springfield.

Tony loved building midget race cars and was involved in racing all over the North East. He also was an avid golfer and a fan of the New York Giants. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his 2 children, Juliana Arietta and her husband, Ralph of South Salem, NY and Paul L. Yacovone and his wife, Nancy of Springfield; 4 grandchildren, Susan and Paula Arietta, Paul Yacovone and his wife, Lindsay and Dianne Yacovone; a great grand-daughter, Eleanor Yacovone Wilson; a sister, Philomena James of Agawam; a brother-in-law, Ralph Laino and his wife, Joyce of Lakeland, FL. Tony's funeral Mass will be held on Friday, December 14th at 11AM in St. Paul's Church, 235 Dwight Rd., Springfield. A committal service with military honors will follow in St. Michael's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to , P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. Arrangements are entrusted to Hafey Funeral Service. www.hafeyfuneralservice.com.

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New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Billy Greco Hosts NEAR Movie Party on December 8th

West Haven, CT — On Saturday evening December 8, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy Greco will host a NEAR racing movie party at the Polish-American Club on 194 West Spring Street in West Haven, Connecticut. Tickets will be available at the door and are affordably-priced at $20.00. Things get underway at 6:00.

The event serves as an official fund raiser for the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Highlights of the evening include a display of vintage racing videos from a variety of New England raceways, many of-which have not been viewed for years. Also on display will be photo collections including many rare images from the early days of the sport. Raffles and door prizes, along with plenty of food and drink complete the evening.

“This is a way to get everyone together for an enjoyable night,” states Greco who was inducted into the HOF in 1999. “All the proceeds benefit the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, something that we all support very-strongly.”

It’s expected that many members of the HOF will be in attendance.

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Inaugural NEAR Pioneers Induction Banquet Plays To Packed House

On Sunday afternoon November 18 hundreds of victories and untold contributions to auto racing during the sports early era in New England were celebrated before a packed-house at the Inaugural New England Antique Racers Pioneers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Thompson Speedway Clubhouse.

The selection of inductees followed a lengthy and comprehensive voting process administered by a committee of New England’s foremost auto racing historians.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were stock car drivers Tony Mordino, Sparky Belmont, Hank Stevens, “Big Ed” Patnode, Johnny Georgiades, Wally Silva, and Ray Brown.

Midget racing standouts Eddie Casterline, George Rice, Al Pillion, Billy Tibbert, Frank Simonetti, Charlie Ethier, and George Monsen completed the open-wheel inductees.

Also taking their place among the most-celebrated personalities of our region’s short track racing history were car owners Anthony “Beebe” Zalenski, Ed Stone, Wen Kelley, Bob Oliver, and Gordon Ross. Joe Tinty, owner & promoter of Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium, is now also a member of the Hall of Fame.

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