Archive for the 'Nostalgia' Category

Class of 2017 Announced for the Riverside Park Speedway Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, MA- The Sunoco Race Fuel/Hoosier Tire New England Racers Auction & Trade Show presented by CARQUEST Genden Auto Parts is pleased to announce the Class of 2017 inductees to the Riverside Park Speedway Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 will feature Reggie Ruggiero, the all-time winningest driver.  Along with Dan Avery, Chris Kopec, Jack Lecuyer, track owner Ed Carroll, Jr as well as car owners Mario Fiore, the Czarnecki Brothers (Joe and Paul) and Bob Judkins. 

Dan Avery is from Somers, CT. He won the 1995 Riverside Park Speedway Modified Championship.  Avery’s stomping ground was Riverside Park Speedway. He started his career at Stafford and then become a regular at the Quarter Mile Oval. It was where all the modified drivers went on Saturdays. Before Avery won the championship in 1995, he was runner up four years in a row. Avery won a bunch of races during that time period but could not seal the deal. When he clinched the modified championship in 1995, that weight was lifted off of his shoulders. 

“When I got the news I was kind of blown away. It was not even on my radar. It wasn’t even on my mind.  Then to be grouped up to what I call legends that I am being inducted with Reggie (Ruggiero) and Mario (Fiore) and Jack Lecuyer and among the other greats.” Avery said 

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NEAR Mitchell-Ratta Media Award to Veteran Reporters Danko, Herzig

Prestigious auto racing honor shared between longtime journalists

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. – The New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame has named two longtime stock car racing journalists, Brian Danko and Tom Herzig, to receive the 2017 Mitchell-Ratta Media Award.

Bearing the names of respected motorsports writers Charlie Mitchell of the Norwalk (Conn.) Hour and Jack Ratta of the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, the annual award recognizes reporters dedicated to racing in the region.  Past recipients include writers Chris Economaki and Mark “Bones” Bourcier, and radio host Dave Moody.

Danko and Herzig will be honored at the NEAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, November 12, at Maneely’s Banquet Hall in South Windsor, Connecticut.  For more information including placing a ticket order, visit the official NEAR website

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Fred Borden Passes Away

NEAR Hall of Famer was 90

Fred Borden passed away on September 17, 2017.

Borden of Waltham, Massachusetts began his racing career at West Peabody, with at least two wins in 1950. He drove Sal Pinetta’s Jalopy to at least seven wins in 1952 at Medford Bowl, including an AARA record of four in a row.

Borden has an estimated 81 wins at Brookline, Medford, Norwood, West Peabody, and Westboro from 1950 to 1967. He also raced at Beech Ridge, Bryar, Hudson, Lonsdale, Pinecrest, Pines, Thompson, and Thunder Road. He won driving for Rick Falconi, Sal Pinetta, John Harty/the Harty brothers (in a one race deal) and Andy Smith.

He also competed at New London-Waterford (CT) Speedbowl.

“It was quite a racing career,” Borden said. Borden is the winningest driver at his favorite track, Westboro. “It was close by and we won more races there than anywhere.”

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Notes on the Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions 2017

Among the drivers that showed up were: Jerry Cappazolli, Daryl Stampfl, Henry Stampfl, Billy Singerson, Joey Kourafas, Jack Malone and Bob Bochiochi  and flagman Maury Dumas.  It was the biggest turnout of race cars along with classic cars, hot rods, and other vehicles. 12 trophies were given out in four classes and over 60 vehicles.  According to those in attendance, it was the biggest crowd in the history of the event.  That fact that it was a very clear day under partly cloudy sky  with temps in the high 70’s made the event successful

Rumors were circulating that Bezema Motors will be or has already been sold to the nearby Central Motors a big auto mall about 1 mile north of Bezema Motors.  So it could mean the end of the Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions at Bezema Motors which has hosted this great event for the past 13 years on the first Sunday in June.  However, there have been offers to relocate the event in another location in the Town of Norwood.

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Doug Post Returning to Historic Oval Invitational

A self-described “gear-head”, Doug Post has been a car enthusiast since he was 10 years old.  In fact, he devoted his career to working at several different Ford dealerships.  His work happened to coincide with his passion, as he served as a crew member for Ray Brown.  A trailblazer in the sport locally, Brown was the second United Stock Car Racing Club Champion at the Riverside Park Speedway racing in New York. As an interesting piece of history, Brown competed in one of the cars that Post currently owns.

Later in life, Post decided he wanted to get behind the wheel, and acquired a Sprint Car from Smith Speed Shop in Eaton, Ohio.  Post’s Sprint Car is beautifully prepared, red in color with a chrome cage over the driver’s cockpit, and badged with a black.  While never winning in the United States Auto Club (USAC), the car was driven by Joe Saldana, whose son currently competes in the World of Outlaws, and Rich Vogler, who was a USAC Midget Champion.

Doug Post is a big supporter of the Historic Oval Invitational, an original member of the group that met with Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park management to recreate the event.  Post explains, “I like being there. It’s a great facility and I was involved in the discussions the first year about the vintage event. All in all, it is a great event and I love putting my car out on the track and seeing all the other vintage cars out there, too.” Continue reading ‘Doug Post Returning to Historic Oval Invitational’

Annual Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions set for Sunday, June 4

Had the Norwood Arena Board of Directors made a decision in 1972 not to shut the track down and at the same time try to develop the large parcel of land into an industrial/office park, the track could have lasted much longer than it did. Possibly into the present time.

Norwood, MA.  The Annual Norwood Arena-New England Dragway South Reunions is set for Sunday, June 4 at Bezema Motors on US Route 1, the AutoMile, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is the yearly get-together of drivers, pit crew members, officials and fans who attended the outstanding Saturday night action at the quarter-mile track from late April through mid-October from 1948 through 1972.

The track was originally built to conduct dog racing.  But, the track owners failed to get the Massachusetts Racing Commission failed to award any race dates to them. They were forced to reconfigure the dirt race course to a high-banked paved oval to host the midget race cars.  Following some success with the small midget race cars for a few years the fan turnout dropped off and the stock cars became the featured attraction.  That is with the Cut Downs, a forerunner of the Super Modifieds.  That brought the entries and fans in for about a decade.  

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Longtime Thunder Road Co-Owner Tom Curley Passes at 73

Barre, VT – Longtime Thunder Road Speedbowl co-owner and promoter Thomas M. Curley passed away on Friday, May 5 due to complications from a lengthy illness. Curley was 73 years old.

Born May 10, 1943, Curley was involved in local and regional auto racing for most of his adult life. After spending considerable time at Thunder Road as a spectator and driver in the 1960s, he became the NASCAR Northeast regional director in 1978, and a year later created the NASCAR North Tour. He and Thunder Road founder Ken Squier then acquired the track in 1982 from former owner Tommy Kalomiris.

After leaving NASCAR, Curley created the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) sanctioning body in 1986. Under Curley’s leadership, both Thunder Road and ACT became household names for racers and fans throughout the Northeast, making the Barre high banks one of the most popular auto racing destinations in the region. Among his many accomplishments, he helped relaunch the famed Flying Tiger division that has competed since 1982, and created the ACT Late Model rules package used at Thunder Road and numerous other tracks.
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Marty Van Druten to Field Two Entires at the Historic Oval Invitational

The Historic Oval Invitational, which will be held at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on May 19 – 20, is a celebration of the golden years of stock car racing and classic American Muscle. Featuring race cars like Midgets, Sprints, Super Modifieds, Champ Cars, Vintage Outlaws, and Stock Cars, each of the seven preceding decades of the track’s history will be represented. Among the entries is en State Vintage Stock Car Club (GSVSCC) Member, Mary Van Druten. The New Jersey-native will be fielding two cars, including the No. 6 1978 Maynard Troyer Modified and the No. 17 1981 Black Stock Car, which was Built by Troyer and Jimmy Susi.

For many of the participants, continuing to race these cars is their way of honoring the giants of our sport, and ensuring their stories continue to be told. This is certainly true for Van Druten. One of his cars was the first that Maynard Troyer ever manufactured. The legendary Modiifed chassis builder, bearing the late Maynard’s name, still produces some of the most competitive asphalt Modifieds that can be found in the Sunoco Modified and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour fields. Not originally a driver, Van Druten has a long history as an avid fan and crew member at Wall Stadium. The 6’7″ drive explains, “ I acquired them after working for the crew of Gilhan at Wall Stadium for over 20 years. I have been to plenty of races and have not personally raced but It was a sight to see some of these cars in action.”

Historic race cars on a historic track. Those are two of the things that draw Van Druten to the Historic Oval Invitational. He brings the cars that are storied in Modified racing to a facility that is nationally-recognized as the first paved oval in the United States. Dating back to May 26, 1940, some of the most iconic drivers in American Motorsports have competed at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, including Jeff Gordon, Mario Andretti, Tony Stewart, and NASCAR Hall of Famers Richie Evens and Jerry Cook. Van Druten explains, “I am looking forward and excited for this event. The track is beautiful, the people are great, and its a great place to relax outside of work. Its going to be fun running these cars on the race track with a lot of history.”
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New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Leo Cleary Passes

Word arrived from Florida today that 1999 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Leo Cleary has passed away at age-88.

Upon hearing of the news, award-winning Hall of Fame auto racing journalist Pete Zanardi stated the following; “Leo, from Massachusetts, was truly one of New England’s short track pioneers with a career stretching all the way back to the days of early tracks such as Dracut, Groveland, Topsfield, West Peabody, Medford Bowl, Norwood Arena, and Westboro. He raced and won all over the region, and was always in high-demand with the best teams. His era included some of the greatest names in the history of modified racing.”

Arrangements are incomplete at this time. The entire NEAR family extends its sincere condolences to Leo’s family & many friends.

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Seekonk Mourns the Loss of Legendary Driver Leo Cleary

SEEKONK, Mass. — The entire New England racing community lost another icon on Tuesday morning. Leo “The Lion” Cleary, who is a New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member and a Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame member, passed away at the age of 88.

In his over 40 years time in racing, Cleary won multiple races and championships at various different tracks in New England. He started his career at Seekonk in 1955 and it continued all the way through the late 1980s, when he won his final championships at the third-mile oval.

Cleary scored the Pro Stock championship in 1986, then was able to capture the title in the Mini Modifieds division a year later in 1987. Not only was Cleary was a four-time champion (also won a title in 1972 & 1979) at Seekonk, but he won a total of 14 championships in his racing career in New England, according to the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame website.

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Bigelow, Whipple to Share NEAR Mitchell-Ratta Media Award

The New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame has named Phil Whipple of the Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Richard “Big” Bigelow of St. Johnsbury VT’s Caldonian Record to share its annual Mitchell-Ratta Media Award for 2016.  The honor will be presented at the NEAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, November 13.

Bigelow was born into a racing family and cheered on his father, driver Jerry Bigelow, Northeastern Speedway’s final track champion in 1966.  Bigelow and his brother, Bob, began driving in the early 1980s; “Biggy” won a half-dozen races at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., and in his final season, 1992, won the first feature ever run in the American-Canadian Tour’s present-day Late Model class at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont.

Bigelow’s foray into media began with guest appearances on local racing radio programs in 1996.  He started writing his popular “Strap In!” column for his hometown daily Caledonian Record in April 1998, running 52 weeks a year.  Since his writing debut 18 years ago, Bigelow estimates that over some 900-plus weeks since his hire date he has only missed “maybe five or six” columns.

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NEAR Hall tabs Trio of Veterans

The New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s veterans’ committee covered a half-century in selecting the Stanley Brothers, John Burgess and Fred Meeker. All deceased, they will be inducted at the NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 13 at Maneeley’s Banquet Hall in South Windsor, CT.

Maine natives Francis and Freelan Stanley not only produced one of the country’s most famous automobiles, the Stanley Steamer, they built some of its first race cars. Boston-bred and educated, Burgess’ prowess as a builder, businessman and promoter sent New England off in a new direction in the 1930s. Norwalk, CT’s Meeker was an accomplished Midget driver in the post-World II era, twice winning national NASCAR championships.

They join broadcaster Jack Arute and championship drivers Ken Bouchard, Ricky Craven, Nokie Fornoro, the late George “Moose” Hewitt, Dwight Jarvis, Randy LaJoie and Jerry Marquis in the NEAR’s Class of 2016.

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SNYRA Announces Danbury Reunion September 18

The Southern New York Racing Association announces that it will have its 15th Annual Reunion on Sunday September 18th, 2016 from 11AM to 4 PM, at the Danbury PAL Building. The Reunion location is 35 Hayestown Road, Danbury Connecticut. It is also the 35th 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 Dave Morehouse at (203) 240-2939.
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Riverside Park Reunion Night Photos

March 12 the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA hosted the Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons game. It was also the annual Riverside Park Speedway Reunion Night, honoring the quarter mile oval in Agawam that operated from 1948-99.

[Photo Gallery] by Matthew Wiernasz
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Louis Pane Passes Away

Former Danbury Winner, SNYRA Official was 85

Pane, Louis A, Jr..
Louis A. Pane, Jr., 85, of Danbury, CT passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 at Filosa Nursing and Rehabilitation Care Center.
Lou was born on April 9, 1930 in Danbury to the late Louis and Teresa (Gillotti) Pane. He was a 1948 graduate of Danbury High School and played baseball for the DHS Kiwanis Dodgers.

Lou’s first love was stock-car racing and he was a member of the SNYRA as a driver of the #713 at the Danbury Racearena as well as an officer of the club for many years. As an avid sports fan, he participated in local bowling and softball leagues.

Lou leaves behind his beloved companion, Bea Arconti. His children: Patricia and Timothy Bourque, Lorinda and Paul Doto, Jr., Kelly and John Pitcher and Louis, III and Tricia Pane. His 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. His extended family: Gary and Lorinda Arconti, Thomas and Sally Arconti, David and Doreen Arconti and Lisa Arconti.

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Bouchard Passes Away at 67

Former Modified Driver Was 1981 Cup Rookie of the Year

Ron Bouchard, winner of the 1981 Talladega 500 and the premier series’ rookie of the year that same season, passed away Thursday. He was 67.

A native of Fitchburg, Mass., Bouchard pulled off one of NASCAR’s most stunning victories when he shot from third to first on the final lap at Talladega (then known as Alabama International Motor Speedway), passing Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte to score his lone premier series victory. The win came in his 11th career start.

He was driving the Jack Beebe-owned Race Hill Farm No. 47 Buick, with crew chief Bob Johnson. Bouchard had taken over the ride earlier in the season following the departure of driver Harry Gant.

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Impressive List of Presenters at NEAR Fete

Two of the most familiar voices in motorsports broadcasting and one of the sport’s premier authors will head up the list of presenters at the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame 18th induction banquet Sunday, Nov. 8 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.

Ken Squier, the “play-by-play” man for CBS’ Daytona 500 telecasts for 20 years, and Jack Arute, a pit reporter at the Indianapolis 500 for ABC for several seasons, will induct owner/driver Joey Laquerre and road racer Sam Posey respectively. Award-winning writer Bones Bourcier will do the honors for one time modified star and 1985 Daytona Firecracker 400 winner Greg Sacks.

Ticket information for the banquet will soon be available on the New England Antique Racers website (

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Westboro Speedway Reunion Sunday

The quinquennial Westboro (MA) Speedway reunion is Sunday, October 4 from 12 PM to 5 PM at Glick Nissan ( 273 Turnpike Rd, Westborough, MA 01581).

The high banked quarter mile oval opened in 1947 and closed in 1985. NEAR Hall of Famers associated with the Rt. 9 oval include longtime promoter and car owner  John Falconi, Sr. Dave Humphrey was a big NEMA winner there. Recent classes include Deke Astle, Sr., the track’s winningest driver Fred Borden, former champion Fred Schulz, and the final NEMA Midget winner Drew Fornoro.

The track hosted concerts by Gregg Allman, the Guess Who. Aerosmith‘s concert on August 18, 1974 opened with Mad Angel. It was one of the largest crowds early in their career.

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8 Inductees Announced for NMARHoF

Eight more inductions for the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame have been announced. They include a pair of drivers, a car owner, four officials and a pair of brothers who were long-time sponsors, participants, and supporters.

Alphabetically they are: Boots Archer, Tommy Hunt, Ed and Zeke Justice, Wendell Kelley, Roy Morrison, Jim Rieder, Randy Roberts and Bobby Unser. They will be officially inducted during ceremonies in Tulsa, Okla. on January 15 during the week of the Chili Bowl Nationals Midget event.

Archer stepped forward in 1945 to assist the fledgling Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) as its business manager. Through the years, he was the “go-to” guy for stats and historical info and his dedication never wavered. He passed away in January of 1996, but he was a guiding force behind BCRA Midget racing for many years. Just before his death, he was instrumental in constructing the history for a book which was released covering the history of Oakland, Calif. racing.

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SNYRA Reunion Sunday



Speedbowl Documentary to Be Released Thursday

12028952_10206203889469738_811227076_nThis offseason will be the end of a long road for Vault Productions.

Writer and Director Tom ‘Sid’ DiMaggio of Lyme, CT. DiMaggio has mixed emotions about tomorrow. He is both anxious and relieved for Thursday night’s release of A Chronological History of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

“I’ve honestly grown tired of saying ‘I’m working on this documentary,’ so happy that I’m in the final editing stage now,” DiMaggio said. “We still have about 7 interviews left to shoot, but they are all with people from very recent history. So the grind isn’t over, but it is relieving that we’re in the homestretch.”

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NEAR Media Award to St. Louis

Justin StLouis photoJustin St. Louis, a motorsports writer for three Vermont daily newspapers, is the winner of the New England Antique Racers’ Mitchell/Ratta Award. The prize will be presented at the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame 18thinduction banquet Sunday, Nov. 8 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT. 

A native Vermonter, St Louis is a contributor to the Burlington Free Press, the Rutland Herald and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. He is also a play-by-play announcer on the Radio Vermont network of stations. A member of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame advisory committee, he has been covering auto racing since attending Thunder Road and Catamount Stadium as a teenager.

The prize memorializes two of New England’s greatest motorsports writers – Charlie Mitchell of the Norwalk (CT) Hour and Jack Ratta of the Manchester (NH) Union Leader. 

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Rick Falconi Passed Away at 69

Richard E. Falconi, 69, a lifelong resident of Southborough, passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 9, 2015, at his home, after a short illness, surrounded by family

He was a graduate of Algonquin Regional High School and a member of the class of 1969 at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH, serving as Senior Class President. Upon graduation, Rick stayed very active with Franklin Pierce, being one of the founding members of the Alumni Association. While on the board, he served as Membership and By-laws Chairman, Alumni and Reunion Weekend Chair and Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Committee.

Rick retired from the family’s Falconi Energy in 2011 after working as manager in the heating and cooling division. He was a fixture at the company started by his father and uncles for the better part of 50 years. He loved spending time at his home on Peabody Pond in Sebago, Maine.

Rick was a longtime auto racing enthusiast, having built and maintained cars that won hundreds of races and multiple championships throughout New England and continued to be active in the sport until his passing. He served on the board of the Southborough Historical Society and was active at their museum.

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Laquerre Elected to New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame

Barre, VT – Thunder Road racing legend and family patriarch Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier has been elected to the New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.

The 71-year-old Laquerre is the all-time winningest driver at Barre’s Thunder Road with 45 wins, including a record 17 in the Tiger Sportsmen and 14 in the Late Models. His most recent Thunder Road victory came in a Late Model feature on June 5, 2014. Laquerre was the 1982 “King of the Road” and also won five championships in the Mini Stock division between 1973 and 1980.

In addition, Laquerre was the winningest driver at the former Catamount Stadium in Milton. He currently owns and operates Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH.

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NEAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Victories at LeMans and Daytona International Speedway are among the hundreds of checkered flags owned by the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2015.

Sam Posey, one of America’s top road racers, and Greg Sacks, the winner of the 1985 Daytona Firecracker 400, are part of the class that will be honored at the NEAR Hall of Fame 18th induction banquet Sunday, Nov. 8 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.

The class also includes owner/driver Joey Laquerre, car owner the late Paul Dunigan and drivers the late Jim McCallum and Stan Gregor, a quartet that collectively has 27 track championships.

The multi-faceted Lew Boyd, presently a book seller and publisher, and Lee USA Speedway promoter Red MacDonald will also be inducted.

Ticket information for the banquet will soon be available on the New England Antique Racers website (

Still to be announced are the Veterans Committee picks, the Pardi Memorial Award and the Mitchell/Ratta (media) Award winners.

A long-time Sharon, CT resident, Posey was a top runner in road racing with strong finishes in Formula A, Can-Am, and Trans-AM. He had a fifth at Indianapolis in 1972, scored at LeMans and Sebring and drove some Formula I before moving to TV with ABC Sports. He is an award winning writer and artist.

In addition to Daytona, Long Island native Sacks has a number of New England victories, notably at Stafford and Thompson but also at Westboro. His 1982 season, which included the Stafford championship, ranks with the best performances in New England racing history.

Vermont’s Laquerre has been a winner over five decades as both an owner and driver. The top winner at the old Catamount Stadium, his resume includes several wins on the ACT Tour and championships at Thunder Road (6) and Catamount (2).

The colorful Dunigan, who passed away in 2004, burst on to the International Super Modified Association scene and won six titles in eight years, adding an Oswego crown as well. His drivers included Bentley Warren, Russ Wood, Mike Ordway, and Joe Gosek.

MacDonald, over six decades, was a successful car owner – drags, cutdowns, Supermodifieds, even an Indianapolis car – before taking over the Lee USA Speedway operation in 1986. He has brought the best in the business to his track often overcoming great obstacles.

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Hall of Famer Jimmy Jorgensen Passes

Jimmy Jorgensen, a member of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame and one of the premier owner/mechanics in Northeastern auto racing history, passed away Thursday, June 18.

From Riverside Park, where his “Flying Zero” won three championships between 1958 and 1962, to the 1969 Indianapolis 500, where he experienced the heartbreak of being first alternate, the 2012 Hall of Fame inductee left a lasting legacy on New England racing. He was successful with the URC Sprint Cars between the Modifieds and the Indy Cars.

“Jorgy” did almost all of it with the Chevrolet V8. He was instrumental in the development of Chevy V8 as a short track motor.
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NEAR Member Jim Splettstoeszer Passes

JimSplettstoeszerSad news. NEAR member Jim Splettstoeszer passed away this afternoon after a long battle with cancer. Ron Carlson called me just a few minutes ago. I think Jim was a charter member and also was an officer and board member at one time. A memorial service will be held at Gloria-DEI, Camp St. Plainville, CT. on Saturday June 20th at 2PM.

Sources: Rich Belmonte, NEAR Treasurer

Best yet 11th Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions at Bezema Motors

Norwood, MA — It was perfect weather and there was a great turnout of vintage race cars at Bezema Motors on the Auto Mile for the 11th Annual Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions.  Both the New England NEAR and STAR clubs and other non-aligned vintage race cars joined the yearly celebration including Midgets, Super-Modifieds, 1/4 Midgets, Legend Cars, Cutdown (pre-Super Modifieds) as well as drag racing vehicles of all types.  Along with various collectable vendors, the Norwood Arena Movie group was there complete with a ’64 Dodge Coronet R/T Norwood Arena pace car.  There were also many classic cars, hot rods and antique motor vehicles as well as motorcycles from various eras  vying for trophies and dash plaques. About 75 vehicles turned out for the event and were on display for large group of attendees.

Many drivers, crew members and officials from the Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South were on hand.  They included; Al Segrini of Canton, who won his share of NHRA National events at the wheel of several drag racing machines. The most famous was the Super Brut Funny Car. Also, Jerry Capazzolli of Stoughton who drove Mini Stocks and Modifieds, Bugs Stevens of Rehoboth, winner of several NASCAR National Modified Championships, Needham’s Jack Malone and Bob Bachiochi of Dover, both Modified drivers, Cape Cod’s Billy Singerson, who raced in the Mini Stocks, Modified driver Jack Glockner, formerly of Canton, and one of the only surviving famed Eastern Bandits ,Denny Zimmerman of Glastonbury, Conn.  Zimmerman was also an Indianapolis 500 competitor in 1972 finishing  fifth in the 500 that year earning Rookie of the Year honors.  

Other drivers in attendance included Dave Dion who came up from Florida, and was a NASCAR Late Model track champion as well as a NASCAR Busch North Champion and ACT Tour titlist, Modified driver Fred Mancini of Needham, Late Model driver Bobby Glass of Revere, midget driver Jeff Horn of Ashland, Super-Modified driver Jimmy Martel of Essex, Paul Silvia, Lew Boyd of Newburyport, midget driver Bobby White of Scituate, Ric Mariscal of Pawtucket, RI, owner of the Pro Nine Racing Museum in his home town, Late Model driver Darrell Stampfl of Norwood, Modified pilot Don McCollough of Walpole, Late Model, ACT, Oxford 200 winner as well as NASCAR Busch North champion, Joey Kourafas of Randolph, Pro 4 Modified and Modified driver George Savary of Westwood, flagmen Bill Ryder of Wrentham and Maury Dumas of Quincy along with one of his sons John Dumas, a Mini Stock driver.  Also in attendance were  race engine builders Harry Kourafas of Randolph and Tuck Hoffman of Norwood.

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Everett Pierce Passes at 86

Pierce, Everett A.

Everett A. Pierce, 86, of Danbury; passed away on June 12, 2015. He was the beloved husband of Mrs. Marjorie (Johnson) Pierce. Everett was born on October 14, 1928 in Norwalk, CT; a son of Everett and Nettie (Albin) Pierce.

He was a Tractor Trailer Driver, and he married his wife, Marjorie in 1961 and they were married for 53 years. He served in the US Navy aboard the USS Saipan during World War II. During his time in the Navy he was a Boxing Champion on his ship. As a lifelong Danbury resident, Everett made his name in the Southern New York Racing Association (SNYRA) where he would become fifth in all time wins. He raced for seven decades; of which 30 years were spent at the Danbury Race Arena. He served as President and Vice President of the SNYRA and he was the points champion in 1954. He was well known among race fans and his opponents.

He was inducted into the Danbury Athletic Association in 2001. He was also a member of the Arion Singing Society and he played semi-professional football for the Barbary Coast Danbury Team. Everett was an honorary member of the Beaver Brook Volunteer Fire Department and he was a Deacon of His Vineyard Christian Fellowship.

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Marilyn Greco Passes Away at 77

Greco, Marilyn J.

Age 77, of Stratford, beloved wife of Sylvester “Bill” Greco, died on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Friends may call on Wednesday from 4 to 8 pm at the Pistey Funeral Home, 2155 Main Street, Stratford. Complete arrangements and obituary will be published in Tuesday’s edition of the Connecticut Post.

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