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.