Archive for the 'Langhorne' Category

Gig Stephens Passes at 87

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.

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Book Released on Legendary Jim Jorgensen & Auto Racing’s Greatest Era

Newburyport, Mass. — Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced today the release of their latest title, “Swamp Yankee: The Racing Life of Jim Jorgensen,” by Walt Scadden.

“Swamp Yankee” is the story of legendary crew chief and engine-builder Jim Jorgensen’s epic journey from Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass., to the National Championship Indy Car Series. From the late 1950s to 1969, Jorgensen and his crew crisscrossed the country, racing his innovative stock car, sprint, and Indy Car designs with standout drivers like Gene Bergin, Buddy Krebs, Bill Brown and Denny Zimmerman.

Progressing from countless bullrings and county fair tracks to some of the most revered venues in the country such as Langhorne, Phoenix and Milwaukee, and on to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jorgensen made his name and left his mark. His journey had its share of detours and heartbreaking disappointments, but it provided him the formidable education needed to compete at the highest level of racing in the country and earned him induction into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

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Calling Hours for NEAR Hall of Famer Bill Slater Announced

Calling hours for Bill Slater will be Monday, July 23 4-to-7 at the Tierney Funeral Home 219 West Center St. in Manchester, CT

NEAR Hall of Fame Member “Wild Bill” Slater Passes at Age 83

It was learned Sunday, July 15 that New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member “Wild Bill” Slater has passed-away.

Arrangements are incomplete at this time.

A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey.

He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement  He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job. 

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‘Rapid Roman’ Richie Evans Rode Orange Chariot Into History

New York Star Won Nine NASCAR Modified Series Titles In Hall Of Fame Career

Daytona Beach, FL — Richard Ernest “Richie” Evans certainly was the face of NASCAR – and modified racing – in the northeast, winning an estimated 475 times in approximately 1,300 starts. It equates to a win in every three starts (a 36.5% clip), something unheard of in modern racing at any level.

Evans will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, one of five members of the Hall’s third class comprised of the New York native, legendary crew chief Dale Inman, team owner Glen Wood and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough. He is the first of 15 inductees without a connection to NASCAR’s premier series.

The 2012 enshrinement ceremony kicks off NASCAR Acceleration 2012 weekend, which includes the NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint, where fans can interact with the sport’s legends and current stars in person, get autographs and catch a sneak peek at the upcoming season. Fans can go to for more information.

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New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Raymond “Hully” Bunn Dies at 91

Bristol, CT — Raymond “Hully” Bunn of Bristol died at age 91 on August 25 at Bristol Hospital after an illness. Bunn won more than a hundred Stock Car races in a career that lasted from 1949 to 1965 and was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

Bunn was motivated to get into racing by a medical diagnosis he received when he mustered out of the Armed Forces shortly after World War II. The examining physician took him aside and told him that he had a bad heart and needed to take it easy. “I thought, what the hell, if I’m going to die soon any way I might as well enjoy myself, so I started racing,” Bunn recalled.

His first race was during the 1949 season at Plainville (CT) Stadium. His biggest win may have been the first 100 Mile Langhorne National Open for Modified Sportsman Stock Cars (now known as the Race of Champions) at Langhorne, PA on October 14, 1951 with relief from his friend and colleague Dick Eagan. In that race, Bunn defeated such luminary fellow pioneers as Bobby Myers, Frankie Schneider, Dutch Hoag and Steve Danish. He went back to Langhorne in the spring of 1952 and won another extra distance race, and in the Spring of 1954, he won the first race ever held at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York.

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Evans Inducted To NASCAR Hall

2012 class includes Yarborough, Wood, Inman, Waltrip

1981 - Richie Evans at Stafford

1981 - Richie Evans at Stafford

Members of the 55-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2012. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”

The class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.

As was the case for the first two classes of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, the results of this year’s voting were competitive. Yarborough led with 85 percent of the vote, followed by Waltrip (82%), Inman (78%), Evans (50%) and Wood (44%).

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NEAR Hall of Famer Art Rousseau Passes at 87

Sad news this week from Florida as NEAR Hall of Famer Arthur Rousseau passed away on Monday March 16, 2009 at age 87.  He was born on August 5, 1921 in Keene, NH.  Rousseau competed at a number of tracks including Hudson, Langhorne, Stafford, West Brattleboro, Westboro as well as tracks in New York State.  He was also successful at his home track, the Cheshire County Fairgrounds in Keene, NH.

He was a World War II veteran in the Army Air Force.  He was a member of the Stock Car Drivers’ Hall of Fame in New York State as well as a NEAR Hall of Fame inductee in 2001.

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NEAR Hall of Famer Dick Eagan Passes at 87

Clayton R. (Dick) Eagan

CLAYTON R. (DICK) EAGAN – Born June 12, 1919 died May 3, 2007 – Lake Panasoffkee, FL – World War II veteran of US Army Air force 1941-1944 – He is a charter member of the VFW of Springdale, CT 96117.

He was a Racecar driver of midgets and stockcars late 1940's – 1950's.

Honored by Auto Racing Legends, Daytona, FL and New England Antique Racers (NEAR)

He was a small business owner in Suffield, CT and Florida until retirement.

His wife of 63 years, Helen Reynolds Eagan, predeceased Dick in 2001.

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