Edward W. Dufault of Marlborough died Monday (April 8, 2013) at Kindred Transitional and Rehabilitation Center in Marlborough after an illness. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time and are under the care of the John P. Rowe Funeral Home Inc., 57 Main St., Marlborough.
Archive for the 'Westboro' Category
FOOTE, 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.
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.
Frank Gehling, 70, Retired Norwalk Race Car Driver
NORWALK, Conn. – Frank Gehling of Norwalk died Nov. 14 at his home. He was 70.
Born May 5, 1942, in Newton, Mass., he was the son of Daniel Chester Gehling and Esther Lawson. He had a love for race car driving early on and began his racing career at age 16.
As a pit crewman, Gehling traveled to more than 40 races a year. He became interested in driving when a driver was late one night and he was asked to fill in.
When he was 19, Gehling purchased a three-quarter midget and fudged his age to obtain a racing license. He competed during the winter months indoors in Hempstead, N.Y. In 1963, he was introduced to stock car racing and the Southern New York Racing Association.
Joe Cast of Somerville, MA began his career in stock cars at the old Medford Bowl in the mid-1950s. He competed at a number of tracks including Hudson, Manchester, Norwood and West Peabody. He drove the #72, 46, 15 and the Falconi #10 cars.
He was as driver with the Atlantic Auto Racing Association circuit at Brookline, NH and Westboro, MA. A regular winner at both facilities in the Class A cars, Cast won an incredible 9 in a row at Brookline in 1964.
After his retirement from driving, he served as the flagman at Westboro Speedway.
[Photo Gallery] from LaSheefs Racing Photos
Here is my interview with Cast from the 2010 Westboro Speedway reunion.
East Windsor, CT — On Sunday January 29, The New England Antique Racers (NEAR), presented the 15th annual New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Inductions. Award-winning sportswriter Matt Buckler served as Master of Ceremonies for the well-attended event held at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
Receiving induction honors this year were drivers Reggie Ruggiero, Joey Kourafas, Moe Gherzi, Jerry Humiston, and Roland Lapierre Sr., owner/mechanics Mario Fiore and Jim Jorgensen and track operator Irene Venditti.
Though not present due to prior commitments, longtime Northern media personality Dave Moody was the recipient of the prestigious “Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award.” Veteran auto racing journalist and Hall of Fame Member Pete Zanardi received the Danny Pardi Memorial Award for his many contributions to NEAR over the years.
A pivotal figure during the formative years of the sport and truly one of the regions earliest stars, Moe Gherzi came to stock cars following a brief fling with midget racing during the busy post-war era. Gherzi won for some of the best teams in the early days of the sport while displaying a flashy style which became his trademark. Nicknamed “Moneybags” owed to a knack of winning many big-dollar events, he tasted success at virtually all of the regions tracks. He later served as the longtime Racing Director at Connecticut’s Plainville Stadium. Accepting for her late father from presenter Dave Dykes was Ms. Alma Michaud.
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
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 NASCARacceleration2012.com for more information.
Equal parts talent, lifestyle and legend earn Evans his Hall call
Every Christmas Day, no matter how cold or how much snow was on the ground, Richie Evans would drive his race car over to The Rusty Nail, the Rome, N.Y., bar that also sponsored his famous orange and black No. 61, to celebrate the holiday. For Evans was never far from his roots.
This week, short-track fans up and down the East Coast were celebrating the announcement that Evans would be one of five people inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Evans made his name with eye-popping statistics from his career in a Modified.
But Evans cemented his legend a long time ago with the stories that surrounded his career.
2012 class includes Yarborough, Wood, Inman, Waltrip
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%).
Pioneering New England auto racing photographer Bill Balser has been selected as the recipient of the New England Antique Racers 2011 Jack Ratta Memorial Award.
Balser will accept the award at the 14th annual New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Sunday, Jan. 30 at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT. Ticket forms and further information will be on the NEAR website (www.near1.com) in the near future.
Hailing from Brocton, MA. Balser’s distinguished career in auto racing photography began during the 1950s. He regularly shot at tracks such as West Peabody, Westboro, Norwood, Seekonk, and Lakeville in Massachusetts, and also Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway and Brookline, NH, among others.
Former drivers, officials and fans of the Westboro Speedway gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Westboro for the third reunion on Saturday. Although 25 years have passed since the final checkered flag fell on Westboro, people still recall fondly their Saturday nights spent at the historic Rt. 9 speedplant.
Before the sound of horsepower was silenced by urban sprawl for a shopping center, Westboro Speedway operated between 1947-1985. Originally built for Midget racing, the high-banked 1/4 mile oval saw its first race on August 5, 1947 when Joe Sostilio picked up the Midget win. Until the track closed in September 1985, the track hosted open wheel Modifieds, Mini Modifieds, Supermodifieds and Stock Cars.
Many hall of fame drivers were successful at Westboro throughout its storied history. A showcase venue for Midgets, stars like Bert Brooks, Joe Csiki and Dave Humphrey all excelled there. Racers from the dangerous Cutdown era included Red Bolduc, Red Cummings, Hop Harrington, Fred Luchesi. Fred Borden was the all-time winner there. A staple of the Modified circuit for many seasons, victory lane saw Ronnie Bouchard, Fats Caruso, Leo Cleary, George Savary, Fred Schulz, and Bugs Stevens win on many occasions.
Westboro’s place in history is secure as longtime owner and promoter John Falconi, Sr. is a NEAR Hall of Fame inductee along with some of the drivers and owners that made “The Fastest Quarter-Mile in the East” their home for many years.
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
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.
Massachusetts Driver Won 20 Races, 1993 Series Title
Daytona Beach, FL — Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Rick Fuller brought to a close one of the most successful driving careers in the 24-year history of the tour with the announcement that he has retired from racing.
Fuller, of Auburn, Mass., made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut in the series’ inaugural race on March 31, 1985 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway with a 13th place finish in the Icebreaker. Ultimately, Thompson became the site of his last race when was caught up in an early accident and came home 30th in the No. 77 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Modified in the Xtra Mart World Series on Oct. 19.
Fuller compiled 20 wins, 145 top fives, 231 top 10s and 11 Coors Light Pole Awards in 439 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. His win total ranks seventh in tour history.
Continue reading ‘Rick Fuller Retires From NASCAR Modified Racing’
I heard from my friend Bill Balser that his daughter Sue Balser Archambault passed away on Wednesday, July 16. Bill and his son Dave have done a lot of photo work at various tracks in New England, for many years, as well as the Camping World East Tour recently. The arrangements are:
Sunday, July 20 from 2-7 p.m. at the Sperry-McHoul Funeral Home 15 Grove St., N. Attleboro Center, MA.
Sue’s parents, Bill and Phyllis Balser reside at 42 Alder Rd, Norton, MA 02766 for cards of condolence.
Continue reading ‘Sue Balser Archambault Passes’