2014 Archives

12/31/2014 More Vintage Images For A New Year….Popular Don Flynn who passed-away last November following an extended illness, was always recognized for his immaculate Modifieds and this ultra-sharp creation was no exception. Enjoying a lengthy New England racing career that stretched from the coupe-era right-up to the days of more-contemporary “modern” machinery, he was a championship-caliber competitor and a prolific feature winner throughout New England. Following his days behind the wheel, he became a successful car owner employing many of the sport’s top drivers. This John Grady image captures him following a feature victory wheeling one of his more-memorable early machines. MORE>>
12/24/2014 Wishing All A Happy Holiday Season!!!!! Starting this edition of “RTT” we have a classic image of our late & much-missed pal, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member, “Wild Bill” Slater during his heyday as the chauffer of the potent Vitari-Bombaci (also Hall of Famers), coupe. From his Hall of Fame biography; “Wild Bill” Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale, RI, in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains, Maine to Trenton, New Jersey. Slater is 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 everywhere. 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. Bill’s list of accomplishments includes winning 8 straight features at Norwood, and 7 straight wins at Stafford. In 1959 he posted twenty wins at Waterford. He also took down two championships at Waterford and one at Stafford. Slater won the 400 mile race at Trenton, New Jersey, four times, and is a two time winner of the Utica-Rome 400 in New York. His biggest career victory was in his win at the Langhorne Penn. Race of Champions the first year it was paved. He drove in The Daytona Permatex 300 four times from 1963 to '66. He is most known for his long time association with the Vitari-Bombacci owned V8. He drove his last race at Stafford in 1969 and then became involved in the promotion side of racing at Stafford and later Thompson. MORE>>
12/17/2014 Pacing The Past (As-Always)……The New England auto racing community lost one of its best-ever full-bodied class racers when our friend, Anthony “Beatle” Farone, a life-long resident of Berlin, CT, passed-away on Thursday evening, December 11th at age-66. Captured here with his team following one of many feature triumphs at Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium, Beatle was the brother of our pal JoJo and the late Butch “Seymour the Clown” Farone. In addition to his many successes at Plainville, Beatle was also a very-popular Street Stock champion at the Stafford Springs Motor Speedway. “Racing Through Time” sends its heartfelt condolences to the entire Farone family on this sad occasion. MORE>>
12/10/2014 Every Picture Tells A Story……Seen here at New York’s Lancaster Speedway in 1970, the late Richie Evans left his family's farm at age 16 to work at a local garage. After finding early success in drag racing, a friend suggested he try building a car to race at the nearby Utica-Rome Speedway. He ran his first oval-track car, a 1954 Ford Hobby Stock numbered PT-109 (after John F. Kennedy's torpedo boat in World War II), in 1962. He advanced to the Modifieds in 1965, winning his first feature in the season's final night. In 1973, Evans became the NASCAR National Modified Champion. In 1978 he won a second title and did not relinquish his crown during the next seven years. Evans took over four hundred feature race wins at racetracks from Quebec to Florida before he was fatally injured at age-44 in a practice crash at Martinsville in late 1985. Before his death, he’d already clinched the inaugural Winston Modified Tour championship (now known as the Whelen Modified Tour). In 1979-alone, he started 60 NASCAR Modified races and posted 54 top-five finishes -- including 37 victories. Richie was among the first inductees into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998. Evans was, and will forever be-known as the “King of the Modifieds.” MORE>>
12/3/2014 Wednesday Means More Old Stuff……We begin this week with a 1970s pitside shot from Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl. It captures one of the shoreline oval’s more consistent competitors during that period, Don Phaneuf. Daring to be different, he campaigned this rather novel Ford Maverick-bodied entry within the waning-years of the much-heralded “coupe era.” Though he never notched a feature victory, he did score several qualifying heats and a number of top-5 main event finishes. MORE>>
11/26/2014 Another One In The Books……Here’s a nice image of the late Marvin Chase. Known by Connecticut fans as primarily a Waterford Speedbowl competitor, he also tasted success at the storied Norwood Arena in Massachusetts as seen here during the 1968 season. After hanging-up his helmet, Marvin became involved with the New England Antique Racers (NEAR), heavily contributing his time to the club. Fondly remembered, “Marv” had many friends at the Speedbowl, including this scribe. MORE>>
11/19/2014 Another Lap Around The Oval……From our longtime contributor & friend New York State Racing Historian Roger Liller comes this gem. We’ll let him provide the details; “Dave, courtesy of our friend Bob Ellis, here’s a great Henry Ahlf photo from my Rhinebeck, NY Speedway collection of 1961's Washburn Memorial race winner, Barry Tripp. It captures Barry standing alongside his Hornet 6 powered Hudson Coupe in victory lane. 250 laps on a fifth-mile track is an exhausting piece of driving and the fatigue seems apparent in this post-race photo.” Great stuff as-always, Roger! MORE>>
11/12/2014 Another Wednesday, More Memories...... Regarding special events, the “Mighty Midgets” were always a huge draw at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl during the early days, and on this night it was multi-time Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA), champion Al Pillion posing in the lens of the shoreline oval’s official track photographer Shany Lorenzent. One of the absolute-best New England open-wheel racers of his generation, Pillion joined the ranks of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. This car was owned by the equally-legendary “Iron Mike” Scrivani, also a member of the Hall of Fame. MORE>>
11/5/2014 Another Wednesday Visit To The Archives……We’ve ran shots of this driver previously, but the sheer amount of different images I have of him in my archives is testament as to just-how popular he was during his heyday. Canadian Modified star Denis Giroux was in the midst of a brilliant career when tragedy struck and he was severely injured in a crash at Stafford Springs Speedway during the 1974 season. In a coma for months after the accident, he later recovered, but never returned to racing. Many in New England feel that Giroux would have been the next to follow in the footsteps of former modified success and 1970 Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton in making it within the big-leagues of the NASCAR Cup’ Series. This image captures a youthful Giroux with an early coupe entry. MORE>>
10/29/2014 More Mid-Week (Vintage) Meanderings…… As “The Kid from Fitchburg” Ronnie Bouchard burst-upon the New England NASCAR Modified scene in a big-way. Starting at age-14 hustling around slam-bang joints like the Brookline & Pines Speedways and later Seekonk, he eventually hooked-up with often-controversial Modified owner Bob Johnson, and the rest is history. Captured here in an early Bob Johnson Camaro, Bouchard was one of the first youngsters to legitimately challenge the well-established Modified hierarchy of the era. He became a huge winner, as well as an instant-hit with the press and fans at established Mod haunts like Stafford Springs Motor Speedway where he notched a career record of 35 victories and 2 track titles. A New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer, the Winston Cup-bound Bouchard arrived at the pinnacle of his career when he emerged victorious as the winner of the 1981 Talladega 500. Car owner Johnson was inducted into the HOF in 2007. MORE>>
10/22/2014 Another Week, More Old Stuff……We open this week with another great contribution from our friend, New York State Racing Historian Roger Liller. We’ll let him provide his expert commentary on this rarity. He says, “This week I have for you one of those great Brewster, NY Speedway pictures given to me by Barbara Campanella-Lamb, and it features the venerable Kenny Webb as a young lad in 1950. Kenny would go on to become the 3rd winningest driver at Connecticut’s former Danbury Racearena behind Don LaJoie and Chick Stockwell. His 3 track championships and 166 total wins which included 32 features attests to his driving ability. Kenny started racing at Valhalla speedway in Westchester County NY in 1947, and competed at all the early SNYRA tracks, and, in 1956, he was co-promoter with Bob Leonarggio of SNYRA's season at the Arlington NY Speedway. Sadly, Kenny passed away a few years ago, but will always be fondly remembered by his legions of fans.” As-always, thanks, Roger! MORE>>
10/15/2014 Backing Up; Plainville Stadium Glimpses……If you’re at-all familiar with the history of Modified racing in the Northeast, you have to know at-least a bit about this guy, Mr. Tony “Jap” Membrino. Our close friend Tom Ormsby once wrote that he was “Colorful, Controversial, & Popular.” I’d have to agree, but above all, Jap was a big-time winner. A top driver at virtually all the speedplants that once dotted the New England landscape, he took a ton of checkers at places like West Haven, Plainville, Riverside Park, etc. Always a crowd-pleaser, his flamboyant driving style indeed sold a boatload of grandstand tickets (and rattled the cages of a lot of his fellow competitors). This shot captures him behind the controls of one of his most fondly-recalled rides, the Walt Kuryn-owned coach which is presently undergoing a full-restoration. MORE>>
10/8/2014 Entering October With A Roar……With the Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion slated to take the green on Saturday, we figured we’d start this week with a photo of a driver that experienced unparalleled success at the Connecticut ¼-miler. Dave Alkas and the Roland Cyr-owned coach were an absolute powerhouse at Plainville, notching 5 track championships in a 10-year period. Competing regularly against track alumni such-as Reggie Ruggiero, Don Moon, and Ronnie Rocco he routinely bested the field, capturing 11 feature wins in one season-alone. He won regularly during those great Plainville mid-week 100-lap open competition shows, beating visitors like Ed Flemke, Sr., Ron and Ken Bouchard, Bob Stefanik, and the late Dick Watson. The most successful Modified driver in Plainville Stadium history, Dave was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. MORE>>
10/1/2014 Another Week Passes (More Old Stuff)……For decades, our late friend Ernie Gahan remained one of the nation’s top Modified drivers. Virtually a one-man show for a good part of his career, the winner of the 1966 NASCAR National Modified Championship started racing in the 1940s at New Hampshire’s old Dover Speedway. Well-before the days of the much-heralded “Eastern Bandits” he won over three-hundred features on a well-traveled road that stretched from his home state of Maine, to the coast of Florida. A multi-time NASCAR Grand National (now the Sprint Cup Series), starter, his resume also includes two top-10 finishes, one in the Daytona 500. It was during his Grand National days in 1963 that he was credited with saving the life of Marvin Panch by pulling him out of a burning race car at Daytona. For his courage he won the Shuman Award and the Carnegie Medal for Bravery – that’s the type of racer Ernie Gahan was. This coupe-era image captures him following a win on the early dirt of the Stafford Springs Motor Speedway, a facility where he grabbed the checkers on twenty-one occasions. Ernie retired from driving following an event at Thompson in 1975 and was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998. MORE>>
09/24/2014 Yup, Another Week In The Books…… Seen here in the 1960s when he was wheeling the famed Lenny Boehler coupe is Bugs Stevens. Enjoying a decades-long career that included 3 NASCAR National Modified Championships he went on to become Stafford Motor Speedway’s most-winning Modified driver with 72 feature victories. His numerous track championships include Stafford Motor Speedway, (4), Seekonk Speedway, (3), Norwood Arena, (2), Albany Saratoga, Catamount and Thompson. His big wins include the 1973 Spring Sizzler, a pair of 500 lappers at Thompson and several victories at Trenton and Martinsville. Both Stevens and the late Boehler are members of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. As stated in this week’s opening comments, Bugs is presently recovering from multiple injuries sustained in a recent fall at home. Cards of cheer reach him at Carl S. Bergman, 134 Bay State Road, Rehoboth, Massachusetts, 02769. Get-well soon, Bugs! MORE>>
09/17/2014 Once-Upon-A-Time At A Racetrack Near You……It’s Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday evening July 24, 1976 and George Allum and the Pat Doherty team have just notched the 35-lap Modified feature. George, who retired shortly after this triumph, had been a huge winner earlier in the decade and was a serious contender to break the stranglehold that Dick Dunn had on the track title. In addition to capturing a bushel of weekly features, he also defeated a stellar field of outsiders to take the checkers in the Hott Wheels 100 open show on Sunday afternoon April 22, 1973. Another of the many racers that hailed from nearby Norwich (once a veritable “Gasoline Alley” for successful Bowl’ teams), Allum is the brother-in-law of former Waterford Modified competitor Mark LaJeunesse, yet-another resident of the “Rose City” that enjoyed great shoreline oval success. Today George is retired and along with wife Joyce, enjoying the warmer climate of the South and Pat Doherty is still messin’ with race cars. MORE>>
09/10/2014 Pacing The Past (As-Usual)…… Charlie “Chuggy” Savage was a very-popular racer at what was then officially known-as the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl. Seen here in the early-1970s behind the controls of a classic 3-window coupe machine, he was one of the shoreline oval’s top pilots in the Modified division for eons. In later-years, Savage was one of the benefactors of the cost-cutting standards set-forth with the advent of the SK Modified doing quite-well in the early-days of the division winning a number of main events. MORE>>
09/03/2014 More Mid-Week Meanderings……From the lens of our friend, veteran racing photographer John Grady we have a timeless image of the late, great Charlie Jarzombek and his memorable #1 coupe. A Long Island phenomenon, he was absolutely one of the best in the business and extremely-popular with both his fellow racers and the fans. Sadly, he lost his life in a crash at Martinsville, VA, during a Modified event in March of 1987. Charlie is a member of both the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame and the Long Island Sports Hall of Fame. MORE>>
08/27/2014 A Return To Our Wednesday Schedule !!!! We’ve lately been getting a lot of requests for images of this driver, and this John Grady shot is a dandy! Captured here in the 1970s, he was simply one of the greatest to ever climb behind the controls of a race car. The late “Dynamite” Ollie Silva was both a huge winner, and one of the most-admired competitors in all of short track racing. Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Silva recorded over five-hundred feature victories over the course of a career that started in 1949 at the long-shuttered Dracut, MA Speedway and concluded in 1980. He was victorious in Modifieds, Supers, Sprint Cars, and Cut-Downs. Etched into the record books of Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl is an absolutely-dominating win in the 1974 Hott Wheels 100 in which Silva simply destroyed an all-star field of the regions top Modified stars. To this-day, the locals still talk about it, this scribe included. MORE>>
08/20/2014 Racing Through Time Rewind Week 2 of 2....Christened the “Norwalk Nightrider” early in his career as a nod to his hometown, our friend the late Bill Sweet was one of the real movers & shakers of the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl’s full-bodied support classes. A multi-time Daredevil titlist, he was wildly-popular with the fans. This one captures Bill (3rd from left), during the 1966 campaign, a year in-which he claimed the checkers on 5 occasions. By the next season, he was a champion. MORE>>
08/13/2014 Racing Through Time Rewind Week 1 of 2....Captured here in the lens of our good friend & longtime Plainville Stadium official track photographer Phil Hoyt is our pal, Dave Alkas and the Roland Cyr-owned coach. An absolute powerhouse at the much-missed Connecticut ¼-miler, teamed with Cyr he notched 5 track championships in a 10-year period. Competing regularly against Plainville alumni such-as Reggie Ruggiero, Stan Greger, and Ronnie Rocco, he routinely bested the field, notching eleven feature wins in one season-alone. He won regularly during those great Plainville mid-week 100-lap open competition shows, beating visitors like Ed Flemke, Sr., Ron and Ken Bouchard, Bob Stefanik, and the late Dick Watson. The most successful Modified driver in Plainville Stadium history, Dave was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. MORE>>
08/06/2014 Yet Another Week In The Books !!!!!!!! Here’s a nice image of New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame member, Bernie Miller during an outing at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway. From his HOF Biography; “Bernie Miller remains one of the true pioneer heroes in Central New York auto racing. In his early career during the mid-1950s, he raced at the now defunct Vernon (now known as Vernon Downs) and Lafayette Speedways. When Vernon Speedway went to horse racing, the Utica-Rome Speedway was built to replace it and Miller moved into racing there in the Sportsman class, where in 1967 he won the divisional championship. At Utica-Rome, Miller had three career feature wins in the Modified division, and he was one of the most well liked drivers in early speedway history. Miller raced all over the Northeast, chasing NASCAR points at tracks such as Utica-Rome, Albany-Saratoga, and Fulton. Miller’s biggest career victory came in 1971 at Martinsville, Virginia in the Dogwood 500, when he bested some of NASCAR’s greatest drivers of all time. Miller was frequently finishing in the top-five in yearly NASCAR points, and he was always one of the most consistent drivers. He retired from racing in 1979.” MORE>>
07/30/2014 Another Wednesday, More “Old Stuff".... Here’s Danny Galullo Jr. making an appearance at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway during the era in-which he was a top New England Modified competitor. It’s 1975 and the event is the Thompson 300, an extra-distance extravaganza that always drew the biggest names in the business. A “chip off the old block” Danny inherited a lot of skill from his late father Hall of Fame member Danny Galullo, and experienced many fine runs while behind the controls of this Vega-bodied entry. Brother Richie was also an accomplished racer. MORE>>
07/23/2014 It’s Wednesday Again, (It IS Wednesday, Right...?) Starting in 1951 and certainly recalled as one of the most-celebrated long-distance events in the history of New England Modified racing, Harvey Tattersall and his United Stock Car Racing Club presented a long-run of yearly 500-lap team races at the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Massachusetts. The event’s list of co-winners contains some of the biggest names of the division, and in 1976 it was no different. Captured here celebrating in victory lane that season with announcer Mike Joy is 5-time Riverside Track Champion Bob Polverari (left), and Ronnie Wyckoff (right). A 2006 Inductee into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Polverari notched 4 500 co-victories, and Wyckoff 3. While Polverari’s career successes are well-publicized, Wyckoff remains perhaps one of the most-underrated figures in New England Modified racing history. A model of consistency during a decades-long career in what most racing Historians consider the true “Golden Era” of the division, he beat the best & did it often. At Riverside Park, Plainville Stadium, Stafford Springs, Waterford, Thompson, and at a bevy of other Northeastern haunts, Wyckoff was hired by his era’s top car owners to get the job done in his quiet, understated manner. He also notched respectable finishes at Martinsville Virginia’s big events during the 1970s – no easy feat. MORE>>
07/16/2014 The Memories Continue On A Wednesday…..Captured here with his team at Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl following a victory in 1979 behind the controls of the car that guided him to a convincing track title that season (he won 10 of 14 scheduled events), is “Rapid Rick” Donnelly. His switch to a Troyer chassis (the first for a Waterford regular), yielded big-dividends. The winning continued in 1980 as he scored a trio of victories, including a 100-lapper in June. It was none-other than NEAR Hall of Famer the great Bob Potter that prevented Donnelly from scoring that second-consecutive championship. MORE>>
07/09/2014 Yup, It’s Wednesday Again (& We Know What That Means).…Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “underrated” as “to rate or value (someone or something) too-low.” In the annals of New England Modified racing, this driver so-fits that definition. During a lengthy career during what most racing historians consider the true “Golden Era” of the division, Ronnie Wyckoff beat the best, and did it often. At Riverside Park, Plainville Stadium, Stafford Springs, Waterford, and at a bevy of other Northeastern haunts, he was hired by his era’s top car owners to get the job done. Among his accomplishments are multiple triumphs in the UNITED Riverside Park 500 team races. That event was truly among the crown jewels of the sport in our region for many seasons. Want proof of how-good Wyckoff-was? Have a chat with any of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame members that he routinely raced-against and you’ll get the whole story. This one captures Ronnie with starter Chris Hopkins following one of his Riverside Park wins of the 1970s. MORE>>
07/02/2014 When The Cars Were Old (And The Drivers Were Young).…Opening this week, we have a nice early-50s Shany Lorenzent image of a young Frank Belbusti at Connecticut’s former West Haven Speedway. A United Stock Car Racing Club-sanctioned tight fifth-miler located within the confines of a baseball stadium, the track was situated on the grounds of the old Savin Rock Amusement Park. Frank, who passed-away last year at age-85, was a United circuit and West Haven Speedway champion during that track’s ultra-competitive heyday. MORE>>
06/25/2014 Weekly Wanderings & Mr. Ormsby Returns !!! Pioneering New England auto racing photographer Shany Lorenzent was more noted for his extraordinary still-shots than he was for capturing action images. However, on this night at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford Speedbowl” he was in the right-place, right-time. Though we can’t be positive, we think that’s Joe McNulty in the Congdon Bros. # 77 scooting-by on the inside, and it’s possibly Dick Beauregard in the #5. While the other drivers remain unidentified, we do know that it’s our late friend Fred “Fuzzy” Baer behind the controls of his signature #121 entry. MORE>>
06/18/2014 Happy Hump-Day (Vintage-Style!)......Captured here in July of 1975, he was simply one of the greatest to ever sit behind the controls of a race car. The late “Dynamite” Ollie Silva was both a huge winner, and one of the most-admired competitors in all of short track racing. Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Silva recorded over five-hundred feature victories over the course of a career that started in 1949 at the long-shuttered Dracut, MA Speedway and concluded in 1980. He was victorious in Modifieds, Supers, Sprint Cars, and Cut-Downs. Etched into the record books of Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl is an absolutely-dominating win in the 1974 Hot Wheels 100 in which Silva simply destroyed an all-star field of the regions top Modified stars. To this-day, the locals still talk about it, this scribe included. MORE>>
06/11/2014 Just Your Weekly Blast From The Past......Seen here celebrating a 60s-era feature victory at a New England venue unknown to us is the much-accomplished Freddie Borden (aka “The Nashoba Valley Rocket”). The car is the Falconi Bros. coupe, a car synonymous with the talented Borden. Among his many accomplishments were five track championships (1962, 63, 65, 66 & 67), on the demanding high banks of the former Westboro Speedway in Massachusetts. He stunned attendees of that track’s 1967 awards banquet by announcing his retirement from the sport while still in his prime. As for Westboro, like so-many other speedways in New England it succumbed to the march of progress & increasing property values, closing its gates forever in 1985. MORE>>
06/04/2014 Yup, More Wednesday Wanderings......Like so-many of the racers from his generation, the late Maynard Forrette saw no boundaries in the difference between running on dirt or asphalt. A big winner on both, he’s probably most fondly-remembered for his stunning dirt-slingin’ drives on the daunting Syracuse Mile where during the later stages of his career, he often bested competitors half-his-age. A master mechanic and innovative car builder, Forrette also ran Northern Speed Supply, a haven for racers seeking to get the most out of their equipment. This shot captures the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Famer during, at we believe, the history-rich Fonda Speedway in NY. MORE>>
05/28/2014 Waterford, Plainville, And George At Seekonk……In 1977 then-promoter Harvey Tattersall Jr. introduced a new division at the Speedbowl known as Street Stocks. As implied, they were basically stock American full-size sedans with alterations made only in the name of safety. By the following season, fields were bulging and the division has become a breeding ground for talented racers & car builders looking to move-up the ranks. This 1978 image captures a youthful Scott Poirier following his third feature victory of the year. Flanking him is car owner Jay Stuart, and on the right is crew member Bill Waddington. Poirier went-on to win a championship at Stafford Speedway in 1986, Rookie of the Year in the Late Model and SK Modified divisions at Waterford, and has numerous wins at other tracks in the region. He also competed on the NASCAR Modified Tour. Upon turning his attention to driving, Stuart has won numerous feature events and is a multi-time Speedbowl Late Model champion. MORE>>
05/21/2014 More Mid-Week Meanderings……. From our pal Tom Ormsby comes this news on the passing of his friend, former Plainville Stadium modified car owner Gene Veillette. States Tom, “Pictured in 1975 after a feature victory is the 1975 Plainville Stadium modified champion Gary Membrino and car owner Gene Veillette. Gary, the nephew of the legendary Tony "Jap"Membrino, was one of the top runners at Plainville Stadium during the 70s. Gene, not one to seek the spotlight, is caught here in the camera lens of Phil Hoyt. Unfortunately it was learned Gene, of Bantam, CT, passed away May 3rd at age 62. Born in Waterbury, CT on May 19, 1951, Gene leaves his wife Gail, of 42 years, son David and his daughter in-law and his two special grandsons. Gene was laid to rest on May 8th in the Bantam Cemetery. Our condolences go out to Gene's family and many friends. Click on link below for Gene's full obituary from the Waterbury Republican.” http://www.rowefuneralhome.net/book-of-memories/1861424/Veillette-Eugene/obituary.php. MORE>>
05/14/2014 Another Week In The Books..... If the smiling youngster behind the wheel of this 50s-era coupe at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl looks familiar, he should; it’s none-other than our pal, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Billy Harman. It’s his very-first ride, and from these humble beginnings he’d go-on to accomplish a thing-or-two in the sport, such as becoming one of New England’s most-accomplished modified shoes. For more on Billy’s extraordinary career, go to his HOF biography at www.near1.org. MORE>>

05/7/2014 When Coupes Ruled The Racing Roost…..!!! We lost an accomplished New England racer when Walt Dombrowski passed-away last year. Before graduating to the headlining division at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl, he had claimed the 1963 Bomber championship at the shoreline oval. The transition to the speedier modifieds was a smooth-affair, with Walt scoring his first mod checkers in 1966. Having secured a seat in Stan Majewski’s potent L&M coupe for the 1970 campaign, he handily nailed-down the championship that year. This nice color shot captures him when he was wheeling the #111 at the ‘Bowl. Walt was selected by fans as one of the Speedbowl’s all-time “50 Favorite Drivers” in 2000; a testament to his enduring popularity even after he’d retired from the sport. MORE>>

02/19/20104 Presenting Yet-More Memories….. Starting this week’s edition of “RTT” is a nice portrait image of a true racing hero. This New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member needs little introduction to those of us who recall the true “Glory Days” of New England short track racing. Captured here in the lens of Shany Lorenzent at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl of the 1950s, Fred Luchesi’s career started during the busy post-war era, and lasted until his retirement in the late-60s. During that time, he raced coupes, modifieds, midgets, and late models. In complementing his local exploits, he also ran against nationally known drivers like Fonty Flock, Red Byron, and Ted Tappett. In addition to multiple Speedbowl championships, he also took track crowns at Westboro, Lonsdale, and Norwood Arena. At the Speedbowl-alone, he scored a career total of 25 modified victories. MORE>>

02/12/20104 One More For The Books…..First on the slate this week is an early-60s image from what was then officially-known as the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl. One of the most successful drivers in the history of the Connecticut track was this guy, our late friend “Gentleman Dick” Watson. At the time he was driving the potent “Golden Scorpion” #711 owned by fellow Connecticut River Valley resident John Barnett, seen on the right. In the center is one of the early track owners, Jack Brouwer. During his pairing with Barnett (who emerged from a drag racing background), Watson wheeled the Chevy Corvette-powered coupe to several feature victories and top point finishes. Dick’s career included victories all over New England, and even a stint in Grand National racing (now known as the Nextel Cup). Fittingly, he was inducted into the prestigious New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. MORE>>

02/05/14: More Mid-Week Meanderings Vintage-Style !!! Twice a Riverside Park champion (1963 & 1966), New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member “Dangerous Dan” Galullo was one of the brightest stars of the powerful United Stock Car Racing Club headed-up by the Tattersall family. Also included in his accomplishments is the 1962 United Stock Car Racing Club Grand Championship, a feat he recorded by winning at the many UNITED-sanctioned tracks that once dotted Northeast. During his career he also recorded feature wins at Plainville Stadium, Waterford Speedbowl, and Cherry Park in Avon, Connecticut among others. He competed in at-least one documented NASCAR Grand National event (now know as the Sprint Cup Series) at New Jersey’s Old Bridge Stadium in 1956. Following a serious heart-attack, Galullo retired from driving while still in his prime. He passed-away in 1974, but not before witnessing the racing accomplishments of his sons, Richie and Danny Jr. MORE>>

01/29/14: Racing Review: Freddie Beaber & The Checkerboard # 716…. Contained in a parcel of photos we received as a Christmas present last month, we really like this image. It captures Freddie Beaber helping his new driver Jerry Glaude adjust his shoulder harness in the mighty #716. Jerry had just taken over the ride from his cousin New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Bob Potter, who had moved to another team. This was shot by our friend longtime racing photographer Rene Dugas, who along with Potter was present that evening in Freddie’s shop. Great stuff… The decision to hire Jerry Glaude to wheel his coupe following Potter’s departure was indeed a successful endeavor for Freddie, as the team tasted success almost immediately. Seen here after grabbing a feature victory, the popular (but somewhat historically-overlooked) Glaude recorded a combined divisional career total of nineteen feature victories before quietly retiring from the sport. Note the absolutely-packed grandstand on this long-ago Sunday afternoon. MORE>>

01/22/14: Racing Past Another Wednesday….. Starting out this week, we have a nice 70s-era image from Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway. Seen here posing on the infield of the celebrated New England oval also known as “The Cement Palace” is longtime competitor Johnny Tripp. In a career spanning over three-decades, he snared over 30 feature victories and was crowned the Seekonk Pro Stock champion in 1988. Also a modified competitor in years-past, he successfully wheeled cars for some of the division’s most notable teams at a variety of the region’s speedways. Just a super Rene Dugas “profile shot” of our friend, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Bob Potter when he was wheeling Freddie Beabers’s famed checkerboard #716 coupe. Here’s an exerpt from his HOF biography; “In Southern New England, mention the number 51 and the immediate response is Bob Potter. Starting at Waterford Speedbowl in 1962, Potter began winning in 1966 and before it was over captured 11 championships an estimated 140 features at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford.  A model of consistency, he ran a streak of 37 straight top-six finishes at Stafford in 1994-95.” MORE>>

01/15/14: Another Wednesday In The Books….. Thanks to Racing Historian & longtime friend R.A. Silvia we begin this week with an absolutely-classic Shany Lorenzent image that harkens back to the early days of Connecticut’s Stafford Springs Motor Speedway. It’s 1954 and the driver of this cutdown is the late Charlie Webster, one of the greatest drivers to have ever emerged from the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl, another notable Nutmeg State oval. He was known primarily for his many accomplishments at the Speedbowl where he amassed a career-total of 73 feature victories in both Non-Ford and Modified competition, and was a champion in both classes (3 Non-Ford titles, and 1 Modified crown). He shocked the local racing community with his decision to retire at the dawn of the 1970s whiles still very-much in his prime. MORE>>

01/08/14: Once-Again In A Speedbowl State of Mind….. Starting this week’s edition of “RTT” we have a great early victory lane image of one of the Waterford Speedbowl’s most fondly-remembered combinations; Newt Palm & Stan Majewski’s L&M modified. He was twice a champion (1967 & 68), while wheeling the potent little Willys-bodied coupe. The late Walt Dombrowski also grabbed the title driving the L&M in 1970, cementing the car’s status as one of the more famous cars in ‘Bowl history. Note the “wide-whitewall” tire on the left-front. Speaking of Walt Dombrowski, here he is aboard the Gada Racing Team Mustang modified. Before graduating to the headlining division at the Speedbowl he had claimed the 1963 Bomber championship. The transition was a smooth-affair, with Walt scoring his first mod checkers in 1966. Having secured a seat in Stan Majewski’s potent L&M coupe for the 1970 campaign, he handily nailed-down the modified title that year. MORE>>

01/01/14: Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year !!!!! One of the photos sent to us over the Christmas holiday as noted in this weeks opening comments, this is an absolute beauty! Seated inside the #716 of famed Waterford Speedbowl car-owner Freddie Beaber is the late Jerry Glaude. On the right is our friend, New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Bob Potter. Judging by the additional photos that accompanied this one, we’re assuming the location is Freddie’s race shop during the late-60s, early-70s. Glaude, who left us at the all-to-young age of 61 back in 2004 raced widely in New England winning a number of feature events. He particularly good at Waterford. Potter took his place among the giants of the sport in 2007 when he was inducted into the HOF. For more on Bob’s extraordinary career visit the NEAR website at www.near1.org MORE>>

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