A great and beloved New England auto racing icon has died.
Ralph Cusack passed at age 87 on February 9, 2021. He was an early star at
Beech Ridge Speedway, and became a twelve-time champion. His first championship
was earned in 1953, the last in 1980. He won championships driving underpowered
coupes with flathead engines all the way up to insanely powerful supermodifieds.
He purchased the track from Cowboy Cal Reynolds in 1981, the year after he
won his final driving championship. He paved the track, brought in NASCAR and
made the place family friendly while filling all the seats on many Saturday nights. In
his senior years, Ralph sold the track to his sons Andy and Glenn who have run it
admirably ever since.
Although best known for his success as a Beech Ridge driver, he raced at a
variety of other tracks. In his youth, Ralph was on Scarborough High’s swim team. He
was a rifle marksman, hunter, fisherman, motorcycle and snowmobile enthusiast. As
a heavy equipment operator, he helped create the Maine Turnpike.
Much more than a track owner, Ralph was a strong family man who
with his wife Jane raised two fine sons. He was a man people admired and looked up
Ralph was inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame in 2004, Maine Sports Hall of
Fame in 2006 and Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. In addition to his driving
championships, he received many awards for his operation of the track.
Article thanks to Dick Berggren