Our 2nd “Special Award” winner for the Pardi Award, for outstanding dedication and contributions to the success of the NEAR Hall of Fame. Your 2022 winner NEAR President Rich Goucher.
Rich Goucher has risen through the ranks by first facilitating the seating, meal orders, and other duties as a Board Member.
He now serves on the HOF Executive Committee and oversees the Awards, Identities, copy for the HOF Ad Book, and his very capable and talented team.
The waters were rather rough thru the pandemic and we missed a year. Since then, the HOF came roaring back and is again on solid ground.
Rich works hard and puts on a lot of miles each year to make sure NEAR and the HOF are successful.
The Mitchell/Ratta memorial Media Award for outstanding media coverage of New England racing your 2022 winner Karl Fredrickson.
Karl Fredrickson has earned a living as a professional auto racing journalist for thirty years. Starting as a non-salaried contributor, his work was so good Karl was elevated to paid full-time writer and photographer at Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.
In 1999 the magazines were sold and the entire staff of what at the time was the most successful auto racing magazine in the country was let go. Karl wasn’t about to give up being an auto racing journalist.
With Karl’s help, an effort to launch a new auto racing magazine found success months after Stock Car and Open Wheel were sold and Karl was hired at the new Speedway Illustrated magazine where he went on to become its editor. The magazine was eventually sold to a Kansas firm that made dramatic personnel cuts, eventually leading to the magazine’s closure.
Again, Fredrickson refused to give up. He sought and successfully secured funding to buy Speedway Illustrated out of bankruptcy and for the last 12 years he has run it as publisher and lead writer.
Karl and his wife Christine along with their two daughters are the driving force behind one of the only auto racing magazines to survive in a world that doesn’t read anything longer than a tweet. Karl’s writing and photography have earned first place honors in many journalism competitions. His magazine supports the sport’s fans and those who participate in it.
He is nationally recognized for playing a major role in promoting the popularity of local-level auto racing. Karl is a solid tell-it-like-it-is writer whose monthly magazine helps racers go faster and race more safely while spending less.
· Hello to all my friends! I’m ready to move to Mount Sinai rehab which is reported to be a great facility. There are complications with my right foot which are making things difficult. My doctor says that with a team effort and hard work I should be able to walk in a few weeks. I am still planning to be at the speed Bowl opener on May 7th. I have to thank everybody for their support, it’s been unbelievable! Those comments are what’s keeping me going. I talked to Ben Dodge Wednesday, he is recovering. Our goal is to reunite the Ben and Matt team.Maybe we can announce some races this year at Stafford Speedway I think the team is ready to return! I thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes, they’re working see you on May 7th!
Our 2nd Veteran Hall of Fame Inductee Charlie Webster
Charlie Webster a pioneer at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, he was a winner in the track’s first 20 seasons from 1951 through his retirement in 1970. Three of his four championships came in the Non-Ford class (1956, ’58, ’59), and his 41 wins in that division will remain an unbeaten record.
He moved to the Modified division and won the 1966 title aboard the Fred Beaber “Checkerboard 716” during an eight-year stint in the car.
He retired midway through 1970 while driving for Billy Simons, winning the last two races he drove. His total of 77 wins still ranks among Waterford’s all-time top 10 list.
Sadly, Charlie is no longer with us. His Son Eric will accept his award here today.
Our 1st Veteran Hall of Fame Inductee Tony ‘JAP’ MembrinoTony ‘JAP’ Membrino a man who – in the words of fellow NEAR Hall of Famer Matt Buckler – was as much an entertainer as he was a race car driver, he was a force at the Plainville Stadium. His long career ran from 1949 to 1978, and he won virtually the entire time. He took back-to-back Plainville championships in 1964 and ’65, then won nine consecutive races in route to the 1969 title. He also won at West Haven and Riverside Park, and his final win came at Plainville in an Open Competition 100 in May 1977. Few were as colorful and controversial, and fewer still won with such authority.
Our 6th 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee Kenny Tremont Jr.
Kenny Tremont is the son of a successful car owner and engine builder, Kenny Tremont Jr. began his driving career as a teenager in 1979, racing in the headline Big Block Modified division on the dirt tracks in Vermont and his native New York. Tremont won Rookie of the Year honors at Devil’s Bowl Speedway that first year, though it took three full seasons before his first victory there, which came on opening night in 1982 just 24 hours after his career-first win at Lebanon Valley (N.Y.) Speedway.
Young Tremont and the iconic No. 115 car then quickly became
dominant, winning 11 races at Devil’s Bowl over a three-year span and taking the 1984 track championship. The team left Devil’s Bowl to chase DIRTcar sanctioned Big Block Modified points after the ’84 season, returning part time in 1996 where over the next nine years, Tremont won 26 features at Devil’s Bowl from 1996 through 2004.
He was also victorious on both surfaces at the Canaan (N.H.) Fair Speedway, winning on dirt in 2003 and asphalt in 2013.
Kenny Tremont in a DIRTcar Big Block and Small Block over twenty three seasons has won a total of 182 times with 88 of those wins at Lebanon Valley Speedway, 48 at Albany Saratoga Speedway, and 41 at Devils Bowl Speedway. He has taken the green flag at 33 different tracks up and down the east coast from Canada to Florida.
Kenny Tremont Jr. was previously inducted into the Northeast Dirt Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2018 – the same year that his father, Ken Sr., was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Our 5th 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee Russ Stoehr
Russ Stoehr won the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) championship 6 times. He won championships in 1990, 1997, 2000-02, and 2010 driving Bruce and Ann Beane’s #26, and Gene Angelillo’s “Dumo’s Desire” #45.
Stoehr won at least 50 features in Midgets, including a standalone American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) feature at Flemington (NJ) Speedway in 1994.
His 49 NEMA wins rank fourth all-time since 1953 (1987-2012).
He led NEMA in wins for 5 seasons and tied for most wins in 1991 and 2001. He won for 10 consecutive seasons (1993-02) and had 17 winning seasons. He won at 14 tracks: Beech Ridge, Flemington, Fonda, Hudson, Lee USA, Monadnock, Oswego, Oxford, Seekonk, Stafford, Star, Thompson, Thunder Road, and Waterford. His last start came in 2015.
He was NEMA president from 2015 to 2016. He also fielded his son Avery’s NEMA Midget and Lite series cars in 2013-15.
Jimmy Zacharias won a NEMA Lites race driving for Stoehr at Chemung (NY) Speedrome in 2015.
He has been given several awards throughout his career. He was a Northeast Motor Sports Museum “Legends Day” honoree in 2021.
He was a 2006 Dick Gallagher Memorial Hall of Fame inductee, 1994 Johnny Thomson Memorial Award, and a 2-time recipient of the Evans/Thrall award as top owner-driver in 1999 and 2011.
Our 4th 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee Phil Rondeau
‘Farmer Phil’ Rondeau can arguably be considered one of the best Late Model drivers to compete in New England.
He is one of the most decorated drivers in the division at the Waterford Speedbowl with 102 wins and six track championships. In a three-year span from 1987 to 1989, he had double-digit win totals each year, and won three-straight titles at both Waterford and Stafford.
In a Pro Stock he added the ’89 Thompson crown and won the ‘89 Race of Champions at Pocono. His 1987 points championship while running the Late-Model Tri-Track series is a major accomplishment, as was his Dual-Track title in 1988 when the series ran only at Stafford and Thompson. Add to that a prestigious win at Pocono in a 50-lap Race of Champions event against a large field of cars and drivers from throughout the Northeast in 1989 and you have a full and accomplished career.
He was a terror everywhere; He holds several all-time records at Waterford, won five SK Modified features, dabbled successfully in Tour Modifieds, Busch North, and Hooters Pro Cup, and made heads turn on national television in the 2004 Funkmaster Flex Super Series.