Horace “Mert” Adams Passes at Age 87

The New England Antique Racers (NEAR) would like to send its heartfelt sympathy to Rich Goucher, NEAR Board of Directors member and recipient of the 2016 Charlie Stebbins Award, and his entire family on the passing of his father-in-law, Horace “Mert” Adams. The following is Mr. Adams obituary posted on Rich’s Facebook page:

Horace “Mert” Adams, 87, passed into his eternal life in Heaven, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, March 27, 2017, after a short illness.

A lifelong Southington resident, Mert was born on October 6, 1929, one of five children to the late Leslie and Evelyn (Sylvia) Adams.

Horace proudly served alongside both of his brothers in the U.S. Army during the post World War II military reconstruction mission, Occupation Germany. During that hitch, he was a member of the Heavy Mortar Company, 43rd Division, 3rd Platoon. After the war, he was a member of the National Guard, and American Legion, Post 72.

Upon his return home, Mert gave 42 loyal years to the Beaton & Corbin Manufacturing Company until its closure. He continued his career at the Pegasus Manufacturing Company in Hamden, CT until his retirement. Horace also was an accomplished horticulturist in his spare time. His hard work produced a giant garden for many years, from which he shared his harvest abundantly. Mert also adopted many stray cats and dogs throughout the years, and could be found many Saturday afternoons on his beloved basement couch sharing a nap with one or more of them.

Horace leaves behind his adoring wife, Barbara (Ridzik) Adams, to whom he was married for 61 years; his sister, Mary Derynioski and his brother, John Adams and his wife, Diane. He also leaves his pride and joy, his daughters, Lisa Wallace and her husband, Ted, and Lori Goucher and her husband, Rich. A special place in his heart was reserved for his grandchildren, Erica, Rachel, and Sarah Wallace, and Gary and Timothy Goucher. He will also be missed by many beloved nieces and nephews, including his special nieces, Suzanne DeMerchant and Nancy Mathews. Horace was predeceased by his sister, Marjorie and his brother, Leslie Adams.

Mert’s love for animals may be remembered with contributions to the:
          Connecticut Humane Society
          701 Russell Rd
          Newington, CT 06111

Funeral services in celebration of Mert’s life will be held on Saturday, April 1st, at 10 am at:
          First Baptist Church
          581 Meriden Avenue
          Southington, CT

Interment with military honors will follow at South End Cemetery. Family and friends may gather on Friday evening, from 4-7 p.m. at Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St, Plantsville.

For online expressions of sympathy, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com

2017 NEAR Annual Meeting Photos

Photos of the 2017 NEAR Annual Meeting and Presentation of Awards for the previous season have been posted in the “Photo Section”, click the tab at the top to view the pictures individually…

 

 

Brian “Spanky” and Lisa Bancroft, NEAR Members

The 1937 Chevy Coupe, #15, was owned originally by Lenny Bancroft and could be seen racing “back in the day” at Riverside, Eastern States and Stafford Speedway by his main driver Frank Molton (his best man at his wedding), Rene Charlin, Gene Bergin and Sperry Morway to mention a few.

Then, in the ‘70’s, Spanky’s 2 oldest sisters’ boyfriends tried their hand at racing at Riverside…which did not last. When Lenny’s days of racing were behind him, the race car was “put out to pasture” at the Bancroft homestead and Lenny focused on raising his seven kids and farming his 100 acre potato farm.

Rich Mosher, a current vintage race car owner, would visit the homestead and clear around the car hoping that Lenny would sell him the coupe…this went on for many years. Eventually, a tree grew up from the ground, through the floor and out the passenger window…I guess the potato farm was trying to naturally recycle the coupe.

Time passed with the telling of great racing stories in the Bancroft home of the “old days” and when Lenny’s 50th anniversary approached, his son Brian “Spanky”, Lisa and his late best friend, co-worker and cousin, Jim “Chub Rock” Weatherwax, decided to surprise Lenny by restoring the coupe. They worked tirelessly up to the morning of Lenny’s anniversary — they were putting the engine in and Lisa was adding the last decal literally seconds before Lenny arrived on the scene which completed the coupe restoration…Lenny was able to enjoy two more years of racing before he passed away.

As time went on, Spanky became custodian of the family Vintage race car. Spanky’s first race after the restoration was at Thompson Speedway. Spanky’s favorite race tracks to compete on include Riverside and Stafford Speedway.

Spanky and Lisa became NEAR members around 2006 and currently serve on the NEAR Board of Advisors. At club events you can always expect to see Spanky and Lisa “manning” the grills in an effortlessly coordination of feeding the masses with smiling faces.

For over 30 years, Spanky has been an equipment operator at Environmental Services – also, sharing his racing passion he secured, from his company, ad sponsorship for the NEAR Hall of Fame booklet.

In addition to vintage racing, Spanky and Lisa enjoy traveling to their second home in Aruba; and it’s always fun to hear about stories of their island experiences.

By Judy Poirier

Warren W. Bullock, Obituary

Warren W. Bullock, Beloved Father of NEAR 2016 Champion Angie Bullock, Passes at Age 73.

We are saddened to announce the passing of the father of NEAR member Angie Bullock on Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Mr. Bullock on Sunday, October 23rd, 11am – 2pm at the M.R. Laurin & Son Funeral Home, 295 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA. A Prayer Service will conclude the visitation at 2pm; Interment will be private. For full obituary please visit www.laurinfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

Please send your thoughts and prayers her way.

By Jim Williams

Steve Zukowski, NEAR Member

If you visited Westboro Speedway “back in the day” – which was a high-banked 1/4 mile paved oval located in Massachusetts that ran from 1947 through 1985 – you might have seen our NEAR colleague Steve Zukowski, competing at one of his favorite tracks in his Chevrolet Vega #53. Steve started his racing career in 1960, he joined NEAR in 1998 and is the original owner/driver of the #53; which you could still see at the Vintage races today.

Other tracks Steve competed on included: Stafford Speedway, Riverside Park, Seekonk Speedway, Lakeville Speedway (Middleboro, MA), Thompson Speedway, Riverside (Groveton, MA), Hudson Speedway (NH), Brookline Speedway (NH), Star Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl.

The numerous car owners Steve drove for are some of his most memorable moments in racing; some include #78 owner-Nelson LeCleir (driving a ’50 Ford), #78 owner-Ron Langiven (driving a ’53 Ford), #17 owner-Ina Smith (driving a ’47 white Caddy – nicknamed the Joker), #21 owner-Don Silberman, #11 owner-Tony St. Angello, and #25 Coupe owner-Dave Johnson (Steve’s son-in-law).

As a Crew Chief, Steve worked on the #26 Bush North D.W. Toys Racing Team for 4 years, with Scott Bonley as the wheel-man; and then for the #94 Team with John Lesniak as the driver.

Wearing the “hat” of Head Mechanic, Steve worked on the #14 Bush North Ken Bouchard Team; and as a “Body Man”, Steve worked on the Al Becker and Ken Bouchard Team at Westboro; and then on the Red & White Movers, Ron Bouchard’s Team at Westboro and Seekonk Speedways.

Steve received the “President’s Award for Oustanding Service to NEAR February 27th – March 1st, 2015”, at the March 17, 2015 New England Antique Racers (NEAR) monthly meeting. Steve represented NEAR with his daily presence and displaying his car at the Frank Maratta Auto Show & Racearama in the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA; encountering one of the many New England winter snow storms.

With this kind of resume you could almost guess, Steve has been affiliated with automobiles since 1957 in Used Car Sales and Repairs. He always has a racing experience to share, if you just want to sit down and talk “racing”.

By Judy Poirier

Scott Poirier, NEAR Member

The Blue Knight, #73, was owned by Westerly, RI, based Pat Doherty. The race car started life as Bob Potter’s original yellow #51 owned by Henry Olscewski and later sold to Doherty. As the Blue Knight, it was wheeled by Donnie Bunnell at the Waterford Speedbowl, winning numerous races for car owner Doherty.

Scott Poirier, now the driver of the Blue Knight and owned by wife Judy, started his racing career in the #66 with Jay Stuart in 1978; later owning his own team in 1980. Scott is thankful to all the owners that gave him rides throughout the years and helped him in his racing career.

During the early 80s, Poirier was a Waterford Speedbowl Tech Inspector for a couple of years in the Late Model division – increasing the number of winners from single digits to double digits during that time.

Poirier also raced in each of the past five decades winning a championship at Stafford Speedway in 1986, Rookie of the Year in the Late Model and SK Modified divisions at Waterford Speedbowl along with numerous wins at local Connecticut tracks. In the NASCAR Modified Tour division he competed as far north as New Hampshire Speedway, Loudon, NH and as far south as Nazareth Speedway, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

In 1990 Poirier appeared on the cover, and was profiled, in the February edition of Stock Car Racing Magazine. He took pride in maintaining his cars, as a student of Art Barry, which was recognized when he won “Outstanding Engineering and Fabrication” over 27 divisions at the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts during Racearama. He remembers riding his bike for miles to visit the Spearpoint Auto Shop just to get to sweep the #21 garage floor of the Barry built Spearpoint Modified ra
ce car.

In the pits Poirier was known as “Parts Store Poirier” always being prepared and willing to help his fellow racers – which included loaning his “Poirier built” motor to a competitor which allowed the competitor to cinch the championship from Poirier by 2 points – how’d that work out???

Scott says, “My biggest career trophy was when I went to Martinsville [Virginia] and found my wife in ‘79”.

Scott now enjoys Vintage Modified racing with New England racers, traveling to many of the New England race tracks. In vintage racing he is the 2013 NEAR Champion; and also the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Senior Tour Auto Racers (STAR) Champion. His biggest enjoyment is meeting his racing heroes in person after following their careers as a kid.

By Judy Poirier