2017 NEAR Schedule is up!

Please click on NEAR Schedule button for the 2017 Schedule updated on 3/12/17.
Please direct any additions, deletions, pictures, or copy for the website, to
Rich Goucher at rgoucher@comcast.net

A few points of interest and importance
The schedule now posted is updated and correct and differs from the one posted in the last news letter.
Twin State asked to be called Claremont Speedway that was corrected per the request of the Speedway who is gracious to host an event for us.
The date of the Norwood reunion has been corrected
The date of the Plainville reunion has been changed
This year the event will take place in September on the 23rd

If you want to display your call at the Thompson Ice breaker Commencing March 31 Please contact Jim Williams as the space is very limited although it would be nice to see a mixture of vehicles showing the coupes and coaches as well as the Vegas and Pintos A few flatheads and six cylinder would make a nice display

Summer Knights Sunday April 30 at the Berlin Fair Grounds
If you don’t have a race car or it is not yet ready for display bring your street car or hot rod. Motorcycles are also welcome
This is a charity fundraising event come out and show your iron, shake off the dust of the winter and soak up the sunshine. Enjoy the day and help John and his crew raise money for several good causes
There will be raffles, prizes, and a swap or sale area and food.

NEAR Hall of Famer Leo Cleary Passes : Memorial 3/3/17 in Ma.

Courtesy of Nick Teto(Yankee Racer.com)

Word arrived from Florida that 1999 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Leo Cleary has passed away at age-88.

Upon hearing of the news, award-winning Hall of Fame auto racing journalist Pete Zanardi stated the following; “Leo, from Massachusetts, was truly one of New England’s short track pioneers with a career stretching all the way back to the days of early tracks such as Dracut, Groveland, Topsfield, West Peabody, Medford Bowl, Norwood Arena, and Westboro. He raced and won all over the region, and was always in high-demand with the best teams. His era included some of the greatest names in the history of modified racing.”

Arrangements are incomplete at this time. The entire NEAR family extends its sincere condolences to Leo’s family & many friends.

Below is an excerpt from his New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Biography. Accompanying photos are courtesy of the Dave Dykes’ Racing Through Time website.

Ask most retired drivers what tracks they raced at, and you might get the name of one, two or maybe a half dozen tracks. Ask Leo “The Lion” Cleary and you had better have some time to listen. Leo competed at the Medford Bowl, Lonsdale, Norwood, Catamount, and Westboro. Among active tracks, he raced at Thompson, Seekonk, Stafford, Martinsville, Oswego, Waterford, and New Smyrna, along with several others.

In his 44 years behind the wheel, Cleary took down 14 track championships, including the Norwood Arena, Seekonk, and Thompson. These championships have come behind the wheel of jalopies, cutdowns, full coupes, modifieds, pro-stocks, and mini modifieds.

At age 58, when most people are busy planning their retirement, Cleary was busy planning his season at Seekonk, where he took down the 1986 pro stock championship. The next year, the 59-year-old Cleary switched to mini modifieds, again winning the Seekonk Championship. When Aetna Insurance transferred Cleary to Florida in 1988, most people, including Leo himself, figured that was the end of his racing. That’s when Vic Kangus convinced him to hop into his Florida modified, which he drove until 1993, when, at age 63, he suffered four broken ribs, and hung up his helmet for good.

Leo Cleary’s career spanned six decades. He has progressed from the early stock jalopies to the modern mini mods, pro stocks, and modifieds.

From Louis Modestino:

Just got the word from Ed Gendreau about the Leo Cleary Memorial that will be held at the McGoun-Biggins Funeral Home on 135 Union St. in Rockland, MA 02370 next Friday, March 3 from 5-8 pm. Expect to see a lot racing folks turn out for this memorial because Leo had a lot of fans and friends.

Sources: Dave Dykes/NEAR PR