NEAR HOF Driver Mike Stefanik Passes

Courtesy of Marc “Bones” Bourcier

Damn. Mike Stefanik was one of the most complete short-track racers of his generation. He could build cars, maintain them, and, as the record books prove, he could drive the hell out of ‘em. He won seven NASCAR Modified Tour championships and two NASCAR Busch North titles, and since we’re about the same age, I was lucky enough to see a huge chunk of his career. His biggest post-retirement kick was zooming through the skies in a little kit plane he’d put together. One of Mike’s great joys was taking his boyhood hero and longtime pal Bugs Stevens on a flight last year; I talked to them both by phone that afternoon, and they carried on like teenagers. Now phone calls and text messages and Facebook are telling me that Mike lost his life today, doing what he loved so much: flying. Thinking tonight of his wife and best friend, Julie, and their two girls. It’s little comfort right now, but this much I know: That guy LOVED the career he had, and the life he led. His loss will land like a thud in the Northeast racing community, and a lot of hearts are heavy this evening. RIP, Champion. — Bones

Norwood Arena/New England Dragway Reunion Update

There has been a change to the schedule.

 

The 15th Annual Norwood Arena/New England Dragway South Reunions are set for this coming Sunday, Sept.15, 2019 at the Raynham Park located  on Rt. 138 (1958 Broadway) Raynham, MA 02757.  The events will begin at 9 am and end around 3 pm.  In the event of rain, the reunions  will be held on Sunday, Sept.22.  Both reunions will be held in concert with the Wheels of Time Car Club’s Annual Classic Car Show.  This year’s date change should result in more Vintage Oval Track race cars to be on hand.
 
Dash plaques and trophies for race cars will be awarded around 1 pm.   Vendors offering  motor sports collectables, books and such are welcome.  Fans may bring scrapbooks and photos for viewing by fans and other attendees. 
 
 Attendees will be able to meet and greet competitors from one of the greatest racing venues in the northeast.  They will be able to see vintage and contemporary oval track and drag racing machines, Land Speed Record vehicles, motorcycles, classic cars, hot rods, customs and specialty vehicles. 
 
There’s lots of room for ramp trucks, race car trailers, semis and other conveyances.  DJ Blue Moon Productions offering 50″s, 60″s and 70’s music will entertain the attendees.  Also the Hot Rod Cafe will be on site offering food,deserts and drinks.
 
For additional information contact organizer Lou Modestino at 781.784.7857 in Sharon, MA or by e-mail at lmodestino@hotmail.com 

NEAR Lime Rock Show 9/1/19

 

UPDATE ON THURSDAY 8/29/19

The track has set aside tickets at no charge for NEAR Racers displaying cars on Sunday. If you are attending, you need to call or text Rich at (860)209-7343 so I know how many to tell them to have at WILL CALL window. I will be on site before 7 a.m. to place truck and assist any members bringing cars. Thank You!!

NEAR has been invited to participate in the LIME ROCK PARK HISTORICAL FESTIVAL 37 that runs from Thursday  8/29 19 to  Monday 9/2/19. Our still event will be on Sunday, 9/1/19. Gates open at 7 a.m. and show starts at 10.a.m.  NEAR members get a 20% discount off a Sunday ticket, which will be $20.00. Please be aware that EVERYBODY pays entrance at Lime Rock. This is an opportunity to display your car(s) among some of the rarest, most valuable autos ever assembled. Our club will have a specific area where we will be parked/on display together. Bring your cameras for photos of all the great vehicles that will be in attendance!

NEAR has a unique code to order tickets  at the 20% off rate by Thursday, 9/29/19 at 12 midnight. Call or text Rich at (860)209-7343 for the code. We would like to have 6 to 10 cars committed to do this event. The HOF Truck will be on hand. Please contact me with any questions or to verify your attendance.

We will be a part of the “Sunday in the Park: Concours d’Elegance & Gathering of the Marques program.” See the attached link (below) for more information on the weekend’s events. Lime Rock’s ticket info is there, as well. The NEAR discount applies to any/all day, or weekend tickets. 

Let’s get together and have some fun this Sunday! See you there!

Historic Festival 37 at Lime Rock Park 20% NEAR (2)

NEAR HOF member Russ Conway passes

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Image may contain: 1 person, standing and on stage
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Images Courtesy of
North East Motor Sports Museum
 

Russ Conway

We have lost one of the most prominent figures in the northeast racing community. Russ Conway died yesterday August 20th. He was brought to his first race by his father Paul in 1956 at the Pines Speedway. His father worked on the fire rescue team at the track. His passion for auto racing and its people lasted for his entire life. He got his start writing for the Pines Speedway as a teenager and then attended Northeastern University and got his first major assignment covering the Boston Bruins in 1967 at age 18.

Russ teamed up with Ken Smith and Charlie Elliot in the late 1960s to build Star Speedway and formed NESMRA which ran supermodified races up and down the east coast for over 20 years. He was the co-founder to some of New England’s biggest auto races which are still going strong today. These events include the Star Classic, World Series of Speedway Racing, Oktoberfest of Racing. He worked at the Eagle-Tribune for years and his investigative journalism efforts helped bring down Alan Eagleson on charges of corruption with the National Hockey League Players Association. He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was a part of the original 6 board members with the North East Motor Sports Museum and created its first major annual event, Legends Day.

Funeral and calling hour arrangements have not been finalized.

 

Originally posted by the North East Motor Sports Museum

Near Hall of Fame 2019 Class announced

The NEAR Hall of Fame Class for 2019 has been decided. The gentlemen to be honored on
Sunday, November 10, 2019 are:

Mike Joy – National Motorsports Broadcast Legend

Ed Flemke Jr. – Modified Tour driver/Chassis Builder

Wayne Dion – Multi -Division Driving Champion

Vinny Annarumo – Pro Stock/Modified Seekonk 7 time Champion

Jack Doyle – Drag Racer, Promoter, Legend

Brad LaFontaine –  Modified Championship Crew Chief /Chassis Fabricator/Parts Business Owner

Ric Mariscal – Founder/Conservator of the ProNyne Motorsports Museum in Pawtucket, RI

Bob Webber Sr. – Owner of  Star and Hudson Speedways in  NH

Congratulations to all those being enshrined into the HOF at Maneely’s Banquet Hall, 65 Rye Street, South Windsor, CT

Order forms  for tickets are available lower on this post. 

Please plan on attending this is sure to be a sold out event.  

HOF TICKET FORM

Advertising opportunities as well as congratulatory messages are available in The Hall of Fame Book. These are popular keepsakes for all Banquet attendees. Please consider supporting NEAR activities with your message!

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Updated 2020 NEAR Hall of Fame Nomination forms

It soon will be time to unveil the members of the 2019 Class of the NEAR Hall of Fame. Preparations are underway to celebrate their induction at Maneeley’s Banquet Facility in South Windsor, Ct. The banquet will  be held on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.

We must prepare for 2020, so here are the forms needed to nominate a deserving person for the Hall. Please click on and download from the links provided and mail to the address on the form.

NEAR HoF nomination-mail-version-2020

NEAR HoF nomination form-email-version-2020

NEAR Newsletter Online!

We had a great meeting this week at Thompson Speedway Club House, and the food was excellent!!

Several really good discussions and ideas came out of the meeting; and one of them was to add the “NEAR Newsletter” to the website…which has been done.

The new functionality to view the March/April 2019 NEAR Newsletter can now be viewed by clicking on the “NEAR Newsletter” link in the third gray box in the right-hand sidebar, then clicking on the “thumbnail” photo. The newsletter will open and can be viewed online or downloaded. This feature should be available on all future issues.

I would like to thank our Board Members, attending members, and this month’s guest Mark Hann for their input to help NEAR move forward on a positive track.

Also, my sincerest thanks and appreciation goes to Judy Poirier for coming back part time to assist with website technical issues. Judy also helps NEAR and this President with tutoring and advice, bringing me up to speed with the new format. Much appreciated!