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
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
The Director’s Meeting scheduled for Tuesday 7/16/19 at Thompson, has been cancelled.
NEAR South will be supporting this event. There will be running(heats and feature) and static opportunities for those interested. The NEAR HOF truck is scheduled to attend. Any wishing to display Danbury /SNYRA memorabilia is welcome to do so on the midway. Please contact Rich at 860-209-7343 for more info.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series(NWAAS) Lajoie Auto & Scrap Recycling / Joe’s Bar & Grill presents ‘Remembering Danbury Racearena’. BMS Modified ‘Ev Pierce Memorial’ 50 Laps ($750. to Win, based on 20 cars Double Points) plus Northeast Vintage Dirt Mod Club, New England Antique Racers &, Long Island Asphalt Vintage Club.
This Saturday, July 13th, Northeast Speedway in Waterford, Vt. will hold it’s annual Reunion. The event gets underway at 9 a.m., with a busy day of nostalgic cars and memorabilia on display. NEAR North will be supporting this event.