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

NEAR HOF member Russ Conway passes

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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 at Bethel Speedway for “Remembering Danbury Night”

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.

July 13 @ 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Bethel Motor Speedway, 361 Horseshoe Lake Road 
Bethel, NY 12783 United States 
+ Google Map

Great car count at Monodnock for NEAR Event

Story/pictures courtesy of Angie Bullock

On June 22nd NEAR ran at Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire. We had a great turnout of cars, thank you to all of our members for your continuing support.

The Sportsman class was the first feature out, with Darragh Hoyt in the #5 Chevelle with the win. The #69 NH of Ed Gould earned a second place finish, and the #7vt of Wayne Wojytna finished third.

In the modifieds, Bob Donahue in the #99 nh  

worked his way way up from the back to take the win. Another Donahue Racing entry, the #99 driven by Steven Gauthier, was second.  The #76X  Camaro of Rick MacDowell took down the third position.

Thank you Monadnock Speedway for your hospitality, immaculate facility, and a  great night of racing!

Claremont, N.H. Show on 6/14/19 a hit!

Story/pictures courtesy of Angie Bullock

On June 14th NEAR was at Claremont Speedway. Even though the weather was cloudy and we had a few showers before show time, we still ended up with a good car count. Ran two classes with practices, heats and features. The Sportsman class rolled out first for their feature with C.V. Elms taking the win in his #6. 7 VT of Wayne Wojtyna took second and the 71 of John Adams took 3rd. The modified feature ran next with the #44 of Jim Allen getting the win followed by the #99nh of Bob Donahue for second and the #194 of Jammy Ferland rounding off the top 3. Great job everyone, see you at our next event. Thank you to Claremont Speedway and staff for having us and putting on a great show.