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!
The Summer Knights Car Show re-scheduled for this Sunday, May 12, 2019 has been postponed, again!
The new date is Sunday June 30th, at 9 a.m.after it stops raining!!
HISTORIC MOTOR SPORTS EXPOSITION COMES TO LOUDON
LOUDON, NH: On Saturday May 4th the North East Motor Sports Museum (922 Route 106 Loudon, NH) will host the most diverse regional gathering of historical race cars, mobile museums, personalities and artifacts ever seen in New England. The expo will feature a variety of different racing disciplines including road racing, oval track racing, drag racing, off-road racing and more.
The featured attractions of the day will be all of the northeast’s mobile museums that will appear together for the first time. The museums are Ron Bouchard Racing, New England Antique Racers, Maine Vintage Race Car Association, Bob Doyle Museum – A Photo History of Vermont Racing and the Ollie Silva Museum. Two museums with physical building locations the ProNyne Motorsports Museum and Owls Head Transportation Museum will also join us.
1992 and 1993 NASCAR Busch North Champion the “Irish Angel” Dick McCabe, six time American Canadian Tour Champion Robbie Crouch and the only four time NASCAR Busch North Series Champion Andy Santerre will join us as our featured personalities. Museum president Dick Berggren will host conversations throughout the day with all three champions.
For one day only the museum will host a diverse group of cars from beyond New England’s boarders. See a 1984 March Indycar driven by Danny Ongais, a Formula 5000 racer in addition to New England classics such as the 1400 horsepower Country Girl Funny Car and stock cars from the Senior Tour Auto Racers club.
Join us on Saturday May 4th from 10am to 3pm and enjoy the one day exhibits as well as the museums 30+ cars, slot car track and iRacing Simulator. We rev up the engines at noon which will be followed by a barbeque lunch and we end the day with giveaway prizes. Members are admitted free to the museum with free lunch and non-members pay $10 entry free and a small donation for lunch. To display your historic race car or artifacts call executive director Tom Netishen at 603-783-0183. A rain date of May 5th has been set and Groupons are not accepted for this event.
About: The North East Motor Sports Museum is owned by the Racing History Preservation Group, a 501-c-3 educational non-profit organization that seeks to discover, preserve and share the history of motorsports in the Northeast. The 10,000 square foot museum opened in 2017 on the grounds of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH.
The 2019 NEAR Show Schedule for cars is available for download/printing at this link. Note there are many changes from the tentative one given out at the annual meeting. We will update the schedule page as soon as possible.
Schedule updated 3/29/19
The NEAR Monthly director’s meeting has been changed to the third Tuesday of each month. This was suggested, voted on, and approved at the last meeting.
The location will be the same, Thompson Speedway Clubhouse, at 7:30 p.m.
NEAR extends it’s deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mary Hodge. Paired with her husband, Howie, they displayed New England Motorsports through it’s heyday to recent times. The pair were great friends, dedicated professionals, and gave us all a unique view of the sport we love through their lenses. We will miss them dearly, but are happy they are reunited with each other at last. Godspeed.
Mary Louise (Garraway) Hodge, 79, of Manchester, the wife of the late Howard Hodge died Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at Manchester Memorial Hospital. Born in Perry County, MS, she was the daughter of the late George and Donnie (Parker) Garraway and had lived in Manchester for many years. She worked at Pratt & Whitney when she first arrived in CT. She will be remembered for her many years as a photographer. She is survived by her son Kevin Hodge of Tolland, her siblings, Janie Bonner and her husband Travis, Marjorie Cary and her husband Jack, and William Garraway, Sr.; and numerous nieces and nephews. Family and friends may call at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home 219 West Center St. Manchester on Monday from 4:00-7:00 pm. Funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Monday at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Victory Junction Gang Camp 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317. For online condolences please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome.com.
Due to impending snowstorm, the NEAR monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 12th is postponed. We will meet again on Tuesday, Feb.19th, 2019, same time, same place. More news is on the horizon as we will release our 2019 schedule asap(waiting to solidify some dates/venues)
George J. Summers
George J. Summers
George J. (Tucker) Summers, 83, a lifelong Upton resident, passed away as peacefully as he had lived, on January 4th, 2019, at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, holding the hand of his wife of 63 years, Margaret A. (Kneeland) Summers.
Born August 21, 1935, to Mary Ellen (Van Riper) and William Reed Summers, he was the youngest of eight children. He is predeceased by six of his siblings: Janet Stockwell (and her husband Richard), Mary Strachen (and her husband James), William Summers, Barbara Knapik (and her husband Eugene), Cecelia Grynsel (and her husband Edward) and Charles Summers. He is survived by a brother John Summers (and his wife Gloria) and a sister in law, Loretta Costello Summers.
Educated in the local Upton Grammar school, George attended high school at Worcester Boy’s Trade. At the age of sixteen, he left school and became a self-made man. In 1952, he went to work driving trucks and operating heavy equipment for local construction companies. In 1962, George bought his first truck “Ol’ Slow Poke“ and started his trucking business, which now boasts 6 trucks and continues today as George J. Summers Trucking, Inc.
In 1952, George embarked on an auto racing career as a hobby. For thirty -one years, he raced up and down the east coast from Maine to Martinsville, VA. He had over two hundred career victories, a hundred of them at the Seekonk Speedway, where he holds the title of “Most Career Wins“ in the racetrack’s history. He also holds the title for the “Most Consecutive Wins“ in one season at the same track. At Seekonk, George also won two track championships, the first one with the Ken Curly modified #31 in 1967. The second championship was seven years later in 1974, in the Connie LaJoie modified #21. In 1976, George won the Governor’s Cup Open Competition Series in Oxford Plain, ME. driving the W.D Smith late model #35. He won the last two races of his illustrious career in the Art Barry modified #21 at Oxford Plains Speedway and the following weekend at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.
Upon his retirement from racing, George became an avid golfer and was a member of the Westboro Country Club.
George was inducted into the New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Fame, the Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame, and the North East Motor Sports Museum, in Louden, NH, where his Connie LaJoie modified #21 is on display. This February, he was to be inducted into the Living Legends of Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach, Florida.
In addition to his wife Margaret, George is survived by his four children: George Jr. of Somerville, MA, Mary Summers Cortese and her husband Joe of Upton, Richard Summers and his wife Natalie of Upton, and Kathie Summers Grice and her husband Roy, of Cumberland, ME. He is also survived by his four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Ever the family man, whenever he was racing, his family would travel with him from one race track to another during the racing season. When he wasn’t racing, he was very much invested in the aspirations and activities of his children and much later on, in those of his grandchildren. It should also be noted that in his 31 years of racing, George never missed a Sunday mass. Wherever he and his family were on a given Sunday, they would attend a mass at one of the local churches before the racing event that day.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM on Saturday, January 12th, in St. Gabriel the Archangel Church “The Farm“, 151 Mendon Street, Upton. Burial will follow in Lakeview Cemetery.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, January 11th, from 3 to 8 PM in the Williams-Pedersen Funeral Home, Inc., 45 Main Street, Upton.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to either the St. Gabriel Building Fund, made payable to St. Gabriel Church, 151 Mendon Street, Upton, MA. 01568 or to the North East Motor Sports Museum, 922 Rte. 106, Louden, NH. 03307.
Donations may be made to:
St. Gabriel Building Fund
151 Mendon Street, Upton MA 01568
North East Motor Sports Museum
922 Rte. 106, Louden NH 03307