NEAR event at Waterford Rained out

Photos  courtesy  of  Scott  DeCota

 

A  fine  turnout  of  NEAR  Sportsman  and  Modifieds were  ready to  do  battle  at  Waterford  Speedbowl  on  Sat.  July  28th.   Just  as  the  feature  was  lined  up  in  the pits, Mother  Nature  unleashed  her  havoc  on  all.  All  further racing  was  cancelled  for  the  evening.  This  was  a  shame  for  the  competitors,  many  who  traveled  from  New  Hampshire, Ma, and  even  the  local  racers. 

We  were  able  to  get  everyone  out  for  2  practices  in  the afternoon.  We  also  ran  our  8  lap  qualifying  heat, won  by  Angie  Bullock  in  the  088.  Second  was  Paul  Jacques  in  the 7ny,  and  Dickie  Doo  Ceravolo  in  the  #31. The  rainout  also  prevented  the speedway  from  recognizing  Ceravolo  for  his 30th  anniversary  behind  the  wheel  of  a  modified.  Congratulations, Dickie.  Unfortunately, the  remainder  of  the  event  will not  be  re-scheduled, due  to  lack  of  open  dates  on  the  calendar.

The  Hall  of  Fame  truck  was  a popular  attraction  for   the  fans  in  attendance, as  well  as  the  static  cars  on  display. Thanks  to  all  for  displaying  and  competing, it was  a  very  well  attended  show.

 

 

NEAR headed to Summerfest in Wiscasset, Me.

 

The  cars  and  stars  of  NEAR  will  be  on  hand  for  Summerfest  at  the Wiscasset  Motor  Speedway  on  Sunday, August 5 th, 2018. The  track  is  located  at 274  West  Alma  Road  in  Wicasset, ME.  Pit  gates  open  at  10 am., a  picnic  is  part  of  the  fest. 

The  show  is a  static  one,  with  parade  laps  also  on  the speedway.  We  are  hoping  for  good  weather  for this  event,  a  very  popular  one  with  our  friends  to  the  north. Load  the  kids  in  the  car,  and  come  show   them  fine examples  of  New  England  racing  history!

 

NEAR at Waterford Saturday, July 28th

The  Racers  of  NEAR  are  to  appear  next  this  Saturday, July 28th,  pit  gates  open  at  1 pm.  The  Hall  Fame Truck  will  be  on  the  midway,  along  with  any  cars  wishing  to  static  display.  There  will be  a heat (8 laps) and  feature (length TBD)  for  the  running  cars.  Rich  G. and/or  Bill H.  will  be  there  to  sign  you  in, we  will  be  in  the  north  pits (closest  to  the entrance  in turn one.)

See  you  all  there! Questions   Rich 860-209-7343  call or text

NEAR Hall of Famer Gardiner Leavitt passes

Submitted by Phil  Whipple
 
 
 
Gardiner Leavitt, the legendary driver, car builder, parts supplier, and Maine racing icon
passed away on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, with family by his side. He was 87.
Leavitt raced on the dirt of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, the high-banks of Dover  (Delaware) International Speedway
and numerous short tracks in the  northeastern United  States and eastern Canada.
Affectionately known as “The Geezer from Kezar,” Leavitt’s 60-plus year involvement in
auto racing began at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 1951. His red and white No. 35
entry was a familiar sight for race fans around southern Maine.
When the original NASCAR North Tour was created in 1979, Leavitt decided it was time
to try something new. After 12 years competing in NASCAR events from North Carolina
and Virginia to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, Leavitt retired as a driver to take on
the new role of tutoring young drivers.
For over 50 years, Leavitt wore the hats of race driver, car owner, teacher, fabricator and
race parts supplier. Leavitt and wife June touched more lives and influenced more young
drivers than perhaps any other couple in New England. Leavitt was a member of the
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and
was inducted into the NEAR Hall in November of 2017.
On behalf of President Paul Masse and full membership at NEAR, our thoughts and
prayers go out to June, Steve and the entire Leavitt family at this difficult time. Gardiner’s
impact on New England racing was huge, and his legacy will live on for generations to
come.

Near invited to Bethel Motor Speedway

Story by Bill Henry
 
 
The New England Antique Racers will be appearing  at the 
“Remembering Danbury Speedway” event at Bethel  Motor Speedway  on July 21, 2018. Michael Hager , of the Bethel Motor Speed way,  is inviting  all NEAR members to bring their cars to the Speedway on  Saturday July 21, 2018.
 
The pit gates open at  3 p.m. The track is  offering 2 warm up heats and a feature event for  the cars that want to take to the track.
 
Mike also said please bring cars for a still show,  he has plenty 
of room.  Last year,  those who  attended enjoyed the event.
There  will be two free entry passes for each car , whether 
static or running. The main event for the track cars will be
the Ev Pierce memorial race. These folks put on a good show,
with wheel to wheel racing.
 
Members of the SNYRA reunion committee will be there with Danbury items. The P A system was turned over to members who raced at Danbury,  to recall the memories of the track. The Grand Marshal will be a driver from Danbury, as well . Ev’s family will be there also.
​So come on out for a great evening of nostalgic racing, and honoring a driver who raced for decades in our cars of yesteryear!
 
Hope to see you there!!!
 
Bethel Motor Speedway
361 Horseshoe Lake Road
Bethel New York

Great turn out for NEAR at White Mountain Motorsports Park

 

Photos and Event Report courtesy of Angie Bullock

 

 

The  NEAR  Northern  Division  got  to start  their  running  events  for  the 2018 season at White Mountain Motorsport Park.  On  Saturday, June 2, there  was  a  good  turnout  of  cars.  They  were  able  to  run  two  separate heat  races,  and  one  feature  race. The  sportsman  heat  was  6  laps, with the #7 of Wayne Wojyna finishing 1st,  #9 of Norm Cyr 2nd,  and  the  #02NH of  Tim  Hintz  to  follow.  The  modified heat  was  8  laps  with  the  #02MA of Butch  Burbank  finishing  1st,  with  the #35  of  Ken  Brown and  the  #088 of  Angie  Bullock  to  make  up  the  top 3  finishing  spots.

The  feature  race  was  12  laps  with some  close  racing  going  on.  The  #7 of  Wayne  Wojyna  grabbed  the checkers, with  the  #199  of  Bill  Kemp taking  2nd  place, and  the  #088  of Angie  Bullock  rounding  out  the  top 3  positions.  The  Northern  group would  like  to  thank  everyone  who came  out  to  the  show.  It  was  a  good night  of  racing,  great  job  everyone!!!

 

NEAR HOF truck to appear in VT. and N.H.

On  Thursday, June  14th, the  NEAR HOF  Truck  will  be  making  the  trip to  Thunder  Road  Speedway  in  Barre, Vt.  The  cars  and  stars  of NEAR  will  also  participate  in  a  running  event  at  the  speedway  that evening.  The  HOF  Truck  is  being  sponsored  by  the  Lloyd  Hutchins Roofing  Company  for  the  northern  swing.  Thanks  to  longtime  owner/driver/supporter Lloyd  for his assistance!

The  truck  will  also  appear  at  the  Claremont  Speedway  in  Claremont, N.H.  the  following  night, June 15th,  as  the  cars  of  NEAR  also  have  heats  and  features  there.  Please  come  out  and  support  our owners/drivers  next  weekend, as  we display  a  fine  example  of  the  history  of  auto  racing  in  New  England. Bring the kids  and  grandkids!

Racing Legend/Builder Maynard Troyer passes

Automobile racing in the Northeast lost a giant on Thursday, May 10, when Maynard Troyer died after a long illness. He was 79.
​Troyer rose to prominence in the 1960s, the perfect era for his creative mind to exploit the loose rulebooks of the day. Endlessly tinkering with innovative cars that looked nothing like those of his competition, he soon became a fan favorite. By the dawn of the ’70s, Troyer had established himself as one of Modified racing’s premier drivers, securing track championships at Lancaster Speedway (where he would ultimately capture four titles), Spencer Speedway (where he won more feature races than any other driver), and Fulton Speedway. He was also crowned champion of the All Star League in 1970, at the absolute zenith of that region-wide, multi-track series.
​As the decade progressed, Maynard and his poppy red #6 cars – owned and sponsored by Ford dealer Dave Nagle – began to regularly venture beyond his home state. Truth be told, few drivers stomped up and down the East Coast with the authority Troyer displayed. He won from Cayuga Speedway in Canada’s Ontario province to Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, and at numerous points between. Among the tracks he conquered were high-profile venues like the Richmond International Speedway in Virginia, New Jersey’s Trenton Fairgrounds Speedway (the 1976 Race of Champions), Pennsylvania’s Pocono International Raceway (the ’77 edition of the ROC), the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut (three straight Spring Sizzlers, 1977-79), and the Oswego Speedway in his native New York (both the Budweiser 200 and Port City 150).
​If his legacy as a driver was enormous, his impact as a car builder was incalculable. In the first half of the ’70s, rival team owners lined up to purchase the equipment Maynard had raced the previous season. But after his 1977 split with Nagle, Troyer attacked car building in earnest, hanging out his shingle under the name Troyer Engineering.
The company’s initial focus was the asphalt Modified market he knew best, and Maynard was his own best marketing tool. In 1978, Troyer and his house car – a gleaming white Pinto with a highly offset chassis – had a blistering campaign, winning a NEARA series crown and scoring 36 victories in 54 starts. It was one of the most productive seasons any Northeast driver has ever put together. In no time at all, Troyer found dozens of customers in New York, New England, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and his products won major races and track championships in the hands of pavement superstars like Ron Bouchard, Greg Sacks, Bugs Stevens, George Kent, and, of course, Maynard himself.
​In 1981, Troyer jumped into the dirt-track world. Rather than dipping the proverbial toe in the water, he cleared the pool with the cannonball splash of the Mud Buss, his take on a dirt Modified. Instantly a winner with development driver Alan Johnson, Troyer’s dirt machines were soon in the hands of legends like Will Cagle, Merv Treichler, and Jack Johnson, and their success only increased demand for the cars. Checkered flags waved over those early Mud Busses at tracks in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in Canada.
​His success as a manufacturer played a large role in Troyer’s decision to call time on his driving career. In the autumn of 1982, on the cusp of his 44th birthday, Maynard pulled off his helmet and gloves for the final time, closing an epic chapter in the sport.
​In the years that followed, he became the region’s preeminent builder of race cars, hands down. Troyer watched his creations win multiple championships on the NASCAR Modified Tour, in the Super DIRT Series, and on every other Modified circuit of consequence. It was a hectic period for Maynard, and as the ’80s closed he began the process of stepping back to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Longtime employee Billy Colton – who had been a winning Troyer chassis customer – became managing partner of the Rochester business in 1989, and later the sole owner of what is now Troyer Race Cars. Meanwhile, Maynard kicked back and fiddled with hot rods, boats, and the other toys one would expect a mechanical wizard like him to appreciate.
​Though widely considered a New Yorker – particularly by his legion of fans in the Empire State – Troyer was actually born in Ohio, and spent his early adulthood in Florida. But once he came north and turned his attention to going fast, he belonged to racing more than to any given point on the map. Maynard Troyer’s real home was Victory Lane.

Courtesy of  Troyer Race Cars,  Bones Bourcier

Photo by Howie Hodge