First 2020 NEAR Event 7/11/20!!

Hello members!!! We finally have some good news! Our first running event this year is scheduled for Sat. July 11th at Bethel Speedway in White Lake, N.Y. This will be the annual “Remembering Danbury Night” featuring the Ev Pierce Memorial Race !
All member cars get two free passes, must have paid up dues. Membership Forms will be available from Rich Goucher at the Speedway. Format will be practice, 10 lap heats, and a 15 or 20 lap feature depending on attendance. Pit gate opens at 3:00 p.m.

We will announce other 2020 events later this week as we firm up plans with the venues.
Please contact Rich at 860-209-7343 if attending(or with any questions) so we can plan on a group area in the pits. Please come support this first event to be held with all safety protocols(masks) and social distancing.

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) LaJoie’s Auto & Scrap Recycling presents ‘Remembering Danbury Racearena Night’. All regular divisions racing except (NO SS. NO Four Cylinders, NO Rookie Bandos) Ev Pierce Memorial for BMS Asphalt Mods (50), Nick Giardina Tribute 602 Sportsman (25) (guaranteed 3rd starting spot in the 71 lapper), Don Lajoie (71) DIRT Modified, New England Antique Racers Club (20), Long Island Vintage Club (20), Northeast Vintage Dirt Mods Chick Stockwell (15),Legends (20), Bandos(15).
July 11 @ 3:00 pm

Mike Stefanik Inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame!!

The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced Tuesday its three inductees for the Class of 2021, with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mike Stefanik and Red Farmer set for enshrinement next winter.

The three-member class was the first elected under new voting rules, with nominees divided into Modern Era and Pioneer Era groups. Two were chosen from a field of 10 Modern Era nominees, and one was selected from a group of five on the Pioneer Era ballot for legends whose careers began more than 60 years ago.

Earnhardt — a two-time Daytona 500 winner who was chosen as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver 15 times — led all nominees with 76 percent of the vote, winning induction on his first year on the ballot. Stefanik — a nine-time champion in Modified and Busch North (now ARCA East) competition — was the other Modern Era selection, appearing on 49 percent of ballots cast in his seventh year of eligibility. Ricky Rudd and Neil Bonnett were the next top vote-getters in the Modern Era category.

Farmer, a founding member of the Alabama Gang and a four-time regional champion in NASCAR’s early days, topped the Pioneer Era list with 71 percent of the vote. Hershel McGriff and Banjo Matthews were the next-highest candidates receiving votes.

HOF owner Ray Garuti Sr. Passes



Raymond Garuti Sr., 95, of Southington, passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2020 at Autumn Lake Health Care in Cromwell. He was the husband of the late Irene (Cap) Garuti.

Ray, with his brother Rich, owned and operated Ray’s Garage in Kensington for 39 years. Out of that small garage, the brothers built some of the fastest modified race cars on the East Coast, winning around 150 feature events with such drivers as Eddie Flemke, Smokey Boutwell, Jocko Maggiacomo and Moe Gherzi. The Garuti Brothers were inducted into the New England Race Car Hall of Fame on January 30, 2011. Ray was a US Army Veteran.

Ray is survived by two sons, Ronald Garuti and his wife Libby of New Hartford and Raymond R. Garuti and his wife Naomi Jean “Bunny” of Middlefield; 7 grandchildren, Jennifer, Jaclyn, Jeffrey, Jamie, Beth, Dave and Stephen; 6 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandson and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Richard Garuti and two sisters, Eve Andre and Geraldine Mokalus.

Ray was a loving husband, practical, creative, inventive; a wonderful mentor and always there for his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, Funeral services will be private. The Della Vecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington is assisting with arrangements.

For online condolences, please visit www.dellavecchiafh.com

Eddie West arrangements

 

 

Edward Everett West, age 79, lifelong resident of Dunstable, MA crossed his final finish line this past Wednesday evening April 15, 2020 when he passed away at his home.

Born in Ayer, MA on January 7, 1941, Edward was the son of the late Edward Sr. and Julia (Steinholtz) West. Edward was the middle of three children. He graduated from Lowell High School in 1958.

He was fast paced and always on the go, right up until the end of his life. He was beloved and admired by anyone that came in contact with him, and he was recognized everywhere he went across the country to the delight of his grandchildren. A talented super modified race car driver, he won more New England Super Modified Championships than any other driver in history and was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. Most recently, he was an honoree at the North East Motor Sports Museum Legends Day in 2019 in Loudon, NH.

A skilled mechanic, he owned and operated West Auto Repair for over 40 years. He served his community and leaves behind many lifelong friends. Edward’s greatest joy in life was his family. He never missed an event that involved his grandchildren, which included games, recitals, concerts, and many performances. His eyes lit up when speaking about his cherished grandchildren. Often referred to as the mayor of Dunstable, friends and customers from near and far would spend hours in his office receiving counseling in many areas of life, especially nutrition.

Edward is survived by his two children: Brian and wife Jennifer (Doviak) West of Dunstable and their two children, Sophia and Emma; as well as Jodi and husband David Daron of Londonderry and their five children, Casey, Grady, Killian, Sullivan and Finnegan. He is also survived by his brother Harold and his wife Lorraine (Crooker) West of Dunstable. Along with his parents, Edward is predeceased by his sister Sharon West-Knight.

Edward will be laid to rest privately at Central Cemetery in Dunstable on Tuesday, April 21st at 10AM. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date when the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. To attend Ed’s service on April 21st remotely, please follow the link: http://client.tribucast.com/tcid/36617032

The family would like to express our deepest appreciation to some very special people who have helped us over the years in caring for Ed in numerous ways. The family cannot thank enough Sarah, Frank and Harold for their undevoted love and support for Ed and his family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Edward’s memory to North East Motor Sports Museum . Donations can be made online at nesmmuseum.com or by sending a check to North East Motor Sports Museum at 922 Rt. 106 in Loudon, NH 03307.

Added at Dick Berggren’s request 4/20/20
 
Ed West will be laid to rest on Tuesday, April 21st at 10AM in the central cemetary in Dunstable, MA.  Due to the social distancing requirements set forth by our government the burial at the cemetary will be private with immediate family only allowed to attend but if you would like to memoralize Ed and show your support for his family we invite you to join us for a “victory lap”.  

After the short ceremony has concluded at the cemetary the Dunstable police will lead us in a quiet lap past Ed’s casket via a parade in our vehicles.  If you would like to participate to memoralize Ed as he is laid to rest please arrive at the Groton Dunstable regional high school parking lot located at 703 Chicopee Rd. in Groton, MA no later than 10AM. 

For the safety of all we ask that you please REMAIN IN YOUR CARS AT ALL TIMES to keep everyone safe.  The ceremony at the cemetary will be live broadcast so feel free to tune in via your phones (here is the link:  http://client.tribucast.com/tcid/36617032)  The police will lead us in a procession to the cemetary where we ask that there be no horn beeping or yelling out instead be respectful and please have your flashing lights on in your vehicle.  Feel free to make a sign to hang on the driver’s side of your car (preferably with a checkered flag decor if you have the supplies at home to make such a thing) in Ed’s memory and to show the immediate family your love and support.  God willing we will have Ed’s 61Jr. be the final car in the parade to go by his casket and family.

These are crazy times that we are living in these days so why not add one more crazy thing to our life … a memorial victory lap around the Dunstable Cemetary to celebrate the life of a Ed West in a safe and proper social distancing way. 

 
 
 
 

HOF Driver Eddie West Passes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story by Mark Bourcier

 

Gutted to learn that Supermodified hero Eddie West has passed. Chatting with Westy at the annual New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame dinners always made that great day even better. Naturally, he was an inductee, part of the NEAR HoF Class of 1999. Some called him “the Golden Bear,” but his coolest nickname was “Goin’ West,” and if he was on the track he was generally goin’ toward the front. Eddie is second on the New England Supermodified Racing Association (NESMRA) all-time win list, with 106 victories from northern New England to Vero Beach, Florida. He was also a six-time track champion at New Hampshire’s Star Speedway, where he won New England’s biggest Supermodified race, the Star Classic, three times. Before Star Speedway existed, Eddie won the Can-Am Classic at nearby Lee Raceway. One last thing: for much of his adult life, Westy suffered from brutal arthritis. There are stories of him popping aspirin as if they were M&M’s just to dull the pain enough to climb in and out of his race car. So anytime you start trying to define what the word “tough” means, consider Eddie West racing in pain, winning in pain, and walking through life in pain, masking it all with grace and a smile. Thinking today of his family, his wide circle of friends, and the entire Supermodified community. There goes a legend. — Bones

Coronavirus and website updates

The President, Board of Directors, and Officers of NEAR sincerely wish you all the best of luck in avoiding the Coronavirus. Stay safe at home, and we will pick up our season and activities when it is safe to do so. God Bless. Please forgive our appearance as we make updates and additions to our website in the coming weeks. We strive to better inform and increase your participation in our club. Lots of good things are coming down the line, very excited to share them with you. Thanks for your patience and understanding.