Ronald “Ronnie” N. Wyckoff, 80, passed away peacefully on August 27, 2020 at LiveWell in Plantsville. Ronnie was born in Pennsylvania on August 15, 1940, son of the late Joseph and Helen Wyckoff. Ronnie was a heavy equipment mechanic working for H.O. Penn Caterpillar for 35 years. He was a legend and an accomplished race car driver. His love and passion for the sport of auto racing saw him an admired competitor, loved by fans and a respected winner, driving cars at: Plainville Stadium (where he was an active part of their annual reunions), Riverside Park Speedway, Stafford Motor Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In 2014, Ronnie was inducted into the New England Antique Racing Hall of Fame. This is an honor bestowed upon racers by their fiercest competitors, car owners and a select Board of Historians. Ronnie was truly humbled and it was one of his greatest honors to be presented with this prestigious award. Ronnie is survived by his loving family, daughter and son-in-law, Ronalee and Steven Herz, two grandchildren; April Herz and Tyler Herz, a sister Karen Reid and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Janice Armitage. Ronnie’s family would like to thank the staff at LiveWell for the love, care and compassion they provided to him. A special thanks for the Angels who entered into his life: Linda, Irene and Samantha. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to LiveWell, 1261 S. Main St, Plantsville, CT 06479, to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave, Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or to NEAR P.O. Box 492, Bradford, VT 05033. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, October 4, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St, Plantsville. A private memorial service will be livestreamed before the calling hours starting at 1:00 p.m. To attend the service, please visit https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/29189060. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com
It is with a heavy heart that we report that NEAR HOF driver Ron Wyckoff has passed early this morning. Ron has suffered from Alzheimer’s/dementia for a few years.
Florida born, Ron came to Connecticut in the early 1960s and started racing in Plainville Stadium’s Novice division. Moving to Modifieds, he was a winner at Plainville and Riverside Park – three straight Riverside 500s, 1974 through ’76 – and a steady competitor at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford.
Ron was very popular in the grandstands and in the pits. He was very good on equipment, evidenced by the list of top cars he drove – Czarnecki 20, Berndt 54, Simons 9 – Ron’s expertise in long-distance races was legendary-including the 1978 – 250 lap Riverside Park Triple Crown Series finale. He retired in 1983.
Ron was a fixture at the Plainville Stadium Reunions the last 10 years or so. He will be dearly missed by all his friends, fans, and admirers. We will update this post as arrangements become clear.