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April 21, 2014
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Today our guests will be SK modified driver Chase Dowling, long time supporter of short track racing and area race teams Rocco Arbitell. Also joining us Nascar Nationwide crew chief for Kyle Larson, Scott Zipadelli and former modified driver John Jarush who will talk about the Summer Knights car show coming up this Sunday. We will also talk about this weekends Spring Sizzler.

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Wednesday 02/19/14
Dave Dykes "Racing Through Time": Presenting Yet-More Memories…… Starting this week’s edition of “RTT” is a nice portrait image of a true racing hero. This New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member needs little introduction to those of us who recall the true “Glory Days” of New England short track racing. Captured here in the lens of Shany Lorenzent at Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl of the 1950s, Fred Luchesi’s career started during the busy post-war era, and lasted until his retirement in the late-60s. During that time, he raced coupes, modifieds, midgets, and late models. In complementing his local exploits, he also ran against nationally known drivers like Fonty Flock, Red Byron, and Ted Tappett. In addition to multiple Speedbowl championships, he also took track crowns at Westboro, Lonsdale, and Norwood Arena. At the Speedbowl-alone, he scored a career total of 25 modified victories. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Dave Dykes
Tuesday 02/18/14
Phil Smith's "Champ Trail": The central Florida flat lands came alive with the sound of ground pounding Modifieds this past Friday night as the Annual World Series at the New Smyrna Speedway took the green. Opening night saw 12 tour type Modifieds on hand. Tommy Barrett in his first time out put the Robert Our entry in the top spot after turning the half-mile in 17.18 seconds. Ron Silk was second fastest. Matt Hirshman's time was disqualified as his ride height did not meet track specs. Silk was the opening night winner over Jimmy Zacharias, Chuck Hossfeld, Ryan Preece and Eric Goodale. Silk started third in the 14 car field and took the lead from Jimmy Zacharias on lap 23 and ended up winning with a ten car lead. The debut of Barrett in the Our 22 lasted six laps when he was black flagged as his car was emitting sparks. Barrett ended up 12th in the final run down. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Phil Smith
Friday 02/14/14
Phil Smith's "Looking Back": Fifty five years ago in 1959, Bill France's dream came true as the Daytona Speedway was completed and the doors were opened for practice and qualifying for the inaugural Daytona 500. Seventy-five cars were on hand and in time trials, Glenn Fireball Roberts took the pole with a speed of 140.581 mph in a 1959 Pontiac. Second fastest was Tim Flock in a 1959 Ford Thunderbird. During the opening week, the track claimed its first life when Marshall Teague rolled his Indy type car five times before being ejected onto the racetrack. Fifty years ago in 1964, Ford products were clearly outclassed in Daytona 500qualifing.Fourty six entries were on hand with Paul Goldsmith taking the pole with a speed of 174.910 mph in a Plymouth. Richard Petty, also in a Plymouth, was second fastest. The Fords were 15 mph slower. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Phil Smith
Tuesday 01/21/14
Ron Bouchard Reflects and Looks Back at his Racing Career: Ronnie Bouchard sometimes finds it hard to believe that he has been out of racing 26 years and for the driver who won on a regular basis (over 350 wins) in his driving career, the former modified ace and Sprint Cup driver was recently inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame . Unfortunately snow in the northeast kept Ron from attending but he was thrilled with the honor. “When they told me of the induction I was thrilled, it has been 26 years since I raced and to have people remember it and remember me after all these years, is very special.” Ron said from one of his automobile businesses. “I have been inducted into the Seekonk Speedway Hall of the Fame, the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame and now the EMPA (Eastern Motorsports Press Association) Hall of Fame. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Brian Danko
Friday 01/10/14
Pioneering Car Owner Margaret "Peg" Gaudreau Passes at 68:
Margaret A. Gaudreau, 68, passed away in her home in Norwich on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 after a brave battle with ALS. She was born on January 29, 1945 in Cooperstown, New York and was the daughter of the late John Rude and Esther (Erickson) Rude. She moved to Wauregan as a young child and graduated from Plainfield High School in 1962. She was the beloved wife of Albert Gaudreau, having celebrated their 50th Anniversary prior to his death in 2013. Margaret is survived by her brothers David Rude from New Jersey and Ken Rude from Waterford and her in-laws Mary and Tom Gaudreau of Griswold. In 1976 Margaret and her husband opened Al's Quality Auto and Marine Electric in New London, which they ran until they retired in 2005. Margaret is well known in the auto racing community. She was one of the first women involved in racing and owned the famous "Buddha's Bullet" that won five Modified Championships at the Waterford Speedbowl during the 70's.
SpeedwayLineReport.com
Friday 12/27/13
Anne Empey, Former Long Time Chief Scorer at Stafford Motor Speedway and Many Other Race Tracks Passes at 74:
Anne Marie (Newell) Empey, aged 74 of Middleboro passed away on Wednesday, December 25, 2013, at the Sachem Rehabilitation and Nursing Home surrounded by her family. She was predeceased by her parents, and companion Bill Somers. Born in Boston, the daughter of the late Paul Grant Newell and Alice (Mulkerin) Newell, she lived in Middleboro for the past 11 years, she resided in Hanover for over 30 years prior to moving to Middleboro. She was an avid NASCAR racing fan and worked as the Chief Score Keeper at Stafford Springs Motor Speedway, Thompson, Seekonk, and Westboro Speedways; she also scored races at the Norwood Arena, Lee, Lakeville, and Star Speedways; she was the traveling scorer for the New England Mini Modified tour and the Big Rig Racing tour scoring at tracks up and down the East Coast.
SpeedwayLineReport.com
Friday 11/22/13
Phil Smith's "Looking Back": Thirty years ago in 1983, Eddie Bohn won the 150 lap Turkey Derby. Tom Baldwin finished second with Corky Cookman, third. Rounding out the top five was Brian Ross and Tont Siscone. Twenty years ago in 1993 Ken Woolley was the overall winner of the Turkey Derby. The big block modifieds had been replaced by the small blocks. Ten years ago in 2003, Jimmy Blewett won two of the three triple 50's that made up the Turkey Derby of the Wall Stadium Speedway. Five years ago in 2008, Down on the New Jersey shore the Wall Township Speedway reopened for the annual Turkey Derby. Wall Township, modeled after the famed Lonsdale Arena Speedway in Rhode Island was silent throughout the 2008 season. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Phil Smith
Montville - Walter A. Dombrowski passed away Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013.

Walter was born May 8, 1938, in New London, the son of Walter A. Dombrowski and Mildred (Pinkowitz) Dombrowski. Better known as "Walt" to his friends and family, he was a resident of Montville all his life. Walt served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1959 in the 42nd field maintenance squadron as a jet engine mechanic and was stationed at Loring Air Force Base for the duration of his term of service.

He married Margaret R. Paquin of Montville at St. Johns Church in 1962 and was employed at Electric Boat, working third shift as a sheet metal mechanic from 1964 and retired in 1997.

Walt enjoyed a successful career as a stock car driver at the Waterford Speed Bowl, where he drove the Lawrence + Memorial sponsored modified race car and was a two time track champion. He was voted one of the top 50 most popular drivers and inspired many to take up the sport.

Being a devoted member of the Quaker Hill Rod & Gun Club, he enjoyed serving as a chef for countless game dinners. He was also an active member at Snake Meadow Rod & Gun Club, in Moosup, holding several titles over his long tenure. Walt had a passion for the great outdoors, often traveling with his sons and friends to Canada on bear hunts. He loved to fish, the ocean or fresh water, and pheasant and deer were not safe when he was on the hunt!

As a member of the Montville American Polish Club, he made wonderful friends and had so many good times at picnics and card games. Walt had a tremendous love of baseball, and coached many boys at the Little League and Babe Ruth levels. He was a die hard Yankees, Nascar, and UConn Basketball fan, he had an opinion on them all!

Walt was predeceased by his father and mother; sister, Judith (Dombrowski) George; and his grandson, Geoffrey Walter Dombrowski.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Margaret; brother, Ronald and wife, Nancy, of Uncasville; and daughter, Teresa and partner, Elaine Adamcewicz, of Denver, Colo.; son, Scott and spouse, Pamela, of Griswold; son, Jeffrey and partner, Sue Silbey, of Montville; daughter, Michelle Westkamper and spouse, Michael, of Oakdale; son, Jason and spouse, David Charpentier, of New York City; and nine grandchildren.

Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the Montville Funeral Home of Church and Allen, 53 Norwich New London Tpke., Uncasville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in Our Lady of the Lakes Church, Oakdale. Burial will be private.

The family would also like to sincerely thank the wonderful staff of L+M Hospital ICU unit, your sensitivity during an emotional time was extremely appreciated. We would like to especially thank Judi for all her knowledge and Lisa for guiding us through Walt's passing.

Please visit www.montvillefuneralhome.com to leave an online tribute or condolence.
 
Published in The Day on Nov. 9, 2013

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theday/obituary.aspx?n=walter-a-dombrowski&pid=167930182#sthash.ioZqgBk4.dpuf

Saturday 11/09/13
This is "Getting Old"!!!
Modified, Dirt Modified, Supermodified Great Jimmy Winks Passes at 65:
James Robert Winks, 65, of Oak Hill, FL, took his final checkered flag in the race of life on November 7, 2013, with his family by his side. He was born in Syracuse, NY, and resided in Cicero, NY, until 1981 when he moved to Oak Hill, FL. Mr. Winks owned Winks Construction in Cicero, NY, and All Surplus Marine in Oak Hill, FL. He was most passionate about his racing. He drove dirt modifieds, asphalt modifieds, supermodifieds, late models, sportsman and sprint cars and won numerous races both in NY and FL. He will be inducted into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame in January 2014. He is survived by his wife, Deborah (Easton) of 45 years; his daughter, Cindee (Adam) West; grandchildren, Joshua and Jordyn West, Edgewater, FL; his sister, Judith (David) Werchinski, Brewerton, NY; four nephews; three nieces; and many wonderful friends.
SpeedwayLineReport.com

Two Time Waterford Speedbowl Champion Walt Dombrowski Passes at 75:
Walter A. Dombrowski passed away Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Walter was born May 8, 1938, in New London, the son of Walter A. Dombrowski and Mildred (Pinkowitz) Dombrowski. Better known as "Walt" to his friends and family, he was a resident of Montville all his life. Walt served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1959 in the 42nd field maintenance squadron as a jet engine mechanic and was stationed at Loring Air Force Base for the duration of his term of service. Walt enjoyed a successful career as a stock car driver at the Waterford Speed Bowl, where he drove the Lawrence + Memorial sponsored modified race car and was a two time track champion. He was voted one of the top 50 most popular drivers and inspired many to take up the sport.
SpeedwayLineReport.com

Wednesday 10/30/13
Long Time Car Owner Bruce Sperry Passes at 72:
Bruce T. Sperry Sr. 72, of Wallingford, loving husband of 48 years of the late Mirtha Ruiz Sperry, died Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at MidState Medical Center in Meriden. Bruce was born in Meriden, January 13, 1941, a son of the late Miles Sperry and Lois Affleck Sperry and had been a Wallingford resident for many years. He was a self-employed auto mechanic and was also employed at Ulbrich Steel in Wallingford. He is survived by his daughter Zunilda Rocco and her husband Ronald, of Berlin; his son Bruce Sperry, Jr. and his wife Lynn of Waterford; his grandchildren Keith Rocco and his wife Cassandra of Berlin, Jeff Rocco of Wallingford, Evan Sperry and Elise Sperry, both of Waterford SpeedwayLineReport.com
Sunday 10/27/13
Veteran Modified Driver Charlie Centinaro Passes:
Charles Centinaro, 80, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, at the Bradley Memorial Campus at HCC. He was the husband of Rose Marie (Desmone) Centinaro of Wolcott. He was born Oct. 1, 1933, in Waterbury, son of the late Charles and Jenny (DiNova) Centinaro. Charles was employed for many years as a manager for Sandy's Catering Service. He was an avid race car driver and one of the most winning racers of his era, finding success at Pine Bowl Speedway in New York, West Haven Speedway, Plainville Stadium and Riverside Park in Massachusetts. He was an absolute standout within the United Stock Car Racing Club and the Springfield Exposition Center in Massachusetts.
SpeedwayLineReport.com
Former Midget Champion Lou Fray Dead at 88: Born in Derby, CT on September 4, 1925, Fray was a stalwart midget competitor across four decades, with victories in ARA, ARDC, NASCAR, NorthEastern Midget Asssociation (NEMA) and the Super Midget Racing Club (SMRC) competition. He won races at Albany-Saratoga, Catamount, Oxford Plains, Quebec City, Stafford, Westboro, and West Haven. He finished 10th in points on the NASCAR Midget circuit in 1958. He was co-champion of the NEMA Midgets in 1970 with Dave Humphrey. Fray was a consistent finisher in the NEMA point standings, with five additional top-5 seasons between 1965 and 1972. He drove for car owners like John McCarthy, Bob Pascale, and Young. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Wednesday 10/02/13
Four Time NASCAR National Sportsman Champion "Da Champ" Rene Charland Dies at 84:
Rene M Charland, legend stockcar driver who blazed numerous tracks from Canada to Florida passed away peacefully on Monday Sept 30 at the Wilkinson Residential Care Facility in Amsterdam, NY where he had resided for the past several years. Mr Charland was born in Chicopee, MA on November 13, 1928 the son of Adelard and Noella Lamoureux Charland. After serving his time in the US Marines and Merchant Marines, Mr Charland resettled in the Chicopee area and later was a resident of Agawam, MA before locating to Upstate NY in the 1960’s. After returning from his act of duty in the service he tried on many masks, working for Remington Arms in Springfield, Ma and running his own speed shop and radio station before turning the throttle full bore on his racing career which began in 1947. SpeedwayLineReport.com

Racin' with Jason,
Auto racing legend Rene Charland, of Agawam, dies at 84:
The Western Massachusetts auto racing scene lost a legend Monday, as Agawam's Rene Charland passed away at age 84. Charland began his career - which landed him in both the New England Antique Racers and DIRT halls of fame - in 1949 at Riverside Park Speedway. Despite being from Agawam, Charland only won four races at Riverside between 1954 and 1958. He did most of his work elsewhere along the East Coast. As a member of the "Eastern Bandits," Charland and others such as Ed Flemke Sr. and Denny Zimmerman competed at tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region in the early 1960s, where the competition wasn't quite as stiff. Running between 80 and 100 races a year, Charland moved his way up NASCAR's national Sportsman Modified rankings, winning the championship with a 21-win season in 1962 as well as the next two years. Springfield Republican-Jason Remillard

Former Modified Racing Great Rene Charland Dies: Rene Charland, a member of both the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame and the DIRT Hall of Fame passed away Monday. Charland was 84. Charland’s racing career began at the former Riverside Park Speedway in his hometown of Agawam, Mass. in 1949. Charland retired from racing in 1984 after running at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway. It is estimated that Charland, affectionately known as “The Champ”, won over 700 races during his career. He won four NASCAR National Sportsman championships from 1962-65. As a member of the barnstorming group knowns as the Eastern Bandits, Charland won championships at an array of short tracks across the Northeast and Canada. He won Sportsman titles at Stafford Motor Speedway in 1961 and 1962. RaceDayCt.com-Shawn Courchesne
Thursday 09/26/13
Long Time Speedbowl Competitor and Engine Builder Nick Dinsmoor Passes at 71:
Nicholas James Dinsmoor, 71, of Uncasville and formerly of Salem, passed away Monday (Sept. 23, 2013) at the Wm. W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. Born Nov. 29, 1941, he was the son of the late Claire and Lily (Reynolds) Dinsmoor, Jr. Mr. Dinsmoor served proudly with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from 1960 to 1965, serving on one of the first nuclear submarines. An avid automotive enthusiast, he worked as an engine machinist and very active with the stock car racing circuit in the area for many years. In his spare time, he also enjoyed fishing. He leaves his wife, Patricia (Piscatelli) Dinsmoor of Uncasville; four sons, Nicholas, Jr. of Oakdale, Alan of Watertown, Michael "Shane" and Kevin, both of Colchester; a daughter, Vicki Apicelli of Oakdale
. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Wednesday 09/04/13
Jess Ruggiero Father of Racing Hall of Famer Reggie Ruggiero Passes:
Jess A. Ruggiero, 93, of New Britain, Conn., died Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, at the Hospital of Central Connecticut at New Britain General. He was the beloved husband of Josephine (Germano) Ruggiero for 65 years. Jess was born in Bethel, Vt., and was the son of the late John and Fannie (Ezzo) Ruggiero. He was a resident of New Britain for 70 years and worked as a Foreman for Stanley Works for several years. Jess was very devoted to his family and enjoyed going to the races, especially watching his son Reggie race. He also enjoyed going to his son’s business Race Works every day, visiting with all the guys. He had a passion for hunting and fishing.
SpeedwayLineReport.com
Charles "Chick" Stockwell Jr., Retired Racecar Driver and Farmer: Charles "Chick" Stockwell, 85, died Monday, July 29, 2013, at home, surrounded by his loving family and caretakers, Robert Stockwell, Cheryl O'Bar, Thomas Stockwell, Valerie Galvin, Clyde O'Bar Sr. and Darryl Franklin. Mr. Stockwell was born in Woodbury, the son of the late Charles Stockwell Sr. and Margaret Stockwell. He was a lifelong resident of Woodbury, and he served with the United States Army. His love for stockcar racing began in 1949. He raced many tracks, but was most famous for his number "151" at the Danbury Race arena. He retired from racing in 1981, when the track closed down. He went into farming, raising cows, some of which he had pet names for. "Chick," who didn't like attention, was a quiet man. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Friday 06/21/13
Bill Christopher,
Patriarch of the Christopher Family, Passes at 80: William Theodore Christopher, 80, of Bristol, formerly of Plainville, passed away at his home, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Born in Scranton, PA on September 10, 1932, he was the only child to the late Michael and Caroline (Pysar) Christopher. Raised and educated in Scranton, he enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly upon graduating high school. Bill proudly served his country for 2 years, going on to join the Navy Reserves. He married the love of his life, Lucy (Graziano), with whom he shared 57 years. They moved to Plainville where they raised their family of three, and shared many happy times. Bill’s early passion was restoring antique cars, for which he won many awards. He retired after more than forty years as a master mechanic and supervisor in the construction industry. The former “Mayor of Grant Ave.” SpeedwayLineReport.com

Frank Belbusti Former United Stock Car Racing Club Champion Passes:
Frank A. Belbusti 85, of Woodbridge beloved husband of Patricia Spragg Belbusti passed away on May 7, 2013 in CT. Hospice. Loving father of Frank (Jill) Belbusti and George (Gina) Belbusti all of Orange and the late Lynne Belbusti. Grandfather of Heather Aportria, Frank Belbusti III and Anthony and Lucia Belbusti. Also survived by 4 great grandchildren. Brother of Ann (Thomas) Coppla of Placida, FL John (Jane) Belbusti of Oxnard, CA and George (Colleen) Belbusti of West Haven and the late Eugene Belmont. Uncle of Kim Zabilowski and Gina Bohan. He was a driver for the United Stock Car Racing Club becoming circuit and West Haven Speedway Champ. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Wednesday 05/08/13
Former Plainville Stadium Modified Driver Larry Crighton Passes at 69:
Lawrence W. Crighton, passed away on his 69th birthday, at The Highlands Health Care Center in Cheshire. He was born April 29, 1944 in Waterbury, CT, son of the late David and Judith (Dillon) Crighton. Lawrence was employed as an auto mechanic at Wallingford Audi prior to his illness. He served in the U. S. Air Force as a jet aircraft mechanic. He was an avid Stock Car Racer racing at Plainville Stadium; he was a NASCAR fan and attended several NASCAR events. He also enjoyed spending time on his boat in Branford, CT. He was a member of the Prospect V.F.W. and the Southington Elks Club.
SpeedwayLineReport.com
Monday 05/06/13
Former Modified Standout Jerry Wheeler Passes in Virginia at 81: In a scenario becoming all too familiar lately as the drivers of the "Golden Age" of racing are getting older, Jerry Wheeler passed away at the age of 81 at the Walter Reed Convalescent Hospital in Gloucester, Virginia on Saturday May 4th. Jerry was born in Lewiston, Maine starting racing in 1951 on the dirt tracks of Maine. Relocating to Connecticut in the mid 50's for a job at Electric Boat when the submarine builder was in it's heyday during the cold war. Jerry started racing at the local tracks in his own #33 winning races at Plainville Stadium, Riverside Park and Waterford where he represented the Speedbowl in the Race of Champions at Langhorne, Pa. Speedway. In an era of the Flat Head Ford Modifieds and Non-Ford straight line engines, Jerry developed the Chevy V8 for racing, which is still predominately the engine of choice for the Modifieds today. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Oswego Speedway Legend "Irish Jack" Murphy Passes at 85: Jack Murphy's career in auto racing actually began when the Liverpool, N.Y. native returned from the service. He teamed up with Fred Sass and built a sportsman stock car to compete at nearby Brewerton and Lafayette N.Y. race tracks in 1949. Jack was at home in a Modified or Supermodified, on Dirt or Asphalt. Throughout his racing career Jack's car was easy to distinguish while in competition as it was green and white, boasting a shamrock and number six on both sides. This unique combination made the "Wild Irishman" one of Central New York's premier drivers of the day and a racing legend to be remembered. In August of 1951 a new racetrack opened in Oswego, New York. Murphy ventured there with his 'Shamrock 6' and quickly made Oswego Speedway his home. SpeedwayLineReport.com

REMEMBERING "BUDDHA"

Dave Dykes, Remembering Al “Buddha” Gaudreau: If you were a modified racing fan frequenting Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl during the better-part of the 1970s you’ll most-certainly recall a sharp-looking blue & silver #3. The driver was Dick Dunn, and the big man turning the wrenches was a good-natured smiling guy by the name of Al “Buddha” Gaudreau. His wife Peg was the owner of the car aptly-nicknamed the “Buddha’s Bullet.” That itself was trend-setting during an era when the role of the fairer-sex in racing consisted mostly of cheering from the stands. Peg was truly a “hands-on” part of team. With ultra-smooth veteran Dunn behind the wheel, the husband & wife duo won an impressive 5-consecutive driver & owner championships 1972-76, in the process notching more feature victories than anyone else during the decade. Also included were open-competition triumphs running against the absolute-best in the business. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Dave Dykes

Waterford Speedbowl, Former Speedbowl Championship Owner Al Gaudreau Passes:
Waterford Speedbowl management was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Al Gaudreau this past Saturday. Gaudreau, of Norwich, CT, operated one of the most successful race teams of all-time at the famed shoreline oval. He passed away at the age of 70. Al, affectionately known as “Buddha” by the racing community, along with his wife Margaret “Peg” Gaudreau owned Modifieds during the 1970’s with Dick Dunn behind the wheel. Their number 3 car became widely known across the northeast as “Buddha’s Bullet”. The combination won five consecutive Modified division owner’s titles at the Speedbowl from 1972-1976 and more races than anyone during the decade. In the 1990’s Gaudreau and his son Tommy competed in the Late Model division. Tommy along with drivers such as Tom Fox piloted the car to numerous more victories and championships. SpeedwayLineReport.com

Long Time Car Owner Al "Buddha" Gaudreau Passes at 70: Albert E. Gaudreau, 70, passed away in Norwich on Saturday, April 27th with family by his side. He was born on June 23, 1942, the son of the late Albert J. and Annie (Mazarelli) Gaudreau. He was the beloved husband of Margaret "Peg" (Rude) Gaudreau who survives him. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary just last year. Albert was born and raised in Norwich along with his brother Tom who now resides in Griswold with his wife Mary (Frye) Gaudreau. Al graduated from NFA in 1960. After high school he worked as a welder at Electric Boat and for the plumbers and pipe fitters union. In 1976 he started Al's Quality Auto and Marine Electric in New London which he ran until 2005. Al and his wife Peg were avid auto racers. He built and owned many winning race cars in New England. He made many lifelong friends in the racing community and affectionately earned the nickname, "Buddha". SpeedwayLineReport.com

Tuesday 04/16/13
Jimmy Smith Obituary, March 30, 1951-April 13, 2013:
James Edward Smith, Jr., 62 of Woodstock, CT, died unexpectedly on April 13, 2013. He was born on March 30, 1951 in Norwalk, CT to Jean Smith and James Edward Smith, Sr. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 35 years Debra T. Smith, daughter and son-in-law Jenna and Jason Seymour and grandson Taylor James, daughter Jessica Smith, sister and brother-in-law Lebris (Lee) Quinn Gamble and Travis Gamble, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Pamela and Thomas Bannon, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Matthew and Tracey Tedone and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Thomas and Joyce Tedone. He also leaves nieces and nephews, racing buddies Ernie Dupont and Damon O'Palick and mentor and friend of 30 years Stanley Matzak.
SpeedwayLineReport.com

Chuck Montville Obituary:
Charles A. “Chuck” Montville III, 56, a lifelong resident of Windsor Locks passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Born on June 7, 1956 in Sturbridge, MA; he was the loving son of the late Charles A. Montville II and Teresa V. Hayes. Chuck worked for Sign Pro Inc. in New Britain. Chuck a loving father, is survived by his two daughters Stephanie L. Montville and Kristen N. Montville. He is also survived by his loving girlfriend of fifteen years, Debbie Marquis and step-father Larry Hayes. Chuck’s passion for asphalt modified racing started at a very young age and carried him through four decades. Chuck worked on numerous modified teams and was an accomplished tire man and auto body painter. Chuck was very thankful for the people who helped him along the way; co-owner Debbie, best friend and driver Les Hinckley and the 06 CMR Modified Team.
SpeedwayLineReport.com

Racing With Jason: Valenti Modified Racing Series mourns loss of car owner Chuck Montville:
On the eve of the opening of its 10th season, the Valenti Modified Racing Series must mourn the loss of one of its own. Longtime car owner Chuck Montville passed away unexpectedly Thursday at age 56 of an undisclosed illness. Montville fielded the No. 06 car driven by Les Hinckley III. That owner-driver pairing wasn't the most financially stout outfit in the VMRS pits, but they did enough to enter 2013 second on the series' all-time wins list with 17. "Chuck made no bones about it," VMRS public address announcer and media relations director John Spence Sr. told MassLive.com Friday. "He didn't bring a lot of money to the table, but his dedication and his hard work made him on top of his game. Springfield Republican-Jason Remillard

Charles Leroy Elliott Passes, New England Racing Hall-of-Famer had a creative 75 year career: He built three new speedways with his own hands and refurbished three more. Some of the greatest drivers in auto racing history thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans on those race tracks, leaving decades of lasting memories. New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall-of-Famer “Charlie” Elliott, 96, passed away in his sleep today, March 20, at his home in Hernando, FL. Self-educated, his common sense approach, quiet vice-gripe handshake and humor matched by a determined work ethic were his characteristics, building a legendary career from New England to Florida. He began racing open-wheel open-cockpit cars in 1936 on the old dirt Newmarket (N.H.) Speedway and later became involved in midget car racing. Rather than drive he preferred working on cars becoming a mechanic and expert welder. After working as a submarine welder through World War II at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, he began operating race tracks and building race cars. SpeedwayLineReport.com
 

Remembering Hall of Fame Member Melvin "Red" Foote

 
 

 

 
     
"Eastern Bandit" and New England Hall of Famer Melvin "Red" Foote Passes: Melvin “Red” Foote, 85, of Chesterfield,Va. went to be with the Lord on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Red is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Loretta Foote; his step daughter, Linda Strasburg; step grandson, Michael (TiAnna) Talley; step granddaughter, Michelle (Richard) King; Sisters-in-law, Rev. Beverly J. Samford and Julianna Duke. Red enjoyed racing stockcars for 35 years, is formerly known as one of the “Eastern Bandits” and was inducted into the New England Hall of Fame for racecar drivers in 1999. After retirement he spent much time at Newpoint Campground on his boat fishing. Red was devoted to his cats and his good friends at Dutchgap. Red will be remembered for his quick wit, humor and willingness to help others and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Monday 01/28/13
Long time local NASCAR racing official Carl Merrill passes away:
A serious conversation about New England motorsports cannot be conducted without the name Carl Merrill being included. For over 60 years, Carl had his guiding hand in the sport at many tracks including Westboro Speedway, Thompson Speedway, Monadnock Speedway and most importantly, Norwood Arena Speedway. It was a warm Saturday afternoon in 1949 when 24-year-old Carl Merrill was sitting in traffic on Route 1 in Norwood. As he approached the cause of the traffic jam he discovered that an auto racing event was taking place. He knew nothing about the sport and just as much about cars in general, but he was curious and followed the crowd. He was bitten by the racing bug and was in the stands the following Saturday.
Brockton Enterprise-Lou Modestino
Former Riverside Park Speedway Modified Competitor Charlie Jones Passes at 71: Charles Ernest Jones, 71, lifelong Agawam resident, passed away Wednesday January 23rd at the VA Boston Healthcare in West Roxbury, MA. Born in Ludlow to the late Ernest and Veronica (Carnes) Jones, he attended Agawam Schools. Charlie served his country honorably in the United States Navy and was employed as a Precision Machinist for various local businesses throughout his career. He was an avid golfer, enjoying all the local courses, and was active over the years in modified racing at several area speedways. If Charlie could swing a golf club from a race car, he would. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Jacquelene Czupta. He is survived by his two children; Charles E. Jones, II of West Springfield and Tammie Gulker-Graham and her husband Darryl and their children, Katie, Christopher and Gare of Florida. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Sondra Grady, Former Public Relations for Albany Saratogo Speedway and Wife of Racing Photographer John Grady Passes: Sondra Briggs Grady NiskayunaSondra Briggs Grady, 76, of Primrose Ln., died Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at the St. Peter's Hospice Inn. Sondra was born in Poughkeepsie, a graduate of Watervliet High School, and SUNY Albany, where she earned her BS and master's in education. She was a high school teacher with the Niskayuna School District for 22 years, retiring in 2000. At one time she was in charge of public relations for the Albany Saratoga Speedway and had also worked at the Fonda Speedway. She was a member of AAUW, a volunteer at Proctors and a former member of Schenectady Business and Professional Women. She will be remembered as an active member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and a member of the Business, Marketing Educators Assoc. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, John D. Grady. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Former Driver and Flagman Joe "Cast" Castellucci Passes: JOE CAST, (Joe Castellucci) started racing in 1949 running most of the many tracks in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire Area, including Medford, Hudson, West Peabody, Norwood, Manchester, and Westboro where he was the long time Starter throughout the 70's after his racing career ended. This was a time when racing 3 and 4 times a week was the norm. Unfortunately most of these tracks have long since closed. Joe won 3 Championships and finished 2nd and 3rd on several occasions racing against some of the best at the time including legendary Ollie Silva. Joseph T. Castellucci, 80, died unexpectedly Thursday, November 8, 2012, in the Addison Gilbert Hospital. He was the husband of Dorothy F. (Caulk) Castellucci.  As an automotive mechanic, Joe owned and operated M & J Truck Repair in Gloucester for twenty years. In keeping with his love of automobiles, Joe was a member of the Atlantic Auto Racing Association and enjoyed racing for over twenty years. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Charlie Mitchell, Popular Norwalk Hour Sports Editor and Auto Racing Writer, Passes Away: Northeastern Auto Racing lost a real power Thursday when Charlie Mitchell, the long-time sportswriter for the Norwalk Hour, died. Charlie was the dean of New England racing writers. The respect he had from competitors, from promoters, from fans and, especially from other media members, remains unparalleled. Having Charlie in the press box signified that it was indeed an event worthy of coverage. He brought the skills he used covering other sports to auto racing. He was one of a tiny group that was instrumental in making our sport part of the general media scene. In that regard, he was a revolutionary figure in New England auto racing history. Charlie and his wife Mimi became close friends with my wife Jane and me. We will miss him. We extend our condolences to son Charles, James and Dennis and their families. Pure and simple, Charlie was a decent human being, dedicated and loyal to his friends. If Charlie had an enemy, if there was somebody out there that didn’t like him, he’s been hiding for decades. Plain and simple, if you were one of the host of Charlie’s friends you were blessed. SpeedwayLineReport.com
Former Riverside Park and Speedbowl Competitor Glen Reilly Passes at Age 60: Glen (Smiley) Reilly, 60, of Island Pond,VT formerly of Northford, CT passed away on Sunday, October 21, 2012 surrounded by his family. Son of the late Francis Reilly and Shirley Harvey Reilly (East Haven). Husband of the beloved Cheryl Perrella Reilly. Father of devoted daughter and son-in-law Lisa and Dennis Bozzuto. Dedicated and Proud Grandfather of Austin (Buddy). Dilan (Buddy) and Lacey (his Little Girl). Brother of Elizabeth (Betty) and Paul Gertsch (Paul and Scott), Francis (Frank) and Debbie Reilly, Robin and Rich Pollock (Tori and Cameron), Nicholas Reilly (Angelica and Elizabeth), foster brother of Steve Olander. His dog Snickers stayed by his side. In the 90’s-2003ish his dream came true and he raced Riverside Park in a Strictly Stock #99. When Riverside Park closed he raced a Late Model at Waterford Speedbowl in the #09 and #99. Always having to compete with his wife Cheryl on who was a better racecar driver (she raced Mini Stock #99). His joy for racing was once again fulfilled when his three grandchildren began racing Quarter Midgets at Silver City in Meriden for the past 3 years. He was the crew chief, the most competitive member of our crew!! SpeedwayLineReport.com
Former Modified Driver Mark Zimmerman, Brother of Hall of Famer Denny Zimmerman Passes At 65: Mark was a NEAR member, former Modified Driver and the younger brother of the 1971 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Denny Zimmerman. The Speedway Line Report sends our condolences to our friend Denny and the entire Zimmerman family. Mark E. Zimmerman, 65, of Glastonbury, died Monday October 15, 2012 at home following a long illness. Born March 18, 1947 in Hartford, son of the late S. Edward Zimmerman and Gertrude (Carleton) Zimmerman Maramarco, he was a lifelong resident of Glastonbury. Mark was an insurance agent for New York Life until starting the Zimmerman Insurance Agency in the early 1980’s which he operated until his retirement in 2011. Mark was a member of the Mystic Mudhead Sailing Association, the Swiss-American Association and the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce. He raced Modified cars along the East Coast and was the Soapbox Derby National Champion in 1959. SpeedwayLineReport.com
1965 West Haven Speedway Champion Red O’Keefe Passes-Away: Red O'Keefe former West Haven Speedway champion Red O’Keefe passed-away on August 9, 2012. Red, who had turned 80 earlier this year, was a standout New England modified competitor for many seasons claiming feature events at a number of the regions speedways. He was the 1966 West Haven Speedway track champion and nearly repeated in ’67 placing second to fellow United Stock Car Racing Club star, the late Johnny “King” Cambino. The winning margin for that’s years title race was a scant single point. In reminiscing about Red’s career, family friend Mike Guerette stated “Red probably had his best years at West Haven competing in the tough Non-Ford division. He also built his own cars, always with an emphasis on safety. He added innovations like front & rear firewalls, a fire extinguisher, and a full roll cage not unlike today’s NASCAR designs. In addition to his championship, he also received many other awards at West Haven such as “Top Driver/Mechanic” and “Most Popular Driver.” SpeedwayLineReport.com

Bill Slater Obituary: Bill Slater, of Manchester, died Sunday, (July 15, 2012) in Manchester. The son of the late Clarence and Winona Slater, he was born in Norwich on Aug. 4, 1928. He drove Modified race cars for two decades, winning over 100 events from Maine to New Jersey including major events at Trenton, NJ and Langhorne, PA. He won track championships at Waterford Speedbowl, at Norwood Arena and at Stafford and Thompson Speedways. A competitor at Daytona Speedway, he was a member of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame. Following his driving, Slater worked at both Stafford and Thompson Speedways. He leaves sons Willam Jr. and his finance Cynthia Poudrette, and Robert and his wife Bette; and grandchildren Holly, Nicole, Brian, Suzanne and Amanda; sisters Joyce and Barbara and devoted companion Karen Slater. He was predeceased by a brother and two sisters. SpeedwayLineReport.com

New England Auto Racing Hall Of Fame Member “Wild Bill” Slater Passes At Age 83: It was learned Sunday, July 15 that New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member “Wild Bill” Slater has passed-away. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. A member of the first-class inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Slater drove his first race at Lonsdale R.I. in 1949 and for the next twenty years he won at tracks from Oxford Plains Maine to Trenton New Jersey. He was a four time champion at the Norwood Arena and a two-time Sportsmen champion at Thompson. He won on the dirt at Stafford and on the pavement everywhere. He was often a top-three finisher in the NASCAR National Sportsman championship run, even though he raced against full time drivers while he held down a weekly job. SpeedwayLineReport.com-Dave Dykes

Former Modified Driver Bill Slater Dies:
Former Modified Driver Bill Slater Dies. Slater, of Manchester, was 83. “Wild” Bill Slater, a Norwich native, began a 20-year career driving racecars in Lonsdale, R.I. in 1949. He was part of the inaugural class of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 1998. Slater won championships at Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson International Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl. He won races at Stafford while the track was still dirt and also asphalt. He was a 4-time champion at the old Norwood (Mass.) Arena and also. Slater scored victories up and down the East coast at some of the nation’s most legendary short tracks and also competed in Sportsman events at NASCAR’s highest levels. In 1960 he competed in the first World 600 at the then newly opened Charlotte Motor Speedway, sharing a ride that day with fellow Modified driver Ernie Gahan. The tandem recorded a 13th place finish in the event. Slater was most recognized for driving the Vitari-Bombacci owned V8. RaceDayCT.com-Shawn Courchesne

Tom Ormsby's "Racing Remembrances": Driver Profile: Billy Harman On Sunday April 15, 1951 a 7th grader watched the first ever race at the New London /Waterford Speedbowl. That 7th grader was also attending his first race. Bob Swift would go in the record books as the first winner at the new racetrack. Young Billy Harman would become hooked on racing after that first race, never to miss a Wednesday or Saturday race for many years to come at the Speedbowl. Like many a youngster after attending their first race, Bill knew he wanted to be a race driver. In his sophomore year of high school Bill would build his first race car in the high school’s shop class, a 1938 six cylinder Chevy Coupe. After school Bill would take the 38 Chevy to the Morgan Farm, about a mile from the Speedbowl. There were some weekdays Bill would drive the car from the farm to the Speedbowl and sneak on the racetrack. Bill recalls, “This was my first opportunity to drive the race car”.**Don Rounds Victor At New London Speedbowl-1951**Mordino, Hill Win At Plainville-1971**New Breed Strikes At Stafford Springs Again - 1972 SpeedwayLineReport.com-Tom Ormsby
 

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