COLUMNS & FEATURES
Click On Link
Semi-Monthly Racing Commentary with
LEW BOYD AUGUST 16 A RACER AT HEART
NEW BOOK FROM
By Dave Dykes CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR FULL SIZE
it’s the standard fare of vintage material culled from the “RTT” archives.
No-particular theme, just a nice assortment of images for all of you
“old-time” fans to enjoy. As-always, special thanks go out to our
Webmaster & pal Tom Ormsby for getting the material on the site each &
every Wednesday without fail! Tom is putting a couple of videos on this
week, which can be found on the bottom of the page. To all, have a great week! Email reaches me
NOTE: We have now put a comment box at the end of
the web site. Please feel free to leave your comments.
More Mid-Week Meanderings; Vintage-Style !!!
Seen here during the early stages of his racing tenure, Don Flynn
was always recognized for his nice-looking race cars, and this sharp
5-window coupe was no exception. We believe this car to be the King's
Auto Body car which had the black #36 & 63 mostly associated with
Danny Galullo. Enjoying a long New England racing career that
stretched from the coupe-era right-up to the days of more-contemporary
modern machinery, he was a consistent competitor and a feature winner.
We just really-like this shot; these cars were truly-special to us “old-school”
modified folk! (John Grady Photo).
was a modified winner at Connecticut’s former
Plainville Stadium during the early-stages of his
long career, but things really took-off when
the injured Don Moon hired him to temporarily wheel
his potent #9 Pinto creation in weekly action at
“Tinty’s Place.” Still-later, he teamed with
legendary car owner Mario Fiore and the victories
continued in a big-way at a variety of New England
raceplants. Reggie is seen here at his old stomping
grounds behind the controls of the Fiore Chevette
during one of the Stadium’s star-studded 100-lap
open-competition shows on Wednesday, June 29, 1977.
Both Ruggerio and Fiore are members of the New
England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. Hard to believe
that our pal Steve Kennedy took this shot over 3
decades-ago, isn’t it? (Steve Kennedy Photo).
If there was ever a “King of Plainville Stadium”
this guy was the man, and we never tire of running
shots of him. See here is Dave Alkas, 5-time
track champion, and the former (& much-missed)
Connecticut ¼-milers all-time Modified winner. This
image captures him behind the controls of the
much-feared Roland Cyr-owned entry. When Dave pulled
out on the track wheeling one of Roland’s creations,
his fellow competitors knew that they had their work
cut out for them! Fittingly, Mr. Alkas was inducted
into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in
2008. (Steve Kennedy Photo).
If you’re at all familiar with New England modified
racing, not much has to be said about this fellow. As a
driver, the late Ed Yerrington was a big winner,
and in later years as an official became one of the
most-respected figures in the sport. He’s captured here
pitside and ready-to-roll during the 1960s at
Connecticut’s “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl with of
one of his familiar #66 creations. (Rene Dugas Photo).
We really like this shot….. Long-associated with the
Waterford Speedbowl, the Bunnell family fielded winning
rides for decades at the eastern Connecticut oval. Ed
Bunnell earned a Bomber title in 1966 wheeling a machine
crafted in the team’s modest shop located in nearby
Montville, CT. This shot captures younger sibling Donnie
Bunnell in 1975 at the Thompson Speedway’s “Icebreaker”
event with their famed #318 Dodge coupe. The next-season,
this ride provided Donnie with a stunning home turf victory
in the 1976 Bicentennial 200 which was then, Waterford’s
longest event to-date. (Steve Kennedy Photo).
Here’s a nice 70s-era shot of the Bob Garbarino-owned “Mystic
Missle” Pinto with Brian Ross as the driver.
Ross, who began his career at New York State’s
Albany-Saratoga Speedway during the 1960s (an era
in-which the track was an absolute hotbed of action,
routinely attracting the best racers in the business),
was long a top-driver on the New England modified
circuit recording many victories. He was also known as
one of the most innovative car builders of his
generation. Garbarino, among the most-celebrated of all
New England modified team owners, was inducted into the
New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2010. (John
Pictured here with one of his
earliest open-wheel rides, Mike Beebe remained a
faithful Waterford Speedbowl modified competitor for
ages. His winning career spanned a period that saw great
technological strides in the sport. While it all started
during the much-heralded “Coupe Era” his run as a
top Modified chauffer concluded in an age of
“store-bought” chassis, ultra high-dollar motors, and
contemporary tin-work. He remained a class-act and a
threat to win right-up until his retirement from the
division. This neat yellow Mustang-bodied mount remains
one of the most fondly-recalled rides of Beebe’s career.
(Rene Dugas Photo).
Captured here with his classic coach-bodied entry, the
late Calvin “Mousey” Kempster enjoyed a
successful decades-long career wheeling modifieds in the
northeast. His first race was in 1948 at New York’s
famed Islip Speedway. Considered primarily a Long Island
driver, like many of the racers of his era he traveled
frequently, hitting many of the region’s speedplants for
open-competition & long-distance events.
(John Grady Photo).
Here’s one from the former UNITED-sanctioned West Haven
Speedway in Connecticut. “Little Dan” Gaudiosi
was certainly one of that track’s best-ever. He claimed
the 1957, 60, & 64 championships. Along with NEAR Hall
of Fame member Billy Greco, he remains the only other
driver to have claimed 3 titles during the tracks almost
2-decade long history of running the coupes. Dan
of-course, went on to still-more success following his
run at the track also known as “Savin Rock” and was
particularly good at another former Connecticut oval,
the much-missed Plainville Stadium. (Shany Photo).
Many fans don’t realize-it, but before switching to
competition of the 4-wheeled variety, multi-time
Waterford Speedbowl Modified titlist the late George
“Moose” Hewitt was a champion motorcycle racer.
Captured here at the ‘Bowl, he’d started in the Bombers,
scoring multiple feature victories. His venture into
Waterford’s premier class proved a success to the tune
of five track titles between 1977 and 1984. Worth
mention is the fact that the fiercely-independent Hewitt
was one of the few shoreline oval competitors that
during an era of “store-bought” cars later in his
career, continued to craft machines of his own design at
his shop in nearby Uncasville, CT. (Shany Photo).
BONUS SHOT 1:
Like every short track, the Waterford Speedbowl has had
its share of real “stand on the gas” competitors
over the years, and this guy was one of them. Captured
here at the shoreline oval during the 1970s, Glynn
Shafer won a ton of races during his long career
which started in the Bomber class and concluded in the
Modifieds. As exciting a wheelman as ever witnessed at
the Speedbowl, he ALWAYS coaxed the most out of
his equipment. (Shany Photo).
BONUS SHOT 2:
Just a nice action-shot from the early days at what
was then-called the “New London-Waterford”
Speedbowl. We’re not sure who’s in the Norm Kies #21
in this mixup, and the #76 is Frank Manafort,
that’s our late friend, Fred “Fuzzy” Baer in
his familiar #121. Fuzzy was a staple of the
competition at the Speedbowl for eons, and remains
one of the most popular figures to have ever called
the shoreline oval home during it’s long history.
All of us that knew him (your author included), miss
him still. (Shany Photo).
A Short Maybe Amusing Video featuring Jimmy Spencer
Tribute to the late Butch Farone known in the racing
circles a Seymour T Clown
This was published Monday for Brian Danko's weekly
column on the SpeedwayLineReport.com.
To see Brian's story on Seymour click on the link.
I remember Ted Stack driving the 4 and 44 in 1960 at
Waterford. One was modified, the other non-Ford but
can't recall which was which.
(5 days ago) Steve Kennedy said:
LOVE that shot of Yerrington's 66. Reminds me of the
northern cars that competed at places like Claremont,
Hudson and Star many years ago. And Beebe's 09, what can
you say? Absolutely classic modified!!
(5 days ago) cal in clinto said:
things I notice in these shots, Ron Rocco"s 13 inside
the Reggie shot, I think that's Art Moran sr next to Ed
Yarington Thats the L&M behind Moose and Bob Potter"s
110 beside Glen Shafer
(5 days ago) Dave Dykes said:
Gene, Yes it is - it's slated for Saturday, October 13
at the Berlin Fairgrounds. Look for a complete release
on the event on Tom Ormbsy's Speedway Like Report site
very soon. Hope to see you there! - Dave.
(5 days ago) Gene Zeigler said:
Great to see those Plainville memories. Is the
Plainville Reunion still on for October 12 this year?