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Time & The Speedway Line Report
Volume 4, Number 21 New Column Every Wednesday
COLUMNS & FEATURES
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Semi-Monthly Racing Commentary with
LEW BOYD MAY
17 SCOTTY AND THE SUPER MOON
By Dave Dykes CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE
Wednesday we present a truly-varied selection of images, many of-which
were donated by our old friend and fellow NEAR member, JoJo Farone. Once a
winning driver at Joe Tinty’s much-missed Plainville Stadium, JoJo has
deep roots in the sport, and his photographic contributions to this week’s
installment of “RTT” are greatly appreciated. Also, please be sure to take
a gander at this week’s “Bonus Shot” as we’re trying to help a veteran
racer acquire some shots of his career that due to unfortunate
circumstances, have been lost. With-that, it’s on to another week!
As-always, mail reaches me at
NOTE: We have now put a comment box at the end of
the web site. Please feel free to leave your comments.
Yet More “Wednesday Wanderings”….
victory lane shot of the guy responsible for providing some of this
weeks images from back when he was a Novice Class winner at that
much-missed Connecticut ¼-miler known as Plainville Stadium. Looking
very-much the part of a teenager (which he was), our pal JoJo
Farone was fast right-out-of-the-box in this hulking pre-war sedan
owned by his sister Helen pictured here. Member of a Connecticut
racing family that also included the late Butch “Seymour the Clown”
Farone and standout Stadium competitor Beetle Farone, JoJo progressed
from these humble beginnings to wheeling Modifieds in the New England
region. (Photo Courtesy JoJo Farone).
was one of the most-respected drivers of his era and
for good-reason. In addition to being a huge winner,
he was also one of the nicest people in our sport,
and remains-so today. You’d be hard-pressed to meet
a driver that had a better relationship with his
fans. A New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer, he
was an absolute master of the short oval, honing his
skills at tight little joints like the late West
Haven Speedway and the much-missed 1/5-miler at
Riverside Park. A darling of the old Harvey
Tattersall-led United circuit (once the most
influential sanctioning group in New England), in
later-years he also became a winner at the
ultra-competitive Danbury Fair Racarena. The
personable Greco is as popular today as he ever-was,
and can really enlighten you on the history of the
sport. If you get a chance to chat with him, please
do! (Photo Courtesy JoJo Farone).
Here’s simply a timeless image of one of the
greatest talents to have ever emerged from the early
days of New England Modified racing. Inducted into
the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame this year
and seen here following a Cutdown victory while
chauffeuring the much-feared Garuti Bros. #14
at the “New London-Waterford” Speedbowl of
the early 1950s is the late, great, “Moneybags
Moe” Gherzi. Already an established star when
this shot was captured, he was one of the
most-prolific winners during the sports infancy.
Often nattily-attired on race night, Moe bought a
degree of class to the sport when greasy t-shirts
seemed the norm. He earned his nickname via a
penchant for claiming some of the biggest purses of
the era. After vacating the driver’s seat, he served
a long residency as Race Director at the late
Plainville Stadium. Quite-flittingly, master car
builders Rich & Ray Garuti (we believe that to be
Rich on the left), are also Hall of Fame members.
(Photo Courtesy JoJo Farone).
We know, it’s another shot of “Moneybags” but we
couldn’t resist; it’s just such a GREAT photo! Seen this
time on the old UNITED 1/5-miler at Riverside Park with
another potent Garuti Brothers entry is Moe Gherzi.
Following a short stint in the midgets, he became one of
the drivers that helped define stock car racing in New
England during the busy post-war era. With his fancy
silk shirts, and requisite “victory salute” following
each feature win, he was the consummate showman and
goodwill ambassador for a segment of the sport still in
its infancy and seeking legitimacy. (Photo Courtesy
Here’s a dandy of a shot of another Garuti Bros. ride, this
time chauffered by New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer,
the late & much-missed Eddie Flemke Sr. The former
(and tremendously-missed), Riverside Park Speedway in
Massachusetts is the locale, and “Steady Eddie’s” mount is a
“classic” in every sense of the word. Back when Shany
Lorenzent captured this image, it was the Tattersall
family’s United Stock Car Racing Club that ruled the roost
in New England modified racing, not NASCAR. United
once held court at a staggering number of raceways in the
Northeast and included in its ranks were the biggest stars
of the day.
(Photo Courtesy JoJo Farone).
And here’s the last of our friend JoJo’s contributions
to this weeks installment of “RTT.” Another Riverside
Park “Coupe Era” image, seen here in the Garuti
Bros. entry is the late Dick Dixon.
New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member, he was a
top Modified competitor in Harvey Tattersall’s United
Stock Car Club in the 1950s & 60s, also competing in
their Grand American class. One year, he won all-but two
GA features run by United. He earned several wins on the
old Big E racetrack in both the Modifieds and Late
Models, and also competed in several Grand National
(Sprint Cup), events, including races at Charlotte, Lime
Rock, Daytona, and Islip Speedways. Sadly, Dick lost his
life in 1967 while competing at Thompson Speedway in a
car normally driven by fellow New England Auto Racing
Hall of Fame member Billy Harman. (Photo Courtesy
Simply one of the greatest to ever sit behind the
controls of a race car, the late “Dynamite” Ollie
Silva was both a huge winner, and one of the
most-admired competitors in all of short track racing.
Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame
in 1998, Silva recorded over five-hundred feature
victories over the course of a career that started in
1949 at the long-shuttered Dracut, MA. Speedway and
concluded in 1980. He was victorious in Modifieds,
Supers, Sprint Cars, and Cut-Downs. Etched into the
record books of Connecticut’s Waterford Speedbowl is an
absolutely-dominating Modified win in the 1974 Hott
Wheels 100 in which Silva lapped the entire field not
once, but twice! To this-day, the locals still talk
about it. (Photographer Unknown).
Here’s a nice trackside image capturing one of the
Waterford Speedbowl’s more consistent competitors of the
late 1960s & early 70s. Don Phaneuf campaigned
this little “square-roof” entry during the later-years
of the much-heralded “coupe era” at the Connecticut
1/3-miler. Though he never notched a feature victory, he
did score several qualifying heats and a number of top
main event finishes. (Shany Photo).
Here’s Preston, Connecticut’s Art Moran Sr.
seated behind the controls of a nifty 3-window coupe at
the Speedbowl. Moran was a steady-competitor at the
track affectionately-known as the “shoreline oval”
for many seasons, recording a number of feature
victories. As a side-note, he was one of the first
racers in Waterford history to successfully employ
power-steering, a feature of the memorable #66 Coach
that he campaigned during the 1970s. Art’s family
remains a presence in local racing circles today, with
both his children and grandchildren having become
Back in the early days when 3-digit car numbers were all
the rage, Nick Dinsmore fielded this sharp coupe
at the Speedbowl. We really like this era of New England
modified racing. It was a time when getting-involved in
the sport was still based more on desire & mechanical
ingenuity rather than the thickness of one’s bankroll.
Cars like this were constructed entirely by the teams;
no “store-bought” stuff here! (Shany Lorenzent
Here’s one that’s somewhat of a departure from our
customary offerings, at least speaking in
regional-terms. The driver is Elmer Elliot,
and the photo comes via his brother Jack who writes
“My name is Jack Elliott, the brother of Elmer
Elliott, the driver of the # 17 shown in the
attached photo. He raced mostly at Ransomville (New
York), Speedway in the Sportsman class in his home
built car as shown. He did quite-well, winning a few
races & even came close to winning the championship.
He is now 79 years-old and in poor-health and I’m
trying to locate pictures of him when he raced. He
lost all of his photos and trophies in a fire years
ago, so he has nothing but what he can remember.”If any of our readers can offer any leads on
acquiring photos for Jack and his brother Elmer,
please contact me at
email@example.comWe’d really like
to give the Elliot family some assistance on this if
Thanks, Don. I've very-blessed in having a great
Webmaster and a number of readers & friends that
contribute many timeless images for all of us to enjoy.
As-long as I can find material, the site will continue
(3 days ago) Don Macrino said:
I get great pleasure from your weekly photos and text.
Thanks so much.
(3 days ago) Sonny O said:
In 1956 Eddie and Moe won the Riverside 500 team race in
Garuti's#28 and#14 team cars Eddie also won the
championship for the season that year.
(3 days ago) Pat D said:
Dave another nice job of finding cool and fresh photo'
each week. Keep up the good work. I look forward each
week to this column Thanks Pat D.
(4 days ago) Dave Dykes said:
Thanks, Nels. Our pal JoJo Farone really came-through
with photos this week! Ed P.; not-sure on the "team car"
question. Perhaps one of our Riverside experts can
(4 days ago) nels wohlstrom jr. said:
GREAT SHOT OF ART MORAN!
(4 days ago) Ed P said:
anyone know if those were the Garuti team cars that won
the 500 in 1956 with Flemke and Gherzi driving? Looks to
be of that era.