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Volume 4, Number 22 New Column Every Wednesday
COLUMNS & FEATURES
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Semi-Monthly Racing Commentary with
By Dave Dykes CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL SIZE
Wednesday, and we all know what that means – MORE OLD STUFF! Seriously, it
was fun this week (as usual), selecting what we’d feature in this
installment of “RTT” – it’s a chore that we always look forward-to. I’d
like to take a moment to again thank everyone that writes, and esp. those
who have donated photos for all of us to enjoy over the last few years –
it’s truly appreciated! Thanks to our Web Master Tom Ormsby for the
next 10 weeks we will be running a series of interviews with New England
Auto Racers Hall of Famers from the 2003 Waterford Speedbowl Nostalgia
Weekend. At the bottom of the page is Part One with the 1970 Daytona 500
Champion Pete Hamilton. Each episode runs about 10 to 15 minutes. On with the show…. As-always, email 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.
A Lil’ Of This And A Lil’ Of That…..
this week’s edition of “RTT” is an early image of a driver that would
go on to make some huge noise within the ranks of the “New
London-Waterford” Speedbowl’s full-bodied ranks. From these humble
beginnings during the formative years of the old Daredevil division,
Taftville, Connecticut’s “Big Mike” Daigneault (center), went
on to convincingly score the 1973 Sportsman Sedan championship.
Extremely talented and absolutely one of the most-popular racers of
his era at the shoreline oval, he ranks 7th on the
division’s all-time win list with a total of 27 career feature
victories. It’s worth noting that while the Daredevil/ Sportsman Sedan
classes were overwhelmingly populated by GM products, a few teams like
Mike’s and also the Gada Family, got the job done convincingly with
Ford machines. (Dugas Photo).
Just a really-nice Phil Hoyt color shot; Anthony
“Jap” Membrino was a truly-exciting
driver to watch. Seeing him fly-around Connecticut’s
much-missed Plainville Stadium in this wild-looking
Walt Kuryn-owned Coach creation was often in-itself
worth the price of an admission ticket. Starting his
career at the United-sanctioned West Haven Speedway,
in later-years he went-on to become one of the
region’s premier racers and was especially
proficient at Joe Tinty’s tight little ¼-miler (he
was tough at Riverside also!). Plainville always
hosted some radical-looking cars, and this was one
of-them! (Hoyt Photo).
was a Speedbowl Bomber class standout that found
success in the Modifieds almost immediately. Seen
here pitside during the “Coupe Era” at the
shoreline oval when he was the chauffer of one of
legendary Waterford car owner Freddy Beaber’s famed
“checkerboard” specials, the popular Glaude recorded
a combined total of nineteen feature victories
before quietly retiring from the sport. (Dugas
Now & then, we find an image in the files that’s
really-interesting, but we know little-about. Part of
the fun of doing this kind of stuff is the research
involved (time consuming, but we love it). See here
posing with his absolutely-sharp dirt coupe, is Jim
Ogle who raced out of Pittsfield, MA. Starting his
career in 1965, among his accomplishments was notching
the 1969 Vermont State Sportsman Championship at Devils
Bowl. In subsequent seasons he concentrated on New
York’s Lebanon Valley Speedway (as seen-here), where he
was a top Modified competitor. In 1997 he switched to
the Mini Sprint division enjoying great success at
Massachusetts’ former Whip City Speedway. Sadly, we lost
Jim to Diabetes in 2011. (Grady Photo).
Seen here pitside at the Speedbowl is journeyman Speedbowl
modified racer, DonKibbe (right). Proving to
be an ample shoe, he recorded multiple victories running
against the likes of Bowl stalwarts such as Don Collins,
Dick Dunn, Bob Potter, Dick Watson, etc. during what many
deem to be one of the most competitive periods in the
track’s long history. The Kibbe family later switched their
focus to Midget racing, carving-out a name for themselves
within the ranks of the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA).
Gone, but not forgotten by an entire generation of fans
& competitors. It would take more than this column
allows in listing the accomplishments of this racer.
Let’s just say that the late Doug Garrison was a
coupe-era “Dirt Slinger” of the first-degree. A
true Capitol District legend, he’s seen here at either
Fonda, or Lebanon Valley, New York. So-dominate at The
Valley’ for a period, Garrison became known as “Mr.
Lebanon Valley” by the fans. Retiring in 1979, Doug
passed-away in 1985 after a long-battle with cancer.
was simply “The Man” at Connecticut’s former
Danbury Fair Racarena. Captured here during his prime,
he was extremely popular with both fans and fellow
competitors, Don remains one of the sport’s true “Nice
Guys” to this day. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the
accomplishments of Don’s son Randy, who found success
competing in the upper-echelons of NASCAR.
And here’s a great shot of the exciting “Wild Bill”
Scrivener during the latter stages of his career as
the pilot of the “Racin’ Rambler” at Waterford.
It’s Easter Sunday of 1974 (note the basket on the
hood), and he’s just notched his final career feature
victory and it was no-fluke. Completing the top-10 was
defending track champion Dick Dunn, NEAR Hall of Famer
“Gentleman Dick” Watson, Jerry Dostie, Art Moran, Joey
Trudeau, Nels Wholstrom, Donnie Bunnell, Mark LaJeunesse,
and Lou Herman. Ron “Boots” Cote won the accompanying
Sportsman Sedan feature (his third-straight). The next
week however, it was an outsider taking the laurels. The
Great Ollie Silva displayed a history-making performance
in winning the Hott Wheels 100 open-comp show, lapping
the field several times and setting a new lap record of
16.48. (Photographer Unknown).
Here’s a nice Waterford shot of the late Marvin Chase.
Known by Connecticut fans as primarily a Speedbowl
competitor, he also tasted success at the storied
Norwood Arena in Massachusetts – an easy feat by
no-means. After hanging-up his helmet, Marvin became
involved with the New England Antique Racers, heavily
contributing his time to the club. Every year, a NEAR
member is presented the “Marvin Chase Contribution
Award” in honor of this late racer. Our Webmaster Tom
Ormsby adds that this shot is culled from the 1968
season and that the car was owned by Bob Wheeler and
Mike Putnam. Fondly remembered, “Marv” had many
friends at the shoreline oval, including this scribe.
The Speedbowl racing career of Hebron, Connecticut’s
Paul Mancarella was not a lengthy affair, but he
managed to post a number of impressive feature event
finishes while chauffeuring this former Dick Caso coupe.
One highlight occurred in 1970, when on Saturday night
August 17th he posted a strong 3rd place
holding-off both Joey Trudeau, and New England Auto
Racing Hall of Famer the late Dick Watson – fast company
indeed! (Shany Photo).
Seen here is the late Tony Mordino, simply
one of the best-of-the-best. A leading member of the
legendary “Waterbury Gang” that also included
guys like the late Danny Galullo, the battles he
waged with established UNITED stars such as Billy
Greco and Johnny “King” Cambino at the old West
Haven Speedway (as seen here), are stuff of New
England racing legend. He later conquered Plainville
and Riverside Park; certainly two of the toughest
bullrings in the Northeast. Tony retired following
the 1975 Thompson 300, an event in which he raced to
a top-10 finish after having started 50th
in the field. (Mordino Family Collection).
England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Nostalgia
Interview with 1970 Daytona 500 Champion Pete
NOTE: If you Click on
the small YouTube icon when the the video starts,
for some reason it is better quality.