THOMPSON, Conn. – Twenty racing pioneers considered central to the success of the sport in New England during its formative era will be inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Nov. 18 at the Speedway Clubhouse located on the grounds of the Thompson Int’l Speedway.
Just completed, the selection follows a lengthy voting process administered by a committee of the region’s foremost auto racing historians.
Slated for induction are stock car drivers Tony Mordino, Sparky Belmont, Hank Stevens, Ed Patnode, Johnny Georgiades, Wally Silva, and Ray Brown.
Midget racing standouts Eddie Casterline, George Rice, Al Pillion, Billy Tibbert, Frank Simonetti, Charlie Ethier, and George Monson round-out the open-wheel inductees.
Completing the list of those entering the Hall of Fame are car owners Anthony “Beebe” Zalenski, Ed Stone, Wen Kelley, Bob Oliver, Gordon Ross, and owner & promoter of Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium, Joe Tinty.
In the coming weeks additional information will be released providing a more in-depth look at each inductee’s accomplishments in the sport.
Many past HOF inductees have confirmed that they’ll be attending the ceremony.
In addition to the inductions, among the day’s activities will be a good-natured “Roast” of the Hall’s members administered by some of the region’s top raceway media figures including among others, Rollie Jacobs, John Spence, Pete Falconi, Ben Dodge, and Matt Buckler.
Several memorabilia exhibits will be part of the celebration, and the popular Pronyne Mobile Museum will be present for attendees desiring an “up-close & personal” view of the sports beginnings via our region’s only museum. Renowned Eastern racing photographer John Grady is attending, and with him he’ll bring his vast file of racing photographs. Lew Boyd’s Coastal 181 Publishing will also set-up shop for those looking to add to their personal auto racing libraries.
Doors open at 10 a.m., with dinner to be served at 1 p.m. Tickets are economically-priced at $35.00. Reservations may be made by sending payment to NEAR Pioneer Banquet, Box 172, Milldale, Connecticut, 06467.