New England Auto Racers Hall Of Fame Member Ron Bouchard Dies

Ron Bouchard (Photo: New England Antique Racers)

Ron Bouchard (Photo: New England Antique Racers)

Also read: Legendary New England Racer Ron Bouchard Remembered By Family, Friends Locally

Former Modified great and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Ron Bouchard passed away Thursday.

Bouchard, a native of Fitchburg, Mass. and a member of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, was 67 years old.

Ed Flemke Jr. confirmed that Bouchard passed away early Thursday morning after battling cancer for many years.

“It was a tough battle,” said Flemke, Bouchard’s brother-in-law. “But he fought the good fight, as he always did.”

Bouchard’s wife Paula is the daughter of legendary Modified driver Ed Flemke Sr.

“They were such a tremendous team,” Ed Flemke Jr. said.

Bouchard was a member of the charter class of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 1998. The Hall of Fame is overseen by the New England Antique Racers.

Bouchard began his racing career at 14 years old at the former Brookline Speedway in the 1960’s. He made his name winning in Modified events across the Northeast and became the star attraction at Stafford Motor Speedway in the 1970’s.

Though Bouchard was most known for his lone Sprint Cup Series victory, coming in the Talladega 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 2, 1981. It was his eleventh career Sprint Cup Series start.

Bouchard was the 1981 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. He had 160 Sprint Cup Series starts between 1981 and 1987 with 19 top-five finishes, 60 top-10’s and three poles.

He won the Talladega event driving for New England car owner Jack Beebe and New England crew chief Bob Johnson.

He also made 20 XFINITY Series starts from 1983 to 1987 with two victories and eight top-fives

“He wasn’t the first New Englander or Modified guy to go down south and become famous, … but I think because he was such a large figure in the Modified family, when he did finally go Cup racing he had such a strong following that I think he had a bigger impact than the guys before him,” Flemke said. “He had roots. It’s why I kind of say to the new way of life in racing, the instant success and the young guys going right up, they don’t build that fan base. Ronnie did that. And not just because he was good at what he did, but he was a good person.”

Bouchard’s younger brother Ken also went on to parlay a successful Modified career into starring at the Sprint Cup Series level. Ken Bouchard was the 1988 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.

Ron Bouchard oversaw the opening of his RB Racing Museum in Fitchburg, Mass. this past September.

“He just needed to get it done,” Flemke said. “Obviously there was some urgency to get it done because we wanted him to be able to enjoy it before things got bad.”

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  1. ,…SAD NEWS,………..I REMEMBER HIM PITTING RIGHT NEXT TO US YEARS AGO AT THE SPEEDBOWL WHEN I WAS WITH THE CERAVOLO RACE TEAM,……AWFUL NICE GUY TO BE AROUND,.VERY NICE PERSON TO TALK WITH,…..

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