Daily Grind: NEAR Awards; State Assistance To Thompson; Former Owner Peg Gaudreau Passes

During a meeting on January 5, the New England Antique Racers awarded Billy Greco its prestigious Frank Marratta Award. The award, which was established in 1981 and is the association’s oldest, is presented annually to a dedicated individual that routinely serves as a good goodwill ambassador for the sport.

Daily Grind 300 Box

Greco, a 1999 inductee to the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, was behind a very successful fund raising picnic for the association in 2013.

Lloyd Hutchins Jr. was given the Charlie Stebbins Award, which is given annually to an individual displaying a record of dedication and hard work for NEAR.

Receiving 2013 NEAR participation awards were; Scott & Judy Porier (15 events), Scott Haskell (10), Team Blanchette, Jim Torok, and Rich Belmonte (9), Brian “Spanky” Bancroft (8), and, Lloyd Hutchins Jr. & Bill Kemp (7).

Association vice president Bill Henry announced confirmed events for NEAR in 2013 at Stafford Motor Speedway, the Waterford Speedbowl, Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. and Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway.

— Thompson Speedway is one of numerous companies in Connecticut  expected to be approved Thursday for more than $229.3 million in borrowing through the state Bond Commission.

According to CT New Junkie, the commission plans on loaning Thompson Speedway $800,000 as part of the track’s commitment to retain 48 jobs and create 23 news jobs. According to the report, of the principal, $200,000 will be forgiven if Thompson creates the new jobs by 2015.

Thompson Speedway is set to open a new road course facility this year.

— Former Waterford Speedbowl team owner Peg Gaudreau passed away Tuesday.

Gaudreau, of Norwich, along with her late husband Al, owned the championship winning Buddah’s Bullet racing team that reigned over the Waterford Speedbowl during the 1970’s.

— At least five local drivers are taking part in the Champion Spark Plug “Search for a Champion” contest.

Fifteen finalists will receive $5,000 in sponsorship dollars from Champion for the 2014 and one of the finalists will be awarded a grand prize sponsorship of $50,000.

Voting began this week

The first round of voting ends Feb. 2. Grand prize voting runs from Feb. 21. to March 23, with the grand prize winner announced March 31.

Entered into the contest are:

Paul Kusheba IV of Monroe

TJ Thompson of Lisbon

Derek Griffiths of Hudson, N.H.

Brian Sullivan of South Windsor (Wesson Motorsports)

Melissa Fifield of Wakefield, N.H.


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Auto Parts Swap ‘N Sell Jan 18-19 In West Springfield



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