Dr. Dick Berggren To Serve As Grand Marshal For NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final At Stafford Speedway

Dick Berggren (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dick Berggren (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Stafford Motor Speedway announced Thursday that former NASCAR Sprint Cup television announcer Dr. Dick Berggren will serve as the Grand Marshal for the track’s NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final weekend, which includes the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Fall Final 150.

Berggren began his television career in 1981 and worked a multitude of racing divisions during stints for CBS, ESPN, Fox, Speed Channel, TBS and TNN. He retired from television announcing after the 2012 season. He also operated Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated magazine.

According to a release from Stafford Speedway: “Berggren also has a deep connection with Stafford Speedway. The Connecticut half-mile track was where Berggren first caught the racing bug as a young boy. Berggren is best known at Stafford as being one of the creators of the “greatest race in the history of spring”, The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Lew Boyd, Bruce Cohen, and Berggren created the Spring Sizzler in 1972 as a way to hold a premier auto racing event in the spring when at the time all the major events were held in the summer and fall months. Berggren even won a race at Stafford during his driving career, taking the checkered flag in a Late Model Tiger feature event that was held on May 17, 1968. These roots as well as his relationship with the late Jack Arute, Sr. makes being the Grand Marshal of the NAPA Fall Final an honor for Mr. Berggren.”

“I saw my very first race at Stafford Speedway when I was 8 years old and Stafford is what has taken me through my whole life,” Berggren said in a release from Stafford. “Stafford has been one of my favorite tracks since the days of the quarter-mile paved track on the infield and the half-mile dirt track outside that. My parents found that they could get whatever they needed from me by promising trips to Stafford. I had to pay my own way so I had a paper route and I did all sorts of things to earn money because I needed a quarter to buy a copy of Illustrated Speedway news and I needed to have an extra dollar in order to buy one of Shaney Lorenzen’s 8×10 pictures of the drivers.

“The Fall Final is on the other end of the Spring Sizzler, but it’s still a long running major event. I was thrilled when Mark Arute asked me to be the Grand Marshal. Stafford has meant so much to me for so many years and to be the Grand Marshal at one of Stafford’s major events is a big deal. Stafford is special because of my relationship with Jack, Sr. and Bill Slater to start with. When we first ran the Sizzler, they were so kind to us and they were very supportive. I see what Mark and Lisa have done with the track now and Stafford is better than it’s ever been from a perspective from being a clean, solid place that has good racing that people can bring their families, enjoy a night of short track racing, and go home with a smile on their faces and tell their friends and neighbors this is a wonderful place to go. It’s the Jack Arute way, do everything first class.”

Since retiring from television announcing Berggren’s has also focused efforts on bringing the North East Motors Sports Museum. He also working on a book project titled “History of Auto Racing in New England.”

The North East Motor Sports Museum is a proposed 20,000 square foot facility that will be located either on the grounds of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or New England Dragway.

“It’s very important to not only me but for a lot of folks that there’s a building that can house the artifacts, photography, books, and all that sort of thing from auto racing past,” Berggren said. “I’m also working on a book that will have a chapter dedicated to Stafford’s dirt and NASCAR days which ranged from 1959 to 1966. Andy Fusco has dug deep into that period’s history and I was actually there in the grandstands for most of those races. The book has 13 other chapters and the boys and I are putting this together for Christmas.”

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  1. Dr Dick is such a class act and has done so much for short track racing. God bless this guy ..

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