Plainville Stadium Reunion Scheduled For Oct. 10

(Press Release from Plainville Stadium Reunion Group)

Plainville Stadium Reunion BannerIt closed over three decades-ago, but Connecticut’s ¼-mile Plainville Stadium is still recalled for hosting some of the biggest names in the business. Drivers such as the legendary “Steady Eddie” Flemke, Denny Zimmerman, Reggie Ruggiero, Charlie Jarzombek, Ray Miller, the late Dick Watson, and still-more of the sports heavy-hitters all toured the tight, demanding oval during its colorful history.

Add Saturday night regulars such as Dave Alkas, Ronnie Wyckoff, the late Tony Mordino and George Lombardo, along-with the celebrated Don Moon, Sparky Belmont, & the colorful Tony “Jap” Membrino, and it set the stage for some of the best racing action ever witnessed in the Nutmeg State.

Saturday, October 10th, the Nutmeg Kart Club in conjunction with the Berlin Lions Club World of Wheels presents the annual Plainville Stadium Reunion. The event takes-place from 10am – 3pm at the Berlin Fair Grounds located 430 Beckley Road, East Berlin, CT. The rain date is October 11th.

Coming-off another successful season of competition on the Berlin Lions Club 1/12-mile World Karting Association dirt oval, the two organizations have teamed to make the day a family-priced event. Adult admission is only $5.00.
In 2008, Plainville’s all-time winner Alkas and 2-time champion Lombardo took their places in the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame along with previously inducted members Flemke, Zimmerman, Watson, and Miller. Pioneering driver & former Stadium Race Director Moe Gherzi is also a HOF inductee, as-are Tony Mordino & Ronnie Wyckoff.

“It was a great place to be a part-of, states Tom Ormsby, himself a former Plainville Modified competitor and now the man behind several racing websites. “Sure, we had our battles on the track, but at the end of the night, you’d share a beer with the guy that you’d been banging wheels-with. We were a tight-group. You’d lend a part to your biggest rival if that’s what it took to get him back on the track.” Now residing in Florida, Ormsby is envious of those that will be attending. “I know how much work and effort goes into this,” states the transplanted Floridian. “Getting everyone together every year is bound to be a lot of fun. I’ll certainly be there in spirit.”

Award-winning New England racing journalist and New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member Pete Zanardi has always been impressed with the event. “They just do a fantastic job with this reunion every year, and it seems to just get better & better” he stated recently. “With the memorabilia displays, it makes you realize that just about everybody involved in our region’s modified scene has some sort of connection to the place. Just-about all the big names raced, and won there. Historically-speaking, it’s hard to deny that Plainville Stadium was a key race track within the scheme of things. The Wednesday night open-competition races are stuff of legend; everybody was there including the Long Island drivers.”

Bones Bourcier, one of the most celebrated auto racing writers in the country has an extra-special tie to Joe Tinty’s little ribbon of asphalt. It’s really where his career in the sport began, and the memories flowed recently. He says “Growing up, Plainville Stadium was a magnet for me, as it was for so many other people from Central Connecticut. I think about the drivers who ran there weekly, and how all they seemed to pull in folks from the towns and cities they came from. You had the Berlin fans cheering on Dave Alkas and his brothers, Fred and George; the Meriden fans yelling for Bob Vivari’s 6X and the North End Auto Parts cars run by the Berndt family; the Waterbury Gang clapping for Jap Membrino and his nephew, Gary Membrino; the New Britain people rooting for Stan Greger, Reggie Ruggiero, Tom Ormsby, and Ronnie Rocco; the local Plainville fans hollering for Carl Charrette and John Bergenty; and kids like me from Southington, who loved local cars like the West Street Mobil VO, the Rocky’s Amoco ‘cent sign,’ and Wimpy Kinney’s “percent sign.” And when the open-competition shows came along, those of us from Southington could also pull for Eddie Flemke and Ronnie Wyckoff. Sure, those two guys came from New Britain originally, but they had both moved to Southington, and we were happy to claim them. Plainville Stadium may be gone, but it’s terrific that once a year the people who loved that place can relive the old days through this reunion. Now, if we could only figure a way to bring-back those incredible Stadium french fries!”

As one of the organizers of the event, Gary Bienkowski is also confident that this year’s edition will be better-than-ever. Prior events were very-successful.

“Again this year we have a lot to offer” he states. “It’s expected that there will be even-more memorabilia on display, and former official track photographer Phil Hoyt has stepped-up his display. We’ve again increased our efforts in reaching-out to the tracks former competitors in all the divisions including the Novice class.”

Also on the agenda is a full schedule of Go Kart competition on New England’s only WKA Dirt Master track. The appearance of several vintage race cars along with a display of classic & custom autos adds to the festivities.


  1. Keep this event going. Old mods are in a class of there own…….

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