Still Speeding: Bob Potter Ready For Norwich Hall Of Fame, Looking To Race Again

Bob Potter, who will be inducted into the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame next month, still yearns to return to competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Bob Potter, who will be inducted into the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame next month, still yearns to return to competition at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl

WATERFORD – In 1995 officials from the Norwich (CT) Sports Hall of Fame told Bob Potter they wanted to make him an inductee.

The year before, Potter had been named the Hall’s Sportsperson of the Year.

“When they told me in 1995 that they wanted to put me in the Hall of Fame I said ‘Wait until I retire’”, Potter said.

The problem is, Potter has never officially retired from racing. And at 74 years old, he’s still not even thinking about officially walking away from driving racecars.

The Norwich Sports Hall of Fame will wait no longer.

On June 12 the legendary Modified driver will be honored as one of the newest inductees into the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame.

“It’s like the icing on the cake for me,” Potter said. They never had racecar drivers in it, I was the first [race honored by the Norwich Sports Hall of Fame] in 1994 because some of the guys on the committee said ‘Hey, racing is a big sports so we’ve got to get some racers in this.’ I love Norwich. Norwich was dying for years and years and we kept Norwich alive with the Freddy’s TV car and everything. I was the only part of Norwich that was still kind of active. I’m so proud to be going back there. It makes me feel good.”

Potter was inducted into the New England Auto Racer’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Potter’s achievements behind the wheel of racecars between Stafford Motor Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl are legendary.

He won five SK Modified championships at Stafford and ranks fourth all-time on the track’s SK Modified win list with 24 career victories. His last win at the track came in 1999. He won titles in the division in 1988, ’91, ’92, ’94 and ’95.

At Waterford Potter won six track titles, three in the Modified division (1976, ’80 and ’83) and three in the SK Modified division (1986, ’87 and ’89). His 93 career victories rank him third all-time at Waterford. He’s second all-time in the old Modified division with 58 victories from 1965-84. He ranks fourth all-time in the SK Modified division with 29 victories from 1985-96. He also has five wins in the track’s old Bomber division from 1963-65 and one Late Model win at the track in 1983.

As far as retirement though, Potter isn’t ready just yet to call it a career.

Potter walked away from full-time competition in 1999 but returned to the track regularly in 2012 as the driver of the two-seat ride-along Modified at Stafford Speedway, a seat he still jumps into every Friday at the track.

But Potter still yearns to get back into competition, and is hoping to find a chance to do that at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 2017.

Potter had arranged a deal to drive a second SK Light Modified in 2016 at the Speedbowl for driver Carlos Gray, but he said he later decided it wasn’t the right opportunity.

“I could have got a ride with [Gray], but he had no crew, the car was all beat up, there was no parts, no spare anything,” Potter said. “It wouldn’t have been practical. I don’t want to go out there and look like like an idiot out there. I want to go out there and look like I can win a race. That’s what I want to do. And I want to come back here. This is where I started.

“I’d rather do it next year. Get a good ride. I’ll go back to the gym, get in better shape than I am now. I’m still in decent shape, but I want to be like I felt when I was racing. I felt like a million dollars. SK Light [Modified], or even an SK [Modified]. Speed don’t bother me. It doesn’t matter what it is. I’d like to be driving [a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car], but that’s not even practical. But I just want to get back out there because I know I can still race for wins.”


  1. Ed blackwood says

    Old time great driver, first class

  2. Bobby looks in real good shape at 74 years old , I think he can still win in a sk mod. Man I would love to see him win again . Do it for all the seniors that go every week ……

  3. Bob is the nicest guy! My daughter did the two seater ride at Stafford and what a thrill he gave her, even passing a few cars! he was so nice to her, and we had fun talking to him. He really misses racing, just hope he gets a chance in a decent car!

  4. Bob, it’s OK to race at 74 but it’s not ok to hit the wall. Do the smart thing for yourself and your family and stay retired.

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