By Lou Modestino

The Canaan Speedway in NH will be offering Modifieds on a regular basis when that track opens up for th 2013 season. A recent test was held there. According to track promoter Dick Therrien, “We will have them with a 602 crate motor. There will be an open meeting in the near future to discuss rules and payout in the very near future.”

Hundreds of victories and untold contributions to the sport of auto racing during its earliest era in New England will be celebrated next month at the NEAR Inaugural Pioneers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Slated for Sunday, November 18 at the Speedway Clubhouse located on the grounds of the Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut an impressive class consisting of twenty of the regions auto racing pioneers will be inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Ticket purchase deadline is November 1.

The selection follows a lengthy voting process administered by a committee of New England’s foremost auto racing historians.
Scheduled for induction are stock car drivers Tony Mordino, Sparky Belmont, Hank Stevens, “Big Ed” Patnode, Johnny Georgiades, Wally Silva, and Ray Brown.

Midget racing standouts Eddie Casterline, George Rice, Al Pillion, Billy Tibbert, Frank Simonetti, Charlie Ethier, and George Monson round-out the open-wheel inductees.

Completing the list of inductees are car owners Anthony “Beebe” Zalenski, Ed Stone, Wen Kelley, Bob Oliver, Gordon Ross, and owner & promoter of Connecticut’s former Plainville Stadium, Joe Tinty.

Many past HOF inductees have confirmed that they’ll be attending.

Also among the day’s activities will be a good-natured “Roast” of several Hall of Fame members administered by some of the region’s top racing media figures.

Several memorabilia exhibits will be part of the celebration along with the popular NEAR Mobile Museum. Veteran eastern racing photographer John Grady is attending, and with him he’ll bring his vast file of racing photographs. Lew Boyd’s Coastal 181 Publishing will set-up shop for those looking to add to their personal auto racing libraries. Also expected to be present is a selection of vintage race cars.

Doors open at 10:00 am, with dinner to be served at 1:00. Tickets are economically-priced at $35.00. Order forms may be downloaded from the NEAR website at Again, ticket purchase deadline is November 1. No tickets will be available at the door. Payment is to be sent to NEAR Pioneer Banquet, Box 172, Milldale, Connecticut, 06467.
For additional information, contact NEAR President Val LeSieur at 508.238.7797 or email

Since 1998, NEAR has inducted over one-hundred individuals into the New England Auto Racers Hall Of Fame, which is administered by the New England Antique Racers. Notable inductees include Richie Evans, Ron Bouchard, Bugs Stevens, Rene Charland, Pete Hamilton, Fred DeSarro, Ed Flemke, Sr. and Billy Greco among others.
Here’s what else is going on in northern New England. On Wednesday MX 101 in Epping, NH offers MX practice at 9 a.m. while next door New England Dragway plans Street Night at 5 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday it’s more MX practice at MX101 and Test and Tune at NED at 8 a.m. On Saturday night Star Speedway in Epping, NH hosts Halloween Howler at 1 p.m. On Sunday there’s a classic car rally starting at 9 a.m. Thunder Road in Barre, VT offers a rescheduled date for the Annual Milk Bowl at 1 p.m.