2011 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony Plays To Packed House
14th Annual Celebration Honors Class of 2011
Literally hundreds of victories and dozens of championships were celebrated at the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame “Class of 2011” induction ceremony which took place before a packed-house on Sunday, Jan 30 at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.
It was the 14th annual celebration honoring those who laid the groundwork for New England auto racing.
Drivers Punky Caron, Dan Meservey, Russ Nutting, and the late Jerry Dolliver, car owners Rich & Ray Garuti and Skip Matczak, team manager & mechanic Vic Kangas, along with Speedway Scene publisher Val LeSieur took their place amongst the regions most-celebrated auto racing personalities.
Also honored were NEAR Veterans Committee inductees the late Danny Galullo, a pioneering New England modified racer, early open-cockpit star Louis D’Amore and celebrated New Hampshire driver, Buddy Bardwell. Welcoming the trio into the Hall of Fame were auto racing historians R.A. Silvia and Dave Dykes.
Longtime New England racing photographer Bill Balser accepted the prestigious Jack Ratta Memorial Media Award as presented by R.A. Silvia. Celebrated auto racing journalist and Hall of Fame member Pete Zanardi presented NEAR Treasurer Rhonda Blanchette with the equally-notable Danny Pardi Memorial Award.
Induction presenters were award-winning racing journalist Bones Bourcier, sports commentator Jack Arute, veteran track announcers Dave Sutherland and Bruce Elder, Coastal 181’s Lew Boyd, 1988 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Ken Bouchard, Hall of Famer and 1971 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Denny Zimmerman, and noted race car restorer Mark Alden. Once again, it was popular Matt Buckler serving as Master of Ceremonies.
The New England Antique Racers club is a non-profit organization that supports the history of New England auto racing. NEAR has been in existence since 1981 and has inducted over 100 individuals into its New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame since 1998.
Be sure to visit www.near1.org for more information.