Fred DeSarro
Class of 1999

Fred DeSarro raced bikes as a youth, then moved on to racing boats. When he turned 16, he graduated to stock cars. He quickly established himself at the Waterford-New London track, then moved on to the Norwood Arena.

In 1970, DeSarro captured the NASCAR National Modified Championship, driving the Kozella “Woodchopper” #15. The next year, he and Bugs Stevens switched rides, with Fred ending up in Len Boehler’s #3, Ole Blue. In 1972, DeSarro won the inaugural Spring Sizzler, the only Sizzler to ever be won in a coupe. DeSarro went on to win the Stafford Championship that year, and he became a repeat champion in 1976.

DeSarro won four consecutive Thompson Speedway Championships starting in 1974, taking down 14 feature wins in ’74 alone at the 5/8 mile track. The same year, he went south to win the Race of Champions at Trenton.

Racing columnist Phil Smith summed up Fred DeSarro’s career best. “Whatever he did, he did with class.” Smith says. “He did it clean, and he did it with class.” Smith remembers DeSarro as a “fierce competitor…very, very intense.” Fred’s father, Alfred “Fred, Sr.” DeSarro, was involved throughout Fred’s career, as was his wife, Linda.

On October 8, 1978, DeSarro was critically injured during warm-ups at the Thompson Speedway. Fred DeSarro, husband, father, son, track champion, nation champion…” Whatever he did, he did it with class. He did it clean, and he did it with class.”