Bobby Santos
Class of 2001

Bobby Santos began racing in 1952, driving a ’47 Plymouth at the Norwood Arena. The venture was shortlived, and Bobby quit racing for several years.

One night, however, Don MacTavish asked Bobby if he would take his wrecked race car home and repair it. He did, with the help of friends George Colwell, and Ira Tucker. Santos took that car to Norwood, and won 3 Sportsman races and 23 Hobby Division races between 1961 and 1967. He mounted dirt tires and drove the same car at Stafford, taking down 3 championships there.

In 1968, Bobby was so dominant in the Norwood Hobby Division that he was “invited” to leave. He, Colwell, and Tucker returned to Norwood, however, after building themselves a modified, which he quickly managed to park in victory lane.

Over the next several years, Bobby drove for Ray Spognardi, Ray Stonkis, Bill Simon, and Joe Brady, competing at Westboro, Thompson, and Seekonk. He then went to work for Art Barry, driving the Preston, CT based #09 and then the #21. Santos and Barry competed at Stafford, Thompson, Claremont, and Monadnock. “Bobby was the “King” up in New Hampshire”, remembers Barry. There was one year nobody could touch him up there. He won 7 consecutive races up there once.”

Bobby took the Barry cars outside New England, and was a threat to win every time out at Trenton, Pocono, Lancaster, Malta, and Utica Rome. “Win, lose, or draw,” states Barry, “Bobby was a ton of fun. We won a lot of races. The thing about Bobby was that he drove his heart out, from the first lap to the last. He drove for me for 7 or 8 years, and we wona LOT of races.”

Santos retired from racing in 1973, after he broke his neck in a wreck at Thompson. Nascar needed his doctor’s permission for him to return, and his doctor refused permission.