Val LeSieur
Speedway Scene Publisher/Editor
Class of 2011

In 1971, Val LeSieur launched a weekly trade paper to chronicle the exploits of the colorful characters he found in auto racing in his native New England. Across the next few decades, he became one of those colorful characters himself.

Known first as New England Speedway Scene and later simply Speedway Scene as it's coverage area spread, LeSieur's paper focused on the sport's people and issues in addition to reporting race results. Full of feisty columns, it was soon required reading across the region. Fans used it to follow their favorite racers, and to help determine their own weekly racing schedules. Promoters alternately loved and loathed its candid commentary. Racers valued the boost it gave their careers; one driver said being on Speedway Scene's front page reminded him of the old Dr. Hook rock song, "On the Cover of the Rolling Stone." Additionally, the paper showcased many of New England's best-known writers, including Pete Zanardi, Dick Berggren, Lou Modestino, Dave Moody, Phil Smith, Dave Shippee, Mark Thomas, Toodi Gelinas, and Bones Bourcier.

LeSieur also founded the popular Racearama trade shows which for years brought race fans to the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.

Though known by many for his irreverent sense of humor, LeSieur also had a serious side. Upon the deaths of some of the sport's heroes, Speedway Scene printed tributes and photo retrospectives which became collectors' items; many have been reproduced on the Internet through various nostalgia sites. Away from the track, LeSieur has been involved in any number of civic activities and organizations, particularly the Jaycees, and has received numerous citations commending his accomplishments in business and journalism.