NEAR Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Class
July 29, 2014

Drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny make up the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.

They, along with the still to be announced pioneer class, will be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame banquet  Sunday, November 16th, at The Lodge at Maneeley’s  in South Windsor, CT.

Banquet ticket information will be announced shortly and will be posted on the New England’s Antique Racers’ website ( in the near future.

Part of one of New England’s foremost racing families, Astle, a Westport, MA resident, was a champion at both Seekonk and Lakeville Speedways. Noted for his adaptability, “The Little Man with the Big Cigar” was also a major force throughout Eastern New England, most notably at Westboro and Thompson Speedways in addition to Seekonk and Lakeville.


Martel, of Ipswich, MA, won in cars ranging from Cutdowns to Supermodifieds over four-plus decades of competition.  A two-time NESMRA Late Model champion, his resume includes a Late Model win at Fredrickson in the Canadian Maritimes and a Supermodified win at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. He has victories at over a dozen tracks.


Turner, ME resident Mike Rowe continues to compete, adding to a list of accomplishments that includes over 200 victories and 13 championships. Starting in 1968, Rowe, a three-time Oxford 250 winner,  has won, in addition to seven Oxford crowns, NEPSA (1999), ACT (1994), PASS (2006), BRMS (2013) championships and has ruled at Wiscasset (1991) and Beech Ridge (2009).

Noted for an intense competitive zeal, Schultz’s championships at Norwood (1969) and Westboro (1978) figure among a list of accomplishments over a career that began in the post-World War II “cutdown” era. Also part of a racing family, Schulz, who passed away in 1999, and car owner Jim Susi won 14 straight at three different tracks in 1959.





Wyckoff, a Southington, CT resident, was a major winner at Plainville Stadium and Riverside Park Speedway and a force everywhere else in the 1960s and ‘70s.  A winner of three-straight Riverside 500s, the Florida native rarely sat idle, testimony to both his ability to take care of equipment and his standing among his fellow competitors and the fans.


Working with the Koszela family, Tourigny designed, built and maintained an impressive list of Modifieds. They included the legendary Woodchopper coupes and Vegas, the Logroller Corvair and a revolutionary Ford-powered Pinto that the likes of Fred DeSarro, Bugs Stevens and Mike Stefanik drove to a host of victories and to a half-dozen championships.  

"A Dave Tourigny Masterpiece"

A Providence-area Ford dealer for 55 years, Tasca came to drag racing in the late 1960s, seeing it as a boom to his business. He quickly became a major power. Starting with a ’64 Ford Fairlaine, Tasca moved to Funny Cars and full-blown “fuelers,” bringing New England into the national spotlight. Tasca died in 2010.

Silvia has emerged as one of New England’s premier auto racing historians and preservationists.  “The man to go to” for those seeking historical clarification or a photograph, he has served promoters, competitors, media and fans alike for over three decades out of his home in Warwick, RI. From a historical standpoint, his impact on New England racing is immeasurable.

Cunningham, Forsyth, Borden
Added to NEAR Hall of Fame
September 10, 2014

Briggs Cunningham II, Roy “Pappy” Forsyth and Fred Borden are the veterans committee picks for inclusion into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

The trio, along with drag racing great Bob Tasca, car builder Dave Tourigny, historian R.A. Silvia, and drivers Mike Rowe, Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Fred Schulz and Ron Wyckoff will be enshrined at the NEAR Hall of Fame Induction banquet Sunday, November 16, 2014 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT.

The veterans committee deals with accomplishments prior to 1960. Still to be announced is the winner of the Ratta/Mitchell Award which goes to a member of the media.

Click on this link for Ticket information and order forms.


Starting his career immediately after serving in World War II, Forsyth, a West  Swanzey, NH product, ran up an impressive record over three decades including championships at Claremont and Keene in New Hampshire and at Connecticut’s Stafford Springs. His prowess continued into the 1960s including a sensational season at Thunder Road in 1961 (10 wins in 18 starts) driving for George Barber. Forsyth passed away in 1988.


A Waltham, MA native, Borden began racing at West Peabody, MA in 1950, winning twice. Over the next 17 seasons, in the employ of some top car owners, he carried away checkereds at Medford, Brookline, Norwood, West Peabody and Westboro. He was so successful at Medford they put a bounty on him. He was a dominant force driving for Rick Falconi in the 1960s at Westboro and Brookline. He now resides in Florida.




Cunningham called Westport, CT home for much of his life. A pioneer in American Sports Car racing, he was a competitor, patron, sponsor and car builder. Determined to put America on a level with the Europeans, he produced a list of high-performance prototype machines and competed on the international stage at LeMans and Sebring, his car winning at the latter. NEAR Hall of Famers Fitch and Walters were among his drivers. He passed away in January of 2003.        

NEAR Hall of Fame
Honors Bones Bourcier
September 23, 2014

Photo Courtesy of
Billy Harman and late wife Donna

Mark “Bones” Bourcier will receive the Charlie Mitchell/Jack Ratta Memorial Award at the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday, Nov. 16 at Maneeley’s Banquet Hall in South Windsor, CT.

Bourcier, a native of Southington, CT, and currently an Editor At Large for Speedway Illustrated Magazine, joins an impressive list of honorees. Drivers Mike Rowe, Deke Astle, Jim Martell, the late Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, the late Pappy Forsyth and Fred Borden, car builder Dave Tourigny, historian R.A. Silvia and sports car pioneer the late Briggs Cunningham will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Click on this link for Ticket information and order forms.

Honing his skills at local media outlets and then at Speedway Scene and Trackside Magazine, Bourcier has become one of America’s premier auto racing scribes, twice winning the coveted Miller Racing Award of Excellence in Honor of Russ Catlin. They are part of a host of writing awards that also includes the Eastern Motorsports Press Association’s Frank Blunt Memorial Award.

He did memorable work for Stock Car and Open Wheel magazines and has appeared in several national outlets including National Speedsport.

While Bourcier, who began watching race cars at Plainville Stadium, is a national figure in the motorsports writing fraternity, he has never forgotten his roots.  He has written and/or edited books on New England racing heroes Bugs Stevens, Richie Evans, Ed Flemke and most recently Bentley Warren. They are on a list of books that include biographies of Bill Simpson, Tony Stewart, Parnelli Jones and Dave Darland and a history of Utica-Rome Speedway. 

The Mitchell/Ratta award honors the memory of two of New England’s top scribes, Mitchell writing for the Norwalk (CT) Hour and Ratta for the Manchester Union Leader.  

Bourcier has been part of the NEAR Hall of Fame almost from its inception, serving on the selection committee and making presentations.