Weedsport, NY — November 17, 2008 – By Gary Spaid, Northeast Modified Hall of Fame
Members of the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Selection Committee met for the first time at the Conference Center in the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York on November 15.
Preliminary panel discussions were held Saturday in conjunction with the DIRTcar Northeast media gathering that took place in the DIRTcar Hospitality Room later that same afternoon. On the docket were talks concerning possible 2009 inductees and award winners. Also covered were potential ways to expand the current NE Hall of Fame area within the Museum structure itself.
“We’ve used up all the display windows and then some,” stated Hall of Fame Curator Jack Speno. “We need to come up with a method to increase the display windows without having to start reconstructing internal walls.”
One method discussed was the introduction of Hall of Fame pillars that could hold up to 36 inductees and be mobile within the Museum.
Some of the drivers reviewed for nomination by the committee included Gary Reddick, Ken Brenn Jr., Roger Phelps, Jean-Guy Chartrand, Jackie Naum, Lin Hough, Gary Iulg, Ralph Quarterson, Lloyd Holt, Chuck Ciprich, Bill Wilson and Joe Plazek. Additional names were given and information provided for future consideration as well.
“The committee has done an excellent job of gathering material to highlight potential inductees,” remarked Selection Committee Chairperson Gary Spaid. “We continue to try and honor the best in Modified racing from both yesterday and today.”
Discussion will continue into 2009 concerning possible candidates for special awards including nominations in the Mechanic of the Year, Lenny Sammons Outstanding Contribution to Motorsports, Gene DeWitt Car Owner and Gater Racing Photo News Woman in Racing categories.
The group also reluctantly accepted the resignation of Peter Reynolds from the selection committee. Reynolds filled a void left by Gary Chadwick, who held tremendous knowledge of downstate Modified racing. Current Orange County Fair Speedway General Manager Ken Sands has been named to replace Reynolds.
Along with Spaid and Sands, the NE Hall of Fame Selection Committee consists of northern representative Gary Rowe, eastern affiliate Andy Fusco, Western Pa./Ohio historian Walt Wimer, Eastern Motorsport Press Association Board of Directors member Herb Anastor and DIRTcar Northeast PR Director Tom Skibinski.
The current set of rules established following the initial HoF ceremonies staged in 1992 and ’93 limit inductions each year to no more than three drivers with the exception of a pioneer selection. Exactly 144 individuals, including 68 drivers, have already been recognized for their career accomplishments in area auto racing.
2009 will mark the 18th Northeast Modified Hall of Fame inductions with ceremonies planned to take place on Sunday, May 24. Included in the upcoming festivities are the traditional display of vintage race cars and running of the Hall of Fame Classic later that evening at the Cayuga County Fair Speedway. The Hall of Fame & Museum re-opens in April and current plans have doors remaining unlocked on weekends only through Super DIRT Week in October.
Further candidate information, nominations and concerns regarding the Northeastern Modified Hall of Fame can be sent to Selection Committee Chairperson Gary Spaid by e-mail email@example.com or 1571 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta, NY 14467.
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The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.