|NEAR Hall Inducts Class Of ‘04|
|The NEAR Hall Of Fame Class of 2004 - Photo by Dave Mavlouganes|
EAST WINDSOR, CT – Tom Curley came up with the perfect summation of the seventh annual New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall Sunday.
Curley called the NEAR Hall of Fame “truly where the old heroes are,” in introducing Harmon “Beaver” Dragon, one of 10 making up the class of 2004.
Joining Dragon were legendary car owner the late Len Boehler, drivers Bill Schindler, Charlie Jarzombek, Dick Dixon and Billy Harman and Paul Trowbridge whose Checkered Flag Announcer catered to news-hungry New England racing fans in the 1960s and ‘70s.
The Special Veterans Committee inducted midget star Bob Blair, Indianapolis 500 winner Fred Frame and pioneer Sammy Packard. All were inducted posthumously as were Schindler, Jarzombek and Dixon.
In brings the Hall of Fame membership to 63 and clearly the number of members in attendance caught the attention of many. Those on hand were Dave Humphrey, Bugs Stevens, Ernie Gahan, Rene Charland, Bill Slater, Gene Bergin, Ron Bouchard, Irene Venditti, Leo Cleary, Stub Fadden, Billy Greco and Ron Narducci.
Denny Zimmerman, Hully Bunn, Don Rounds, Sonny Koszela, Ray Miller, Bobby Judkins, Bob Polverari, Dick Watson and Eddie West were also among the 300-plus attending. “That is what impresses me most about this affair,” said FOX TV’s Mike Joy who served as master of ceremonies.
TV partner Dick Berggren introduced Joy.
R.A. Silva (the Veteran Committee selections), Al Fini (Schindler), Bones Bourcier (Jarzombek), Danny Pardi (Trowbridge), Lew Boyd (Dixon), Pete Zanardi (Harmon) and Phil Smith (Boehler) joined Curley as presenters.
New England Antique Racers President accepted a donation from John Holland of New England Race Fuels.