RACEARAMA WRAPS UP NEW ENGLAND SHOW SEASONby Mike Twist
All Types of Racecars and Their Drivers Go On Display in Masschusetts
Racers and fans up north got another chance to escape the long off season this weekend with the third and final major racing show of the winter in New England. After shows in Augusta and Portland, Maine over the past few months, this weekend’s focus was on Racearama in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The show is the largest of the three and features a diverse mix of drivers and cars from various forms of Northeastern racing.
For many, going to the show is an annual happening.
“Being from Stafford Springs, Connecticut (about an hour from the show), this has always been a big deal to me,” said BGNN racer Lewandoski. “I’ve been there every year that I can remember and I can remember back when I had my quarter midget in the show and the kids that I raced with would go over and admire the big racecars.”
Cars at the Racin' Preview ranged from karts to winged ISMA Supermodifieds. (51 Photos)
There was plenty to see at the show. Just about every track in the region had a display and touring series cars were sprinkled throughout the show. NASCAR Modified fans got to meet Tony Hirschman, Jerry Marquis, Donny Lia and Ken Barry. Busch North fans could get up close to Eddie MacDonald, Dale Quarterley or Charles Lewandoski among others. The PASS Pro Stocks had Johnny Clark, Mike Rowe and Cassius Clark in the house and the ACT Late Models had their flag carried by Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. and David Avery.
Even New England’s busiest racer, Ted Christopher, was spotted at the show as a spectator on Saturday afternoon.
Part of the allure of the cars at the show is that they are all neatly painted up and lettered, without racing doughnuts on the side or scuff marks. Many teams even go one better and really put out all of the stops when it comes to getting ready for the fans.
Maine’s Whorff Racing team fields Pro Stocks for brothers Bill, Jr. and Jeremie. They’ve won the best appearing car award in their class for two years running and had two neatly lettered and painted cars at the show. But it was the wilder paint scheme of Jeremie’s car that really turned heads.
Chrome and Armor All helped win Best Appearing Open Wheel car for Donny Lia's team. (51 Photos)
said Lewandoski. “A lot of guys go to Florida for Speedweeks and then after Daytona, you are all ready to go racing but it’s still a month away. It’s a lot of fun to go the Racearama and see people.”
“You always see the diehard Modified fans at places like this,” said Lia. “Those are the fans who love the Tour and aren’t just fans of one driver. It’s good to see them and talk to them.”
Since Lewandoski is moving up to Busch North this year, he was able to have another purpose at the show.
“I like to see the fans and talk to people,” said Lewandoski. “For us, it’s really exciting, since we are going into our rookie year, to meet people and let them know what we are doing.”
Speed51.com will have a photo gallery from Racearama coming later this week. Stay tuned for more photos of 2005 racecars before they hit the track in the new season.
In the NHIS display, Charles Lewandoski's #01 Busch North car shared booth space with the #00 Modified that Steve Park drove in September.
The team recently raced at New Smyrna Speedway as part of Florida Speedweeks, so they didn’t have much time to get ready for the show.
“We gave this one a new paint scheme for the show,” said Jim Whorff, Jeremie’s crew chief. “We picked out this paint scheme four days ago. We painted it Tuesday, finished it at 3:30 in the morning. The next morning, we got up and lettered it. Then we loaded it and were out here on Thursday.”
Also turning heads was the polished chrome on Donny Lia’s NASCAR Whelen Modified. The #18 car won the best appearing open wheel car honors for the show.
“That was good to win,” said Lia. “There were a lot of nice racecars there, so to get an award like this is special.”
Meeting up with racing people at a time of the year when competitors aren’t at the track every week was a benefit to the show.
“All winter you work in the shop and get the cars ready,”