GAHAN, BYRON TO
BE HONORED AT SPRING SIZZLER
NASCAR to Recognize Modified
Legends at Stafford
As part of a season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions,
NASCAR will honor legends Ernie Gahan and Red Byron at Stafford Motor
Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., on April 27 prior to the Tech-Net
NASCAR plans to honor each of its 31 all-time Modified
champions throughout the season. The celebration began with the
recognition of Frankie Schneider, Donny Lia and Richie Evans at the
Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway on April 6.
Ernie Gahan will be present for the pre-race festivities at
Stafford and will be honored for the many accomplishments during his
career, including the 1966 NASCAR Modified title. Byron, the first
NASCAR champion in 1948, will be honored posthumously.
Like many drivers in his day, Gahan traversed the east coast
and ran up to four races a week during his three-decade career. After
getting his start in auto racing at Dover (N.H.) Speedway in 1948, Gahan
compiled more than 300 feature wins on dirt and asphalt, and his career
peaked in 1966 when he captured the NASCAR Modified championship. He was
a 1990 inductee into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of
Fame and was a member of the inaugural induction class of the New
England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 1998.
The central figure in arguably the three most-important
firsts in NASCAR history, Byron won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on
the beaches of Daytona in 1948, captured the first NASCAR title in a
Modified that same year, and was the first NASCAR stock car champion in
1949. Byron has been a part of NASCAR lore since he navigated the beach
and road course in his Ford Modified to win the first NASCAR race on
Feb. 15, 1948. A member of the National Motorsports Hall of Fame, Byron
will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on
April 24. He was also named one of “NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers” in
1998. Byron passed away in 1960 at the age of 45.
Following his season-opening win at Thompson on April 6, Ed
Flemke Jr. and the rest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will
make their second stop of the season at Stafford. Practice and time
trials will take place on Saturday, April 26 while the 200-lap main
event on Sunday, April 27 is set to go green at approximately 2:30 p.m.
For ticket information, please visit Stafford’s official Web Site (staffordmotorspeedway.com).