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
They, along with the still to be announced pioneer
class, will be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame
banquet Sunday, Nov. 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
(NEAR1.org) 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
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
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.