2014 Wall of Fame Nominees & Ballot

Seekonk Speedway is proud of it long heritage and traditions in the sport of Short Track Racing. For almost 70 years the Speedway has been at the forefront of the racing community. In 2013 we are introducing the Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame in an effort to immortalize some of the Drivers and Crew that have made a profound impact on the Sport and Community in the last several decades. We will induct 3 members every year. Nominations will be gathered throughout the season and then narrowed down by our WOF committee. Nominees will be introduced in August and voting will continue to November 15th. Please take a minute to vote for those you feel have helped make our sport and Speedway the best there is.

To be elegible for the Seekonk Wall of Fame you must have made an impact on the racing community  and Seekonk Speedway.

 

 

Leo Cleary: His nickname was The Lion, because he never backed down from a challenge. He first ventured to Seekonk’s Victory Lane in 1955, and continued his winning ways until 1987, just after he won the Pro Stock Crown. A 4 Leo Clearytime Champion, Leo was feared wherever he raced. He was a winner at many tracks in the Northeast, but continued at Seekonk until his unofficial retirement after 1988.

 

 

 

 

Wayne Dion:  Wayne was a fan favorite for over 20 years. Wayne won his first Championship in the Street division in 1974, the same year he won his first race. He backed that up in 77, winning the Cadet title, and picked up the Pro waynedionStock crown in 1982. He had a strong fan base, which followed him until he competed in his final race in the 2010, when he came out of retirement. Over his 30+ year career, he amasses 56 wins, including his final checkered in 2003.

 

 

 

 

Vinnie Annarummo: Vinnie Annarummo will go down as one of the most successful drivers to take a turn at Seekonk Speedway. He won his first championship in 1973, in the B division, and quickly moved into the Modifieds, where he tried for over a decade to pick up that first win. It was during this time when he was given his nickname by Richie Evans, when he couldn’t pronounce his last name. When “Who” returned in the mid-eighties, behind his Pro Stock, he found success. He dominated the division for over 10 years, becoming the first five time Pro Stock Champion before going to the Modified Racing Series for several years, where he finally picked up an open wheel win in 2006, right here at Seekonk.

 

 

 

 

Don Dionne:  Don started winning in the late 60’s, competing in, and winning in the B division, winning the championship in 1970. He moved into the Modifieds in 75, driving for the Hendrickson Bros, winning several races over Don Dionnethe next few years. When the Pro Stocks debuted in 1978, he took over and became the classes’ first champion in 1979. He followed that up with his second Pro Stock crown in 1981. Over his 20+ year career, he was crowned champion three times, and won 32 times.

 

 

 

 

Dan Meservey: Dan is known as the Father of the Pro4 Mods. He began his winning ways at Seekonk in 1978, in the mini stock class. When the division evolved, he was at the forefront. Over a short career, picking up only a handful Dan Meserveyof wins and one championship, he helped the division grow into what is now known as the Pro4 Modifieds.

 

 

 

 

 

Mickey Gill:  Mickey has gone down in the record books as the first Official Champion of Seekonk Speedway, but it was 1950 when the track finally crowned one.  He won two races in 1950 and 51.mickeygill

 

 

 

 

 

John Tripp:  In a 30 plus year career, Tripp showed his tenacity behind the wheel, picking up 31 wins. John competed in the modifieds throughout New England, spending many years behind the wheel for some of the best owners inJ_Tripp_40 the business. It wasn’t until 1988 when he finally won his one and only championship, in the Pro Stocks.

 

 

 

 

Dave Humphrey:  Dave started his career at Seekonk, and became the speedway’s first 3-time champion, winning the titles in 1951, 52 and 59. While those titles and a majority of his 37 wins came in the Jalopies, he made a career

Dave Humphreyout of racing in open wheels. His first win came in 1949, and he continued to visit Victory Lane until October, 1986, when he picked up the NEMA win.

 

 

 

 

Eddie Casterline:  Eddie was a fixture in Victory Lane at Seekonk in the opening year, picked up a dozen victories from May of 1946 until May of 1947. In that opening season, an official champion was not declared, but it widely Eddie Casterlineknown that Casterline was the top driver of that time, giving him the distinction of being the “Unofficial” champion of that first season. His final win came just one week before he succumbed to injuries sustained at Seekonk Speedway.

 

 

 

 

Oscar Ridlon:  While he only has one career win at Seekonk, it will go down as the highest ranking win in history, THE FIRST! On May 30, 1946, Seekonk Speedway opened it’s gates for the first time, with The Cannonball being the Oscar Ridlonvery first winner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Murray: In May of 1966, George Murray picked up the first of his 32 wins.  His career lasted about 30 years, but in that time, the Tiverton, RI native showed he could adapt. He picked up his first two titles in the Modified class,G Murray but in 1980, he became the first driver to move from the modifieds to the Pro Stocks, and win titles in both classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Luchesi:  A 13 time winner at Seekonk, the 1956 champion spent his weekends traveling from track to track, all along the east coast. The Pawtucket, RI native won his first race at Seekonk in ‘54, and his final in ‘62. In that time,Fred Luchesi he could be found behind the wheel of anything he could get his hands on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Hanatow: Rick’s career compared to many was relatively short. It was in 1986 when he won his first race, a Street Stock win that propelled him to the championship. In 1988, he picked up his second Street title. Rick really madeRick Hanatow his mark in the Charger class, now known at the Late Models. He won 3 consecutive titles from 1990 through 1992, and held the record of 10 wins in a season until 2011, when it was broken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Souliere: Ray was the all-time win leader for the Street Stocks for many seasons. He picked up 54 checkered flags over the course of 25 plus years. In that time, he picked up three championships, one each in the Street Stocks, the Ray SouliereCharger class, and the Sport Trucks, making his the only driver to win championships in three different classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Rosenfield: In May of 1954, Joe Rosenfield picked up the first of his 25 wins, his final coming in 1967. In that time, he sat as Champion 4 times, becoming the tracks first 4-time champion, all in the “A” class.Joe Rosenfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Cuhna: While not a competitor, Al was one of the original officials at the speedway. He spent time doing just about anything that needed to be done. He was best known as the starter of the speedway, but was instrumental in the alcunhaearly years, helping form Seekonk Speedway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty Rushton: Rusty picked up a half dozen wins in the early 50’s, but made his mark on the speedway in the pit area, as the handicapper of the speedway. It was his influence that put into IMG_0010place the handicapping system that was used for over 50 years at the speedway. He was one of the few trusted advisors of D. Anthony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wally Saleeba: For over 30 years, he was known simply as “The Voice of the Speedway.”  His banter could be heard, as he talked about what was going on behind the scenes as well as what was on the track. It was his easy going wallystyle, his conversationalist style that kept the fans entertained. He created a card system that is still in use today, helping the announcer with sponsor, crew and personal information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Powers:  Known as the Power in the Tower, his booming voice could be heard whether the loudspeakers were on or not. He had a way of captivating the crowd and getting them pumped up in anticipation. His experience jimpowersthroughout the Northeast would often play a vital role in helping young announcers learn the ropes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Manfredo: Ron has spent the better part of his life at the speedway. For years, he could be found in the pit area, working and owning cars with some of the best behind the wheel. Over the years, he became the chief starter, cscan-_2012121912025200working on the speedway until an on track incident brought him away from the starters stand. From there, he became the Race Director, helping keep the show moving smoothly and working with the officials, crews, drivers and owners to keep the peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deke Astle Sr: In a 19 year period, Deke picked up 28 wins, and the 1966 Class A Championship. He continued his career until the late 70’s, competing the All Pro division just before it became the Pro Stocks.Deke Astle Sr young

 

 

 

 

 

Hop Harrington: Hop Harrington was regarded as one of the best drivers at Seekonk in the 50’s and 6o’s. He competed through the first few years of the 70’s, winning his final event in August of 72. Hop is a 1999 inductee of the NewHop Harrington, Frank Sgambato England Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Smaldone:  While unofficially picking up 13 career wins at Seekonk, he became the speedways first 3 time champion, winning the titles in 1953, 54, and 55.                                                                               .George Smaldone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manny “Pops” Silvia: Manny picked up his first win in 1962, on the way to the B class title. He followed that up with the 64 B Championship, but it was the Mini Stocks where he became well known, picking up half of his 28 wins, Manny Pops Silviaalong with the 1976 Mini Stock title. He won his final race in June, 1978.

 

 

 

 

 

Nat Chevatone: Nat has been one of the most successful engine builders in the northeast. Whether it was oval tracks, ¼ mile drag strips, boating, or any other type of motorsports, Nat found his way to Victory Lane more than most. He had winning engines in Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sport Trucks, and any other type of racecar that competed. Located around the corner in Swansea, Seekonk was always home. He was a mentor to many others that worked with him, and went on to become engine builders on their own. Not only would he help any competitor, whether his engine was in the car or not, he wasn’t against giving advice to the teams to help them run better.
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Billy Clarke: Billy Clarke in one of those drivers that can’t shake the need for speed. He has been competing throughout the Northeast for over 60 years, calling Seekonk Speedway home.
In the B and A divisions in the fifties and sixties, to the modifieds in the seventies and eighties, to the Sport Trucks since their inception in the mid-nineties. Billy has continued to support the division and the speedway. He has been there to assist others when they need help. He has always, and continues to do it all himself. He builds, maintains, updates and brings his truck to the track weekly to compete. He spends countless hours in the garage trying to get better and better. His shop is a museum to his history.
Bobby Sprague: Bobby Sprague was a popular driver whose career fanned from the fifties through the seventies. Bobby found most of his success driving the Marty Zingali Ford to victory through the sixties many times. Sprague had over 35 wins in his career, the first coming in the Bomber division in 1954, his last coming in the Late Model division In June of 1973.

 

 

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