Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Got a few minutes? Check this out...

If you're a racing history buff, check out our sister site, Northeast Racing Stats Central and take a look at the Northeastern Speedway Index.

Northeastern Speedway was a 1/5-mile track in Lower Waterford, Vt. just outside St. Johnsbury that raced from 1959-1966. The track was dirt for the first two seasons before paving in 1961, and is credited by some as the birthplace of organized auto racing in Vermont. Its creation led directly to the opening of Barre's Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl in 1960. Some of the region's biggest stock car racing heroes were regulars at Northeastern during its heyday, including the Ingerson brothers, Ronnie Marvin, Johnny Gammell, Stub Fadden, and Chester T. Wood, to name a few.

After sitting dormant for more than 40 years, Paul Bellefeuille of St. Johnsbury has purchased the facility and will re-open the track for nostalgia events this summer. The opening date is Saturday, July 18: 50 years to the day after Northeastern Speedway's first-ever race.

For those of you heading over Route 2 on the way to Oxford Plains Speedway's TD Banknorth 250 that weekend (or even if you're not), we highly recommend taking the 4-mile detour onto Route 18 to join in the celebration. Last we heard, there will be no less than eight restored racers that actually competed at the track on display.

In addition to the stats, Bill Ladabouche has a page at CatamountStadium.com dedicated to the track. Our thanks to Paul Bellefeuille, Bill Ladabouche, Cho Lee, Big Bigelow, and the many others involved in preserving an important piece of Vermont racing history.

(Chet Wood photo courtesy ACT Archives/CatamountStadium.com)

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