Story and photo by Dave Dykes
BERLIN, Conn. — Silenced at the dawn of the 1980s, Connecticut’s quarter-mile Plainville Stadium was a hotbed of racing in New England for more than three decades, hosting some of the biggest names in the business. Drivers such as the legendary “Steady Eddie” Flemke, Denny Zimmerman, Reggie Ruggiero, Don Moon, Ron Wyckoff, Ray Miller, Dick Watson and many more all toured the tight, demanding oval during its long history. In 2008, Plainville’s all-time winner Dave Alkas and two-time champion George Lombardo took their place in the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame along with previously inducted members Flemke, Zimmerman, Watson and Miller.
On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, the Nutmeg Kart Club — in conjunction with the Berlin Lions Club World of Wheels — presents the Second Annual Plainville Stadium Reunion. The event takes place from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Berlin Fair Grounds located 430 Beckley Road, East Berlin, Conn.
It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with the racers that made Plainville so special, and perhaps get an autograph from the track’s former greats.
Many past Stadium competitors including Dave and Fred Alkas, the colorful Tony “Jap” Membrino, Richie and Danny Gallullo, George Lombardo, Don Spazano, Don Moon, Jo-Jo Farone, Ray Miller, Bob Mickulak and a host of others are expected to attend.
Former official Plainville Stadium photographer Phil Hoyt will be present, and he’ll have hundreds of original prints available for purchase.
“This is shaping up to be another wonderful event,” states Tom Ormsby, himself a former Plainville modified competitor, and now the webmaster behind www.speedwaylinereport.com and several other racing websites including “Dave Dykes’ Racing Through Time.” Currently residing in Florida, he’s envious of those that will be able to attend again this year. “I know how much work and effort has been put into this. Last year’s edition was talked about for months, everyone had such a great-time,” states the transplanted Floridian. “Getting everyone together like this after all these years has to be a lot of fun. They’ve done a great job. Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend this year, but you can bet that I’ll try to make-it in 2011.”
Also on the agenda is a full schedule of Go Kart competition including an “Old-Timers” race for former Plainville competitors in addition to events for officials, mechanics and a “Powder-Puff Derby” for the ladies.
The appearance of several vintage race cars add to the day’s festivities.
Coming off a successful season of competition on the Berlin Lions Club 1/12-mile World Karting Association dirt oval, the two organizations have teamed to make the day another fun-filled family event.
The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 10.
For more information, contact Gary Beinkowski of the Nutmeg Kart Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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