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The 7/2 Thompson NEMA Event

Tribute To A Legend - Marvin Rifchin
"We Did It for Love"
The Worlds Largest Drag Racing Photo & History Website


NEMA Heads To Thompson on 7/2;
Rifchin Trophy The Spoils

Brockton, MA - The Northeastern Midget Association returns to Thompson Speedway Thursday night, July 2 with some added incentive. The winner will go home with the Marvin Rifchin Trophy.

Rifchin, owner of M&H Tire, died on June 3 at age 94. “Considering how many lives Marvin touched,” said NEMA President Mike Scrivani Jr., “everybody wants this trophy. It is a beautiful piece of hardware.”

Defending champions Randy Cabral (driver) and Tim Bertrand (owner), undefeated in two races this year, head NEMA’s strongest field in recent memory. Cabral’s seven career wins, including the last four in Bertrand’s #47, tops NEMA’s Thompson win list.

“You can’t take anything for granted, especially at Thompson,” says Cabral, coming off a win last Friday night at Lee USA Speedway. “Usually, the track favors the veterans but nothing is guaranteed. Everybody goes to Thompson prepared.”

Cabral will have a teammate at Thompson once again, in the wily veteran Jeff Horn. Horn will be running a new Bertrand Motorsports/Drinan chassis that is in the process of being final assembly this week so that Horn may run the race in honor of his close friend, Rifchin.

The five-eights Thompson is the fastest stop for NEMA. “You come prepared to go fast,” says four-time Thompson winner Nokie Fornoro (Jarret 4). “You don’t ever forget winning one at Thompson.”

It will mark the first time since 1993 that the Stoehr brothers will be running against each other at Thompson. Greg, now driving the Mazda-powered 26b, beat brother Russ by inches back then. Russ, coming off a strong third at Lee in the Angelillo 45, has three Thompson wins.

Another set of brothers – William and Aaron Wall – are definite threats to collect their first-ever Thompson win, if the elder Wall (Aaron) is able to make repairs after a hard crash at Lee Speedway. Mike Keeler and Adam Cantor are strong possibilities as well. Both have been very impressive so far, Keeler in TSR #63 and Cantor in the family-owned 7ny.

Among the other crowd favorites are Erica Santos in the Ed Breault 44, Jim Miller in the 3M and Doug Cleveland in the familiar #87.

Thompson’s Midget history is without parallel in the northeast. It is the perfect place to honor Rifchin whose M&H Tires contributed immensely to Midget racing’s development and safety over five decades.

“We want to thank Thompson promoter Don Hoenig for his participation in honoring Marvin,” said NEMA president Mike Scrivani Jr. “Marvin’s generosity not only with his product but with his time and expertise has made NEMA a better organization.”

NEMA Winners at Thompson

First – Dutch Schaefer, 1960
Last – Randy Cabral, 2008

No. Driver First Last
7 Randy Cabral 2001 2008
6 Johnny Mann 1972 1978
5 Drew Fornoro 1985 2003
4 Johnny Coy Sr. 1969 1981
4 Nokie Fornoro 1982 2005
4 Armond Holley 1976 1977
3 Bob Cicconi 1978 1987
3 Ben Seitz 2005 2007
3 Russ Stoehr 1994 2002
2 Mark Buonomo 2001 2004
2 Dave Humphrey 1970 1971
2 Russ Klar 1969 1972
2 Hank Rogers 1980 1980
2 Bobby White 1979 1979

One-time Thompson winners: Gene Bergin (1969), Lennie Boyd (1979), Kyle Carpenter (2002), Joey Coy (1992), Johnny Coy Jr. (1981), Ryan Dolan (2002), Leigh Earnshaw (1979), Ronnie Evans (1970), Mike Favulli (1989), George Ferguson Jr. (1978), Walt Gale (1968), George Monsen (1978), Joey Payne Jr. (2000), Bobby Santos III (2003), Dutch Schaefer (1960), Greg Stoehr (1993), Butch Walsh (1986), Hank Williams (1960).

Marvin Rifchin

Marvin Rifchin, Founder of the M&H Tire Company, passed away
June 3 at the Maristhill Nursing Home in Watertown Mass.  

There will be a Graveside Service at the Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery on Friday June 5th, at 12:45 PM.

In lieu of flowers,  contributions to the charity of your choice may be made in Marvin's memory.

(NEAR Hall of Fame Page HERE)

Tribute to Marvin at Thompson in July of 2006

Rifchin Trophy
Awaits NEMA Thompson Winner

Brockton, MA - The 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature at Thompson Speedway on Thursday night July 2 will be the “Marvin Rifchin Race” and the winner will take home the “Marvin Rifchin Trophy.”

Rifchin, owner of M&H Tire, died on June 3 at age 94. He was an integral part of NEMA from its inception in 1953. “The number of people he touched directly; the influence he had on our club is immense,” says long-time NEMA competitor and official Bruce Beane.

NEMA president Mike Scrivani Jr. pointed out the M&H logo was part of NEMA’s image for many years. He said plans are for the “Rifchin Trophy” race to become a yearly event.

Although his auto racing association started with open cockpit cars, Rifchin’s influence stretched over the entire spectrum of the sport. His association with Don Garlits is part of drag racing folklore. He played a key role in Modified racing’s glory days of the 1960s and 70s.

Rifchin’s influence is evidenced by his membership in several halls of fame including NEMA’s. He’s in the National Hot Rod Association, New England Auto Racers and Specialty Equipment Manufactures Association (SEMA) halls as well.

Rifchin was involved with his father Harry in the recapping business. M&H (the H stands for Harry) was one of the first companies to make tires specifically for racecars. Over some five decades his influence grew to enormous proportions.

“Over the years a lot of guys raced because of Marvin’s generosity,” said 11-time owner champion Gene Angelillo. “He really had a special place in his heart for the competitor. Near the end of his life he was at a lot of our races and that was really good for NEMA. The guy loved the Midgets.”

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