|The Northeastern Midget
Associations all-time feature winner Drew Fornoro "cant wait to get back
to Hudson Speedway." NEMA will return to the historic New Hampshire oval Sunday
(Sept. 14) on the back end of a doubleheader that begins Saturday night at Star Speedway,
Star-Hudson weekends were once common for NEMA. The last
Hudson visit back in 1994 was part of such a doubleheader. Two-time defending champion and
current point leader Russ Stoehr, then in a Bruce Beane car, won the last NEMA show at
Star besting Mike Seymour and Fornoro.
"We used to do it all the time," says
Fornoro who swept a pair of Star-Hudson doubleheaders in 1989. The first of Fornoros
record 79 NEMA wins came at Hudson in 1983. He has added six more. All of the Hudson
successes came driving for Gene Angelillo.
Among active drivers, Bobby Seymour has won three
times at Hudson. Stoehr, who now drives for Angelillo, and Nokie Fornoro have each won
twice there. Nokie Fornoro was the first to post a Star-Hudson double, doing it in back in
Bob Webber, who has promoted both ovals for some
time, proposed the doubleheader as part of NEMAs 50th anniversary. Legend
Tony Bonadies won the firswt NEMA race at Hudson in 1958. Midgets actually opened Hudson
back on May 9, 1948, Bud Tatro winning the Bay State Racing Club feature.
"Hudson is probably the best Midget track there
is for those who like racy racing," remembers Stoehr. "The thing about Hudson is
you have go go, go, go. You cant hesitate, you cant wait, and you cant
slow down. You have to race the entire time, take every opportunity that comes your
Paul Lawless calls Hudson "a great traditional
Midget track, small, tight and banked and a lot of fun to drive." He recalls going
off the backstretch in the Jack Currie #83 and "coming to a stop in the trees."
"I love the place," offers Doug Cleveland
who once "spun twice and came all the way to finish third" at Hudson.
"Hudson in a Midget is awesome."
Fornoros first win, however, tops the list of
stories. Brother Nokie, driving a Scrivani car, was burning up NEMA that year. On that
particular night, Nokie flew out of turn three bringing out the red. Drew left his car to
see about his brother. He came back to find his car in the pit, the right rear flat. The
team did not have a spare.
"Nokies car was coming in on a hook,"
remembers Angelillo. "I can still remember Mike Scrivani yelling at his crew to take
the tire off his car. It would up on our car and Drew came from the back to win. That was
my first win in a Midget."
Butch Walsh worked the double in 1984 and Dave
Humphrey in 1986.
NEMA has not had a back-to-back win situation in 25
races. There have been five winners in six events this year, Stoehr coming into the
weekend off a win in Thompson Speedways Mini Indy.