Hall of Famer Don LaJoie named Grand Marshall for Mitchell Memorial Race
Memorial SK Modified® race July 26 at Speedbowl
Waterford, CT (July 17, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl has announced further details for its Charlie Mitchell Memorial event as part of the track’s Nostalgia Night program July 26. Hall of Famer Don LaJoie will serve as Grand Marshall for that night’s memorial race, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature. In addition, Mitchell’s three sons, Chuck, Jimmy, and Dennis, will serve as honorary starters. A commemorative trophy will be presented to the night’s race winner in honor of Mitchell.
Mitchell, a Norwalk, CT native, was an iconic motorsports journalist. Peers regard Mitchell as New England’s most accomplished and well respected auto racing writer, serving on several esteemed motorsports panels and boards over his career. He passed away in 2012 after a long bout with cancer.
LaJoie, inducted to the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2000, was a dear friend to Mitchell and was a subject for many of Mitchell’s motorsports columns through the years. LaJoie won five track championships and was a star at the now defunct Danbury Racearena, where he was the all-time winningest Modified driver in track history. After Danbury closed in 1981, LaJoie competed at the Speedbowl in 1982 where he was a race winner before retiring from driving. His retirement was due largely in part to help his son Randy’s racing career. Randy LaJoie went on to a long NASCAR racing career, highlighted by two Nationwide Series championships. LaJoie’s grandson Corey is a budding NASCAR talent.
The Mitchell Memorial race is part of a busy Nostalgia Night program that honors racing through the decades. In addition to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing, July 26’s card features displays and exhibition racing from the New England Antique Racers and Senior Tour Auto Racers. Both clubs feature restored racecars from the early days, just as fans remember them in their glory. Several former racers and Hall of Famers will be in attendance. The NEMA Midgets are also part of the night’s lineup. That series has been part of Speedbowl history from the track’s opening season in 1951.
A detailed event schedule will be posted online at Speedbowl.com the week leading up to the event. Adult grandstand admission is $22.00 for Nostalgia Night and youth ages six through fourteen will be admitted for $6.00. The Speedbowl offers acres of free parking. In addition to the night’s racing, vintage displays will line the track’s midway.