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1973 Year in Review

1973_Dick_Dunn_Modified_Champ (Dugas)
Dick Dunn repeated as Modified Champ in 1973 (Rene Dugas photo)
Dick Dunn once again was the class of the field, scoring a division-best 9 feature wins on his way to his second consecutive Modified Championship driving the Gaudreau #3 car. Among his victories were the Schaefer 100 in July, the New England 100 in August and the season-ending 48 lapper on Sept 22. George Allum won 7 events, but two were non-point events early in the year and he also missed some events that took him out of the championship hunt. Allum's biggest triumph was a last lap pass of Jerry Dostie during the Hott Wheels 100 event in May. He took home almost $2,000 for the victory. During qualifying for the event, Ollie Silva broke Bob Potter's 2 year-old record when he posted a 16.48 time trial lap during qualifying.

1973_Mike_Daignault_Late_Model_Champ (Dugas)
The popular 'Big Mike' Daignault was the 1973 Sportsman Sedan Champion (Rene Dugas photo)

In the Sportsmen Sedans, Mike Daignault was equally dominant winning 8 features and the track championship by 73 points over "Mr Mysterious" Wayne Smith. The longest race of the year was the 30 lapper on Labor Day weekend won by Marshall White. 1972 Champion Ron Cote won 3 events.

1973_Motorcycle_racing_ad
The New London Day newspaper

The NEMA Midgets returned for a 25-lap event during the New England 100 modified show. George Munson won the event.

Motorcycle racing returned for a second season, however Saturday night stock car competitors would become disgruntled with the series. Although the motorcycle track was built inside the asphalt track, fragments of the clay track would continually kick onto the asphalt track were the stock cars raced the following night. Despite this, and average-to-below-average crowds during their events, Motorcycle racing continued and returned again in 1974.

The ownership group had a challenging year in 1973. Business suffered as the country went through a recession and fuel shortage was still an issue. They continually tried to hold events other than auto races on the Speedbowl property. Early in the year, they lobbied to get a permit for a jai-alai facility on the property. They also tried to secure permits to hold concerts. Both were denied by the Town of Waterford. These denials, in addition to the Motorcycle events failing to draw good crowds, led to some members of Waterford Speedbowl, Inc. to begin to consider selling the race track.

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