On Saturday July 29, 2000, the Waterford Speedbowl unveiled it’s 50 Favorite Drivers in Speedbowl history as part of the track’s year-long celebration of it’s 50th consecutive racing season. The on-track ceremony was held during the annual Nostalgia Weekend festivities, and the vast majority of the living members of the list were in attendance. The event was organized by Speedbowl historian Dave Dykes and was voted on by Speedbowl fans over several months.
Don Collins, George “Moose” Hewitt and Bob Potter were the Top 3 vote-getters. Between them, they have 16 Modified Championships and over 200 feature wins at the Waterford Speedbowl to their credit. Eddie & Don Bunnell were the only brothers on the list. The Pearls (Jerry & Jeff) and the Gadas (Bob & Dennis) were the two father-son duos who made the list.
Collectively, the 50 drivers account for over 1,400 feature victories and 82 different Speedbowl Track Championships, including every Modified Championship from 1959-1970 and every Late Model Championship from 1985-1997. Divisions the 50 drivers won in during their Speedbowl careers include Modifieds, Non-Fords, Bombers, Daredevils, Late Models and SK Modifieds.
TOP 3 VOTE GETTERS
Don Collins was the Speedbowl’s most accomplished star during the 1950’s & 1960’s. He was the first driver to win 100 features and the first Modified driver to win 5 championships in the division. When he retired after the 1st race in 1970, he was the track’s record holder for Most Career Wins (101), Most Career Championships, Most Overall Wins in a Season, Most Modified Wins in a Seasonand Most Wins in a Single Day – the latter three all set in 1960. A NEAR Hall of Fame inductee in 2005 and a driver many still consider the best to ever drive the Speedbowl some 45 years after his last race.
Bob Potter race Modifieds at the Speedbowl for over 30 seasons, becoming the first driver to earn 6 Track Championships at the shoreline oval. His longevity earned him the titles during both the pre-SK (1976, 1980, 1983) and the SK Modified (1986, 1987, 1989) eras. Considered by many to be a master set-up man and smooth driver on the track, having success for several different car owners during his career like Roger Bonville, the Ceravolos and Art Barry. Potter, who also has 5 SK Championships at Stafford Speedway, was inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame in 2007.
George “Moose” Hewitt was a boxer and motorcycle racer before he came to the Speedbowl in the 1960’s to race stock cars. He then went on to race all over the northeast, including a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway before returning to the Speedbowl in the late 1970’s to become one of the most consistent drivers in track history. Hewitt won back-to-back Modified titles in 1977-1978 and again in 1981-1982. In 1984, he was declared co-champion with Bruce “Gomer” Taylor and tied Don Collins at the time with the most Modified Championships in Speedbowl history. Moose continued to race into the SK Modified era, and later in the Late Models as well, into the 1990’s before he passed away in 1997.
50 FAVORITE DRIVERS
|George Allum||Dick Ceravolo||Bob Gada||Ray Moran||Glynn Shafer|
|Fred ‘Fuzzy’ Baer||Ted Christopher||Dennis Gada||Newt Palm||Bill Slater|
|Dick Beauregard||Don Collins||Jerry Glaude||Jeff Pearl||Wayne “Mysterious’ Smith|
|Howard ‘Jiggs’ Beetham||Ron Cote||Billy Harman||Jerry Pearl||Ted Stack|
|Jimmy Broderick||Mike Daignault||George ‘Moose’ Hewitt||George Pendergast||Hank Stevens|
|John Brouwer Jr||Sal Dee||Dale Holdridge||Bob Potter||Jay Stuart|
|Don Bunnell||Ray Delisle||Mark Lajeunesse||Ed Reed Jr||Bill Sweet|
|Ed Bunnell||Walt Dombrowski||Brian McCarthy||Tucker Reynolds Jr||Seabury Tripler|
|Dick Caso||Dick Dunn||Ed Moody||Phil Rondeau||Dick Watson|
|Angie Cerase||Tom Fox||Art Moran||Bill Scrivener||Charlie Webster|