Billy Harman Goes Home To Speedbowl
And Takes Checker

May 17, 1975

It was “Home Town Night” Saturday at the New London Waterford Speedbowl, as nearby Niantic and Waterford drivers captured both feature races at the oval! Doubtless many of the drivers who had traveled down from Massachusetts and from as far downstate as Stamford didn’t appreciated that so much prize money stayed within a 10-mile radius of the track, but they did their best to make it an exciting night, the hariest yet seen this year at Waterford.

Driving the well set-up R.I.-11 car, owned by Coventry Racing Enterprises, Bill Harman, of Niantic, won his first feature at the Speedbowl in some ten years. Remembered fondly by old time racing fans as the rising young star behind the wheel of the L&M car of years gone by, Harman was plainly the favorite of the crowd, many of whom rooted him all the way.

Future Hall of Famer Billy Harman took down the Speedbowl feature in the Coventry Racing #11. (File Photo)

After the 14th lap it was evident the 30-lap Modified/Sportsman Division feature was developing into a ding-dong battle between Harman, Dick Dunn, Joe Trudeau, Lou Toro and Jerry Pearl of Colchester. Things narrowed down to a four-way battle, with Art Moran and Mike Beebe also moving into hard contention after the 20th lap when Toro’s 04 car reportedly blew a tire and then smashed into the wall on the first turn sustaining damage to both the front and rear ends. After a delay of some ten to fifteen minutes the race resumed with Harmon, Dunn and Pearl in it all the way. Harman held on to the lead fighting off determined forays by both Pearl and Dunn, who in the end had to settle for second and third spots respectively.

The race was also notable for a first lap, first turn pile-up just after starter Low Mazzocci dropped the green flag to signal the start of the race, as a dozen cars piled up. On the restart most of them were back in the race.

Bob Gada won the Grand American feature.

Bob Gada took Grand American Division honors for the night in brisk fashion in the fast 36-sedan. Lat week’s winner Don Fowler in Car 26 was a close second, but once he got out in front, Gada, the Waterford wheeler was in control all the way. It was his first win of the young season.

The management of the track announced that this coming Saturday night the Modified/Sportsman Division will run a 100-lap Memorial Day special feature. Racing will commence, as usual at 7:30 P.M., but the gates will open half an hour earlier at 5 P.M. A full program of both Modified/Sportsman and Grand American Division Racing has been arranged.

Modified/Sportsman, 30-laps: Harman, Pearl, Dunn, Trudeau, M. Beebe.
Grand American, 20-laps: Gada, D. Fowler, Horn, Charbonneau, Daigneault.