The Data Logger

Notes from the pits for May 7-9, 2021

by Neil Van Zile

Not all of the action is on the track. There are always interesting side stories about the cars and the racers each weekend at the drag strip. In this more-or-less regular feature we will try to give you some of those stories.

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In light of the news of the tragic death of long-time racer Craig Michaud, it was not surprising that there were a few mentions of him at New England Dragway over the weekend. 

The track had a moment of silence in his honor before racing started, and a number of racers dedicated their racing efforts to Craig. Cam Murray raced and won on Saturday in a car that Craig had owned at one time. Cam had borrowed the car from Raffe and Brandon Karaguezian when his Volare came up lame and struggled to get a handle on it (literally when the steering wheel came off the shaft on a launch in an early round), but he made it to the stripe first against Dave Tubman in the Tim’s Speed & Custom Street class final. 

Northeast Drag News wishes to express our condolences to Craig’s family and friends. 

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The Orientals Hot Rod Club announced the 2021 class of inductees to the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame last week – Earl Carter, Ed Pearson, and the Willard Family. We will have coverage of all of them in the near future.

The Willards made a strong argument for their inclusion in the Hall of Fame on Saturday. First, Nick and Janice Willard’s daughter, Kendall Willard took the win in the Dennis K. Burke Junior Dragster B class. Then Kendall’s aunt, Jessica (Willard) Stodulski took the trophy in the Eastern Propane & Oil Super Pro final. And Janice Willard herself made it to the semi-final round in Dennis K. Burke Super Comp

Jessica Stodulski & Kendall Willard

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Modena, New York is a small town (a hamlet, actually) about 30 miles as the crow flies from the Connecticut border. A local group is working to construct a new 1/8th mile drag strip on some open land near the New York Thruway. This will be for street-legal cars only and there seems to be strong local support. While it’s not technically in New England, it will definitely serve the drag racing community in western Connecticut and Massachusetts. We will be keeping our eye on this as it develops.