1974 Year in Review

Dick Dunn drove Al Gaudreau’s ‘Buddha’s Bullet’ #3 car to an unprecedented 3rd straight Modified Championship at Waterford in 1974

Dick Dunn won his 3rd straight Championship in 1974. He won 2 features during the year. The biggest winner was Don Bunnell who led the division with 7 victories. Ollie Silva won the Hott Wheels 100 in dominating fashion, lapping the entire field. Gene Bergin won the Schaefer 100 in July and Jim Landry won the New England 100 in September. There were 14 different winners during the year.

Rick Elnicki was the 1974 Sportsman Sedan Champion

Ron Cote won 3 of the first 4 events, and 8 on the year to lead the division, but it was 2-time winner Rick Elnicki who took home Sportsman Sedan Championship. There were 10 different winners during the year. All Sportsman Sedan features were 20 laps this season.

One of the most entertaining Powder Puff Derbies was held on August 24th when Doris Blaise and Diana Glaude raced side-by-side to the checkered flags. Officials were unable to determine a clear winner and declared both women co-winners of the event.

1974 was the last year under Waterford Speedbowl Inc. operators (l-r) Don Benvenuti, Lou Esposito and Bob Albino (uncredited photo)

By the end of the season, Waterford Speedbowl, Inc had begun to actively try to sell the track. The ownership group was made up on Robert Albino (51%), Don & Richard Benvenuti (25%), Lou Esposito (12%) and Jack Brouwer (12%). Brouwer passed away shortly after the 1974 ended. On November 29, the Speedbowl gave East Hartford developer Michael Corrado an exclusive 30 day window to buy the track. Corrado, who was proposing a horse track nearby on Rte. 85, would either use the Speedbowl property for parking for the horse track or possibly convert it into a dinner/theatre complex. He also had the opportunity to find his own buyer for the facility as well. However, Corrado was unsuccessful to get zoning approvals or suited investors and his 30-day window expired with no offer made to the track owners. Asking for $500,000, the Speedbowl property was put on the open market in January 1975.

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