Dominic Anthony Venditti was an
innovator, as well as a successful promoter. He designed and built
his own ice skating rink, using a valveless refrigeration compressor
which he designed himself. He once owned a semi pro football team.
An avid aviator, he built his own airplane. What Venditti is most
well known for, however, is the Seekonk Speedway, a race track that
he built on the grounds of his family’s chicken farm in 1946 to
showcase the then popular midget race cars.
Known as “the Godfather”, Venditti
was a man of vision, who recognized that racing was entertainment.
He never tired of bringing new types of entertainment to Seekonk
fans. Venditti once flooded the infield, to bring boat racing to the
speedway. He staged camel races, auto polo, and chain races. He
introduced the Mini stock, with the four cylinder Crossleys, in
1954, and helped develop the modifieds in the late 60’s. He
introduced the country to the Pro Stock division in 1978.
Many NEAR Hall of Famers had great
success at the “cement palace.” Ron Bouchard, George Summers, Leo
Cleary, and Bugsy Stevens are only a few of the stars that honed
their racing skills at “The Konk”.
Venditti was named the RPM
National Short Track Promoter of the Year in 1978, and was honored
by the Charlotte Motor Speedway as Promoter of the Year in 1979. His
loving wife, Irene, was very much a part of the success of Seekonk