Dick Watson began and ended his career at the Waterford Speedbowl.
From that first race in 1953 until his retirement in 1976, Dick
competed at tracks across New England including; West Haven,
Plainville Stadium, Lonsdale Rhode Island (teamed with Joe McNulty),
Seekonk, Langhorne (dirt & paved), Norwood Arena, Thompson
International Speedway, & Stafford Motor Speedway.
driving “cut downs” in the early 50’s. Watson carved a name for
himself, winning firstly in 1954 at Plainville Stadium with his own
car the #4; and continued regular wins for owners like John Lasier
of Middlefield, Ct. in a Flat Head Ford Sportsman; Then at Waterford
Speedbowl with John Barnett in the #7-11 “Gold Scorpion”; the famous
Bill Condon's #76; One of Dick's most well known rides is the Bob
Garbarino V-4, “Mystic Missile” which he and Garbarino ran at
Waterford and in 1965 he gained the Connecticut State Modified
Championship. In 1966 this team moved forward into the NASCAR
Modified Division. They moved up in a big way, winning the Thompson
Speedway World Series.
top ten point finishes at Thompson in 1966 and '67, and at Stafford
in '67 and '68, competing against some of the very best modified
drivers of the era, including Hall of Famers; Fred DeSarro, Bugs
Stevens, Gene Bergin, Leo Cleary, and Bill Slater. Dick competed in
several Grand National (Winston Cup) races, in a car owned by E.J.
Trivette out of Atlanta, GA. In 1969, at the Thompson 200 he was
running fifth on lap 180, with eventual winner David Pearson, when a
mechanical failure forced him out of the race with an 11th place
In 1972 Watson
turned back to Waterford Speedbowl driving Norm Kies’ #21;and Fred
Beabers Checker Board #716.
up his helmet after a violent crash during a qualifying heat at
Waterford Speedbowl in 1976, where he suffered a concussion, lower
back injuries, and several broken ribs. He still competes, at the
annual "Heroes of the Bowl Race" at the Waterford Speedbowl. He has
continued his winning style with victories in 1993, 1995, 2000, and
2002. Today, we welcome a true “gentleman“ of the sport of auto
racing, Dick Watson, into the NEAR Hall of Fame.