Bertha Small
Car Owner
Class of 2009

     

       Bertha Small was born in Czechoslovakia, then moved to New York, and finally landed in Fall River, Mass.  She purchased a gas station in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where she became involved in racing as a car owner.  From 1950 to 1961, Bertha raced her #32 coupes at Seekonk, Norwood, Kingstown, Waterford, and Lonsdale.   Jack Foley, Joe McNulty, and Cy Yates wheeled her cars.  Red Bolduc and Hop Harrington also wheeled  Bertha’s cars to feature wins.

     Bertha raced at a time when many tracks still denied women access into the pits.  As a result, she would often have to run the team from outside the pit fence, issuing orders to the men on her crew though the fence.

     For her contributions to auto racing, as well as breaking down gender walls, we welcome Bertha Small posthumously into the NEAR Hall of Fame.