The best way to describe Frank Ferrara's near life-long involvement in New England auto racing would be multi-faceted.
His generosity and loyal involvement to the sport have made him one of the driving forces in local racing for more than 40 years.
He became a car owner in the 1950s at Riverside Park (Agawam, Mass.) where Karl "Swede" Anderson was his driver. Ferrara also served as one of the mechanics on the car.
After returning from the military, Ferrara found his former driver now wheeling midgets.
The open-cockpit cars are what turned Ferrara's direction to flagging. He spent a decade waving flags for the Northeast Midget Association (NEMA) and two years (1966-67) as the chief starter at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway.
His early involvement at Stafford led to his sponsorship of the annual 100-lap July modified race, named in his honor, The Ferrara 100.
Every driver who competed in the modified division wanted to win the race because Ferrara treated them grandly.
Each victor, and the group includes Hall of Famers Ray Miller (3 wins), Carl "Bugs" Stevens (2), Ron Bouchard (1) and the late Charlie Jarzombek (1), received a tool box filled with silver dollars along with a champagne toast in Victory Lane.
The top three finishers were also given fruit baskets.
At the rather older age of 56, Ferrara turned to driving in 1987.
He drove mini-sprints at both the Sugar Hill and High Groove Speedways in New Hampshire.
That adventure led him into race-track ownership. Ferrara and his partner, Bill Guertin, built the Whip City Speedway in Westfield, Mass., in the 1990s. It's still a very successful operation today and has been the training ground for many open-cockpit standouts.
"This is a great honor for me, being inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame," Ferrara said last November. "It's a wonderful feeling to be among so many legendary car owners and drivers who've made New England racing what it has become."
Today, we welcome 77-year old Frank Ferrara into the Hall of Fame.