Billy Simons
Car Owner
Class of 2010

     

             Car owner Billy Simons and the “Excavator Special” were winners from the start to the finish of a 40-year involvement with New England Auto Racing. His final victory came at Monadnock in 1993 with driver Dan Avery.

            He was always a blue-collar, no-nonsense, low-buck, short-track Modified racecar owner. A man of few words – and those were delivered softly – he nonetheless combined talent and determination in accumulating 10 championships and 100-plus victories.

            Brothers Billy and Fred Simons, natives of Cromwell, CT, went racing in 1953.  Grabbing the name from the family business – “Clifford Simons & Sons Excavating” – the brothers went to Plainville Stadium. They soon moved to the United Racing Club sanctioned Waterford Speedbowl. Using a Chrysler six-cylinder engine, the No. 9 dominated the track’s non-Ford division.

            The first championship came with driver Charlie Webster in 1956. They repeated in ’58 and ’59, winning 11 features each season.  Partnerships with drivers Hank Stevens and Ray Delisle respectively won the ’62 and ’63 Speedbowl Sportsman titles. Following the ’64 Modified and Sportsman crowns (still using a six-cylinder motor), Simons and Delisle headed for Lebanon Valley.

            Back on asphalt, Don Collins gave Simons the 1969 Modified title, his eighth Speedbowl crown. It was the final season for Hall of Famer Collins.

            Simons moved on to NASCAR.  He captured a couple of Riverside Park championships (1978, ’81) with Stan Greger and collected a 1985 Modified Tour Victory at Waterford with another Hall of Famer, Ray Miller aboard. Ricky Summers and Bruce D’Alessandro also won in Simons’ equipment.

            Simons, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on July 2, now calls DeBary, FL home.


Photo From The Val LeSieur Archives