In 1971, Val LeSieur launched a weekly trade paper to chronicle the
exploits of the colorful characters he found in auto racing in his
native New England. Across the next few decades, he became one of
those colorful characters himself.
Known first as New England Speedway Scene and later simply Speedway
Scene as its coverage area spread, LeSieur's paper focused on the
sport's people and issues in addition to reporting race results.
Full of feisty columns, it was soon required reading across the
region. Fans used it to follow their favorite racers, and to help
determine their own weekly racing schedules. Promoters alternately
loved and loathed its candid commentary. Racers valued the boost it
gave their careers; one driver said being on Speedway Scene's front
page reminded him of the old Dr. Hook rock song, "On the Cover of
the Rolling Stone." Additionally, the paper showcased many of New
England's best-known writers, including Pete Zanardi, Dick Berggren,
Lou Modestino, Dave Moody, Phil Smith, Dave Shippee, Mark Thomas,
Toodi Gelinas, and Bones Bourcier.
LeSieur also founded the popular Racearama trade shows which for
years brought race fans to the Eastern States Exposition in West
Though known by many for his irreverent sense of humor, LeSieur also
had a serious side. Upon the deaths of some of the sport's heroes,
Speedway Scene printed tributes and photo retrospectives which
became collectors' items; many have been reproduced on the Internet
through various nostalgia sites. Away from the track, LeSieur has
been involved in any number of civic activities and organizations,
particularly the Jaycees, and has received numerous citations
commending his accomplishments in business and journalism.