|In 1947, Nick
Fonoro, Sr. enrolled in a driving school taught by Lew Folk and George
Fonder. Sitting in that class of 25 or 30 prospective racers, Nick learned
"the basics" about driving a racecar. He competed mainly in midgets and
sprint cars, although he remembers competing at Langhorne, PA, driving a
Porsche in an extra distance race. "I had a string around my neck, with a
couple of lemon slices for when I got thirsty. As I raced, I had the radio
on listening to a Yankees game", remembers Nick.
He was a contender from the start, winning the ARDC Championship in 1950 and the Nascar Midget Championship in '53. When asked about his greatest racing accomplishment, Fonoro says that it was meeting his future wife, Elizabeth. She was a fan at West Haven and at New York's Kingston Armory. Sitting with her mother and father in the balcony of the indoor Kingston facility, she pointed Nick out. "See that driver down there?" she told her parents. "I'm going to marry him someday." "Someday" turned out to be 1948, and, according to Nick, "We've been married now for 54 years, and I ain't won a battle yet!"
Fonoro retired from driving, but not from racing, in 1956. "I was 2 points out of the lead for the division championship, and my wife had a premonition that something bad was going to happen. I went right to my car owner and announced my retirement. My family has always come first, every time and every way."
Racing was still in Nick's blood, so he accepted a position as flagman, working ARDC midget and sprint races before signing on as a starter for CART, a position that he held from 1979 until his retirement in 1992. His sons Nick, Jr. and Drew are both successful racers. Nick Jr. is a 6 time ARDC Champion, and Drew is a 9 time Northeast Midget Champion. We welcome Nick Fonoro, Sr. into the New England Auto Racer's Hall of Fame