Waterford, CT – Waterford Speedbowl management has announced it will honor long time motorsports journalist and Connecticut native Charlie Mitchell as part of its Saturday, July 26 “Nostalgia Night” program. That night’s 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature is billed as the Charlie Mitchell Memorial. Several pieces to recognize Mitchell during the event are in the works.
Mitchell, a Norwalk, CT native, covered auto racing for over four decades writing for his hometown “The Hour” newspaper, actually starting as a police reporter. His auto racing column, which he started in 1971, remains his shining legacy. The column continued after he officially retired, almost until his passing in 2012 after a long bout with cancer.
Colleagues still regard Mitchell as New England’s premier motorsports journalist, always a step ahead when it came to his motorsports writing. He sat on the Union 76 Racing Panel of Experts – a very big deal in the 1970’s. He served on the Board of Directors for the National Motorsports Press Association and was on the selection committee of Auto Racing Hall of Fame at Talledega Speedway, one of NASCAR’s famous superspeedways.
He was also a member of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s selection committee from its inception until his passing. Prominent national sanctioning bodies such as NASCAR, ARCA, USAC and SCCA loved, even courted, Mitchell.
An annual tradition at the Speedbowl, Nostalgia Night celebrates racing through the decades and includes vintage racing clubs such as the New England Antique Racers and Senior Tour Auto Racers, with displays and racing exhibitions. The Northeast Midget Association, part of the New England racing landscape since 1951, also the year the Speedbowl opened, is on the card as well and joins the track’s current lineup of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions. Honoring Mitchell on the night is fitting.
“Racers past and present owe a lot to Charlie Mitchell and how he served our sport” offered Speedbowl owner and promoter Terry Eames. “When we were approached about this memorial, we were thrilled – honored, to take part in it”.
The Speedbowl will name both an honorary starter and grand marshall in the coming weeks. A special trophy will be presented to the Charlie Mitchell Memorial race winner at the conclusion of the night’s SK Modified® feature.