Ron Bouchard

Last updated
Ronald Bouchard
RonBouchard.jpg
Born(1948-11-23)November 23, 1948
Fitchburg, Massachusetts
DiedDecember 10, 2015(2015-12-10) (aged 67)
Boston, Massachusetts
Cause of deathCancer
Awards1981 NASCAR Rookie of the Year voted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame (1988)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
160 races run over 7 years
Best finish8th (1982)
First race 1981 Valleydale 500 (Bristol)
Last race 1987 Winston 500 (Talladega)
First win 1981 Talladega 500 (Talladega)
WinsTop tens Poles
1603

Ronald R. Bouchard [1] (November 23, 1948 December 10, 2015) was an American NASCAR driver who was the 1981 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. His brother Ken Bouchard was the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. His father-in-law Ed Flemke, Sr, and brother-in-law Ed Flemke, Jr were also NASCAR Modified racers.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, and the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR also ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title.

Ken Bouchard is an American former NASCAR driver and the 1988 Rookie of the Year. His brother Ron Bouchard was the 1981 Rookie of the Year and one-time Winston Cup Series race winner.

Contents

Local driving career

Ron Bouchard began racing career at Brookline Speedway as a substitute driver in 1963 by replacing the ill driver for his father's car. After high school he began racing in his father's car, and he rapidly moved up the ranks to late models at Seekonk Speedway. He claimed five consecutive track championships from 1967 to 1971. He began racing at other local tracks in the Camaro, and he was noticed by Bob Johnson.

A "late model car" is a car which has been recently designed or manufactured, often the latest model. The term is broadly used in car racing, and often appears in common use, as in: "The officer was driving an unmarked, late model sedan."

Seekonk Speedway

Seekonk Speedway is a family entertainment venue that features racing of all kinds on a semi-banked 1/3 mile asphalt-paved oval, located on U.S. Route 6 in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Johnson quickly put Bouchard in his modified car at the famous Stafford Speedway, and he won his first of his 35 career victories at Stafford in April 1972. He won the 1973 and 1979 track modified championships. Bouchard also drove for car owners Bob Judkins (No. 2x, grandfather of current Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity driver Ryan Preece) and also Len Boehler (No. 3), where he won numerous races at Stafford Speedway, Thompson Speedway, Seekonk Speedway, Waterford Speedbowl and Westboro Speedway.One of Bouchard's biggest modified victories came at Thompson Speedway driving Dick Armstrong's No. 1 in the Thompson 300 in 1980.

Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR racing team

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is an American professional stock car racing organization owned and operated by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, which first started racing on the NASCAR circuit in 1991. His son, J. D. Gibbs, ran the team with him until his death in 2019. Headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, roughly 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Charlotte Motor Speedway, the team has amassed four Cup Series championships since the year 2000.

Ryan Preece American stock car racing driver

Ryan Preece is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for JTG Daugherty Racing and part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports. In 2013, he won the Whelen Modified Tour championship after being runner-up in 2009 and 2012.

NASCAR career

1983 racecar RonBouchard47racecar1983.jpg
1983 racecar

Bouchard began his NASCAR career in 1981 in the No. 47 J.D. Stacy Buick for owner Jack Beebe (Race Hill Farm team). He captured the 1981 NASCAR Rookie of the Year title even though he only raced in 22 of 31 events. He posted 12 top 10 finishes in the 22 races, including his only career win, in the Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Running third to Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte on the last lap, he swooped under both of them as they battled side-by-side out of the final turn. The three cars crossed the finish line nearly simultaneously, with Bouchard winning in a photo finish. [2] After the race, Waltrip, who had been watching Labonte and not seen Bouchard pass him, asked, "Where the hell did he come from?" Waltrip has stated in interviews over the race that part of the reason he lost was because he did not try to block Bouchard as he believed that Bouchard was a lap down.

Jack Beebe was a hydroplane mechanic from Detroit, Michigan who drove the Miss Detroit hydroplane to the 1915 American Power Boat Association Gold Cup victory after replacing the original driver of the boat who became seasick.

Talladega Superspeedway motorsport track in the United States

Talladega Superspeedway, formerly named Alabama International Motor Speedway (AIMS), is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. A tri-oval, the track was constructed in 1969 by the International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France Family. The track currently hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Talladega is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66-mile-long (4.281 km) like the Daytona International Speedway, which is 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km). The peak capacity of Talladega is at around 175,000 spectators, with the main grandstand capacity currently being at about 80,000.

Darrell Waltrip American racing driver

Darrell Lee Waltrip is an American motorsports analyst, author, national television broadcaster, and former racing driver. He is also a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and a three-time NASCAR Cup Series runner-up. Posting a modern NASCAR series record of 22 top five finishes in 1983 and 21 top five finishes both in 1981 and 1986, Waltrip won 84 NASCAR Cup Series races, including the 1989 Daytona 500, a record five in the Coca-Cola 600, and a track and Series record for any driver at Bristol Motor Speedway with 12. Those victories tie him with Bobby Allison for fourth on the NASCAR's all-time wins list in the Cup Series and place him second to Jeff Gordon for the most wins in NASCAR's modern era. He is ranked second for all-time pole positions with 59, including all-time highs with 35 on short tracks and eight on road courses. Competing in 809 Cup starts over four decades and 29 years (1972–2000), he has scored 271 Top 5s and 390 Top 10s. Winning $19,886,666.00 in posted earnings, he became the first NASCAR driver to be awarded over $10 million in race winnings, more than $26 million in today's currency. Waltrip also holds the all-time track record 67 wins at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee, including NASCAR, USAC, ASA, and local Late Model Sportsman NASCAR sanctioned series races. He still holds many NASCAR records, more than a decade after his retirement as an active driver.

Bouchard's victory is considered by many as the biggest upset in NASCAR history and the win essentially clinched the Cup Series rookie of the year award for Bouchard. In 1982 Bouchard finished a career-high eighth in the final points standing with 15 top 10 finishes in 30 races. He ran full-time in 1983, 1984, and 1985. He finished between eleventh and sixteenth in the final points standing each of those years.

1984 racecar RonBouchardPocono1985.jpg
1984 racecar

In 1986 he changed to the No. 98 Valvoline Pontiac for owner Mike Curb (Curb-Agajanian Motorsports). The team generally finished in the top 20 when they completed a race, but they had 9 DNFs (did not finish) in their 17 events.

Mike Curb American record producer, musician, sports executive

Michael "Mike" Curb is an American musician, record company executive, motorsports car owner, and politician who served as the 42nd Lieutenant Governor of California from 1979 to 1983 under Democratic Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr. Like every other Lt.. Governor in California, Curb was acting governor of California while Brown spent time outside California on state business, and outside California pursuing presidential ambitions. He is also the founder of Curb Records as well as an inductee of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

In 1987 he raced in the No. 1 Bull's Eye Barbecue Sauce Chevrolet for owner Hoss Ellington in five events. Their two finishes were eighth and twelfth.

Hoss Ellington was a NASCAR driver and team owner. He made 31 starts as a driver between 1968 and 1970 in the Grand National, finishing in the top 10 four times, all in 1969. He later became a successful team owner, with five wins, four of them by Donnie Allison and the other one by David Pearson. His team also collected 52 top fives and 92 top ten finishes. He fielded cars for drivers such as Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, A. J. Foyt, Donnie Allison, David Pearson, Kyle Petty, and Dale Jarrett, among others.

Awards

In 1998 he was inducted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in its inaugural class.

In 2016, New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame began awarding the Ron Bouchard Award for lifetime service to motorsport in the area. [3]

After racing

After racing in Winston Cup, Bouchard returned home to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, opening Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores, which currently represents Honda, FCA, Kia, and Nissan.

Bouchard married Paula Flemke, daughter of New England Modified racer "Steady" Ed Flemke, Sr. and sister to Ed Flemke Jr, in June 1983. The couple had five children -- Eugene, Robert, Michelle, Tracey, and Chad.

In September 2015, Bouchard opened a museum at his FCA dealership celebrating his motorsport history, three months before his death to cancer on December 10, 2015. [4]

Motorsports career results

NASCAR

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
YearTeamNo.Make12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031NWCCPtsRef
1981 Race Hill Farm Team 47 Buick RSD DAY RCH CAR ATL BRI
24
NWS
8
DAR
27
TAL
20
NSV DOV
27
CLT
26
TWS RSD MCH
10
DAY
9
NSV POC
10
TAL
1
MCH
29
BRI
5
DAR
11
RCH
25
DOV
4
MAR
6
NWS
5
CLT
5
CAR
11
ATL
39
RSD
10
21st2594 [5]
Pontiac MAR
9
1982 Buick DAY
6
RCH
9
BRI
8
ATL
36
CAR
16
DAR
34
NWS
13
MAR
19
TAL
36
NSV
3
DOV
6
CLT
10
POC
31
RSD
9
MCH
12
DAY
3
NSV
10
POC
4
TAL
34
MCH
10
DAR
26
NWS
7
MAR
14
CAR
8
ATL
32
RSD
6
8th3545 [6]
Olds BRI
12
RCH
15
DOV
8
CLT
35
1983 Buick DAY
26
RCH
12
CAR
20
ATL
12
DAR
18
NWS
11
MAR
7
TAL
20
NSV
9
DOV
34
BRI
7
CLT
41
RSD POC
34
MCH
28
DAY
4
NSV
27
POC
13
TAL
12
MCH
12
BRI
7
DAR
32
RCH
25
DOV
16
MAR NWS
7
CLT
15
CAR
6
ATL
35
RSD
11
16th3113 [7]
1984 DAY
27
RCH
29
CAR
21
ATL
12
BRI
3
NWS
7
DAR
17
MAR
2
TAL
10
NSV
5
DOV
9
CLT
3
RSD
19
POC
19
MCH
20
DAY
34
NSV
4
POC
7
TAL
16
MCH
10
BRI
14
DAR
33
RCH
13
DOV
8
MAR
19
CLT
11
NWS
28
CAR
14
ATL
12
RSD
35
11th3609 [8]
1985 DAY
38
RCH
4
CAR
33
ATL
7
BRI
17
DAR
16
NWS
13
MAR
28
TAL
28
DOV
20
CLT
29
RSD
32
POC
29
MCH
13
DAY
4
POC
9
TAL
3
MCH
38
BRI
7
DAR
5
RCH
18
DOV
8
MAR
6
NWS
6
CLT
26
CAR
2
ATL
16
RSD
10
13th3267 [9]
1986 Curb Racing 98 Pontiac DAY
6
RCH
18
ATL
40
BRI
25
DAR
37
NWS
17
MAR TAL
9
DOV
27
CLT
19
RSD POC
12
MCH
36
DAY
41
POC TAL
17
GLN MCH BRI DAR
30
RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT
21
CAR ATL
42
RSD 31st1553 [10]
Buick CAR
13
1987 Ellington Racing 1 Chevy DAY
32
CAR
36
RCH ATL
12
DAR
8
NWS BRI MAR 48th440 [11]
Buick TAL
38
CLT DOV POC RSD MCH DAY POC TAL GLN MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT CAR RSD ATL
Daytona 500
YearTeamManufacturerStartFinish
1982 Race Hill Farm Team Buick 226
1983 2326
1984 1827
1985 1538
1986 Curb Racing Pontiac 146
1987 Ellington Racing Chevy 1732

Busch Series

NASCAR Busch Series results
YearTeamNo.Make1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435NBGNCPtsRef
1983 Boehler's Racing 08 Pontiac DAY RCH CAR HCY MAR NWS SBO GPS LGY DOV BRI CLT SBO HCY ROU SBO ROU CRW ROU SBO HCY LGY IRP GPS BRI HCY DAR
5
RCH NWS SBO MAR ROU 61st320 [12]
Race Hill Farm Team 74 Pontiac CLT
3
HCY MAR
1984 DuBee Racing 47 DAY
26
RCH CAR
3
HCY MAR DAR
1
ROU NSV LGY MLW CLT
22*
SBO HCY ROU SBO ROU HCY IRP LGY SBO BRI DAR
1*
RCH NWS CLT
28
HCY CAR
2
MAR 31st956 [13]
All-Star Racing 15 Pontiac DOV
2
1985 Race Hill Farm Team 47 Buick DAY
28
CAR HCY BRI MAR DAR
25
SBO LGY DOV CLT
40
SBO HCY ROU IRP SBO LGY HCY MLW BRI
24
DAR
29
RCH NWS ROU CLT
11
HCY CAR MAR
23
42nd507 [14]
1986 Spencer Racing 28 Pontiac DAY
4
CAR HCY MAR BRI DAR SBO LGY JFC DOV CLT SBO HCY ROU IRP SBO RAL OXF SBO HCY LGY ROU BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR ROU CLT CAR MAR 98th0 [15]
1987 Shepherd Racing 97 Buick DAY
40
HCY MAR DAR BRI LGY SBO 67th80 [16]
Shugart Racing 90 Buick CLT
42
DOV IRP ROU JFC OXF SBO HCY RAL LGY ROU BRI JFC DAR RCH DOV MAR CLT CAR MAR

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References

  1. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/fitchburg/obituary.aspx?n=ronald-r-bouchard-ron&pid=176853025
  2. Caraviello, David (October 17, 2013). "Ranking the top 10 moments at Talladega". NASCAR . Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  3. Speed Sport: New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame 2016
  4. Courchesne, Shawn (December 10, 2015). "New England Auto Racers Hall Of Fame Member Ron Bouchard Dies". RaceDay CT. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  5. "Ron Bouchard − 1981 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  6. "Ron Bouchard − 1982 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  7. "Ron Bouchard − 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  8. "Ron Bouchard − 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  9. "Ron Bouchard − 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  10. "Ron Bouchard − 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  11. "Ron Bouchard − 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  12. "Ron Bouchard − 1983 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  13. "Ron Bouchard − 1984 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  14. "Ron Bouchard − 1985 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  15. "Ron Bouchard − 1986 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  16. "Ron Bouchard − 1987 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015.