New England Motor Sports Museum

News


NESMRA STAR ED WEST
04/16/2020
NESMRA STAR ED WEST

NESMRA CHAMPION WEST DIES

            Ed West won more New England Super Modified championships than any other driver. He was one of the clubís original members, joining after winning the URDC championship twice. One of the last of the original NESMRA personalities, he died on April 16, 2020.

            His NESMRA record is spectacular. West won in every NESMRA division except rookies, earned 107 feature wins (second only to Ollie Silva), was a six-time NESMRA champion (most of all drivers) and the winner of three Star Speedway Classics.  

He was an honoree at the North East Motor Sports Museum Legends Day in 2019. In 1999, he became one of the earliest drivers to be inducted in the New England Racing Hall of Fame.

            West was in pain much of his life, the result of extreme arthritis. In his final years, Westís fingers were nearly non-functional with every joint swollen to twice its normal size. Through the pain, he always managed a smile and good conversation.

            Somehow, the stiffness caused by his arthritis didnít prevent West from racing well and winning. He was never flashy and only rarely spectacular. But when the race neared its end, West was almost always in position to win it.

            He starred in the most famous of all NESMRA races, an Icebreaker event at Thompson (pictured). Ollie Silva and Don MacLaren, for years biter rivals, were the stars of the event, racing each other with ferocity. They went down the backstretch side-by-side, then into the third turn, each of them driving too hard. Their cars spun simultaneously with neither car touching the other. West had been third and as he passed for the win, he waved to the two would-be winners in the infield. It was his first race in a brand-new roadster.

In his later years, you could find West in the infield sitting in his car enjoying the races at Star and Thompson.

Ed West was a lifetime member of the museum.

 



Back