Gahan, Byron to be honored at Spring Sizzler

Gahan, Byron to be Honored at Spring Sizzler NASCAR to Recognize Modified Legends at Stafford DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2008) -- As part of a season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions, NASCAR will honor legends Ernie...

Gahan, Byron to be Honored at Spring Sizzler
NASCAR to Recognize Modified Legends at Stafford

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2008) -- As part of a season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified champions, NASCAR will honor legends Ernie Gahan and Red Byron at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., on April 27 prior to the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

NASCAR plans to honor each of its 31 all-time Modified champions throughout the season. The celebration began with the recognition of Frankie Schneider, Donny Lia and Richie Evans at the Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway on April 6.

Gahan will be present for the pre-race festivities at Stafford and will be honored for the many accomplishments during his career, including the 1966 NASCAR Modified title. Byron, the first NASCAR champion in 1948, will be honored posthumously.

Like many drivers in his day, Gahan traversed the east coast and ran up to four races a week during his three-decade career. After getting his start in auto racing at Dover (N.H.) Speedway in 1948, Gahan compiled more than 300 feature wins on dirt and asphalt, and his career peaked in 1966 when he captured the NASCAR Modified championship. He was a 1990 inductee into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame and was a member of the inaugural induction class of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 1998.

The central figure in arguably the three most-important firsts in NASCAR history, Byron won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the beaches of Daytona in 1948, captured the first NASCAR title in a Modified that same year, and was the first NASCAR stock car champion in 1949. Byron has been a part of NASCAR lore since he navigated the beach and road course in his Ford Modified to win the first NASCAR race on Feb. 15, 1948. A member of the National Motorsports Hall of Fame, Byron will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 24. He was also named one of "NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers" in 1998. Byron passed away in 1960 at the age of 45.

Following his season-opening win at Thompson on April 6, Ed Flemke Jr. and the rest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will make their second stop of the season at Stafford. Practice and time trials will take place on Saturday, April 26 while the 200-lap main event on Sunday, April 27 is set to go green at approximately 2:30 p.m. For ticket information, please visit Stafford's official Web Site (staffordmotorspeedway.com).

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Donny Lia