Bay State Midget Racing Association

Formed in 1940, The Bay State Midget Racing Association success led to the dissolvement of both the New England Midgets Racing Association (1937-1940) & Yankee Midget Association (1938-1940) and unified the best midget racers in the area.

Frank Simonetti was the inaugural champion, followed by back-to-back titles by Bob Blair. The organization suspended operations during WWII, but when it returned in 1945, it cemented its status as the premiere midget organization. Blair would win its third title in a row. Other stars on the track included Johnny Thomson, Bill Randall, Dick Shuebruk and the colorful Freddie “Meatball” Orlando.

By 1947, The BSMRA was thriving. A typical week of events that season consisted of Thompson Speedway (CT) on Sunday afternoon, Manchester (NH) on Sunday night, Dracut Speedway (MA) on Monday night, Tuesdays off, then Medford Bowl (MA) on Wednesday, The Pines on Thursday (MA), Seekonk Speedway (MA) on Friday and back to Medford on Saturday. It was estimated their events would attracted over 60,000 over the course of a week’s racing.

Joe Sostilio was the 1947 champion won an estimated 46 races during his title run. Sadly, defending champion Ed Casterline lost his life in a June race at Seekonk. It was the low-point in an otherwise banner season for BSMRA.

The organization just as quickly descended as 1948 was filled with tension between the drivers and the track owners, leading to the formation of the United Car Owners Association (UCOA). UCOA would attract the biggest names in midget racing during 1948-1949, eventually leading to BSMRA ceasing operations after crowning Bill Strong as its last champion. Midget racing in general would struggle (UCOA only lasted thru 1950) due to the rising popularity of stock car racing.

Bay State Midget Racing Association lasted for the entire decade of the 1940’s, holding 8 seasons of competition.

The Bay State Midgets in heat race action at Seekonk Speedway in 1946


1940 FRANK SIMONETTI Watertown, MA
1941 BOB BLAIR East Dedham, MA
1942 BOB BLAIR East Dedham, MA
1943 no season – WWII
1944 no season – WWII
1945 BOB BLAIR East Dedham, MA
1947 JOE SOSTILIO Newton, MA

The large crowd at the Bay State Midget Racing Association banquet celebrating the 1946 season in February of 1947.