Rene Charland

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Rene Charland
Born(1928-11-13)November 13, 1928
Chicopee, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 2013(2013-09-30) (aged 84)
Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Achievements1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 NASCAR National Sportsman Division Champion
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
9 races run over 4 years
Best finish77th (1966)
First race1964 Race No. 1 (Islip)
Last race1971 Albany-Saratoga 250 (Malta)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0

Rene Charland (November 13, 1928 – September 30, 2013), nicknamed "The Champ", was an American stock car racing driver. He was a four-time champion of the NASCAR National Sportsman Division, now known as the Nationwide Series.


Charland was born in Chicopee, Massachusetts on November 13, 1928[1] and made his home in Agawam.[2] His racing career began in 1949 at Riverside Park Speedway in Massachusetts.[1] By the 1960s he was part of a group of Northeastern racers called "The Eastern Bandits" who moved to the Mid-Atlantic and South to compete in NASCAR competition.[1] In 1962 Charland won his first championship in the NASCAR National Sportsman Division, now the Nationwide Series. He won the title in the following three years,[3] and finished third in the series' 1966 standings despite missing half of the season due to an injury suffered at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.[2] His run of four straight championships gave Charland the nickname "The Champ",[1] a name he became better known by than his given name.[2]

Charland also competed in the NASCAR Grand National Division, now the Sprint Cup Series,[2] running nine races between 1964 and 1971, including the 1966 Daytona 500, posting a best career finish of third at Fonda Speedway in 1966.[4]

Charland was estimated as having won over 700 races during his career.[2] He was an inductee into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame and the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame.[1] In his later years Charland suffered from dementia.[1] He died on September 30, 2013 in a nursing home in Amsterdam, New York.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Remillard, Jason. "Auto racing legend Rene Charland, of Agawam, dies at 84". October 1, 2013. Springfield, MA: The Republican Accessed 2013-10-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e Boggie, Tom. "Four-time NASCAR champ Charland dies". October 2, 2013. Schenectady, NY: The Daily Gazette. Accessed 2013-10-03.
  3. ^ "Past Sportsman Champions". February 25, 1968. Daytona Beach, FL: Daytona Beach Morning Journal, page 8C. Accessed 2013-10-03.
  4. ^ Rene Charland - NASCAR Sprint Cup Results. Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Accessed 2013-10-03.

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