Ron Bouchard

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Ronald Bouchard
RonBouchard.jpg
Born (1948-11-23)November 23, 1948
Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Died December 10, 2015(2015-12-10) (aged 67)
Boston, Massachusetts
Cause of death Cancer
Awards

1981 NASCAR Rookie of the Year

voted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame (1988)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
160 races run over 7 years
Best finish 8th (1982)
First race 1981 Valleydale 500 (Bristol)
Last race 1987 Winston 500 (Talladega)
First win 1981 Talladega 500 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 60 3

Ronald R. "Ron" 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.

Local driving career[edit]

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.

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 Whelen Modified star 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.

NASCAR career[edit]

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.

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.

1985 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.

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.

Awards[edit]

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

After racing[edit]

After racing in Winston Cup, Bouchard returned home to Fitchburg, Massachusetts and opened up Ron Bouchard Auto Stores, where he sold cars for Honda, Dodge, Nissan and other manufacturers.

Later in his life, Bouchard was diagnosed with cancer. On December 10, 2015, Bouchard succumbed to the disease.[3]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

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

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1982 Race Hill Farm Team Buick 22 6
1983 23 26
1984 18 27
1985 15 38
1986 Curb Racing Pontiac 14 6
1987 Ellington Racing Chevy 17 32

Busch Series[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ Courchesne, Shawn (December 10, 2015). "New England Auto Racers Hall Of Fame Member Ron Bouchard Dies". RaceDay CT. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1981 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1982 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1983 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1984 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1985 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1986 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ron Bouchard − 1987 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]