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 "Steady" Eddie Flemke, Sr.
Born: August 27, 1930      Died: March 30, 1984
Home: New Britain, CT

Ed Flemke, Sr. started his driving career in 1948 running in the Jalopy class. In the 1950's he was a regular at the Riverside Park Speedway in the Modified division winning the track championship in 1956 and 1958.

In the 1960's he became the leader of a group of racer's called the "East Coast Bandit's" that raced, and won all up and down the east coast.

In the 1970's Flemke, Sr. became known for winning the "Big Money" races as he won the 1973 Spring Sizzler at Stafford, the 1977 Thompson 300, and two Utica Rome 400's. It is estimated that Flemke, Sr. had 500 victory's in his career. Steady Eddie retired in 1978 running his last race at Stafford.

Flemke, Sr. was also known as a chassis expert an innovator, and was a founding member of NEAR in 1981. Sadly, he passed away in 1984 of natural causes.

Many say EDDIE FLEMKE was without a doubt the "GREATEST MODIFIED DRIVER OF HIS 
TIME & MAYBE ALL TIME."  Eddie did most of his racing in an era where points and 
championships did not pay much money, and winning races did!  As Ed once said "you 
can't eat trophies." Ed would most often race at a track that was paying a large purse then 
one that was giving a lot of points,  which is why his name is not on the list of National 
Modified Champions.  Ed was the original "EASTERN BANDIT" who went to the Southern 
Short Tracks and took all their money.  
FLEMKE was the innovator of the split spring front end which became known as the 
"FLEMKE FRONT END" and was a genius in understanding the working of the race car 
chassis when no one else even thought about it. Ed had over 600 wins that can be 
documented, and amazingly enough, probably another 300 to 400 there is no record of.

SOME OF ED FLEMKE’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Eddie Flemke never won a National Championship, only because he NEVER pursued it! Ed finished 2nd in the National Modified Standings in 1961 and 1962, when every other driver in the top 10 was South of the Border, including a young driver who finished 8th in points in 1961 named Bobby Allison. Ed also finished 4th in 1967, 7th in 1968, 4th in 1970 and 4th in 1973, when Richie Evans won his First Championship. Ed also finished in the top 10 in the National Sportsman Points in 1963 and 1964, which would many years later become the Busch Grand National Division. At that time the Sportsman would run with the Modified Division with limitations on the engines. While Ed was taking all the money from the south in the 1950's he also managed to win two Riverside Park Speedway Championships,  in 1956 and again in 1958.  Ed is 11th on the all-time Riverside win list with 22 wins between 1953 and 1979,  although he didn't compete in any races at Riverside between 1959 and 1978, except several in the ALL-STAR RACING LEAGUE and other special races.

Ed the Mentor

Ed was a mentor to many young Modified Drivers, including Richie Evans, Ron Bouchard, 
Don Moon, Dennis Zimmerman, Don MacTavish and Pete Hamilton and many others. Pete 
Hamilton, on National Television after his 1970 Daytona 500 victory, credited Eddie as the 
person most responsible for his success and dedicated the 500 victory to Ed. Despite all 
of Ed's accomplishments in racing, Ed always said it was his most memorable moment in 
racing, except for standing on the infield at Riverside Park Speedway and watching Ed, Jr. 
taking his first laps on the track.
 
 
 
 
Ed Flemke, Sr.
 
Richie Evans (r)
 
 
 
Eddie, JR.
 
 
 
Click Here for 1978 Racing Times Article
 
Click Here for 1973 SCR Magazine Article







 

Ed always had a passion for the midget race cars since the days when he used to warm up his brother George’s midget in the late 40’s. The photo circa 1976-77. photo by Jerry Fascione

After a win in a Richie Evans modified #61

New Britain, CT Sports Hall of Fame 2005 Inductee

A legend in stock car racing...first competed in 1948, dominated at Riverside in the 1950's, winning 22 races and track championships in 1956 and 1958...during the 1960's and early 1970's finished first 24 times at Utica/Rome Speedway...won 11 races there in 1964, had 10 wins at 100 laps or more, including twin 200-lappers in 1970...track champion, 1970...by 1960's had raced from Maine to Carolina, was known as the "Eastern Bandit," a tribute to his winnings ways and driving skills...in 1960's and early 1970's won 23 times at Stafford including first asphalt race...winner of the 1973 Spring Sizzler and the Stafford 200, and the Thompson 300 in 1977...mentored such renowned drivers as Pete Hamilton, winner of the 1970 Daytona 500, and Richie Evans, 9-time NASCAR champion.


Title:    Steady Eddie - Memories of Ed Flemke Modified Racings Fastest Professor
Author Name:   Bourcier, Bones

Binding:   Softbound
Publisher:    Coastal 181 -  2007
ISBN Number:   0978926110 / 9780978926113
Number of pages:   236 pages

 

 

 

 

Under Construction. Send Pictures and Stories
Is Fast Eddie and Steady Eddie the same?
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Give caption to the pictures below. Top picture 1, next 2, next 3, etc.

Thanks to www.VintageModifieds.com

FANS



Daughter Kristen  -  #34 Vigliarolo Brothers Car


Though known mainly as "Steady" Eddie, many considered him "Fast" Eddie
Artwork by Bill Rankin  -  Email me with Print Purchase Info

Grand National DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1961 30 1 of 52 0 0 0 0 231 0 175 120 17.0 12.0
1 year 1 0 0 0 0 231 0 175   17.0 12.0

Only One Grand National Race - 1961 YANKEE 500
Emanuel Zervakis won in a 1960 Chevrolet. Other notables in the race included Rex White (2nd + Pole, reigning GN Champ), Buck Baker (4th), Jim Reed (5th), Jim Paschal (6th), Sammy Packard (9th), Wendell Scott(10th). Flemke had the only non-Ford/Chevrolet in the race, racing a Dodge #60.

Grand National race number 29 of 52 June 17, 1961 at Norwood Arena, Norwood, MA
500 laps on a .250 mile paved track (125.0 miles) Time of race: 2:19:20
Average Speed: 53.827 mph Pole Speed: 55.87 mph (Rex White)   Cautions: 1      Margin of Victory: 0.25 lap

Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
1961-29 Norwood 18 17 12 60   Dodge 231/500 175 axle 0


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