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 Gene Bergin
Home: Enfield, CT      Currently: Palm Coast, FL

Gene Bergin is a former NASCAR driver from Enfield, CT. He competed in two Cup Series events in his career. Both came in 1956, when Bergin debuted at Darlington. Starting 29th in the massive seventy-car field, Bergin completed 308 of the 364 laps in route to a 36th place finish. He was able to improve slightly at Langhorne, starting 36th and finishing 33rd despite engine woes. Gene Bergin began and ended his career at the Stafford Motor speedway. He qualified in the first race he entered but was disqualified when it was learned he was only 17 years old in 1949.

He returned when he was of age to start a 29 year career competing and winning at all the southern New England race tracks. He was always a hard charger either on dirt or asphalt.

He won the 1962 Riverside Park championship and the 1967 Stafford Motor Speedway championship in 67, the first year it was paved.

One of his most significant wins was the 1971 Stafford 200. He started on the pole and led every lap to win in Bob Judkins 2X, the first ever NASCAR-legal Pinto-bodied modified.

Other career highlights include winning an All Star race at Wall Stadium, and winning the Trenton qualifier at Thompson. Bergin was runner-up at the 1972 Race of Champions in Trenton.

In addition to the 2X, he was mostly identified with driving Bebe Zalinski’s M6.

1977

New England Auto Racer Hall of Fame Class of 1988 (first year inductee)

L-R Front Row: Bugs Stevens, Ernie Gahan, Rene Charland, Florence Tattersall,   Pete Hamilton.
Back Row: Bill Slater, Tara Evans, Ed Flemke Jr.,  Paula Flemke Bouchard, 
Gene Bergin,
Ron Bouchard, Harvey Tattersall III


69 - Fats Caruso      7 - Barney Mattie      2X - Gene Bergin (Flying!)


1950 * Football-Baseball * “Mr. Outside”
Hartford Public High School Athletic HOF

"I do not give, just to get, I give because I have something to give. I do not demean him, nor aggrandize myself." Leona Holbrook (Human Values Through Sports) "They don't go to Mickey's any more, it's too crowded" ~Yogi Berra

Those of us that are old enough may remember Glen Davis and Felix "Doc" Blanchard also known as Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside. They were the two dynamic running backs of the Black Knights of West Point. They made West Point a national power in the late 1940s under coach Ed Blake.

In 1949 The Owls continued the tradition of dynamic running backs through Gene Bergin, Mr. Outside and Jack Hanley, Mr. Inside. Together they led Hartford Public to a State Championship under coach Bill Loika. Gene Bergin earned All State honors while setting a new scholastic scoring record. In 1949 he was named the MVP for the traditional Thanksgiving Day game against Weaver High School. As the catcher for the Owls, Gene received a similar honor, the Bill Savitt "Savitt Trophy". In 1950 Gene led the Owls to a State Baseball Championship while under legendary Hall of Fame coach Bill Loika.

Gene Bergin was also at the beginning of NASCAR, as he drove the first modified Pinto racecar. He won several championships at various tracks and was inducted into the New England Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.

Gene Bergin was one of the most versatile drivers in New England auto racing history, having driven Modifieds, Midgets, Sprint cars, Indy cars, and Grand National cars in his career.

Bergin first started racing in the early 50's at the Riverside Park Speedway collecting many feature event wins and the 1962 Modified track championship.

He then in 1964 moved on to the Stafford Motor Speedway winning several features on the still dirt surface driving Sharkey Gaudiosi's #44, and also holds the distinction of being one of only two drivers to win a feature event on both the dirt and asphalt surfaces at Stafford, ( The other being Ernie Gahan).

Gene also holds the honor of being the first Modified track champion on the asphalt surface at Stafford when he drove Beebe Zalinski's M6 to the 1967 crown.

In yet another groundbreaking moment Bergin was the first driver to win a feature event at Stafford in a Pinto bodied race car when he drove Bob Judkins # 2x to victory lane in 1971, thus ushering in the Pinto revolution.

Other car owners who Gene drove for were Bob Garbarino and his Mystic Missile #4 and Billy Simons and the Excavator Special #9.

He was successful in the NEMA Midgets with wins at Thompson in Aug. 1969 and Aug. 1973 at the old Lakeville Speedway in Massachusetts. Gene also attempted several USAC Champ Car races in 1968.

Some pictures from http://www.PitstopPitbull.com

Gene Bergin Grand National DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1956   2 of 56 0 0 0 0 384 0 310 219 32.5 34.5
1 year 2 0 0 0 0 384 0 310   32.5 34.5
Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
44 Darlington 70 29 36 21 Malcolm Barlow Dodge 308/364 250 running  
47 Langhorne 44 36 33 24 Malcolm Barlow Dodge 76/300 60 gasket 0
 2 starts, 384 of 664 laps completed (57.8%), 0 laps led


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