June 18, 2012
 

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No 'Bones' About It, Bourcier a Great Read

Bones inducting one of his mentors, Val LeSieur into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.

By Brian Danko, Staff Writer
The New Britain Herald & Bristol Press

CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR FULL SIZE

What are the odds that a skinny, longhaired kid who took a journalism class and creative writing class in high school only would go on to become one of the premier writers of auto racing and race personalities in the country?

That is exactly what happened in the case of Southington’s Mark “Bones” Bourcier. Bourcier, who now lives in Indianapolis, is currently writing his eighth book, this one on the legendary Parnelli Jones.

And it all started in Plainville.

“I started going to Plainville Stadium in the very early 70’s, maybe ’72 or ’73, and I knew right from then on I was hooked for life,” said Bones, as he is still known.


Bones with Bugsy Stevens at the 2002 Racearama
(Photo By Tom Ormsby)

“It was racing photographer Mike Adaskaveg, also of Southington, who got me involved. I got to know Mike a little better when I was the equipment manager for the Southington High School baseball team under John Fontana and Mike would shoot the games for the Meriden paper. We always talked about racing before the games.”

Bourcier said it was his love of reading that got him into the writing end of auto racing.

“I would read the Herald, Hartford Courant and the Meriden Record Journal every week. I got to know everything about Ronnie (Bouchard), Bugsy (Stevens) and Eddie (Flemke, Sr.) by reading the papers weekly.

“When Mike was getting married he asked me ‘do you want to fill in for me when I am away on my honeymoon.’ That was the start of my career in racing.”


January 2012 and Bones inducts Reggie Ruggiero into the Hall of Fame. (Steve Kennedy Photo)

After Bones graduated from Southington High in 1978, he was offered the position of helping compose and write for a racing trade paper, Speedway Scene.

“Val LeSieur, editor and publisher of the paper, was looking for someone to write for the paper as well as lay it out. I think I learned everything about the newspaper working there”

But how did a young man who loved racing and never had any formal schooling in writing become one of the nation’s top racing writers?

“I took this creative writing class because I liked the subject, but most of the kids took it because it was a half-credit and could be an easy course. I really was interested in journalism but I think I had a flunking grade, but my teacher passed me because she said she saw potential in me.”

Chalk one up for that teacher.

After spending 10 years writing and editing for Speedway Scene each week, he decided to move on.

Bones began writing for Stock Car Racing Magazine as well as Open Wheel Magazine, two highly respected monthly nationwide magazines and from there he ventured into books.

Two of the best known books Bourcier has written are “Richie Evans, The life and times of NASCAR’s greatest modified driver” and “True Speed-My Racing Life with Tony Stewart.”

Bourcier has also written books on modified greats Eddie Flemke, Sr. and Bugsy Stevens, as well as auto racing safety innovator Bill Simpson. He also finished a book on the History of the Utica-Rome Speedway and just finished a second book on Simpson.

Bourcier has received two of the highest journalistic awards in auto racing, the Miller Racing Award of Excellence and is a past recipient of the Eastern Motorsports Press Associations Frank Blunk Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to Motorsports journalism.

Bones is also associated with the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame and that, besides the Indianapolis 500, are two of his favorite racing events.


Bones & SpeedwayLineReport.com's Tom Ormsby reliving the "after the races parking lot days" at Plainville Stadium. Only this is at the Waterford Speedbowl's parking lot several years ago.

“I love going to the NEAR Hall of Fame awards dinner. It’s catching up with old friends, racers and others. I just love it.”

When the Speed Channel was doing a one hour documentary on the life of Richie Evans, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame this past January, it was Bourcier, a close friend, who was tabbed to tell the story, but other than his 60 minutes of fame on television, he has no desire to work in that medium.


(L to R) Long time flagman at Riverside Park Speedway & Stafford Speedway Chris Hopkins, Bones and Speedway Illustrated Publisher Karl Fredrickson at the North Turn in Daytona. (Photo by Tom Ormsby)

So what’s next for this talented writer? “I don’t know there really is a book I’d like to write.” But he said he would love to write a book on every local legend if he could and not have to worry about a budget.

“If it wasn’t for Plainville Stadium, I wouldn’t have done what I have done. I just consider myself a product of Southington High School, Plainville Stadium and the Popular Restaurant,” Bones said laughing.

From the weekly tracks to the international racing scene Bones is friends with all of the top name drivers, but given the chance he would most likely pass up a dinner with today’s hottest driver and go and have a pizza and beer with the gang from Plainville Stadium.

Just some of the books written by Bones Bourcier. All are available at Coastal 181 Publishers
www.coastal181.com





 

 

Brian Danko has been covering Auto Racing for over 30 years for various magazines & and racing papers including Area Auto Racing News. His weekly column can be seen "In The Print Editions" of  The New Britain Herald & The Bristol Press.

 

Copyright © 2012 Brian Danko