'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
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
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
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
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