|Driver: Gene Bergin|
|Photo Contributed by: Bobby Ely||Photo Credits: Ely Photos|
The Back Story:†
This Lebanon Valley photo was found in Chuck Ely's collection of Gene Bergin driving the Billy Simons Excavator Special #9. A special event no doubt as Orange County Speedway's Ramsey New Jersey driver Bill Wilson's #7 is in the background.
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, 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 Zalinskiís M6.
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Lebanon Valley Classics