WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) - A pioneer in drag racing is going into the New England Hot Rodhall of fame. Wilbraham's Ralph Ridgeway will be inducted onSunday. The 70-year-old stays involved with racing, just not behindthe wheel anymore.
"Tthe thing about drag racing is you can't make any mistakesbecause you don't have an opportunity to recover", saysRidgeway.
Ridgeway didn't make many. Behind the wheel of a '55 Chevy and a'58 Corvette, Ridgeway set 17 national American Hot Rod Assocationrecords.
"I ran for 15 years and probably won 95 to 98 percent of theraces", says Ridgeway.
in 1973, Ridgeway retired from racing. Off the track, themechanical engineer worked at Springfield wire for more than 30years. Recently he met up with Glen Reen, the son of an oldneighbor.They started working together about a year and a half ago,before a race in North Carolina.
"I said if we do this, this and this we could make the carfaster and more reliable. We did it and he won therace. I guess they figured I did know what I was talkingabout", says Ridgeway.
Reen is the reigning rookie of the year on Nascar's modifiedtour.
"Glen runs into problems I've seen and I've solved. It's athrill for me to be able to continue working on cars and see theresults", says Ridgeway.
Ridgeway goes into the hall of fame on Sunday at New EnglandDragway in New Hampshire.