AGAWAM, MA (WWLP) – Tom Rosati out of Agawam will make a return to the driver’s seat this season as he will race in the Granite State Pro Stock Series for Wright Pearson.
Rosati told 22News that he has always gone to the race tracks and kept his nose in racing. He raced for the O’Sullivan brothers for a decade and a half as he always helped Mike and Tommy out. Mike and Tommy O’Sullivan told Rosati that he could get the job done if he came back to race.
Rosati has raced in different racing throughout the years. He is excited to get back to the driver’s seat. He tested at Monadnock Speedway last year and the test went well. Rosati is 58 and thinks he can still do it. Rosati has always missed driving race cars.
“The O’Sullivans were really good to me throughout my racing career with them and the championships. I don’t even know how many wins we ended up with. The numbers pretty big. They always said if you want to get back into a race car. We would do it and I just looked at the money aspect of the thing. I owned my own race cars. I just didn’t feel it was right especially with both boys coming up Mikey (O’Sullivan) and Tommy (O’Sullivan) when I didn’t want to take anything away from them so I wanted them to have the best equipment they possibly could without trying to rob anything from them because they would have a third car and it was just the right opportunity for me right now with Wright Pearson. I’ve known Wright forever because my brother ran his racecars. I actually ended up driving a Busch car for him one time at Star. We’ve always gotten along. My brother was always in the race cars,” said Rosati.
Tommy O’Sullivan called Wright Pearson and ended up making the deal happen for Rosati to drive for Pearson. Rosati was really surprised because he kept saying that he could still drive a race car and they would be kidding back and forth about it at different race tracks. Rosati last raced back in 2005 and went to the Oxford 250 with Butch Shea driving a former Riverside Park Speedway car. Rosati didn’t fair too good in the event and the car was overpowered.
Rosati won the Oxford 250 back in 1979. To this day, he still gets chills about winning one of the most prestigious short track events in the country.
“It was unbelievable. I was 19 years old. I ran with those guys all season long. It actually got rained out the week before and we had to come back in July and run the race. Started seventh in the race. We stayed up front all the time and I can’t remember when we ended up with the lead. We also spun while we were in the lead. There were a lot of things that were happening. It was just the time of my life and totally enjoyed that track,” said Rosati.
Rosati ran in the NASCAR Busch North Series and when he started racing where it was the stages of the V6 engine during the 1994 season and it was the end of that year where they were introducing the V8 engines. It was a stellar year for Rosati in the series. He had more Busch Pole Awards, led more laps. He had one win at White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Rosati raced against some of the toughest competition in the NASCAR Busch North Series where he looked to some of these competitors on the series.
“It was an unbelievable experience to be able to race with them and I ended up coming back racing with them in 1994. Everything just gelled. We were the team to beat. It was unbelievable with Tic Tac. I had the time of my life,” said Rosati.
Rosati used to race in weekly competition in the Pro Stocks at Riverside Park and Stafford. The Pro Stocks were a competitive division.
“Without a doubt. You didn’t have a handful of people. There were 10-12 people that could win the race any given night. It was very competitive.”
Rosati raced against NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans.
” We got to see some things that blew our mind. He decided to bring a 460 Chevrolet motor and the car looked like an elephant. The motor was huge compared to a regular 350 chevy (motor) which we ran. We watched him paint lines on the tires and he was spinning the tire on the rim. That’s how much bite he had coming off the corner,” said Rosati.
Rosati felt Riverside Park Speedway was a great track to go to.
“They would stop you on the frontstretch during the heats if you finished first, second or third and they would give money. Meaning some nights it would be $50 or $25 dollars. It was like a family type thing with the Carroll’s that ran Riverside at the time. You had Ben Dodge promoting everything. It was more family oriented,” said Rosati.
Rosati raced in the NASCAR North Series when promoter Tom Curley ran the series. Rosati told 22News that Curley was a pretty intense guy. The Molson NASCAR North Tour traveled to different tracks all over Northeast Region and Canada.
“He told you just what was on his mind and what he wanted. That’s the true Tom Curley and he would blow up at you. You had to listen to him because you were racing his tracks,” said Rosati.
Rosati’s goal for the 2019 season is he feels he can win some races.
Rosati returned to the track last Saturday night at Claremont Motorsports Park as he made his Granite State Pro Stock Series debut finishing in 16th. The Granite State Pro Stock Series will make a return to Lee USA Speedway next weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19 for a 150 lap race.