Weedsport, NY — May 12, 2010 – By Andy Fusco, Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Selection Committee
Former driver, promoter and speedway owner Lin Hough has been selected as a 2010 inductee into the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame. Driver inductions and special award ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday, May 30 on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day Super DIRTcar Series event at the Weedsport speedway.
Although he had a winning career in Big-Block Modified racing, it was Lin’s standout tenure in the Small-Block ranks which is the strongest item on his impressive resume. Hough joins fellow inductees like Marcel LaFrance and Doug Carlyle in the Hall’s recent trend to honor Small-Block Modified superstars.
Hauling from his home in Bath, N.Y., Hough had a relatively short driving career, 1977 through 1990. Yet he amassed 60 feature wins at six different DIRTcar-sanctioned speedways. Fifty-seven of those victories were of the Small-Block variety.
He also won seven track championships. In 1982, he picked up his first championship in a Sportsman car at Woodhull (NY) Speedway. He would switch to the 320-Modified and win two more titles at Woodhull; 1983 and 1985. He won 320-Modified titles at Dundee (NY) Raceway Park in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987, and was the organiazation’s “Mr. DIRT” national points champion in the 320 class in 1985.
Lin answered the call by Glenn Donnelly to field a car for the DIRT-Asphalt Challenge race at Cayuga International Speedway in 1988. He drove that car to a fourth-place finish in the inaugural D/A event. The following year he missed the DIRT-Asphalt season opener at Nazareth, but made the next three events; Sanair, Thompson and Cayuga. He picked up a top-10 finish at Thompson, but fell short at the other two races.
Lin qualified for two Super DIRT Week Big-Block Modified 200 races, 1987 and 1988. He also started five Super DIRT Week 320/358-Modified races between 1982 and 1987, with his best finish of 10th scored in 1984.
“I was always fond of Lin Hough,” said former DIRTcar president Glenn Donnelly. “He was very professional in appearance and the performance of his team as well as his
equipment. And he won some very big races during along the way.”
Indeed, Hough copped the 320-Modified portion of the July 4th show in 1985 under the lights at the Syracuse Mile. In 1987, he beat out the likes of Kenny Tremont, Alan and Danny Johnson and Jack Johnson to win a Skoal Bandit Racing/Syracuse Qualifier at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in August.
After retiring from the driver’s seat, Hough became a promoter. He acquired Dundee Speedway in 1995 and owned the track until 2005. Early in his ownership he laid black clay around the oval and renamed the speedway; Black Rock. He placed a large bolder at the front gate, painted black and displayed his famed red #117 car next to the rock.
He was very innovative at Black Rock, starting a truck division, a youth division, and fostering the careers of female drivers. He earned a reputation as being fair but firm on rules. Hough poured a huge financial investment into the track, turning the once down-troddened fairgrounds oval into a modern showplace. In 2002, Dick Berggren’s
Speedway Illustrated Magazine named Hough’s Black Rock facility one of America’s
Top-10 must-visits for short-track fans.
Hough was also a talented car builder, designing and constructing several of the
Modifieds which he drove, including his front runner in the inaugural DIRT/Asphalt Series in 1988.
“Lin Hough reminds me a lot of Phil Rizzuto, who is enshrined in Cooperstown,”
observed Hall of Fame committee member Andy Fusco. “Rizzuto deserved induction because of the entire body of his work; player, coach, announcer and all-around ambassador. Lin Hough is DIRT racing’s equivalent. He wore several hats and they all seemed to fit him very well.”
In retirement from racing, Lin is a successful businessman in the Watkins Glen (NY) Region. He and his family and friends are very active in recreational boating.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.