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Richie Evans remembered this weekend

By MIKE LEVIN

WKTV - NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans will be remembered by his fans this weekend, at a reunion for his 2012 HOF Induction.  Artie Newman, a member of the committee that planned the weekend, brought the special edition Richie Evans Hall of Fame van up to WKTV Tuesday and spoke with Sports Director Mike Levin about it.

Newman knew Richie Evans well and has many stories about the most famous driver from the Mohawk Valley, who cut his teeth at the Utica-Rome Speedway before moving up the NASCAR ranks and winning multiple Modified Series titles.

"Everything just seems to fall into line with the van, wherever I go," Newman said.  "We went to the beach last week and I couldn't stop, people were coming over to it and taking pictures. 'I knew Richie here and I knew Richie there,' which makes me feel good inside, because when you here that and you here the stories, all the stories you here, there's a ton of stories."

A ton, like this one: "I was at the garage one day and Richie was there and he was talking on the phone and he says no I can't, so he says Artie would you take the phone and I said okay.  15:56; 16:18 I says who are you anyway.  He says I'm Paul Newman the actor.  I've rented Stafford Motor Speedway and I want Richie to come down."  Needless to say, Richie did.

Artie also has a piece of the old Daytona track before its renovation in 2009, which will be laid to rest on the grave of Richie Evans as part of this weekend's events.  Evans won the 1979 Modified 200 at Daytona.

Richie Evans reunion weekend begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. from the old Rusty Nail bar in Rome, now Korps Corner.

On Saturday, a procession will leave from Ridge Mills Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. and head to Westernville Cemetery, where Evans is buried and the piece of the Daytona track will be left.

That will be followed up by a gathering at Lee Center American Legion Pole Barn.

For more information, check out the reunion's Facebook page here.

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