|credit: 140 Buzz|
Tommy Baldwin Racing and Cato, NY native Regan Smith will sport a special paint scheme this weekend at Watkins Glen International, as the No. 7 Advanced Patient Care Chevrolet will carry the familiar paint scheme of Donald "Dutch" Hoag, a multi-time champion at a variety of short tracks throughout New York State. Born in nearby Naples, NY, Hoag also ran four Grand National – predecessor to the Sprint Cup Series – races during the 1950's.
"We wanted to recognize Dutch for a few reasons," said TBR owner Tommy Baldwin. "He was one of the drivers that my dad looked up to when he started his modified career. I remember when I was a kid, he'd always talk about how Dutch was always going to be the guy to beat, no matter what track we raced."
In additional to the many track championships, Hoag was a multi-time Race of Champions Modified event winner; in 1968, he won the race by a full lap. Hoag, who passed away in May of this year at the age of 89, won on both asphalt and dirt over four decades, from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Hoag was also influential in starting many careers. In 1969, Hoag let an eager young crewman take some hot laps in his modified. The following year Hoag fielded a second car for that kid: Chemung, NY’s Geoff Bodine. In 1972, Bodine went on to win his first Race of Champions and went on to success in the Sprint Cup Series.
"For me, this is not about just running a special paint scheme. It's a true remembrance of a driver who impacted my family and the entire Northeast modified community. My dad would be proud that we're doing this," said Long Island native Baldwin.
Smith, born and raised one-hour north of WGI, said, "If you're from NY, you know Dutch Hoag. It's pretty cool to be able to run his colors this weekend."
Follow TBR at tommybaldwinracing.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by 140 Buzz.