Today we start a month-long look back at the individuals, events and decisions that have shaped Quincy Raceways over the past decade.
Every few days this month, another step in the countdown will be added as we move closer to what we feel was the most significant item during the past 10 years at 8000 Broadway. Let's start the engines:
No. 10: The retirement of Eddie Dieker
Only one other individual during the brief, yet dominant career of bomber driver Eddie Dieker bettered the accomplishments of of the likable kid from Plainville. Late model legend Mark Burgtorf's dominance in that series at the same was the only other feat that surpassed what Dieker did in the bomber division.
Dieker and car owner Jerry Powers were the bomber equivalent to Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham. For the most part, no one could touch them on any sort of consistent basis. Jerry built the cars, and Eddie would collect one checkered flag after another. So many checkered flags, in fact, that his opponents were certain the two were up to something illegal — hence, the birth of "Cheaterville Racing." You can still spot some of those decals in the pits on Sunday nights.
Dieker won four track titles between 1999-2005 and is still the series' career leader for total victories, feature wins and heat victories. Want more? The four track titles he won in that brief period are surpassed only by Burgtorf (14), Hank DeLonjay (13 in modifieds and sportsman) and Steve Fraise (9) in late models.
Dieker was as much of a gentleman as he was an on-track talent. Always polite and willing to talk after a race — win or lose — he would always address those older than him as "Sir."
Dieker opted to leave racing in his mid-20s just as he was approaching the peak of a potentially great career, because it was time to raise a family. The commitment needed for racing, even at the weekly dirt-track level, can have adverse effects on a marriage. Just check the court records.
We have been hoping now for three years that Dieker would change his mind about not driving anymore, and we'll keep waiting, because if he ever does decide to come back, the wait will have been worth it.
Next: Technology is a great thing.