WEEDSPORT, NY — The late pioneer driver, Don June of Theresa, N.Y., proved to be a natural right out of the gate when his racing career began at the age of 21.
June dominated the inaugural season at the Edgewood Speedway in 1951, winning
11 feature events at the Alexandria Bay oval as a rookie with an investment of $50 in his race car. He also claimed the 1951 championship of the Adirondack Stock Car Club, which sanctioned racing at the Watertown Fairgrounds in addition to
Racing a Ford numbered 117, sponsored by a local dealership, June was so
unbeatable that many nights they’d start him on the backstretch, a half-lap behind
A master mechanic, June earned the nickname “Stroker” after his experiments
with stroking a crankshaft in a Chrysler produced big horsepower gains – and a
bunch more wins at places like Canton and Evans Mills in addition to Watertown and Edgewood.
Despite the fact that June’s racing endeavors were curtailed by his military service
during the first half of the 1950’s, he was the ASCC’s top winner and held his own
with the Northern Stock Car Club through the 60s and into the 70s, where he
competed with Hall of Fame drivers like Dick May, Guy “Shorty” Robinson, Bob
Zeigler, Cliff Kotary and Gary Reddick.
Retiring from driving after being injured in a work accident, June kept his hand
in the game, becoming the North Country’s first Hoosier Tire representative and
going on to serve as a tech inspector at Can-Am Speedway. Don June passed away in 1999 at the age of 69.
The 30th annual induction ceremonies honoring the Class of 2022 will take place
Wednesday, July 20 at 7 p.m. in the Northeast Dirt Modified Museum and Hall of
Fame, on the grounds of Weedsport Speedway. The event is free and open to the
public, and will feature pre- and post-program festivities, sponsored by the track.