SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of people paid their respects to a western Massachusetts racing legend Tuesday night. Mario Fiore died last week at the age of 65; he would have been 66 in August.
He was a life time Springfield resident and well known on the NASCAR circuit as a championship winning car owner. However, before he started winning championships, he graduated from Cathedral High and then from Western New England College. He also served in the United States Army.
Mario had a lot of success on the Riverside Park Speedway, winning track championships in 1979, 1984, and 1988. He would also have victories at Monadnock Speedway in 1979 and 1988, Stafford Motor Speedway in 1983. He hired a number of drivers, but his NASCAR championship in 2000 came with Jerry Marquis.
In 2012, Mario was inducted to the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, which was also his first year of eligibility.
Tuesday night, family, friends, and former competitors came out to Forastiere Smith Funeral Home in East Longmeadow to honor Mario. They told 22News Mario would be remembered for his generosity.
“Mario was probably one of the friendliest guys. You need a tire, you need anything, Mario was right there to help you with it. He’d give you anything you need or anything you want. And he was always smiling,” said Donald Christmas of Haines City, Florida.
Mario was also honored at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday.
The funeral will take place on Wednesday, June 29th starting at 8:45 a.m. at the funeral home. He will be buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery.