SWANSEA, Mass. – Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — VMRS photo –
When fans walk into the Seekonk Speedway in 2015, they will be walking right into a historic 70th season at the track.
Through the speedway’s many years of existence in Seekonk, Massachusetts, multiple drivers have been successful at the Action Track of the East, but few know the track like one driver who hails from Swansea, Massachusetts.
Today’s names that are popular in the grandstands on a week-to-week basis may include Freddy Astle, David Darling, Bobby Pelland III and a large list of others, but back in the day, one name started to rise above the others.
Ever heard the name Vinny Who? Ever heard the name Richie Evans?
It was one hot and humid Saturday night in the 1980’s at Seekonk. Richie Evans was leading the modified race when Vinny Annarummo started banging at the back door, trying to find a way to get by. Bang, bang, bang all over the back bumper of Evans ride, and Evans was not pleased about it at all.
That was when the name Vinny “Who” first came into the racing world. Evans was coming over the radio asking his team constantly, “Who’s that hitting me?” Well, it was Vinny.
Ever since that day, Annarummo has had the name Vinny Who and that is what you hear when people bring his name into the racing conversation in New England.
Vinny Annarummo will go down in the history of the Cement Palace as one of the most successful drivers to ever take a left turn on the bumpy surface. He picked up 46 wins in his career at Seekonk and is currently 10th on the all-time track wins list.
Vinny collected seven track championships, six of them in the tracks premiere division and one of them in the B class. His first title came in the “B” division in 1973.
After some time away touring with the modifieds for a few years, Vinny returned to Seekonk with a Pro Stock ride and found immediate success. Annarummo absolutely dominated the tracks Pro Stock, “A Division” for many years and goes down in history as the first five-time track champion.
While at Seekonk, Annarummo was a staple in the paddock area. For young drivers, he was someone to look up to and say, “Hey I wanna be like him one day.”
For the fans, he was someone they could watch make daring moves and fight for every spot on the track week in and week out, not giving an inch unless he was forced to and even then, it was a struggle.
Vinny became close friends with track staff and officials, most especially the late great Irene Vendetti. Irene, the Vice President of the Seekonk Speedway at the time, was one of those people who everyone could get along with and Vinny was one of her favorite drivers to watch on the track week to week. There are many pictures in the history of the track of Vinny and Irene in Victory Lane celebrating one of his many feature wins.
For Annarummo, his career did not end racing Pro Stocks at Seekonk. A move to the Modified Racing Series in early 2007, brought magic for the veteran. He competed at Seekonk on June 23, 2007 and held off Louie Mechalides and Andy Seuss to score his first modified win after so many years of trying.
Victory Lane that night for the team was exciting to say the least and they went on to do their annual tradition after a race night…grab the grill in the parking lot and start cooking.
Vinny went on to score a few more wins in a modified at Seekonk that season. He won one more in the spring race in 2008, for what was then the True Value Modified Racing Series.
Since then, his career has been part-time racing. His focus now is on his son, Todd Annarummo, a part-time racer in the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
Today, Vinny can be seen walking the paddock area at Seekonk on many occasions during the season when he’s not turning the wrenches on his son’s modified on the VMRS tour.
Without sponsors like Pond View and Levesque’s Tree Service, none of the above would have been possible for Annarummo.
Will Vinnie be in action in 2015? Stay tuned!