Weedsport, NY — May 23, 2009 – By Herb Anastor, Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Selection Committee
*Jack Kromer Photo
Gloria Katona Scarpati joins racers Serenity Sutherland and Jessica Zemken as a co-recipient of the eighth annual Gater Racing News “Outstanding Woman in Racing” award during the 2009 Northeast Modified Hall of Fame ceremonies Sunday, May 24 on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds held in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day Weekend holiday show at the adjacent speedway.
The daughter of former Modified racer and speed shop owner Les Katona (Lawrence Engineering Speed Shop in Trenton, New Jersey), Gloria Katona Scarpati is also the wife of former Late Model racer Carmen Scarpati. But her involvement with the sport is much deeper than that.
Following a family tradition that began in 1958, in 1978 Gloria started racing in the Rookie Division at the old Flemington (N.J.) Fair Speedway, and while she spent most of her career at “The Square,” she also raced for several seasons at East Windsor (N.J.) Speedway and qualified for the Nazareth (Pa.) National Motor Speedway Sportsman race.
In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Gloria was a regular 358 Sportsman/Small-Block Modified competitor at Flemington. And on two occasions, she drove her No. K3 to victory on the famed 5/8-mile layout – once on its legendary dirt surface (Aug. 11, 1990) and once on its asphalt (July 27, 1991).
A Summa Cum Laude graduate from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science degree and the holder of a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University, Gloria is one of three women racers – including active driver Jessica Zemken and Terry Buschbacher – to have ever won a DIRTcar Small-Block Modified feature event.
Away from the racing world, Gloria started her career on Wall Street in 1984 and was most recently a Senior Vice President of Institutional Equity Sales at Lehman Brothers.
She was also profiled by the late Harry Blaze in the cover story of STOCK CAR RACING’s October 1987 issue – “Racing Lady Stock Broker: From Wall Street to Dirt Tracks.”
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com, home of the 2009 DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, July 17-19, featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Sportsman and Big-Block Modifieds in the richest short-track show of its kind in the nation — the $20,000-to-win Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series “DIRTcar All-Star 100” on Sunday, July 19.
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets As of April 19, 2008, the Company operated 3,291 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at www.advanceautoparts.com.
The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.