50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Ron Bouchard 1948-2015
“Did It All, A Fan Favorite”
Ronnie Bouchard was the 1973 and 1979 Modified Track Champion at Stafford. Driving for Bob Johnson, Len Boehler and Bob Judkins, Bouchard won 34 features. He had the uncanny ability to wear the competition down with his ‘never give up’ style of running on the outside.
In 1981 Bouchard won the Talladega 500 in his rookie year in Winston Cup competition.
Bouchard started racing when he was 14 and had run off four straight championships before coming to Stafford. His first appearance at Stafford was in an open competition event in 1971. Driving his small block Camaro that was his Seekonk ride, Bouchard scored an impressive third with an outstanding run on the outside groove of the half-mile.
Dick Armstrong, who owned the famous Tant-Mitchell coupe that was formerly driven by Ray Hendrick, took notice and asked Bouchard to drive the car at Pocono. Bouchard started in the consi and ran away with it. In the 200-lap feature, Bouchard got to show his stuff and a big track Modified star was born. Bouchard was in contention to win until losing a tire. But there would be other days.
Armstrong called a month later for Bouchard to drive at Trenton. Once again, he devastated the best in the business by finishing second to Geoff Bodine.
Bouchard teamed up with Bob Johnson in the spring of 1972 and the rest is history. After only three outings, Bouchard scored his first NASCAR Modified win beating out Leo Cleary and Bob Santos. Among his many wins were a 150-lapper at Pocono, The Oswego 200, and the Cardinal 500 at Martinsville in 1974.
After a frustrating 1975 season, Bouchard and Johnson split and he went first with Bob Judkins and later with Len Boehler and the winning continued.
As a Winston Cup Rookie in 1981, Bouchard got a Busch Pole plus the Talledega win. From 1981 to 1987, Ronnie had 160 career Winston Cup starts and had a total of three poles, one win and sixty top-10 finishes. He also won two 200-mile Grand National events at Darlington in 1984.
Bouchard retired from racing in 1987 and parlayed his winnings into four Acura dealerships in the Fitchburg-Worcester, Massachusetts area. In 1998 Bouchard was inducted into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame as well as being named one of the 50 Greatest Modified Drivers Of All Time.
By: Phil Smith