Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MONTAGUE, NJ – Word has recently surfaced that a successful and championship winning driver who raced at the Orange County Fair Speedway, along with other tracks, has passed away.
Howie Finch, of Montague, New Jersey, left this earth on November 7th at the age of 58.
Finch was a top competitor in the 358 Small Block Modifieds at OCFS during the 1990’s. He was a very popular driver with the fans. It was hard not to notice Howie on the track as he raced with his brightly painted and sharp looking #25 Countryside Oil car.
Howie had his greatest success during the 1994 & 95 seasons at OCFS. He won his 7 career OCFS 358 features during those two seasons. In 1994, he was also the Orange County Fair Speedway 358 champion. At the height of the Brett Hearn/Danny Johnson rivalry at OCFS, which included the 358 division, this was a great accomplishment for Howie.
At Super Dirt Week at Syracuse in 1994, Howie won the pole for the 358 race. He just plain knew how to go fast.
Howie was a great supporter of the track during his racing days. He would be involved with sponsoring races. The Countryside Oil trucks would be seen at the track on the night’s that the company sponsored.
Howie’s son, Howie III has followed in his father’s footsteps as he has become a top competitor in Sportsman racing. As with his dad, Howie III often races with a scheme that’s hard not to notice on his Ice Less #4.
And for those that didn’t recall Howie’s car or were too young to remember it, the 2018 OCFS Nostalgia Night saw Howie’s son race with a scheme similar to the 1994 #25 Countryside Oil championship winning car. It looked as spectacular in 2018 as it had in 1994,
RPW sends our condolences to Howie’s family and friends.