Hall of Fame car owner Budka dies of cancer

If there was one sure thing in the last 40 years, it was that when the B&H Racing 64 towed into the
Mike Budka is shown with one of the early versions of the B&H Racing late model.
Mike Budka is shown with one of the early versions of the B&H Racing late model.

If there was one sure thing in the last 40 years, it was that when the B&H Racing 64 towed into the pits at an area race track, it was going to be tough to beat, no matter what division the car was competing in or who was behind the wheel.

Mike Budka was a stickler for details, and when the 64 hit the track, it was ready to race.

Budka, the Hall of Fame car owner whose familiar orange-and-white cars won races at area tracks for over four decades, died Friday at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Budka founded B&H Automotive Service with longtime friend Dave Hunt in 1974 and a couple of years later, built his first race car, a late model for Tom Czaban Sr.

Budka, who was inducted into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame in the Class of 2011, later joined forces with Jay Bleser to form a formidable late model team, with Bleser winning 33 features at Fonda, Albany-Saratoga, Devil’s Bowl and Brookfield speedways in the B&H Racing Camaro.

When the late models were phased out in the early 1980s, Budka and Bleser moved up to the big block modifieds, but never realized the same kind of success they had in late models.

But there was no shortage of drivers who wanted to get behind the wheel of the reliable B&H Racing 64, and Budka recorded 40 more victories in the open wheel division with a Who’s Who list of drivers, headed by Jack Johnson and C.D. Coville. Also spending time in the cockpit of the B&H 64 were Jeff Trombley, Ray Dalmata, Bob Savoie, Alan Johnson, Bobby Varin and Ron Proctor.

Some of Budka’s most satisfying victories came during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, when his son, Joe, piloted the B&H Auto car in the sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga. The B&H 64 made its last trip to victory lane on Aug. 18, 2006, at the historic Malta track.

A former president of NYSSCA, Budka wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion to promoters, and wasn’t afraid to park his car when he felt his team was being treated unfairly.

Calling hours will be held from 6-8 tonight at the Glenridge Funeral Home, with funeral services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Glenville.

weekend results



MODIFIEDS — Ken Tremont Jr., Peter Britten, Marc Johnson, Ronnie Johnson, Brett Hearn, Keith Flach, Matt DeLorenzo, Ray Hoard, Hector Stratton, Billy Pauch Sr., Neil Stratton, Elmo Reckner, Matt Depew, Jimmy Cottrell, Rich Scagliotta, Mike Perrotte, Kris Vernold, Don Ronca, Jessey Mueller, Floyd Billington, Rich Ronca, Rob Pitcher, Tyler Dippel, Alex Bell, Jim Nagle, Brian Gleason, Mark Kislowski.

SPORTSMAN — Tim Hartman Jr., Derek McGrew, David Schilling, Rocky Warner, Dave Baranowski Jr., Scott Duell, Jon Miller, Jack Speshock, Nick Lussier, Nick Anatriello, Hunter Bates, Robert Bublak, Joey Scarborough, Christopher Ronca, Joe Orlando, Connor Cleveland, Stan Lemiesz, Andrew Buff, Mike Tholin, Jeremy Pitts, Adam Gage, John Proctor, Mike Ostrander, Jack Swinton, Mike Burdo, Chris Johnson.

PRO STOCKS — Ken Martin, Kim Duell, Brandon Emigh, Daniel Sanchez, Bernie Companion, Kevin Loomis, Norm Loubier, Dan Older, Steve Burch, Chuck Dumblewski, Robbie Speed, Mark Burch, Byron Wescott, Pete Porter, Nick Arnold, Dave Depaulo, Scott Lawrence, Todd Hoffman.

LIMITED SPORTSMAN — Pat Jones, Ken Conroy, Zach Daurio, Brandon Pitcher, Rob Lanfear, John Stowell, Anthony Alger, Nick Fretto, Johnny Chesnut, Mike Coffey, Diana Huyck, George Dorvee, Reggie Bonner, Bob Schmidt, Travis Billington, Shannon Donnelly, Mark Rabideau, Nick Block.

STREET STOCKS — Bill Duprey, Josh Coonradt, John Filarecki, Randy Miller, Jay Fitzgerald, Frank Monroe, Jason Meltz, Damon Anderson, Matt Mosher, Jim Cutler, Nathan Dahoda, Fred Harris, Hunter Sanchez, Ron Redman Jr, John Hayes, Jeremy Hayes, Michael Sanchez, John Morris Jr. Curtis Condon, Mike Arnold, David Cook.


MODIFIEDS — Jeremy Wilder, Craig Hanson, Willy Decker, Jim Becker, Shawn Pangman, Jeff Rockefeller, Jeff Kelley, Rich Davis, Bobby Vedder, Johnny Lutes Jr., Bobb Varin, Al McCoy.

SPORTSMAN (carried over from July 31) — Brian Pessolano, Chad Edwards, Ray Zemken, Eric Mack, Chris Curtis, Justin Combs, Dave Constantino, Tony Farone, Jim Introne Jr., Ivan Joslin, Harry Shaffer, Brian Nelson, Alissa Cody, AK Filbeck, Don Folts.

SPORTSMAN (regular feature) — Dave Constantino, Chad Edwards, Ray Zemken, Tony Farone, Eric Mack, Brian Pessolano, Harry Shaffer, Justin Combs, Chris Curtis, Jim Introne Jr., Ricky Quick, Alissa Cody, Don Folts, Brian Nelson, Billy Gray, AJ Filbeck.

CRUISERS — Pete Vila, Cole Lawton, Pat McSpirit, TJ Marlitt, Jason Morrison, Rich Nichols, Nick Hale, Josh Kane, Steve McMurray, Dylon Laport.

EMPIRE LIGHTNING SPRINTS — Justin Phillips, Shilo Boyce, Nick Denyse, Lou Torrea, Rick Stone, Johnny LeClair, Rich Wood, Dan Fassette, Bill Gray, Kathy Bellen, Jerry Sehn.



MODIFIEDS — Jeremy Wilder, Brian Gleason, A.J. Romano, Alton Palmer, Jessey Mueller, Korey Wilder, Jeff Trombley, Ronnie Johnson, Craig Hanson, Pep Corradi, Ed Harris, Troy Palmer, Bodie Bellinger, Stewart Friesen, Ronnie Holmes, Josh Hohenforst, Scott Huber, Justin Boehler, Mark Kislowski, Darwin Greene, DNS Vinny Sanganetti

602 SPORTSMAN — Rocky Warner, Mark Mortensen, Cody Clark, Harry Shaffer, Adam McAuliffe, Aaron Burton, Connor Cleveland, Tony Farone, Chad Edwards, Dave Constantino, Anthony Cardamone, Ricky Quick, Don Bellen, Nick Scavia, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Brian Pessolano, Doug Hancock, Cody Bleau, Joe Orlando, Ivan Joslin, Emily Quinn, Jack Lehner, Mike Peek, Chris Schaffer, Bert Film.

PRO STOCKS — Nick Stone, Pete Broderson, Shane Henderson, Kenny Gates, Tom Denton, Gus Hollner, Jason Casey, Luke Horning, Jeff McPhail, Mark Sullivan, Randy Cosselman, Devon Camenga, Jim Normoyle, Jamie Warner, Shane Playford, Dean Charbonneau, James Normoyle Jr., Todd Hoffman, Cassidy Wilson, Rich Diamond, Adam Warner, Jay Casey, DQ Chuck Dumblewski.

STREET STOCKS — Dave Horning Sr., Johnny Young, Ellis Shaffer, Jody Thew, Doug Burris, Joey Wilson, Jason Samrov, Gregg Aussicker. DQ — Jerry Cohn.

FOUR-CYLINDERS — Ken Hollenback, Cliff Haslun, Dan Haslun, Jason Morrison, Shawn Morrison, Pat McSpirit, Keith Tesiero Sr.

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