Top News

Frank Fraser Sr. - The Richard Petty of River Glade


Who knew a trip to a drag race in Ontario would lead to a life of racing? Frank Fraser had no aspirations to be a racer.

Frank Fraser is know in racing circles as the Richard Petty of River Glade raceway.

RIVER GLADE, N.B. - Who knew a trip to a drag race in Ontario would lead to a life of racing?

Frank Fraser had no aspirations to be a racer. The driver of the Wild Mountain Blueberry Prostock machine soon found out differently.

"I went to a drag race once and someone raced a car that was the same as mine. I knew mine would beat his,'' he recalled.

"I went back with my car and I beat him. That got me started in drag racing and that's how I ended up here. I drag raced for two years but it got too expensive,'' he added.

He moved back to Saint John, N.B., in 1965 where he and a friend commenced building a stock car.

This machine raced at the old Airport Speedway in Saint John.

"When we went to the first race, our car cost $80 and we made $60,'' he said. "Today you still make $60 but your car costs $8,000. I've been going in circles ever since."

Fraser has garnered many championships, so many he never kept track of the actual total. He won River Glade for years and some at Atlantic.

"I just go out to win."

Out of the many places that Fraser has raced, the funniest thing that came to his mind from the track was a time Don Biederman went out over the end at a race in Sauble, Ont., while the race was still going on. He went across the infield and down across to the starters stand. Now the race was still going on. He tried to pull the flagman out of the tower. Fraser was mad.

As someone who has built his own cars throughout his year, he would like to see body rules changed.

"I hate having every car looks the same,'' he said.

"They have a good handle on the other rules regarding shocks, tires crate motors etc. Crate motors are a pretty good deal. I'm one of these guys that like the wild bodies. Flat sides, wings on them. I always have and I always will, it sort of disappoints me, when I look out there and see every car the same shape,'' he said.

He knows it will never happen and he feels that's disappointing as there is individuality in the sport.

"It's a much more technical sport. There is no racing by the seat of your pants like it used to be in the '60s and '70s. We all have the same knowledge via the internet and books. There's no advantage now."

"Years ago when I was with Junior Hanley (Winston Cup legend), I could get information a year ahead of the rest of the guys, giving me an advantage. Now it's a matter of testing and driving. In this tour, probably 12 to 15 guys can win on any given night. It's very competitive and you can usually throw a blanket over the top five. You have to be happy with a top five finish."

After years of retirement, the question was asked as to why he returned to driving. He said the Collins family, late last year, from the Wild Mountain Blueberry business approached him and as more companies got involved in racing, they decided they wanted to put their name on the car.

"I tried to get them on Shawn's (Turple) car but they said no, they wanted me to drive. They wanted to see me back behind the wheel. I thought about it all winter wondering if I could do it. I'm not happy with losing. I like winning. But, I'll be happy with being competitive near the front."

"I worked on losing a few pounds over the winter and want to lose 10 more. I've wanted to race a few races but not steady."

As luck would have it, Turple got an opportunity to race for the Steve Henderson operation and Fraser had to push him to go because as a loyal driver, he wouldn't go with his blessing.

"So, I'll have to run a lot more this year than I had planned,'' Fraser said.

Fraser has struggled to complete races this season but finally ran a full 100 laps at NBIS on Saturday, June 16.

Recent Stories