Rick Stetson attended his first drag race in the 1960s with his father at Sanford, Maine.
That experience set the hook, and in the 1970s Rick took his Honda 750, souped it up, and off to the drag strip he went. This was the time motorcycle drag racing was starting to come into its own, and Rick became proficient at designing and building parts for his own drag bike He soon discovered what it took to make a high horsepower motorcycle engine.
It was 1976 when he and his friend Harry Pain opened Harry’s Machine Parts, in Framingham, MA. The shop quickly became the center of the universe for high-performance motorcycles in the regain. In 1979 Rick worked with a local racer named Ed Ryan to produce one of the first Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Pro Stock bike to run in the 9-second zone.
In October 1980 Rick purchased one of the newly-designed Suzuki GS 1100EX motorcycles. This bike, fondly known as “SUZI Q”, became and still is a force to be reckoned with. SUZI Q hit the track in 1981 and for the next three years, Rick and SUZI dominated the NMRA Pro Comp class, including an incredible 72 consecutive round wins, resulting in three NMRA National Pro Comp Championships. Rick also won an NHRA Pro Comp victory at the 1983 Southern Nationals.
Rick always had an affinity for the NHRA Pro Stock Bike category and in 1986 Rick won Pro Stock Bike at the NHRA Gaternationals defeating Pizza John Maffaro in the final. In 1987 Rick won the NHRA Cajun Nationals.
Rick’s accomplishments go well beyond his own racing achievements. His skill as a tuner helped earn Gary Clark Funny Bike championships in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000, and helped Dave Vantine rise to prominence in Top Fuel motorcycle.
In May of 2006, Rick joined the 200 MPH club, when he set the land speed record in the MPS/G class running 222.123, MPH.
With all these accomplishments Rick can still be found racing his old girl SUZI Q, running elapsed times in the low eight-second range at over 160 MPH, and hanging out with his gang of four, similar to how he started racing as a sportsman back in the late 1970s.
It is with great pleasure and admiration the Orientals Hot Rod Club presents Rick Stetson with this plaque recognizing his Induction into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame.