Thursday, July 16, 2015

Race named for late radio personality Andy Blacksmith

New Hampshire Union Leader | Dan Seufert 
A 2012 photo from New Hampshire Motor Speedway featuring, from left, Andy Blacksmith, NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon, and Morning Buzz host Greg Kretschmar. (Courtesy Greg Kretschmar) 

LOUDON — Andy Blacksmith would have been proud to see a race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway named after him.

So said the host of Greg and the Morning Buzz, the morning-drive radio show that is heard in New Hampshire on WHEB-FM on the Seacoast, and WGIR-FM in Manchester. Blacksmith was one of the Morning Buzz’s stars before his death on June 20.

Greg Kretschmar, the host of the show, had Blacksmith at his side for 17 years, and spent many of those years at the speedway at this time each year, when the first of two summer NASCAR races come to Loudon.

But Blacksmith — born Stephen B. Celata in Massachusetts — won’t be with Kretschmar, Laura, Roadkill and the other on-air personalities and staff at this year’s race, having just lost his five-year battle with heart disease.

“When the speedway contacted us with this honor, we loved the idea — Andy would love it,” said Kretschmar, talking about his lifelong friend on Tuesday, less than a month after his death. Continue reading

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