NEMA Champion Drew Fornoro Passes

Drew Fornoro, the nine-time Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) champion, has passed. A member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame since 2017 and the son of Nick Fornoro, Drew’s personality nearly outshone his accomplishments on any racetrack.

The victor in more than 100 races, he was known for his ability to successfully compete in midgets, 3/4 midgets and sprint cars that he raced from sea to shining sea. Fornoro’s accomplishments were huge as he became the most successful NEMA racer of all time with 85 feature victories, but his personality was even larger. Drew Fornoro was known for his hospitality to everyone in the racing community and for his joy in every aspect of life.

Born in Connecticut, Drew Fornoro was a New Jersey resident from the age of 12. Fornoro resided in Andover Township from 1982 until his death. Suffering complications from diabetes and chronic kidney disease, Fornoro, 72, passed away May 1st at a local hospital.

Drew Fornoro was a second generation racer; his father Nick Fornoro was a highly successful Midget racer who became the starter for CART, Championship Auto Racing Teams and was an EMPA (Eastern Motorsport Press Association) Hall of Fame member. Son Nick Jr. followed in both his father’s and brother’s footsteps, having success in Midget racing.

While he was known for his exploits on racetracks around the country, Fornoro was, prior to his retirement, an ironworker and a member of Ironworkers Local 11 in Newark, NJ, as was his father Nick. In addition to his racing exploits, he loved hunting, fishing and playing golf, plus rooting for the New York Yankees, the New York football Giants and A.J. Foyt Racing, where his wife of nearly 50 years, Anne, has been the team’s longtime publicist. Anne has recently been joined on the team by their daughter, Marie.

There will be a visitation on Sunday, May 7 from 1-5pm EDT at Smith-McCracken Funeral Home in Newton, NJ. A funeral service is set for Monday, Jay 8 at 11amEDT at the funeral home with interment at Good Shepherd Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Checkered Flag Fan Club Injured Drivers Fund, PO Box 79, Kutztown, PA 19530, or to Father Johns Animal House, 50 Father Johns Lane, Lafayette, NJ 07848.

About Anne Proffit 1266 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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