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Steve Cavanah | all galleries >> Galleries >> Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway History > Nicky Formosa #81
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Nicky Formosa #81

Nicky Formosa

11 career wins at Nashville

1983, 1984 NASCAR Limited Sportsman Champion, Nashville International Raceway, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN

1989, Late Model Stock Car Champion, Nashville Motor Raceway, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN

1989, Late Model Stock Car Driver of the Year, Nashville Motor Raceway, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN

Multiple championships, Highland Rim Speedway, Ridgetop, TN

Proud father of Nicholas Formosa, 2006 NASCAR SuperTruck Champion, Music City Motorplex, Nashville, TN

Proud son of Tony Formosa Sr., the inspiration behind Nicky, Tony, Jr. and Nicholas

Tony Formosa Sr., not only touched the lives of his family, he touched the lives of many of us at the Fairgrounds. We called him ”Papa” too and our lives have been made even more special by being associated with a true family man and a great individual. We miss him greatly but will always be thankful for those special memories he left behind.

The Formosa Championship

Nicky Formosa had caught his share of little fish over the years. But the big one always seemed to get away.

Last season (1989) though, Formosa finally landed the big one – the Late Model Stock Car championship at Nashville Motor Raceway.

“This was the one I had always dreamed about,” said Formosa. “I had won four other championships in other divisons or smaller tracks, but never the big one. I wanted to put my name up there with Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin and drivers like that. That was my goal at the start of the season.”

The title didn’t come easily. Formosa got off to a blazing start but some late season problems, crashes and mechanical failures, tightened the points race down the stretch.

“We were just holding on there at the end,” said Formosa. “It got a little tense but we had run so well earlier that we had a pretty good points lead and that fave us a cushion.”

Formosa recorded five wins in 19 starts last season. He also had 10 top five finishes and 15 top ten finishes.

“We were very consistent through out most of the season and consistency is always a key to winning a pints championship,” said Formosa. “If you can’t get the win, then you need to to come as close as possible. You need to run good and have some good luck to go with it. There were an awfully lot of good cars and drivers on the track last season and that made winning the championship all the more special. It was a real battle every time we rolled out on the track.”

The Late Model Stock Car title chase almost turned into a family affair as Nicky’s older brother Tony Formosa, Jr. finished third in the points standings. “Tony has always been there to help me out,” said Nicky, “and if I couldn’t win it I wanted him to. But if the championship came down to the last lap of the last race and it was between Toney and myself, we would have raced each other as hard as we could. We love each other as brothers, but when we get on the track we’re competitors.”

The one man who couldn’t lose between such a fantastical Formosa finish was their father, Tony Formosa, Sr. “I was hoping for a 1 – 2 finish in the points race.” said the elder Formosa, himself a former driver who competed on the old Legion Bowl track many years ago. “I’d have liked for either Nicky or Tony to have won – and the other finished second. When they’re out there on the track I don’t care which one wins. But a 3 – 1 finish isn’t bad either.”

As far as their driving styles are concerned, the elder Formosa said Nicky is more of a charger while Tony is more consistent. When Nicky accepted his championship trophy at the Raceway awards ceremony, he presented the trophy to his father.

“I wanted him to have it,” said Nicky. “I wanted to show my appreciation to my dad for all he has meant to me. He has been by my side, literally in the pits, helping with the car and he has also been there to offer encouragement whenever I needed it. I couldn’t have won the championship without him, so the trophy belongs as much to him as me.”

In additon to winning the championship, Nicky was also named the Turbo Blue Driver of the Year and presented the key to the city by Mayor Bill Boner. “It was just a great season,” said Formosa. “It was something I had always dreamed about and imagined and then all of a sudden I realized it was coming true. It made all the work and all the waiting worthwhile.”

So now, having finally won the big one, what’s next for Formosa?

“I’d like to go back and get another one,” he said, “and see if it’s as much fun the second time as the first.”

“The Formosa Championship” written by: Larry Woody, Tennessean, 1990 Nashville Motor Raceway Official Program

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