A talented and versatile race-car driver, Bentley Warren (December 10, 1940) of Kennebunkport, Maine, was especially successful in winged and wingless Supermodifieds. And at an age when other drivers would have long been retired, Warren just continued to run at the head of the pack as he gave driving lessons to some racers who were 50 years his junior.
Warren began racing as a 14-year-old and won his first race in 1957 at the old Peabody Speedway in West Peabody, Massachusetts, with rides like his red and white No. 707 1950 Ford “Dynamite Special.” In 1962, he moved up to Supermodifieds – which were little more than a chassis with a roll-cage, four wheels and an engine along with some minimal body work – and won the Class-B Championships at the quarter-mile asphalt Hudson (N.H.) Speedway and Pines Speedway in Groveland, Massachusetts. He then had considerable success in Ed Bowley’s Class-A red No. 5 “Flyin’ Five.”
Warren also Modified & Sportsman stock cars in the late 1960s and he drove Jim Carter’s white No. 44 1936 Chevrolet coupe and 1935 Chevrolet two-door sedan at the five-eights-mile asphalt Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway. He also ran in a black No. 66 Pinto and a white No. 77 Pinto, but it was the asphalt Supermodifieds where he really had things covered.
Always a favorite in these all-out racing machines, Warren was especially suited to the Oswego layout where he won seven (1983-1984, 1986-1987, 1989-1990 & 1993) track champ-ionships and 66 races, including: two (1994 & 2006) International Super Modified Association Super Nationals and six (1969, 1984, 1986, 1989-1990 & 1998) International Classics. And four (1969, 1985 & 1989-1990) of his International Classic victories were won from the pole.
At the quarter-mile Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire, Warren won six (1976, 1984, 1989-1990 & 1993-1994) Star Classic 200s. He also won three (1984-1986) Hy-Miler Classics at the half-mile Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway and three (1968-1959 & 1980) Supermodified wins at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
A four-time (1984 & 1988-1990) IMSA Champion and three-time (1976, 1985 & 1994) runner-up, Warren also had one title with the old New England Super Modified Racing Club. He won 1985’s Copper Classic on the one-mile Phoenix (Arizona) Int’l Raceway and 1991’s Thompson (Conn.) Int’l Speedway World Series, and some of his top Supermodified rides include: Howard Purdy’s No. 2; Tom Bowley’s No. 5; Mike Mazur’s No. 61; Tom Heveron’s No. 01; Vic Miller’s No. 71; and the C & M Racing No. 15.
Warren won two (1995 & 1997) Little 500s at the quarter-mile Anderson (Indiana) Speewday in Glen Niebel’s No. 20 and No. 2 Chevrolet-powered wingless Sprint Car. And in 37 United States Auto Club Championship races (1970-1975) he had 14 top-10s with a best effort of fourth in the No. 94 Tassi Vatis turbo-charged rear-engined Offy on August 23, 1970, in the Tony Bettenhausen 200 at the one-mile Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in West Allis. He also started 15th and finished 23rd in the Vatis No. 95 in the 1971 Indianapolis 500 and started 17th and finished 23rd there in 1975 in Grant King’s No. 24 turbo-charged rear-engined Offy.
Warren made two 1995 USAC Silver Crown Championship Dirt Car starts in Louis Seymour’s No. 29 on the asphalt Richmond (Va.) Int’l Speedway and Indianapolis Raceway Park. He also drove the No. 40 Hamm/Boot Hill Saloon and the Bob Seymour & Ken Schrader No. 29 Wirtgen/Boot Hill Saloon USAC Championship Dirt Cars in the Copper World Classic.
The owner of Bentley Warren Trucking in Ipswich, Massachusetts – a business that he started with his 1971 Indy 500 winnings – and Bentley’s Saloon & Campground in Arundel, Maine, Bentley Warren continued to compete in Oswego’s Supermodifieds with great skill and daring until he finally retired from racing at the end of 2012.