The supermodified division lost a giant of a man over Father’s Day weekend and not a lot was said about it in the mainstream or public eye by two organizations that owe him much for their success. Based on what I’ve been told by a member of the family, as well as racers that knew him, the lack of respect wouldn’t matter much to him because he did what he did, made no excuses and never looked back after he made a decision. “That was then, this is now,” as one person put it.
Tom Heveron, a founding father of the International Supermodified Association and patriarch of the Heveron family, passed away after encountering complications during a surgical procedure.
I won’t go into how I think that both Oswego Speedway and the International Supermodified Association should have given Tom’s death more than just a passing glance, (as a founding member of one and a Hall of Fame member of the other, you better betcher sweet ass I think it deserved more attention). Instead I want to share with you the thoughts of a son about his father.
Reprinted with Tom Heveron’s permission
I saw the Facebook post on SUPRS. Thank you for those kind words. As I reflect, I have always known he was a special person. One of his friends told me his picture is the definition of leader in the dictionary with the words…Enough Said.
He was a Leader at everything he did his entire life. Successful Business man, President of Little Leagues, Microd Clubs, ISMA, even his neighborhood POA for a time. He wasn’t always easy to deal with and people would tell me he was impossible because it was his way or no way. That isn’t exactly true. There was no “Gray area” with him. There was right and there was wrong.
The right way benefited the many, the minority who cried could just go away. I was at the first ISMA race with him. I was a young teenager at best. I was standing in the pits with him and one of the competitors came up with his car owner and told him (It was a big name that I will just leave out, as a kid I knew who it was). “ We want more money for this or we won’t race”. Without hesitation he looked at them and said “Pack up and go home we don’t need you.”
When they walked away, I can remember just looking at him and thinking Did he just say that? He then looks at me and tells me, “When you make a deal with someone you finish the deal whether you really like it or not. The wrong way is to make deals then try to change it before it is done. You do something…do it right… finish it move on. Changes are for future discussions and can be made at another time under a new deal.”
By the way they didn’t load up and they raced under the deal that was made. A valuable life lesson that I have never forgotten. I was amazed that for all the years of just going as fans that almost instantly he had become a Giant in a sport. There are so many stories. My whole life he was my Dad, I knew who he was and what he did, but to get perspective to what that all meant, was to see him through others eyes. Since I was a kid it always amazed me.
Our family has chosen to do what he would want. We will be having a small private family gathering. He would not want anyone to stop their lives for him and I don’t want to piss him off now. In lieu of flowers and such he did ask that everyone donate to Cleaning for a Reason. www.cleaningforareason.org Push donate button and write In memory of Tom Heveron Sr. He was so proud of all I have done for them and felt strongly about because of my Mother.
As Doug and I move forward in our new roles as Patriarchs of this family we will always remember all he taught us. We lead, we work hard, we take care of our families, Never be a “taker” and above all we move forward. Going backwards is simply wasting valuable time that will take away from the first priorities.
I hope you take a moment after reading that. Go back and read it again. Let it sink in. No matter what you think of any of the Heverons, whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Tom was a big reason ISMA was as successful as it was in its formative years. They are also a part off the puzzle about why Oswego Speedway continued to gain fame in the 1980s. Face it, without Tom Heveron, there would never have been a finish to the 1983 International Classic 200 like there was.
I think he deserved better. We need more people like him involved in this division. We need that now more than ever. Leaders, visionaries, people with genuine business acumen that can adapt to the needs of ALL of the customers of this sport. He was wasn’t perfect, but let’s not forget guys like Tom Heveron. Let’s never forget the Giants of this division. Let’s move forward.
God Speed Tom Heveron.