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Al Tasnady

Sport: Auto Racing

Born: March 4, 1930

Died: December 3, 1988

Town: Manville

Albert Tasnady was born March 4, 1930 in Manville to Steve and Margaret Tasnady. Al and his three brothers— John, Joe and Bill—were big race fans and later competitors on regional dirt tracks. After high school, Al got a job with the phone company. He ran his first race at age 19 in a modified 1937 Ford coupe that belonged to his brother. He decided to quit his job and focus on racing.

Al had a special talent for reading dirt tracks and setting up his cars for maximum performance. Her also raced on beach courses, including NASCAR events at Daytona. In all, Al won more than 600 races during his career, and was almost impossible to beat on the dirt tracks of South Jersey, including Vineland, Flemington and Alcyon.

Al was regarded as a gentleman on and off the track, and had a huge fan following in the 1950s and 1960s. They called the charismatic driver “Tas.” Several times he won 20 feature races or more in a season, ranking among the nation’s top Modified drivers for over a decade. In 1963, he was the first recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Greater New York Racing Fraternity, which went to the top driver in the country.

In 1967, Al won four 25-lap events in one day at the Reading Fairgrounds—an unheard of accomplishment in the Modified division. He won 52 races on that track during his career and was the 1965 track champion. Al won 96 races at Flemington and was track champion each season from 1960 to 1966.

Al retired after the 1972 season and went to work at his favorite track, in Flemington. In 1974, he was the first inductee in the Eastern Motorsports Hal of Fame. The King of the Modifieds passed away at age 58 in 1988.


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