Vinny Annarummo: Remembering the Seekonk Speedway Fixture

Vinny Annarummo: Remembering the Seekonk Speedway Fixture

Longtime Seekonk Speedway competitor Vinny Annarummo passed away on February 6 after battling lung cancer. The record books may remember the Swansea, Massachusetts, native merely as a multi-time track champ. Those who knew the 74-year-old will remember him as one of the finest competitors to race the Massachusetts track.

Ed St. Angelo joined Annarummo’s crew after his own driving career ended.

“He was the type of guy who would drop what he was doing if you walked up to him and said you needed help,” St. Angelo said. “For example, one year he was racing for the championship with Tom Scully, who had crashed in a heat race. Vinny went over to Scully, who was loading up. [He told him,] ‘I’m not going race for the championship unless you’re out there racing with me.’”

Annarummo helped Scully repair his car and the two competed for the title, with Annarummo ending up winning it.

“My dad wanted to earn a win — whether in a race or for a championship,” said Annarummo’s son, Todd Annarummo. “He was a fair guy on the racetrack, always competitive, but always respectful of other drivers on the track.”

Todd joined his father on track and they both won Wednesday modified specials at Seekonk Speedway.

“Dad was so proud,” Todd said. “He crashed out of the race I won, but he rushed to the pit fence to see me win.”

Vinny Annarummo had recently taken Connor Souza under his wing to mentor the young racer.

“It was an honor to have Vinny as a mentor,” Souza, of Riverside, Rhode Island, said. “His experience was valuable. He explained to me what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right as a racer. He was behind me, pushing me to do better. It’s a real blow. We had gotten really close over the past nine months. He was special and had knowledge you can’t find every day.”

Many known Annarummo for his nickname, Vinny Who. Legend has it he earned in 1983 modified special after finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans. Evans quipped, “Vinny Who?” The name stuck.

However, for those lives Annarummo had touched in the racing world, they will forever remember his competitive spirit as well as his kind-hearted nature.