Inducted in 2005
Ralph Cusack
Born on February 16, 1933 in Portland, Maine
Scarborough High School

Ralph Cusack began his professional racing career at the age of 17, the youngest driver at Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough.

After 32 years, he was among the most popular and respected competitors at the track. Cusack never was certain how many championships he had won, but it was the consensus of knowledgeable racing observers that he "owned" the track. In 1981, he bought the place.

For the record, Cusack's Beech Ridge championship years span four decades and include 12 titles.

He won three in the 50s ('53, '58, '59); four in the 60s ('62, '63, '64, '65); four in the 70s ('75, '76, '77, '78); and repeated in 1980.

A partial list of awards and achievements underscores his prominence:

Cusack is a charter member of the Beech Ridge Hall of Fame. In 1971 he was awarded Beech Ridge Memorial Blazer Award.

After acquiring ownership of Beech Ridge, he oversaw pavement and reconstruction of the facility from November, 1985 to March, 1986.

In 1989, Cusack was recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Short Track Operations Award, presented by Racing Promotion Monthly services.

Two years later, the American-Canadian Tour honored him for "Outstanding Contributions to Short Track Racing.

Racing Promotion Monthly services nominated him in 1992 as National Promoter of the Year after Cusack was selected as top promoter in the Upper East Region.

In 1994, the Beech Ridge nominating committee honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The same year, Northeast Motorsports Expo also singled out Cusack, as Northeast Motorsports Promoter of the Year.

NASCAR recognized Cusack in 1995 with its Administrative Award of Excellence.

In addition, Cusack is the only driver awarded a lifetime honorary membership in the sanctioning Maine State Stock Car organization as an official.

On the day Sugar Ray Robinson visited Beech Ridge, Cusack won the trophy named in honor of the American boxing idol.

There's more in Cusack's background than racing. He's always been a leader and admired for his courtesy. He's well liked as a businessman and a racing champ.

A contractor and excavator in Southern Maine, Cusack operated a service station at Dunstan before starting his own business.

On the track, Cusack drew cheers from fans and drivers in his heyday behind the wheel of the celebrated "Blue Deuce."

He was philosophical about the ups and downs of racing. "You take your chances and if you stay whole and break even, you've had fun," he said.

Bob Morris, motorsports columnist and race fan began following Cusack's career in the mid 50s. "Membership in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame is more than records. The individual's character, integrity and respect for others is as important," said Morris.

"Ralph Cusack was a championship-winning race driver. He was a gentleman on the track and off the track."

Ralph and his wife Jane have two children, Glenn and Andrew.

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The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.

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