Championship winning NASCAR driver Bugsy Stevens dies at 90

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A former championship-winning NASCAR driver has died at the age of 90.

Renowned and Championship-winning NASCAR driver Bugsy Stevens has died at the age of 90 on the morning of Monday, May 20. He is believed to have died ‘peacefully’ and was surrounded by members of his family.

Stevens, whose real name was Carl Berghman, was perhaps best known for winning three consecutive NASCAR Modified Championship from 1967 to 1969. As well as this, he also served in the military for a period during his younger years.

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He was required to adopt the ‘Bugsy Stevens’ pseudonym due to his active military service in the air force - his superiors did not approve of his participation in NASCAR, so he did this to avoid detection. He famously drove a number three car, known as ‘Ole Blue’.

In the wake of Stevens’ passing, NASCAR issued an official statement, which reads: “Bugsy Stevens was one of the greatest to race a modified, winning three consecutive NASCAR National Modified Championships (1967-69), and countless championships across tracks in the Northeast including Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Stafford Motor Speedway, and Seekonk Speedway.

“A fan favorite who drew crowds to his races, he was one of the legendary drivers who piloted the iconic ‘Ole Blue’ No. 3 car that still races today on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Our thoughts are with Bugsy‘s family and friends as we honor his life.”

On Stevens’ Facebook page, his family posted a statement following his death: “Our Bugsy passed away peacefully this morning with his family by his side.

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“We are gutted but also incredibly thankful to have been blessed by such an incredible man who was larger than life as the patriarch of our family. His presence is already missed. We will post memorial details in the coming days. Take your eternal victory lap Pop, you've earned it. We love you.”

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