Very sad to report that #75 Hurricane Hank Bassett, the 4-time track Champion at Champion Speedway, has finally lost his long battle with MS. There has been a lot of tributes on facebook but thought, even though activity has slowed on this forum the past few years and most are on fb, that some on here may not have heard. Hank was a great guy and an excellent rider! He was a huge help to many up and coming racers here on the East Coast and will never be forgotten! Jason Bonsignore
Henry E. Bassett, Jr., age 64, longtime Vestal, NY resident passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Living Center South in Geneva, NY.
Hank was born February 23, 1953 in Dobbs Ferry, NY to the late Henry and Kathleen (Coffin) Bassett. He spent his formative years in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
From an early age, motors and motorcycles were Hank's passion. Hank began his racing career as a moto-cross rider transitioning to Speedway track racing in his early twenties. He was a four-time track champion at Champion Speedway (Owego) in the late 70's and early 80's where he set a track record winning 12 consecutive main events. Hank raced in upstate New York, Canada, Florida, California and was regarded by many in the racing world as one of the best riders of his time.
Hank worked as a motorcycle mechanic starting his career at Hudson Valley Motorcycle Shop in Millwood, NY transitioning to J&J Cycles in Vestal, NY before he eventually operated his own motorcycle repair business, Race Tech, in Apalachin. Hank mentored many racers and mechanics throughout his career.
Hank was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1986 fighting the disease valiantly through much of his adult life. Hank kept his positive outlook, patience and appreciation for life.
Hank is survived by his siblings, Patricia (Rocco) Trapasso of Ossining, NY, Susan Bassett (Sally Webster) of Geneva, NY and Kenneth Bassett of Farmington, ME, as well as his nieces, nephew and grand nieces, nephews and close relatives.