Charland won an estimated 700 races between 1949 and 1984, running on both dirt and asphalt, often with the same car. He got his start at the now-defunct Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass., and eventually branched out to compete on literally hundreds of tracks in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. He claimed NASCAR’s National Sportsman championship four consecutive times from 1962-65, during what is widely recognized as the Golden Era of the series.
He also made nine career starts in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with a best finish of third behind NASCAR Hall Of Famers David Pearson and Richard Petty on the Fonda (NY) Speedway dirt in 1966.
Known for his irrepressible humor and penchant for practical jokes, Charland was inducted into both the New England Auto Racers and DIRT Halls of Fame. He had been in ill health for some time.