Prelude To The Indy 500, The Next 100 Years
Nov 3,4,5, 2011 at Havasu 95 Speedway, Havasu City, AZ
Three Days of Vintage Racing and Camaraderie for Vintage Sprintcars, Midgets and Indycars
Event Report by, Carl Schulz Indio, CA
Sanctioned by Billy Shumans West Coast Vintage Racers, South West Chapter (WCVR SWC) in co-operation with Havasu 95 Speedway Track Promoter and Vintage Fan Bill Rozhon.
Invited participating organizations were The Western Racing Association (WRA) under new leadership of Bob Mastroleo and The Historic Champ/Indycar Assn. (HCICA) with Event Coordinator Pam Shatraw present and coordinating the Vintage Indycar portion of the 3 day event.
Media/Photographers present included Palo Alto?s Victory Lane/Vintage Oval Racing Magazine; Freelance photographer Gene Harrison of Fresno; Laurence Deutsch, Official WRA Photographer and Newsletter Editor; and Kath Shuman and Kelly Schrum of WCVR SWC.
The Prelude To Indy Vintage Event was recently held at Havasu 95 Speedway-Havasu City AZ, the busy little paved oval, just down the road from famous London Bridge, with the million dollar Canyon view in an area renowned for beaches, boating, casinos, fishing, golf, hiking, off roading, shopping and tours. Bill Rozhon, the track promoter has a long lasting fondness for vintage racing and has consistently gone to great lengths to welcome and accomodate the vintage racers and foster the growth of this vintage event as well as the one in the Spring.
This year's weather was bit cooler than normal but the sun still had some kick during the day and the evenings were cool and pleasant and the sunsets and night sky spectacular. Friday evening a cold front went through and some rain but all clear by Sat morning. The Days Inn about 5 easy miles from the track is the official motel with very reasonable racers rates, clean, safe and pleasant with truck and trailer parking and close to restaurants, banks, etc.
Cars and crew began arriving at the track late Wed night and early Thurs morning. Ray Alcaraz and crew were there to greet everyone arriving and there was ample pit space available and a printed schedule of track time and events. Having campaigned my vintage car across the Country the past 3 years I rate this track and event at the top of the list for being made to feel welcome, event organization, safety, ample track time, value, and a beautiful setting with more than enough 'other things' to do for non-racing family members.
Ray Alcaraz and Billy Shuman were ever present and available to keep things moving and offer assistance as needed. Bill Rozhon was everywhere from dawn to dusk to offer assistance and orientation to newcomers at his track. Mike and Kelly Schrum took care of the ongoing details for the sprints and midgets while Pam Shatraw tended to the running of the Indycar contingent.
You want vintage track time? Well we had 11 hours confined to vintage only practice on Thursday and Friday.
After a Thursday morning drivers meeting the track was open for vintage only practice from 12PM to 6PM. Sprintcars and midgets each had their own seperate track time (groups of 6 at a time) as did the 4 vintage indycars that took to the track. Each group cycled through continuously with 15 lap sessions throughout the day.
Friday followed the same routine of vintage only practice from 12PM to 5PM then from 6PM to 9PM two stock car classes were added to the practice rotation.
Saturday drivers meeting was followed by another two and a half hour practice session for each of the groups, including stock cars.
At 6PM the Marine Vets Color Guard helped lead the way in a celebration of Veterans Day, the National Anthem was sung and the trophy dashes for the stock cars were run.
The heat races for sprints and midgets then took place with some spirited exhibitions and terrific driving throughout the field.
At Intermission Track Promoter Bill Rozhon announced another successful track and driver contribution to the local Toys For Tots Campaign. Last year we were able to purchase bicycles for 120 local needy kids and this year maybe more. Everyone felt good about being able to give to those in need and appreciative of Bill's leadership in making this happen year after year!
As planned, at Intermission staff and crew towed Larry Pfitzenmaier's Simoniz Indy Roadster out to the start-finish line and gave the crowd a demonstration of starting up the Offy-when it fired it could be heard for miles. Myself (in my 1927 Miller Indy Tribute Car), Bill Barringer (in his 1938 Indycar) and Don Roberts (in his 1928 Studebaker Indycar) were set to go in the staging area and once Larry fired we drove onto the track and joined him for a 10 lap demonstration run as a Salute to The Indy 500 Centennial.
After Intermission the sprint and midget main events were run without incident and when the dust settled all agreed they'd had a hell of a good time, gone faster than they ever thought they could, made new friends and visited with old ones, swapped some pretty good tales of past bravado and started making plans for the next gathering. All retired to the after race party waiting for them in the pits and hosted by the West Coast Vintage Racers South West Chapter.
Here's a copy of the Entrants List for the event, hope to see your name and racecar listed there next year.
We will have some photos in next posting tomorrow.
Best Regards to All The Racers
WCVR SWC, WRA, HCICA, Harry Miller Club.
PRELUDE TO INDY The Next 100 Years
Barry Adams, Mesa AZ. 1986 Indian Outlaw Special Edmunds Midget
#4 Red Midget
Ray Alcaraz, Lake Havasu, AZ 1972 Edmunds Chassis Midget
(Driven by Richard Barney, San Diego, CA)
#26 Blue Indy champ car
Bill Barringer, Rancho Mirage, CA1938 George Barringer Spl
#16 Blue Midget
Tommy Belfiore, Castro Valley, CA 1965 Edmunds Midget
#9 Black Sprint Car
George Blacker, Henderson, NV Roger Beck Copy- Blacker Special
Fred Chavez, El Cajon, CA 1970 Edmunds Midget,
#5, White Sprint Car
Greg Dierks, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 1960 C.A.E.
Dierks Brothers Auto Parts Special
#59 Metallic Blue Indy Champ Car
Del Diener, Surprise, AZ1968 Don Collins Chassis-Main Street Motors Spl
#22, Black Midget
Steve Enright, Tustin, CA 1947 Kurtis Midget
#30, White Midget
Norman & Carol Gray, Santa Cruz, CA 1947 Kurtis Midget
#1s, Pearl Sprint Car
Don Hamilton, El Cajon, CA 1968 CAE House Car
#42 White/Black Midget
Roger Hegg, Dewey, AZ 1974 ?Gene Fechters Special Stanton Midget
#3, Black Midget
Mike Luddon, Lake Havasu, AZ 1969 West Coast Special
#14 Gray Midget
Bob Mastroleo, Monrovia, CA 1949 Kurtis Midget
#55jr, Silver Sprint car
Rich Mastroleo,1972 TRA Accessories Special Barnett Chassis
#5, Maroon Sprint car
1987 Havasu 95 Speedway Special Stanton Chassis
Dennis Matousek, Phoenix, AZ 1973 Roger Bock Sprint Car (Gene Gile driver)
#16, Blue Indy Roadster
Larry Pfitzenmaier, Sonoita, AZ 1959 Simoniz Special Watson Indy Rdstr
#1, Blue Midget
Dale Quinn, Havasu, AZ 1980 Johnny Lightning Special Edmunds Midget
#72 Indy roadster
Rachanski, Ed, Henderson, NV 1962 Trevis (Watson Style) Indy Roadster -Lencki DOHV 6-Copper
#72, Orange Sprint car
Bud Rice, Phoeniz, AZ 1972 Stanton Sprint Car
#28, Yellow Indy car
Don Robertson, Jerome, AZ 1928 Eat My Dirt Special Studebaker Indy Car,
#34s, White midget
Mike Schrum, Buckeye, AZ 1975 Edmunds Midget
#15 White Indy Car,
Carl Schulz, Indio, CA 1928 Miller Tribute Car Boyle Valve Special
#84a, White Sprint Car,
Billy Shuman, Phoenix, AZ 1969 Gabe and Tillies Racing Team Ray Wilson Sprint Car,
#6, Cream Sprint car
Les Stark,1965 Edmunds Sprint Car (Donovan Stark Driver)
#74, Silver Midget
1965 Walt Reif Chassis, Midget
#22, Yellow Sprint Car
Steve Waugh, Barstow, CA 1970 Edmunds Sprint Car
#4j, White Sprint car
Jim Williams, Georgetown, CA 1975 J&J Special Gambler Chassis