Vintage 2

Aug 30 2012
Going back, in time, to Hinchliffe Stadium.
 by Tom Avenengo
Note:  In this series of articles I’ll be covering many of the Midget races that were held at the Hinchliffe Stadium, in Paterson, N.J.

April 21, 1946 was opening day – a Sunday afternoon, for the 1946 racing season at the Hinchliffe stadium in Paterson, N.J.  A good opening day crowd of at least 9,000 fans showed up.  The drivers welcomed a new paved racing surface to race on, too.

Time trials were held, with the top four being Bill Holmes, Dutch Schaefer, Art Cross and Jeep Colkitt.

Heat winners for the night were Dee Toran, Charlie Breslin and Bill Schindler.  Toran beat out Art Cross and “Wild” Bill Homes in his heat, while Breslin took the measure of Chet Gibbons and Ed “Dutch” Schaefer.  Schindler finished ahead of “Pop” DeVercelly and Len Wofsey.

In Semi-final action, Wofsey won the first one over Bill Baker and Schaefer.  Toran was victorious in the second Semi, beating out Holmes and Gibbons.

A Semi-feature was run and Ray Nestor was the winner over Harry Gassell and Tony Bonadies.

Hans Koehler won the Class B race, beating out John Zion and Bud Reda.

The 25 lap feature was won by Gibbons, with Schindler and Wofsey following.

With the midgets racing on a 1/5 mile track, some accidents were bound to happen, and they did.  In time trials, Frank Curtis, while driving one of the two cars he owned, suffered arm injuries and facial cuts when he flipped.  In the third heat, both Walt Fair and Ray Jackson hit the guard rail in the first turn area on the 5th lap, and Doc Shanebrook hit the guardrail on the last lap.  In the first Semi, Charlie Breslin hit the backstretch guard rail, and was hit by Chet Gibbons, causing the Breslin car to roll over.  He was not injured.

These results were obtained in the Hinchliffe Stadium book that was written by the late Crocky Wright.

More Hinchliffe articles to come in future editions!

Aug 3 2012

Hank Arnolds, "The Twister"  

photo from Don Browns collection
by Don Brown-
The Twister was built in Tucson, Az in 1962 by Hank Arnold. It was featured in Hot Rod magazine July 1963and one of the first open wheel race cars to do so. The Twister was known for its supercharged motor and doing wheelies. Hank Arnold, the designer, builder and driver of the Twister is a legend in the Southwest. Hank was killed in a racing accident June 17, 1967 at Manzanita Speedway in Pheonix, Az. There have been Hank Arnold memorial races in the Southwest ever since. This year will be the 43rd annual, and his memorials are sometimes held at more than one racetrack in the same year. The Twister has been restored and was on display at the Knoxville Sprint car Hall of Fame and usually will appear at Hank's memorial races. The Twister raced hard for 12 years in the 60's and 70's and has been used to promote racing for the last 25 years at various race tracks and car shows. Hank Arnold designed and built several race cars that were ahead of their time and had a name for each of his cars. (Party Doll, Payola, Little Stinker, Twister, Cherry Bomb, etc.) Hopefully someone will write a book about this amazing man and his accomplishments. Over 40 years since the racing accident that took Hank Arnold's life people still talk about him at race tracks all over the Southwest.

Hank Arnolds Sprint car

photo from Don Browns collection
 By Don Brown
The car originally was built by Jud Phillips for Bob Estes as an Indy Roadster. It ran 4 years at Indy and finished in the top 5 twice. The first two years was the Bob Estes spl, (59, 60), and then was sold to bruce Holmeyer and became the Konstand Hot spl. (61, 62) When Roger McCluskey started driving for the Konstant Hot team, they bought a new Watson roadster for Roger and he almost won the 63 Indy 500. So the Jud Phillips roadster was retired and Roger brought it back to Tucson and later sold to Hank Arnold. Hank then built the 4 bar roadster into the sprint car we have today but never got a chance to race it. He had his accident at Manzanita in June, 67, and Mel Heisler of Albuquerque bought the car and only raced it a few times. Arizona Champion Frank McDaniel raced the sprinter and was undefeated. The 4 bar sprinter had a real advantage at that time and twice the car was prepared for the USAC tour, only to cancel at the last moment. So the sprinter we call the Konstand Hot spl has only a hand ful of races and is completely orginal as a sprinter. Its the last of the Hank Arnold race cars and the one he built after his famed "TWISTER". Hank was a dear friend of mine and it was my goal when I returned from Vietnam to locate one of his cars and restore it for his annual Memorial race. I have been honored to have two of his cars, and this year will be the 45th annual Hank Arnold Memorial. I have been blessed with good friends like Frank McDaniel that helped make it all possible.

July12.5 2012 
From Bart Stevens This years Texas Racers Reunion Banquet
      Plans are coming together very well for this year’s Racers Reunion Banquet on Saturday September 22nd. We will be back at PCS Productions in Irving, TX on their beautiful 9000 sq. ft. sound stage.
     This year we will have Paul Page as the Master of Ceremony since one of the feature presentations this year will be about our regular Master of Ceremony, 3-time Indy 500 winner, Johnny Rutherford. The second presentation will be about the history of Quarter Midgets, a craze that swept the Nation in the 1950s. We will have folks here who drove these cars during this alluring time. We will also have a large number of vintage quarter midgets on display in addition to the other vintage race cars that will be on display.
      In the afternoon we will have activities for you including Bench Racing, scrap books, a Racing Movie on the big screen & break-out sessions about historic racing.
      It is hard to believe we could top last year’s event but we have so much planned for this year I hope you are here to be a part of this amazing day!
      Tickets will go on sale August 1st. Keep an eye out for more details very soon.
 Bart Stevens

July 2 2012
This was sent to us by the McGreevy  family it is a reprint from a National speed sport news article by Jim Thurman 
 I added a few photos from my collection.

The Mighty Mite Was One Heck Of A Midget Driver

Mike McGreevy photo from aXe's collection
by Jim Thurman
Known as “Iron Mike,” “Dyna-Mike” and “Mighty-Mite,” diminutive Mike McGreevy — standing 5 feet, 1 inch — excelled in midgets, but also fared well in other classes during a racing career spanning 23 years.
Racing out of Oakland, then Hayward, Calif., McGreevy began his career on Bay Area ovals such as Oakland Stadium and Belmont Speedway. Like many drivers of the era, he raced just about anything he could, including the weekly doubleheaders at Contra Costa Stadium where he strapped into both midgets and hardtops.
Mike collecting another Trophy at West Capitol in the sixties photo from aXe's collection

He also drove in all three 50-lap races — midgets, sprints and hardtops — in the 1956 “Cavalcade of Auto Racing” on the one-mile Bay Meadows oval. That same year, McGreevy won the ARA sprint-car championship, something he repeated in 1957.

Mike in the Goff Bros offy indoors in 1964 BCRA race at Oakland 
Photo from aXe's collection

In 1958, McGreevy won the first of his Bay Cities Racing Ass’n midget championships. He went on to add the ’60 and ’62 BCRA titles before heading east to tackle the USAC National Midget Series.

Howard Linne and Mike in 1968
From aXe's collection

The USAC midget schedule during the time was one of the most grueling in racing — a January through November grind of 60 to 70 races while crisscrossing the country.

In 1963, McGreevy scored his first USAC midget feature victory at Long Island’s Islip Speedway, but finished the year just outside the top 10 in points. The next year he jumped up to fourth in points, but better things were to come. In the 1965 season, consisting of 70 races, McGreevy came home first seven times driving for various owners to earn the USAC national title.
The only goal McGreevy didn’t reach was making the starting field for the Indianapolis 500. He did qualify for two Championship races — on the Springfield mile dirt in ’65 and in Myron Caves’s rear-engined car at Phoenix in ’66 — but attempts to crack the Indy circuit proved fruitless over several attempts with several owners. After failing to qualify Caves’s Gerhardt at the next two ’66 events, including Indy, he returned to defending his midget title.
Driving for Dick and Owen Kincaid in 1966, McGreevy won five times en route to being crowned USAC midget champ for the second-straight year.
McGreevy was runner-up in both ’67 and ’68, adding 10 more wins, including the prestigious Night Before The 500 at Kokomo in ’67 and Terre Haute’s Hut Hundred in 1968.
McGreevy had another good year in 1969, winning six more times and finishing fourth in points. In 1970, he retired to Florida to raise horses.
His USAC midget career tally: two championships, six-consecutive seasons in the top five in points and either 30 or 33 wins (depending on the source) — among them, victories at iconic tracks like Terre Haute, Rockford, Islip and Ascot Park.
Inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1987, He still lives in Florida.

June 29 2012
Participant Info and times to be open to public

From Carl Shulz
    Just got an update from the event coordinator, Lenore Heinzelmann.
    In the event the info doesn't find its way onto the Club website

    "56 cars registered at this time" See post below this one
"a number of cars from the Vanderbilt Cup era
including a 1906 Fiat from the Indy Museum as well as The Blitzen Benz, owned by Bill Evans"
Thursday July 5 Cars/Trailers may be parked at track 12-4 PM
Followed by reception cook-out at Crown Plaza Hotel

Friday July 6
8:30 cars on track for group photo to be taken at 9AM
9:00 Open to public
9:40 Drivers Meeting
10:00-4PM Cars run on the mile (usually alternating slow and fast sessions throughout the day)
First laps to be taken by featured cars of the Vanderbilt Cup era.
6PM Cocktails at Hotel-Silent Auction-then 
7PM Dinner

Saturday July 7
7AM Track opens to entrants
8:00 Event Open to Public
10-4PM Cars run on track

I'll be leaving Indio in a few days and will try and get as many photos as possible to share.
This should be one really unpleasant tow through the heat and forest fires but well worth it in the end.
carl schulz
indio, ca

June 27 2012
Of Note by Carl Schulz update for June 27 2012
Dr Bob Dicks had Tom McGriff, who built my car build him a Parnelli Jones Sprinter and Roadster. Well recently The Good Doc had the best day of his life when his hero got in the roadster and rolled it around LORP

Dr Bob Dicks gets Parnelli checked out in His Calhoun copy. 

A wonderful 3 day event at Auto Club Speedway. 
From Carl Schulz
Historic Champ/Indycar Assn Entry List (Partial) 
Ray Alcaraz                  1959 Epperly Chassis Roadster                    #77
Bill Barringer                1938 Ford V8 Indycar                                  #26
Dale Barry                    1935 Riley Ford Champ Car                          #16
Gary Cerveny                1963 Watson Roadster                               #57
Diane Cerveny              1955 Indy Roadster                                    #13
George Chilberg           1950 Champ Car                                          #455
Jim Culbert                  1968 CAE Champ Car                                   #
John Darlington          1966 Lola T-90 Indycar                                #26
Philippe deLespinay     1972 Eagle Indycar                                      #
Del Deiner                    1968 Collins Champ Car                               #59
Dave Duncan               1968 USAC Silver Crown                              #11
Dennis Howland          1958 CAE Sprintcar                                      #
John Kerr                    1968 CAE Sprintcar                                      #15
Rich Mastroleo            1970 Barnet Sprintcar                                  #14
Douglas Magnon         1969 Eagle Indycar                                       #42
Tom Malloy                 1973 Viceroy Indycar                                    #4
Delmar McClure           1958 Collins Champ Car                                #31
Carl Schulz                  1927 Miller Boyle Valve Spl                           #15
Chuck Spielman          1963 Watson Roadster                                 #22
Bud Taylor                  1960 Watson Roadster                                 #1
Bobbie Unser              1972 Eagle Offy                                            #6
William Watkins           1968 Gerhardt Indycar                                #69 

Historic Champ/Indycar Assn. Celebration of So Cal Motorsports History - Auto Club Speedway Fontana, CA
One of the great things about our vintage organization is the accessibility provided to the low dollar participant and the variety of racecars on the track. 
Now would this photo make a good cover shot or what?
Bobby Unser getting pushed off the line in his 'favorite Indycar' Philippe de Lespinay' recreation of the Gurney 1972 Eagle Offy.
Carl Schulz and 'pick up crew' Bob Tufo of Racing History are next out.

Oh boy Oh Boy Oh boy Oh Boy...

Ray Alcaraz looking very pleased ( Above)with the debut of his Epperly Chassied 'Somewhat Special' Indy Roadster.  Bill Rozhon (promoter of Havasu 95 Speedway and Vintage Enthusiast) looks on and agrees it was all worthwhile.
Ray purchased an old Epperly Chassis that was found 'modified' in an old PNW service station and built his car from that.
The 3 day break in was not without some tension as the filler plug worked loose and the rear end oil got dumped; the front suspension coils had to be replaced; and Ray was scalded with heat and water finding its way past the firewall-a quick trip to ER and he was back to blast past me like a rocket down the backstretch.

I got just these 2 photos from Carl  event not much to go on?
Thanks for the updates Carl

June 14 2012

Vintage , Racing at California Speedway Oval and Road Course on June 22 23 24.
Now add Bobby Unser on-track in the 1972 Eagle Offy 

by Carl Schulz 
     cc Historic Champ/Indy Cars Celebrated Their Great Indianapolis Speedway History A 
   Great Southern California History June 22-24, On The Auto Club Two-Mile Oval 
     Twice Each Day With The Victory Lane Historic Champ/Indy Car Showcase During The 
     Big Historic Oval And Road Racing Festival Organized By HCICA And HSR-West. 
      Over 25 Historic Champ/Indy Car Association Cars will join more than 200 
     Historic Sportscar Racing West Cars for the Southern California Racing Festival. 
     The road racing cars will run in 12 groups twice daily during the 3-day event on 
the 3-mile Grand Am road racing circuit, which uses the main oval front straight 
and infield area. 
Many great oval car names are expected to run on this Auto Club oval, including 
Watson, Eagle, Kurtis, Miller, Lola, March, National and Novi. 
Great road racing cars to appear include Corvette, Jaguar, MG, Healey, Lotus, 
Lola, Chevron, Porsche, Mercedes, Triumph, McLaren, March, McKee, Genie, Elva 
and many more. The event also includes Historic Stock Cars, Production Sports 
Cars, Sports Racing Cars and Formula Cars. 
     Historic Champ/Indy Car entrants call Pam Shatraw, HCICA, 650-321-1411 (CA). 
     Road racing entrants call Ed Swart, HSR-West, 310-750-6933 (CA). 
     Here's the most up to date sched for the historic indycars on the oval, call Ed 
Swart for the roadcourse schedule. 

Thursday June 21 12PM gates open for trailer parking Garage 1 spaces 61-74. 

Friday June 22 
8-5PM HSRW registration Garage 2 
HCICA safety Inspection 
10AM Drivers Meeting HCICA 12:05 HCICA on track 
4:30 HCICA on track 

Saturday June 23 
10AM Drivers Meeting HCICA 
11:35 HCICA on track 
1:00 Lunch for HCICA entrants and guests 
4:30 HCICA on track 

Sunday June 24 8:30 HCICA on track 12:15 HCICA on track 
Add Bobby Unser in the 1972 Eagle Offy 
1972 Eagle-Offenhauser 
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of the most important cars in the ?Indy 500? history 
     To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the remarkable 1972 AAR-Eagle, one of the most significant Indy cars in the history of the famous race, 3-time Indy-500 winner Bobby Unser will get back in the cockpit of his favorite racing car and enjoy leisurely laps of the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway racing track in Fontana, California during the HSR-Victory Lane vintage Indy car event June 22, 23 and 24, 2012. 
The new Eagle built by Dan Gurney and his crew in his All American Racers facilities in Santa Ana proved to be the class of the 1972 Indianapolis 500 field by qualifying on the pole at an astounding 195 MPH, a full 17 MPH faster than the fastest lap in the preceding year. This in itself has set a record that remains unbeaten today. 
     The new car had been designed by a team composed of Dan Gurney, Roman Slobodynskyj , Phil Remington and crew-chief Wayne Leary, and was available for purchase by other racing teams. 
     A few days after the works car was completed, driver Bobby Unser set new records at Ontario Motor Speedway, covering laps at over 191 MPH. 
At the Phoenix 200, the first race of the season, Bobby took no prisoners as he qualified on the pole and won the race running away. At Indy, Bobby easily led the race until the distributor rotor broke, the car coasting to a halt when nearly a full lap ahead of the field. Bobby 
     Years later, a deal was struck between Dan Gurney and collector-racer Philippe de Lespinay in an effort to recreate both the 1972 cars of Unser and Grant, using leftover parts from both cars bolted to two NOS unused tubs. 
After years of research for the missing correct parts and many seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the cars were eventually completed by the talented and immensely experienced John Mueller in the Entrepreneur Enterprises race shop in Fresno, California. Chassis 72-30 was delivered to Dan Gurney in 2010. 
Chassis 72-29 is the car retained by de Lespinay. Tracing the engine numbers (crankcase and cylinder block/head assembly) from old records he saved from the bin, it was discovered that the engine was the very one used by Bobby Unser to win the 1974 California 500. That engine was rebuilt by Stewart Van Dyne of Van Dyne Engineering in Huntington Beach, California. 
     The car is decorated as the # 6 Olsonite-Eagle, exactly as it was at the 1972 Indy 500, the paint scheme having been devised by Philippe 40 years earlier. The car is on display at the Riverside International Automotive Museum, along with a remarkable collection of Eagle racing cars collected by museum owner Douglas Magnon over the years, and is maintained by Bill Losee and his crew. 
     Along with the 1972 Indy car, at least two more AAR-Eagle racing cars from the Riverside International Automotive Museum will be exercised by Douglas Magnon and Tony Adamowicz: the 1969 Eagle-Ford driven at Indianapolis by Denny Hulme and the 1970 SCCA F5000 championship-winning Eagle-Chevrolet. 
A web page is available for more information and pictures at 

May 27 2012
Pre WWII Vintage Midget 1940 Studebaker straight 6 Powered

Arts Studebaker midget history sheet 

Art Abrahams Already a Vintage midget race car owner bought this midget around 2002.
Photo by aXe
 After selling off this V8 60 powered Midget  Art is pictured with it.
Arts photo
He found and restored this Studebaker powered car to its present condition. It is powered by a 1940 Studebaker Champion 190 cui straight 6 power. Itr is Not updated like some of the restorers do to the vintage cars nowadays. 
Yes it is updated but this was done as it raced into the early 50's and on.
So it remains in the condition it was last really raced in.

At the Hoosier 100  
May 25  2012 Art drove his car on that famous mile dirt track in an exhibition program below.
Photos by aXe
Check out these two pictures closely What is missing in these two pictures?
Well there are to There are two Pittman arms and NO Tie rod.

Tecalemit Jackson Early fifties Fuel injectors  
Photos by aXe
Real leather shock Absorbers? Did they even work after a few laps? 
It is on the arm connected to the front of the bumper tube. 
How about a quarter leaf spring rear suspension.

By aXe

May 23 2012
Bill Force Sr. & Jr. WIN at Mountain Speedway TQ Vintage Meet
    (St. Johns, PA 5-19-12) The inaugural out door event of the ATQMRA Vintage
     Division was dominated by bright sunshine and the father/son team of Bill Force Sr. and Jr. 
     The event would prove memorable with thirteen vintage TQ Midgets signed. The restored race cars spanned the 1950's through the 80's. 
     The mix of drivers included multi-time ARDC Champion and TQ winner Hank Rogers Jr. Former Modified stock car driver Tom Hindley. ATQMRA and SMRC Midget driver Karl Mondschein and current Sprint car driver Mike Casario. 
     Heat races were split into two divisions as the roll bar cars took to the track first and Karl Mondschein would become the first winner of the newly formed club in the former Tom Dimasco Crosley powered No. 18 upright. 
     The second heat, which where, caged cars would be taken by the former Ben Trimble Triumph rear engine car and driver Gary Mondschein, brother of Karl.  
     The twelve lap feature would prove to be exciting as the roll bar and cage cars were combined but would be scored as separate divisions. 
     Karl Mondschein took the lead at the start as Bill Force, Sr., in his Crosley upright No. 26, held his ground and ran the outside. These two classic drivers battled until the caution flag waved on lap six as third place running Gary Mondschein's right rear suspension gave way and he brushed the front stretch wall. 
     Force, Sr., would grab the lead on the restart and seemed to be on his way to the overall win by fending off the challenges of Wayne Laucius, Tom Hindley, Karl Mondschein and Force, Jr. in the former
     Bruce Kinberg Suzuki powered Holmquest built car. 
     Force, Jr. would run a smooth line and position himself to battle his father and complete a last lap pass and go on the overall win. Force, Sr., settled for second (first in the roll bar class) followed by Hindley (Suzuki Holmquest), Karl Mondschein and Keith Majka rounded out the top five. 
     "Running these cars was a blast," said Force, Jr. "I really learned a lot today racing my father. It was very special for our family". 
     Force, Sr., who was emotional in victory lane stated, "We really enjoyed the atmosphere here today. It was so special to race my son. We had my other son Patrick pushing off cars on the quad.” 
     Current No. 26 car owner Laucius was pleased as well. "We had some fun today. I'm happy to pick up the win as the car owner.” 
     Special thanks from all the club members were relayed to event organizer and longtime open cockpit fan Robert Noll. The next event for the ATQMRA Vintage division will take place at the Mahoning Valley Speedway on Saturday night, July 7th in conjunction with the current TQ's.

Finish: Bill Force Jr., Bill Force Sr., Tom Hindley, Karl Mondschein, Keith Majka, Wayne Laucius, Gary Mondschein, Hank Rogers, Jr., Paul Wiesel, Mike Casario, Ray Gillen, Bill Fisher

Apr 7 2012
I found this photo on youtube

It was on the  Vintage Hardtops and Supermodifieds of California site.   Here is that sites address link click on it to go there

 Not much information on it there.  anyone know anything about it? Simply stated there,  it was from the North west someplace?


From Carl Schulz
photo above from  Golden Wheels Vintage Fraternity Sep 4, 2010
Ephrata Raceway Park, WA

Mar 10 2012
Well lots Rumors abound on this 2cyl Offy engine.
 Only One eigine for sure can be found and it is at Speedy Bill" Smith's, The Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska 
                                   photo from Speedy Bills web site

This photo doesn't resemble the one in the other article as it is highly polished. Not sure if it is the same one for sure, although polishing could have come prior to displaying it at the museum?
check out Speedy Bills museum use the link below

About those rumors. 
It hasnt been proven yet how many of these were actualy built. There are rumors of 2 or even 3 maybe, Some say the other two were built by different people earlier in time, but so far We can only identify the one at Speedy Bill Smiths Speedway museum for sure. We are getting lots of response about it, Everything from it being a 220cui offy cut in half to a 255cui ? 220 sounds more logicial as the midget specs at that time were for 110cui's offy's. But then again as most racers seem to stretch the rules as far as they can get away with we cant rule out the 255?
More came in about one racing out west in the early 70s? Then going back east and run in the vintage shows for some time. The cars or car it was in is also unknown for sure some say they saw it in Ca. in a tube framed midget and then there is some say it was in an old rail job called  "OLD IRON SIDES?
The photo in article below this one the engine was mounted in a tubed framed midget.

Do You have any information or even  photos of it to help clear up the rumors going on about it?  Let us know 

Mar 6 2012

A 2 Cylinder Offenhauser Midget Engine?

Here is one for You, I know it was for Me. Having seen My share of different offy's this was a new one on Me. 

It is a 2 cyl Offy, I cant even remember where I got this photo from? So if any of You out there have any idea who or what this was all about please send us that information.
Thanks aXe

Feb 27 2012
Feb 10,11 2012 Vintage Event at Havasu 95 Speedway, Havasu City, AZ

 by Carl Schulz Indio, CA
from West Coast Vintage Racers Southwest Chapter
The dust had hardly settled on our Nov. three day ‘Prelude to Indy’ when we were back at Bill Rozhon’s Havasu 95 Speedway for our Feb two day event.
Everyone had ample track time; went as fast as they felt comfortable; entertained and interacted with a large number of fans in the stands, track and pit area; enjoyed one another’s company, b.s. ing and racecars, and all had a safe and exciting vintage experience.
Thanks to Billy Shuman’s WCVR SC group for organizing and running these two annual events; the WRA for their continuing support and to Track Promoter Bill Rozhon for the extra work he and the track staff go to twice year for our vintage celebrations.
Here are some photos courtesy of Kelly Schrum (1975 Edmunds Midget #34s). Kelly runs around on the quad yelling orders, keeping all informed, and pushing the cars to staging and still has time to snap some photos to share with us.
If you have any details or comments to add to the photos please email me and I will add them. Carl Schulz Indio, CA

Some of the photos taken that weekend,
The Venue

First some came just like in days gone by.
42 Roger Heggs 1974 Gene Fechters spl. Stanton midget

These were some of the midgets

Bob Mastroleo 1947 Kurtis Offy midget

Kelley Schrum 1970 Edmunds

Rick Henderrson

Steve Enrights 1947 Kurtis Offy midget

Dale Quinn1980 Edmunds Volkswagon

Some of the Sprint cars

Dennis Matousek Roger Beck Sprinter

Rich Mastroleo 1972 Bennet

Judy Williams 1975 J&J

Even some Indy Dirt Championship cars
George Blacker Championship Dirt car

on to the drivers meeetings
Bill Rozhan Track Promoter give drivers instruction 

Then line'm upfor some hot laps!

Carl Schultz Miller Replicar Ready for hot laps

Mike Schrum 1975 Edmunds 

Link to Havasu Feb 2012 Photobucket Album. Click on the thumbnails to open the photos.


Feb 11 2012
International Motor Contest AssociationThe Hawkeye Futurity June 19,1960
This is from,  
By Kyle Ealy

Des Moines, Iowa – The word “Futurity” is defined as “a race or competition for which entries are made well in advance of the event”. That definition turned into a dream for a former Huron, South Dakota auto racing promoter.

The Hawkeye Futurity, held annually from 1955 until 1970 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, would be considered the biggest and richest event on the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) sprint car circuit. 

The idea behind the Hawkeye Futurity was considered brand new in dirt track racing circles and was actually conceived in 1952 by Gaylord “Lefty” White, then a partner with Al Sweeney in National Speedways, Inc. 

White wouldn’t live to see his dream become a reality, passing away unexpectedly in 1954, but plans for the one of kind event were never abandoned. Instead, they were given even further impetus by his partner, Sweeney, in cooperation with the race supervisors for the Iowa State Fair Board, and fittingly, the meet was dedicated to White’s memory.

Modeled after the horse racing “Futurities,” entry fees had been paid into the purse by car owners and drivers starting in 1952. That money was matched dollar for dollar by National Speedways for the next three years and the money was held in escrow in a Des Moines bank. By the time the first event became reality in 1955, L. B. Cunningham, the Iowa State Fair secretary, noted that the purse had reached the neighborhood of $10,000, quite the hefty sum back in this time and it was by far the richest purse ever paid in Iowa racing history. 

Following suit with the two previous winners of the Hawkeye Futurity, Folse would come back on June 19, 1960 and successfully defend his title, collecting $700 for the victory and another $200 for setting fast time. 

Driving the Honore Offenhauser, Folse was clocked going around the half-mile in 22 minutes, 28.72 seconds, a new record for the event. 

Bob Hewitt (Known out west as Uncle Dudly) of Mount View, Calif., 
from aXe's collection
Bob Hewitt  suffered back injuries, face cuts and possible internal injuries when his car rolled at the conclusion of his time trial. The car rolled three times and pinned Hewitt. Track officials said roll-bars on the car kept him from being killed.

Not mentioned in this was one of His hands was pretty well smashed and some of the other injuries were to bother him the rest of His life 

Feb 9 2012

This article was in my files, I don't know who wrote it or who took the photos. It looks like it was copied from a book?
Jack London BCRA Busines Manager

Perhaps no one has had as important an impact on Northern California midget racing as Jack London.
As Business manager of BCRA for 22 of the last 24 years, He has shepherded the association from a debt ridden, dissention-torn gang to a powerful and highly respected organization-second oldest midget group in the country. 

Jack got His baptism in the midgets in 1937 when he bought a Harley-powered pile of scrap iron 1 

He soon turned that Harley into a competitive machine. Jack did the driving at first,

 and later turned the wheel over to an eager young kid named Bob Barkhimer, 
Most of thier racing was done in Charlie Baker's Short track Racing Assn. at Neptune Beach. 

Jack was always known as a great qualifier in his driving days  

Though Jack usually prefered to let others take the chances. During the war he bought Ernie Casale's hot ford. 

With a duplicate car, he started cleaning house in BCRA. Freddy Agabashion won a lot of money for him in that rail job  

 Jack took a ride in his new Kurtis-Kraft when the boys went to Mexico City for a series of races. 

Ed Normi did well in another new Kurtis under Jacks red,white and blue colors but never made Jack happy  

Well not as happy as when he won his money from JC Agajanian. 
His Offy did that quite regularly, especially with A J Foyt at the wheel .

Once when Foyt was unavailable for the no5 Tony Bettenhausen won an Ascot Trophy dash and received his goodies  
Bettenhausen With Aggie Jack and Jimmy Btyan.

The Foyt-London combo was hard to beat in USAC and the Burt Foland-Jack London team has been even harder to beat in BCRA .

Walt James classic NOVEMBER 25 &26 2011

                                 Walt James

                   Walt James Stadium entrance
        photos by Laurence Deutsch WRA Photographer

                              Walt James Classic add

Nov 18 2011
Nov 3,4,5, 2011 at Havasu 95 Speedway, Havasu City, AZ vintage Race car gathering, Some photos, 
More can be found here, 

From Carl Schulz








Nov 17 2011
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
Carl Schulz
Indio, CA
WCVR SWC, WRA, HCICA, Harry Miller Club.
PRELUDE TO INDY The Next 100 Years
#11 White.midget
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                                                                         

#97 Purple.Midget
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 
Trostle Chassis 

#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

Nov 14 2011
A link for Short movie of  Firing up and Indy Roadster with Offenhauser power. Carl Schultz will be sending us a more detailed article on the event listed below for posting later.


Here is the link to the short movie below

Oct 12 2011
'World's oldest car' sells at auction for $4.6 Million

            Men look at a De Dion Bouton from 1902.

from Yahoo news
A steam-powered car considered the oldest vehicle in the world still running has sold at auction in the United States for more than $4.6 million.
The De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, nicknamed "La Marquise," which was built in France in 1884, sold for more than twice its estimate at auction Friday in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
RM Auctions listed its top speed as 38 miles per hour (61 kilometers per hour) and said it had only had four previous owners over the past 127 years.
The late Texas collector John O'Quinn had bought the historic car, which participated in the first automobile race in 1887 and four separate London-to-Brighton runs, for $3.5 million in 2007.
The identity of the new owner was not given.
US media reports noted that another car, housed at the National Motor Museum of Britain, also lays claim to the title of the world's oldest vehicle.
However, the reports said the British car, built in 1875 by Robert Neville Grenville, has only three wheels, requires someone to ride along and tend the boiler, and bears little resemblance to a modern automobile.
The four-wheeled De Dion-Bouton was constructed for the French Count De Dion -- one of the founders of the company that built it. It was named "La Marquise" after the count's mother.
The $4.6 million price tag includes a 10 percent buyer's premium, which goes to the auction company.
"With impeccable provenance, fully documented history, and the certainty that this is the oldest running family car in the world, 'La Marquise' represents an unrepeatable opportunity for the most discriminating collector," the catalogue said.
"It is unquestionably and quite simply one of the most important motor cars in the world."

Sept 24 2011
2011 Hall of Fame Inductions today at All American spdwy in Roseville


Taking place at the Placer County Fairgrounds and All American Speedway in Roseville.

All spectators will be admited Free for afternoon and evening hot laps

Kevin Triplett and Myself thoroughly enjoyed yesterday day checking out all the vintage race cars and more!

We also were surprised to See the agless Norm Rapp below in His old familiar chevy pickup servicing the Vintage cars
Norm has been serving race cars at the race track longer than most of you have been alive.


The car below was told to Me to be the original Blue Goose of Arnold Chaves 
who had Bill Scott at the wheel for lots of wins and a few track Championships at the old paved San Jose speedway

This one is an original Howard Kaeding Early Modified He ran at the paved track in San Jose

Now this rig has a V8 Sixty midget that had a Vukovich driving it way back ELI Vukovich that is.

Now here is a Most would say a Harley conversion called a Drake? How ever it is a Petruzzi Harley Conversion in this midget

Now ever hear of race car art? Well I saw this out there on a Hardtop.

All photos by aXe

This is a very small example of what is out there And You still have time to catch it as they will be there all day today running hot laps  which also includes 2 Ford Focus Midget main events, I was told Free to spectators?

Sept19 2011
                                               Havasu 95 Spdwy 'Prelude to Indy' The next 100 Years-
                                                                    Vintage Race Cars IndyCars/Champ Cars-Sprints-Midgets
                                             Who are those Lovely young Ladies? With Mac Miller and His Boyal Valve spl recreation


Aug 9 2011
WRA and WCVR SWC  at the James/O'Connor Memorial at Salem Speedway

TOM McGriff in His Miller recreation

 I am Pleased to report that the WRA and WCVR SWC was represented at the Vintage portion of yesterday's James/O'Connor Memorial at Salem Speedway.
Tom McGriff and Randall Cook ran the car #15 for me (as they did two weeks ago at Michigan Int'l).

Tom Bigelow was doing commentary/announcing for the cable tv affiliate
He may take us up as a guest driver at upcoming Winchester.

Tom Bigelow and Tom McGriff (former driver-crew chief pair) photos by Randall Cook

Tom McGriff Followed by Randall Cook
Now on to Indianapolis Raceway Park, Winchester Old Timers, Possibly Good Guys Show at The Speedway, Darlington Historics, Santa Barbara Concours and finally Havasu City Speedway Nov 3,4,5.

 Here's a link to my Salem album with some photos and will add more as they become available.
Best Regards to all the Racers
Carl Schulz
Indio, CA

July 18 2011
Links to, 2011 Miller Event Story and Video

July 8 2011
                                            MY FIRST RACING ENCOUNTER..
 by JNM
I was 15 when my dad took me to watch "hardtops" racing at Alviso Speedway. a 1/4 mile dirt track a few miles north of San Jose,Ca. It was considered an "outlaw" track not sanctioned by NASCAR and was known as WESTERN AUTO RACING (WAR). Through my dad's outgoing personality, I was introduced to several drivers, including some who came over from a NASCAR run track, Marshall Sargent,Ray Raineri and Bill Scott, to name a few. The "hardtops" were mostly cars you might see on streets those days. Marshall had a SUPER
LOUD 1939 6 cyl Chevy coupe with these sidepipes by the driver's door that literally "screamed" on
the backstretch. Other cars seen there were a lot of 6 cyl flathead Dodges and a few Ford coupes with V-8's. 
Then there were the exhaust pipe cars...
George Rogge ran a 1940's Mercury coupe with pipes exhausting out the car truck. His Merc also had center steering, something a few other drivers tried. Bob Basye also had pipes out the trunk too, but the one that always got attention was Boots Cantrell's Ford coupe w1th pipes shooting out the TOP of the car. The fans always got a laugh when a flagman would pour confetti in the pipes that would blow out into the stands.
Oh, and every race night, the announcers would play music via 45rpm records for the fans to listen to on each race break. Yep, I recall the
music they played the most...Buddy Holly's "PARTY DOLL"

Sargent was widely viewed as a rough and tumble type, but to hear him talk, you'd never know that..very soft spoken and polite, but we heard
through race talk chatter that he once got upset at another track and grabbed all the starter's flags and destroyed them in full view of the fans, So I guess, you dont get Marshall ticked at anything.

The one driver I came to know well drove the #444 "Bardahl Special", Dean Holden. I guess dad pushed him a bit in private, but one evening the phone rang at home and dad told me, "It's for you." It was Dean and he asked if I would work for him in the pits. ME??? Dean said he'll set up pit passes for me the next race night and came the next Friday night, I was in the awe of being this close to #444,watching Dean start it up and then going to get coffee while informing me to "not let anyone near it" til he got back. (that was part of what "working for him" meant, I guess.) Heck, I just stood there, watching flames shoot out the side pipes...awesome!!! As I recall, Dean came in third that night and I walked with him to get his purse money..a "whopping"$55.00 in a plain white envelope., but he seemed ok with it while shaking the envelope for the change.

Most of the races, I stayed in the infield, but some eves, I'd sit in the bleachers with Pat, Dean's wife. Pat ALWAYS put on white gloves during races Dean was in..kind of a cross between her way of rooting for him, yet keeping him safe.

Dad owned a paint shop and Dean brought 444 over to get rid of the black and white scheme and repaint it orange top. while side stripe, black bottom. I even got to GET IN IT and tape the steering wheel!!!! I was in 15 year old heaven!! STEERING WHEELS IN THOSE DAYS WERE THIN/SMALL, SO YOU HAD TO PAD THEM SO THE DRIVER COULD GET A BETTER GRIP.
Over the next few years, I watched 444 break it's own 1 lap qualifying record several times and win (then amazing) 4 main events in a row. "We" had bad times too...444 broke a specially ground Isky cam one night that Dean was disappointed about. 
One race night, following the main event, Dean came to the pits very upset and the car had a large dent in the driver's door. As Dean was getting out, I heard him say, "DAMN BLACKIE BLACKWELL." First and ONLY time I heard him cuss.

I even got to tow 444 home one night when Dean had another personal job he had to go to. Then I had 444 in my own backyard and showed it off to my friends!!! (I never told Dean, but I fired it up one afternoon briefly..til the neighbors complained about the noise.)

Dean eventally starting running BCRA/USAC midgets in the 60's. 444 was sold to another Alviso driver, Ed Decker, Dean's brother in law. ED had it repainted to a white/black scheme again and had a new number...#10. Ed did ok, but never as well when Dean owned it. I got to pit with Ed
too, so, to me, I was still close to old 444. Ed eventually sold it to a driver who ended up totally demolishing it at another track.

I followed Dean in BCRA racing a few months in his #9 offy powered car he ran at Oakland, Ca. INDOOR track. That was a blast..if you could handle the noise and fumes. And there he was again..Marshall Sargent, in the stands, yelling at his racing foe, Al Pombo. You just HAD to
experience indoor BCRA midgets once in your life. After a few months, I lost track of dad just didn't have time to drive me to that track every week.

A few years passed and the phone was Pat. Dean had an inoperable brain tumor and Pat said he might not remember much, but he wanted to talk to me. (I think Pat needed to remind him who I was before he came to the phone). In a short conversation, I asked him where old 444 might be these days.(stupid question I know, but I had been searching junkyards in Ca trying to find it) Dean laughed and replied, "It's probably someone's ashtray."

A few weeks later Dean passed away. To this day, I still have fond feelings for Dean. I got into racing gokarts in the 60s.My Kart number?  What else...444! I was good enough to break the area track one lap qualifying record 3 different times..just like Dean in his glory years.
As a young boy, I considered myself lucky to know Dean...and 444. Both were the best and I was part of it!!! God, I miss those years.


June 22 2011
                                                                                                The Old Days
This was sent to us by Bill Stone from Austin Texas
Born in 1934, how does twice-AMA Grand National Champion racer Dick (Bugsy) Mann describe himself today? - - In a word - - “Old”. In 1955 Dick started his career as a professional and raced until his retirement in 1974. Considered to be one of the most versatile riders ever, he competed in several forms of motorcycle racing - - dirt track, TT, road racing and his favorite - - motocross. Even in 1975 he came back and represented the U. S. taking third in the ISDT enduro on the Isle of Man no less. Just finishing the ISDT is difficult - - at forty years of age taking third was considered incredible. Today at 77, Dick still participates in the vintage events of the American Historical Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA).

In the 80’s I remember him as a 50 year old week end warrior competing recreationally in local racing around the Bay Area in California. He qualified as a senior class rider but chose to compete in the younger, faster veterans class. As a “vet” Dick competed against guys who were 20+ years his junior. His performances were wonders to behold. Typically he’d get the “hole shot” and lead the race for a lap or two then drop back to about last place. About mid-race he would re-pass the pack, regain the lead; and on the last lap he would slow and let the youngsters take the checker. I guess he didn’t need no more steee’kin trophies. His versatility and performance was remarkable for any rider regardless of age. Dick was so accomplished that he pretty much passed other riders on any course whenever and wherever he wanted. But the amazing thing was that the other guys were mounted on state of the art bikes mostly 2 strokes from Honda, Yamaha, Maico and Husqvarna - - Dick rode his favorite - - an ancient heavy 4 stroke 1960’s BSA. 

At a riders meeting before a race one week end at the Sand Hill Motocross Park in Brentwood CA - - the race steward was explaining the rules to the racers. It went something like this: STEWARD - - “we are not going to allow riders to walk the track before the race”. RIDERS - - “grumble, grumble, grumble” - - one older ‘vet’ loudly commented - - “well back in the old days we were always permitted to walk the course before the race” - - the other riders mumbled agreement and how the new rule wasn’t fair. DICK MANN - - “yeah maybe so back in the old days - - but before that we couldn’t”. 

June 8 2011
                         Foyt Remained An Offy Loyalist Despite Chevy’s Horsepower

by Methanol Mel Anthony
Reams have been written about A.J. Foyt’s phenomenal racing success. His expertise, talent and accomplishments have been extolled by many, known by legions.
There’s one characteristic this racing icon possesses, however, that is perhaps not as well publicized. Displayed from the beginning of his career — he always has shown a respectful regard for the past and a staunch traditionalist attitude.
There’s no better example of this than Foyt’s reaction when the Chevy V-8 began to make inroads into USAC sprint-car circles. Many in USAC were against the Chevy. They believed it was for minor-league organizations like IMCA with its then-reputation for staged events and shoddy equipment. USAC, they believed, should run only the historic thoroughbred that had been the engine of choice for American oval-track racing’s top levels for four decades, the Offy.
Foyt was one of the most vocal in the Offy’s defense.
His first encounter with a Chevy sprinter was at the March 20 Meyer Speedway USAC event in Houston. Foyt had second place locked up when Jim Hurtubise, in his groundbreaking Chevy, blew past him on the last turn of the last lap.
Foyt was furious. He huffed over to Hurtubise after the race, and according to LeRoy Neumayer who was there helping Hurtubise, ranted, “Take that SOB to a dirt track where it really counts, and then we’ll see what it does!”
Foyt had thrown down the gauntlet with words that would soon prove prophetic.
USAC’s next event was on the Reading, Pa., sleek, half-mile dirt. Foyt beat Hurtubise. “That’s what I mean,” snorted Foyt to Herk afterward.
It got tougher for Foyt and his Offy after that, though. Hurtubise beat him at treacherous Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway and was soon joined in the Chevy vs. Offy battle by Parnelli Jones in his Fike Plumbing Chevy.
Still Foyt fought on. The battles among that trio were furious, the words, at times, more so. By season’s end, Foyt had secured the USAC Eastern Sprint Car Championship, Jones the Midwest version.
Despite the fact that his Offy was giving up 30 cubic inches and 50 horsepower to the Chevys, Foyt refused to switch. Instead he stayed loyal to the venerable old Offy and won six races for his efforts in 1961. But Jones did beat him for the new, combined USAC National Sprint Car Championship.
By 1962, even Foyt could no longer hold back the flood of technology. Continued development had made the Chevy too strong for even his considerable talents to overcome. He commissioned master mechanics Jim Travers and Frank Coon to build one of their Traco Chevys for him.
Still, he couldn’t quite let go. As late as 1963 he won three USAC sprint mains with his Offy and campaigned it, sparingly, in 1964. It was inevitable, though. The Offy’s time had passed.
Thanks to Bob Gates and
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