Post Number: 64
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 11:37 am: || |
Nine years ago today, we lost our father Harold " Shifty " Sherwood (1932-1998 ), the creator of the Blue Angels Racing Team that frequented Perry, Hunt, Olean, Angelica, Hornell, Sportsmen, and Woodhull Raceway back in those glorious 60's when racing was fun and carefree and you weren't running for money but for the sheer fun of it. The only problem with that theory was our father didn't want to just have fun, he tried cornering the market on our local sport by bringing 4-6 cars to the races every weekend, and part the time on Wednesday nights at Sportsmen. Shifty and his crew won countless number of races back in those days and they were a promotor and race track owners dream when they pulled in with those multiple car blue colored teams. He got the name Shifty from an old drinking buddy of his who said after hearing the song " Jailhouse Rock " that he reminded him of Shifty Henry because of the way Harold could parlay himself out any tight spot or jam and come out smellin' like a rose !
And he didn't just pick any old driver to drive his cars, he had some real " legends and hotshoes " starting with Dean and Bill Layfield, Lyle Corneilius, Sonny and Gabe Hanes, Pete and Ray Kent, his brother Dick, Cecil Darren, Gino Swarthout, and on occasion Eddie Anchor, Jackie Soper, Basil Shutt, along with western NY legend and newly named Hall of Famer Ron Baker. Later on in the 70's up through the 90's his roster of drivers included Walt Mitchell, Don Kio, Curt VanPelt, Don Lawson, Billy Howard, Dick Hess, Johnny Birosh, and yes, even the great Steve Paine, not to mention his three sons, Kevin, Bobby, and the all time crowd favorite and his dearly admired son " The Wild Child " Lyle. He even had Kenny Schrader driving one of his modifieds at a race at Black Rock back in 1988 because Kenny liked the way Shifty operated. But believe me, it was a mutual admiration because Harold really thought alot of Schrader as well.
Shifty left us a legacy of fast cars, great drivers, and as much fun as one family could have back in those days, its tough to believe thats it been nine years today. He was named to two track Halls of Fame at Woodhull and Black Rock, but I'm sure he could have easily been named to a bunch more like Perry, Angelica, Hornell, Hunt, and Sportsmen Raceway.
He always liked to brag to his boys before multi-car teams came into its prominence in Nascar and other racing series that " I was the Rick Hendrick of my day ". And that he was !
Here's to ya' Shifty ! If there's any racing going on up above, I'm sure you've probably finagled your way to grabbing the best talent available not to mention the fastest cars. Bring back that 1957 Studebaker
Kevin, Bobby, Little Joe, and Walt
Post Number: 8
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 2:21 pm: || |
Post Number: 27
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 9:50 am: || |
Thank you for this post Walt. Those were the days that hooked me into dirt track racing. Whenever I think Woodhull Raceway I always think of the great Sherwood teams. We miss you all very much around there. I am sure that if they did not have dirt track racing in heaven already, your father talked them into it when he got there. Gods speed Shifty