Author Topic: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York  (Read 389035 times)

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #795 on: October 27, 2014, 10:15:32 AM »
The more I look at it the more I'm inclined to think this was from the late thirties. The font is the type they were using at that point in time. The year they ran as Tri-Cities (1938) they only ran on holidays. I saw a blip somewhere in regards to someone talking about running there for a season. Unfortunately there isn't anything in print about the later stuff. Just a gut feeling that this is from 1939. The last ad I could find was for 1940 (a Jalpoy race). Of course, I have been totally wrong before..........
BOB JOHNSON
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Beenthere

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #796 on: November 15, 2014, 05:40:48 PM »
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=739173882802303&set=pcb.784710191591301&type=1&theater

Some old VFW photos. Click on "Back to Album" to see the handful of photos here.


blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #797 on: December 19, 2014, 03:15:01 PM »
Hey Beenthere...you didn't happen to copy those photos, did you? The facebook page is kaput.
BOB JOHNSON
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Half Fast Bob

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #798 on: January 03, 2015, 04:06:08 PM »
1938...


If they can have artists, pianists, florists, dentists and bicyclists... then I must be a racist.

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #799 on: January 15, 2015, 02:04:50 PM »
An article from the Elmira Star-Gazette in 1956. Al Mallette was the premier Elmira sports writer in his day.....

 Elmira Star-Gazette   Sept. 28,1956
Change of Pace by Al Mallette
Stock Racers In Big Show

Chemung stock car racers Saturday night will put on the biggest show of their greatest season at the Speedrome. Chemung stages its championship races Saturday and with a break in the weather, flagman Bob Fuller looks for the best crowd of a season blessed with outstanding attendance.
Fuller, who is one of the big men behind the Atlantic Stock Car Racing Assn. program as well as No. 1 flagman at the track, reports that this is the best season attendance-wise since Chemung opened four years ago. "We've been averaging about 1,800 each week," said Fuller, "It's our best record. Maybe it's because there's no baseball in Elmira..."

FULLER CONTINUED, "You know we've got a pretty good battle for the points at Chemung this season. The championship races Saturday may decide the point champ."
He went on to explain that Art (Chubby) Chandler of Chemung is leading 19- year-old Jackie Baldwin of Ithaca by four points in the A Class. Chandler was champ in 1954 and again last year.
Some of the other top A Class drivers are Lucky Cornish, Bucky Buchanan, Percy Brown, Hank Clark and Cecil Keister.
In the B  the leaders are Hal Green, Pete Schaeffer, Cliff Pierce, Bob DePew, Earl Bodine and Tex Owen. Schaeffer and Pierce are now racing in A.

THAT RAISED the question as to the difference in A and B racing. "The A cars have dual carburetors and different piston sizes," explained Fuller. "The B cars have single carburetors. And there's a difference in the cost of the cars too."
Whats the difference in speed between A and B on the one-quarter mile Chemung track?
"That's a pretty good question for an average fan," replied Fuller. "Perhaps it's not too noticeable but the A cars 'pick up and go' much faster down the straight stretches. Our average speed is 38 miles an hour which means about 60 or 65 on those straightaways."

IT WAS NOTED that most of the cars at Chemung were coupes and that led to another  question. Which is better for stock car racing, coupes or sedans: and how much do the cars cost?
"The coupe is better suited," answered Fuller. "The drivers put most of their money in the engine and pick up most of the bodies in junk yards. For instance, Chandler's car has a '55 Thunderbird motor. Baldwin's car has a Mercury motor and Buchanan's car has a Ford 'flathead'.
"I'd guess that Keister has the most money tied up in a Chemung car. I think it's about $3,000. You know, another interesting feature about our drivers is that most own their racers. I think the ratio is about 75-25 in favor of ownership."

WHAT ARE SOME of safety precautions drivers use? "First," replied Fuller, "is the safety belt. Safety belts in our cars go down through and under the body frame. Generally these belts go under the seats. We find, however, our idea is far better.
"Of course, all drivers wear helmets and each car has roll-over bars installed. Another important safety device is the fire wall between gas tank and driver. This has prevented many serious accidents."

WHO ARE THE favorites with the fans? "Practically every driver has his own fan club," answered Fuller. " But probably the most poular in a general sense are the kids, Baldwin and Bodine. Among the others are Chandler, Green, Brown, Buchanan and Cornish.
"You know Cornish's nickname used to be 'Crash' because of the many pileups and mishaps he had at tracks in Wellsville and Corning. he was lucky to escape serious injury in some and thus the tag 'Lucky' "

WHAT ABOUT THE flagman's job? Isn't there a bit of danger in this? Suppose you hit an oil slick or trip as you jump away from those on-roaring cars after waving that green flag? "To me the job's a lot of fun," said Fulle
BOB JOHNSON
"Faster than a greased cheetah strapped to the front of a bullet train"
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #800 on: January 17, 2015, 11:59:06 AM »
The ad that Bob Miller posted correlates with the poster that Beenthere shared. I went back through my notes and found this similar ad for the same race. I have to say that I might be getting oldheimers as I had been thinking that Tri-Cities ran on holidays but I looked back and that would have been at Maple Avenue Park. Looking through my notes, it looks like the race on July 24th at Tri-cities never happened as there wasn't a write up for the results (there had been considerable press given to it up to that point). I would love to find the real story as to what happened to the track at that point as it (the management) seemed to go poof...it's my "holy grail"
BOB JOHNSON
"Faster than a greased cheetah strapped to the front of a bullet train"
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Half Fast Bob

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #801 on: January 18, 2015, 12:07:56 PM »
I can't swear to this, but I THINK I remember reading that the show was postponed because of rain and was run the following weekend. Tri-Cities is also a personal favorite of mine because of the way they advertised. Give me a little time to see what I can dig up.
If they can have artists, pianists, florists, dentists and bicyclists... then I must be a racist.

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #802 on: January 18, 2015, 12:50:58 PM »
Hey Bob...I'd love to see what you find. The track seemed to go away 'just like that'. I looked through all the local papers but to no avail.
The only other ad I was able to find was for a jalopy race in 1940.
I don't think I've ever posted these, but it seems like an opportune moment. This picture is the ONLY photo I have found of racing activity at Tri-Cities. Joseph Bourgeois of Herkimer was injured in a three-car accident causing Bourgois' to sustain a fractured skull.  The photo is of his car on the hook.
BOB JOHNSON
"Faster than a greased cheetah strapped to the front of a bullet train"
www.QUICKSKINZ.com

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #803 on: January 18, 2015, 01:06:51 PM »
This photo relates to the races at Tri-Cities in that the car pictured is the Smullens Special. Smullens was a former driver who, at this point in time, had Hank Bruning, a bank teller from Carbondale, Pa. driving his car. Bruning cleaned up at Tri-Cities. This photo is from Campville near Binghamton. On a sad note, Hank Bruning went on to win the STRA championship in 1938 but lost his life the next season at Tunkhannock, Pa. in a racing mishap.
BOB JOHNSON
"Faster than a greased cheetah strapped to the front of a bullet train"
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trivia99

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #804 on: May 02, 2015, 12:39:39 AM »
Last year there was a photo of cars on the track in 1963 at Shangri-La and TheDobes replied they had 4 or 5 show at the end of 1963 season. I remember going to those shows but cannot for the life of me find out who won those shows. I did find results for one of them in the local paper on September 1st stating that Bob McGeorge and Jim Zacharias won the previous day. None of the other shows had reported winners. I am trying to compile an accurate win list for the track and this is the only blemish I have from the 60's to the June 1st 1991 where I am at now. Also missing are some of the jalopy races from the 1955-1956 seasons. Even the son of the promoter at the time doesn't have the information. That photo that was published is one of only two or three photos from those shows and they were all taken from the grandstands. I can't believe there were no flag shots taken at those races. As for some of the drivers that raced in those shows, the memories are vague at best. For the most part those shows were for the Five Mile Point and Glen Aubrey cars but I distinctly remember Huey Perreau who raced at Fulton and had a five window turquoise #21 with a six cylinder Chevy or GMC motor and John Pawlicki who ran at Waterloo with a brown Flathead #5B both being there. If anybody has any accurate results or even a flag shot to show who won, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and if by some miracle anything from those Jalopy races in '55 & '56 is around...BTW the first two stock car races ever held at Shangri-La in 1949 were won by Al Keller and Wally Campbell and a Keller flag shot of that event exists but to my knowledge has never been posted.

Walt171128

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #805 on: May 04, 2015, 08:10:18 PM »
Hey blackjack, this is Walt Sherwood; I always love reading and catching up of the old Al Mallette racing stories from the good old days and I was intrigued with one of Al's column from '56 about Lucky Cornish that you posted, Al was a friend of my Dad's and me back in the old Angelica Fairground days. It was always great reading Al back in the old Star Gazette days, paper would always be delivered by 2:00 in the afternoon and we couldn't wait to see who Al would be commenting about and where he had been the week before.

I have a picture in my old collection from Angelica of Lucky that I took of him in the pits during the '62 season and Al's comment about Lucky was spot on......he wasn't much of a up front competitor at times but dammit, he gave it his all and he sure was lucky a few times at Angelica as well......one hell of a nice guy and with any luck someday I'll get all these old pics of mine out and post them and give the ol history buffs something to reminisce about

Thanks for keeping these great ol' memories alive blackjack

Oldest brother of the late " Wild Child ", most exciting driver I've ever watched in my 50 + years of going to the races.

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #806 on: May 07, 2015, 09:55:18 PM »
Hey Walt Sherwood...I can't wait to see the photos you have. Lucky Cornish is a very interesting character. I was always under the impression that he had a hot hand in the early fifties and won a lot of races at places like South Seneca and Chemung. One of the things that I remember seeing written about him was that he had a diner that burnt down in Ithaca. I have a bunch of stuff that Bernie Foster wrote in the mid-fifties that I would like to share. I'm thinking that is where I might have seen that tidbit.
BOB JOHNSON
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Walt171128

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #807 on: May 08, 2015, 06:47:05 PM »
Lucky was an interesting character indeed, it always puzzled me why a lot of those guys in the Elmira, Ithaca area came clear over to Angelica on Friday nights to race but I always assumed it was because of the fact that Angelica was a super fast well groomed horse track :), but Lucky, Soper, Curly Wilson, Bill Schafrath, sorry if I misspelled Bill's name but its been more than 50 years ya' know :) and a host of others always seemed to make the trek to race over here. It was my favorite place to be on weekends when I was a boy, takin pictures of all I could in the least amount of time as they came through the gates.

I'll be gathering up what pics I can in the near future because I had them put on discs years ago so we'll see how things turn out but I do know I have a real good one of Lucky in a white T-shirt standing next to his hot rod.

And yeah, I never knew of Bernie Foster but maybe he can shine some light on why, like I said, a lot of those guys came over to Angelica on Friday nights in the early 60's to race when the Chemung, Elmira, Ithaca area had tracks of their own like you said in South Seneca and the aforementioned Chemung. It sure would be interesting reading indeed
Oldest brother of the late " Wild Child ", most exciting driver I've ever watched in my 50 + years of going to the races.

Beenthere

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #808 on: May 08, 2015, 08:22:45 PM »
Cornish ran quite a few times (maybe, or at least a few times) at the VFW Speedway in Towanda in the late 50s and maybe(?) early 60s. As I recall, and my memory may be faulty, he drove either a number 75 or 76. I seem to recall them being team cars, maybe painted red and black? Maybe with some gold trim. "A" cars, I think. Maybe Ed Fish (?) drove the other. I always thought (presumed?) he had something to do with Cornish Auto Sales in Corning? All this "recollectin'" reminds me of a time 20 or so years ago that I went to Syracuse with Racin' Ron Arnold, another who was at the VFW regularly so long ago. I was amazed that I remembered so much with perfect clarity, and so did he, except that our memories were almost exactly opposite. Funny how time melts the things were are certain of into a murky mush of maybe's and fog.

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #809 on: May 09, 2015, 12:29:24 AM »
I can tell you that a lot of the big shoes started racing in western ny because the pay-out was much better. Just like today, it was worth the longer tow for the extra scratch.
BOB JOHNSON
"Faster than a greased cheetah strapped to the front of a bullet train"
www.QUICKSKINZ.com