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Author Topic: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?  (Read 8278 times)

grb716

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Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« on: May 24, 2011, 10:14:15 AM »
My dad was always talking about midget racing in Owego.  This was in late 20s or 30s.  Does anyone know where this took place?  Not Shagri La as it was not there at this time. and I don't think it was the fare grounds. He said they ran two or three nights a week. any ideas?

Rocket88

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Re: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 11:16:56 AM »
I saw a pic of some open wheel cars on Shangri-la's facebook page, from 1948.
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Rocket88

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Re: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 11:28:43 AM »
Caption does say "new Shangri-La track", so where did they run before this???
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bakes

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Re: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 11:48:30 PM »
To my knowledge, the only places in the area where they raced regularly in the 20s and 30s were Campville Speedway in Campville, just west of where the new bridge goes over the river, and Stow Flats in Binghamton where the Binghamton Plaza is located.   Campville was a dirt track that held regularly scheduled events, while Stow Flats was much more loosely organized.  I know that my dad drove a Model T there in 1927... he was 7 years old and apparently my grandmother gave her dad (my great grandfather and the one who put my dad up to it) holy hell when she found out.  ;D

They apparently raced at least once at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in the 1930s, but I'm unaware of any other speedways in Owego prior to Shangri-La being opened in 1946.

Jay Mooney

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Re: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 06:59:04 PM »
I’ll go out on a limb here and say there really wasn’t much, if any, midget racing in the Southern Tier until Shangri-la opened in ’46.  And even then, midgets were only special shows. 

Other than a few jalopy shows at places like Bennett’s Airport (on Upper Front Street) and Morris Farm (Conklin Ave), auto racing in the Southern Tier in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s consisted mostly of big car (sprint car) racing, not midgets.  Races were held once a year at Stow Park in the 20’s, then at the Tioga and Broome County Fairs in the 30’s .  Campville opened in ’37 but ran big cars on an every-other-Sunday schedule.  No midgets.  There “may” have been a midget show or two at the old Kirkwood Speedway, in Broome County, in the late 30’s, early 40’s but that’s about it.

You’d have to go down to the NYC/Long Island area to find a solid two-three night per week midget circuit.  The closest midget tracks to the Southern Tier before the War were up in the Syracuse area or down around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

bakes

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Re: Owego / Tioga County Midgets?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 11:24:14 PM »
Caption does say "new Shangri-La track", so where did they run before this???

The cars pictured were called "big cars" - or as Jay stated, sprint cars.