Author Topic: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York  (Read 150589 times)

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #675 on: September 19, 2012, 04:26:30 PM »
Here are acouple of pictures to go with the Dowd article...The first is of the Howmet TX. I have to be honest. I had never heard of it. There are some neat things to look at on the net in regards to this car. One is the Wikapedia article on it. There is also a mega-cool video on youtube of someone firing one up...just type in Howmet TX and voila. The picture posted was taken by Roy Des Ruisseaux at Marlboro in 1968.
The second picture is of Jerry Townley w/ Pop Wilcox @ Victoria Speedway in Duanesburg  out by Albany. I found the pic on Fuelfed.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 05:44:24 PM by blackjackracing »
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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #676 on: September 22, 2012, 11:55:53 AM »
A really interesting article dated 1968 on a young lady from the Binghamton area. It would be interesting to hear from anybody who has insight into this. What struck me was, given the time frame, that this was a young women who was really ahead of her time as it was truly a man's world back then. 

from the Binghamton Press   July 12, 1968

An Owner Today, A Driver Tomorrow
(from "On the Teen Scene" series)
by Ann Connery

   Every Saturday, you can find Debra Weldy in the pits at Five-Mile Point Speedway.
   She's not hard to spot, either, since she's the only girl allowed in the pits. She's also the only
14-year-old who owns and services a stock car.
   Debbie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn H. Weldy of 9 Thompson Street, has attended local
races for four years. After she received her '53 Chevrolet from her father last Christmas, she bought an
engine, began working on the car, and started taking it up to the track, where her father or a friend, Doug
Brown, races it.

   During the week, she spends her spare time in the back yard, fixing up her car. "It has a '54
engine," said Debbie, "and I'm putting in a 411 differential, which will make it go faster."
   This is the first car Debbie has "put together." She learned about the parts of a car from
automotive books and magazines, and from her dad. But she learned the most from assembling small
models.
   Mr. Weldy said: "She does the work on the car herself. I only act as a third hand, now and then.
I do all the welding for her." Mr. Weldy used to build and drive sprint cars, which first interested Debbie in
cars.
   She works on her car "all the time," according to her father. Debbie said that she wasn't at all
afraid to start tinkering with it, confident that she knew what she was doing.
   For a fuel tank, she recently substituted a beer keg, but made one big mistake- she left a little
beer in it. "the fuel pump and the carburetor were clogged with beer," she said. "That's why I'm cleaning
them out now." With her hand she indicated some parts she was washing out with a rag.
   Debbie works in an old shirt and shorts, which her mother says she must throw out after they
are real dirty. They're uncleanable. Debbie's long black hair and lightly painted fingernails are a striking
contrast to the grease marks on her arms, legs and clothing.
   Debbie also likes art, when it's too dark to work on her car she "sits around the house drawing
pictures." Her artistic touch is visable on her car. With Fluorescent paint, Debbie has drawn designs in 
green, red, orange, yellow and blue. Her silver helmet is painted with fluorescent colors to match.

   Debbie is allowed to drive the car on the track and likes to warm it up sometimes before a race.
"Officials would let me drive in races now, but I'd like to have more experience," she said.   
   "Last week I drove into the wall and backed into the inner field. I have a little trouble balancing
the clutch and the accelerator: you have to feel it out."
   Debbie and her father, who is a pilot, have traveled to different races this year, such as the
Daytona 500, as spectators only. But pretty soon she may be racing herself!
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #677 on: September 22, 2012, 12:06:11 PM »
Photos and captions from the previous article....
First pic... Debbie and her car- Debbie Weldy, 14, smiles under her silver helmet, while seated in her '53 Chevy stock car, number 2-7. the car has no doors, but has metal bars to reinforce the car's protection.
Second pic... Elbow grease- Elbows aren't the only things that get dirty when Debbie works on her car. "Kerosene takes it right off," Debbie says. Debbie said her mother worries a little when she sees the car "jacked up with me underneath it." (photos by John Bolas)
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #678 on: October 01, 2012, 05:58:24 PM »
Another Bill Dowd article from 1969. Also included is the advertisment from the same page for the opener @ Shangri-La (check out the crowd!)

from the Binghamton Press   April 25, 1969

Checkered Flag
by Bill Dowd

   Four former sportsman-modified champions head the list of drivers for the Shangri-La Speedway's season opener tomorrow night. But it wouldn't surprise the aficionados to see some relative newcomers make a strong bid for top honors at the Owego track this year.
   Gary Reddick and Binghamton's Wayne Meade and Larry Grover, who ran well in the S-M feature at Fulton Speedway Sunday, 1967 Chemung Speedrome champ Bryan Osgood, Maine's Bill Marean, who drove on the United Racing Club sprint car circuit the last few years, and experienced Graeme Bolia in a new car appear to be the best of the crop of young drivers.

   The old standbys shoot for the big cut of the $2,600 S-M purse when tomorrow's program begins at 7:30 p.m. Defending S-M champ Jerry Hayes of Castle Creek, two-time Press "Driver of the Year" Don Diffendorf of Kirkwood, Bath's Dutch Hoag and Candor's "Bullet Bill" Strosahl have all won titles at Shangri-La.

   Hayes will be in action despite doctor's orders not to race. He's had two operations on his left leg that was mangled in a Lancaster Speedway crackup last season. Hoag may have a new Dodge-powered car ready and Diff is already driving a new rig.

   In the late model class, a cut better than the former modern class which included just about everything from Model A Fords to jazzed-up Henry J's, perennial champ Jim Zacharias of Endicott is the man to watch in his new Buick. The late model regulations rule out cars with bodies manufactured before 1955 or after '62. Overhead engines are also out.

   Two safety factors have been made mandatory in both classes this season- fuel cells to eliminate the danger of spillled, flaming gasoline from a ruptured tank, and 3 safety bar minimum on the driver's side. Haye's injury came about when  another car's bumper crashed through the weak area that the bar rule will strengthen.

   Three qualifying races for guaranteed starting spots in big-track extravaganzas will be held- the May 17 Pocono International Raceway qualifier, the Aug. 9 Langhorne qualifier and an unscheduled-as-yet Trenton qualifier, all at 50 laps.

   Area Sports Car drivers get into racing action tomorrow at Lime Rock, Conn., site of a Sports Car Club of America regional race meet.

   Binghamton's Fran Larkin and harold Lindsay of Vestal, the Southern New York Region-SCCA "Driver of the Year" in 1968, will both be in action. Larkin is entered in an SR Cooper-Ford, reworked from his previous outing in the car in which he won a Watkins Glen race last October.

   Lindsay, who will have to burn the midnight oil to get his KLT Special ready for the DSR running after late delivery of new parts, has a Jabro Mark 4-bodied car which he was driven to the SCCA's Southwest (Texas area) Division title in 1967.

   Doug March of Vestal, who ran 12 races last year, has tentative plans to run at Lime Rock next month after completing work on his Formula Vee. March holds the FV lap record at Watkins Glen.

   Pit Stops: Bentley Waren, the Massachusetts hotshot who made such an early splash at Shangri-La last season, has been running with the ARDC midgets at Freeport Stadium on Long Island. He took third in a consi race there last Sunday... Upstate track openings- Albany-Saratoga Speedway (NASCAR stockers), Friday, May 2; Oswego Speedway (super modifieds), Saturday, May 31; Chemung Speedrome (stocks), Saturday, May 3; Five-Mile Point (stocks), Saturday, May 10; Lebanon Valley Speedway (stocks), tomorrow night; Pennsy track openings- Penn Can Speedway (stocks), Friday, May 16; Pocono International (super modifieds for first week), Sunday, May 4; Dorney Park Speedway (stocks), near Allentown, tomorrow night... Bill Wimble of Rome, former NASCAR sportsman champion, has decided to retire from competition... Trenton Speedway beat Sunday's checkered flag and completed its track rebuilding early this week. The 1 1/2- mile banked, paved track was to be the site of the 8th annual Trenton 200 Sunday but rain forced postponement until Saturday, May 3... Chris Amon and Mario Andretti won the pole position for today's Monza 1,000-kilometer race in their Ferrari 312-P.
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #679 on: October 01, 2012, 06:03:06 PM »
A little something to go with the above article...
This is a link to a very good article on Gary Reddick-
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20090419/SPORTS01/304199974/
The following photos are from that article and are from the Gary Reddick collection
BOB JOHNSON
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thedoebes

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #680 on: October 02, 2012, 11:42:36 AM »
The miss spelled name in the article above,it should be Larry Groover.He is Chuck Akulis's Brother in Law.
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #681 on: October 03, 2012, 08:52:54 PM »
For some reason stuff isn't uploading...Here are the other two pictures from that article on Garry Reddick
BOB JOHNSON
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bakes

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #682 on: October 05, 2012, 11:14:10 PM »
For some reason stuff isn't uploading...Here are the other two pictures from that article on Garry Reddick

Nice article on Gary.  Always liked watching him run, and he was great to us kids when we wnet over to the pits after the races on the times he ran at Shangri-La.  Very friendly dude, let us 9 year olds sit in his car. :)

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #683 on: October 06, 2012, 03:02:25 PM »
Another article by Bill Dowd...

from the Binghamton Press   May 1, 1969

Checkered Flag
by Bill Dowd

   There will be a couple of merry souls in the Cole family if the hot streak that began in the waning stages of the 1968 stock car racing season hasn't suffered through the winter layoff.
   After several years of disheartening performances, including a 1 1/2-year dip into the figure-8 carnival when brother Walter was ill and couldn't work on the car, Al Cole finally hit his stride last season.
   In the space of four weeks he picked up a pair of sportsman features at Five-Mile Point Speedway as well as one at Penn-Can, the first main event victories the Cole Brother's Chevy-powered No. 24 ever earned.
   Al, a 33-year-old veteran of seven years on the dirt tracks who runs a Conklin Avenue service station with his brother, squeaked into the top 10 in points at Five-Mile the last two years. This time he's hoping for a move into the first division.

   "We fixed the handling problems that bothered us all year," Al said of his late spurt. "We've got the same car (a metallic blue "39 Ford coupe) and we hope we can keep it running as well as we did at the enfd of last season."
   Cole's competition for Saturday night's Five-Mile opener will be the same pack that waged such a tight battle that a post-season auditing of the point list was needed to determine the championship.
   Pete Cordes, the 6-foot-8 Sidney Center driver who won the title, Binghamton's Don Beagell, who thought he won it until the recount, Norm Norton of Clarks Summit and DeForest Chalker of Montrose will all run Saturday. They swept the top four places in the final standings.
   Modern division champ Buzzy Barton moves up to the sportsmen and Beagell's brother Roger, the "Most Improved Driver" in the sportsmen are among the newcomers to watch. Old reliables Chuck Akulis, Red Harrington, Ray Bunzey, Carl Nagle and Lester Greene are also expected to shoot for the $350 winner's share of the $1,600 feature purse. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.

   Pocono International Speedway has drawn a crew of Upstate drivers to its Twin 50's, the Sunday event that will inaugurate the Mt. Pocono, Pa., track after four years of construction.
   Binghamton's Red Barnhart, Bill Hughes of Greene, Elmira's Bill Schroth and Jim Leonard and Dieter Mundwiler of Norwich head the list of super-modified drivers. Also in the field is Troy Ruttman, Jr., teenaged son of the 1952 Indy 500 winner who will be driving the same car his dad drove at Indy. This time it'll be powered by a 350-Chevy aluminum block engine.
   Barnhart had a shakedown run at Stafford Springs, Conn., a few weeks ago. He was leading a heat race until spinning out, then won the consie. He was in contention in the featue until rammed from the rear, splitting his gas tank. Hughes won last Saturday's United Racing Club sprint car feature at Hightstown, N.J.

PIT STOPS: Dave Diekow of Binghamton and Dave Warren of Endwell are entered in the 100-car Southern Tier Tour, a 250-mile rally starting in Olean Sunday and held by the Allegheny Valley Sports Car  association... The 17th annual Cumberland (Md.) National Sports Car Races are slated for May 16-18 with defending champion Bob Nagel of Bethel Park, a Pittsburgh suburb, coming off a similar race win at Virginia International Raceway in a Lola T-70 last Sunday... Former Sahngri-La Speedway driver Jerry Cook of Rome finished fourth in a 50-mile NASCAR sportsman race at Martinsville, Va., Saturday... Utica's Lou Lazzaro won $1,000 and the 50-mile season-opener at Fonda Speedway Saturday... Trenton Speedway unveils its newly redesigned layout Saturday in the Trenton 500, rescheduled from last week... The famed Targa Floria road race is slated Sunday in Sicily with the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix the same day... Still no decision announced on the opening date for the Mid-State Speedway in Morris. Penn-Can in Susquehanna, Pa., opens Friday, May 16... Shangri-La Speedway will hold a 50-lap spring championship for sportsman-modified stockers Saturday night, $750 going to the winner... Chemung Speedrome opens Saturday night with several changes- $300 to feature winner the most-important. Super-modern class is now late model (1960-69 bodies) and slower stock sportsman class now pays $75 to feature winner.
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #684 on: October 06, 2012, 03:11:38 PM »
Some pictures tying in to the above article...
First one is Al Cole's # 24. picture was posted on  "oldies" by argonrcn. @ Five-Mile Point in 1968 (Cecil King photo)..some one had mentioned that it had a Beer-Keg for a "fuel cell".
second photo: Carl Nagle w/ the 7-up car (Fred Smith photo)
third photo: Deforrest Chalker
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 03:19:35 PM by blackjackracing »
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #685 on: October 06, 2012, 03:21:50 PM »
A few more photos...
First photo: Dick "Buzzy" Barton
second photo: Red Barnhart at speed @ Oswego
third photo: Red Harrington
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 03:29:44 PM by blackjackracing »
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24KC

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #686 on: October 12, 2012, 07:56:49 PM »
Thanks BlackJack you made my nite.  I had seen that photo before but never the Press article.  And yes the car did sport a beer keg for a gas tank. I remember my father bitchin abou t having to buy a fuel cell.
   KC Cole

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #687 on: October 12, 2012, 08:25:06 PM »
Yes, thanks for posting the article I have never seen that.
Joe Cole

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #688 on: October 18, 2012, 04:09:07 PM »
I cant remember the Cole car ever being at the track that early. That car also had the shifter mounted along side the seat, great memories.

mikeman

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #689 on: October 24, 2012, 11:45:40 AM »
Great Memories!

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #690 on: November 11, 2012, 10:58:58 AM »
from the Binghamton Press  Aug. 22, 1967

Checkered Flag
by Bill Dowd

   The young chargers may be interested to watch on some occasions and temporarily capture
the interest of the crowd. But all the world loves a winner.  No. 1 on the winner chart  at Shangri-La
Speedway this year is Candor veteran Bill Strosahl.
   Strosahl, who won the sportsman-modified crown at age 44 last season, is zeroing in on
another point title despite a lot of static from Don Diffendorf who leads him by a scant 12 points.
Strosahl's latest winning streak is four and he has taken eight S-M features this year.

   One reason for his continued success some people point out is the absence of the standout
team of Dutch Hoag and Lee Osborne. But even during their heyday at Shangri-La Strosahl was one of
the top men. Hoag took the S-M championship in '65, but Strosahl won six features, was second three
times and third three times. Last year, his feature-win  total dropped to five, but he was runnerup six times
to keep his point gathering at a high level.

   The records say Bill's best year was 1958 when he won 11 of 12 races at Five-Mile Point
Speedway. In 1951, he won the New York State Championship race held at Shangri-La. But this could be
his best year yet. Besides being No. 1 at Shangri-La, he won the Langhorne Qualifier there and is one of
the leading canidates for the Press Driver of the Year Trophy.


   Sports Car Corner-  Press-area drivers didn't fare too well in the Sports Car Club of America
races at Watkins Glen Saturday. All finished well behind the leaders or were non-finishers... The 3rd
annual Challange Gymkhana between the Southern New York and Central New York SCCA regions will
be held at Shangri-La Speedway Labor Day, Sept. 4. A team of drivers will represent each region in 10
classes, driving one at a time through a twisting course against the clock. SNYR has won the last two
events... SNYR and Susquehanna Trials Auto Rally (STAR) club will hold a joint rally Sunday. Sign-in is at
12:30 p.m. at Stanton's Body Shop, Sanford St., Binghamton... SCCA's New England Region has moved
its Labor Day races from Thompson (Conn.) Raceway to Lime Rock, Conn., due to contractual
difficulties... The Canadian-American Challange Cup Series opens Sept. 3 at Elkhart Lake, Wis., with a
$40,000 race. A bonus of $31,500 goes to the top point driver at the end of the 6-race series.


   Pit Stops-  Penn-Can Speedway has lost it's AMA motorcycle programs which have run for
four weeks on Sturday nights. Promoter Gordon Nolan couldn't make a go of it after likewise running into
trouble at Afton Fairgrounds. He will run a Northeast District cycle championship Sept. 3, however... The
second annual "Crazy Days," a program of novelty races and other events, will begin at Penn-Can Labor
Day at 1 p.m. ... Another Athletic Institute of Chicago survey agin proves motor racing the No. 2 spectator
sport in the country, trailing only horse racing. That still puts motorsports ahead of the exhalted "Big Three"
of  baseball, football and basketball (which are ranked in that order in the survey). And even
greyhound racing is sneaking up on basketball...
BOB JOHNSON
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blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #691 on: November 11, 2012, 11:05:57 AM »
Some photos for the last article...first one is from Langhorne in 1966...a bad day for the McClure team and driver Bill Strosahl, (from threewides vault. Stan Tomosko photo)
second one is of "Wild" Bill Strosahl leading Don Diffendorf over the stripe @ Shangri-La (George Barrs photo from Shangri-La Racing News)
BOB JOHNSON
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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #692 on: November 12, 2012, 07:09:04 AM »
Bob,
Thanks for the latest story and pic.  Does anyone know or remember why Dutch and the Turner Bros weren't regulars at Shangri-la in 1967? I don't doubt the truth of the article, but it seems odd to me that they wouldn't have been at Shangri-la most weeks.  I do know that they won Langhorne that year, so maybe they were more focused on that and only ran 1-2 nights per week.

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #693 on: November 12, 2012, 05:35:50 PM »
Bob,
Thanks for the latest story and pic.  Does anyone know or remember why Dutch and the Turner Bros weren't regulars at Shangri-la in 1967? I don't doubt the truth of the article, but it seems odd to me that they wouldn't have been at Shangri-la most weeks.  I do know that they won Langhorne that year, so maybe they were more focused on that and only ran 1-2 nights per week.
From looking at old results, Dutch raced Fulton alot on Saturday nights in 1967 instead of Shangri-la.  Fulton started running some Saturday night shows that year with an occassional Sunday night 100 lapper placed into the schedule.

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #694 on: November 12, 2012, 09:11:47 PM »
Bob,
Thanks for the latest story and pic.  Does anyone know or remember why Dutch and the Turner Bros weren't regulars at Shangri-la in 1967? I don't doubt the truth of the article, but it seems odd to me that they wouldn't have been at Shangri-la most weeks.  I do know that they won Langhorne that year, so maybe they were more focused on that and only ran 1-2 nights per week.
From looking at old results, Dutch raced Fulton alot on Saturday nights in 1967 instead of Shangri-la.  Fulton started running some Saturday night shows that year with an occassional Sunday night 100 lapper placed into the schedule.


I think FULTON had a better PURSE. Don't quote me on that, but correct me if I am wrong.

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #695 on: November 13, 2012, 01:02:50 PM »
Thanks, guys....I never remembered Fulton running on Saturdays (just Sundays), but that might just be the explanation, especially since Fulton was a tiny bit closer to the Turner's Scottsville base.  It might have been the next year (1968) when NEARA was formed and the tracks started cooperating more. What a great era to have been following the Mods. We were so lucky and didn't even realize it at the time!
 

blackjackracing

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #696 on: November 13, 2012, 04:14:28 PM »
Here's the other picture...for some reason I have been having trouble downloading more than one picture...gotta love the interweb!
BOB JOHNSON
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Jay Mooney

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #697 on: November 13, 2012, 06:22:26 PM »
Here's the other picture...for some reason I have been having trouble downloading more than one picture...gotta love the interweb!
The stars and stripes coach of Diff would date this 1971 or '72.  That would mean Graeme Bolia is in the 15.

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #698 on: November 13, 2012, 10:30:40 PM »
Thanks, guys....I never remembered Fulton running on Saturdays (just Sundays), but that might just be the explanation, especially since Fulton was a tiny bit closer to the Turner's Scottsville base.  It might have been the next year (1968) when NEARA was formed and the tracks started cooperating more. What a great era to have been following the Mods. We were so lucky and didn't even realize it at the time!
Fulton actually ran Saturdayís in í68 too.  At least until August of that year.  Then came the switch to Sundayís every week. 

NEARA didnít come on to the scene until í76.

Bub always seemed to be the odd man out when Fulton was a paved track.  Saturday he was up against Oswego and Shangri-la.  Even the Saturday dirt tracks nearby like Waterloo and Watertown were competition in an era when drivers ran both surfaces with the same car.  With the switch to Sunday he was up against Utica-Rome.   Then Sunday's got tougher and tougher as the 70ís wore on and the pavement scene waned.  For those who werenít broke come Sunday, Glenn Donnelly's Weedsport became the  track of choice for many in central NY.

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Re: Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York
« Reply #699 on: November 13, 2012, 10:31:16 PM »
duplicate post.  sorry
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 10:45:31 PM by Jay Mooney »


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