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RaceNewYork Historical Perspectives => Moments In Time => Topic started by: Travis Bickle on August 30, 2010, 06:10:28 PM

Title: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Travis Bickle on August 30, 2010, 06:10:28 PM
As a youngster my Dad would take me to the races at the Medford Bowl in Medford Mass. I recall the flagger running across the track waving the green flag to start the race. Anyone recall the seeing this? Where? When?
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: dustydarkwater on September 04, 2010, 12:15:52 PM
Oh, yes. I took some time away from racing back in the mid seventies to the mid eighties and was shocked that the flaggers were starting the races on the flag stand.   The last time I saw a flagger start a race on the track was at Weedsport for what I believe was a 320 Modified series race around 1984 or 1985.  (It may have been sponsored by Ithaca Gun, I could be wrong)
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: oldguy on September 04, 2010, 01:12:13 PM
Flagging from the track was common in the 1950's.  So were injuries and death to the starters.  Can you imagine pit stops on the home stretch at Syracuse, placing race teams in mortal danger?  USAC used to allow that.  Sanity slowly entered the picture and the starters were removed from danger.

More advancement in safety is needed.  I cannot understand the necessity to have workers near/on the racing surface or in the infield.  Lights and radios should have removed them from danger long ago.  If you have seen someone struck by a race car, you know what I am writing about.  I hope you never have to witness something like that.

I have.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Groundpounder on September 16, 2010, 03:40:32 PM
Oxford Plains Soeedway in Maine had the starter on the inside of the frontstretch as late as '87 or '88. 

Last season (or was it '08?) at Seekonk Speedway the flagger started a NEMA feature on the track as kind of a one-off throwback thing.  He ran along the inside of the frontstretch towards turn 4 waving the green until all the cars had gone by, then darted across the track back to the flag stand.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Rocket88 on September 16, 2010, 11:50:11 PM
Harold DeWitt used to flag at Spencer Speedway, from the track,until he was hit and broke his leg.Well, that's what I was told by my fatger. By the time I started going,he fleagged from the "new" starter's stand, but would stand on the track for line-ups. Afer Harold retired, Dick Westfall would do the same thing. The one-way radios put an end to that.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Jay Mooney on October 25, 2010, 09:30:47 PM
Tex Enright was 5 Mile Point Speedway's flagger for a season or two in the mid-70's.  If I remember right, he would start the races by throwing the green from the inside of the front stretch.  After the last car passed him, he'd run across the track and climb up into the starter's stand before the field came back around to complete lap one. 

The Point also had a flagger, I can't remember his name, in '79-'80 who would stand on the inside of the front stretch and start the races by simultaneously waving the green and hopping across the track as the cars came out of four.  He'd make it out of harm's way and up to the fence by the time the cars got to the start finish line.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: JC124 on December 03, 2010, 04:51:36 PM
I believe John Rohner ? was the other flagger at FMP that started races from the track
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Sunfish112 on February 12, 2011, 07:22:31 AM
I remember one time at Canadaiguia Speedway Bobby Watson was down on the track for the line up. He would skip backwards when this one time he tripped and fell on his butt, almost getting run over by a couple drivers, The crowd cheered and laughed at him as his nice white pants were all muddy. Fortunately he didn't get run over.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: grb716 on May 24, 2011, 10:09:12 AM
Middletown, new york.  mid to late 60's. native american flagger would flag from a kitchen table on the inside of the track.  Only went once. That day some one came off the track and took the table out from under him.  Must have happened often cause they had another table ready.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Bobp on February 13, 2013, 08:30:28 PM
This years hangover race at ransomville the starter waved the green flag from the front strech
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: Bowser on April 02, 2013, 08:45:34 AM
When i was young the flagger at Reading Fairgrounds would wave the green flag on the track and stay there while cars were going by on both sides of him... That is totally NUTS
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: BOZO6106 on January 18, 2018, 08:00:32 AM
I know a flagger was hit and killed in the early days at Fulton Raceway in the 60s.
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: bassman on January 08, 2020, 10:42:51 AM
I remember them setting a barrel on a painted "X" at Shangri-La on the front stretch during pace laps and every once in a while a car would clip it and send it flyin LOL!!!
Title: Re: When the flagger was on the track
Post by: leadfoot4 on February 21, 2020, 07:19:27 AM
I remember them setting a barrel on a painted "X" at Shangri-La on the front stretch during pace laps and every once in a while a car would clip it and send it flyin LOL!!!

It's been a LONG time since I attended any races at the now closed, 'Monroe County Fairgrounds', but I seem to recall that they also used a barrel, at the beginning of each race. It was placed at the start/finish line, in such a manner as to keep the cars "in line" until they passed the barrel, then they were free to pass wherever they could.

There was a long rope attached to the barrel, and once the last car in the field passed the barrel, someone in the infield would pull the barrel off the track.
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