National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum "Promoting the Future by Preserving the Past"
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Richard "Mitch" Smith was born this day in 1930. The 1995 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started racing motor...
12/05/2023

Richard "Mitch" Smith was born this day in 1930. The 1995 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started racing motorcycles in 1945, until it was found out that he was only fifteen. With parental consent, he resumed racing in 1946. After service in the Marine Corps, he raced jalopies in his native Pennsylvania at Goldmine, Hilltop, Silver Spring and Zellers Grove Speedways. His first championship came at Hilltop Speedway near Lebanon in 1955. Mitch won a pair of 26-hour marathon races at Williams Grove in 1962 and 1963. In 1966, he teamed up with Don and Mary Flack to race their "Flying Tiger", winning 18 super-modified races. He won 15 in 1967 aboard the Reqester Chevrolet and claimed a track championship at Port Royal. 1968 saw 20 wins, and 1969 resulted in 18 victories in his first year with the Gary Wasson #5 team. The "Linglestown Leadfoot" added 22 wins in 1970, but it was 1971 when he would impress on the national stage. With USAC visiting the east, they allowed a few temporary permits to promoters for local drivers. The locals were given little chance to succeed, but Mitch didn't take notice. With the "Larry (Dickson) and Gary (Bettenhausen)" show in full effect for USAC, it was the "Mitch Smith" show on June 19 at Williams Grove, as he set new one-lap and ten-lap USAC records. He repeated those records on July 17 at Selinsgrove and took a second feature. The "hat trick" came at the "Ted Horn-Bill Schindler Memorial at Williams Grove on September 25. It was his most impressive win of all. After hooking a rut and coming to a stop on lap six, he climbed all the way back through the field to win by 3.5 seconds over that year's USAC champ, Bettenhausen. It was a great year for Mitch that saw 31 wins including two with the ARDC midgets. He was also Selinsgrove and Susquehanna track champion. Mitch's second championship at Port Royal came in 1977, at a track where he claimed the "Tuscarora 50" three times (1968-70). His last race was also at the Port in Al Hamilton's #77 in 1978. He was also inducted into the York County Racing Club Hall of Fame in 1985. Mitch passed away in 1987.

Cavino "Kelly" Petillo was born this day in 1903 in Pittsburgh. The 2009 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee moved...
12/05/2023

Cavino "Kelly" Petillo was born this day in 1903 in Pittsburgh. The 2009 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee moved with his emigrant family to California, where they operated a grocery store. A bit of a troublemaker as a youth, fortunately, Kelly found racing. He won a Bakersfield to Los Angeles endurance race, and started racing at Legion Ascot in 1929. In 1931, he cracked the top ten in standings at the legendary track against the best competition in the country. In 1932, he made his first start at Indianapolis. The same year, he was tabbed to drive the famed Sparks and Weirick "Poison Lil'" and picked up his first win at Legion Ascot in August. He would win three more that season for Joe Marks and finish eighth in the Pacific Southwest point race. He rose to fourth in points in 1933, and in 1934, struck out for the Midwest, winning at Jungle Park (IN), Dayton (OH), and putting his car on the pole at Indy. Late in the season, he returned west, winning at Ascot and a 200-miler at Mines Field Speedway. He was again fourth in Pacific Coast points and seventh in the Mid-West. 1935 would prove to be his best as a driver. After winning a handful of early shows at Ascot, he scraped up enough to build his own Indy car. With an Offenhauser engine provided on credit, he set quick time, but was DQed for a fueling issue. After repairing his engine after a failure, he started 22nd and won the race. Additional wins at Minneapolis and Langhorne (PA) spurred him to a National AAA driving championship. He would compete in nine Indy 500's, his last in 1941. Kelly's questionable character caught up to him. He did not deal with fame and fortune well, and spent time behind bars. He passed away in 1970.

Jim Hurtubise was born this day in New York in 1932. The 1993 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee raced modified s...
12/05/2023

Jim Hurtubise was born this day in New York in 1932. The 1993 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee raced modified stock cars, beginning in 1951, and continuing in his Coast Guard service years in Florida. After returning to race in New York, he then moved to California to race with the CRA in 1957, finishing tenth in points. The following year, he moved up to fourth in the standings, and also placed fourth in IMCA points in the midwest. In 1959, he finished second in the IMCA race, but shocked many by winning his first USAC championship car outing in Sacramento. He was the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in 1960, setting one and four-lap track records. He also finished third in USAC Eastern sprint car points and fifth in the midwest circuit that year, thrilling fans with his exciting style on the track. Wins started coming in 1961, and he was second to Parnelli Jones in the USAC National Sprint Car chase. He was third in 1962 and fifth in 1963. A horrific crash in a championship race in 1964 left him with burns and threatened his life, but his determination brought him back to championship dirt car events. He stayed away from the dirt, which became painful after his injuries, until late in his career. "Herk" qualified for a total of ten Indy 500 events. He retired with 18 USAC National Sprint Car wins, three USAC stock cars wins, and a win at the 1966 NASCAR Atlanta 500 (without power steering). He passed away in 1989.

Dick Jordan was born December 2, 1944 in Indianapolis. The 2008 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee attended races...
12/02/2023

Dick Jordan was born December 2, 1944 in Indianapolis. The 2008 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee attended races with his parents in the early 1950's and was bitten by the racing bug. He saw his first Indy 500 in 1956, He was hired at USAC in December of 1968, and worked tirelessly for the organization for fifty years. His p.r. work included publicizing its drivers, series and races, developing relationships with journalists around the country, maintaining extensive statistics, writing race reports and mentoring young racers in how to deal effectively with the media. He was named USAC's vice president of communications in 2000. Dick's schedule routinely had him at more than 100 races a year. It's believed he witnessed more USAC events than anyone. He has been called "USAC's greatest champion". In 2018, he received the Jim Chapman Award for excellence in Motorsports p.r. He is also a member of the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. Through highs and lows that USAC went through in the 50 years Dick was involved, he was a solid foundation. He was a fountain of information, responsible for recording historical statistics, promoting the series through the media, and much, much more through the years. It's hard to imagine that any journalist distributed more press releases than Dick did! Dick passed away in 2019.

Earl Cooper was born this day in Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1886. The 2017 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee found ...
12/02/2023

Earl Cooper was born this day in Broken Bow, Nebraska in 1886. The 2017 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee found a job as a teenage mechanic with C.H. Letcher after his family's move to California. He and Letcher built a one-cylinder Cadillac for a five-mile race in San Jose. Letcher was the driver, but Earl wanted in as well. He borrowed a car from a San Jose woman, and passed Letcher late in the race to win at the age of 17. He was promptly fired. Undeterred, he hooked up with riding mechanic Reeves Dutton and proceeded to tear up the California "Grape Fruit Circuit." He made his AAA debut on a 10.9-mile road coarse in Alameda County, California, finishing an impressive second in the nine-lap event. After a string of victories in what was considered inferior equipment, Earl was invited to join Harry Stutz's factory team in Los Angeles. He earned his first AAA win in a road race in 1912 at Tacoma, Washington. In 1913, the "Earl of California" reeled off five AAA wins in six starts. He was a national champion. A severe accident late that year sidelined him for a while, and he made limited starts in 1914, including his first start at the Indy 500 (he was a relief driver in 1913). He was back in form in 1915, picking up five AAA wins in 14 starts and another national driving title. His wins came on dirt and pavement, as well as ovals and road courses. Three second place finishes came on board tracks. Stutz pulled back operations in 1916, and Earl made 11 starts. 1917 would see him back on top with four wins and his third national championship. 1918 saw a series of retirements for Earl. In typical racer fashion, he often returned to race here and there. Late in 1921, he filled in for Joe Thomas and won a 150-mile board track event at Fresno. He returned to race in earnest late in 1922. He led much of the 1924 Indy 500, had to pit twice with blown tires, and came back to checker second. He was second in the AAA standings that year. His last full season with AAA came in 1926. He "retired" but in 1927 raced in the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, placing third. He stayed involved in racing in his retirement working for a team manager for Marmon and Studebaker, building cars, and serving as a steward on the Mobil Economy Run. He passed away in 1965.

Bud Carson was born this day in 1926. Looking for family-fun for his children, the 2003 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame...
12/02/2023

Bud Carson was born this day in 1926. Looking for family-fun for his children, the 2003 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee got into the Soap Box Derby. He ended up creating the largest Soap Box Derby in the world! His success caused drag racing enthusiasts to approach him in 1955 about building a track on the State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. He got it approved and built and within a few years, hosted one of the first NHRA events. With Tom Fitzpatrick, he turned to the oval racing at the fairgrounds. With wife Mary, he formed MAR-CAR to promote races there. When the Lavely family left Taft Stadium, also in Oklahoma City, MAR-CAR promoted both entities on alternate weeks. By 1964, the cars were too fast, and crowds too large for Taft Stadium, so all events were moved to the fairgrounds 1/4 and 1/2-miles. By 1967, Bud was promoting IMCA events as well as his local modified and super-modified shows in addition to motorcycle and midget specials. By the mid-1970's, the costs on a weekly basis were too much, and Bud and Mary stepped away to run specials for a while. In 1986, the fairgrounds turned to Bud again with crowds and car counts in demise. MAR-CAR turned things around, and Bud was credited with saving racing in Oklahoma City. Those who worked for Bud knew the operations of every employee. That included Jack Miller, who before he got behind the microphone, was required to do everyone's job including signing in at the pit gate, flagging, and even working with the medics. Bud was also the founder and first president of the NCRA series, which spurred the careers of drivers like Emmett Hahn and Harold Leep. He would continue promoting until his passing in 1991.

Floyd "Pop" Dreyer was born this day in Chil¬licothe, Ohio in 1898. As a youth, the 1990 National Sprint Car Hall of Fam...
11/30/2023

Floyd "Pop" Dreyer was born this day in Chil¬licothe, Ohio in 1898. As a youth, the 1990 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee en¬joyed a brief stint as a horseman before throwing himself into motorcycle racing. He had a successful career racing for the Indian factory team, winning numerous events and setting several American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) speed re¬cords. In 1925, however, Pop got married and withdrew from motorcycle racing. He was a good welder and the lure of big money to be had as a welder in the Ok¬lahoma oil fields was too much for him. Pop began the westward trek with his wife and three children, although they only got as far as Indianapolis before their money ran out. While in Indy, Dreyer met up with Fred Duesenberg and proceeded to land a job in the Duesenberg brothers' racing shop. Some of Pop's most difficult metal work in the late 1920' s was in mak¬ing the elaborate aluminum intercooler, the device first used effectively by Frank Lockhart. In fact, Dreyer helped Myron Stevens with the bodywork on Lockhart's ill-fated V-16 land-speed-record car. Fol¬lowing the close of the Duesenberg racing shop, Pop opened his own metal working and welding establishment. He made manifolds for Arthur Chevrolet who built and raced Fronty Fords. Pop became a leader in race car design and manufactur¬ing as he pioneered in the areas of driver headrests, overhead conversions for Ford blocks and magnesium wheels.
During the 1930' s, his business in¬cluded the manufacture of race car com¬ponent parts, complete sprint cars and midgets, and small single-cylinder cars for children (which sold for $495). It is said that more race cars were built by him than by any of his contemporaries, including the entire front row of one year's In¬dianapolis 500-mile race. Pop's most not¬able sprint cars were Clayton "Duke" Nalon's Dreyer which won the 1938 American Automobile Association (AAA) Eastern title and Jackie Holmes' Dreyer which won the 1949 Midwestern AAA title. Besides Holmes, others who had dri¬ven for Floyd "Pop" Dreyer were Tony Willman, Bill Schindler, Tony Bet¬tenhausen, Everett Saylor, Andy Linden, Joe James, Travis "Spider" Webb, Elmer George and Ed Elisian. During World War II, Pop did sub-con¬tracting work for the Allison division of General Motors. He built manifolds for testing and experimental work with air¬craft engines. During the 1950's, racing had gotten increasingly expensive and competitive. Pop sold everything, includ¬ing his patterns. He soon returned to his motorcycle roots, however, when he became Honda's ninth dealership in the United States and their first east of the Mississippi River. He passed away in 1989.

Bob Weikert was born this day in 1929. The 1998 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee was a huge race fan in central...
11/29/2023

Bob Weikert was born this day in 1929. The 1998 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee was a huge race fan in central PA, taking his family to Lincoln. In 1971, he decided he was going to buy a sprint car. When driver Richard Lupo crashed his Edmunds car, Bob started a long relationship with car builder Floyd Trevis. Lupo won the first two times out at Jennerstown. At the end of 1971, Bob hooked up with Kenny Weld. The pair clicked instantly, and a rivalry between Weld and Jan Opperman raged in the Keystone State and beyond. Bob and Kenny won the 1972 Knoxville Nationals and repeated in 1973 with a wing on "Old Blue." They also swept the Williams Grove National Open both of those years, and over a three-year span won over 100 times, winning three Williams Grove titles, as well as championships at Lincoln and Penn National. On a July night in 1972, Kenny was beating them at Lincoln, while his brother Greg was in another Weikert entry beating USAC at Jennerstown. Paul Pitzer helped form a two-car team which accumulated 42 wins in 1974. As Kenny turned more to modifieds (with some of Bob's backing), Pitzer carried the driver chores through the end of the 1970's with much success. Pitzer worked full-time so other drivers would fill in, including Dub May, Thad Dosher, Kramer Williamson, Bobby Allen, Randy Wolfe, and Keith Kauffman, who beat the WoO at Williams Grove and East Bay. A young Bobby Davis Jr. was hired at the end of 1982, and he would storm central PA for 26 wins in 1983. George Ferguson, Jac Haudenschild and Smokey Snellbaker saw time in the car before one of the best combinations in sprint car history was made with the hiring of Doug Wolfgang. With mechanics Davey Brown Sr. and Jr., they won the Knoxville Nationals in 1984 and 1985 and compiled an incredible record. The Williams Grove National Open ('84-'86), Tuscarora 50 ('84-'86), Kings Royal ('85), and Sharon Nationals ('84-'86) was all included in a relationship that accumulated close to 150 victories in less than four years. Bob had many greats in his car after the run with Wolfgang including Ron Shuman, Kenny Jacobs, Randy Kinser, Rickey Hood, Jimmy Sills, Lee Brewer Jr., Jeff Swindell, Lance Dewease, Kenny Adams, Dave Blaney, Rocky Hodges, Andy Hillenburg, Dave Calaman, Danny Smith, Kevin Huntley, Terry McCarl, Len Krautheim III, Jeff Shepard, Randy Hannagan, Greg Coverdale, Kevin Frey, Tim Dietz, Jim Nace, Mike Lutz, Judd Shepard, Jeff Thomas, Mike Walter, Bill Brian Jr. and Wolfe and Kauffman again. Bob passed away in 2002.

Happy Birthday Lee Kunzman! A native of Guttenburg, Iowa, the 2006 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started his...
11/29/2023

Happy Birthday Lee Kunzman! A native of Guttenburg, Iowa, the 2006 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started his racing career on the dragstrip. He moved to stock cars, winning championships at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids and with the Cedar Valley group. After seeing sprint cars, he set out on the IMCA trail winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1967. He was second to Jerry Richert in 1968. His debut in USAC came late in 1968, and his first Indy race was for JC Agajanian in 1969 at Phoenix. His first USAC midget win came at Davenport in 1968, and he won eight times with the series the following year, including a victory at the Houston Astrodome. He won the "Night Before the 500" at IRP in 1970. A serious injury that season at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri sidelined Lee for the rest of the season. His first race back in 1971 saw a midget win in Cincinnati. He then qualified for the Indy 500, running 17th. In July, he would win his first USAC National Sprint Car race at Reading. He notched five wins with USAC in 1972, finishing third in points. He battled all year in 1973 with Rollie Beale, ultimately finishing second in the standings. Beale would need to utilize three different cars in Eldora's finale, but Lee and R.B. Racing Associates won the owner's championship. An Indy car crash while tire testing that fall in California, sidelined Lee another two and a half years. he concentrated on Indy cars from there. His best finishes in the Indy 500 were sevenths in both 1973 and 1977. After his retirement from driving, Lee became general manager for Ron Hemelgarn Racing, putting dozens of cars in the Indy 500 and winning in 1996 with Buddy Lazier. The team also won the IRL title in 2000.

Happy Birthday Terry McCarl! The second generation driver watched father Lenard race and build race cars as a child in K...
11/28/2023

Happy Birthday Terry McCarl! The second generation driver watched father Lenard race and build race cars as a child in Keosaqua and Des Moines, Iowa. He raced nationally as a teenager, but not in sprint cars. The 2017 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee was racing on roller skates, and became quite successful. If he was going to follow his idols at Knoxville and elsewhere in sprint cars, he would have to do it on his own. He took a long shot by calling car owner Daryl Arend in 1985, and the result was Rookie of the Year honors at Knoxville. The following year, he won three straight features at Knoxville, and he was off and running. In the early 1990's, he was looking for something different, and hooked up with Country Builders Construction in northern California to run in the "Golden State." The team would even spend a year (1992) running with the World of Outlaws. Terry has operated his own team for most of his career, racking up over 200 of his over 300 feature wins with the family operation. His first of seven Knoxville track championships came in 1999, after finishing second on four occasions. He has eight titles at Huset's Speedway and is the all-time leading feature winner there. He is a five-time winner of the Knoxville 360 Nationals, and has won the East Bay Raceway (FL) "King of the 360's" four times. Though he is often thought of as a regional driver, Terry has competed on both the WoO and All Star tours. He's one of the few drivers to have won with the Outlaws at Knoxville, Eldora Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway. In fact, he's won WoO shows in ten states. He has 312 career wins at 68 tracks and 20 sanctions in 21 states and Australia.

Happy Birthday to harmonica playing photographer Max Dolder!  The 2023 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee caught ...
11/28/2023

Happy Birthday to harmonica playing photographer Max Dolder! The 2023 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee caught the racing bug in his native Iowa at Newton Speedway and then the Knoxville Raceway. After attending college in Colorado, he made a permanent climate change and moved to Florida. He drove a couple of seasons, but found a love in taking photos. His visits to Golden Gate Speedway and East Bay Raceway, where he became the official photographer in the early 1980’s. He was also the photographer for the Florida State Fairgrounds from 1984 until its closing in 1988. That’s when he started traveling the country chasing sprint cars. He set up a mobile photo lab wherever he went. Money from photo sales funded his next race. Max’s photos adorned the biggest publications: Open Wheel, National Speed Sport News, Circle Track, Sprint Car & Midget and many more. Starting in 1985, he developed a love for the annual “Little 500” in Anderson, Indiana. Max is also a Hall of Fame inductee of that event (2015).

John Shillington "Jack" Prince was born this day in 1859 in Coventry, England. The 2003 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame...
11/27/2023

John Shillington "Jack" Prince was born this day in 1859 in Coventry, England. The 2003 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee found himself as the "high wheel" bicycle world champion by age 21. Three years later, he left for the United States to represent English bicycle makers. Both individually, and as part of a five-man team, his winning ways followed him. He promoted high-banked wooden speedways for bicycle racing, both outdoors and indoors. The invention of the motorcycle and automobile would change his life at the end of the 20th century, however. By 1909, he had built tracks for motorcycle racing from a 1/4-mile to a 1/3-mile. He was contacted by European mechanical engineer Fred Moscovics, and the result was his building of the first board track for automobiles at Play Del Ray, California at a cost of $75,000. On April 8, 1910, Barney Oldfield turned a lap on the mile track of 99.39 miles per hour in front of a crowd of 4,000. The board track was a smashing success and Jack set out to build another. Tracks would follow in Oakland, and then in Chicago in 1911. Later, board tracks would follow in Omaha, Des Moines, Baltimore and Beverly Hills. Jack was definitely a showman, and made sure the media was in on every aspect, from construction to the racing. His designs were unique in every track he built. The "triple radius corner" and the "Searles Spiral Easement Curve" in Des Moines and Beverly Hills, respectively, brought real engineering to the tracks. He worked with Art Pillsbury until his last (and 17th) board track was constructed in Atlantic City in 1926. It was his fastest. Frank Lockhart had the fastest lap ever there on May 7, 1927, clocking an average speed of 147.229 miles per hour on the mile and a half track. Frank's pole speed at Indy that year was 120.100 mph! Jack also built the 12,000 seat grandstands at Legion Ascot in 1924, and its first turn stands in 1927. He passed away later that year.

Swayze and Birxley Vernon helped Santa turn on  the Holiday Lights Friday night at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame ...
11/26/2023

Swayze and Birxley Vernon helped Santa turn on the Holiday Lights Friday night at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum. Kinsley and Addison VanderVeer are the kids, and Nicki VanderVeer is the elf with Santa in this photo.

Jimmy Wilburn was born this day in 1908. The 1994 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee raced up and down the west c...
11/25/2023

Jimmy Wilburn was born this day in 1908. The 1994 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee raced up and down the west coast early in his career. He dominated so much that writer Walt Woestman dubbed him "Ho Hum" Wilburn. He moved to Indianapolis in 1936, driving for Ralph "Speedy" Helm. In 1938, he was aboard the Morgan Miller #34, and was crowned CSRA champion. He would go on to win three straight CSRA championships while the series feuded with AAA. Along with Gus Schrader and Emory Collins, Jimmy was by now dubbed as part of the "Big Three" in the big cars. In 1941, he won IMCA events at Reading, and twice at Des Moines. After World War II, he won another title with CSRA in 1946, swept all four IMCA events at the Iowa State Fair, and competed in his only Indy 500. It was during this time that Jimmy teamed with mechanic Harry "Barney" Wimmer, and the partnership became virtually unbeatable. In 1947, he took another CSRA title and was second in IMCA points. In 1948, a serious crash in Oskaloosa, Iowa left him unconscious for weeks, but he would return to finish third in IMCA points a year later. His final CSRA crown came in 1950, his last season as a driver. His career ended with 109 IMCA wins and 73 with the CSRA (a series record). He passed away in 1984 after retiring to Florida.

Jerry Richert was born this day in 1932. The 1991 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started driving modifieds at...
11/25/2023

Jerry Richert was born this day in 1932. The 1991 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee started driving modifieds at the age of 16, and started driving the Auto Repair Service #63 in 1958. He won his first feature with IMCA at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City aboard the Bill MacDonald Offy in 1961. He finished fourth in IMCA points that season. When not racing with IMCA, Jerry drove for Ted Ready, and won the Knoxville Nationals in his ex-Bill MacDonald "Offy Killer" in 1962 after starting 14th. Jerry started a run of four IMCA titles in five years starting in 1964. He ran second in 1967 and 1970. He won fourteen times with IMCA in 1964, 11 times in 1966, six times in 1967, nine times in 1968, and six times in 1970. Jerry finished second three times at the prestigious "Little 500" in Anderson, Indiana. Spoils later in Jerry's career included a track championship at Cedar Lake Speedway near New Richmond, Wisconsin, numerous wins at North Starr Speedway, and a win at the National Cheater's Day event in Sioux Falls. His last big win came in 1980 at the Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa. He was inducted into the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame in 1986 and the "Little 500" Hall of Fame in 2007. Jerry passed away in 1998.

Paul Fromm was born this day in 1903. In 1932, Glendale, California, car owner had driver Bill Hart in his Valley Machin...
11/25/2023

Paul Fromm was born this day in 1903. In 1932, Glendale, California, car owner had driver Bill Hart in his Valley Machine Special #80 on the American Automobile Association (AAA) Pacific Southwest championship tour. The 2000 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee's car ran in the 'B' class at the American Legion Speedway in southern California. One year later, Rex Mays drove Fromm's #21 Hispano Special, which was a longish car with a big 358-c.i. Hisso engine. That year, which was Paul's breakthrough year as an owner, Mays finished second to Al Gordon and his Art Sparks/Paul Weirick¬prepared machine in the AAA Pacific Coast point championship. Many Miller owners at the American Legion-run track were upset that an upstart with a Hisso was regularly defeating such veterans as Ernie Triplett and others. Before season's end, Fromm had formed an alliance with Model-B Ford man Ed Winfield and the car became known as the Winfield Special. Rex Mays won the 1934 AAA Pacific Coast championship for the Eagle Rock iceman and engine builder Ed Winfield. The red and cream Gilmore Special carried car number 2, reflecting Mays' runner-up status in points a season earlier. Behind Mays were Roberts, Gordon, Kelly Petillo, Harris lnsinger, and Conners. Paul passed away in 1985.

Bob Hogle was born this day in 1932. The 2001 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee began jalopy racing in 1956 in H...
11/24/2023

Bob Hogle was born this day in 1932. The 2001 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee began jalopy racing in 1956 in Huntington Beach, California. Jalopies gave way to modified stock cars and Bob drove them at Balboa Stadium in San Diego. In 1959, he made his sprint car debut at Ascot. He also made two NASCAR Grand National starts that season. He ran regularly with the CRA in 1961 and 1962, winning twice at Ascot and once at Manzanita in Phoenix in '61, when he finished fifth in points. In 1963, he settled into the Morales Brothers "Tamale Wagon" and won the CRA championship on the strength of nine wins. He led the series in wins in 1964 with 14, but settled for second in points behind Hal Minyard. Hogle was a true sportsman, and one can point to his help of the careers of Jimmy Oskie, Mike Mosley and Billy Vukovich Jr. as proof. His success continued through the '60's as he racked up numerous wins including the 100-lap event at Ascot in 1967, and he was a perfect 15 for 15 in wins in super-modified action in San Diego that same year. In 1968, he won another championship and 11 features with CRA with the Morales Brothers. He added a USAC win at Ascot, as well as the 200-lap Pacific Coast Championship there. Bob's last CRA win came in 1971 before his retirement in 1973. He retired on top in all-time in CRA feature victories with 63. He was always known for his honesty and colorful opinions! Bob passed away in 2020.

On this day in 1901, Walter E. Bull was born in Manhattan. Walter worked in race publicity and announced at Cross Bay Sp...
11/23/2023

On this day in 1901, Walter E. Bull was born in Manhattan. Walter worked in race publicity and announced at Cross Bay Speedway in Queen's before starting Illustrated Speedway News on May 7, 1938. The weekly publication touted itself as independent of any organization, and totally devoted to racing. What started as a nickel publication (or $1 a year), soon became $2 a year for a subscription. The midgets rivaled the "Big Cars" for popularity in the late '30's and early '40's, and the readers voted annually on a "King Doodlebug," the most popular midget driver of the year. Covers of the newspaper became popular, and each year, Illustrated Speedway News would produce a bound collection of the covers entitled "Breathtakers of the Speedway." Walter was also known for his generosity in helping injured drivers. He was on the committee for Vern "Flip" Fritch's benefit after a crash that left him paralyzed. Employing many of racing's best journalists, Walter ran Illustrated Speedway News into the 1970's. He passed away in 1978.

Ira Vail was born this day in 1893. The 1993 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee was racing motorcycles by 1910, b...
11/22/2023

Ira Vail was born this day in 1893. The 1993 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee was racing motorcycles by 1910, but soon was running on four wheels, and was known as "Cotter Pin." With owner Bill Pickens, Ira barnstormed the nation with AAA in the early 1900's. He set an official 100-mile record in Bakersfield, California. Of course, he was the only one still running at the end! He and Barney Oldfield also barnstormed an event in Cuba, and was good on boards and bricks, though he was best on the dirt. Ira was one of the first drivers to contract with accessory companies doing testimonials. He made a good profit at it. He was also good at reselling his cars for a profit. He made his way into a Tommy Milton/Harry Miller engine deal, and won at Forth Worth and Dallas in successive days, taking home $9,500. He was a winner around the country, but specialized at the tracks in Flemington, New Jersey and Mineola, New York. In 1925, the New York State Fair board asked Ira to take over the promotions at Syracuse's national championship event. He would promote the mile through the 1960's. He promoted under the AAA and USAC banners, and also at other east coast venues including Mineola, Rhinebeck, New York, Essex Junction, Vermont. Ira ran in five Indianapolis 500's, finishing in the top ten on four occasions. He passed away in 1979.

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1 Sprint Capital Place
Knoxville, IA
50138

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Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

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