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Virginia International Raceway, Danville, VA


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#1 David M. Kane

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 22:35

:kiss:

I had the real pleasure of racing my March 76B at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. It is a mega circuit that is both fast and technically challenging. The last time I raced there was in the mid-70s in a Palliser/Winklemann Formula Ford. It was much more fun in a faster car and much more of a rush...my brain was very respectful of the velocities involved.

Does anyone have any memories of the early days in the 50s, 60s and 70s? I can only imagine a F5000 and the like on this track!

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#2 Frank S

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 22:48

In case you haven't seen Nick England's site



edit: speling

#3 HistoricMustang

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 23:05

This pretty much says it all:

Where Carol Shelby is quoted as saying, "One lap
here is like a hundred at Watkins Glen."

Been able to do laps at VIR with HSR and NASA and they were very enjoyable.

Turn one is memorable and up the backside toward "oak tree" was very interesting with the car loading and unloading for what seemed like eternity!

Henry

#4 ensign14

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 08:18

Danville, Virginia...wasn't that the hometown of Wendell Scott? A real barrier-breaker in the sport, a black man racing in redneck country throughout the 60s and early 70s. And a NASCAR winner to boot.

#5 Scribe06

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 09:25

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
This pretty much says it all:

Where Carol Shelby is quoted as saying, "One lap
here is like a hundred at Watkins Glen."


Considering that Carroll Shelby had yet to race at Watkins Glen when he made that remark....

#6 HistoricMustang

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 09:55

Originally posted by ensign14
Danville, Virginia...wasn't that the hometown of Wendell Scott? A real barrier-breaker in the sport, a black man racing in redneck country throughout the 60s and early 70s. And a NASCAR winner to boot.


http://www.thunderpl...t34/history.htm


Henry

#7 David M. Kane

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 12:08

:cool:

The Shelby comment is doubly interesting in that he was talking about the "old" layout, as the current GP track hadn't been built yet. While the old layout is what NASCAR use, it's not anywhere as neat as the newer full GP circuit that the IRL and DP recently used. Having driven both circuits, I'd have to say he's not totally crazy. What I would say is that I now put in up there with Road America, Mont Tremblant and Laguna Seca in terms of challenge, in terms of fun and in terms of my favorites. The Glen is the Glen, I just love the whole experience, the town, the people, the weather, the landscape...especially the history.

A guy shouldn't have to choose!

Yes, Danville is the home of Wendell Scott. Talk about a talent and one tough dude, how he managed to do what he did in those times is stunning!

#8 ensign14

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 13:18

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


http://www.thunderpl...t34/history.htm


Henry

From "American Racing Classics", a short-lived series of hardbound magazines on NASCAR history. An invaluable resource for the lesser known NASCAR corners.

#9 petefenelon

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 13:47

Originally posted by David M. Kane
:kiss:

I had the real pleasure of racing my March 76B at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend.


Great to hear that you're competing again!

#10 JacnGille

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 15:23

I have a bunch of laps there in the GTR race sim. :drunk:

#11 Lotus23

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 23:13

Made the trek there from Augusta, GA to run the 23 in an SCCA National in early 66. I remember it was a real "driver's course": quite challenging, esp the tricky downhill esses. Not a whole lotta time to relax during a typical lap.

Ran the last race on Sunday with the Fast Boys, incl many of the big-bucks guys from the redoubtable Northeast Region. Dr Dick Thompson in a Ford GT40 lapped me toward the end of the race.

That was the last time I visited there. Would be fun to see it again.

#12 Rob G

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 23:17

Well darn, I was there as a spectator last Saturday. I would have enjoyed meeting another TNFer.

I never even knew VIR existed until I saw a sign for it about 5 or 6 years ago while on a trip from Raleigh to Ohio. Route 501 just happened to be a road I frequently used to get me up there.

#13 HistoricMustang

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 23:28

Originally posted by Lotus23
Made the trek there from Augusta, GA to run the 23 in an SCCA National in early 66. I remember it was a real "driver's course": quite challenging, esp the tricky downhill esses. Not a whole lotta time to relax during a typical lap.

Ran the last race on Sunday with the Fast Boys, incl many of the big-bucks guys from the redoubtable Northeast Region. Dr Dick Thompson in a Ford GT40 lapped me toward the end of the race.

That was the last time I visited there. Would be fun to see it again.


Lets make a date and we will do her again in the ole girl. From two years back at "Oak Tree".

Henry

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#14 David M. Kane

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 23:33

:clap:

We're doing the SVRA event at Road Atlanta next weekend. Anyone there as a spectator or as a participant is welcome to stop by and visit, just look for a Black transporter and Black rig. Look for #31 Lotus 22 and #01 March 76B.

We'll be back at /viR next June.

#15 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 01:27

Dave, I am so pleased that you are driving again, and enjoying yourself in the process.

As I lived in Richmond as a child, and attended college in Charlottesville, I had many occasions in the era of 1967-1973 to attend races at the old VIR.

My principal memories are of the open and primitive nature of the circuit (as was the norm of that time) and the cars powering through the up and down hill esses. There were some very good drivers and great cars competing at VIR during that time. The pit complex was fairly ramshackle with everything accessible to the patrons. This was the sort of place that you could walk up to any driver or team person, and discuss almost anything.

The old pagoda always looked as though it would not survive another winter, but was always there the next time looking a bit worse for wear.

I have not had the occasion to visit the "new" VIR but it sounds like a first rate facility today.

#16 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 18:35

:cool:

The Shelby comment is doubly interesting in that he was talking about the "old" layout, as the current GP track hadn't been built yet. While the old layout is what NASCAR use, it's not anywhere as neat as the newer full GP circuit that the IRL and DP recently used. Having driven both circuits, I'd have to say he's not totally crazy. What I would say is that I now put in up there with Road America, Mont Tremblant and Laguna Seca in terms of challenge, in terms of fun and in terms of my favorites. The Glen is the Glen, I just love the whole experience, the town, the people, the weather, the landscape...especially the history.

A guy shouldn't have to choose!

Yes, Danville is the home of Wendell Scott. Talk about a talent and one tough dude, how he managed to do what he did in those times is stunning!


Wendell Scott once shared a car at VIR with Dr. Dick Thompson. Does anyone know the details of that race? Apparently it was a promotional effort to attract NASCAR fans to road racing at the track. I know to this day that the NASCAR teams still do road racing tests at the track.

#17 E1pix

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 21:35

So glad to hear you're having fun, David... and in one of my all-time favorite cars to boot!

What's the lineage of your 76B?

[you might enjoy my '76 pics on the Formula B thread]

#18 David M. Kane

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 00:19

So glad to hear you're having fun, David... and in one of my all-time favorite cars to boot!

What's the lineage of your 76B?

[you might enjoy my '76 pics on the Formula B thread]


It's now back in CA with a new owner. It was 76B/9, the ex-Tom Gloy car.

#19 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:38

The quote from Carroll Shelby to the effect that 'one-lap of VIR is worth 100-laps at Watkins Glen' is amusing. Carroll Shelby never raced at Watkins Glen -- ever. I doubt therefore that Carroll would have made the statement. Whether he did or not, both circuits are magnificent. I have raced at both and each is challenging and each located in beautiful surroundings. Everyone is entitled to their favorites and I don't dispute one's preference one way or the other. I do dispute that Shelby ever made such a statement.

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#20 E1pix

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:09

It's now back in CA with a new owner. It was 76B/9, the ex-Tom Gloy car.

Thanks David, I knew that car in its day. :)

#21 ggnagy

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 00:42

Wendell Scott once shared a car at VIR with Dr. Dick Thompson. Does anyone know the details of that race? Apparently it was a promotional effort to attract NASCAR fans to road racing at the track. I know to this day that the NASCAR teams still do road racing tests at the track.


Best resource for information still seems to be Nick England's VIR History page. The race you have in mind is the 1966 Trans Am race. For "I was there" information, there is allways TNFer a2zracer.

#22 Nick-Beach

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 19:51

Here's what I know about that infamous Shelby quote about VIR and Watkins Glen:
1) The new VIR owners certainly didn't make it up in 2000 - I first came across it on a 1971 brochure for Richard Hudgins' VIR School of Motor Racing - http://www.virhistor...hool/school.htm
2) When I asked, Richard told me the following in 2001 -
"That quote came from an autographed picture of Shelby that Paul Rembold had in his office at the airport. That was the inscription on the photo with CS signature. Also, I do not remember a date on the photo, but it certainly could of been done anytime up to 1969 as that is when Paul Rembold showed me this photo and recommended that the quote be used in the brochure."
3) Paul Rembold was the track owner/operator/promoter from 1960-74. His son remembers the photo and thinks his father may have gotten it from Shelby at some race at Watkins Glen in the 1960's. It certainly sounds to me like something Paul Rembold the promoter would ask Shelby to write on a photo. The photo was evidently discarded along with lots of other VIR memorabilia in the 1980's. Sigh.
4) Did Shelby actually write or say that phrase? - I'd say the evidence is in favor. *Would* Shelby say such a thing even though he hadn't raced at Watkins Glen and only raced once at VIR (in 1957)? Someone else will have to answer that one.
5) Me - I've raced at both VIR and Watkins Glen and love 'em both for similar reasons - fun twisty bits and elevation changes.
6) I don't have anything official to do with the new VIR or their use of any slogans - I'm just an unofficial amateur track historian who's tried to collect and post as much info about VIR's early days as possible.

Cheers,
Nick England
www.virhistory.com

The quote from Carroll Shelby to the effect that 'one-lap of VIR is worth 100-laps at Watkins Glen' is amusing. Carroll Shelby never raced at Watkins Glen -- ever. I doubt therefore that Carroll would have made the statement. Whether he did or not, both circuits are magnificent. I have raced at both and each is challenging and each located in beautiful surroundings. Everyone is entitled to their favorites and I don't dispute one's preference one way or the other. I do dispute that Shelby ever made such a statement.



#23 E1pix

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 21:39

Hi, Nick, still enjoying my friend's Dad's ex-car? (Wands)

We spoke several years ago about this, my friend is still smiling knowing Dad's car is running around. :)

#24 fbarrett

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 22:08

Gee, Carroll Shelby surely wouldn't exaggerate, would he?