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Pre-War AAA Big Car Championship top-tens


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#51 fines

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:32

Originally posted by ensign14
How good was Carey? He seems to have streaked across the scene like a meteor...

Originally posted by fines
About Carey, he was a "stand-on-it guy", always full bore and maximum risk - actually it's a wonder he lived that long... :(

Having had more insight lately, I feel I have done Bob Carey an injustice - he actually was a safe driver, crashing very rarely, and his fatal accident appears to have been down to a steering fault!

Perhaps it is a case of misleading appearances, or just the way he was modelling his "image" (a big thing in those days!), and the fact that some people seem to have nicknamed him "Gorilla"... I'm not sure about his beginnings, but by 1930 he was a regular winner on the Indiana/Ohio circuit that morphed into the AAA Midwestern Championship, alongside drivers like Mauri Rose and Howdy Wilcox. That is about the same circuit that earlier, under sanctions of URA (United Racing Assoc.) and USARA (United States Auto Racing Assoc.), brought about talents like Wilbur Shaw, Shorty Cantlon and Bill Cummings. Lesser known today, but big starts in their days were also Whiz Sloan, Bill Chittum, Dutch Baumann, Al Miller, Ira Hall and Al Theisen.

Carey was driving for Johnny Vance, Green Engineering and Louis Schneider in the beginning, then Louis Meyer, Leslie Quinn and Frank McLain in his sensational 1932 campaign, when he was virtually unbeatable. Bob's Hoosier friend and sponsor Joe Marks took over the complete Louis Meyer stable in late 1932, and Louis himself was ready to retire to support Carey when the accident happened on Easter Sunday in 1933. Two months earlier, just a week after becoming the first man ever to win a 100-mile dirt track race in less than an hour, Carey had already retired from an Ascot championship race with defective steering... :(

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#52 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:31

On the Gordon White microfilm, there are various bits of the sort of flotsom and jetsam that might fill in a few gaps for Michael; that is, assuming that he does not alredy have that information. While looking for one thing, I always seem to find something else when going through the reels.

There are at least seven reels devoted to AAA sprint cars, of which I have only one, that for 1946/47. This reel also contains information on sanctions during this period in addition to the sprint car material; I have no idea how "pure" the sprint car reels are when it comes to material, since it would/should be sanction sheets, promoter race reports/pay out sheets for each event.

#53 Russ Snyder

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 19:22

very interesting thread.

thanks Michael for the exhaustive research and fact finding that you have brought to the table.

I noticed these drivers listed as multiple winners:

1933-34's East Circuits Johnny Hannon - He appeared to be primed for his 1935 Indy Debut according to these results, winning on 5-12-1935 in langhorne....yet would meet a horrible fate in having a fatal accident on his very first lap of practice! How/why this happened is a mystery. He lost control and pitched over the wall past turn 3.

1931/32's Les Spangler - He won his share of races in 1931/2, only to lose his life in the 1933 Indy 500 with mechanic GL 'monk' Jordan. One of 5 drivers/mechanics to die that year at Indy.

Edited by Russ Snyder, 11 January 2012 - 17:33.


#54 fines

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 15:50

Thanks for the reminder, Don, and no, I haven't got any of the GW reels as of yet, but I'm planning on buying some (and a reader :|) soon. Unfortunately, here in Germany the days still have only 24 hours, and I can't seem to be able to cram eight days into a week, much less thirteen months into a year, otherwise I'd already be gone!;)

Russ, you're making a valid point. There's lots 'n' lots of drivers who have had great careers, but for one reason or another failed to get any Indy recognition. Indy is great, but it's also a double-edged sword: today, many drivers get reduced to their Indy results, like in "raced four times at Indy, best finish 25th". It's so easy to "research"! But it's often forgotten what it took to get an Indy ride in the first place, except for money (yes, Buford, even before Tony George ;)), and some rather mediocre drivers who trundled around the brickyard for years after years are today more "famous" than the solid stars of their time, like Hannon, Spangler, or Bob Sall, to name but a few. Yet "everybody" knows Raul Riganti and Louis Durant!

Also, Indy results alone paint a totally wrong picture about stars like Ernie Triplett, Ira Vail or Billy Winn, who never seemed to be able to buy a piece of luck at the '500', while on the other hand drivers like Cliff Bergere, Jimmy Jackson or Herb Ardinger are Indy "heroes" without much of a record outside of Speedway, Indiana. Post WW2 the situation is little better, with Tommy Hinnershitz being well remembered, but what about the likes of Charlie Musselman, who was once only five laps away from snatching one of Tommy's seven championships?

#55 Russ Snyder

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 16:06

Originally posted by fines
Thanks for the reminder, Don, and no, I haven't got any of the GW reels as of yet, but I'm planning on buying some (and a reader :|) soon. Unfortunately, here in Germany the days still have only 24 hours, and I can't seem to be able to cram eight days into a week, much less thirteen months into a year, otherwise I'd already be gone!;)

Russ, you're making a valid point. There's lots 'n' lots of drivers who have had great careers, but for one reason or another failed to get any Indy recognition. Indy is great, but it's also a double-edged sword: today, many drivers get reduced to their Indy results, like in "raced four times at Indy, best finish 25th". It's so easy to "research"! But it's often forgotten what it took to get an Indy ride in the first place, except for money (yes, Buford, even before Tony George ;)), and some rather mediocre drivers who trundled around the brickyard for years after years are today more "famous" than the solid stars of their time, like Hannon, Spangler, or Bob Sall, to name but a few. Yet "everybody" knows Raul Riganti and Louis Durant!

Also, Indy results alone paint a totally wrong picture about stars like Ernie Triplett, Ira Vail or Billy Winn, who never seemed to be able to buy a piece of luck at the '500', while on the other hand drivers like Cliff Bergere, Jimmy Jackson or Herb Ardinger are Indy "heroes" without much of a record outside of Speedway, Indiana. Post WW2 the situation is little better, with Tommy Hinnershitz being well remembered, but what about the likes of Charlie Musselman, who was once only five laps away from snatching one of Tommy's seven championships?


Michael - what you are saying reminds me of Wally Campbell circa 1950's at Indy, which we have discussed before in diff threads.....My Dad said he was incredible and you could not take your eyes off him at Langhorne or other race's in which he saw Wally run...yet he could not pass his test at Indy due to his "haphazzard broadslide" driving and some officials (Fengler? Hulman?) banned him.

Indy is the jewel of jewels in racing america and Hannon's clearly superior record in 1934-35 is overshadowed by his fatal accident on his test.

I will add that Rex Mays dominated (according to these results) the West Coast for those years as well...yet came up w/o a victory at Indy....go figure?

Edited by Russ Snyder, 11 January 2012 - 17:34.


#56 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 16:25

Michael, you have pretty much summed up the problem with "Indy" -- it keeps blocking out the light for the rest of the story. The over-emphasis on Indianapolis has to be the toad in the road for much of American racing history. The clever way the IMS played the media and the American racing scene, along with the fusing of the IMS and the Contest Board in the late Twenties has skewed the way much of the rest of American racing is viewed: generally as irrelevant.

Unfortunately, the Church of the IMS is very strong and tolerates little dissent in the worship of The Speedway. Indeed, the IMS acolytes can be a surly, unforgiving bunch to deal with, brooking no deviation from the doctrine of the divinity of The Speedway.

#57 fines

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 16:47

Don, you have an incomparable way with words! :up: :D Can I borrow those for my tombstone? :drunk: :lol:

#58 Russ Snyder

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 17:44

Originally posted by fines
Don, you have an incomparable way with words! :up: :D Can I borrow those for my tombstone? :drunk: :lol:


lol

...and speaking on behalf of those Indy 500 snobs that adore the track with a semi-nostalgic look into a past where times were simpler, if not more enjoyable

....its 500 miles.

always was (cept for 1916)

...always will be.

endurance and strategic planning are as much of an importance to Ray Harroun in 1911 as it is too Scott Dixon in 2008.

That said ...its threads like these which open my eyes and help me learn about racing from the era of my grandfather and Dad...and the depression in general. Men were doing anything they could too survive the time...and some of these named in this thread are legendary indeed. No arguement from me Don, just a big thanks for enlightening us out there that need too see the light.

#59 fines

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 18:33

Time for an update of the early Pacific Coast Championship Top Tens, which at the time I composed of bits and pieces from rather dodgy sources. I still haven't much in the way of "hard evidence", but from the results I have found (not complete!) and the numbers used the following year (not reliable!) I think I can come up with a better guess this time. You will notice that the figures don't add up correctly because of the missing race results:

1929



FP  Driver			  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

 1  Mel Kenealy		  12   4   3   1   -   -

 2? Bill Heisler		  2   2   3   1   -   -

 3? Stubby Stubblefield   3   1   2   -   -   -

 4? Ernie Triplett		3   2   2   -   -   -

 5? Speed Hinkley		 2   1   -   1   -   -

 6? Jimmy Sharp		   3   1   2   -   1   -

 7? Walt May			  2   5   3   -   -   -

 8? Francis Quinn		 2   4   -   -   -   -

 9? Babe Stapp			1   2   -   -   -   -

10? Johnny Kreiger		1   1   -   -   1   -

	Nick Martino		  1   -   2   2   -   1

	Johnny Sawyer		 1   -   -   1   -   -

	Shorty Cantlon		1   -   -   -   -   -

	Bill Spence		   1   -   -   -   -   -

	Fred Frame			-   2   1   -   -   -

	Fred Merzney		  -   1   -   2   -   -

	Arvol Brunmier		-   1   -   -   -   -

	Roscoe Ford		   -   1   -   -   -   -

	Swede Smith		   -   -   2   1   -   -

	Phil Pardee		   -   -   2   -   -   -

	Fred Cooper		   -   -   1   -   1   -

	Mel McKee			 -   -   1   -   -   1

	Art Boyce			 -   -   1   -   -   -

	Woody Woodford		-   -   1   -   -   -

	Al Gordon			 -   -   -   1   -   -

	Charley Gelston	   -   -   -   1   -   -

	Eddie Meyer		   -   -   -   -   1   -

	Tony Radetich		 -   -   -   -   -   1
Kenealy drove the #18 Garnant/Fronty most of the time, and Eddie (jr.) Meyer's #6 Redlands Special (a Fronty, I believe) in the last four races, Heisler the #9 Heisler/Fronty, Stubblefield a number of cars early on before he settled on the #6 Redlands Special, then exchanged with Kenealy for the #18 Garnant/Fronty. Triplett also drove several cars, but in the main the #4 Guiberson/Gallivan and the #33 Kleopfer/Fronty, Hinkley drove a #12 Rajo and C. D. "Pop" Evans's #11 Paramount Special (also a Rajo?), Sharp the #3 Mahoney, another Fronty I believe. May drove a #64 Rajo and a #47 Riley, Quinn the #99 Hooker/Miller and the #58 Schmidt/Miller, Stapp the #25 Bobby/Fronty in the main and Kreiger the #82 Fisher/Fronty. Shorty Cantlon was the first of the "Eastern Invaders", albeit driving for an L.A. team, the new #21 White/Miller, though strictly speaking Johnny Sawyer predated him by spending his '28/'29 "winter vacation" in So. Cal.

1930



FP  Driver			  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

 1  Francis Quinn		10  10   8   2   -   -  832 pts

 2  Jimmy Sharp		  12   2   -   -   -   -  475.63 pts

 3? Walt May			  4   3   1   2   -   -

 4? Shorty Cantlon		4   2   1   2   1   -

 5? Stubby Stubblefield   3   3   1   1   -   2

 6? Ernie Triplett		3   2   2   1   -   -

 7? Swede Smith		   2   1   1   1   1   -

 8? Arvol Brunmier		2   -   2   3   3   -

 9? Mel McKee			 1   -   1   3   1   1

10? Johnny Kreiger		1   3   2   2   1   1

	Babe Stapp			1   2   -   -   -   -

	Mel Kenealy		   1   1   -   1   -   -

	Ted Simpson		   1   -   -   -   -   -

	Charley Gelston	   -   2   1   1   1   -

	Carl Ryder			-   2   -   1   1   -

	Speed Hinkley		 -   1   2   1   1   -

	Lou Moore			 -   1   1   1   1   -

	Phil Pardee		   -   1   1   -   3   -

	Vic Felt			  -   1   -   -   2   -

	Curley Grandel		-   1   -   -   1   -

	Ralph Gregg		   -   1   -   -   -   -

	Fred Frame			-   -   2   -   -   -

	Sam Hoffman		   -   -   1   1   1   -

	Bill Heisler		  -   -   1   1   -   -

	Bill Cummings		 -   -   1   1   -   -

	Chet Gardner		  -   -   1   -   -   1

	Dewey Skipworth	   -   -   1   -   -   -

	Cliff Wilson		  -   -   1   -   -   -

	Jack Buxton		   -   -   1   -   -   -

	Art Boyce			 -   -   1   -   -   -

	Ralph de Palma		-   -   -   1   1   -

	Herman Schurch		-   -   -   1   -   -

	Frank James		   -   -   -   1   -   -

	Lynn Eldridge		 -   -   -   -   1   -

	Sam Palmer			-   -   -   -   1   -

	Wirt Stanley		  -   -   -   -   1   -

	Chris Vest			-   -   -   -   1   -

	Les Spangler		  -   -   -   -   -   1

	Nick Martino		  -   -   -   -   -   1

	Harry Jacques		 -   -   -   -   -   1

	George Young		  -   -   -   -   -   1
Quinn drove the #8 Quinn/Miller (the former Schmidt) till September, then alternated between the #3 Garnant/Fronty at Ascot and his own car for the miles, Sharp had the #6 Mahoney (Fronty?) until May, then the #3 Garnant/Fronty until his accident in September. May drove the #7 Deulin/Fronty early on, then the new #1 Hooker/Miller and a couple of other cars until he settled for the #8 Quinn/Miller late in the year. Cantlon had the #16 White/Miller both in spring and in fall, missing about twenty races mid-season when competing "in the East", a pattern often repeated by the major drivers. Stubblefield also went east, vacating the #3 Garnant/Fronty and returning to drive the #7 Deulin/Fronty, Triplett ran the #33 Kleopfer/Fronty before May, then trying to make the new #48 Guiberson/Miller go in late summer before subbing for an injured Billy Arnold in the new #40 McCarthy/Schofield, Smith had the #24 Begg (a Gallivan?) and also drove the #7 Deulin/Fronty, both cars like he himself from Oregon. Brunmier drove the #21 Vitalite Piston Special (no info except for a Ford-based engine) and then later the #48 Guiberson/Miller, McKee the #44 Mikkelson (a Fronty, I believe) and the #6 Mahoney, and Kreiger the new #10 White/Miller and #10 Fisher/Fronty. Late in the season the legend of Ascot Speedway really started, with drivers like Bill Cummings, Wilbur Shaw and Billy Winn spearheading the annual eastern invasion - for the next three-and-a-half years, Ascot would be the center of US Autoracing!

Those early years are QUITE difficult to research, as the races weren't the mega events of later years with some of the early Saturday night races drawing as few as 3,000 spectators - often, the papers would carry previews to help promote the races, but not a single word after the actual event! Things would improve considerably from the winter season '30/'31 onwards, until the slump of 1934. Still, the above 1931 chart is also wrong, but I'm not yet finished with research for that year - I guess the top ten should look like 1 Triplett (#6 McCarthy/Schofield, new #4 White/Miller), 2 Gardner (#47 Harrison/Miller = former White), 3 Stubblefield (#5 Sparks/Schofield, #16 Fengler/Cragar = Duesenberg chassis, new #22 De Paolo/Miller), 4 Quinn (#99 Hooker/Miller, #17 Deulin/Fronty, new #1 Quinn/Miller, #2 Garnant/Cragar = former Vance, new #4 White/Miller, #21 Bobby/Fronty), 5 Brunmier (#8 Ward/Miller = former Guiberson?, #5 Sparks/Schofield, new #22 De Paolo/Miller), 6 Cummings (#35 ?/Fronty, new #4 White/Miller, #5 Sparks/Miller), 7 Kenealy (#15 Vieaux/Cragar?, #43 Duncan/Fronty, #16 Fengler/Cragar), 8 Stapp (#21 Bobby/Fronty, #16 Fengler/Cragar, #8 Ward/Miller), 9 Ryder (#2 Garnant/Cragar?, #15 Vieaux/Cragar) and 10 Cantlon (old #4 White/Miller, #29 Schneider/Fronty?).

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#60 fines

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 15:50

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Michael, you have pretty much summed up the problem with "Indy" -- it keeps blocking out the light for the rest of the story. The over-emphasis on Indianapolis has to be the toad in the road for much of American racing history. The clever way the IMS played the media and the American racing scene, along with the fusing of the IMS and the Contest Board in the late Twenties has skewed the way much of the rest of American racing is viewed: generally as irrelevant.

Trying to redress the balance - excerpt from my project "AAA Big Car Racing - The 1933 Season", a defining moment in autoracing history:

April 16 (Sun), Alhambra (CA)

Exit Carey, Enter Mays

Triplets abound, but no sign of Triplett!!! Whoever it was who devised the PR gimmick of the pair of triplets that pervaded the 1933 Easter programme at the Legion Ascot Speedway, he must have been deeply disappointed at the news that the most important of the Triplet(t)s would not be present! Apparently, a mix-up in communications had led to the White crew pulling the engine out of the monoposto, ready to drop it into the newly built “Floating Power Special” Indy Car fairly well in advance of the 500-mile classic, in the mistaken belief that the 150-mile race at the Oakland Speedway a week hence would be a National Championship affair for two-seaters! Almost unbelievably, the error was detected too late to rectify the situation, and the runaway championship leader had to be posted a non-starter! This, in turn, seemed to reduce the holiday programme to a two-horse race, with the pair of Miller 255-engined cars of Bob Carey and Babe Stapp heavily favoured, but tragedy intervened early in the afternoon, when the Hoosier entered the North Turn on his qualifying run, only to find the throttle of his Marks/Miller sticking wide open, the resulting crash against and over the iron guard rail killing the reigning National Champion within minutes of it happening.

Coming only a fortnight after the Forsyth fatality, and taking a driver from the very top of the pile this time, the accident really shook up the racing community, which went almost numb with grief and carried on its business as if in trance, preparing for what now seemed certain to turn into a distinctly one-sided affair, with Stapp easily outpacing the field in a 26.01” qualifying run, only two tenths of a second slower than Triplett’s daytime record, established in February. With defending Easter Sweepstakes winner Wilbur Shaw also giving the event a miss this year, owing to the fact that Duray’s Miller could not be repaired in time, it was Bill Cummings who took up the challenge in the Helmet Dash, but Stapp had little trouble in romping home a winner in the good time of 53.73”, although quite a bit down on Carey’s record. Still, the Babe established a record of his own, receiving no less than three victory kisses from triplet sisters Marge, Frankie and Marilyn Foster, with honorary referees and triplet brothers Howard, John and Bill Hertel looking on bemusedly!

Class B action then saw Chris Vest, Louis Tomei and George Connor take a five-lap heat race each, with Bob Austin and Guy Deulin, Al Reinke and Frank Suess, as well as Tom Cosman and Art Walker following them home, respectively. Come the start of the main event, and it was Cummings who shot to the front from the outside, leaving Stapp to fend off the other ten drivers, which he did with ease to concentrate his efforts on upsetting the leader. But Cummings held on to his slim advantage with determination, and with the McClurg/Miller in close attention, the pair of them slowly but surely drew away from the field, where most of the action centred around the Fromm/Hispano-Suiza of Rex Mays. Starting from seventh spot, the young Californian soon made his presence felt, as he moved through the pack like the proverbial hot knife and the butter! Going high or low, using even the track apron to the horror of the AAA officials, Mays took position after position, outsmarting some of the best and most seasoned veterans in the business to run as high as third by lap 23 already.

Spurred on by the new threat in his wake, Stapp renewed his attacks on the leader, until he finally slipped by on lap 36. Cummings tried to hold on, but soon lost contact, yet managed to stay clear of Mays, who finally overdid things on lap 70 and nearly spun out. Having built up a bit of a cushion, however, he was able to continue in fourth position, with only Les Spangler speeding by, and soon Mays was on the heels of the De Paolo/Miller, putting the 1932 Championship and Easter Sweepstakes runner-up under intense pressure. Whether it was Spangler’s still delicate physique, or some oversight in the preparation of the car, it doesn’t really matter, but on lap 94 the red car got out of shape and broke an axle, and whether the result of or the cause for the skid, it slowed down the car considerably, with the result that Mays easily re-passed to finish an excellent third, while Spangler was left to virtually crawl home over the last six laps, being relegated to fifth place on the very last circuit by a late spurt of Kelly Petillo. Johnny Kreiger, debuting the new Watson/Miller, the third in the growing line of 255 cid racers, finished a disappointing eighth, far behind the winner with an identical engine, who lowered Carey’s two months old track record by a few seconds, beating Cummings by about half a lap.

Racers have their own way of dealing with disaster, and though it may appear cold and soulless to the outside world, they usually don’t dwell upon it and go on with their business before long. So it was that the Marks crew headed home for Indiana, preparing to repair their potent monoposto and on finding a new chauffeur for their Indianapolis entry, while seemingly everyone else left the speedway premises with a feeling of having witnessed something special. The triplet gimmick had been neat, and Stapp had taken a well deserved and popular win, but it was Rex Mays the 7,500 fans were talking about on their way home – a new star was born, as if to make amends for a total eclipse. Rest in peace, Robert Elwood Carey.

Easter Sweepstakes, Legion Ascot Speedway, 100 laps (101 km)
1 E. G. Stapp (CA), McClurg/Miller (McClurg), 45’37.0” (132 kph)
2 W. C. Cummings (IN), Sparks/Miller (Sparks & Weirick)
3 R. H. Mays (CA), Fromm/Hispano-Suiza (Fromm)
4 C. M. Petillo (CA), Ward/Miller (Ward)
5 L. Spangler (IN), De Paolo/Miller (De Paolo)
6 S. Palmer (CA), Miller (Cantlon)


How do you like it? :)

#61 Jim Thurman

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:16

Outstanding Michael, keep them coming.:up:

I wanted to spend more time on this era, but the project I was working on required other data and other newspapers from other years.

#62 fines

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 20:59

Thanks, Jim!

May 17 (Wed), Alhambra (CA)

Gordon At Last

When it finally happened, it all seemed so easy for Al Gordon, veteran Pacific Coast racing driver, who at last scored the win that had eluded him for so long! And to quash all thoughts about the car doing it for him – after all, the Sparks/Miller he was driving for only the second time today had won the last Ascot race, driven by a pair of rookies! – Gordon did it in style, with a new track record for the 40-lap distance, and then some! Beating Les Spangler’s time from last June by almost half a minute, he pushed the new mark well under 18 minutes in the opening race of the 1933 Night Racing season, postponed from last Wednesday due to the rain. The Legion promoters had come up with an improved lighting system for the occasion, as well as yet another novel programme to keep interest high for their patrons: a 10-lap qualifying race was to be run between the Helmet Dash and the main event, to decide starting positions for the latter. Due to the closeness of the Indianapolis race, however, the entry list was even shorter than at San Diego, with Chet Gardner and Spangler now also missing, and the crowd was noticeably slimmer, too.

Gordon started the day well by taking the Dash in the excellent time of 53.41”, second best so far only to the late Bob Carey’s track record, leaving Rex Mays far behind in his wake. After also taking the rather pointless 10-lapper, Gordon went into an immediate lead in the feature, followed more or less closely by Mays, whose car owner Paul Fromm was quick to accuse the former of a jump start, an irritation that was subsequently to be repelled by AAA officials! Art Boyce, the man who Gordon had succeeded in the Sparks-Weirick team, had found a berth in Harvey Ward’s car, but mechanical problems of one kind or another kept him from qualifying the steed. Still, with the short field on hand, he was allowed to start from the rear, and within a few laps was challenging Mel Kenealy for fourth, finally pulling ahead after a tremendous fight for the position, only to lose out after almost crashing into the guard rail, and spinning spectacularly down the track. Boyce was able to resume, but worse was to befall Mays for, after following the leader for 35 laps, a punctured right rear tyre sent the big aeroplane-engined machine to the pits, where a surprised and unprepared crew went to work to change the wheel, losing Mays so much time that he dropped back to sixth at the finish, with Kenealy and Johnny Kreiger the chief beneficiaries. Harry Gentry took a surprise win in the “B feature”, with heat wins going to George Connor, Frank Suess and Ted Horn.

Night Racing Inaugural, Legion Ascot Speedway, 40 laps (40 km)
1 A. Gordon (CA), Sparks/Miller (Sparks & Weirick), 17’57.75” (134 kph)
2 M. Kenealy (CO), Blauvelt/Miller (Haskell)
3 J. Kreiger (CO), Watson/Miller (Watson)
4 C. Ryder (CA), ?
5 A. Boyce (CA), Ward/Miller (Ward)
6 R. H. Mays (CA), Fromm/Hispano-Suiza (Fromm)

#63 fines

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 20:23

August 16 (Wed), Alhambra (CA)

Gold Cup Attracts 15,000!

A record attendance of 15,000 saw the third annual running of the Gold Cup race at the Legion Ascot Speedway, even without any of the former winners or runner-ups present, and thankfully without the controversy that marked the previous year’s race. With Charley Gelston retired and Ernie Triplett on the mend, as well as Chet Gardner and Wilbur Shaw missing because of their ongoing tussle over Midwestern racing honours, a new home was certain to be found for the valuable trophy, and Al Gordon was quick to stake his claim by taking the Helmet Dash in the very fast time of 52.45”, closely followed by record holder Rex Mays. Those two quickly established their superiority in the main event also, with Gordon jumping into an immediate lead, and Mays keeping him close company for the first half of the race. Then, quite dramatically, the pattern of the race changed, with the huge aircraft-engined Fromm taking a lurid skid out of the North Turn, and Mays fighting the car for all he was worth, finally coming to rest right in front of the pits, where his crew quickly set to work to attend the puncture which had been the cause of it all.

From then on, it was plain sailing for Gordon, who lapped his nearest pursuer, Kelly Petillo, ten laps from home for a very comfortable win. Petillo duly took second, but third place changed hands as late as lap 57, when George Connor coasted to a rest with drive-shaft failure on the De Paolo/Miller, and it was Herb Balmer who continued to impress with another faultless performance, and “podium finish”. Mays recovered enough to take fourth from Class B point leader Swede Smith, competing in the “A feature” for a change. The secondary event over the usual 15-lap distance was again won by Art Boyce, but only after a tough fight with Ted Horn, which went some way to reconcile the huge crowd after the rather listless main event. Triplett's point lead (404.64) was still shrinking alarmingly, with Mays (316.85) and Gordon (238.83) making steady progress. The only other active driver in the top 6, Mel Kenealy (131.40) being out of the race for all practical purposes, like Gardner (208.69) and Babe Stapp (127.72).

Gold Cup, Legion Ascot Speedway, 60 laps (60 km)
1 A. Gordon (CA), Sparks/Miller (Sparks & Weirick), 26’57” (134 kph)
2 C. M. Petillo (CA), Watson/Miller (Watson)
3 H. Balmer (CA), Vance/Miller (Garnant)
4 R. H. Mays (CA), Fromm/Hispano-Suiza (Fromm)
5 G. L. Smith (OR), ?
6 ?, ?

#64 Russ Snyder

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:33

Awesome reads Michael! keep them coming.....

#65 fines

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:18

:clap: I've managed to crack the Pacific Coast code! :clap: :clap: :smoking:

Perhaps the most complicated scoring formula devised, certainly for its time, but I think I have now managed to find out how it worked, at least for the top finishing positions, and for the year 1933! I am almost sure it wasn't changed during all seven years of the championship, but I'll need to check a few items first... If there's interest, I'll post my findings in the afternoon... :smoking:

#66 David McKinney

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:37

Congratulations, Michael :up:
And yes, there's interest :)

#67 fines

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 13:38

:|

Seems my joy was a bit premature... :blush:

Last night I thought I had it cracked, with just a few minor irregularities that might have been down to typos or even miscalculations, but when I checked a few more race results this morning... :mad: IT'S ALL GONE!!! CHAOS REIGNS AGAIN!!! AARRRGHH!!!!!

Sigh! Sometimes I do believe they really drew these figures out of a hat... :lol:

[shakes his head in disbelief...]

#68 Jim Thurman

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:43

In keeping with the 1933 AAA Pacific Coast season...

August 5 (Sat), Colton (CA)

Rex Mays Captures Honors In Tri City Feature Race

Rex Mays, Riverside “rocket” who was given the pre-race favorites position, lived up to expectations last night before a crowd of approximately 3,000 fans when he won the inaugural race at the new Tri-City speedway. The race was 25 laps in length.
Mays toughest opposition, Frank Wearne, was disposed of early in the race.
CARS CRASH
Going into the first turn on the first lap, Wearne and Babe Stanyer rode abreast with Mays bringing up third position, Stanyer spun and Wearne hit him broadside.
Both cars stalled temporarily and this gave Mays a chance to go into the lead which he held for the remainder of the distance although Stanyer came back strong to challenge him at every turn and finally bag second.
Wearne drove one of the best races of the evening and after hitting Stanyer, he pulled up from eighth and last place to finally finish fourth, Bob Austin bagging third.
Due to difficulty over the purse, which arose at the last minute, several pilots who had been figured as strong contenders did not make an appearance.
FURNISHED THRILLS
“Pinky” Richardson furnished the crowd with its thrills for the evening. In five-lap heat races, Richardson went off the track no less than five times. He was having plenty of difficulty getting around the tricky oval but finally managed to win the last five-lap race on the program.
Al Reinke, who arrived at the last minute, had the fastest qualifying time for one lap, 29 2-10 seconds while Wearne was second two-tenths of a second slower.
In the first five lap race, it appeared as though Mays was going to be in for a tough evening as he failed to finish among the first two qualifying places, both Wearne and Babe Stanyer beating him out. However, the Riverside ace came back to win the second five lap heat race, thus assuring himself of a starting position in the main event.
Following are the complete results:
Five-lap heat race – Frank Wearne, Babe Stanyer. Time: 2.32 4-5 sec
Five-lap heat race – Rex Mays, Al Reinke. Time: 2.31
Special three lap match race – Bob Austin against Thomas Cosman. Time: 1.32
Five-lap heat race - Bob Austin, Thomas Cosman.
25-lap main - Mays, Stanyer, Austin, Wearne, Reinke, Jimmy Miller. Time: 13 minutes, 5 seconds
Five lap consolation - “Pinky” Richardson, Cosman. Time: 2.28 1-5

#69 fines

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 07:26

:clap: :clap: :clap: :love: :love: :kiss: :cool: :up: :wave:

#70 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 18:31

The pre-race publicity for the re-opening of the Colton track featured a great item with George Connor reported as being tired of hearing about Rex Mays and challenging Mays to a match race :) Officials said no match races would take place the first week (yet, they had one between Bob Austin and Thomas Cosman anyway).

On to the second AAA race at the Colton track...

August 19 (Sat), Colton (CA)

BALMER TAKES FIRST PLACE IN TRACK FEATURE
Boyce, Smith, Stanyer Trail Winner; Wearne Captures Orange Belt Trophy

Snatching the lead at the start and holding it for 30 laps, Herb Balmer, well known Pacific coast driver, took first place in the main event of the racing card staged at the Legion Tri-City speedway last night. Time for the event was 14 minutes 28.40 seconds.
Art Boyce came in second, a half lap behind Balmer, and he was followed by Swede Smith in third position, and Babe Stanyer, fourth.
Frank Wearne, a comparatively new driver in A.A.A. Ranks, won the first Orange Belt trophy dash of two laps to be held on the track. The other entrant in the event was Balmer, who pushed Wearne all the time, but was unable to pass him. Balmer narrowly escaped serious difficulty in the first lap, when he hit the guard rail coming out of the west turn. Babe Stapp, internationally famed race driver, presented the trophy.
Besides the 30-lap main event and the trophy dash, there were four races of five-lap duration. The first two place winners of these races qualified to enter the main event. Herb Balmer and Art Boyce placed first and second, respectively, in the the first of these and were the only two to finish, with the other four cars going into spectacular spins all around the oval.
Babe Stanyer and Red Clark finished 1st and 2nd in the next five-lap event. During this race O.L. Snavely spun and went over the track on the west turn, slightly smashing the front end of his car. Snavely was uninjured, but his driving goggles were smashed.
Swede Smith and Frank Wearne took the first two places in the next race and Al Reinke and Woody Woodard won first and second in the other event, Reinke coming up from fourth place to first in five laps.
Consolation winner was Ted Horn, who took the field in the race in which all those entered who had not previously placed.
Ted Allen, secretary of the contest board of the A.A.A., served as referee for the event. The next race at the Tri-City track will be run Saturday night Sept. 2.

#71 fines

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 19:18

Thank you, Jim! :)

#72 fines

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 19:37

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
Babe Stanyer and Red Clark finished 1st and 2nd in the next five-lap event. During this race O.L. Snavely spun and went over the track on the west turn, slightly smashing the front end of his car. Snavely was uninjured, but his driving goggles were smashed.
Swede Smith and Frank Wearne took the first two places in the next race and Al Reinke and Woody Woodard won first and second in the other event, Reinke coming up from fourth place to first in five laps.
Consolation winner was Ted Horn, who took the field in the race in which all those entered who had not previously placed.

Onyx L. Snavely was a local Colton driver, and better known as "Bud" Snavely. Sadly, he was to die two years later in a race at Ascot.

I am guessing the other driver was rather Eugene C. "Woody" Woodford, a veteran driver originally from the Northwest, if I'm not mistaken. He lived in the Los Angeles area for many years, and died on a racing journey to the Midwest, at the fast Greenville Speedway in Ohio on May 10, 1942.

#73 Jim Thurman

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 17:14

You are welcome. Thanks for the information on Snavely. I figured the name Woodard was incorrect, but that is as it appeared in the newspaper account.

And now, race number 3 at Tri-City Speedway (and, yes, I know how to spell grueling, that is not my error)...

September 3 (Sat), Colton (CA)

Rex Mays Wins Gruelling Speed Duel From Balmer

After inhaling his rival car's exhaust in two previous races, Rex Mays, spectacular Riverside goggled star, got tired of trailing Herb Balmer last night in the feature 30-lap race and, after a couple of brushes on the back stretch, managed to get past the Alhambra ace on the seventeenth lap and go on to win the main race at the Legion Tri-City speedway last night.
Up until the 17th lap of the main race, it looked like it was going to be a Herb Balmer night. Balmer took Mays' measure in the two-lap Orange Belt trophy dash, passing him in the east turn on the second lap to get the flag.
TRIUMPHANT START
Then he came back to again hand Mays the short end of the deal in the five lap race. Evidently this didn't set well with the latter and when the seventeenth lap came around he decided to take the lead away from Balmer.
Mays managed to get past Balmer by going under him as they went into the east turn on the 17th lap but even then Balmer didn’t give up the fight. He was gaining ground on the Riverside “rocket” until the 22nd turn around the oval when he “floated” high on the east turn, giving Mays a chance to gain a three car length lead. This was enough to win.
EXCITING RACES
The races were exciting and furnished plenty of thrills, “Pinky” Richardson gave the fans some thrills in the five lap events, twice getting cross wise on the track. In the first lap of the main event, Richardson slid cross-wise in the east turn and both Babe Stanyer and Ted Horn hit him.
For a minute it looked like a bad accident but when the dust had cleared Horn had gone while Stanyer and Richrdson were forced into the pits. During the qualifying trials, Art Boyce, one of the outstanding threats, tore out 20 feet of fence down on the west turn but outside of breaking a radius rod and denting the front axle, there was no damage. Boyce, however, was unable to start the main event.
This was the last Saturday night race to be held at the track. It was announced that all future races will be held on Friday nights, the next being scheduled on Sept. 15, one week from next Friday.

30 lap main: Mays, Balmer, Horn, Swede Smith, Luigi Tomei, Bob Austin. Time: 14 minutes, 23.6 seconds
2 lap Orange Belt trophy dash – Balmer, Mays. Time: 56.30
5 lap heat – Balmer, Mays. Time: 2:21.20
5 lap heat – Stanyer, Horn. Time: 2.22.20
5 lap heat – Richardson, Smith. Time: 2.36
5 lap heat – Austin, Tomei. Time: 2.28.40
5 lap consolation – Red Clark, O.B. Snavely. Time: 2.28.36

#74 fines

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 20:08

Jim, this is gold dust! :) :) :)

Oh, btw, you didn't perchance stumble across an elaborate article about the AAA Pacific Coast point structure while browsing the San Berdoo main lib, did you? :cat: :cat: :rolleyes: :lol: :(

#75 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 17:29

September 15 race apparently did not happen (a pattern that will be repeated), so on to the 4th AAA race at Tri-City Speedway. Also, notice the write-ups getting shorter.

October 8 (Sun), Colton (CA)

SMITH'S EARLY LEAD TOO MUCH FOR RACE RIVAL
Balmer Skids in Attempt to Overtake Oregonian and Is Unable to Finish

In one of the best races yet seen at the Legion Tri-City track, “Swede” Smith of Portland, Ore., yesterday afternoon won the feature auto event of 30 laps after a hectic duel with one of the favorites, Herb Balmer, for the full distance.
Balmer, after trailing Smith for 29 laps, attempted to pass him on the last lap coming into the home stretch, skidded and lost control of the car, thus failing to finish when he backed up into the infield and the other cars went by him in fast fashion.
Balmer and Smith battled every inch of the way with Balmer many times making attempts to get by without success. As consolation for Balmer, legion officials matched the two in a five lap race which Balmer won only by inches when Smith pulled up almost abreast of him at the finish line.
30 lap main – Smith, Horn, “Frenchy” LaHorgue, Art Boyce, Earl Brentlinger. 14:19.41 (New Track Record)
2 lap Orange Belt trophy dash: Smith, Horn. 56 4-10
5 lap heat – Smith, Horn. 2.23.30
5 lap heat – Balmer, LaHorgue. 2.22.2
5 lap heat – Brentlinger, "Red" Clark. 2.26.2
5 lap heat – Boyce, Richardson. 2.24.7
5 lap consolation – Ed Walker, Jimmy Miller. 2.27.6

#76 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 17:42

Originally posted by fines
Jim, this is gold dust! :) :) :)

Oh, btw, you didn't perchance stumble across an elaborate article about the AAA Pacific Coast point structure while browsing the San Berdoo main lib, did you? :cat: :cat: :rolleyes: :lol: :(

Michael, I did not even run across a single item listing point standings :(

Pre-race items mentioned "Pacific Coast champion", but, otherwise not a word...

Overall, it was quite a fruitful couple of days despite a semi-comedy of errors that ranged from a dead laptop on day 1 to a microfilm machine coming apart in my hands to the microfilm's copying unit not working. I found quite a bit, ranging from Colton and Banning races to the midget track at Colton (also used for pre-WWII roadster races) as well as checking for a few obituaries for "Where Are They Now?". Some familiar names in the Colton midget and roadster races early in their racing careers.

#77 fines

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 19:35

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

Michael, I did not even run across a single item listing point standings :(

I didn't really expect anything else! :D

#78 fines

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 21:07

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
September 15 race apparently did not happen (a pattern that will be repeated), so on to the 4th AAA race at Tri-City Speedway. Also, notice the write-ups getting shorter.

October 8 (Sun), Colton (CA)

I have nothing on the September 15 event, not even a preview, but the October 8 event was originally scheduled for September 29 (another Friday), and postponed for unknown reasons - may have been rain, or quite possibly a poor crowd!

#79 Jim Thurman

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 22:51

November 26 (Sun), Colton (CA)

Wearne Captures Tri-City Feature in Speedy Finish

Riding in third place for 32 laps, Frank Wearne pulled up on the next lap to overtake Swede Smith and win the 35 lap feature auto race at the Legion Tri-City speedway yesterday afternoon before a large gathering of fans.
Smith had a tough battle on his hands all during the race. First it was Harris Insinger challenging him for first. Finally on the 17th lap, Insinger got past Smith and settled down to lead the race by a comfortable margin.
WEARNE COPS LEAD
On the 24th lap, the tread on a tire became loosened and he was forced into the pits, Smith going back into first place.
Smith held this position until the 33rd, when almost out of nowhere, came Wearne to take the lead and win the race.
And that wasn't all, Smith developed motor trouble and on the last lap, Al Reinke came hurdling through the turn to pass Smith and garner second, throwing the latter back to 3rd place, where he finished. Art Boyce was 4th and Tex Peterson 5th. The time was 10 minutes, 28.80 seconds.
The day was replete with thrills and action but Ray Pixley, in the last 5 lap race, furnished the fans with their “big moment” of the day.
THROTTLE STICKS
He led the 5 lap race for 4 and a half laps when his throttle stuck going through the west turn. He skidded, turned crosswise on the track and went flying over the bank. In a cloud of dust the car turned over, pinning Pixley beneath. Mechanics rushed to his aid, lifted up the car but the driver was unhurt. Jimmy Miller went on to win the race.
The 2 lap Orange Belt trophy dash, open to the two fastest qualifying cars, was won by Frenchy LaHorgue over Swede Smith.
5 lap qualifying heats were won by Smith, Louie Tomei, Jimmy Wilkinson and Tex Peterson.
The next race at the Tri-City track is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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#80 fines

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:53

That's the last race I have for Colton, were there any more?

You have filled a LOT of gaps here in my records! :up: :smoking:

#81 Jim Thurman

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 18:01

That's the last one I have too. My time was limited, so I concentrated on the known dates. But, neither the Sept. 15 or Dec. 10 races took place. The track had operated earlier, but more on that below.

I suppose I should have created a new thread for this information.

A few notes.

There was some coverage prior to the re-opening. It was big news that the racing was going to be "under the lights". An article listing drivers expected featured several well known Legion Ascot drivers who did not show (as mentioned in the "inaugural" race report - $$$).

In the lead up to the re-opening race, it was mentioned that Al Reinke and Herb Balmer had "raced on the track before" and also noted that the racing would harken back to the days "when the Banning and Colton tracks were both racing."

Allan E. Brown's book has the track opening in 1926. I spent some time looking through 1926 through 1931 microfilm and did not find anything for Colton...however, I did run across a race report from the annual July 4th race at Banning, so I checked out a few more of those (interested?;) ). Finding non-fairgrounds tracks in the era when they did not race weekly is sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack. Without the copier failure, I probably would have found it :

For the November race, a larger field of entries was expected, prompting the newspaper to exclaim that up to 14 cars might start the main event instead of the normal 8 to 10 (so that gives you an idea of the car count).

And, as you mentioned, either bad weather or poor attendance likely cancelled the September 15, 29 and December 10 races. I only had time to look for results. Newspapers would only sometimes mention when a track ceased operation. Interestingly, when the Colton midget track suspended racing for a while, it was mentioned, as was the end of the "Junk Car Derby" events at the same track after four races with the promoter announcing the cars would be raced in Los Angeles.

#82 fines

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 20:36

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
Allan E. Brown's book has the track opening in 1926. I spent some time looking through 1926 through 1931 microfilm and did not find anything for Colton...

You should've asked me beforehand, I have dates for races in 1928 (May 13 & June 10) and 1932 (Aug 28 or thereabouts). No results, just the winner of the latter: Herb Balmer. The earlier races were probably CARA events, and all I could find were newspaper previews, presumably placed by the promoters. It's always sickening to find interesting previews, but not a single word after the event! :mad:

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
...however, I did run across a race report from the annual July 4th race at Banning, so I checked out a few more of those (interested?;) ).

Didn't we have that before? Is "A" the first letter of the alphabet... :D

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
Finding non-fairgrounds tracks in the era when they did not race weekly is sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack. Without the copier failure, I probably would have found it :

Well, I understand that. But, fines could have told you that Banning Speedway almost always and almost exclusively ran on the big holidays, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day!;)

#83 Jim Thurman

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 17:12

Originally posted by fines

You should've asked me beforehand, I have dates for races in 1928 (May 13 & June 10) and 1932 (Aug 28 or thereabouts). No results, just the winner of the latter: Herb Balmer. The earlier races were probably CARA events, and all I could find were newspaper previews, presumably placed by the promoters. It's always sickening to find interesting previews, but not a single word after the event! :mad:

Aaargh!...you never cease to amaze me as far as the information you've gathered. I expected you to have AAA dates, but not something like earlier racing at a place like Colton. We'll have to compare notes. I should have checked beforehand.

The previews with no results, were these in weekly papers instead of dailies? I've run into that a lot with weekly papers. And, yes, that is terribly frustrating.

Well, I understand that. But, fines could have told you that Banning Speedway almost always and almost exclusively ran on the big holidays, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day!;)

Well, I knew about Banning racing on Independence Day, and recall a story that Louie Meyer's wife was with his brother Eddie at Banning when the announcer passed along that Louie had won the '500' (apparently in 1928), but...I had not counted on finding Banning items in the San Bernardino paper, that was what surprised me. It's not even in the same county. I would expect the Riverside paper to possibly have more.

#84 fines

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 20:26

Well, I do concentrate on AAA events, but if I happen on an "outlaw" race do you expect me to ignore it?;)

As for the previews w/o results, it does also happen with the dailies. Promoters are often resourceful to get the previews in, and then expect the paper to send someone for a report, or maybe even send a report themselves but the paper ignores because the weekend was full of other sports. Shit happens!

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
Well, I knew about Banning racing on Independence Day, and recall a story that Louie Meyer's wife was with his brother Eddie at Banning when the announcer passed along that Louie had won the '500' (apparently in 1928),

Wow, what a story! Imagine, your kid brother/husband goes to the '500', half a continent away, on a whim and half a chance to find a ride, and next thing you know he's in the national news! :D Simply great!

#85 fines

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 23:04

The Middletown Times Herald, a daily newspaper from Middletown (NY), published a list of the 42 top point scorers in the 1938 AAA Eastern Circuit on May 5 in 1939!!! The mind is at its bogglest!!!!! :stoned:

N.B. Some points totals were hard to read, so treat with caution!!

1 Duke Nalon; 484
2 Tommy Hinnershitz; 390
3 Ted Horn; 369
4 Jack Moon; 368
5 Henri Guerand; ?
6 Tony Willman; 304
7 Bill Holland; 250
8 Frankie Bailey; 248.5
9 Bob Sall; 248
10 Charlie Breslin; 191
11 Rex Mays; 180
12 Mike Bailey; 156
13 Mauri Rose; 156
14 Bert Ross; 154
15 Vic Nauman; 148
16 Gus Zarka; 147
17 Walt Brown; 137.5
18 Walt Ader; 119
19 Harley Taylor; 115.5
20 Frank Wearne; 112.5
21 Buster Warke; 110
22 Babe Moore; 106
23 Jimmy Snyder; 104
24 Chuck Tabor; 102
25 Lee Wallard; 101
26 Don McDonald; 100.5
27 Johnny Ulesky; 96
28 Ev Saylor; 92
29 Joie Chitwood; 92
30 Dave Wilt; 88
31 Bill Schindler; ?
32 Bud Henderson; 76
33 Mile Little; 70
34 Pete Craig; 70
35 Paul Russo; 66
36 George Robson; 65
37 Ammon Kelchner; 65
38 Mark Light; 64
39 Honey Purick; 64
40 Doc Keim; 64
41 Speedy Goff; 63
42 Bill Holmes; 60

#86 fines

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 09:36

This is strictly for fun, so please, no flame baiting! :)

Having now almost completed the task of compiling the AAA Big Car Top Tens for all years and all divisions, I put the data into a spreadsheet and devised a simple algorithm to arrive at an overall ranking :rolleyes: "Oh, no!", I hear you cry... :lol: Sorry, but it was just so easy to fiddle around with the data, and the end product was somewhat interesting: a potpourri of the most important US drivers for a forty-year period, 1916 to 1955!

In easily digestible morsels of ten apiece, here's the Top 200:

200. Johnnie Tolan
199. Ed Terry
198. Johnnie Crone
197. Carl Ryder
196. Bill Zaring
195. Dave Randolph
194. Harry McQuinn
193. Henri Guerand
192. Bruce Denslow
191. Lloyd Vieaux

Anyone feeling like having a guess at the final batch is invited to do so!;)

#87 ReWind

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 10:05

Can we have some biographical info, please?
Rank Name	  Date of birth	  & death		Hometown

200. Johnnie Tolan	 22 Oct 1917  06 Jun 1986  Victor, Colorado

199. Ed Terry									Plainfield, New Jersey

198. Johnnie Crone	 12 Oct 1908  07 Apr 1999  Middletown, Maryland

197. Carl Ryder

196. Bill Zaring	   24 Aug 1917  28 May 2003

195. Dave Randolph

194. Harry McQuinn	 13 Dec 1905  01 Jan 1986  Nineveh, Indiana

193. Henri Guerand	 31 Jul 1912  02 Apr 1939  Elizabeth, New Jersey

192. Bruce Denslow	 17 Dec 1908  10 Aug 1954  Coalfield, North Dakota

191. Lloyd Vieaux				   22 Jul 1934
BTW: Is ist Henri or Henry Guerand?

#88 fines

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 14:41

Originally posted by ReWind
Can we have some biographical info, please?

Of course! The main reason I did this was to focus on finding personal info on the most important drivers of the period, and I will need help with that, no question! Here's what I already have:

200. Johnnie Tolan
real name John J. Tolan, hometown Denver (CO), later Norwalk (CA), raced from 1946 to 1965 minimum - I think I have him well covered, although I have a question mark against his birth year: 1917 or 1918?

199. Ed Terry
hometown (North) Plainfield (NJ), sometimes Paterson, New Brunswick, Newark (all NJ) or Sayreville (PA), raced from 1933 to 1960 minimum

198. Johnnie Crone
real name John Conrad Crone, hometown Middletown (MD), sometimes Frederick (MD) or Cincinnati (OH), raced from 1937 to 1952 minimum, and I have the same dates for birth and death as you :up:

197. Carl Ryder
hometown Los Angeles (CA) area (Glendale, Pasadena), raced from 1929 to 1935 minimum

196. Bill Zaring
hometown Los Angeles (CA) area (North Hollywood), raced from 1948 to 1955 minimum - actually, Zaring is a freak entry here, doesn't really belong; he was more of a Midget driver and did well there, but in Big Cars he only ranked high once because of extraordinary circumstances

195. Dave Randolph
real name Bayard Douglas Tewksbury, hometown Freeport or Hempstead on Long Island (NY), raced from 1939 to 1942 minimum, died from a heart attack 1945-04-15 (see http://files.usgwarc...land/t/t-05.txt which, somewhat maddeningly, doesn't give his birth date! :), married 1944-09-16 to Dorothy Anne Hooks of Bellmore (NY), had a sister named Anne, grandfather Dr. Ira D. Mallory was a retired minister, burried at Pinelawn National Cemetery on 1945-04-20

194. Harry McQuinn
hometown Indianapolis (IN), sometimes Milwaukee (WI), raced from 1929 to 1948 minimum

193. Henri Guerand

BTW: Is ist Henri or Henry Guerand?

According to http://www.geni.com/...000000442200039 it is Henry indeed, although you find both names frequently mentioned, hometown Elizabeth or Newark (NJ), sometimes Daytona Beach (FL), raced from 1933 to 1939 minimum, died 1939-04-02 in a Midget crash at the Nutley Velodrome in New Jersey

192. Bruce Denslow
hometown Los Angeles (CA), raced from 1933 to 1946 minimum

191. Lloyd Vieaux
hometown (East) Beverly Hills (CA), sometimes Rheims (France), likely from Colorado though, raced from 1930 to 1934 minimum, died 1934-07-22 in a Big Car crash at Lakewood Speedway in Georgia, born either in 1900/01 or 1907/08, depending on source quoting age :

#89 fines

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:17

190. Speed Hinkley
real name Byron W. Hinkley, hometown Elba (NE), then Pasadena (CA), raced from 1924 to 1931 minimum, born 1898-10-28, died 1989-12-31

189. Jean-Pierre Wimille
another freak entry, of course, hometown Paris (F), raced from 1930 to 1949 minimum, born 1908-02-26, died 1949-01-28

188. Freddie Winnai
hometown Philadelphia (PA), sometimes Pittsburgh (PA), raced from 1925 to 1946 minimum, born 1905-04-08, died 1977-09-04

187. Red Shafer
real name Philip E. Shafer, hometown Des Moines (IA), sometimes Fort Worth or Dallas (both TX), also Flint (MI), raced from 1915 to 1953 minimum (39 years!), born 1891-11-13, died 1971-01-29

186. Pete Henderson
real name George G. Henderson, hometown ? (CDN), later Dayton (OH), raced from 1915 to 1920 minimum, born 1895-02-18, died 1940-06-19

185. Pat Flaherty
real name George Francis Patrick Flaherty, hometown Glendale (CA), later Chicago (IL), raced from 1948 to 1963 minimum, born 1926-01-06, died 2002-04-09

184. Malcolm Fox
real name Malcolm H. Fox, possibly Malcomb F. Fox, hometown Westville (NJ), sometimes Westfield (NJ), Philadelphia (PA), Brooklyn (NY) or Detroit (MI),raced from 1931 to 1934 minimum, born 1906-03-13, died 1968-08-21

183. Red Renner
real name Marlin Renner, hometown Woodburn (IN), sometimes Dayton (OH), Fort Wayne or Muncie (both IN), raced from 1948 to 1962 minimum, born ?, died 1962-09-10 from racing injuries sustained seven weeks earlier at Winchester Speedway in Indiana

182. Bobby Ball
real name Robert K. Ball, hometown Phoenix (AZ), raced from 1949 to 1953 minimum, born 1925-08-26, died 1954-02-27 from racing injuries sustained sixty weeks earlier at Carrell Speedway in California

181. George Lynch
real name George J. Lynch, hometown Detroit (MI), sometimes Indianapolis (IN), Columbus (OH) or Pittsburgh (PA), raced from 1941 to 1957 minimum, born 1918-06-20, died 1997-05-06

#90 m.tanney

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:56

Originally posted by fines
186. Pete Henderson
real name George G. Henderson, hometown ? (CDN), later Dayton (OH), raced from 1915 to 1920 minimum, born 1895-02-18, died 1940-06-19

Henderson was born in Arran, Ontario. His hometown was Fernie, British Columbia. When he raced at Indy in 1920, he was living in Dayton. I am not sure where he lived in the main part of his racing career. Henderson seems to have gone from riding mechanic to driver in 1915. He did not race after the 1920 Indy 500, which was a one-off. I have seen documents that give Henderson's middle initial as "G" or his middle name as Gerrie but the Ontario birth records have Brooks. It might be best to stick with George and leave out the middle name/initial.

Mike

#91 fines

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:22

Thanks for that, Mike!

As for his place of residence, I would guess Des Moines for up to 1915, and maybe Indianapolis a year later, but so far I've never seen it mentioned.

#92 fines

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 09:26

180. Wally Campbell
real name Wallace Campbell, hometown Trenton (NJ), raced from 1951 to 1954 minimum, born 1926-07-16, died 1954-07-17 at Salem Speedway in Indiana

179. Joe Barzda
real name Joseph J. Barzda, hometown New Brunswick (NJ), raced from 1950 to 1962 minimum, born 1915-05-22, died 1993-10-11

178. Jimmy Jackson
hometown Indianapolis (IN), later Desert Hot Springs (CA), sometimes Detroit (MI), Palm Springs or Whitewater (both CA), raced from 1939 to 1954 minimum, born 1910-07-25, died 1984-11-24

177. Arvol Brunmier
hometown Los Angeles (CA) area (Whittier), raced from 1927 to 1947 minimum, born 1906-11-29, died 1971-08-25

176. Slim Corum
real name Lora Lawrence Corum, hometown Indianapolis (IN), sometimes Los Angeles (CA), raced from 1920 to 1935 minimum, born 1899-01-08, died 1949-03-05

175. Mike Magill
real name Charles Edward Magill, hometown Haddonfield (NJ), sometimes Indianapolis (IN), raced from 1947 to 1961 minimum, born 1920-02-08, died 2006-08-31

174. Dempsey Wilson
hometown Los Angeles (CA) area (Hawthorne, Lawndale), raced from 1948 to 1969 minimum, born 1927-03-11, died 1971-04-23

173. Chick Barbo
real name Erling (Ehrling?) Barbo, hometown Seattle (WA), sometimes Monticello (IN) or Los Angeles (CA), raced from 1939 to 1949 minimum, born 1915/16?, died 1949-07-24 at Salem Speedway in Indiana

172. Pappy Booker
real name Elbert Booker, hometown Detroit (MI), sometimes Dayton (OH) or Decatur (IL)?, raced from 1936?/1938 to 1947 minimum, born 1901/02?, died 1947-06-15 at Dayton Speedway in Ohio

171. Monk Tadlock
real name unknown, brother to Eldridge McFaden Tadlock (ca. 1909-41) and John Tadlock (1907-85?), son to John W. Tadlock, hometown Norfolk (VA), raced from 1933 to 1940 minimum, need help!!!

#93 fines

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:36

170. Ira Hall
real name Ira E. Hall, hometown Terre Haute (IN), sometimes Indianapolis (IN), raced from 1927 to 1941 minimum, born 1892-02-02, died 1987-02-06, reputedly a former pugilist, also dabbled in politics

169. Jerry Hoyt
real name Gerald Frederick Hoyt, hometown Indianapolis (IN), raced from 1949 to 1955 minimum, born 1929-01-29, died 1955-07-11 from injuries sustained the day before at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City

168. Larry Crockett
real name Larret Julian Crockett, hometown Columbus (IN), raced from 1950 to 1955 minimum, born 1926-10-23, died 1955-03-20 at Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania

167. Gordon Reid
hometown Burbank (CA), raced from 1947 to 1952 minimum, born 1923-08-11, died 1952-04-20 at Dayton Speedway in Ohio

166. Hungry Clark
real name Maynard R. Clark, hometown Milan (IL), sometimes Rock Island (IL) or Des Moines (IA), raced 1926 to 1936 minimum, born 1903-09-27, died 1991-01-04

165. Sam Palmer
hometown Los Angeles (CA) area (Pasadena, Hollywood), sometimes Denver (CO) or Indianapolis (IN), raced 1926 to 1934 minimum, born 1903/04?, died 1934-05-15 from injuries sustained in a road accident a week earlier near Bakersfield in California

164. Ralph Mulford
real name Ralph K. Mulford, hometown Brooklyn (NY), raced from 1907 to 1922 minimum, born 1884-12-28, died 1973-10-23

163. Eddie Miller
real name Edward F. Miller, hometown unknown, raced from 1920 to 1922 minimum, born 1895-10-07, died 1965-08-07

162. Al Herman
hometown Allentown (PA), sometimes Emmaus, Wescoesville, Bethlehem or Center Valley (all PA), raced from 1951 to 1960 minimum, born 1927, died 1960-06-18 at West Haven Speedway in Connecticut

161. Buster Warke
real name Granville W. Warke, hometown Allentown (PA), sometimes Walnutport, Center Valley (both PA), Trenton, Paterson (both NJ), Tulsa (OK) or Denver (CO), raced from 1935 to 1956 minimum, born 1914-11-10, died 2008-02-20

#94 fines

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 13:10

Originally posted by fines
187. Red Shafer
real name Philip E. Shafer, hometown Des Moines (IA), sometimes Fort Worth or Dallas (both TX), also Flint (MI), raced from 1915 to 1953 minimum (39 years!), born 1891-11-13, died 1971-01-29

Latest info I found is that he started racing in 1911! Apart from a different birth year (1892!), the article also mentions another variant of his "upbringing": to Iowa and Texas you can now add... Utah! Oh, well...

#95 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:21

Originally posted by fines

163. Eddie Miller
real name Edward F. Miller, hometown unknown, raced from 1920 to 1922 minimum, born 1895-10-07, died 1965-08-07


Miller was from Dumont, New Jersey.

Herman was born 15 March 1927.

#96 fines

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 20:28

Thanks for that, although it's not really what I was after (I believe both are on WATN, I just forgot to look them up). How about Ed Terry, Dave Randolph, Carl Ryder, Lloyd Vieaux, Red Renner, or Chick Barbo for instance? :cat:

#97 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 00:32

Originally posted by fines
Thanks for that, although it's not really what I was after (I believe both are on WATN, I just forgot to look them up). How about Ed Terry, Dave Randolph, Carl Ryder, Lloyd Vieaux, Red Renner, or Chick Barbo for instance? :cat:


Well, it's not much - but this much I could find.

Red Renner
The Ohio Death Index says he died on the 9th September 1962, in Miami, Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. Born 1927. Residence of Dayton at death, was married.

197. Carl Ryder
I can only make a guess, without backup, of 1896-1975. I would need something from the census to confirm this a little more.

195. Dave Randolph
Born 20th November 1920. Dad was Carl Henry Tewksbury. Mother Janet Mildred Mallery. Died in Alabama.

191. Lloyd Vieaux
Census indicates he was born around 1903/1904 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

#98 fines

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:29

:clap: :clap: That's what I'm talking 'bout! :smoking:

#99 fines

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 19:50

A bit more on Dave Randolph from the Altamont Enterprise, Aug 23 in 1940:

The colorful and capable young dare devil, Dave Randolph, from Freeport, L. I., driving a fast Hal D. O., was the first to file his entry for the big event.
Dave is studying music at Hofstra College at Hempstead, L. I., and endeavoring to follow his father's footsteps to become a professor, but the lure of the roaring road is in his blood, and he steals away from his studies to ride the mighty midgets and the big cars as chance offers. He made his first appearance in upstate New York driving at Altamont, May 30, where he tangled with Lee Wallard and drove a very daring race with the famous Bob Sall.

In fact, he led the race from Sall before spinning in the closing stages - not bad for a Big Car rookie in one of his first four or five starts!

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#100 fines

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 21:10

Originally posted by fines
For the record, here are the pre-war non-AAA Big Car Champions that I know of

(...)

NMRA (National Motor Racing Association - PA, NJ)
1928 Jimmy Gleason (?)
1930 Johnny Hannon (?)
=> NARA/ARA in 1933 (?)

From the new Langhorne book and related research:

1923 NMRA champion was Ellwood Wolfe (or Elwood Wolf?)
1925 champion was Zeke Meyer, 2nd Russ Snowberger
1927 very probably Freddie Winnai

This organisation also frequently raced in Maryland, besides Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Sometime in 1928, the NMRA evolved into the UAA (United Auto Association), possibly a merger with the ESMRA (Eastern States Motor Racing Association, itself likely a 1926 NMRA spin-off). UAA probably collapsed after 1929, champions unknown. Gleason and Hannon (as by my earlier post) are most likely mistaken.