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Riverside today


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#1 Boniver

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Posted 04 September 2001 - 09:39

Riverside California Los Angeles

first race 1957
20.11.60 GP VS F1 won by Moss - Lotus
1983 acc Rolf Stommelen
close 1988

Riverside Today
Website visitor Bill Wilkman lives near the site of Riverside Raceway and took a stroll recently through this hallowed ground. His description follows:

"If you go to the intersection of Day and Eucalyptus in Moreno Valley, you'll
be right at the centerpoint of the old racetrack frontage. It was located east
of Day Street between the 60 Freeway and Cottonwood Avenue. The track
remnant photos I took are near the intersection of Day and Cottonwood.

The old sign remains at the northern boundary along the 60 freeway, east of
Day. The parts of the raceway (including the exciting turns 6, 7, and 7a)
north of my photos have been replaced by a combination of vacant land, a
Costco store, and the Townegate Shopping Center. "

These are the photos he took that day. Click on thumbnail to see full-sized photo and text.

http://www.tamsoldra...rsideToday.html

:mad: :mad: :mad:

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#2 rdrcr

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Posted 04 September 2001 - 15:59

Yea, I'm pretty familiar with the story... That mall has yet to prove really successful. There is still quite a bit of vacant land. And some of the big anchor tenants have rotated since it's opening.

One of the big problems the development had was that it came on line right smack in the middle of the massive Real Estate recession here in CA in the early '90's.

However, the onslaught of residential development that was to become Moreno Valley was swiftly encroaching upon RIR and the owners, Les Richter being one of them, decided it was time to sell. They did, and got a pretty penny for the property too.

I participated in what might have been one of the last events ever held there :( . A WKA Karting event. It was really something to walk amongst the buildings, and envision the throngs of people gathered there (a thing you get pretty good at doing in karting as the turnouts are only the people racing, their families and the ambulance crew :lol:.)

To imagine the feeling... like hallowed ground. Where the legends drove. We had one hulluva time racing there, we spoke of the history and what it meant to race there... I think that's when the racing bug really bit deep... To be able to drive on the same tracks, pit in the same stalls as the pros... We thought long and hard about swiping one or two or all of the Riverside letters from the main grandstand, in retrospect we probably should have done it.

The sign that used to proudly display the tracks name and upcoming events still stands as Boniver says. Now, it serves as a billboard for the stores in the mall.

All things must pass. But that one, sure was a bitter pill to swallow.

I drive by there on occassion, on my way to Palm Springs... I look at the spot of ground that used to be the Raceway, the sign that remains, the memories of the time I had there... You can be sure I don't see that mall for the few seconds I look over there.

Thanks for the memories R.I.R.

#3 buzard

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Posted 05 September 2001 - 03:10

Looking at the photos, what he thinks is the pit area is the
old back straight going into the old turn 9. It was used as
a back entry to the pits. You can see where the new kink
turned away from the old straight.

buzard

#4 Justin Gurney

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 21:42

Whenever we go dirt bike riding I go by that sign. I still remember the rainy day back in 1980, I was 9, when my Dad did a one off Nascar race there with a young teamate named Dale Earnhardt. I don't remember who won that day but I knew that Riverside was the Gurneys track, at least I thought so. Next time I go by I am going to try to find where I stood that day. I know it was on the outside of turn six. Looks like there might be a Safeway there now. What a shame......

#5 Graham Clayton

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 22:22

Has anyone considered erecting a memorial plaque on
the site?
There will probably come a time when the remains
of Riverside will be totally demolished.
When that happens, a plaque will be the only way
to remind people that a racing track stood on the
site.
Unfortunately it seems a lot of old tracks have
not been "remembered" this way:cry:

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 06 September 2001 - 23:50

That really depressed me.

I recall the thrill when I finally to see a race at Riverside many, many years ago. Although an East Coast kid, I really had a tingle when I first went there right up to my last race there in the late-70's. Whenever I was in the LA area on business, I always tried to find some time to run out to the track. It was about as bad as I thought it might be. I saw it as the track was in its waning days and that was bad enough.

Not sure I want to even try to get out there in the future....

#7 Kaiser

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 00:06

Some of my earliest memories are of my father waking me up at 3am to go to Riverside, he wrenched on a buddies open wheeled car, I'm not sure what class they ran, but I remember the car being very fast, but there I was, with the old man, proud as I could be, 4 years old, in the pits at Riverside. I was living in Ohio when Riverside, and Indian Dunes(another tragedy, as that is still empty land) went the way of the dodo.

#8 rdrcr

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 01:20

Originally posted by Graham Clayton
Has anyone considered erecting a memorial plaque on
the site? There will probably come a time when the remains
of Riverside will be totally demolished. When that happens, a plaque will be the only way to remind people that a racing track stood on the site. Unfortunately it seems a lot of old tracks have
not been "remembered" this way:cry:


You know that's a good thought. I don't know if Moreno Valley has even contemplated it. I think I'll give them a call and see what the status is. The sign is still there, but who knows how long that might last when things start to pick up around there...

BTW - I consider it totally demolished right now.

Will advise.

#9 911

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 02:37

Justin,

Tell your dad hello for us! I know he's responded here before (i.e.1967 Belgian GP thread). Justin, your dad OWNED Riverside during the NASCAR events! How many did he win there? 7 or 8?

rdrcr & all,

My all-time favorite track was/is Riverside. My parents used to race there in the late 60s and I tagged along with them as a 3-year old. I went to all types of events there - SCCA, POC, IMSA, USAC, NASCAR, etc. I still get very depressed when I drive by there. Two years ago I actually went there and got out of my car and just stood there (where T9 would have been) for about an hour.

Has anyone purchased the Riverside book from Dick Walton? It has every professional event run at Riverside. Very nice collection!

911

#10 911

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 02:49

I forgot to add that I finally got on the track before it was completely torn down. I did a test day with Skip Barber in April, 1989. An 18 year-old kid was about 3 seconds quicker than me (it was, however, myfirst day on the track). His name was Bryan Herta.

911

#11 rdrcr

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 06:01

911...

Well I guess you answered my question for me...

Welcome Justin.

...Two years ago I actually went there and got out of my car and just stood there (where T9 would have been) for about an hour...


I've stopped by on various occassions when the demo work was going on. And then a year or so later when they were building the Center there, I did the very same thing, I stood and remembered... I don't think I've stood on that piece of ground since.

BTW - Funny you should mention Herta, he was entered in the WKA races there in '89 too. I used to race against him... well sort of... at that point in my racing, I was lucky to keep from being lapped. :rolleyes:

#12 Justin Gurney

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Posted 07 September 2001 - 22:14

By the way if you look at the Thomas guide picture and focus on the names of the streets on the right hand side you might see something very interesting.

#13 buzard

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Posted 08 September 2001 - 03:03

If I had the money........

I'd buy the property that has the last straight. Build a
motorsports-sports bar over it and put the bartops
on top of the walls. Might be the only way to save what is left!

buzard

#14 beyondnascar

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 17:19

My wife recently made a photo overlay of the track onto the property as it looks now. Pretty interesting if you haven't been there in a while take a look.
http://www.tamsoldra...rsideToday.html

Scott

#15 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 19:19

Oh dear.... :cry: Even from the other side of the Atlantic, I find all this DESPERATELY sad.....

#16 Justin Gurney

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 21:16

Me too!

#17 Jim Thurman

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 22:18

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Oh dear.... :cry: Even from the other side of the Atlantic, I find all this DESPERATELY sad.....


Imagine being someone who was there several times :(

I saw my first "major" race there. NASCAR, F5000, Can-Am, the first IROC race...attended all five major events in 1973. All major events from Fall 1972 through 1974.

Great cars, great drivers.


Jim Thurman

#18 Buford

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 22:58

I saw about the worst race I ever saw there. The 1982 Air Cal 500 CART race. Only 4 cars finished and only 5 or 6 droned around for the final 2 hours. It was the debut of Al Unser Jr. So it could be both the best and the worst. Kind of like racing in general.

Both Air Cal and Riverside are gone now and Al Unser Jr. is a joke racing in a joke series. See what happens when you get old?

#19 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 13:55

Originally posted by Buford
I saw about the worst race I ever saw there. The 1982 Air Cal 500 CART race. Only 4 cars finished and only 5 or 6 droned around for the final 2 hours. It was the debut of Al Unser Jr. So it could be both the best and the worst. Kind of like racing in general.

Both Air Cal and Riverside are gone now and Al Unser Jr. is a joke racing in a joke series. See what happens when you get old?


Yeah, that was an awful race (only saw it on television...bad enough there, but at least I didn't get a sunburn :D). The heat has had to have been a big help in the attrition.

Air Cal was a good airline (back in the days when service mattered), and, Buford you'll like this...had very nice...and I do mean nice, stewardesses :)

Same went for California's other airline, PSA...only more so! :)

Damn mergers!


Jim Thurman

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#20 Udo K.

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 15:28

Yes, definetetly a great loss. I just read Karl Ludvigsen's Dan Gurney bio with photos and stories from Riverside. Must have been a great place.

I have about the same feeling when I come back to Spa-Francorchamps or the Nürburgring today, which was my "motor racing home" in the sixties. Both venues still exist and are busy with races, but they are not the same anymore. (Justin, your father must have liked both places).
Okay, the "old Ring" is still there, they even race on it (24 Hours Race), but you cannot compare it to the old times. Riverside is gone totally and forever. Although I have never been there I liked the place - maybe because of Dan (whom I met so often in the late sixties).

#21 beyondnascar

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Posted 07 February 2002 - 18:37

Imagine being someone who was there several times


That was me too. I started as a cub scout in June 1970 because we all got in free. Went to just about every function through about 1982. And I am sorry if I offend anybody with this but A.J. Foyt and I finally agree on something. The new track in Fontana doesn't touch the types of tracks they used to have in this area.

#22 chateaubell

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 00:05

I'm just cutting and pasting now, they don't call me "Last Minute Mike" for nothing I suppose... feel free to mail chateaubell@surfcity.net

I looked over your site with great interest several months ago... I
hate to tell you that the last obvious traces of the Raceway were wiped out
before I could go see them. But, at this time, the site has been graded for
houses and streets... if it were possible to get streets named for
significant figures in history for RIR, or any other specific ideas, could
you toss them my way? I just happened to finally look into the city
government and something about that area is on the agenda for 3-12-02,
TOMORROW, ack, so if anything could be done, that could possibly be a
deadline, if it's not too late already... I'm finding out as fast as I can.
But if I need to have a list of names tomorrow night in my hand, I want to
be ready... and I'm a bit of an amateur, I want to have more than Earnhardt
and The Love Bug! Thanks.

Michael Bell

#23 jmp85

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 05:16

for american readers (including... me!)

this month's edition of "vintage motorsport" contains a rather lengthy article on riverside... i just saw it two days ago as i was walking back home, but didn't buy it (yet)...

cheers, jmp85

#24 paulb

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 14:53

I can't believe I missed this thread.

Riverside is the track that indoctrinated me to the joys of racing. I started watching the LA Times Enduro GP's of the 70's and 80's. They had vintage races as support events. Those were weekends of pure fun. Camp out for two nights, watch the racing, visit the paddock area, walk around, get sunburned. Great fun.

We used to station ourselves on the inside of the Esses before Turn 6. It was a great perspective since we saw the cars snaking throught the Esses before braking heavily into T6. You would always have an unobstructed view of the track since the fence was low. One night, we hopped the fence and walked on the track.

In my "archives" I just found a program from one of the Riverside events (identify TBD).

I went to one of the last events, a NASCAR/IROC weekend. It was sad knowing the track was going away. Fortunately, I participated in a POC track day and got to drive some laps on the short course in my 911. That is a memory I will never forget.

I have the same feelings as many others, I get pissed when I drive by. I still hope someone will recreate the course. (One of these days, I'm going to make a slot car track modeled after RIR). It was such a great racetrack, not the prettiest, but a challenging course that provided many passing opportunities.

#25 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 16:07

In this orgy of development - has anyone spared a thought for those lost at Riverside??? Is there anything to commemorate Ken Miles, Pat Pigott, Curtis Turner (or was it Joe Weatherly?), Rolf Stommelen?????????? Is there a Miles Avenue, or a Pigott Square or a Stommelen Strasse..... Just a thought?

DCN

#26 Gerr

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 17:16

It was Joe Weatherly,at Riverside not Turner. Billy Foster also lost his life there.

#27 rdrcr

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 17:22

Doug,

I draw your attention to this post by Justin...

Originally posted by Justin Gurney
By the way if you look at the Thomas guide picture and focus on the names of the streets on the right hand side you might see something very interesting.


Off of Fredrick street, are streets named after Andretti, Brabham, Donohue, Gurney, Penske, Surtees, and Yarborough

There has been recognition of some, but not all, of those lost. I've been meaning to report that the city of Moreno Valley has not had a formal submittal of a marker or memorial to the history of Riverside International Raceway. I spoke with Darisa in Planning and Zoning some time back, never heard back from her with regards to the "How to's"... the reappearance of this thread has reminded me to follow-up. Thanks Michael

I'll call right now and see what the deal is. If there hasn't been anything done, I can get the procedures down, and perhaps one of you eloquent wordsmiths can craft up a letter of proposal that we can submit to the city. This might be kind of a worthwhile (virtual) community project.

#28 paulb

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 19:54

Originally posted by Doug Nye
In this orgy of development - has anyone spared a thought for those lost at Riverside??? Is there anything to commemorate Ken Miles, Pat Pigott, Curtis Turner (or was it Joe Weatherly?), Rolf Stommelen?????????? Is there a Miles Avenue, or a Pigott Square or a Stommelen Strasse..... Just a thought?

DCN

I'm going to expose my ignorance and ask, is this typically done at race circuits, that is, honor those who have perished? Senna at Monza comes to mind, but is this only normally done for exceptional drivers and/or circumstances?

I'm saddened, but not surprised that RIR does not have a single point of commemoration for either the track or those who have died. After all, they did destroy it for an anemic shopping center. :(

It is nice to see that there is lasting acknowledgement for some of the drivers. :up:

#29 cabianca

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 19:59

Riverside
Born 21 Sept 1957 Preliminary events for Sunday races on 22nd
Died 2 July 1989 Cal Club amateur race
RIP

#30 Jim Thurman

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Posted 12 March 2002 - 22:45

Originally posted by Doug Nye
In this orgy of development - has anyone spared a thought for those lost at Riverside??? Is there anything to commemorate Ken Miles, Pat Pigott, Curtis Turner (or was it Joe Weatherly?), Rolf Stommelen?????????? Is there a Miles Avenue, or a Pigott Square or a Stommelen Strasse..... Just a thought?


Doug,

To my knowledge, rarely is there anything to acknowledge the sites of old race tracks anywhere in the states. Sad, but it's just the way it is.

It was Weatherly and not Turner.

One of my earliest and most unforgettable memories was watching Curtis Turner deciding to make the "esses" straight...bounding his Ford over the rough, unplowed ground (literally looking like a motocross at times!), to rejoin the pavement...huge clouds of swirling dirt coming from the trunk.

Billy Foster was a very promising young Canadian driver who very nearly won the Champ Car races at Atlanta and the non-points race at Fuji (passing a couple of well known F1 drivers in the process!).

And there was Stock Car driver Sonny Easley. A very good Western NASCAR driver.

And not to forget Bill Spencer and Tim Williamson. Two very promising young Stock Car racers who died in the January NASCAR Sportsman/Grand American race (in '75 and '80 respectively). I saw both on the short tracks, Spencer repeatedly, and they were very good. Williamson won his first start in the same cars at Ontario Motor Speedway, IIRC, his first drive on a track larger than a 1/2 mile. He also won a NASCAR Western Grand National race at OMS. All of these drivers (and the others mentioned) were true talents lost.

I mentioned recently running across an item on the Bruce McLaren memorial flagpole at Bridgehampton Raceway. Since the track site was recently plowed up and turned into a golf course, I wonder whatever became of the flagpole and marker?


Jim Thurman

#31 paulb

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Posted 13 March 2002 - 01:19

I found the program :) from the 1988 Budweiser 400, June 9-12, 1988. Here's some interesting bits from it:

From Dan Greenwood, President RIR:

Welcome ......and farewell
Dear Fans,
This weekend marks the final chapter in an era of racing history as the Budweiser 400 will be the final Winston Cup race at Riverside. Winston Cup races have been held at Riverside since 1963 and all of the great names in the sport have tested their skills on this venerable race track.

Fittingly, IROC is returning for one last time to its original home so that the best of the best from al major racing disciplines can challenge Riverside's famous "short course."

As a relative newcomer to Riverside, it is with a sense of humility that I thank the grear companies that have supported Riverside for so many years - names like R.J. Reynolds, Winson, Camel, Anheuser Busch, Unocal, Goodyear and, more recently, Motorcraft and Chevrolet. While these are corporate names, behind each one is several individuals whose help, friendship and loyalty to Riverside is cherished by us at the track.

I would like to congratulate Hershel McGriff, who holds the all-time record for professional wins at Riverside. Hershel is one of the real gentlemen of the sport and it is an honor to have hima as our Grand Marshal.

Our three official starters have a special meaning to Riverside. The principal stockholder of the raceway, Fritz Duda, became involved in Riversie at a rather precarious time in its history. His support has been invaluable in keeping the raceway functioning for the last 15 years. Les "The Coach" Richter's name has bbeen synonymous with Riverside for two decades. His energy and talents made the facility one of the best known in the world. Betze Snead, our office manager, has dedicated the last 22 years of her life to Riverside International Raceway. All of us who work with her and countless thousands in the racing industry hold a special place in our hearts for Beze, as she does for Riverside.

Finally, a thank you to you, our fans, who have supported us loyally over the years. Your patience with the occasional dust or mud or potholes we hope has been repaid with some of the finest road racing seen in this country year in and year out.

To you, I say, keep the faith! As Riverside winds down to the final days, I remain convinced that we or some other group will find the right spot for a new major motorsports complex. Hold a good thought.

Have a great weekend, and thanks again."


Results from some of the races through the years:

NASCAR Winston Cup
  • Golden State 400 Nov 3, 1963 Darel Deringer Mercury 91.645 mph
  • NAPA 400 June 12, 1977 Richard Petty Dodge 105.021 mph
  • Motor Trend 500 Jan 30, 1963 Dan Gurney Ford 84.965 mph
  • Winston Western 500 Nov 22, 1981 Bobby Allison Buick 95.288 mph

Indy Cars
  • Rex Mays 300 Nov 26, 1967 Dan Gurney Eagle Ford 107.170 mph
  • LA Times/California 500 Aug 28, 1983 Bobby Rahal March-Cosworth 113.678 mph

Formula 1
  • Grand Prix of the United States Nov 20, 1960 Stirling Moss Lotus Climax 99 mph

IMSA
  • Camel GT May 10, 1975 Hans Stuck/Deiter Quester BMW CSL 102.993 mph
  • Camel GT Apr 28, 1985 Pete Halsmer/John Morton Porsche 962 108.110 mph
  • Camel GT Apr 26, 1987 Hurley Haywood/John Morton Jaguar XJR-7 108.393 mph

Sports Cars
  • Los Angeles Cup Sep 21, 1957 Richie Ginther 4.9 liter Ferrari 85.15 mph
  • LA Times Grand Prix Oct 12, 1958 Chuck Daigh Scarab Mk2 Chevrolet 88.8 mph
  • LA Times Grand Prix Oct 31, 1965 Hap Sharp Chaparral Chevrolet 102.989 mph

Can-Am
  • LA Times Grand Prix Oct 30, 1966 John Surtees Lola Chevrolet 106.864 mph
  • LA Times Grand Prix Oct 28, 1973 Mark Donohue Porsche 917/30 120.311 mph
  • Budweiser Grand Prix Oct 4, 1981 Al Holbert CRC-2 Chevrolet 119.391 mph

Other races included Trans-Am, Formula 5000, USRRC, SCORE Off-Road, Russell Pro Series, IROC, and even drag racing. Quite a rich legacy.

#32 rdrcr

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:02

UPDATE:

I have spoken with Mr. Mitch Slagerman and his assistant Tamara of the Moreno Valley Neighborhood Preservation Dept. They are making inquiries as to what it would take to erect a permanent marker to commemorate the Riverside International Raceway.

I told him that the effort would be privately funded (the marker) and all I was seeking would be the plot of ground, it's access to a frontage road and the permission to go ahead. Based upon my statements he is making inquiries about the aforementioned conditions.

I am in the process of drafting up an illustration as to what this commemorative marker might look like. A large bronze plaque set upon a black granite monolith. There would be an drawing of the track, a brief history of the facility and perhaps some other information, winners of major events, racers who lost their lives etc.... Don't know at this point, just thinking about some different ideas. The more elaborate the marker, the more costly, needless to say.

I also suggest that a suitable location would be in place of the old blue steel sign that now is one of the last remnants of the facility. There are plans to continue the frontage road past that spot when further development warrants it. (which should be immanent, I'm told).

I invite you to put forth your own suggestions here. Also, I may enlist if necessary, someone here to draft a forceful and emotional letter to emphasize the importance of that hallowed ground... I'll take volunteers for that as well.

As I had mentioned previously, There will need to be a fund-raising venture as well. This marker will be privately funded, so I figure that I might as well put my money where my mouth is. I'll pledge $100 to the effort. I'll expect some sort of sincere overture here form the many who have spoken about the RIR's reverence to them. Also, I'm relying upon you to get the word out so that this fund-raising effort travels quickly. I hope that it shouldn't cost more than a few grand. I'll get estimates soon. i.e. For a 5' x 4' x 2 piece of black granite and installation and a custom engraved plaque shouldn't amount to more than that... but we'll see.

Looking for volunteers and pledges - Thank you.

#33 Graham Clayton

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:29

Richard,
I want to congratulate you on your efforts to get a memorial plaque
unveiled on the site of the former Riverside Speedway.

Hopefully you will get a lot of both moral and financial support.

As I am currently in the process of getting a memorial plaque
to be put up on the site of the Windsor speedway, I thought
I might offer a few tips

a) the more information on the plaque, the greater the cost

My Windsor plaque will have the following information
i) note showing where the plaque is located on
the circuit
ii) dates of first and last meeting
iii) details of fatalites - names, type of car, date
iv) date of when plaque was dedicated

As well as the plaque, you will to work out a way
to keep the plaque "hidden" until the unveiling
ceremony. As it is a plaque on a block, you will
need some sheet or other covering material.

As well as the plaque, you may consider having
a display of Riverside memorabilia, and maybe
even try to get some ex-Riverside cars on display.

I hope these ideas will be of interest.

#34 Bernd

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:34

This thread somehow escaped my attention first time around.
Isn't it so depressing how great Motor Sport icons such as Riverside are treated just like wasteland when developers come along.

#35 rdrcr

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:47

Thanks for your input Graham... I shall take it under consideration. It sounds like you have your approvals well in hand. This is the biggest hurdle IMO. You have included in your memorial what I was thinking about in mine/ours... At least I'm on a common track (no pun intended).

I was in the development game for 17 years Bernd, while I agree that some developers aren't sympathetic to each and every concern, some things must past... it's a higher and better use deal. Such as RIR. But I'll agree that they should have at least spent a few thou on a memorial.

I aim to rectify that oversight.

#36 maxpapis

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:56

Hi everyone,

I generally don't post in TNF but I do lurk a lot. In fact, the last post I think I had in here was about Smokey Yunicks' death. :(

I think rdrcr's idea is great. I'm in for a pledge of $50.00.
It would be great if we could do this. I think a memorial of some sort would be a very gracious way to remember such a great place.

#37 Gary C

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 01:59

more power to your elbow, rdrcr! Any ideas how I can contribute from the UK?

#38 Bernd

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 02:16

Richard yeah I know you have to be realistic but it is still damn sad.

Cathy what happened to Audrey! Did she get eaten by that weird bouncing thing?

#39 rdrcr

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 02:51

Originally posted by Gary C
more power to your elbow, rdrcr! Any ideas how I can contribute from the UK?



Sure Gary, Pledge $50 US to the cause. Other than that, I'm not sure at the moment... I don't think a "petition" of sorts counts for anything these days... just money... but I'm open to suggestions.

Bernd, I agree - damn sad... sadder still that it's gone unrecognized without any sort of commemoration

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#40 Buford

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 03:30

I'm in for $50.00.

#41 Jim Thurman

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 07:34

Originally posted by rdrcr
I also suggest that a suitable location would be in place of the old blue steel sign that now is one of the last remnants of the facility. There are plans to continue the frontage road past that spot when further development warrants it. (which should be immanent, I'm told).

I invite you to put forth your own suggestions here. Also, I may enlist if necessary, someone here to draft a forceful and emotional letter to emphasize the importance of that hallowed ground... I'll take volunteers for that as well.

As I had mentioned previously, There will need to be a fund-raising venture as well. This marker will be privately funded, so I figure that I might as well put my money where my mouth is. I'll pledge $100 to the effort. I'll expect some sort of sincere overture here form the many who have spoken about the RIR's reverence to them. Also, I'm relying upon you to get the word out so that this fund-raising effort travels quickly. I hope that it shouldn't cost more than a few grand. I'll get estimates soon. i.e. For a 5' x 4' x 2 piece of black granite and installation and a custom engraved plaque shouldn't amount to more than that... but we'll see.

Looking for volunteers and pledges - Thank you.


I would suggest the start/finish line or as close to it as possible for site (might be difficult to pinpoint now, but last check, the approximate location was still vacant land yet near a recently completed roadway.

How about placing ads or getting word out through Vintage Motorsport and other vintage groups?

...and contacting Jim Short, the motorsport writer at the Riverside Press-Enterprise?

I've got good records (thanks to others) on the fatalities at Riverside International Raceway. I would go along with suggesting first and last race date, some of the notable races, racers and those who lost their lives there being plaque material.

Excellent idea rdrcr :up:

Now if we could just get rid of the suburban blight and have the track again :(


Jim Thurman - who saw his first major race at RIR, doubtless like many, many others

#42 Gary C

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 09:46

OK then, put me down for 50 bucks :up:

#43 rdrcr

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 16:17

Originally posted by Jim Thurman


I would suggest the start/finish line or as close to it as possible for site (might be difficult to pinpoint now, but last check, the approximate location was still vacant land yet near a recently completed roadway.


You are correct... I know that site well and the start / finish line is still more or less visible. However, unless there is an approved map for future development, such a placement would be difficult to insure. But I shall make further inquiries about this local. The reason I picked the spot under the sign was, that it offered easy access from the Freeway, it's most prominent being outside the old circuit, it offered minimum invasiveness upon any planned development and the city owns (I think) the bit of frontage strip between the freeway (60) and the future frontage road. (I don't really want to have to get involved with private land owners if I can help it (don't want to buy an easement or dirt IYKWIM)... but we'll see.

How about placing ads or getting word out through Vintage Motorsport and other vintage groups?

...and contacting Jim Short, the motorsport writer at the Riverside Press-Enterprise?


Will do... Thanks! I'll also be contacting Dan Gurney's outfit, Phil Hill, Dick Marconi and other local racing personalities / institutions for help. As far as the press goes... I'll contact the So. CA region of the SCCA, SVRA and others, perhaps even R & T... I'd like to hit them all up for a free ad. ;)

I've got good records (thanks to others) on the fatalities at Riverside International Raceway. I would go along with suggesting first and last race date, some of the notable races, racers and those who lost their lives there being plaque material.


Thanks again, please start to compile this information so we can have a seamless development. In the next few weeks, I'll be posting some renderings of design concepts for the plaque and marker. I would like to have those bits of info around then. Your input would be most valuable. Perhaps you could colaborate with others here to come up with some narratives for the plaque and a list of the most noteable events / races.


Now if we could just get rid of the suburban blight and have the track again :(


Sorry, I only have enough time and money to do the marker thing... :D : If I was worth a billion, I'd tear down the mall and put RIR back proper. Or, recreate it upon the Homestead site (between the 60 and the 10 fwys)

OK then, put me down for 50 bucks :up:



Thanks Buford & Gary! Much appreciated.

In addition, all of you, hit your racing buddies up for 50 while your at it. I'm working on the tax deduction thing too. There should be an allowance for a non-profit effort like this one. Will advise on this one... Or, if there are any lawyers out there who want to find out for us, please feel free... it's not like I don't give my own attorney enough business.


In the future, all pledged contributions will be accepted by PM or email only. Thank you

#44 rdrcr

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Posted 05 April 2002 - 22:47

The wheels keep turning...

After speaking at length again with Mr. Slagerman, he referred me to the current owner for an even better chance of finding a "free spot" of ground. Fritz Duda Jr., Son of Fritz Sr. and one of the original partners / land owners of RIR, is running the show these days from his office in Dallas TX. I have left a detailed message and will pursue the matter with him. I understand that the Duda Family Trust has a huge collection of Riverside memorabilia.

There is a Lowe’s planned for where turn 6 and 9 used to be. So my original plan doesn't seem so feasible now. To have the memorial on the side parking lot of a Lowe's wouldn't be the best location. Unfortunately all of the start / finish line is destined to be SFR residential.

In fact, the entire place has a final tract map and development is continuing.

Mr. Slagerman said that he would support our effort (there is apparently a racer who sits on the city counsel) and if we struck out with the Duda Co. to call him back and we would put our heads together and continue the search for a site.

Keep your collective fingers crossed - that the Duda Co. will grant us a piece of dirt that is relatively prominent.

#45 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 06 April 2002 - 02:30

It is really sad to read this thread, since it was where the world got to hear about the Rodríguez brothers for the frist time back in 1957, and Ricardo, 15, was laughed at and then went and won his race to show what he was made of.
I visited Riverside back in the seventies, and it was imposing, great place to really get a car going.
Good to hear somebody's doing something to erect a memorial. Maybe have a time capsule inside where all the results of the races at the track would be listed?

#46 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 April 2002 - 01:45

Originally posted by rdrcr
The wheels keep turning...

After speaking at length again with Mr. Slagerman, he referred me to the current owner for an even better chance of finding a "free spot" of ground. Fritz Duda Jr., Son of Fritz Sr. and one of the original partners / land owners of RIR, is running the show these days from his office in Dallas TX. I have left a detailed message and will pursue the matter with him. I understand that the Duda Family Trust has a huge collection of Riverside memorabilia.

There is a Lowe’s planned for where turn 6 and 9 used to be. So my original plan doesn't seem so feasible now. To have the memorial on the side parking lot of a Lowe's wouldn't be the best location. Unfortunately all of the start / finish line is destined to be SFR residential.

In fact, the entire place has a final tract map and development is continuing.

Mr. Slagerman said that he would support our effort (there is apparently a racer who sits on the city counsel) and if we struck out with the Duda Co. to call him back and we would put our heads together and continue the search for a site.

Keep your collective fingers crossed - that the Duda Co. will grant us a piece of dirt that is relatively prominent.


Thanks for the update.

Turns 6 AND 9!!!...damn, that's one big Lowe's :D

Wonder how the Duda family got the Riverside memorabilia? (I realize they *own* the property, but...)


Jim Thurman

#47 rdrcr

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Posted 07 April 2002 - 16:44

Jim, well technically it's all part of the site, parking lot etc. ;) I haven't seen the final tract map yet, but I suspect I'll be getting a copy pretty soon. Fritz Duda Sr. was one of, if not the largest shareholders in the track itself, not just the property. Hence, that's why most of the artifacts wound up in his possession. (I suspect)

As things progress, or otherwise, I'll continue to update this thread on a regular basis.


#48 Graham Clayton

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Posted 07 April 2002 - 22:25

RDRCR,
Just a couple of more points regarding your proposed monument:

1. Go down to the site and take photos, including the EXACT spot
where the memorial will be located. When you go and visit various
people regarding your plans, it will be a great help to show them
exactly what the site looks like, plus the spot where you want the
plaque to be
2. Get at least 2 quotes for any memorial.
3. "Word of mouth" advertising will get you a lot of people
who would be interested, especially amongst the ex-racers.
4. If the developer says yes to the memorial, suggest that as
a "thank you" you might put a little display of memorabilia
inside their premises, with a note pointing out the location
of the memorial.

Keep the NF posted of your progress :up:

#49 rdrcr

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 00:13

Graham,

Thanks once again for your helpful suggestions.

1. Go down to the site and take photos, including the EXACT spot where the memorial will be located. When you go and visit various people regarding your plans, it will be a great help to show them exactly what the site looks like, plus the spot where you want the plaque to be



Absolutely, In my effort to secure a site, I shall first explore all of the "easy" avenues in which to obtain this spot for the RIR Memorial. If I am successful with the Duda Company for instance, the selection, and development of the site is relatively easy, for we would have the major player in the area assisting us. The Duda, Co. or Lowe's would be another logical choice as they have deep racing ties, and perhaps any other cooperative entity. However, if all of the avenues are exhausted, we then will revert to the Neighborhood Preservation Dept. of Moreno Valley, who's cooperation and assistance has be given to me already. The selection and acquisition process will most definitely entail a procedure as you have described. For we will have to make our suggestions and appeals known to City Counsel and P & Z for approvals etc. For this, we will need to have all of our ducks in a row so to speak. This won't be too difficult (famous last words) as I've had a bit of experience in this field, being involved with commercial Real Estate development for some 17 years. I think I know what a hoop looks like and even though it's been a while since I've jumped through one, I think I can manage it still.

2. Get at least 2 quotes for any memorial.



good point... I was thinking of at least 5. - as the type of memorial would go to bid as per the final design(s). And it doesn't cost anything to get them. On that note, I have come up with a fairly intriguing design in concrete, bronze and steel. Let me try to describe it; The outside of the memorial is poured, smooth concrete (perhaps seven feet in length and four feet high), in the shape of the track so that the outer confines of the circuit make up the perimeter of the monument. The base is flat to the mounting plate but the top is angled towards the viewer with the interior in bronze and a brief history, and other important notes inscribed upon it. The monument is mounted upon a steel base on a concrete slab. I have a few sources that can do monuments in and around the Riverside area. The closer the origin of the monument, the more reasonable the cost will be in transporting and set up, no small task as this will be one heavy mother.

3. "Word of mouth" advertising will get you a lot of people who would be interested, especially amongst the ex-racers.



True, In my continuing efforts, I'll be appealing to the local racing establishments and famous racers here in So. Ca... here alone I think we have enough folks to pull this off easily.

4. If the developer says yes to the memorial, suggest that as a "thank you" you might put a little display of memorabilia inside their premises, with a note pointing out the location of the memorial.



Good thought, also as a reciprocal gesture, I'd like to include a spot on the memorial somewhere to place a "thank you" plaque to all those that made it possible.

Keep the NF posted of your progress :up:


Of course, and I look forward to any and all input from all BB participants. You are all a part of this process and I think that I'll run this by Paul, as see if he'll go along with my idea of having this be a benevolent effort by Atlas F1 and TNF proper. As it may bring a bit of positive press to Atlas - How magnanimous.

oh... and please call me Richard - the rdrcr thing is getting a bit old. It seemed cool at first, but I don't mind using my real name.

#50 paulb

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Posted 08 April 2002 - 03:23

I really like the idea of the concrete being shaped in the perimeter of the track. Which one, the short track or the long track? It would add to the cost, but I think that having the width of the track scribed (in black) into the concrete would be an elegant touch. Not the scaled width necessarily.

As for what to inscribe on the plaque, what were some of the major firsts associated with the track? Who were some notable drivers/owners/figures whose careers were guilded by Riverside success?

What a stellar idea! Dick Wallen, who wrote a recent book all about Riverside, might be a good contact for any track realted info to put on the memorial. He's at www.racingclassics.com.