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7/5/14, 10:44 AM   #1
Where is the history of our sport!!!!
Bill Gardner
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One of my pet peeves when visiting some track & series websites is where is the history. Every now and then I like to revisit old memories or learn something new about each one.

There are some track websites that don't even post race results let alone a little history.

One of the best promotional tools is history.

I checked some of our sprint car tracks and series websites...

Bloomington Speedway, Gas City I-69 Speedway & Lawrenceburg Speedway websites only provide current year information.

USAC website has a news archive that goes back to June 18, 2008 (good luck finding what your looking for fast). I've always felt that USAC has done an excellent job at posting quality race results along with well written news stories. However, the website has nothing about past series champions or feature winners and USAC has a deep history that includes some of the greatest drivers of all time.

Terre Haute Action Track website provides only current year information and nothing, not a thing about the "tradition" of the Action Track. The Terre Haute Action Track logo has "The Legend" written in its logo but... what's "the legend"?

Paragon Speedway website only provides current year race results but does list track champions going back to 1974 and feature winners 2001-2014

MSCS website has race results posted from 2010 - 2014 & a news archives going to back to 2009.

Tri-State Speedway website has race results and news archive posted from 2011-2014

Kokomo Speedway
website has race results posted from 2008 - 2014 & some historical info going back to 1963.

Lincoln Park Speedway website has race results posted from 2007-2014 & some historical information going to back to 1969


When I was re-designing the LPS website, I wanted to put together a thorough history section, I was willing to do this for free, but the problem was no one had any of the older information. If it wasn't for Bill & Lloyd Walls, I seriously doubt the LPS history would amount to anything because the information from year to year was packed away or eventually just thrown in the trash.

Grass roots racing does a flat out terrible job of chronicling it's history!! I know record keeping is difficult when you have an ownership change, the old owner wants out, and the new owners are primarily focused on moving forward with their plans to improve a facility so they can continue a "tradition" that was built years ago or saving a track from death rather than looking back. A lot of information gets lost during transition. The really sad part is there is some incredible historical information about grass roots racing and no one will ever see it, because we are.... a)either to lazy to take the time to put it all together or b)not organized well enough to find it or c)not willing to spend the money to pay someone to do it for us and finally d)to stupid to realize our history is extremely important.

This isn't a matter of websites not having enough online storage space... Every hosting account in America rarely comes close to touching it's data storage limit.

Is there a high demand for this type of historical information now... probably not but for hypothetical reasons, lets say in 25 or 50 years sprint car racing is the most popular form of PROFESSIONAL motorsports in the United States. Dirt sprint car racing gets so popular the events are routinely televised LIVE like other professional sports are today. Tracks will look like gigantic stadiums routinely drawing attendance figures around 40,000 to 50,000 each race.

Again, hypothetically speaking, Where would we get the history of our sport? How would we know the information was factual? and How on earth could we ever really have a TRUE Professional style hall of fame?

Now, I am fully aware the chances of that happening are extremely rare... but the history of our sport deserves more attention than it gets now. When I say sport, I don't mean just sprint car racing... I'm talking about all of it. Every single sanctioning body, every track, and every class of car. All of them have a history and that history should be passed down to the next generation of race fans.

One of my favorite things about going to a race, is listening to people tell their personal stories about past races, championship seasons and etc . If you have one and would like to share it, I'd like to hear it.

Thanks for reading!
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7/5/14, 11:09 AM   #2
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
FishBurger
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Here is a website built and maintained by Keith Wendel (itsanonwingthing) which has a lot of historical stuff related to racing venues of all types located in the greater Cindinnati area, including the Lawrenceburg Speedway. It includes a number of now defunct tracks ( sadly) and might take awhile to click your way through to the info you're seeking. I use it now and then to remind me just how fickle my memory has become.

www.queencitymotorsports.com/
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Last edited by FishBurger; 7/6/14 at 7:51 AM.
 
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7/5/14, 11:12 AM   #3
Tumey's 55
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Bill,

Interesting thoughts and agree that the history of sprint car racing is not well documented. I grew up near Martinsville and as a youngster I watched races at Paragon, Bloomington, Brownstown, and Lawrenceburg. As I got older my dad became involved with Indy car racing so I got very interested in following that sport from the late 70's through part of the 80's and got away from watching sprints. It wasn't until we moved to Kokomo, from Ohio, in the late 90's that I became addicted to sprint car racing. I often remember the names Beavers, Gilstrap, Gaines, Kinser, etc from my early days. However, there is a big gap in my history and I enjoy hearing stories on this site from the old days.

Bill, I really appreciate what you do on this site to promote the sport and keep us informed. Thanks.
Dane Bowers
 
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7/5/14, 11:19 AM   #4
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
Bill Gardner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishBurger View Post
Here is a website built and maintained by Keith Wendel (itsanonwingthing) which has a lot of historical stuff related to racing venues of all types located in the greater Cindinnati area, including the Lawrenceburg Speedway. It includes a number of now defunct tracks ( sadly) and might take awhile to click your through to the info you're seeking. I use it now and then to remind me just how fickle my memory has become.

www.queencitymotorsports.com/

Yeah... I remember Keith's website from years ago. I just lost the link to it over the years. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. IMO, The tracks need to include some of this type of information. I would've never known Roy Robbins was 1959 Sprint Car Track Champion. Now, I have no idea who Roy Robbins is... but he will always be a part of the history at Lawrenceburg Speedway. That is of course as long as someone tells the story.

Thanks for the link!
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7/5/14, 11:31 AM   #5
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
Jerry Shaw
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Here's a Facebook page with a ton of historical stuff. Mainly stuff from the 60's and 70's. The one that sprouted up prior to Paragon founder Edd Sheppard being inducted to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/114617638616064/

Pay particular attention to all the pictures and clippings added by Carole Miller. She is the widow of the late, great Larry Miller and may be the greatest collector of artifacts that racing in this area has ever seen. You could look at this page for hours and not cover everything in there.

Jerry
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7/5/14, 11:33 AM   #6
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
Andrew S. Quinn
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Not web based,but easily the best motorsports museum I have been to.

 
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7/5/14, 11:34 AM   #7
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
oppweld
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Roy Robbins actually won the First Knoxville Nationals and damn near won the second if not for a lat race accident.
 
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7/5/14, 12:10 PM   #8
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
SPRINTCAR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oppweld View Post
Roy Robbins actually won the First Knoxville Nationals and damn near won the second if not for a lat race accident.
You are so right! He was one heck of a driver in those days.
 
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7/5/14, 1:26 PM   #9
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
dirtnonwingfan
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Bill, I couldn't agree more. When you were working on the Lincoln Park history I looked at some of my National Speed Sport News issues starting in 1977. Not only did I not find news for Lincoln Park, there wasn't all that much for other Indiana tracks. I guess back then some of them just didn't think it was important to send in results. I do remember a number of years ago looking at the sports page of the Indianapolis paper on a Monday (I think) and finding results for sprint car races Indiana for the weekend. I seem to remember there were 7 or more tracks. Is that possible? I would guess the paper has back issues on file, so some work might at least get historical results. With the rich history which Indiana has, it certainly seems that it would be a worthwhile endeavor to collect as much as possible, including some sort of index to other sources.
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7/5/14, 1:30 PM   #10
Re: Where is the history of our sport!!!!
stp6237
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The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing located on Route 15 a few miles South of Williams Grove Speedway has an extensive research library. In it has many of the weekly trade papers on micro-film and has National Speed Sport News from 1934 on on micro-film. Also the Chris Economaki collection is also housed there. the web site is www.emmr.org and you can find out more info there. You can easily speed 6 hours in there and still want more, I know I have many times done that. It is $20 per year to join and that is well worth it. Lynn Paxton and his group go out of their way to make this one of the best in the country. free admission, they just ask for a donation. Excellent gift shop by the way!
 
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