Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Eagle Raceway to host Living Legends night May 14
by Race Author
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Stars of the past grace the O'Reilly Auto Parts Eagle Raceway on Saturday May 14 as we present Living Legends Night. In conjunction with the Big Car Racing Association (BCRA) reunion and the formation of the new National Oval-track Vintage Association at Lincoln's Speedway Motors, fans can meet drivers and see cars up close and witness the thrills from the "golden age."
Eagle Raceway will also have on hand its own legends including three-time champs J.J. Riggins, and Lonnie Jensen plus Don Droud Sr., Ed Bowes, Steve Grossenbacher, Mike Cacak, Jim Shuman and Harry Barr.
During intermission Eagle Raceway will have an exhibition race featuring many of the cars on display. It's a great opportunity for longtime fans to remember days gone by and for new fans to see the history of dirt track racing firsthand.
The BCRA sanctioned Sprint Car "Big Car" races until the 1970's throughout the Midwest. Today they showcase the drivers, and cars of racing days gone by to preserve their memories.
Below is a list of expected attendees:
Ray Lee Goodwin
Ray Lees career began in the early 60's in the Supermodifieds in his hometown of Kansas City. This Knoxville Nationals Champion and IMCA champ (72) He's a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and the Belleville Kansas High Banks Hall of Fame and frequented the Eagle track with great success on the Nebraska oval.
50's and 60's IMCA and BCRA competitor winning the BCRA championship in 1967 driving the Red Forshee Chevy Sprinter. Belleville High Banks Hall of Fame Inductee.
Mark Randol of Kansas City will make the trip to Lincoln with his fathers "Randol Excavating Offy" which has recently been restored and with the original 270 Offy powerplant. This car with many of the best drivers to ever take the seat of a sprinter won many main events and championships along the IMCA trail in the fifties and sixties. Kansas Cities Eddie McVey will make the trip with Mark and Eddie was another top driver on the sprint circuits of the region.
Odie Fellows of Denver Colorado will be in town with the Maxwell car he once drove on the BCRA and the IMCA. Odie ran stocks, midgets and sprinters as well as running the Sports car circuits in California and the Midwest. He once ran the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with Carol Shelby on his pit crew. Odie is now restoring vintage cars for clients around the country and his craftsmanship is near legendary.
Denver's Muirhead ran sprinters for many years in the South and the Midwest and will attend the Living Legends night at Eagle and the BCRA reunion at Speedway motors.
Rexford Kansas Mirl Barnett will make the tow to Eagle from his north west Kansas home and will run and show the Lonnie Morosic built propane fueled olds powered sprinter he drove in the fifties and sixties along the BCRA trail of competition.
Lincoln's Jan Andre will show and run the "Pig Iron Special" which was built by his father Dave Andre of Wilsonville Nebraska in 1953. The car competed along the old United Motor Contest Association circuit and later the BCRA circuit. Drivers included Howard Sumner of Norcator Kansas, Don Wolfe of Lexington Nebraska (2001 Nebraska Hall of Fame inductee) and Harold Lantz of Lexington. The car has been restored to exquisite condition.
Paul Tainter of Fremont Neb will be on hand with his 1930's Jack Edwards big car originally from Torrington Wyoming. Paul has enjoyed a great Vintage career in the big car and the midgets in the region.
Houseman, from Grand Junction Colorado will be on hand with his Black Deuce Replicar. Jack has been involved in the Sporty cars and Vintage meets for decades and is vice president of the revived BCRA.
Grand Junction Colorado's McCallum will be in town with one of several of his cars that adorn his racing museum in the western Colorado city. Steve's collection continues to grow and is a must see if you get to Grand Junction.
Burlington Iowa resident Fry and mechanic Mel Getchel have competed in the sprint ranks and Silver Crown for over 30 years and Ned is the vice president of the Mississippi Valley Vintage club.
Mississippi Valley President Mewes will also make the trip from Eastern Iowa with his Nance big car in tow. It is great to see these Iowa guys in town for the Eagle event.
Dodge City's Roger Burnett is another hopeful with his forties wire wheeled sprinter. Roger is currently building street rods at his Dodge City shop and hopes to get away to Lincoln for the event.
Lincoln's Joe Haag will be on hand with his Watson roadster. This Lincolnite has been an avid vintage supporter for years and is always on hand in support of the sport.
IMCA old-timer Lou Holland is another hopeful with his Joh Rutherford driven sprinter. Lou competed with the IMCA for decades starting in the fifties before retiring from competition and running the vintage events in the Midwest to present day.
IMCA president Skip Pollack is making the trip to attend the Lincoln event. Skip is a member of an elite group of individuals who are attempting to standardize Historical and Vintage on track protocol in the country.
Chet Wilson Offy Killer
Another hopeful is the Chet Wilson "Offy Killer" as driven by son Jerry of Wichita. Jerry is still operating the Chet Wilson Engine service at Wichita and Saturdays are often busy days for this gentleman but he has promised to make it if at all possible. The Offy Killer was driven by some of the top drivers in the country with Grady Wade, Jud Larson, Frank Lies, Harold Leep, Dale Reed and many others.
BCRA treasurer Dick Surratt got his first ride in a midget in 1953 in Ade Butler's midget on the Safeway Parking lot in Denver. This started his career in dragsters, midgets and now the Big Cars. He has recently assembled the AJ Watson built Jimmy Malloy driven Champ Car which was sponsored by the Thermo-King Refrigeration organization. The car is a striking restoration that everyone should see. Dick and mechanic Howard Corwin will be in town for the event.
About the BCRA
The Big Car Racing Association will soon be organizing the Big Car Racing Hall of Fame at the Bill Smith Collection Museum. This facility has become the center of racing history in the United States and it is indeed a privilege to be offered this opportunity by Bill and the Speedway Motors organization. The focus of this Hall of Fame is not just the drivers, Mechanics and car owners of the original Colorado based Big Car group, which had over 650 members from 27 states in the U.S. during its tenure, but will include the Big Car associations that these competitors went on to compete with including USAC, IMCA, CRA and others nationwide. The first induction ceremony is scheduled for the June 2006 BCRA reunion at Speedway Motors before the on-track display at Eagle Raceway.