|Photo ID #||M01.04.16_17A_ALL_FLM_0070D_1|
|Driver (s) :||Rick Allen|
|Photo provided by:||Frank Miller|
Comment: This series of photos is tough to look at, but
knowing the driver Rick Allen, and flagger Harry Dee made it through this
one, makes it a little easier. One of the scariest things that can
happen at a speedway, whether it was 50 years ago... or in modern day times
is when a car gets up in the catch fence. The driver's safety, the
fans safety and in this case, the flagger's safety are instantly in
I think the demolishing crew officially knocked down the Grandstands on Jan 6th, 2006, but from what I remember, Rick made short work of the starter's stand with this flip along the frontstretch. I'm hoping you guys can help with the details, but I'm pretty sure that Harry Dee had to jump to safety because as you can see, there was nothing between him and the #17A except for a couple of pieces of pipe.
In the top photo, Rick's #17A begins twirling along the catch fence, with the back of the car and rear axle dangerously close to the box seats. The car continues on its path until making contact with the steel starters stand, where it comes to an stop and falls back to the track.
They say you never turn your back on a racecar and starter Harry Dee (and possibly Joe McGowan?) lived by that rule, and in this case it saved them from severe injury or worse... Somehow they managed to dive out of the way of the on coming car.
In the 3rd photo, the rescue team comes to the driver's and the starter's aid, as there is also concern for those seated in the box seats.
The 4th photo shows the remains of the #17A (a former Wyatt Jacobus sedan) being towed away back to the pits. If you look closely, you can see that the track crew has already installed a temporary flagging platform on the inside of the track.
Once the track was cleaned up, (5th photo) Harry grabbed the flags, and climbed up to the top of the temporary stand and finished flagging the remainder of that heat race, and the rest of the night's program from the inside of the track.
Now days, Rick can be found at his very successful Auto Repair business located in Hampton, NJ not far off of Route 31. Stop in and say hello and tell him that you saw him in The Vault.
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I started going to Flemington in 76, but I donít
remember this one. I can tell you Harry Dee escaped injury one more time
when Greg Smithís sportsman car #404 took down the starter stand one night.
Luckily no one was injured that night.