Hunterdon County Fair - 2009
August 23, 2009
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An original Barry Schenck "A" car - This one driven by Al Michalchuk in the mid 80's at Flemington and Bridgeport. To the right is the original Harry Taylor driven #92 Pinto modified.
The #3 Sprint car, driven in the 80's by Rich Polenz..
Former Dorney Park car pretty much in its original "un-restored" condition.
Great looking Mike Grbac tribute car, and it's for sale: Call Doc Morrow at 732-744-6365.
The original Bob Pickell #300 (a former Pete Chesson owned car).
It may not be much to look at, but this old coupe, powered by a flat head, drove in under its own power! That's Fuzzy on the left front tire.
Hoop Schiable's #95 as pulled out from Hoop's garage a few years back.
Frankie Schneider, Bob Pickell, Earl Derr, Carl Van Horn and Freddie Adam gather on stage for the interview session.
Frankie talks about the days when "farmers" were also racers...
Bob Pickell told all about the leopard skin roof on his #300 sedan, and about enjoying the dirt days at Flemington.
Sammy Beavers told us about the first time that he went racing... Let's just say that he felt "a cold one" might make his maiden voyage a little less stressful! He talked about how he drove for Jim Horton early in his career, and about the years with the Norcia #81. Sammy also reminded us of his days behind the wheel of the Dave Ruberti owned #97 coupe, where he won 6 outta 7 races before Dave stepped away from the sport.
Racer and fabricator Bob Rossell talked about the days when you could make a few bucks building, racing and selling racecars...
"I really liked Flemington" said Red Coffin who drove the square with his self owned #22 "Saturday Night Special" with the roof full of stars.
Newt Hartman says a few words to the crowd. He told all in attendance that he bought his first car for around $1000 and couldn't believe how fast the guys were going by him his first time out at Flemington! He "thought he could do it..." and Newt certainly did eventually get the hang of it, as history shows what a winner he became as a Sportsman Champion, Garden State Champion and one heck of a Mini-Stock driver as well.
Up from Florida to attend the event, Joe Hall was welcomed with the clenched fist salute from many of his "Hang On" fans from back in the day... Joe thanked Paul Kuhl for not only providing a place to race, but for opening the door for Joe to become part of the management team at both Flemington and Bridgeport Speedways.
"If a person went to Flemington and watched the races and didn't get a thrill, then there was something wrong with them!" That's was just one of the things that fan favorite Tom Hager told the crowd. Tom also talked about the time early in his career when he got some advice from Stan Ploski who told him, "If you don't have white paint on the outside tires, you're not going fast enough!" Tom also told the story of how he once flipped his sportsman early in his career at Flemington early in the night, and fixed it and went out and won the feature... He then got a visit from Paul Kuhl who said that he needed to fix the car up before bringing it back because it looked pretty rough... Tom came back and won the next 6 Sportsman Features in a row. Coming through some recent health issues, Tom hasn't given up the idea of ever getting back behind a wheel... All in attendance agreed, it's great to see Tom.
Ken Brenn Sr. continues to lead the way when it comes to the importance of remembering all involved in the great sport of local stock car racing. When asked by Steve Pados (with mic) of some of his team's teams accomplishments, Mr. Brenn told the crowd that one that rates pretty high up there was the year that Kenny timed fastest overall at Syracuse out of 212 cars - Quite an accomplishment indeed...
"Flemington was the place where everyone went on Saturday Night" said Billy when asked why he liked racing at Flemington Speedway. Battling Kenny Brightbill lap after lap, while driving the Ferraiuolo #73 for the win in a 200 lapper ranks up there on the list of Billy O's best memories of Flemington... However, he also added that he really enjoyed running "that Dornberger #99..."
Stan "The Man" Ploski gives a wave to his fans...
Stan drove some great cars throughout his career and mentioned the #707 Big Donkey, the #24 of Ken Brenn Sr., and his self owned #27 as being some of his all time favorites. He told us about how before he started driving he was always telling his dad that he could "go faster than them guys..." One day his dad showed up with a coupe in the driveway for Stan to drive and said, "Well, I guess now we'll see how fast you are." Stan hasn't ruled out the possibility of getting behind the wheel of a racecar to see what its like out there today... If that were to happen somehow, it'd be hard to bet against Stan!
...Who's that catching all the action....
...If it wasn't for Ace and his father, we wouldn't have the photos and the movies to document what to many of us will always be known as "our greatest show on earth...", the dirt days of Flemington.
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