In Our Community
2017 News Stories
(Most Recent Appearing First)

Our Racing Community 2017:

Racer Bob Travagline Passes

12/23/17:  Late Model, and Modified racer Bob Travagline has passed away. Bob drove the #1X Late Model, and the #71X Modified at East Windsor, Flemington and Bridgeport Speedways, and was always fast in whichever division he chose to run. 
Along with his many feature event wins, Bob also won the 1994 Bridgeport Speedway Small Block Championship.

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Ace Lane Jr. - Flemington Speedway

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Dave Pratt.

Bruce Barmore photo/Provided by John McCaughey.

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Ace Lane Jr.

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Ace Lane Jr.

Photographer Unknown/Provided by John McCaughey

Dave Pratt photo/Provided by dsp photoz

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Ace Lane Jr.

Hugh Snyderman photo/Provided by Todd Lewis

Hugh Snyderman photo/Provided by Todd Lewis

Joe Gorski photo/Provided by Joe Gorski

Ace Lane Jr photo/Provided by Ace Lane Jr.

Photographer Unknown/Provided by John McCaughey

I'll remember Bob as a quiet guy, who, like a lot of great racing talents, let his driving do the talking.
Funeral services will be held Friday December 29th 11:00 a.m. at the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington. Friends may call Friday from 9:00 a.m. until time of service at the funeral home.  More information can be found below:

Our condolences to the friends and family of Bob Travagline.

Joe Macfarlan/3Wide's Picture Vault

Pit Steward Tom O'Rorke

News has reached us that former Wall Stadium and East Windsor pit steward Tom O'Rorke has passed away.
Racer Kevin Eyres said of Tom, "Tom was one of the best. Fair. Good man who had a racer's best interest in mind. You would have thought Tom owned Wall Stadium, the way he cared for it and ran it. Tom taught me a lot about respect in racing by being tough, explaining things out and than moving on. Gonna miss Tom, he was one of my first visitors when I was in the hospital in Florida after a wreck at New Smyrna and I always appreciated that.  Condolences to the Family and Friends of Tom. Rest in peace my friend."

Services for Tom will be Friday, November 10th, viewing from 4-8pm at Wooley-Boglioli Funeral Home in Long Branch. Service Saturday morning, November 11th at 11am.

For additional information, please click on the link below: 

We send our condolences to the friends and family of Tom O'Rorke.

Racer Dick Wean Passes

We are very sorry to hear of the passing of modified racer Dick Wean.  Many will remember Dick behind the wheel of his light colored #77 Pinto bodied modified from the mid 70's.
As provided by friend of The Vault Rick Shive, "Dick raced modified at Flemington mainly, also ran Nazareth, Reading and Syracuse. Son Rick raced sportsman and modified, grandson Nick ran ARDC, and great grandson TJ Lilly currently races."
Additional information is available at the link below:

Our condolences to the Wean family.

Wall Stadium Racer/Welder Linus Johnson Passes

11/5/17:  Word has reached us of the passing of 70's Wall Stadium Racer/Wall Stadium Track Welder Linus Johnson.

Linus' welding skills were appreciated by the race teams at Wall each week, and also by the fans as it was Linus and his crew that would be called on to make repairs on the guardrail when needed, so that the show could safely continue.

In addition to his accomplishments behind the wheel in the 70's, in 2014, Linus was the recipient of the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club's (GSVSCC) "Bob Thomas Dedication Award" for his work behind the scenes helping the racers with his skills each week as the track welder. 

Linus Johnson (right) receives the Bob Thomas Dedication Award as part of the 2014 Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club's 2014 Awards Banquet, for his dedication to the sport, and for his years of service as Wall Stadium's Track Welder.  (Photo from 2014 Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club Newsletter/Photographer unknown.)

We offer our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Linus Johnson.

Joe Macfarlan and Family

Racing Videographer "Big Mike" O'Brien Passes

11/1/17:  The racing community is very sad to hear of Big Mike's passing.  Mike always had a smile, and a laugh... Always.

Along with that smile, Big Mike also did so much great work when it came to researching, gathering and preserving the history of the sport, including a recent Harmony Memories DVD. I talked to Mike a few months back and he was very excited about a new lost speedways DVD that he was working on. He approached the project as a true historian of the sport, making sure to gather as much accurate information as was out there to be found, from those involved directly with each speedway, to go along with his video footage.

I'd always see Mike at the Flea Market/Swap Meets with his van full of DVD's, Video's, etc, and would also see him with his merchandise displayed at the Phillipsburg Mall events. He always had a good natured dig for me... usually something like "Nice morning to sleep in I see" as I'd stroll in to the Swap Meet around 10am after he had probably been there since the gates opened.

I will miss Mike personally, and will miss his posts on our Message Board.

Mike's contribution to the sport will be with us forever, through his efforts in creating his racing videos and DVD's, and by the many, many friendships that he made along the way.

Visitation will be held Monday, November 6, 2017, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm at:

 John F. Pfleger Funeral Home
115 Tindall Road
Middletown, NJ

My sincere condolences to the friends and family of Big Mike O'Brien.

Modified Driver Blaine Sadler Passes

10/6/17:  Sad news has reached us that 60's & 70's modified driver Blaine Sadler has passed away.
Blaine raced at many of the area tracks, and those of us who spent our nights at Flemington and East Windsor will remember Blaine in his signature #47H modifieds.

Services will be held at;
 Szpindor-Meyers Funeral Home
101 N Park Ave
Trooper, Pa.19403

Viewing will be on Wednesday from 10:00am to 11:00am.  Ceremony is at 11:00 with interment to follow.

Additional information below:

Our condolences to the friends and family of Blaine Sadler.

Legendary Master Mechanic Gus Frear Passes
A Celebration of The Life of Gus Frear:
Click on the link below, and then scroll down to the bottom right, and click on arrow in video box: 

Gus Frear (left) and Gerald Chamberlain (right) in victory lane at Reading - 1972

Gus (right) in victory lane at Reading with car owner Joe Bullock (center) and driver Gerald Chamberlain (left)

Gus works a little mechanical magic in the pits on race day.

9/1/17:  We received word from those close to the Chamberlain Family that legendary mechanic Gus Frear has passed away.  Gus was the long time mechanic for the Joe Bullock owned #76 coupe, Pinto and Falcon, driven by Gerald Chamberlain.  The team was very successful, and driver Gerald Chamberlain was always quick to recognize the important role that Gus played in helping them be able to win races and championships. 
Gus had teamed up with Gerald prior to the run with the Bullock #76 cars, and then later with Gerald, forming the C&F Race Team.
Here is some additional information on Gus as recognized by the Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame:

A memorial service celebrating Gus’s life and racing career will be held on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., in the Chapel, at the Timothy A. Berkebile Funeral Home, in Bedford, with Jim Miller leading. Friends will be received at the funeral home the hour before the service on Wednesday, starting at 10:00 a.m.  Additional information is available via the link below:

Our condolences to the friends and family of Gus Frear.

Race Car Owner "Whitey Kidd" Passes

Roger Laureno in the Whitey Kidd owned #125 at Bridgeport Speedway

8/11/17:  Sad news has reached us on the passing of car owner "Whitey Kidd."  Many will remember the race cars that Whitey fielded through the years, including the #125 as pictured above. 

Multi-time feature and championship winning driver Roger Laureno offered this about his former car owner:

With a heavy heart, I have to report that my friend and former car owner Ronald Salzer - aka Whitey Kidd, passed away  unexpectedly on Sunday at his home in Florida.  Whitey was a true racer who loved the sport and worked hard at it ,along with 2 jobs, to make it happen.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me in racing and for all the great memories.  RIP Whitey   

Our condolences to the friends and family of "Whitey Kidd."  We'll always remember the #125 cars, and thanks to Whitey's efforts, we all have great memories of Roger taking his #125's to the front.

Our condolences to the family of Ronald Salzer, or was we knew him as, "Whitey Kidd."

Racer Bruce "Pee Wee" Griffin Passes

8/9/17:  If you say the name "Pee Wee Griffin" to any dirt race fan from NJ from the 60's and 70's, for most, you'd conjure up memories of the early days of East Windsor Speedway, where "Pee Wee" was often the storyline.  

Drivers that usually win a lot will tell you that they don't care if they get cheered, or if they get boo'ed... just as long as folks are saying something when their name is called out during the line up. Everyone noticed Pee Wee, as we all did back in those early East Windsor days... and it was because of the excitement that I experienced during those early speedway visits, that I'm still a fan to this day.  Pee Wee could win... And when he didn't when, he was still almost always a big part of the show in one way or another.

I'll remember those days sitting in the stands with my dad, both of us watching Pee Wee do his thing out there in his "Little Red" coupe, and then talking about "Pee Wee" the whole drive home... and then wondering, "What will Pee Wee do next week!"

At some point, Pee Wee kept his car at the Gulf Station,  just off the Cranbury Circle, at the intersection of Rt. 539 & Rt. 130.  While the building is no longer a garage, and the "Cranbury Grill" where my father would sometimes see Pee Wee at, that sat right across the street from the garage is no longer there,  there aren't many times I drive by and not think of Pee Wee and his little red #72 coupe.

Our condolences to the Griffin Family on the passing of "Pee Wee."

Carl "Fuzzy" Van Horn Passes

Photo By:  Terry Shaub/Provided By:  Ed Shaub Collection

Photographer Paul Irving - Provided by Paul Irving

Photographer Paul Irving - Provided by Paul Irving

7/7/17:  A championship winning racer, a car builder, a track builder/promoter, a leader... and always an inspiration to those around him, the racing world is saddened by the loss of Carl Van Horn. 

After hanging up his goggles, Carl remained involved in the sport in many ways.  In recent years, Carl was always a very welcomed guest/panelist at various gatherings, where the appreciation and respect from all in the racing community, including those who Carl competed against on the track, and from the many, many "Fuzzy Fans" that were always sure to attend. 

We remember Carl Van Horn, and will always recognize and appreciate his accomplishments in the world of short track stock car racing - inside, and outside of the car.

 We offer our sincere condolences to the Van Horn Family.

Ward Crozier Passes

5/5/17:  Sad word has reached us on the passing of Ward Crozier.
A true renaissance man of our sport... Ward truly did it all.

Ward Crozier behind the wheel of his #26 Coupe at Nazareth (top left - Jack Kromer photo), and in his Gremlin (top right - Rich Young photo.)  Ward at Mahoning Valley conducting a driver's meeting in the summer of 2006 for the Kart and Micro Stock racers (center left - 3Wide photo), and looking out over the speedway from the pit office (center right - 3Wide photo.)  Ward stops the water truck and helps with the removal of those watching from an unsafe view from the trees (bottom left - Jack Kromer photo.)  Ward talking to fans at the 2017 Phillipsburg Mall Dirt Track Heroes event (bottom right - Jack Kromer photo.)

...a driver, a pit steward, a promoter....  and much more...

I was fortunate to meet Ward when he took over the Sunday Karting program at Mahoning Valley back in the mid 2000's.  Wall had cancelled their Kart series for that year, leaving my son and I no place to race, so I reached out to Ward, about the possibility of racing at Mahoning, and he told us "come on up!  Ward and his wife Dottie made my son and I, and all the other racers that came up from NJ feel very welcome, and the hospitality that they extended, along with the great memories from those Sundays at Mahoning, is something that I will always be grateful for.

My condolences go out to the Crozier family on the passing of Ward. 

Services: A public viewing will be Tuesday, May 9th from 4 – 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday 10 – 11:00 a.m. in the Reichel Funeral Home, 326 E. 21st St., Northampton, PA 18067.  At this time, family and friends will have an opportunity to share special memories.

Additional information found at:

Sportsman/Modified Racer Bobby Ayres Passes

4/18/17:  Sad news has reached us of the passing of Bob Ayres, driver of the the #69 sportsman coupe (top photo), and the #69 Gremlin modified (middle photo), and later, the Dale Clickner #32A coupe pictured above.

Bob decided to go racing in the mid 70's, and from what I remember, sold his motorcycle to buy a proven winning #9A sportsman car from top running Dean Applegate.  Bob left the color pretty much the same on the #9A, but changed to the #69, and very quickly became a top runner in that division. 

Bob had a lot of fans because of his smooth driving style, and because he was just one of those racers that everybody wanted to see do well.  Bob had a way of getting the most out of a car, and could find a way of being near the top when the checkered flag waved.

We are grateful to have the memories of watching Bob Ayres race. 

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Bob Ayres.

Sportsman Racer Dusty Malsbury Passes

4/9/17:  Sad news has reached us on the passing of Dusty Malsbury.  Many East Windsor Speedway fans will remember Dusty not only racing in the sportsman division, but dominated the division in the late 60's.  I'm not sure, but I think it was 1969 that Dusty won 14 or 15 sportsman features in that year alone! 

Those local to the Hightstown/Windsor area will remember seeing the #777 parked outside the Esso gas station on Route 130, not far from Jim's Country Diner.

Dusty was an early favorite of mine, and the photo above is one of the first driver photos I ever purchased at the speedway.

Our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Dusty Malsbury - Always a favorite of ours here in The Vault.

Joe Macfarlan - 3Wide's Picture Vault

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