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GREASE! By:  Cemetery Jim


4th of July, 1957: The South Rose Again  July 4th, 2004 

Well, in this week of 1957, all the Speedways were holding special holiday races. At that time we had so many Speedways in NJ and Pa. that it wasn’t possible to see all the races even though many of them ran on different days and times.

In those days, stock car racing was really big in the NJ area, and drivers came from all over the country to win the big purses being paid here. Let’s take a quick look at what happened at some of the tracks that 4th of July week:


1st - Pete Corey , 2nd - Jeep Herbert, 3rd - Jim Luke, 4th- George Gallup, 5th- Pepper Eastman


Nazareth Pa.

Nazareth had a twin show of sprints and Modifieds.

In the sprint car show, Bert brooks was the winner, driving the number 7 in the URC sponsored racing.  Lou Johnson was second, followed by Bobby Courtright.  In the Modifieds 25 lap feature, after trailing Otto Harwi for 6 laps, Budd Olsen took the lead on lap 19, and led to finish 6 car lengths ahead of the charging Harwi.


Old Bridge Stadium

The 100 lap, Eastern States Championship was held on the 1/2 mile paved Old Bridge Stadium. When it was all over, Bill McCarthy cruised to a halt, (holding the broken gear shift in his hand), as the winner, of the prestigious race.  McCarthy set such a blistering pace that he lapped all but second place George Tet, who both blew a tire and ran out of fuel just after taking the checkered. Jim Hendrickson’s car and Orie Hammond’s car both caught fire during the race but neither driver was injured.   Don "Stumpy" Stumpf was 3rd, and Bobby Malzhan came in 4th,


Middletown:  SOUTH WINS!

Charlie (Buster) South took home the big share of the $2,000.00 purse at Orange County.   Seven time winner Ray Brown came in 2nd, with Otto Harwi 3rd, Kenny Wismer 4th, and Bill Descovitch 5th.


Wall Stadium (Now Wall Township Speedway)

  The master, Pete Frazee grabbed the $1,000.00 winner’s share of the purse in the grueling 300 lap, 100 mile race on the high banked 1/3 mile paved speedway.   Frazee led 2nd place Len Brown 3rd, Bill McCarthy 4th, Bob Malzahn, 5th, Vince Conrad 6th, Jackie Hart, and 7th place George Horvath to the finish line.


...Meanwhile, at the South Jersey Tracks:

With the Delaware Memorial Bridge close by, it was only a 2 - 3 hour haul to Vineland Speedway, and Alcyon Speedway in Pitman, so Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC cars and drivers were regulars at these two tracks.

4th of July, 1957 seemed to be more like Jefferson Davis Day, as the southern invaders mopped up the dirt with the Jersey aces:

Vineland Speedway:

Vineland ran their holiday race on July 6th.  Bill Wilson took the lead from Buddy Rainear on lap 6 of the 25 lap feature, when Red Lesher crashed into the guard rail halting the race.  On the restart, Wilson charged back into the lead as Reds Kagle of Baltimore and Glen Guthrie of Washington DC battled each other for 2nd.  Kagle got passed Guthrie, and then passed Wilson on lap 9.  The 3 cars dueled in a tight battle until about the midway mark when Wilson dropped back a bit and Kagle and Guthrie continued to battle till the checkered with Kagle winning over Guthrie with Wilson finishing 3rd, Pee Wee Pobletts of Maryland 4th, and Budd Olsen taking 5th


Alcyon Speedway:

Alcyon ran a daytime "Twin 25’s" program on July 4th.  It was another case of the North verses the South... The South won!

The deal was they would run a 25 lap feature, go into the pits, have a linited amount of time to prepare the cars for the second feature, and then start the second 25 lapper in the reverse order of the finish of the first race.

In the First Feature, Bill Wilson of Riverside NJ led the first 8 laps.  Then Glen Guthrie of Washington DC took over the lead.  Jackie McLaughlin of Theorofare, NJ (who started way in the back) caught Guthrie and began battling him for the #1 spot.

The finish was Washington DC's Glen Guthrie finishing 1st followed by Jackie McLaughlin (NJ) in 2nd,  with Ed Lindsey (MD) in 3rd, Pee Wee Pobletts (MD) in 4th and New Jersey's Budd Olsen finishing 5th.

In the Second Feature, Al Tasnady took the lead at the beginning, but an accident occurred on lap 3 when Ed Lindsay, Glen Guthrie, and Pee Wee Pobletts (all from MD) came together in the first turn.  They were all able to continue.  "Tas" jumped back into the lead on the restart, with the "Flying Farmer" Lou Mood running 2nd (both NJ drivers).  On lap 11, Reds Kagle of MD took the lead from Tas, and held on to win.  In 2nd was NJ's Lou Mood, with NJ's Budd Olsen in 3rd, NJ's Ralph Smith in 4th and Glen Guthrie from Wash DC finishing 5th.

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Judith M. Thomas    06.01.13

This brought back many memories. My father, Jim Tomlin, built the cars #00 and #10. Lou mood and Johnny Vellecco drove them. Most weekends would find us heading to one or more tracks; especially Vineland, Pleasantville, and Atco. Thanks for the memories.




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