2014 Central New York Stock
Car Hall of Fame Induction
On September 21st Midstate
Speedway lives again as the
Midstate Antique Stock Car
Club invades the Otsego
County Fairgrounds for the
19th Annual Central New
York Hall of Fame Induction
ceremony. How's that for a
mouthful? Get used to it,
there's going to be a lot of
jawing at this event. The
bench racing will be intense as
the 'older we get, the better we
were' rule applies. This year's
list of inductees is as diverse
as it is deserving, in
alphabetical order:

Fred Barse - Hailing from
Sidney, 'Mr. Ford' chose Ford
power because 'everyone said
if you want to win you have to
have a Chevy.' I like this guy
already. Fred started racing at
Midstate in 1967 and won the
1970 Super Stock
Championship at the track.
and Skyline. His red #18
graced Midstate until it's
closing and then his career
continued as a driver and car
owner through 1999 at Penn
Can, Afton, Skyline, Thunder
Mountain and Skyline.

Harry Eckert - A National
Treasure at 90 years young,
Harry started racing in 1947
in his own car, one he had
purchased prior to WWII but
didn't ahve the opportunity to
drive until afterward. And this
was a real race car, a sprint car
with a model B Ford block and
Cragar overhead valve
conversion. No roll cage. Many
drivers of this era believed it
was better to be thrown clear
of the car rather than be
strapped into it. Harry won his
first feature in his rookie
campaign at Shangri-La with
the Triple A. He won 36
features over the next 5 years
including one at Morris in
1949, earning himself the
nickname 'Wonder Boy'.  Bill
Marsh recalled one race at
Warrensburg he had his
'bucket of bolts' flathead on
the trailer when Harry's car
broke. Bill related '"Get the
flathead out" says Harry. And
he trimmed them, including
the New England champ.'
Harry raced with a 'who's who'
of the AAA, his name is
besides those of Shindler,
Hinnershitz, Gritzbach,
Holland and Mantz. He won
the Shangri La Eastern States
Championship, the Canadian
Auto Racing Society
Championship in 1949 and
the Southeastern Midget
Championship in 1950. He
relates his most memorable
moment as being escorted
through qualifying procedures
at Indianapolis by Lee Wallard
and was inducted into the
National Auto Racing Hall of
Fame. He also qualified at  
Langhorne, how many can say
that? What a 5 year career!

Clyde Hewitt - Clyde grew up
on the west end of Oneonta
and got hooked on racing by
hanging around the local
Mobil Station where Danny
Smallin housed his '37 Chevy
coupe. Clyde became the
water boy and tire changer at
age 13 and was hooked. At age
17 he was in his first demo
derby and in 1964, his first
race car, a 1937 slantback
Ford sedan #77Jr in the "B"
class. He won his first feture at
Morris in 1965 and knocked
down 10 in his career. His wife
Sandy won two powder puffs to
boot. He also raced at Skyline,
5 Mile Point, Twin Valley and
Fonda, finishing up in 1996.
He counts his racng friends as
Fred Barse, Willie Wightman
and Mel Ogden who he related
deserves great recognition for
his efforts in promoting local
auto racing - I'll buy that.
Clyde was also elected 6 times
to the Board of Directors of
Mid-State Speedway and
served two years on the
technical committee for CNY
Racing Club.

Linda Mewhorter - Linda
started racing because her
husband Earl "Loved and lived
racing, and he still does." She
started racing his blue 1957
Chevy #23 in 1967 and won
her first race in 1968. She also
won the Midstate Powderpuff
Championship in 1968. She
related 'not knowing how to
drive a standard shift, she had
problems getting started.
Finally Earl stuck it in 2nd
gear and it stayed there
through out the race. I
remember the engine being so
loud, I thought I was going 100
mph, in reality it was much
slower. It really doesn't matter
as long as I won. And to top it
off, I won before Earl had his
first win at Midstate and I
never let him forget it either.
To go on and win the
championship was the
highlight of my short racing
career.' She names her
toughest competitor as Janet
Rose, (most of the guys named
Janet's husband Bill..) and
also related that 'those darn
racing helmets raise hell with
your hair...' Not if your bald
they don't. She concluded by
saying she had many good
memories of racing at Midstate.


Carl Nagel - Bub has been
racing in the Southern Tier
since 1959 and has done a lot
of winning over 7 decades,
starting in 1961 with his first
win at Penn Can. The first of
approximately 200 wins and
multiple track championships
at Penn Can, 5 Mile Point,
Thunder Mountain and Herb
Harvey Speedway. He related
his most memorable moment
in racing was being honored at
5 Mile Point in 1990 for having
raced in 5 different decades,
and winning the feature. His
number 7N is retired at 5 Mile
Point, he won the first 100
lapper at Penn Can in 1965
and also won 7 features in a
row there in 1981. He's won
the Irv Heath Memorial 3 times
and for his accomplishments
has been inducted into the
DIRT Motorsports HOF in
2005, Penn Can HOF and is
listed as one of the top 50
Greatest Drivers at 5 Mile
Point. Aside from the tracks
mentioned Carl also has raced
at Weedsport, Rolling Wheels,
Twin Valley, Syracuse,
Shangri-La, Lebanon Valley,
Waterloo, Nazareth, Reading,
Moc-A-Tek, Fulton, Flemington
and Midstate amongst others.
He related that he had a lot of
fun racing and met a lot of
nice people.

Ralph Raasted - Ralph
started racing in 1958 at
Midstate speedway driving the
V8 car pieced together by boys
(including my father) from New
Berlin. Ralph soon became the
guy in New Berlin that hopeful
racers sought out for advice
and help. He raced late models
at several tracks including
Fonda, Smyrna, 5 Mile point,
Twin Valley and Brookfield. He
related that his first feature
win was at Midstate, and they
paid him in dimes... Ralph was
a good driver, but an even
better car owner and built the
famed 26A lumber wagons
that Dick Schoonover drove to
4 track championships at
Fonda. Ralph also has to be
credited with restoring the
first stock car in the area - the
#88 of Rudy Schlaepher and
Bill Salamacha, and was one of
the original 5 that started the
Midstate Antique Stock Car
Club.