~ Dutch Hoag ~
Article Published in Volume 40 #3, March 4, 2005 in the Gater Racing News
“Doris, give me $175.00.”
The year was 1949 and Donald ‘Dutch’
Hoag had just attended the races at the
local Naples Speedway. The fledgling
sport of Stock Car Racing had reached
Western NY and “it looked like
something I could do.” His first thought
was to try and get owner Bob Ratcliff to
allow him to pilot his mount. Ratcliff’s
response was ‘if you want to drive it,
own it.” “We went up there with a chain
and got it. That was it” Dutch
remembers. Thus began the career of
one of the most celebrated modified
drivers in Stock Car racing history.
Donald Carl Hoag was born on
November 2, 1926 in the Village of
Atlanta, Township of Cohocton in
Western NY. His parents, Carl & Olive,
were hardworking and honest, two
traits the passed on to their son and his
siblings. Young Donald became ‘Dutch’
after developing a stuttering condition,
which inspired the milkman to finish
for him. As Dutch describes it, “I was
tongue tied as a kid and the milkman
would ask my name, pretty soon he was
calling me Dutch, it stuck.” Dutch
spent time growing up in the Villages of
Naples, Penn Yan & Bath during the
depression years. They had work in
those days but the schools Dutch
attended did not offer sports activities.
Dutch left at 15 and went to work in a
potato warehouse.
In 1945 at age 18 Dutch joined the
Army and served in the motor pool.  
Germany surrendered just as Dutch
was graduating from boot camp and he
was spared a trip overseas. Although he
hadn’t displayed much interest in cars
or his father’s trucking business prior
to entering the service, working in the
motor pool honed his skills and peaked
his interest in mechanics. It would
serve him well in the future. Upon
discharge in 1947 he married Doris
Jackson of Naples on St. Patrick’s day,
went to work and started his family
with daughter Donna arriving late in
the year. Stock car racing was in its
infancy and by 1949, it had made its
way to the State of New York. When a
local track opened in Naples, Dutch was
drawn to the races and quickly
developed his desire to try his hand at
it. By now Hoag was 22 and forged by
hard work, the Army, and by this time,
truck driving. One look at a picture of
him from that period revealed a young,
strong and lithe man. He was built to
race, truck drivers made good race
drivers in that day, there was no power
steering.
Dutch cut his teeth in his purchased
1937 Ford #96 racer in 1949 at Naples
but victory eluded his first season. In
1950 though, he earned his first victory
and Corning Memorial Stadium, more
followed at Naples. By 1951 he was
starting to attract attention of car
owners and started driving Stans
Garage # 96. “We all started with
flatheads, and 1937 Fords. We built a ’
34 but they wouldn’t let us run it
because of the top. They wanted a
factory steel roof.” Hoag started driving
at Monroe County as the Naples
Fairgrounds Season was curtailed by
Sunday ‘Blue Laws.’ Hoag did well in
1951 running at Monroe, Hemlock, and
Bath Speedway, netting him a third
place in the NY State Nascar standings.
The season culminated in 1951 at the
Race of Champions held at Langhorne,
Pennsylvania. Irv Fried and Hal Gerber
had brainstormed the race, pitting the
best Stock Car racers east of the
Mississippi against one another on the
D shaped mile. Langhorne was well
known and respected on the AAA Big
Car & Championship Car circuits as a
treacherous and tough mile. With it’s
up and down slope, infamous ‘Puke
Hollow’ out of turn two and relentless
speed, it was one racetrack many were
happy to see in their rear view mirror.
Fried & Gerber’s event was a huge
success, the inagurable event started
100 cars including Dutch in the #96
Lord Bros. Coupe. Although he didn’t
place highly that day, he did have his
first bit of luck at the track. “I was the
second to last car to come through the
crash, the guy behind me got clipped
and they piled in. Wally Campbell got
burned really bad.” Despite the mishap,
Dutch got attached to the track and the
event, and both would grow in stature
over the next twenty one years.
1952 started well for the man
announcers were calling ‘The Flying
Dutchman’ as he ripped off five straight
at Monroe County. He was now piloting
the beautifully prepared  #96 ‘Penn Yan
Express’ for his employer, Bob Hinson.
Red & White with the #96 in a ‘splash’
of white on the doors (the ‘splash’
originated with the Stan’s garage
coupe), the ’37 Ford was as pretty as it
was fast. Equipped with ¾ ton hubs, a
full windshield, at least one working
door strapped with a calves collar and a
souped flathead built by Bob Beamon
(of B&M Fame), the car was state of the
art for 1952. And Dutch was coming
into his own as a driver. He was equally
successful at Bath Speedway and won
his first of many track championships
at both his home tracks. He made his
second attempt at Langhorne, Jim
Delaney won his first Race of
Champions that day as Hoag watched,
his mount broken. But his spirit wasn’t,
he would be back.
1953 was a banner year for Dutch and
the Express as the team won track
championships at Monroe County, Bath
Speedway, Canandaigua Speedway,
and Hemlock Speedway. He relates
“When we started we didn’t know
anything. None of us did, we had to
learn our way.” Dutch had a quick
learning curve and in just over four
years of racing had become the New
York State NASCAR titleist. He was
again foiled at Langhorne though by
another mechanical failure as Ted
Swaim of North Carolina took home the
trophy. The Hoag family grew to four
that year with son Dean arriving.
In 1954 the Ford Motor Company
introduced their first OHV V8, ending
the flatheads long run of being FoMoCo’
s flagship engine. The first OHV Ford
produced were, in some cases, worse
than the flathead. Willy Wust once told
me, “The first one we had threw the
valves, right through the hood!”
NASCAR rules at the time only allowed
the same American make engine, body
and chassis combinations. Dutch’s
Ford, so good at the time on the half
miles, must have been at a
disadvantage on the mile, and the team
replaced their flathead as well,
inserting a 1954 Mercury. They figured
our how to keep the valves under the
hood and Dutch repeated as NY State
NASCAR champ. The Express raced to it’
s third straight Championships at
Monroe County and Bath Speedways,
and picked off another at Canandaigua.
‘That Mercury was a good engine for the
time” he related. Hoag was beginning to
make a name for himself in racing,
prompting writers to call him ‘one of
the nations finest race drivers’, and that
wasn’t just in New York State either, He
again traveled southeast to Langhorne
and had his best run to date. He
chased his friend Frankie Schneider
across to the checkers, only yards short
of victory. It was his first of many top
runs at the Race of Champions, many
more were to come.
Over the winter of ‘54/’55, Dutch took
his family on a racing ‘holiday’ to
Florida. The holiday produced three
wins and a new track record at Palm
Beach speedway. His smooth style was
established by now and his ability
becoming evident, no matter what the
venture. He was a natural. He also
made his first visit to Daytona in early
1955, racing on the beach course. “It
wasn’t all that bad.” he recalled, “You
had to be real careful of the backstretch
though, it was about this wide” as he
hold his hands about a foot apart.
Indeed, the paved two lane highway has
been reported as treacherous, with
holes in the shoulders that could
swallow a car up and spit it out. Dutch
managed to do well though, finishing
8th on Friday in the Sportsman race
and 14th on  Saturday against the
Modifieds in a race marred by a fatal
crash on the aforementioned
backstretch which claimed the life of Al
Briggs. Dutch had shone well against
the likes of Glen “Fireball’ Roberts
famous Fish Carburetor #M1, Jim
Paschal, Lee Petty, The Flocks and a
host of NASCAR names.
By 1955 the headlines read ‘Hoag takes
Easy Win in Stock Debut’…carrying on
from where he left off last season at the
Monroe County Fairgrounds…The first
Sportsman division program of the
season was held last night, and the
Penn Yan Fireball is in a familiar spot,
leading his rivals in the chase for the
1955 title.’ Monroe County, by 1955,
was one of only two NASCAR tracks in
New York State, the other being Fonda.
And as tough as the competition was
along the banks of the Mohawk, the
Henrietta half miler might have even
been tougher.  On opening day in ’55,
Hoag took his time, picking off the lead
on the 6th lap and leading the rest of
the way over the likes of Lee Bliss, Paul
Korman, Elmer Musclow, Tom Wilson,
Jim Luke, Don Welch, Ken Fisher, Cliff
Kotary and Don Hendenberg. The
photo above the heading shows Doris
holding the trophy with Donna between
her and Dutch, Dean in his lap on the
running board of the Express, smiles all
around. 1955 yielded his 4th straight
championship at Monroe County and
he earned a guaranteed spot at
Langhorne by virtue of his qualifying
victory at Spencer Speedway. He would
chase Fonda qualifier Pete Corey and
Florida’s Larry Flynn across the line at
the Race of Champions in the Express’s
last trip to the famed mile. Corey
captured the victory and Fonda claimed
the title ‘Track of Champions’ due to his
run. Dutch had figured the race out
though and was not to be denied much
longer.
As 1956 dawned, Dutch was more
serious in his role as breadwinner and
he wanted his family to enjoy
advantages that the depression had
denied him. He didn’t race quite as
often and relinquished his stronghold
on the Monroe County track
championship. He started a pattern
though that he would continue for
years, just enough racing to qualify for
Langhorne, and then the trip to the
Philadelphia suburb each October.
October 14th, 1956 was the charm for
Dutch in his 6th attempt as he bested a
field of 60 starters in Hal Kempeny’s
coupe #96. Kempeny usually fielded
cars for Jim Luke at Fonda but for
Langhorne purchased the ’37 Ford from
Pete Corey’s car owner, Bob Mott and
had Bob Burns (Jim Luke’s’ mechanic)
turn the wrenches on the Ford OHV.
Dutch shocked the crowd in victory
lane by announcing his retirement as
he wanted to concentrate his efforts
into starting a business. But like his
win at Langhorne, it was only the first
of such announcements.
The lure of racing is strong though as
Dutch would later state “The racing bug
is worse than being an alcoholic” and
he was in his prime. Still, with a partial
schedule he showed he hadn’t lost his
touch, winning at Fonda in Kempeny’s
coupe now numbered 113 in 1957,
adding to the tracks luster. He was
leading again in the October classic  
when his engine went sour and
relegated him to 21st as Glenn Guthrie
won. 1958 played out in much the
same fashion, brush up in the #113
with trips to Oswego, get into the event
and run to win. Dutch’s Ford diced side
by side with Jim Delaney until Delaney
was able to pull away over the last five
miles. Delaney won again in 1959 for
his second straight and third overall
title as Dutch’s mount finished out of
the money.
For the 1960 race Dutch teamed with
Dave McCredy of Sherburne NY in
driving Bill Wimble’s back up car. The
team renumbered the car 13, Dutch
started 41st and bested Dick Tobias,
Wally Dallenbach, Bob Malzahn, Carl
Van Horn & Doug Garrison. Frankie
Schneider, by now a long time friend of
all 10 ROC events, finished 10th.
According to the 1971 Langhorne
program, ‘Hoag won setting a record
average speed of 79.84 MPH. When
Hoag came down to the front of the
grandstand the fans, officials and pit
crews shouted in amazement when it
became evident the car was without
brakes. When Hoag finally spun the car
to a halt, these same people were again
astonished when the right rear wheel,
housing and all, fell off the car. What
good timing.   Again, in victory lane
Hoag announced his retirement
relating to McCredy “It’s for good this
time.”  
True to his word, at least until 1963
that is, Dutch concentrated on his
growing business and worked himself
into the hospital with ulcers. He said
“To hell with this” and again turned to
racing to cure his ailments with much
encouragement from his wife Doris who
enjoyed his racing. He made another
deal with McCredy for the upcoming
October classic. “Bill Wimble had his
choice of the cars and he took the big
block Pontiac leaving me with the  little
Chevy” Dutch says with a twinkle in his
eye, “that car handled. Freddy Decarr
(McCredy’s Mechanic) asked what gear I
wanted and I said 4:11. He said ‘no that’
s not enough, everybody else is
running 4:86 or 4:68 and they got big
blocks’, I said ‘I’ll only turn it so far.’ I
told him to talk it over with Dave and let
me know. The next morning I ask
Freddy what gears we got and he says
‘4:11 just like you asked for.’ The team
really tempted luck this time,
numbered the car 13, started 13th, on
the 13th of October, in the 13th
running of the ROC. The stars lined up
and Dutch paid off their trust in his
judgement with his third win over Budd
Olsen, Wally Dallenbach, Ralph Smith
with Lazzaro and Shoemaker in the top
7. His approach was clear, “I never
pushed a car harder than I had too.” He
knew that to win he had to finish. The
big blocks with the 4:86 gears may have
been faster, but as Wimble, who was
always charging found, it was also
tougher on equipment. Broken steering
ended Bill’s quest on this day and he
watched as the patient Hoag coaxed his
car to the distance. Dutch didn’t retire
in victory lane this time around, he had
decided that what he needed was just
the opposite, the long hours of work
and worrisome endeavor of running a
business with 25 employees had made
him sick and he needed some
relaxation in his life. Don and Ray
Turner were at Langhorne that day,
expressing the same itch to go racing
again as their driver, Elmer Musclow
had retired, and they struck a deal. The
team planned a full schedule in 1964
with the now legendary Turner Bros.
Orange #18 coupe.
In 1964 the team debuted their orange
coupe on both the dirt at Canandiagua
and asphalt at Spencer, Shangri-La and
Lancaster. In it’s original form, it was
rather tall and not unlike others but
was to evolve over the years as the
Turners were never ones to let an idea
sit idle. Although track championships
eluded them this year, the new team
recorded 16 victories over the course of
the season including one of the Sunday
open shows against the big blocks at
Lebanon Valley. “The Turner’s never
had a big block when I ran for them”
Dutch related, “but they were
innovative.” And underfunded, which is
the mother of all invention. The team
once again headed to Langhorne in
October but a slipping clutch relegated
him to 41st  fastest on qualifying day.
Repairs were made that evening at
Frankie Schneiders shop and Dutch
charged at the green to within sight of
leader Ken Shoemaker. With 10 to go
though, Hoags’ luck ran out as his
distributor konked out and he finished
22nd.
Undaunted, the team was back to its
winning ways in 1965 and copped 20
features. Dutch maintains “I’ve never
been a points runner” meaning his goal
was to win. None the less, his winning
this season added two more track
championships to his resume’ at
Shangri-La and Spencer. The Turner’s
were playing with things, like reversing
the engines rotation. “Yes we did have
one, I remember we had to turn the
rearend upside down. It was supposed
to be a handling thing but it kept
taking distributors out. The cam was
reversed and pushed up on the
distributor causing metal filings to
form. One night at Albany Saratoga the
filings got into the points and shorted
them out.” He continues, “The Turners
never did much talking to ya and I didn’
t ask too many questions, you know,
there was no weight limit back then.”
What did it weigh? “I don’t know, we
never had it on a scale.” Hoag’s protégé
and perpetual perfectionist, Lee
Osborne knew, as related in Bones
Boucier’s book Richie! “Our cars were
light before anybody else’s were. The
first modified I built at Turner’s for
example, had a conduit roll cage, thin
wall tubing. These were 2200 pound
cars when a lot of modifieds were still
up around 3000.” The Turner team
concentrated on handling, and made it
work that year at the newly paved
Langhorne mile as well. Starting from
the pole, Dutch lead several times until
rain halted the race on lap 80. Once
restarted, Hoag continued to lead until
lap 87 when the red came out for a 6
car crash that took out Shoemaker and
Bugs Stevens amongst others, and
Hoag pitted. The team felt he still had
the lead when the race resumed and
paced their driver, only to find as the
checkers flew that they had been
penalized a lap and credited with 6th
place as Bill Slater got the win. Dutch
relates now, “We should have had two
that they took away from us at
Langhorne on caution flags. Each one
we were leading when it should have
been over, but they extended the race
because of cautions. Rules beatcha.”
Denied again, the Turner team
refocused for ’66.
The team went on a tear in 1966,
Osborne was winning regularly,
copping the Amalie Pro 350 lap special
at Lancaster and Dutch ripped off 12
straight between Spencer and Shangri-
La enroute to 25 win season. He
claimed his second straight track
championship at Spencer in the
process and must have felt confident
heading to Langhorne in the fall. He set
fast time to start from the pole with Lee
beside him and lead the race for 120
laps, of which only 89 counted as
officials had proclaimed that for the first
time in the Race of Champions history,
caution laps did not count. The end
result was Hoag, his quickchange
broken, credited with 19th and the
Turner team more determined than
ever to bring home the gold. It should
be noted that it took until 10PM that
evening to declare Will Cagle the
winner over Al Tasdnady that year.
1967 was the strongest year for the
team as Dutch won 25 features again
and claimed his only track
championships at Fulton, and last (6th)
at Monroe County. With the State Fair
race at Syracuse open to the overheads
on Labor Day, Dutch showcased his
skill on the Geddes Mile besting
Sammy Reakes to take the prize. The
team then changed tires and headed to
Fulton for the after fair special. Hoag
showed that he more than a champion
that evening as he slid is car to a stop
after Billy Blum had crashed, his car
overturned and on fire. Dutch dove in
with a fire extinguisher and with the
help of Gary Reddick, freed Blum from
his car. Blum never drove again. Dutch
was honored with a ‘Golden
Handshake’ trophy later but as
recorded in John Hill’s ’72 SCR article
stated it was  “what anyone would have
done.”  This success however was just a
prelude to what the team really wanted,
a win in the big one at Langhorne, and
they set their sights on the October
classic.
Upon arriving at Langhorne, the team
had problems. Big problems. “We
couldn’t get a hold of the track.” Dutch
related. “Nobody thought about
aerodynamics back then but we were
getting lift.” Indeed the Turners had
done everything they could to gain
speed. The offending quickchange had
been replaced by a straight rear to take
less power, the engine was in it’s
further most point back, the radius
arms had been replaced with 4 bars,
and a carburetor induction set up, with
what looks to be a funnel attached to
dryer vent tube had been fabricated.
“Tasnady had this sign attached to his
roof, Piscopo’s Auto Body it said on it,
so we’re trying to figure out how to get
the car to handle and Donnie builds
this little wing back at the motel. We
attach it to the roof and paint Dutch’s
Restaurant on the back. The next day I
let the officials know that we’ve made
up this ‘sign’ like Tasnady, and not to
be alarmed.” The ‘sign’ did the trick.
“That set the car unhh” Dutch thrusts
his hand down, “down to the track” and
after starting 9th in the field of 45, with
a ($500.00) 336 Chevy, dominated,
leaving the only spot in question
second as Tasnady used his ‘sign’ to
best MacTavish and Wimble in the 150
lap event. Dutch’s wife Doris is
listening and chimes in, “Next year
they had a new rule.” Dutch smiles, “No
signs.”
In victory lane Ray Turner related to
Dutch that ‘this is the race he’s always
wanted to win’ and Dutch replied
‘Good, I’m glad I could win it for you,
now I’d like to build my own car’ and
with that they split, still friends to this
day. Dutch related “Lee was doing a
good job for them, so they had a driver,
and we wanted to try it ourselves.” ‘We’
being his friends Don French, Spike
Hadley, Cliff Green, brother in law Clay
Ovenshire and later, son in law Mike
Johnston. Gene Dewitt of Pavilion came
aboard as a sponsor and the 5D race
team was formed.
Over the winter they constructed a new
Camaro to campaign for the 1969
season. The car was ill fated, lasting
only three races. “I was racing with
Jerry Hayes through four at Shangri-La
when Diff, I think it was Diff, came
through the grass and caught me. Sent
me into the wall and that was that.” The
replacement, a ’36 Chevy coupe “took
about three weeks to build” and they
were off. 17 feature wins on the short
tracks, a track championship at
Shangri-La, the Lancaster Amalie Pro
350 at Lancaster, a repeat performance
at the NYS Fair and a dominating win
once again at Langhorne, his fifth. The
performance tied him with Jim Delaney
as the only repeat winners in the event.
Dutch was so dominant in the 200
lapper that even a bad pit stop, which
involved a young Geoff Bodine, couldn’t
stop him. “Yeah, Geoff doesn’t like to
admit it, but he put the wrong tire over
the wall and we had to come back in,
we laugh about it today.” I wonder if
they were laughing at the track. He was
42 years old at the time and in an
interview by Jan Shaffer just prior to
the race Dutch related “it’s really
getting to be a business now, not just a
sport,” He continued, “If it wasn’t for my
wife, I probably wouldn’t be racing this
year. We’re at the truck stop all the
time and this is the only relaxation we
get.” Indeed, racing was getting more
expensive by then, tire sizes and cost
were escalating and Dutch finally had a
big block under the hood. He ended the
interview by ‘hoping I can make it until
I’m 50. I’ll be the first to admit if I can’t.
Frankie Schneider is an old friend of
mine. He’s my age and he told me once,
‘Dutch, I’m getting older, but I’m using
my head now more than my foot.”
Dutch was using his head too, he had
become the ultimate tactician of the
Langhorne event and was a threat to
win any extra distance event. He used
his smooth style not only to save his
equipment, but also to lure other into
mistakes. “People don’t believe this but
I never drove any harder than I had to. I
always drove the equipment as if it was
my own even when I was driving for
others. I didn’t believe in backing a car
in, you know rear first. I figured if the
rear was ahead of the front and you’re
throwing roostertails, you aren’t going
anywhere.” A car owner himself now, he
could appreciate the cost of racing,
which is illustrated by his actions with
Gene DeWitt.
“Gene wanted to go to Daytona in ’68
but I said no. I never refused to drive
there but I didn’t want to spend his
money. We had a good year in ’68 so we
took what we had left over and got a car
to go down there with.” Dutch didn’t
skimp, the team bought a 1965 Dodge
built by Ray Fox that had sat on pole
and won the Permatex 300 the year
before with Bunkie Blackburn at the
helm. The 300 was held the day prior to
the 500 for cars four years and older,
and this car was a proven piece. They
fitted it with a 426 Hemi and went to
Florida. “It was never right” Dutch said
of the engine, “it blew up the second
time out. The crank was radiused and
the bearings weren’t clearanced for it.”  
They scrambled for a replacement, and
found a good one through Jim Delaney
who was connected to Paul Goldsmith.
Hoag, long since a stranger to NASCAR
then went out and set the boys on
notice by posting a 175.5 MPH speed,
good enough for 4th fastest. It’s a good
jump from a quarter to a half mile
track, even more so for the jump to a
mile. Now we’re talking two and half
miles of high banks with a rocket
powered brick. “ I don’t know as I ever
had a track that fought with me. As far
as physical work, Daytona was the
easiest track I ever ran.” “Pete Hamilton
and Donnie Allison were the best
friends I had at Daytona. They told me
not to come off four at an angle, there’s
a bump there. And don’t come off two
tight if the flags are out ‘cause the
turbulence will take you into the wall. I
listened and had no problems.”  
Unfortunately, talented Don MacTavish
wasn’t afforded the same luck, Dutch
was only 150 feet back when Don hit
the wall out of turn four, an accident
that resulted in his death. Dutch had
seen this before, in 1952 at Monroe
County when friend Dean Sprague of
Wellsville had lost his life. It had to be
unnerving, an extra pit stop was
necessary to replace tires cut by debris
from the wreck but he loved to race,
and he raced on. Using lessons learned
well at Langhorne, Dutch set his pace
and concentrated on the task at hand.
When opportunity knocked, in the way
of a late Tiny Lund pit stop, Dutch
answered and sped into second before
Tiny could get back out of the pits. I
guess to get to second he had to be
running third so he wasn’t doing too
bad up to that point either. He finished
second to Lee Roy Yarbrough, who went
on to win the 500 the next day, by 5
and half seconds. The cars were
averaging 180 MPH under green and
hitting 185 on the backstretch. In an
article by Jack Burke of the Stueben
Courier Advocate Bud Moore quoted it
was “one of the finest pieces of driving I
have ever seen by a rookie at Daytona.”  
Even with such success in hand, the
team beat it back to New York. “ We
didn’t hang out after the races and
party. We all were working men and we
had to get back to go to work the next
day. That’s why I didn’t chase points, I
couldn’t see why I had to go 150 miles
to Fonda when I could run close to
home for the same money. That was
before the highways you know and 150
miles was a long trip.” True to form, the
paper clipping reads ‘Hoag’s Early
Arrival At Bath In Keeping With Race
Results’ the article by C. Thurston
Carlson describes his greeting, a
motorcade a half mile long, 150 strong
following his car to his restaurant, oil,
tire and service station. He was
welcomed and congratulated by Mayor
Larry D. Bates and after a while
announced “Inside everyone. Coffee for
all.”  Speaking on behalf of his crew,
and his co-owner of the car, Gene
DeWitt of Pavilion, “We did a lot better
than we anticipated. It was a
tremendous accomplishment. We had
hoped to finish in the top ten at most.”
The pictures tell the story as Dutch and
his entire family are beaming. It truly
was a tremendous accomplishment.
And his days at Daytona were over, he
didn’t feel it was cost effective and
returned to the modifieds. In John
Hills' article he is quoted, “I had a lot of
help from many good people there but
that first time at speed on the
backstretch, when everything began to
rumble and vibrate, I wondered for a
moment, ‘What the hell are we doing
here?’ But once used to the speed my
hardest part was judging the slow down
to make a pit stop.” “ I’ll never go back
to Daytona as a car owner. It costs too
much money for the prize money
offered. I proved to myself that I could
run with the boys there. I’m satisfied.”
1969 was another fine year for the #7
team, now sponsored by Genesee Beer
and sporting ‘Ford has a Better Idea,
Power by Chevy’ on his tail as a
response to friends Les Berger and the
Nagles. “Les was always needling me
and brought this Mustang ornament
one night at Spencer and handed it me
‘to go faster’ so that was my dig back at
him.” Wins at Fulton, Spencer and a
second in a row at the Lancaster Amalie
350 as well as a track championship at
Shangri-La followed, but it wasn’t all
roses. From John Hill’s article: ‘At
Spencer on September 5th he blew his
engine and parked for the night. His
crew, tired from a long day, climbed
into their towing rig and headed home,
100 miles away. Arriving there they
started tearing down the engine when
the phone rang. It was Dutch calling
from Spencer. They had left him at the
track. Quipped Dutch later, “When you
ain’t runnin they don’t want to know
ya!” They really did want to get home
and go to work. The team reloaded and
prepped for the Race of Champions.  In
Lou Mondestino’s Feb 1970 SCR
article, the headline read ‘Horne Hosts
Hendrick and Hoag’, and the pictures
tell much of the story. Prerace and
there’s Ray Hendrick and Paul Radford
studying the Hoag mount, hands on
hips, lips pursed. Hoag’s #7 on the
outside of Hendrick’s #11, leaning into
the corner with the caption ‘The two
Modified masters, Hendrick and Hoag,
came to do battle for what could be
called the modified world
championship. They put on a thrilling
performance until Hoag went out on lap
61 with no oil pressure.’  The real
story;  “One year at Langhorne the
needle came off the oil pressure gauge,
so I parked it. After that, masking tape
over every gauge when I started a big
race. Everybody said “Aw you’re nuts’
but you’re only there for one thing. You
know when the engines tightening up
and you’re going to have to park it.
Gauges back then weren’t that good
and the needle fell off and I parked it
for no good reason. After that it was go
or blow. I was second at the time,
Hendrick had the lead.” It was a
disappointing end to the season.
As the 1970’s dawned, there was Dutch
with his new creation, an independent
front end Valiant. It had a checkered
future, and not in the good sense. He
put it on the pole at Pocono’s second
Modified 200 but spun and hit the wall
during the race. Richard Perry’s records
credit him with track championships at
Spencer and Shangri-La that year, his
last championships. According to John
Hills article it was a down year in which
he became struck with illness late in
the season and put drivers Lee Osborne
and Mitch Smith in his Valiant and
Coupe, respectively, for the Langhorne
classic. Osborne got as high as fourth
in the car before having to avoid
another spinning car and ended up in
the first turn ditch. Dutch rushed to
him from the pits to find Lee all right
and walked him back. Smith had
trouble transitioning from sprints and
never got up to speed, they were
credited with 15th and 21st  in the race
that Merv Treichler nipped his cousin
Roger at the flag. It was a disappointing
end to the season for the team and
demonstrates how quickly fortunes can
change in racing.
Dutch returned the following year
determined, with a another new car,
this one an independent front end
Camaro. The season started promising
with a win at the opening race at
Lancaster. He ran competitively
through the season, the 1971 Shangri-
La yearbook has him at third in the
points, but the big wins eluded him. To
be fair, he had a lot going on as son
Dean had now taken over the coupe
and as always, he had his work. Not to
mention that in a Through Four article
as it appeared in 1971 related that the
Empire Owners and Driver Association
(EODA) had plans to declare Dutch’s
and Geoff Bodine’s cars illegal at
Lancaster due to roll cage material.
Dutch had helped form the EODA to
address driver safety and now they were
coming after his new car, it must have
disheartening. He returned to
Langhorne that year for the final
running of the Race of Champions at
the mile but was beset by bad luck and
finished 34th as Roger Treichler won
after having finished second the
previous two years.
He continued to race through the ‘70’s,
still very competitive in the asphalt
modifieds and even tried his hand in
the Turner/Reichart Modified/Super at
Oswego, but the wins were fewer and
farther between. He made it to his goal
of racing to 50, and a little beyond,
recording his last win at Shangri-La in
1977 in his own orange #18. It had
been an incredible racing career, one in
which he had recorded ‘about 400’
wins, 19 track championships, 5 Race
of Champions victories, two NY State
Fair wins, 3 extra distance modified
specials at Lancaster, a Lebanon Valley
Sunday open, a win at Fonda and an
outstanding run on the banks at
Daytona.  What was left? He had
mentored Lee Osborne and Geoff
Bodine, two of the best modified drivers
of their time, and he had earned the
respect of all he raced against. In Ron
Hedger’s article he quotes Bill Wimble
as stating “Dutch was one of the very
best.” Ken Shoemaker said “Dutch
owned Langhorne, before you could win
there, you had to get his permission.”
Eddie Flemke had trouble getting
around the mile and sought out Dutch
for advice, Dutch had him follow him
during practice. In Bone Boucier’s book
Richie! Evans is quoted after being
beaten in a late race pass by Hoag,
“That old man is going to get you
sooner or later. You just don’t know
when or where.” Dutch appreciated that.
He had come from a time “when we
used to take the cars out back and put
a block on the throttle and take bets to
see how long it (the poor flathead)
would take to blow up, some would go
forever (a good one!), it’s a lot different
now. We had an awful lot of fun.” “In
the old days you took a cutting torch
and changed things. If it didn’t work
you put it back.” Modified racing had
changed and was well beyond the
‘business’ he called it in 1968. His
favorite playing ground, Langhorne,
had gone under the wrecking ball after
the ’71 race to make way for a shopping
mall.  Even though he describes it as “a
treacherous and mean track, it was just
a place that I loved. I just had a knack
for it there and it was good to me. It was
a bigger thrill to win there then to
finish second at Daytona. You were
running against the best in your class
and everyone was there.” He’s remained
interested in the sport, supporting his
son Dean’s racing efforts and now his
grandson Alex’s. He still talks easily
about things he feels strongly about,
especially sportsmanship. “If you had a
problem with anybody back then, you
took care of it after the races and that
was that. Forgotten. You know this
hitting each other with cars and
fighting with cars, I’m very, very vocal
about that, I don’t give a hoot who it is.
When you got that steering wheel in
your hand, you're holding a deadly
weapon. That’s a no no. I’m very
unhappy when I see that. Accidents
happen but when it’s deliberate,
afterwards, during the race, doesn’t
matter, I’m very unhappy with that.
Some guys don’t use their heads.” I had
to ask who he felt was his toughest
competition, there was no hesitation.
“Richie,..and Maynard, Bliss, and early
on Bobby Sun, Bobby Cameron,
Blum..” “Don’t forget Swifty” calls Doris,
still listening in. “Oh yeah Swifty, he
was cantankerous &@$#@*!, he was a
handling perfectionist I guess you’d call
him and would hold up a race to go in
the pits and work on the car. He
controlled the races no matter where he
was.”
For his accomplishments, Hoag has
received many honors including
induction’s to the KPAA Hall of Fame in
1982, The DIRT Hall of Fame in 1992
and 2001 NYSSCA Hall of Fame,
amongst other’s I’m sure. In 1999 he
was honored in the Area Auto Racing
News top 25 Greatest Asphalt Modified
Drivers on the Century ranking at #7,
same as his number at one time. He
also ranked 20th in the Dirt portion of
the same poll, the only driver to be
named on both dirt and asphalt. He is
quoted by Ken Kuhlman as saying “I’d
call Frankie Schneider the best” (on
dirt). He did it all by himself and ran
competitive anyplace he went long
before the big bucks came along. The
chassis, the engine..he did it all. And
Frankie sure could drive on dirt.”
Wouldn’t be surprised if Frankie
returned the compliment. Even though
I’m sure he enjoyed the accolades, that
isn’t why he raced. The pictures don’t
lie, as the saying goes, they’re worth
1000 words. Dutch with his arms
around his family, or around his racing
family, always beaming his good
natured smile. He relates “They were
my kind of days. The kind of people we
associated with were hardworking, good
people. We met some of the best people
in racing and enjoyed it.”
And that’s why he raced, he enjoyed it.
He worked at it. He took racing as
serious as his work and that was his
secret. Racing was never first though,
he always put it third behind his family
and bread winning. He strived to be the
best at all he did and was successful.
He was willing to work towards his goals
and should take great satisfaction in
what he accomplished. Simply put, he
earned it.
I must thank the Hoag’s for their
hospitality and graciousness in
granting me this interview, Dutch and
his wife Doris are two of the nicest
people anyone could hope to meet, and
it was pleasure and honor for me to do
so. While I’m on the subject of thanking
people, I must also give credit. You can’t
cover a career like this in three hours
over coffee, Dutch related “I’m not
much of a historian, but it’s all here”
and handed me a basket full of
clippings, pictures and programs Doris
has collected over the years. She did a
good job. “It’s snowing pretty good”
Dutch said looking out his window “you’
d better get going.”  I did, and took
them up on the offer to go over the
material of which much was what you
read here. I worked under the auspice
that ‘plagiarism is the finest form of
flattery’ and used the information to
chronicle his career, I hope no one is
offended. Credit Due: Mark Southcott
and Larry Jendas, Jr, Langhorne
results on the Vintage Racer.com;
George T. Koch, Staff Writer, S.
Trenton, NJ, Oct. 9, 1967; Gary
Montgomery’s KPAA Speech, Gater
Racing News, March 1982; Jim Moffat,
Calvacade of Auto Racing, Oct. 1968;
Michael E. Monnat, Gater Racing News,
Sept. 13, 1996; Walt Wimmer, Raceway
Magazine News on the net; C. Thurston
Carlson, Leader, Corning, Feb. 25,
1969, Ken Kuhlman, Area Auto Racing
News, Oct. 5, 1999; John D. Hill, SCR
Magazine, Dec. 1971, Jan. 1972;  Lou
Modestino, SCR Magazine, Feb, 1970;
Ron Hedger, SCR Magazine, Feb.
2000;  Richard Parry’s records as
appearing on his website, Coupes and
Coaches;  Jan Shaffer, Upstate
Magazine, Oct. 12, 1969; and Bone
Boucier’s book Richie!, which is
wonderful by the way, took me two days
to read it. If I missed anyone I apologize.
I’d also like to thank former Gater
scribe John Bisci of Turn 5 Photo’s for
providing me with some great
photographs. If you’d like your own he
can be contacted @ Turn 5 Photo and
Video, PO Box 620233, Las Vegas, NV
89162-0233 or at www.turn5p[hoto.com
on the web. Great pictures. John sent
me an e-mail last week relating some
sad news, Racing Historian Mark
Southcott could use the racing
communities help. Without going into
details, he needs medication he can no
longer afford, he’s given to all of us who
are interested in racing’s past by
contributing to the Richie! book as well
as John Bisci’s coming book on
Lancaster. Interested parties can make
contributions to: Mark Southcott, C/O
Dan Kollander, 1262 Indian Church
Road, West Seneca, NY 14224. I’m sure
it will be appreciated.
Well that’s it finally. The Midstate
Antique Stock Car Club is readying for
the winter shows and I’ve got to get off
this thing and back in the shop. See
you at Raceworld and Carquest. Jeff
Ackerman, 6256 State Route 17C,
Endicott, NY 13760.   
Donald "Dutch" Hoag, 89, of Bath, passed away on  
May 11, 2016. I'd like to offer my condolences to his
family. Dutch was a great guy, very well liked and
will be greatly missed. RIP.