Eastern Mutual  Racing
Club
Brookfield, Morris, Vernon & Sharon, NY
Eastern Mutual Racing
Club.
The club started in 1951
(taking over for the defunct
Consolidated Racing Club) at
Vernon (now Vernon Downs),
Brookfield and Morris
Speedways. Sharon Speedway
was added to the mix in 1954
but by then Fonda had opened
and was challenging to put the
club out of business. By 1955
Fonda had taken hold as a
more popular venue and most
of the top drivers migrated, but
from 1951-1954 the EMRC
reigned superior not only in car
counts and competiton, but
also in 'name' drivers as well.
Other tracks raced at during
this time were Bennets Field in
Utica, Columbia Speedway,
Richfield Springs, Symrna,
Sidney, Oneonta, Norwich as
well as the State Fair in
Syracuse. The club boasted the
largest number of drivers of any
club during the era in which it
operated and often competed
for name drivers with the
Mohawk Racing Club. Top
drivers of the club included
Tommy Wilson, Bernie Ingersol,
Don Hendenberg, Jim and Fred
Gerow, Bernie Miller, Tom and
Cliff Kotary, Joe Cigineko, Nick
'Private Eye' Carter, Frank &
George Gallup, 'Racin' Greyson
Smith, Jim Luke and 1950
Consolidated Champ Fred
Sheppard amongst many
others. Club President was Fly
Creek's Frank Trinkaus who for
years fielded the famous #62
car out of his speedshop. Track
announcer was the colorful
Mike Sandy who often
nicknamed the drivers and
Russ Bergh recorded the action
on film. Brookfield was the
clubs signature track, often
drawing 3,500 fans for
Saturday night races under the
lights. The track was very
challenging, a large paperclip
shaped 1/2 mile with plenty of
dust and ruts. The corners were
particularly rough and strewn
with boulders promting the
club to have the corners paved
so they would hold up better.
Marginal lighting and dust
weren't the only challenges
facing drivers at the track
though, sitting at base of a
valley off the Skeanatles
Turnpike, fog would often roll
in as well which led to some
interesting stories. In one, Al
Sanders who related he was
down 'a few laps' pulled into
the infield pits in the fog to cut
the track and make a few laps
up 'and that's how the story
grew that I was chasing Frank
Trinkaus through the pits in
the fog..'
Many thanks to Richard Parry,
Alan Weaver and Bob Gibbs for
their contributions to this
page.