~ Road Trips ~
2015 Season
2015 Season in review:
It's been a while since I've
written much on this site, so
now I'll try and shake the
cobwebs and see how much I
can remember from another
busy season... We started in
January with our CNYHOF
meeting - this is where we
discuss the merits of past
drivers being considered for
induction to the Central New
York Hall of Fame. I think we
did a great job this past year
and look forward to doing it
again soon. We decided to
induct (6) deserving racers;
Bucky Dew, Bruce Winton,
Frank Mathalia, Tommy
Williams, Mike Colsten and
Cal Lane - a great class.

For me personally, I was sour
over being booted from the
Vintage club on trumped up
charges, my goal was to get
re-instated, then leave on my
own terms. It took a while but
eventually President Paul
Monroe righted the situation
and I respect him for that. I'll
have more commentary on the
vintage club and their demise..

In early February Dad called
and said "You have to see
this." "I'm done buying cars.."
"Well, take a look and see what
you think.." I did. And got over
being sour quick. A deal was
struck and we're off to
Massachusetts to get a sprint
car. Always wanted an open
wheel car and this one has a
flathead V8, with a homemade
intake and v-drive for dual
wico magneto's. In fact it's all
home made from 1948. A nice
find. Dad and I split costs on
cars - so that way it makes it
affordable for both of us. We
couldn't pass on this one.

Norwich: A fantastic day, the
weather couldn't have been
better and what a turn-out of
cars. We got there early and
parked on the track in the
third corner. By the end of the
day we almost had to move to
make room... For us 'parts
scroungers' the flathead stuff
has pretty much dried up. I
can remember getting a lot of
pieces at Norwich, not so
much anymore. I found the
correct model Wico magneto
for a spare but that was it
until... This fellow comes up
and is pouring over the sprint
car, relating his uncle raced
them here (at Norwich). I
recalled Al Sanders relating
they raced stock cars here, but
hadn't heard that the
sprinters had as well. He says
he has film of it, I'd like to see
that. We're talking about
racing and he says is name is
John Shepler, sounds familiar
I think.. hmmm. we're on to
Hudson's and it hits me, "A
Shepler sponsored Gordy
Smith's cars.." "That was my
Dad." OK, that fits. Oh, and by
the way, he has a Hudson
engine. He had the car but
sold it.. Well. We haven't really
looked very hard for one of
these but this is the first one
we've heard of locally and
we've been doing this for 32
years now. They're rare. Ok, so
what is it? "It's a Hornet,
Twin-H power with 0.060 over
Jahns pistons and an Isky
Cam. It ran a few times in a
car at Glen Aubrey in the
'60's, got wrecked and pulled. I
got it form a guy in Johnson
City in the mid-60's. Gordy
went through it and said it was
fine, it has a GM hydro
transmission." He gives me his
card and I ask if he'd part with
it. Once we get the car home
that night we give him a call
and go get it. Lucky. Next
project is a Gordy Smith

Five Mile Point got
re-scheduled for the Heath
Memorial. We missed the
Brookfield Fair and Fonda
Shows. Richard Parry and
John Mason made Fonda to
represent our club. The next
show we made was the
Legends of Penn Can and
that was a great night. We
were sorry to hear the rumor
that Stubby Stephens had
passed, and told him so
ourselves later when he
showed up. He got a good
laugh and so did we, still looks
great too. George Watson's '37
is very nice, John Mason, Mike
Newell, Dad and myself made
the show.

Five Mile was next and
another good showing with all
the usual suspects from the
Southern Tier as well as
Richard Parry. Upon leaving
both Penn-Can and 5 Mile
Point I heard several racing
fans say 'thank you' for
bringing the cars. People
shined their car lights on our
trailers as we loaded to help,
it's nice to be appreciated.

Otsego County Fair was
next and again a great turnout
of cars. This is John Mason's
baby, he and Mike Newell
really work at the shows in
Morris and they're always well
run. The club is a fixture at
the Fair and even a little rain
on parade night didn't
dampen any spirits as we
crammed ourselves under the
tents with the cars. That's one
way to get people closer

Utica-Rome was special this
year as the management
honored Gene Cole. We got
there early to make the
honorary dinner and then
headed over to the track. That
facility is nice, the food is good
and the racing is great. A good
crowd and a good time. the
club was well represented by
our 'Northern contingent' of
John Clark and John

On September 19-20 we held
20th Central New York
Stock Car Hall of Fame

Induction Ceremony. We had
great weather both days, over
50 tractors from the Tired Iron
Tractor Club, doodlebugs from
the Franklin Doodlebug Club,
several cruise-in cars and over
30 Antique Race cars. We had
a great crowd on hand and I
didn't see a single scowl the
whole day. That's a good day.
People talking, pointing,
bullshitting, busting balls,
laughing and smiling. All of
the inductees were very happy
and appreciative, their families
too. It's our way of giving back
to the sport we love so much
and it can't help but make you
feel good to make great racers
as these know that their
efforts were not forgotten, and
always appreciated.
Correction, that's not a good
day, it's a
great one.

A week later, still buzzing over
the CNYHOF, we met again in
Brookfield for Wheel Days. A
bit smaller showing but still
fun and interesting with
several old gas engines on
display, those things are
pretty cool. I miss our races
there though, they were

Everyone is going to miss
Syracuse. If for nothing else
but the history and mystique
surrounding the place. One of
the last mile tracks in the
country, grand prix and Indy
drivers alike raced there. In
the 1950's and 1960's the NYS
Fair race was THE RACE.
Everybody wanted to win that
one. For the Final Super Dirt
Week this year a fellow got up
a contingent of 'Vintage' cars.
Richard Parry represented our
club with easily the nicest car
of the lot, and got his photo
album stolen for his efforts.
What is wrong with people?
I'm really happy I got to race,
and win there, it was a thrill.
But I think we made the right
decision to pass on the show
this year..

Our Fall meeting was full of
topics to discuss. The MVSCC
has disbanded (lotta good that
lifetime membership will do
me now eh..?), and so the
question had been raised as to
whether or not we'd like to fire
up a racing division again.
Mike Newell had been working
on a set of rules and presented
them to the club. In short, we
have decided not to race,
instead we will approach the
promoters of certain tracks
where we display our cars and
ask for some track time to
buzz around our original cars
in a 'hot-lap' (non-competitive)
fashion and leave it be at that.
That way we can continue to
restore and re-create original,
period correct cars and
educate interested racing fans
as to where the sport
originated from. More on all
this later.

Still not done, Dr. Gary
George got me involved in a
presentation on the Syracuse
Mile at the IMRRC in Watkins
Glen this past weekend. A
great presentation and
round-table discussion by
several great racers including
Alan Johnson, John Birosh
and Gary Tomkins. The
Batmobile was inside, but I
think the best car was outside
under the tent.. Roy Kotary
made the trip and I always
enjoy talking with Roy who is
THE authority on the Fair
races. Joe Marotta is hosting
him on his show this weekend.
A good time, must say I was
impressed with how the
drivers of the modern era
looked upon Syracuse, they
revered it as much as Cliff,
Nolan and Dutch.. Also, must
say how impressed with Gary
Tomkins I am, well spoken,
humble and smart, he did a
great job filling in for Brett
Hearn.  A great time.

And now it's time for the
pictures to do the rest. Enjoy
and we'll get back to the