5MP - Heath Memorial
Kirkwood, NY
~ Road Trips ~
5MP - Heath Memorial 2012.
We always look forward to this
show as we always get to meet
many great former drivers,
mechanics and characters...
Well, they were almost all
characters..That's what's
missing in today's racing - the
individualism is somewhat
lacking. Not the drivers fault -
they have to say the right
things to get sponsor and be
able to afford to race. The high
cost of technology has lead to
... oh well, I digress. The
bottom line is I still love racing
and so do the guys that come
out for the Heath Memorial.
The weather looked iffy, I took
the 33 off the trailer and fired
up the Kneisel 711 - even took
a few laps, then parked it next
to the 33 to take some pictures.
Put the 33 in the barn and go
to put the 711 on the trailer
aaaand... it won't start. The
boomers are starting and the
sky is getting dark, tools start
flying, it's got gas, plugs out -
no spark. Ugh! Get the tractor.
My neighbor Chris Cook sees
my plight and offers to push
me into the barn with his
tractor. Many thanks Chris,
only got a little wet. "You know
your problem.." he says - "it's a
Chevy.." Yep, likely it's
overheard me talking and has
it's feelings hurt.. We conclude
it's a bad coil and I give my
father a call to bring one down
on his way to the track. We'll
pop it one and be off... Wash it
off, and then go back to the
shop to pull the spindles off
the B29 for some new bushings.
Dad shows up and has a
complete HEI to work with,
perfect. Pop on the coil
aaaannd... nothing. Cap, rotor,
module - still nothing. I check
to see if it has any juice - nope.
@#$%^&*@! It's getting late -
load the 33.... (I find the
problem the next day is not a
ground as I thought, but a
faulty connector which is now
We're late, what's new. At least
we made it and we have the
only antique stock cars at the
track. Other locals went to
Shangri-La II on Thursday
night and we can all only do so
much - I would have loved to
have made that show but a
fried fiber cable ended any
thought of that... At least we
made this show and it's good to
see guys like Joe Buchek, Stub
Stevens, Carl Nagel and Bud
Carey, all happy, all congenial.
Some boys are using our cars
as a jungle gym - they're
having fun and want to take
one of them home... Nope.
Steve Bronson and Al Tatich
both stop by to chat.
Then this big guy comes by
and starts talking abut
babbiting Model A rods.. hmm.
He looks at the 33 and notes it
says '282' on the hood. "You'd
have a lot more with a 283 that
that Flatty", we know - he's got
something really on the ball
and Dad asks his name. "Ted
Wrench" is the reply. This is
going to be interesting..
My father related "I worked
with Willie Wust on the 43 and
88 that Moose Cary drove." Ted
rolls his eyes, "Oh yeah Moose,
he wanted to fight ya if he won
or lost, didn't matter, HA
HAHAH!" "I really liked
Midstate and Waterloo, those
were my favorite tracks, big half
miles. I drove through 1966
and did pretty good. Even beat
Joe (Donahue) at Midstate
some. I started out in 1967
driving and the second week
up there I beat him again, he
was driving his own car at that
point, #22 square top coupe.
Joe was a good driver but not
as good at building them. So
after the races we meet up at
the Gilberstville Hotel and have
a few beers. He tells me that
he's going to park his car and
convinces me taht I'm a good
mechaninc and he should drive
my car. So that's how that
happened. Next week he's in
the Tc9." My fahter asked how
the number came to be..
"Well, my name is Theodore C.
and I have 9 children." That
solves that. With Joe Donahue
driving the Tc9 the team won
the 1967 Midstate
Championship, and almost won
the Weedsport Championship
in '68. It was really enjoyable
talking with Ted.
The food was good, the racing
better and even the fireworks
were really good as well. It was
a great way to spend a
Saturday night. Many thanks
to the staff at 5MP for having
us and also to that thoughtful
fellow who shined his lights on
our trailers to load up in the
parking lot.
Ted C Wrench circa 1967
7 of the 9 children.
Tc9 circa 1967
Ted C. Wrench
Joe Buchek.
These two need a jungle gym..