CNY HOF 2016
~ Road Trips ~
   On Sunday, September
18th the racing gods smiled
upon us and held off what
was supposed to be a
washout. Was the weather
perfect? No. But we weren't
complaining as the
21st
Annual Central New York
Stock Car Hall of Fame
Induction
ceremony took
place at the Otsego County
Fairgrounds in Morris, NY. I
can see my grammar
teachers rolling their eyes at
that last run on sentence -
you tried..
   The weather didn't
dampen any spirits and the
turnout was still great. As
club members, we look
forward to this show every
year - a chance to show off
our cars, see what other
members have been working
on, honor former racers,
listen to old racing stories
and maybe even hear a new
one.. The best part of the day
is seeing all these young
men with twinkles in their
eyes as they talk of their
days in a race car. They may
look a little older on the
outside but believe me, when
they're at this show, you'd
think they were 20 again. I
guess that's the greatest
appeal of this show, everyone
gets to be young again for a
day. Race cars are coupes
and sedans, home built,
brightly painted - like they
should be. Real Race Cars.
And Real Race Car Drivers.
   As always, there are a few
surprises. This year a
genuine Wink Hinkley Late
Model got yanked out of the
weeds for the show. Period
perfect - Many thanks to
Willard Palmer and friends
for the trip back to Fonda..
We debuted our Gene Cole
driven, Willy Wust built #43 -
a 10 month project built from
scratch. We'll get better
brakes on it later... details...
Inductee Bob Hackel brought
his immaculately restored
mini - as nice a mini stock
that's been constructed. That
car wasn't built, it was
engineered. Brent and Aaron
Cross brought a Modified
wrapped in tribute colors to
the Entire Cross Brothers
racing legacy. The cruise-in
was well attended, and the
Tired Iron Tractor Club had
an outstanding display.
Those guys know how to put
on a display and have
beautiful equipment. Of
course, our members had a
nice display too - for that I'll
let the pictures do the
talking.
   The inductions always
bring a few surprises - this
year Ron Hedger shared
duties with John Mason in
inducting Bob Hackel who
was moved.. it shows how
much a small act of
recognition means to people
when you see a big tough
guy like Bob Hackel tear up
over an award. Both Frank
Wright's - Jr. & Sr. were
humbled by their awards. Jr.
also presented his father
with a nice replica of his '35
Ford racer. Wink Hinkley and
the Grand Gorge Gang were
all smiles, ear to ear, face to
face. Gary Beagell
downplayed his
accomplishments but there
was no doubt in our minds
that he belongs. The Cross
Family was very well
represented and appreciative.
John & Howard's recognition
was well overdue. Joel
Canfield was just as happy go
lucky as I can imagine he
was some 40 years ago, his
smile would warm any
crumudgeon's heart...
   Great induction. Afterward
we all retired to the 1/2 mile
dirt track and for the first
time in 20 years, a stock car
made laps at Midstate. I got
to take the Mouseville
Monster out and clean it out
a bit... as I greased myself
into the cockpit.. my father
said "It's got 1/4 mile gears
in it.. take it easy.." And 60
year old tires..  Everything
held together but I gotta
admit, as it hit 4K (who
knows if that tachometer is
any where near rite..) and
she got a little loose in turn
4, I wanted to let it loose. You
can't wipe the smile off your
face, it's a great feeling.
Several people said afterward
it made their day to see those
cars out there again. Roger
and Gary Beagell joined us
and apparently had a good
time as well. Next year we'll
do it again - see you then.
On August 28 Mother nature
relented & we finally got the
Heath Memorial Event in at 5
Mile Point. The show was
significant due to the fact that
Mike Newell had completed
his restoration of Chuck
Akulis Pink Panther Pinto - a
car that came into Gary's
U-Pull-It and was immediately
identified as Chuck's 1973 car.
Mike did a beautiful job on the
car and it rightfully stole the
show. The racing was good,the
weather decent, the company
better - a good time for all.