2013 Central Now York
Stock Car Hall of Fame.
The
Hall of Fame was the
brain-child of Richard Parry,
Dave Conde and Mel Ogden
with the first induction taking
place in 1996 at the Madison
County Fairgrounds in
Brookfield, NY. After a few
years there the induction was
moved to the VFW in West
Winfield, Ny where it was held
yearly through the tenth
re-union with Richard &
Sharon Parry organizing the
show. Jim Chase then moved
the show to the Otsego County
Fairgrounds and the show has
been held at this venue since.
For many years the event was
sponsored by Gates-Cole
Insurance Company
and we
were pleased to have Gene
Cole and company support us
again. This year the show was
run by a committee and I
believe everyone is pleased
with the results. There have
been many inducted into this
Hall of Fame, starting with
former drivers of the Eastern
Mutual Racing Club and
Central New York Racing Club.

We have now moved into
inducting the Midstate Racing
Club drivers and this years
group included two track
champions as well as multiple
feature winning drivers.
The induction was held on
Sept. 22nd and although the
weather could have been nicer,
it also could have been a lot
worse. It didn't rain and we
were grateful for that. Members
of the Midstate Antique Stock
Car Club had 26 period race
cars on display. There were
approximately 250 people in
attendance, the Otsego County
Fair Board provided the
concessions and ran out of
food, the hall was full for the
inductions and we all had a
great time honoring these six
former drivers. What's nice
about the event is that you get
to see people you may not have
seen in a while, relax and
bullshit with them and wax on
about the cars and racing in
general. Very enjoyable.

As we're waiting for the
ceremony my father and I are
sitting with Sid Wust, and I'm
going over my brief
introduction with him. We get
talking and I relate a story to
him - I was working at Card's
Auto Parts at the time and
would often make the trip from
New Berlin to Edmeston to
deliver parts. On these trips I
would often stop by the Wust
Garage to say hello to Willy, his
father. One day I stopped at
the garage and I knew there
was someone there, but
couldn't see them. 'Willy?' I
hollered, "I'm under here." He
responded, so I bent down and
there was Willy under this big
Cat dozer. He had a huge
crescent wrench attached to at
least a 4 foot long pipe and he
was propped up, parallel too,
but off the ground. His arms
were straight out, if you knew
Willy, you know he was a
powerful man. His feet are on
the pipe and he's grunting and
bouncing his weight against it.
He looks at me and says
"Goddamn that Sidney, there's
no reason to put a drain plug
in that tight!" Sid lights up and
laughs a toothy grin as I finish.
Mike Newell has joined the
conversation and reminds Sid
of the time nemesis Jerry
Wisnoski was black flagged at
Midstate. Jerry apparently
didn't agree with the call and
left his car on the track. "The
tow truck couldn't move it so
Charley (Sid's brother..) got the
dump truck, chained her up
and dragged that car into the
pits..HHAHAHAHA!" Seriously,
you could write a book on
Sidney. I remember bowling
balls bouncing down the alleys,
"Sometimes they'd end up in
the other lane!" Mike is
laughing, 'Tell them about that
stump in Edmeston." Well, Dad
figured I should handle the
dynamite. I told them I could
get that stump out of there but
I didn't guarantee how..." Mike
finished, "That stump went
over the tennis courts and
there was people playing
tennis at the time..." More
Laughter. What do you say,
Fore! Fire in the Hole!?? Sid
continued "We had a
construction job and Dad gave
me the demo job. I used a little
too much dynamite (notice any
trend here??) and a rock flew
over and smashed the
windshield out of the dump
truck. So he goes and replaces
the windshield and the next
day he parks that dump truck
way out of the way under a
tree. Wouldn't you know
another rock went all the way
over there and through that
tree and smashed out that
windshield too. HAHAHAHA!
After that Dad said he wasn't
going to replace the windshield
until AFTER we finished the
job."
It was many years ago now, a
cold morning in early winter.
Dad and I are heading towards
Edmeston on Route 80 near
Hoboken Bridge, here comes a
dump truck. You can see the
drivers eyes, they're blue as
the sky, and watering because
there is no windshield in the
truck, it's Willy. And now we
know the rest of the story.

I was looking for Dick Hansen,
I'd never met him although we
had talked on the phone about
nine years ago. I was setting up
interviews and planned on
talking with Joey Lawrence in
Kingston. He suggested I call
Dick and talk with Gordon
Ross as well, so we set it up.
Unfortunately on the day I
interviewed Joe, we ran out of
time and I never made it to see
Gordon. My loss. I felt badly
about it and have still not
forgotten it, I let him down and
he passed before I got back
there. Dick was upset with me
and rightfully so, I told him I
had just bitten off more than I
could chew. Joey was such a
good interview I didn't feel
right at cutting it short, and by
the time we were done it was
too late to do another decent
job. I had watched Dick at
Midstate in 1972, the year he
won his championship at the
track. He was dominate that
year in the Bruce Carman
owned #23 sedan. I only
bought (3) pictures from that
time at the track, Stan
Wetmore, Butch Jelly and Dick
Hansen - and I rooted for Bill
Salamacca because he was
driving the 88. There he is and
he's approaching, big, rugged
guy. I've read and talked with
Lew Boyd about Dick - who
related that Dick drove with
'uncommon intensity' but that
he had calmed down now. A
little.

"I want to make amends with
you." These are the first words
from him as we shake hands.
He relates reading my article
on Joey and how much he
appreciated it. "Joey is tops in
my view, I can't say enough
about him." We talk of Gordon
and I apologize about missing
the interview. "Gordon was the
best." Dick is a no bullshit kind
of guy, period. We're looking
over the cars, and talking
about what racing used to be.
He relates he doesn't
understand what's happened
even to 'vintage' racing, I
concur. I show him our cars,
and relate to him that the
purpose of the Midstate
Antique club was to preserve
the cars and honor the former
drivers. Which is why you'll
never see my name on one of
these cars. I have made copies
of the photo I have of him with
the Carman 23 and give him
one in exchange for an
autograph. He signs one for
Bruce too. AS we're talking he
asks if we have an actual hall
to place memorabilia. We don't
at this time I relate but hope to
in the future, that's been a
goal of mine for a while. Then
he looks at me and says "Well, I
have a couple of trophies that
I'd like to donate. Will you hold
them and place them in that
hall?" Absolutely. He takes me
over to his '37 Ford coupe
which is beautiful, and pulls
two trophies out of the trunk.
One is the 1972 Midstate
Mid-Season Championship
trophy, the second is a special
award given to him in 1972 by
Dirt. The first Schaefer
Qualifying race was held at
Midstate and Dick won it. "That
trophy went to Bruce Carman."
Dick related. "I won the second
qualifier at Lebanon Valley and
Tommy Correllis got that
trophy, so Dirt gave me this
special award. I think I found
the right guy to take care of
them." I'm honored and will
take good care of them until we
get the hall built.

There's a lot of bullshitting
going on I notice, and a lot of
head shaking and laughter.
The Hall is filling up and John
Mason is firing up the
microphone. I guess this is as
good of a time as any to
mention all the drivers that I
noted at the induction - if I
miss anyone then I apologize.
In attendance (in no particular
order): Don Beagell, Gary
Beagell, Don Pierce, Marty
Ackley, Earl Mewhorter, Mike
Colsten (Congrats on the 5MP
championship Mike!), Larry
Groover, Chuck Akulis, Bob
Gibbs, Don Newell, Ray Bunzy,
Joe Buchek, Bruce Carman,
Joe Norton, Ray Canner,
Harold Humphries, Bill Roese,
Roger Beagell, Bob Wing, Dick
Hansen, Sid Wust, Bob Lupka,
Jack Gill, Willie Wightman,
Brent Cobb, Gene Cole, Bill
Newell, Jon Button (Happy
Birthday!) Wust Brothers,
Wayne Barton, Russel Card,
Tex gorden, Bud Hinman,
Sonny Stickles, Phil Clement,
Skip Pickwick, and Larry
Smith. It's a who's who of
Midstate Speedway.

John starts the show off after
we have an invocation and play
the national anthem. He
relates his discovery of the
speedway, which took place
during a picnic in Morris when
he wandered off and let his
curiosity get the best of him,
and ended up in the stands.
His parents were pleased to see
him return when he finally got
back, and it started a life long
love affair with race cars for
John. We can all relate to a
story like that, we all have one.
I'll never forget Willy picking
me up and putting me on the
crash guard of the 88 as he
revved up that 289.... grinning
at me with those blue eyes...
John waxed eloquently, he's a
natural at this, and then
introduced Dick Hansen. Dick
accepted graciously and added
that in his view 'Everyone here
was a big racer.' Bob Wing is
next up and he isn't one that is
obviously comfortable with a
mike - he quickly thanked
everyone and sat down before I
could even snap a picture. He
looked very pleased. I then got
the mike and I'm not as good at
the public speaking thing as
John, but I got through it.. Sid
Wust was next to accept and he
related being a "low buck guy
that really enjoyed the
challenge of racing against
veterans like Bill Roese and
Dick Schoonover." Sid was all
grins. Bob Lupka then brought
up several photographs of local
racers and we played a game of
'who's this?' with the winner
taking home a nicely framed
photo. Bob then went into
detail of his father Stan's
racing career, showing pictures
of each car and detailing the
history of each. Stan was
another low buck guy that
used ingenuity and hard work
to win his 1964 championship,
but Bob still wouldn't tell what
gears he had... Richard Parry
then introduced Roger Beagell,
who again is a man of few
words in a crowd, but he wasn't
bashful on the track. Lastly
Richard inducted Jack Gill who
again, let his emotions show in
his face when he took the
award.  A top notch group. All
deserving, all very appreciative.
It is days like these that
re-affirms the fact that what
you do for a hobby isn't only
fun and worthwhile, it's
downright righteous.

Afterward we're outside and
Dick Hansen approaches, "Do
you think it'd be all right if I
took a lap?" OK with me, bu
the horse people might not like
it.... He goes back to his car
and I head to the track, if he's
gonna take a lap I'm gonna
take a picture.... As I'm
standing on the track he
approaches again, guess he
decided it was a better idea to
walk it instead. He related "I
loved this place." He points to
the light pole between three
and four. "By that point you
were wide open again. And
then headed into one there,
right at the apex of the corner
there was always a rut up high.
Everyone else would pore it on
into one low, I'd head up high
for that rut. Then in two
they're all washing up and I'm
under them. I drove this place
a lot like Fonda. We found an
11" Hoosier that had a lot of
forward bite and I used them
here the whole year. That's
why that small block could
beat their big blocks. They kept
going bigger on engines and
bigger on tires but those
smaller tires really worked.
Kneisel told me he spent a lot
of money trying to beat us
here. You know, people used to
say it was easy pickings here.
That wasn't true. Bob Malzahn
came up here, one time. I
lapped him, he didn't come
back. When I said that
everyone here was a big racer I
meant it. They might not have
had all the money or
equipment that guys had at
other tracks, but they were
dedicated to the sport and that
makes them big racers in my
book." I'm nodding with him as
he's talking. The track
certainly provided top notch
competition - the best of 5 Mile
Point met up with the locals
and the best of Lebanon
Valley, and a few Fonda guys
would show as well. All the
guys showed up for the 'easy
pickings' and by the time they
all showed, pickings weren't so
easy. I loved this place too, still
do...

Credit where due department:
Members who brought cars
include: Mike Newell, John
Mason, Mel Ogden, John
Clark, Jon Button, Rick and
Sharon Parry, Earl Mewhorter
(thanks for the door prizes too),
Chuck Jones, Skip Pickwick,
Richard Ackerman and myself.
The people that helped select
the inductees included Sonny
Stickles, Mel Ogden, Marty
Ackley, Ray Bunzy, Mike
Newell, John Mason, Richard
Parry, Richard Ackerman and
myself. There were several
cruise - in cars that enhanced
the show as well, Mike Chase,
Ralph Humphries, Dick
Hansen, Tom Ackerman come
to mind. Thanks also to Barb
Clark for bringing the
Utica-Rome Pace car and to the
'Trophy Guy' Mike Chase for
providing the awards. Thanks
also to Ron Hills from the Race
Report for filming the event,
Ron hands out free DVD's to
each inductee. Thanks to Dani
for taking th photos and
freeing me up to BS... Most
importantly, the fellows that
prepared the grounds and set
up the show include the
Otsego County Fair board, Pete
Stafford, Brent Cobb, Russel
Card, John Mason, Mike
Chase, Richard and Sharon
Parry, Debby Newell, but
mostly - Mike Newell. Mike was
the workhorse and the show
wouldn't have come off without
his effort, nor the effort of all
these people.
Thanks to all for a great time -
see you next year.
Mike Newell's latest restoration, Norm Norton's Vega
4 Ford Flatheads in a row
Chuck Jones and Sharon Parry's Falcon
Mary and Joe Buchek, Donny Newell, Bob Gibbs
Don Beagell's rides
John Mason's latest, Henry J
Wimble 33, Hinman 5
Brent Cobb's 45
Pink Panther
Akulis 40
Winton 197
Jimmy Mott 65
Cinderella
John Mason's 196
Bud Hinman's Sprint, Tc9
Earl Mewhorter - thanks for the door prizes Earl.
Cruise In
Turner 10
Skip Pickwick
John Clarks cars
Jon Button hillegas
Dick Hansens coupe
Dick Hansen & me
Clay Smith Mr Horsepower
the Monster
Dearborn blue
Three aces cockpit
Suzy 0 cockpit
Suzy 0
Dick Hansen
Sid Wust
The Hall
Helpers
Bob Lupka and John Mason
Roger Beagell
Jack Gill
From turn 1
Frontstretch
Bob Lupka, Bob Wing, Roger Beagell, Dick Hansen, Sid Wust, Jack Gill
Headed to turn one
Out of turn four - long straight
Dick Hansen trophy
Thanks to all, see you next year!
Fall 2013
~ Road Trips ~
Wheel Days
September 27, 2013
Madison County Fairgrounds
Brookfield, NY
For Sale - Contact Dennis Kardos
For Sale - Contact Dennis Kardos