~ Road Trips ~
Thunder  Mountain, Brookfield
and Cars in the Park.
Thunder Mountain - Kenny
Moore Classic.
Mending
fences lately. On Saturday my
friend Gary Wood and his wife
Gail pulled into my driveway
with their 1957 Buick just as I
was about to wreck my
plumbing in the kitchen sink.
It was muggy and I was sweaty
already, the break was
welcome and I watched with
aslight bit of envy as they
pulled out with the windows
down - and I went back under
the sink...and then to the
garage to get the B29 ready.
That hot rod isn't getting done
while I'm going to the races...
The weather forecast for
Sunday the 3rd was not
promising, Dad called and
related "It's pouring up here,
what's it doing down there?"
Muggy, Hot. Hot and Muggy,
that's what it's doing down
here, no rain. The sky was
dotted with a few ominous
clouds as I pulled out headed
for Whitney Point and Thunder
Mountain Speedway. A few
raindrops along the way
cleared off any residual Five
Mile Point traces on Route 81,
and Thumper trudged up the
long drive and into the raceway
with plenty of time to spare.
The weather was clear, hot and
muggy. Did I mention it was
hot and muggy? Brent Cobb
and Mike Newell pulled in
shortly after me, as did Dad.
The Mordens and Gordy Wood
were already there. The
Whipples and Tex Gorden as
well were early arrivers and
then Richard Taggert, Ally
Amell, Norm Richardson, Leo
Kuvelzo, Jim Hilimire, Ray
Preston, Bob Williams, The
Rabbi Homer Noodleman (AKA
Bob Martell) and lastly but not
leastly - Frank Blanchard.
Sonny Stickles tagged along
with Dad and brought the
Monster so we had two cars
behind the grandstand as well.
Rob Whipple is handling the
lineup as Dad and I go to work
on the 43A. After our last
outing he's been busy on the
car - first a repair of the oil pan
and then a trip down to CRAP
Speedway to adjust the
injectors. He spun it on the
second lap and said 'Close
Enough!' Tonight we're
changing tires...... again. I
swear, he just loves to see me
sweat.....even with the electric
impact wrench I'm working up
a froth and he loves it. I get to
do some bullshitting with
Newell, Cobb and Mike Chase
stops by, everything's smooth, I
snap a picture of them
together. Jim Chase stops by
later and we come to an
agreement - it's so much easier
to get along with people, looks
like that is what is in store for
the future. Honestly, I hate all
this arguing that we've done,
I'm as much to blame as
anyone for it. I'm stubborn, I
realize this - after all - 'A man's
gotta know his limitations' and
I do have some insight into my
own behavior - still I can't seem
to help myself. Brent Cobb said
it "We're supposed to be having
fun here." That's right and I
need to remember that. Off for
warmups and some fun.
The track is dry, real dry and
it's going to come up hard, I
can see it. The B29 tops out at
5K and is handling nicely, new
tube in the right front is
holding air, temp is good, oil
pressure is fine - I keep it off
the wall and my fellow club
members bumper and get it
back to the pits just in time to
change tires on the 43A. And
sweat some more. "These tires
worked good last time" Uh
HUh....@#@$#%#^&* In the
heat I have the outside pole,
Norm has inside. At the green I
wait for him to hit the throttle
then I hit mine and jump out
to the lead, for the remaining 8
laps I just burp the car and
ease into the corners, I can
hear the rear tires squealing in
the corners - not a good thing
but I don't have a much herder
compound available. Going
down the backstretch I look
over and see the pack at the
flaggers stand, I honestly did
try and not stink up this heat
but I don't think I succeeded.
Afterward I ask Dad and he
said, "It was so slippery and the
sun was tough, I didn't push
it." Everyone concurred, the
sun was in their eyes, and they
didn't push it. Not sure who
won the Modified heat, my bet
is that it was Ray Preston. We
fuel up for the feature. The 43A
is starting better now and the
pipes are nearly clear from it's
cylinder wash down, the rings
are re-seating. Check tire
pressure, bullshit some more,
check oil, offer some 'helpful
hints' to my competitors and
then strap in. And wait. And
wait. Dad decides to play with
his high speed valve, "One
turn" I relate.The 600 CC
mini-mods are on the track
and later Jim Chrstiansen said
we were strapped in for an
hour. The mosquitoes were
starting to feast when Dad
started up the 43A and drove
them away.. I took a nap and
had to slap myself in the head
to get re-oriented. Finally, the
little cars are down and we're
called tothe backstretch. The
track is pretty smooth but it's
so hard, I haven't seen it like
this - there's no top groove. I'm
starting sixth and at the green
the outside row moves forward,
Rabbi Homer jumps to the lead
from outside pole and sets up
shop on the hub. I get to
second on the back stretch and
that's pretty much the race.
Dad moves to third and told me
later "I was coming.." - I dog the
good Rabbi until lap thirteen
when there's a caution. The
43A is in turn four spun
around and it looks like water
on the track - wish he'd done
the whole top groove.. Two laps
to go, I've tried the top top no
avail, every time I go up there I
loose time. I've tried
diamonding the turn, that
works best and puts me on the
Rabbi's bumper off the corner
but I have to get out of it or hit
him, there's no way around it,
either he has to make a
mistake or I have to move him.
And there's no $1000.00
payday either.. I wait for the
mistake that never comes and
the good Rabbi Homer
Noodleman has his first
checkers of 2011 - he earned
it. In the modified feature Jim
Hilimire stinks up the joint in
a runaway. In his defense (and
all of ours) it's difficult to know
just how close anyone is
behind you, we don't have
radio's and I've lost a race
watching a flagger once.... Jim
said afterward "I was figuring
Ray was coming." Ray related "I
would've if I could've ever
gotten out of the pits!
HAHAHA!" OK, enough of that,
over to the 43A - "Didja
blowit?" "I think so, it went
'BOOM!'  Boy was it ever
running, I just got to your rear
bumper." We look it over,
there's no rods hanging out of
the pan, the oil looks good. Off
comes the hood and the
passenger side top radiator
hose has come off, the air filter
is soaked. This thing lost it's
hose and ingested some water..
dry it out, add some water and
it fires right up, 60 lbs oil
pressure and sounds good.
"Whew! I'm lucky." As is
everyone who put it on the
trailer in one piece, and that
makes us all. Congrats to Bob
Martell, Tex Gorden and Jim
Hilimire on their feature wins.
It was really good to see and
talk with Carol Amell tonight
too, she's made a miraculous
recovery from the accident in
Florida a few years ago and
looks great. Afterward,  we
grabbed a burger and watched
a bit of the sportsman race -
they couldn't make the top
groove work either which is a
shame - that used to be the
place to be here. I needed to
get home and we took off,
smiling boys greet me at the
door and we go out to catch a
few lightning flies before some
zzzzz'ss. Another good night of
racing - many thanks to the
Thunder Mountain staff for
their hospitality, see you again
in August (with some harder
rubber in tow..)
Gary's Buick
Sharp car.
Gail and Gary Wood.
The Whipple 33L.
Norm Richardson.
Gordy Wood.
The Morden A-1.
Bob Williams.
Richard Taggert.
Sonny Stickles.
Ray Preston.
Tex Gorden.
Jim Hilimire.
The Rabbi Homer Noodleman
Mike Newell.
Ally Amell.
Dad.
Me.
Brent Cobb and Mike Chase.
Dad with the Monster. Thank god we didn't have to change tires on this too...
The Pits
Pits Part II
Brookfield ReUnion. On Friday,
July 8th @ 1:00 Pm the second
annual Brookfield Speedway
reunion took place at the Monroe
County Fairgrounds. Jon Button
organized the event and helped
MC along with John Burr who
was the Midstate clubs
announcer at many of our events
in the 80's and 90's. My father
took the Pierce P-13 that Tommy
Wilson drove to EMRC
championships and Sonny
Stickles brought the Monster as
well. John and Barb Clark
brought their 3x coupe 'Old Nell',
Jon Button brought one of his
sprinters, Sharon Parry brought
the Jack Johnson #37 Falcon
and the 50th anniversary
Utica-Rome tribute car was on
hand as well as some
contemporary racers. My Dad
related that they got a few laps in
with the P-13 and Monster but Al
Sanders kicked up such a dust
storm (with his street car no
less..) that no one dared throttle
up too much - just like the old
days. Suicide Al, Bernie Miller,
Bob Ossont and Gene Cole were
among the drivers interviewed.
Gene brought along his 1961
CNYRC trophy, which he won
driving the Wust #43 right here
at Brookfield 50 years prior. Otto
Graham posed with the
charactcher of the Monster he
painted on the 43 when we
rebuilt it - he painted the first
one as well.. Bob Ossont is the
man who built Ray Kennedy's
engines, including the one that
won the State Fair in 1966 with
Larry Nye driving. He told my
father "That one had a special
camshaft in it. Miller and Kotary
were faster but we were ahead of
everyone else and we got a little
lucky at the end to win it." All in
all a great day my father
reported, and he even took some
nice pictures too - which are on
display here. He wanted to thank
Gene Cole for providing the
refreshments, and Barb Clark for
bring the U-R 50th Anniversary
hats - see you both in August.
Ally Amell & Team Matty
Gene Cole with his trophy and the Monster.
1961 Brookfield Fair Trophy - this is when they gave you a TROPHY!
View from the stands.
Suicide Al Sanders, John Burr and Jon Button.
Gene Cole interview.
Otto Graham.
Bob Ossont.
John Burr interviews Bernie Miller.
Barb Clark.
Thanks Gene.
His engine won the State Fair in 1966.
Larry got the Trophy.
Vernon Pits in the early 1950's - Bernie Miller #41.
Some hot Vernon Action.
The 43 at Morris in 1961.
Gene Cole 1960.
Al with friend in 1952.
 CaRs In ThE pArK..
Saturday was beautiful and I
needed a break from this
rabbit condo I'm building, so
I decide to 'relax' and get
the 711 out for a short jaunt
down to Owego for the
annual 'Cars in the Park'
show. The 711 wasn't
co-operating. OK, take apart
the Holley, clean it out,
flood the thing, wait....
charge teh battery and work
on the rabbit hut - this
thing is going to be good
enough for me to sleep in..
OK, the car fires so off
comes the B29 and on goes
the 711. I head out behind
the shop and warsh myrself
off with der rag on a stick
and I'm off to Owego. I get to
Hickories Park and the sign
says "Car show at Firemans
Field in Apalachin.."  Well,
that's not really cars in the
park now is it?? Have you
heard the story of how
Apalachin and Owego got
named? Apparently Indians
were traveling down the
Susquehanna and found
some apples in what is now
Endicott, and ate them. By
the time they got to what
now is Apalachin - their
stomachs had started to
turn - Hence 'Apple Achin'..
Not much longer and of
course we have "OH WE
GO!" Heh heh... So, after my
usual wrong turn in
Apalachin, I find Firemans
Field, pay the duty fee to
the Triple Cities Hot Rod
Club and unload the 711.
Got to see a talented fellow
pinstriping a cool Model A
hot rod and some fine
American iron as well, good
show - down a bit on
attendance but still nice.
And there was still plenty of
time to get back to the shop
as well, good day.