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Mottville Michigan

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Postby jgh » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:38 am


I made the decision Tuesday to take the high road and switch to Sunday for this week’s Mottville Stock Special.
I also switched the August 5 Mottville Stock Special to Sunday, August 6.
But that is it!
Come September when we switch to Saturdays we stay Saturdays for September and October!
When all the other tracks starting running their 2 and 3 day specials we might as well run Saturday and have Sunday as a rain date.
By the way, the weather for Sunday evening actually looks good!
The 60% chance of rain is all before noon!
Now the hope is that the track that suddenly wanted MS so very badly, does not end up with half or more of the field wrecked before the night is over!
Last week I told about the Ft. Wayne Speedway.
I thing I did not mention was the Lucky Number Programs.
They listed the driers and car numbers and had place to record each event.
Some of advertises included Rollin Smith Heating and Air Conditioning in N. Manchester, Hires Auto Parts in Ft. Wayne.
There was a driver named Lucky Long.
One day before he qualified Bill Lipkey, the announcer said “Now it is time for Lucky Long to qualify” and he parachuted out of air plane and landed in the infield!
One very sad story was of a young man named Rocky Robbins.
He was just out of the Marines and went racing and went over the bank and was killed!
Just a few years ago I found his gave just outside Auburn in a small cemetery just NW of Auburn.
This week I want to tell what I know about the South Anthony Speedway in Ft. Wayne.
The first race was May 20,1951 on a 3/10 mile dirt track.
The first race on the paved 3/8 mile track was May 2, 1953 and the last race was July 24, 1964.
The demise of both South Anthony and the Ft. Wayne Speedway was that the land they were on became just too valuable!
South Anthony became a housing development and the FWS a car lot and many other things!
In the early years there was a bitter rivalry between the two tracks!
Each sent spies to check on the other and report not only car count and crowd but which drivers where there!
Initially the Ft. Wayne Racing Association ran FWS.
But there was a membership revolt and the officers were thrown out during the off season.
So the old officers formed the Northeastern Indiana Racing Association and this time they made sure members could not vote!
Whatever, Ft. Wayne RA ran S. Anthony and NIRA ran FWS.
I remember well the stamp each person who bought a pit pass had on their wrist -It said NIRA PASS,
Well back to S. Anthony.
They did so well they actually ran two nights per week!
I am not sure if the 2nd night was Wednesday or Thursday but Saturday plus one other night.
IN 1957 and 19587 my father ran the Lima-Allentown Speedway.
Some time after that he must have worked at SA because I started selling Speed Sport News on both nights.
But on any night when one of 2 older high school guys was absent I got to sell the lucky number programs!
Now SSN was a great paper but LNP sold much better and I got 5 cents per program sold!
I know they sure had some great racing at SA.
Howard Bice bought most of the light poles and moved them to Pleasant Lake to start a track and he got the track carved out but the town fathers stopped him so we went to Avilla.
Howard’s father, who I worked with in the summer at Sechler’s Pickles in Saint Joe, told me that Howard found a place with no zoning near Avilla!
So the SA bleachers and poles ended up at Avilla!
I do remember the SA track was fast and they had about all the area starts at one time or another!
I think I have just enough space left to mention what little I know about Lake View Speedway AKA Columbia City Speedway, which was located between Columbia City and Churubusco.
I think I was only there once.
As I remember you had to go through this woods to get there!
It was in the fall of the year and after the sun went down it was cold!
So people actually had a fire in the trash barrel at the end of the last bleacher and burned worn out bleacher boards!
True story!
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