This week's forgotten track of the week is R & R Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio
R & R Speedway was built and promoted by Robert "Punk" Graves and opened for Sunday afternoon racing in 1988 officially called R & R Motor Speedway. The track was listed as 3/8 mile but was closer to 1/4 mile. The name was quickly shortened to just R & R Speedway and racing action switched to Friday nights after lights were installed. Late models were the staple attraction through the years along with standard stock car support classes. However, in 1995, Graves tried winged 410 sprint cars and the first race was won by Australian native and World of Outlaw sprint car driver Kerry Madsen on Sunday, May 28, 1995. Our very own Rusty McClure of BOSS ran second to Madsen in that race! Sprint cars ran there weekly for most of the '95 season but car counts were not steady enough to keep them on board. By 1999, things were going downhill. The track opened for its first 2 events of the season, then shut down. The last known event was won by Scott Peltz on May 7, 1999. Jay Cline (father of racer D.J. Cline) leased the track and planned to open in mid June as the "New R & R Speedway" but no race results were ever published. The track lay waiting from '99 until 2014 waiting on a re-opening that would never come. In 2014, the track was leveled and very little evidence remains there was ever a track there.
The photos attached were from my visit there in 2004 while the aerial photo is from 2012.
To see this and more on R & R and other vintage racing posts, please check out Cooley Cabinets - Turnback Tuesday on the BOSS facebook page.
It's time for another edition of BOSS "Turnback Tuesday"
Brought to you by Cooley Cabinets of Greenville, Ohio
This week's track of the week is the McCutchenville Speedway which may hold the record for the most different names a track raced under in a very few years. Built by Neil "Toby" Zeigler, the track was listed as a 3/8 mile oval and was originally called Mohawk Speedway. Located on Rt 53 west of Tiffin, the track opened on July 18th, 1971 with a late model program won by Art Ball. In 1973, Bruce Keisling leased the facility from Zeigler and renamed it Mid-America Raceway Park. In 1974, Leroy Davidson took over the lease and called it Mid-America Speedway. Late in 1974, Joe and Dot Kulcsar of Fremont Speedway fame came in and gave the track its best shot. They operated the track as Mid America Speedway until 1982 when they changed the name to Riverside Speedway. Sprint car driver Rick Ferkel and Paul Morgan operated the track in 1983 calling it Quad City Speedway. After sitting dormant for a few years, Bob Raubenolt reopened the facility under the name O.K. Corral Speedway and ran in 1986 and 1987. In 1988, a gentleman from New York named Ray Plakstis bought it and renamed it McCutchenville Speedway USA, but never ran a race.
Today, the track remains complete. The grandstands and flag stand are getting dangerous. But the guardrail and some fencing still looks pretty good. The water truck and some other equipment still lie in waiting for a race that will never come. Several new houses have been built nearby and the pit area could not hold today's race rigs. Mohawk (or whatever you choose to call it) was built for an era when the cars were towed on single axle open trailers or on the back of trucks. What could hold 60 race cars in 1971 can't hold 25 cars in 2017.
Don't forget, there is more to see on the BOSS facebook page all day long!
photo 1: The first ever ad for Mohawk to appear in a 1971 issue of Mid American Auto Racing News
photo 2: Opening day winner Art Ball of Tiffin, Ohio
photo 3: An aerial view of the property in 2012
photo 4: A view from today looking toward turn 1
photo 5: A view from today looking toward turn 4
It's Time for Cooley Cabinets - Turnback Tuesday! Special thanks to Mark and Matt Cooley for sponsoring this look back into history and remember, there is always more posted on the BOSS facebook page.
This week's buckeye state - forgotten "track of the week' is the Glen Este Speedway near Cincinnati, Ohio.
Opened in 1950, Glen Este went by several similar names such as Glen Este Speedbowl and Glen Este Race Bowl. In 1965 it was purchased by Francis Rapp of Amelia, Ohio and renamed Greater Cincinnati Race Bowl. Some of the consistent winners over the years included Ralph Latham, Billy Teegarden, and Ross Smith. The final auto races were run around 1972 but motorcycle racing continued for another few years at the site. Today, little league baseball fields sit on the site.
Photo 1: This aerial view of the Glen Este 1/4 mile oval is from 1966. Yes, that's a figure eight track crossing in the infield.
Photo 2: From that opening season of 1950, here's the flagman at Glen Este on the track which was typical in the day. One scorer with the flagman and you can see some spectators back hiding in the trees!
Photo 3: Car #9 tries to make
it wide at Glen Este. Who is the bravest? The driver of car #55 or the fans in the background!
Photo 4: Glen Este in 1973 shows Ed Eschman in car #27 awaiting his turn to qualify.
BOSS / TBT Photo of the week
Turnback Tuesday "10 Years Ago" - A very young Stratton Briggs in victory lane at the 2007 Buckeye Bowl indoor event at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Stratton was the 2016 BOSS Rookie of the Year!
It's time for another Cooley Cabinets - Turnback Tuesday! This week, in addition to a "track of the week" we will also be posting some looks back at the Ohio racing scene 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago on the BOS Facebook page. Be sure to thank Mark and Matt Cooley of Greenville, Ohio if you enjoy the historical articles!
This week's "Track of the Week" is the nearly forgotten Highpoint Speedway near Cincinnati, Ohio. Highpoint operated from 1949 to 1951 and perhaps longer. The only photos uncovered so far are from 1951. This is the first photos ever published online of Highpoint and they come from the Jim Richmond family. Highpoint was located in the village by that name just north of Cincinnati near the 275 / 71 intersection.
For more TBT - please follow the BOSS series on facebook!
BOSS names Ryan Kent Jr. as "Voice of the Tour"
The Rick's Trucks & Equipment BOSS sprint car tour is excited to announce the addition of a full time series announcer for 2017. For the first six seasons, tour owner Aaron Fry and his daughter, Elizabeth Fry have handled nearly every aspect of running the series. With the fast growth and the most full time race teams of any sprint series in the nation, it has become imperative that extra help was needed.
During the final three events of 2016, fans may have heard a new voice along with the regular race track announcers. The new voice was that of 17 year old Ryan Kent Jr. who is in his senior year at Greensburg Community High School in Greensburg, Indiana. Kent entered broadcasting at a very young age, already having three and a half years of experience in over 400 sporting events. Having grown up at the Indy 500 and being an Indiana native, it's only natural that wingless traditional sprint car racing would become a favorite for him.
Ryan is excited about the new opportunity to become the first ever "voice" of the BOSS tour, saying "The opportunity to be able to take my love for broadcasting and my love for racing and put them together, is something I've always wanted to do." He also added, "Thankfully I've had the opportunity the last few years on both TV and in the tower at Lawrenceburg Speedway, to learn from some of the best in the business."
This new position will relieve some pressure on tour owner Aaron Fry. He's hopeful for more opportunities to be available to sponsors, race teams and even race fans throughout the events. "It's all been a lot to handle for myself and my daughter. From the time the gates opened until the payoff at the end of the night, we were constantly handling the running of the night's events and making sure we were in the score tower to assist track personnel. With Ryan in the tower, we know we have a fantastic BOSS representative in there and we can begin to grow the series in other ways" said Fry.
Race teams will now see Aaron and Elizabeth a lot more through the running of the race events. The fans will now get a double dose of racing excitement with their home track announcer and Ryan Kent bringing the BOSS tour flavor to the microphone. Look for more fan interaction than ever before with BOSS, it's employees and racers.
Kent also expressed his gratitude to Lawrenceburg Speedway promoters, Dave and Kim Rudisell, who gave him his first opportunity in auto racing saying, "for that, I am forever grateful!" With the 2017 opener now just 13 weeks away, he added "I cannot wait to get to Atomic!".
Watch for more exciting BOSS news in the coming weeks as we announce another new staff position, new tour sponsors and soon we will begin announcing the stars who will be on tour full time in 2017!
The ALL NEW - Cooley Cabinet "Turnback Tuesday"
Today's story features the story and remains of the Greenville Motor Speedway in Greenville, Ohio. This legendary half mile oval first opened on July 4th, 1930. It was one of the most important tracks in Ohio's formative years of auto racing. The track closed at the end of the 1952 season. Everyone we have encountered has said that "nothing remains" of Greenville today. Today's Turnback Tuesday proves that a lot remains of Greenville. Some of the modern photos are from our visit in 2004 and we have a video shot just last week on January 12th, 2017. If you want to see a lot more of this track and story, please follow the BOSS series on facebook at the link below.
Photo 1: This aerial photo from google earth shows Greenville Speedway's ghostly remains just south of the old abandoned drive-in theater. The front stretch was the west side of the 1/2 mile oval.
Photo 2: An action photo from the 40's of Greenville Motor Speedway.
Photo 3: The front stretch concrete wall still stands and on the ground is the remains of the collapsed grandstand. We were literally walking on the metal roof which is now on the ground.
Photo 4: Even the ticket booths remain. This photo was taken in 2004. In our visit last week, we discovered that they have started to collapse. Join us on facebook to see more than a dozen additional photos and stories.
2017 BOSS Schedule Release
The Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series is excited to announce the 2017 tour dates for the "Last True Outlaws" of auto racing. The upcoming season will mark the sixth full seasonal tour for the Ohio based traditional wingless sprint tour that was established and opened in 2011.
Rick's Trucks and Equipment of Kenton, Ohio has proudly returned as the title sponsor. DRC Chassis Company of Indiana has joined the tour as the new sponsor of the first heat race at each event. Cooley Cabinets of Greenville, Ohio is also new to the BOSS marketing family, now presenting the increasingly popular historical posts that have moved from Thursday's to the all new "Turnback Tuesday". Every Tuesday, great racing history from the BOSS territory is brought back into the spotlight on the website and on the series facebook page.
Known throughout the Midwest as the fastest growing touring sprint car series, the BOSS schedule will grow from only one big money event in 2016 to an all time high of four higher paying shows in 2017. The annual Mike Hensel Memorial returns paying $5,000 to win at Fremont Speedway on September 30th. Joining Fremont on that level will be the soon-to-be converted Mansfield Motorsports Park which will host the tour for a 2 day event on Friday and Saturday, August 11-12. The event will be the all new "Great Lakes Dirt Nationals". The Friday show will be a complete standard BOSS program with Saturday paying $5,000 to win.
Perhaps the biggest off season news was the announcement of the pairing of BOSS with Waynesfield Raceway Park to sanction the prestigious "Jack Hewitt Classic" on Saturday, August 5th paying $3,000 to win. An added payoff also awaits the traveling tour teams on Friday and Saturday, August 25-26 when they invade the Atomic Speedway for the "Open Wheel Championship" also paying $3,000 to win on Saturday night.
Almost all of the fan favorite facilities return to the schedule including a return to Portsmouth Raceway Park, Limaland Motorsports Park, Lawrenceburg Speedway, Montpelier Motor Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park, Lernerville Speedway, and Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Returning to the schedule after a 2 year absence is the Route 44 Speedway (formerly Whitewater) in Liberty, Indiana. With the overwhelming success of the first event there, this race on Friday, July 28th should be another "can't miss" event.
Other exciting events dotting the 2017 tour include the "Jason Soudrette Memorial" on Saturday, July 29th at Lawrenceburg Speedway. Also, the annual "Dick Spencer Memorial" will be staged on Saturday, July 8th at Waynesfield Raceway Park.
While the four added money events will see special formats, the standard show format of pill draw heat races will remain the same. All of the key programs the fans and teams have come to love will also remain in place including the "open" tire rule, traveling bonus money for the top 15 in tour points, heat race payouts and bonus award payouts. A big "thank you" is extended to Hoosier Racing Tire and American Racer Tires for their continued support of the open tire concept.
In addition, the BOSS rules will once again allow teams to choose their own safety initiatives. As in the past, BOSS has chosen NOT to REQUIRE full containment seats, head and neck restraints, or roll cage halos. Although this decision cost us one event in 2017, we feel it is our job to provide a safe racing environment along with excellent insurance and more than adequate rescue and emergency personnel. It is NOT our position to REQUIRE items that many in our industry still see as a potential threat to driver safety. At this level of professional competition, we assert that driver safety is up to each individual team and driver.
BOSS plans to take a serious approach to safety. In 2015, the series was the first in the country to implement random drug testing at every event on the schedule. Random testing will continue this season. In addition, a new "safety advisor" will be working alongside teams at our events to inspect cars and discuss safety and address concerns. This will be especially beneficial to the lesser experienced race teams.
The entire confirmed schedule is listed below. There is one more track that could be added to the BOSS schedule but it would be a Saturday, stand alone, show and will be announced very soon. Watch for many more exciting announcements coming soon! Make plans to attend the tour opener on Saturday, April 22nd at Atomic Speedway near Chillicothe, Ohio. Best wishes to all for a safe and successful 2017 racing season.
2017 BOSS Tour Schedule
Sat. April 22 : Atomic Speedway ; Chillicothe, OH
Sat. May 13 : Fremont Speedway ; Fremont, OH
Sat. May 20 : Lawrenceburg Speedway ; Lawrenceburg, IN
Sat. May 27 : Mercer Raceway Park ; Mercer, PA
Sun. May 28 : Mansfield Motorsports Park ; Mansfield, OH
Fri. Jun 9 : Limaland Motorsports Park ; Lima, OH
Sat. Jun 10 : Portsmouth Raceway Park ; Portsmouth, OH
Fri. Jun 30 : Lernerville Speedway ; Lernerville, PA
Sat. July 1 : Pittsburgh PA Motor Speedway; Imperial, PA
Sat. July 8 : Waynesfield Raceway Park ; Waynesfield, OH (Spencer Memorial)
Fri. July 28 : Route 44 Speedway ; Liberty, IN
Sat. July 29 : Lawrenceburg Speedway ; Lawrenceburg, IN (Soudrette Memorial)
Sat. Aug 5 : Waynesfield Raceway Park ; Waynesfield, OH (Hewitt Classic)
Fri. Aug 11 : Mansfield Motorsports Park ; Mansfield, OH
Sat. Aug 12 : Mansfield Motorsports Park ; Mansfield, OH (Great Lakes Nationals)
Fri. Aug 25 : Atomic Speedway ; Chillicothe, OH
Sat. Aug 26 : Atomic Speedway ; Chillicothe, OH (Open Wheel Championship)
Sat. Sep 9 : Montpelier Motor Speedway ; Montpelier, IN
Sat. Sep 30 : Fremont Speedway ; Fremont, OH (Hensel Memorial)
Sat. Oct 7 : Atomic Speedway ; Chillicothe, OH
2016 Banquet Information
The 2016 season awards banquet for the Rick's Trucks & Equipment BOSS sprint series will be held on Saturday, November 12th. Doors will open at 5 pm with dinner served at 7. This year, the host site is The Bridge Restaurant of Sidney, Ohio who also happens to be the sponsor of the "Hard Charger" award on the tour. Following dinner, awards will be presented to the top 15 in the final point standings. Tickets for the banquet are $25 per adult and $10 for children under 12. Please mail checks for banquet tickets to: BOSS ; 2177 Lunbeck Rd ; Chillicothe, OH 45601. Also, the official host hotel is the Sidney Days Inn where rooms are just $59 per night. Be sure to ask for the BOSS racer's banquet rate. Phone 937-492-1131 to make a reservation. There will be a shuttle service to get to and from the hotel.
DRC Chassis of Indy Joins BOSS for 2017
The Rick's Trucks & Equipment BOSS sprint car series is proud to announce a new heat race sponsor for the 2017 season. DRC Chassis manufacturer from Indianapolis has joined the BOSS family. They have been building winning race cars since 2002. To learn more about DRC, visit their website at www.drcchassisindy.com or phone 317-481-1626. A big thank you to Joe and all of the staff at DRC for your support!