Watertown Speedway was a 1/2 mile dirt oval raceway located at the Jefferson County fairgrounds in Watertown, New York. Located in the Thousand Islands region, it drew competitors and fans from both sides of the Canada–US border
Dirt track racing is a form of motorsport held on clay or dirt surfaced oval race tracks often used for thoroughbred horse racing. Dirt track racing started in the United States before World War I and became widespread during the 1920s and 1930s using both automobiles and motorcycles. Two different types of race cars dominated—open wheel racers in the Northeast and West and stock cars in the South. While open wheel race cars are purpose-built racing vehicles, stock cars can be either purpose-built race cars or street vehicles that have been modified to varying degrees.
Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found mainly and most prominently in the United States and Canada, with Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil also having forms of stock car auto racing. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring approximately 0.25 to 2.66 miles. The world's largest governing body for stock car racing is the American NASCAR, and its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top level series of professional stock car racing. Top level races typically range between 200 to 600 miles in length. The cars were originally production models, but are now highly modified.
Jefferson County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,229. Its county seat is Watertown. The county is named after Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America. It is adjacent to Lake Ontario, southeast from the Canada–US border of Ontario.
In 1955 Howard Rowe and Douglas Atkinson promoted the Star-Lit Park Speedway, a mile and a half European style dirt road course that was built by Fred Kleemeier on outer Washington Street in Watertown, NY. It hosted only one race in 1955 and closed mainly because of severe dust problems. The following year, Rowe and Atkinson turned their efforts toward racing at a former horse track at the county fairgrounds, located on Coffeen Street in Watertown.
In the book "The Legends of Watertown Speedway," author David Stoodley writes: "In January 1956, several prominent Watertown area enthusiasts decided that something should be done about forming an organization to promote the return of stock car racing to Watertown and the north country. In a meeting held on March at the Watertown YMCA, seventeen men gathered and successfully organized the Northern Stock Car Club (NSCC). Officers elected were Douglas Atkinson, president; Howard Rowe, secretary/treasurer and Lloyd Smith, Austin Kilburn and Carl Walts as vice-presidents.
At a later meeting, according to Stoodley, the NSCC became a corporation. Stoodley noted that in April 1956 the NCSS signed a lease with the City of Watertown for $101.50 per week for use of the Jefferson County Fairgrounds track. The first race at the speedway was held on Sunday afternoon on May 15. The races were switched to Saturday night by the end of June. The speedway continued in operation for two decades.
Because of its close proximity to the Canada–US border, many drivers competed at the Kingston Speedway on Friday nights. The same rule book was used by both race tracks.
Kingston is a city in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River and at the mouth of the Cataraqui River. The city is midway between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. The Thousand Islands tourist region is nearby to the east. Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone.
Track Champions were Bob Zeigler (3), Dutt Yanni, Dell Crill, Dick May, Frank Andre (2), Neal Tooley, Fred Gibson, Tony Blake, Chubby LaRoux (2), Gary Reddick (2), Guy Robinson (2), and Bud Hinman. Zeigler, May, Andre, Reddick and Robinson have all been inducted into the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame.Andre, Gibson and Blake were inducted into the Kingston-District Sports Hall of Fame. Yanni was inducted into the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame.
Dick May was a NASCAR driver who competed in 185 races in the NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup between 1967 and 1985.
The Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to recognize individual achievements in the sport of stock car racing. It is located at 1 Speedway Dr., Weedsport, New York.
The Oswego Speedway is a race track in Oswego, New York. It was built in 1951 and today is an asphalt race track. The track is the Labor Day Weekend home of the 200-lap, non-wing, big-block supermodified Budweiser Classic and Race of Champions. In 2016 Oswego Speedway hosted the 45th edition of World Racing Group's Super DIRTcar Series Super DIRT Week. The speedway was covered by approximately 6,900 cubic feet of clay for DIRTcar modified drivers to compete in the NAPA 300, the richest dirt modified race in the world. The event took place Oct 5-9, 2016.
May went on to compete in 185 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup division between 1967 and 1985.May’s car owner and crew then began to mentor a new driver, Bob McCreadie, who went on to be inducted into the Lowe's Motor Speedway Walk of Fame, the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame, and the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame. McCreadie is the father of former NASCAR driver Tim McCreadie.
(Barefoot) Bob McCreadie is an American Dirt Modified racing driver. He is an inductee to the Lowe's Motor Speedway Walk of Fame, the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame, and the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame.
Tim McCreadie is an American Dirt Modified racing driver. He currently drives the #39 Sweeteners Plus Late Model. In 2007 he ran a partial schedule in NASCAR West Series, ARCA RE/MAX Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
Through the 1960s, Rowe and Atkinson joined race director Ira Vail in promoting the New York State Fair Championship.
Ira Vail was a Canadian-American racecar driver and auto racing promoter. He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
By the spring of 1975, racing operations had moved to the Can-Am Speedway in La Fargeville. Rowe and Atkinson along with fellow area promoters Tom Coughlin, and Bob Thurston were honored in 1996 by the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame for their contributions.
Richard Ernest Evans, was an American racing driver who won nine NASCAR National Modified Championships, including eight in a row from 1978 to 1985. The International Motorsports Hall of Fame lists this achievement as "one of the supreme accomplishments in motorsports". Evans won virtually every major race for asphalt modifieds, most of them more than once, including winning the Race of Champions three times. Evans was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on June 14, 2011. As one of the Class of 2012, Evans is one of the Hall's first 15 inductees, and is the first Hall of Famer from outside NASCAR's premier series.
Jerry Cook is a NASCAR modified championship race car driver. He began racing at the age of 13 and won the track championship at Utica-Rome Speedway in 1969.
Langhorne Speedway was an automobile racetrack in Middletown Township, Bucks County, near the borough of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Philadelphia.
Truman Fontell "Fonty" Flock of Fort Payne, Alabama was an American stock car racer.
Frank E. Schneider was a stock car, modified, midget, and sprint car racer. He had one NASCAR Grand National victory at Old Dominion Speedway in 1958 driving a 1957 Chevrolet. He also won the 1952 NASCAR modified title, where it is suspected that he scored at least 100 wins. Schneider earned his nickname "The Old Master" through his ability to master anything with wheels.
Trenton Speedway was a racing facility located near Trenton, New Jersey at the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Races for the United States' premier open-wheel and full-bodied racing series of the times were held at Trenton Speedway.
Donald "Dutch" Hoag was an American racing driver who won the Langhorne National Open five times when it was the most prestigious event for Modified and Sportsman racers.
Wally Campbell of Trenton, New Jersey was a stock car, midget, and sprint car racer. He was the 1951 NASCAR Modified champion and the 1953 AAA Eastern Division Sprint car rookie of the year. Campbell was killed practicing for an AAA Midwestern Division sprint car race at Salem, Indiana on July 17, 1954. He was one day past his 28th birthday.
Flemington Speedway was a motor racing circuit in Flemington, New Jersey which operated from 1915 to 2002. The track was known for being the fastest 5/8 dirt track in the United States. Later it was for hosting four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and its pioneering use of foam blocks used to lessen the impact of crashes, which led to the adoption of the SAFER barrier and was America's longest-running Saturday night shorttrack until its closing.
Doug Heveron is an American race car driver from Liverpool, New York. He has driven supermodifieds, modifieds, Indy cars, NASCAR Winston Cup cars, NASCAR Busch Grand National cars, sprint cars, late models and midgets.
Modified stock car racing, also known as modified racing and modified, is a type of auto racing that involves purpose-built cars simultaneously racing against each other on oval tracks. First established in the United States after World War II, this type of racing was early-on characterized by its participants' modification of passenger cars in pursuit of higher speeds, hence the name.
The Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds is a big block modified touring series currently owned & operated by World Racing Group. The series primarily races on dirt ovals in the Northeastern United States & Canada along with select dates in Florida and North Carolina.
Ocean Speedway, formerly known as Watsonville Speedway, is a dirt oval located in Watsonville, California, United States at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.
Kenny Brightbill, nicknamed the "Shillington Slingshot" and "Mr. Excitement" is a former NASCAR and professional dirt modified driver from Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. He has won 441 career professional races and is a member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame, the NYSSCA Hall of fame, the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, the Reading Fairgrounds Speedway Historical Society Home of Champions Hall of Fame the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame, the YCRC Hall of Fame, and is also the all time wins leader of Reading Fairground Speedway with 135 career wins. Brightbill has won many of the most noted races for dirt track modifieds in the Northeastern United States, most notably 1988 Syracuse Miller High Life 300.
The 2018 Super DIRTcar Series is the 45th season of Big Block Modified racing sanctioned by DIRTcar Northeast & World Racing Group. The season will begin with the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on February 13 while the first points scoring race of the season will be the Highbank Holdup at Fulton Speedway on April 28. The season will end with the Textron Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on November 3. Matt Sheppard enters the 2018 season as the defending series champion.