|Photo ID #||05.31.03_407_MYS_UNK_0050_1|
|Driver (s) :||Tex Enright|
|Date:||1950's or maybe even late 40's|
|Photo provided by:||Tim Berry Jr.|
|Comments:||Long before Tex used to stand on the track and jump up and down waving the green flag at a pack of oncoming stock cars, Tex spent time as part of the pack!|
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|07/18/03||Jim Murrow||The old Nazareth 1/2 mile dirt track in the 50s and 60s
had some great racing. Even if it hadn't it would have been worth the 2 or 3 hour drive
just to see the starter, Tex Enright. Tex was a really rare combination of daredevil,
showman, and official. The thing is, he was a master of all three. At Nazareth, in the
early 60s, we would usually arrive early, grab some food, and take our seats in the almost
empty grandstands, a couple of hours before race time.
As we wolfed down our food, we watched a guy in old blue jeans and a T-shirt driving the water truck and then the grader, and then the water truck, Etc. to prepare the track surface. He would jump out periodically, check the surface, and continue to work that surface in, until it was perfect. It was starter, Tex Enright.
As the race cars arrived a number of the drivers would walk out onto the track to stop Tex, and kid with him as he passed the pits. Just before race time, Tex would disapear for a few minutes, then reapear in a costume that was sort of a cross between Porter Wagoner's and Elvis's. They were beautiful. Loads and loads of white fringe, on bright turquoise, or blue, or some other vivid corored sleveless shirt with eagles or stars or whatever, and matching pants, and moccosins. he was a sight to behold.
Tex, of course, claimed to be an indian, (Native American, now), but, Tex claimed a lot of difficult to believe things, so, nobody was too sure if he really was an indian or not. Nobody really cared. He was the kind of showman that P.T. Barnum would have loved.
Tex started the races from the track surface, not the starter's stand. As the pack of modifieds would aproach, gunning their engines, fire shooting out the exhaust, Tex would stand at one side of the track, watching, motioning for this car or that one to get in line, or slow down, or speed up... then, all at once, he would run, fringe flying, 1/2 way across the track, take a high flying leap into the air, as he waved the green flag, hit the ground running, and just barely make it off the track as the, wide open, field of modifieds roared by a foot or two behind him. He didn't always make it. He was hit by a modified a few times, but he continued to do it. Flemington wanted him to start there, and made him some really good offers, but, NJ didn't allow the starter to start from the track, and, at that time, Tex refused to start from anywhere else.
One thing you were sure of, was that one man, and one man only, was in charge of the races, and that was Tex. His calls were fair, and final. On a number of occassions, I saw Tex, take the black flag, or the passing flag, and walk out onto the track under green, and point it right into the window of a car as it and other cars flew past him at 100 mph, when the driver in question had not obeyed the flag for a couple of laps.
Yeah, Tex was a great track preparer, a great starter, a great daredevil, a great showman, and he put them all together to make great racing. Thanks Tex, wherever you are. Jim Murrow
|07/18/03||3-Wide||I had heard that Tex lost his life in a construction accident back in the late 70's, but I really don't know much more than that. I remember Tex starting the cars from the frontstretch at East Windsor back in the late 60's and maybe into the early 70's. The memories of Tex belong here in the Vault along with all the others who made this such a great sport.|
|08/19/03||Mike Monnat||Tex worked at Five Mile Point in Binghamton, New York at some point in time in the seventies (not sure exactly what year(s) for a year or two maybe. I first saw him back in the late 60's at Middletown and I was genuinely impressed. What a far cry from what we have today.|
|08/18/03||3-Wide||Tex definitley was impressive to the fans and I'm sure had the respect of the drivers as well. In fairness to today's starters, the use of one way radios, transponders, video, etc has taken a lot of the grey area away which I think avoids a lot of the stuff that was up for discussion in years past and as a result, a lot of the decision making has been turned over to "race control" usually located somewhere other than the flag stand, although when tough calls are made, the guy on the stand usually catches the grief! Also, I can guarantee here in NJ that the State Police who are involved with the Racing Division, along with the insurance companies wouldn't even let Tex jump up in down in front of an oncoming pack of Modifieds!|
|02/29/04||CARLI Petrasek||I just wanted to share the fact that Tex was indeed an Indian. He was half Cherokee. He also died of an illness, not of a construction site accident. I know this because he was my grandfather. I only met him once, on his deathbed. I was about 5 or 6, so it was around 1979-1980.|
|02/29/04||3-Wide||Thanks for the info Carli. Regarding my comment about a construction accident, I do remember hearing that he had been injured in the late 70's and think that may have ended his flagging career. He was an original, that's for sure...|
|10/22/06||Ray Brown Jr||Even though I was extremely young when my Dad Ray Brown Sr raced. Tex and his showy starters outfit have stuck in my mind. I was only 4 or 5 years old and I can still remember him do incredible leaps starting the races from on the track. Also anybody out there remember my Dad? He raced stocks in the late 40's and 50's and midgets in the 60's.He especially loved Orange County Speedway in Middletown, NY please e-mail me at grunt03690@hotmail . My folks divorced when I was young and did not see my dad race much. I have only a few pieces of memorabilia to remember him by. I would like to try to reconnect with my dad. Any photos, stories or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ray Brown Jr|
|02/24/07||Bobby Walz||Ray Brown Jr, Call me- I knew your Dad very well.
My phone number is (914) 739- 4431. I own one of the race motors your dad
used to own, a flathead which is going in a 39 Merc convertible, pretty soon. Such a small
world. Your E mail address wont work.
I have a lot to tell. Ray Brown was one of the best race drivers I ever seen. He still holds 4th in all time feature wins at Middletown NY for modifieds. He had a good sponsor in the 50's who could afford a crossfire flathead. I think this is the reason for so many wins in the flathead era. When Bobby Albert and Ray Brown got into the midgets in the 60's they blew everybody away. Bobby won 109 features and over 1000 heats. I dont know how many Brown won, I'll bet it was up there.
I would like to meet Jr.
|12.05.10||John C. Pleiss||I had been to Nazareth speedway from the
early 50's to the last race in Aug of 88 when Brett Hearn won the last race.
My daughter Michelle Pleiss (she passed away in Aug 2007) and son Johnny Pleiss were the the Tasty Cake kids always in victory lane for many years. My father Jack Pleiss & my uncle Norman Pleiss raced there in the 50's & 60's.
When we were kids we would sit with Tex's wife and kids in the grand stands on the old frontstretch while my dad drove the pace truck provided by Bill Moser garage.
Tex's kid jerry is the flag man up at Middletown (Orange County Speedway). We would go to Reading on Friday nights, Orange County Speedway on Saturday night and Nazareth speedway on Sunday nights!!
Jerry fried always put a a GREAT SHOW and the Fireworks were the best