|Photo ID #||11.23.03_292_MIC_PLE_0072_1|
|Driver (s) :||Al Michalchuk|
|Location:||Atlantic City Speedway (Pleasantville, NJ)|
|Photo provided by:||Rich Broschard|
here's a little story for you. The whole reason why the Vault exists is linked to
this picture... Here's the whole story in my best Paul Harvey impression:
Good-day... I was at Ralph Richard's South Jersey Speedway Reunion a few week's back and got looking through some old pictures that were being displayed by Rick Broschard. In one of the books was a #23x that although it was a black and white photo, the car looked like it could have been dark blue with a painted white roof but what really caught my eye was that the numbers were written the same way as the 2-9-2 that could be found on all Michalchuk creations.... So I got asking the guys at the table if they knew anything about the car and so on, and I started telling them how the 23X looked a lot like this guy "Al Michalchuk's #292 who used to run dirt at Flemington and East Windsor, knowing full well that "them asphalt guyz" wouldn't know anything about Al...
Just then a guy (who I wish I knew his name), said, "Yea, I remember the guy your talking about in the #292.... He didn't run Atlantic City much, but one time he was running around the whole track sideways lap after lap, like it was dirt with smoke pouring off the right rear and I keep saying to myself "That tires gonna hook up any minute now..." and then sure enough, right through the wall he went!"
Just about then, Rick or somebody near the table says, "Hey, I think I have a picture of that guy somewhere..." After flipping through a few pages, "Here it is!"
At first, I couldn't believe it... But there it was... the old #292 coupe, with the ass end way up in the air, and smoke pouring off the tire, sliding sideways around Pleasantville. But here's where the light bulb turns on: As most of you know, Al is my favorite driver, but I could never remember exactly why I started rooting for him. As this fellow was mentioning the story of the #292 at Pleasantville, I started to get the feeling like if I might have been there... I mean really been there when this whole thing happened... I did kinda remember going there once or twice with my mother (who lived in South Jersey), in the early 70's.... and began to vaguely remembered that Al had run there... but it didn't make sense to me since Al was a dirt track driver and the car was very obviously set up for dirt only.
It wasn't until right now, as I sit here posting this picture that I realized why I began rooting for Al, and if it wasn't for Ralph Richards get together and the strange circumstances as described above, I may never have solved the mystery, but here it is...
The reason I became a fan of Al's and ultimately of short track racing, so much so to create this website, was because I WAS THERE THAT DAY AT PLEASANTVILLE and saw the #292 for the first time - THERE - AT PLEASANTVILLE, ON THE VERY DAY, that these guys were telling me about... as the picture had captured. And it wasn't until right now that I honestly realized it and actually do remember him sliding sideways and eventually going through the wall.
What happened next was that a few week's later my father (who lived in Central Jersey) and I headed up to Flemington and guess who's there: IT WAS THAT CRAZY GUY IN THE #292 WHO DROVE IT AROUND PLEASANTVILLE ON THE ASPHALT COMPLETELY SIDEWAYS! I can remember telling my dad, "You gotta watch this guy... he's crazy!"
Well, anyone whoever saw Al run back in the early 70's knows that we were not to be disappointed. Whether he won that night, or bounced it off the boards between 1 and 2, or BOTH, my dad and I were hooked. That night we headed to the pits because we just had to see who this crazy guy was....
And here it is about 21 years later (about half of my years on the planet), and I just figured out something that had always been a mystery to me. It wasn't until that guy said that Al had run at Pleasantville and that I got to see this marvelous picture that I began remembering the whole story.
Thank you Rick Broschard and please let the fellows who were with you that day know how much that one little memory that they shared helped me remember a pretty significant event in my childhood.
"And now you know...the rest of the story..."
|Visitor's Comments||To add your comments about THIS PHOTO - Click Here|
|11/24/03||Scott Pacich||Can't add any more. What a classic shot!|
|11/24/03||3-Wide||Hey Scott - best of all, it's all true. Sometimes you find the best things when your not really looking.|
|11/24/03||Rick Broschard||The man you are referring to is none other
than Tom Skinner, owner of the GMC Powered 659 driven by Parker Bohn. That man can tell
some great stories!
I'm quite honored I could help you with this great site. Its a daily stop at the end of the day. It all started with me at Pleasantville watching my dad Ralph Broschard race there every Sunday along with Tony Siscone, Jerry Camp, Tommy Micheals, Carl Grinar, Garry Shelly, Bunky Higbee and so many others.
I miss those days as a kid watching all those guys running on that 1/2 mile. But at least we have these pictures to remind us of the good ol' days. Thanks 3 Wide, Rick Broschard
|11/24/03||3-Wide||Rick, I got to thank you for being Johnny on the spot and knowing you had this picture with you, but If anyone sees Tom, please mention the whole deal above to him and give him my thanks for remembering the whole deal.|
|11/24/03||Kevin Budden...||Simply one of the best looking cars ever
built, It belongs in a time capsule.
|02/28/04||John Armbruster||"You gotta watch this guy...
Lol! My brother used to love him, too...along with Charlie Shire and , especially, Craig McCaughey (who he rooted for because he drove the purple #4... My brother loved anyone in a purple car, including Gary Balough when he drove the #9)
|04/09/04||Bucky Stevens||Crazy Al was called crazy al by his competitor's also. Once in the pits I asked him why he ran so sideways. His answer was, besides it being fun, when the sportsmen (small blocks) ran at Flemington the sun was setting and he couldn't always see the track, he could feel the wall between three and four.|
|08/08/04||Babuckwheat||THIS IS SUCH A GREAT PICTURE AND THE STORY THAT IS TOLD ABOUT THAT DAY IS JUST FASACINATING. THANK YOU|
|08/08/04||3-Wide||..and as Edith Ann used to say, "And
that's the truth pttttttttttttttttttttth." Man, writing about stuff that
happend 30 years ago..., quoting Lily Tomlin form Rowan and Martin's "Laugh
In" from about 30 years ago... Oh well, at least it looks like I'm not the only
one livin' in the past!
Michalchuk was my favorite and it's our hope that that everyone's favorite is represented somewhere in the Vault!
Again, many thanks to Rick Broschard for having the picture and for Tom Skinner for having the remembering the day that Al tried to broadslide around Pleasantville.
|04/23/05||Chris Macock||I came across this picture almost by
accident, by doing a Google search on Alex.
I'm currently a senior at The College of New Jersey (formerly known as Trenton State), and for those of you who don't know, Al works in the engineering department here as a technician and machinist. I spend a lot of time in the shop, probably a few hours every day, and I absolutely love working with the guy. People with his skill and patience, and also his generosity, are hard to find these days. He loves taking time to show students (including myself) how to use a mill, lathe, any kind of welder, or just telling stories about things he's built.
He makes references pretty often to various stock car parts he made in the past, but rarely does he talk about his racing days. I had no idea he was so widely followed in racing circles back then. The guy is truly one of a kind, and I've learned an incredible amount from him.
Thanks for providing such a great collection of photos and info, I really enjoy browsing your site!
|04/23/05||3-Wide||He's the reason why I created the site. His unassuming nature is an absolute contrast to the way he wheeled a stock car.|
|11/12/05||Nancy Penyak||I remember him well. He wasn't a big winner. but watching him sideways coming out of turn 4 at Flemington was worth the price of admission alone. As the matter of fact we sat in the first and everybody around us pointed at him and shook their heads in disbelief.|
|01/14/06||David Reynolds||This picture says Al Michalchuk. End of sentence.|
|01/21/07||Charlie Miller||I've never been to Atlantic Speedway, or saw crazy Al run. But that picture and that story is why I love this web site.|
|01/23/07||Mike Garwood||When I was a kid, I saw Al flip this very
same car down the back stretch at Flemington Speedway. Al was always a very exciting guy
to watch. Fantastic Job with this web site.
I've gone through every picture through the 70's and 80's.
|03.17.09||Dan Thomas||I am 36 years old and have heard this story from my dad probably since I actually understood what he was saying. He still to this day talks about the show that was put on when this dirt racing guy showed up at AC speedway and had all the drivers in the pits standing on their trailers or up against the fence to watch what he was doing. Was told it was one of the best things to watch at the time and must have been considering how much it is still talked about today. Great photo.|
I lived right around the corner from the track (literally right through the woods). This is where I would spend my Sunday afternoons and evenings with dad when I was growing up. We used to sit in the area where this picture was taken, right off the 4th turn. Man do I have some great memories from there! Every Sunday morning I used to go to church with my grandmother and on the way home we would come down Doughty Road. As we would drive by A.E.Stone (the paving company located right behind the pits) I would always look with excitement to see if there were any cars in the pits yet for that evenings races. I can't thank my dad enough now for taking me to the races there every Sunday. I was hooked as a young kid, and as all of you can probably relate, I'm still hooked to this day.
Gees I miss Al running wide open and
next to the outside wall.
|05.06.15||Howard Stern||I was there that day. I don't think he won anything, but he was fun to watch.|
Back to The Message Vault