1975 - 79

"Brian's Story" (continued)

Flemington Fair Speedway Memories

1975 – 79



    • 1975 – Remember the line-up girl bringing the lineups for the heat races to that little basket lowered from the scorers / public address both on top of the main grandstand? She had very short skirts and very nice legs.
    • 1975 – Billy Pauch in his #15 totally dominating the Rookie Division and immediately being competitive right away in the Sportsman Division.
    • 1975 – Stan Ploski winning the first heat race in his own #27 Mustang on opening night but blowing the engine as he took the checkered flag. In the third heat, Ploski drove the Carberry #4T7 Whip Mulligan chassis Gremlin. The throttle stuck on the car and Stan broke his arm for a second time. Déjà vu.
    • 1975 – Glenn Fitzcharles in the Frank Rio #R10 Ebersole chassis Gremlin that dominated the modifieds. I’ve always liked Fitz as a driver and a person. He and Gerald Chamberlain staged some real tough battles that year that were every bit as intense as the Ploski/Osmun, Brenn/Pauch, and Horton/Pauch battles were.
    • 1975 – Ploski taking over the Don Morris #111 Gremlin for a mid-week 100 lapper and holding off Glenn Fitzcharles and Gerald Chamberlain to win it. This is probably my favorite Ploski victory because he was a huge underdog and had never driven the car before.
    • 1975 – Ken Brenn Jr. struggling in the modifieds in 1974 and 1975. Brenn was driving the Trevis chassis coupe that Stan Ploski won the track championship with in 1973 and a Rossell built Gremlin. Neither car seemed to run well at Flemington.
    • 1975 – Upstate New York invader Gary Iulg, driving Glenn Fitzcharles backup #R10 Falcon in a mid-week 100 lapper, climbing the wall between the first and second turns and flipping end-over-end. At one point, Iulg was hovering over the Ferraiuolo #73 driven by Gary Balough.
    • 1975 – Seeing sprint car veterans Kenny Weld in his own chassis #91 and Bobby Allen in a Vega modified #1a (it looked like a Weld car with a Vega body) racing at Flemington. Seeing Weld’s only win at Flemington that season. Weld was famous for his sprint car driving and car building, but he had a big impact on modified racing in the mid-1970s as he built six modifieds after the 1975 season and sold them to various drivers around the Northeast. His cars were in demand because they were fast. Kenny Brightbill, Jimmy Horton, Alan Johnson, Walt Olsen, Ed Delmolino, and one Stan Ploski bought the cars.
    • 1975 – Buzzie Reutimann in his famous #00 coupe winning the Flemington 200. I only saw Buzzie race at Flemington a couple of times, but I always liked the color scheme on his cars.


    • 1976 – Vince Canizzaro, who was in his 60s, driving an old #41c coupe in the sportsman division. I remember him flipping the car and walking away from it.
    • 1976 – Remember Ken Johnson’s Moly Black Gold sponsored #64 Gremlin modified? What a beautiful car.
    • 1976 – Billy Pauch being virtually unbeatable in the sportsman ranks. It amazed me how someone who was 19 years old could go out week after week and beat strong Sportsman veterans like Les Katona, Larry Kline, Ray Liss, and Joe Hall. You could tell then that Pauch would go on to bigger and better things.
    • 1976 – Gerald Chamberlain in the Bullock #76 Falcon winning the track championship in a very different manner than he won it in 1974. Chamberlain did not dominate as he did in 1974, but his consistency was able to overcome Glenn Fitzcharles in the Verona –McCabe #23 Chevette and Sammy Beavers in the Norcia #81 Pinto.
    • 1976 – There were some violent flips that year. George Drakes in the #60 sportsman coupe, Fred Orchard Jr. in the #406 Valiant (a former Don Kreitz Sr. car), George Kostelansky ‘s #17 Gremlin sportsman, Skip Turnodes in the #8t coupe sportsman, Ed Pasko in his K37 Gremlin modified and Glenn Fitzcharles in the #23 Chevette modified.
    • 1976 – comeback performances by Billy Osmun in the Sonny Dornberger #99 Gremlin (a Weld knockoff) and Stan Ploski in his own #27 Weld Gremlin.
    • 1976 – Remember Les Katona’s #K3 that year? It had a Pinto body and was very narrow. Probably the narrowest body I’ve ever seen on a dirt modified or sportsman.
    • 1976 – Ken Brenn Jr. debuting his new Grant King built Gremlin modified and promptly wrecking it in a multicar pileup. Brenn repaired the car and began to establish himself as a top modified driver.
    • 1976 – Sammy Beavers winning the Flemington 200. The race was postponed for one week due to rain. Beavers was driving a new #81 Gremlin modified owned by the Norcia Brothers and won a terrific battle with Stan Ploski in his Weld Gremlin and Fritz Epright in his own #49. Ploski ran the entire race without a pit stop.


    • 1977 – The backwards races.
    • 1977 – Paul Kuhl attempting to use a plastic substance in the dirt as a way to reduce the dust problem.
    • 1977 – Glenn Fitzcharles debuting a radical new Ebersole chassis Chevette #23 and dominating the victory totals but not winning the championship.
    • 1977 – Stan Ploski winning the track championship with only three victories. Stan won the championship with consistency, much like Gerald Chamberlain won the championship in 1976. Stan also took a nasty series of barrel rolls down the frontstretch and came back and won the feature the next week.
    • 1977 – Another wild year for flips. Even Stan Ploski and Gerald Chamberlain were upside down during the year.
    • 1977 – The famous Sammy Beavers and Mike Grbac bet. Beavers grew a beard during the winter and Grbac bet Beavers $100 that he would not keep the beard on until he (Beavers) won his first feature. Beavers won his first feature on April 23, won the $100 from Grbac and shaved in the infield after the race.
    • 1977 – Remember the mini stocks? Remember Pete Madsen’s "Eleven" Falcon and George Unfried’s #1 Mustang? I hated their engine noises. They didn’t sound like real racecars!
    • 1977 – Fritz Epright as an upset winner of the Flemington 200


    • 1978 – Kenny Brightbill in his own #19 Pinto (it was his car even though he drove for the Statewide team) finally taking on the challenge of becoming a regular at Flemington. He was able to pick up the nuances of the track quickly and he dominated the season, winning the track championship.
    • 1978 – Brightbill and Billy Osmun’s epic battle in the Memorial Day 100 lapper. Osmun was a regular at Orange County Fair Speedway in 1978 driving the Ferraiuolo #73 Grant King built car. There are very few races that equal the intensity of this one.
    • 1978 – Stan Ploski having a dismal season defending his 1977 track championship. His only victory at Flemington was at the last race of the season in a brand new Buckley chassis Fiesta bodied car.
    • 1978 – The "Super Sunday Special" show that Flemington ran on a Sunday in May. Over 380 cars of all types showed up. There were modifieds, sportsman, sprint cars, midgets, TQ midgets, late models, etc. The crowd was somewhat light, though.
    • 1978 – Seeing Mark (#4) and Newt Hartman (#24) race in the Sportsman division in identical John Burnett chassis Mustangs. They were both sleek looking cars.
    • 1978 – The USAC sprint car show. I did not attend this race (I was working) but my father did. When he came home, he told me that a sprint car driver was killed. Someone named Tobias. My dad was not as into who was who in the sport as I was, so I explained to him what Toby Tobias meant to racing in the Northeast. What a tragic loss for his family and for racing.
    • 1978 – Larry Kline in the Schenk A CNJ chassis car dominating the Sportsman Division. Larry had been racing since the early 70’s and it was good to see him finally put it together and win consistently.
    • 1978 – Ken Brenn Jr. really coming into his own in the modifieds. He finally became a regular, consistent winner. I really like the paint scheme on his #24 Grant King Gremlin in 1978-1980 with the different color stripes going from yellow on top of the car to orange on the bottom.
    • 1978 – Billy Osmun winning the Flemington 200 in the Ferraiuolo #73
    • 1978 – Billy Pauch continuing his growth as a modified driver winning several features in the Norcia #81.


    • 1979 – Billy Pauch winning his first modified championship at Flemington in a car he built himself. To me, most of the cars Pauch built himself were not the best looking cars out there, but he was able to run well with them. Pauch also won the Mike Grbac memorial race that season. That was a very emotional event as Mike’s popularity was always high at Flemington.
    • 1979 – Larry Kline in the Schenk A winning his first modified feature.
    • 1979 – Tim Pauch following in his brother’s footsteps by winning a rookie feature. He was never able to match his brother’s later success.
    • 1979 – Another brother act surfaces when Jim Brenn arrives in the Rookie Division driving for his father driving a remade version of the old Rossell built Gremlin that Stan Ploski drove in 1973 and Ken Brenn Jr. drove until 1976.
    • 1979 – Nick Schlaugh finally coming into his own in the sportsman division in his #39 Grant King knockoff.
    • 1979 – Modified veteran Red Coffin taking a violent flip in his own #22 Burnett chassis coupe during the Tri Track 100 and retiring from the sport afterwards.

70's - 80's Flemington Question & Answer with Brian