1980 - 84

"Brian's Story" (continued)

Flemington Fair Speedway Memories

1980 – 84



    • 1980 – Remember the intense sportsman action involving Jim Brenn in his father’s Grant King built car and Paul Richards in an old Hartman Mustang? Throw in Ray Bateman in his #67 and Art Crouse in his 8jr., Billy Cannon in his #23, among others, and you can see how the Sportsman outshined the modifieds many times. It seemed like Brenn won all the time but Richards remained ahead of Brenn in the points through more consistent finishes.
    • 1980 – Remember these modifieds: Karl Freyer in the #4, Glenn Fitzcharles in the GO, Rich Polenz in the #3 and Ken Johnson in the #64?
    • 1980 – Second generation driver Clay Butler, son of the late Oliver Butler, making his debut at Flemington in the Rookie Division in his #5.
    • 1980 – Daryl Carman in his CNJ chassis Lentini sponsored #2 dominating the rookie division.
    • 1980 – Harry Turner winning a Rookie feature. Harry’s father owned the #28 modified coupes that Bob Pickell drove in 1972.
    • 1980 – Sammy Beavers debuting a radical Cadillac Seville bodied Buckley chassis car for car owner Jim Horton Sr. The car’s body was offset to the left. The car was very fast right away and Beavers won several features in it.
    • 1980 – Larry Kline winning the track championship in the immaculate Trenton Mack #74 Grant King car. Kline was not the big winner but he was steady and consistent in winning the championship, much like Gerald Chamberlain in 1976 and Stan Ploski in 1977. A factor that helped Kline in his championship efforts was that Billy Pauch raced infrequently at Flemington in 1980. Do you remember the Mack Truck hood ornament on the hood of Kline’s car?
    • 1980 – Billy Pauch, driving the Scamardella #121 Grant King car, winning several big races throughout the year. Pauch won the Flemington 200 and he also won a feature on "Philadelphia Journal" night. I remember the victory lane scene. I’m not sure which Pauch was happier about, winning a big purse or posing for photos with three beautiful trophy queens!
    • 1980 – Elvin Felty, driving the Norcia #81, going for a wild ride. Felty climbed the wall between the first and second turns and went into a series of barrel rolls and flips, destroying the car. Felty walked away unhurt.
    • 1980 – Remember the night that Bruce Hooper took a wild flip down the frontstretch and crashed into the flag stand, destroying it. It was a good thing that Harry Dee and company saw Hooper’s car coming and got out of the way.


    • 1981 – This was the season of wild modified bodies. The previous fall at Syracuse, Gary Balough’s #112, with its wild, aerodynamic body, was the class of the field and everyone began copying the style. Some of the cars that had wild bodies were Billy Pauch in the Liedl L, Jim Brenn in the 20, Ken Brenn Jr. in the 24, and Billy Cannon in the 23.
    • 1981 – Billy Pauch dominating the modified division in the Liedl L. Pauch had that consecutive race-winning streak late in the summer (I think he won five features in a row) that won the championship for him.
    • 1981 – Stan Ploski winning a feature in the Trenton Mack #74. This race is significant to me for two things. One is that Ploski won. The other is that this is the last race my father and I saw together. He died less than a week later.
    • 1981 – Fritz Epright taking over the controls of the Jim Horton Sr. cars, which were now numbered 1 and 2. Fritz won several features in the cars.
    • 1981 – Remember the winged modified races? The modifieds would remove their roofs and replace them with five-foot square sprint car wings and add nose wings as well.
    • 1981 – Joe Luzi in his T-1 winning the Rookie feature and giving Al Tasnady a big hug after the win.
    • 1981 – Sportsman driver Lou Hahn in his number 3h taking one of the hardest flips I’ve seen at the track. I’ve seen other cars flip more times, but Hahn’s four flips were right in front of me (between turns one and two) and he came down hard each time. He was unconscious when the rescue workers got to him, but he checked out okay at Hunterdon County Medical Center.
    • 1981 – Another brother act at Flemington with Carman brothers. Dean raced in the late models, while Daryl raced in the sportsman division. I expected Daryl’s career to really take off after his success in the Rookie Division, but his initial promise never panned out.


    • 1982 – Ken Brenn Jr. winning his first modified championship in the Trenton Mack #74. I only saw one race that season and Brenn won the modified feature.


    • 1983 – The evolution of modified chassis, going from Weld and Grant King chassis cars to Troyer and Olsen chassis cars.
    • 1983 – Stan Ploski returning to prominence by winning several features in the #65 Olsen chassis modified.
    • 1983 – Ploski driving the Flemington Fair Speedway Special in ESMRA midget action.
    • 1983 – Remember these sportsman drivers: Rick Wean #78, Jerry Tamarchio #72 jr, Ron Vitelli in the A that seemed to be a Budweiser advertisement, and Barry Laird in the 57?
    • 1983 – Former Rookie and Sportsman Drivers such as Scott Pursell in his #27, Larry Kline in the Liedl L and Mark Plummer in the ma22 running strong in the modified ranks.
    • 1983 – Gerald Chamberlain returning to Flemington in a low-built #76 modified that did not run well.
    • 1983 – The Flemington 200 was one of only two races I attended that year. Alan Johnson of upstate New York in his Conkey Show Car #14 winning in an upset over Billy Osmun in the Troyer experimental #6.


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