Brian's Story (Flemington 1970 - 1991)

  "A Kid, a Speedway and a lot of Heroes"

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05/10/06 M&M Lou Hahn's 1981 Flip: 

I was about 13 when I met Lou at his local garage. I used to go there to check out his race car all the time, as I was a huge fan of the sport. He started taking me out to his race shop a few times a week to help out on the car. I was thrilled to be able to work on an actual race car! Even today, when I smell 90 weight gear oil, I'm taken back to some Tuesday night at Lou's shop in Warren Glen.


I used to ride to the track with the crew every week, but since I was 14 , I couldn't get into the pits. I would jump out of the truck & head to my spot in the stands between 1 & 2. After the races, I used to pick up whatever his payout was, then head into the pits for the ride home.

I was stuck at the Jersey Shore with family the night he flipped. It was the ONE night I missed the whole season. When I called him the next day, he told me what happened & how sore he was. Probably better off I missed that, as it would've happened right in front of me.

On Tuesday, I did my usual, and WALKED from Jutland to Warren Glen. I would try to hitch, but most times I ended up hoofing it the whole way. I'd still like to know how far that trip is. Has to be at least 8 to 10 miles I would think. Didn't matter, though, because I was just happy to be able to help out Lou & his race team.

The car was a mess, with tons of stuff bent. I could tell it had to be a hell of a flip by the looks of the car. Once I saw the pictures, (with his arms out the windows) the violence of the crash was obvious.

We thrashed on it all week & got it back together, and it was on the track the next week. I don't remember where he finished, but I was damn proud to see the car back on the track that next Saturday night.

I had a lot of "firsts" working with the 3H team. Imagine a 14 year-old kid hanging around with a great bunch of guys who were into racing stock cars, drinking beer & teaching me a lot about the real world. It was a great 2 years, and those guys were like my big brothers.

I currently run a Micro-Sprint, and I think about those days all the time while I'm working on my own car. Flemington was a great place to spend a childhood, and between the track and the race team, I have great stories to tell my own kids...

I'm STILL not telling my parents what went on at that race shop, though! LMAO!!

05/16/05 Elaine Lemley All I can say about your story and the pictures on the 3Wide website is WOW!! Both my husband and I grew up on dirt track racing-well, my husband more then myself(I was showing horse at the fair). Mark's dad(Charlie Sipler) and uncle(Clarance("Uncle Heffer") Williamson both raced there in the 70's, and my husband Mark, did a little bit of racing endures himself there in the later 80's.

It's so sad that Flemington is gone.. It holds such wonderful memories for both of us. We met working at the Flemington Mall in Jamesway. We remember the fairs, the fun, the Saturday night races, the noise of the car engines if you didn't get to go to the races, meeting the drivers, and on and on. Flemington, NJ will always hold special memories for us.

Thanks for writing your story, and for helping us remember a time that
seems now, so long past.

Elaine Lemley and The Thundering Herd....., 4 Kids - Jess, Tyler, Bubba-Luke, 4 Great Danes-Bo-Missie-Chance-Paige, 2-Guinea Pigs And one very patient husband-Mark - "Looking for a GREAT friend....Adopt a GREAT DANE!!!"
09/22/04 Glenn Grafton Great story Brian. I attended Flemington regularly from the 1950's to the 1990's.  I lived in Hunterdon County only a few miles from the track [East Amwell ]. 

What killed Flemington was that the area changed, from a semi rural farming community to a suburban commuters haven.  The people moving to the area had no interest in the track or fair.   John Snyder in some of his AARN columns has summed this  up very well.

03/24/03 Skip Brian: Your writings about Modified Country are beautiful!  While reading them the hair on my arms was standing up, I was reading something as if I wrote it myself!  Thanks to you, Scott Pacich & 3Wide memories of Flemington carry on, THANK YOU....Skip McPherson

(By the way Howie Cronce is my cousin, and my Grandparents house was just south of the cart shop on 31 so I have memories of open trailers headed to do battle at the Square.)

05/31/03 3-Wide I would like to again thank Brian for his contribution to the Vault, and hope that you guys enjoy reading it and adding your comments so that Brian and others can respond. - Thanks, 3-Wide
06/01/03 Todd L 1986: I dont remember Jim Leach in Romeo's 44jr but I do remember Fred Loesch (who had a brother Jim).  Fred Loesch ran for Romeo's, Jim had his own # 33 which if you talk to DSP he can probably give you pictures as I think he worked on Jim's crew. I remember Jim's 33 well it was white and red (former Gloria Katona K3
06/04/03 Brian Loutrel Todd - You are correct, the 1986 driver of the Romeo 44jr was Fred Loesch (Leach/Loesch, I had a senior moment!!). The 44jr was a beautiful car. Open cockpit driver Jack Bertling ran it in 1987. Thanks for the correction and thanks for reading the memories.
06/04/03 Spilly Brian's story is great so far, but I can't open the 1980 and beyond tabs. Please help!!  Regards, Spilly
06/04/03 3-Wide I think I got it fixed - Let me know if you're still having a problem with the link
06/04/03 Brian Loutrel I would like to thank Joe (and Scott Pacich in his AARN column last year) for giving me the opportunity to share my memories of a very special time and place in my life with my fellow Flemington Fair Speedway fan alumni.  You know that old saying from the Joni Mitchell song (I'm dating myself again) "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" and I think that is certainly true with respect to Flemington.  I remember AARN columnist Ernie Saxton last year telling Flemington fans to face up to the fact that the track is closed, it will be torn down, and to get over it.  Ernie's entitled to his opinion.  My opinion is that it's important to share our memories of an experience that was an important part of many of our lives during a very turbulent era.   It's now up to us fans from the Flemington dirt days to keep this special place alive with racing fans today.  Hopefully, our memories will accomplish that goal.   Brian Loutrel
06/04/03 Rick Shive Great stories! A few of the years are mixed up, but otherwise you nailed it.
06/06/03 Brian Loutrel Rick Shive - Please let me know where some of the years are not correct. After I wrote the document, I double checked things as best I could on the internet and with the few Flemington programs I have left (almost all of my Flemington programs, AARN pictorials and photos I took and bought disappeared when we moved from NY to PA in 1987). Thanks. Brian Loutrel
06/06/03 Todd L I remember Fred, Jack, Ken Brenn Jr., Kenny Brightbill, Toby Tobias Jr. and Doug Hoffman all spending time in the seat of the 44JR which was owned by Jim and Pat Romeo.
04/12/04 Frank Miller (Section 1 and 2 in the 1st turn) It was my 3rd year  at Flemington . I became a Gerald Chamberlain  fan (FORD   POWER).  His long time car owner Joe Bullock retired at the end of 1976.  Gerald won the EASTERN STATES 200 that year also.  He and Gus Fear started C and F
racing .

Thay had put a modified together from what was left of the Bullock stuff and changed the car alot but only had little success.  Then it happened... Gerald flipped in turns 3 and 4.  The car could not be fixed and they were headed home when Glenn Fitzcharles' car owner  Jerry Verona asked if Mr. C wanted to drive their back up 23 car.  He said yes.

He started almost last in the consi but still qualifed.  He started in 20th spot I think and was able to pick them off one at a time . He had some help from a first lap crash which he missed.  A yellow flag or 2, and all of a sudden he was leading.  A late caution bunched up the field.  He held off Stan the Man Polski who got 4th, Tom Gillmam got 3rd and SCREEMING GLENNY in the chevette got 2nd. Gerald won.

They both went to victory lane . What a night.

04/13/04 Frank Miller In 1981, twenty four year old Billy Pauch tied Al Tasnady's wins in a row record with nine, and the single season win mark with thirteen.  From July 19 to October 24, Billy won ten times and had 6 second place finishes including the streak of nine wins in a row.  He swept the four 20 lap feature program in August.  He won the championship by over 200 points.
04/13/04 Frank Miller In 1986, Billy Pauch was in the DEBLASIO # 5 that year. He won the track championship for the 4th time. He had 6 mod wins 3 Modified Sprint 1 Pepsi small block. He was the pole sitter at Syracuse NY .He won the Victoria 200 and a 40 lap race at Grandview also.  
06/22/04 Frank Beifus I’m 44 and have been in Florida for the last 25 years. As a kid, I attended Flemington many, many times. I thought that I and a few friends in NJ were the only ones who experienced the passion and excitement that only the Flemington Speedway had to offer and actually remembered and gave a damn. What we witnessed back in our youth was something very special and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to be there and for all those exciting memories.

I even get excited when I read about Al Tasnady, Bucky Barker, Mike Grbac (I remember the purple coach with the yellow #7 from around 1969). I was a Stan Ploski fan too (in the yellow #24). Buzzie Reutimann lives and has always lived down here in Zepherhills, Fl near Tampa. I never knew that as a kid until I moved here.

It’s almost like you were running a video tape of what’s in my memory… That Sportsman you mentioned… did that guy have a clinched fist with a lightning bolt running through it painted on his car? Wow, that was awesome!

Thanks for bringing back all those great memories. I’d love to have a picture of Al Tasnady’s old #39. He was my first hero as a kid. It was like he could win races at will.

Take care and thanks Brian and thanks again,

Frank Beifus – Deltona, FL  

(PS  - Do you sell video tapes of dvds of the load Flemington Films your dad took?  If so, I'd be interested in buying some.)

01/09/09 1/7/09 John The last race on dirt was won by Danny Johnson in the number 27, an upstate New York hot shoe. Billy Pauch finished second. The anti- Pauch fans in the crowd went wild Johnson had mysteriously appeared at the track one evening years earlier and had electrified the crowd with his performance. In fact I have a copy of a Flemington program with a picture of his car in action on the cover. Interestingly he began towing into Flemington for a number of weeks and he left the speedway after some sort of dispute with the officials.
01/09/10 Harry Turner He only missed winning the championship in 1980 by a few points in an old Ebersol car that was not top shelf like Carmen and drive had.  With a little help and cash they would have been saying Daryl who!!! Made good friends with Billy & Roy Pauch.  They could not believe he drove that thing that hard...  The good ole days a wild thing fan.
12.29.14 Roger Cox

Brian who were the top ten rookies that year (1987) for the points and do you have any pictures from that division.