b08.12.05_028_RAY_FLM_0080_1.jpg (110665 bytes)

Photo ID # b08.12.05_028_RAY_FLM_0080_1
Car #: #28
Driver (s) : Gary Raymond
Location: Flemington
Date: Early 80's?
Photographer: Ace Lane Jr.
Photo provided by: Gary Raymond
Comments: Comment from Gary: Last week (August 2005) I had the opportunity to visit the old Flemington Speedway and wander through the overgrown weeds on my way to the decaying bleachers. As I walked along what was once the midway, I imagined I could still see the people waiting at the concession booths, still feel the anticipation of the milling crowds and somehow smell the oil and fuel in the air from days gone by. 

I sat for a few minutes in what remained of the old grandstands and reminisced over my years racing in the late model division. The names of my friends and competitors slowly came back to mind and on that hot August day, the only moisture on my face wasn't perspiration. Some of it was from tears for the many fond memories I enjoyed.

Gary Raymond #28
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Comment:

08/12/05 3-Wide On the last day that the National Old Timers were at the track, as the day drew to a close, most everyone came out to the frontstretch and spent a quiet moment thinking about what was happening right before us. 

The End.  Really - The End.

I hopped the fence and walked through the weeds and the briars all the way around the track, between the steel outside guardrail and the wire catch fence.  I walked looking for evidence of the many nights that racing for decades would have surely left...  I found an old pulley, a radiator cap... and part of a brake rotor.  And I also found something else.

I found  the memories of night back in 1971 or 72 when Katona and Vaughn got together going into one... and then the night Michalchuk went up and over and out into the parking lot in '77.. and then a little farther up... where Orchard and Carver, battling for the Rookie Championship,  got together with Orchard flipping his Valiant right in front of me with my Kodak 110 at the ready...

A few steps more and there was the spot in turn 2 where Kostalansky.. or was it Meisner... or was it Brenn... that went right through the turn 2 fence.  "Fence crew turn 2... Fence crew turn 2", Bill Singer would soon to be calling out....  Wait a second.. here's the spot where Ploski began the flip to top all flips... The Norcia #81 Mustang didn't stop until it got all the way to turn 3....  Fortunately for Stan, those Norcia boys knew a thing or three about building strong stuff as Stan was able to walk away...

Through the backstretch I could hear myself leaning over telling my dad in the stands "Here he goes... he's gonna get him... as "The Kid" would start making his move to get into turn 3 a little high as he took aim on his next victim... completing the pass 1/2 of a lap latter when they came down the front..

Through 3... through 4... you all know what I mean.  We all had to find a way to deal with it...  Some as drivers, some as owners, some as crew members, some as staff, and some as fans. 

I'd like to thank Gary for all the years of watching him in that always fast #28 Camaro.... He was absolutely unbeatable in this car.  (For those who weren't there, Gary won almost every night it seemed for a couple of years in a row!) 

I'd also like to thank Gary for his comments and for showing us all just how much this place meant... and still continues to mean to all of us.

08/14/05 J. STINNETT REMEMBER THIS CAR WELL, UNBEATABLE. THIS CAR ALWAYS HAD A UNIQUE SOUND TO IT; THE ONLY OTHER CAR THAT COULD RUN WITH THIS ONE WAS THE BUTLER 68. GARY WAS A CLEAN RACER AND A FRONT RUNNER.
08/15/05 Richard Pearson Thanks for the memory's Gary.  Nothing more to say here. You pretty much summed it all up.  Flemington speedway and friends and family.
09/09/05 DJ Everett
Mooresville, NC
Well said Gary. You and many others in the sport created so many fond memories of this track. You were untouchable for a very long time. I drive past the track once a year and a tear will trickle down my face. If I was to actually go onto the grounds now and look around and reminisce, like what you did, it would only be time until I would start sobbing. The closing of this speedway is something that I will never be able to get past. Thank you Gary for making my Saturday nights very enjoyable.
09/17/05 John Mc I raced against Gary at Flemington. He was almost impossible to beat back then, it took awhile before guys got better cars to allow them to be competitive w/ him. Not that he had such superior equipment than the others, but we needed better cars to be able to run w/ him, he was that fast.

But as much as the dominant guy tends to be thought of as unpopular, you couldn't help but like the guy. He raced clean, his cars were always well kept, and he was genuinely a nice guy. One night in the pits he walked around to all his fellow late model competitors w/ a polaroid camera and took pictures of everyone's cars. I walked over to my car, looked in the seat, and there was a picture Gary had taken. I seem to remember him presenting all the other LM guys a trophy just as a gesture of goodwill for racing w/ him.

He got caught once w/ an oversize engine, and even then I couldn't hold any ill will against him because I honestly believed he didn't know, and I think he was as upset as anyone about it. He had someone else maintain his car, he just drove it to have fun. He put a legal engine in the car and smoked us anyway. 

He was a good guy that was always upbeat and just having fun. I also seem to remember a picture in an AARN pictorial from the '70's of Richard Petty at Pocono, and the car he was passing in the photo was the 1st #28 Duostat Camaro. This picture is actually his second car.
12.09.09  Jim Donnelly. It's been a long time since this photo was posted here, but I only recently found it, and I was touched by the commentary.

Gary Raymond was an outstanding driver. The car positively screamed when he took it through the corners, so it was obvious that he had it buried on every lap. Dare I say, that must have been what watching Curtis Turner was like long ago.

I don't think the car was light years ahead of every other Late Model, chassis-wise. It was clearly the driver who was lighting the fuse here.

I always thought the LM division at Flemington was great to watch and hugely underrated, just like the DIRT Pro Stocks are at the tracks I attend now. As long as we're talking great drivers, we really need a photo in this section of the guy who mopped up in the Flemington LMs before Gary did - Mike Corcoran in the 357, another guy you watched with your mouth wide open most of the time.
     
     
     
     
     
     

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