A Few "Weissglass Memories"
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A Little Background on Weissglass...
From George LeBlanc
From George LeBlanc
That's Johnny Bate with the #R being presented with a "Bardahl" jacket at Weissglass Stadium.
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Robert Foder 03.28.20
I blame my racing fix on a sign on a light pole on Hyland Boulevard. The sign read "Stock Car Races !!! Saturday Night Weissglass Stadium Speedway." I begged my father to take me. I wanted to see what a stock car race was.
I was in love at first sight and sound. My favorite driver became Howie Brown because my father had went to school with him. I was there the night a car got hung up in the catch fence ,and the show was called off to bring in a crane to remove it. Then there was the time they were having a big event that brought in some invaders , this one car (a gold sedan number V8) rode up over the back of another and flipped end to end down the front strait.
When we moved to Stockton N.J. I went Flemington Speedway names like Reese, Laureno and Whitey Kidd started showing up . These were names that ran at Weissglass. I remember two divisions that ran there, "Stock Cars" which looked like modified or sportsman type cars, and "Jalopy or Bomber Stocks," these were kind of street stock or late model division cars. It's a shame that this place is gone like so many other tracks that I have went and taken my kids to.
I only began going to Weissglass about 1963. Most times it was necessary to have a "B" main, or "consolation" race for non-qualifying heat racers. 22 race cars took the green flag for the featured 25 lap race, paying something like $100.00 for first place, and possibly a satiny black Bardahl jacket from Fred Hayn, the Bardahl rep!
Great racing action on the tight 1/5 mile track! Some very talented local drivers as Howie Brown, bill parks, bud reda, lou bonin, jack zakian, mike sadowski, dennis dibrizzi, george kaufmann, johnny lee, joe urcioli, John popick, buddy laureno, also invaders as dogie hewitt, jake goodski, Bruno brackey, John kronyak, joe hewitt, john bate, cliff reyerson, who drove a flat-head SIX cylinder 2 seater coupe, (using a magneto), jackie moshera, larry/lee taylor, and frequently Jim hoffmann would bring in open wheel driver Jack Duffy, the little man with the big foot, to drive the Hoffmann/ Charlie Gardella #6 gold sedan. Jack had to put a 6 inch thick cushion behind him so he could reach the pedals! In extended distance races jack would develop a "rhythm" that have him better as the race progressed! He's now near 80 years old and winning TQ (three/quarter) midget races in Florida.
If I left anyone's favorite driver out I can't remember them all, at this age! FLASHBACK! Bobby Doyle, John Bowers, Pappy, (roscoe) hough flagged the races from trackside chomping a cigar, once in a while Chris Ecomacki, publisher national speed sport news would be present and do the announcing when he was not covering some national race. One night the feature race restart line-up was not to pappys liking repeatedly. Chris, over the PA system, said, " pappy, when you are satisfied with the line-up, you start puffing on that cigar and we will know you're ready to restart the race! Gabe rispoli was a very reasonable guy who would just about give you his shirt off his back! I think back then the admission was $2/3 dollars per adult and attendance was pretty good! '
Patty Brown, Cedeno 10.27.13
I love reading all about Weissglass Stadium as my father Howie Brown in the #8 car was a dam good driver there! I don't know if I was ever at the races since I was only 3 when my dad died in 1967. I am always looking for pictures or articles on the internet that I can see or read about my dad during his racing years so if there are any out there please email me at crabbiepatty44@ yahoo.com .
Thank you, Patty Brown, Cedeno
Lori Schultz Verner 05.18.13
I am so happy to find this web site., Grateful as well. We all looked foreword to Friday. riding our bikes, banana seat, little baby ape hangers, waving black and white checker flags while we waited to go. You see, it was so great. My uncle Johnny Duchimen drove in that stadium. His car was cherry red and was # 8. I was too young to know what brand of car it was. The very best part was because my uncle drove there, we got to hang in the pits. How exciting it was. I even got to see him roll it eight times and walk away with a scratch on his forehead. When he climbed out the cheers were so loud, It was GREAT. Also I remember Whitey the flag man. I also remembered when he passed.
On a lighter note, I also remember the concession stand. Never left empty handed. Oh, what I would do to have all the stuff I collected. So to whom is responsible for this page, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If there is any way to get the pins, or even a poster it would be a God send. You see, I try and tell my children and grandsons about it and it would be great to really share my memories with them, with some things from the past. Because they can not picture or comprehend what I am trying to pass along with them. That was here on Staten Island So I thank you again for having something tangible, even for me. You brought me back to a very happy, innocent time in my life.
Thank You...Lori Schultz Verner
Bob Siclari 01.28.13
I drove a jalopy there, 7X (a Studebaker Hawk), when I was 17 ! I had to get a permission note from my Mom because I was under 18. My brother Butch welded the roll cage for me. Those were the good old days!
Al Jurkowski 07.26.12
I use to travel by train from the Bronx to the south ferry when I was a young kid and got picked up on the other side by my uncle fritz who raced at Weissglass. We had a great time here working on the cars and going to the races. Met a lot of people here and the memories are still alive today. THE JURKOWSKI FAMILY WAS VERY BIG INTO RACING THE 3 J. MY UNCLE AUNT FRAN AND COUSIN PAUL ALL RACED THERE. Other names Art LUCKEY, Pete, Frankie, and Artie LEANDRO and many other drivers and mechanics made this the place to be on Saturday nights. This little bullring brought excitement every week. TOO THIS DAY I KEEP IN TOUCH WITH GEORGE LEBLANC AND REMEMBER THE GREAT TIMES AT WEISSGLASS.
From: Charlie Lindmar 04.11.12
My dad took me there in the 50,s, and I went with a buddy in 1964 knowing I would be racing in 1965. I flat towed across the outerbridge from Woodbridge. While waiting to enter the pit gate a cop held up traffic as a guy in a primered 40 ford sedan stock car drove down the street and into the pits. No problem. I turned a few laps in warmups before grenading the old Pappy Hough style quickchange in my 37 chevy coupe #69.
We stayed to watch the races and afterward I wandered over to the pay window and met Mr. Rispoli. "who are you"?, he says. Charlie Lindmar ,red 69 from Jersey,says I. "nice lookin car,too bad ya broke, You comin back next week?" he says. Yeah ,I am says I. "I,ll pay your bridge tolls". He hands me 10 bucks! Wow! nice guy!. I put a junkyard 57 chevy rear and came back the next week, only to find I'm about to lay it over when I throttle it up. I'm too high for this place! The guys who race here have cars lowered to the ground. Back in the pits I try a trick my dad taught me from his racing days... have the crew stand on the l/s crash bar and chain it down like that. Okay that don't work , now I'm up on two wheels, closer to flippin than before. I pulled in and watched and tried the pay window again . "Your'e kidding right???" he says. I did get to sign the only two autographs I ever signed as a race driver that night. Two little kids were waiting with my "pit crew" when I got back. They intoduced me to the kids as A.J Floyt!!!
A lot of good racers ran there and I raced with the ones who also ran Ft. Dix on Thursday nights.
From: Ray Miles 02.18.12
I'm sorry to say that I was never at Weissglass speedway, but I did have the privilege of competing against Tiny Milano at Pleasantville speedway, where Tiny would come to on Sunday nights. Tiny would make the 2 Ĺ hour journey every week from his home in Yonkers N.Y.
It wasn't until about Jan. 2011 that Tiny and I got to remember and talk over some good times and I found out that Weissglass was his home track for
many years before running at our track.
I was able to relive some of his history with his help with photos, slide show and quite a lengthy interview all of which can be viewed on the www.lsracers.com website. Trust me, he's a super individual and had a pretty darn good career overall.
Though Tiny still calls Weissglass his home track, we were honored to have him at the 2011 Pumpkin Run for the 1st annual autograph signing session at Flemings. Tiny and I were sitting next to each other and he leans over to me and says "I don't know why I'm way down here in south Jersey, 'cause nobody will ever remember me" and not 2 minutes later this guy asks "Are you the Tiny Milano that ran at Weissglass speedway and Middletown N.Y."? I just looked at him with that I told ya so look and most everyone there remembered him.
So I'm just sayin', what great racing buddy and a good friend you are Mr. Milano..
From: Roger Leandro 07.12.11
My Mom went into labor with me sitting in the stands watching my dad race at Weissglass. She told me that Jake Goodski offered to drive her to the hospital in his stock car.
My dad raced there for many years and my Grandfather was the flagger they had standing at the pit exit in the backstretch. If you can call it that being there really wasnít any straight-aways.
Some of my uncles also raced there. My dad was Art Leandro and he drove the #89 coupe as well as some other numbered cars. He also turned wrenches on Art Luckys (not his real name) 7-11 for awhile. My dad won a track championship back in the day. I followed in my dadís shoes and raced for about 15 years before cost drove me out. I still attend races and have many friends that race.
The ONLY regret I have about racing was I never had the chance to circle that little bullring call Weissglass Stadium.
Although I now live in Florida Iím going to make it a point to come to one of the reunions that George has every year. I also have some OLD memorabilia from my dad that Iíd like to add the Georgeís collection.
From: Roger Leandro (What else Car #89 )
From: Frank Giordano, Staten Island, NY 02.08.10
I first saw stock car racing from my Grandmothers back porch overlooking Weissglass Stadium from Richmond Terrace. I was about six or seven years old. The only car I can remember from then was Frankie Schneiders #2. I started going to Weissglass on Saturday mornings to work with Gabe Rispoli, the promoter at the age of 11 or 12. I would water down the infield, bring the bags of popcorn to the refreshement stand etc. all for a free pass worth 50 cents. Thirty five dollars worth of work for a 50 cent free pass, and I would not have traded it for the world. My favorites were Jack Zakians 17A, Howie Browns #8 and Buddy Laureno's R. I still build the models of those cars today at the ripe age of 59. All I can say is thak God for George LeBlanc who maintains all of the Weissglass memorabilia. Great days Bros, great days. (comments originally received sent 5/16/08)
From: Phil Sullivan 04/18/09
Curtis HS played their home games, they had motorcycle races also, Bud Reda was a great racer.
From: Steve Glegg 03/20/08
I GREW UP WATCHING GUYS LIKE CHARLIE EDKINS, AND GEORGE LE BLANC RACE AT WEISSGLASS IN MY MOTHERS ARMS AT FIRST THEN ON MY BUTT, OR FEET ,I REMEMBER CAR # 2JR ,NORMAN TRIDE (NOT SURE OF THE SPELLING)
WHEN WEISSGLASS STADIUM CLOSED IN 1971 I WAS 7 YEARS OLD ,MY FATHER THEN TOOK US TO WALL STADIUM.
FROM THEN ON WE WERE HOOKED ON RACING . I AM NOW 43 YEARS OLD MY SON IS 9 ,NOW WALL STADIUM IS CLOSED
WILL THERE BE ANY TRACKS LEFT FOR MY SONS TO TAKE THEIR KIDS , OH WELL THERE ARE ALWAYS VIDEO GAMES TO FALL BACK ON.
From: Walter Onora 4/20/05
Being this was the first track I attended, probably back in 1960 or 1961. From the first time I was at Weissglass, I was sold on stock car racing (it was really "stock car" racing) A lot of great drivers raced here. The Hey day of Weissglass was back in the early 60's. Many memories, the duels between Bruno Brackey and George Kaufman. Tiny Milano, "Doggie" Hewitt (rim riding on outside), the ever consistent Howie Brown. Also remember, Jack Kochman's Hell Drivers doing there stunts on such a tight little track, simply amazing!!! Yes, those were the good old days!!!!
From: George LeBlanc 1/13/04
- A lot of New Jersey stock cars had their last hoorah here at Weissglass getting bought up by Staten Island racers and the track promoter himself. He always maintained a few cars to fill in the field on a low turnout night. Flatheads & Torque tube Fords were still the way to go here long after everybody else had gone to open driveshaft and overhead valve engine cars on the larger tracks in New Jersey and Pa. The promoter didn't allow overhead valve V8's until 1966.
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