Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York

This will conclude my posting for a while most likely. I had a gentleman a while ago ask me for information about the first ever race held at the Woodhull Raceway; however, because I did not know the details, I did some research and asked Morgan Colegrove (the information would not be possible without the aid of him). Since I just got back with this fellow, I decided I might as well share it with everyone else who might be curious and who loves history as much as myself.

Here's what I got: the first event at Woodhull Raceway was actually a daytime show. It officially opened on Sunday, June 13, 1964, and we ran on Sundays right through to the end of the 1965 racing season.

The very first checkered flag of the night went to Wayne Meliman from Cuba, New York. He was driving Joe Love's '49 Ford, which was number 04 in the amateur division class. The first modern stock heat went to Phil Pipe in car number 16, which was also a Ford. I (according to Morgan) believe the car was owned by the Giles family from Tioga, Pennsylvania.The modern feature was won by Harold Sherwood of Ulysess, Pennsylvania, in a ?64 Chevy Impala number 11 that was blue and white. There were 14 moderns in attendance, and the Sherwood Team (?The Blue Angels?) entered four cars, taking three of the top four spots in the feature.

Jackie Soper won the ?B? modified feature with Gil Frisbie's white number 2. As for the first ?modern era? amateur champion at that time, the points went to the car, not the driver. Roger, Bill, and Joe Williams shared the trophy. Kevin and Betty Young of Westfield, Pennsylvania, was the undisputed powderpuff queen in the early days.
A little side bar to Nate's last post...I had the pleasure of talking to Jackie Soper before he passed away and one of the things that we talked about was Woodhull. He told me about how he had gone to Woodhull to race and lapped the field. He went back the next week and repeated the feat. When he went to the pay window he was slid his envelope and told, while it was nothing personal, please don't come back. He abided them.  He also told me he loved the place....I believe the #2 may have been a Frisbie car.


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nate-- can you get morgan to talk or share photos of the hooligan class at woodhull ? P.S. blackjack - as soon as I get my computer fixed  Ill fire an e-mail  thanks for this thead!!! keep up the good work!
1st Photo: This is opening night at Woodhull in 1992. The #11JR Mexican Mobile was driven by Don Lawson. "Big Bird" in the #61 was none other than Woodhull's legend, Don Kio. Lastly, the #24 Bee-osch was wheeled by Walt Mitchell!

2nd Photo: Another photo of opening night at Woodhull in 1982. This is the mount that John Burgess and Ron Baker entered in the Big Block Mod class in 1976. In 1977-1978, John Burgess and Don Kio ran it in the Big Block Mod Class. Middle to late 1979, John and Don entered it in the Small Block 320 Class at Woodhull. In 1980, Mark Richmond and Tom Kio ran it in the 320 Small Block class. And in 1982, it became the 58W of Chuck Wright.

3rd Photo: Dick Hess's modified was ready for opening day in 1982.

4th Photo: This is Bobby Sherwood debuting in the 1993 racing season at Woodhull with a 1987 Troyer modified. As a matter of fact, this was also Lyle's debut on the dirt circuit as well.

5th Photo: According to Bobby Sherwood, this was taken on opening day in 1982. As for the driver, the driver's name is Colin Slide, but it's believed the driver's family sold racing goodies at the track as well.

6th Photo: Dick Hess making adjustments to his famed #7A modified.

*All photos are courtesy of Bobby Sherwood.*







I believe the #27 car was driven by Canadian Colin Slade.  He ran Friday nights at Brewerton, and split early season shows between Woodhull and Fulton.  I don't remember any of his family selling  parts.

Thanks for posting these photos - they are surely appreciated!
Thanks for the compliments back, John. I appreciate your time in viewing my recent posts; in fact, when I first took over the "job" of "locating" Woodhull's history, I would have never imagined the pictures and stories that continue to fly in at full speed.

As for Colin Slide, a good friend of mine, David Charczuk, who races Bob Malzahn's (sp. ?) vintage car throughout New York, told me his name and recognized the car. Bobby couldn't recall his exact name, but he thought that the family was involved with parts distribution. If not, well, we all learn something new everyday!
thanks for the photos!!! this brings back alot of memories when  I grew up ! my dream as a kid was to race at woodhull & dundee , like my uncle ed,- I was luckey to be able to work with some awsome people after the marine corps to make memoies (sp)!!!!! But money+ time ended it.  THANKS AGAIN !!!!
As anybody who knows me will attest, I'm a pirate (AAAAARGHH) through and through(LOL)...This amazing photos from Shangri-La popped up on my computer via Facebook...I gots to share........
The first few are unknowns. Perhaps someone can help out. Also all these are from a "Mosher" collection. Seems like I remember seeing something somewhere in regards to a Bob Mosher being the photog at Shang back in the day...once again, maybe someone can help out with that too.


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Some more photos from Shangri-La via facebook...
Eldon Schrader in the #17 "Super"
Jim Zacharias in the #71
Ray Blaisure in the #63


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more Shangri-La photos from facebook...
Tom Straley with the #21
Bob Sweeney in the #42
Ernie and Bob June with their super-modifieid. This was their first super which they had brought to Shangri-La to shake down. The Buick powered car was driven by the legendary Bucky Dew...circa 1963 


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more photos from Shangri-La via Facebook. Super modified style....
Don Diffendorf w/ the 10/10
Ronnie Wallace w/ the Gioia #9
Bryan Osgood with the #9


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I was rooting through a box at a yard sale and came across these two gems. I seems that the guy who had them had purchased the property that this race show was on (Foster's in Addison?). I raced with some of these cats so I got a big chuckle when I scooped the photo's up...can you name some of these Woodhull racers?


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#87 was Scott Brown and that car was fast. Probably the only car with a wider roll cage than my old girl #123. One night I got a wild hair and decided to run my SuperStock at Woodhull. I had only raced there once before when I was 18 in my Modified. Because it was a handicap track I had to start 18th in the feature right behind Scott Brown. Of course we both went right to the bottom at the green. He turned 20 perfect laps never coming off the bottom and I followed him all the way up through the pack. He finished 3rd and I got fourth. I was as fast or faster but there was no way around him. I tried the outside once and lost about four car lengths. He was a very consistent driver and his boys are coming along well in the Crate class at Woodhull. Here's a photo of an old car that raced a bit in NY.


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I'm thinking the yellow car behind the canopy is Earl Harp....I remember the orange car but i can't recall who had it. Dale is right on with the call on Scott Brown. I've got to get him this photo!


PEE WEE - I was thinking the orange car was Mikes???  Could be Rich Marlatt?  I think the yellow one is Earl Harp.  Who was the green and white 33?  I don't remember that car.

Boy I sure miss those old superstocks.  They put on some great races back then.

Bob - you asked about Terry Hough.  I think he got kicked out of Woodhull for the stunt he pulled when he got blackflagged - wouldn't leave the track and they had to chase him down with the push truck.  He showed up at Redline a while after that when they were racing latemodels down there weekly.  I think he had some trouble with the law and then moved to one of the Carolina's I had heard.


you are right he was a good guy when his head was on right.  I always liked the guy.  Not trying to take anything away from him and he had a pretty good amount of talent too.  His modified was always kept in a garage next to where my wife lived when I first started dating her.  He had his problems, but who doesn't.