Racing History in the Southern Tier of New York

The ad that Bob Miller posted correlates with the poster that Beenthere shared. I went back through my notes and found this similar ad for the same race. I have to say that I might be getting oldheimers as I had been thinking that Tri-Cities ran on holidays but I looked back and that would have been at Maple Avenue Park. Looking through my notes, it looks like the race on July 24th at Tri-cities never happened as there wasn't a write up for the results (there had been considerable press given to it up to that point). I would love to find the real story as to what happened to the track at that point as it (the management) seemed to go poof...it's my "holy grail"
 

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I can't swear to this, but I THINK I remember reading that the show was postponed because of rain and was run the following weekend. Tri-Cities is also a personal favorite of mine because of the way they advertised. Give me a little time to see what I can dig up.
 
Hey Bob...I'd love to see what you find. The track seemed to go away 'just like that'. I looked through all the local papers but to no avail.
The only other ad I was able to find was for a jalopy race in 1940.
I don't think I've ever posted these, but it seems like an opportune moment. This picture is the ONLY photo I have found of racing activity at Tri-Cities. Joseph Bourgeois of Herkimer was injured in a three-car accident causing Bourgois' to sustain a fractured skull.  The photo is of his car on the hook.
 

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This photo relates to the races at Tri-Cities in that the car pictured is the Smullens Special. Smullens was a former driver who, at this point in time, had Hank Bruning, a bank teller from Carbondale, Pa. driving his car. Bruning cleaned up at Tri-Cities. This photo is from Campville near Binghamton. On a sad note, Hank Bruning went on to win the STRA championship in 1938 but lost his life the next season at Tunkhannock, Pa. in a racing mishap.
 

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trivia99

Newbie
Last year there was a photo of cars on the track in 1963 at Shangri-La and TheDobes replied they had 4 or 5 show at the end of 1963 season. I remember going to those shows but cannot for the life of me find out who won those shows. I did find results for one of them in the local paper on September 1st stating that Bob McGeorge and Jim Zacharias won the previous day. None of the other shows had reported winners. I am trying to compile an accurate win list for the track and this is the only blemish I have from the 60's to the June 1st 1991 where I am at now. Also missing are some of the jalopy races from the 1955-1956 seasons. Even the son of the promoter at the time doesn't have the information. That photo that was published is one of only two or three photos from those shows and they were all taken from the grandstands. I can't believe there were no flag shots taken at those races. As for some of the drivers that raced in those shows, the memories are vague at best. For the most part those shows were for the Five Mile Point and Glen Aubrey cars but I distinctly remember Huey Perreau who raced at Fulton and had a five window turquoise #21 with a six cylinder Chevy or GMC motor and John Pawlicki who ran at Waterloo with a brown Flathead #5B both being there. If anybody has any accurate results or even a flag shot to show who won, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and if by some miracle anything from those Jalopy races in '55 & '56 is around...BTW the first two stock car races ever held at Shangri-La in 1949 were won by Al Keller and Wally Campbell and a Keller flag shot of that event exists but to my knowledge has never been posted.
 
Hey blackjack, this is Walt Sherwood; I always love reading and catching up of the old Al Mallette racing stories from the good old days and I was intrigued with one of Al's column from '56 about Lucky Cornish that you posted, Al was a friend of my Dad's and me back in the old Angelica Fairground days. It was always great reading Al back in the old Star Gazette days, paper would always be delivered by 2:00 in the afternoon and we couldn't wait to see who Al would be commenting about and where he had been the week before.

I have a picture in my old collection from Angelica of Lucky that I took of him in the pits during the '62 season and Al's comment about Lucky was spot on......he wasn't much of a up front competitor at times but dammit, he gave it his all and he sure was lucky a few times at Angelica as well......one hell of a nice guy and with any luck someday I'll get all these old pics of mine out and post them and give the ol history buffs something to reminisce about

Thanks for keeping these great ol' memories alive blackjack

 
Hey Walt Sherwood...I can't wait to see the photos you have. Lucky Cornish is a very interesting character. I was always under the impression that he had a hot hand in the early fifties and won a lot of races at places like South Seneca and Chemung. One of the things that I remember seeing written about him was that he had a diner that burnt down in Ithaca. I have a bunch of stuff that Bernie Foster wrote in the mid-fifties that I would like to share. I'm thinking that is where I might have seen that tidbit.
 
Lucky was an interesting character indeed, it always puzzled me why a lot of those guys in the Elmira, Ithaca area came clear over to Angelica on Friday nights to race but I always assumed it was because of the fact that Angelica was a super fast well groomed horse track :), but Lucky, Soper, Curly Wilson, Bill Schafrath, sorry if I misspelled Bill's name but its been more than 50 years ya' know :) and a host of others always seemed to make the trek to race over here. It was my favorite place to be on weekends when I was a boy, takin pictures of all I could in the least amount of time as they came through the gates.

I'll be gathering up what pics I can in the near future because I had them put on discs years ago so we'll see how things turn out but I do know I have a real good one of Lucky in a white T-shirt standing next to his hot rod.

And yeah, I never knew of Bernie Foster but maybe he can shine some light on why, like I said, a lot of those guys came over to Angelica on Friday nights in the early 60's to race when the Chemung, Elmira, Ithaca area had tracks of their own like you said in South Seneca and the aforementioned Chemung. It sure would be interesting reading indeed
 

Beenthere

Newbie
Cornish ran quite a few times (maybe, or at least a few times) at the VFW Speedway in Towanda in the late 50s and maybe(?) early 60s. As I recall, and my memory may be faulty, he drove either a number 75 or 76. I seem to recall them being team cars, maybe painted red and black? Maybe with some gold trim. "A" cars, I think. Maybe Ed Fish (?) drove the other. I always thought (presumed?) he had something to do with Cornish Auto Sales in Corning? All this "recollectin'" reminds me of a time 20 or so years ago that I went to Syracuse with Racin' Ron Arnold, another who was at the VFW regularly so long ago. I was amazed that I remembered so much with perfect clarity, and so did he, except that our memories were almost exactly opposite. Funny how time melts the things were are certain of into a murky mush of maybe's and fog.
 
I can tell you that a lot of the big shoes started racing in western ny because the pay-out was much better. Just like today, it was worth the longer tow for the extra scratch.
 

trivia99

Newbie
Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in here but I grew up at Glen Aubrey and Five Mile Point in the 50's and 60's and am in the process of trying to do the dauntless task of doing a feature win list for each track. The Finger Lakes Club of which the aforementioned Lucky Cornish was a member of was on it's way out at Glen Aubrey (actual last race sanctioned by FLRA was in August of 1957) in 1956. Records show that Cornish won a feature on July 4th 1956 and had at least three other top five finishes from records I accumulated for that year, I have at least one other feature win logged in 1954 and have flag shot pictures of at least three distinctly different #44's taken at GAR. Lucky also did drive as a team car to Mr. Fish in the car that Jackie Baldwin of Trumansburg drove prior to that. In the photos I have the#77 that Baldwin drove was powered by an overhead Ford motor. I can tell you this Bucky Dew and Bill Strosahl were the big winners at Glen Aubrey in the ten years that they raced stock cars there and it was not uncommon to have sixty or so cars in the pits on any given Friday night in the mid fifties where an "A' and "B" mains were commonly held with the "A" paying at least $125 to the winner. It was a good time back then. Enjoy this thread.
 

Beenthere

Newbie
Yup, those team cars were 77 and 76, instead of 75 and 76. First thing when I awoke this morning I knew my recollection was off. Funny how the fog clears at times.
 
You hit the nail squarely on the head there Blackjack, the money was better at Angelica back in the early 60's because my Dad won three features there in 1962 and they paid 150 to win for two of them and 200 for the Labor Day race, I still have those envelopes somewhere, of course, if I can dig them out someday :)

All the classes from the B's to the Modern class paid better than most tracks at Angelica, but they got hellacious crowds at the Fairgrounds back fifty plus years go so I presume they could afford it

I know Soper always told me that Angelica paid a lot better, and like you said blackjack, the scratch was why he came west in those days. And besides, the competition was top notch and Soper always loved a challenge

I miss that crazy 'ol sidewinder Soper, not only was he the best I ever watched in those days along with Dean Layfield, but one hell of a hunter as well ! The man could do almost anything he put his mind to !
 
I had a gentleman come knocking on the door last week and he asked me if  I was the Bob Johnson that posts stuff on RaceNY. I told him I was indeed. He said he had been meaning to look me up and that, if I was interested, he had old racing pictures he would like to share. I told him I was very interested in seeing them. That fellows name is Ken Burnside and yesterday he dropped off two boxes of old pictures and programs. I am floored by someof the stuff in this collection. I will be posting southern tier content on this thread and other stuff on the "oldies but goodies" thread. This first one is of Pat Judson in the B13 at Chemung Speedrome in 1965 (Ken Burnside collection)
 

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From the Ken Burnside collection...I have a copy of the BOB-CAT Sporting News which I have never seen before. It featuered photos form Chemung, Dundee, and Canandaigua. This first one is from Chemung Speedrome: Cy Sander (#707) passes Don Post (#99) to take the lead in sportsman feature. Maybe someone out there can shed some light on this publication...
 

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Jerry Gilbert standing proud with his #222. This photo was shared by his daughter Mary Updike
 

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Walt171128 said:
Lucky was an interesting character indeed, it always puzzled me why a lot of those guys in the Elmira, Ithaca area came clear over to Angelica on Friday nights to race but I always assumed it was because of the fact that Angelica was a super fast well groomed horse track :), but Lucky, Soper, Curly Wilson, Bill Schafrath, sorry if I misspelled Bill's name but its been more than 50 years ya' know :) and a host of others always seemed to make the trek to race over here. It was my favorite place to be on weekends when I was a boy, takin pictures of all I could in the least amount of time as they came through the gates.

I'll be gathering up what pics I can in the near future because I had them put on discs years ago so we'll see how things turn out but I do know I have a real good one of Lucky in a white T-shirt standing next to his hot rod.

And yeah, I never knew of Bernie Foster but maybe he can shine some light on why, like I said, a lot of those guys came over to Angelica on Friday nights in the early 60's to race when the Chemung, Elmira, Ithaca area had tracks of their own like you said in South Seneca and the aforementioned Chemung. It sure would be interesting reading indeed

Hi Walt,
I'll bet the name you're trying to remember is Bill Schroth.  He still lives in Elmira, comes to races a few times a year with Kennison's 9x.  He went on to race in URC where he had success in (I think) the Bower car.  He has some interesting stories that's for sure.
 
blackjackracing said:
From the Ken Burnside collection...I have a copy of the BOB-CAT Sporting News which I have never seen before. It featuered photos form Chemung, Dundee, and Canandaigua. This first one is from Chemung Speedrome: Cy Sander (#707) passes Don Post (#99) to take the lead in sportsman feature. Maybe someone out there can shed some light on this publication...

I've got a few BOB-CATs. Was a short lived little newspaper that was published weekly. I'm thinking early, maybe middle, seventies, and featured Chemung, Canandaigua, Dundee, and Woodhull plus wherever else they could get ahold of for photos or info. If memory serves, I think it was based near Watkins Glen, but I may be wrong about that. I don't think it lasted more than a year or two. Cy Saunders was a Chemung hot shoe from Pa., and Don Post was (I think) from the Penn Yan area. Don worked for Dundee Raceway Park (Black Rock) for a number of years and had a column in Gator Racing News for awhile.
 
That's interesting info... This copy is getting pretty fragile. Here is another photo from the Bob-Cat. Harold Secord of Burdett was the winner in the sportsman division at Chemung Speedrome. (photo by Jack Igoe)...Ken Burnside collection
 

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