WEST COAST VINTAGE RACERS SOUTHWEST CHAPTER
TUCSON SPEEDWAY INAUGURAL EVENT
APRIL 5-6, 2013
(last revised 4-16-13 09:30)
Billy Shumans WCVR SC Group of Vintage Midgets, Sprintcars and Indycars were privileged to be a part of Keith Ames inaugural re-opening of this wide, paved 3/8 mile progressively banked oval a few miles South of the former Colonial Territorial Capitol of Tucson Arizona, nearby The University of Arizona and adjoining The Saguaro National Park-East. The Official Lodging for this event was Red Roof Inn South about 10 miles West of the track on Irvington Rd. and Palo Verde. Clean, well maintained and lighted with an outdoor heated pool, restaurant on the premises, friendly staff, plenty of room to park the trailer and of course racers rates makes this an easy place to stay.
Tucson Speedway management and staff have gone to great measures to refurbish and resurface the former TRP and their pride in the speed plant shows. The local TV, Radio and Newspaper Media have been very involved in supporting this reopening as has the business community and over 5,000 fans filled the stands on Saturdays Opening Night. A good field of Late Models, Modifieds and Stock Cars appeared after two years absence and the West Coast Vintage Racers Southwest Chapter held practice and hot laps for Vintage Indycars, Midgets and Sprintcars throughout Friday and Saturday and Exhibitions on Saturday Night.
WCVR SC Tucson Entrant List
Adams, Barry 1970s Edmunds Midget VW Powered #11b Apache Junction, AZ
Alcaraz, Ray 1960 Epperly Indy Roadster #77 Somewhat Special Havasu, AZ
Chambers, Dave 1970s Gambler Chassis Sprintcar -360 Chevy #2 - Elizabeth, CO
Chavez, Fred 1970 Edmunds Midget Chevy II - El Cajon, CA
Corrow, Richard 1947 Kurtis Kraft chassis X-109 Apache Junction, AZ
Deiner, Del 1968 Collins Champ Car Surprise, AZ
Ewing, Bill 270 Offy Sprinter Tucson, AZ (did not run on track)
Hegg, Roger 1974 Stanton Midget 62 Olds Power Dewey, AZ
Kraft, Carl Edmunds Offy #3
Matousek, Dennis 1973 Beck Sprinter driven by Donny Hamilton Santee, CA.
Pfitzenmaier, Larry 1959 Watson, Offy Simoniz Spl Indy Roadster Sonoita, AZ
Quinn, Dale 1980 Edmunds Midget VW Powered Havasu, AZ
Robertson, Don 1928 Studebaker Indy Replica Jerome AZ.
Schulz, Carl 1927 Miller replica Indycar-Boyle Valve Spl.- Indio, CA
Secker, Fred 1928 Chev 4 powered Flat Tail Big Car Tucson/UK
Shuman, Billy 1969 Ford Powered Wilson built Sprinter Phoenix, AZ
Schrum, Mike 1974 Edmunds Chev II Midget Buckeye, AZ
Stryker, Mike LTC Midget #5 Midget Las Cruces, NM.
Tucson has a long time history of auto racing with local clubs sponsoring contests from the early 1900s, often in conjunction with the running of The Southern Arizona Fair (later the Pima County Fair) Tucson Auto Club and Borderland Auto Club were two of the largest and their efforts combined with financing from businessman Albert Steinfeld resulted in the first AAA Contest Board Championship Event of 103 Miles held on March 20, 1915 and won by Barney Oldfield in a Maxwell over a few Nationally Famous drivers and some local competitors.
Link to image:
Barney Oldfield, Maxwell Winner Tucson AAA Road Race March 20, 1915
Our April 5-6, 2013 WCVR SC Event began Friday morning with a presentation of our vintage cars at HotRods Restaurant a few miles North of Tucson Speedway. The day was spent chatting with folks who came to look and see. There was good press coverage prior to the event and a number of people who were interested in reacquainting themselves with vintage indycars, midgets and sprintcars, and of course a hearty meal at the restaurant-thanks to HotRods. Then it was off to the Tucson Speedway to unload, set up and run practice laps.
Link to HotRods Car Display:
Tucson Speedway has excellent pit accommodations, excellent lighting and sound system, plenty of concrete pit pads and adjoining paved pit lanes.
Promoter Keith Ames and his newly assembled staff were gracious, welcoming, organized and very professional and the entire program ran smoothly throughout the two day event
Link to Fri Night Last Practice
Last Practice Session Friday Night-Waiting for the call.
It’s late Friday Night April 5th at Keith Ames Inaugural Reopening of the beautiful 3/8 Mile newly repaved Tucson Speedway and West Coast Vintage Racers Southwest Chapter Vintage Indycar Coordinator Ray Alcaraz is waiting word to send out the Vintage Indycars for the final session of the day. Billy Shuman, WCVR President and Event Coordinator is at the other end of pit lane coordinating the staging of the final sessions for the vintage midgets and sprintcars but for the moment the Club’s Indycars will have the spotlight. Larry Pfitzenmaier has buttoned up The 1959 Watson- Simoniz Special for the evening and is enjoying an event finally close to his home in Sonoita. Ray has shut down his Epperly ‘Somewhat Special’ Roadster for the evening having had enough fun for the day. Veteran Midget Competitior Mike Schrum is taking his first session in
Carl Schulz’ 1927 Miller - #15 Boyle Valve Special Tribute Car in preparation for a first time session at Victory Lane’s Historic Champ/Indycar Event June 21-23 at Auto Club Speedway, behind him in the green 1920s Flat Tail Big Car is driver/builder Fred Secker, a Tucson snow bird from the UK who is a VSCC competitor back home and who plans on rejoining us in The Fall. Behind Ray is Jerome Arizona Historic Gold Mine Curator/Operator, Don Robertson, patiently waiting in his self built 1928 Studebaker straight 8 powered Indycar recreation. Kelly Schrum is on the push vehicle behind Don-saving him the trouble of getting out and hand cranking the beast. Del Deiner is strapped into his McClure Champcar out of sight in the background waiting for the word to be pushed off and the first to take the track.
Richard Corrow finished restoration of his beautiful #66 1947 Kurtis just in time for the show, he was a very happy man!
Link to Corrow Midget
Larry Pfitzenmaier and Crew fueling the 1959 Watson Roadster:
There’s an old saying, “once you’ve poured the fuel you’re committed to run.” Well in this case it didn’t prove true. Immediately after filling the tank a leak in the tank was observed and that was it for the weekend.
On a positive note the discovery will give Larry some time to repair the tank before leaving for the Big Show at Indianapolis Speedway in May. Speedway plans are to run the vintage cars 3 days in succession and then put 33 Roadsters on track as raceday approaches.
Link to Simoniz Special Photo:
Larry Pfitz and Crew fueling the Simoniz Special.
Prior to the Saturday Night Exhibitions all the cars were positioned on the track and the fans came out to visit with the cars and drivers. Lots of visits, photos and good will ensued and many fans expressed appreciation of getting to see the vintage open wheel cars after a long absence. Track reports over 5,000 fans showed up, lots of press coverage before and after the Event.
Link to photo Indycar Practice
Indycar Practice Ray Keyrouse Photo
Link to photo- After Meet and Greet, Ready to Roll Back to Pits.
Link to Photo Carl Kraft and Mike Stryker:
Carl Krafts Offy Midget #3 inside Mike Strykers #5
Link to photo of Billy Shuman and Donny Hamilton Sprintcars
Donny Hamilton in the 1a and Billy Shuman in the 84a Sprintcars
Link to photo of Dale Quinn #1 and Richard Corrow #66 Midgets
Dale Quinn in the Johnny Lightning Special and Richard Corrow #66 Kurtis Midgets
Photo by Ray Keyrouse:
A few Closing Notes From Tucson Participants
Richard Corrow – #66 Kurtis Midget
The first thing that comes to my mind is The Pucker Factor. In our feature event I was on it pretty good and my right rear went down fast. A few anxious seconds for sure.
After two years restoration begun with Tom Brawner of Phoenix doing the body, Richards Kurtis X-109 chassis with USAC Ford Focus 186 hp motor made Tucson its debut. Richard was a Can Am and F5000 Chief Mechanic and road racing is in his blood and so he set the car up to run road course as well as ovals. Richard was more than a little pleased when midget vet Mike Schrum tested it on track and declared it handled perfect, a little Right Rear stagger did the trick. Richard will be running the midget at Firebird Road Course this weekend and at Auto Club Speedway Road Course in June with SVRA.
Don Robertson – #28 Studebaker 1928 Replica Indycar
Our own free spirit who built his Indycar Replica out of salvaged parts in the Blacksmith Shop of his Gold King Mine and Ghost Town in Jerome, AZ.
My two days at Tucson Speedway went really well, had a great time, the track was perfect and the car ran flawlessly. I really enjoyed the pre race Car Show at HotRods Restaurant and the Meet and Greet with the fans at Tucson Speedway.
Don was a good sport about the kidding he received after running out of gas in the pits on the way to the Indycar Feature.
I never bring more than a full (7 gals) tank of gas, its always been enough but not this time, and its difficult to fuel the car in the dark. I think the wider track and increased running time threw off my calculations but missing the feature gave me a chance to watch Billy Shuman work his magic in his sprintcar.
Don Hamilton driving Dennis Matouseks 1a Sprintcar.
I was very impressed with Tucson Speedway, Keith Ames deserves a lot of credit one heck of a clean racetrack with really good banking, smooth surface and professional staff. Wish we had tracks like this one back in the 60s and 70s when I ran the sprintcar circuit.
Very happy to be with car owner Dennis Matousek, the car ran really well. Billy Shuman and I had a ball running together out there. I was totally impressed with HOTRODS Old Vail, one incredible Restaurant and Facility and meeting the fans is always pleasing.