Monday, January 25, 2016

A website suggestion

Although The Checkered Past is aimed at racing historians, the editor of  this site recommends fans of current racing visit The Driver's Project website at

Current articles posted on the site include outstanding feature articles written by current star drivers Paul McMahan, Bryan Clauson, Rico Abreu, Christopher Bell, and Joey Saldana.

It's worth a moment of your time to check out at least one of these fine articles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Can you identify this mystery Indianapolis roadster?
Reader Gene Ingram of New Castle Indiana recently sent this intriguing photograph of an Indianapolis roadster. The photographer, location, year, and identity of the car is unknown. It appears to be a Watson-built car of a Watson copy.  Can one of our readers fill in some of the details?
Left double click on the photo to enlarge
Post your guesses in the comments section, or send them to

An update: historians Steve Zautke, Ron Rose and Greg Littleton all believe that this was a Watson copy built by Wayne Ewing for Al Dean's Dean Van Lines team, while historian Charles Fawcett believes that the setting is likely in the Southwest, as the flat roofs suggest that this is not snow country.  


Thursday, January 14, 2016

NSCHoF auction at the Chili Bowl

The annual National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (NSCHoF) auction was held this afternoon prior to the Thursday night program for the 30th annual Chili Bowl Nationals. Museum Executive Director Bob Baker reiterated that the Hall of Fame will be welcoming eight new members in 2106: Dale Blaney, Frankie Kerr, Gus Linder, Mark Light, Doug Clark, Bud Grimm, Shirley Kerr and Gene Crucean.

Baker also announced that the old car wash building was recently demolished to make way for the new climate-controlled Staging and Storage Building with construction scheduled to start in August 2016, one week after the Knoxville Nationals.
A view of the auction items. Photo by the author.

The auction featured over 50 items, from artwork to die-cast cars, many autographed. There were some bargains, but bidding was fierce on some of the rarer items, such as the last known signed copy of the late Bob Trostle’s book Life’s Tough on the Circuit which sold for $1100.00.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A tribute to Dale Fairfax

Racing historian and track roadster racing expert Dale Fairfax passed away in Indianapolis on January 5 2016. Dale was born in Akron, Ohio but as a young man he and his family moved to Delphos, Ohio. 

During that time, there was a race track near Delphos called Landeck Speedway which according to Allan Brown’s reference The History of America’s Speedways operated as a half-mile dirt track from 1947 to 1953.

Dale Fairfax wrote and sent the editor an entertaining article about roadster racing at Landeck Speedway during the years from 1949 to 1952, which is reproduced below as a tribute to Dale. To enlarge each page, simply left double click.

Dale also wrote an article for The Checkered Past in December 2014 regarding Landeck Speedway race George Place's Hudson sprint, which can be located in the site archive. 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Columbus (IN) Racers Reunion March 26

Greg Littleton, the promoter of the Columbus Racers Reunion has announced March 26 2016 as the date for the 18th annual gathering at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds. This event honors racers from the Columbus and 25th Street Speedways.

The best thing about this event besides the bench racing, memorabilia show and sale door prizes and the race cars on display is the admission price- it's FREE!     

Please click to enlarge