Win It or Wear It
– All-time Great
Sprint Car Tales,

by Joyce Standridge






































Racing Commentary

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“Kenny Schrader et al”

Al Steinberg photo – GOTTA RACE (p. 42)

January 4, 2009


Racers will often tell you they’re not much with words.  They like to say they do their talking with their right foot – and their bumper.

Truth be known, a colorful – almost joyful – style of communication has grown up in the racing community over the seasons.  Some guys seem just as facile spinning a phrase as a right rear.  Check out what some of these totally random racers have to say in books at Coastal 181…..

Ann (Schrader) sometimes teases me that I’ve grown into my nose, but the fact is that I’ve raced literally thousands of times and the helmets have squeezed my face into my nose.  And here’s the proof. Kenny Schrader, Gotta Race!, with Joyce Standridge

When he first started out, he could tear up an anvil. – Buck Baker about his son Buddy. Then Junior Said to Jeff, by David Poole and Jim McLaren

Eddie, I just can’t understand that General Grant. It took him all those men to defeat the Confederates back then. Now all it takes is you and me .– Rene Charland to Eddie Flemke at the Bowman-Gray pit gate in the 1960s. Paved Track Dirt Track, by Lew Boyd

Just as I got to the end of pit road, there was Cale’s wrecked car, with Junior Johnson himself trying to beat the sheet metal backing place. Junior saw me coming and shook his fist at me. I flew by like I was shot out of a cannon, and, just as I got to Junior, I stuck my hand out the window and gave him the finger. I’ll never forget the look on his face if I live to be 150 years old.Dave Dion, Life Wide Open with Dave Moody

I got smashed up in my worse accident ever at Carrell Speedway in 1954. And I did it all by myself. I’m flipping over; SLAM! BAM! and over. Of course, there’s no roll bar, so I’m landing on my shoulder and finally CRUNCH – it shatters.  I’m totally helpless until the thing stops.  So 57 stitches and a partially removed shoulder later, I’m racked up in the hospital with only a couple of months to go before the Big Enchilda in Nap Town (Indy). Johnnie Parsons, Never Look Back by Johnnie Parsons with Gary Delph and Charles C Bolton

Speed just didn’t bother me. I’d do it all again in an instant. Hell, everyone talks about Darlington.  It’s an easy track. Too tough to tame? Bull. I loved every inch of it. Most people think I got my name “Wild Man” because Vineland (NJ) Speedway was a two-groove track, but I ran a third.  But the name really started back in my “bath tub” Nash days in the Grand Nationals.Elton Hildreth,  Paved Track Dirt Track, by Lew Boyd

I always think everything happens for a reason, but, really I sometimes suspect my year as a crew chief – when I lost a lot of weight I didn’t have to spare – was God’s experiment to see if I could fall through my ass and hang myself.Kenny Wallace, Inside Herman’s World, with Joyce Standridge

I was about half-tuned when I got to the race and didn’t even have time to change my clothes.  So I just got in the car with my suit and tie on and took off runnin’.  Blew a tire and finished fourth.  Told my sponsors they might want their drivers to dress like gentlemen.Curtis Turner (after arriving still a little tipsy), Full Throttle: The Life and Fast Times of Curtis Turner, by Robert Edelstein

The purpose of the catch fence is to protect the drivers from the fans. Dave Lape, Fonda!, by Andy Fusco, Lew Boyd, and Jim Rigney (No Longer in Print)

I had a wife, my first kid, and we lived in my Mom’s house.  We had nothing. Not even a road car. But I’ll tell you this: I had the fastest race car around. Paul “Richochet” Richardson, Hot Cars Cool Drivers, by Lew Boyd

At Erie, Colorado, Lealand McSpadden did an end-over-end flip down the front stretch. A few minutes later a rescue helicopter came in to land. Kenny Schrader was in a group standing beside the track watching, when he felt a tap on the shoulder.  “Who’s that for?” he was asked. Schrader turned around and saw who tapped him on the shoulder. “Umm,” he told McSpadden, “it’s for you.” Lealand McSpadden and Kenny Schrader, Win It or Wear It, by Joyce Standridge

I was getting a lot of experience and the money was really good. I could make a couple hundred a night myself, but, I’ll tell you, I tried to hide some from myself in all my pockets. That bar at Norwood was real good at taking the money back.Leo Cleary, Hot Cars Cool Drivers, by Lew Boyd

I’d be in a lot of trouble if I raced against some of these (Sprint Cup) guys. I’d wake up every Monday morning with sore knuckles.Bugs Stevens, Bugsy!, with Bones Bourcier

AJ Watson was tending to sprint car one night at Ascot Park in the early seventies and he saw Jackie Stewart.  “Hey, Jackie,” he grinned motioning toward the cockpit, “my driver has given up for the night and I have a seat open.  Why don’t you drive for me?”  Jackie just grinned and shook his head.  “Forgot me helmet,” he said with his perfect Scottish brogue.  “That’s all right,” Watson needled.  “We have a helmet for you.”  “Forgot me balls, too,” said Jackie.AJ Watson and Jackie Stewart, Let ’Em All Go, Chris Economaki with Dave Argabright

© 2009 Lew Boyd, Coastal 181

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.: Previous Tearoffs :.

5/20/09 - Big Boys in The Attic  - rare photos of legends

5/6/09 - Back Up In The Attic - more rare photos

4/22/09 - The Son of Hard Luck - accessible racing
experience for the handicapped

4/3/09 - Racin' In The Attic - Gordon Ross photo collection

3/18/09 - About That Mike Spaulding

3/3/09 - Dick Berggren's First Win - (you had to be there!)

2/11/09 - Peter at the Park - Peter Fiandaca at Riverside Park

1/30/09 - Steve - Steve Arpin

1/4/09 - Racer Speak -cool quotations

12/16/08 - Wimble Power, Will Power - Bill Wimble

11/24/08 - Remembering Chuck Amati - by Joyce Standridge

11/11/08 - That Rick Ferkel

10/24/08 - Beyond Bionic - Bentley Warren

10/6/08 - Fifty Second Classic - Skip and Lois Matczak

9/20/08 - Joey's Dad - Tom Logano

9/1/08 - One Night at The Park - the death of Les Ley

8/20/08 - Transitional Technology - early supermodifieds

8/6/08 - Wallace on Wednesdays - dirt trackin’ Kenny

7/19/08 - Star(ter) of the Show - importance of good flaggers

7/7/08 - McUnderdog - Eddie MacDonald

6/18/08 - The Night Buzz Was Worried - Buzz Rose

6/5/08 - John Richards - Boomer Role Model

5/20/08 - The Spirit of a Racer - the late Al Powell

5/1/08 - Bobby's Blues - Bobby Santos III

4/15/08 - Thinking About Rene Charland

3/26/08 - Carl and Corey - Carl Edwards and Corey Dripps

3/4/08 - A Cool Track with Cool Racers - West Liberty, Iowa

2/14/08 - Doug Wolfgang

1/25/08 - Frankie Schneider

1/7/08 - When Drivers Can't See - cockpit vision

12/21/07 - When Starters Couldn't See - flagstand vision

12/1/07 - Ride Along with Erica Santos - in-car camera midget win

11/15/07 - Tough Drivers

11/1/07 - Cockpit Safety

10/15/07 - That First Race

10/1/07 - Racing Nicknames

9/15/07 - Too Many Officials

9/1/07 - The Look of a Real Driver

8/15/07 - Being Dale Junior

8/1/07 - Armond Holley

7/15/07  -  Red Farmer

© 2009 Lew Boyd, Coastal 181