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Jerry Lee 12-23-2009 05:45 PM

ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
When the Codner family paved an “X” through the infield at Englewood Speedway in the Spring of 1964, some speculated that it was the first track of it’s kind West of the Mississippi River to run the division. Others claim that Ascot Park in Gardena, CA. had one around the same time as well.

Either way, the crazy sport of racing in an 8 had finally made it West after becoming popular since the late ‘40’s at some race tracks in the Eastern United States.

The Figure 8’s of the ‘60’s did for local racing what the Jalopies of the ‘50’s did at local tracks by providing an easy and affordable way for just about anyone to get into racing. Hundreds built them over the years and thousands more filled the stands to watch the carnage.

Here’s just a few snapshots from Colorado’s Figure 8 Revolution of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s…..
(J.L. McGuire collection) Many makes and models became Figure Eighters through the 60’s
and ‘70’s like David Sigrist’s ’56 Mercury from 1972. Dig Dave’s custom made hood scoop to
help keep the motor cool.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Ray Raichart #1 skirts the inside of this 1968 Figure 8 pile up at
Englewood involving Jack Voorhis #32, Don Dilly #47, Lee Stogsdill #18 and more. Hopefully
Harlan Cherne #69 was on the brakes at this point as he’s about to get a face full of Stogsdill’s fin.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Typical Figure 8 action from a 1968 Speed Wheels paper.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Greg Higgins #1 battles Bennie ‘Skunkie’ Garcia for the lead and are
about to take the lapped car of Tex Daniels #53 three-wide through the X at Englewood in 1972.
(J.L. McGuire collection) One man who made Figure 8 racing an art was Bobby Jackson. Jackson
came closer than any other local to win the World Figure 8 Championships in New York in 1970,
but was X’ed out just a few feet from the finish line in this car built by Darrell Smith. Love
the “Jet X Jackson” he’s got painted on the door.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Nothing like being caught spinning on your top during 1967 Figure 8 action.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Known as “The One Armed Bandit”, Poot Webb (left) stiff armed
this ’55 Chevy around the Englewood 8 in 1965.
(J.L. McGuire collection) This 1965 local racing article shows how hard it was to score
some of those early Figure 8 races. It’s also funny to see the influence The Beatles had
made at the time, even at Englewood Speedway. Note “Ringo Starr” as placing third in the
Modified main. “Beatlemania” was at it’s peak in 1965 and someone was having fun with it.
(Pete Brandenburg collection) This is known as a “Brandenburger”, as Pete Brandenburg gets
sandwiched between Butch Chase #20 and Lee Stogsdill #18 during 1968 action at Englewood.
If you look close, Pete is either trying to crawl out or has been knocked into a very odd position.
(Photo by Jerry Lee McGuire) A big Figure 8 favorite during the 1977 season was the NASTY 40
’54 Ford driven by Dale Ward. The car itself wasn’t much to look at (it always looked like it
was made up of 3 or 4 other cars snapped together as one), but when it rolled on to the track
the crowd would start chanting “NAS-TEE - FOUR-TEE!”.
(Unique Photo) Gary Disher didn’t get much of a “welcome” after this 1976 smack at the X at Englewood.
(Track Shack Photo) Dale Ward in the NASTY 40 sits trapped and still dazed after trying to
climb the pit fence at Englewood with help from Mel Navarez #111 in 1977.
(Photo by Jerry Lee McGuire) This autographed snapshot I took has caught driver Dick Gastineau
in an ironic situation. Dick, who was in the radiator business himself, has just sprung a major leak in
HIS as they were lining up for a 1977 main event at Englewood. Flagman Don Styes (right) has just
instructed Dick to “Get it off the track!” as he angrily walks around the car.

For more pics of Dick Gastineau’s Figure Eighters, CLICK HERE

lakeside #29 12-23-2009 06:02 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
Jerry Lee, Man those were fun days. I'm glad I got a chance to hang out with a lot of those guys. I forget how old I am when I look at pictures like these. What's that old Cher song? "If I could Turn back time." I can still remember you and James Holmes and a couple of other kids selling programs in the pit before the races.
Thanks buddy I needed this!

webby 12-24-2009 12:00 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
Fantastic thread! Thanks Jerry Lee for all the effort in that one.

madmaxgastineau11 12-24-2009 01:07 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
the number 13 dick gastineau is my father im joe gastineau the youngest. ive thought ive seen all my dads racing pictures but never seen that one thanks jerry great job

webby 12-24-2009 02:27 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution

Originally Posted by madmaxgastineau11 (Post 2770)
the number 13 dick gastineau is my father im joe gastineau the youngest. ive thought ive seen all my dads racing pictures but never seen that one thanks jerry great job

That's what's so cool about this website. There are all sorts of racing pictures and videos out there but if we don't share them they simply get lost in time.

ARM can be the repository for racing memories so that we get to see stuff we have never seen before that other members might have in their possession.

I have seen so much stuff on here already that I had never seen before.

parrot 12-24-2009 02:46 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
Really nice piece JL. You're startin' to swing my interest in that direction. It must be all the really cool mid fifties iron that I like. And that '56 Merc!? Too cool! Just like the '32-34 Fords that were used up and are desirable by the street rod set today, that Merc would really get the custom car crowd salivating. Must have looked pretty good out there on the track.

Bobbyjr 12-29-2009 02:44 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
Awesome pictures and story by Jerry Lee !

ALVIS 12-30-2009 01:01 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
what can you say,figure 8's the best of the best--Bobby Jackson,Greg Higgins,Benny Garcia"the skunk"--all of my idols,this why i race today..nice job on the storys Scabbie you always do a fantastic job

Jerry Lee 02-06-2010 12:48 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
(Photo by Dynamic Photos) Typical Englewood Figure 8 action at the X featuring Ron Warthen #10,
Chuck Kacin #98, Terry Martinez #110, Terry Boyle #42, and Rick Roe #12 in 1976.
(Photo by Unique) Stopping for traffic at the X could prove hazardous as Don Forsyth found out in 1976.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Jack Voorhis #29 and David Sigrist in a ’56 Mercury battle it out during
1972 action at Englewood Speedway.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Larry Rankine required medical attention after this plunge into the Englewood X in 1968.
(Kent Moore collection) Three top contenders on the 8 for 1970 were Greg Higgins #29,
Bill Van Gundy #128, and Bobby Jackson #2.
(Photo by Mel Keller/Irwin Fogel coll.) Big Jim Coffey (right) was another colorful character in
Colorado’s Figure 8 folklore. This is Jim’s gold #37 from 1970.
(Photo by Dynamic) Dave Smith #81 locks horns with John Cleveland #01 during a 1976 heat race.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Infamous Englewood flagman Don Styes waves Tommy Darrow #1
to this trophy dash win in 1975 with Jack Voorhis #32 in hot pursuit.

Jerry Lee 03-31-2010 02:47 PM

Re: ENGLEWOOD SPEEDWAY – The Figure 8 Revolution
(J.L. McGuire collection) Future Figure 8 star Herb Fish is on his way over during 1965 action
at Englewood.
(Pete Brandenburg collection) Pete Brandenburg wheeled this Vern Coyle/Joe Lehman owned
Eighter to a win in 1965. This ’55 Chevy was painted up metallic blue and lettered to
match Lehman’s #6 Modified that year. Also note this was before Figure Eighters used
negative camber on the front wheels.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Jersey Pierce was nicknamed “Fearless” during ‘60’s Figure 8 folklore
for his wild and ‘all out’ style of racing. Not to be confused with “Fearless” Freddie Harding
of the ‘70’s.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Don Tram flips the #32E during 1966 Figure 8 action while Al Beeson
#286, Pete Brandenburg #80, Tommy Darrow #67, and Bobby Jackson #116 speed by.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Ray Raichart was another Englewood Figure 8 pioneer. This 1965
photo also shows the eventual Figure 8 champion for that year in the background,
Arnie Kautz’s white #18 Ford. Next to that is Lee Stogsdill’s twin #118 car. Lee went on to
become the 1966 champion.
(Jay Newton collection) Jay Newton #0 takes this Figure 8 main event from Tommy Darrow
#67 in 1969 at Englewood.
(Jay Newton collection) Remember Jay Newton’s “Donut car” from 1969? This ’56 Buick was
a crowd favorite and tough to beat.
(Kent Moore collection) A 1969 trophy dash pile up featuring Darrell Smith #3, Greg Higgins
#29, and Jack Voorhis #32.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Ivan Chambers in a fiery barrel-roll during 1972 action.
(J.L. McGuire collection) Looks like Bobby Cole lost an engine after this nasty smack into
the Englewood concrete in 1975.
(Photo by Jerry Lee McGuire) Darrell Smith #1 hits the dirt while Ed Hall #5, Terry
Martinez #42, and Dave Smith #81 roar by during 1977 action at Englewood.
(Photo by Jerry Lee McGuire) Dale Ward in the NASTY 40 timing in on a hot Englewood
afternoon during the 1977 season.

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