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-   -   Reminiscing... Hello From Colorado (http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2691)

Johnny Calvaresi 07-07-2016 10:35 PM

Hello From Colorado
 
Hi Everyone,

Happy to have this great opportunity to associate with folks who remember the "good old days" of racing in and around Denver, Colorado. I was attending Lakeside Speedway's midget auto races when I was still in my mother's womb. I won't say when that was, but suffice it to say that when I was old enough to have a favorite driver, it was Lloyd Axel....does that give you a hint? Although I can only remember vague images of the tragedy (being about 3 yrs.old at the time) I was at the track with my mom while my dad was in the pits the night my God-Father Mike Stefferi died as a result of getting upside down in the south turn. I continued to attend the races at Lakeside all the way up until I was a teenager and was let into the pits by being able to ride on Joe Giba's trailer when I was just 16. Joe would buy me a pit pass and I would ride on the trailer, acting like I was real busy doing something in the cockpit, as we went through the gate and then, once we were inside the pits, he would give me my pass...what a great guy, and what a great thrill it was for me at that time. I continued to hang out in the pits and after a while I came to know Eddie Jackson, the six time RMMRA champion. I would also stop in at Eddie's garage behind his house on 23rd and Sheridan in Denver whenever I would see him in there working. He finally began to let me help polish wheels and clean tools. I would also show up at the garage on race night and help them load the car, the extra wheels and the tools onto the trailer to head for the track. He made me extremely happy the night he invited me to go with him and the car to be part of his pit crew at the track!...even MORE thrilling than the first night Joe Giba sneaked me in! Ed was a real "shoe", and I loved to watch him drive! I can't even express to you what a thrill it was for me to get to be one of the guys who pushed that beautiful number 5 out for the trophy dash or for the main event...and an even greater thrill when I was allowed to STEER the car....WOW! During this same time (my teenage years) I began to race twin engine go-karts, and was fortunate enough to use some of what I'd been watching Eddie and our pit partner Frank Mantello do on the track, to win the state championship in twin engine go-karts three times. I then went on to race Formula Fords on the SCCA circuit and was thrilled to be able to race in what was known at the time as the Mini-Indy Series at Englewood Speedway on Wednesday nights. The culmination of that experience was the two nights that I had the privilege to race and win at none other than my home away from home...Lakeside Speedway!! A great great thrill that I will never forget. All those hours of watching all those great drivers of old paid off! Oh...and by the way...guess what my racing number was on every vehicle I ever raced...you guessed it...number 5. Yes...I have been truly blessed with many wonderful auto racing memories which makes being part of this site a heart felt honor.

Mitch G. 07-11-2016 10:52 AM

Re: Hello From Colorado
 
Great to have you hear John, Facebook has taken most of the traffic from most of the smaller auto racing websites. This site is still a great resource, lost of fun stuff and important history. Me my dad and brother (web master of this site, and its creator!) hardly missed a midget show from 1960 till the mid 80's. We remember the Formula Fords at Englewood, Mitch Miller was trying everything to get crowds back to the midgets, Wednesday was one of his experiments. I got in a argument with a guy on Facebook who used to race Formula Fords at Englewood as well. He claimed the Fords were 1/2 to a full second quicker around Englewood than the midgets. I could not find a lap time or lap record for the Formula Fords, the midget track record for that era was 15:20 set by Ed Jackson in Chuck Mauro's Edmunds VW. Do you have any recorded lap times for the Formula Fords at Englewood? Welcome aboard!

bobbyc1 12-08-2016 01:12 PM

Re: Hello From Colorado
 
Say hi to Dean Brancucci, Bob Corrado

bobbyc1 12-08-2016 04:53 PM

Re: Hello From Colorado
 
No Mitch I dont, very sorry, I remember Mitch Miller really well, USAC use to race there once a year, and Eddie Jackson won a few times, Joe Giba with the an outboard engine i think, he sure could make that baby hum.


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