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Old 12-23-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Location: Golden, CO.
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Default 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

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 12-29-2009 at 02:11 PM.
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