Thread: Reminiscing... Hello From Colorado
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:35 PM   #1
Johnny Calvaresi
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Posts: 4
Default 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.

Last edited by Johnny Calvaresi; 07-08-2016 at 12:01 AM.
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