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Old 04-20-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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Post Sam Sauer - Mr. Excitement

Sam Sauer 1935 -1978
- Written by Rick Wasilko and additional comments by Mitch Miller.

Sam "Sammy" Sauer a Colorado racing legend began as a crew member for his brother, Elmer Sauer, Sam took up driving oval track cars in the mid-1950's at Lakeside Speedway.

It was that classic bark and roar of a Ford flathead V-8, like a dart headed for the bull's eye, as it came out from behind the track entrance fence, it was Sam Sauer in the Bill Black’s Boot’s Texaco sponsored yellow #28 modified. Sam would take a couple of warm-up laps, then get real close the back chute guard rail give it bit more throttle, go high into the north turn apex and almost in a diving like action head into the front chute to time in, very seldom did Sam take the second lap to improve his time, and with that being that done, Sam would head back to the pits and was ready for the nights racing program.

Sam as a fan-favorite, the camp was divided, Sam was either a hero or track villain. Whether Sam was being introduced during time trials, or trophy dash, or after winning the main, there were boo’s and cheers. After winning one particular main event and with the ensuing cheers and boo’s, Sam stood up in the car and politely bowed to the crowd at the start/finish line.

As a friend, Sam always smiled, said "Hi," and would ask how things were. Sam was always ready to sign autographs, an opportunity he didn’t turn down. I liked Sam, I remember when Sam, Elmer, Pat Frazier and I, went to the Burger Haven to have lunch, we had a few laughs, and did some real serious armchair racing.

As a driver, Sam was a real wheel man at Lakeside Speedway, when Sam finally nailed down the on-off-on throttle technique, he had then found the fast way around Lakeside. For Sam it was more like just cracking the throttle enough at a certain point while going (almost) full bore going through the turns. To watch Sam artfully make his cars look like they were glued to the asphalt, like a road rockets, like they would almost fly, it was more than artful, it was spectacular. Sam would drive his cars deeper in the north and south turns at Lakeside than most other drivers would. It would seem at times that Sam made holes in traffic where there were none, or squeeze past others on the outside when there was no room. There been a lot drivers since that who maybe are or were as daring and hard charging, but I think that “Sammy” was to racing, what thunder is to a lightning bolt - “Charged”

It has been said that Sammy Sauer may have won more car races than can be counted over the years in which he competed.

Championships -
1963 Lakeside Speedway modified champion.
1968 and 1969 Englewood Speedway ERA modified champion.
1971 and 1972 RMMRA Champion in the Henry Conklin Offy/Sesco.
Sam is ranked 19th with 25 wins on the all time list of Colorado midget feature (main event) victories from records dating 1935-2002.

Some of Sam’s rides -
Dick Piscatelle’s #55, '33-'34 Ford five-window coupe
Bill Black's #28, model 'A' body
Gene Hefley’s #7, a green model ‘A’ body
Loren Embree’s #42, a green model 'A' body
An orange #70, model 'A' body
Joe Krpan‘s #48, tagged the "Gray Ghost" model ‘A‘ body (Krpan: pronounced, Ker-pen)
Joe Krpan’s #82, model ‘A’ body, this car had knock-off hubs and Halibrand wheels
Ralph Young's #60 '34 Plymouth five window coupe, Lakeside Speedway
Ralph Young’s #60 ERA modified, Englewood Speedway
It should be noted that on April 23, 1967, CARC opening night at Lakeside, Sam established a new track record of 12.84 in Ralph Young’s #60 '34 Plymouth coupe. That track record was to hold for nine seasons. #60 had a slant-six, which weight wise would seem counter productive because it slanted to the right.

Midgets -
Lulu's Love Bug #76.
Harrry Conklin’s #1 and #99
Spider Anderson’s #41, a fuel injected flathead V-8 60, in which Sam won a semi main at Lakeside Speedway.

Every auto racing generation of the short track genre, has a or has had a “Hot Dog, Chrome Shoe, etc.” but it was we at Lakeside Speedway had “Mr. Excitement” himself - “Sammy Sauer”

Sam had some really rough crashes over his career and always bounced back quickly, however in May of 1978 Sam Sauer would be fatally injured in a midget race accident at Colorado National Speedway, a day sorrowful to all Colorado race fans.

Sam Sauer's car that he drove in 1968 and to the 1969 ERA Englewood Speedway Championship

Sam Sauer's number 16 black offy RMMRA Midget that he drove to the 1971 Championship with

Here are a few pics of the car Sam drove for Harry Conklin

For some reason it always surprised me how nice Sam Sauer's signature was as compared to his driving style

Here are some of Denver's best racing drivers.

Here is the article written by Mitch Milller

This is one of the last cars Sammy Sauer drove.

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Old 04-21-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Thomas E
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Default Re: Sam Sauer - Mr. Excitement

Nice main body article, sort of déjà vu.
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carc, englewood speedway, era, lakeside speedway, rmmra, sam sauer

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