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Old 05-25-2009, 05:34 PM   #1
John Faulkner
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Default Sammy was my hero!

Hi Guys,
I grew up watching Sam Sauer drive race cars in the late sixties and early seventies. My first racing memory was arriving at Lakeside speedway just in time to be turned around at the grandstands because Sammy had just crashed thru the wall! My dad and I attended every race after that. My favorite car was the #60 Modified at he drove at Englewood, where he won back to back championships. I loved to watch Sam drive midgets at Lakeside Speedway in the early seventies. I remember waiting to yell as hard as I could when they announced Sammys name before the feature. My Dad used to take me to Foss Campbells garage to watch Foss work on the cars. My dad worked for Martin Co. and was transferred to Florida around 1976. I remember the day my mom called and told me that Sammy was gone. I turn 50 this August and still live in Florida, but my favorite racing memories will always revolve around the small tracks in Denver.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:38 AM   #2
superstroke
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

Welcome to ARM John. Did you attend any races in Florida? I went to Daytona week in '91' and '92'. We went out to Volusia County and watched the super modifieds...WOW!! Of course, it was a real muggy night, and the mods were flyin. As the evening went on, while we were watching the feature race, we noticed vapor trails coming off the wings of the supers...That was one of the coolest things I have seen. We also got to see Davey Allison win the '500'. That was very cool as well. If you have pictures or stories from any Florida racing, please post, as this site is for all auto racing memories.

Rick Losh
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #3
webby
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Faulkner View Post
Hi Guys,
I grew up watching Sam Sauer drive race cars in the late sixties and early seventies. My first racing memory was arriving at Lakeside speedway just in time to be turned around at the grandstands because Sammy had just crashed thru the wall! My dad and I attended every race after that. My favorite car was the #60 Modified at he drove at Englewood, where he won back to back championships. I loved to watch Sam drive midgets at Lakeside Speedway in the early seventies. I remember waiting to yell as hard as I could when they announced Sammys name before the feature. My Dad used to take me to Foss Campbells garage to watch Foss work on the cars. My dad worked for Martin Co. and was transferred to Florida around 1976. I remember the day my mom called and told me that Sammy was gone. I turn 50 this August and still live in Florida, but my favorite racing memories will always revolve around the small tracks in Denver.
John welcome to the website, make sure to check out the profile we did on Sammy Sauer.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
John Faulkner
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

Hey Rick,
I live in the Tampa area where the sprint car racing is great! The TBBRA runs quite a few events all within an hour of my house. They are winged asphalt cars that are scary fast! The winged dirt sprinters come to Tampa every Feb. and put on a good show. I used to take in the races at Daytona, but haven't been for a number of years. The last time I went was the time Dale Earnhardt flipped on the backstretch and then got back in and took off. It happened right in front of us and what most people didn't see was Ernie Irvins hood flying into the stands. They have a great vintage auto racing group here called DAARA that races a couple of times a year at the fairgrounds.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

John, was that Martin Marrietta Co., your dad worked for? The Waterton Canyon, plant?
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
John Faulkner
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

10-4 His name is Tex and he worked there for 17 years.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

Me and Webmaster's Dad worked there from 1958 till 1974, he was an illustrator for the space program. Me and Webby and Dad never missed a Denver RMMRA midget show from 1960 till the mid 1990's. I moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL in 2005 (right on the ocean 28 miles, south and east of Jacksonville, FL). We went to the non-winged sprints at East Bay in 2006 and 2007, never went to a pavement race. Now we live in Katy, TX 35 miles west of Houston, TX, just got back from a non-wing sprint show in Waco,TX it was fantastic! We love those years when Sammy was wheel to wheel with Eddie Jackson, Spyder Anderson, Steve Troxell, Mike Gregg, Dave Strickland Sr., Jim Beckley, Gene Pastor. Here's a great story Bob Olds told me, what was cool is that me and Webby and our dad were at this race. It was 1971, USAC was in town for the National Midget tour, they had been to Lakeside Speedway, in the main Sammy and Bill Engelhart were running each other hard, they hooked front and rear nerf bars. Took each other out of the running. The next night the tour went to Colorado Springs, and the old Raceway Park 1/4 mile. Again during the feature, Sammy and Engelhart were really going at it, Sammy was in Conklins #16D, Engelhart in Vance Moore's #6, both Sesco powered. With a lap or 2 to go in the main, going down the back chute, Engelhart puts Sammy in the concrete, Sam takes a real hard barrel roll, maybe goes over 4 or 5 times, nearly tears the roll cage off. Sam is stunned to say the least, a bunch of guys run over to the car, it's on it's side, same is laying there, Bob Olds leans over, gets Sammy's helmet off, and gently slaps his face to see if he can get a response. Sam looks up, dazed, and says to Olds .... " I sees a blue light .... all around yous". He was o.k. but gave us a scare, man could he drive a midget.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

From a 1972 USAC midget year book (recapping the 1971 season), here is a photo of that very race! It was published with a page full of other photo's so it's real small, I blew it up a little. Sammy in Conklin's 16D, and Billy Engelhart in Vance Moore's #6.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
John Faulkner
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Default Re: Sammy was my hero!

I was at both races! I remember them driving around for a couple of laps trying to get unhooked! Cars were flying around them. They probably should have stopped and tried to get a yellow flag. The next night was the most violent crash I can remember. I think Sam was going to drive it in deep and he just went over his wheel. Earlier that season Sam Flipped hard at Lakeside between turns 1 and 2. The car was in a tight barrel roll and must have went over a half a dozen times! I think the most amazing thing was that he still won the championship!
I'll share with you a funny story that happened to me a Englewood. I made a large sign that read "Sock it to em Sam" and we taped it on the wall behind the top row of the bleachers. People coming in that night were telling us that they could see it from the road as they were coming in. Half way thur the main Sam was leading when this crazy lady charged up the grandstands and ripped the sign off the wall. The crowd went crazy! and even thou most didn't like Sam, they didn't like her tearing some nice little kids sign down. They booed her so much that she threw the sign back in our direction and was luck to get out of there alive!
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