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Stock Cars Stock cars have come a long way since the days of the old jalopy but many race fans will tell you the vintage stock cars put on some of the best fender banging action of all-time.



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Old 10-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #1
Mike511
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Default 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

If you drove or built late models in the 70's or 80's and raced out side the state, I'm sure you'll remember getting spanked by one or all of these guys at one time or another. Which one do you think was the best? Trickle, Bonnett, Howe, Shear, Reffner, Martin, Phillips, Hanley, Sauter, Thirdkettle, Linely, Eddy, Ridely, Senneker


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Old 10-16-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Mike: That's a hard one. But you know what they say Mike Eddy was the only guy to intimadate Earnhardt.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Very good question. All of them were truly great drivers. Most of them were also excellent chassis men. For me, Mike Eddy and Dick Trickle stand out as the toughest to beat on a short track. I'd maybe add Senneker to that list also.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Croley View Post
Very good question. All of them were truly great drivers. Most of them were also excellent chassis men. For me, Mike Eddy and Dick Trickle stand out as the toughest to beat on a short track. I'd maybe add Senneker to that list also.
I have to go along with Croley. Dick Trickle was the first ASA guy to come into Louisville's old Fairgrounds Motor Speedway and drive it like he'd been there a dozen times. The black-and-white photo of Joe Shear with the checkered flag was taken at the Fairgrounds after he won an ASA race. That's my checkered flag.

Incidentally, some of the local guys used to take such fast "victory" laps that they got the flag to tattering. I had my wife make one out of thicker cloth just to use for those laps.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Interesting aside Big John, I guess if you're fast even your victory laps are fast! By the way has taking a victory lap with the flag died out, they don't do it around here anymore, kind of miss that tradition!

At one time or another I raced with or had a car in the hunt with most of these guys and it'd be hard to pick the best, but I'd have to say Larry Phillips always impressed me. I agree, he like most of this list were excellent chassis guys, but in the hay days they would run 2-3 times a week at different tracks and that tends to make a better chassis guy out of any serious racer. They all were definitely "Show Me The Money" and I'll make my car fast guys!

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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Mike: I met Larry Phillips when he ran at CSIS really a nice guy. My son who was young at the time said dad did you see his hands he was burned kind a bad in an accident in Arkansas (I think). The thing I thought was humours as the race went on all these guys were racing an concentrating he was out there driving around smoking a cigarettes leading. What you said about show me the money is true, I guess I sound old but thats what gets me about now a days these kids get out of their air condition haulers and get into the car if its not right or perfect they can't drive it, get up on the wheel and drive it. I remember Earnhardt saying if he didn't win he didn't eat. I think a lot of those ASA guys were that way. I remember hearing a story of Hurtabise and some other drivers traveling from race to race heating beans on the exhaust manifold to eat.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Most of the racers listed pretty much did everything themselves, that's another reason they were so impressive. They hauled the race car around the country themselves, they worked on it at the track, they rebuilt it at the shop, and a number of them designed and built their own cars from the ground up.
There aren't too many guys that can even do that anymore, much less WANT to do it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Good points Guys, They new all the tricks too, I remember we we're racing at the annual open comp at Craig Road Speedway in Vegas, late 70's I think. It was a $5k to win purse and that would get everyone worked up. Every start or restart Trickle would start passing cars on the back stretch before the green was even close to being out (One of Dick's Tricks) and because he was Trickle he would get away with it!!

You know recalling those Vegas races, I probably should have added Mike Miller to that list he won that race one year in his box (Olds Cutlass Bodied car) and was quite an ASA shoe!
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: 70's & 80's Late Model Wizards

Living in Wisconsin gave me multiple chances to see most of the drivers on this list, and while every one of them "had it" and could win in good and bad cars, I have always thought Trickle was somehow a cut above the others. He knew how to build a car, how to drive it, and how to race. In those early 70's years when they were racing five or six night a week, he was almost untouchable against some pretty stout competition that included a bunch of guys on the list.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Can't even imagine how cool it must of been to live and race in that area of the country during those years! To see the likes of most of these guys running together every week had to be incredible. In Colorado we had competitive enough cars/drivers and could run with them most of the time, but we were lucky to have two tracks we could run on each week. We usually had to go out of state to test our cars and abilities consistently against the cream of the crop. Bill, maybe if we had one of these new haulers and someone to drive the rig to the track for us, every week, we would have ventured out more .

Donnie Wilson Jr. and I were chatting the other day and he reminded me of something I had forgotten, most of these guys got paid just to show up at a race track, which made it a lot easier to travel and cover expenses. I know when we had the opportunity to race with Bobby Allison out here in a late model, he was usually paid for an appearance. Let's not forget him when we look at this list, as we all know he could wheel anything he got in pretty well!

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