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Old 05-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Default LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview

Anyone who watched a Figure 8 race out at Englewood Speedway through the '60's and '70's remembers the sight of Lee Stogsdill's lavender '57 Plymouths, wheeling those huge fins from the back of the pack to the front in no time flat.

This old 1997 phone interview caught the 1966 E.R.A. Figure 8 champ during his favorite TV show at the time, 'Wheel of Fortune'....

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JL: "Lee, how many of those '57's did you go through over the years?"

LS: "Oh, a few! I started out with Fords in the Figure 8's, then wound up buying a Plymouth from this guy, ran it on the dirt up at Erie, then made a Figure Eighter out of it."

JL: "What was that '66 championship season like for you?"

LS: "That was the year that Arnie Kautz got killed, y'know, and Arnie's Dad sold my car and Arnie's just because they were in his garage. They confiscated every damn thing! That put me without a car and I was 3 or 4 weeks late in starting the season. I was driving that Plymouth and I kind of slipped up on them and won it."**

JL: "I understand that someone once slipped you a 'mickey' to keep you out of the competition."

LS: "Oh yeah, I had to drink a bunch of coffees and take cold showers, but I went back to the track that night and won the main event."

JL: "What was the most memorable waxing you ever took at the X?"

LS: "Oh, I got hit at the X out there and flipped upside down. They put the car back over on it's wheels, and I got back in it and won the race anyway (laughs)"

JL: "Somebody flipped that big ol' Plymouth?"

LS: "Yeah, it took some doin' though. It took a '55 or '56 Buick to do the job, but it done it!"

JL: "You made two trips to the World Figure 8 Championships in New York. How did you do out there?"

LS: "I blew a head gasket in Clarence Beickman's car, and one year I got third."

JL: "You've always been a laid back guy, ever get into any skirmishes out there?"

LS: "Ah, naw. Junior Reeder was giving Fred Tryon a hard time once and I stepped in. He changed his mind right quick."

JL: "I guess I should let you get back to the 'Wheel of Fortune', huh?"

LS: "Yeah....Aw hell, it's over now!"

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**NOTE: Lee Stogsdill and Arnie Kautz were buddies who started out building and racing Stockers together at Englewood in the late '50's. Kautz won the E.R.A. Figure 8 championship for 1965, then died just 5 months later in a tragic plane crash. Stogsdill went on to capture the Figure 8 championship the very next year.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:20 PM   #2
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview


Here's some pics of Lee Stogsdill along with Jerry's comments.



(Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
Lee Stogsdill picks up another Figure 8 main event win in 1967.
Note all the frontend damage they’re trying to hide there!




(Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
Lee Stogsdill (#18) skirts the infield to avoid a pile up involving
Fred Tryon (#49), Pete Brandenburg (#80), and others during
1967 Figure 8 action at Englewood Speedway.




(Jerry Lee McGuire collection)
Here’s one of many ’57 Plymouths that Lee (in the middle) piloted over the years, this one
from 1970. Pitting for Lee on the far right is Dennis Stepanich, a Figure 8
legend in his own right. This pic is even autographed by the champ himself!
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
VintageBuzz
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview

Hey Jerry! You and Olen are a great one-two team on these articles! ~VB
'LS: "Oh, I got hit at the X out there and flipped upside down. They put the car back over on it's wheels, and I got back in it and won the race anyway (laughs)"'
That's the way these cats raced back then at Englewood! Lee, Junior Reeder, and others would push a stopped / less aggressive driver & car through the X if they thought they had the slightest chance of making it through the X and advancing their march to the front of the pack. Thanks for the memories, Jerry! ~VB
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview

Here's some more pics of Lee Stogsdill:



(J.L. McGuire collection) Before he was known for his ’57 Plymouths, Lee
Stogsdill (left) piloted this ’55 Ford Figure Eighter. 1965 Figure 8 champ
Arnie Kautz (right) drove the twin #18 car. What a cool pic of the
‘65 and ‘66 champions in one shot. This 1964 photo shows just how
stock these cars really were at the time, what with the chrome trim,
emblems, key hole cover, and door handles still attached.




(J.L. McGuire collection) For many years Dennis Stepanich ran the
lavender colored twin #118 to father-in-law Lee Stogsdill’s #18.
Cool shot crossing the Figure 8 start/finish line in 1970 at Englewood.





(Photo by Joe Starr) Lee retired the fins in 1976, but made a comeback
in the Figure Eight division some 17 years later at Colorado National
Speedway during the 1993 season. Here’s an autographed giveaway
featuring his new ’77 Plymouth Figure Eighter.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Here’s yours truly and Lee in the pits at C.N.S.
in 1993. Although he only managed to run for half the season, it was
both fun and nostalgic to once again watch that purple streak run the
8 and know that it was really Lee Stogsdill, a true Figure Eight legend.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 10-24-2011 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:11 PM   #5
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview


(J.L. McGuire collection) Lee Stogsdill was still “haulin’ them in” in 1976 at Englewood, the
year he gave up the fins. Check out those front fenders!

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 02-07-2010 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:53 PM   #6
thpracing
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview

the car moose drove in 84/85 was built from lee's last englewood car--with a lot of alterations to the chassis, and the addition of the petty car drivetrain--we took a late 60's dodge charger body and made a sportsman body out of it---pic at thpracing pix on this site=--if anyone has any other pics of this car---kt
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview

Although I can't remember the date back in the '70's, I remember seeing Lee time in the Plymouth one Saturday night in the most extraordinary manner for him --- SLOW. Something was obviously wrong; he took the lousy time, went back into the pits, the crew worked their magic, and when it came time for the heat race, Lee stormed out of the pits after everyone else had already done the parade lap and they'd just gone through the X, coming around to take the green. It wasn't all that long before Lee was in the pack, and I remember him winning that race by a country mile. Funny the things you remember when your memory gets jarred a bit!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:39 PM   #8
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: LEE STOGSDILL - The Two Minute Interview


(J.L. McGuire collection) Lee Stogsdill, 1966 E.R.A. Figure Eight champion. Man those fins were huge!




(J.L. McGuire collection) Looks like Lee's about to go over in this '57 Plymouth after
receiving a nasty smack at the X during 1967 action.




(J.L. McGuire collection) More hardware and a cute lil' go-go girl for Lee Stogsdill in 1968.




(J.L. McGuire collection) A bit blurry, but here's a rare color shot of Lee on the dirt
oval at Colorado National Speedway in 1976. Fins rule!

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 10-24-2011 at 08:21 PM. Reason: ....see your Plymouth dealer today!
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