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The Drivers In this forum feel free to start threads about your favorite driver from the golden days of racing. Make sure to title your new thread with the drivers name first.



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Old 08-30-2009, 09:00 AM   #1
Mike Croley
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Default Ronnie McDowell

There are obviously many factors in deciding who the really great drivers are . But for Colorado short track stock car racers my vote would easily go to Ronnie McDowell . Ronnie was originally from Pueblo and raced ar Beacon Hill , but he also ran regularly at Pikes Peak Speedway and Sportsmans Raceway Park in Colorado Springs . He also ran at the Turf Club , Colorado Springs International , Pikes Peak Hillclimb , as well as every other track in the state . He also often raced out of state , and raced in New Zealand during the winter .

Ronnie was known for his black 57 T-bird with a 427 Ford engine that he ran at Beacon Hill and Sportsmans . At the same time he had a black modified that he raced in the Springs and Denver . Later he would form a partnership with Jim Willy of Colorado Springs ,, and the cars were always yellow # 119 . This was by far the most productive time in Ronnies' career , he and Jim dominated Southern Colorado stock car racing .

I have records that indicate as of 1975 , Ronnie had 174 feature wins . Since he raced for another 10 years after that , his feature total was way over 200 . And who knows how many championships . Another point to consider is that because of totally inverted starts , Ronnie won almost all of those races from the last 2 rows . I was lucky enough to be able to watch Ronnie at his best , and week in , week out , there just wasn't anyone better . In fact , i'm not sure i've ever seen anyone as good as he was on a short track . Very smooth , yet very aggressive .
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

Here are a few more photos of Ronnie McDowell . The black modified # 19 is a car he raced in the mid 1960s , ran it at Beacon Hill in Pueblo , Sportsmans , and in Denver . The yellow 1969 Camaro # 119 in victory lane was at Pikes Peak Speedway . The final photo is Ronnie at Beacon Hill avoiding a spinning car . The lead car in the photo is the great Paul Elder .
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
webby
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

Oh man... I love that 69 Camaro. Perfect looking stock car.

Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Croley View Post
There are obviously many factors in deciding who the really great drivers are . But for Colorado short track stock car racers my vote would easily go to Ronnie McDowell . Ronnie was originally from Pueblo and raced ar Beacon Hill , but he also ran regularly at Pikes Peak Speedway and Sportsmans Raceway Park in Colorado Springs . He also ran at the Turf Club , Colorado Springs International , Pikes Peak Hillclimb , as well as every other track in the state . He also often raced out of state , and raced in New Zealand during the winter .

Ronnie was known for his black 57 T-bird with a 427 Ford engine that he ran at Beacon Hill and Sportsmans . At the same time he had a black modified that he raced in the Springs and Denver . Later he would form a partnership with Jim Willy of Colorado Springs ,, and the cars were always yellow # 119 . This was by far the most productive time in Ronnies' career , he and Jim dominated Southern Colorado stock car racing .

I have records that indicate as of 1975 , Ronnie had 174 feature wins . Since he raced for another 10 years after that , his feature total was way over 200 . And who knows how many championships . Another point to consider is that because of totally inverted starts , Ronnie won almost all of those races from the last 2 rows . I was lucky enough to be able to watch Ronnie at his best , and week in , week out , there just wasn't anyone better . In fact , i'm not sure i've ever seen anyone as good as he was on a short track . Very smooth , yet very aggressive .
Great article & photos, Mike! I never had the pleasure of seeing Ronnie in action or any of his sharp looking race cars...my loss. Please keep your photos and articles coming, as they are most enjoyable for us who are not that familiar with the central and southern Colorado drivers, race cars, & teams. ~VB
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

I've found some information that Ronnie had 197 Feature wins near the end of 1975 . There were 6 more weeks to race at that point , so between the three tracks he normally raced at , theres a good chance that he surpassed 200 Feature wins even before the 75 season was over .
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

Here is a photo of Ronnie taken at Englewood Speedway .
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

I'll try that Englewood photo again .
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

Ronnie also raced in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb several times . Here he is in a Mustang , he also ran a Plymouth Road Runner one year .
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Last edited by Mike Croley; 09-02-2009 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

This is one of Ricks' photos of Ronnie McDowell winning at Colorado Springs International Speedway in the Thompson Mustang . I think this around 1984 .
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ronnie McDowell

This photo is one of Ricks' showing Ronnie McDowell on one of the frequent road trips , this one at I-70 Speedway .
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