Weedsport, NY — May 6, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Northeast PR Director
The last time Billy Wimble, Dutch Hoag and Billy Rafter got together was for the inaugural Northeast Modified Hall of Fame inductions held in 1992. Before that, one may have to venture as far back as the nationally acclaimed ‘Race of Champions’ run three decades earlier at the fabled Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway to find this legendary trio on the same card; albeit donning helmets and firesuits while strapped into their Modified Sportsman machines.
So throw into the magnificent mix 2000 pioneer pick ‘Irish’ Jack Murphy and 2004 selection Dave Lape and the 19th edition of Hall of Fame Day will be like no other when this all-star cast converges on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds for a night to remember.
That’s the way it should be on Memorial Day Weekend at the home of DIRTcar Racing Northeast: One of the biggest events of the year taking center stage in the heart of Modified country with some of the best drivers from both past and present all gathered at the same place. And more memories to last a lifetime.
“I don’t know maybe it was Syracuse, we all had different schedules back then, but everybody found a way to make the big races,” recalled Hoag, 83, the only driver to capture RoC Championships on both dirt (1956, 1960, 1963) and asphalt (1967-68) en route to establishing the all-time record of five victories at Langhorne. “I’ve been back to Weedsport a couple times since (1992), but before that I couldn’t really say for sure when we were last together at a track. Hopefully, there will be a few more after this.”
The rare reunion of all-time greats begins Sunday, May 30 when the Class of 2010 is publicly decorated at 3 p.m. in the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame & Classic Car Museum. Honored in afternoon ceremonies will be newest driver inductees Lin Hough, Ralph Quarterson and Gary Reddick, along with special award winners Brian Mulligan, Jeff Brownell, Andrew Phillips, Tana Robinson, Judy Snyderman and Buffy Swanson.
Activity then moves right next door to the historic Cayuga County Fair Speedway for the annual ‘Hall of Fame Classic,’ featuring round three of the Super DIRTcar Series for the mighty Big-Block Modifieds with time trials leading off at 6:30 p.m. Intermission will be just as fast-paced with active Hall of Famers recognized trackside before they join together for a unique autograph session immediately afterwards in the clubhouse.
“New York is where I still have so many, many friends that keep in touch often,” remarked Wimble, 78, a repeat NASCAR National Sportsman Champion and five-time New York State titlist from 1960-67. Currently residing in Florida, the Lisbon, N.Y. native will also be signing copies of his semi-autobiography “I’ll Never Be Last Again,” with a guest showing by co-author Lew Boyd on the docket. “Coming ‘home’ never gets old and I look forward to making some new acquaintances during the upcoming trip.”
The ‘Night of Nostalgia’ in Weedsport is not reserved only for the Hall of Fame membership. All past track champions wishing to be a part of the May 30 Hall of Fame celebration are encouraged to contact DIRTcar Northeast PR Director Tom Skibinski by phone (585/350-8997) or through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org correspondence.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.