In 1937 Roy Richwine bought the property known as the Williams Grove Speedway. Previously known as Grangers Picnic Fairgrounds. The first race was held on May 21, 1939. Joey Chitwood Sr set a fast time this day in 26.03 seconds. Tommy Hinnershitz won the forty round game, winning $ 400. The Flying Farmer won 19 races on the track, competitiveness at the end of the 1950s. He also won seven Oriental sprint car championships and enjoyed the top ten finishes of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The only NASCAR Cup race was held at Grove on June 27, 1954. Herb Thomas received 150 laps in 1954, in 1953 in Hudson. The other 50 laps, the second was Dick Rathmann's pole winner, Hershel McGriff was the third. Other major pilots were Buck Baker, Lee Petty, Dizzy Dean, Ralph Ligouri and Hilly Rife.
1951st On July 29, "Black Sunday" was called. Two pilots, Cecil Green and Bill Mackey, were killed in Winchester, Indiana. That day, Walt Brown was also killed in Grove. He turned around with a second turn while his car was # 29. He then passed and Brown later died at Carlisle Hospital. Eleven other riders, 1 official and 1 spectators, lost their lives on the track.
Grove linked to Indianapolis 500. The last contact is the lead PJ Chesson, who attended the event. Indy wins the sprint car with George Robson (1946), Bill Holland (1949), Johnny Parsons Sr (1950), Troy Ruttman (1952), Pat Flaherty (1956), Jimmy Bryan (1961, 64, 67 and 77) and Parnelli Jones (1962). Jan Opperman, Joey Chitwood Sr, Johnny Thomson, Princess Nalon, Duane Carter Sr, Eddie Sachs, Rodger McCluskey and Elmer George (whose family is still owned by IMS). Ted Horn won 14 sailing cars (recently "big car") at the 3 national sailing championships (1946-48). In 1948, he was killed in DuQuoin, IL, but enough to win the title.
Jack Gunn was the track performer and took the promoter. She added Selinsgrove, Penn National, and Hagerstown to the list of promotional efforts. Gunn, whose surname was Gunnells, was attending Milton Hershey School for orphans along with Brother Trim. Trim owned a garage shop in Lebanon, PA and has been a motorway owner for many years on the track. Jack won the Promoter of the Year in 1979 and died in 1980. Gunn is responsible for leading the nation's top racers to the Central Pennyland race. He is in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
As sprint racing started in the week in 1967, Fred Rahmer became the most successful racer, winning 83 races. Lance Dewease has 75 victories, Donnie Kreitz Jr 54, and Keith Kauffman has won 51 victories. Kauffman wins the most in a season, 13 in 1984!
Runway has a long line and tight turns. Allegedly it was modeled after the California Legion Ascot Speedway. It is also known for a familiar sight bridge that reaches the backrest into the ground. In the first round there is a tunnel under the track that connects the frontstruktural fans with the ground. They were long-lasting on the pre-trench stand and the covered frontstretch tribe. Did you know that you had a runway at the same time on planes outside the back of the track?
Williams Grove Speedway is featured in a Hollywood movie. The 1949 film is titled "The Big Wheel" with Mickey Rooney led by Billy Coy. After getting in trouble along the west coast shores, it is heading east. He introduces a news headline to the winner of Grove. Later he leads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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