Monday, February 24, 2014

Old School Racin', Baby!

No cards here, just a blog post that came out of a comment by Commishbob.
Ya know, Upstate NY has a pretty rich racing history. I'm surprised NO never caught the bug.
You might be asking yourself, how can a blog post be born of that drivel?  I wondered myself.

I was born and raised in Upstate New York.  The real Upstate NY.  The North Country.  Plattsburgh.  Clinton County.  I'm rather proud of that.  Yes, it does toss a thorn under the saddle when I hear a newscaster say, "Crime spree in upstate NY.  We'll talk to the police chief of Poughkeepsie to see what he's doing about it."  That isn't upstate.  Can I get an 'Amen'?

Now I'm beginning to sound like Commishbob in his most recent curmudgeonly blog post.

A pretty rich racing history.  Let's look at a time when the big boys came to race in Plattsburgh.

Bench Racing from the Volunteer State has a nice overview of the events of June 19, 1955, but they didn't have any newspaper articles.  I do.

Plattsburgh Press-Republican - June 18, 1955
(edited version)
I call this the edited version because I edited the story.  Not for content but for layout.  Below is what the original looks like.  A bit unwieldy for a blog post.

Plattsburgh Press-Republican - June 18, 1955
(original version)
Plattsburgh Press-Republican - June 18, 1955
Plattsburgh Press-Republican - June 20, 1955
Does any of this really matter?  Probably not, but it is a bit of a nostalgia trip for me.  A few times each summer my dad would drag my brother and I to the Airborne Park.  Drag wasn't really the word.  We willingly went.  I think that it was called PIR, Plattsburgh International Raceway, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  We saw Jack Kochman's Hell Drivers, an auto stunt team, a few times.  And racing.  Plenty of racing.  Local boys mixing it up on the track.  Good times.

Credit where credit is due: The newspaper images came from the NYS Historic Newspapers site.

We'll return to baseball soon.  Really.


  1. Drivel, huh? LOL, OK...

    btw....Is there an angry face emoticon I can made out of letters and symbols? Lemme try.


    no? let's try this


    That'll have to do.

    1. Drivel is a term of endearment in the North Country.

  2. Finally had a chance to read through those clippings. Awesome stuff. Lee Petty, Buck Baker and Tim Flock on a 1/2 mile oval for a $3 ticket!

  3. Poughkeepsie? Ha! If you haven't made it as far north as the southern border of Vermont, don't even try to call yourself upstate. At Lake George, you're in the Adirondacks, so you're getting warm (errr, cold).

    "Upstate" is really limited to the three counties of Clinton, Essex, and Franklin. Diehards would even argue about the last two.

    Amen, brother. Amen.