Checkered Past: Seven Seasons of Sam

Sammy Swindell is an international treasure that rivals have buried both figuratively and professionally. Public relations were always an Achilles Heel and why his Simpson Safety shoes never took root at the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500. No one ever questioned his talent or acumen. Sammy would have modified and mastered those machines just as … Read more

Checkered Past: Kid from Apple Creek

Who is Brad Doty? Readers and racers born 32 years ago never feared the beard from Apple Creek, Ohio as he smashed track records for Bowers Coal and Coors Light beer. They never saw him grace victory lanes from Silver Dollar to Devil’s Bowl, Knoxville, Lernerville, Williams Grove and Volusia County, FL. Today’s generations see … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Seven Nights in June

June 3, 1986 Weedsport, NY (0.337d) Race 30 of 82: It was rebranded as Cayuga County Speedway because “weedsport” sounded like boondocks. After wealthy Al Heinke sank several million dollars into the formerly fenceless oval one Thruway exit west of Syracuse, it bore scant resemblance to the Sunday Night anchor of Glenn Donnelly’s DIRT of … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Crockett and The Dude

The World of Outlaws was only four months old when it first visited the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. On that summer evening in 1978 “The Buckeye Traveler” Rick Ferkel toted Two Grand back to Bowling Green, Ohio. During its second season, the World of Outlaws did not race in Missouri at all. It was … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: Support System

No one wanted to watch a television show of fewer than 20 sprint cars. This was the executive wisdom behind the World of Outlaws Gumout Support Series. To launch a club for the expressed purpose of bolstering a bigger club was odd and only lasted three years or until the TV contract expired. In historical … Read more

CHECKERED PAST: World of Outlaws 1980

The year was 1980. Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter was President. The Wall by Pink Floyd ruled the radio. The Empire Strikes Back was box office gold. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were champions of football and baseball while Philly basketball and hockey topped all but Los Angeles and Long Island. U.S hostages heard the Super Bowl … Read more

Checkered Past: Racing Is Resilient

The World of Outlaws has paused many times. It has been rained out from Florida to Seattle and hammered by hurricanes in Houston and Santa Cruz. It was too windy in Oklahoma City, too rough to race in Nevada and New Mexico, and Michigan was too full of stones. Outlaw competition director for 12 years, … Read more