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#51 MSwiss

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:56 AM

I wasn't there for that one but I heard when Mike and Bob met, it sounded like a gun went off.

From my upcoming book: "500 Crazy Slot Car stories, 250 of them happened in Cincinnati." :)

Where do you start?
From Creasy driving with full-coverage ear muffs, the "old" King tangling up a car in 20 ft. of braid pulled up in the bank, cars having the guide blade sheared of clean in the old bank in qualifying without hitting anything, etc., etc.

I remember the first Pepsi 500 with the newer, '83 Nats Hasse King they got from Keller.

On Friday night before the race, Joe Hutton came up to a bunch of the Pros hanging
near the part's counter and announced: "I'm warning you guys ahead of time. I'm gonna be checking clearance a lot on Sunday. I don't like what your cars are doing to my bank."

As he walked away, Pfeiffer shot back: "It's only fair after all the years what your bank did to our cars."

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

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#52 Ron Hershman

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:16 AM

Parts from the Huey/Big Mike crash went up in the air about three feet high from the track surface.

Hutton and Soudrette stories could be the other 250 stories by themselves.

Creasy and his headphones... he wasn't happy when I was Tri-State Prez and wouldn't allow him to have them on when he was racing.

The old American King track had to be one of the worst I ever ran on.

Then they got the Keller King in 1986 just in time for the 1986 Pepsi 500. I won Intl 15 and was the first driver to run 50 laps in a 3 minute heat. They go like 75 laps per heat now days. :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

#53 Ron Hershman

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:35 AM

I remember one time at Cincinnati... George Teman (R.I.P.) was loading up his stuff and going out the back and up the stairs... he came back and was looking for his power supply... we couldn't find it.

A year later, I come into the raceway and sitting on "Tim's" work bench/area (that was a EPA Superfund site) sits George's power supply. Later George comes in and I say, "Hey George... your power supply you left/lost here last year is up on Tim's bench". George walks over to the bench and comes back without his power supply. I asked him, "Did you get your power supply back? He replies..." I wouldn't touch that nasty thing... have you seen what Tim has done to it?"

It was trashed to say the least.

There was another time we were there for a Tri-State race and John Strachen blew a motor during the race. During a middle-of-the-heat quick motor change, Strachen can't find the motor after he "flung" it out of the car. We must have spent a hour after the race looking all over for that motor. Never found it.

One year later... I come into the raceway and Tim says... "Come here" I go over to his EPA workbench and he says, "Do you know what this is?" and points to a ball of rust on his workbench. I could not tell what it was... it looked like a motor, but then again it had so much rust and dirt on it it was hard to tell. I tell Tim..."I give up... what is it?" Tim says it's Strachen's motor he lost a year ago. I laughed and asked him where he found it. Tim says, "I found it stuck to the bottom of that metal trash can YESTERDAY when I decided that it needed to be dumped since IT HAD NOT been dumped for almost a full year.

They also had a problem of hauling the full trash bags to the back of the raceway, setting them by the door, and never taking them outside to the dumpster. There were bags of trash that sat in the raceway for over a year or longer.

Then there was the drag strip and the first drag Nats. Someone had a "rocket car" (Swiss can tell lots of good stories about John Pierce's rocket cars ) and they put a big metal barrel full of water at the end of the strip so they could throw the car into the water to put it out. That barrel of water sat there for years.

We were there for another Tri-State race and some guys were running over on the drag strip and one of the cars wind up going into the bucket of "muck". This guys sticks his hand in and it was like sticking your hand in a barrel of used motor oil from sitting there so long. He pulls his hand out without the car and says the car can stay in it. And it did.

#54 tonyp

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:49 AM

The Nat's Ernie won in Cincinnati was the hottest weekend of the year and there was no air conditioning in the raceway that weekend. I remember walking down the stairs and water was dripping off the tile walls in the stairway. The hottest I ever was in my life. Just lovely...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
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#55 Howmet TX

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:08 AM

I love these stories! Plenty from the UK to add, but I only have them secondhand.

I'm put in mind of the resident 'U.S. Pro Racer' at Tottenham Raceway ca. 1970, Mark Moser. Someone loosened all the screws in his car box, which fell apart somewhere on the Northern Line (subway, I should say) and all his exclusive unobtainable-in-the-UK Mura spares rolled off into some dark and inaccessible places.

Which makes me wonder, as I did at the time, what sort of reputation Mark had at home in the US, and how he came to England. Do any of you chaps recall him? He was quite an idol for me at the time. Made beautiful cars and dressed flash. Made me think a slot racer could have some sort of romantic life. How wrong I was...

John Dilworth


#56 TSR

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:50 AM

John,

I know of Mark Moser in the UK pro racing days but I do not believe that anyone in the USA has any idea of who he is. :blink:

#57 MSwiss

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:21 AM

Creasy and his headphones.... he wasn't happy when I was Tri-State Prez and wouldn't allow him to have them on when he was racing.

I remember him saying something like he wanted to be in own "space" without distractions. I told him the guy he "riders" into the wall because he can't hear him won't be nearly as thrilled about him being in his own space.

Speaking of walls, this is my favorite Cincinnnati story:
I was pitting for John Olsen in the Pro main and marshalling in the finger near the race director stand. In about the third heat you could hear the whine of the motors start to gradually fall off as the power dumped.

The drivers started to gripe real loud while the race director, Sue Barber, looked towards the parts counter and Joe Hutton for help. The power must have got down to about 7 volts with everyone punched.

Joe walked very quietly along the back wall to the race directors stand. He never said anything as he reached behind it. At that point I realized what he was going to do and yelled out: "John, he's going for the switch!!!"

Too late. He hit the switch that fired the relay to change to a fresh bank of batteries.
It sounded like a burst from a machine gun as all eight cars hit the wall. Then dead silence for a second or two as they started to get put back on.

Joe just walked quietly back to the counter with a "mission accomplished" look on his
face as the drivers started griping again.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#58 NJ Racer

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:37 AM

I was warming up next to Spencer Hess at Elmsford on the Nuvolari at the start of a regional USRA International 15 race when all of a sudden Spencer shouts, "Rider". I was halfway down the main straight at full speed and Spencer pulls my wires off the control panel. He hit the deadman wall hard and totally destroyed his chassis, really pissed off.
"Ya gotta be in it to win it"

Ray Carlisi

#59 Ron Hershman

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:09 PM

Speaking of walls, t his is my favorite Cincinnnati story:
I was pitting for John Olsen in the Pro main and marshalling in the finger near the race director stand.

I was in that race (Semi-Pro class and if wasn't that race, Joe did the same in another race at another time) when Hutton flipped the switch... I was lucky that I was in the straight when he did it, but I still couldn't get "whoa'd" up for the deadman.

At another race... Tim Soudrette was racing and there was a building support pole that was between the orange and blue controller hook ups at the panel.

Hutton is running the race and Tim is yelling track and Hutton wouldn't shut off the track. Well, after yelling track several times and calling Hutton some choice names, Tim reaches down and "unplugs" the track power from the pole. No one but Tim and Hutton knew that cord coming out of the outlet would shut the track off. Tim got his track call... LOL...

After that race they moved the cord to another outlet so others wouldn't do the same as Tim had.

#60 Rob Rieu

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:44 PM

I heard this one - can anyone validate it happened?:

Someone was cleaning a raceway track with Coleman fuel or lighter fluid and the place exploded.
Regards,

Rob Rieu

#61 tonyp

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:51 PM

Not sure about that. I am sure a few shops have been burned down on purpose that way.
I have seen a couple of tracks light up from lighter fluid being used to clean a lane and a car running through it.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
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2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#62 TSR

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:01 PM

It would take a LOT of lighter fluid to cause an explosion... otherwise I would have blown myself up to smithereens a long time ago. :laugh2:

#63 idare2bdul

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:17 PM

Given some of the flammable fluids we have used to clean tracks, I'm surprised that we didn't have more fires. Half the stuff we used was also carcinogenic.
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#64 idare2bdul

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:31 PM

Restaurants and slot racers don't always mix well. A morning stop at a Denny's saw a racer in a corner booth notice an electrical outlet. Deciding to make use of the time waiting for breakfast to pit, he plugged in a soldering iron and put it to use.

A few minutes later the manager came over and told him he was disturbing other patrons and would have to stop. The racer asked how could this disturb other patrons. There were none at the closest adjoining tables and soldering is quiet. The manager persisted in telling him it was disturbing others. At that point the racer plugged in his Dremel, grabbed some piano wire and with sparks flying proceeded to cut the wire, saying, "Now this would disturb other people!"

Another establishment finally got the racers breakfast business but with no further breakfast pitting.
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#65 Ron Hershman

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:16 AM

That sounds like something Phil Hackett would do. :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

#66 Steve Deiters

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:21 AM

There used to be an eating establishment/bar across the street from Parma International called Barron's. I understand it is gone now (burned down?). At some point over the course of a racing weekend racers would make it over there, either singularly or in groups, several times. Jan Limpach and his friends (Dan Bloodworth and other locals) would eat there on a regular basis.

In the place was a jukebox with remote stations at each booth. They would order up some tunes or I should say a tune-"Happy Birthday"- and then pop up with inquisitive looks and loud voices asking whose birthday it was when it started playing. Everyone in place got happy looks on their faces because everyone likes to celebrate someone else's birthday. Little did they know that there was no birthday, just these racers with some time on their hands. I think management caught on eventually and the juke may have been disconnected during race weekends.

Barron's was also the place a top notch racer from the Detroit area named Rick Davis told me the story of "sail cats" but I'll save that for another time!

#67 idare2bdul

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:24 PM

That sounds like something Phil Hackett would do. :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

Phil is way too polite to do that! He did punch out a spectator at a race who didn't back away from his turn, when asked. :aggressive:
  • Jesse Gonzales likes this
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#68 idare2bdul

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:27 PM

The problem with a local establishment selling very large burritos was that often there was a 3-4 inch piece left over. The bathroom ceiling at one raceway seemed to grow a forest of them, as the owner was a little slow at cleaning them off.
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#69 tonyp

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:19 PM

Bicentennial weekend and the biggest race up to that time was at Joel's Race Place just outside of Washington, DC. Hotels booked for months in advance.

A group of slot racers checks into their rooms around Wednesday of race week. A visiting racer shows up as they were unpacking and asks if he can use the magnet zapper for a couple of minutes. Plug it in, let it charge up, push the button, and all the lights in one strip of the hotel's cottages goes out.

The racers bitch and moan to the manager their electricity doesn't work, get their money back, and manage to find the last remaining room in Greenbelt, MD. They spent the race weekend with six in one room.

The hotel never got the power back on all weekend and lost half their holiday revenue.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#70 TSR

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:26 PM

Ouch, Tony! I remember doing this with Lee Gilbert in Fremont with Gene Husting's "Monster Mag" and its outside battery of capacitors... I bet every electron in the universe traveled through these magnets, but no one had any juice for about ten minutes every time we flipped the switch! Fortunately we only had six pairs to zap!

The motel manager was hunting all over to find who was messing with the amps... :laugh2:

#71 tonyp

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:53 PM

It was all Fred the Flash's fault... He had to zap his magnets. LOL... I guess we would have blown up the hotel eventually anyway.

Good thing it happened five minutes after we checked in so we were able to get out of there. Err, I mean they were able to get out of there. LOL...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
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#72 tonyp

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:53 PM

We stayed in some high class places back then. LOL...

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
Revtech Team Trinity
Retro East co-founder
American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
Arco Champion
Car Model Magazine Series Amateur Champion
2016 ORS Anglewinder Constructors Championsh
ip


#73 MantaRay

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:20 PM

Steve... Barron's... I lived about two blocks from Parma Model Raceway... almost lived there from '63 to '67...

Then real cars and girlfriends got in the way. My Dad would drop me off at the track and I would mosey over to Barron's for a few "schooners" of beer. They were gigantic iced bowls of beer...

Those were the daze...
Ray Price
11/4/49-1/23/15
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#74 Ron Hershman

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:59 PM

We stayed in some high class places back then. LOL...

I remember Limpach telling me a story of staying in a hotel, maybe it was San Antonio, where he paid $2 extra a day for a room with a radio in it. The other racers who stopped by thought he was rich because he could afford the extra $2 per day. :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

#75 Pete L.

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 06:40 PM

Someone was cleaning a raceway track with Coleman fuel or lighter fluid and the place exploded.

Rob,

A track in South River burned to the ground in the mid-late '90s! I raced there once or twice, drag racing as well as road course.
Peter J. Linszky

C.A.R.S. Vintage Slot Car Club





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