Florida dirt track racing
Jimmy

AOL

#1 Nov 24, 2006
didn't Morgan begin some of his racing on dirt tracks in north florida?
Danny

Jacksonville, FL

#2 Jun 20, 2007
You used to see Morgan show up around the North Florida area back when he was running the Late Model Sportsman cars.
It wasnt uncommon back in the day to see names like Ralph Earnhardt, Red Farmer, Bobby Allison, Glen Wood, Ned Jerrett, Tiny Lund, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Sam McQuagg
and many more racing around the Jacksonville area in sportsman and modified cars.
Jacksonville was also a stop on the "Grand National" Curcit (now nextel cup) back in the day. As well as the Grand National East Curcit.
Also the site of Wendell Scotts only Grand National win took plase at the old "Speedway Park" at the corner of Plymouth and Lenox Streets on the westside in around 1964.
Jacksonville as well as Norht Florida has a very rich racing history.
Team_Cougar

Detroit, MI

#3 Sep 23, 2007
I was looking at a July 1976 issue of Stock Car Racing. Morgan was racing a 1967 Mercury Cougar #80. No mistake a 1967 in a 1976 race. I was wondering if anyone could provide information about this car? I'm a big fan of the BUd Moore prepared NASCAR Cougar's raced in the Baby Grand series in 1968.
Thanks for any help
Team_Cougar
ALAN

United States

#4 Feb 14, 2008
I WAS A KID WHEN MY DAD B.L. STONE RACED AT THE OLD SPEEDWAY PARK.I REMEMBER ALL THE OLD TIME RACERS THAT CAME THROUGH JAX.THAT WAS A FAST TRACK AND THEY HAD SOME OF THE BEST RACES THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN.
Chuck Renshaw

AOL

#5 Sep 30, 2008
I too was just a boy when my dad Charles ( Charlie ) RENSHAW not only raced #66 but had the wrecker service for the track from county wide wreckers on main street. I am looking for old pictures from that time of the races held there. If any one has any and would like to shear then please e-mail me at [email protected] They had some of the best cars at that track.
thank you
Rich Gannon

Beverly, MA

#6 Dec 25, 2008
Can tell me if you have on file any pictures or stories about a dirt track driver who ran shine and raced down in Georga and Alabama in the late 30's till the 50's. His real name was Michael E Gannon, but he went by various names like Earl Ganns , and Mickey Earl. He called his place the Fast Gas Garage, and also was known as Fast Ethyl.
He drove a 34 Ford 3 and 5 window and ran a lincoln flat head and in later years ran a 50's Caddy engine. At one time his car had the name Caddilac Lightning on it. He used to say dirt track was practice but running shine had to be in your blood. Shine runnig involved both right and left had turns.
The Lightning was actually his product. I only met him twice, both times on summer vacation. Once was in 1953 when my farther drove one of my cousins and me to visit him, in my farthers brand new Super 88, 1953 Olds. You should have seen his face when he rode in that Olds. In hind site I think my farther was lucky to get out of there before his uncle stole the engine out of the 53 Olds.He was one of my gradfathers brothers, and I am in my late 60's so it was a long time ago but I was going over so stuff before I retire and move south and I was showing things to my grandsons.
Ski Markowski

Orlando, FL

#7 Jul 2, 2010
My name is “Ski” Markowski. Back in the mid to late 50’s I was approached by a shipmate of mine, Herb Kuebler” and was asked if I would be interested in volunteering to do some work on a race car.
I was introduced to a an ‘ol’ mechanic named Red Moore who had a junk yard on Normandy Blvd in Jacksonville, Fl. It was near Herlong Field but later moved further out Normandy Blvd closer to the Cecil Field Naval Air Station. Both Herb and I were stationed at Cecil Field in the Navy and we were career oriented. We were both aircraft engine mechanics.
We commenced working on the car, I being a fledgeling engine mechanic and Herb did most of the body work. I believed the car was a 32 something or other and we also had a 5 window coupe. Our driver, who hung around the garage and convinced Red Moore he should drive was Leeroy Yarbrough.
After I finished assembling the 348 GM engine, Red would do the final adjustments to timing. We also had a gentlemen named John Schooler who came out to the garage, listened to the engine and recommended a cam that he thought would give the engine more power. It took three tries. Any one looking for a John Schooler Decal might search the local Jacksonville papers around the late 50’s and look for Leeroy’s car, No 39. I’m quite sure there is a Schooler Decal on it. I had a lot of pictures. They were all slides and I lost 80% during my Navy transfers.
Little did anyone know that we had the 348 bored out to 4.25 and at that particular time we were running three two barrels. I had taken apart the carbs and reamed the main metering jets about .005 over their spec. I believe the carbs were Stromberg 97’s. The follwing year they made us switch to four barrels.
All this was being done between races and Leeroy showed that he could definitely drive. The first year went rather slow. But in later years we won the Southeastern Dirt track Championship two tears in a row. We raced at Speedway park in Jax, Waycross, Ga and Baxley, Ga.
In one of the races in Waycross, GA a left front axle broke and the tire and wheel went racing off to the stands. The crowd roared. Leeroy came down the straight-away with the brake backing plate plowing a furrow. We signaled him to Rev the engine and the torque of the engine lifted that front wheel up. Our nearest competitor was only a few feet away and that’s as close as he got. Leeroy went on to win the race on three wheels.
Rachel Singer

Marshall, MO

#8 Jul 30, 2010
Hi everyone, I found this site about an old dirt track in Missouri. A lot of great pictures and info on it.

www.sportsmansspeedwaymarshall.com
jack g king

Carbondale, IL

#9 Aug 26, 2010
went to first race at jax speedway on lennox ave in 1946 it was originally a half mi track but later was cut down there were a few hudsons there that day but mostly flat head fords track was pure mud
i went to last race there i think was 74 but not sure , i was navy at nas jax then in 46 i mean was a sancrab in 74 bro law bud terry was my bro inlaw then he raced his dad got leroy to racing then46 hi name was bunk terry while stationed at oceana va i used to pit crew for joe weatherly 1950 used to run nascar dirt jax side no 09 70to 74 i run chevelles late models shugart is the best there is have fun
Bob Williams

United States

#10 Jun 7, 2011
I raced at jaxvil 1972 in the grand nat'l east div.A lot of cup drivers in that race. I think that was the last grand nat'l race run on dirt by NASCAR. Another sub, anyone know a FL driver named Ken Elliott? He drove sprints around the Tampa Orlando area. If you have info please email me at: [email protected] Thanks Bob
Chuck Renshaw

Merritt Island, FL

#11 Jan 18, 2012
Ski Hi;
Would like to see any pictures you might have of Speedway Park. My Father was Charlie Renshaw and Leeroy also drove for my dad their, in the mid 1950's. I have some picturtes of my dad and his car and the wrecker at Speedwaypark but could use some more. you can email me at [email protected] again thank you for your time and help.
Chuck
Ski Markowski wrote:
My name is “Ski” Markowski. Back in the mid to late 50’s I was approached by a shipmate of mine, Herb Kuebler” and was asked if I would be interested in volunteering to do some work on a race car.
I was introduced to a an ‘ol’ mechanic named Red Moore who had a junk yard on Normandy Blvd in Jacksonville, Fl. It was near Herlong Field but later moved further out Normandy Blvd closer to the Cecil Field Naval Air Station. Both Herb and I were stationed at Cecil Field in the Navy and we were career oriented. We were both aircraft engine mechanics.
We commenced working on the car, I being a fledgeling engine mechanic and Herb did most of the body work. I believed the car was a 32 something or other and we also had a 5 window coupe. Our driver, who hung around the garage and convinced Red Moore he should drive was Leeroy Yarbrough.
After I finished assembling the 348 GM engine, Red would do the final adjustments to timing. We also had a gentlemen named John Schooler who came out to the garage, listened to the engine and recommended a cam that he thought would give the engine more power. It took three tries. Any one looking for a John Schooler Decal might search the local Jacksonville papers around the late 50’s and look for Leeroy’s car, No 39. I’m quite sure there is a Schooler Decal on it. I had a lot of pictures. They were all slides and I lost 80% during my Navy transfers.
Little did anyone know that we had the 348 bored out to 4.25 and at that particular time we were running three two barrels. I had taken apart the carbs and reamed the main metering jets about .005 over their spec. I believe the carbs were Stromberg 97’s. The follwing year they made us switch to four barrels.
All this was being done between races and Leeroy showed that he could definitely drive. The first year went rather slow. But in later years we won the Southeastern Dirt track Championship two tears in a row. We raced at Speedway park in Jax, Waycross, Ga and Baxley, Ga.
In one of the races in Waycross, GA a left front axle broke and the tire and wheel went racing off to the stands. The crowd roared. Leeroy came down the straight-away with the brake backing plate plowing a furrow. We signaled him to Rev the engine and the torque of the engine lifted that front wheel up. Our nearest competitor was only a few feet away and that’s as close as he got. Leeroy went on to win the race on three wheels.
Bob Sheffield

Alachua, FL

#12 Apr 11, 2012
I remember as a boy,i would go with my dad to speedway park on lenox avenue,in the early,60s,all the guys called me the little "Coolie"short for helper,i thought. i can remember it like it was yesterday. i believe Herb Spivey,drove Dads #77 coupe,when he was hit by another driver,and tore the front end off from the firewall.it was scary,although he was,ok. Those were the days.
Jax Racer

Riverdale, GA

#13 Feb 22, 2013
My grandfather raced out at Jax Speedway Park in the 60s. His car was #42 and light blue I believe. His name was Jerry Hamilton. He was a local that lived on Normandy Blvd. I'm looking for old racing pictures of him. Thanks.
Back in the Day

Pittsburgh, PA

#14 Apr 17, 2013
We always went to Speedway Park anytime the gates opened.I was just a kid and My Dad had race cars and they were Plymouth's.The first race they ran, they hadn't tied it down good enough, so from then forth it was nicknamed the "Plymouth Rock".The Driver was Carlyle Wilbur, but the announcer had so much trouble pronouncing His name right, He was renamed "Claude Wilbur".I'm afraid We will never see Days like that again, as those were some really good times. In those Days We drove the Car to the Track and raced it and then drove it back Home and used it for Our daily transportation.My first date with My Wife was at Speedway Park, so I still have so many Memories of there, Good and Bad, as I witnessed quite a few lives lost there also. I also knew a few Ladies who ran in the "Powder Puff" Derbies. The number on Dad's Cars was #1 and Eddie Bland was the Track Promoter, and of course this was starting in the 40's, the starter was Eddie Eng.[Not sure of the spelling]. Wouldn't trade anything for those Memories.
Robert Michael Jr

Jacksonville, FL

#15 May 26, 2013
My dad owned the M&B Wesconnett Garage 1964-85. He had a car #51 that Buck Buchanan drove for a couple of years at Jax speedway. Ernie Barnes was one of the chief mechanics that eventually went on to be a machinist at auto parts and machine with Stan "The Man" Brown
rcmcglone

AOL

#16 Nov 15, 2013
Who remember the number 39. It was out of moores auto junk yard. It had eldon yardbobo driving it. We won many races at Jackson
Sogent01

Carrollton, TX

#17 Jun 19, 2015
Ski Markowski wrote:
My name is “Ski” Markowski. Back in the mid to late 50’s I was approached by a shipmate of mine, Herb Kuebler” and was asked if I would be interested in volunteering to do some work on a race car.
I was introduced to a an ‘ol’ mechanic named Red Moore who had a junk yard on Normandy Blvd in Jacksonville, Fl. It was near Herlong Field but later moved further out Normandy Blvd closer to the Cecil Field Naval Air Station. Both Herb and I were stationed at Cecil Field in the Navy and we were career oriented. We were both aircraft engine mechanics.
We commenced working on the car, I being a fledgeling engine mechanic and Herb did most of the body work. I believed the car was a 32 something or other and we also had a 5 window coupe. Our driver, who hung around the garage and convinced Red Moore he should drive was Leeroy Yarbrough.
After I finished assembling the 348 GM engine, Red would do the final adjustments to timing. We also had a gentlemen named John Schooler who came out to the garage, listened to the engine and recommended a cam that he thought would give the engine more power. It took three tries. Any one looking for a John Schooler Decal might search the local Jacksonville papers around the late 50’s and look for Leeroy’s car, No 39. I’m quite sure there is a Schooler Decal on it. I had a lot of pictures. They were all slides and I lost 80% during my Navy transfers.
Little did anyone know that we had the 348 bored out to 4.25 and at that particular time we were running three two barrels. I had taken apart the carbs and reamed the main metering jets about .005 over their spec. I believe the carbs were Stromberg 97’s. The follwing year they made us switch to four barrels.
All this was being done between races and Leeroy showed that he could definitely drive. The first year went rather slow. But in later years we won the Southeastern Dirt track Championship two tears in a row. We raced at Speedway park in Jax, Waycross, Ga and Baxley, Ga.
In one of the races in Waycross, GA a left front axle broke and the tire and wheel went racing off to the stands. The crowd roared. Leeroy came down the straight-away with the brake backing plate plowing a furrow. We signaled him to Rev the engine and the torque of the engine lifted that front wheel up. Our nearest competitor was only a few feet away and that’s as close as he got. Leeroy went on to win the race on three wheels.
"Ski", chances are good too that you had the engine balanced by Jim Donovan in Jacksonville. I remember Leroy Yarbrough too and my first car was purchased by my father Jim from Red who was a good friend of Dad's. Oh, thanks for your service to our Country too. JTD

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