Author Archive
Stories written by Jim_Thurman

Stuntman, Racer Louis Tomei Became Indy Specialist

AT INDY: Louis Tomei in the cockpit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946. (Radbruch Collection Courtesy Bob Lawrence Photo)

Another of the characters who made Indianapolis racing what it was in the first half of the last century, Louis Tomei led a colorful life both on and off the track.

Built In 1958, Vaca Valley Raceway Still Sits Idle

SITTING IDLE: The outline of Vaca Valley Raceway can still be seen in the countryside between Sacramento and San Francisco. (Dann Shively Photo)

Sitting just off of Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and San Francisco are the remains of a multi-purpose raceway waiting for someone to step in and rescue it.

Speed Hinkley Made Mark In Early Days Dirt Racing

IN THE SEAT: California dirt-track driver Byron W. “Speed” Hinkley in 1930. (Jim Thurman Collection Photo)

Born Byron W. Hinkley in Elba, Neb., Oct. 28, 1898, Hinkley would come to be known as “Speed” on the California dirt tracks he raced on in the late 1920s and early ’30s. Growing up on the family farm near Elba, Hinkley began his racing career on fairground tracks in Nebraska — Kearney, St. Paul […]

Winged Sportsman Cars Ruled California In Mid 1970s

DIFFERENT BREED: Sportsman cars line up for action at California’s Merced Speedway in the mid 1970s. (Photo Courtesy Marshall Weaver)

One of the most interesting things about short-track racing is the evolution of local rules, which created some fascinating offshoots, perhaps none more so than the unique sportsman division of central California.

Bay Meadows Horse Track Had Grand Auto-Racing History

HORSEPOWER: A full field of race cars charges through turn one at California's Bay Meadows race track. (Radbruch Collection Courtesy Bob Lawrence Photo)

The history of U.S. auto racing is firmly rooted in fairgrounds dirt ovals — tracks originally built for horses. Though far less common, some privately owned horse tracks hosted auto races.

CAMRA Played Key Role In Open-Wheel Racing History

CAMRA Played Key Role In Open-Wheel Racing History

If producing great racing and graduating drivers to higher levels is the yardstick, then the supermodified group known as the Canadian American Modified Racing…

Californian Ivan Baldwin Could Make A Stock-Car Chassis Work

Californian Ivan Baldwin Could Make A Stock-Car Chassis Work

One of the top stock-car racers to come out of Southern California, Ivan “The Terrible” Baldwin was the scourge of the Southern California NASCAR…

Mel Hansen Became Frequent Midget Winner

Mel Hansen Became Frequent Midget Winner

One of the first midget racers to graduate to Indianapolis, Mel Hansen enjoyed great success on the nation’s ovals until a crash ended his…

‘The Peruvian Flash’ Was Brief But Shining Star

‘The Peruvian Flash’ Was Brief But Shining Star

INDY MAN: Manny Ayulo after qualifying for his fourth and final Indy 500 in 1954. (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) Manny Ayulo is sadly forgotten today,…

Silvergate Speedway Produced Future Superstar Drivers

Silvergate Speedway Produced Future Superstar Drivers

AT THE GATE: Bayliss Levrett battles Howdy Cox at California’s Silvergate Speedway in 1935. (Radbruch Collection Courtesy Bob Lawrence Photo) In 1933, a group…

Stay Connected!

Join our mailing list to receive the Daily News Update, Special Offers from NSSN or our trusted partners, or BOTH! You can opt-out anytime and we promise not to spam you!
Email:

Please Support NSSN’s Sponsors




Follow NSSN On Facebook!