Just Before The End...

The last few articles on the old Fort Pierce Speedway…

that’s funny. Eau Gallie and Fort Pierce were closed up so that apartments could be built.

and those apartments NEVER were built at either location.

they kind of goofed up Ron’s name as well.

Is that the Angle Road Raceway, or the other one on Orange Ave. Ext.?

Also,the actual remaines of Eau Galle Raceway just got developed last year with commercial warehouses, however the entire pit area off the back stretch was developed into a housing subdivision 25 years ago, or so.

That was the one on Angle Rd. The Orange Ave. track was gone long before 74. Like Todd said they never built the apartments most of the track is still there except for the fourth turn it was dug up to put a storage facility in boy do I miss that place.


In the second picture the #8 is driven by David Seeright

[SIZE=“4”]We only ventured over to this speedway one time for a
100-lap Late Model Championship but we managed
to grab the win when we did…among other things.

The year was 1967.

I started driving Tornado cars later that year however
at this time I was still crewing for my Brother-in-Law,
Kenny Faircloth, who won this race with ?Ol Midnight?,
his 1957 Chevrolet Late Model with a big block.

Here are the only two pics I have of that night.

In this shot I?m on the left with the flag, Kenny is in
center and his cousin Stevie is on the right.

In this shot left to right again is me, Kenny, two track officials
(I have no idea who they are) then Stevie again just barely in the frame.

The comment ?among other things? above refers to the incident
after the race going back home to Largo.

Still high on the win, we decided to stop in a jook-joint in
Okeechobee on the way back and indulge ourselves with
fried catfish and beer (heavy emphasis on the latter).

I don?t remember what month it was but I do remember that
it was colder than he!! so it must?ve been early in the year.

So with your?s truly behind the wheel of Kenny?s brand new
Chevrolet pickup, Stevie sitting in the middle cradling the trophy
in his lap and Kenny on the passenger side, we proceeded west
towards home with the heater on full blast.

Anybody remember the scene in Chevy Chase?s movie National
Lampoon Vacation where the Griswold?s are on their way to Wally
World and the camera pans around the car at all the family members
that are sleeping, including the driver, while they?re going down the interstate?

Well, due to the long day and the heater blowing full blast
(the beer consumed had nothing to do with it!) that scene
fit us later that night.

While crossing over from SR-70 to SR-64 on 675 I fell asleep
and ran right off the dead-end at the intersection at full speed.

Never even put down 1-foot of skid marks.

The upside was that there was no structures or buildings on the
other side of that intersection at the time to run into, just a fairly
deep drainage ditch than an open field which is where we ended up,
quite a ways off the highway.

The downside was that all the vehicles and equipment was pretty
much destroyed whereas the racer came off the trailer and up into
the bed of the pickup, ending up with the front bumper just a foot
or so off the back of the cab which laid both sides of the
bed down almost flat.

Worse than that though were the injuries. I had the least problems
with a broken nose and some teeth out of whack from hitting the
steering wheel. Kenny had severe facial lacerations from the
windshield and when I hollered out ?is everyone OK?? and looked
over at him I was horrified at what I saw. I thought he was the
worst but he wasn?t.

Stevie, who had been sitting between us with the trophy
between his legs, had fallen asleep with the top of the trophy
resting against his neck.

Unknown to me at the time when I got out of the truck to survey
the damage, the trophy had severed a major artery in his neck.

I know it sounds stupid and I can only blame the shock / stupor I
was in but I walked around the front of the truck and was looking
at the damage when I felt warm fluid hitting me periodically on the
face and shirt.

Funny how stuff like this sticks in your mind but I remember looking
at it on my shirt and thinking that it must be automatic transmission
fluid from the busted radiator but it wasn?t.

To my horror it was Stevie?s blood spurting out through the hole
where the windshield used to be all over the hood with every heartbeat.

Kenny was frantically trying to slow it down with shop towels and
hollered out that Stevie?s in trouble here, we gotta do something fast!

I made my way back to the road, stood in the center and started
trying to flag down someone for help. The first two cars slowed
then sped away, however the third car, full of people heading home
after partying all night, stopped to help.

I don?t know how this area looks now but at the time it was very
desolate with no lights anywhere. I had no idea where the closest
help might be so I asked them to take me to the nearest phone so
I could call for help. They took me to a farmhouse a few miles down
the road where I banged on the front door until they came out and
then graciously let me use the phone.

The people that gave me the ride took me back to the scene
where the ambulance arrived just a few minutes afterwards.

Kenny and I both rode in the ambulance with Stevie where the EMT?s
worked to stop the bleeding in Stevie’s neck until they could get us
to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Thank God Stevie ended up fine and had a full recovery. He later went
on to attend a Seminary school in Georgia and I often wondered if the
wreck had anything to do with that decision.

Well, I learned a valuable lesson that night;
if you?re gonna drink and drive;

Just kidding??.




That sounds like you all had one hell of a night…lol…

Hey Jim was it the in thing to wear your wrist watch all the way up on your biceps like that or what… LOL…

I know The Chicks loved it…LOL…


dang, Jim.

that could have been a HEAVY thing to have to live with.

[SIZE=4]I had the least problems with a broken nose and some teeth out of whack from hitting the steering wheel.

[/SIZE]i wouldn’t be surprised by some sort of concussion as well.

i think this is the intersection, here:

I heard that Todd.

I dodged a major bullet on this one.

On second thought, more like a Howitzer Shell??.

BTW - Great to finally make your acquaintance the other night
at A-Dale Todd & always good to see Boneman as well.[/SIZE]

I love that 1968 photo from Golden Gate Jim… Never have I seen a more “excited” winner!!!

Jim, you really ought to write a book, I kid you not! You have a really good writing style and ton’s of pictures, articles and such to chronical your stories. I know I’d darn sure buy a copy. I really look forward to your posts on this board. Brings back some great memories of a bygone era and ton’s of insight on the life and times of a local short track hero. You add so much more color to your stories besides who won what where and who did what to who. The personal touches are what really does it for me. Adds a richness and texture you don’t often find in these kinds of stories.

[SIZE=“4”]Thanks so much for the kind words Ted.

My short-track career, such as it was, was very short
compared to most that had some success due to some
life?s choices I made back then which I?ve chronicled a
little here on Karnac, that I thought was the right thing
to do at the time, and still think was the right decision
given the circumstances.

So posting some history here from time to time along with
a little humor is fun and hopefully helps keep
?the way it used to be? in perspective.

That said, now that I?ve gotten back out there to a few
tracks to watch some friends and relatives race after
35-some years of being away from it, I really miss being
involved with it.

Along with that though I?ve come to find out that I make a lousy fan.

I give the geriatric crowd a lot of credit that are still out
there competing and running up front. Guys like Sonny Hartley,
Dave Dunkin, Buzzie, ?Young? Joe Winchell (I still owe ya one Joe)
just to name a few and I know there?s many more.

Anyway, thanks again Ted. Much appreciated man.

Isn?t that a classic expression?

Looks like something out of an old
Cheech & Chong movie doesn?t it?

I?ll fall back on an old Clinton-ism here with;
?I never inhaled?.


I agree Jim.

Write a book I’ll buy a copy too. I get so mad at myself, I was there and I can’t remember stuff. When you describe those old days it brings back my memories. Thanks Man. Bob…


I never meant to say you were old… when I mentioned I watched you race when I was a kid, I thought you started racing Late Models at age 10!
Hope to see you at NSS this weekend.
Your Buddy - Joe Winchell

[SIZE=“4”]BWAHAHAHAHAH…no worries Joe, I know who orchestrated that deal!

Like the man says; “you want a friend at the races, bring a dog”…

I’m hoping they’ll let me out at the home for the weekend so
I can come see you take it to them at NSS man!

In case they don’t, just know that the ol’ geezer will be rooting for ya!

BTW - Great stuff on your web site there Joe. I enjoyed it.