Florida Cracker 200

curious to hear about this race, the history, news about this years event, & who have you heard is competing this year? thx. in advance

Back in the 80’s - this was one of the first big races i recall going to as a kid. Leroy Porter/Rogers/Jack Cook and the other locals at the time along with many big names. Great race.

The race used to be on a November Sunday afternoon, between the Governor’s Cup and the Snowball Derby. Guys like Trickle, Pearson, Hanley, Malcuit, Eddy, Lindley, Ridley, and many, many more of the best the short track Late Model world had to offer, would stick around and spend the month in Florida - back when you could afford to. Don’t really remember who all won this thing…

I just Googled “Florida Cracker 200”, and see that Joe Ruttman won it in '85, followed by Rogers, LeRoy, and Jack Cook.

This pic is from the '79 race. Balough, Trickle, and I think Lindley.

Here’s Lindley on the track in the same race:

[SIZE=“4”]Florida Cracker 200[/SIZE]
Past Winners - On Record:

1998 - Bruce Lawrence
1997 - David Russell
1996 - James Powell
1995 - David Russell
1994 - (Possibly No Race)
1993 - (Possibly No Race)
1992 - Pete Orr
1991 - Dick Anderson
1990 - Bobby Cook
1989 - Jerry Cook
1988 - Lee Roy Porter
1987 - Jack Sprauge
1986 - Daniel Keene
1985 - Joe Ruttman
1984 - Bruce Lawrence
1983 - Lee Roy Porter
1982 - David Rogers
1981 - Gary Balough
1980 - Junior Hanley
1979 - Dick Trickle
1978 - John Anderson

Some old Cracker 200 pix:

  1. Dick Trickle on his way to winning in 1979…
  2. Junior Hanley won in 1980…
  3. Gary Balough gets in Billie Harvey’s car after he wrecked his primary machine just after the green flag (tangled with Vance Murray - this is from either 1980 or 81…
  4. Joe Nemechek passes David Rogers to finish second in 1988
  5. 1988 winner Leroy Porter…

Dick Trickle - Cracker 200 - 1978.jpg

1980 Cracker 200 winner Junior Hanley Jim Jones Photo.jpg

Gary Balough gets set to race Billy Harvey_s car in the Cracker 200_.JPG

1988 Cracker 200 - Joe Nemecheck passes David Rogers on his way to a second place finish _Rick Battl.jpg

Leroy Porter after his win in the 1988 Cracker 200 Buddy Bryan Photo.jpg

would love to see the payout or the purse for the event back then, if any of you guys could find it…Thanks Joe

1995 was $5000 to win

In the late '70s or early '80s, the race was part of a “J.W. Hunt $100,000 Florida Spectacular” triple-crown-type weekend (the Governor’s Cup wasn’t run in '80), with Palm Beach on Friday night, St. Pete on Saturday, and New Smyrna for the Cracker 200 on Sunday afternoon. Each of the three races paid $10,000 to win (the two Friday- and Saturday-night races were 100-lappers). The total purse for all three races was $100,000.

Here’s a link for results from Palm Beach in 1981 (says it was race #2 in the series; it very well could have been. This was an All-Pro Super Series points-paying race in December, '81. This one also looks like it was twin 100s):

I don’t understand why the payout was so much higher back then. the cost of tires and fuel should have been 75 percent less then it is now?.

[QUOTE=chevyj31;122336]I don’t understand why the payout was so much higher back then. the cost of tires and fuel should have been 75 percent less then it is now?.[/QUOTE]Because it was J.W. Hunt… LOL…the man owned or sponsored some super World of Outlaws sprint cars and dirt Late Models (Rodney Combs comes to mind); he was “the Strawberry King” and put up the money. Not sure if the race tracks and promoters themselves paid into those purses.

Back then, you could actually make money running a short track Late Model (only year we made money racing was 1981, when we won 18 features between two tracks…LOL). Payouts were $1,000 to win a 25-lapper weekly show, with 30+ Late Models in the pits every week. Now, you’re lucky to see a dozen at a weekly show.

And now they pay six or seven hundred and the cars cost thousands more to build and run …no more build your own anything…

Todays tracks are simply capitalizing on our inherrant need for speed. Further proof of this are some of the ridiculous entry fees that are charged. I note on a web site that covers primarily Georgia that promoters in that state are now charging entry fees that are along the line of Florida fees. You do not see this type of gouging in our northern and Midwestern tracks. In Indiana Pennsylvania and Ohio you would be laughed out of the sport.

I also would like to find out what the tire (hoosier 10 inch slick) and fuel (110 octaine) cost for racing was 20-30 years ago, when they were paying the big purses. I can remember paying 80.00 for a 10 slick at Desoto in the late 80’s. Now I think they are up to about 150-175 each?? Not real sure?