PUSH TRUCK INFO PAGES
PHOTO GALLERYS AND SPECIAL SHOWS
SPECIAL BUILT PUSH TRUCKS
I recently walked through the pit and observed a young woman putting on makeup using her reflection in a stainless race car trailer for a mirror. One would have been hard pressed to find even a bug spec on this eighteen wheel highly polished race car hauler. Lots of dollars invested here to say nothing of the contents which undoubtedly equal the value of the hauler. But it is necessary for this kind of investment to put on a show for the paying fans, or is it?
Is it more impressive today to field a mass produced, off the shelf race car, differentiated only by it’s graphics than a handmade, highly chromed, one of a kind show piece of days gone by? There was a time when cars were treasured for many seasons, sometimes decades as opposed to the throw away cars of today. Whether it was a midget, sprint car or a champ car, you could actually see the driver at work as opposed to a rare glimpse of a helmet if the car is right in front of you today. But of course the 900 hp beasts of today put on a better show right? Well, yes they are a couple of seconds faster than their predecessors, but is the competition better? It sure was great to see your favorite driver fighting the wheel (no power steering) with diamond digger tires throwing rooster tails high into the air. Yes they were sideways too and wilder to point in the desired direction than today’s machines. I can’t remember anyone in the stands, in earlier days, saying “I wish these things were a couple of seconds faster”. I wonder how many of the big dollar “shoes” of today could put on an open face helmet, a folded handkerchief and a pair of goggles and go run a hundred laps in one of the contrary animals of yesteryear.
The enclosed haulers everyone now must have are a far cry from the open trailers that carried the car, a few tires and four fuel cans. Most of us that towed these homemade trailers with the car proudly advertising the fact that this was a real race car, not some sedan with the glass removed and a number painted on the side, and we knew we were being watched. Often folks would follow us to the race track. Fueling up always meant you had to figure in time to take questions from admiring onlookers. The race car openly displayed on the trailer was a real testimonial to our intentions as opposed to a printed advertisement on a rolling billboard. I realize that the traveling series need their shops with them but we covered many states with what we could carry on the open trailer. Often someone was sent several hundred miles home to pick up a motor from the shop which would be installed under a tree in some race track or motel parking lot. Somehow it got done and the car was in the show at the end of the day. It wasn’t pretty but it got done. Sleep was often a memory from two or more days past. A hot shower was often a memory from the distant past as well.
Cheap motels were a treat and the order of the day whenever possible. Many nights were spent sleeping in front of a pickup, sometimes with a couple of your closest friends. Motorcoaches were not even a vision at the time. Lots of meals were shared in greasy spoon diners rather than in the kitchen of your own motorhome. In my experience, Bobby Allen’s shop often became home on a Friday or Saturday night. Likewise the late Don Martin’s truck shop for the travelers coming to Lernerville. Racers and fans alike would welcome traveling teams in need of a place to work or rest up for a night. No matter the part of the country, there would be an invitation to recoup for the next event. It sure is more comfortable today. We like pulling over, starting the generator, putting something in the microwave and watching a bit of tv. We did however survive the earlier days and have the memories to prove it.
V8 60’s gave way to Offys that gave way to Chevys that were replaced by the high dollar motors of today. Most of the drivers of 2013 never heard of the names Kuzma, Hillegass, Floyd Trevis, Curtis, Pop Dreyer or some of the other builders of what are now museum pieces. You could race all season for what today’s guys spend on tires. When we do the DAARA vintage shows we get to once again hear the roar of the mighty Offys and even see a race car being transported on an open trailer. My concern is, that as us senior citizens fade into the sunset are we the final generation that will treasure our racing history. Will the hand made roaring pieces of history survive future generations or will they expire under the weight of the chrusher to be recycled into disposable 21st century throwaway appliances. It is my hope that we can instill the value of racing history to the younger set, but I would not stake the farm on it. Each day pictures, films, cars and the people that made them famous are being lost forever. Okay, enough of the reminiscing of seasons long gone. Everything is better now, right? Families, values, government, entertainment, music, racing. Maybe your perspective depends on how many seasons you have under your belt.
Yes, we should be on the road by now but our ministry obligations have us a bit delayed. We are experiencing withdrawals from not smelling alcohol, and tasting a bit of race track dirt but that will come. Nancy and I hope it is you that we get to see somewhere along the way. Remember, if you would like to participate in the restoration of the Tom Hagar modified or be part of our ministry in some other way, just contact us through the information on our web site. Until next time, God bless and see you at the races.
Many seasons, okay, many, many seasons past, my dad took me regularly to the long since defunked Greater Pittsburgh Speedway. One of the rising stars in the supermodified division was a young kid from Hartford, Ohio named Lou Blaney. He piloted a white #10 coupe with Cadillac power. It stood out not only for the fact that it was usually near the front of the field, but by the distinct whine that it made when going down the straights of the quarter mile oval.
I began racing there as the coupes were giving way to the caged sprint cars in the early 1960’s. Blaney was by then driving the white Blaney Lumber #10 Trevis, and his regional success soon led to the forming of a three car team known as the “three white mice”. The other cars were driven by Gib Orr and Dale Johnson respectively. Upon arrival from Hartford, Ohio, Lou would back his Chevy convertible against the pit fence and Kate would often be seen changing diapers of the next Blaney generation on the back seat. Lou was always helpful as I was learning the ropes and ever remained the gentleman racer. The last time I talked with Lou about old times was after one of his last modified wins at Mercer. Again, Lou always had time for a friend.
The Blaney sons Dave and Dale, both basketball standouts in high school are well known in their own racing careers. Dave, former WOO and USAC Silver Crown Champ, pilots the Tommy Baldwin #7 in the Nascar Sprint Cup series and Dale is a three time All Star sprint car champ and consistent winner everywhere he races.
Dave took the Casey Luna Vivarin Ford that was called the “penalty box” by previous drivers to a World of Outlaws championship. Dave had campaigned his own #10 in Pennsylvania and Ohio before taking his show on the road. His sprint car trophies include 2 Kings Royal and a Knoxville Nationals mantle piece. Dave never got the big multi-team deal in Nascar but is consistent competitor and a trusted drafting partner of many drivers through his long Nascar tenure. Recently, when the Nascar contingent had a weekend off for Easter, Dave got in his own #10 sprint car and took the win at Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway opener. He had also won the Port’s opener in 1984. Some things you just don’t forget.
Talking to tall, quiet Dale is very much like talking to Lou. After a standout basketball career at WVU, Dale has been successful with the World of Outlaws and the All Star Circuit of Champions. He has been All Star champion 3 times, Lernerville champion, won the Kings Royal and multiple times, Ohio Speed Week champion. From Pennsylvania to Knoxville, when Dale and the George Fisher TI-2 pull in, drivers know that very possibly they will be moving back a spot at the end of the night. While older brother Dave was winning at Port Royal, Dale was winning opening night at Attica, Ohio. Dale quipped after winning Attica, when he learned of Dave’s victory, that it might not be a good thing for the Ohio guys if Dave decided to run a lot of sprint shows in the area. Lou would certainly have had to be proud of his boys on this Saturday night.
If this Blaney legacy is not enough, here comes another one. Dave’s son Ryan is already making waves in the Nascar world. He is the full time driver of Brad Keselowski’s No.29 Cooper Standard Ford in the Camping World Truck Series. Ryan is in the Penske development program and will drive the Penske Discount Tire Ford in select Nationwide events in 2013. It appears the Blaney name will be prominent in the racing world for quite some time.
With roots at Sharon Speedway, the country’s dirt tracks and two generations of Nascar, the Blaney name and reputation are synonymous with racing success.. Bob Blaney, brother of Lou was multi-year champ of Sharon Speedway’s late model division. Bob lost his life in a racing accident in the late 1960s. I am fortunate to have spent many years racing with Lou, and also have raced with both Dave and Dale. One is hard pressed to hear anything not complimentary about any of the Blaney racing clan. Still the memories of the tall kid in the white Cadillac powered coupe come to mind. I can almost hear the whine as it streaked down the back straight over a half a century ago.
Speaking about vintage stuff, which I wasn’t, we missed the North Florida Speedway hosting of our Daytona Antique Auto Racing Assoc. group due to ministry commitments. Glad to hear Jimmy Jeep is again ready to push off with his recently repaired trusty Jeep after hit number two. Each time we attend one of our DAARA events it is a weekend of stories like those of the Blaney family. To be around and get to drive some of these storied cars is great but to hear the war stories of some of these heroes of seasons past is even greater. We are still putting together our travel plans for the current season but hope to see you somewhere along the way. Again, a race track wedding makes a great start of a life together of two people dedicated to racing. We are available as our schedule permits. In the mean time, we look forward to meeting you somewhere along the way. So, until then, God bless and see you at the races.
This 1968 Culbert Automotive Engineering (CAE) Sprint Car and enclosed trailer was stolen from the locked fenced in yard at Import Specialties 2100 Rosewood Dr. Columbia, SC the evening of October 8, 2009.
The race car and equipment was stored inside of a 2007 LA CARGO "FREEDOM" 7x16 foot Enclosed Trailer, Which was also stolen.
The Trailer: Serial #5TTBE16277D001946, white in color, equipped with tandem axles, a walk in door on the curb side and a ramp/door on the back, it may have some damage on the right side .
Contact Rich Hoffman at: