HEDGER: The Long Look


While he sold the directory from a table behind the stands at first, Allen soon learned that he would sell three or four times as many by hawking the NSD in the stands “the same way that Chris Economaki had National Speed Sport News sold.” And by going to tracks in all parts of the nation, Brown got to update the directions and make it easier for fans to find the various speedways.

“We found that the directions the tracks themselves gave us were highly inaccurate, so we started doing our own,” Brown said. “Most of them never considered using the safest route for the big haulers and some didn’t even seem to know where their track was actually located.”

Brown figures he has stopped by some 2,300 tracks in his travels and has seen racing at over 1,300 of them. Club members were awed when he told them he’s seen racing at nearby East Bay Raceway Park some 60 times and had been to Williams Grove Speedway 30 times and Washington’s Skagit Speedway 50 times.

“And I think I’ve probably been to more tracks that are now closed than most fans have been to that are operating,” he summed up with a laugh.

While he is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2009, Brown told the fans that he loves all types of racing and has recently been enthralled with the off-road trucks.

While answering questions about his travels, he tipped that after travelling for years in a Ford Pinto, he and Nancy advanced to a series of Ford Aerostar mini vans with camping equipment in the back. They are currently working their way outward from their Midwest base, making sure they have hit every track in each state as they thoroughly enjoy “retirement.” 2013 saw them hit 54 races around the nation and 2014 will be bigger yet.

Allen also touched on the many great fans he has become friends with in his travels, among them the late Super Fan Gary Jacob of California. On a related note, we’re about to start writing SuperFans 2013, so get your last-minute entries to us at [email protected] immediately.

Keep an eye out for Allen and Nancy at your local speedway this year and if you see them, thank them both for their contributions to the sport. They more than deserve it!


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Ron Hedger
A veteran of nearly 40 years with SPEED SPORT, Hedger has also covered auto racing for the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette and was a contributor to Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.