Lost Speedways Returns At Saratoga

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The 2014 edition of the extremely popular Lost Speedways program, set for Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, was shaping up to be an all-star event before the addition of the Jamie Moore-owned No. 8 Ball supermodified, driven by Jim Shampine, to SAM’s “Racing in New York” gallery.

“Along with six great presentations and our traditional memorabilia display, museum visitors will get a look at the Shampine radical offset built in the mid-1970’s that is still the design standard today,” said event organizer Ron Hedger. “For most race fans here in eastern New York, it’s a rare opportunity to see this car up close and appreciate the genius of Jim Shampine.”

The 2014 Lost Speedways program will feature a mix of both familiar and new presenters. The most recent to sign on was longtime NASCAR modified star Reggie Ruggiero, who will join with fellow driver Brian Ross to recall their era, which spanned both the period when every race counted towards the national modified championship and the current Tour format. They competed against and beat such superstars as Richie Evans, Jimmy Spencer and Mike Stefanik and have many great memories to share.

Motorcycle expert Mark Supley, who recently published a book on Capital District motorcycle racing, will be speaking about gone but not forgotten venues in the area. Two other familiar presenters, Bill Ladabouche and Ken Parrotte, will also be on hand. Bill will recall the old Pico, Vt. Speedway while Ken has been researching the original dirt Oswego Speedway and the first version of the ‘Steel Palace’s’ asphalt configuration.

“I obtained a few vintage photos from George Caruso, whose family ran Oswego for decades, so it should be very interesting. Most people don’t even know that the first track there was the Wine Creek dirt track,” added Hedger.

Newcomers to the Lost Speedways lineup will include award-winning racing journalist John Snyder and noted dirt modified builder Walt Schwinning.

“John will touch on the remarkable racing he saw near his hometown in New Jersey, close by the Flemington Fairgrounds and Harmony Speedway, and the short track at Nazareth, Pa. Many legends of the sport held forth there weekly, though they also ventured to New York for big events, and he knew them all,” said Hedger. “And Walt and I will be going through what we’re calling

‘Walt’s Dirty Dozen,’ a behind-the-scenes look at such notables as Lou Lazzaro, Jack Johnson, Tommy Corellis, Don Van Guilder and Tighe Scott, all of whom competed and won in Walt’s creations. But he’s only kidding when he says a dozen, as we immediately had more than that when we started a list.”

Lost Speedway attendees are always encouraged to bring their scrapbooks and other memorabilia to share prior to the start of the presentations and 2014 is no exception, with ample display tables to be set up in the museum’s Golub Gallery, where the newly opened “Luxury Automobiles Through the Ages” exhibit will be featured. Memorabilia and racing movies will commence at 11 am with the formal program set to go green at 12:30 pm.