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Picturing the Past 107: Early dirt track racingPosted Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 1:43 PM
This early race car tears around a dirt track -- somewhere -- in 1948. Do you recognize this car, from memories or seeing old photos, and/or know its driver? (T-G archives)
Duck River Speedway was founded around 1973, and I've never heard talk of any dirt tracks here earlier. Of course, this may not have been necessarily shot in Bedford County. But from another point of view any large, empty field could have been used as an informal race track of sorts.
The photo, from the T-G archives, is date-stamped May 3, 1948 on the back.
Go here for a larger view.
And whoever's at the wheel of what appears to me to be a mid-1930s Ford was moving on; it appears that the rear tire may be completely off the ground. Hopefully someone can identify the driver.
I'd imagine there was little in the way of safety equipment on this early stock car; note that the door appears to be hanging crookedly. And from the dents on the car's side it appears it may have seen some previous close-quarters racing. But if you really blow up the photo it appears that the driver's wearing a helmet, though it looks to me almost like a football helmet.
Utility poles are visible in the background and what looks like the edge of a wooden grandstand is at right near what appears to be a pile of lumber.
Anyone remember the car's sponsor, Hix Service Station? Or Ray Gardner, who lettered the car's side?
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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