This page will be dedicated to the memory of racers and people who have touched our lives.
In memory of Bob Consani. On this night Davey Hamilton drove his famous 4c Sprinter to Madera's Harvest Classic win in 2000. We will miss the 4c
Alex Pruett passed suddenly much too young in life. After reading his name in Arizona race results for many years we met him at a race at Stockton 99 Speedway we took a few photos and chatted for a few moments. We had been following his races results from Indiana and are saddened to learn of his passing may he Rest in Peace. May his race results continue in Heaven.
Ronnie Day takes a checkered flag lap for car owner Roger Henderson Sr. on the streightaway that his famous 7N has won many time
Kerry Madsen takes a memorial lap for long time Califorina car owner Dave Helm
In Memory of Australian Speedcar Champion Michael Figliomeni. (click photo to enlarge)
6-30-1948 - 6-26-2006
The West Coast racing world has been saddened since hearing of the news about of the passing of writer Gary Jacob. Gary started reporting on west coast racing from an early age and in his later years wrote close to one thousand stories a season documenting countless races and more importantly the story of those who participated. His overall knowledge of the sport was unparalleled. He knew facts about the drivers and their accomplishments most had long forgotten. Be it a young kart racer from Red Bluff to a senior late model racer from Petaluma or even a street stock driver with limited starts, Gary knew who they were and off the top of his head could flood you with info about them. Gary should be admired for his countless hours writing about not only the events he attended but others that no one else wanted to report on. He had the great ability to summarize an event without leaving out all the extra details about the drivers readers want to know. His collumns were a must read. He drove to promote the sport and it's racers equally. He strived to document as many races as he could and his written word will live on as a tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the sport he loved. The West Coast racing world will sorely miss writer Gary Jacob.
After reading his work in Racing Wheels for years I first met Gary at Manzanita Speedway during a Copper World weekend. He supported me when I started writing and running a website for Northern California Micro Sprint racing. From 1997 to 2001 he provided me with weekly race reports from all the micro sprint races and encouraged my efforts. We would annually run into each other during the racing season and Gary would fill me in on all the racing news. I was privileged to inform him of his win in the annual Ron Hedger Media Division class a few years ago at Tulare. He thought he had been beat out by fellow California writer Ron Rodda so he was surprised to hear he had attended a few more races than Rodda to post the win for attending the most events in a season. That was the last time our paths crossed and I am saddened that I won't encounter the big guy with his clipboard in hand again. We have lost a great supporter of racing. His untiring drive to document events that would otherwise be lost forever will live as a tribute to his dedication to the sport he loved. God Speed Gary Jacob. You will be missed by many!
Racing West has a self autobiography that Gary wrote HERE
Multi time Northern Sprint Tour Champion (11) Roger Crockett and fellow NST racer (33T) Jimmy Trulli run Memorial laps in memory of Northwest racer/promoter Fred Brownfield at the California Civil War event at Calistoga Speedway.(click photo to enlarge)
In Memory of Rory Price. Rory Price was a great racer we meet on his trips from WA. to race with USAC Western/BCRA Midgets. This photo is of him winning the Trophy Dash at Stockton 99 Speedway in 2002. Lets all remember him as a winner.
In Memory of Virgina Patterson. We were privileged to see her race weekly in the mini stock class at Delta Speedway This photo was of her only Trophy Dash win. She will be missed.
In memory of DJ Renwick one of the greatest photographers We will allways remember his trips to NARC Speedweek and shooting with him at the PAS. RIP DJ
IN MEMORY OF KEVIN DOTY
Kevin lost his life doing what he loved. We saw him race at Belleville many times as well as on his trips out west to compete with the SCRA. We were happy to be at Manzy the night he won the big season opener during "Copper Classic" weekend. The racing community has lost a true veteran. We'll miss his patented yell when he won and miss his determined drives that took him to so many wins.
Long time race fan and Trophy Cup volunteer Shig Shimada passed away in 2005. We bought every Trophy Cup shirt from him at the pit gate each year and was saddened to learn of his passing. Even though we did not know him personally we would see him offen at Sprint Car races from Hanford to Calistoga driving in his Flyers Body Shop El Camino. BK takes a Memoral lap for Shig during the 12th Annual Trophy Cup (Click on photo to enlarge) Shig this one's for you!!
No. Cal. legend Clyde Palmer was inducted into BCRA hall of fame in 2003 he retired to the big race track in the sky, Nov. 5, 2005, at the age of 81. Clyde was a seven-time racing champion at San Jose Speedway, Darlington Speedway, Kearney Bowl Speedway, Clovis Speedway, Stockton Speedway, and race tracks all over the country. He will always be rembered in racing history as one on the best.
IN MEMORY OF DAVE STRICKLAND
Don O'Keefe has a great tribute HERE
Mark Sublett of M&M Photos presents a "Tribute to Mike McCreary" signed by over 40 drivers to Carla McCreary, wife of legend Mike McCreary who passed away Sept. 24th. Oval Chassis Research drivers Bryan Bullard and Tony Iacobitti run memorial laps in memory of founder Mike McCreary who passed away Sept 24th 2004.
Veteran Northern California driver and car builder Mike McCreary started his long and storied racing career in 1964 in Carson City, Nevada. The former NARC Champion and Calistoga Speedway champion has run pavement sprint cars the last several years with CASA and the USAC WS Sprint Car series. Mike passed away Sept. 24th 2004. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carla and his family during these tough times. Visit the CASA -Website for more details.
Brutus was a great dog owned by super fans Bob & Monica Clauson. He traveled the country many times and made new friends wherever he went. This photo is special as for years I wanted to get a shot of the 3 of them together, and it finally happened at Twin Cities Speedway, March-2004. Brutis will be missed!!
Paul Tyler was a great photographer. He was the director of photography for the MSPA for years as well as the official photographer of Altamont Speedway. He supported Matt and I on our photography efforts and gave us great advise. In 1997 we talked on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's front stretch and he told stories of attending the races there for years. We also hung out with him at Calistoga Speedway during their annual World of Outlaws event. Paul will be dearly missed.
Dwight Vaccaro was a great photographer and friend. We met at Stockton 99 Speedway. He told stories of non caged midgets running around the track he hadn't visited in twenty plus years. Once we got talking he said he had photos in his truck so we went out to look. I was impressed with his work and awed by this photographer who had images of non cage racing that I had only heard of. Over the years we would cross paths many times a season at Central California race tracks. It was always a pleasure picking his brain of facts only people that were there could tell plus teaching us a thing or two about photography. He talked of his wife and kids often and about the many trips they would go on. We will miss seeing Dwight Vaccaro around the track as he was a great asset and friend to Racing. Above are a few of Dwight Vaccaro's photos
"Boston" Bob Blair
Bob Blair passed away March 2nd after an illness. He wrote for many publications through out the US and traveled all over chasing the races. We were privileged to meet him several times on his west coast visits. We will miss "Boston" Bob and his reports from the North East as well as his visits to the West Coast.
BOB MARLOW: A CAR OWNER FOR THE AGES
By, Mark Sublett
Bob Marlow from French Camp was a respected driver turned car owner for more than half a century campaigning Drag, Modifieds, Sprint Cars and most recently Modified Midgets at tracks from Chico to Bakersfield. His major accomplishments include the 1972 Modified Championship at Stockton 99 Speedway with Dennis Hicks at the wheel. He can claim no less than three National Modified Midget titles with drivers Don Strach and Terry Tarditti wheeling his cars. His own driving days saw him set the National record of 156mph, 9.70 seconds in the “D” Dragster class at Kingdon’s 1/4 Mile Drag strip in Lodi in 1959. Marlow was a big supporter of Modified Midgets in the Central Valley on and off for over 25 years.
Bob Marlow’s love of racing began in 1953 when he first saw a Hard Top outside a local saw mill owned by Grant Ferron in Roseburg, Oregon. He went over and sparked a conversation with Ferron that lead to him getting the chance to hot lap the car at the local track. He has been hooked on auto racing ever since. He soon raced a jalopy at Roseburg’s ¼ mile dirt oval until going into a six year term in the Air Force where he served in Korea.
Upon his return Marlow settled in California and started Drag racing with MM Racing out of Oroville. CA. The team raced all over California leading to the 9.70 sec. 156mph D Dragster record in Lodi that he was very proud of. In years to come he built street rods to cruise up and down California’s highways.
On one trip to Carson City he spotted a race car on a trailer in front of him. He decided to follow it to the track where he saw his first sprint car race. He ended up buying a sprinter the next week that he campaigned at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway for three years. With a couple of race wins to his credit he sold the car in 1966 when he moved to the central valley town of Stockton. Marlow’s driving career was over but he continued his life long love of street rodding.
In 1970 Marlow married his lifetime companion Carla. The two would spend their Saturday nights at Stockton 99 Speedway where Marlow kept his eye on the sport. He watched a driver named Dennis Hicks who would have strong runs but had more than his fair share mechanical problems. Seeing a talented driver with worn out equipment Marlow proposed that he would build a car if Hicks drove it. Hicks accepted. The two had success winning Modified races at Stockton 99‘s 1/4 mile paved oval. In 1972 Hicks drove to seven dash wins, and fifteen main event top five finishes to win 99’s season long Modified championship. After all the years of racing, Marlow touted that this was his biggest racing accomplishment.
After a work transfer took Marlow back to his birthplace in Arkansas for a little over a year he returned to California where he and Hicks teamed up once again to win races. This time in sprint car action at Carson City.
In 1975 on his way down the road Marlow once again saw a race car on a trailer driving in front of him. He trailed it to the track where he saw his first Modified Midget race. He has been hooked on these cars ever since. In his first year as car owner he and driver Don Strach won the National Modified Midget Association A-Class Championship racing at tracks such as Carnegie, Lemoore, Marysville and Irwindale. The next driver to sit in the seat was Al Rissel for a two year stint. Terry Tarditti was next to win a championship for Marlow as they won the 1980 and 1981 “AA” Class NMMA National Championship during the 3-4 years Tarditti drove for Marlow. As Tarditti moved to midgets Skip Dwyer stepped into the seat of the potent Marlow ride. The two were runner-up in the 1986 “B” Class Delta Speedway championship winning many main events. Marlow’s team raced limited in 1988 and 1989 but in 1990 he raced regularly at Delta Speedway with Richard Kramer driving. Marlow became a key supporter in the Central California Modified Midget Association during these years.
From 1991 to 1998 Marlow took time off to continue his love of hot rodding. In 1992 he lost his beloved Carla to cancer and in 1997 he overcame heart surgery, which slowed him down some. In 1999 Bob’s brother Joe drove at Cycleland Speedway to start the season and by the end Bob had three cars. In 2000 Bill Sutton drove his car at Delta Speedway along with Bobby Carter Jr. and Sr. at the wheel. They were winners at Delta, Vallejo and Marysville.
In 2002 Marlow had to spend several stints in the hospital but was seen at several tracks through out the year. Derek Overkamp drove to a second place finish in the points at Vallejo Speedway driving a Marlow Motor Sports sponsored car. Brother Joe had several strong runs at Cycleland Speedway during the season as well.
Bob Marlow passed away on January 10, 2003 in the Central Valley where he spent most of his lifetime. The Northern California Motor Sports community has been saddened, but memories of him remain forever. Bob was a great person who helped many young drivers without deep pockets gain the experience needed to win. We will all miss Bob Marlow around the Central Valley Race tracks. He was truly a car owner for the ages.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jim Shiels who passed away after a lengthy illness. He was one of the best statisticians in Northern California and wrote complete racing histories on tracks such as Stockton 99, Madera and Altamont as well as a 10 year history of Delta Speedway. Jim contributed to many newspapers and racing publications and the words he put on paper describing the races he attended will be sorely missed. Jim was a mentor to me and I will miss him dearly............Mark Sublett
Kathryn Rombeck * Jim Rombeck
Our Grandma Kathryn Rombeck passed away in February. Grandma and Grandpa took us in during the summers for much of our lives and we have fond memories of the time spent with them in Junction City, KS. In her last years she supported our photography efforts and didn't mind that when Matt and I came to visit we would spend most of our time going to the races. Gandpa passed in 1996 and always took Matt and I out on drives and kept us busy. They were married for over 50 years and took great care of each other. They were the best to us and we will miss both of them dearly.
Earl Acker: Our great uncle Earl passed away September 16, 2001. Earl loved to go fishing and would take us when we were growing up during our annual summer trips to my Grandparents in Junction City, KS. Earl was no stranger to race tracks as the above photo indicates in our first trip to Belleville in 1994. We were glad to visit him briefly August 6th in the hospital where we filled him in on the fishing report from out in CA. Thanks for the great memories Uncle Earl we will miss you. Earl is survived by wife of over 50 years, Helen Acker, daughter Judy Blixt and son Dick Acker all of Chapman KS, as well as many great and grand children.
IN MEMORY OF JAY GRADIA
Jay Gradia: Jay Gradia was only 25 years old at the time of his death. He drove a 250cc modified midget in 2001, as well as handeling many quarter midget drivers. Jay was en route from the Eastern Grands at the time of his passing. Jay left us early in his life, but the things he did while he was here will be cherished memories. We were privileged to see him race at Delta Speedway early in the season where the above photos were taken. He will be missed by many.
Bill Spencer: We grew up listening to "Big" Bill Spencer announce at our local track San Jose Speedway. He always provided great race calls and we will never forget the Ooh myy's and that unique and unforgettable voice. We were privileged enough to meet Bill personally through the Motor Sports Press Association. He loved motorcycle racing and that's where I caught him in the above photo. Bill passed suddenly en route to the big race track in the sky, were I'm sure those patented ohh myy's are heard in the distance.
Del Quinn: Del "Mighty" Quinn was a legend here in Northern California, racing til his final day at Hanford California's Kings Speedway. He will be fondly remembered in Northern California for his many race wins and dedication to the sport of motor racing.
Duane Borovec was the manager of Stockton 99 Speedway. He always treated us great. He has been the only promoter who would call me back immediatly after I faxed for a credintial to shoot at his track, and always greeted us with a smile when we got there. He will be missed by many. Above photo is of Memorial laps run on opening day at Stockton 99 Speedway.
In Memory of Rick Laeber.
Larry Trigueiro has won hundreds of races all accross the country with many top drivers at the wheel of his race cars. His last visit to victory lane came at Madera Speedway, September 19, 2000 when longtime driver Davey Hamilton put his SuperMod in victory lane in the 29th running of the Harvest Classic. He was a legandary car owner and respected throught-out the U.S. for his winning race cars. We will all miss seeing him at the track.
Stan Fox raced his way to the top. We was an Indy 500 veteran as well as one of the best midget and champ car drivers. Although we did not know Stan on a personal level we saw him often at USAC events. At Belleville in 2000, he was selling photos of his bad wreck at Indy, all proceeds going to his Friends of the Fox - Head Injury Support Group. As I bought one we chatted for a few moments and then we both went on our ways. He got me for another few bucks later in the night, always sporting that smile of his. Money well spent for a few more memories I have of Stan Fox. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
Pete Frazier was a talented mid-west driver that accomplished a lot in his career. Pete specialized in micro sprints were he founded a successful chassis company called Factor 1 chassis. We were fortunate enough to see him race in Hanford California during the NMMA Nationals event held there. Pete won the 600cc multi class main event that weekend. He also raced sprint cars near Tulsa, Oklahoma, his hometown.
Kenny Irwin raced his way to the top the sport. Kenny was a talented open wheel and stock car driver. I will always remember the day when I was first starting out in photography and we went to the Silver Crown and Midget race at the Sacramento Mile. My first time close to the track that day, Kenny was qualifying the Lewis #9 and I took the above right photo. When he screamed by at what seemed to be 150mph (probably closer to 90- 100mph) what a rush that was! Above left photo of Kenny was at the 2000 Copper World Classic at Phoenix. He will be sorely missed.
JW Mitchell suffered severe injuries later in this heat race at King's Speedway in late 1999 that would take his life several months later. Family, friends and fans have missed him dearly since his passing.
Casey Diemert was a young racer from Roseburg, Oregon that competed in Sprint Cars and Champ cars. Steve Lafond has a nice tribute to him Here.
Toby Jorgensen was a 17 year old Motorcycle racer from Stockton CA. that was critically injured in a race in Dallas TX. that would take his life a few weeks later. Before his death, fans and competators raised thousands of dollars to help his recovery efforts. We were glad to be able to see Toby race at San Jose Speedway, June 26th, 1999, where he won a Dash race and finished third in the main event.
Roger Paulson will be fondly remembered in Northern California, for his love of racing. Roger competed in Motorcycles and Micro-Midgets for many years competing at numerous tracks throughout California.
A Tribute to Roger
Pennsylvania Posse member (1) Kevin Gobrecht races Tim Crawley in All Stars/NCRA sprint car action at Eagle Raceway in Aug. '98 (Left). (Right) Kevin Gobrecht drove to his third Chanellock Dash win of the season at Calistoga Speedway 9/4/99. Fellow photographer Steve Crumbaker has put together a G-Man Tribute page here. Thanks for the Memories G-Man.