Welcome to .....
 

   

This sign used to welcome fans to the track. The late Otter Creek veteran Dick Hawkins [shown at right] ran there and built cars for competition.

 

An aerial shot of the still-visible Otter Creek race track. Coming from lower left is the road that used to lead, down the hill, from the Monroe family house and barn to the pits. The black object is the middle is a pond that was always located there. 

CHECK OUT MY PAGE ON A RECENT PHOTO VISIT TO THE SITE

OTTER CREEK SPEEDWAY

1961 to 1971

Otter Creek Speedway

1961 - 1963

Hillside Raceway

1965

Rainbow Ridge Raceway

1970?

        The Otter Creek Speedway promoter, Hi Monroe, had done himself a big favor picking up a Nascar's sanction for the little race track in the pasture beside his farm. Monroe apparently partnered with Lee Tucker, a noted builder from a little further North in Vermont. Together, they carved out a little speedway that would change hands several times - and even change names three times.

       The "fields" of  cars were very unusual, to say the least. The track drew a strange brew of new locals, veterans from the race track in Malletts Bay, near Colchester, Vermont, some cars that were also running the newly re-opened Fairmont Speedway in Fair Haven, Vermont, the occasional Thunder Road car, and even a New Yorker or two.

        The race for the National Sportsman championship was very controversial in 1961. It came down to two Upstate New Yorkers, Bill Wimble of Lisbon in the Dave McCready #33 cars, and Dick Nephew of Mooers Forks in his own #6. Both men were racing almost every night somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard to gain more points than the other.

        Monroe grabbed at an opportunity to have such a points-counting race late in the season [November to be exact]. With snow actually flying in the air, a number of Nascar's sportsman coupes from New York showed up, including Nephew. Wimble may have been running elsewhere, as his name does not appear on the Otter Creek program as one who appeared at the track that year.

        The championship chase ended in a tie, which was very controversial and cries of "foul" were heard - especially from the Nephew camp. But, that little cow pasture track in Vermont may have played a pivotal role in the naming of those National Co - Champs that year.

        Judging from the two Jack Dubrul action photos, the track had very banked turns and dipped down to the straightaways, ala Lebanon Valley. Also like The Valley, it had a pond in the infield. Unlike the Valley, I never heard of any car ending up in the pond. However, I do remember the management going through a period of time where they had trouble with water running across a protion of backstretch, near turn three. Otter Creek Speedway was described by Buddy Bardwell as "A real dust bowl". One Jack Dubrul photo below seems to bear that out.

We got photos from Buzz Fisher's site which appear to be from the same photographer as many of this I have had on this section for years. The beauty of this is that they are not cropped off, as were my previous photo copies. In this case, the bigger photo will be under the other one.

otter_creek_heat_3.jpg (645781 bytes)
Cho Lee Photo Collection
This is a heat race from the first year of Otter Creek Speedway. Most notably, the white car in second place is that of future Hall-of-Famer Harmon "Beaver" Dragon, of Milton, Vermont. It is difficult to tell which turns this photo is showing. I don't remember seeing trees near the track.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher


Courtesy of Bourgeois Family
The Dragon coupe at the gas station of owner John Bourgeois

 

otter_creek_heat_4.jpg (404904 bytes)
Cho Lee Photo Collection
NASCAR starter Bucky Barlow [or Archie Blackadar, we aren't sure] looks over the field for the "one to go" sign. Below} The 2nd photo shows more cars. From right: 2+1 Jim Hampton, 12 Ollie Wescott, 7 Beaver Dragon, UNK, 5 Jack Anderson, 1 Jack DuBrul, UNK, 3Jr Red Dooley, and 3Sr Wayne Chandler.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
dubrul_atspeed_vergennes.jpg (189982 bytes)
Cho Lee Photo Collection - Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
Dutch Reed, of Glens Fall, NY  runs away from the field in a heat at Otter Creek in 1961 with his Royce Tucker - built sportsman coupe. Note the dust. 


Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher

 

dubrul_heatwin_vergennes.jpg (211087 bytes)
Cho Lee Photo Collection - Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
Dutch Reed takes a heat victory lap. Note the considerable banking going into Turn One. This portion of the track would be shortened by C.J. Richards by Year Three.  


Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher

 


Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
The 3Jr of Red Dooley sits nearby as the team car, Wayne Chandler's 3Sr. Hudson catches on fire. [Below] A man watches, concerned.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
 


Courtesy of Darrell Tucker
The #5 of Jack Anderson sits, awaiting the extinguishment of the Chandler fire. Ahead of him is a hobby car that was used to fill the field in that heat. Below is a better shot of Jack's car.

Courtesy of Jack Anderson

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
This newly - found photo shows spectators and their cars on the hill watching as Monroe's very crude water truck works and one stock car runs in the track.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
Someone has brought their regular ca out to work on a race car on the track.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
Spectators sit and wait for something to happen. The fire truck seen in the photos to the left is below. Long waits were the order of the day at the early Otter Creek shows.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
More waiting on the hill.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
Apparently there weren't bleachers yet.
The sound system seems to be coming from the van truck.

Cho Lee Photo Collection
via Buzz Fisher
Parking and seating were much the same in the first week at the track.
   

Check Out These Interesting Point Standings From the NASCAR Media Book


Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock and Bobby Castine
A 1962 field thunders out of Turn Four at Otter Creek. I recognize 30, Ed Foley; 95, Jack Cutter; 115, Bob Russell [inside two other cars in turn]; 88, Ernie Reid; 111a Kenny Shoemaker.


Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock and Bobby Castine
Hi Monroe's pace car from Vergennes Pontiac.

Of Local Interest - The Hobby Standings

        
Ballard Photo Courtesy of Cho Lee

Keith Ballard, Hinesburg, Vermont  [He is in the white 1932 Ford Coupe at right]

     

In this heat picture, we can see Vince Quenneville [00], Phil Russell [Checkmate], and the purple roof is probably the 8Ball of Herbie Swan. Most likely, the red 1932 Ford roof you see is Rex Shattuck. The white coupe could be Beaver Dragon, but it is unlikely, as he had a Buick and that looks like a Ford. Bob Russell, one of the fastest cars there, is the red and black #115, and Kenny Martin is the silver and black car. Martin's presence suggests this is 1962.

 


ACT Archives Courtesy of Cho Lee

In another heat, another day, you can see Beaver Dragon [white coupe near front], Harland "Red" Dooley [white coupe near back], and Ollie Wescott [12], another regular who apparently didn't score points, for some unexplained reason. I firmly believe these other cars should have had points, and I can't explain why they don't: 2+1 - Jim Hampton, #5 [3rd car] Chet Streeter, Jack DuBrul* [1], and Jack Anderson #5 the 1950 Chevy . Don't know much about that huge Pontiac in the rear.

* [If recent findings bear out true, then this probably DuBrul because Dutch Reed might have been the first driver of the 7 VT, not Jack].


ACT Archives Courtesy of Cho Lee

A good look at Chief Starter Archie Blackadar, and at Beaver's, Jim's, Ollie's ,and Chet's cars. I have found out that the Pit Steward at the track during its NASCAR days was Kay Hanson, who also worked at Airborne, according to Jackie Peterson. Jackie ran here , too but not in these hobbies. He may have had a turn in Tucker's 7VT, along with Dutch Reed.

     To sum up the rest of the guys in those points standings:  the late Aimer "Sonny Gover" ended up running in Catamount's Hurricane and Grand American divisions. He used # AAA at Vergennes, for his name, brother Alvin, and the third brother whose name I don't know. Ansel Quintin had an odd - looking 1949 Ford and that's all I know. Eddie Foley turned out to be quite a sportsman and modified star - especially at Devil's Bowl He ran a gold #30 at Otter Creek. I don't know anything about Homer Hamel, but I will ask Dick Hawkins, who should have been in these standings, too.


Courtesy of the Nephew Family

Kay Hanson [2nd row] was the NASCAR Chief Pit Steward at Otter Creek.

     
McIver Photo Courtesy of Cho Lee and C.J. Richards

Archie Blackadar [above] flagged at Otter Creek, as did Bucky Barlow [right].

     I knew Jack Anderson at Catamount, I now know what he drove at Otter Creek - a 1950 Chevy Sedan #5. Steve Phillips probably drove the same car that former Fonda driver Ken DeLong drove. I believe it was #54. George Pritchard, a veteran from the early 1950's, had a gold #9 1938 Chevy [check out the Fairmont page]. Jack Cutter, whose name had eluded me until I saw this list, had a really slick-looking blue #95. There are a million pictures of Ted Brown [some right on this page], who was an absolute terror on this track the following year. His first wife told me that this place was one of the few where she didn't see him race [good thing]. I have no idea who Poirier was, or what car he owned.


Norm Vadnais Photo
Bob Russell,
Shelburne, VT


Ladabouche Photo
This cropped blowup
gives you an idea of
the 115's colors.
 

Norm Vadnais Photo
Ansel Quintin,
Charlotte, VT

Bob Frazier Photo
Courtesy C.J. Richards
 

Norm Vadnais Photo
Jack Cutter,
Essex Jct., VT


Photos Courtesy of
the LaFond Family


Courtesy of Norm Vadnais
Kenny Martin,
Fair Haven, VT

Norm Vadnais Photo

Ed Magoon,
Middlebury, VT

Bob Frazier Photo
Courtesy C.J. Richards
     

NASCAR SPORTSMAN POINTS FROM 1962
For a better look at them CLICK HERE

 

Ken Shoemaker, in his ride of that era - the Chris Drellos 111 out of Glens Falls, NY

     I have a photo of almost  everybody in these standings except: Bill Chepulis, a complete mystery. He might have been someone's mechanic, sneaking  turn at the wheel at Otter Creek. He is no one who ran at Fonda that year, as near as I can ascertain; I also don't have Gahan on the page. So, here are two possible cars from approximately that year below; Nelson Moore, probably driving the Allie Swears #51; and Fred Fuller. I remember seeing him, but I have no pictures. I also saw Fred Sit in with the Clayton Ryan "Shelby Cobra" #11 at Fairmont in 1965.

   


Photo Courtesy of Bob Novak

Jim Koehler, Coventry, Conn.

 

A SECOND YEAR PROGRAM FROM OTTER CREEK SPEEDWAY

Monroe always stuck with NASCAR. This enabled him to land the occasional big name driver from New York. The NASCAR sanction disappeared with Richards by 1964.

FRONT COVER

INSIDE PAGES

 An Explanation of Some of the Entries

Some are linked to thumbnails of the driver or car.

 

U2 Howie Miller Founded Miller Chevrolet - now Denecker, In Vergennes, VT
111's Ken Shoemaker

Schenectady, NY

Paul Marshall,

Schenectady, NY

Owned by Chris Drellos of Glens Falls, NY- Big at Fonda

Marshall actually drove the Allie Swears #51 then.

75 George Baumgardner,

Saratoga, NY

Started in 1940's in open wheel cars; apt to drive a bit "fortified"
C37 James "Sapphire" Leclair Painted to look like Buck Holiday's then-famous C-38
6 Dick Nephew,

Mooers Forks, NY

He was to become the 1961 NASCAR National Sportsman co-Champion
3's Red Dooley and Wayne Chandler Malletts Bay Sunset Speedway Cars
6 PAC Actually Eddie Baker A rare Hudson - powered car. Mostly a Fairmont car
Me 2 Actually Len Baker  
8 Ball Herby Swan, Jr.,

Middlebury, VT

Car went over to Joe D'Avignon, one of Otter Creek's most successful drivers and a future promoter there.
33 Art Cody, 

Keene, NH

One of best from Claremont Speedway
66 Bob Bruno One of Airborne's best drivers
SOME DRIVERS WHO APPEARED AT OTTER CREEK AND DIDN'T MAKE THE PROGRAM 90 Dutch Reed, 

Glens Falls, NY

The Tom Hammond 90A
   77_pieniazek_closeup.JPG (83811 bytes)             77_pieniazek_early.jpg (129492 bytes)

Eddie Pieniazek, Schenectady, NY with the potent Welch '37 Ford

30 Ed Foley, 

Leicester, VT

Although not mentioned on the program, Ed ran Otter Creek that year.

97_tom_kotary.jpg (136821 bytes)
Left Photo - John Grady   Right - Bill Fifield

 Tom Kotary, Rome, NY, with the Joe Romano 97. 

88 Ernie Ried,

Massena, NY

Ernie favored strange powerplants. This car had a Studebaker engine.
Tucker_14.jpg (14573 bytes)  

The Royce and Lee Tucker car out of Burlington had assorted drivers, but most notably Ernie Reid. This particular time, Wayne Chandler might have been driving. 

1 Hank Smith Future CVRA Official
rex_shattuck_19.jpg (400341 bytes)  

Rex Shattuck, shown here at Thunder Road, drove a #19 coupe at Otter Creek.

S29 Bill Stevens

West Sand Lake, NY

Often appeared at tracks with an immaculate '40 Ford. Seldom actually raced it.

Wayne Coon, Delanson, NY. Appeared once at Otter Creek in 1962.

49 Doc Blanchard,

Gloversville, NY

A Whites Beach and Fonda competitor
115 Bob Russell,
Shelburne, VT
He must have also run at Malletts Bay. A fast car !

 


LIST OF EVERY DRIVER'S NAME I CAN COME UP WITH FOR THOSE FIRST TWO YEARS

5, Jack Anderson

6 PAC - Baker, Ed

Me 2 - Baker, Lennie

75 - Baumgardner, George

D9 - Bigelow, Bill

92 - Russ Blake

95 - Blanchard, Doc

92 - Brown, Ted

66 - Bruno, Bob

U21 - Chamberlain, Harley

3 Sr - Chandler, Wayne

33NH - Cody, Art

74 - Coon, Wayne

95 - Cutter, Jack

3 Jr - Dooley, Red

7VT - Dragon, Beaver

7VT - DuBrul, Jack

30 - Foley, Ed

U7 - Fuller, Fred

U8 - Fuller, Leo

13A - Gauthier, Roger

AAA - Gover, Sonny

10 - Hamel, Homer

2 + 1 - Hampton, Jim

17 - Hawkins, Dick

31NH - Howland, Leo

31 CT - Koehler, Jim

97 - Kotary, Tom

C37 - LeClair, Jim "Sapphire"

111A - Marshall, Paul

 

49 - Ed Magoon

10-10 - Michaels, Mike [ Mike Suraske]

U2 - Miller, Howie

6 - Nephew, Dick

44 - Notte, Fireball

7- Peterson, Jackie

44 - Owen, Gordie

77 - Pieniazek, Eddie

Checkmate - Quenneville, John

00 - Quenneville, Vince

30 - Quintin, Ansel

90A or 7  - Reed, Dutch

88 - Reid, Ernie

UP2 - Rogers, George

115 - Russell, Bob

Checkmate - Russell, Phil

Saltus, Jimmy

1 - Schmidt, Hank

19 - Shattuck, Rex

111 - Shoemaker, Ken

F80 - Smith, Don

S29 - Stevens, Bill

5 - Streeter, Chet

8 Ball - Swan, Herbie

Swintin, Jack

91 - Tatro, Gene

12 - Wescott, Ollie

33NY - Wimble, Bill

 

 

 

This is a points standings list mimeographed and put into a Fonda track scorecard in 1962. It shows many of the cars and teams that appeared at Otter Creek Speedway in its first two years. The right hand thumbnail can be clicked to try and expand the list for better reading.

 

 

Art Cody.jpg (99551 bytes) Ken Paulsen Photo 
Art Cody, Keene, NH
Baumie.jpg (12188 bytes) Photo courtesy of Otto Graham's Website
George Baumgardner, Saratoga, NY

Baumie_YoungVine_75_2Boys_Novak.jpg (127591 bytes)
Photo Courtesy of Bob NovakThe Young/Vine #75

 

shoe 111.jpg (90551 bytes) Ken Shoemaker,  Schenectady, NY

Shoemaker_Drellos_Color_Vergennes.jpg (115785 bytes)

Eddy Baker.JPG (510541 bytes) Eddy Baker, Warrensburg, NY Dutch 90A.jpg (195653 bytes) Dutch Reed,      Glens Falls, NY

This car was a replacement, built after the original 90A, a 1937 Ford, was wrecked on the way home from an Otter Creek program.

Herb Swan II.jpg (11974 bytes) Herb Swan, Panton, VT
Cody Pit Stop.jpg (12072 bytes) Art making a "pit stop" at Otter Creek. That meant driving up a hill and into the promotor's farm yard for welding. Future CVRA star Russ Shaw is leaning on the car, wearing the white sweatshirt. Foley 30.jpg (13331 bytes) Ed Foley, Leicester, VT

Dick_Nephew_1961.jpg (164446 bytes)

Dick Nephew, Mooers Forks, NY

1961 NASCAR National Sportsman Co-Champion

Nephew_Swires_51_Flag_Fonda.jpg (142774 bytes)
Photo Courtesy of Bob Novak
The Allie Swires #51
 

Swears 51.jpg (13116 bytes) Paul Marshall, Schenectady, NY Photo courtesy of John Rock
Ernie Reid, Massena, NY
Me2.Baker.jpg (14644 bytes) Lennie Baker, Athol, NY
HankSmith.jpg (16757 bytes) Hank Schmidt, Gansevoort, NY welch's77.jpg (42006 bytes)

The Welch's #77 made an appearance at Otter Creek driven by New York legend Eddie Pieniazek, a Pete Corey protege.
CLICK HERE for a page on this car.


Photo courtesy of John Rock
The Jim "Sapphire" Leclair C37 looked a lot like Buck Holliday's C38, a really famous car in the North Country. Both cars had zebra stripes across the roof.
Built by Lee Tucker and Dick Hawkins

Early Bob Bruno.jpg (23582 bytes) Photo courtesy of Yves LaDouceur, ANCA

A very early photo of Melvin "Bob" Bruno, who had been featured on the cover of Nascar's official newsletter in 1960.

Bardwell.Otter.jpg (32918 bytes) This car is photographed at Otter Creek, but it known as the winner of the first feature at Fairmont. Bardwell usually had the Hudson coupe with the bullhorns. Promoter Hi Monroe's family car, all lettered up to advertise the track, is in the background.

 

3Jr_and_Fire.JPG (123167 bytes) Courtesy of  Darell Tucker

Red Dooley, with the 3 Jr., watches warily as the car next to him starts to burn at Otter Creek. The other car might be the 3Sr. of Wayne Chandler.

u2_howie_miller_lighter.jpg (341698 bytes) Courtesy of Howie Miller
Howie Miller, Vergennes, VT
BillStevens.S29.jpg (18089 bytes) Bill Stevens, West Sand Lake, NY doc_blanchard_49_coupe.jpg (151352 bytes) Courtesy of John Grady
Doc Blanchard, Gloversville, NY
10-10_Cliff_Kotary.jpg (12887 bytes) Photo courtesy of Otto Graham's Website
The legendary Cliff Kotary with Mike Michael's 10-10. Michaels [whose real name was Mike Suraske] drove the cat at Otter Creek.

 

Bob Russell, Shelburne, VT John Quenneville, Whiting, VT
or
Phil Russell,
Salisbury, VT


Courtesy of LA West

CLICK HERE for
Checkmate Page


Russ Blake Collection

Russ Blake,
Pittsfield, MA
         

Go Back to the Program

Return to the History Page

THE SECOND YEAR - OTTER CREEK SPEEDWAY

        The track operated under Hi Monroe for two seasons or so. Although the track had a few more famous visiting drivers in that first year of 1961, the second year was more successful because Monroe was able to draw from a number of Fairmont Speedway cars, which filled the fields much more. Many of the very substandard locals who had struggled around the track in 1961 faded from the scene in 1962. Few Malletts Bay cars were seen any more, and that was too bad.

View of Otter Creek Speedway from the bleachers on the hillside. This is the more successful second year. Note how the track, which was probably in excess of a half mile, has been shortened. The old banking is still visible.

 

       

An  Otter Creek Speedway heat, in the more successful second year, lines up on the front stretch. The red 00 is the late Vince Quenneville, Sr., and the yellow and black Checkmate was driven alternately by Quenneville's brother, John and by Phil Russell. The white coupe is unidentifiable; the red flattop coupe is the Norm Cyr - owned #19 driven by Rex Shattuck; the maroon coupe in the back is probably future track promoter Little Joe D'Avignon. In the right photo, Quenneville is visible, as is the black and silver #6 of Kenny Martin. The black car in the front may have been Bill Bigelow, an employee of the Barcomb family who owned Malletts Bay Speedway. Or, the Bigelow car could be the last of the Ivanhoe Smith cars that ran the Colchester tracks in the 1950's. Ollie Wescott's #12, shown in an above photo, is such a car.

The Sportsman team of John Narducci packs up to leave the track in 1962. This is shot from behind the grandstands.
The third and fourth turns are barely visible over the car, in the distance. The driver that day was Joe Tiezzi, of Ivortown, CT.

Cook_Meahl_Vergennes.jpg (20708 bytes) Leo_Howland_Color_Vergennes.jpg (16568 bytes) OneEye_Ted_Color_Vergennes.jpg (17868 bytes) Pratt_GrandPrix_Vergennes.jpg (17199 bytes)
This visit from the Lockport, NY driver, Kenny Meahl in 1962 is very significant because the car owner was an eighteen year-old named Jerry Cook. Cook would go on to be a two-time NASCAR National Modified Champion. Invasions from the Keene, NH gang were frequent and successful. This is Leo Howland, team mate of the famous Ted Brown. Keene, NH's legendary "One Eye"Ted Brown. The team is stopping on the side of the highway after the race to re-adjust the trailer hitch. Brown was unbelievable fast at Vergennes. Williston, Vermont's Bob Pratt [by the car] brought the former Jack DuBrul Daytona car to Otter Creek in 1962. The heavy Nascar late model was too heavy and overpowered. It was reportedly driven by Gordie Owen, a veteran of Malletts Bay.

 

Wimble_Leaves_Vergennes.jpg (14047 bytes) Tatro91.1stcar.jpg (10124 bytes) Geo Rogers.jpg (31363 bytes) Quenneville_00_40Ford.JPG (28136 bytes)
Reigning Nascar National Sportsman Co-Champion Bill Wimble and car owner Dave McCready visited Vergennes in 1962. Veteran Vermont driver and Fairmont star Gene Tatro, Manchester Depot, VT, ran infrequently at Otter Creek. Veteran Vermont driver and Fairmont star George Rogers, Casteleton, VT Up and coming Vermont drive, Vince Quenneville of Whiting, Vermont  actually started at Vergennes before making his name at Fairmont, Devils Bowl, and other late '60's tracks. This is his second car.

 

THE TUCKER  CARS

Tucker_14.jpg (14573 bytes)

An immaculate  Nascar Sportsman built by Lee and Royce Tucker of Burlington. They owned this one and had drivers Ernie Ried, Dutch Reed, and Wayne Chandler. The car had a bad wreck at Airborne that year, Ried was seriously injured, Royce suffered a fatal heart attack as a result, and the family never fielded another car.

THE TUCKER  CARS

DuBrul Coupe 2.jpg (28280 bytes)

Another immaculate  Nascar Sportsman built by Lee and Royce Tucker of Burlington. This one was owned and run by "Black Jack" DuBrul of Burlington, VT. It raced at Otter Creek, Fonda,and a number of other venues.

DuBrul_Color_Coupe_1963.jpg (92724 bytes)

 

CLICK HERE for a DuBrul page.

 

THE TUCKER  CARS


Photo courtesy of John Rock
The Jim "Sapphire" Leclair C37

 

Also built by the Tuckers and Dick Hawkins

Granville, New York's Art Visconti bought a Norm Scarborough '37 Chevy that had been driven at Otter Creek by the late Vince Quenneville, Sr. Here, the car is seen at home with son, Mike in attendance.

Keith_Ballard_Portrait.JPG (44059 bytes)

Keith Ballard of Hinesburg, VT-  a regular at Malletts Bay and Thunder Road, as well with the red and white #71.

     

ALL - STAR SPORTSMAN SHOWS

    The following shots from his own Devil's Bowl programs show some of the competitors who showed up for the extra money. Some of these races took place at Otter Creek Speedway. I am not sure how they ended up in C.J.'s collection, unless he was already promoting the track by then. Others were clearly at Fairmont.


From a Devil's Bowl Program, Courtesy of Ed Fabian

From left - Jean-Guy Chartrand, Ron Narducci, Ken Shoemaker, and Pete Corey line up in front of the starter's stand at Fairmont.


Bob Frazier Photo, Courtesy of C.J. Richards

Ken Shoemaker's car sits in the foreground at Otter Creek as Jack DuBrul [tall man in the center] talks with other drivers, The 14VT in the background is the Tucker car, and the white car at far right is either Harley Chamberlain or Howie Miller.


From a Devil's Bowl Program, Courtesy of Ed Fabian

Will Cagle stands by his 24, behind Frankie Schneider and Buzzie Reutimann.|
This had to be a Fairmont show as Otter Creek had no night races.

Back to the Top of the Page

THE HILLSIDE RACEWAY ERA

        The track operated under Hi Monroe for two seasons or so. The track was inactive for a year or two, then Cornwall, Vermont's Joseph "Little Joe" D'Avignon, a driver who always seemed to flourish on the Vergennes track, took over promoting for a year. He renamed it Hillside Raceway.

Hillside_Flier.jpg (110366 bytes)

Joe D'Avignon poses with two of his star attractions on this Hillside Raceway promotional flier. Tatro was from Manchester Depot, while Rabidou operated out of Brattleboro, Vermont. The rest of D'Avignon's fields usually were from either Addison County, where the track was, or nearby Rutland County. Charlie Laduc's first sportsman coupe is shown here. Interestingly, it was an original Otter Creek Speedway car owned and driven then by Dick Hawkins, Ferrisburgh.

Program Courtesy of Neal Davis

The last [and best] car. He had tried running a car from former neighbor Herbie Swan, but this was a far better car. The car is shown leaving Fairmont Speedway, a track upon whose regulars Joe depended on heavily for his participants.

art_andliljoe_tunrone.jpg (517663 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Mike Visconti

Joe D'Avignon moves up in Turn One at Fairmont after Art Visconti, one of his loyal supporters at Hillside.

Photo Courtesy of LaDuc Family

A rather poor but important view down into the pits in 1965. This was from the LaDuc family, and I would guess Charlie and Phil's cars were on the very end.

 

Joe D'Avignon [far left] leads Sonny Rabidou [far right] through turn four at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland around 1964. Maybe it was here that he convinced the former state champion to sign up with Hillside. [Rutland Herald Photo]

Hillside_Poster.JPG (57030 bytes)   Hillside_poster2.JPG (77917 bytes)

Poster Courtesy of Dick Hawkins & Darrell Tucker

This is one of the last surviving promo posters from Joe D'Avignon's Hillside Raceway.

Former driver Dick Hawkins had this poster in his garage. Every week, the boys at the garage would change the date on the poster to coincide with the following race date. [Look carefully at the bottom of the poster on the right.]

 

 
Duffany_71_Vergennes.jpg (27817 bytes)  

Courtesy of Neal Davis

Fairmont_Duffany_LineupPits.jpg (18903 bytes)

Harry "Boo" Duffany of Shoreham, VT made the jump from a hobby driver at Fairmont to a modified at Hillside. This was the Ken Elithorpe-owned former ride of Vince Quenneville, Sr. Photo quality is quite poor. The picture underneath is the same car, next to Quenneville and Art Johnson at Fairmont in 1965.

001_Visconti_40Ford.gif (16727 bytes)

Art Visconti , having moved to near Vergennes, was able to run the track easily.

 

3_Quenneville_CrewPose.gif (14162 bytes)

Vince Quenneville, Whiting, VT. [standing with leg on trailer] with owner Gael Dundon [kneeling] and a crew member.

6andOne Half.jpg (15189 bytes)

The Julius Mestyan cars, from Fair Haven, came up to Vergennes with drivers like Kenny Martin, Gene Tatro, and Skip Wilcox. 

Charlie_LaDuc_40_Ford.jpg (38107 bytes)

Orwell, Vermont's Charlie LaDuc, with his first Sportsman. The car, which was purchased from Dick Hawkins, had been to Otter Creek a lot more than Charlie. It is the car featured on the Hillside Promo Poster above.

Courtesy of CJ Richards

Trudo_Ford_Verg_Unpainted.JPG (22126 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Neal Davis

   Graham Trudo     Benson, VT

Gene Tatro,  Manchester Depot, VT   That's  Gene, at left. This version of the car was his second. It would be chopped considerably by 1965.

Tetrault_Crew_Better_Cropped.JPG (93593 bytes)

Saratoga Auto Museum Photo

buddybardwell.gif (37005 bytes)

Midstate Vintage Auto ClubPhoto -

      Buddy Bardwell,       Keene NH

rabideau state champ.jpg (34389 bytes)

Sonny Rabideau,  Brattleboro, VT.   Stroker Smith 311 

Dorr_29_Verg.jpg (24202 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Neal Davis

Dexter Dorr,  Manchester, VT.   Future Car Builder 

Frank_Hodge_66_verg.JPG (36322 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Neal Davis

Frank Hodge,   Montreal, Que.  

Gauthier_28_Ryans_Verg.JPG (32375 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Neal Davis

The A. G. Ryan #28

Roger Gauthier Fort Edward, NY 

Roger_Gauthier_53_Victoria_Win_Novak.jpg (160400 bytes)
Photo Courtesy of Bob Novak

The Charles Habreck #53

 
Kohler_11_Verg.JPG (17483 bytes)

Photo Courtesy of Neal Davis

      Jim Kohler,       Coventry, CT 

 

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Roger Gauthier Fort Edward, NY 

chuck_ely_caspar.jpg (301244 bytes)

Cavalcade of Auto Racing Photo

Butch Jelley drove his brother-in-law's late model at the track a number of times.

Ladabouche  Photo

Lefty Casey,
Manchester, VT

 


LaDuc Family Photo
This blurry photo is definitely from the Hillside era. I now think that white car of Phil LaDuc [Charlie's old hobby Oldsmobile]
is the white car leading the race shown in the big color photo. [CLICK HERE to  see the one I mean]


Courtesy of the LaFond Family
The Unbeatable Lennie Wood, at Fairmont with the car he also raced at Hillside. Below - Wood
gets a win as starter Pat McGrath, from Milton, VT looks on. You can see part of the Hillside layout.


Courtesy of Dave Wood

THE RAINBOW RIDGE ERA


Bill Ladabouche Photo, Courtesy of Darrell Tucker.

This crudely - lettered sign was nailed to a tree on U.S. Route 7.
It was given to Darrell Tucker by former track land owner, Hi Monroe.


Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
One of the only known shots of Rainbow Ridge Raceway, taken early in 1970.

        Very little has been found out about the Rainbow Ridge track operation. It seemed to depend on a few locals and some Hurricane Division and hobby division competitors from  surrounding tracks like Catamount and Devil's Bowl. The Rainbow Ridge operation seemed to be around 1969 or 1970. I can only guess who ran there, until I discover someone who actually attended these races.
        A Proctor native and former Devils Bowl driver named Louie Senecal is purported to have tried the rebirth of the old track. He apparently added caution lights, a flagger's stand, and a few other upgrades. Butch Jelley said he ran there and Bruce Keith remembers attending races with Ed Keenan.
        Darrell Tucker, son of one of the track's originals creators, says he has a crudely - lettered Rainbow Ridge sign that used to sit down near the main highway, to direct fans up the the South Middlebrook Road.


Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Lou Senecal [right] and C.J. Richards might be talking about Rainbow Ridge at this 1969 Devil's Bowl banquet.


Courtesy of Mike Richards
The newspaper wasn't too accurate with names. Pete Jelley was, most likely, either Butch or Lyle Jelley. I never heard of Curt Prescott.


Cavalcade of Racing Photo
Chuck Ely,
Bennington, VT
supplied this car for Butch
Jelley to drive

Gator Racing News Photo
Dick Pennock,
Warrensburg, NY
ran this Fonda late
model

Devils Bowl Photo
Charlie LaDuc,
Orwell, VT

 

Courtesy of Bob Ely
Ken Tremont, Sr. says he took a
car to Rainbow Ridge with Chuck
Ely as the driver.
       

Dan Nolin Photo
Moe Dubois apparently brought his Dodge over from Hinesburg to run the Ridge. Perhaps, this is why Bob Daniels, from nearby New Haven ended up buying the car.

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Lou Senecal, the track
promoter, had his own
race car at Devil's Bowl.
I don't know if he ever
ran it on his own track.
 

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Stosh Timinski and
the Mike Winship 88
may have run at
Rainbow Ridge.

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Tim Baker,
Dorset, VT
may have run at
Rainbow Ridge.

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Jim Byrne,
Clarendon, VT
may have run at
Rainbow Ridge.

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Herb Senecal and
the Hank Champine 02
probably ran at
Rainbow Ridge.

Courtesy of Lou Senecal
via Diana Peters
Bill Messer and
the 101
may have run at
Rainbow Ridge.
 
       

 

Ralph_Bessette_Brighter.jpg (69352 bytes)

Hurricane Division driver from Catamount like Milton's Ralph "Chick" Bessette supposedly drove at Rainbow Ridge.

Chick_Bessette_Blue.jpg (123437 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

24.larrywarren.jpg (39010 bytes)

Larry Warren,
Burlington, VT

early_jay_yantz_hurricane.jpg (125429 bytes)

Jay Yantz, Monkton, VT

A very likely competitor from nearby.

jay_yantz_large.jpg (680426 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

leo_bushey_smaller.jpg (105873 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

Leo Bushey,
Burlington, VT

ray_ringer_2.jpg (190811 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

Ray Ringer,
Vergennes, VT

ray_ringer_1.jpg (225355 bytes)

milo_lockerby_excaron.jpg (211226 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

Milo Lockerby,
Isle La Motte, VT

 

Kevin_Holcomb.jpg (132996 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

                 Kevin Holcomb,             Essex Jct., VT

 

barton_companion_car.jpg (195523 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

Jim Barton, 
Milton, VT

Bob_Lash_Hurricane_77.jpg (81857 bytes)

Bob Lash,
Middlebury, VT

don_johnson_27.jpg (137866 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

Don Johnson,
Colchester, VT

Granpa_Leon_Bundy.jpg (36612 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

   Papa Leon Bundy,
Essex Jct., VT

leon_bundy_cubber.jpg (170451 bytes)

jim_deuell_primer.jpg (106966 bytes)

Courtesy of  Lonnie Terry

   Jim Duell,
Winooski, VT

VIEWS OF THE TRACK'S REMAINS
Also CLICK HERE to see another page of remains

OTTER CREEK/HILLSIDE/RAINBOW RIDGE VIEWS
Shots Which Give A Good Idea of the Layout, Back in the Day

   

This shot was taken at the site of the Otter Creek Speedway about ten years after it had closed. As luck would have it, someone had taken a mowing machine right around where the track surface had been, so turns three and four are visible in the distance. Still standing at the tie were the announcer's tower, a concession stand, and some of the poles left from when someone envisioned lighting the track. Barely visible is the little pond they had in the infield. I have put the other photo next to it for comparison. The tower was barely out of sight to the left.

     

This shot was taken at the site of the Otter Creek Speedway about ten years after it had closed. Some sort of small structure sits near the track, maybe in the infield. The hay mower's recently cutting makes it possible to see the backstretch. The bleachers would have been directly in front of the camera. The poles that never got lights, are visible. A few of those still stand in 2004. I have put the other photo next to this one for perspective. 


Courtesy of Val Blicarz

This is the single best shot of the track, as it was when C.J. Richards began to operate it [with the shortened length]. In this shot, we can see [from left] Jim Koehler on the infield pit road, Joe D'Avignon's purple tow pickup, Gael Dundon's tow pickup [red & white], someone's late model #77 in the foreground of the pits, and Art Visconti's coupe [orange and white] sitting idle in the infield. In the race, Phil LaDuc's white car paces Russ Shaw's sedan, Charlie LaDuc [maroon car], Ed Foley, Gene Tetrault [sedan inside], Ted Brown [outside], Don Miller, Lefty Casey, Sonny Rabideau, and Vince Quenneville. The race was waiting for a stalled car [out of sight on the first turn] to be hauled away.
 


Courtesy of CJ Richards
This shot from further up on the page gives a perspective
from down, on the track surface. [Looking Northeast].

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock
My opinion of the best shot on this page, this shows a similar
perspective, but you can see all the way to US Rte 7.

Ladabouche Photo
This is the lousy fans spectators got at Otter Creek.

 

Bob Frazier Photo Courtesy of CJ Richards
Ken Shoemaker, on the track, at Otter Creek. It shows the
spectator area better than most shots.
 

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of Dave Wood
A never-before-seen shot of the Unbeatable
Lennie Wood, at nearly the same spot as
Shoemaker. This is Hillside Raceway, with newly - built
starter stand. The flagger is Pat McGrath.
 

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of Val Blicarcz
Hillside promoter JoeD'Avignon was a great carpenter, in the
sense he put up a lot of fencing, stands, and outbuildings.

 

 

 
 

LOCATION OF THE OTTER CREEK SPEEDWAY

   
 
 

The track is left of center of photo. Note the back road leading off at an angle from the straight U.S. Route 7.

Note Rte.7 in photo for track location.

 

The track is roughly between the word "boundary" and the "M" in Waltham - and up a bit.

 
 

This layout shows the exact location of the track in Waltham, on Terraserver satellite photo, and on two different maps. The upper map is from and the bottom is a Terraserver topographical map.

 

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