Southern Transplant and Consummate Pro Will Cagle

Courtesy of C.J. Richards
A typical mid - career Cagle photo courtesy of his buddy, race promoter C.J. Richards of Devil's Bowl Speedway.

        When we folks who spent most of our racing time around Catamount Stadium think of Florida drivers we tend to settle on Robbie Crouch. A fellow Tampa native to Crouch's father, Clarence, was modifed driver Will Cagle. Cagle spent some time racing around his native state, but soon sought easier and better - paying action in the Northeast. Cagle really honed the skills that would allow him to make a living racing modifeds in that highly - competitive area that encompaseed New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, and southern New York. Cagle was not alone as a southern invader. That same circuit saw the likes of Bobby Malzahn, Pee Wee Griffin, Herbie Tillman, and Buzzie Reutimann also driving in that same region.
         John Snyder, when discussing Flemington Speedway, Nazareth Speedway, and Harmony Speedway [all tracks in that sphere of racing] at the 2014 Lost Speedways Conference at the Saratoga Auto Museum, he seemed to take some delight in pointing out how Cagle eventually ended up doing much of his racing in Central New York and even in Vermont. Cagle was a very competitive and successful driver in that NY/NJ/PA circuit, also doing well in the All Star Stock Car Racing League [1968-73]. However, he was not particularly popular among the rank and file of drivers.
         According to Snyder, there was one particular series of events that led to Cagle exiling himself from his stomping grounds. Firstly ,the enormously popular Al Tasnady had had a wreck at Flemington, and the track found every excuse in the world to delay the restart until Taz coiuld get whichever car he was driving at the time back out on the track. Cagle had a mishap later. One lap after he ducked into the pits, the green was out. Incensed, Cagle re-entered the track and proceeded to leave his car somewhere in the middle of the track. It caused a huge wreck. Already outraged, he was fined and suspended from the tracks in that immediate jurisdiction.
         So, he left for further North, where he spent the remainder of his career dominating tracks like Devil's Bowl and taking big pay days at places like Lebanon Valley. He got a come uppance when Devil's Bowl's home star Vince Quenneville, Sr. and car owner Norm Scarborough constructed a perfect clone of Cagle's Bob Rossell - built sedan and beat him with it. However, even into the '80's Cagle was still apt to clean up at the Bowl. I don't know who gave him the nickname Wily Will, but it was appropriate.

Courtesy of Mike Richards
Cagle and his familiarity with both racing surfaces made him the ideal All Star League driver. He was the 1969 champion.


Courtesy of Dave Westerman
Cagle, while still in Tampa, dr
iving some wild rig.

Courtesy of Dave Westerman
Cagle, while still in Tampa, dr
iving some wild rig. 

Courtesy of John Snyder
Cagle drove the Deasey backup
sedan at one of the big races like Langhorne or Trenton.

Courtesy of John Snyder
An early photo in NY/NJ/PA
Courtesy of John Snyder
A blurry photo of one of
his earlier cars.
 John Grady Photo
A great shot of Cagle, waiting
somewhere for a race to
finish lining up.
John Grady Photo
via Otto Graham

A red pavement coupe.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD

Likely the same car.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD

Likely the same car, by
Andy Romano's Galiant
From Mike Pa
A car from the same
era at Lebanon Valley.
From Devil's Bowl Program
More than one way to make
a living in the sport
LIFE Magazine Photo
From The Bullfather

Cagle made LIFE
From the HAMB Website
One of the Rossell - built
sedans in action on dirt.
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Cagle had matching gold
sedans - one for each surface.
This is at the Catamount
All Star League race.
Source Unknown
Look closely - you'll
see both gold sedans.
Courtesy of Ron Wetzler
 A better shot of the 2 sedans.
Cagle hauled them around to different All Star races.
Ladabouche Illustration
 I used to use these drawings as incentives to my fifth graders.
Courtesy of Ed Fabian
Cagle at work at Devil's Bowl with a makeshift crew. He dominated for weeks with this car.
From Devil's Bowl

The car he used at the Bowl.
Ladabouche Collection
At another asphalt
All Star League race.
Courtesy of Joe Cryan
Cagle had matching gold
sedans - yup, I mentioned that.
Courtesy of John Harper
Winning an open show
at Lebanon Valley. Shown with Dik Van Ort and Ted Ryan.
From the HAMB Website
One of his sedans - at Middletown.
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Winning an All Star League race with the missus
in attendance.
Source Unkown
A restored coupe. Duh,
check out the trucks.
Hertica Photo
Sometimes the hectic schedule meant skimping on the looks.
From Mike Pa
Cagle with one of the
sedans - but an unfamiliar color scheme. Maybe it had just had a body job.
Courtesy of Argonrcn Images
Cagle at a dirt race
Ladabouche Collection
A big star in the
All Star League.
Joe Cryan Photo
Joe captured two Cagle
coupes in the pits - one with
the fashionable flat black roof
made popular by the Pettys
and Rene Charland.

Source Unknown
A presentation in
the pits by a lovely.
Source Unknown
A color portrait.
Lebanon Valley Classics
A pose at the Valley.
From the Jalopy Journal
Source Unknown
A pose with his helmet.
Dick Lingle Photo
A strange - looking
sedan with an unfamiliar
From the Jalopy Journal
Rough - looking but fast.
Source Unknown
Typical Cagle Coupe.
Source Unknown
Cagle parks the Coupe
in front of packed stands.
From the Jalopy Journal
At speed on pavement.
Courtesy of Ron Wilson
Cagle with an earlier coupe. 
From the Jalopy Journal
Racing with the
abovementioned Tasnady.
From the Shoemaker Book
Will had this experimental
very secret coupe. He put Ken
Shoemaker in it at Fonda.
The more Fonda-familiar Ken
won the race, beating Will.

From the Shoemaker Book
Will in Vic Lane with the experimental very secret coupe in the background.

Source: empaonline


From Mike Pa
A solid red Gremlin.
Lynch Photo
At speed with a Gremlin.
Mike Traverse Photo
A nice looking Gremlin.
From the SCR Mag
A real shot in the arm
for Cagle Speed Supply.
Courtesy of Florida

Another new style body. 
Chrome Horn Site Photo

Another shot of the solid
red Gremlin.

From Turn 5 Video
On the track at

Lebanon Valley Classics
A Vega at the Valley

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