Sportsman Park

Oakley, Kansas

Sunday Afternoon – July 1, 1951


Photograph from the Cloyd Ricketts collection

Leroy Eugene “Junior” Pickrel of Tribune, Kansas is shown here at a track roadster race at the Great Bend, Kansas airport on Memorial Day of 1951 in the #22 Ricketts Brothers’ Chevrolet sprint car owned by Cloyd and Emmett Ricketts of Winona, Kansas and powered by their six-cylinder Wayne Chevrolet engine.  The Ricketts had converted their track hot rod into this sprint car over the preceding winter.

This car was damaged when Pickrel banged rear wheels with another competitor between the third and fourth turns during the first heat race at Sportsman Park in Oakley, Kansas on July 1, 1951.  The Ricketts sprinter flew high into the air and crashed through the northwest fence before striking some parked cars.  Pickrel was not seriously injured but received a cut near his eye and another near his nose.

If you have any further information about the races at Oakley, Kansas, please contact Bob Lawrence at sprintguy @


Leroy Eugene “Junior” Pickrel

1924 – 1969


Harold Emmett Ricketts

1905 - 1985