Jalopy and Rail Races

Sportsman Park - Oakley, Kansas

Sunday Afternoon – August 20, 1961

 

 

 

 

Oakley Graphic

Thursday – August 10, 1961 – Front Page:

Kick Up Your Heels at Birthday Celebration

Event-packed Fair is Next Week End-To-Do

Oakley next week will kick up its heels in observance of its 75th birthday, and the state’s 100th, and everyone in the territory is invited to help celebrate the occasion.  . . .

SPEED  AND  THRILLS

Jaycees are lugging around a $500 jackpot to the grandstand track to entice a big, top field of stock cars to the races.  That is the most money they’ve ever paid in prizes here and amount tops offers of many races elsewhere.

Time trials are at 1:30 p.m., followed by races at 2:00 p.m.  . . .

 

 

 

Oakley Graphic

Thursday – August 24, 1961 – Page 10:

Winners in Competition Fair Events

Nut Cokeley

 

 

Henry Ellington

 

Charlie Hiner

 

Larry Torson

 

Gene Coffman

In competition, you must have a winner and there were lots of winners in events at Fair time here over the weekend.

The activity-full fair featured jalopy races, kids races, a rodeo, cutting horse contest, quarter horse show, and horse shoes.  Among the tops in various events:

Jaycees Jalopy Races Sunday at Grandstand

“Nut” Cokeley, Liberal, perennial winner who drives jalopies all over and makes a living out of it, had the fastest jalopy lap, 28.45 seconds in (car) No. 7.  Second was an Oakley entry, Red 1, driven by Dennis Scheetz, who toured the oval in 28.97.

Rails turned in all-time fast speed for the Oakley track.  Henry Ellington’s No. 36 from Hutchinson made it in 26.75, with Charlie Hiner, Wichita, in No. 43, second in 26.80.

Top money winners in an announced $500 purse in which $620 was actually given away, were: Rails - Hiner $60; Larry Torson, Dodge City, $67;  (Gene Coffman, Liberal $43); Jalopies - Cokeley $56; Phil Simmons, Beaver City, Nebr. (sic.), No. 4, $42.

Local entries included Paul Garrett who placed 3rd in the B rails feature, and Scheetz, 4th in the main jalopy feature (sic.)

The large pot attracted the biggest field of entries. 27 cars from Oberlin, Norton, Beaver City, Nebr., Hill City, Sublette, Liberal, Dodge City, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Wichita and WaKeeney tore into the track, each other, and at one time, one soared over it. . .

Webmaster’s Note:   The rail that Charlie Hiner drove was owned by Pius Selenke of Wichita, Kansas and was powered by a V8Ford flathead engine.  After several false starts, flagman Richard Scheetz started the race from a standing start.  In doing so, Ellington’s rail twisted an axel.

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley drove both a white #7 rail belonging to Cliff Durr of Derby, Kansas and a red #7 jalopy owned by Bob Lorenz of WaKeeney, Kansas.  Cokeley was the winner of the jalopy trophy dash.

 

 

 

 

Time Trials – 1 Lap 

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Time

  1

36

Henry Ellington

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

26.75

  2

43

Charlie Hiner

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

26.80

  3

37

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

26.97

  4

55

Larry Torson

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

27.05

  5

54

David Ross

Jetmore, Kansas

Rail

27.60

  6

7

Nut Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

27.80

  7

32

K. O. Christian

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

27.85

  8

17

Gene Coffman

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

28.00

  9

97

Lyle Lewis

Dighton, Kansas

Rail

28.05

10

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Jalopy

28.45

11

88

Paul Garrett

Oakley, Kansas

Rail 

28.90

12

1

Dennis Scheetz

Oakley, Kansas

 Jalopy

28.97

13

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

29.05

14

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

29.35

15

9

Roger Davis

Sublette, Kansas

 Jalopy

29.45

16

55

Don Shumard

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

29.62

17

22

Hollis Bird

Pueblo, Colorado 

Jalopy

29.65

18

63

Gene Angel

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

29.65

19

4

Phil Simmons

Norton, Kansas

Jalopy

30.25

20

21

Lavern Owens

WaKeeney, Kansas

Jalopy

30.45

21

1

Charles Schwegel

 

Jalopy

31.27

22

0

John Small

Oberlin, Kansas

Jalopy

31.45

23

8

Eddie Ward

Great Bend, Kansas

Rail 

31.50

24

69

Pat Weigel

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

32.95

25

6

Howard Cochran

WaKeeney, Kansas

Jalopy

33.30

26

25

Bill Wagner

Hill City, Kansas

 Rail

35.90

27

24

Gene Potts

Great Bend, Kansas

Rail

NT

 

 

 

Jalopy Trophy Dash – 5 Laps

4 Fastest Jalopies from Time Trials

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Jalopy

1

2

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

3

3

9

Roger Davis

Sublette, Kansas

Jalopy

4

4

1

Dennis Scheetz

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

2

 

 

 

Rail Trophy Dash – 5 Laps

4 Fastest Rails from Time Trials

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

36

Henry Ellington

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

1

2

43

Charlie Hiner

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

2

3

37

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

3

4

55

Larry Torson

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

4

 

 

 

First Jalopy Heat Race – 6 Cars – 8 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

4

Phil Simmons

Norton, Kansas

Jalopy

6

2

0

John Small

Oberlin, Kansas

Jalopy

3

3

21

Lavern Owens

WaKeeney, Kansas 

Jalopy

5

4

6

Howard Cochran

WaKeeney, Kansas

Jalopy

1

5

69

Pat Weigel

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

2

DNF

1

Charles Schwegel

 

Jalopy

4

Sweigle’s car spun out in the 1st turn on the 1st lap causing the race to be restarted.

 

 

 

First Rail Heat Race – 7 Cars – 8 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

4

2

63

Gene Angel

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

3

3

17

Gene Coffman

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

7

DNF

8

Eddie Ward

Great Bend, Kansas

Rail

2

DNF

25

Charles Collins

 

Rail

1

DNF

97

Lyle Lewis

Dighton, Kansas

Rail

6

DNF

88

Paul Garrett

Oakley, Kansas

Rail

5

#25 now driven by Charles Collins collided with a car driven by Lewis in the 2nd turn and Ward ran off of the racetrack to keep from running into them.  Note that there was a driver change in car #25 between time trials and this heat race.

Garrett’s rail spun out in the 4th turn.

  

 

 

Second Jalopy Heat Race – 6 Cars – 8 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

55

Don Shumard

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

1

2

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

4

3

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Jalopy

6

4

22

Hollis Bird

Pueblo, Colorado

Jalopy

2

5

9

Roger Davis

Sublette, Kansas

Jalopy

3

6

1

Dennis Scheetz

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

5

 

 

 

Second Rail Heat Race – 7 Cars – 8 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

55

Larry Torson

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

4

2

54

David Ross

Jetmore, Kansas

Rail

3

3

43

Charlie Hiner

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

6

4

36

Henry Ellington

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

7

DNF

32

K. O. Christian

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

1

DNF

37

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

5

DNF

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

2

                The rails of Hiner, Christian, Cokeley collided in the 4th turn on the 1st lap of the race.  Hiner and Christian were ready for the restart of the race but Christian dropped out before the race was over.

                Collins drove off of the racetrack on the 1st corner of the 2nd lap of the race.

 

 

 

Jalopy “A” Feature – 12 Cars – 15 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Jalopy

1

2

4

Phil Simmons

Norton, Kansas

Jalopy

7

3

9

Roger Davis

Sublette, Kansas

Jalopy

4

4

1

Dennis Scheetz

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

2

5

21

Lavern Owens

WaKeeney, Kansas 

Jalopy

8

6

22

Hollis Bird

Pueblo, Colorado

Jalopy

5

7

0

John Small

Oberlin, Kansas

Jalopy

10

8

1

Charles Schwegel

 

Jalopy

9

9

69

Pat Weigel

Oakley, Kansas

Jalopy

12

10

55

Don Shumard

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

6

DNF

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Jalopy

3

DNF

6

Howard Cochran

WaKeeney, Kansas

Jalopy

11

                Bird’s car spun out in the 4th turn on the 2nd lap but he was able to get it restarted and continued in the race.

                Shumard’s car spun out in the 3rd turn on the 8th lap but he was able to get it restarted and continue in the race.

                Only the first 6 cars had not been lapped by the end of the race.

 

 

 

Rail “B” Feature – 7 Cars – 12 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

17

Gene Coffman

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

1

2

63

Gene Angel

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

5

3

88

Paul Garrett

Oakley, Kansas

Rail

3

DNF

25

Charles Collins

 

Rail

7

DNF

8

George Haney

 

Rail

6

DNF

22

Bob Salem

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

4

DNF

97

Lyle Lewis

Dighton, Kansas

Rail

2

                The cars driven by Salem and Lewis collided in the 3rd turn on the second lap of this race.

                #8 George Haney slid off of the #2 turn.  Note that there was a driver change in this car between the heat race and the B feabure.

                Collins’ car slid off the 4th turn.

 

 

 

Rail “A” Feature – 7 Cars – 15 Laps

 Finishing Position

Car #

Driver

Hometown

Class

Starting Position

1

43

Charlie Hiner

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

2

2

55

Larry Torson

Dodge City, Kansas

Rail

4

3

7

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, Kansas

Rail

6

4

54

David Ross

Jetmore, Kansas

Rail

5

5

32

K. O. Christian

Wichita, Kansas

Rail

7

6

63

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

3

DNF

36

Henry Ellington

Hutchinson, Kansas

Rail

1

                Collins’ rail #37 rail was too badly damaged in a crash in the 2nd rail heat race to start this race.  Since he had qualified to run in this race through time trials, he was allowed to race driving the #63 rail owned by Gene Angel.

 

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken on this afternoon at a trophy presentation.  Henry Ellington of Hutchinson, Kansas won the rail trophy dash in his #36 Hudson powered rail.  That is Ellington standing at the rear of his car in the darker clothing observing the man in white talking with the pint-sized trophy girl.

The jalopy at left was #69 driven by Pat Weigel of Oakley.  It is believed to have been owned by Fritz Glassman also of Oakley.

Note the photographer standing on the rear tire of Ellington’s rail.  It appears that someone has more photographs of these races.  If you can identify any of the other people or the jalopies in this photo, or if you know anything more about the races run at Oakley on this day, please contact Bob Lawrence.

You can see another photo that was taken by the same photographer just a few seconds later by clicking your mouse on this photo – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

 

 

Oakley Graphic

Thursday – August 24, 1961 – Front Page:

IN  FRONT  OF  GRANDSTAND

SPECTACULAR  CRASH  IN  CAR  RACES

Tragedy was narrowly averted in a rail wreck at races before a big crowd at the grandstand Sunday.  The driver, Gene Potts, Great Bend, suffered a broken left arm and was knocked unconscious after his car went out of control.

(The) incident occurred before the race as drivers were churning the track to dry it out.  Thrills continued through events.  Another driver in the field of 27 cars sustained two broken ribs.  Jerry Collins, Hutchinson, suffered the injuries in a race when his car rolled on the south turn of the track.

Potts piled up in full view of the grandstand crowd and there was a moment of intense apprehension for them.

The wreck occurred after he came out of the north turn and down the straight-a-way.  He had swung wide on the curve and because of another car and was unable to avoid missing guard rails and cables protecting the grandstand.  His jalopy sheered off a couple of rails, veered in and scraped the cement in front of the grandstand before it hurdled into the air.  It appeared Potts’ vehicle was tossed high enough by the impact that another car passed underneath it.  Potts was probably knocked unconscious when he hit the posts.

James Robben, one of the Jaycees in charge of arranging the races was in the grandstand near the wreck area.  When he saw the car coming, he said, “I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t move for a while afterwards,” he added.

Potts, considered one of the better drivers on the circuit, couldn’t slow down after he came out of the curve.  To do so would have caused him to lose control of his rail.  His speed was estimated at between 60 and 70 miles an hour.  After the wreck, persons sitting in the north area of the grandstand moved to other areas.

The rail was demolished.  The owner, Howard Pettigo, Great Bend, was seated in the stands.  He suffered a fainting spell watching the potentially tragic crash.

It was one of three wrecks before and during the races which involved four cars.

 

 

 

 

 

The photo above was taken after Gene Potts’ Crash on this date at Oakley.  Click your mouse on the photo above to see another view of the car after that crash.  The photo below was taken of that rail before the crash.  Click your mouse on the photo below to see more photos of the car – Photos from the Schrater family collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

This piece of cloth was issued to driver

Gene Coffman

and served as his pit pass this day.

Coffman collection 

 

 

 

 

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