#43 Fred Collins, #55 "Leroy Long" and #87 Bud

Hatch while packing the racetrack before the races

at Chanute, KS in the mid-1960s - Mossman collection

 

#61 "Roger Bond" followed by

#13 Benny "Wahoo" Taylor can been seen at

the back of this group of cars lining up for a

restart at the 1973 Winter Nationals at Enid, OK

Mossman collection

 

Tim Holmes in his super modified on the Oklahoma

State Fairgrounds racetrack on June 7, 1974.  Click

your mouse on the photo to see "Dr. Bruce Wells"

painted on the hood as the car's sponsor.

Wells collection

 

The Wells / Mossman tow rig

Wells collection

 

The white over black Wells & Mossman #61 of 1973 was repainted to become their white over red #32 in 1974.  Note the bar on the top of the car added due to Wells' 6' 6" height

Wells collection

 

#55 Roger Stewart and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells at

Caney Valley Speedway, 1976

Caney Valley Speedway program from the Wells collection

 

62 Charlie Turner, #5 John Skaggs, #32 Dr. Bruce Wells, Caney Valley Speedway, May 29, 1976

Wells collection

 

Larry Mossman a.k.a. Roger Bond at left with

Dr. Bruce Wells in 1977 - Mossman collection

 

Larry Mossman at left with starter Bob Inlow at Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, KS

Mossman collection

 

#97 Bernie Gerstenkorn and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells

at Caney Valley Speedway in 1977 -  Wells collection

                                                           

"Roger Bond" at left with starter Bob Inlow at

Caney Valley Speedway - Mossman collection

 

"Roger Bond" - Mossman collection

 

The #32 coupe as it awaits restoration in

Houston, TX in the summer of 2013

George LaRue photo

 

The Plymouth coupe stock car #55 is seen here under construction.  Mossman, Frank Stong, and Tom Jones took turns driving this car at Chanute, KS and

Dewey, OK in the mid-1960s - Mossman collection

 

Jesse Harrington in car #61 with an as yet unidentified man at right.  This was c1972 and before Wells purchased the car from LaVern Nance for both Mossman & Wells to drive - Mossman collection

 

#61 "Roger Bond" is all alone in the first turn during a race at the 1973 Winter Nationals at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Enid, OK - Mossman collection

 

Dr. Bruce Wells at Caney Valley Speedway,

Caney, KS on March 7, 1974 -  Wells collection

 

"Roger Bond" at speed at Caney Valley Speedway in 1974 - Wells collection

 

1974 Trophy Dash at Caney Valley Speedway

L to R:  Charlie Turner, race promoter Al Jones,

Dr. Bruce Wells & starter Bob Inlow - Wells collection

 

 

 

Caney Valley Speedway program cover from the Wells collection

 

Dr. Bruce Wells at 81 Speedway, Park City, KS

on May 2, 1976.  It is difficult to tell from this black & white photograph but the car was white over red.

Wells collection

 

#70 Dick Walker and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells on

May 22, 1976 at Caney Valley Speedway

Wells collection

 

#7 Sonny Truitt and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells flank an unidentified super modified at Caney Valley Speedway

on May 29, 1976 - Wells collection

 

Larry Mossman a.k.a. Roger Bond in the #32 coupe

Mossman collection

 

#32 "Roger Bond", #56 Frank Lies, and an unidentified

car at 81 Speedway in 1979 - Lies collection

 

The Auto Racing Careers of Kansans

Dr. Bruce Welton Wells & Larry Gene Mossman

 

Bruce Wells was born in 1939 in Kansas City, Missouri but moved to LeRoy, Kansas when he was six months old.  In 1948, the family moved to Winfield, Kansas where Bruce's father established his medical practice.  As a teenager, Bruce became interested in auto racing when he attended the stock car races at the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield.  Following in his fathers' footsteps, he also became a medical doctor and served his residency in Oklahoma City from 1968 through 1971.  While a resident, he attended a costume party where one of the other guests came dressed in a driver uniform and carrying a crash helmet.  Bruce soon learned that the man's brother was Tim Holmes who competed in the weekly Mar-Car sanctioned super modified races on the half-mile dirt racetrack on Friday nights at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.  Bruce asked him if Tim might like to have some help in the pits at the races and was told that he probably would.  A few days later, Tim Holmes called Bruce and invited him to join his small pit crew.  Bruce assisted Holmes in that capacity beginning in 1969 and became part-owner with Holmes of their pea-green #31 super modified in 1970.  Wells moved back to Winfield, Kansas in July of 1971 but often made the trip to Oklahoma City to watch Holmes compete.

 

Wells drove the car once himself in a race at Enid, Oklahoma and someone got word to the race announcer that a doctor from the Oklahoma University Medical Center was driving in the races that night.  A radiator hose failed on the very first lap of the heat race causing Wells to spinout in the car's own water.  As the car slid to a stop, the words, "The Doc blew it!" came bellowing over the public address.

 

Holmes continued to race the car in Oklahoma City until 1972 when he received a skull fracture and concussion in an unplanned meeting with a light pole in the south turn of the state fairgrounds racetrack.  Holmes eventually recovered from his injuries and, with sponsorship from Wells, returned to racing at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in 1974.  By then though, Wells was racing another super modified in Kansas so he stopped his sponsorship of Holmes.  Holmes raced awhile longer before finally giving up competing in the sport.  Wells got many of Holmes' parts to take back to Kansas for his racing effort there.

 

Wells' wife, Billie, belonged to the local chapter of Welcome Wagon in Winfield.  Another local member was Marjorie Mossman whose husband was Kansas highway patrolman Larry Mossman.

 

Mossman had been born at Eskridge, Kansas in 1935 and lived there until late in 1957 when he moved to California for the winter.  Within months, he received his military induction papers and, not wanting to be drafted into the army in California, he returned to Eskridge and his hometown draft board with his draft papers in hand.  His wife was pregnant with their first child though, so his orders were canceled and he took a job with the local Ford agency.  Eventually, he worked in every automotive garage in town.

 

Mossman joined the Kansas Highway Patrol and his first assignment was to patrol in Montgomery County, Kansas where, when he was not watching the highways, he was helping friends Frank Stong and Tom Jones build a 1933 Plymouth coupe six-cylinder car #55 to race on small racetracks at Chanute, Kansas and Dewey, Oklahoma in the mid-1960s.  Although Mossman's employer did not know of the connection, they painted the coupe Sheridan blue and Silverton gray with gold lettering; the same colors as a Kansas Highway Patrol car of that period.  The friends alternated driving duties but, when it was Mossman's turn, not wanting to let his employer know that he was driving stock cars, he drove under the alias "LeRoy Long".

 

The highway patrol assigned Mossman to be one of their driving instructors at the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Center in 1966 and, although still patrolling his assigned county, he taught driving techniques to fellow patrolmen at the old Schilling Air Force Base at Salina, Kansas for fourteen years.  Mossman was transferred from Montgomery County to Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas in 1971 which was about the same time that Bruce Wells had returned to Winfield to begin his medical practice.  In fact, the new doctor became the Mossman family doctor.

 

At a get-together / mixer for members of Welcome Wagon and their families, Bruce and Larry were able to further explore the other's interest in open wheel racing.  At the end of the evening, Bruce told Larry, "If you ever decide to start racing again, let me know.  I might be interested".

 

In 1973, Mossman located a gray and white super modified #61 sitting for sale at LaVern Nance's Speed Shop in Wichita.  He recognized the car as one that he had seen driven by Jesse Harrington at Dewey, Oklahoma.  Mossman told Wells about what he had found and the two men returned to Wichita to look the car over more thoroughly.  Wells purchased the car from Nance and the two men began racing it at Caney Valley Speedway at Caney, Kansas; Lakeside Speedway at Dewey; the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Enid, Oklahoma; and at 81 Speedway in Park City, Kansas.  Wells claimed to not be a very good mechanic but Mossman was willing to work on the car so their pairing worked out quite well.

 

"LeRoy Long" had worked well as an alias when Mossman raced on the small racetracks in eastern Kansas but he thought a new pseudonym was in order so he chose the name "Roger Bond" when he drove the car with Bruce Wells.  They installed an Ernie-McCoy-built economy engine, a movable seat to accommodate the big difference in the two men's heights, and an extra bar was added to the top of the car to help protect Wells' six-foot, six inch frame.

 

"Roger Bond" flipped the car end-over-end at Caney severely damaging it and requiring extensive repair.

 

Over the winter of 1973 / 1974, the car was painted red and white, renumbered as #32, and was again raced primarily at Caney, Kansas and Dewey, Oklahoma although they did occasionally venture back to 81 Speedway.  Wells won one trophy dash at Caney in the car.  He also managed to get it on its top after his left rear wheel ran over the right front tire of another competitor during a race at Caney in 1974.  That incident did little or no damage to the car.  Although the car was still in raceable condition and Wells had finished tenth in the super modified season points at Caney in 1976, he decided to take the car out of service after that season and cannibalized it for parts.  After a year or so of it taking up space in his garage and with nothing more on it salvageable, he had the car cut up for scrap.

 

Wells and Mossman decided to give super modified racing another try in 1977 so they purchased a red modified coupe, with no car number or engine, for $2,000 from Ron Cuda of Wichita near the end of 1976.  The car had been built from a Nance kit in 1970 as a black #11 junior modified by Glenn Stults in Wichita and Ray Eubanks of Burlington, Kansas was its first driver.  The car was also driven as a junior modified by Oren Haas and then Cuda while it was still owned by Stults.  Cuda acquired the car from Stults in time for the 1974 racing season.  He had the car converted to a super modified and raced it at 81 Speedway.

 

Mossman and Wells installed their moveable seat, an extra bar across the roof, a small-block V-8 Chevrolet built by Mossman, painted #32 on the sides, and they raced the car at 81 Speedway; Caney Valley Speedway; and at Enid, Oklahoma.  Although Wells drove the car in a few races, the primary driver was "Roger Bond".

 

Billie Wells and Maurine Hogue became the official track photographers at the Caney Valley Speedway in 1975 and that helped influence Wells and "Bond" to compete there on an even more regular basis.

 

During Mossman's racing career, his father resided in California so Mossman was only able to take him to the races on one occasion.  On that night, "Roger Bond" drove the red #32 super modified to victory in his heat race, placed second in the trophy dash, and then won the feature at Caney Valley Speedway making Mossman especially proud that, if his father could only watch him race on one occasion, that would have been the best night he could have been there.

 

On Sunday night, July 31, 1977 and after the 1977 Hutchinson Nationals, Wells and Mossman took the car to 81 Speedway where "Roger Bond" qualified the car for the A feature for the first time.  Competition was very tough for super modifieds at 81 Speedway in those days so just making the A feature, especially for such a small racing team, was a memorable accomplishment.

 

According to Mossman, Wells was a very good car owner who seemed to take any bad racing luck in stride but, with being the father of four daughters, two of which were in college and a third ready to begin college, there was more pressure on his racing budget.  Since Wells was then one of only two doctors in Winfield who delivered babies and with his father's failing health, there was more demands on his time as well.  Wells assessed all this and decided that he needed to be spending more of his time and funds elsewhere so he sold the car to Tom Purvis of Burden, Kansas for $2,000 in 1977.  Purvis had Mossman refresh the engine but did not change the car's number or appearance and he retained "Roger Bond" as the driver.  With Purvis as owner, the new racing team travelled a little more, adding appearances at the Fun Valley Raceway and at the Kansas State Fair races, both in Hutchinson, Kansas, to their 81 Speedway, Caney Valley Speedway, and Enid schedule.  "Roger Bond" finished ninth in the second heat race at the state fair on September 17, 1977, a race that was won by Roy Bryant of Wichita in the Kennedy Farms #7 super modified from Ness City, Kansas.  "Bond" then finished sixth in the B feature which was won that day by Herb Copeland of Wichita driving Evart Isaac's #8 super modified from Dodge City, Kansas.

 

"Roger Bond" returned to the state fair races the following day and finished sixth in the first heat race which was won by Roy Bryant in the Kennedy Farms #7.  "Bond" then finished fourth in the B feature which was won again by Evart Isaac's #8 that was being driven on this afternoon by Dale Reed.

 

The Purvis / "Bond" duo also entered the Kansas State Fair races at Hutchinson on September 8, 1979 finishing seventh in the third heat race which was won by Dale Reed driving Jerry Wilson's #25 super modified from Wichita.

 

Discouraged by the high cost of racing, Tom Purvis decided to park the car.  Around 1990, he offered the car for sale through an ad in National Speed Sport News and it was purchased by George LaRue of Houston, Texas.  The car sat in a garage in Houston for several years before LaRue retrieved it and has now begun its restoration.

 

Reflecting on his racing career, Mossman said that his favorite racetrack was the Caney Valley Speedway primarily because he raced there more than anywhere else and he felt more comfortable racing there than anywhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 Race Pace Lap - Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas - May 1, 1976

#32 Dr. Bruce Wells; #00 Don Lowery; the white car is #5 John Skaggs; and #8 Terry Melson

Wells collection

 

 

 

 

 

Feature Race Pace Lap - Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas - May 1, 1976

Row 1: #70 LeRoy Stewart and unidentified; Row 2: #30 Odel Anderson and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells; Row 3: #62 Charlie Turner and #7 Sonny Truitt; Row 4: #98 Floyd Riley, and unidentified - Wells collection

 

 

 

 

Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas - May 22, 1976

 #97 Bernie Gerstenkorn, #9 Court Grandstaff, #32 Dr. Bruce Wells - Wells collection

 

 

 

#8 Corky VanGotten and #32 Dr. Bruce Wells

#32 Dr. Bruce Wells and #00 Don Lowery

#32 Dr. Bruce Wells and #74 Kelly Brewer

 All Three of these Photographs are from the Wells Collection and were taken on July 17, 1976 at Caney Valley Speedway at Caney, Kansas

 

 

 

Pace Lap for the A Feature at Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas - August 7, 1976

#32 Dr. Bruce Wells, #62 Charlie Turner, #81 Larry McDaniels, #70 Dick Walker, #61 Jerry Walkingstick, and #97 Bernie Gerstenkorn - Wells collection

 

 

 

 Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas - September 11, 1976

 #32 Larry Mossman a.k.a. Roger Bond, #7 Sonny Truitt, #97 Bernie Gerstenkorn - Wells collection

 

 

 

#92 Dick Walker, #17 John Sutton, #32 Larry Mossman, #97 Bernie Gerstenkorn, #5 John Skaggs in 1977 - Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Thank you to:

Larry Mossman, Billie and Bruce Wells