Circle M Ranch Speedway Fall Showdown
Reunion allows fans to relive the good old days of oval tracing racing
The fifth annual edition of the Circle M Ranch Speedway Racers’ Reunion fell victim to Mother Nature and was rained out back on May 13th of this year. Event coordinator Ken Johnson of Hamburg, the Mates family and the vintage racers put their collective heads together and came up with an autumn date that wouldn’t conflict with other similar events and dubbed the rescheduled 2017 get together “Fall Showdown” at Circle M Ranch Speedway.
Despite getting rained out back in the spring and rescheduling a rain date right in the middle of hurricane season all went well for the September 23rd “Fall Showdown”. Unseasonably warm temperatures, but no chance of precipitation, made for a record turnout of vintage race cars, drivers, mechanics, motorsports enthusiasts and fans who wanted to once again relive the good old days of oval track racing.
Drivers and car owners came from not only Pennsylvania but also neighboring states and one, Shirley Morden, even transported her immaculate 1936 Chevy coach- bodied modified stock car from Ontario, Canada.
The Auburn Fire Company was kept busy watering the track throughout the day as the record number of cars coupled with glaring sunshine made for some dusty conditions from time to time. The local fire company, which also did the concessions at Circle M, was up to the task.
The 2018 Circle MRanch Speedway Reunion is tentatively scheduled for the second Saturday in May.
Late 1930s and early 1940s coupes and sedans like those pictured above were commonplace when the Circle M Ranch Speedway ran weekly races from 1955 thru 1958. The Auburn oval was a popular destination for race fans in its day.
The fully restored “Wild Fire” late model of Wilmer Weiss from Hamburg was a favorite among the Northern Berks race fans. The restored racer is owned by Rick Kaylor and was driven by Wilmer’s son Kyle Weiss. The car was a feature winner at Nazareth, Big Diamond, Anthracite, Fredericksburg and Linda’s Speedways.
Vintage sprint cars, both from different eras, enjoy some track time together at Circle M Ranch Speedway’s “Fall Showdown”. # 57 sprint car ( outside) is owned by Scott Kerschner from the Sharlesville/ Bernville area.
Traveling the farthest for the vintage racers get- together was Shirley Morden who brought her beautiful 1936 Chevy Coach (# A- 1) all the way from Ontario, Canada.
To give you an idea of the diversity of vintage cars that turned out for the annual event here’s Rich Orth’s Falcon- bodied modified (# 108), typical of the 1970s and 1980s and outside is Marcia Barker piloting a 1915 Model T Ford Speedster (# 7), the oldest car at the event.
A quartet of coupes and coaches come off of turn four at Circle M Ranch Speedway, much like they might have back in the mid- 1950s when the track was a weekly destination for racers and motorsports fans alike.
Zac Shur ducks to avoid the flying gravel as he was in hot pursuit of another vintage roadster ahead of him when this photo was taken.
This Mustang bodied modified stock is representative of the race cars of the 1970s and 1980s. The # 77s is owned by Donny Eskey of Leesport.
E. j. Kowalski slams his 1920s era Ford Model T roadster off of the back straight and into turn three at the Auburn oval.