Cir­cle M Ranch Speed­way Fall Show­down

Re­union al­lows fans to re­live the good old days of oval trac­ing rac­ing

The Hamburg Area Item - - Local News - By Carl Hess For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO - CARL HESS

E. j. Kowal­ski slams his 1920s era Ford Model T road­ster off of the back straight and into turn three at the Auburn oval.

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