Newsletter 2016 Vol. XIII, #3 LVSCRA
The Lehigh Valley Stock Car Racing Association
Posted on 10/3/2016
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Sixty years ago modified stock car racing on the 1/5 mile flat asphalt oval at Dorney Park Speedway in Allentown, PA was under the control of promoter, Sherman 'Red' Crise. For several years during the early 1950s the races were run under the NASCAR banner, but by 1956 many of the local racers had become disenchanted with many of the policies, rules, and regulations of the Daytona Beach based organization. NASCAR expected its members to race only at NASCAR sanctioned tracks and in eastern Pennsylvania it was becoming difficult to string together a full weekend of NASCAR racing within a reasonable towing distance. When car counts began to drop, 'Red' Crise was more than willing to cut the sanctioning body adrift and put himself in charge.

Most 1950s stock car racers were well aware of the value of a sanctioning body and weren't about to put their fate into the hands of a promoter. Racers of the day liked their freedom, definitely liked to have a say in how things were run, wanted to have input into car specifications, and, without a doubt, wanted a contract with the promoter as to what the purse would be and how it was to be distributed. Very few drivers and owners were willing to give 'Red' Crise (or any other promoter for that matter) control of these things.

So, the Lehigh Valley Stock Car Racing Association, LVSCRA, was formed to sanction the races at Dorney Park, Evergreen Speedway in St. Johns, PA on Friday nights and the Lehighton, PA Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoons. This gave LVSCRA members three shows per weekend, two on asphalt and a Sunday afternoon on dirt, and still provided the freedom to participate in the Sunday night events at Nazareth, PA if they chose.

The LVSCRA quickly took control over a substantial number of cars and drivers to the point 'Red' Crise was unwilling to buck the new group. Crise was content to collect the Dorney Park gate receipts, pay the new group their percentage, and be done with it. Besides, he was able to pocket the NASCAR sanctioning fees and other costs. The other promoters were glad to have LVSCRA run the show, since they guaranteed them a nice field of cars each week.

Resume of 1956 Dorney Park LVSCRA Events
May 126Jack Rudy
May 2037LRocky Ewing
May 268Freddy Adam
May 3037LRocky Ewing
June 882Red Lesher
June 1596Jim Ryan
June 22322Dave Haldeman
June 29888Dick Keen
July 27, 50 L3ADick Havens
August 38Freddy Adam
August 106Jack Rudy
August 17200 lap team race 6, 8Jack Rudy & Freddy Adam
August 24505Charlie Cregar
August 3171XHarry Moore
September 7322Dave Haldeman 1956

Dorney Park LVSCRA Modified Points
Driver Owner
1.Rocky Ewing7976Walt Siwak818
2.Jack Rudy76765Clarence Rittenbaugh712
3.Dave Ely68237LA. Lupjicina686
4.Freddy Adam65577Dave Ely682
5.Marty Acker6328Adam Bros.619
6.Warren Mutter591555Roy Smith545
7.Red Rhodes52496D. Lucas535
8.Willard Miller506888Adam Bros.507
9.Red Lesher50310Willard Miller506
10.Mose Moore48240Wm Banghart432

LVSCRA officials for the 1956 season were: President, Jack Mann Vice President, Dick Keen Secretary, Bud Mohr Treasurer, Lou Heller Board of Govenors: Marty Acker, Smokey Dengler, Jack Rudy Technical Committee: Ramsey Stout, A.W. Grim, Walt Siwak, Clarence Rittenbaugh, Morris Hoffman Track Officials: Chief Steward, Gill Ebchels, Asst. Steward, Chas. Jamson, Scorers, Evelen Crise & Florence Crescenzo, Starter, Lou Heller, Track Physician, Dr. Chas. Zellner Promoter: Capt. Red Crise

On Saturday night, October 27, 1956, the LVSCRA held their first annual banquet at Castle Garden on the lake at Dorney Park. Castle Gardens was a popular Allentown 'spot' for everything from banquets to the Sportsman's Show, to teenage dances, to high school proms. It was considered a classy venue.

Master of Ceremonies, Bill Gregory, introduced club officers and guests and presided over the trophy and awards presentation. The evening's entertainment also included a floor show with Shirley Denson, the exotic dancer, The Three Cloe's performing a comedy routine, ventriloquist Kenny Van with his sidekick, Buddy Sir Cecil, and Jack Green performing his 'Well Dressed Hangover' routine. The floor show was followed by fellowship and dancing to the Art Muth big band.

Dinner featured celery-olives-pickles-carrots, endive with Dutch dressing, ham with pineapple ring, mashed potatoes, corn, hot rolls and butter, pie ala mode, and coffee -- all for the low price of $5 per head. Life was good sixty years ago!

EARHS Corporate Level Sponsors

Please support our sponsors
Weisel Racing Equipment, Inc. Orefield, PA
Plunkett & Graver, P.C. Allentown, PA
The Gang at Stoner Racing Enola, PA
High Speed Graphics Orefield, PA
Father & Son Spl. #33 Junie & Bing Metz
Reliable Auto Body Allentown, PA
John Schneider Allentown, PA
Leigh Earnshaw Ent. Morgantown, PA
Pocono Raceway Mattioli Foundation Long Pond, PA
Antonini Radiator Pottsville, PA
Midnight Machine Works Eddie Gittens Mountaintop, PA
Jim & Donna Hontz Bethlehem, PA
Freddy Adam - The Kutztown Komet From Freddy's family, friends, and fans
Bob and Carole Wilkey Hollsopple, PA & COLORADO

Your monetary sponsorship in any denomination or donations of historically significant items, photos, documents, etc. toward projects undertaken by the EARHS are welcomed and encouraged. EARHS is recognized as a federally tax exempt charity by the IRS under Section 501c(3).

EARHS "wants and needs"

Wanted: Racing photo collections share and preserve programs. If you have vintage racing photos, EARHS would like to be able to scan and copy these items. All items will be returned intact and we can provide you with a computer disc of those items from significant collections. We are especially interested in Dorney Park items from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and all Allentown Fair items, including indoor racing events, but all items are welcome.

Wanted: Showcases and display cases. Often cases of unusual configuration can be used for displays of trophies and memorabilia. Also, race programs from the '55 & '58 Allentown Fair.

We continue to fill our showroom - all members are invited to visit and check our progress. Please call Pete (610 398-2188) or Paul (610 395-5303) to arrange a time to visit.