Newsletter Vol. XIX 2022 Ed. #1
Dorney Park 1962 Stock Cars
Posted on 2/24/2022
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Sixty years ago, Jerry Fried was in his third year of promotion at Dorney Park Speedway and the transition from modifieds to limited sportsman stocks as the track's headliners was complete and growing stronger with each year.  Still at the helm of his Sunday Nazareth modified racing, Fried added drag racing on the dirt front stretch at Nazareth on Tuesday nights and a similar program on Thursday nights at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

1961 limited sportsman champ, 'Bimpy' Marx won the '62 Dorney Park opener on April 28th before a record crowd of 3,000.  1960 champion Don Hersh won the second program and Charles 'Cookie' Hauze became the third different winner in as many weeks before Allentown driver, Bill Lavenburg, won his first race of the campaign on week four after three consecutive runner-up finishes.

North Wales, PA driver, Georgie Dilworth, and 'Zorro' Engler took their first wins of the season before 'Bimpy' Marx became the first repeat winner of the campaign.  After a poorly supported go-kart event over the July 4th holiday, further Sunday afternoon go-kart racing was canceled by Park owner, Bob Plarr.  The karts were on the card since 1959 and local racers Joe Ryan of Bethlehem, Whitey Fowler of Macungie, and Ronny Kulp of Allentown were headliners.

As the second half of the season began, Allentown's Walt Smith took his first win in more than two years before 'Bimpy' Marx returned to victory lane for his third win of the season with Bill Lavenburg, notching his seventh-second place finish.

On Labor Day weekend, 'Cookie' Hauze took the Langhorne Race of Champions qualifier for the October 100-lapper on the Bucks Co. dirt mile.  Since 'Cookie's' FIVE car was not suitable for a mile track, he brought his guaranteed starting spot to Freddy and Marlo Adam and started the race in the Adam Bros. #8 3-window coupe.  'Cookie' stayed between the fences until his pit stop when Freddy took over after his ride in Russ Kresge's 777 expired early.  'Cookie' represented Dorney Park well.

During the '62 season finale on Labor Day 'Bimpy' Marx and his Reliable Auto Body 24 put their fourth win into the books, but a fifth-place finish by Bill Lavenburg clinched the track championship.  Jim Ryan finished second in points, 30 markers behind with 545, Don Hersh, third, 530, and 'Bimpy' Marx, fourth, 490.  'Reds' Protivnak won five times to take the hobby car title and the Jack Kochman Hell Drivers made a holiday appearance at The Park. 

Allentown's Bill Lavenburg 1962 Dorney Park Limited Sportsman Champion Oswald's Garage #22 sedan

Bill Wisser, 29, Reds Protivnak, 28, and Johnny Toth, 27, raced hobby cars out of Toth's Gulf Station on S. 4th St., Allentown.   Photo from Bob Hatcher

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.