Saugus Speedway ~ Striking a Blow For Short Track Racers ~ Part II
by: Carol Bell
The saga continues…
“According to one owner, Coldewey agreed that none of the drivers would be singled out for his part in the protest, but that very night, Coldewey reportedly wrote letters to Bob Johnson of Palmdale and Marvin Rowley, who happened to be the two owners whose cars blocked the track, notifying them of their 90-day suspension and forfeiture of all 1968 points.”
This was the shot heard ‘round the county since Rowley owned the car of point’s leader Jimmy Insolo. This prompted Insolo to announce he would not return to Saugus unless Rowley was reinstated.
All competitors felt this action went too far and to complicate matters, Coldewey suspended the entire Sportsman division for one week thus cementing the determination of every driver who competed at Saugus to band together and form a united front.
Then the ugliness started. Accusations began flying like tumbleweeds. Some were obviously the product of someone’s imagination such as the one included in a later column insinuating that days prior to the Labor Day race, several drivers had received anonymous phone calls telling them not to come to Saugus because their cars would be destroyed. This made little sense because the threats came before the race.
At this point, it seemed that Coldewey was in a full state of denial. Surely, he had to have heard that drivers and owners were firm in their belief that a strike was their only option. However, Coldewey continued along his normal path. Read On!