Buffalo NY - a lost GN race?

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
4 years ago
3,993 posts

This one is for Alex FL Racing Fan who enjoys the challenge of seeking out lost races. This post includes a bit of info but a whole lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions as well.

In digging around for info about the June 18, 1950 race at Vernon Fairgrounds, I stumbled across a couple of articles about a NASCAR Grand National race at Buffalo's Civic Stadium held on Saturday, September 30, 1950. The race was run the day before the GN circuit's return trip to Vernon on October 1 - its 2nd and final race at that track.

This race is not included in Greg Fielden's Forty Years Vol 1 book. Nor is it referenced on racing-reference.info or ultimateracinghistory.com.

Newspaper ad from September 30 Niagara Falls Gazette.

Race preview from September 30 Tonawanda Evening News. Similar articles were found in the Niagara Falls paper and Buffalo Courier Express.

Oddly, I cannot find a race report to know who won the race. Ed Otto promoted the race. Looks like he did a great job getting the word out to the area newspapers to help sell tickets. But once the money was banked, he may not have been as interested in ensuring news of the event went to the same papers.

Many of the papers I've found jump from Saturday to Monday. I'm unsure if the Sunday editions are missing or simply weren't published then. Either way, perhaps by Monday the race on Saturday was old news.

I'm also unclear if it was indeed a legit GN race. The Short Track Division wasn't formed until 1951 so I can rule it out as a race from that series. And it seems clear with the drivers promoted for the race that the event was not a modified-sportsman race.

NASCAR also had an Eastern Late Model series. As I understand it, the cars were comparable to the GN cars but ran races along the Atlantic seaboard and into the New England states. It was later reformed into what became the Busch North Series and now the K&N East Series. What I DON'T know is if the Eastern Late Model series existed as early as 1950.

I have found other articles where Otto promoted NASCAR sanctioned late model events at Civic Stadium including a New York state championship race where drivers raced at Vernon, Buffalo and Monroe County Fairgrounds in Rochester. Example from October 7, 1950:

Perhaps in this case, Otto paid show money to the big dawgs in town for Vernon to run a late model event in Buffalo as an "unofficial" GN race.

The "GN" race was the headliner for a slate of other races that night - again leading me to believe this was a NASCAR-sanctioned race but not a GN one.

From Buffalo Courier Express. The fact the cars had to be limited to 1946-forward does tend to favor the rce being a GN one. Yet that may be a convenient rule since the GN drivers would be bringing those cars anyway to race at Vernon.

That ought to give y'all a bit to chew on for a while, huh?




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 06/17/17 10:57:39PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
4 years ago
9,126 posts

Sounds like a good race for CBS Radio to have broadcast:




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
4 years ago
9,126 posts

Apparently Ed Otto devised something for his Buffalo races he considered more thrilling for the fans than NASCAR's current debris cautions. But his gimmick cost him exclusive promoting rights at Buffalo according to the May 1950 clip out of Montreal:




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Alex FL Racing Fan
@alex-fl-racing-fan
4 years ago
221 posts

I find this very interesting as the only 1950 NASCAR race at Buffalo that I know of was won by a driver not in the field according to the news clipping: Bobby Courtwright.

NASCAR also sanctioned their first track championships in 1949: at Lakewood, Winston-Salem, and Buffalo, from 1950 Media Guide that I have seen with my own two eyes.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
4 years ago
3,993 posts

I suppose it's possible the race was rained out. If so, Otto likely could not have rescheduled it because of the Vernon race the next day and only 3 remaining races in the season to close the year. If it did get rained out / cancelled, that could also explain why I'm not finding any race report.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
4 years ago
3,993 posts

Dave, I was expecting you to know the answer. After all, I'm finding these articles in NY newspapers through a search engine at http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 06/18/17 10:09:45AM
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
4 years ago
3,993 posts

Another race preview article from September 29th Buffalo Courier Express




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
4 years ago
9,126 posts

Nothing about we black sheep Fultons!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Kwood635
@kwood635
one month ago
2 posts

I found this in the 1951 NASCAR Yearbook as a Non-Championship race, I think it was a trial run for the short track div.  Bobby Courtright won, Herb Thomas was second.

I entered it onto Thethirdturn a while back.