Al Grinnan Memories
Al Grinnan Memories

Great dirt and pavement modified and Late Model Sportsman driver from Fredericksburg and Mechanicsville, Virginia. Former Virginia State NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion and NASCAR Modified Division Most Popular Driver. Equally at home on dirt or pavement.

Al won races from Maine to Florida. He was especially a crowd favorite in his NASCAR pavement cars at Richmond's Southside Speedway on Friday night and with his dirt "outlaw" cars at Wilson County on Saturday nights.

Al was known to take a pickup truck load of watermelons from Virginia to Wilson, NC on hot summer Saturdays to share with fellow competitors. He and Hemingway, SC's Mutt Powell developed a spirited rivalry at Wilson to equal Grinnan's rivalry at Southside with Sonny Hutchins and "Terrible" Tommy Ellis.

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Comment Wall
Jimmy Johnson
@jimmy-johnson   3 years ago
Dave, I am wondering if Al Grinnan has any old cars around. I am doing a car show in Fredricksburg on Memorial weekend at Radley Chevrolet. would love to have one there.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Al passed in 2006, Jimmy. I "think" one of the sons got the #33 Blue Burton modified that Al had in the color photos above, but I have no info.
Richard Gouldman
@richard-gouldman   3 years ago
Ted or Bugs Hairfield as well as Roy Hendrick can probably shed some light on the Blue Burton modified. I think both Ted and Bugs are listed in the phone book. (Gary Hairfield) The car stayed at Ted's shop for a period some years back when Al was still with us. I think Bugs may have been doing some restoration or repairs on it. Never asked. Ted still has his "Snakebite II" modified at the house also that Bugs did a beautiful restoration on back in the nineties.244.jpg
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Richard, that is interesting info about Roy Hendrick or Bugs Hairfield possibly knowing the location of the Al Grinnan / Blue Burton #33 modified. Jimmy, here's the photo of Ted Hairfield's restored Snakebite II Richard posted the photo link for. I watched that car many Friday nights at Southside Speedway. Thanks, Richard, for both the info and photo of Ted's modified.
Richard Gouldman
@richard-gouldman   3 years ago
Southside%2060%27s.jpg Dug this outta the archives too. Southside in the 60's. Paul Radford I think, Lennie Pond, Sonny Hutchins, Ted Hairfield, and Al Grinnan. Can't say positively that Al is in #33...could have been Bill Dennis, but I believe Bill was running the big block Falcon about this time. You guys can throw in your 2-cents on this.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Great photo, Richard. I can't remember what year Bill Dennis started driving those big block #54 Falcons either. And for awhile after he was in Blue Burton's #33, Al drove the #27 which became the #99 Modified owned by Sonny Hutchins and kept up over at Brooks Transfer (later Hemingway) over on The Boulevard near The Arena and Parker Field just past the Lawrence car dealerships where the bridge went over the Acca rail tracks.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Richard, found this piece about Ted winning 1977 Virginia 300 LMS at Southside:
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Bill Dennis Falcon 1967 Bill Dennis Falcon 1968
Richard Gouldman
@richard-gouldman   3 years ago
Now, you know how old age memory works, but I'm pretty certain Ted won this event driving a Chevelle for Jimmy Scott. The story goes that Ted didn't know if he had the wrists and stamina to run a race this length after a year layoff and told Jimmy he would do what he could but would decline any of the purse. Jimmy never offered him any of the winnings, and Ted fumed over that for years. Ha! (Jimmy was Wanda's cousin - Ted's wife) I remember where Brooks Transfer was. The sixties pic would have been Al Grinnan in the 33 though, am I correct?
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Richard, I wasn't at that 1977 Va. 300. Glad you told about Ted driving Jimmy's car. I was wracking my brain trying to figure what car Ted would have been in. I'm stumped on whether Bill or Al is in the #33 in your Southside photo.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Here's a link to a post we did last year with quite a bit of information about Al Grinnan: http://stockcar.racersreunion.com/forum/topics/winning-on-dirt-asphalt-from-maine-to-florida-in-50s-80s-al?id=1981311%3ATopic%3A861571&page=1#comments
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Starter Butch Brown congratulates Al Grinnan on Southside Speedway win. Butch Zervakis photo collection
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
An Al Grinnan / Coleman Mann (from Powhatan) #00 at Catamount Stadium in Vermont from Catamount Stadium website:
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Here's a Walt Wimer photo of a #39 Pontiac powered Al Grinnan modified sponsored by a BBQ joint. Anybody know the car owner and / or track?
roy martin
@roy-martin   3 years ago
Pete Goodman owned Pontiac powered race cars for a long time. He worked at a Pontiac dealership in Richmond and he was Ted Hairfield's father in law. Probably Southside Speedway.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Thanks for the car owner ID, Roy.
Richard Gouldman
@richard-gouldman   3 years ago
It would for sure be Pete Goodman's #39 car. I'm guessing from the limited view that it was Hank's BBQ on Cowardin Avenue across from the old Martin Chevrolet. Pete ran a Pontiac powered orange GTO in the late model division later also. Pete piloted his own cars early on, and had a variety of drivers in later years. I was at Southside one night when Ray Hendrick "borrowed" Pete's Sportsman car. He started at the back of the field and thrashed his way to a third place finish in the feature with a car that was plowing like a dump truck.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Dickie, was Hank's BBQ the little place right at the bridge over the Artlantic Coast Line tracks? Dad bought our '57 Chevy at Martin and we rode with a salesman to the Chevy dealership in Farmville to pick it up. Took forever to get it out of the Farmville showroom. I have a very vague recollection of the GTO. Did Ted drive it?
Richard Gouldman
@richard-gouldman   3 years ago
Dave, Hank's was about two buildings south of Semmes Ave and Cowardin, catty-cornered across from Martin Chevrolet. Ted may have driven Pete's GTO at some point, but to my recollection he never was the appointed driver. When the late models replaced the modifieds, Ted drove for Emanuel Zervakis for a period in the #01 Chevelle. Then Ted built his own look-alike #04 Chevelle. I would love to find some pictures of that car if there are any out there.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   3 years ago
Thanks again, Dickie, for explaining.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   2 years ago
Fredericksburg, Virginia's Al Grinnan - 1967 NASCAR Modified Division Most Popular Driver - leads Rocky Mount, Virginia's Joe Henry Thurman - 1968 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division National Champion - enroute to winning a 10-lap modified heat race at Richmond's Southside Speedway in April 1967: Dennis Garrett Collection
Dennis Andrews
@dennis-andrews   2 years ago
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