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Baton Rouge International Speedway (196?-198?)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by EvansRacing, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. rybert
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 9

    rybert
    Member

    Anybody remember Tommy Templeton? (I think that was his name) He drove a chevelle, #7.
     
  2. Dave D
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 6

    Dave D
    Member
    from NJ

    Back in 1981 I visited a racetrack named Carroll Speedway.I think I still have the rules.Here's a link to a track that I think is the same place.
    http://www.batonrougeraceway.com/
     
  3. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,149

    mickeyc
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hello rybert,Mickey C here, I knew your uncle "Bud Lewis very well indeed! I lived on Camel Street less than a block from Buds house on Clear view pkwy. I worked for Bill Porter at his Spur station as well as the Esso
    station on Wood lawn Ave and Clearview. I also knew Randy as well.
    I have not seen Randy in a very long time. You mentioned your dad.
    Was he Buds brother? What was his name? I seem to remember Bud having a son who was a pretty small guy that could play some serious basketball. You may remember me by the nickname "Big Mick" I was a bit of a hell raiser back then. Your Uncle Bud, Bill Porter and myself used to Frequent the Five Daughters Lounge right there on Clearview. By the way I still live on Camel Street. Bud was supervisor for King and Co. If I remember correctly. Bill Porter was one wild ass Indian and the most talented car builder, driver I ever saw. He and Bud were quite a pair
    and helped me immensely on the path to developing an understanding
    for the concept of free spirited living that I still enjoy today!
     
  4. rybert
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 9

    rybert
    Member

    Mickey,

    I remember you. Here are some memories and answers: My Dad was Bob (Shorty) Cole. He also spent way too much time at the Five Daughters with you guys. Mom wasn't happy about that. Uncle Bud was my great Uncle and really my Dad's uncle but they were like brothers. You probably remember my Uncle Cecil Jones too. He actually took over my Dad's job at King & Company after he died. My Dad was a supervisor there too. Uncle Bud's son was Buddy and he could definitely play basketball. He moved to Tennessee sometime in the 70's. I'm not sure but I think he passed away a while back. We lived on Anthony Street right off of Houma and West Metairie. I was 13 when my Dad died in 1972. Ricky, Uncle Bud's adopted son, was my age and my little brother was Bruce. He was the big boy! Still is! He lives in Metairie out on Turnbull north of West Metairie. I've been in Florida since 1985. I'm about 10 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. Please send me an email at: mark@thoroughbredllc.com or markcole@RyBert.com and I'll try and send you an old picture or two. The memories of the racing during those times are some of the last ones for me with my dad. I'll never forget them. Uncle Bud died not too long after my dad. He never got over it. The drinking didn't help either. It's great hearing from you! Stay safe through the storm and shoot me an email when you can.

    Mark Cole
     
  5. Carroll's used to be behind the old Valentine grocery on Plank Road, Slaughter back in the 60's.
    I remember the big "Pepsi" bottle cap sign.
    You can still see the remnants of the track......for now.
    Looks like a development may be going in there.
    its on the east side of La-67.

    The current BR raceway was also called Carroll's, I went there a lot in 1983/84 in my Bright Red 1964 Impala SS.
    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=17700+Plank+Rd,+Baker,+LA+70714&amp;daddr=LA-67+N&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=Fa830wEdOLSR-ilfUDpo3psmhjGycmR6wYHvyA%3BFbXa1AEdVFiS-g&amp;aq=&amp;sll=30.728888,-91.065288&amp;sspn=0.032168,0.0633&amp;t=h&amp;mra=ls&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.673205,-91.093435&amp;spn=0.10727,0.04201&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View Larger Map</small>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  6. rybert
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 9

    rybert
    Member

    I remember those names. Went to that track a few times in the late 70's. Used to hang out at the old Dixieland Speedway on Amedia Road and Airline Hwy west of Kenner. My Uncle Bud was half owner of the #84 driven by Big Bill Porter. Late 60's and early 70's.
     
  7. rybert
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 9

    rybert
    Member

    bluegill,
    I know you posted this a while back, but I just found this forum. Those names sure do bring back a lot of memories. I saw Freddy Fryar, Chuck Arnald and those guys race a lot back in the day; a few times in Pensacola, Laurel, Jackson, Baton Rouge and at the Dixieland Speedway, when they ventured through. I was a kid but I remember it like yesterday. I would love to see any pictures you might have.
     
  8. rybert
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 9

    rybert
    Member

    txtom,
    you really know the history there! I went to that track a few times. It was a nice track despite all of the corrupt dealings behind the scenes. I remember guys like Freddy Fryar, Chuck Arnald, Terry Templeton, Tommy Houston, etc. driving there. Good racing. Last time I was there was summer of '78. Back in the late 60's and early 70's, I went to the old Dixieland Speedway out on Airline Hwy and Amedia Road that was a few miles west of New Orleans. That was really great racing. 3/8's mile asphalt that attracted a lot of the names in the area. The Jackson International Speedway was great too. I also went to a good track in Laurel, MS and a couple of times over to 5 Flags in Pensacola. Lot of history there. Did you spend time down in the SE LA area?
     
  9. Yes we ran there from early 60's til early 70's. Royce Whitlock was our driver. My dad Hurl Johns was the owner. Freddy Fryar, Red Farmer, Donnie Allison, Bobby Allison, Terry Labonte, Chuck Arnold, Warren Hughes just to name a few that ran there. Freddy Fryar was definitely the fastest there for a long time. The man could wreck his primary car and get in one he never drove and still win the race. I have seen him do it. Warren Hughes was killed in a plane crash. Earl Hughes his brother ran a few races. The track was very pretty and very elaborate. The infield is where they would land the helicopters when some drivers came in. Ed Grady Parton was the owner as far as we knew. I was just a kid and took a picture of him and one of the bodyguards snatched my camera away. Grady told him I was just a kid and give me my camera back.
     
  10. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    Debbie did you know Larry John's ?? He moved down from Birmingham with Eddie Cowart and the Ray Putnam crew.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  11. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    LB+1
    Member
    from 71291

    Debbie check with Mrs Staggs she is at the parts store most every day. They ran a Pontiac #20.
     
  12. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    Eddie Roch wrote about the B R La track in his Flordia Racing pictorial book. He lots of photos and some history on all.. As stated before check Miss Chicken site as he has a large following and lots of Miss and La. stories and facts. Bobby..
     
  13. Tom Harrington
    Joined: Dec 2, 2016
    Posts: 1

    Tom Harrington

    Debbie: I just discovered this blog while killing time during the holidays. I started racing in 1974 at Meyer Speedway in Houston, TX. Before that I lived in Shreveport, where I grew up, New Orleans and West Monroe, LA. I'm a graduate of Northeast and I met Royce and went to many races with him as crew member. I bought a 1964 Chevelle race car and Royce got it rules compliant for a NASCAR sportsman. My wife and I moved to Houston and I began my career at Meyer Speedway. I had followed racing as a kid and growing up and Royce taught me enough skills to get a car to the track and be competitive. Is Jerry Johns related to you? Did I buy his car? My memory is a little rusty. This blog is about Baton Rouge International and I did race there but only once that I recall (1974); maybe twice (1979). I know quite a few racers from the Monroe area and that era. I raced until 2000 at 93 different tracks across the US and Canada and Royce Whitlock was my mentor and angel. The last race car that I owned and drove was #13.
     
  14. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,917

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    I've got nothing to add to your tales, which I really enjoy, only to say that I had joined the Navy in 1979 and was in Pensacola for training when I took in the 79 Snowball derby at Five Flags (along with weekly shows that fall and the next spring). Being a "yankee" from Northern Illinois I naturally had to root a little harder for all the ASA guys I had watched race at home - Wallace, Martin, Trickle, Shear - and obviously knew nothing about what was going on in the Gulf coast area. What an eye-opener that first Derby race was for me, from the local track champs like the Niedecken's, frequent weekly drivers like the Alabama Gang, some established NASCAR drivers (who ran mid pack at best), to the fellows you've mentioned visiting from as far as Texas, that place was packed with talent for the Derby. At the close of that race I was actually rooting most for Ridley, who had nearly lapped the field twice (as I remember) trying to get back to the lead from a very early fender bender. Pensacola was the first place I got to see Red Farmer and Fryar run. Bottom line, sad to say, is that there was a LOT of talent in tracks like the ones you have been telling your stories about that, should they have gotten the chance, could have contended for championships in more famous national series. Hat's off to all those drivers and crews, and the forgotten tracks. Gary
     
  15. jwillipelican
    Joined: Mar 31, 2017
    Posts: 2

    jwillipelican

     
  16. jwillipelican
    Joined: Mar 31, 2017
    Posts: 2

    jwillipelican

    Anyone who wants to know about Pelican international Speedway can contact me. F1ve o f0ur three 3 9 - 2669. My father was the last owner of the track before it was turned into the condos
     
  17. My wife's dad lived in Baton Rouge.She was pregnant with first child,too hot at the track so we had to leave; Big Daddy Garlits was there around 1984?
     
  18. RickBail
    Joined: Jul 6, 2017
    Posts: 1

    RickBail

    I went there a few times when I was a kid. One race had Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Freddy Fryer. Fryer won that particular race. I had some pictures my mom took of me getting autographs from those drivers. The autographs disappeared years ago. Not sure what happened because I tended to keep stuff like that. I remember having them for years. The pictures I'd have to search. My mom was a photographer but passed away in 1998. I got all of her photos but a lot were damaged in the August flood. This post got me thinking about those photos again.
     
  19. 426Hemicuda1
    Joined: Feb 27, 2019
    Posts: 2

    426Hemicuda1

  20. 426Hemicuda1
    Joined: Feb 27, 2019
    Posts: 2

    426Hemicuda1

    I recall a much different story on how that track was built. It involved the Texaco Convent plant for "supplies" & such. I grew up in Pensacola and went to Five Flags speedway on the weekends. One of my friend's Dad owned one of the few Ford race cars back then driven by a one-eyed driver named Tom something, I recall being in the pits quite a bit, meeting the likes of Wayne Neidecken Sr. & Jr; Big Gene Tapia, Dickie Davis, Freddie Fryar. My Dad later moved to Baton Rouge to pastor a new church. Ironically, across the street from the church was a race car driver & car that I remembered from occasionally showing up at Five Flags. I went and introduced myself to the driver, who recalled seeing me at Five Flags. I was able to join his pit crew as a helper, for I was still a young teenager still in high school. The driver had the most wins & top 4 finishes at Pelican Speedway than any other on record. Namely Mr. J.J. "Jay" Gonzales; driver of the #91; initially a 66 or 67 chevy malibu or chevelle, and later a 72 camaro with caddy front brakes. The head mechanic was Donald Watson, who much later purchased the Carroll's Speedway in Zachary; from Mr. Carroll Edgens, and it became known as the Baton Rouge Speedway (Dirt Track) after the purchase; where Donald formed the SUPR racing group, which he raced in, also carrying the #91 in memory of JJ Gonzales. I recall we raced against various racers such as: Ray Putnam, Earl & Warren Hughes; Rat Lane (From Doc's A-1 Auto Salvage); Wayne Neidecken Sr. & Jr.; Gene Tapia, Dickie Davis, Bobby Allison in the AMC Matador; Pete Hamilton in the Chrysler Kit Car; Freddy Fryar (we ALL knew NEVER to buy any part Freddy was selling, for it didn't work for him, and he was unloading it) in his orange & white paint scheme; later, when they went from All-Stars to the southern version of ASA, Rusty Wallace in the #61 or #66 Nicky Prejean Southland Fire & Safety sponsored car; also a real young Mark Martin made an appearance as a teenage driver, with his red "afro" hair style at the time; as did Richard Petty's nephew and Dale Earnhardt's Father-in-Law. I do recall as time passed, and the track went from different promoter to different promoter/owner; Lee Fields; the Mobile TV Wrestling promoter purchased the track and also drove a early 70's camero with a pink panther on it. Lee used to bring in show acts all the time, like Rex Blackwell to jump a ton of school bus's with a motorcycle; and one time he brought in a guy who was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt; filled up an old ford falcon with no windows, full of hay, set it on fire and drive it around the track to smash thru a 6' tall x 6' deep wall of ice (ice was supplied in 1'x1'x6' tall and lined up. That was hilarious, in July, it was melting so fast, and they couldn't keep it on the bank of the track, so the moved it to the infield. The stunt driver, we found out later, had never done the stunt on a track bigger than 1/2 mile, and Pelican was 5/8 to 3/4 mile. In turn 4, he started to catch fire and loose concentration driving, while trying to slap out the fire, he eventually slammed thru the ice "wall" with one chunk of ice knocking the driver out cold, but many in the pits had to save him with fire extinguishers, since the fire truck hose malfunctioned. Eventually even stunt shows wouldn't sell tickets & shortly after, the track just went into demise, and closed. BTW, there was a 5' thick x 5' tall concrete wall all the way around the outside of that track, with the only entrance just at the end of the front straight before turn one. It had upper 30's degree banking, greater than does Bristol, and was way faster than any track around the south at the time. They ran Super Mod's there, until someone got killed in the turn 3 wall. Afterwards, they only ran stock cars from then on. I can recall a lot of different cars and drivers, from the junker class (the 3 cars sponsered by Dempsy's Texaco); up to the late models, which we participated in. Shortly before the track closed, Uncle Sam and the US Army called and I had to go away for a 3 year stint. When I returned, Pelican was closed down. I found out that the first land developer who tried to tear it down, went bankrupt to the tune of a cool million trying to just tear down those high banks in turn 3 and 4. Probably due to some of the mysterious concrete "supplies": acquired that were used beneath all the dirt banking, to make that a huge banked track. That developer still wonders where all of that concrete came from. For a while after the developer bankruptcy, it was left like that, a complete track less turn 3 & 4. We tried to sneak out there after I got out of the Army to take a racing go-kart out and put it over the fence and run what was left of the track, for it was plenty good for nimble go-karts. Those were the days. Don't forget, there was the old CAL'S CLUB near the turn-in off of Airline Hwy, to get to the track. That track was too good and before it's time. Had it survived into the late 1980's to 1990's, with a good promoter who could have built stands all around it, it would shadow Bristol as the fastest 5/8 mile track and probably would have made the NASCAR circuit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
    loudbang likes this.
  21. Arthur Houston
    Joined: Jul 30, 2020
    Posts: 4

    Arthur Houston

    There for building and opening day. Interest to look this up Dale E Jrs Lost Speedways series. Attended LSU from 63 to Fall 68. Worked on Car run by Baton Rouge Auto Parts. Knew Ed Partin and handled the press box. Almost got my ass in jail first time in 64 went out looking for this new race track. Did not know until later how it was built and were the materials came from.. Started following racing at Alimedia Racetrack in Keener. Actually St Rose. Tom Aronld PT 109 Ford. Followed him to Daytona in 68 sportmans race DNF. Yes there for Donnie Bobby Neil Ronnie, Red, Ray and a friend Freddy Fryer. There was not a nicer driver than Freddy. Yes made all the snow ball derbies 68 up to 80s except 68 and 69. US Army. But the biggest name that came out of BRIS was Billy Hagan. Straograph Racing 44. Lafayette La. You will know him as owner of the two time NASCAR cup championship Cars driver by Bobby and Terry Lebonte. He had a 1955 cheve and came out of turn 2 one night and wrapped it around one of the light poles on back straight and the thing bust into flames that is when he became a car owner. Some of you in the racing world will know a 43 car from Marrero La Late model. Engine builder and part owner was JC Reed, Right Way Engine shop. Now on Hickory Ave in Metairie, JC died April 8.2020 from CV 19 he was 88 son and him both got it and Son survived 19 days in hospital. Change tires for Donnie Bobby and Red and always took us to Cals Rest after the race for a steak. Later years went to races with JC Reed and 43 car Mobil and Pensacola. Some great great memories. Think David Person drove the Cotton Owens Dodge to victory that first night a 200 laps Sportsman race. I have not come across any photos form there at this point do have one large box of slides to look though. Attented every Daytona 500 72 to 2005. Many many other tracks. In later years working at Dixie Brewing 83 or 84 Hagan called wanted to know if interested in sponsoring his car. Got at trip in the private jet to North Wilkboro Cup Race, Dale Sr and Ricky Rudd had it out, when he lost Bud as sponsor and got Pedmount Airlines to take over. He use us as leverage. Love the game we did not have two nickles to rub together. Saw him in Charlotte Airport in 90s he was in process of selling off the team equipment and garage in Morseville NC and house he owned. So many great stories and so many good times. Track was to big and was to fast. Very tough on equipment. Same thing that they said about many of speedways on Dale Jr's new series. Track in Kenner was dirt when it started. When BRIS opened the track in Kenner got paved. Gang would not do dirt and pave.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  22. Arthur Houston
    Joined: Jul 30, 2020
    Posts: 4

    Arthur Houston

    Loved Cals Club after the races Girlfriend and I got married 1966 and spend ton of time at the track. Sure would be great to have local track in this area today. Now live in Houma, La.
     
  23. Arthur Houston
    Joined: Jul 30, 2020
    Posts: 4

    Arthur Houston

    This track came later. Was north of BR.
     
  24. Arthur Houston
    Joined: Jul 30, 2020
    Posts: 4

    Arthur Houston

    Remember the name. Was there 66 opening until May 68. Do not remember going back much after US Army 2 years. June 70. We got into following the Cup Cars.
     
  25. Hi Arthur, My name is Bobby Henderson, I raced at all those tracks you were talking about, plus Jackson and Mobile.
     

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