The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Sep 22, 2005.
The government covered it up, no one is supposed to know about it.
What did you want to know about the Roswell tracks?
Here is a picture of Bills "Mr Bardahl" race team @ 1970. I always liked the panel paint scheme he used. I saw his Vette a few years back and got to sit down and speak with him, a really nice guy. He was promoting a book called Match Race Madness that fellow racer Grady Bryant had wrote. Bill also had said that Grady was trying to get all the former match racers here in the south from back in the day to put together some early funnycars and run as a seprate class against each other. It never worked out, but that would of been cool to see.
They're still racing in Roswell....when they closed the Albuquerque drag strip down a few years ago....I heard everybody was going down to Roswell....I can find out more about Roswell if'in ya want.....
I just think it would be cool to run at some of the historic tracks.
i moved up to the NRH area about 2 years ago and was doing some research on the track to find that i live less than 5 miles from where the track used to be. When i first found it, there was no houses there. they were leveling the area (because according to my dad who raced there, the slowdown area was uphill) all that i found that was still there was the red guardrails that marked the entry area for the track. i read some thing that said up until about 5 years ago, the track physically was still there. the local racers used it until about 2000 or so and the city used it to test traffic stuff...now there are 300,000 dollar houses all over it...there is a school and a park nearby named after the track though...
According to the souvenir program from 1965 in the link, Green Valley was in Smithfield, Texas. http://fuelers.homeip.net/ohra/Green%20Valley.htm I did some research about Green Valley because I've heard so much about it from some older drag racing buddy's. If I find anything else I saved, I'll let you know. Great thread too.
EDIT: I just realized how old this post is.
Green Valley wasn't just AHRA drag racing, it also was SCCA sports car racing. The 1967 Trans Am season Green Valley "300" featured Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney in factory Cougars, Jerry Titus' Mustang, Mark Donahue's Camaro, and Bob Tullius' Dodge Dart.
There was also local SCCA racers freezin' their asses off in February.
First you see the track, that diagonal strip in the middle, with the staging area at the top and the shutdown area at the bottom..., then you see streets and houses.
and a image I found on the net, somewhere.
It was originally built and run by Bill and Dorothy McClure, who had the dairy farm at the top end on the west side. I worked there during 62,63,64,65, and have been in their home many times. Contrary to some other posts, the track was NOT in Amarillo or Colleyville...it was in Smithfield! ...which is now N. Richland Hills.
Bill Hielscher didn't own it until 1965. It was originally built and owned by Bill and Dorothy McClure, and opened in April 1960. During the "Glory Days', the track manager was Ben Christ (who also managed LaPlace in Louisiana). Later on the manager was James "Yogi" Kirk, (of Rebelland Auto Supply 'fame')...
Anglias...Richard Snyder, Richard Lancaster, James Brown, etc.
Bill's daughter Cindy now owns Texas Raceway in Kennedale, where there is a Bill Hielscher museum. They also have the grandstands from the 'Valley.
Dart Man,youre so correct..Bill McClure ran a dairy there long before he made the race track.and not a nicer man in the world...My opinion is that the racing fell down a bit after he sold to Bill Helshire...Helshire was more the money and McClure was for the racers...an earlier post on here stated that there was a sandtrap at the finish line...as many years as I attended the races there,I never saw a sandtrap.shut off was up hill and and an entrance road at the end,I stopped going after Helshire acquired it,,was never the same...
Right on wbrw32!...Green Valley never had a sand trap. There was a rope catch fence, a barbed wire fence, and after that was the road that crossed east-to-west. The people directly across the street had several cars hit the trees in their front yard. That's why they had trees in their front yard!
I see your avatar is Custom Automotive. They setup my first Strange nodular 3rd member (and did a fine job!). That unit is in my S/G Dart that's shown as my avatar. BTW..that pass is at Kennedale in '97.
Yes Dart Man,,I spent a lot of years with Custom Automotive...We always took a trailer full of parts to Caddo and Green Valley every race day...kinda a little Custom at the track...I was at the Valley the day Ted Arnold had a heat srtoke and never let off..went thru the cables ,accross the road and crashed into thse trees...
He did not survive....He had been suited up in staging for too long before his run...
The "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" commercials originated years before Bill Hielscher had anything to do with Green Valley. Not throwing the "late" Bill H. under the bus here, but Ben Christ was THE BEST promoter the track ever had !! If you were ever at the track in the 'glory days', you would have to agree. You had Frank Sands and Del Blades tow in from Phoenix quite frequently (if you don't know who they were, then you missed it!), Vance Hunt match racing the Green Monster, junior fueler shows, AFX cars, etc, etc. That's why it was called the 'Glory Years'!!
I was standing in front of the pit side concession stand having my lunch break when I saw that happen. Ted Arnold was not only Vance Hunt's driver, he was his best man at his wedding. I live about a mile from Vance, here in Arlington. RIP, Ted
Dart Man..At the time of this accident Ted was driving a car belonging to himself and Bobby Walden,,,J L Payne was driving for Vance. J L worked with me at Custom..
I see him and Vance at the Geezer reunion every Dec..in Dallas.
Yep the McClures owned GreenValley and it was in
Smithfield,TX. I ran a Chassis Research dragster there in
the early and mid 60's.
I will try to attach pic's of the starting line in the 60's and
my dragster. Sorry...I don't know to blow them up.
If anybody can blow them up that would be cool.
Hi Bobby W. from Custom Automotive!
My drag cars raced at Green Valley in the early 60's and
a timing slip for my C Altered.
boy those Texas boys never sleep....posting to show those Coker boys...
Anglias... Nicky Ragsdale, James Spray, Donnie Seal, I think there were 16 in all.
The Valley was the place to go. Always had hook and a crowd . Man I miss that place. There is a facebook page that has alot of good info. http://www.facebook.com/groups/118266191544742/
We'll have to disagree about that. He was in Vance's black '63 car with the square roll cage (ala Garlits/Malone chassis). I do realize that J.L. drove for Vance quite a bit, but he wasn't during that period...just sayin'...
See the photo I've attached (vh6.jpg)
From Draglist.com..."1963. Early that year, Ted Arnold replaced J. L. Payne as Hunt’s driver. Also, Garlits built Hunt a new car. It had very light chassis with a long wheelbase. Ted and Vance raced that year until Arnold lost his life in a crash during the 1963 AHRA Nationals at Green Valley. The loss was very hard on Vance. He and Ted had been friends since they attended grade school together and Ted had been the best man at Hunt’s wedding".
On another note...do you know of anyone that has a photo of Wick Hefner's injected Chevy "Jr" fueler? The only thing I can find about Wick Hefner is his earlier days racing motorcycles.
In the photo below...from L-R
Jake Johnson, Dean Davis, Bob Taylor, Ted Arnold, and Vance Hunt.
Since that post, I've found out that my Anglia was Richard Lancaster's car. I talked to him on the phone and am going to try to get down to the DFW area and talk to him. I don't really know him, but have talked to some folks that say he was a pretty hardcore racer.
Participant sticker from Green Valley.
starting line area
Finish line back in the day
Separate names with a comma.