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History Somerset Speedway in Kentucky

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by paul55, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Been wanting to start this thread for awhile. My dad, going on 79, grew up in Pulaski/Science Hill and went to Jr. and high school in Eubank. He remembers when the speedway opened, just a handful of miles away. A little history first. He first got interested in cars while hanging out at the neighborhood repair shop, Vernon Bryant's Garage. This would have been the early 50's and Vernon was the local flathead guru, so that's what he cut his teeth on and has been into cars and hot rods, since. He still has a drawing he did in art class when he was about 12, of a '32 3W race car that belonged to James and Willie Holt, who had a small garage in Eubank. He used to hang around there after school and even got to paint the number on the sides. Dad has many great stories of those times, but some of the people he remembers, may bring back memories for any of you guys, out of Ky, Ohio, Tenn., etc. who ran at Somerset or grew up there. I've heard stories of Gil Hess, Johnny Weddle-'34 3W, Tooter Ramsey-'32 3W, and Kenny Milligan- '32 3W. He's also mentioned the Cornette Repair Shop, who did engine rebuilding. He remembers when Jimmy Tilley had the only Hudson there and his dad, Rayburn, owned the local used car lot. He also remembers that James Holt had the first hot rod('34 2dr.) he remembers seeing, that ran a GMC 6 cyl. and widened steel wheels that he made himself. It was his daily driver around '53-'55. I'll add some more stories as we go along, as he remembers them. Here's a pic of what I think is one of the first programs from the speedway. Anyone have any pics or stories??
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
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  2. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    program!
     

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    chriseakin likes this.
  3. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Correction, it was Jack Detherage's car, a '34 5W, that he put the numbers on and helped pick out the color scheme. This would have been around 1953-'54, at Vernon's garage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  4. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan


  5. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

  6. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

  7. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

  8. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    Is Jack Deathrage Terry's Dad? Terry was in a very bad fire but he came back to race.
     
  9. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Grandfather maybe?
     
  10. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Was it circle track or drag racing? Some of the guys involved with the somernites cruise may know some of the guys mentioned,not sure. Red Cornetts machine shop is still in business in Somerset as far as I know. Unfortunately Red passed away a few years ago so Im not positive they are still open, but they was the last I knew. Heres a couple web sites.
    http://www.cornettengines.com/
    http://somernitescruise.com/
     
  11. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    ok nevermind about asking if it was circle track or not I opened the file.
    Use to go to (I think it was called) "Lake Cumberland Speedway" in Burnside just out of Somerset some years ago but it is now closed Everybody just called it Burnside, would that be the same one?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
  12. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    No, the Burnside track is a different one. We used to have family reunions on the Island back in the 80's, and used to go to the Burnside track on Sat. nights. Tried to find it a few months back when visiting family in Science Hill. Thanks for the replies!
     
  13. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

  14. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

  15. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    Hey, I just now saw this post. I used to go to the old Somerset Speedway when I was a kid. My parents were born & raised there and my Grandparents lived there all their lives. Sometimes when we were visiting them in the summer my dad, uncle & grandpa would take me to the dirt track or the drag strip there. This was much later than the time frame you are talking about as I first went there around 1967. I think the drag strip closed after the '72 season and the dirt track after the '74 season, someone else may know for sure. The tracks name at some point around 1970 was changed to Lake Cumberland Sportsdrome. It was owned and ran by the guys that owned West Somerset Wrecking and when I was attending races there it had the junk yard around the back side of the track and the buildings for the junk yard on the other side of the road behind the grandstands. Believe it or not I actually still have a small container of dirt I scooped off the track in a drink cup in 1970. That was the era of the 55-57 Chevys & Fords with some "new cars" Camaros/Chevelles occasionally showing up. Do you know of an old '30s ford that was #45 that raced there in the time you are referring to? Anyway, I hope some others will chime in here because I have been looking for photos, memorabilia or just old stories from the old Somerset dirt track for decades with no luck. Thanks again for posting about the track as it brings back great memories.
     
  16. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    Ask your Dad if he remembers this yellow Old's convertible around Somerset/Nancy in the '50s. It's my Dad.
     

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  17. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Who were your parents and grandparents? Bet dad knows them. We still have family there.
     
  18. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    Dads name is Howard Daulton, he was born & raised out near Nancy. He had six brothers and three sisters. Moms maiden name was Mayfield. She was from Slate Branch and graduated from Pulaski County High School in 1955. I still have uncles/aunts/ cousins there. Was down there in August. Nothing but a metal building now where the old dirt track was.
     
  19. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    David, was your grandfather's name Sam or Scott? I'm asking, because my dad's aunt Faye married a Jay Daulton, think his first name was Robert, but went by Jay. Consequently, they had a son, dad's first cousin, named David Daulton. Lived mostly in Chattanooga area, but now in Alabama, near his son Quinton. Any of this ring familiar or just a weird coincidence? Jay had two bothers, Scott and Sam.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  20. killbilly
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 265

    killbilly
    Member

    My family was and still is from the Monticello/Wayne Co area..I remember going to a track outside of Monticello when I was about 8....60 years ago...1/4 mile dirt.....it was the coolest...my uncle owned a funeral home Marvin S Hicks & Sons.... took us ...said it was limited to flatheads or inline 6.all the cars were...early 30s /40s....Might have been called the Wayne Co Speedway...i believe off of HIway 92 east of town
     
  21. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    Must just be a weird coincidence because none of those names sound familiar. There were/are a lot of Daultons in that area. Grandpas name was Luther & they had a farm over on Shepola Road just off west 80 just past Baker Yanders (who raced dirt track cars) place. .
     
  22. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    1972
     

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  23. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,449

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Thanks for all the responses. Paul
     
  24. David Daulton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    David Daulton

    Not my photo, from the DirtFans site. Jr Hobbs (unhurt) after being thrown out of his car at Somerset in '68
     

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