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Canton Motor Speedway Ohio  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:27 am
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SuperDave
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Originally there was racing at Reedurban Speedway I can't remember where it was. I think out off Perry or Genoa road. I do have a couple pictures from there. Pete Foltz and some buddies started running around in a cornfield and a speedway was born.
We also ran Manchester Speedway. That was up off of  Portage Rd between Highmill and Akron Ave. just before you got to rt93 on Johnson Ave.
I remember no lights and it was uphill into turn one downhill out of two and the same in three and four.
There was no water you brought your own.Sometimes there was a water truck.
At first there was no stands and you could sit in your car and watch if you wanted to.
I think it was like .50 cents to get in and it went up to a $1.00 as time went on.
The track is still there if you know where to look. At some point lights were added I don't know when or why cause we never raced there after Canton opened. You can see the tops of the lights from the road.
Canton Motor Speedway was opened as a track for midgets to run. There was NASCAR Modifieds running there also.
The track had problems drawing cars in these divisions and closed.
There likes of Bud Graham, Bill Oliver, Mike Klaypac, Gib Orr and Bob James ran with the Modifieds.
Come along about 1950 and the Canton Stock Car Racing Association needed a home.
They had lost theirs at the Stark County Fair grounds too much dust and noise for the neighbors and it was spooking the horses so the fairboard said NO MORE racing there.
I as a young member at the time I vaguely remember that the powers that were in control then Dutch Clapper, Warren Knepper,and (I'll have to dig out the Charter) took out an option on some land at where Belden Village sits now. I think is was for about $10 an acre to build at race track.
With the defunct Canton Motor Speedway sitting there doing nothing some one had the idea to race there.
The owner "Dutch" Raushenbauch was contacted and the rest is history.
The option was withdrawn at the Belden site (bad move as it turns out)and there was racing again in Canton.
After the races you could stop at the old Food City Drive In and get a "Nightmare" sandwich that was a king size burger something like a "Whopper". If you could eat 3 of them the third one was free.
That is where I met my friends stepson who was younger than I. As it turns out Warren "Sonny" Knepper was the first soldier from Stark County killed in Vietnam. His name is on the marker honoring those who served. It is on the square in Massillon Ohio.
Also on the Wall in Wahington DC.
They have his hometown as Phoeniz AZ. but I know different he was from Stark County and good Ole Canton.
Lots more on Canton Motor Speedway Racing to come.
I spent a lot of time in the "Stockcar Garage" up off of St.Elmo in Canton. We shared with Dick Dickerson and Glenn Mizer. Later on Donnie Allbritain and Dean Brandt joined us. Please send me pictures to post if you have them I have many but never enough.


Last edited on Sun Feb 21st, 2010 11:45 am by SuperDave

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:28 am
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SuperDave
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Canton Motor Speedway had quite a history previous to 1952.

I know NASCAR Mods and Midgets ran there before the Canton Stock Car Racing Association moved in.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:29 am
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SuperDave
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Nov 29th, 2007 07:52 am


Baldy Baker-

A very young "Baldy Baker" Baldy just about owned Canton in the early 50's
At the time I was going there he only raced there on occasion.
When he did he was a threat to win.
One night his car was broken and I saw him take what was at the time a back marker car start tail in the feature and just clean everyones clock in that car.
I won't mention the car he drove that night but it was strong and Baldy proved it.

Last edited on Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:30 am by SuperDave

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:31 am
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SuperDave
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Donnie Allbritain/ And other drivers for Knepper
Posted on November 9, 2006 at 11:44:52 AM by SuperDave


Always smilin Donnie Allbritain. He started out driving for UHL's it was a gas station out by the speedway. He also drove for Warren Knepper in his stable of "0"cars.
Other drivers for Warren were.
Dick Obringer
Carl Green
Tex Frisbie
Joe Scarpino
Eddie Meyers
Bob Pasco
Dean Brandt
Kenny Mohler
and Of Course Donnie

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:32 am
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SuperDave
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CANTON TWP. The past and the present of Canton Motor Speedway mingle in the life of Richard "Butch" Guinther
His mind harbors memories of the times as a child when he walked to the nearby speedway, drawn by the roar of cars racing only a few hundred feet from his home. He recalls, as well, the years of working at the race trace under a variety of owners.

But his view of the land on which the race track once sat is blocked by an earthen bank pushed there by the limestone operation that has been occupying the property since the track closed in 1992.

Still, those who worked during, drove in or watched races on Canton Motor Speedway's dirt and asphalt oval tracks likely soon will see the speedway almost as clearly as they did when its grandstands and concession booths were standing in southeast Canton.

Guinther, who handled maintenance at the track, and daughter Pam Wills, who worked concessions there, and others with ties to the track are organizing a Canton Motor Speedway Reunion II - the first was three years ago - Nov. 18 at VFW Post 3747 at 1935 Avalon Ave. NE. Call Wills at (330) 452-3725 or Guinther at (330) 456-1623 to make a reservation. A ticket charge of $15 will get those who attend the event a dinner and all the stories about the track that they can hear or tell.

Three years ago

"We planned the first reunion because the guy who owned it last (William Groves) kind of wanted to get together with some of the people who raced and worked there," said Guinther, who said that the initial gathering in 2003 filled a church hall.

Canton Motor Speedway was opened by Curt "Dutch" Rauschenbach early in the 1950s in the 2500-block of 14th Street SE, off Route 43 near Waco. Rauschenbach, who died several years ago, was a driver with a dream of owning his own track, said his widow, Betty. Drivers raced midgets initially, then jalopies and finally later model cars.

We had a wonderful business," said Mrs. Rauschenbach, who handled office duties at the Speedway. "People came down from Cleveland. We sold more at our food stands than they did up in Cleveland at the big track."

Guinther, who played baseball on the land where the Speedway was built, said he watched the track being built when he was a boy. After racing started, he became one of the track's first spectators.

"The kids (admission) price was 50 cents, and I would go around the neighborhood for a lawn to mow or a mailbox to paint just so I could get 50 cents to buy a ticket, or $1 if I wanted something to eat. I worked all week and hoped my mom would say, 'OK, you can go to the races.' "

A few years later, he began working at the track, doing maintenance with such other employees as Butch Stauffer and Art Homer. The track passed from the hands of the Rauschenbachs to Russ Rubino and Vince Pratts, then to Gene and Bob Tolloty. After township trustees blocked the operation of the Speedway by Paul Miller in 1981, claiming a racetrack was "undesirable," according to a track history in a Speedway program, the facility sat idle for three years.

The quarter-mile track was resurrected by Bill and Thelma Groves in 1982.

One of the best

"Bill Groves was one of the best owners ever; he ran it for 10 years," said Guinther, whose family helped clean up the abandoned race track before it reopened.

Weeds were pulled. Rundown buildings were repaired. Teen-aged drivers were discouraged from parking on what had become a "lovers lane." Racing resumed.

"We saw some good wrecks, some bad wrecks," said Wills, who worked at the track's concession stand in the 1980s. "There were some arguments. These guys raced together for years, so some bad blood would develop."

But, mostly the drivers went about their business as if members of a fraternity, helping each other out, said Guinther, when a car needed to be repaired for the next race. A Repository article by Don Lightner perhaps captures typical Speedway driver most accurately.

"While they race for money, all have full-time jobs. Racing for pots in the thousands of dollars like nationally-known figures is only a dream," wrote Lightner. "Drivers at Canton Motor Speedway are sportsmen, nothing more or nothing less. They simply love the game and most are satisfied to break-even financially."

The yellowed clipping is taped to a page in one of the scrapbooks Guinther kept during the years he worked at the Speedway. Other pages give space to articles and pictures of such early drivers as Bob Bennett, Pete Foltz, Bob Petty, Dick Mills, Les Wise, Lenny Lowe, Gary Allbritain, Ernie Wanner, Bob Schneider, Gary Miday and Pete, Red and Robbie Robinson. The scrapbooks also contain clippings about such later drivers as Tony Diano, Tony Diano Jr., Brian Volk, Chuck Harris, Melissa McCormick, Jerry Wendling, Bob Sibila and Ed and Eddie McLean.

Articles talk of the duties of flagman Eddie Myers, rescue vehicle operators Gary Suter and Roger Spitale, and announcer Dusty McCollum,

"Good evening everyone, and welcome to Canton Motor Speedway," McCollum used to intone each time racing started on a Saturday night.

Even in the absence of McCollum, the recognizable voice no doubt will be heard by many at the Speedway reunion next month. There is evidence that people have been hearing McCollum's greeting for years.

"As long as the Speedway's been gone, you see people stop there," said Guinther. "A car will stop, and someone will get out and walk up the bank. They'll stand on the bank and stare. I don't know whether they were drivers or mechanics, but there still are people who come out and look back there."


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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:33 am
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SuperDave
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Bob Walther
Posted on November 9, 2006 at 12:51:58 PM by SuperDave


Bob Walther was one of the early guys that really made a name for himself. His driving style was unique for the time. He would run full bore high into the turns and late Pitch it down into the turn. Won many a feature at CMS





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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:33 am
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SuperDave
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Bill Sukosd
Posted on November 10, 2006 at 11:34:19 PM by SuperDave


Bill Sukosd.
I didn't know Bill to well. He was a good runner. One of the quiet types as I recall. Always was a threat to win

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:34 am
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SuperDave
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Eddie Myers
Posted on November 10, 2006 at 11:35:44 PM by SuperDave


Eddie Myers.
Eddie was one of the good guys and a friend to me. He was one of the guys that liked to drive but didn't like to work on the car. I remember one time I was puting in a transmission and I ask eddie to finish it up for me by tightening evrything up. He didn't and the transmission case broke and we both got in trouble.
Always smiling but when he got mad look out he was tough. He worked for the EO Gas company and when he went into management they didn't want him driving. He did on occasion and was always at odds with the company.
He was a flagman at CMS for many years also.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:37 am
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SuperDave
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Old Car Young Driver
Posted on November 11, 2006 at 05:03:36 PM by SuperDave


With his dads car in the background this CMS star was still a little too young.


Gary Allbritain would go on to make his mark all over he country in SuperModifieds.

he would also do a stint in Indy car racing.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2007 09:37 am
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SuperDave
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Group Photo Canton Motor Speedway
Posted on November 30, 2006 at 00:04:56 AM by SuperDave


L-R Dick Jones, Ernie Lowe, Bob Petty, Norm Calhoun, Pete Foltz, Donnie Allbritain


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