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Vallejo Speedway Hardtops               & Memories Pages
I found a lost e-mail sent to me from Scott Erwin who grew up around Vallejo Speedway. Scott has some thoughts and some updated information on some of the drivers and people involved at the track. Thanks, Scott

I just stumbled onto your web page about Vallejo Speedway.  I was a crew chief on a midget during the past 6+ years, ending this year as the car was sold, which is part of the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA). BCRA as I am sure you are aware was the sponsor of the races at Vallejo to include the Hardtops, street stocks, Super Modifieds, and Midgets.

I too am an old fan from Vallejo Speedway.  My father brought our family there almost every Saturday night and without fail to the nights when the "mighty midgets" ran there.  My father was a friend of Bill
Vukovich, Jr. who was a champion driver of the midget division in the 60's, but that is a different story.)  My teeth were cut into racing with the midgets due to the relationship my father had with Bill.
However, since the midgets were not at Vallejo that often, and my father liked the races, we went to Vallejo Speedway.  (I even remember watching the motor movies from the stands during the intermission over the turn two wall while they were announcing the money donated/collected for the 'roll-over fund' for the evening.)

As I was growing up, I crewed on a hardtop, and even had the opportunity to put a stock car on the track for "hot laps" for a friend of mine by the name of Andy Cunningham.  His father, Wayne "Geronimo" Cunningham, and his uncle, Virgle Cunningham also raced there.  Wayne in the hardtop division and I think Virgle was in the Stock Car division. (He may have run in the hardtop division also I don't remember.)   I also have contact with a couple of the drivers of this era you have listed in the driver pages. 

Butch Hanson - I think still lives in Pinole.  He and my father worked together until my dad's retirement in about 96.  I haven't talked to Butch in about 2 years but will tell him about your page.

Pete Bray - Pete is still active as Vintage Coordinator of the BCRA Vintage Midget division.  I last saw him at the 2000 BCRA awards banquet in Pleasanton. 

Wayne "Geronimo" Cunningham - Currently lives in Oklahoma.  He ran the #29 Hardtop that I crewed on.  I got to drive it onto the trailer oneday getting ready for the races too....His son, Andy, my friend, ran a street stock for about 3 years in the later part of the 70's.

Virgle Cunningham, Wayne's brother, last I heard (about 6 years ago) was still living in the Bay Area.

Nick Caughman - is Wayne's 2nd Cousin or some type of relation. Hasn't had any contact with him in over 20 years.

Butch Althar - I think still lives in Pinole.  He is the father of a girl I went to school with, Kim at Pinole Valley High graduating in '77.

Bob Brewer - I think still lives in San Pablo/Pinole area.  Haven't heard his name in over 20 years.

Bob Motts - who was one of the engine builders of the day lives in El Cerrito or Richmond.  I see him about once every month or so.  He still drives around in a white 55 Chevy. (3rd or 4th one he has had)

One of the other nicknames I thought of by looking at the driver page was: Ted "would you believe it" Finkenbinder.

As you requested, on your page "Vallejo Speedway Hardtops", there are two pictures you can adjust the names of.  For the #29 car in two of your photos (Vhardt2.jpg & Vhardt5j.jpg) the driver was Wayne "Geronimo" Cunningham from Pinole.  The sponsor was Rex's Key Shop in Berkeley.

I also know where there is another photo from a sponsor, J&R Transmission in El Cerrito, and I will see if I can get a copy of that one for you to add to your page with the information on the driver and
year(s) it ran. 

Another great source of information you may want to consider is Jim Montgomery who is the current BCRA Statistician. Jim has got to have the most knowledge of the BCRA history than anyone else.  He is an extremely valuable resource and is always eager to tell you what you want to know.

Other side notes:
Jumpin' Joe Valente was inducted into the BCRA Hall of fame in 98 with Gene Dudley.  Leroy "Go Get 'em" Geving was inducted in 1997. Bob Bockover, Jane Bockover, and Larry Damitz were inducted in 1996 along with the Vukovich's.

Here is a link that might be of interest to you for the BCRA information, which was the club that sponsored the Hardtop division at Vallejo Speedway.  The BCRA is still active with the Midgets, Midget Lites, and Vintage division.  The hardtops are all gone but in my mind not forgotten either.

Thank you for your page and I hope some of this information has been helpful to you.  If you would like any other information or have questions that I might be able to answer let me know.  If you live near or visit the Pinole area, maybe we can get together and talk about the old days.... (Like I thought I would ever say something like 'THE OLD DAYS' growing up.  "Old people" made Statements like that.)

Scott Erwin