Archive for January 29, 2020

By: Stan Kalwasinski

“Back in the Day” – Just before and right after World War II, Chicagoland’s Raceway Park was a “hotbed” for midget auto racing.

Some photos taken at the speedway by Chicago area lensmen Ed Coffey and Ed Kirchner give a little bit of a feel for the racing there back in the day.

A 1948 program cover with Gus Klingbiel on the front page gives a lot of information about Raceway Park Motordrome, which was known for its smooth dirt/clay and brick dust surface and “Real Racing, No parading here” competition.

Before his stellar Indianapolis 500 career, Texas driver Lloyd Ruby was a front runner at the track, which was located 130th Street and Ashland Ave. and promoted by the Jenin brothers – Pete and Nick Jenin.

Below … Ruby is shown after a 1949 victory with Nick Jenin, Jenin’s wife Anne and Ruby’s winning car owner, Bob Nowicke – far right.

Pete and Nick Jenin award Harry Turner some cash after Turner had a successful run in his Ulmer Offy. Starter Art Kelly is on the far left – look closely and you can see announcer Wayne Adams on the old infield judges stand.

One last photo shows a heat race lineup with a mixture of body-style midgets ready to go in Post World War II competition.