The Evans Mills Speedway will again feature an event this season that proved quite popular last year. Nostalgia Night brings back several former drivers at Evans Mills and other tracks in the area. It will be on July 28 at Evans Mills Speedway.
Adrian Flath is one of the former drivers and looks forward to getting together with some of his former racing buddies.
Its great to see former drivers returning, Flath said. Former drivers such as Ron Dwyer, Mike Shippee, Tom Boucher, Chubby Laroux, Neil Terrible Tooley, Guy Shorty Robinson will hopefully attend. We are hoping to have additional veteran drivers in attendance to talk with racing fans and sign autographs.
Flath drove a race car from 1959 until 1994. He retired from racing following a serious accident that occurred in a World of Outlaws sprint car race at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge. The accident hospitalized him for several weeks.
Flath said the biggest difference from when he started racing to now is the expense of running a race car.
In 1978 I put together a race-ready car, motor and all for about $2,500, Flath said. My last sprint car I had in the 1990s cost $22,000 and that was for just the motor.
Flath also addressed the emotion of the sport, in which tempers can flare on the track and in the pits.
He recalled one race several years ago that he said seemed like it was yesterday.
A driver took out another race car and there was a controversy as to what position on the track the driver should have during the caution, Flath recalled. Well, whatever the ruling was it didnt please a lot of other drivers and pit crews. They were so emotionally charged that they tipped the car over on its top right in front of the grandstand with the driver still in his seat.
Flath said he doesnt condone such action, whether it happened decades ago or the incident at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville late last month, involving track owner Gerald Tiger Chapman and a 17-year-old driver. He said cooler heads must prevail.
As far as young race-car drivers, Flath said none should be allowed to race unless they are 16 and have a drivers license.
I think young drivers should have some talent before ever attempting to drive a race car, Flath said. Go-kart racing may be a way to learn about racing. It may not be the answer for everyone though.
Nostalgia Night runs from 4:30-6 p.m. prior to the start of the nights race program.
Flath said the former drivers that did attend last year had fun and they are looking forward in reminiscing with the fans.