55 years ago, on Friday, June 7, 1963, the D-shaped 5/8 mile Harmony Speedway opened. Speedway builders and co-promoters Carl Van Horn and Dick Crouse presented modified-sportsman and novice stock car racing under NASCAR sanction.
The first racing event held that evening was a heat race for the novice division. The winner was Fred Fritsche (P19), he was followed by Lee Sofield (14A) and Dudie Babey (B). The second novice heat was won by Stan Ploski Jr. (27), he was followed by Paul Nulton (505) and Bob Hullfish (161). Modified-sportsman heat races followed. Sammy Beavers (77A) won the first heat, he was followed by Bob Pickell (A2a) and Les Farley (808). The second heat was won by Billy Cramer (22C), he was followed by Charlie Cregar (A4) and Hoop Schaible (95).
Fred Fritsche won the 15-lap novice feature, he was followed by Nulton, Ploski Jr., Abe Levengood and Babey.
Sammy Beavers won the 25-lap modified-sportsman feature, he was followed by Cramer, Pat Wohlgemuth (168), Spud Murphy (2A), Schaible, L. Farley and Augie Lieber (57A).
Fan favorite Al Tasnady (707) experienced transmission problems during the evening. Jackie McLaughlin was on hand but did not compete although he did take a pickup truck out onto the track for a few laps.
Coverage of Harmony’s opening races was featured the following week in the very first issue of Area Auto Racing News.
Were any 3Widers at Harmony Speedway for the opening night? Your memories?