1965 Year in Review

Race Director John Whitehouse began his ninth season as the Speedbowl’s Race Director by announcing that the Sportsman cars (6 cylinder or flat head V-8 engine) would no longer be a seperate entity within the Modified division and would qualify for features according to point standings along with the overhead V-8 Modifieds.  Track Management also announced the parking capacity had been increased to 2,500 with plans to increase to 3,000.  They also gave the track a new macadam surface and repainted the grandstands.  They also announced plans to increase capacity seating from 6,500 to 8,000.  Vice President Louis Esposito also announced that the Speedbowl expenses from the prior season topped $100,000, including $60,000 in purse money and $50,000 in operating expenses & payroll.

Sal Dee won the 1965 Modified crown driving the ‘Flying 70’ machine

In one of the first examples of a love ’em or hate ’em relationship with the fans, Sal Delucia (popularly known as Sal Dee) won 4 feature events, including the 75 lap event during Labor Day weekend to an equal amount of cheers and boos from the fans for his aggressive charges to the front. By end of the year he was crowned the 1965 Speedbowl Champion, the only track title he would win in his career. Only a few years later he retired after a near-fatal wreck while competing at the Langhorne (PA) Speedway. Dick Watson and Charlie Webster tied Dee for the most wins. 3 of Watson wins were extra-distance events – two 50 lappers and the season-ending CT State Modified 100 lapper to close out the season on October 11th. Don Collins and Dick Dunn also won 50 lap events.

Speedbowl owner Jack Brouwer congratulates 1965 Bomber Champ Billy Scrivener after another win in the Bonville #4 machine

Billy Scrivener, driving Roger Bonville’s #4 car, led the division in wins (10) to beat out 3-time winner Ed Bunnell for the Bomber Championship. Scrivener’s season included a 3-race win streak in July and a victory in the 30-lap Bomber Finale on October 17th. Charlie Krashen won a 25 lapper in July and Charlie Savage won a 30 lapper in October.

John Whitehouse also created a new entry-class division in response to the falling car counts in the Bomber division. The new Daredevil division began at the end of the year and held 5 races, three of them won by Bomber Champion Billy Scrivener. Scrivener became the first driver to lead to separate divisions in wins during the same season. However, it was Butch Reed who would take the inaugural Daredevil Championship with consistent finishes in all 5 events.

Roy Haloquist won his 2nd Grand American Late Model race in 3 years at the Speedbowl when he took the 100 lap special event in August. Roger Bonville’s wife Sandra swept the two Powder Puff Derby events.