1968 Year in Review

Newt Palm won his 2nd straight Modified Championship in 1968

Newt Palm repeated as Modified Champion driving the L&M car to 4 wins, including a 50 lap event in June. Dick Caso led the division with 8 wins which included winning every other Modified race from mid-June to mid-August.  Don Collins won 6 times, including a 50 lapper, a 75 lapper and the season-ending Fall Championship 100 event in October. Dick Dunn won once and finished runner-up to Palm in the point standings.

Bill Sweet also repeated as Speedbowl Daredevil Champion in 1968

“The Norwalk Night Rider” Bill Sweet drove the #81 car to a division best 10 Daredevil victories to take his second straight track title. He won 3 weeks in a row during August.  Jiggs Beetham won twice and finished runner-up to Sweet in the championship standings for the 2nd consecutive season. The longest race of the year was scheduled for 40 laps over 4th of July weekend.  It was shortened to 39 laps because of curfew and was won by Peter Church. The Daredevil division’s popularity continued to grow and their features were increased to 20 laps for the 1968 season. Still widely competitive, there were 13 different winners during the season.

the motor from Glynn Shafer’s race car after one of the wildest wrecks in Speedbowl history

Russ Klar and Johnny Coy won the two 20 lap ARDC midget events held during the year. Coy would go on to win the ARDC Championship -the first of four he would win over the next 5 seasons.

Modified driver Glynn Shafer was involved in one of the most unusual wrecks in track history when his #6 machine crashed hard into the backstretch wall. The car was completely demolished and the entire engine fell from the car landing yards away from the chassis. Shafer walked away uninjured.

Track management held several special events during 1968, including 3 Powder Puff Derbies, Demolition Derbies, thrill shows, funny car exhibitions and motorcycle stunt shows. As the country began to face a gas crisis, the ownership group continually tried new ways to get people into the facility each week.