1969 Year in Review

Don Collins won an unprecedented 5th Modified title driving the Simons ‘Excavator Special’ #9 car

The legendary Don Collins became the first driver to win 5 Modified Championships at the Speedbowl, this time driving the “Excavator Special” Simons Bros #9 car. It was also the record 8th championship for Simons (with 4 different drivers). Newt Palm tied Collins’ with 5 wins to lead the division. Palm and Glynn Shafer won the two 50 lap events held. Charlie Webster, now driving Dick Brooks’ #651 coupe, won 4 times. There were 12 different winners during the season

‘Mr. Mysterious’ Wayne Smith was the Daredevil Champion in 1969 at Waterford

Two-time defending champ Bill Sweet continued his winning ways in the Daredevil division. Early in the season he won 7 races in an 8 race span, including a 4 race win streak. He led the division (8) for the 4th season in a row, but this season he lost the title to “Mr. Mysterious” Wayne Smith, a 3-time winner whose more consistent finishes up front earned him his first championship. There were no extra-distance events for the Daredevils in 1969.

The only special event was the Powder Puff Derby held on August 2 which was won by Karen Blanchette. The season ended abruptly on Sunday Oct 12th when ambulances at the Speedbowl were dispatched to a plane crash site in the area. The feature events were not able to be run without an ambulance on the premises. The events were cancelled, not postponed, and the season was declared completed by Speedbowl officials.


Segment on the Broad Street Chevron Team of Charlie Webster & Dick Brooks’ and their challenge to Don Collins for the 1969 Speedbowl Championship – from Vault Productions’ documentary series on Speedbowl history.