Cairo Speedway-race track, remembered at Sunday event

Press Release:

The Cairo Historical Society in conjunction with the Hudson River Historic Racing Committee is presenting the Cairo Fairgrounds Speedway Reunion on June 4, 2017 at Angelo Canna Park in Cairo NY. The event runs from 9 to 5. Legendary drivers Lew Boyd and Joel Naprstek will be sharing the history of the track and awards will be presented to the feature winners. The Cairo Fairgrounds Speedway ran for 5 short weeks in the summer of 1974, but it remains a legend in racing circles. Come join the racers, their families and racing fans at this once in a lifetime event. Free Admission. Plenty of Parking.

Some history:

Cairo Fairgrounds Speedway - 1974 per Cairo Historical Society FB page posted by Monica Wachter from the Facebook page of New York Motorsports Research Network

Originally slated to open in July of 1974, the date was pushed back for a Grand Opening on August 18th, 1974. 40 something modifeds showed up for opening day, but the track conditions were horrible. Only 23 cars opted to run and 15 sat in the parking lot without paying an entry fee. Modified hero Kenny Shoemaker was General Manager, who unsuccessfully tried to reopen the Victoria Speedway 2 years earlier.Cairo was a racers track and showed a lot of promise. Anyone towing the Thruway could have been reimbursed tolls 1 way by showing receipts. Heat money was also distributed - something that hadn't been done in years. Shoemaker also promised that as the crowds grew, so would the purses. He said that as a racer himself, he knew what it was like to beg promoters for more money and promised that the increases would be automatic. Six events were run in 1974. Winners are as follows... 8/18/74 - Mert Hulbert 8/25/74 - Mert Hulbert 9/1/74 - Jack Johnson 9/8/74 - Will Cagle 9/15/74 - Stan Wetmore 9/22/74 - Mert Hulbert On December 10th, 1974, a drivers banquet was held. Driver of the Year in the Modified division was awarded to Ron Narducci. Rookie of the Year honors went to Eddie San Soucie. Late Model driver Jim Fugle was awarded Driver of the Year in that division, and Tom Czaban was awarded the Rookie of the Year. Race Announcer Jim King was awarded the Contribution to Racing award. The town closed down the speedway. I cannot find out why but did hear through gossip it was due to all the loud noise.

Video from the track:

 

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