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Subject Topic: Coyote Racing and friends (photos)
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SpeedRacer2
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Posted: January-21-2007 at 8:46pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Shawn.... I thought that you might enjoy seeing this picture.

It was made at North Wilkesboro Speedway the year you were born. Tommy Hilbert was driving the car then.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on March-04-2008 at 11:17am


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Posted: January-21-2007 at 8:54pm | IP Logged Quote karen  

Awsome car



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Posted: January-21-2007 at 9:08pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Thanks Karen!

That was a NASCAR Busch Series car of the era. We were proud of it. We only had the one car, but on that particular model of GM car the only difference between a Chevy Nova, Pontiac Ventura, Olds Omega and Buick Skylark was the nose, hood and cowl. Depending on where we would be racing.... anywhere from Daytona to Hickory.... we would just swap out nose, hood and cowl for the most aerodynamic package, along with a change of gear and springs. (Well, we had to swap wheels out also, because back then we ran different wheels on the speedways and short tracks).

A lot of people thought that we had three or four cars..... but, nope, just a stock of noses.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-21-2007 at 9:10pm


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Posted: January-21-2007 at 9:39pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

That is a BEAUTIFUL car. Good year too from what I understand.
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Posted: January-21-2007 at 9:56pm | IP Logged Quote RW  

The really was a sharp looking car. I remember it well.
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Posted: January-21-2007 at 10:01pm | IP Logged Quote karen  

post some more pics

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Posted: January-21-2007 at 11:53pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

This is our NASCAR Late Model Sportsman car of the 1980 season. The picture was taken at the season opening event at Kingsport Speedway. Where did we run this same car before bringing it to Kingsport for a weekly event? It ran at Daytona International Speedway a just couple of months earlier during SpeedWeeks 1980 in the NASCAR Modified/Grand American 200.... running against such drivers as Jerry Cook, Richie Evans, Neil Bonnett, Ferrell Harris.... the Modified/Grand American stars of the era.... Connie Saylor was our driver. We qualified 16th for that event at Daytona and Connie drove the car to an 8th place finish that day. He ran as high as 3rd during the race. It was the first time we ever took one of my cars to Daytona.



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Posted: January-22-2007 at 4:23pm | IP Logged Quote karen  

Keep them coming. Love to look at them.

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Posted: January-22-2007 at 4:46pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is a photo of Connie racing toward that 8th place Daytona finish. A lot of our long-time Lonesome Pine Raceway fans are also familar with the driver of the #7 Camaro Modified car running low on the track. That #7 car is one of the famous Robert Gee cars and was driven that day by the late Ferrell Harris of Pikeville, Kentucky. For many years, Ferrell was a tremendous help to several drivers at LPR as a crew chief and coach and mentor.

 



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Posted: January-22-2007 at 5:25pm | IP Logged Quote karen  

Looks like todays Street Stocks

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Posted: January-22-2007 at 5:58pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Yep... they sure do.....

One difference though was that the motors in these NASCAR speedway modified cars produced about 600+ hp back in the day. We had a "hoss'" of a motor in that little Pontiac at Daytona.

For that event at Daytona we used one of G.C. Spencer's Winston Cup motors.... with some "enhancements".... (which were legal in the Modified Division).

In fact, come to think of it, Sue and I originally had planned to stay at the track in Connie's Winnebago which we had driven down to Daytona. We did stay in it the first two nights.

G.C. had leased his #4 Winston Cup car to Gary Baker of Nashville, TN for the Daytona 500. Baker crashed it hard in his Thursday qualifying race. Earlier that Thursday morning G.C had asked Sue how she liked the Winnebago. Her look had answered the question. While the wrecker was still dragging what was left of the #4 Olds back to the garage area, G.C. held out four room keys to Sue, and said, "Take your choice. Most of our bunch is headed home".

We left the Winnebago parked in the paddock area, and moved our stuff to Days Inn on the beach for the remainder of Speedweeks.



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Posted: January-23-2007 at 10:26pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is a photo from the very first ever NASCAR Busch Series event at Bristol. Tommy Hilbert was driving my car #2.

Note Tommy's position on the scoreboard. Hilbert loved running the high banks of Bristol!



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Posted: January-23-2007 at 11:13pm | IP Logged Quote RW  

Connie Saylor MITCO - Mining Tire Company. Isn't that correct, Lynn? I remember growing up, where Connie didn't live all that far from where I lived. Me and some buddies would ride our bicycles everywhere and I remember we'd stop sometimes by Connie's house.
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Posted: January-23-2007 at 11:34pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Yep.... MITCO was Mitchel Industrial Tire Company. At the time, Connie was a franchised distributor for MITCO, and MITCO was our primary sponsor on the Late Model Sportsman car through the 1981 season.

Connie's business soon became Connie Mine Tire, Inc.

Connie drove my Late Model cars from late 1979 through 1981, when he had to concentrate full-time on driving G.C.'s Winston Cup car, plus he had a commitment to run a few races for Larry Seaver (a car owner from down near Chattanooga). That's when Tommy Hilbert started driving my car. Of course we all still traveled to the races together and remained best friends.

We also raced quite a bit with Connie driving in Winston Cup on up through the 1988 season, taking the MITCO sponsorship to the Cup level..... mostly leasing G.C.'s #4 car in the early 80's, then renting cars from Elmo Langley and D.K. Ulrich, then finally the #99 owned by Ralph Ball. (A little side note... The reason that I ended up putting #99 on my own Late model Stock cars was as a tribute to Connie after he passed away. It was our way of remembering one of the best friends we ever had).

 



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Posted: January-24-2007 at 12:15am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is a picture which Kevin Morgan sent me. The significance of this photo to me is that it was made during practice for the very last event ever at Kingsport Speedway with the asphalt surface. That's Tommy Hilbert driving my car.

Tommy qualified on the pole and led every lap of the race taking his first ever win, and the first ever Late Model Sportsman win for my team.



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Posted: January-24-2007 at 8:04am | IP Logged Quote karen  

Another great story and pics. I just love um.

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Posted: January-24-2007 at 11:22am | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

I was looking at the door panel from an old #99 Late Model car that was sitting in the basement of my parents' house last weekend. I was thinking where I could hang it up here at my apartment. Do you have any pics of the ol' red #6 that Tommy Hilbert drove. I believe it may be the one that y'all brought down to Carters Valley Elementary during the late 1980s or early 1990s.
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Posted: January-24-2007 at 12:30pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Hey Shawn... Yep, got lots of pictures of that #6 car..... Probably even some of you and Tommy at the school that day. That car was actually owned by our buddy Gary Duncan of Jonesborough, but I had an "interest" in it, and we sponsored it through our Quality Construction & Equipment Company (the mining reclamation business).

Back to the boxes..... and back to "digging"......

Kenny... you are remembering correctly. Actually the car was a Buick Somerset body, which was Buick's version of the Chevrolet Celebrity. The body style was listed as an accepted body in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car rules, and we wanted to be different. I never did know of another Somerset running at any other NASCAR weekly track.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-24-2007 at 12:43pm


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Posted: January-24-2007 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

I wonder how many pictures there are of me standing next to (or sitting in) race cars? My all-time favorite is still Hut Stricklin. I've had a lot of drivers that have been absolutely wonderful to my family and me, including Alan Kulwicki, Geoff & Brett Bodine, Harry Gant, and Bill Elliott. Hut Stricklin will always be a favorite of mine, guess his racing days are well over and done with though.
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Posted: January-25-2007 at 2:51am | IP Logged Quote RW  

My good buddy Dale Ball, he and I used to go down on Cherokee Road and hang out with Gary Duncan and whoever else was around while they'd either be working on the race car ... or just having a racing talk BS session. There would be any number of people around, Duncan, Tommy Hilbert, Lynn Fowler, and more.
 
Man, in looking at the photo from the last-ever asphalt race at Kingsport Speedway, first thing that hits me is how rundown the place looks. Look at the grass growing against the inside pit retaining wall and also against the outside wall down the front straightaway.
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Posted: January-25-2007 at 8:09am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Yep... Some of our most enjoyable years in racing were when we were teamed up with Gary Duncan and David Fowler (Lynn's brother). Gary was crew chief, car chief, motor builder..... he could do it all, and Gary did everything first class. And you remember that Gary's race shop was in his basement "drive under" garage. David Fowler was the body man and kept the cars looking as good as any Winston Cup car of the era. David was also Gary's right hand man.... I suppose you would say the second in charge. Those guys were just tremendously talented at building and setting up the cars, and always fun to be around.

When Tommy Hilbert came on board to drive, some of his regular crew joined the "River Rat" crew. (You remember the River Rat logo on the cars don't you RW? You can almost make it out on the rear quarters in the Bristol and Kingsport photos above.) Danny Francis and Steve Treadway became part of our group. We had such a great group of guys... and gals.... with the team. I can't ever remember a cross word within the group. We just raced hard, had fun and enjoyed each others' friendship. There are a lot of funny stories with this group too. May have to tell some of them on here..... I have had quite a few people over the years tell me, "You ought to write a book about it" in reference to the many friends and the many stories of our years of racing. That is a project that may still be done. I have a LOT of notes! I have had this project in mind for years of maybe doing a four volume "coffee table" type set on basically the Four Lives of Kingsport Speedway..... the story of the original little high banked clay oval which opened in 1965, on to the asphalt oval which became a stop on the NASCAR Grand National tour and home track of some of NASCAR's all-time greatest weekly racers, and back to dirt to host some of the best dirt shows of the 80's, and finally the concrete track we know today.  I would also love to do one on the story of Lonesome Pine Raceway and the many great stories related to LPR history. I have often joked with our buddy Brad Teague that we could do a four volume set on just the Brad Teague stories........



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on May-28-2011 at 6:02am


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Posted: January-29-2007 at 8:15am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Hey Shawn.... I haven't forgotten about posting a picture of the red #6 Buick.

Just haven't had a chance to get those boxes out and go through them. Do you still have one of the T-shirts and a hat with that car on it? We had a couple hundred of those made back then. One of our sponsors on that car made them for us. Your dad did all the art work for the T-shirts and hats.



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Posted: January-29-2007 at 10:13am | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

I know that the t-shirt is around, but my little cousin Vanessa may actually have it now. She loved sleeping in that shirt whenever she's come to stay with her Aunt Kimmy and Uncle Ronnie for some reason. I always wanted another one of those #72 three-quarter length shirts with the number on the back (and small one on the left front chest area). All it is now is the white part, the sleeves are gone.
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Posted: January-29-2007 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

I will have to see what I may be able to find.....  HA HA   Any of those #72 shirts which might still be stored somewhere would probably be sort of "biodegraded" by now.  If I have one of the Tommy Hilbert #6 T-shirts, it should still be OK. 



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Posted: January-29-2007 at 1:18pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

What size is that Tommy Hilbert shirt? I wear a Small or Medium depending upon the t-shirt company. LOLZ...
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Posted: January-29-2007 at 1:34pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Haven't had time to look yet to see if I have any of those left. That was 14 years ago..... probably got a lot of boxes stacked on them if there are any out in the storage building. Best I remember though, they were Hanes Heavy Weight 50/50.

HA HA

Will let you know if I find some stored away. 



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-29-2007 at 1:43pm


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Posted: January-29-2007 at 9:07pm | IP Logged Quote RW  

Hey "SpeedRacer," most definitely I remember the River Rat. I knew a lot of guys from down in that area, on Cherokee Road, and we all attended school together in junior high and high school. You're right, Gary Duncan was good working on the race car and David Fowler was a good body man, and just general good guy to help work on the race car. Sure, I remember the first time I ever went down to Duncan's with Dale and his dad Walter Ball. I didn't see a garage when we drove up, but I found out the basement was the garage. HA HA HA HA
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Posted: January-29-2007 at 11:48pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Tommy Hilbert and "The River Rat" #2 at Kingsport Speedway.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-30-2007 at 12:04pm


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Posted: January-30-2007 at 12:27am | IP Logged Quote RW  

The "Pride of Jonesborough" ... Tommy Hilbert.
 
Hey "SpeedRacer," you have any old photos of Jim Hayes' car?
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Posted: January-30-2007 at 12:39am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

The yellow #77 Chrysler Kit Car?   Yep, as a matter of fact, I do....in the boxes. I will have to do some diggin'.



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Posted: January-30-2007 at 9:45am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is another photo of Tommy Hilbert at speed in our "River Rat" #2 in 1982. This car was our first NASCAR Busch Series car, and the car in that earlier photo from the first ever Busch Series event at Bristol.

 



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-30-2007 at 11:59am


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Posted: January-30-2007 at 11:42am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is the car which we leased from Bristol car owner Ed Whitaker for Connie Saylor to drive in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman 300 mile event during SpeedWeeks at Daytona in 1981. (We ran my number on Ed's car).



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Posted: January-30-2007 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Hey Kenny.... The picture of the red #2 above was taken during practice for the Daytona race. Did you notice the body work and primer over all the wheel openings? The idea then as now was to get the car to ride as low as possible on the track. Had to do a little "re-contouring" of the wheel openings because of tire rub at speed..... Had to do body work like that a couple of times to get it as close as possible without rubbing.



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Posted: January-30-2007 at 9:26pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Just thought that I would mix it up a little, and step ahead a few years.... to 1995 at LPIR.   This is Tommy Spangler in my #99 Coyote Racing Pontiac TransAm racing beside of Kelly Denton.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-30-2007 at 11:33pm


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Posted: January-30-2007 at 11:52pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

Is that the door I have?
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Posted: January-31-2007 at 12:11am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Yep.



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 7:39am | IP Logged Quote karen  

More, more.

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Modified05b
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Posted: January-31-2007 at 12:19pm | IP Logged Quote Modified05b  

keep em coming SR2.. ur doing great!



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 1:12pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Brad Teague in my Coyote Racing #99 at Kingsport Speedway in 1996....



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 3:11pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

Once I bring that door to my apartment, I'll have to make a picture of it and post it. It could be a while though, not sure when I'll make it back home and be able to haul it up here to Bristol.
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Posted: January-31-2007 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote raceparrot  

Hey SpeedRacer2, is the gentleman that you mention one Gary Duncan that now works at Boone Dist Co. ?

 



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 3:51pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

That would be the one. 

Gary is one super nice guy, and we had some great times racing when we were teamed up. I haven't been down to Gary's in quite some time, but will always consider Gary to be one of my best friends. As the old saying goes... "they just don't come any better than Gary", and I mean that as a person as well as a race car builder/crew chief.  If Gary had wanted a career as a Nextel Cup crew chief or team manager, it would have been an easy career move for him. During the years we raced together, he just constantly amazed me with the knowledge of racing chassis and engines which he had, and the ideas he came up with (and I'm talking innovative ideas within the rules). Gary was constantly thinking and analyzing and making things work better.

Gary has been at Boone Distributing for as long as I have known him.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-31-2007 at 3:52pm


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Posted: January-31-2007 at 3:55pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is the Coyote Racing #99 Grand Prix at LPR in 1997



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 5:44pm | IP Logged Quote raceparrot  

SPR2,

  You are excatly correct about Mr. Duncan!!!.  I worked at Boone for almost 10 years, and I can't count the number of times that I would  go out into the garage and just chat with him.  They always seemed to last forever.  I knew that he had worked on race cars in the past, he even had a room in the garage full of old racing tires.  The last time I saw him was just a couple of years ago right after Mr. Sampson was shot.  He still looked great, and still hadn't even thought of retiring and moving to his house in Myrtle Beach.  He is definately a class act, and a gentleman of gentleman.  I could never say enough good things about Mr D.

 



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Posted: January-31-2007 at 9:50pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Just a little change of pace..... we didn't always just go around in circles. On occasion there was a straight line race in the schedule. 

This is the Coyote Racing IHRA Pro Mod from 1995.... the driver was Quain Stott.  We went to Steele, Alabama, in September of that year to attempt to set a new Pro Mod record. Quain made the first pass at just over 216 mph, good enough at the time for the Pro Mod record.... but the rains came and he never got a chance to make the required "backup run". The photo below was made at Thunder Valley in Bristol.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on January-31-2007 at 10:35pm


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Posted: February-01-2007 at 7:18pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Our most popular "driver"......

Our Coyote Racing mascot "Race Driver Wile E. Coyote" went with us to schools, libraries and special events and was always a big hit with the kids.



Edited by SpeedRacer2 on February-01-2007 at 11:58pm


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Posted: February-02-2007 at 11:46pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

Here is that Buick Somerset #6 from the 1990-1992 seasons, This picture was made at Newport Speedway in June of 1992. Tommy Hilbert always said that he loved driving this car. The car, as you can see, had no overhang of either nose or tail. Tommy said that it was like driving a go-kart in that he could "put it anywhere". The car met its demise in a grinding head-on collision in turns 3-4  at Newport Speedway that same year when two cars spun in front of Tommy, leaving Tommy no way to avoid hitting one of them.



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Posted: February-03-2007 at 12:00am | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

 

The little Buick, with Hilbert driving, was a winner......

 



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Posted: February-06-2007 at 3:34pm | IP Logged Quote SpeedRacer2  

Three-time Lonesome Pine Raceway NASCAR Late Model Champion (1993-1994-1995) Tommy Spangler stands with the Coyote Racing pit board. This photo was made in 1995.



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Posted: February-06-2007 at 9:25pm | IP Logged Quote Van_84  

whatever happeend to that pitboard?
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