Local Race Car Legends Reunited In Lincoln

By: 
Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
They were the glory of their times in Circle Track Dirt Racing. Four Hall of Famers: Dale Moore, Ray Lee Goodwin, Terry Richards and Virgil Chapman, along with seven other race car enthusiasts, met at Estes Drive Inn in Lincoln, MO, on June 26, 2019 to revisit old times.
Ed Sanders organized the event."We picked Estes Drive Inn because it was places like this that we met after the races,” Sanders said. The group raced in Sedalia, Jefferson City, Moberly, Smithville, Marshall, Ozark, and all over the surrounding area. Long time residents of  Benton County will hopefully remember their names.
Ray Lee Goodwin had over a thousand races and won many championships. An  oddity about race car drivers  is something Goodwin said, "I never liked to talk about my victories. If I beat a man once then I never talked about it. Once was enough. You didn’t rub it in his face.” Goodwin’s son, Steve Goodwin, is the head basketball coach at Sacred Heart.
Moore, Goodwin and Chapman are members of several Halls of Fame, including the Central Auto Racing Boosters Hall of Fame located in  the Kansas City Automotive Museum Half of Fame in Olathe, Kansas. Terry Richards is a member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame.
Chapman, who raced from 1953-1971, remembers when you didn’t have to pull into a pit, you worked on your car in the middle of the track. “You could get out of the car and change tires right on the track. You can’t do that anymore. I recall a funny story back in 1963 in Olympic Stadium outside of Independence, MO. What was working good for me that particular night was I would run her in hard on the number one turn and use a lot of brakes.  This was back when we had shoe brakes, we didn’t have disc brakes. They would over heat. We had a yellow flag for some reason. They faded and I got out of the car and went to the infield. I got a radiator bucket and started pouring water on my brakes. I didn’t have a right front brake. Steam came out and the people on the straight away saw what I was doing and starting laughing. When we got the green flag, I got those brakes cooled down, I went back to racing. I moved up but I didn’t win that race," Chapman said.
“The worst wreck I ever had was in 1960 at Riverside. I was driving another racer’s car.On the number one turn some guy stuck his front wheel under my left rear. I went end over end and was in the hospital for eight days. It was a pretty rough ride. Rolling sideways is not bad but end over end is rough. I was out of work for eight weeks. I started driving again. I drove a Hudson motor car until 1963.  I built another car in 1964.”
Most of their cars were old Model T’s or old coupes that they reworked.
Ed Sanders, a historian  and friend to all of the racers commented, “I got involved in 1955 in the Kansas City area. We try to meet three times a year and usually have 30 or more show up. All of these guys have children and grandchildren who still race.”
Local historian Ken Polly remembers Kenneth Taylor, who was killed on the race track. “ I knew him when we were kids,” Polly went on to say.
Most of the racers had other jobs. A normal first prize was around $150-200. Sometimes they went as high as $2000.
Most of the racers said they didn’t think about the dangers. They just loved racing and would do it today if they could.” This is their passion. They live and breath racing,” Sanders said. 
“There was like a fifty year gap when I thought they had all disappeared but  I found them again about eight or nine years ago, I started getting them back together. My dad was a racer and that was how I got to know these guys. My goal is to restore this history for future generations.”
The HOF inducts eight a year in March. 
Teresa Osmond, known as T.O., was also involved with racing over the years and has become a historian as well. “We would leave from home where it was a 100 degrees, bright and sunny and get to Kansas City, where it was raining and we had to turn around and go home.”
Terry Richards raced from 1963 to 2004. Raymond “Heavy” McNish was a mechanic. Dale Moore lives in Warsaw, MO. Bud Honeycutt was another well known racer in the area.
Down in Ozark they raced against Springfield legends, Larry Phillips, Mark Martin and Willie Crane.
Sanders added, "You go to the local barbershops and garages and people will want to talk about racing.”
 

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