Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 10, 1959 Stock Car Racing started at a course off of Trudeau Road in 1959, and ended about August 30, 1968. The oval can still be seen in a satellite view; it was located east of Beechwood Drive and south of Trudeau Road.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 31, 1959

Tri-Lake Drivers Enter Races At S. L. Speedway

by Howard Riley

The new Saranac Lake Speedway located on Trudeau road provided (exhilarating! accelerating!) entertainment for racing fans Sunday afternoon as cars flipped, track-jumped and raced to the pits with flaming carburetors. Winners in various events were Jim Hoyt of Saranac Lake, driving Francis Porter's hot Chevy, Rod Ritchie of Wilmington, and George Bridges and Ormsby from Plattsburgh. More than half the drivers were from the Tri-lake area.

Hoyt, whose own Plymouth V-8 is under repair, demonstrated his ability at the wheel by coming from behind to win the first event.

Rod Ritchie driving No. 32 breezed in to take the second race. Ray Bordeau from Tupper Lake driving B9 (Ford w/Merc. eng.) and Bridges, a graying, crewclipped gentleman and the oldest driver on the track put on a real dogfight with their cutting, bumping and criss-crossing.

Ormsby's No. 28 won the third heat, but not without 'Slugger' Moody giving him plenty of competition in No. 21 1/2. Moody brought the crowd to their feet by bouncing the back end of his Ford sedan off (the rail on the low corner.

Bridges was first in the consolation race, followed by Dale Reid and in third place was Ralph Weir, a Bloomingdale entry driving Frank Whisher's No. F-4.

The Feature Race was racked with mishaps but with no injuries to the drivers. Everyone was waiting to see Porter and Ritchie on the track together, both driving Chevy V-8 engines mounted in '36 and '37 Chevy chassis.

The first start saw Bill Golden driving his white No. 5 flip on the first turn, with Reid sliding in close, almost smashing Golden's overturned racer. Art Ferrari, the starter waved the red flag to stop the race with danger of more pileups from the balking hot rods.

Restarted, the race saw Porter and Ritchie dueling it out with Porter gaining the lead, but Ritchie developed trouble and went off the high turn and back onto the track, as did Weir in the previous lap. It looked as though Porter had it sewed up when a tire blew forcing him into the pits. Sonny Sawyer of Saranac Lake in No. 21 saw his front wheel roll into the field minus the rest of the car, Reid broke an axle and the winner, Bridgese, literally coasted in from his then wide lead with a hole in the block big enough to slick your head into.

Also racing were Wilfred and Leon Leroux from Faust, Jim LaGray from Tupper Lake, Dick Bruce of Peru, Clarence Bruno of Plattsburgh Claude Golden from Saranac Lake, Jim Proctor from Lake Placid, Tom Vasser also from Placid and Harold English of Brainardsville.

The men that own and race these cars have much money and time, involved in their cars and the sport draws a tremendous spectator attendance in cities throughout the country.

These races are not for the Main Street tire-peelers, because here you see real driving ability, as was nicely demonstrated to this reporter by Mr. Porter when he drove me for a few fast laps. A single seat for the driver left this curious one sitting on an iron cross-piece and gripping the roll bars as Porter waltzed his racer side-ways and every other way around the track. Quite an experience.

A Championship race is scheduled for Sunday, September 6. NASCAR sanctioned, Gordon Owens is NASCAR Chief Stewart, and Mr. and Mrs. Jim O'Connor handle the announcing and scoring in that order.

Aaron Hoyt, Chrysler dealer in Saranac Lake is the owner and operator of the speedway and a capacity crowd is expected next week when top drivers from Vermont will be racing with the boys from the Tri-lakes and other parts of New York State.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Friday, July 19, 1968

Play-by-Play

By Bob Goetz

Green Flag Is Up

When the gates open at the Saranac Lake Speedway tonight it will climax a month-long query into the fate of the famed racecourse which as of late has posed one of the biggest question marks next to when the current hot spell would subside.

Almost at the exact moment when area lovers of the thrills any spills of the speedway realized that a vital part of the area's summer sports was idle, a bulletin hit the news media informing track fans that the Trudeau Road race track would be back in business this Friday night.

Although still shy of ten years of service to Adirondack patrons of the speedway, the local course has a touch of history embedded in its yearly racing campaigns and the assurance of even more memories to come should draw large throngs to the course tonight and each Friday night throughout the summer.

The lone speedway in the Tri-Lakes will be under new management this year but by no means under the leadership of someone making his initial contact with the racing business. The fate of the speedway was rescued by Pat Hott who will operate the course along with two other tracks, Fort Covington, and Maxville Speedway in Ontario, during the present season.

The excitement created by the racing machines on the local dirt track has proved itself as a drawing card over the past few seasons and the only threat to the success of this year's racing schedule will be the weatherman who severely plagued the 1967 season.

Crowds upward of 1,000 have witnessed the racing at the track and should the season produce new thrills a new attendance mark would seem highly probable as the reason enters the final stretch.

The track which operated for its first season and part of a second in the daytime, switched to arclight affairs on Aug. 12, 1960 and has featured racing under the stars ever since.

A throng numbering well over 1,000 was on hand that memorable night in 1960 to witness the first night time racing in the area. Bob Bruno, who went on to many triumphs in races following the opening night conquest, won the Sportsmen's event while Mac Miller took top honors in the limited feature.

It is only fitting that we say thanks to Pat Hott who saved the speedway and wish the veteran speedway promoter the best of luck in his newest venture. The return of racing may seem unpleasant to a few, but to a great number of stock car fans, it is a blessing.

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