Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of C. J. Richards
This photo from a New York photographer shows how close the track was to the drive-in theater.

   The town of Colchester, Vermont has a considerable stake in the history of stock car racing in Vermont. At various times in the earlier years of racing, there were arguably up to tofive race tracks operating in that large [and then rural] township: one near the Malletts Bay drive - In Theater ; one on Williams Road, about a mile away from the first; one on where the Sunset Drive-in Theater now sits; one near Bel Air Drive off Holy Cross Road; and  another out on US Route 2 near Essex Junction. The first two went about their promotions in such an informal way that, on a given Sunday, if one track had more entrants than the other, they would agree to all pack up and go to that track to race that week. The track near the drive - in, run by Walter Barcomb [from a family which produced noted driver Ron Barcomb] usually won out. The Barcombs already included Ernie, Herb, and Leonard.... and Herb's son Ron would make his own mark, in years to come, at Catamount and other venues.

    According to local legend [and it may be just that], the owners of the drive - in theater hated the race track and schemed to get rid of it. According to the story I heard, they were able to buy it through some subterfuge and treachery, and had it bulldozed the very next day. Don't know how true it all is. Local resident and former race car participanr Bob RIley says there is no truth to the drive - in treachery story that he knows of.

   We thought that the racing world lost a considerable chunk of Malletts Bay history when the thirty-plus photo collection of former driver Red Dooley was lost in a fire at his son's home in 2002. But they have apparently survived and I am working on scanning them - if I can track down the owners of the originals. As of mid - 2007, these along with photos from Bob Bushey, Frank Hart, Bob Riley, and Gordy Owen, would have been the only photos I could find of the track.

   April 19 post script: Recent remarks made by Ron Barcomb, former ACT driver and nephew of Walter Barcomb now adds further clouding to which track in Colchester ran by which title. I thought I had finally nailed it down to : the best known track on Route 127 [Barcomb's] was named Colchester - Bayview after having used Malletts Bay in the name before; the Harvey Moody track near Williams Road was named Green Mountain Speedway; Ivanhoe Smith's track out on Rte 2 was Colchester Raceway; the early track on Holy Cross Road was Malletts Bay Speedway; and a really early track, named Sunset Speedway, was replaced by the present drive-in of the same name.




Terraserver Satellite Photo

    Colchester_Bayview Speedway, more often called the Malletts Bay track, is seen in a highlighted area, to the left of the drive-in and of the Malletts Bay Salvage Co, [far right]. The Walter Barcomb family,  ran the track. Interstate 89 would be just to the left, off the edge of the photo had it been in existence when the track opederated.
     Local man Bob Riley said Barcomb owned most of the track land but leased portions of two of the turns from other landowners. It has been been variously called Malletts Bay Raceway, Malletts Bay Speedway, and Colchester - Bayview Speedway. It was [and is] the best know of the five Colchester tracks.

Ladabouche Photos
I took these two shots around 1977. You can still see some of the RR ties used as a barrier in front of the stands. What appears to be a road is the old track surface that had been under the pavement they laid in 1959.

Cris DaBica Photo

     Nothing remains of the principal Malletts Bay track, This development destroyed all traces of the track and the drive-in next door.
CLICK HERE for a page on this track.

Cris DaBica Photo -

The photographer is convinced the banking in thisphoto  is part of the old track. It would have to be turn two, by my estimation.



Historic Aerials.come Photo

      The Williams Road track disappeared without a trace. The  track was apparently owned by Harvey Moody and was on land owned by Sam Brigante. A 5/8 mile, five -cornered track, it was said to be quite informal and had little seating. According to Ken Squier, Ron Cooley once went through the fence during a practice session and tore down much of the bleachers.
     The track was described by one local man as "a kind of a chicken wire deal". Much of the infield and other areas looked to be sand. Another man said he recalled Brigante, the landowner, pacing nervously out on the Williams Road during race programs. Havery Moody was some sort of in - law to him. My photos come mostly from two team - those of Ralph Bushey and Frank Hart, practicing privately at the track.


      The Interstate 89 was not present at the time of the Williams Road track. It could have been partly located in land now occupied by I-89; but, most old hands think it was located on what now isthe development that includes Julie Drive.
       Bob Riley recalls turning onto that road, going past Mr. Williams' farm house, and soon turning into the track with his uncle.

      CLICK HERE for a few photos of what might have been the Moody track.


Terraserver Satellite Photo

       The Canyon Estates housing development, on Route 2A between Colchester and Essex Junction, is the alleged site of another former track. Little is known about it. Possibly, the circular street arrangement near the middle of this photo could have used some of the layout from the old track.
        In photos of track activities, a farm barn is seen prominently in the background. According to Ken Squier, this track was operated by a small-time Winooski used car dealer named Ivanhoe Smith and was usually referred to as "Smitty's Race Track".

Courtesy of Jack Anderson
One of the few known photos of Smitty's race track. Too bad it wasn't clearer.

Courtesy of John Nelson

CLICK HERE for some photos, etc.  believed to be at Colchester Raceway.


Terraserver Satellite Photo

      I am now hearing that there was another race track near the site of the present day Sunset Drive - In, in the "downtown Malletts Bay" section of Colchester. I know positively nothing else about it, at present. At least two different local men have insisted they were taken to races here as children, but they have no materials.
       Once, before I was formally doing this work, I saw something with a reference to Sunset Speedway, but that was a long time ago.


                The location shown in the Terraserver Satellite photo is the site of the Sunset Drive-In Theater. I suspect the track both where the drive-in is and to the right [east] of the theater. I can make out no traces of the old track, however. Maybe someone looking in on the site can shed some light on the track's location.




   Several times at Thunder Road, members of Jerry Lesage's crew had been telling me about a track they thought existed near the Belair Drive development in the Malletts Bay section of Colchester. Now, with a Burlington Free Press ad as proof, I am led to believe their suspicions are true. The ad describes the track as being at the rear of Holy Cross Chapel - Shore Road - across from the Clover House Restaurant.
      While looking at old aerial photos of the new North End of Burlington, I noticed I could move over into Malletts Bay. There, sitting near [but no on] Belair Drive was an outline of the old track.

Terraserver Satellite Photo
The Malletts Bay Raceway may have been where you see the development in the upper center of the photo.
 I think there are traces of the track shown by the arrow.

Courtesy of John Nelson

Click Here to go to a page on that track.

lloyd_gilbert_mbay.jpg (213793 bytes)
Courtesy of Lloyd and Greg Gilbert
Lloyd Gilbert's car sits behind the stands, in the parking area at the track. Lloyd used the number 1.59 to advertise the latest special at his grocery store in Burlington.


Peterson Family Photo
Jackie Peterson wining one at the track when it was Malletts Bay Raceway. He was driving for Ernie Barcomb.

Bob Mackey Photo
Courtesy of  John Rock
A mixup on the backstretch at Malletts Bay.

Bob Bushey Family Photo
Courtesy of  John Rock
Jackie Peterson [facing us with Coke in hand] talks to Bob Bushey - one of the hottest drivers in the later years.

Source Unknown
ticket from around 1959.

Most photos of this track on its exclusive page. See link above.


Bushey Family Photo
Ralph Bushey and Gordy Owen
work on the original Bushey car
probably at Green Mountain.

Bushey Family Photo
The first Ralph Bushey car, then driven by Gordy Owen at Green Mountain. Not much of a barrier in front of the stands.

Bushey Family Photo
Gordy confers with Ralph Bushey's mechanic.

Bushey Family Photo
The crew chief shades
 his eyes as his minions
go to work on the car.

Bushey Family Photo
Someone other than Gordy drives as a mechanic rides along.

Owen Family Photo
Gordon Owen, with his
Ralph Bushey - owned 31.

Bushey Family Photo
Bob Bushey, with one of
Ralph Bushey's later cars. Good view of why the place was called a chicken wire deal - not much protection.

Hart Family Photo
Frank Hart of Alburgh [left], also at a private practice session at
Green Mountain.

Hart Family Photo
Another crew chief shading his eyes at a private practice session at Green Mountain.

Hart Family Photo
Frank Hart [left], Jackie Peterson, and Ernie Barcomb all would have driven at Green Mountain. at least on occasion.


Courtesy of Mark LeFrancois
One of Smitty's cars -
co-owned by Willard Rock and
driven by Clarence Rock.

Anderson Family Photo
A 15 yr-old Jack Anderson posing at Smitty's. Somehow he was allowed to race there but a similarly - old Bob Riley was not. [Politics]


Anderson Family Photo
A blurry race lineup
 at Smitty's.

Bushey Family Photo
Herb Trayah's 100
in the infield at

Bushey Family Photo
Rex Shattuck pushes
the Ralph Bushey 31
in the pits.
 The announcer's stand
 with that pole sticking up is unmistakeable.

Owen Family Photo
Gordy Owen takes the 31
out for a race as we can see
the judges' stand and the
front stretch fencing. Car H40
is being worked on at right.

Owen Family Photo
Gordy Owen on the pole at
Colchester Raceway. A
good view of turns 3 & 4. The
unlettered car in the rear is
Jackie Peterson.

Owen Family Photo
Ralph Bushey [hat] and others get
Gordy started at Colchester Raceway.

Owen Family Photo
Gordy with a post race beer at Colchester Raceway. That is
Bob Pratt in the foreground.

Bushey Family Photo

Gordy Owen enjoys a beer
with Bob Pratt [rt] and
another man I don't know at left.
Peterson Family Photo
This is said to be Colchester
Raceway, and the 3 is said to
be Jackie Peterson.
Bushey Family Photo
Guys are waitng for a pit meeting, and they look quite cold.
Courtesy of Steve Jangraw
Some of the regulars at Colchester Raceway. Ira Farnsworth is 2nd
from right; the Trayah boys are on the outside; so 2nd from left must be Ron Farnsworth.
Courtesy of Steve Jangraw
Moreof the regulars at Colchester Raceway. Ron Farnsworth  the Trayah boys are on the left, with Herbie Cobb seated on the roof. The muscular guy in the background is the famous Norm Chaloux. This is said to be Beansie Dumas' car. Ya know.. Beansie's snack bar bus.

Owen Family Photo
Gordy Owenat the track.


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