When I first go to go to the new Albany - Saratoga Speedway in Malta, NY - one of the things that fascinated me the most was the track's Semi Late Model cars. Most tracks then had some sort of support division that included lower cost late model cars, but these were just unique. Partnering with the Utica - Rome track, and often sharing cars with Riverside Park Speedway, Malta had a nice cadre of these cars - even early on. The division had standouts such as Rome's Lucky Sutton, Georege Rettew and Red Carr from Massachusetts, and local stars like Ken Platt with gold #99 Ford.


Ladabouche Collection
Platt soldiers on as Jerry Pennock spins in front of Don Antolick.

                 The 99 came from very nearby, at the Round Lake exit of Interstate 87. There, you could find the Grand Prix Restaurant and nearby gas station owned by the Roerig brothers, Larry and Dick. They team had apparently started off in the Semi Late Models with gold #99's. My first experience with them was a 1955 Ford driven by Platt, from Taberg, NY. Another earlier car was a 1955 Chevy. I saw the team again when they, and Donnie Antolick, tried their luck at Devil's Bowl on a Sunday night.      
                  Eventually, they began building sportsman and modified cars. Early ones for Platt included a Falcon - bodied modified which ran at  Malta, Airborne, and a few other venues. My last trip ever to Fonda was around 1969 at Fonda. By then, the team had a low - slung 36 Chevy coupe and were using Maynard Forrette as driver. As might be expected by Cyclone, the evening started out with some sort of informal presentation with Forrette and starter Don Phoenix, the idea being Forrette had been black flagged the week before.


Ladabouche Photo
The Forrette - driven Chevy mod arrives at Catamount for an All Star League show.

                 The Roerig team would go on to use Forrette and Rene Charland in various cars from that era of Vegas, Gremlins, Chevettes, and so forth. There was also a cameo appearance by Don Antolick in a gold 99 at the Valley. The gold 99 team finally seemed to fade away as racing began to go to the manufactured cars and the higher spending; but they were always fun to watch - whoever was driving the car.

Courtesy of Mike Parenteau
Charland with one of the later Roerig cars, on dirt.


Courtesy of Mike Cranston
Ken Platt, at Malta with what was likely the first Roerig car. I think I saw this car at Devil's Bowl once.

Courtesy of Mike Cranston
A young boy with the second 99 - probably Mike Cranston.
Courtesy of Mike Cranston
Platt, with a Chevy that I don't remember.

Courtesy of A. Ainsworth

Newly built Falcon.
Courtesy of Jim Kelly
One of the Falcons at an undisclosed track.
Bob Mackey Photo
Courtesy of John Rock

Platt, at Airborne.
Bob Mackey Photo
Courtesy of John Rock

Ken Platt, at Airborne with one of the Falcons.

John Grady Photo
Courtesy of A. Ainsworth

Platt, at Malta. 

Courtesy of Bill Farress
Platt, somewhere in
New Jersey.


Courtesy of Scott Belknap
The only photo that shows the Roerig brothers.

Courtesy of Lebanon Valley Classics
The only photo that shows
Steve Luse in the Roerig car - at the Valley.


Courtesy of Dave Dykes
Maynard, at Airborne -
near his hometown
of Ellenburg Depot.
Courtesy of Mike Parenteau
Maynard, at Riverside Park.
Courtesy of Mike Parenteau
Maynard, with the same Vega that Luse drove.

Courtesy of Mike Rockefeller
Maynard in 1971 with a different coupe.

Courtesy of Scott Belknap
Maynard, wearing his ASL helmet - with the original Chevy coupe.

Courtesy of John Gallant
Maynard picked an important Fonda race to put the Chevy in the giggly weeds.

Courtesy of Jay Carpinello
Maynard and Charland
with the Roerig coupe. Not sure who was driving then.

Photo by Lennie
Courtesy of Jalopy Journal

Likely, at Fonda.
Courtesy of David Herrick
A happy pose.
Gater Racing News
And we thought Shoemaker was hard on equipment.
Courtesy of LVC
Maynard, at Lebanon Valley.
Courtesy of Dirt Track Digest
Maynard, at Albany -


Courtesy of Mike Richards
Rene with one of the 99's he drove.
Courtesy of Chas Hertica
Charland, at Fonda, with
one of the earlier Roerig cars.
Courtesy of Mike Parenteau
Rene with the Roerig Gremlin.

Courtesy of Mark Charland
Champ in Fonda Vic Lane with the Gremlin.

Courtesy of Scott Belknap
More of the Charland
Roerig Gremlin.

Courtesy of John Gallant
The Frito Bandito at
Lebanon Valley.
Courtesy of Mark Charland
Rene with the coupe.
Courtesy of Ron Wetzler
Charland in Fonda Vic Lane with Larry and Dick Roerig.

Joel Naprstek Photo
Courtesy of 3 Wide
Said to be Charland, at Cairo, with the coupe.

Speedway Snapshots Photo
Roerigs got to be quite the traveling team. Charland at Ransomville with the Gremlin.

Courtesy of Chrome Horn
Charland, at speed, with the familiar coupe.

Courtesy of Mike Parenteau
The Roerig Gremlin. They ran an expensive [and powerful] big block here.

Peter Fitzner Collection
Courtesy of Chas Hertica
Charland, said to bne winning the Valley 200a with the later coupe.

Bob Manieri Photo
Courtesy of Scott Belknap
Charland, at Fonda, with
the Gremlin.
Peter Fitzner Collection
Courtesy of Chas Hertica
Charland, at Fonda, with a later coupe.