WHITES BEACH SPEEDWAY


Tom Fish Photos


From 8 mm Home Movies on Dan Ody DVD
Ashland Park and Whites Beach veteran Johnny Jones takes green in his Studebaker.

     Ballston Lake is located off New York Route 50, to the South of Saratoga Springs, NY. A portion of the western shore of the lake was known as Whites Beach, and some land in that neighborhood was fashioned into a race oval. After running very informal local jalopies on a track without much safety or spectator facilities, some interested parties from the region began to develop the facility a little more, putting in bleachers, a judges' stand, a ticket booth, and some safety barriers.


Photographer Unknown

Heat winner Lew Martin poses in front of the judges / announcers' stand built
on the grounds of Whites Beach Speedway.

     The track soon developed its own cadre of drivers and teams, almost totally independent of some of the more established tracks around it, like Fonda and Empire. This may have been because of local indentity; but, more likely, it was because you could run a much more low-dollar operation and still compete at Whites Beach. According to Bruce Keith, whose mother was an established scorer at several New York tracks, some of the same promoters who ran Ashland Park in Warrensburg, ran Whites Beach.

 


Photo Most Likely Les King or McDowell

Ernie Martin, a name synonymous with Whites Beach, poses with checkers on the front stretch.


Bill Ladabouche Photo

Ernie Martin sits and listens to Ron Hedger at the April 15, 2007 conference on lost race
tracks at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. Martin spoke to the conference about Whites Beach.

     Mrs. Keith scored at Whites Beach, and she may be in the photo above - up in the Judges' Stand. Warrensburg Promoter Wilbur Baker took a turn at running Whites Beach, as did Rick Patterson and Ward Tower - according to Keith. In information supplied by the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Bob Ruckdeschel was definitely someone who ran Whites Beach. Irv Conron and Les King were, most probably among the photographers who plied their trade at Whites Beach; and, MacDowell and John Grady may have joined them. Someone said Pappy Delong may have promoted the track, too.
     Between the recent book on the history of Fonda Speedway, and the even - more - recent display about Whites Beach at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Whites Beach has suddenly burst into the consciousness of the region's followers of vintage stock car racing. I have decided to give it a page on a web site devoted to Vermont racing history because several of its participants also tried their luck at Fairmont Speedway, in Fair Haven, Vermont.

 


Fonda History Book Photo

Dale Horton [aka Rebel Ross], from Broadalbin and Chuck Dwyer were two drivers featured in
the Fonda history book. I remember Horton appearing briefly at Fonda.


     Today, there is virtually no trace of the race track. The land is owned by someone who raised deer on the very part of their property that once housed the track. That area is surrounded by a high wire fence. From the Whites Beach Road, you can look through the fence and see a portion of their deer compound that nearly comes right up to the road. There is a clearly - discernable curved banking that a neighbor tells me was turns one and two. You can still make out the track layout from satellite photos - both Terraserver, from the 1990's and Google Earth, which is more recent. There is also a little, ramshackle building on their yard that was once the ticket booth. A faded sign on the east side of the booth says "Thank You Come Again".


Fonda History Book Photo

A contingent of Whites Beach drivers [and a few others mixed in] pose
during the memorable George Welch Benefit Night held at Fonda


Bill Ladabouche Photos
Orlando Papa,
Clifton Park, NY


 

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Joe Spellburg,
Glens Falls, NY

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Ray Sutliffe,
Glens Falls, NY

Courtesy of Ed Fabian
the Baker Family,
Warrensburg, NY

 

Steve Judd Photo
Rebel Ross,
Broadalbin, NY

 

Bob Novak Photo
George Baumgardner,
Saratoga Sprgs, NY
 

Bill Ladabouche Collection
Joe Wunderlich,
West Sand Lake, NY
 

Norm Vadnais Photo
Beryl Fitzgerald,
Gansevoort, NY

Steve Judd Photo
Ron Quakenbush,
Fultonville, NY

From Dan Ody 8MM DVD
Wally LaBelle,
Glens Falls, NY
The Vern Baker 6PAC

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Same car, 10 yrs.
later [with Vern]
Ed Baker was then
the driver.
 

From Dan Ody 8MM DVD
Wally LaBelle,
Another view

From Dan Ody 8MM DVD
An unusually clear shot
from the Ody DVD. I
don't know the cars.

 


Bill Ladabouche Photo
The ticket booth

Bill Ladabouche Photo
The ticket booth

Bill Ladabouche Photo
Turns 1 and 2
from the West

from the East

 


Terraserver Satellite Photo - 1990's


Photo from Otto Graham's Site. No Photographer Listed

Ken Delong, driver and one-time promoter at White's Beach.


From 8 mm Home Movies on Dan Ody DVD
Ken Delong in action on the Whites Beach track.

TOM FISH PHOTOS
Contributed by Tom on behalf of his father, former Whites Beach participant Bob Fish.


Fish Family Photo
Bob Fish,
Saratoga Sprgs, NY

Fish Family Photo
The Fish car at home,
in Saratoga Springs, NY

Fish Family Collection
Irv Conron Photo

Whites Beach banquet
December 1955

ish Family Collection
Irv Conron Photo

Whites Beach banquet
December 1955
Bob Fish at the mike.

 PHOTOS FROM DAN ODY'S MATERIALS
Contributed to Dan from Various Sources


From Dan Ody's Collection
A 1955 race start.
That, very likely, is
starter Chet Hames.

From Dan Ody's Collection
Ernie Martin wins another,
ahead of what appears to be
D.C. Coville [father of CD]

Dan Ody Collection
A look at what could be
Irv Conron, on turn 4

Dan Ody Collection
A Whites Beach feature win in 1955 [Below] Another view.

 

From Dan Ody's Collection
Korky Fillo spills the
#100 sedan off a turn.

 

From Dan Ody's Collection
A 1955 race . Action in turns one and two. Visible are: 18 Ken Delong and 550, which might by Chuck Stevenson.

From Dan Ody's Collection
A look across the
infield.

From Dan Ody's Collection
Another heat
start.

From Dan Ody's Collection
 Action in turns one and two
as seen across the infield.

From Dan Ody's Collection
Pretty self-explanatory.
Know anyone there ?

From Dan Ody's Collection
So much for spectator
safety.

From Dan Ody's Collection
A feature start with
Lew Martin out front.

 

 

 


From 8 mm Home Movies on Dan Ody DVD
An unidentified car 46 plies the front stretch.

From 8 mm Home Movies on Dan Ody DVD

Jack Roode heads down the front stretch.

PHOTOS FROM DAN ODY: A CRASH SEQUENCE
 


From Dan Ody's Collection
Car 34 decided to take a
header in front of the
oncoming field in turn 1.

From Dan Ody's Collection
The thrill for the driver
begins.

 

From Dan Ody's Collection
Off he goes on his nose, as
car 1/5 and others take
evasive action.


Dan Ody Collection
34 continues to tumble
as he is joined by
several others.
 

Dan Ody Collection
Cars pile in as 34 settles
in the dust. The rest of the cars
go on by.

From Dan Ody's Collection
Team 550 cars avoid each
other as another car spins
in between them.

From Dan Ody's Collection

One driver hops up on
his roof to inspect the mess.

From Dan Ody's Collection
Post-wreck inspection. Dan
Ody believes the man with the
glasses and hat is D.C. Coville.


Courtesy of Joe Grossetti
A new name [meaning "white beach"] for the 1959 season. Never heard much about it.


Courtesy of Dan Ody
This is a small article on the track when it was called Raceway Park [perhaps after
the track of the same name near Chicago]. There are familiar names in the text.
For a better look at the whole thing, CLICK HERE for its own page.


From Dan Ody 8MM DVD
According to Andy Fusco, this car belonged to Herb Root, and - with Doc Blanchard driving _
It had some moments when it dominated Whites Beach competition. This shot is at Stateline.


From Dan Ody 8MM DVD
Great shot of a field under caution. I recognize Ken Delong [middle, blue and white car] and Bob Hoffer
[X9 looks like 19].


Schenectady Gazette Archives
It was treated all right. Dan Ody says you could probably strike oil if you could find the racing surface.

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