Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – As you walk through the historic grandstands at the over 100 years old Orange County Fair Speedway, there are many signs on the booths that are in back of the top row of stands.
These signs include memorable drivers and owners and are some of the most successful and remembered in the track’s history.
As you look from left to right at the signs, you see the iconic names and car numbers from the track history. They include the Higbie Brothers 97, Bobby Bottcher 666, Carl Van Horn 71E, 2 Frankie Schneider, Richard Marinelli M1, 1 Rags Carter, 00 Buzzie Reutimann and 99 Bob Malzahn.
If you continue walking towards the half-covered grandstands, you will notice atop of the roof, another series of signs honoring more speedway greats. Those include 12 Johnny Owen, 69 Bobby Green, 24 Sonny Strupp, 5 Russ Meyer, 225 Sammy Rogers Sr. & Jr., 46 Joe Romer Sr. & Jr., 88 Russ Dodd, 30 Ron Goodrich, 19 Emerson Cargain, 711 Dave Kneisel and 10 Rich Eurich.
With the thousands of drivers that have raced at OCFS through the years, having your name on a sign is quite an honor.
With a sign above each section except one, speedway official Doug Dulgarian posted on the track’s Facebook page that the track was looking for fans to submit candidates, via email, for the final spot on the half-covered roof. After the emails were received, speedway officials made their decision.
On Saturday of Eastern States weekend, it was announced that one of the most popular racer’s in speedway history would receive that honor.
That driver is Tim Hindley.
Tim is not only a championship driver, but a championship person. His racing accomplishments include OCFS championships in both the Sportsman and 358 Small Block divisions. And he was back-to-back Modified Champion in 2013 and 2014.
But there’s more than just the driving ability with Tim. You would be hard pressed to find a driver more personable than him.
In a time before I was doing any media work, I didn’t know Tim at all. Gradually, I began to post photos on different sites and social media. People began to notice the work I was putting out. One night when Tim wasn’t racing, he was in the grandstands. I walked past him and he said, “Hi Mike,” and we talked for some time. I was shocked that Tim recognized me. I thought to myself, “Wow, the great Tim Hindley said hello to me.” My son saw and heard it and he was so impressed. It was cool that this happened with a driver that I had so much respect for.
But that’s the way Tim is. Always smiling, always making time for the fans. And doing great things for others.
A few years ago, Tim’s team honored one of the OCFS’s s well known Sportsman driver and scheme from the past. The #300 Jeff Farber themed throwback was so well done, very popular with the Nostalgia Night 2017 crowd.
It’s a super and well deserved honor for Tim. Congratulations!! I can’t wait to grab a shot of that 1H/17H sign!!