- Written by webmin
If you’re a Buckeye racing enthusiast, you undoubtedly know the name Chick Hale. Word came to us late last week, sad to say, that Chick – his true name was William – has passed away at 83. Think about this statistic: Chick was the only driver to have raced at the fabled, fearsome Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, every year that it was run by founder Earl Baltes, from its opening in 1954 until Baltes sold the track to Tony Stewart in 2002.
Chick, who hailed from New Madison, Ohio, was most famous as a Late Model guy, with a total of nine Eldora titles in full-fender cars. The above image comes to us from western Pennsylvania racing historian Walt Wimer by way of Tom Schmeh, curator of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa. It shows Chick at his other specialty, racing Supermodifieds on dirt. It dates to 1962, shot during a winter open-competition special at Jacksonville, Florida, a program that also attracted the “skeeter” of Alabama legend Harold Fryar and Roy Robbins, who’d won the first Knoxville Nationals the previous year. In the background is the Super of Jacksonville regular Yankee Smith. A year later, this now-defunct track was the site of Wendell Scott’s only NASCAR Grand National victory.