by Jim Amos



DVD #023

This two hour and six minute video takes a look at three drag strips that are no longer in existence. The first is Peterson Memorial Dragway (PID) in Tipton, Pa, the second is 522 Kreamer Drag-O-Way in Kreamer, Pa and the third is Pittsburgh International Dragway in Cuddy, Pa.                                                                                                                                                                              
The video begins with a visit to Peterson Memorial Dragway in Tipton, Pa. The track operated from 1966 to the mid 1970's. Even after it closed racers would sneak into the track and grudge race one another.  

We did a location shoot at the site of the old track and former Peterson racers Tom Taylor and Steve Reasbeck gave us a tour of the grounds. Tom and Steve also gave us a history lesson about the operation of the track.

Our original movie footage shows a variety of racing at Peterson. You will see some of the local racers that competed at the track as well as an assortment of nationally known cars that towed into Peterson. The NHRA Division 1 Super Stock Circuit was a regular attraction at Peterson and its racers include Dave StricklerBill JenkinsBill StilesNate CohenFrank BashTritak & MorganEd Miller and many more. We have included an interview we did with Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins back in 2003 where he talks about selling his 1966 Super Stock Chevy II Nova to Joe Sedilko of Altoona, Pa. We also have some footage of the car when Sedilko raced it at Peterson.  

We also profile a special funny car match between Jungle Jim Liberman in his 1969 Chevy Nova and Fast Eddie Schartman in his Air Lift Rattler Mercury Cougar. Also included is action from the East Coast Fuel Funny Car Circuit at Peterson. Some of the cars in this segment include Kenny Waren’s Virginia Twister, The Carlton Brothers Swinger Camaro, Jeff Folk’s Finagler Cougar, Lee Pappas Little Greek Mustang, Tommy Smith’s Jolly Green Javelin, Pop Whitt’s Hippie Hemi Cuda, Charles Lee’s Super Javelin and Gene Altizer’s Little Weasel Corvair.

Another feature is a top fuel match race between Tom Raley of Maryland in his blown small block Chevy powered rail and Tom Reese of Pittsburgh and his Blown Hemi powered rail. We did an interview with Tom Raley and he tells us about the car he drove for fellow Marylander Ronnie Vito. The Raley & Vito car ended up being the NASCAR Top Fuel Champion in 1965.

Our second stop is at 522 Kreamer Drag-O-Way in Kreamer, Pa. This track operated from the late 1950's to the early 1970's. We did a location shoot at the site of the old track and former 522 Kreamer track worker Leo Sekulski filled us in about the history of the track. We also talked with the father of the current owner of the property and learned that two buildings have been built over the racing surface and they are used in their business of raising baby chickens.

Our original movie footage shows some of the early cars racing at the track and one in particular is a 409 powered ‘32 Ford pickup.  Bud Faubel’s 1963 “Honker” Dodge is also shown going down the fifth of a mile track. Former 522 Kreamer racer Terry Greenaway also joined us for a tour of the property. He was able to point out several interesting locations on the property.

We have also included two additional interviews with former racers at 522 Kreamer. The first is former NHRA Super Stock Event Champion Tim Worner and the second is former NHRA Funny Car World Champion Bruce Larson. Both these guys have great stories about the track.

A final interview is with current owner and operator of Beaver Springs Dragway Bob McCardle. Seems that Bob got his start in drag racing at 522 Kreamer but after a disagreement with the owner of 522 Kreamer he decided to build Beaver Springs Dragway in Beaver Springs, Pa. We have also included some original movie footage of racing at Beaver Springs during it inaugural year 1971. Bob provides some narration to this bonus segment.

Our third and final track is Pittsburgh International Dragway in Cuddy, Pa. Cuddy is located about twenty miles southwest of the city of Pittsburgh. The track operated from 1964 to 1976 and today it sits in a deteriorated state.  

We have used a combination of still photographs and original movie film to show what racing was like at PID back in the day.  Tom Raley joins us once again with a story of how he was able to win a NASCAR top fuel event at PID back in 1965. We also interviewed Joe Jacono who ended up being the race runner up. It is a lot of fun listening to these two old competitors tell the story with their own personal touch.

Tom also told us a story of how he drove a Top Fuel Dragster for Jim and Alison Lee at PID. What is interesting is that it was the first drag race car sponsored by the United States Army. Yes the Lee/Raley Army sponsorship predated the Don Prudhomme Army Funny Car deal.  

Joe Jacono also tells us a story of when he faced off against Jungle Jim Liberman at PID. Joe was running his “Rollin’ Stoned” Plymouth Barracuda Funny Car at the time and Jungle had his Vega Funny Car. No one can tell a story like Joe.

Also included is some very rare footage of George Lavigne and his rocket powered go cart. See the “Thunderbolt” cart fly down the track at 160 mph. Very cool footage. 

We also feature a best of three Pro Stock race between Ronnie Sox and his Hemi powered Dodge Colt and Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins with his small block powered 1974 Chevy Vega. These guys are two of the biggest legends of the sport.  

So there you have it Ghost Drag Strip Stories from Bee On Video. We have attempted to locate the spirits of drag racing past and bring them back to life for you one more time. Order your copy today and sleep tight kiddies.  

  Bee On Video where Memories Come To Life!

The attached YouTube video clip is a short compilation of footage from the "Ghost Drag Strip Stories" video production. Keep in mind the full 2 hour and 6 minute video is fully narrated and real car sounds have been added to the sound track.