In 1970, the SMRA took over and re-opened the track after it sat closed for a year. Part of the re-building process was to change the wall from wood to cast off steel guardrail.
Also, all TQ's were now required to have rollcages. This move, a requirement from K & K Racing Insurance company, cost the track some competitors. Several of the older drivers thought that cages would make the drivers lose their respect for the danger, so they would become wilder and more reckless. Going forward from this point, the TQ fields were generally a little smaller, and the SFRA club only ran every two weeks.
However, there were new racers stepping up to run in this exciting class, and there was still lots of good racing. Wings on the cages were optional, but the realization that they made the cars faster seemed to increase as time went by.
My only regret is that I don't have more high-quality pictures!
Oren Fields leads Sam Kerr into turn one, 7-24-71.
Ron Wynn was hard at work in the S. Florida heat.
Ross Racing from Key Largo consisted of Ralph Ross Sr., and his three sons: Ralph Jr. shown here in the #2, along with his brothers Gary and Tony. I wish I had more pictures of the Rosses, if you have any, please let me know! EMAIL
Bob Manley tries out a TQ. He split his time between driving mini stocks, and being a track official.
Tony Ross parks it in victory circle again! Tony was an Army veteran who served on a helicopter gun ship in Viet Nam. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery under fire, as well as 8 other medals for his service in 1966 and 1967. He was shot down twice, injured and shot at, so there was not much that could scare this guy! Tony was a wild and aggressive driver, but a very successful one. I wish I had more pictures of Tony, who was my first racing hero.
Sad to say that Tony was lost in an accident while testing his car in Key Largo, January, 1977 at the age of 29.
Sam Kerr runs up high with Gene Barfield in the old Rich Benn roadster giving chase.
Bob Perrin drove this #22, 9-18-71.
The 1974 champions.
Left to right: standing Arnold Fields, Warner Graham (3'rd place) Mike Franklin Sr. (2'nd place)
Front row: Claude Hart, owner of the 8-ball, Oren Fields (1'st place)
In addition to racing, Warner Graham also worked to keep the track open in its later years. I wish I had some better pictures of him!
Starter Smitty and Mike Franklin.
Oren Fields in the Hart 8-Ball.
Ron Wynn flipped his TQ and the track came to help. Larry Olson in the blue fire suit on the left, Bob Manley in the black shirt and pants, Red Howell to the right of Bob, K.C. Mangus' #12 and Gene Barfield all look on.
K.C. Mangus drove this unusual rear-engined TQ. It was powered by a Honda engine, and did not require push starting like the other cars.
Larry Olson was behind the wheel of the #3 in October, 1971.
Here is Larry again on 3-16-74.
Here is mini stock driver Art Dalhberg in September, 1971.
Oren Fields driving the Hart 8-Ball on 3-16-74, and above in his own car, in 1971.
Oren Fields battling with Don Heckman in the Ingram #95.
Don Heckman scored the win in Arnold Fields' #54.
Don Heckman had a great deal of success in the Ingram owned "Black Bandit".
I am not sure who was driving the Black Bandit on this night.
Gene Barfield was a long-time Florida City Supporter in both mini stocks and TQ's. He is shown above in one of the many cars that he drove over the years, the #6 roadster.
Two more shots from 9-18-71.
This was the first TQ win for SMRA president and mini stock driver Rob Bean Sr.
Sam Kerr ran mini stocks for many years, but had this good looking TQ in 1971.
Northern transplant Ron Wynn became one of the many racers from Key Largo. On the left he carries the flag in a car painted up in Gene Barfield trim, and on the right, Ron was tuning on another car.
It was one of those nights for Mike Franklin in the Fields #46. He tangled with his team car that is barely visible, on its side, in the right side shot.
Mike Franklin in the Fields "Yellow Bird", along with his son Mike Jr. who went on to a stellar career in racing.
Smitty was still on the job, and greets Mike Franklin on 12-15-74.
Mike's beloved wife Ruth joins her husband in Victory Circle. 12-15-74
Jim Smith drove the #33. 7-17-71
Joe Landry wins on 7-24-71 in a Fields TQ.
Here are a few fuzzy pictures of Gary Ross. He went on to race late models across S. Florida. 5-5-73
Here is Mike Franklin and family racing the dirt in Clewiston, 1977.
Hialeah Speedway hosted the TQ's for a few races. Here is Bill Taylor mashing the gas.
Gene Barfield was still in action in the late 1970's.
Frank Barfield leads his dad Gene, and Oren Fields runs in the second lane.
Florida City mini stocker Fred Borgardt transitioned to TQ's after the track closed. He ran at Clewiston, but traveled with the Franklins as far as Indiana and North Carolina to race.
Brian Spinks wins at Hialeah. This is the same roadster that Ralph Ross Sr. drove.
March 30, 1974, and I have no idea who was driving either of these cars. If you do, please let me know! EMAIL
Another from March 30, 1974, and I don't know this driver either.
Walt Sizemore drove this beautiful car. This fuzzy picture does not do it justice.
Behind that flag is Willie Ingram on 5-5-73.
All of these pages are works in progress, so if you know of any PICTURES please let me know! EMAIL