A tribute to Frank Sagi
Coming up this Saturday night, Hagerstown Speedway will present the Frank Sagi Tribute in honor of the man who was long known and remembered for being “The Voice of the Hagerstown Speedway”.
Sagi, whose name was synonymous with the speedway, began announcing at the track in 1957 when the previous announcer quit and handed him the microphone. Sagi continued to announce the races for an additional 39 years after having the job thrust upon him.
Sagi passed away at age 78 in 2012, and had been retired from announcing for several years, but he was still a regular sight at Hagerstown as he continued follow the racing career of his son Alan Sagi. Many racers and fans to this day will say that there was no better announcer than Frank Sagi.
Sagi was best known for a few catch phrases that became part of his trademark style.
In the time between hot lap warmups and heat races, Sagi would say: “The long chutes and wide-sweeping turns of this fabulous clay oval will allow the drivers ample room to live life in the fast lane as they battle for the checkered flag. And now before we present the cars and stars of the oval world, we ask you to please rise as we proudly present our National Anthem”.
And just as the main feature event of the evening was getting ready get started, Sagi would always shout over the speakers and ask “Who’s got the hot shoe tonight?” Then he’d name off a few driver’s names to get a reaction from the crowd.
Even at the conclusion of a night of racing before signing off, Sagi always said “Be careful driving home and always remember that speed is for the speedways, and not for the highways.”
That’s just really a tidbit of greatness that came from Frank Sagi. The excitement that came from Sagi’s voice when announcing a race was genuine. He really loved auto racing.
As of now, many former retired drivers and car owners are expected to be on hand to celebrate the memories of Sagi. Just about everyone that will be there on Saturday night had the privilege to be interviewed by Sagi after winning a race.
Leading the list of names of racers attending the Frank Sagi Tribute are former track champions Denny Bonebrake, Buddy Armel, Jeff Robinson, Sam Nalley, Nathan Durboraw, Tom Peck, Dave Wilt, Dan Sullivan, Marvin Lescalleet, Wayne Walls, Jr., and nearly sixty more legends and car owners that have raced at Hagerstown Speedway while Sagi worked at the track.
The Pure Stock feature for this Saturday’s Frank Sagi Tribute will pay a whopping $880 to win for the normal 15-lap distance. This increased pay is being made possible by the generous contribution of Jeremy Miller and Miller Steel Fabrication of Littlestown, Pa. Jeremy scored the first of his 40-plus career Hagerstown Speedway feature wins in his very first visit to the track in 1988, winning a special midweek Pure Stock invitational event. Jeremy was interviewed by Frank Sagi for the first time that night after his win, which is why he wants this Saturday night’s feature winner to receive $880, in remembrance of that win in 1988. There will also be increased pay and bonuses available for finishing positions throughout the rundown, making this week’s race one of the most lucrative of the season for the very competitive Pure Stock division.
Roy Deese, Sr.
Ronnie DeHaven, Sr.
Al Shawver, Sr.
Wayne Walls, Sr.
*Champion Auto Sales – Winchester, Va.
*Miller Steel Fabrication – Littlestown, Pa.
*Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic – Finksburg, Md.
*Outback Motor Speedway slot car track – Winchester, Va.
*Bernheisel Race Cars – Jonestown, Pa.
*KRS Graphics – Mechanicsburg, Pa.
*Hershey’s Racing Engines – Chambersburg, Pa.
*LeBarron’s Auto Salvage – Dover, Pa.
*Jeff Sweitzer Oval Research – York, Pa.
*Round Hill Auto Service – Round Hill, Va.
*Chaz’s Used Auto Parts – Taneytown, Md.
*Pancho’s Racing Products – Hanover, Pa.
*Need-a-Sign Graphics – Winchester, Va.
*Appalachian Mountain Speedweek
*The Bearded Buck
*Roy Rogers – Hagerstown, MD.
*Strange Oval Products – Morton Grove, Illinois
*Racing Optics – Las Vegas, Nevada
*ASI Racewear – Patchogue, N.Y.
*Quartermaster Clutches – Lake Zurich, Illinois
*A&C Racing Engines – Hagerstown, MD.
*KRC Power Steering – Kennesaw, Georgia
*Sites’ Garage – St. Thomas, Pa.
*Port City Racing – Muskegon, Michigan
*Shearer Custom Speed – McConnellsburg, Pa.
*Wilwood Engineering – Camarillo, California
*Joe’s Racing Products – Everett, Washington
*Sign Design by Bill Funk – Marion, Pa.
*K&K Machine – Glen Burnie, MD.
*Sites’ Custom Racing Bumpers – St. Thomas, Pa.
*Cizmar Pop Rivets – Girard, Ohio
*Shaffer’s Auto Salvage – Mercersburg, Pa.
*AR Bodies – Greenbrier, Tenn.
*Booze Brothers Performance – Marion, Pa.