The much-anticipated Frank Sagi Tribute Race with special guest Buddy Armel is coming up this Sunday, June 10, at Hagerstown Speedway.
Originally scheduled for May 5th, the event was rained out on that night and the decision was made to go “Old School Hagerstown” with a Sunday evening show on June 10th. This special race night honors the late Frank Sagi, who was the track announcer at Hagerstown Speedway for 39 years from 1958 thru 1996. During that time span, Sagi had a remarkable record of missing just one race, which was due to the passing of his Mother-in-Law. This year’s event also honors the distinguished driving career of the legendary “Winchester Raider”, Buddy Armel of Winchester, Virginia.
Armel was one of the top drivers at Hagerstown Speedway from the mid-60’s until hanging up his helmet in 1990, competing in the Super Modified, Super Sprint, Semi-Late and Super Late Model divisions. Always a crowd favorite and top contender, Armel retired as the all-time leading feature winner at the track until being bypassed in later years, and still sits fourth on the winner’s list.
This special evening has a little something for everyone. It all kicks off with a “Meet & Greet” session behind the main grandstand area with Buddy Armel and a great group of other retired drivers from Hagerstown Speedway’s rich history. Grandstand gates open at 4:00, with the “Meet & Greet” running from 4:30 until 5:30. Fans are urged to arrive early to participate in this unique and rare opportunity to rub elbows with their heroes of the past. Bring photos, track program books, racing papers, t-shirts or anything else that you would like to have signed by Buddy Armel and any of the assembled group of great former drivers. There will also be some surprise items on hand for the fans to view, so you’re not going to want to miss it.
On track activity will begin at 6:00 with hot laps for the competing Super Late Model, Mid-Atlantic Modified and Pure Stock divisions. Qualifying heat races begin at 6:30, followed by features for the efficient three division program designed to get fans home at an early hour to get ready for work the next day.
As an added bonus to the fans on this special night, over 200 racing t-shirts will be shot into the grandstands at different times of the evening. This will be done with cannon-like devices furnished by Tim Hottle of the Outback Motor Speedway slot car track in Winchester, Va., and Brent Hottle of Need-a-Sign? in Winchester, Va. A huge variety of t-shirts provided by the Hottle’s, ASI Racewear and the generosity of multiple race teams and sponsors will be available to the fans.
Another point of interest for fans will be a 30-year old vintage door and quarter panel off of Buddy Armel’s 1988 race car that will be chanced off before feature time. Chances will be sold all evening for just $1 each and all of the proceeds will be divided between two different finishing drivers in the Super Late Model feature. The door and quarter panel were generously donated by Mr. Rick Williamson of The Cave Speedway slot car track in Bentonville, Va. One lucky fan will win these great pieces of racing history. As a second prize, a beautifully done framed drawing by popular racing artist Jeff Lindsay of Meyersdale, Pa., featuring four of Buddy Armel’s race cars along with Frank Sagi on the microphone will go to one lucky race fan.
Race fans will be able to witness and rub elbows with a VIP list of retired star drivers like has never been assembled in one place.
Also in attendance will be a large group of his former competitors from over the years whose names were announced over the Hagerstown Speedway microphone hundreds of times each and thousands of times combined by Frank Sagi.
Among the invited VIP guests who raced against Buddy Armel, in no particular order, are: Ray Dovel, Gerald Chamberlain, Denny Bonebrake, Tom Peck, Nathan Durboraw, Jeff Robinson, Sam Nalley, Larry Gorman, Jim McBee, Gary Snelbaker, Tommy Bare, Booper Bare, Gerry Fries, Buck Johnson, Lynn Paxton, Irvin King, Mert Stine, Charlie Beeler, Tommy Irwin, Bob Marhefka, Larry Wright, Gary Martz, Charlie Cragan, Ken Imler, Tom Clise, Buck Rees, Junior Boone, Roy Anderson, Jimmy Spence, Ronnie DeHaven, Sr., Ralph Davis, Wayne Feathers, Roland Cox, Jim Edmonds, Dan Sullivan, David Wilt, Chuck Teets, Glenn Nininger, Will Rowe, Tom Myers, Rick Workman, Les Hare, Charlie Weirman, Don Zechman, Slim Devilbiss, Doug Devilbiss, Mike Woolford, Al Shawver, Sr., Kendall Moore, Bobby Maiers, Ray Kable, Jr., Pete Cameron, George Moreland, Roy Deese, Sr., Larry Dietrich, Ronnie Byers, John Burkholder, Steve Knepp, Ben Milliken, Brent Smith, Wayne Walls, Jr. and Mike Kendall.
Besides that great group, a few still active drivers who competed against Buddy Armel will also be at the speedway on Sunday night, some of them in action. Included on this list is: Gary Stuhler, Roy Deese, Jr., Andy Fries, Jim Bernheisel, Steve Campbell, Bo Feathers and Alan Sagi.
Other well-known retired drivers on the guest list who plan to be in attendance on Sunday evening, again in no particular order, include: JT Spence, Ronnie DeHaven, Jr., Jeremy Miller, Charles Buckler, Jack Bland, C.S. Fitzgerald, Jerry Foster, Gerald Davis, Van May, Frankie Plessinger, Jack Pencil, Eric Zembower, Dion LaSalle, Chuck LaSalle, Devin Friese, Bob Friese, Jeff Bryner, Randy Bushman, Craig Kline, Mike Warrenfeltz, Russ Moseley, Pete Weaver, Marvin Lescalleet, Terry Lescalleet, Scott Andrews, Brad Houck, Jeff Shearer, Doug Burkholder, Darryl Burkholder, Darryl Kendall, Richard Walls, Mike Hardy, Brian Tavenner, Tony Crim, Richard Irwin, Jim Trenary, Sean Dawson, Terry Carlyle, Mark Elksnis, Jere Weirman, Lenny Hare, Danny McSherry, Clarence Beaver, Travis Beaver, Jim Laye, Dave Burk, Jeff Friese, Bill Palmer, Nick Pappas, Wes Troup, Kim Ramer, Allen Stone, Richie Clipp, Dave Rice, Bill Funk, Pat Beard, Jake Beard, Walter Hammond, Larry Hines, Tim Light, Stan Campbell, Steve Swarmer, Mike Tudor, Frank Howery, Tim Hottle, Brent Hottle, Ralph Shoemaker and Bobby Jones.
Competing racers will have a chance to win a piece of over $10,000 worth of bonus cash and products.
Due to the generosity of a long list of race sponsors, drivers in all three divisions, the Super Late Models, Mid-Atlantic Modifieds and Pure Stocks, will receive bonuses for every position in each feature rundown.
Fans will certainly not be left out either on this special night. There will be a limited number of surprise bonus gifts distributed to youngsters 12 years old and under as they enter the grandstand gates. Also, a large number of racing t-shirts will be shot into the grandstand area throughout the night with two cannon-like devices from the front straightaway. Fans are urged to be on their toes all evening to take advantage of grabbing some of these great shirts, provided by multiple sponsors and race teams.
We hope to see everyone at Hagerstown Speedway this Sunday evening. Grandstand gates open at 4:00. The Legends Meet & Greer autograph session with Buddy Armel and retired former drivers will be held behind the main grandstands between 4:30 to 5:30. Hot laps start at 6:00, and qualifying heat races begin at 6:30.