Bell & Bell Vintage Modified
Racing Series History
Written By: Bobby Williamson
Here is a very important message that we need to convey to
the World in general:
Our Series was not "Started on some poor back-woods dirt
track, because that was the only place we could start".
And we never, had the mindset of "We'll start here", in
hopes of working our way up to the big (Asphalt) leagues.
NOPE, we started on dirt by choice, and by choice we will
remain dirt. In NO way are we mirroring the NASCAR Story.
What's now known as the Bell & Bell Vintage Modified
Series, began in June of 2009 at tiny Hammerdown Speedway,
Red Springs, NC with Jim Wilmore and Bobby Williamson. Jim
had asked track owner Mike Weeks if he could bring his
vintage '37 chevy race car over and simply help to roll-in
the track. Jim invited me to come along, and at least we'd
get to driver our cars on an actual race track. Later that
evening, race director, Gary Ford, offered us a 5-lap
"race" as a reward for our track rolling service. Although
we had not planned on racing, Jim and I quickly agreed,
and five laps later, as we crossed the finish line, Jim
had won by a nose. MAN, it was fun, and exciting! We
quickly asked if we could return the next month for
another race, and we quickly began recruiting anyone and
everyone we could think of to join the excitement. Doug
Meyer, Rick Lovett, George Pavlisko, Tommy Cresswell, Bill
Tripp, and Dave Blankenship all joined the group. We
adopted the name: Cape Fear Classic Auto Racing Show, the
series had begun. We raced monthly from June through
November of that first year, but at season's end, the
Hammerdown Speedway was bulldozed. Of necessity, the group
received permission from the Carolina Speedway in 2010,
and all activity shifted to Lake View, SC. Bell & Bell
Buick/GMC became title sponsor in June of 2010.
In the beginning, we were all inexperienced race
'drivers', and for our series to grow, we needed cars.
Rules were pretty lax in an effort to attract interest and
participants. For the most part, it all worked out pretty
well. In 2013, we could have had 20 cars on hand, had all
members showed on the same night, but we averaged about 15
cars per event. But with the passage of time, the
disparity of abilities both mechanical and physical became
increasingly evident. Also, with the passage of time,
others, both veteran and fledgling racers, have been
attracted to our series, and that's VERY GOOD. My job, as
president, is to make all these dynamics fit together. To
have strong competition, to attract the veterans, to allow
entry level drivers a venue, to keep costs as low as
possible and to make it all FUN. A new plan is necessary,
and I'm very proud and very excited to unveil a totally
new concept to auto racing, first implemented by our
group. From the beginning, organized auto racing has
attempted to classify and segregate by the mechanical
signature of the vehicle cubic inch, weight, tires,
suspension, body, component materials, etc. etc. this
concept has been in effect for over 60 years, that's how
we all have learned to 'think' and to view the subject.
Mechanically equalize all vehicles, and the playing field
should be level, or as level as possible. For the most
part, it kind of works, and for the most part, this basic
concept has never had an alternative.
However, realities and 'ideal situations' are rarely one
and the same with a classic, and modern example being
NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson. If everything is the same, how
does he win 6 championships? And, an equally important
question, is domination healthy for the sport? Does it
attract interest, or foster boredom and indifference? Over
the past 60 years, we've seen examples of both. Fans
adored Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt, if they'd won
EVERY race and championship, the fans would have cheered
all the more. But, the reverse has been experienced with
Jimmie Johnson's success. Right, there's a ton of 'holes'
in our basic bible.
I've said this many times, but I'll repeat it here, again.
VINTAGE RACING IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME SUBJECT AS 'REAL'
RACING, AND CAN NOT BE VIEWED, AND GOVERNED AS SUCH.
Whatever 'works' for the normal racing is not necessarily
an answer for vintage racing. Sure, there's lot's of
carry-overs, but not everything. Problem is, we don't know
how to think in any other capacity. While similar, the two
subjects are different:
1. Vintage racers, do not race for monetary compensation
and heaven forbid that ever happening. OK, If not for
money, then what is the attraction, or the reward?
2. I've said this many times too vintage racing is EXACTLY
like going fishing or going hunting. The love of the
subject, the ability to participate, the fellowship and
companionship resulting from the experience and the
pursuit. The love of the game. HAVING FUN. The main
question becomes: What contributes to a fun experience in
3. High on the list: Safety, feeling secure and protected
as possible, in an actual on-track racing environment.
Also, on our personal list: Success every vintage racer,
hopes for some degree of on-track success. We want to feel
'good' about ourselves, that we have performed well, and
the potential our future holds is exciting.
Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing Series
Bobby Williamson -
Sherman Garris -
Patsy Thompkins Keisler -
Administrative Assistant / PR
To view the Bell & Bell Vintage Modified Racing Series
rules please refer to the
Dublin Motor Speedway Rulebook.