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Unheard Stories from the Golden Age of Racing: Bob Mays | Episode 7

9/3/2020
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Episode Summary:

Every once in a while, you run into somebody with so much knowledge, you wish you could talk to them forever.

Bob Mays is that guy for many of us at Speedway Motors.

Bob first came around because of John MacKichan. John knew Bob’s deep knowledge of circle track racing history and so brought him on to record Bill Smith’s history. Fortunately, much was already recorded, and after that project, Bob stayed on as a historian of circle track racing at the Museum of American Speed.

He’s done Speedy Bill’s story justice, and he knows more about circle track racing than almost anyone you can think of.

He’s a walking encyclopedia of famous builders, racers, promotors, and just about every other character involved in racing history. Characters, in fact, are why Bob loves racing so much. Something about the combination of speed and mechanical ingenuity brings the interesting people out of the woodwork and puts them all in one place.

And no one tells a story quite like Bob.

In Episode 7, we get to meet a host of interesting characters and builders through Bob’s stories. People like Jan Opperman, Doug Wolfgang, Don Maxwell, Lloyd Beckman, and so many others.

For the fascinating, the fantastic, and the history of racing days gone by, you’ll not find a better source than Bob Mays. Hopefully he’ll let us bring him on again.

Photos:
Here is Bill, the 14-year-old entrepreneur, looking for Model T parts.
Bill's first race car. He thought he was rich when he got his first racing check.
Bill teamed up with Lloyd Beckman in 1953 and it changed both their lives.
Belleville, 1965. Lloyd's getting ready for the feature; he is just about to slip his yellow-tinted googles on. Don't do it Lloyd!
Another victory for the fabulous Jan Opperman!
Opp stands on the gas during the 1976 Hulman Classic - Bill's biggest win!
Doug Wolfgang in the Speedway Motors 4x.
At 55-years-old, Lloyd Beckman had one of his best seasons in 1982!

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