To prepare Ron Blackmer's biography for the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, the organization received a bulky scrapbook that contained page after page of statistics, photos, old news clippings and a lot of other information that detailed the career of one of the the area's best-known racing legends.
In one of those clippings from May 22, 1965, the headline in The Post-Journal read "Who Stops Ron Blackmer?"
The answer is easy -very few.
That's why Blackmer will be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 18 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.
The other inductees will be Cal Cederquist, Ron Blackmer, the late Jim Foti, Walt Thurnau and Jim Young.
From 1960 to 1978, Blackmer was the dominant force at both Stateline Speedway in Busti and at Eriez Speedway. He roamed those tracks in his memorable "4JR" car and only a scant few drivers were able to challenge him over his 18 years behind the wheel.
His peers at that time included other well-known driving legends such as Squirt Johns, Skip Furlow, Bobby Schnars, Johnny Whitehead and Sammy Lamancuso, just to name a few.
Blackmer's career statistics speak for themselves. Here's a brief summary:
The Youngsville, Pa., native racked up 133 feature wins in the Sportsman Division, almost three times more than his closest competitor. He also won four Sportsman championships at Stateline and six at Eriez, along with four S-E Circuit Sportsman championships. He also collected 62 second-place finishes and 26 thirds along the road.
Blackmer won 27 Late Model Division feature races at Stateline and Eriez and at the time of his retirement, only two other drivers had won more. He also took home two Stateline Late Model titles, three more at Eriez and two S-E Circuit Late Model crowns with only one other driver topping his record.
His success wasn't limited to the Stateline and Eriez tracks. Blackmer also won plenty of races in Olean, Wattsburg, Warren, Smethport and Rowl-O-Bowl speedways. At Wattsburg and Smethport, he collected more track championships.
In addition, Blackmer also competed in places such as the town of Arkwright, at Coon Road in New York, Tri-City (Pa.), Lernerville (Pa.), Eldora, (Ohio), Raceway 7 (Ohio), Bradford and Clearfield, Pa., Mansfield (Ohio, Parkersburg (W. Va), Marion Center, Pa., Port Royal, Pa. and Mercer, Pa.
Blackmer now lives in Russell, Pa., with his wife, Vicky, and has retired as the owner of West End Auto Parts and has two daughters.
He also was honored with induction into the Warren County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
The CSHOF induction dinner will begin with a hospitality session at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Bruce Baumgartner, regarded as the greatest heavyweight freestyle wrestler in American history, will be the guest speaker.
Tickets may be purchased at the Jamestown Cycle Shop, Matt's News in Dunkirk and the Fredonia Food Mart. Tickets can also be ordered by calling Chip Johnson at 485-6991.
The price per ticket is $50. CSHOF members receive a $5 discount.