It was 1956. In an open field, on an otherwise wooded 77-acre abandoned farm, located on a narrow dirt road in the Town of Busti, a dream became reality. There, on the Kortwright Road, just a couple of miles from their homes in neighboring Sugar Grove, Pa., five men began construction of a dirt oval that would change their lives and the lives of all who came in contact with Stateline Speedway from that day forward. ...
So begins Randy Anderson, the narrator of "Stateline Speedway - The First Ten Years," a documentary film that will be shown on Time Warner Cable Channel 19 Monday through Sunday at 9 each evening.
The movie, written and produced by Anderson and his associates, Greg Peterson and Randy Sweeney, chronicles the fascinating first decade in the 57-year history of the Busti oval built by Sugar Grove residents Len Briggs, Lloyd Williams, Marv Thorpe, Don Frank and Jerry Frank.
Using video-taped interviews with more than 50 individuals associated with the early history of the track as owners, drivers, mechanics, officials and fans, the collection of the late track photographer Gordon Mahan, and selected home movies, the film makers have brought to the screen the trials and tribulations of the five original owners in building the race track, along with the challenges and enormous successes they experienced from 1956-1965.
From the very first race in July of 1956, won by Warren's Emory Mahan in his famous No. 8-ball, to the l00-lap grand championship race of 1965, captured by Busti's Bobby Schnars at the wheel of his No. M-1, all the early heroes of stock car racing are returned to their glory days.
Viewers will see Stateline pioneers Squirt Johns, Ronnie Blackmer, Hyle Russell, Joe Sauner, Tom Dill, Freddy Knapp, Chuck Piazza, Floyd Fanale, Kenny Johnson, Dean Layfield, Jim Patrick, Kenny Shearer, Eddie Kisko, Sammy LaMancuso, Kenny See, Jim Scott, Dave Turner and Johnny Whitehead.
DVD copies of the film are available for purchase for $20 by calling Anderson at 763-2173.