HISTORY LESSON:  GLASS CITY 200-1968, 1969

The year is 1968—short track stock car racing was in its heyday. Big races ended the season each year for the Late Model class-the Hoosier 200 at Baer Field, the Pittsburgher 250 at Heidelburg, PA, the Steel Valley 200 at Sharon, PA, and later the Midwest 300 at Salem, IN and the Winchester 400 at Winchester, IN.

ARCA founder and Toledo Speedway promoter John Marcum decided to add a race to the end of the Toledo season-the Glass City 200. Marcum was promoting races all over the Midwest with success. Toledo was the prime track to stage one of these races. The race would gain immediate prestige and recognition as one of the top season-ending classics.

A total of 70, count ‘em, 70 cars showed for the very first Glass City event on Sunday afternoon, October 6 of 1968. The man who would become a legend in these parts showed the way, as Joy Fair topped Toledo driver Jim Clarke, Indiana native Dave Sorg, Pennsylvania hotshoe Tom Colella and Eastern Ohio legend Jim Bickerstaff. Ironically, Fair’s win would be his only Glass City victory.

The race was a 200 lap shootout, with no breaks. Ron Grana pushed his #5 to fast time at 18:41. The consi winner was Danny Byrd.

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The race was a 200 lap shootout, with no breaks. Ron Grana pushed his #5 to fast time at 18:41. The consi winner was Danny Byrd.

1969

An upstart young kid with deep racing roots began to make his name in the Midwest, and Joe Ruttman posted perhaps his first big win of his career at the 1969 version of the Glass City 200. Joe’s brother, Troy, was an Indy 500 winner. Ruttman would top Figure 8 graduate Jerry Makara (who won the Flat Rock Figure 8 title in 1968), veteran Fran Harden, ARCA legend Iggy Katona (in his big Dodge Charger) and Kalamazoo racer Jerry Spear.   Another upstart youngster and Figure 8 gradutate, John Anderson, and Canadian Pete Hudson took the consi races.  Fair set quick time at 18:16 for the 47 car field. Again, the race was run 200 laps with no breaks.

Ruttman would later steer Joy Fair’s Maverick to the Glass City win in 1973, filling in for Joy, who was injured in an accident at Toledo earlier in the summer. Ruttman took Fair’s ride on an incredible win streak the rest of the season, winning races all over the Midwest. Joe would later become a USAC Stock Car champion and competed on the top NASCAR circuit for many seasons before retiring from racing.

Saturday, September 21, the 31st Running of the Glass City 200 race day begins with registration at 9:30 and the pit gates opening at 10 a.m. Practice will go from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with qualifying at 4:30 p.m. The ARCA Gold Cup Late Models will be shooting for the $500 LV Alliance Fast Qualifier bonus. An on-track autograph session will take place at 5:30 for all divisions. Pre-race driver introductions and ceremonies will begin at 6:30, followed by the race card

The 2019 format for the event will see the outlaw-bodied ARCA Gold Cup Series and the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by Jeg’s stock-bodied Late Models will each battle in 100 lap main events on the fast ½ mile paved oval. The ARCA/CRA race is part of the 2019 “Chase” for the Championship, while the Gold Cup contest is the final point race for that title.

New to the Glass City event this year is the debut of the CRA Jr. Late Models, a class set up for ages 10-15. That division will run a 30 lap feature on the ¼ mile September 21.

1999 race winner Tim Felver will serve as Grand Marshal for the event.

A rain date of Sunday, September 22 at 1 p.m. has been established.

Tickets are now on sale, both general admission and reserved. Call 419-727-1100 to purchase tickets.

 

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