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Msg ID: 2645982 Allan Brown Chunks Up ARRA website! +5/-1     
Author:Fred Voorhees
6/15/2020 7:55:29 PM

The latest statistical addition to the ARRA statistical website is one humongous stat filled file on the old I.M.C.A. Speedway Car division.  Allan E. Brown, yes, the Allan Brown that put the annual National Speedway Directory and one of the two dozen historians of ARRA, is responsible for keeping the records alive over the years.  It was almost forty years ago that Allan received the records for I.M.C.A. founder Keith Knaack.  Well, I will let Allan tell the story:


Without Keith asking me to put the I.M.C.A. records together to be microfilmed, we wouldn't have anywhere near as what we do. He called me in late 1982, and I went to Vinton in March of 1983. He put me up at a motel for a few days while I went through all of the boxes and boxes (maybe 50 boxes) of what was left of the old I.M.C.A stats in the attic of his printing business (which included Hawkeye Racing News). I was able to put the information in order, by year, with what I thought would be useful, and then delivered them to a printer to be scanned in Cedar Rapids. From there, they sent it on to Gordon White in Virginia. I could have gone hog wild. There were individual yearly register sheets for drivers and car owners from the 1950s to when ever. That would have added hundreds if not thousands of pages to be scanned. I don't know if I.M.C.A. has since destroyed the remaining stuff. If they didn't, they might still exists, if someone wants to spend months going through them. I sometimes regret not have them scanned too.


Then I waited until Gordon put them on microfilm. I think he made four copies. One went to Keith. Two went to the Library of Congress, and one to me. There are about six reels in the set. After I received the reels, I found a library on the south side of Grand Rapids that had a reader. Once I went through all of the reels jotting down dates, tracks, and winners, I donated the reels to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame. 


After going through all of the reels.  I then spent the next years traveling to libraries all across the nation to fill in voids of the info from 1946 on. At least I had dates, even though some of the score sheets were missing. John Sloan wasn't very good at returning his score sheets, as some of his sheets were missing.  I.M.C.A. did their first yearbook covering the 1956 season. The score sheets were missing. I turned the attic upside down looking for the 1956 score sheets. They must have threw them out, after they did the book. What a shame. The official score sheets that remained covered each race, including time trials, heats, the consi and feature. There were sometimes six sheets for each date. Each race was individually line scored. That's the majority of what's on the reels.


There was too much missing from before WWII, to even try. I found the schedules for 1915 and 1916. That was it, until 1946. Keith told me that a fire destroyed much of the old archives while they were in the secretaries' care in Davenport about 1947.


Starting in the summer of 1983, In between races of course, I visited many a library. Most were at the state archives. I visited libraries in Tampa, FL; Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN; Lexington, KY (I had gone to Frankfort, only to find out the state archives are at UofKy); Columbus, OH (had to buy a membership to look at the Ohio papers); Indianapolis,IN; Springfield, IL; Lansing, MI; Madison, WI (at the university); Minneapolis, MN; Bismarch, ND, Des Moines, IA; Lincoln, NE; Topeka, KS; Oklahoma City, OK; Shreveport, LA; Little Rock, AR; and Columbia, MO (likewise, I had gone to Jefferson City only to find out the state archives were at the university). I didn't get to libraries in AL, MS, MT; SD; TX, or out east or west. I just concentrated on where most of the post WWII races were held. Unfortunately I found out quickly that the weekly papers from small town America wasn't much help for finding results. The only weekly paper I know of that did a great job was the Belleville Telescope (KS).


Looking back, I cannot believe I spent so much time tracking down results. I wasn't from out in I.M.C.A. country. I've only seen four of the original I.M.C.A. races in my lifetime. Three Little 500's, and a race at the Allentown Fairgrounds (PA) while I was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ. My only connection to I.M.C.A. was reading about their races in NSSN. I started my subscription in 1962. On the cover of the first issue I received through the mail was Johnny White in Dizz Wilson's #71. He had just won the championship. I can only remember Johnny coming to Berlin just once. He set fast time that night. After that, the only time I saw him race were at Champ Car races at Milwaukee and Indy. 


Well so much for now.



That is just one story behind the story here at ARRA Research!  ARRA is a group of two dozen historians banded together to research, document and maintain an ongoing library of researched auto racing statistics so that they are not lost to time. Find Allan's latest work here: