In 1968, Toledo Speedway promoter and ARCA founder John Marcum came up with the idea of running a 200 lap Late Model invitational-the Glass City 200. Despite a 20-year hiatus of the race from 1978-1998 (when the Toledo track was sold), the race was revived in 1999 when Marcum's grandson, Ron Drager, purchased the track with business partner Roy Mott.
And the race still carries the prestige and notoriety that it once did back in the 1960's and 1970's.
In 1972, things finally came together for Danny Byrd at the Glass City 200.....
A total of 56 cars showed for the 1972 edition of the Glass City 200. Danny Byrd, driving the Hill Screw Machine Products Chevelle, set fast time at 17:67, the second year in a row for Danny at this race. The race stayed true to the strength of the competition of the field that assembled for this race....the consi winners, who made their mark in Late Model racing on both asphalt and dirt as their careers escalated---Artie Sommers (#9), and Jimmy Roberts (#2).
Again, as he had done in 1971, Byrd jumped out front at the green and was in command. Danny led every lap for the first 100 lap segment. Joe Ruttman, looking for his second 200 win, dogged Byrd, piloting Dave Gershon's #40 and was second, John Anderson was third in Denny McNutt's Chevelle, fourth was the "Fairborn Flyer", Larry Moore in the #17 and fifth was Bud Pingston in the #29.
Byrd was not to be denied on this day, as he led each lap of the second 100, the only driver ever in the 24-year history of the race to lead all 200 laps. Ruttman, Pingston, Bruce Worrell and Moore were the top 5. Byrd, Ruttman, Moore, Ray Barnard (#65) and Pingston were the top 5 in the overall standings.
Byrd was honored as the Grand Marshall of the 2012 Glass City 200 race, but is out of town and will not be able to attend this year's classic.
To view photos of the 1972 event, go to www.toledospeedway.com.
The 25th Anniversary of the Great Lakes Helicopter Glass City 200 presented by Francis Engineering, Woodville Auto Finance, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express is set for Saturday, September 28.
As we move closer to the 2013 edition and this special anniversary of one of top outlaw-bodied Late Model races in the area, please check the website each day for stories, updates, lap money sponsors, the entry list and historic notes and photos (courtesy of ARCA historians Brian Norton and Jim Hehl) of the Glass City 200. Monday, September 9, we will resume the stories and the 1972 Glass City 200 summary.
Lap money sponsorship and just $10 per lap and tickets are now on sale by calling 419-727-1100 today!