Auto Racing Research Associates (ARRA) Formed; Group Is Authenticating, Documenting, Maintaining Speedway Race Records, Driver Career Wins

Date: 1/8/2017 7:23:38 PM

Auto Racing Research Associates (ARRA) Formed; Group Is Authenticating, Documenting, Maintaining Speedway Race Records, Driver Career Wins
By STEVE BARRICK

FLEMINGTON, NJ – Auto Racing Research Associates (ARRA) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that arose spontaneously among five racing enthusiasts, each of whom had worked independently for many years compiling speedway race records and driver career win lists.

The stated mission of ARRA is “To accurately document the history of drivers and tracks so that the information is not lost over time.”

ARRA, thorough its volunteers, has access to at least 95% of all Illustrated Speedway News, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News and Gater Racing News as well as 100% of the 43 years of Program Dynamics (PDI) programs.

The five ARRA volunteers are Fred Voorhees of East Amwell Township, NJ, Bill Braga of Pompton Plains, NJ, Steve Barrick of Flemington, NJ, Bill Hanna of Easton, Pa., and Bill Skinner of Mantua, NJ.

Each is experienced in ferreting out information from the often crumbling pages of fifty-year racing papers and from the microfilm rolls of daily newspapers, both painstaking, but rewarding processes.

At the present time, the ARRA's website has posted all time win records listings for 28 speedways and thirty drivers.

In addition to research and creating the win records for tracks and drivers, ARRA also updates the records on a weekly basis.

“Since very few speedways compile or update their own win records, there is an appreciation for the work that is being done on their behalf,” said Fred Voorhees, who maintains the ARRA website.

Voorhees' initial interest was kindled in tracking the career of Billy Pauch as Pauch was in the process of inching toward his 500th careeer win.

Bill Braga's forty years plus of racing attendance flourished at a time in the sport when a revered group of veteran drivers were being challenged by a talented contingent of newcomers and has continued as the newcomers became the veterans. With the help and tutelage of the other ARRA members, Braga has done several driver and racetrack studies all with the intent of capturing and preserving the history of the sport.

Steve Barrick maintains a vast racing research library that includes tens of thousands of newspapers, programs and magazines. He has researched and published dozens of race track win histories and driver career records for Program Dynamics (PDI) programs and has written several articles for Area Auto Racing News about auto racing history.  

“The reactions of drivers are almost always very positive, since most had no idea of what they had actually achieved,” said Barrick.

Bill Hanna's personal racing passion was Flemington Speedway. He continues to research Flemington's past history, attempting to, ultimately, determine the identity of every driver who ever raced there. In 2009, Hanna laid the groundwork for the founding of Flemington Speedway Historical Society. He has recently diversified his racing statistical research interests to include other speedways.

“I like researching the speedways more than the driver career win records,” Hanna has said.

Bill Skinner has recently become an ARRA volunteer. Skinner's meticulous research techniques have involved tracking principally South Jersey-area history. He has compiled an exquisite history of Alcyon Speedway and has fully documented the careers of the late Jackie McLaughlin and Budd Olsen.

The five ARRA volunteers welcome questions or challenges to their research and often address inconsistencies in one another's research. Works-in-progress that are not fully vetted are also published.

An ARRA link was recently added to the 3 Wide's Picture Vault website by site owner Joe McFarlan.

To visit the ARRA website, google Auto Racing Research Associates, click on ARRA – Documenting Racing History – Sites – Google – and enjoy the walk through racing history.







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