The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

August 9, 2013

Motorsports: Ferguson still enjoying Saturday nights

By Shawn Wood

For The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE -- The passion that Ted Ferguson Jr., of Selinsgrove, had as a kid in attending races at Selinsgrove Speedway in the 1940s, still burns bright today.

His father, Ted Ferguson Sr., was president of the Penn Eastern Stock Car Racing Association from 1948 to 1953.

Along with running the family trucking business, his dad owned three race cars which were driven by Garth, Jay and Larue Ulshafer, that competed at the track.

"Larue was like an older brother to me," he said. "I was sitting with his wife when he got killed on Aug. 17, 1952."

As a kid on Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, along with Joe Crawford, Fred Bird Jr. and Wayne Boyer, Ferguson would race around tires that were laid out on the front stretch at the speedway during intermission in homemade cars. Each kid then received a checkered flag from flagman Lou Keller.

"It was dusty back then," he said of the race conditions in the 40s. "After every race, they had to go out and water the track because it wasn't clay, it was dirt and stones."

He recalled vividly the day L. Ulshafer was killed.

"He was going down the front stretch and his left front tire went over a guy's right rear tire and he shot up in the air and then he started to barrel-roll and he missed the fence altogether," he said.

Ferguson went on to say that Wilbur Reese, a four-time stock car track champion, was a very good driver and that he worked for the Sunshine Laundry in Bloomsburg when he wasn't racing.

"Dad never said why he got involved in racing," Ferguson noted.

Ferguson Jr. said that it is tough to compare different eras of racing at the track as racing was different over time.

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