Mobile, Alabama’s Buddy Bielarski and his nephew Rick Crawford, currently in the ‘top ten’ in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points, are coming to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum on Thursday, September 3, for a special reception from 6 until 9 p.m. featuring Buddy’s newly-restored southern supermodified number R1. The car, recently restored by Rick Crawford’s Circle Bar Racing team in North Carolina, is best remembered when it was owned by Fred Moore of Pensacola, Florida, and driven by Bill Roynon of Tampa, Florida, on Walter “Skip” Wetjen’s tough Speedway Inc. circuit in the Gulf Coast region of the Deep South in the 1960’s. Buddy, who also drove the R1 car for Fred Moore, and Rick will both be available to sign autographs at the free and open-to-the-public reception in the museum.
According to museum curator Tom Schmeh, “We are very excited to have Buddy Bielarski’s winged supermodified on loan for 12 months in the National Sprint Car Museum, as it continues a tradition we started with Ellis Palasini’s car and continued with J.D. Parker’s machine. We have to thank Tony Martin of Pensacola for helping make this happen, as well as Buddy, Rick and the entire Circle Bar Racing team for pitching in and bringing this project to fruition. We hope Carla Roynon Herrera, wife of 2009 Knoxville Raceway ‘410’ sprint car point leader Johnny Herrera and daughter of the late Bill Roynon, will be able to join us on this special occasion. It will be fun to host NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rick Crawford just days before his Speed Channel-televised Truck Series appearance in the Lucas Oil 200 at the Iowa Speedway in nearby Newton, and just weeks after fellow Truck Series driver Tayler Malsam raced at Knoxville in the ‘360’ Nationals.”
Said Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 International Truck & Engine Ford F-150 for Circle Bar Racing, “I was very proud to be able to lend a hand to my Uncle Buddy (Bielarski) and help restore a piece of racing history. I know it means a lot to Buddy and the folks down in the Gulf Coast region that saw this car race. Working on it the past few months brought back many memories of when I was a youngster and watching this car win with some of the best talent from the region. Having the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame recognize the Southern Supermodified R1 is special to me, my uncle and the race fans of the Gulf Coast, and I thank them very much."
Those seeking more on the Thursday, September 3, special reception featuring Buddy Bielarski, Rick Crawford, and the Fred Moore/Bill Roynon number R1 are encouraged to visit the museum’s web site at www.sprintcarhof.com. Those seeking more information on Buddy Bielarski, Bill Roynon and “Skip” Wetjen’s circuit are encouraged to buy the book “Southern Supermodifieds and Other Early Racers” by Gerald Hodges at www.sprintcarstuff.com. Fans wanting to know more about Rick Crawford and his Circle Bar Racing team can go to his www.rickcrawford.com web site.