Reprint of Article Titled "Pit Talk" by Melissa Slayton (Date Written Unknown)
Many men have spent thousands of dollars on building and financing race cars. One of the most well-known stock car builders is Roy Clifford (Tiny) Slayton. Tiny Slayton's achievements from NASCAR and his contributions to NASCAR are highly commendable.
Talented racers have brought many victories to Tiny Slayton's cars. Feature racers driving his cars include Reds Fowler, Walt Martin, Ed Leslie, Jim Findley, Johnny Roberts, Ray Fanning, Joe Westerman, Johnny Meeker, Lennie Pond, Bill Dennis, Ray Hendrick, Tommy Ellis, Al Grinnan, Ted Hairfield and Joe Thurman. In the 1950's, Jim Findley, who also raced the Grand National Division at Daytona, brought many short track victories to Slayton's cars. In addition, in 1959 the Slayton team was runner up in NASCAR (Modifieds) with the help of a talented racer named Johnny Roberts. For the next three years, Roberts and the Slayton Team dominated the NASCAR Modified Division. In the 1960's, Ray Fanning brought thirty-nine feature wins in one season, including three straight victories at Beltsville, to the Slayton Team. At the same time, the Slayton All-Star Team included Bill Dennis, Ray Hendrick, Lennie Pond, Tommy Ellis. Al Grinnan, Ted Hairfield, and Joe Westerman. This team added fifteen seconds and three thirds to the record. Furthermore, Bill Dennis won the first Carling 100 for Late Model Division at Trenton. In summary, the Slayton teams had more than five hundred feature victories in the NASCAR Modified and Late Model Divisions.
Tiny Slayton's car ideas and designs contributed highly to his success. For modified racing, in the early 1960's, Slayton used 1936 and 1937 Fords containing V-8 flathead Ford engines. However, due to lack of enough horsepower, Slayton switched to V-8 overhead engines. Consequently, the cars had larger motors, more horsepower and fuel injection. In order to produce more horsepower, a fuel combination of alcohol and nitro was used to produce a more rapid and powerful combustion. In the 1960's and the 1970's, during late model racing, Slayton used 1955 to 1957 Chevrolets with V-8 350 to 454 engines. To make these engines more powerful, Slayton used a process called stroking. In this process, crankshafts were hand ground to produce different strokes to the pistons. Consequently, the cars were more powerful coming out of turns and on straight aways. In addition, Slayton hand ground camshafts to open valves either slower or quicker depending on track size. Along with adjusting engines, Slayton handmade headers on the exhaust to be of equal size. As a result, the cars had more and better performance. Furthermore, pistons were hand bored to produce more cubic inches and more power. Slaton also, adjusted frames to his own specifications. Instead of having suspension mountings in front of the wheels, they were placed directly above the wheels. Consequently, the cars had better control.
Tiny Slayton's ideas are evident in present day NASCAR racing. While it is true that mechanics are much more technical today, the basic ideas are still the same. Along with equally sized headers, engines are still stroked asnd bored. Also, suspension mountings are located above the front wheels. In other words, Tiny Slayton's ingenuities of yesteryear are today common knowledge.
With all things considered, Tiny Slayton was a man who helped build the foundation for present day NASCAR racing. His victories and contributions will never be forgotten or wasted.
There will be more to follow on this legendary Baltimore car owner-mechanic.
Legend: S=Sportsman; M=Modified; LMS=Late Model Sportsman; SLM=Super Late Model; (D) Deceased
Bobby Abel (D) Dorsey Speedway M Champ 1965 and 1966
Bobby Allen-Hanover, Pa Dorsey Speedway M Champ 1967
Roy Anderson Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1980, 84
Buddy Armel Hagerstown Speedway SLM Champion 1971, '75, '76, '77, '89
James Atkins Jr Potomac SLM Champion 1998
Bobby Ballentine- Dorsey, Md. Beltsville Speedway LMS Champ 1968, Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1983,85
Booper Bare Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1990, 2003
Jack Barrass Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1979
Tom Bartlett Westport Stadium S Champ 1963
Jack Bland-Riverdale, Md Beltsville Speedway LMS Champ1968 and 1977 Md State Champ 1977
Walt "Steve" Breeding-Smithville, Md
Denny Bonebrake Hagerstown Speedway SLM Champ 1969, '72, '74, '81, '83, '84
Pete Cameron Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1984
Ace Canupp Millersville, Md Westport Stadium S Champ 1958 and 1959 Westport M Champion 1963 *
Seam Cosgrove Potomac SLM Champion 2005
Scott Cross Potomac SLM Champion 1995, 96
Howard Davison Beltsville Speedway LMS Champ 1966
Roy Deese Jr Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1991, 93, 94
Bill Dennis-Richmond, Va Beltsville Speedway M Champ 1966
Denzell Dillman (D) Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1969 and 1972
Claude Dilks Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1971 and 1973
Will Dilks Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1974, '78, '79, '80, '83: Potomac Speedway SLM Champ 1974
Darren Eash Hagerstown Super Sprint Champ 1986
Clay Eastridge Marlboro Raceway S Champ 1961
Ralph Ehlers Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1983
Bo Feathers Potomac SLM Champion 2007
Danie Ferguson-Jessup, Md (D) Westport and Dorsey M Champ 1962
Jerry Foster Potomac SLM Champion 1997
Reds Fouts Westport Stadium S Champ 1962
Sid Hinkle-Colora, Md Lincoln Speedway M Champ 1956
J R Jones-Salisbury, Md Harrington Speedway S Champ 1957
Rick Jones-Elkridge, Md. Multi SLM track champion at Potomac Raceway
Mike Gray -Indian Head, Md Beltsville Speedway LMS Champ 1974
John Grum Hagerstown Sup Sprint Champ 1966, '69
Glen Guthrie- (D) Temple Hills, Md NASCAR National Modified Champion 1959; Alcyon Speedway M Champion 1959.
Dean Guy Potomac SLM Champion 1992, 2001
Runt Harris-Richmond, Va Beltsville Speedway M Champ 1965
Vernon Harris (D) Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1987, '89
Daryl Hills Potomac SLM Champion 2004, 06
Ray Kable-Riesterstown, Md (D) Westport and Dorsey M Champ 1954; Georgetown Speedway M Champ 1956; Dorsey M Champ 1959
Ray Kable Jr. SLM Champion Potomac Speedway 1978, 81, 86
Reds Kagle-Lanham, Md Westport S Champ 1955; Beltsville LMS Champ 1971, '72, '73, '75; Old Domonion LMS Champ 1972, '73, '74, '75
Irvin King-Gaithersburg, Md Hagerstown Super Sprint Champ 1970
Vernon Kirk-Baltimore, Md. 1951 American Stock Car Racing Assn. of Maryland Champion.
Vic Lewis (D) Westport Stadium M Champ 1963 *
Ed Lindsey-Randalstown, Md (D) Dorsey M Champ 1953; Williams Grove 1958; Alcyon 1958
Jimmy Mairs Old Dominion LMS Champ 1969; Beltsville LMS Champ 1970
Ken Marriott-Baltimore, Md (D) Lanham M Champ 1953; Delmar M Champ1953; Harrington M Champ 1953; Richmond Fairgrounds M Champ 1956; Harrington M Champ 1957; Philadelphia Municipal Stadium M Champ 1957; NASCAR National M Champ 1957
B J Mattingly Lanham S Champ 1954
Ronnie McBee (D) Lincoln Speedway SLM 1973; Hagerstown SLM 1978, '79; Dorsey SLM 1985: Potomac SLM 1976
Buck McCardle-Conowingo, Md Mason Dixon M Champ 1953
Kirk McCauley Beltsville Speedway LMS 1967
Dennie Miles Dorsey Speedway SLM Champ 1981
Ronnie Miles Potomac Speedway SLM Champion 1975,, 77
Milt Miller Hagerstown Super Sprint Champ 1968
George Moreland Potomac SLM Champion 2000
Bill Nalley Hagerstown M Champ 1965
Sam Nalley Hagerstown SLM Champ 1970 and 1982
Joe Owens-Dorsey, Md Dorsey Speedway M Champ 1958
Lynn Paxton-Mt Holly Spr, Pa Hagerstown Super Sprint Champ 1972
Dean Pelton-Silvber Spring, Md Georgetown Speedway S Champ 1959
Jeff Pilkerton Potomac SLM Champion 1999
Pee Wee Pobletts-Randalstown, Md Dorsey M Champ 1952, '56; Delmar m Champ 1958; Mason Dixon M Champ 1958
Johnny Roberts-Brooklyn Park, Md (D) Westport Stadium S Champ 1951, '52, '53, '54; Lanham Spoeedway S Champ 1953; Wilmington Speedway S Champ 1953; Mason Dixon Speedway S Champ 1953; Richmond Fairgrounds S Champ 1953; Dorsey Speedway S Champ 1954; Harrington Speedway S Champ 1956; Marlboro Raceway M Champ 1961; Richmond Fairgrounds S Champ 1956; Alcyon Speedway M Champ 1960; NASCAR National S Champ 1953; NASCAR National M Champ 1960 and 1961---More to follow
Jimmy Skinner SLM Champion Potomac Speedway 1982, 88
Ralph Smith-Aberdeen, Md (D) Dorsey Speedway M Champ 1955, '58; Lancaster Speedway M Champ 1956; Lincoln Speedway M Champ 1956; Vineland Speedway 1957; Alcyon Speedway M 1957; Mason Dixon M 1957
Smokey Snelbaker-Dover, Pa Hagerstown Super Sprint Cham 1971, '73
Mert Stine Hagerstown Super Sprint Champion 1965, '67
Ed Sutton-Crownsville, Md (D) Virginia Raceway LM Champion 1981, 1980 World Figure 8 Championship winner in Islip, N.Y.
Chuck Talbert-Randalstown, Md Westport Stadium M Champ 1958, 1958 Md. State NASCAR Modified Champion
Bob Tester-Severn, Md Westport Stadium S Champ 1960; M 1961; Dorsey M Champ 1960, '61, '62
Ernie Tester-Baltimore, Md Westport Stadium S Champ 1961
Bud Thiele-Arbutus, Md (D) Dorsey Speedway M Champ 1959 SLM Champ 1968
Lou Thomas-Baltimore, Md Westport Stadium M Champ 1957
Tom Wagner Sr. 1973 Potomac Speedway Slm Champion
Rex White-Silver Spring, Md NASCAR Grand National Champion 1960
Charlie Wierman-Stewartstown, Md Beltsville Speedway M Champ 1967
David Williams Potomac SLM Champion 2008, 09, 10
Danny Woolford-Annapolis, Md Westport Stadium S Champ 1956, '57 M Champ 1959
Don Yowell Westport Stadium M Champ 1957
* There seems to be a discrepancy over the 1963 Modified Championship at Westport. The NASCAR Record Book shows Vic Lewis as the champion. However, Going into the last race Vic Lewis had a few point lead over Ace Canupp and Ace won the last race and gained enough points that the he was declared the champion. It appears that maybe the promotor may not have sent the final results of the last race to NASCAR as this was the last race ever held at Westport. I'll leave both on the list as champions for that year until I can find more information.
Pete Kantorsky-Middle River, Maryland- Pete won at least one feature race at Dorsey every year for twenty years. Quite an accomplishment.
Bucky Guilfoy Has represented Maryland's racing history over the years by towing his vintage modified stock car as far away as Daytona Beach and appearing at many racing related functions throughout the mid-Atlantic states.
Junior Tauber-Linthicum, Md Has represented Maryland's racing history over the years by towing his vintage sportsman stock car as far away as Daytona Beach and appearing at many racing functions throughout the mid-Atlantic states.
Bill Jones-Elkridge, Md. Master engine builder. Built engines for Rick Jones and Ace Canupp and many others.
Susie Jones-Elkridge, Md. First lady mechanic to obtain mechanics license from NASCAR.
Tiny Slayton-Baltimore, Md (D) Car owner and mechanic of the famed #7 red and white sedan that Johnny Roberts drove to 2 NASCAR National Modified titles in 1960 and '61.
Bob Wallace-Baltimore, Md (D) Considered to be one of the greatest flathead Ford mechanics of all time.
George Heffner-Baltimore, Md Owner of the famed Putty Hill Garage and the #88 modifieds driven be several drivers to numerous track championships.
Bobby Allen-Baltimore, Md. Owner of the potent Late Model number 55 driven to many championships and feature wins by Ronnie McBee and Nathan Dubarow.
Raye Vest Owner of the World of Outlaws Late Model driven by Rick Eckert. This car has two National Championships to its credit.
Frankie Schneider-Lambertville, N J Considered the greatest dirt track driver of all time. Raced extensively in Maryland in the early 50's. Once won 7 consceutive features at Westport Stadium. Won the 1952 NASCAR National Modified Championship.
Frank Sagi-Hagerstown, Md.- Announcer at Hagerstown Speedway for over 40 years, also announced at Beltsville Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, Dorsey Speedway and Westport Stadium. Announced for United Racing Club at their special events in 1965.