CRAWFORD FAMILY KARTING

ONE LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS.

Crawford family karting began in 1961 when Dad bought his first kart (a sprint kart) and began racing at Navarre, Ohio, North Industry, Ohio, and Port Washington, Ohio.  Tim didn’t get involved in karting until after we moved to Llano, California around 1986.  His kart was a 1977 Bonzai Enduro, and it is shown below with Tim sitting in it waiting for his friend Ralph Mattis to start him at Willow Springs, California.  (Ralph is starting me in the photo.)  Scott got envolved in karting later, maybe around 1993 or so.  I forget exactly, but it was after we were done racing dirt bikes.  PHOTO ABOVE: JIM AND JESS AT THE PHOENIX FIREBIRD EAST TRACK.

PHOTO BELOW LEFT: TIM ON HIS FIRST KART AND DAD.  RIGHT: TIM WITH HIS TROPHIES.  BELOW CENTER: SCOTT, RALPH MATTIS, DAD. 


 

BELOW RIGHT: KEVIN.  BELOW LEFT: ROSS.  BELOW LOWER RIGHT: STEVE.  BELOW CENTER: TIM AND ED AT WILMOT, OHIO KART TRACK ON MY 1961 DART KART.

BELOW LEFT: BECCA.  BELOW RIGHT: CALUM.  BELOW CENTER: JIM AND JESS AT THE FIREBIRD EAST TRACK IN PHOENIX, AZ.

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15 Responses to CRAWFORD FAMILY KARTING

  1. jessica Crawford says:

    i miss those days

  2. Scott says:

    Don’t think that is me starting you. I know my butt and that does not look like mine……that and the hat does not look familiar

    • JUNIOR says:

      You’re right! After I looked at the butt in the photo again, I knew it wasn’t the same butt I used to beat on all the time, so it has to be Ralph.

  3. Scott says:

    it is probably Ralph. Dont think I went to any with you and Tim. Think I was still dirt biking….1993 was my first year

    • JUNIOR says:

      Yep, it’s Ralph. I corrected the mistake.

      • Ralph Mattis says:

        Jim, I just found this web page. I don’t recognize the butt, but I will claim the legs. Those were good days, but my “sport” is golf now after a couple of cracked ribs racing (no accidents, just cornering forces in a sit up). I still have the 10+ year old equipment in my garage, and I occasionally think about getting back into racing. We bought a house in Hawaii and are only in California part time now. Take care.

  4. Jeff says:

    I raced at Navarre in the late 60’s and a year or two into the early 70’s as a junior. Around the time when they built their version of a Monza curve up onto the hill. Do you remember where the track was located? What road, or what direction from Navarre? I am told that there are some remnants that still exist.

    • JUNIOR says:

      Hi Jeff,

      The remnants of the old Navarre track are a few miles east of Navarre, probably on either Fohl St. S.W. or Brinker St. S.W. (Go to Mapquest and call up Navarre, Ohio) I, along with my old karting friend Bill Whitmore, visited the property owner, Russ Boughman and his wife Goldie there some years ago, and I took pictures of the remains of the track. (I’ll try to locate them and I’ll send them to you if I can find them.) There’s not much left to see. Russ had to have the Monza bulldozed because guys were sneaking out to the track and driving their karts on it without permission. Russ would be liable if anyone got hurt driving the track. Russ and Goldie have both passed away, I’m not sure how their kids are doing. As a junior, you may have raced with their son Bobby. I was president of the Navarre Kart Club the last year before the Akron Kart Club took over, and ultimately had the monza built. Cheers. Jim Crawford

      • Jeffrey Schreiber says:

        Jim,

        I finally found the old Navarre track at the corner of Hudson and Kemary. Some images are attached from Mapquest, Bing, and Google. Looks like the whole track is still there, but the scoring tower is gone. The only regulars from Navarre that I remember was a junior that came in from West Virginia, the name might have been Dwight, and a local person who ran dual Macs that was very fast. I thought that he was a club officer. We were very busy in those years learning the ins and outs of karting and were not members of the Navarre or Akron kart clubs. We were members of Competition Karters in Cleveland, which ran sprint/enduro races at Nelson Ledges.

        I enjoyed your background for the following reason. My father raced sports cars in time trials, gymkhanas, and hill climbs when I was very young. Nothing wheel to wheel. Everything in the family was about racing and I already had many great Formula 1 autographs including Colin Chapman, Jack Brabham, Pedro Rodriguez, and others from the early 60’s. As a kid I idolized Jim Clark and Graham Hill, and knew enough to appreciate their smooth, flawless driving styles. My father then got us into karts when I was perhaps 12 or 13 so we could do the racing together. After 24 years of racing, working up to the unlimited class, and 1 national championship, the family and my career needed my attention so I retired from racing, but my father kept on going. At 66 he started having problems breathing during the races. They found that he had a bad heart valve from a childhood illness, and decided that they needed to replace a heart valve. He was bummed because his goal was to eventually be the oldest kart racer around. He was still beating some of the youngsters at Mid-Ohio. The doctors assured him that the would be able to go back to racing the next year. Things did not work out very well when a blood clot let loose about a month into his recovery and he passed away. That was in 1995. So now, at 58 years old and my engineering career in the past and the last of the kids are almost done with college, I am ready to get back into a kart and hopefully go on racing past the age of 66. Just need to figure out exactly what I want to race and where.

        Jeff Schreiber

      • JUNIOR says:

        Hi Again Jeff,

        Yes, the track is still there, it was probably too expensive to have it torn up and removed. The scoring tower, where my lovely wife Shirley and friends used to sit and keep track of the positions during the races, was gone when I was there years ago. The local guy with fast twin Macs that you mentioned was Sam Johnson, an excellent karter and a very fine gentleman. Unfortunately Sam died years ago, when he was still quite young. Sorry that your dad didn’t get to meet his kart racing goal, but congratulations to you for getting back in the sport. My last kart race was in Northern California at the Buttonwillow track. (An enduro track.) I was 71 years old then, and decided it was time to hang up my helmet. Cheers. Jim Crawford

  5. JUNIOR says:

    Hi Jeff,
    The remnants of the old Navarre track are a few miles east of Navarre, probably on either Fohl St. S.W. or Brinker St. S.W. (Go to Mapquest and call up Navarre, Ohio) I, along with my old karting friend Bill Whitmore, visited the property owner, Russ Boughman and his wife Goldie there some years ago, and I took pictures of the remains of the track. (I’ll try to locate them and I’ll send them to you if I can find them.) There’s not much left to see. Russ had to have the Monza bulldozed because guys were sneaking out to the track and driving their karts on it without permission. Russ would be liable if anyone got hurt driving the track. Russ and Goldie have both passed away, I’m not sure how their kids are doing. As a junior, you may have raced with their son Bobby. I was president of the Navarre Kart Club the last year before the Akron Kart Club took over, and altimately had the monza built. Cheers. Jim Crawford

  6. JUNIOR says:

    Hi Again Jeff,
    Yes, the track is still there, it was probably too expensive to have it torn up and removed. The scoring tower, where my lovely wife Shirley and friends used to sit and keep track of the positions during the races, was gone when I was there years ago. The local guy with fast twin Macs that you mentioned was Sam Johnson, an excellent karter and a very fine gentleman. Unfortunately Sam died years ago, when he was still quite young. Sorry that your dad didn’t get to meet his kart racing goal, but congratulations to you for getting back in the sport. My last kart race was in Northern California at the Buttonwillow track. (An enduro track.) I was 71 years old then, and decided it was time to hang up my helmit. Cheers. Jim Crawford

  7. Bart Day says:

    Hi all… I happened on your site while hoping to find some pictures of the old place to show my son. My dad and I raced at Navarre in 72/73 (I was a Rookie and never got any better at it! Dad ran the “A” class if I remember right) and I have loads of great memories of the place. I even have a raggedy old trophy from a 3rd place feature finish sitting a few feet from me in my garage with some of our old racing gear. I think I remember “Dwight”… he may have run a year in my Rookie class… also remember the father/son team Lowell and Kevin McClellan (he used to beat me with ease) and Rusty and Billy Milkey. A guy who brought the trailer full of parts every weekend (think he want off to Viet Nam for a year and thankfully made it home): Blain? We ran a Fox with an old MAC 49 the first year, Dad had an SAE with a 91. I moved up to a Bucket Bug for I think 1973 and had a 49e (still usually slowest in the pack!). Great memories no matter what place I finished. If there are links to any pics from the old days I’d much appreciate any links you all might have. My Air Force days are behind me (30 short years) and we lost Dad a few years ago… would be great to show my kids where daddy spent a few great summers ‘way back then’.
    Thanks much and God Bless,

    Bart Day (and dad, Carl… 87 and 87A)

  8. JUNIOR says:

    Hi Bart,
    Thanks for writing. The 3 pics below are state-of-the-art enduro karts at Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond California. (A 2 1/2 mile road race track.) The Zip file attached has several pics of the Navarre track in 1975. The Navarre track is still there, but the Monza has been plowed up to prevent guys from driving on the track after the kart club stopped racing there. I raced on the track with the Navarre Kart Club in the 1960’s before the Monza was added. (The Akron Kart Club had it installed.) After we moved to California in 1965, I bought an enduro kart and raced with the now defunct Southern California Karters for 21 years. (When times get tough, the first thing to go is the kart racing.) Thanks again for writing. Jim Crawford

    P.S. I went to Washington High school in Massillon with a girl named Melva Day. Any relation?

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