Racing in the Gillette, WY, area commenced in 1970 at the old site of the Thunder Speedway north of the current race track. Here you will find photos that Tom Manning spent many an hour compiling as a projected book about the old track. I've taken his cue and added those images into this page, plus some of my own earlier attempts at camera operation. I would like to continue Tom's work and add to this collection of memorabilia. If someone out there would like to contribute, let's get together and let this baby grow!
This is the year that race fan JR Hughes decided to commit the racing scene onto film. Not a lot of style, as the object was, as it is today, to record at least one image of each car. Some are courtesy of George Peabody. For the record, Gary Boyle had a perfect attendence record in victory lane this year.
Instead of investing in better camera gear, I put my hard earned cash into a pair of "Bombers", a new division of which I was part of the rule making process. Hughes Racing began with a 1974 Impala, dubbed "Mosquito Control" due to a continual smoking issue. Half way through the year, we purchased the #31 of StanChristianson, reversed the color and number order of the earlier car and voila, a two car team for my brother James and my dad, Jerry. If we had only known where this was taking us....
Hughes Racing continued with a two car effort this season, James in a 1965 GTO and Jerry in the former Bill Petrie Chevelle. Gary Rose retired his noted Chevette bodied modified for a more sprint car type appearance this season, as seen to the left. Gary would hang up the nomex after one more season, then return years later as one of the track announcers, sharing the booth with John Produit.
Long time racer/car builder Wiz Slocum turned over the wheel of his ever present #2 to former flagman John Heinz. The Wiz had been a fixture at the track since the late 70's, starting with a snazzy '63 Chevy Nova. He is best known for his non-fendered creations, often with the faux coup body style shown to the left, or from his own sheet metal ideas.
1988 1989 1990
1992 1993 1994
1996 1997 1998
1985 Thunder Speedway Enduro

All photos © JR Hughes and others.
Do not copy or reproduce without prior consent

Last updated April 5, 2009 (1985 TS Enduro)