Altamont Raceway, after a dismal first season is bought by Bob Barkheimer and several others with Whitey Rich being given the challenge of keeping both Altamont and 99 Speedway a paying concern.
This season saw the introduction of the cut down 55 through 57 Chevys with wings on top and a name change to Limited Sportsmen. Unlike the 292 maximum c.i. Modified with a single two-barrel carb, the Limited's were allowed a 283 bored to 364 c.i. motor, topped by a four barrel, which in turn made track records a dime a dozen as the standard fell eight times during the season to a 16.34 by Don Hickman of Modesto on August 6th
Henry Brown of Stockton, a past official in recent years, saw his first career action this yea, setting the quick time of 16.60 and winning his first career feature event ten weeks into his career on September 17th.
A 250 lap Modified event was won this year by Johnny Brazil on September third., with Jack McCoy continuing his speed drill with two more track records leaving the magic number at 15.412 on July 9th,
A 'flying driver' award went out this year as Jim Rogers of Modesto was hit in the side in turn four by another Modified. The impact broke his seat belt and sent him flying from his cockpit into the pit area on the second lap of the feature event on August 13th. Rogers was taken to the hospital with face lacerations and a head concussion.
All the big numbers on the Modified season were taken by #7, McCoy as he notched ten fast times, nine dash wins, fourteen main wins, twenty-two main top five run, and twenty-seven total wins to claim his third straight 99 championship title Other drivers who stood out this season were Brazil, Fred Hurt of Tracy, and Tony Queirolo. Hunt ran second in points, followed by Bill Bryan, Dick Morrow, and Tony The Tiger', Mike Andreetta son of 1957 Hardtop champion Ed Andreetta also showed for the first time in newspaper records of the day.
In the Limited action, the final stars belonged to
#3, Don Hickman and Ralph Arnold, as Hickman posted nine fast times, and nine dash wins,
including a division all time best of five dash wins in a row Arnold collected ten feature
wins, fifteen main top fives, and twenty-four total wins, but not the title, as a steady driving job by Frank Barnett gave him the season crown. The top five point runners were
Barnett, Hickman, Arnold, Paul Dorritty Sr., and Tony Myers.
Track records seemed to be the big item in 1966 as Paul Dorritty Sr. of Modesto and Ferrell Jones of Turlock kept the scribes busy in the Limited action with four new records, the best going to Jones at 15.85 on September second. Three records were
Pictures provided courtesy of the George Cram Jr. Collection
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