Story By: FIVE MILE POINT SPEEDWAY – KIRKWOOD, NY – Five Mile Point Speedway will celebrate the 70th consecutive year of racing at the historic quarter mile oval in 2020. The 70th racing season will begin on Saturday, April 4th. This season five championship drivers will be added to the 65 All-Time Greatest Drivers list bringing the total to 70. All five drivers are past Modified Track Champions and includes Kevin Bates, Don Hart Jr., Justin Holland, Brian Malcolm and Shaun Walker.
The original 50 All-Time Greatest Drivers list was announced during the 2000 50th Anniversary Season at Five Mile Point Speedway. Since that time, 15 additional Five Mile Point Speedway greats were added to the list. This season will mark the 70th Anniversary Season with five more all-time greats being honored and added to the list. The list has always included former Modified Track Champions at the speedway. The criteria have been based on the division being the headline act since the opening of the speedway in 1951. All five of this year’s inductees are former Modified Track Champions. The all-time list is also comprised of former Street Stock, Mini Stock and Figure 8 racing greats.
This year’s inductees include Kevin Bates from Lake Ariel, PA. Bates, was the Modified Track Champion in 2017. Bates leads this year’s inductees with fourteen career feature wins at Five Mile Point Speedway. Bates ranks twenty-third on the all-time Modified wins list.
Don Hart, Jr. earned his Modified Track Championship back in the 2004 racing season. He has eight career wins along with his championship title. His victories came over a fairly short span of racing events making his winning percentage quite high out of those race starts.
Justin Holland, a graduate of the Sportsman ranks moved his way in to the Modified division and captured a Modified Track Championship title at the speedway in 2012. Holland has six career feature wins in the Modified division at the speedway to date. He will be returning to the weekly ranks in 2020 hoping to add to his win total.
Brian Malcolm is a back to back and defending Modified Track Champion at the speedway. Malcolm won the titles in 2018 and 2019 at Five Mile Point Speedway. Malcolm, also from Lake Ariel, PA has eight feature wins to his credit at the speedway. Malcolm is taking on the ambitious challenge to try and become a three-peat Modified Track Champion this season at the speedway. If he could win the 2020 title he would be the first since Chuck Akulis who pulled it off in 1994, ’95 and ’96.
Only Larry Catlin and Chuck Akulis ever pulled off the remarkable feat of winning three Modified Track Championships in a row. Catlin won his Track Championships in 1969, ’70 and ’71. Akulis set the bar with nine consecutive Modified Track Championships between 1977 and 1985. He then backed that up with the last three-peat Modified Championship in 1994, ’95 and ’96.
Shaun Walker completes the 2020 inductee class this season. Walker, a Sportsman Track Champion in 2008 made his way into the Modified ranks with great success. Walker captured back to back Modified Track Championships in 2015 and 2016. He has captured six Modified feature wins at Five Mile Point Speedway during his career.
The 70th Anniversary “All-Time Greatest” Drivers will be honored at the 56th running of the Heath Memorial this season at Five Mile Point Speedway. Irving and Anna Heath founded and built the speedway in 1951. That event honors them each season at the speedway.
The complete list of the All-Time Greatest 70 Drivers can be found below. All of the driver’s names will also be featured on the 2020 70th Anniversary Five Mile Point Speedway T-Shirt. The full 2020 Five Mile Point Speedway schedule will be released in the days to come. All historical and upcoming information can be found on our official website at www.5milepointspeedway.com.
All – Time Five Mile Point Speedway Greatest Driver List:
50 Original Greatest From 2000: Chuck Akulis, Don Beagell, Roger Beagell, Bobby Butcher, Gary Card, Charlie Castle, Larry Catlin, DeForest Chalker, George Chalker, Mike Colsten, Pete Cordes, Jim Crawn, Bruce Detro, Don Diffendorf, Joe Donahue Sr., Jim Gabriel Sr., Jim Gabriel Jr., Bob Hackel, Jerry Hayes, Brett Hearn, Lynn Highhouse, Doug Holgate, Gene Hoose, Jack Johnson, Hal Karcher, Kenny King, Glenn Knapp, Dave Kneisel, Pete Kozak, Dick Longstreet, Frank Lopke, Stan Lupka, Bob MacGeorge, Frank Mears, Kenny Moore, Carl Nagel, Norm Norton, Tim Olenski, Stan Ploski, Art Polenz, Bobby Quick, Eddie Rafferty, Monk Rauch, Carl Reynolds, Tony Ross, Marshall “Hoop” Singer, Don Slack, Gordon Smith, Butch Tittle, Doug Worthing.
10 Inductees From 2010 (making 60 Greatest): Billy Decker, Gary Dence, Stewart Friesen, Mitch Gibbs, Charlie Gilbert, Red Harrington, Gordie Isham, Danny Johnson, Gary Roberts, Brian Weaver.
5 Inductees From 2015 (making 65 Greatest) held July 14th, 2015: Mike Clapperton, Bob Hamm, Sr., Bob McCreadie, Eddie White, Dan Vauter.
5 Inductees From 2020 (making 70 Greatest): Kevin Bates, Don Hart Jr., Justin Holland, Brian Malcolm, Shaun Walker.