Bowling Green Speedway illustrates York County’s love affair with its cars

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York County’s old Bowling Green Speedway will be remembered in an upcoming Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society program. The rural raceway is remembered by many as an attraction drawing hundreds to rural York County 60 years ago. Joe Heisler will present. Also of interest: U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way: York County’s love affair with its cars.

York County’s love affair with anything on four wheels – and two wheels – is well known.

So it’s not surprising that hundreds flocked to see racing in an unlikely location – rural countryside outside of Glen Rock.

And it’s not surprising that an upcoming Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society program will remember those days. The society effectively brings to light those big moments from southern York County’s past.

The old track was a far different scene from the pageantry of the Daytona 500 this weekend. But it captured the interest of 1950s crowds from the region.

See the photos of the old track below.

aFor years, the Bowling Green Preservation Society operated an photo-filled website. The site recently expired.

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Johnny Mackison, the top point winner, 1954. Notice the size of the crowd in the grandstand.

a_002Scott Smith, Jarrettsville, Md., second place point winner, 1954.

a_003 Mike Wilhelm, 1955 Bowling Green champion.

 

*Photos courtesy of Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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8 Responses to Bowling Green Speedway illustrates York County’s love affair with its cars

  1. Thomas Albright says:

    My dad took me and a few friends to Bowling Green Speedway on Sunday afternoon when I was 9 years old. Car racing got into my blood, and I worked on race cars for the next 20 years, and still follow racing. I was involved with Trone’s Sunoco race team, which started out racing at Bowling Green, with driver Dave Leppo in a straight eight Buick Coop. Over the years many drivers drove for Mr. Trone including Bobby Hersh, who was very successful and a fan favorite in the central Penna. area.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Thomas, thanks for sharing. Interesting how what happened on one piece of real estate could affect so many people./Jim

    • Kim Leppo-Weibley says:

      Thank you for mentioning my Daddy in this article. Dave Leppo Jr. .
      I was just a small child when he raced for Trones Sunoco in West York,Pa, but I remember living at those dirt tracks every weekend and being at the garage all hours of the night and day! He was a great man and a great driver who loved racing! I still have many of his trophies in my home and keep them polished and on the mantel! I miss him terribly,q but so thankful to be his daughter!
      Warmest regards,
      Kim Leppo-Weibley

  2. Andy Hanson says:

    Thomas, I work with a Dave Leppo, native of York county at BAE systems. Dave is now stationed in Sterling Heights MI. I asked him about a possible connection to the Dave Leppo stock car driver, and he thinks it may have been his uncle. But he says everybody from that generation has unfortunately passes away now. Do you have any info on Dave the driver that I can relay on to Dave the mechanic? (Yeah, motorheadism runs in the family!) Thanks, Andy, Glen Rock PA

    • Kim Leppo-Weibley says:

      I am Dave Leppo Jr.s, daughter. Yes, he did drive for Trones back in the 50’s and unfortunately, we lost him in 1973 at the very young age of 46 to a massive heart attack. Daddy loved racing and continued to show it after stopping his career, by the way he drove his regular cars! I just came across this site and was amazed how many people still remember my Daddy and his racing career . His trophies are still on my mantel and if anyone has any photos, I would be most grateful to have them send copies to me.
      Warmest regards!
      Kim Leppo- Weibley

  3. Terry Zellers says:

    Andy, Dave Leppo was one of the very first drivers of the Trone Sunoco Spl. out of West York. He drove for them in the 1950’s and I do have a picture of Dave and the Trone team from that era that I will try to have Jim post for you. I don’t know the total wins stat for Dave in the car but he was very good and did win races. The Trone team is still around today as son John Trone has carried on the family racing tradition of owning race cars. My dad Raymond “Quack” Zellers use to flag on occasion at Bowling Green, and he was the main flagman for years in the 50’s and 60’s at Lincoln and Susquehanna speedway along with occasion at Williams Grove.

  4. Kim Leppo-Weibley says:

    Dear Mr Zellers,
    If it would not be too much trouble for you, could I please have any copies of pictures you may have of my Daddy when he drove for Ray Trone? My grandson and daughter never got to meet my Daddy, because he passed away very young and I am trying to share and preserve his memories for them.
    Thank you in advance for anything you may have to share.
    Sincerely,
    Kim Leppo-Weibley
    Kweib40@doubledogwireless.com

    • Terry Zellers says:

      Kim unfortunately I only have one or two pictures of Dave, but I will see what I can do to get you copies. I do have a mass of Trone history photos from the 60’s along with a lot of other drivers. Look me up on Facebook if you are on there I have a photo album listed as “Oldies But Goodies” some fun racing history to look at. I have your e-mail and will get in touch when I can get a chance to get copies to you. Thanks

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