The summer of 1969
start of something special. No deals yet in place. A new year of racing
yet to be mapped out.
, of Genoa, New York
, showed up at the house one
day, according to Everet
. He had a fellow by the name of Ken Young
with him. Energetic, personable guy. Ken owned and operated a private dairy
cattle farm. Today the farm is know as Twin Birch Farms, Inc.
The boys wanted to start a race team working for NERO Equipment, Inc.
located near Rochester, New York
. NERO was Arctic Enterprises Eastern
. "We all got along great and it looked like
it could be fun, as well as competitive. I already knew Fay's driving talent
and from what I had heard, Ken was in the same league. I hadn't had the chance
to work with Arctic Cat's before and I was excited to have the opportunity."
The previous year both men had been piloting Skidoo's with tremendous success.
"A week or two later, they brought Richie Sharp
up to meet me.
They were all friends and thought we'd make a good group. An appointment was
made and we all went out to NERO Equipment to meet with Bob Schwartz
A deal was struck and we formed a race team, working with NERO and the factory."
They also needed a place to work on the sleds. "We agreed to work out
of my small, one car garage," said Ev. "Tight conditions, but this
seemed to be our best option and also gave us quick access to Phoenix Gage,
. The Gage was a fully equipped machine shop only a few blocks from
my home. I had been employed there for many years. The owner, Paul Scusa
agreed to let me use the shop as needed."
1969-70 was when we had the Puma, short track sleds. They had JLO Hirth and
Sachs engines with Tillotson and Walbro butterfly pumper carburetors. All
of these engines were fan cooled engines when we got them. Everet quickly
modified them to be free air.
In retrospect, Everet and the boys say, these were the best sleds they
had in their years of racing cats!
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Fay showed up to help work on the sleds one day, as was such a common
occurrence. His wife was less than thrilled with him heading to Phoenix,
to work on the sleds several nights each week, to prepare for
the weekends racing. As any racer knows, racing quickly consumes all your
time and most of your life!
She said to him as he was heading out that night, "You guys are
nothing but a bunch of widow makers!"
On that day, they decided
to name the team Widow Makers! Everet says, "We pulled the hoods off
all the sleds, took them over to Ronnie Lynk
and had him paint Widow
on the front." A great team name was born!
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by Everet B. Regal
We used to all meet at a little diner in Weedsport. Youngy, Parm, Sharpie,
and I. We would have coffee, and then all pile into our pickup
trucks and drive out to NERO
on Atlantic Avenue in Rochester
We would pick up our parts and sleds and head back to my garage in Phoenix
to work on them.
Phoenix is a small town and I live right in the residential area. We would
spend the day working on the sleds, running them up and down in front of the
house, and racing the engines in the garage, with those noisy pipes. This
was almost a daily event. No fancy private race tracks or dynos for testing.
Just the seat of the pants test, down the village street! I never knew how
we got away with that with our neighbors. The police
never seemed to
give us any problems at that time either. I wonder why?
I remember a particular incident. One night Youngy went flying up the street.
is just a block away from us. He would turn around there and
come flying back. Ken
came in the garage laughing and said to us guys,
"when I was turning around with the sled, this old drunk came staggering
over to me from the VFW and said," "Have you got all your marbles
That made our day!
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Rhinelander, Wisconsin 1970
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. Home of the first
USSA sanctioned World Series
event. The end of a great team season had
one finishing touch yet to come.
Still considered to be one of the most memorable races in USSA history!
Competition was fierce in the Modified IV class, with all odds being on
the side of the factory teams. The feature event final laps, had spectators
on their feet cheering, as factory driver Bob Eastman
team member Ken Young
quickly squared off in
a two(2) man race!
The men exchanged the lead three times
on the final lap, each determined to capture this major title! Putting on
a final stretch duel, finding Young's machine crossing the finish line a
matter of feet ahead of Eastman's!
Ken's ability, combined with the "Regalized" Puma 634cc
iron, proved too much for even the factory teams. Youngy
the year as Eastern Division overall point leader
, earning him the
coveted #1 Gold Bib
and a true place in history.
Ev and Fay were traveling together, down to Cobleskill, NY in Ev's old 1968
Chevy truck, with a cap on the bed. They had one Puma on board, gas cans and
a toolbox. The toolbox in the back of the truck was rattling like crazy. After
listening to it for as long as they could stand, they finally stopped to fix
The wind was blowing like hell and the flip up door to the cap was only propped
up with a weak, slider arm. There was a large, glass window across the cap
door. They propped up the cap door
were struggling with the tool box, trying to get it positioned to stop the
rattle when suddenly
, the door crashed right on top of Fays head,
smashing the window, leaving him with his head sticking out through the
Everet recalls with a laugh, "Fay was so mad he could hardly speak!"
Fay finally yells, "That thing ain't nothing but a bear trap!"
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