Coming into the 1970-71 Season

The Widow Makers had a great first year with the Puma's in 1969-70. Who can argue with the teams Eastern Division high points results and the number 1 and 2 gold bibs?

Ken Young Fay Parmley Arctic Cat EXT

Schaefer - When you're having more than one!

Oswego Speedway, in Oswego New York, is a well known, super modified, 5/8 oval, car track. Originally scheduled for March 6th and 7th of 1971, the race was actually snowed out as a fierce snow storm overtook the area. Rescheduled to March 13th and 14th, they held their one and only USSA sanctioned snowmobile race. With the backing of a major sponsor, F&M Schaefer Brewing Company and a guaranteed purse of $21,000.00, this was touted as one of the most anticipated, major events of the season. Each of the five(5) modified classes were paying $1,000.00 to each champion. Schaefer Circle of Sports, cosponsored 8 major races that year, with the climax being at Oswego.

Excitement for sure, but not what the promoters or the drivers had in mind!

Saturday was qualifying day and Sunday was the feature events. The boys entered four(4) modified classes that weekend, out of the five(5) classes available. Saturday racing conditions were great and qualifying went good for our team. Kenny ran two(2) classes. Richie one(1) and Parm one(1). The boys all earned good starting spots in the features. One(1) and two(2) pole positions in each race.

Sunday track conditions changed drastically! The sun came out, and quickly, started burning down to the black top, creating severe holes and bumps in the track. They worked frantically trying to groom it, but it fell apart as quickly as each race started. It was unlike any track conditions any of us had seen.

As the races moved on, guys were crashing into each other, loosing control and falling off unable to hang on to the violent jolting of the sleds, but they kept going. Nolan Swift chose to sit up in the grand stand with the spectators. They announced his view of the situation, over the P.A. system. "I wouldn't get out there with you guys for $20,000 and risk my life!"

Richie Sharp raced first, in the modified I class . When he came in, he was shaking like the dickens! He said, "I just ran over Al Sanchez! God! It was just like running over a pig!" Al was a rolly, polly little Spanish fellow. A real likable guy. He has passed on now. Sharpie set the pace for the team, with his first place in MOD I.Ken and Chip MOD III - Arctic Cat EXT

As track conditions continued to deteriorate, Ken Young and Wayne "Chip" Elwood were up for modified II and modified III classes. Skill was not the only component that would be required here. Winning was the goal, but just staying on the sled was as much a goal! Brute strength and a little ingenuity was key to Kenny's outstanding results.

After fighting the violence set forth by the horrendous track conditions, Ken had another idea. At one point, Ken spotted a "ramp" and quickly left the "groove" jumping up on the top of the outer bank of the track! He made his own "groove" and put quick distance between himself and the pack. Teammate Chip, found himself taking the slide for life through the slop in the 340 class, but remained intact right behind Ken in class III.

Chip taking a dive into the slop!When the excitement was over Youngy had walked away champion of class II and III and Chip recorded a 2nd place finish in class III.

Fay Parmley was last up for the team, looking to top off the day with a modified IV win. The adrenaline from his teammates success, was certainly in his veins and he wasn't about to be left out of the winners circle.Flyin' Fay! 1971 EXT

Parm summed up all he'd learned from the previous features of the day and put forth a stunning exhibition of strategy and brute force to best his competitors and take possession of the checkered flag in class IV.

One fine day indeed! A lot of smiles, four major titles for the team and a smooth $4,000.00 payday for the boys 1st place finishes! Doesn't get any better than this!

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In 1971 we started using alcohol and exotic mixtures in our sleds. We had all kinds of crazy, experiences as a result of experimenting with a new fuel, which we didn't know much about.

The first thing we found out was we consumed 2 1/2 to 3 times more alky than gas and it took more pumping power to put it through our carbs. At that time we were using Tillotson butterfly carbs, with diaphragm pumps on the bottoms. We learned through a painful process that, they were not adequate to get the fuel through the carbs to the engines, and subsequently we had a lot of engine burn downs until we solved the problem.

Everet Regal 800cc King KatWe finally started routing out the inside of the carbs, creating larger reservoirs inside to allow a build up of fuel ahead of the engine. We also replaced the stock jets with Gross jets. This solved the problem.

Then there was the oil problem! The paraffin base oil would curdle in the gas tank. Everet discovered this one day, by looking down into the fuel tank with a long, flexible, snake flash light, and skating along the bottom of the alcohol tank. He discovered dozens of little "worms" in the bottom of the tank! This would clog up our carb jets and cause our engines to burn down. It wasn't until we switched to Klotz synthetic oil that we completely licked this problem.

Methanol was somewhat difficult to get during the winter months, because no one sold it. We finally found it in Liverpool, NY . Irish Jack Murphy was a super modified stock car driver from Oswego. He agreed to sell it to us. Parm used to pick it up in 5 gallon gas cans and dump it in 50 gallon cans we kept behind the garage. I can't imagine having those chemicals stored alongside our village home today!1971 Arctic Cat EXT Fay Parmley

We tried some exotic blends that year. I don't remember the combinations, but do remember using Nitro, Acetone, Ethanol, and Benzene and some pretty potent mixes with some real kick! It used to burn your eyes something fierce in the garage and in the pits!

Fuels gave us non-timid types, a weapon to help us "one up" the factory teams. It didn't last long, as they outlawed it the next year! It was fun and we learned a lot though!

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Ken Young at Wadington 1971 EXT 800cc 4 cylinder King Kat Ken Young Oswego, NY

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on to 1971-72