Bench Racing Weekend 2016 took place March 18th and 19th 2016 and by all accounts it was another success. There were interesting interviews like Dave “the king” Wilson interviewing Terry Lingner (Producer, NBCSN), Wanda and Mike Devin with Donald Davidson hosting conversations with Bench Racing Weekend participants and the keynote “Conversation with Chief Mechanics” where Donald Davidson interviewed Paul Diatlovich, Ron Dawes and Mike Devin. The keynote followed a banquet that according to participants, featured a fabulous menu that was extremely delicious and well prepared.
There were other activities too like two shop tours; one a local restoration shop, Race Car Restorations owned by Walter Goodwin that specializes in older cars; front and rear engine, from the 50’s and 60’s, and the other shop, John Cummiskey Racing, a current F2000 race team that also does restorations on 80’s vintage cars like Penske’s March chassis.
There was memorabilia, a silent auction, and two supremely restored cars from renowned collector Bob McConnell; a 1962 Watson roadster and a 1970 Mongoose. These cars were fabulous. Bill Blaylock led a conversation about racers remembered. There were rare 16mm films from raresportsfilms.com and the racing history.org group also featured vintage dirt racing movies. The 500 Festival Princesses were there to help with registration and to assure that everyone felt welcome.
Many people with a long and storied history in open wheel racing were in attendance including Johnny Parsons Jr. , Eldon Rasmussen, Paul Goldsmith, Dave Laycock, Frank Giuffre, Marie Hall, Don Kay and Cheryl Harkey who was there representing Bob Harkey.
This was a day and a half of bench racing at its finest. The feedback from attendees was very enthusiastic and attendance at this year’s event set a new record. Planning for Bench Racing Week 2017 is already started and you can expect another terrific event in 2017.