not forgotten . . .

Billy Blum


Syracuse, NY
day.mo.year - day.mo.year?


 “The Flyin Dutchman” was one of the top drivers of the fifties stock car days. Blum is one of only several drivers that won races on the original track when it was dirt, the original track when it was asphalt and the newly enlarged paved track in ’61. Billy won the very first race ever held at Oswego: heat race No. 1 on Aug. 10, 1951 and also won the first feature on the new 5/8 mile track on May 30, 1961. But the highlight of his career was winning the ’58 International Classic in the Nick Virgo 23.
  . . . from the Oswego speedway Hall of Fame

Veteran from the History Books: Billy Blum


  . . . from a 1972 issue of an Oswego Speedway program

 Another outstanding veteran from the "History Book" is a man that any New York State "veteran" racing fan would know, as he was one of the all time most successful and popular Billy Blums to ever compete here at Oswego Speedway. Tonight we salute Billy Blum - former International Classic winner and victor of numerous features all over the Empire State. Bill received most of his fame and honor through his modified stock car, but he also did rather well with the supermodifieds.

Today, Billy lives in East Syracuse, New York with his charming wife Jean and they have three sons - Carl, Robert and Ronald. Billy claims the Robert is seriously thinking of racing once he gets out of college. During the week, Bill is employed by the Fayetteville-Manlius School District as Transportation Supervisor.

Bill first started racing at the Brewerton Speedway and Cortland Fairgrounds in 1949. In his first race ever he finished fourth. Billy owned his own stocker for two years and then began driving for various owners. He drove for Bill Donaldson, Art Wegner, Bill Sherman - just to mention a few and he could be found racing at Lockport, Rochester, Buffalo along with Oswego during the 1950's.

One of his best years came in 1958 when he drove the famed Nick Virgo Special car 23. All year long, he won feature after feature and capped the season with a victory in the International Classic. In 1959, Bill traded rides with Jimmy Fuller who was driving George Adams car 90. While Jimmy moved over to the 23, Billy went with the 90. Billy had another banner year with the car. He almost took his second Classic in a row, but a very determined Lee Bliss edged Bill out for the honors.

In 1960, he teamed with Paul Bowker. They ran the modified all over and when the supers invaded in 1962, Bill drove in both divisions - competing with the C-47 of Sam Virgo while staying with the Bowker modified. In 1963, Bowker purchased a super for Billy to drive and they parked the sportsman so they could concentrate on just the super. But by 1964, Bill missed the modified and they left the supers for good and just ran the sportsman. That year he ran very well at Trenton and Langhorne - finishing third in both races.

Bill ran real strong right up until 1967, when he was involved in a horrifying fire at the Fulton Raceway. He decided then was the time to retire and since that time he's been sitting on the sidelines.

while the fire at Fulton in 1967 was his worst moment. He claims with much pride, "The racing fan is the greatest person in the world. "Whenever a Billy Blum is in trouble, the fans really try to help out. When I was recovering from my fire, I received over 400 cards from people I never knew and all over collections were taken up for my family".

It's been men like Billy Blum who gave so many years of his life to make racing in the Empire State so great. Their heroics have given thousands upon thousands of fans many years of racing enjoyment and for that alone, we are most grateful. Our most sincere best wishes to Billy Blum in all he ever attempts.


1956

1959
contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

Billy Blum drove is #67 to three feature wins in 1961.
contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

1961

1962

contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

contributed by Joe Oleyourryk

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  Billy Blum links
  • please links, stories or images so we can all remember Billy Blum.

  stats
  • 15 feature wins in the coupe era (1951-1961)
  • Winner of the 1958 Oswego Classic and second in 1959
  • 5 Oswego super top 5's in the modern era



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