Fred Decarr's Birthday. This
was truly a conpriracy, set up by
Fred's daughter Debbie
Brunschmid, Debbie worked on
her plans for months, and
somehow kept it all a secret from
her father as we all agreed to
keep our lips locked and make
plans to attend the party. She set
it up at the North Norwich Fire
Department on Rte. 12 in North
Norwich and contacted several of
Fred’s friends to see if they could
make the event, I’d say nearly all
did judging by the turnout. On
Thursday Dad took the S33 over
to Bob Gibbs dealership across
Rte. 12 from the Fire
Department, as we were heading
to Thunder Mountain after the
party it only made sense to get
the car there in a separate trip
and we figured Bob could drive it
over for the party. He had it all
worked out, was going to zip
across Rte. 12 (a state highway)
and then take back streets to the
FD to hopefully avoid any of NY’s
finest.. Friday night and Dad
calls me, he’s just heard from
Bob that he won’t be driving the
car after all as Bill Wimble is
making the trip up from Florida
to honor Fred and has agreed to
wheell it over instead. Great! This
is turning out to be perfect.
Saturday Am, up and at ‘em
early, take care of the boys and
start wheeling up Rte. 12 to
Norwich, the B29 is loaded and
ready. I brought along my ’68
Bell Helmet for Bill to wear for
his drive. Arriving at the Gibb’s
premise I get to meet Bob’s wife
Charlene, very nice lady, and
we’re going over some of the old
memorabilia Bob has collected
over the years, including some
old Vernon (never seen one
before) and Brookfield Programs
from the early 1950’s. Great stuff
and Charlene tells me if I want to
ever borrow any of it for the site
to just come up and get it, nice
people. Then a van pulls up and
out jumps Bill who goes straight
to the S33 as if drawn like a
magnet. He looks great and
appears genuinely pleased to
have this opportunity. We meet
and I relate how nice it is that
he’s made the trip, “Wouldn’t
miss it for anything in the world.”
says Bill as he climbed in the
car. Dad gives a few instructions
and it fires right up, doesn’t
sound bad either and he tries
the clutch and brakes out. I pull
out the helmet and he smiles
and dons it for some photo ops,
Bob grabs an old Cromwell and
he tries that on as well, it fits
better than mine – must be my
head is a little big??? Bob goes
through the instructions of
getting the car over there, using
the back road etc. and Bill nods,
he’s off down the drive, right
hand turn onto Rte. 12 and right
down the road he goes as we
watch with jaws agape… pretty
funny I must say. Dad turns to
Bob and says, “Well, if he gets a
ticket Bob, that’s your car….”
OK, over to the Fire Department,
there are a lot of former drivers
on hand as well as family,
hunting buddies and friends.
The atmosphere is great,
everybody smiling and Fred is
quite apparently pleased with the
doings. It’s nice to be able to take
part in an event such as this.
Tommy Wilson is on hand and
Charlene relates to him that as a
young girl she watched him at
Brookfield and was madly in love
with him, wasn’t going to marry
anyone else. Tommy is quite
pleased with the story and is
telling everyone around him
about it. Al ‘Suicide’ Sanders has
made the trip, bad hip and all
and is all smiles. Jerry Townley
came up from the Catskills to
honor Fred and is in good spirits.
I'm talking to Bud Hinman about
some pins I recently found on
Tom And Robbie Kotary, "You
know, I went to school with those
guys. Well, I started behind them
but, it didn't take long to catch
them...HAHAHAHAH!" Crew
members from the McCredy 33
days are all on hand, Doug
Rundell, Jim Kelley and of
course Fred and Bill. Truly a nice
gathering with lots of old pictures
and memorabilia from the teams
heyday on hand. And plenty of
finger food as well, Dad must’ve
eaten a dozen cookies. And the
BS is flying, Phil Clement related
a story of meeting Richard Petty
in Daytona to Bill, the moral of
which was not to call the King
‘dick’, his name is Richard. I
sneak up to Fred when I get the
chance to give him a picture of
the Pontiac they took to Daytona
in ’62, he told me it was the only
car he didn’t have any pictures
of. He’s really such a nice and
humble fellow, unassuming,
what you see is what you get.
Bill addresses the crowd
gathered and he wants to make a
presentation to Fred, he related,
“For all of the success I had over
the years I have to say it’s mostly
due to Fred’s work. I started with
the team in late ’58 and drove
through 1968 when I fractured
my skull at Lebanon Valley and
we won a championship nearly
every year we were together. In
10 years we won 14
championships and it’s all
because Fred kept a very
competitive and dependable car
under me. There were a lot of
people who helped of course but
Fred was the main reason we
won those championships. And
I’d like to present him with a
plaque I had made up for this
occasion, they call the chief
mechanic a crew chief now so I
had this one say ‘Best Crew
Chief’ and list all the
championships we won together.
Thank you Fred.” And with that
Bill presents Fred with a
beautiful plaque. They’re
standing there, these two friends
who did so much together
through the years and  you can
see that the occasion means a lot
to both of them, Fred’s trying to
hide it, but he’s getting a little
misty. Tommy Williams comes up
next and gives Fred a nice poster
of all the cars he and his sons
ran through the years, all with
Fred’s engines in them, and all
successful. A nice clock is next,
and the accolades and gifts keep
coming, there is a permanent
smile tattooed on Fred’s face.
I’m looking over the plaque later
and reading through the
championships, Monroe County,
Fonda, Lebanon Valley, Nascar,
Utica-Rome – this is an
education. And it reminds me of
a recent conversation with Roy
Kotary who said of Bill, “My
father and I have discussed this
many times and we always felt
that the best overall driver was
Bill Wimble. On asphalt, it was
Richie hands down. On dirt there
was Pete Corey and of course
Dutch but overall, any surface,
any size track, it was Bill. He was
always going to be at the front
when the checkers flew.” And
that is quite a compliment
coming from those who know. In
football, the quarterback gets the
credit when a team wins, in
baseball it’s the pitcher and in
racing it’s the driver. But,
without the rest of the team
behind them, there would be no
wins. Fred’s wrench’s put Bill in
that position, it was nice to see
him credit the team for all of
their accomplishments.
As I said, this was not only a
great time but an education as
well. Fred and I met last winter
and did an interview together
which I’ve been slowly piecing
together. I now know I have
much more research to do, and
some trips to make to Sherburne
but it’ll have to wait as we beg off
to get to the Mountain and make
some laps with the MVSCC. The
drive down Rte. 12 and over 206
is beautiful this time of year,
bright colors burst out at you
and even a color stupid person
such as myself can appreciate
them. Pulling into the pits I see
the MVSCC members in their
cars firing them up, Jim Hilimire
comes over and relates “if you
can get this thing off and out in
the next five minutes take a spot
at the back of the heat.” No
problem, off she comes, firesuit
on, gas primed, she fires right up
and of course, I’ve forgot my
goggles. Oh well, more time to let
her warm up..goggles on and I’m
off just as Dad pulls in. We’re on
line and I feel the familiar bump
on my rear bumper – Dad’s here!
Off we go and do our rolling line
up under white, off of three the
engines start to pick and there’s
the green, mash it! Into one Ray
Demolin is outta shape and gets
some help finishing off his
pirouette, I duck low and pick up
5 spots. Throttle up down the
backstretch and out of 4 I’m
second. That car ahead is coming
up quick, damn! Smack!
Oooppss…Sorry ‘bout that, did I
mention I was colorblind…and
not really looking for the
yellow??? The mess in one is
cleaned up but back around
again and I see Gordy and Dad
headed to the pits – what
happened? Dad later said he
didn’t see the yellow either and
got a little anxious out of four,
hopped Gordy’s crashguard and
busted the frontend. Too bad for
both as they were done, at least
‘old faithful’ still runs good, and
is still in one piece so every cloud
has a little silver lining. Back on
track they have us stopped on
the backstretch – basically for me
I guess – apparently I’ve taken a
few too many spots in the
melee….oh well, worth a try
right? I take tail again and
there’s the green, stick it on the
bottom and feather it through
the corners. The club has allowed
4 barrels on the six cylinders this
year as well as V8’s with 500 cfm
carbs, my flathead is doing pretty
well against them though and
after lap three the B29 is up to
2nd and I have wheel under
Hilimire heading into three. That
damn yule tire is right in the
groove in 4, back off, try again,
he doesn’t see me, back off, we
never touch although I don’t
think you could’ve fit a ham
sandwich between us. His 283 is
good but I think I may be quicker
still, can’t get him and the final
is 111, B29, 7, 33, 29, 47, 91.
Afterward I relate to Mike
McLaughlin that I didn’t see the
yellow, he tells me he missed the
checkers as he was so intent on
getting by me, it was fun and
over way too quick.
In the pits we change out a tire
on the 43A, looks like the
frontend was already cracked
and he’s lucky, it’s too broke to
try it again so a new will go in
this week. “I didn’t see the
yellow,” Dad relates, “guess I got
a little anxious.” First, and only
time out this year, his day is over
early. Gordy’s damage looks like
sheetmetal but no telling what
else, Ray Demolin has put a new
carb on and it’s skipping, he’s on
the trailer. I fuel up, the B29 is
as good as it’s going to be on 15
year old tires. Richard Lane has
made the trip from Rochester to
see us run and joins Bill Marsh
in our pits. We get a little BSing
in and I want a burger, off to the
shack and over the PA we hear
it’s time for out feature. We’ll be
outta here early tonite, forget the
burger. Line up on the track
again and Rich Taggert leads us
to green, I stick it on the bottom
and we’re pretty bunched up,
finally the bottom lane moves
and we pick off the guys stuck up
top. Mike McLaughlin is leading,
Mike Cole is 2nd and I go to work
on him, he’s a little high off two
and I’m under, put it right on
McLaughlin’s bumper and we’re
through, diamond off of one to
try low in two and get a wheel
under, not enough though and
that’s my best chance. The rest of
the race shows me how much
better a tube car handles than
my ’36 Ford chassis, especially
on tire I bought over a decade
ago for $40, I need to upgrade…
Regardless, it was a good clean
feature and Mike McLaughlin
drove heady in winning, B29
2nd, Mike Cole 3rd, Jim Hilimire
4th, Norm Richardson 5th, Richa
Taggert 6th and the #33 (didn’t
catch your name) 7th I believe,
although I’m guessing a bit….
Congrats to Mike McLaughlin
and Mike Cole on their respective
class wins. Also many thanks to
the MVSCC and Thunder
Mountain for having us on this
night, we enjoyed it.
Great day, great night. Everyone
has smiles plastered on their
faces and most of us are on the
trailer in one piece, or very near
it. It was great talking with
Richard Lane and Bill Marsh, we
share some good track food and
BS some more. Jim Hilimire
drops off some ‘babies’ (stuffed
animals) for my boys (Thanks
Jim) and I’m off to see them. By
8:00 Pm the water is dropped out
of the B29 and I didn’t even need
the cardboard, hardly needs a
wash.. ready to go. The boys
greet me with smiles and
wagging tails, a better greeting
would be hard to find. This was
really as fine a Saturday as could
be. Even got to wish my father a
happy 68th birthday and gave
him a ’69 Gater yearbook, he’s
been through it twice already. So
even his little mishap doesn’t
have him down, and we’re
looking forward to our next event
Oct. 18th at CRAP Speedway,
and yeah, I did get some
comments on that. Let’s just say
it’s aptly named…see you
Bill Wimble made the trip from Florida for the event.
Bill got the instructions and took off..
Charlene Gibbs tells Tommy Wilson about her crush as Bob protests..
This cake looked to good to eat..
Phil Clement, Jerry Townley and Bill Wimble chat.
Just like old times.
Bill's plaque - super.
Fred displays a nice clock.
Fred, Jim and Doug at work.
Fred and Doug.
Fred Decarr with the McCredy 33.
The McCredy 33 Crew - Jim Kelley, Doug Rundell, Fred Decarr and Bill Wimble.
'Suicide' Al Sanders, George Holland and Dad share a laugh.
Bill presents Fred with his plaque.
Many tried for one of these, 1963 Langhorne Cup.
Thunder Mountain MVSCC pits.
The Pits at Thunder Mountain, Mike McLaughlin #7 was the event winner.
The B29 still runs pretty good..
Richard Lane and Bill Marsh help Dad on the trailer, and yeah, I got to change the tire..