To celebrate 55 years of action at Stateline Speedway, three prominent local men have been working tirelessly to document the track's early years.
Randy Anderson, Greg Peterson and Randy Sweeney have been working since October on ''Stateline Speedway: The First 10 Years.'' The film will showcase the drivers who helped lay the foundation for what the dirt track on Kortwright Road in Busti is today.
More than 50 drivers from the era have been interviewed to collect information for the documentary. Anderson, the ''unofficial historian'' of Stateline Speedway, said that he began writing the script for the film in January. Production for the film is being done by All Sound Media in Warren, the company that handled the group's previous film about the Roll-O-Bowl Speedway, which operated in Watts Flats from 1956 to 1960.
''We had such a good result with that film that we decided to take on Stateline,'' Anderson said. ''I know the subject and it was an easy one to get involved in.''
Anderson said he has been a participant at Stateline Speedway for about 30 years and a fan for about 50. Given that lengthy connection with the track, it wasn't difficult for Anderson to know the names of the drivers who needed to be interviewed for the documentary - many, in fact, were personal friends.
Many of those who had left the area, however, required some tracking down - and Peterson, a partner in a local law firm, had the tenacity to do that, Anderson joked.
By GLENN SLOCUM
BUSTI, N.Y. - It figures to be a special weekend at Stateline Speedway.
First of all, Maplevale Farms and the Morgan family will be sponsoring the annual Fan Appreciation Night. In addition, the rebuilt no. 27 1972 Dodge Charger driven by Sammy LaMancuso will be unveiled during the evening.
LaMancuso will be on hand prior to the races for a meet and greet along with a reproduced program from 1972 featuring LaMancuso. The driver will also take to the speedway for some hot laps in his newly built machine.
The Super Challenger special, rained out on July 24, will be run this weekend. To date, there have been 106 different drivers to compete in the popular four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive racing class. The series is led by Gerry, N.Y.'s Jimmy Diabo, who has five feature wins and a 225-point lead over Ashville, N.Y.'s Paul Nelson II.
There will be racing in all of the divisions headlined by the Super Late Models. Corry's Chris Hackett is atop the standings in the division leading Wattsburg's Scott Johnson by 169 points.
E-Mod and Super Late Model driver Scott Gurdak, Bear Lake, is the E-Mod leader and is third in the Super Late standings.
Veteran Steve Moynihan, Jamestown, N.Y., visited Outlaw Cadet victory lane for the first time this season a week ago and moved to second in the Cadet standings. He is currently 177 points behind Russell's Kelly Frederes, the points leader.
Joe Buccola Jr. leads the Super Sportsman points and Brandon Groters is currently topping the Spectators standings.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with racing starting at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.stateline-speedway.com.
''Greg Peterson did a good job tracking down some of the obscure ones, the ones we had lost track of,'' he said. ''They were a little bit harder to track down - but when an attorney wants to find you, he will find you.''
Old-time Stateline Speedway drivers were found as far away as Florida and the Carolinas, Anderson said. Some of those interviews were done by phone, he said, but the filmmakers traveled to meet some drivers up to a few hours away.
Randy Sweeney is the executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and Anderson said that he is serving as the group's chief financial officer. They have set up a not-for-profit fund at CRCF called the Stateline Legacy Fund.
''Obviously, to produce a movie requires money,'' Anderson said. ''By creating this fund through the Community Foundation, we were able to have a repository for donations - we were able to convince different people to donate money to our cause.''
Anderson said that when the film is completed and sold, all proceeds will be put back into the fund to be used on future projects, though he is not sure at this time what those projects might be.
''I need a little bit of a rest here,'' he said. ''But down the road, we'll do other things.''
Footage for the documentary will be shot Saturday night at Stateline Speedway during Sammy LaMancuso Night, when Peterson will be riding along in LaMancuso's refurbished 1971 Dodge Charger during a handful of ceremonial laps. Racer Dick Barton will be following along with another videographer to film the moment from other angles.
Though LaMancuso's car may not fit the time frame of the documentary, the driver inside it certainly does.
''Sammy started racing at Stateline in 1956, the very first year,'' Anderson said. ''And with the fact that he's the only guy who saved his last racecar, it all fell in.''
Saturday night is also Fan Appreciation Night at Stateline, with special lowered admissions of $4 plus $1 for grandstand seats and $7 plus $1 for pit passes. The extra dollar will go toward the Stateline Legacy Fund, Anderson said.
''That's a way for all the fans to feel like they're a part of this film,'' he said. ''A typical night is probably closer to $10, and in the pits a typical night is $25 - so we don't think there will be much pushback to contribute to help with the production of this historic film.''
''Stateline Speedway: The First 10 Years'' will have its debut showing at the Robert H. Jackson Center on Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.