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Chick Hale

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  • Chick Hale

    Shane Mugivan mentioned on Facebook that Chick Hale has passed away. A long time racer, Chick was a fixture at the race tracks for many many years.

    I have no other details other than the above.

  • #2
    Yep, and I got it at the same place from Jerry Wahl. I can recall Chick racing at the 'burg a few years back, along with Eldora. More recently, I'd see him at Winchester in the infield tower.


    • #3
      From the Dayton Daily News:

      Racing legend Hale dead at 83

      Through a racing career that spanned six decades, William “Chickâ€‌ Hale was known for being fast on the race track.

      He was even faster with a smile off it.

      That combination of champion and charm helped turn Hale into a racing legend, as did that fireball he survived during a racing accident at Kil-Kare Speedway back in 1953.

      Hale died at 3:24 a.m. Tuesday. He was 83.

      “He was quite a sportsman,â€‌ said racing veteran Bernie Coppock, who raced against Hale and twice was teammates with him. “If he won a race, fine. If he didn’t he would come around and congratulate you. ... He was a real fan favorite. Chick was a clean driver. He didn’t beat and bang and knock people out of the way. He just drove around them.â€‌

      Among his many highlights, Hale — a car owner, racer and mechanic — set fast times at the inaugural World 100 at Eldora Speedway in 1971, is credited as the only driver to race at Eldora Speedway every year under Earl Baltes’ ownership (1954-2004) and was a member of the inaugural class of the Dayton Speedway Hall of Fame in 2009.

      He earned his nickname as a child on his father’s hatchery in West Milton, often carrying a chick around in his pocket.

      “Not only was Chick my uncle, he was my best friend,â€‌ said Hale’s nephew Jerry Wahl, one of the founders of the Dayton Auto Race Fan Club and the last announcer at Dayton Speedway before it closed in 1982.

      “He could take a car that anyone else would have been a back-in-the-pack runner and somehow make it a winner. He was a low-buck racer but always got his cars to the front somehow.â€‌

      Unofficially, Hale’s driving career started in 1949 when spectators at Dayton Speedway were invited to race their cars in a special street stock race. Hale did, popping the hubcaps off his car and finishing fourth on the intimidating high banks.

      “Yep, I certainly am proud of him and his memory will long live,â€‌ Wahl said.

      Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Kindred Funeral Home in Englewood. Services are 10 a.m. Saturday at Kindred.

      In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the DARF Injured Drivers Fund, PO Box 641, Dayton, OH 45401.



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