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  • Tom Bigelow

    Does anyone know what ever happened to Tom Bigelow? I remember a buddy and I skipped high school on a friday in the spring of 1978 to watch practice at PIR. We parked in the back of my Grandfathers field,walked to the track and hung out in the pits all day long..found out that my buddy was related to Tom, (they had a common Uncle or something), so we hung out in Toms pit. Quite interesting as he hardly had any help whatsoever. We ended up helping him all weekend, running errands etc. He even had us practicing for pit crew duty.. Unfortunately he blew his engine only 30 laps into the race..(actually probably lucky for him.. i'd hate to see how we would have handled trying to change a tire as quick as the other guys, or what the sanctioning body might have thought.) After the race we got a
    couple of goodyear windbreaker jackets for our efforts. Looked for him in later races but never saw him again.. and always wondered what happened.

  • #2
    Good story, dbeal, thanks.
    Others can answer better than I, but, I have heard that Tom now works with/for Winchester Speedway.

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    • #3
      I read something about Tom being involved with "Tom Bigelow Driving Adventure" at Winchester. He was one of the nicest guys in racing, a driver who didn't just sign autographs (aleaysw adding that cartoon mouse to his signature) but chatted at length with fans after the races (at least while running midgets and sprints).

      I first saw him running IMCA in Tampa in the 60s and was a fan from that point on.

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      • #4
        It seems like he tried to qualify at Indy in the late eighties('88 ?), kinda out of a semi-retirement. I seen a blue car hit the wall in the short chute between 3 and 4 and then continue on into the turn 4 wall a second time directly in front of me. I think Bigelow was the driver, but I am not certain. Seems like this was on pole day during one of the practice sessions. I am sure he raced in a few ARCA stock car races in the 90's at Salem, but was never a contender.

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        • #5
          Bigs is one of the principles over at WInchester, and is running part of the show there, or so I've heard.

          Tom did make an attempt at Indy in the late '80's, but the car nor driver were competitive. As Tom got older, hi interest in open wheel racing waned, and he switched to ARCA stocks. Despite Indy guy's comments, he was quite competitive on the short tracks, and especially the dirt miles.

          Tom's son? Alan has been racing the WInchester furniture Pontiac the last few years.
          "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

          John Kennedy at American University 1963

          "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

          A. Lincoln

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          • #6
            Originally posted by midgetguy671:
            ...He was one of the nicest guys in racing, a driver who didn't just sign autographs (aleaysw adding that cartoon mouse to his signature) but chatted at length with fans after the races (at least while running midgets and sprints).

            I first saw him running IMCA in Tampa in the 60s and was a fan from that point on.
            First of all..Welcome Aboard, midgetguy671!

            Agreed about fan-friendly/good-guy, Big'. I also remember him, during his Indycar days, as one of the first to unfailingly thank his sponsors with every opportunity. But it wasn't just the sponsors he thanked, but ALWAYS also said, "..and I want to thank all the fine fans.", too. Good guy. And, hey, thank YOU, Tom!

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            • #7
              Bigelow's fanclub once was the second largest in racing (behind only Richard Petty). He earned that following by being a super guy as well as a racer. Tom was given a shot (his last) at qualifying at Indy on bump day about 88 or 9. An Indiana Judge (Harry Sauce?) had run a million laps in a car and couldn't get it up to speed.
              Finally, with a few hours left, it was given to Tom and he almost got it in the show. I've always wondered what he could have done with it earlier in the weekend.
              Tom won his last midget feature at a Derby race at Louisville Motor Speedway around that same time. Later he switched to stocks and ran ARCA. He was a frontrunner, especially on the dirt tracks.
              Within the last few years mucho money has been poured into the ARCA cars and Bigelow, always on a low budget, has had a hard time competing. A real shame.
              He has been letting his son Alan drive the car (still underfunded) and has been trying to get him more experience and a better ride.
              Today, Eagle is right, he works as racing coordinator at Winchester Speedway.
              Tom once looked at me with that gleem in his eye, grinned and said, "there ain't nothin' like racin'". I tend to agree and would like to add- they don't come any better than Tom Bigelow.

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