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Bullring of Honor

#55 TYE LONG of CAMBRIDGE, OH (Class of 2023)

When car colors and the number become so well known that they are synonymous with racers, it's nearly certain that it was because of success and longevity. This inductee borrowed both from his father and uncles successful sprint cars but took them to the stock car ranks proving every bit as successful as his family predecessors.

Tye Long loved the looks of the full fender speed chariots and when old enough, built one of his own.
"I saw how sharp cars like Ron Dolen and Don Goff had and fell in love with them. I decided that was the class I wanted to race, so when I turned 18, some friends and I put together a '57 Chevy and went racing".
The year was 1971, the car carried the number 88 (due to another racer running the 55 on his car) and Tye Long took to racing like a duck to water. In a time when many cars looked less than pristine, Long's machines were clean, professionally lettered and always fast.

Running 2-3 seasons at the semi-late model class, where he quickly became one of the drivers to beat, Long gained the experience and confidence to make the jump to the unlimited late model division. Tyler County Speedway was in its infancy and Tye Long became a regular, regular as in competitor and winner. "I really liked the track. It was wide, fast and fun to race." Long said with enthusiasm when asked how he came to make the long and laborious tow from his Cambridge, Ohio home to the fledgling high banked quarter mile.

Long was a regular competitor at every track in the region, usually found at or near the front when big money was up for grabs in the tri-state area. When pressed for a win total, Long says records show he amassed over 250 feature wins in a career that spanned from 1971-2002. Long's racing was put on hold in his prime when he spent 2 years in Saudi Arabia on a plant construction project. "I had sold my stuff, was spending time on the lake near home when a couple of local guys, Pete Weir and Duane Watson, wanted to go racing". Long ably piloted the car for 7 seasons before neck surgery sidelined him for good. "We weren't really a high buck team and didn't race as much as many of the guys we ran with" Long added, but it was obvious to any who paid attention that when they did, they made it count. Long drove for other car owners during his career, notably Gator Harris and subbing in Forrest Huff's potent cars when needed, but generally owned his own equipment.

"The biggest race I ever won was at Tyler County. It was an extra lap event, and Butch McGill was really going good and was tough to beat at Tyler County, so winning that race always stood out". The trophy for the 'All American 60' was so large that Long laughingly said "It wouldn't even fit in the car!" The now 70-year-old keeps active in racing through his son Matt's racing career and son-in-law Boz Daughterty's ventures.

Long's career spanned the rough and tumble early years of local racing through the development of today's more exotic machines. He adapted to every change and picked up where he left off when work took him from the scene. He was a winner from the start and when he hung up the helmet for the final time was remembered as one of the era's most accomplished racers. For his early years accomplishments at 'America's Baddest Bullring' and his lifetime of race achievements, we proudly welcome Tye Long to the 'Bullring of Honor' class of 2023.

#8 BOBBY HILL of GREENWOOD, WV (Class of 2023)

It's never easy following a legend and often it's nearly impossible to meet the expectations when it's the child of a legend as successful and well thought of as Earl Hill was to the region's racing community. Many a child sits in the stands, dreaming of someday racing themselves. Bobby Hill's lineage practically guaranteed that would be the case. "Dad started racing at Pennsboro back in '68. Mom would load us kids in the car after we went to church, and we went to the track to watch Dad. That's really how it all started for me". Bobby said "I never had aspirations of driving a race car. Honestly, I was perfectly happy and satisfied on helping with Dad's car and going to the races with him". That all changed when his father Earl unexpectedly passed away. Bobby's friend, Bub Six, convinced him to give driving a try, and with Six's help, the road to induction to the Tyler County Speedway's' Bullring of Honor' began for Greenwood, WV's Bobby Hill. The year was 1986 and for approximately the next quarter century, Bobby Hill became a fixture at 'America's Baddest Bullring', and unknowingly easing the grief of those still in shock from the loss of his beloved father.

Bobby Hill's learning curve to success was almost meteoric. He quickly became one of the racers to beat in the very tough Semi-Late Model division. The wins came quickly and with regularity, and the trademark understated Hill style when they did endeared him to fans just the same as his father before him.

"We really never kept records when I raced. Dad never did either, it just didn't seem important". Pressed to brag on himself, a trait not common to Hill, he calculated that he "probably won somewhere a little under 100 features" in his time. Hill easily transitioned into the Super Late Model division, and although the wins admittedly became harder, Hill continued to add to his total. Like his father before him, Bobby was smooth behind the wheel, took care of his equipment and always came prepared. Likewise, he developed a dedicated following that admired his clean and always competitive style.

Bub Six and Kevin Burns could often be found in the Hill pit area, and "I got a lot of help from Bud and Marshall Doll the entire time I raced" Bobby primarily owned his own cars, but added he also drove at times for Russ Pellen and fellow 2023 'Bullring of Honor' inductee Sam Irvin over the years. Like many racing fathers, Bobby hung up his helmet for good when he passed the reins onto son Daniel Hill. Bobby remains active as a winning car owner to this day and is as approachable as ever, a welcome fixture at the track.

Among his list of accomplishments are multiple track championships and special event victories at 'the Bullring'. A 2 time winner of the race dedicated to his father, his first win in the 'Earl Hill Memorial' being one of his fondest memories, as well as twice winning the 'Eaton-Childers Memorial' race, Bobby Hill also recounts another pair of memories as his fondest over the years. "Seeing dad win that All-Star Circuit of Champions race at Tyler County, beating all those big names was a thrill, but I think the night that (son) Daniel won his first feature meant the most to me of any experience I've had in racing".

A somewhat unknown skill to many, Bobby was also accomplished in hand painted race car lettering, a nearly lost art in the world of today's vinyl wraps. At present, 3 generations of winning Hill drivers exist, and the wins and track championships will likely continue into the future. Son-in-law Shawn Jett remains active and a very successful racer, and Hill states that he anticipates his grandsons itching to get in a mini-wedge as soon as they can.

NFL Hall of Fame coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs has been immortalized with a film clip where he exhorts his team to "Win with class and style". That sums up the career of Bobby Hill, as we are all honored to include him into the 'Bullring of Honor', class of 2023.


"When I turned 18, my graduation present from Dad was a race car and trailer. He said "You can figure out the rest if you really want to race. That was 1989 and was how I got started" said Paul Wilmoth Jr.

The second-generation racer spent over a decade in underfunded, self-owned equipment, taking his lumps as he cut his teeth in the tough central West Virginia racing circuit. The lessons he learned on maintenance, getting the most his car could give and maximizing the performance through chassis-tuning in those years prepared Wilmoth well for the day when opportunity would come knocking. "When I could finally afford a good engine, I couldn't manage the price of a new car. Mark Richards worked with me, allowing me to make payments to him and that's when we really started to win races". Win races he did, as the majority of Paul's whopping 265 feature wins came from 2000 to present. "I drove for Frankie Wilson in 1999 and Rick Mastrino in 1999 but for the most part, I fielded my own stuff."
That changed when Wilmoth teamed up with Gary and Penny Midcap. The team hit the ground running and instantly became consistent winners. The 'Midcap Logging' #B1 Gambler became a regular in victory lane around the region for 8 outstanding seasons. The team rolled to 20 feature wins in '02 and 19 victories in 2008, impressive by anyone's estimation. Nearly every extra lap Late Model special has seen Wilmoth carry home the big trophy and payday at one time or another. With even a 'Hillbilly 50' on his resume, only the 'Hillbilly Hundred' has evaded Wilmoth's record onslaught. A 4-time winner of the prestigious and historic 'Topless 50', Wilmoth fondly recalls his first win in the nation's second oldest dirt late model topless special. "Mike Benedum was leading and he was going really good, but I knew I was faster. The track just never widened out that night. I decided that my only chance would be above the groove in the cushion on a restart. I tried to run in a lane up there under caution, and never lifted on the first lap after the restart. Thankfully it stuck and we went on to win... it was a win it or wreck it type move for sure!"
Proving his versatility, Wilmoth has an impressive MACS series win at Brushcreek Speedway, where he beat perennial track favorite Jackie Boggs Jr as well as a star-studded field in his first ever trip to the former tri-oval Ohio track as well as besting a field of 144 modifieds at Windy Hollow (KY) Speedway to his credit.

With multiple track championships at 'America's Baddest Bullring' as well as other Mountain State venues, Wilmoth developed a large and enthusiastic following from both his home base of Clarksburg, WV as well as the surrounding Tyler County communities. The understated racer has 39 years of experience behind the wheel and although he was cut back on his racing, he's not quite ready to totally hang up the helmet.

Coming from a racing family, where his father Paul Sr and brother Steve have also tallied double digit feature wins in their own right, Paul Jr says the most rewarding and gratifying part of his racing experience has been the folks he's met and the friends he's made. "Thats been the number one thing that I'll always have with me, the friends made".
Fan's attest that Wilmoth has always displayed the heart of a lion in competition, a post-race testimony when possible, and provided abundant excitement in competition. For all this and much more, we proudly induct 'the Gamler', Paul Wilmoth Jr into the 'Bullring of Honor' class of 2023.

SAM IRVIN of JACKSONBURG, WV (Class of 2023):

Jacksonburg, WV's Sam Irvin has been a part of the racing action nearly as long as the Tyler County Speedway has been open. Bitten by the racing bug in his youth, Irvin and a cousin teamed up after the track opened, buying a former Alvin Boykin car to join the fun. At the end of the season, finding the car was far past its competitive prime, Irvin's cousin decided to step away and Sam scrapped the car and built a car from the ground up. The improvement in equipment was immediately noticeable and Irvin's initial success behind the wheel followed soon after.

While 'the Bullring' was Sam's home track, ventures to other regional ovals also saw noticeable success. Feature wins at I-79, where Irvin and Gary Dalton developed a spirited rivalry and Sam picked up a championship race title, and the Elkins Speedway were tallied as well as Tyler County victories.
Primarily driving his own equipment over the years, Irvin was also pegged by car owners in need of a quality chauffeur in the driver's seat of their car. Gene Fiber, Ed Andrews and Sonny Spencer all came calling when Sam was available as a hired gun.

Quizzed on if they ever kept a tally of wins over the years, the unassuming Irvin said, "We really never gave that any thought back then" and dismissed the importance of it, preferring to speak about his sons and grandson who now are a part of his racing family tree. "I gave up driving when (son) Scott was wanting to give it a try. My other son Brent also raced for a short time, and I put my grandson Travis Brown in the car when Scott's back kept him from being able to drive".

With equipment that was always immaculately prepared, Sam Irvin has also saw plenty of success as a car owner. In his estimation, his biggest win has come in that capacity as Shawn Jett wheeled the Irvin owned Late Model to the prestigious 27th Annual $5,000 to win Topless 50 in 2021. "We had a couple really good years in 2020 and 2021 with Shawn driving. We bought a new Rocket XR-1 and once we figured out what it liked, we really had some success". Multiple feature wins and a track championship were all a part of that success, but the team is ready to take on a new challenge in 2023.

"I've sold out 3 times. We sold the Late Model late last year but decided to give the UMP modifieds a shot this season" said the 77-year-old racing veteran. "The late models were what I've always known, worked with, so this will be something new for me... it may be my last time to try something new, so I'm hoping we can be successful" was Irvin's closing thoughts.

After 40 years of involvement in racing, as a successful driver and car owner, Irvin has carved out a legacy of his own that continues, and hopefully will remain as a story without ending for years to come. We proudly welcome Sam Irvin into the 2023 class of the 'Bullring of Honor'.

CHARLIE KIMBALL (Class of 2023):

A successful racetrack is dependent on every employee pulling his weight, and sometimes those most important are in the background, relatively unknown by most racers and fans alike, and do their job in near solitude. Preparing the track for competition, especially one as fast and generally smooth as 'the Bullring' takes hours of time on equipment, often in the hottest hours of summer days, and the skill, patience and dedication to doing a tough job to completion despite what 'Mother Nature' may throw at them.

Since the beginnings of the Tyler County Speedway, now nearly 50 years ago, Charlie Kimball has logged many hours and laps on the beloved ¼ mile high banks. Charlie has proven to know his craft well, as it's been his dedication on the grader that has insured a track well known as being race worthy top to bottom by competitors and fans alike.
They say the best ability is availability. Add dependability and accountability to that when you research Kimball's resume when you see the smooth track surface, knowing Charlie put in hours every week, sometimes in blistering heat or the few hours that weather allowed in order to provide the best track possible. Working with multiple promoters through the years, Kimball has always given all of us a track that was racy, didn't tear up equipment and was capable of allowing multi-groove action.

There are many things that a person takes away from a night of racing, but from fans to racers, everyone remembers the track surface when the 'hot stove league' of bench racers gather. Due to Kimball's efforts, the mention of a poor track is seldom mentioned. For years of sacrificed time and dedication to making Tyler County Speedway the best prepared track in the region, we proudly induct Charlie Kimball into the Tyler County Speedway 'Bullring of Honor', class of 2023.


#22 Denny Klug of Moundsville, WV (Class of 2022): The mid-60's were a time of change in regional racing. Following his cousin Pat Herrick's lead, Denny Klug got the bug and traded in his stock car for the more powerful and faster super modified cars after a single season, becoming possibly the final owner of the iconic all aluminum Lew Guinn owned 881 car. Renumbering it with a 75, Klug went barnstorming, eventually replacing it with a much more up to date eastern PA super. This was about the time that sprints went out of vogue and the stock cars took over regionally. Klug more than successfully made the transition, changed his number to 22, and fielded some of the fastest and best-looking cars in the pits, something that continued until he hung up his helmet the final time. From his home base in Moundsville, WV, Klug ventured to tracks in nearly every direction, most of which have long closed for the final time. Generally driving his own equipment, Denny also took turns chauffeuring for car owners Gene Fiber, Arch Blair and others, but his most successful seasons were when he teamed up with engine builder Floyd Emery. When the big block powered cars were being replaced by the lighter small block engines, Denny again rolled with the changes and purchased a nearly new Chevelle with a Bobby Allison designed front sub and an LT 350 for the powerplant, a complete and highly competitive race car for $3500. A regular weekly competitor from the opening of Tyler County Speedway, Klug's easy-going demeanor and on track performance quickly made him a fan favorite no matter what class he competed in. Fondly remembering his travels with his main mechanic Bill Hamilton, Klug counted friends made and good times had more than wins over an approximate 50-year racing span with sincere humility, only agreeing that the wins would be in the double-digit category. Denny has a street legal sprint car that now fills his occasional need for speed and still can be found at 'the Bullring' on Saturday nights, often in the company of longtime friend and competitor Ed Propst. Denny joins Ed and cousin Pat, as a lifetime of racing accomplishments, sportsmanship and friendships provided and received will be recognized with the induction of Denny Klug into the Bullring of Honor class of 2022.

#116 Norman Jackson of Pennsboro, WV (Class of 2022): Norman Jackson turned many laps on a race track before ever setting in his first race car. Norm's father promoted the Ritchie County (Pennsboro) Speedway while Norm was a teenager, and he and his brother were tasked with helping with track prep. Prior Bullring of Honor inductees played a part in Norman's entry into competition, as Frank Wilson talked Norman into building his first car, and Earl Hill had a hand in building it. Hill and Jackson would eventually go on to share driving duties as all of these driver's called the egg shaped half mile their racing home in the 1960's. Jackson and Hill eventually built a pair of potent mid-50's Fords, numbered 16 & 15 respectively, and joined the classes elites during that time frame. Jackson stayed true to the Ford blue oval, and primarily built and maintained his engines and cars over a racing career that spanned from its beginnings in 1964 until the mid 90's. Carrying the number 16, until an Invitational race that featured cars from 5 states required him to add to the number for scoring, making it 116, Norman had the last laugh as the maiden voyage was a treasured win and the number remained 116 from that time forward. 68 years behind the wheel of a truck, eventually owning his own trucking business has made Norm a well-known and respected person to neighbors as well as race fans. Humble to fault, Norman prefers to speak of his racing friends and crew members rather than boast of his own accomplishments. With feature wins numbering in excess of 75 and at numerous area tracks, Jackson has stayed in touch with local racing since hanging up his helmet. Sons Mark and Steve both competed at Tyler County Speedway in years past, and Norman Jackson Trucking sponsorship can be found on cars to this day. Joining friends and competitors Hill, Wilson, Herrick and others, we proudly induct Pennsboro, WV's Norman Jackson into the Bullring of Honor, class of 2022.

#707 Gib Patt of Shadyside, Ohio (Class of 2022) The late 70's, early 80's were some of the most competitive seasons in the Bullring's history. The intensity and level of competition in what was then known as the semi-late model division was spectacular with multiple drivers truly capable of taking home the winner's share of the purse on any given event. It was during these years that Shadyside, Ohio's Gib Patt burst onto the scene with his iconic #707 cars. They were as good looking as they were fast, and Patt was always one of the men to beat when the class rolled to the grid. A standout in the tough upper Mid-Ohio Valley circuit, Patt's always sharp and professionally lettered cars stood out in a field crowded with potential winners. Making Tyler County Speedway his Saturday night home for several seasons, Patt could usually be found at or near the front of pack when the checkered flag waved. His 1980 version of the 707 proved to be an indicator of things to come; a combination or Camaro and fabricated bodywork gave it an open wheel flavor. Like its predecessors, the car was wicked fast, and its unique look is still remembered by local racing history buffs. Patt also became a winning car owner, fielding his trademark 707 on a modified wheeled by Corey Conley that saw success in Florida for the annual February Modified Speedweek as well as multi-time victories at local tracks. Patt's years behind the wheel weren't as numerable as many contemporaries, but were as successful as any, and his engine building prowess is still valued by many in the region. As an outstanding racer in the track's early years, Gib Patt is inducted into Tyler County Speedway's 2022 class Bullring of Honor.

#7x7 Charlie Maloney of Jacobsburg, Ohio (Class of 2022): Charlie Maloney was establishing himself as a capable racer when he first sat behind the wheel of the potent Jim Stubenrod owned 7x7 Late Model. From that time on, the moniker 'Charging Charlie' would deservedly become attached to Maloney's name when the region's race aficionado's spoke of the Jacobsburg, Ohio racer. Teaming up with fellow racer Dave Koch, who would field a nearly identical semi-late model, the 7x7 cars roared out of the gate from the start with Maloney challenging the long established and veteran LM stars of the upper Mid-Ohio Valley. Quickly becoming one of the LM class favorites at 'the Bullring' in the track's early years was a tough feat, but Maloney took to it nearly effortlessly. Becoming a front runner at both St Clairsville (OH) and Tyler County (WV) Speedways on the tough Friday-Saturday night circuit, the 7x7 number also became 'his number' for years to come. Those successful early years propelled Maloney into broadening his racing horizons, and success followed. His car numbers may have changed over the years but die-hard Maloney race fans can always be counted onto recall his early years and the iconic 7x7. For his prowess in Tyler County Speedway's early years and the success that followed afterwards, we proudly induct Charging Charlie Maloney into the Bullring of Honor class of 2022.

Promoter Carl Short (Class of 2022): It's highly unlikely that anyone who calls themselves a hardcore dirt Late Model fan hasn't heard of this inductee or his many accomplishments, but his roots in racing were firmly planted in this region. 2003 Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame inductee Carl Short ventured into race promoting when he attempted to help a close friend's brother who was struggling to keep the old Hilltop Speedway afloat back in the mid 1970's. About a year's apprenticeship showed Carl the ropes and gave him confidence that he could do this, and do it better. In 1977, Short leased the Ritchie County Speedway and proved he was correct. After a couple seasons, Short added the then named Brennen's Speedway to his promotional stable, renaming it Interstate 79 Speedway, and in a couple more years, added the Tyler County Speedway to make a trio of mid-state tracks under his direction. Carl has always credited the Tyler County Fair board's aid as instrumental in allowing him to operate 3 tracks at once. Eventually renaming the Ritchie County egg shaped half mile after the town it resided in, the personable Short infused new energy into the track and Late Model Racing when he introduced the 'Dirt Track World Championship' in 1981, paying more than double what had ever been awarded to a winner of a Dirt Late Model event. With the aid of the late Jim Dunn's heroics, the race became an instant classic and 'the magic of Pennsboro' became legendary. The track had been the birthplace of the 'Hillbilly Hundred', a race that Carl has steadfastly kept in its home state and we now proudly call Tyler County Speedway it's home. Featured in countless racing magazines, with a cover story in the once all-powerful Stock Car Racing monthly publication, Carl Short has earned a 2004 induction into the West Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Lucas Oil 'Mike Swims Lifetime Achievement' award, and his DTWC was named race of the year at the prestigious 'Promoter's Workshop' at Daytona Florida in 2007 among countless other tributes. With his place securely established in auto racing history and a lifetime of accomplishments and loyalty to the region's racers and fans, we are honored to induct Carl Short into the class of 2022 Bullring of Honor.

Announcer Steve Davis of Veto, Ohio (Class of 2022): From former racer, family man, track announcer, walking and talking encyclopedia of MOV racing knowledge, creator of the Hotmod division, Area Promoter confidant and all-around great guy, the MOV racing scene and in particular Tyler County Speedway is a better place because of the many contributions of one Mr. Steve Davis. From an early age growing up around various tracks in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Davis would form a passion for the sport by virtue of his Dad, whom was an avid racer himself.

A family man at heart, Davis would eventually give racing a go and while many had bigger budgets, along with close friend Allen Siers, the Davis/Siers team was a handful for area competitors as Davis would regularly run in the top five in the street stock and very competitive semi-late division. During his driving days, the Tyler County Speedway became a particular favorite jaunt for the Veto, Ohio racer as the well-spoken and articulate Davis has always referenced the fine people at Tyler County and his fondness for the racetrack in Middlebourne. When Davis would step away from behind the wheel, the fan in him would keep him traveling up Route 2 to Tyler County on a regular basis. One fateful trip to the pressbox to say hello and with the urging of the current track announcer to help out would lay the ground work to the beginning of a near three decade run as the voice of America’s Baddest Bullring.

As the longest tenured announcer in track history, his knowledge of the sport is unquestionable and his smooth delivery make you feel like your right at home when sitting in the grandstands in anticipation of the night’s action.

While not only a terrific announcer, Davis has always kept his finger on the pulse of the area racing scene. When a need for an affordable economical division in the region arose, Davis went to work with the EDGE Hotmod concept and has been a strong and steady influence in continuing its growth at the ‘Bullring’. From the inception of the ‘Project Hotmod’ car to over a decade later, the biggest car count in the pits usually, the EDGE Hotmods have been a huge boom to the Tyler County Speedway.

Most importantly, Steve Davis’s impact on the local scene has been behind the scenes as for the last twenty years, Davis has played a key role in offering sage advice and friendship to current and previous track management. As a loyal member of the Tyler County Speedway family, from Announcer, track ambassador, idea man, sounding board, and most importantly a valued friend of the community and Tyler County Speedway we proudly welcome Steve Davis to the 2022 Bullring of Honor class.


#33 Ed Probst of Paden City, WV (Class of 2021): Ed Probst can rightfully claim the first race win in the track's history. After the 1/4 mile track was completed, but before all the construction needed to hold an official race was in place, the fair board held a 'teaser event' to boost anticipation and excitement for the track's eventual opening. Probst was the winner of an impromptu race that followed the advertised demo-derby, thus becoming the first race winner at 'the Bullring'. Probst along with his brothers would begin fielding some of the cleanest and fastest cars in the region soon afterwards. Feature wins and strong runs soon followed. Jumping right into the Late Model division at possibly the most competitive time in that division's nationwide history, the Probst # 33 cars could always be considered a contender wherever they chose to race. Ed took a short hiatus from racing, came back as strong as ever with many more feature wins for the likeable Paden City racer. Ed's son Brian eventually took over the driving duties, and proved to have his father's deft touch behind the wheel. Now a 3rd generation of Probst is set to begin his racing experience, as Ed will coach grandson 'Little Ed' on the intricacies of handling a stock car. With the lineage and counsel availed, the latest generation of racing Probst's will soon be a force to reckon with. Ed Probst not only has been an avid supporter of the Tyler County Speedway thru his participation but most recently could be found helping erect the Bleacher Project at the Speedway with many hours of welding and volunteering with the massive project. For his racing achievements, his long and successful stint as driver and car owner, and his long time behind the scenes support, Ed Probst is considered a most worthy inductee.

#7 Robbie ‘Taz’ Thomas of Alma, WV (Class of 2021): Legends are often created by the local racer who consistently find a way to compete at a high-level season after season. Add to that a dose of genuine joy to compete and you have a snapshot of Alma's Robbie Thomas. Always wearing a smile and a greeting to those who speak, Thomas is a ferocious competitor who raced in nearly every class at the Bullring during his driving years. Feature wins, point championships and likely thousands of laps logged were earned along the way, the result of his unquenchable desire to race. Likewise, Thomas has been a valuable asset to others. Many local young racers went to Thomas for advice, mechanical help and more over his years of involvement. From four-cylinders to the Late Models, Thomas made seldom missed a race and could be counted on to get every ounce that the car would provide. His pure enjoyment to compete was passed onto son Danny, who has found great success in the Stock Car, Hot Mod and Crate LM classes in his own right. The family teams familiar yellow or orange #7 cars continue to be widely known as always being well prepared and a force to reckon with. The Thomas team welcome grandson Cruz into racing, as the youngster carries on a family tradition of nearly a half century by winning a feature of his own in 2020. Robbie has settled into the role of car owner, coach and mentor for many locals, one he seemingly carries with the competitive fires and joy to compete that has always been there. For these reasons and more, Robbie Thomas is welcomed into the Bullring of Honor.

1x1 Ron Conley of New Martinsville, WV (Class of 2021): The late Ron Conley was also a great part of the legacy of Tyler County Speedway. Ron's driving career included successful stints driving for other car owners, but is best remembered for the iconic '1x1' car. The story behind the number supposedly originated when after a particularly rough night at a neighboring track. When it looked like Conley's small crew might be in for an unwelcomed pit reception party by a hostile and much larger group. When asked what they were going to do should that happen, Ron simply said "We'll take 'em one by one". That sage advice turned into a number that is recognized by racers and fans all over the region. Like many fathers, Ron decided after a long and notably successful driving stint to hand the reins over to his son, known by race fans as Sonny Conley. The Porters Falls based '1x1' became even more well known as the family team spread their racing wings as far as Florida, and along the way, becoming one of the cars to beat. The '1x1' seemed to rise to the occasion whenever the bigger money shows were headlined, as some of the Conley families biggest and most dramatic wins involved the 'title' races. Always popular with the fans, the hard charging '1x1' will remain an iconic number no matter the driver. Sadly, Ron Conley earned his angel wings, departing this life August 8th, 2019. His legacy as a driver, car owner and lifetime supporter of the Tyler County Speedway has earned Ron Conley a place in the track's history and Bullring of Honor.

#10 Keith Rush of Pine Grove, WV (Class of 2021): Proving that looks can be deceiving, some of the earliest entries fielded by Pine Grove's Keith Rush may have looked somewhat spartan, but the performance always made up for any shortcomings in the appearance. Fielding the #10, Rush almost immediately became one of the leading contenders in the extremely competitive semi-late division. Seldom sporting much more than his 'Rush Construction' in addition to the number on his car, it truly was 'a wolf in sheep's clothing', as Rush was a regular front runner in the upper Ohio Valley circuits, generally racing and winning his share 2 and 3 nights a weekend. Racing at this time involved much more homebuilt, self-engineered equipment and the Rush team excelled. As the equipment became more professional chassis builder dependent, Rush's team adapted and continued success followed. Before hanging up his helmet the final time, the Rush #10 cars had become some of the sharpest looking in the pits, completing the cycle of change. Keith footsteps now are followed by son Brian, who has fielded some of the best appearing cars, also carrying the family #10, as life's time demands have allowed. A well-known and fiercely competitive driver that was recognized as such by fans and racers alike, Keith Rush joins the 2021 Bullring of Honor class.

#43 Deak Parsons of Wheeling, WV (Class of 2021): Ask older upper MOV race fans if they remember Late Model standout driver Don Hores and you'll quickly separate the casual fan from the racing historian or close friend. Asking the same fans if they remember Deak Parsons will likely provide an affirmative response. You can tell them that the 2 names are the same man. Racing was a rough and tumble sport in the 60's and Hores knew that the required and notarized parental approval that tracks required for underaged perspective racers wasn't even a consideration. Hores adopted the alias of Deak Parsons, and the start of what became a well-known and accomplished racer were born. Parsons active years primarily coincided with the years of home-built cars, and the late model division was packed with plentiful numbers and great competition. Eventually traveling where money was best and competition the toughest, Parsons' team carved out a reputation as being a force to reckon with. The gold painted Fords carrying the #69 won their share of feature races, and when Tyler County first opened, Parsons and crew were front runners. Eventually falling only 2 markers short of Earl Hill for the first late model season championship, Parsons, along with fellow Bullring of Honor inductee Pat Herrick, carried the banner for the TCS Ford fans. When the Late Models eventually became too pricey for a family man, Parsons was
recruited to wheel the powerful Masciarelli Demolition #43 'Cuda street stock. Parsons immediately became one of the dr


#03 BILL CHILDERS of ST. MARY’S, WV (Class of 19’): Bill Childers racing experience began with the advent of what was then called the ‘Fender Bender’ division, a full bodied and restricted rules class of stock cars whose ranks soon swelled. Childers quickly became one of the leading winners in a class whose popularity ensured full fields wherever the class raced. Learning a deft touch behind the wheel in a class where others preferred contact, Childers became the man to beat. Deciding to advance up the racing ladder, Bill made the transition to the Semi-Late division nearly seamlessly before moving into the tough Late Model class. Success followed Childers, as his smooth and precise driving style instantly made he and his familiar #03 a top regional racer. A lifelong timber man by trade as well as a fan favorite everywhere, Childers was also well respected by his pit area peers. It was Childers who was called upon to confirm a pass for the feature race lead by both Sonny Conley and track officials that ultimately relegated him to runner-up status. Sadly, Bill Childers passed away from a heart attack in the Bullring pit area while still in the prime of his driving career.

#25 PAT HERRICK of NEW MARTINSVILLE, WV (Class of 19’): The winner of the first Late Model feature race ever held at the Tyler County Speedway, Pat Herrick was one of the most well known racers in the mid-Ohio Valley by the time the track opened in the early 1970’s. The tall, WVU educated engineer from New Martinsville sported his trademark crew cut and a heavy right foot in a racing career that lasted for 4 decades. Herrick had cut his teeth in the open wheeled ‘supermodifieds’ in the 60’s, making a name for himself with a self-designed and built offset chassis that was decades ahead of its time. As the stock car invasion surpassed the open-wheelers in popularity, Pat seamlessly transitioned to the full bodied cars. When the Herrick-Shomo combination teamed up, carrying the ‘Running for Your Local Ford Dealer’ on the sides of their #25 blue oval entries, Herrick had some of his best years racing, winning regularly in the very tough regional circuit. Pat has since passed away but his passion for racing was inherited by grandson Brandon Fluharty, who became a Tyler County Speedway champion himself.

#E1 MIKE BALZANO of PARKERSBURG, WV (Class of 19’): Arguably the most accomplished and well-known of Tyler County Speedway’s track champions is 2019 Bullring of Honor inductee, Mike Balzano. Widely known as ‘the Floodwall Flyer’, a moniker given due to the family business location adjacent to the massive floodwall at Parkersburg, WV, Balzano was around racing since his early youth. Father Lou Balzano provided wrecker service to local tracks with young Mike often riding shotgun. After older brother Mark began his racing career, Mike inherited the family owned Semi-Late when Mark graduated to the faster and more powerful Late Model division. After a brief apprenticeship in less than stellar equipment, both boys success vaulted into the top echelons regionally when a pair of new Forrest Huff built cars graced the Balzano shop. It was at that time that the cars were renumbered, and from that time forward the E1, Eddie’s Auto Parts entries became a force in local racing. In the early 80’s, the brothers were Bullring track champions in their individual classes in the same season, a remarkable accomplishment. Tragically, elder brother Mark died in an accident on the way home from the track banquet that season. Afterwards, Mike relentlessly pushed himself towards excellence, becoming a familiar face in the winner’s circle. Despite the lack of a big time sponsor, Balzano went on the road to test his mettle with the professional dirt Late Model racers. In doing so, Balzano became a household name to dirt track fans everywhere as he became a multi-time national champion with the All-Star Circuit of Champions and STARS Late Model series among others with feature wins at literally dozens of well-known tracks and headline named races. While still at the top of his game, Mike Balzano surprisingly stepped away from racing to dedicate time to family and business obligations. Mike Balzano was the epitome of ‘the heart of a lion’ in competition.

#20 MIKE ‘BIRD’ WILSON of SISTERSVILLE, WV (Class of 19’): Called “the best pure driver” he had ever seen by cousin, fellow racer and former track promoter Frankie Wilson, Mike Wilson was likely the most successful open wheeled modified racer to ever grace the Tyler County high banks. A hard charger from the start, Wilson admittedly replaced the tail section of his car twice in the first month of his racing career. Soon afterwards, he was making life miserable for competitors who often chased him to the pay window. Wilson was generally a one-man gang, preparing and racing his #20 modified with success wherever he chose to travel. Mike even found success running the satellite tracks during the Daytona 500 Speedweek circuit, a very tough accomplishment. A multi-time AMRA National champion, Mike was also a many time track point champion at the Bullring. Always exciting to watch, Wilson’s ‘stand on the gas and go where they ain’t’ style served the chemical plant technician well, as he was also inducted into the Eastern Modified Hall of Fame inaugural class of drivers. A second generation racer, Mike Wilson truly earned the nickname ‘Mr. Modified’.

JIM & DOLLY NEWKIRK (Class of 19’): The first Bullring of Fame members that hail from the Keystone state never wore a helmet or owned a car but for many years were just as important a part of the Tyler County Speedway as any who did. Jim and Dolly Newkirk, the husband and wife racing photography team from Waynesburg, Pa. made the trek to the Bullring weekly for better than 2 decades. In addition to providing photos for the fans and racers, the Newkirks labored through what once was a time consuming and painstaking process to provide photos to the racing trade papers and periodicals. In short, they made heroes and created legends through their efforts, keeping the Bullring at the forefront of many interested readers who were able to see names and faces of those who succeeded at ‘America’s Baddest Bullring’. Jim was a staple in the infield and on the front stretch with camera at the ready while Dolly’s smiling face greeted those looking for a picture of their favorite driver. Jim passed away a few years ago and is survived by Dolly, the love of his life. Often seen walking hand in hand, the Newkirk’s legacy will continue, as Jim’s pictures have been shared with racing historians who in turn share the sport’s photographic history for future generations of fans to enjoy.


#13 FRANK WILSON of Pennsboro, WV(Class of 18’): One of racing's earliest superstitions was a car carrying the number 13. When Frank Wilson's familiar number 13 rolled into the pit area, it was the competition that was unlucky, as Wilson dominated the early years in Tyler County Speedway's semi-late division. Wilson's racing success seemingly coincided with the track's opening. The Pennsboro, WV racer was undoubtedly the man to beat in the early years, earning multiple track championships and racking up scores of wins. The 1980's saw Wilson take his talent to the Late Model division and continue to be a track winner and favorite in a long racing career.

#80 EARL HILL of Greenwood, WV(Class of 18’): Few racers anywhere could match the success or fan adoration that Earl Hill enjoyed in his racing career. Making Tyler County Speedway his home track, Hill was the high banked quarter mile's first track champion, an accomplishment oft-repeated. Despite being practically unbeatable some seasons, Hill was a crowd favorite. A favorite of the kids in attendance, Hill's humility and surgical skill behind the steering wheel made the Greenwood, WV racer famous throughout the region. His handlebar mustache and red polka dotted welder's cap are reminders of a gentlemen racer gone too soon.

#1mc BUTCH MCGILL of West Union, WV(Class of 18’): "The Doddridge County Terror" raced in relative obscurity for several years, running well but never garnering the attention that others enjoyed. His abilities were noticed by car owner Bobby Allen, who plucked Butch McGill from the local scene and installing him as the driver of his potent machine. McGill's success on the national scene helped hone his driving skills to a razor sharp edge and when the West Union, WV driver tired of life on the road to return home, he was a highly sought commodity. McGill strung together several seasons of double digit wins with accompanying track championships at Tyler County Speedway, becoming the track's dominant Late Model driver during the run of success.

BUD & MARSHALL DOLL of Greenwood, WV(Class of 18’): If the history of West Virginia motorsports is ever committed to writing, the Doll Brothers should have a prominent place in the pages. Superb craftsmen, fabricators, and 'shade tree engineers', the Doll's home base overlooks Greenwood, WV, and like the cars the Doll's fielded, appears to be 'the king of the hill'. Totally self sufficient in an era that slowly evolved into buying instead of building your own speed, the Doll Brothers got maximum results through prudent spending, careful preparation and expert mechanical skills. The opportunity to drive for the Doll's has always been a coveted, and a select few of the region's best have had that honor. From the opening of Tyler County Speedway until the present time, no other car owners have had the success, win totals or peer respect that Bud and Marshall Doll have earned.

BUD WEIGLE (Class of 18’): No one person has been so influential in the history of the Tyler County Speedway as 'Bud' Weigle. The long time local business owner and community leader served Tyler County and the region in a multitude of ways, but none so dear to area race fans as his coordination during the building and long time managing of the fairgrounds race track. Enlisting the aid of many skilled local craftsman and laborers, Weigle and other's dirt track 'Field of Dreams' became a reality in 1974. Weigle greeted all that raced during his managerial time with a handshake, pat on the back and sincere "Thanks for coming" that endeared him to fans and racers alike. As long as the Tyler County Speedway continues to entertain race fans, the legacy of Bud Weigle will always remain with us.

JUSTUS ‘SONNY’ SPENCER (Class of 18’): A familiar face at the Tyler County Speedway for over four decades, Sonny Spencer has been instrumental in the longevity of the ‘Bullring’. From the early days of planning, coordinating and construction of the speedway to Promoter, Car Owner and race fan extraordinaire, doubtful any one person has seen more laps ran at Tyler County Speedway than ‘Sonny’ Spencer. An excellent Promoter in his day, his experience and knowledge of racing and especially Tyler County Speedway have lent a very helpful hand to many a Promoter down the line and through the years

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