The Jerry Winger Memorial
1959-2004 and BeyonD
(all articles created by Rick Kavanagh)
Jerry Winger was a young talented racer, who started his career when Merrittville Speedway opened its gates on July 1, 1952. Immediately, this 18 year old’s driving talents surfaces as he would win Merrittville’s track championship in 1953 and repeat again in 1957.
During this time, Jerry would establish his talent for fast, clean, sportsmanlike driving, that brought him not only success, but also admiration from his competitors.
Unfortunately, from 1958-1959, Jerry Winger would not be able to defend his championships, due to illness and would pass away during the 1959 season. At that time, Merrittville Speedway’s owners would retire his #10 forever and his crew would establish the Jerry Winger Memorial Award, which would be awarded to the winner of a special feature night once a year.
The award was lost for many years and was finally tracked down by Merrittville’s Reunion Committee, and was returned to us. Rick Kavanagh along with his father, former track owner Ken Kavanagh, restored the trophy, so it could again be presented, this time on our annual Reunion Night. During our 2003 season, veteran modified pilot Brian Stevens was awarded the Jerry Winger Memorial Trophy.
After a hard fought 52-lap race, he stated, “This has been one night’s race, that I have always wanted to win.” You see Brian is a second-generation racer, whose father Ray was competitor and later car builder whose career dates back to the opening of Merrittville Speedway and one of our many “Wall of Fame Inductees”.
The Merrittville Speedway Reunion Committee invites all alumni to attend our 53rd Anniversary on July 17, 2004