Vintage 60's and early 70's supermodifieds
Feature Page - Ernie and Bob June
|From an article in the 1972 Oswego Classic program, "The Eagle".|
The sport of auto racing is filled with some of the greatest people on earth and two of the most
superb reasons offered come in the form of Ernie and Bob June, owners of the yellow roadster car
number 59, piloted by Jimmy Winks. This father and son combination have proven to be a very respectable
competitor at the Oswego Speedway and their presence in the supermodified circuit is looked upon as
nothing less than an asset.
Ernie first started racing back in 1949 running a flathead down at the Shangri-La Speedway. For four years, Ernie ran the flatheads encountering a good amount of success. During that time, he started building a sprint car which he ran all over the country. After his fourth year with the sprinter, he decided to retire from racing. Ernie just couldn't stay away, a few years later he returned with a modified to run at the Brewerton Speedway. In his first race back, Ernie drove the car to a fine third place finish in the season championship 150 lapper.
In 1959, Ernie and his wife Betty decided to run two sportsman cars. They had two cars, numbered 58 and 59. Betty took charge of the 58, placing Fred Brink behind the wheel, while Ernie himself piloted the 59. Ernie admits that the 58 finished ahead of the 59 several times, but the two cars proved to be the top combo at the time. It was a great family affair each time they went to the races - as you can well imagine. They ran the car for a few years, both of which were equipped with 292 Ford engines.
In 1963, the sweep of the supermodified class made it's way into the Empire State and Ernie decided to join the bandwagon. The first driver to ever run a June built supermodified was Bucky Dew. He ran Oswego for several years with a fair amount of success. Other drivers aboard the 59 (for several years known as the 59X) were such stars as Neal Tooley, the late Jack Thomas (who Ernie claims started them on the right road to real good races), Eldon Schrader and of course the current pilot Jimmy Winks. Both Bob and Ernie both express their highest feelings for every driver who ever chauffeured their roadsters.
The Junes' claim, "Jim Winks is a real talented young guy. We hope he'll be driving for us next year as we plan on building a new roadster". They have so much respect for Winks that they purchased an Indianapolis rear engine machine from Mike Mosley - the car he ran in 1969 and Ernie has future plans for the popular Winks. They stated, "First we'd like to take Jim to a championship show and place him on a pit crew so he can pick up a bit of experience and see exactly how the entire show is run. Once we feel he's ready, we'll put the car together and go".
Both Ernie and Bob service the car during the week totalling about 40 to 45 hours each week. When the car is at the track, the Junes receive added help from Tom Teeter and Clayton Brink. Ernie has such high praise for his son saying, "Bobby is a sharp young man who I owe much credit to. Without him, we'd never make it to the track". Bob indeed does a fabulous job with the 59 building all the engines. They have two engines at the moment - one 5 years old and the other 6 years old. Bob built them both and his record of dependability certainly is unequaled by anyone.
We at the Oswego Speedway are most proud to have both Ernie and Bob June as part of our weekly show. Our association with them has been a fine one and we're only more than happy to award them "Car Owners of Year for 1971" an award that they both deservingly are credited. Our sincere best wishes to them for years of successful competition in racing.
Eldon Schrader and Neal Tooley drove for Ernie and Bob June...
From volume 1 of the photo archives, Eldon Schrader in the yellow #59.