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We Pay Tribute to
Walt Day

Evergreen Speedway, the Figure Eight Racing club, and the entire Northwest racing community lost a true legend this past month. Mr. Walt Day, one of the original charter members of FEAR, passed away as his beloved club is celebrating its 40th year of existence. Respected as an innovator and super fabricator by all who knew him, Walt worked on or owned championship winning cars from the early 60’s on. The very first two FEAR champions, John (“C.S.”) Beeson and Bill Williams Sr., drove Caddies and Oldsmobile’s owned and built by Walt between 1966 and ’70. Later in the 70’s Walt helped the late “Stormin’ Norman” Litts to win his two championships in, of all things, a ’67 Rambler!

As one of the “Original 24” who helped create Figure Eight Auto Racing, Inc. back in 1966, Walt was often on the board and honorably served as club President in 1974. Inducted into the FEAR Hall of Fame 20 years ago with friend and three-time champ Wayne Crum, Walt stayed involved with FEAR, and later NASCAR, as the 80’s advanced. He also enjoyed working with successful young Skagit dirt racers like Tim Levine and Jay Barnes.

“Done best – done right” is how long-time friend Ron Fritzley describes Walt’s skills. It was thanks to Walt Day that Ron had his racing success back in the 80’s, and  son-in-law, Naima Lang won his Bomber Championship just a couple of years ago. John Zaretzke was a longtime friend who truly appreciated Walt’s skills and friendship, as did Bob “Roper” Short and Ken Buchanan.

Walt made his home in the Seattle/Edmonds area, and had recently moved to Iowa where he had the tragic 1-car accident that took him on May 25th, at the tender age of 71. His son Michael,  daughter Margaret and step-son Jeff join us tonight as we pay tribute to the memory of Walt with a long moment of silence and traditional Evergreen Speedway memorial lap… And for those of you who are able to, please join Walt’s family and friends at his Lynnwood Eagles Club, Saturday after next, June 24th- between 1:00 and 4:00 pm, for a celebration of the life of this great man, tremendous racer, and true friend to so many here at Evergreen Speedway.   By BC

Norm Litts

Greetings history fans! We begin the year on a somber note with the passing of two-time figure eight superstock champion, Norm Litts. Below is the profile on Norm written by Leslie Lewis in 1979. Leslie is the wife of long time figure eight competitor, Ralph Lewis and mother of Northwest Tour great, Gary Lewis.

"Stormin Norman" as so frequently referred to as, has literally thundered through the field of Superstock cars at lightning speed placing a new track record (17.902), bringing himself up to first place standing within the sixth week of this "79 season.

Attending a figure eight race in 1969 with a fellow friend gave Norm his start into his racing career. Just out of High School, Norm, at the age of 17, brought out a 1959 Ford. Running under the number 69, he placed 11th in FEAR stock division for the 1970 season. The next several years Norm concentrated mostly on Demolition Derby competition. In 1975, he was the Demolition Champion here at Evergreen Raceway.

In 1976, Norm returned to figure eight racing, putting demos on the sidelines. Driving under his present number "88" in the Stock Division, he pushed his "631/2 Ford to an 8th place season points finish. In 1977, Norm bought "the Rambler" from another Superstock driver. The Rambler, a 1967, 390 Cu. in. Ambassador, and Norm drove to a Superstock Championship, breaking the track record 3 separate times that year. Norm received high points trophies for the first half, second half and overall Championship for the year.

The year of 1978 saw Norm involved in building a business for himself, leaving no real time for racing. He did manage to put together a demolition car for the July 4th celebration and somehow managed to win, taking home not only a totally destroyed car, but a thousand big ones!

Over the years, Norm has also ran on the dirt track at Skagit Valley, an IDC race and at Spanaway and Port Angeles.
At the age of 28, Norm has started his own business--Norm's Auto Salvage and rents a lot in Lynwood where within a year he plans on opening up his own wrecking yard. He plans on it becoming a great sucess with hopes of retiring at 35. With Norm, is his girlfriend, Lynn Clough and 4 year old Timmy (TC). Lynn will be driving his car this year in the powder puff. Norm also enjoyshunting, fishing and camping throughout the year.

All maintenance work done on the rambler is headed by Walt Day. He does the suspension set-ups and all the mechanical work. Pitting is Tim Levin, Bob Short and Keith Boddy. Sponsors are Walt Day with Sound Realty, Northwest Auto Wrecking and Audie Hardy.

Norm does not care for being portrayed as a rough driver. In truth, Norm has a very fast car, and is a strong aggressive competitor. On a personal basis, Norm is a very friendly guy. On controversial matters, he is very candid. Overall, Norm has both feet on the groung, headed for a chance at the championship this season. Continue on Norm!!
M.L.L.

Tom Claibourn F-8 Historian
January 2006

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