‘Open Wheel Warriors’ star at Packard Museum

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WARREN, Ohio -The National Packard Museum is offering its second installment of the “Start Your Engines” race exhibit entitled “Open Wheel Warriors.”


According to historic documents, the roots of local racing can be traced back to a warm summer day in 1903 when Packard’s legendary Gray Wolf racer made its debut at the old Trumbull County Fairgrounds, (where Harding High School is now located.) in Warren. A few months later, the revolutionary car smashed straight-line speed records.

The National Packard Museum captures this passion for speed with a second installment of “Start Your Engines” the annual exhibit devoted to local racing history. “This year, the display of vehicles and memorabilia illustrate the “open wheel” progression that was the path to the oval track for many drivers,” said Mary Ann Porinchak, Executive Director of the museum. Spurred by a gradual increase of speed and size, drivers graduated from Soap Box Derby to Go-Kart to ¼ Midget, ½ Midget and beyond, said Porinchak. “Obviously not all drivers continued in their quest for the winners circle but it is clear, judging by the popularity of Sharon Speedway, NASCAR and other racing venues that the passion for speed still exists in many of them.” “The display of vehicles includes one of racing legend A.J. Foyt’s Indy cars on loan from Bob McConnell of Urbana, Ohio.” stated Porinchak.

The exhibit opened Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 23. In conjunction with the exhibit the museum will present a “Movie Night at the Museum” on Oct. 12 and a “Saturday Coffee and Donuts Lecture,” on Oct. 22.

“Dick Wallen’s Open Wheel Vintage Racing” will be the featured film during “Movie Night at the Museum.” Wallen stood behind a camera filming open wheel events and amassing a video treasure for 30 years. The movie begins at 6 p.m. and is free with an $8 adult admission.

Lynn Paxton, National Sprint Car Hall of Famer and Curator of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing in York Springs, Pa. will present “Tales from An Open Wheel Warrior: Lynn Paxton” on Oct. 22. from noon to 1 p.m.

The “Saturday Coffee and Donut” lectures are open to the public and free with paid admission to the museum.

Packard Museum

The National Packard Museum is located at 1899 Mahoning Avenue, N.W., Warren, Ohio. Museum hours are: Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm-5:00 pm, Sunday from 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm, closed Mondays.

For more information visit www.packardmuseum.org or call 330-394-1899.

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