Car racing memories get revved up in Leon

From left are Fred Milliman, Lou Ensworth and Hoyt Prince.

LEON — The Pennyroyal Racetrack of Leon, once referred to as the “fastest half-mile in Western New York” may be a thing of the past but those memories were brought back to life at a recent Leon Town Picnic.

The Leon Fire District was formed in 1942 with 25 chartered members. The Leon Ladies Auxiliary was formed soon after. They purchased a farm on Townhill Road and the Pennyroyal Racetrack was born.

Spectators, numbering between 1,500 to 2,000 came from far and wide to watch old stock cars tear up the dirt track.

The Leon Historical Society houses numerous pictures of old stock cars, newspaper articles and some of the racing equipment used during that era.

Fred Milliman and Bob Will built the replica car of the type that raced at the Pennyroyal. This car was on display at the Leon Town Picnic.

Sharing memories about the racetrack, along with Fred, were Lou Ensworth who was the original photographer for the racetrack and Hoyt Prince who was a driver.

Many drivers got their start at the Pennyroyal. Bill Rexford went on to become what is still believed to be the youngest title winner in NASCAR history with his title at the 1950 NASCAR Grand National Points Race.