DeGRAFF – It was already being billed as one of the best shows of the season sponsored by LKQ Pick Your Parts Night before promoter Rick Young took Shady Bowl Speedway’s program for tonight up another notch.
The Bobby and Lil’ Bobby Korn Memorial was already set to go in the Nagel Excavating late models. The Vores Compact Series will also slug it out on the three-tenths mile oval.
Then came word that Columbia, Tenn., driver Sterling Marlin would be on hand to compete in the Korn Memorial.
Marlin retired from NASCAR competition with two Daytona 500 wins (1994 and 1995) on his resume. The Kodak and Coors Light logo adorned his most successful race cars. He started his racing career in 1976 following in the footsteps of his father Coo Coo. Steadman, Marlin’s son, has also tried his hand at driving. Sterling was a dominant figure when starting at the old Nashville Fairgrounds. Upon his retirement from NASCAR he developed his own short track program and hit the road again.
The Bobby Korn and Lil’ Bobby Memorial pays tribute to Miamisburg’s Bobby Korn and his grandson Lil’ Bobby.
Bobby got his love for racing from his father Harold “Red” Korn who built race cars back in the 1930s. Bobby soon took the racing side of the business while still a teenager. He served as the chief mechanic on countless cars. He was called away for the Korean War, where he served as a Motor Sergeant. When he returned home he ramped up his racing efforts.
In 1957 he teamed up with Dayton driver Harold Smith to win over 40 features and was crowned Ohio champion. They pulled off another great season in 1958 with 32 wins. The pair then went to Daytona Beach, Fla., to run the new speedway. Smith finished 31st in a Studebaker in 1959. The year 1976 started off horrible for Korn, as he lost his hand in a farming incident.
In his first year back twisting wrenches he won two track championships with Dick Dunlevy Jr. behind the wheel. He picked up several awards during his career. He won the Dick Freeman Memorial from the Dayton Auto Racing Club which he had been a part of since its start-up. He also was named NASCAR Short Track Weekly Racing mechanic of the year four straight years. There was no driver who would ever turn down a ride in his Ford-powered stock car.
Smith led a parade of local drivers to pilot his car. Dick Freeman, Dick Dunlevy Sr. and Jr., Dave Brandenburg, Jerry Stapleton, John Vallo, Ken Stookey and John Lawhorn are among those who slid behind the wheel of his car. Jason and Don Mahaffey Jr. were the last two drivers, with Don Mahaffey Jr. winning a track championship. Bobby was a member of the Dayton Speedway, KilKare Speedway and the DARF halls of fame. In the later stages of his racing, Lil’ Bobby, his grandson, came to follow in grandfather’s shoes. Bobby passed away in 2011, with Lil’ Bobby passing unexpectedly this year.
The feature held in their honor will be a 72-lap event paying $1,720 to win.
The VORES compact series will also be on hand tonight to run in the Shady Bowl Classic. It will mark perhaps the best paying purse ever for the series, as the winner of the 30-lap feature will receive $2,100. Thirty-five cars from 5 states have filed entries for the race sponsored by BJ Body Shop. Justin Brown was the winner of the first Vores race of the season and is the current points leader. Local drivers make up nine of the top 15 in points. Bo Hoelscher, Ron Masters, Terry Eaton Jr. and Gary Eaton Jr. are local drivers who have won championships.
A full field of over 40 cars is expected to be on hand. The hobby stocks and spectator drags are also on the schedule. Racing starts at 7 p.m. today.