"Junior"

By Steve Tuccelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

On June 21st, 1987, 28 year old Dave Bradway Jr. died from injuries suffered at Skagit Speedway in Washington State during a Super Dirt Cup Race.  David was born August 23, 1958 at a U.S. Air Force Base in Nancy, France.  By the age of 17 David, after growing up watching his father race modifieds at West Capitol Speedway and other local tracks, began his racing career in Grass Valley, California at the Ernie Pursell Speedway by posting 2 main events and finishing 2nd in the street stock division.  "Junior" clinched the well-earned "Rookie of the Year" honor that same year.  In 1978, David entered the open wheel stage by way of modifieds establishing notoriety as a dominant driver.  In 1981, Junior entered the NARC circuit driving a Sprinter previously driven by Gary Patterson owned by Walter Ross and in1982 he won his first NARC main event at Petaluma Speedway  driving for Jack McAfee in the #82 sprinter. He finished the year overall in 3rd place with 3 main event wins. His 13th career NARC feature win was at the high speed Calistoga Speedway season opener where he drove the #5n sprinter owned by Mike Murphy and became the second member of the exclusive ď100 mile per hour clubĒ.  In 1984 David was honored with a championship at Baylands Race Park in Fremont, California.  Out of 38 races Junior achieved 1 win, 3 fast times, 3 dashes and 20 top 10 finishes.  The following year, 1985, David ran a mixed race schedule but still obtained five NARC feature wins  finishing 3rd place in the championship point standings and a 7th place finish at the renowned Knoxville Nationals. In that same year David ran a wingless Pacific Coast Nationals race at Ascot. Qualifying 3rd quick and winning the semi after struggling through his heat Junior found himself sitting outside front row in the main. When the green flag dropped Junior drove hard off the cushion and never looked back leaving Bob East, Bubby Jones, Danny Lewis, Lealand Mcspadden, Doug Wolfgang and Jac Haudenschild behind.  In 1986 Junior scored 4 more NARC feature wins, 3 of which were on the Ĺ mile Calistoga Speedway.  Junior was a top finisher by winning the Jayhawk Nationals in Kansas City, Kansas where he defeated former winners Doug Wolfgang and Jimmy Sills. Driving the TRI-C Machine #3 owned by Clyde Lamar in April 1987 David won the preliminary World of Outlaws Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California. Junior drove respectably and was respected by all.  He would tune a competitorís engine or help set-up a fellow racerís chassis.  He was a practical joker but a serious motor builder and racer.  David over his career drove cars for Brandy and Glaspey XX, Clyde Lamar #3c, Jack Mcafee #82, Walter T. Ross #56, Mike Murphy #5n, Dave Durica #11 and others. Some of Juniorís not so polished achievements, but not any less spectacular, was in Dixon at the old horse track were Davidís car left the track after catching a rut and driving through a rotten fence. The fence literally exploded, along several lengths, into millions of  fragments that pierced the car in as many places.  When the safety crew arrived they found Junior huddled under all the debris with not as much as one splinter in his fire suit.  Another not so polished achievement was a spectacular flip off turn four at Calistoga.  There's a reclaimed water (sewage) pond that's a fair distance from the track but that didn't stop Junior's wingless car as it found its way by violent cartwheels and somersaults finally coming to rest upside down in the mucky water.  Some believe David's demise was imminent at that moment if it weren't for the brave souls that fished David out of the slime but if you were to have asked David, he would have told you that he almost drowned while climbing out the other side when someone dragged him back under in a heroic attempt to save him.  Junior's last win came just sixteen days before his death at Baylands June 5th, 1987.  Junior was fearless and fashioned himself after his racing hero's Jimmy Gordon and Gary Patterson which, in all irony, are buried at the same cemetery.  People blessed by having known Junior have memories they will never forget while honoring him in his own right as a legend.

List of Dave Bradway, Jr.'s Race Car Rides

1976  Claimer - Own
1977  Claimer - Own
Modified - Bud Stark
1978  Modified - Marvin Witt
Modified - Dave Durica
1979  Modified - Dave Durica
1980  Modified - Own
1981  Modified - Rolfe
Sprinter - Walter T. Ross
Sprinter - McCormack
Sprinter - Holly Bros.
1982  Sprinter - Jack McAfee
Sprinter - Mike Murphy
Sprinter - Lovell Bros.
1983  Sprinter - Brandy Glaspey
1984  Sprinter - Clyde Lamar
Sprinter - Don Snow
1985  Sprinter - Clyde Lamar
Sprinter - Don Snow
1986  Sprinter - Clyde Lamar
Sprinter - McCarl
1987  Sprinter - Clyde Lamar

Home