For The Tribune
His legacy lives on through the stories he passed on to others.
While thousands of storied racers have passed through the gates in Brownstown over the past 60 years, only a select few have left a lasting impression on the community like Paul Crockett.
Brownstown Speedway hosts a memorial race every year to honor the late driver, who is a member of the Brownstown Speedway Hall of Fame.
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The 4th annual Paul Crockett Memorial will be tonight and will serve as the Grand Champion Fair Race.
The year was 1960 when the local barber from Medora made the decision to get behind the wheel and compete.
Like many other racers, Crockett cut his teeth racing in the go-kart ranks, competing in various events around the area.
Brownstown Speedway, which opened in 1952, was hosting “Figure-8” style races in the early 1960s, and that’s where Crockett’s starting building his legacy in the driver’s seat.
When Late Models became popular in the late sixties, it was evident that Crockett was going to be one tough act to follow.
By the mid-1970s, Crockett’s Barber Shop in Brownstown was quickly filling up with trophies from his victories from all over the Midwest.
He posted back-to-back track championships at Brownstown in 1975 and 1976, posting nine wins both seasons.
Crockett’s biggest win came in 1981 when he took home the “Jackson 100” title in Brownstown. The “Jackson 100” is the marquee event of the season at Brownstown and has ran consecutively for the past 36 years.
He received $4,000 for winning that race.
Crockett also competed in the “World 100” at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. In 1985, he started on the front row of the starting field. His best career finish in the event was seventh place.
In his near 45 years racing career, Crockett posted more than 200 Late Model feature wins and three track championships at Brownstown, where he is fifth on the all-time win list in the division.
Trophies and other memorabilia from his historic career decorated his barber shop where he not only cut hair but was always eager to tell stories of his travels.
Crockett’s last season of competition came in 2006 as he raced various events at Brownstown in his number 25 entry.
He never lost his passion for racing, as he became a weekly spectator.
In 2011, in one of his final appearances at Brownstown Speedway, Crockett signed autographs at the “Jackson 100” alongside Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series regulars.
A mere six years after his health forced him from behind the wheel, Crockett passed away at the age of 79 with his wife Jane at his bedside.
Crockett is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jane; two children, Roger (Becky) Crockett and Paula (Larry) Parker, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
This year’s event will pay $2,500 to the “EZ Lift” Super Late Model feature winner.
In the event’s three-year history, it has seen three different winners: Kentucky’s Dustin Linville won the inaugural event in 2013, while Seymour’s Jeremy Hines won in 2014.
Last year, Madison’s Cody Mahoney took his Bowman Motorsports entry to Victory Lane.