The stands are packed for the annual Chicago Park District Police Benevolet race program at Solider Field on May 4, 1952.
(Ronald Roy Photo Collection)

"Wild Bill" Kelley was among a bunch of drivers that starred in the stock car racing action at Soldier Field in the late 40's and early 50's.  Kelley, who hailed from Lincolnwood for a time, raced stock cars, hot rods, midgets and sprint cars, paling around with the likes of future Indianapolis 500 winners, Pat Flaherty and Jim Rathmann, who competed in the Andy Granatelli-promoted shows at the huge Chicago arena.  Kelley was seriously injured in a sprint car crash in 1960.  He passed away in 1997.
(Dick Adams Photo)

Chicagoland's Sal Tovella was a longtime frontrunner and winner on the old United States Auto Club (USAC) stock car circuit.  Tovella poses next to his Plymouth Superbird at Milwaukee in 1972.  Tovella's brother, Fred, is to the left of the car.  Tovella began his racing career at Soldier Field in the early 1950's and won his first stock car feature race at the 'Field in 1952.  Tovella had the distinction of winning the final stock car feature race at the huge lakefront arena on June 9, 1968.
(Stan Kalwasinski Photo)

Sal Tovella and his Edsel at Soldier Field
(Stan Kalwasinski Collection Photo)

How many kids waved these at the auto races at Chicago's Solider Field?
(Thanks to Paul Beck)

Ron Baran was a big fan of Al Shear from South Beloit, Ill., who competed regularly at Soldier Field in the early 1950's under Andy Granatelli's promotion.  Years later, Ron built this model of Shear's fast Ford from the '50's.  Shear, who was the father of longtime Midwestern standout - the late Joe Shear, passed away in 199
(Ron Baran Photo)

Chicago's Larry Odo poses with members of his crew in the pit area at Soldier Field, circa 1953.  Look for an upcoming Larry Odo story to be posted in the coming weeks.
(King George Photo/Ken Odo Collection)

Soldier Field - 1948 Program
(from the Ken Forster, Jr. collection)
Check out Ken's vintage racing posters at