John Ferrin of Omaha raced at
Playland Speedway from 1968-1972. During that time frame, John raced
orange í55 Chevys, # 103, built by John himself.
John ran Playlandís Bronco
Division in 1968 & í69. His first orange # 103, with Chevy 327
power, survived the tough Playland racing of 1968, but unfortunately, was
involved in a roll-over at Whitehead Speedway, a large Ĺ mi dirt track
near Nebraska City. While John was not seriously injured, his race car
was; enough for it to be finished racing.
For the 1969 season, John
built another í55 Chev, and returned to Playland, racing in the Bronco
Division. One of Johnís least favorite Playland memories happened in the
Bronco Division, as rough driving by others took its toll. One night,
Johnís # 103 got hit by a car that struck & bounced off every car it
got close to. This caused an unwanted trip to the frame machine.
In 1970, Playlandís format
changed from exclusively Broncos to 3 classes. The Broncos remained as a
popular class, but cars in it were subject a $500 claim rule. Playlandís
new Mini Stock class was introduced in 1970 with a similar concept as the
Broncos, but with foreign cars, restricted rules, and no claim rule.
The premiere division
introduced in 1970 was the Super Stocks, 1955-1970 American-built cars
that were allowed to run big tires, less restrictions, and with no claim
John made the switch and
upgraded his í55 Chev Bronco car from 1969 to a Super Stock for 1970.
Helping with this and never missing any of Johnís Playland races was his
brother Denny, who passed away a few years ago.
The competition in the Super
Stock class was quality and tough; any good finishes there were earned.
With names like Paul Zdan, RonTilley, Dick Gappa, Wally Nissen, Bill
Sheffield, Elvin Heiman, Glen McKeigan, and others, no race was an easy
Johnís favorite Playland
memory happened during the 1970 season, when John won his Heat, the Trophy
Dash, and finished 2nd in the Super ĎAí, just 1 spot short
of a clean sweep.
More recently, John is
retired from UPS, drives a school bus part time, and is into street
rodding. He & his wife Jeanette can be seen occasionally at various
local car shows. John has restored a beautiful í57 Chevy that went to
their daughter. His current project is a 1936 Ford 2 door sedan, that when
completed will have Ford power under the hood.
Like most that raced at
Playland, John has some good related memories & stories to tell.
John Ferrinís 1955 Chevy Bronco car, built/raced in 1968. Car
was in a rollover at Whitehead Speedway, ending its racing career.
Pic 2: John and his late brother Denny Ferrin. Denny helped Johnís racing effort and never missed a Playland race when John was racing
1970 Playland Super Stock top drivers. John Ferrin is on Wally