1903 – 1966

Autograph signed in 1921

 

 

            Earl Lonzo Hovenden, Sr. was born March 16, 1903 in Oklahoma, a son of Thomas Alonzo Hovenden (1878-1957) and his wife, Olga L. (Fredrickson) Hovenden (1885-1977).  He served in the United States Navy Reserve Forces during World I.  He was working as an auto mechanic in Oklahoma City when he was first married in 1921 at Canadian, Oklahoma to Ruby Ida Stapp (1899-1998).  They had one daughter, Juanita Ruth (Hovenden) Christoffersen Herweh (1922-1980).  Earl and Ruby divorced and he was married second in 1926 at Logan, Oklahoma to Iva Lella (Spires) Thomas (1907-1966).  Earl and Iva were the parents of one son, Earl Lonzo Hovenden, Jr. (1927-1986).

          In 1926, the Hovendens moved to Arkansas City, Kansas where Earl went to work as an auto mechanic for the Moody brothers in their garage.  After that, they lived at Otis, Kansas; Siloam Springs, Arkansas and Duncan, Oklahoma before moving on to southern California by 1930   Hovenden supplemented his racing income in California by putting together an Auto Polo team named the Washington Grays to participate in those events which were very popular at the time.

          Earl Hovenden’s incomplete racing record:

 

December 26, 1921 – ½ mile dirt oval – Grady County Fairgrounds at Chickasha, Oklahoma

            Car:  #7 Monroe special

Finish:  DNF in the 1st 5-car 8-lap heat race heat race when his car threw the right front wheel and crashed through the outside fence.  Hovenden received a cut on his chin in the accident that required 3 stitches.  This race was won by Johnny Lindsay of Oklahoma City in a Didge special.

Feature Race Winner:  Johnny Lindsay of Oklahoma City in a Dodge special.

 

June 4, 1922 – ½ mile dirt oval – Colcord Speedway at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on the east side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Car:  #7 Monroe special

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the sparse results of these races have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Johnny Lee of Wichita, Kansas driving his own 16-valve Dodge-powered “J.H.L. special” that he had built himself

 

July 4, 1927 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cushing Speedway Park at Cushing, Oklahoma

            Car:  #2 Chevrolet special owned by George Dwight Moody of Arkansas City, Kansas.

Finish:  Won 1st 6-mile heat race over Forest S. “Blackie” O’Bannon of Arkansas City, Kansas in a #4 Fronty Ford special.

              Won the 4-mile heat race over Andrew “Cokey” Fuller of Arkansas City, Kansas in a Chevrolet special, in 4:38.0.

                  Won the 15-mile sweepstakes race over Andrew “Cokey” Fuller of Arkansas City, Kansas in a Chevrolet special, in 15:40.8.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Arkansas City, Kansas driving the #2 Chevrolet special owned by George Dwight Moody of Arkansas City, Kansas.

 

July 30, 1927 – ½ mile dirt oval – Cowley County Fairgrounds at Winfield, Kansas

            Car:  #2 Chevrolet special owned by George Dwight Moody of Arkansas City, Kansas

Finish:  Won the 10-lap Class “B” race over Fred Lentz of Hutchinson, Kansas in his own #5 Lentz Dodge special, in 6:05.8.

  3rd in the 6-lap 3-cornered match race for the three fastest cars in time trials.  Hovenden finished behind Harley Wells of Miami, Oklahoma in a #27 Ford Frontenac and Charles Lebsack of Wichita, Kansas in the #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

            Won the 5-car sweepstakes race scheduled for 25-laps but was ruled complete after a 3-car accident at the beginning of the 9th lap.  Andrew “Cokey” Fuller of Arkansas City, Kansas finished 2nd in a #4 Chevrolet special.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Arkansas City, Kansas driving the #2 Chevrolet special owned by George Dwight Moody of Arkansas City, Kansas.

 

October 25, 1927 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Cotton Palace Fairgrounds in Waco, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own Hovenden special #1

Finish:  2nd in the 1st 10-lap heat race 3 seconds behind winner Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

Feature race winner:  Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

 

November 2, 1927 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Cotton Palace Fairgrounds in Waco, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own Hovenden special #1

Finish:  2nd in the 1st 10-lap heat race 6.8 seconds behind winner Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

 2nd in the 16-lap feature race 3 seconds behind winner #7-11 Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

            Feature race winner:  Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

 

November 6, 1927 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Cotton Palace Fairgrounds in Waco, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own Hovenden special #1

Finish:  2nd in the 1st 10-lap heat race 3.8 seconds behind winner Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

 2nd in the 16-lap feature race 5.2 seconds behind winner #7-11 Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

            Feature race winner:  Eddie Neva of San Antonio, Texas in #7-11 Ford Frontenac Wells-Brooks special owned by Maxie L. Brooks & M. T. Wells.

 

August 28, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – Valley County Fairgrounds at Ord, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska.

 

August 29, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – Valley County Fairgrounds at Ord, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Willard C. Prentiss of Denver, Colorado.

 

August 30, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – Valley County Fairgrounds at Ord, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska.

 

September 6, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – Ottawa County Fairgrounds at Miami, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Attendance:  4,000

Finish:  2nd in the 2nd 10-lap heat race behind Harley Wells of Taylor, Texas who was driving the Bammell special.

                         Won the 3rd 10-lap heat race over Rae Bray of Hutchinson, Kansas in his Fronty Ford special.  Hovenden’s winning time was 5:54.0.

2nd in the 24-lap Grand Sweepstakes race, one-second behind Vern McComb of North Chicago, Illinois driving a Lawhon special owned by George and Ernie Lawhon of St. Joseph, Missouri.  Hovenden’s total winnings for the day totaled $215.

Feature race winner:  Vern McComb of North Chicago, Illinois driving a Lawhon special owned by George and Ernie Lawhon of St. Joseph, Missouri.

 

September 8, 1928 – ½ mile dirt oval – Ottawa County Fairgrounds at Miami, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Attendance:  2,000

Finish:  Ran the fastest 2-laps in time trials of 60.8 which died the 2-lap track record held by Dick Calhoun of Cushing, Oklahoma.

                          2nd in the 1st 10-lap heat race behind Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 B & B supercharged Fronty special owned by C. O. Bennett.

                          Won the 24-lap Miami Sweepstakes race over Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 B & B supercharged Fronty special owned by C. O. Bennett, in 12:55.8.

Feature race winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Duncan, Oklahoma driving #K-1 Dual Overhead Cam Fronty Ford special #K-1 owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

 

September 29, 1928 – 5/8 mile dirt oval – West Texas State Fairgrounds at Abilene, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

            Finish:  2nd in the 8-lap 4th heat race behind Bill K. Spence of Los Angeles, California in a Fronty Ford.  The finish earned $40 from the purse for Hovenden.

Feature race winner:  Clyde Gilbert of Boulder, Colorado in a Baker special owned by Howard Baker.

  

April 21, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Fair Park at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  These races were postponed until April 28, 1929 due to cold weather.

  

April 28, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Fair Park at the Old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds on Eastern Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Hovenden crashed through the fence on the 1st turn of the 1st lap of the 1st 5-car, 10-lap heat race.  He was able to get back onto the racetrack but his car was too badly damaged to continue in the race so he was credited with finishing in 5th place behind Vern McComb of North Chicago, Illinois who was driving the #X3 Lawhon special owned by George Lawhon of St. Joseph, Missouri; Bill Spence of Los Angeles, California; Phil Pardec of Los Angeles, California and Joe Hutchinson of Arkansas City, Kansas.

              Won the 2nd 10-lap heat race over Johnny Kreiger of Los Angeles, California.  Hovenden’s winning time was 5:31.6.

Feature Race Winner:  Bill K. Spence of Los Angeles, California

  

May 5, 1929 – 1½ mile dirt oval – Gulf Coast Speedway at Bellaire, Texas – Sanctioned by B.A.R.

Car:  #K-1 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Oklahoma City

 

July 4, 1929 – 5/8 mile dirt oval – West Texas State Fairgrounds at Abilene, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the scant race results that have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri who was driving the #4 Fronty Ford owned by John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska

 

August, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Tillman County Fairgrounds at Frederick, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Won a heat race.

              Won the sweepstakes race.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Duncan, Oklahoma

 

September 2, 1929 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Arkansas City Speedway west of Arkansas City, Kansas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Purse:  $590.20 of which $210 was won by Hovenden.

Finish:  Tied with Andrew “Cokey” Fuller of Arkansas City, Kansas in a Gallivan special he co-owned with Joe Hutchinson of Arkansas City, Kansas in time trials, each running one lap of 31.1.  That also tied Fuller’s track record set on July 4, 1929.

  Won the 6-car, 6-lap “Home National Bank Sweepstakes” match race for the 6 fastest cars in time trials over August “Cotton” Grable of Houston, Texas in a #32 Chrysler special owned by William J. Mahovel, Sr. of Houston, Texas.

             Won the 20-lap “Kanotex Sweepstakes” race over August “Cotton” Grable of Houston, Texas in a #32 Chrysler special owned by William J. Mahovel, Sr. of Houston, Texas.

Feature Race Winner:  Earl L. Hovenden of Duncan, Oklahoma

 

September 12, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Collingsworth County Fairgrounds at Wellington, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

September 14, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Collingsworth County Fairgrounds at Wellington, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

September 17, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Duncan Fairgrounds at Duncan, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature Race Winner:  Sam Hoffman of Sioux City, Iowa

 

September 18, 1929 – ½ mile dirt oval – Duncan Fairgrounds at Duncan, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #1 single overhead cam Fronty Ford special

Finish:  Hovenden suffered mechanical trouble during the warmup laps and was unable to start any of the events on this afternoon.

Feature Race Winner:  Johnny Kreiger of Rochester, New York who was driving the #7 dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Lloyd Fisher of Longmont, Colorado

 

September 25, 1929 – 5/8 mile dirt oval – West Texas State Fairgrounds at Abilene, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the brief race results that have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Chet Gardner of Denver, Colorado who was driving the #47 “Buckeye Duesenberg” owned by Gibson Bradfield

  

December 8, 1929 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published race results of these races.

            Feature race winner:  Wilburn Hartwell “Stubby” Stubbefield of Los Angeles, California in his #18 Simplex Piston Ring special.

 

February 9, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #40 owned by Ted Simpson.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the brief race results that have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Swede Smith who was driving the #24 Begg special owned by the Begg brothers.

 

February 23, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #40 owned by Ted Simpson.

Finish:  Won the 24-lap consolation race over Hermann Schurch.

 Hovenden was involved in a 3-car crash on the on the south turn 17th lap of the 100-lap feature race involving Fred Frame of Los Angeles, California and Johnny Kreiger of Rochester, that put him out of the race, New York.  Frame received minor injuries while the other two drivers escaped unscathed.  That race was won by Walt May of Los Angeles, California who was driving the #7 Deulin special owned by Guy Deulin.

Feature race winner:  Walt May of Los Angeles, California who was driving the #7 Deulin special owned by Guy Deulin.

 

March 9, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Francis Quinn passed both Hovenden and William “Shorty” Cantlon of Detroit, Michigan on the final lap to win the 3-car, 2-lap helmet dash by inches but newspaper reports do not say which of the other two competitors finished in 2nd place and which finished in 3rd place.

Feature race winner:  Francis Quinn of Los Angeles, California who drove his own #8 “Dayton Thoroughbred” Miller.

 

March 23, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Won a 5-lap heat race over Mel McKee.

  Won a special 5-lap race over Curley Grandell.

Feature race winner:  Wilburn Hartwell “Stubby” Stubbefield of Los Angeles, California.

 

April 20, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Won the 20-lap consolation race over Jimmy Sharp in 10:26.0.

Feature race winner:  Walt May of Los Angelis, California who was driving the #7 Deulin special owned by Guy Deulin.

 

April 26, 1930 – 1 mile dirt oval – Fresno District Fairgrounds at Fresno, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Won the 20-lap consolation race over Jimmy Sharp in 10:26.0.

Feature race winner:  Walt May of Los Angeles, California who was driving the #7 Deulin special owned by Guy Deulin.

 

May 18, 1930 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the brief race results that have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Jimmy Sharp driving the #3 car owned by Russell Garnant.

 

May 28, 1930 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Noble County Fairgrounds at Duncan, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

May 30, 1930 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Noble County Fairgrounds at Duncan, Oklahoma – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  Results of these races have yet to be located.

 

June 8, 1930 ½ mile dirt oval Creve Coeur Lake Speedway a.k.a. the Greater St. Louis Speedway at Upper Creve Coeur, Missouri

Finish:  3rd in the 2nd 10-lap heat race behind Sherman “Red” Campbell of Iowa City, Iowa in the #7 Davis special owned by Ed Davis and Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 supercharged Fronty Ford owned by Charles O. Bennett.

 DNF in the 60-lap feature race but was awarded 7th place behind Sherman “Red” Campbell of Iowa City, Iowa in the #7 Davis special owned by Ed Davis; Harold Denman “Pete” Alberts of Vincennes, Indiana in a Chevrolet; Howard “ Speed” Adams of Des Moines, Iowa in the #300 Kinsey special owned by Joe Kinsey; Bryan Saulpaugh in the #100 Howe Hisso owned by William T. “Bill” Howe; Howard Omar “Howdy” Wilcox of Indianapolis, Indiana in the #1 Chevrolet Brothers Fronty Ford and Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri in the #700 supercharged Fronty Ford owned by Charles O. Bennett.

Feature race winner:  Sherman “Red” Campbell of Iowa City, Iowa in the #7 Davis special owned by Ed Davis.

  

July 4, 1930 – 5/8 mile dirt oval – West Texas State Fairgrounds at Abilene, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden entered his own #50 S-R Fronty Ford built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas, for driver Bobby DeMuth of Los Angeles, California to drive.

Finish:  Did not compete as he participated a driver’s strike for a guaranteed purse proposed to include larger purses plus $100 for each of the strike participants.

Feature race winner:  Francis Quinn of Los Angeles, California who drove his own #8 “Dayton Thoroughbred” Miller.

 

July 13, 1930 – 5/8 mile dirt oval – Oil Belt Speedway at Breckenridge, Texas – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  Hovenden entered his own #50 S-R Fronty Ford built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas, for driver Bobby DeMuth of Los Angeles, California to drive.

            Feature race winner:  Bobby DeMuth of Los Angeles, California in the #50 S-R Fronty Ford built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas and owned by Hovenden.

 

August 22, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – Dawson County Fairgrounds at Lexington, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden entered his own #50 S-R Fronty Ford built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  4th in the 20-lap feature race behind Bert Ficken of Omaha, Nebraska who was driving the a dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska; Sam Hoffman of Sioux City, Iowa driving a dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Felix B. Morosco and Johnny Kreiger of Rochester, New York who was driving a Miller owned by Vic Felt of Deer Trail, Colorado.

Feature race winner:  Bert Ficken of Omaha, Nebraska who was driving a dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska

 

August 26, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – Valley County Fairgrounds at Ord, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #69 Fronty Ford built and owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  4th in time trials with a 1-lap time of 28.64 which was only slower than the times turned in by Sam Hoffman of Sioux City, Iowa in a dual overhead cam Fronty Ford owned by Felix B. Morosco; John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special and Johnny Kreiger of Rochester, New York who was driving a dual overhead cam Fronty Ford.

            Won the 2nd 10-lap heat race over Bert Ficken of Omaha, Nebraska in 4:57.14.

                2nd in the 20-lap feature race behind John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special.

Feature race winner:  John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special.

 

August 27, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – Valley County Fairgrounds at Ord, Nebraska – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  #69 Fronty Ford built and owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish:  2nd in the 2nd 10-lap heat race behind Lew Reynolds of St. Joseph, Missouri.

 DNF in the 14-car, 20-lap feature race.  “During the feature, Hovenden lost control in Kerb’s car, cut off a 12-inch post, went through the three-foot guard fence and over the bank of the track.  He was on his feet when aid reached him.  He had gashes on his face and neck but no bones (were) broken.” - - - quote by John Gerber from his book, “Outlaw Sprint Car Racer”.  A report on the same incident in the Columbus Telegram newspaper, Columbus, Nebraska contradicted that reporting that he suffered a broken jaw.

Feature race winner:  John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special.

 

September 5, 1930 – ½ mile dirt oval – Boulder County Fairgrounds at Longmont, Colorado – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  Hovenden’s own #50 S-R Fronty Ford that had been built by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas.

Finish: “The crash occurred at the west end of the track during the 7th lap of the 10-mile (feature) race.  According to race officials, Clyde Gilbert of Brighton, (Colorado,) driving #3 (owned by Howard Baker) skidded at the turn and, while straightening out, crashed with Earl Hovenden of Otis, Kans., in #50.  (Vern) Anderson (of Greeley, Colorado), who was driving behind the two (in a car owned by Lloyd Fisher of Longmont, Colorado), was unable to avoid their machines.  Some say Anderson’s machine turned over three times.  Gilbert and Hovenden escaped with slight bruises, but all three machines were considerably damaged.”  Anderson was seriously injured. - - - quote from the September 8, 1930 issue of the Greeley (Colorado) Daily Tribune, page 6.

 

September 14, 1930 – 144-mile road – International Highway between Laredo, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the limited published results of this race.

Feature race winner:  Bill Campbell of San Antonio, Texas driving a Chrysler roadster.

 

            Hovenden appears to have sold his #50 S-R Fronty Ford around the end of 1930 to George Young a.k.a. “The Fox Point Flash”, who was a single, 26-year-old garage mechanic that had moved to Southern California from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to compete in the A.A.A. sanctioned races in the area.  With the #50 still painted on the car, Young managed to qualify for the first 100-lap feature race of the 1931 racing season at Legion Ascot Speedway on January 25, 1931.  On the 29th lap of that race, Young was involved in a 4-car accident that took his life.

  

January 25, 1931 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  #76 Bullock Boring special owned by Noel E. Bullock of Los Angeles, California.

Finish:  3rd in the 100-lap feature race behind William “Shorty” Cantlon of Detroit, Michigan and Mauri Rose.

            Feature race winner:  William “Shorty” Cantlon of Detroit, Michigan driving the #4 Miller owned by “Hollywood” Bill White.

  

February 1, 1931 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

Car:  #76 Bullock Boring special owned by Noel E. Bullock of Los Angeles, California.

            Finish:  3rd in the 40-lap feature race behind Bill Cummings of Indianapolis, Indiana in the blue #35 Fronty Ford owned by W. B. Hewson and Wilburn Hartwell “Stubby” Stubbefield of Los Angeles, California in the #5 car owned by Art Sparks..

            Feature race winner:  Bill Cummings of Indianapolis, Indiana

  

February 22, 1931 – 5/8 mile oiled dirt oval – Legion Ascot Speedway at Lincoln Heights, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  #76 Bullock Boring special owned by Noel E. Bullock of Los Angeles, California.

Finish:  3rd in the 2nd 10-lap heat race behind Lou Moore in the #22 Gilmore Lion owned by Peter de Paolo and Chris Vest and the #24 owned by Fred Engbarth.

DNF but credited with a 12th place finish in the 25-mile feature race behind Ernie Triplett of Belvedere, California in the #6 Allen special owned by D. J. McCarthy; Wilburn Hartwell “Stubby” Stubbefield of Los Angeles, California in the #5 owned by Art Sparks; Chet Gardner in the #47 Miller owned by G. D. Harrison; Lou Moore in the #22 Gilmore Lion owned by Peter de Paolo; Billy Winn in the #36 Fronty Ford owned by Eddie Sejnost; Bill Cummings of Indianapolis, Indiana in the #35 Fronty Ford owned by W. B. Hewson; Herman Schurch driving the #29 Western Super special Clemons owned by Eddie Sejnost; Mel Kenealy driving the #18 owned by John Sticker; Chris Vest driving the #24 owned by Fred Engbarth; Al Gordon driving the #7 owned by Eddie Meyer and Walt May driving the #3 owned by Francis M. Quinn.

            Feature race winner:  Ernie Triplett of Belvedere, California in the #6 Allen special owned by D. J. McCarthy.

 

March 1, 1931 1 mile dirt oval Kern County Fairgrounds at Bakersfield, California – Sanctioned by A.A.A.

            Car:  #76 Bullock Boring special owned by Noel E. Bullock of Los Angeles, California.

Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Ernie Triplett of Belvedere, California in the #6 Allen special owned by D. J. McCarthy.

 

May 30, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – Stull Speedway south of Lamar, Colorado

           Finish:  Hovenden’s name does not appear in the published results of these races.

Feature race winner:  Bill Epps of Oakley, Kansas who was driving the P.E.B. special owned by brothers Pete and Ernie Bertrand.

 

May 31, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – Stull Speedway south of Lamar, Colorado

            Feature race winner:  Earl Hovenden of Los Angeles, California.

 

June 7, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – Smithfield Fairgrounds at Smithville, Missouri – Sanctioned by I.M.C.A.

           Car:  #K-1 Frontenac Ford special owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas

Finish:  3rd in time trials behind Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri and John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his own #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special.

                          Won the 2nd heat race over Maynard Clark.

                          3rd in in the 30-lap feature race behind John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa in his #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special, and Bert Ficken of Omaha, Nebraska driving a car owned by John Bagley of Omaha, Nebraska.

            Feature race winner:  John Gerber of Stanwood, Iowa driving his own #15 Chevrolet special being passed off as a Whippet special.

  

August 2, 1931 – ½ mile dirt oval – American Legion Speedway at Oakley, Kansas – Sanctioned by C.A.R.A.

            Car:  #K-1 Frontenac Ford special owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas

Finish:  Few results of these races have been located to date.

Feature race winner:  Pat Cunningham of St. Joseph, Missouri driving a Kerbs special owned by Leonard Kerbs of Otis, Kansas  [Note:  Although both cars entered by Leonard Kerbs in these races were Fronty Fords with the same car number, they were two different cars.]

 

Hovenden finished in sixth place in the 1931 A.A.A. Pacific Coast Championship behind Ernie Triplett, Wilburn Hartwell “Stubby” Stubbefield, William “Shorty” Cantlon, Bill Cummings and Mauri Rose but the contest board of the American Automobile Association (A.A.A.) had met in the spring of 1931 and acted on a petition by D. H. Jefferies, who had been the A.A.A. representative at the races at Abilene, Texas on July 4, 1930.  The contest board handed out lifetime suspensions from A.A.A. sanctioned races, to the strike leaders and lesser suspensions to the others who took part.  The four leaders of the strike called on that date were identified as: Harry Milburn of Ft. Worth, Texas; Lee Bammel of Taylor, Texas; Johnny Lee of San Angelo, Texas and Augustus “Cotton” Grable of Houston, Texas.  The other participants in the action were identified as: Gene Frederick of Dallas, Texas; M. T. Wells of San Antonio, Texas; George Barringer of Duncan, Oklahoma; Earl Hovenden of Duncan, Oklahoma; Maxie Brooks of San Antonio, Texas; M. H. Evans of Dallas, Texas and W. E. Granger of Dallas, Texas.

The A.A.A. contest board’s ruling left him unable to continue racing on a professional level, so the Hovendens moved to Los Griegos, New Mexico where they made their new home.

In the spring of 1939, former driver, Johnny Lee, separated from his wife and moved from San Angelo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico to try his hand at promoting auto races.  Lee approached Hovenden to see if he would be interested in becoming the official flagman / starter for the stock car and midget races that Lee planned to promote at the Hell’s Half Acre racetrack at Albuquerque and the Navajo Speedway at Elkins, New, Mexico.  Hovenden excepted Lee’s offer and served as flagman for him that summer.  Probably the best-known competitor in Johnny Lee’s promotions that summer was Jerome Henry “Jerry” Henry Unser, Sr. (1899-1967), patriarch of the famous racing Unser family of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Johnny Lee’s foray into auto racing promotion was not successful and, by August 21, 1939, both racetracks had closed.

Earl Hovenden, Sr. appears to have had a little trouble completely retiring from driving race cars:

 

August 20, 1939 – ½ mile oiled dirt oval – Navajo Speedway at Elkins, New Mexico – Sanctioned by A.A.R.C.

Car:  Midget

Finish:  2nd in the 2nd 4-car, 7-lap heat race behind Floyd Roberts.

  2nd in the 2-car, 5-lap match race behind Ernie Burnett in the Kubby special from El Paso, Texas.

  3rd in the 5-car, 35-lap handicap sweepstakes race behind Floyd Roberts and Henry Puccetti who was driving Jerry Unser’s car.

Feature Race Winner:  Floyd Roberts

 

On the morning of August 29, 1955, Earl Hovenden, Sr. was working for the Lembke, Clough & King construction company who were contractors building a new sewage disposal plant at Farmington, New Mexico.  That day, Hovenden fell 17 feet from a scaffolding and was hospitalized with serious head injuries.  By that night, he was reported to be at least “resting comfortably.”

When Hovenden recovered from his injuries, he sued Lembke, Clough & King and then went to work as an installer / repairman for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Later, he changed occupations and became an “Iron worker”.

On February 12, 1966, Earl L. Hovenden, Jr., who resided with his parents, came home to discover the bodies of his parents and their dog in the family home at Tijeras, New Mexico.  Apparently, they had been asphyxiated by a leak in their portable butane heater.  Earl Hovenden, Sr. is buried in Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  His brother, Pearl Paul “Mike” Hovenden (1905-1978), is buried beside him and Earl’s wife, Iva L. Hovenden, is also buried beside Earl, although her grave is not marked.

If you know anything more about Earl Hovenden, Sr. and his involvement in auto racing, please contact Bob Lawrence at: sprintguy @ cox.net