Owner/driver Phil Salerno once taught the young Ed a hard lesson on the track. He and Ed subsequently became friends and Ed then drove the “Banana Boat” to a win at Riverside. Photo from Racingthroughitme.com.
This is the Suffield Auto Center #5. Although in this picture the driver is Benny Germano, Ed drove this car at Norwood in 1961. Image from Racingthroughtime.com.
This was another Garuti car that Ed drove. Photo by John Grady, from Racingthroughtime.com.
The #1 was built by Ed for Ed Ackerman. It was first driven by Gene Gamache, shown here. After Gene was killed, the car was renumbered #3 and usually raced by Rene Charland. Ed drove the car as #3. I don’t know whether he ever drove it as #1.
Ed drove Rene Charland’s #3 at Utica-Rome on May 8th, 1966, less than 3 weeks before Ed pulled Rene from the same car as it was engulfed in flames at Albany-Saratoga. Robert Clock informs us that Ed himself built this car for owner Ed Ackerman, who ran it first for Gene Gamache as #1 in 1964 and then, after Gene’s premature death in early 1965, renumbered it as #3 and ran it for Rene.
At Utica-Rome on June 19th, 1966, after he had qualified his own car in the first heat, Ed qualified the #38 of late-arriving Jerry Cook in the second heat.
At Utica-Rome on April 30, 1967, Ed drove both of Pete Corey’s coupes. In the feature he drove the #1, finishing 9th.
On April 30, 1967, Ed drove Pete Corey’s #1 to a 9th place finish at Utica-Rome. Photo by John Grady.
I don’t know if Ed ever actually raced Pete Hamilton’s 69 (although I suspect that he did), but certainly he drove it many times before races in order to help Pete get the car set up.
This is Pete Hamilton with the Rocky Hinton #5, in which Pete competed in NASCAR Grand National in 1968. On July 9th, 1968, Ed drove the car in practice and helped Pete to set it up prior to the Maine 300 Grand National race at Oxford Plains Speedway.
At Malta on May 1, 1970 Ed drove Joe Romano’s 97x. The car was normally driven by either Joe’s son Andy or by Ken Shoemaker (shown here). Photo from Catamountstadium.com.
Ed drove Joe Romano’s 97x at Malta on May 1, 1970. Photo from Catamountstadium.com.
The famous XL-1 (eXperimental Lincoln – 1) was owned by Don House of New Jersey. In this picture the driver is Red Farmer, although at other times it was driven by LeeRoy Yarbrough, Don MacTavish, Wally Dallenbach, Joe Kelly, and frequently by Tommie Elliott. David Bentley has written that Ed drove it in a race at Martinsville and Tommie Elliott Jr, whose father often drove the XL-1, has confirmed that Ed drove it. Photo by John Grady.
Here Ed is standing next to the Gene Dewitt-owned #7, normally driven so successfully by Dutch Hoag. I don’t know whether Ed actually ever drove this car, but the tape over the window suggests that on this occasion the car had a substitute driver, and who could have been better than Ed?
Ed drove Bill Henry’s #28 at Utica-Rome on May 30th, 1971. Car owner/regular driver Bill Henry is shown here in 1970. Photo from Gallant Collection.
On July 17, 1971, Ed drove John Rosati’s late model Ford in a 100-lap race at Catamount. He finished 2nd, but the winning car was protested by another entrant and ultimately Ed may have been awarded first place.
On 10-31-1971, Thompson held a 150 lap open-competition race for both Modifieds and Super-Modifieds. Ed drove the Mystic Missile to first place for Modifieds and third place overall. I believe that this was the car that Ed drove in that race. Photo from Vintagemodifieds.com
1973 – Ed Jr’s first racing car. Ed Sr drove it initially, before his son ever did, in order to make sure that it was set up properly, and again later that year at the Riverside All-Star show.
Ed raced one of the Clarence Steak House Gremlins at the Martinsville 150 on September 29th, 1973.
Normally driven by Bill Greco as shown here, Ed raced the #500 Pinto at Riverside on 04-20-74. He won his semi-final but a mechanical problem forced him to drop out of the feature.
This car was built by Art Barry as the #09, which Ed (and also Bob Santos) drove to a number of important wins. Art sold it to Dave Spence, who repainted the car as #206 and campaigned it primarily at New London-Waterford.
In 1974 Ed and Rocky Germani (who with Ed had co-owned the original ¢) bought the car from Dave Spence and renumbered it as the #06. Ed drove it once or twice in that form in 1974 or ’75. Then Rocky took over the car himself and repainted it as the ¢ seen here. His main driver was Richie Galullo, shown in this picture. Photo by Phil Hoyt via Racingthroughtime.com.
In the 1974 Stafford 200, while driving the Garbarino Mystic Missile #4, Ed had a huge crash. When it came to rest, the car was on its roof, which was crushed flat. After being helped out of the destroyed car, Ed went to the pits where he climbed into the Armstrong #1 Pinto, in which he intended to return to the race. Before he had got the car out of the pits, however, Ed felt sufficient pain in his back that he realized that he should get medical attention rather than immediately resume racing. Ed went to the hospital later that night, where he was told that he had broken his back in a way that usually resulted in the victim’s being paralyzed for life.
This was as close as Ed ever came to racing the Armstrong Pintos, which enjoyed a very big budget and, in Hop Harrington, one of the finest chief mechanics in the sport. One has to believe that if Ed, rather than Geoff Bodine and Ray Hendrick, had been the regular driver of the Armstrong Pintos, the combination would have been devastating. In this photo, from Racingthroughtime.com, Gene Bergin is at the wheel.
Ed is well known for driving Bill Thornton’s Manchester Sand & Gravel #10 Pintos from 1975 through 1978, but Ed Flemke Jr believes that his father also drove the predecessor coupe once or twice. In this image, Ron Wyckoff is behind the wheel. Photo from Racingremembrances.com.
Ernie Caruso is the driver here. Image from Speedwaylinereport.com.
Bob Simons informs us that on at least one occasion Ed drove one of the Simons Brothers “Excavator Special” #9 cars. We have no record of which of the many Simons cars Ed drove, but I have chosen this photo because it includes both car owner Bill Simons (R) and Ed’s long-time friend and crew member Clyde MacLeod (L). Photo from Speedwaylinereport.com.
This is Ed Jr in his Plymouth Arrow. Ed Sr drove this car and, with teammate Bob Polverari in the 711, finished second in the 1977 Riverside 500.
The Sherri-Cup #12 Vega was owned by Billy Corazzo, who had owned the #9x Corvair that Ed drove at Langhorne in 1970. Although Ed is not in the car in this image, he drove the Sherri-Cup #12 for Billy at Seekonk. Photo by Peter Montano. Thanks to Susan Brown Anderson for the information.