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About

The purpose of this website, first proposed by my youngest son, is to collect memories and stories from my youth to pass on to my five grandsons in the event they someday might want to know what life was like for the old man ‘back in the day’ of ancient times (the 60’s & 70’s) and what the old man was into and what his interests were as a young man way back in the ‘dark ages’.

It was a time of comic books, Beatles, rock ‘n roll, model kits, cool toys, Batman on TV, Green Hornet, Star Trek, AM radio, 8-Track tapes, concerts, albums, local bands and so much more. Just about all the popular culture of that era.

So check out the various posts and you’ll see what I was into as a kid and teenager, what concerts I went to, concert & gigs I promoted, publications I published, edited and wrote for, and other goofy exploits of a bygone era. Plus, we sometimes post some ‘newsy’ current events that you may have some interest in.

Below is how I spent my “grown-up years”.

DOC LEHMAN

Retired Motorsports Promoter, Journalist, Broadcaster

By Jarrod Lehman

Email: DocLehman@sssnet.com

Doc Lehman: BIO
Doc Lehman is the third generation of the Lehman family to be involved in motorsports. His grandfather, W. Bert Lehman, was the first Chevrolet dealer in Wayne County, OH (1915) and when he died he was recognized as the oldest living Chevy mechanic in Ohio but during his lifetime he was an avid fan of racing. He started attending races in 1914 at board tracks in Allentown (PA), Uniontown (PA), Akron (OH) and elsewhere. He also went to dirt tracks in OH-PA-IN. In 1922 he constructed his own racecar, fabricating every part on it except the radiator cap. He only drove it a couple times and hired drivers to race for him throughout the 1920’s. One of the biggest races they won was a Labor Day 100-lap special event at a one-mile dirt track in Cadiz, OH in 1928. Shorty Drexler was the driver and Doc’s grandfather’s racecar was the only car to run all 100 miles without a pit stop. This made the front page of a local newspaper that the Lehman’s still have in the family scrapbook. As a fan Grandpa’s favorite driver of all time was Ralph DePalma who he managed to get to autograph a souvenir program that is still in the family.

 
While Doc’s father and his six uncles all enjoyed racing and attended races frequently (including the Indianapolis 100 many, many times), Doc’s uncle Wellman Lehman became heavily involved in racing in 1965 when he, Pete Jacobs, Myron Werntz and Gary Bossler built Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, OH. From the opening night until 1971 Wellman was the treasurer and secretary of the track and corporation. When Pete Jacobs passed away in 1970 Wellman bought a majority of his shares, and others, and became the President and promoter through the 1985 when he retired. Wellman also owned the All Star Super Sprint sanction that existed from 1974-1977. He was an original board member of the All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioning body and the ASCoC Ohio Sprint Speedweek. He also independently promoted World of Outlaw races from 1978-1985.

 
Another uncle, Cecil Smith, who was the brother of Doc’s mother, spent nearly the entire decade of the 1950’s as a racecar driver and car owner. After spending a few years racing, he spent the last couple years of the 50’s as a car owner with drivers like Blackie Kern. Cecil raced at and won at tracks in Ohio like Olivesburg, Ashland County Fairgrounds, Moreland Speedway, Hilltop Speedway and others.

 
Doc attended his first dirt race on June 26, 1965, the day they opened the gates for the first time at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, OH. Within a year or two Doc and his younger brother were doing odd jobs at the track but mainly cleaning the joint up. Within a couple years their uncle and aunt had them in the concession stands working but that only lasted a year for Doc. He couldn’t see the damn races! Tired of hearing him complain, and having seen some articles of his that were published in a graphic arts publication, Wellman offered Doc the job as Public Relations Director when Ron Amstutz decided to leave due to his career (he is now an Ohio State Senator).

Doc’s brother ended up managing the concession stands for many years and then became the track’s office manager for a couple years.

 
Doc first became Public Relations Director at Wayne County Speedway in 1973 and held that position for most of the 1970’s. Doc also served as Public Relations Director for the All Star Super Sprints sanction that existed from 1974-77. Doc was writing for a couple rock ‘n roll and graphic arts magazines during the early 70’s and then started writing motorsports news stories and results for several publications for WCS and the All Star Super Sprints. Doc became heavily involved in motorsports journalism in the late 1970’s and for four years in early 1980’s published and edited DIRT TRACK REPORT magazine that was devoted to dirt Late Model racing.

 
During 1980’s Doc served as Executive Director and Vice President of the STARS dirt Late Model sanction (2 years), promoter at Wayne County Speedway (3 years), General Manager of Pennsboro Speedway (2 years) and was the associate producer and head writer for the RACING ON DIRT-TV television show in Ohio for WOAC for three years.

 
After a serious illness in late 1988 he went back into journalism full-time working for two local newspapers, a television station (writing commercials) and several motorsports publications. 

 
In 1985 Doc started Lehman Motorsports Services, a firm that does public relations, promotional and consultation work for racetracks, race teams and sanctioning bodies. Over the years LMS have worked closely with several different race teams, tracks and sanctions on various promotional projects and marketing endeavors. LMS still exists today with a limited number of clients.

 
Doc spent a number of years working full time for DIRT LATE MODEL magazine, AREA AUTO RACING NEWS, RPM RACING NEWS and part-time for MID-AMERICAN AUTO RACING NEWS, NATIONAL DIRT DIGEST, BEHIND THE WHEEL and others. He also had a syndicated ‘Dirt America’ column that appeared on such popular websites: Hoseheads Late Model News, Racingweb.com, RaceProWeekly, South Jersey Dirt Racing and Dirt Track Digest.

 
Doc created and owned the Dirt America Online website (www.DirtAmericaOnline.com) since 2000. He also spent three years on the Executive Board of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.

 
Doc has been married to Carol for 33 years and have two sons, Brandon & daughter-in-law Mindi and grandsons Brenden Troy & Kaden Alexander & Axten Xavier; son Jarrod;  son-in-law, Dan, and grandsons, Hunter Cole & Beau Cruz.

 
Doc’s sons all grew up at racetracks. Brandon spent a little time on former Late Model driver Took Wiles’ crew and spent a summer helping Sprint Car driver Tyler Walker part time.  Doc’s youngest son Jarrod was the Public Relations Director at Wayne County Speedway in 2003 and now owns Lehman Motorsports Services which makes him the fourth generation of the Lehman family to work in motorsports, and the third generation of the family to have worked at WCS.

 
Doc first got into radio when he served as a co-host on the former Thrills On Wheels radio show for just under a year in 1999-2000.

 
Doc joined the Dirt Nation™ show a couple months after it started. He served as co-host with Dave Seay and helped produce the show for over four years until Doc’s retirement. Doc also took on the role of co-host & producer of the Dirt Racers Radio show with co-host Ryan Pearson on WQKT 104.5 FM in Wooster, OH during 2003-2006.

 
Doc was inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in July 2006.
He retired from motorsports in December 2007 after over three decades due to health issues and a growing grandchild population.

In 2005 & 2006 Doc assisted CNN (Cable News Network) producer Ted Rubenstein and staff on the CNN Presents: Dirt Track Warriors documentary that first aired on July 1, 2006. Doc also appeared on camera at length.  

Info on Dirt Track Warriors:

 http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/presents/index.dirt.track.html

Dirt Track Warriors Transcript:

http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0607/01/cp.01.html

This blog is mostly first/rough drafts, many jotted down during a nearly three month vigil for his daughter at a hospital who underwent nine open heart and lung surgeries, and are basically a document of some memories for his grandsons to enjoy someday. 

-Jarrod Lehman

Non-Motorsports History:
1972 – 1976 – The Journal – Columnist
1972 – 1975 – The Media – Features writer
1976 – 1980 – Boxoffice Rock magazine – Publisher/Editor
1977 – 1980 – USA rep for British band ‘Survivor’
1978 – 1980 – Manager for band ‘Damage’
1977 – 1981 – Bangagong magazine – Publisher/Editor
1977 – 1980 – Stone Valley Productions (Concert promotions) – Co-owner
1988 – 1995 – The Courier Crescent – Columnist, features reporter
1988 – 1999 – Freelance reporter for Daily Record, Holmes County Hub, Orrville Journal
 
Motorsports History thru 2007:
1973 – 1977 – Wayne County Speedway – Public Relations Director
1974 – 1977 – All Star Super Sprints sanction – Public Relations Director
1981 – 1987 – DIRT TRACK REPORT magazine – Publisher/Editor
1986 – 1988 – Wayne County Speedway – Promoter/Public Relations/Marketing
1986 – 1987 – STARS Late Model Series – Public Relations Director
1987 – 1988 – STARS Late Model Series – Executive Director/Vice-President
1986 – 1987 – RACING ON DIRT TV – WOAC – Head Writer
1987 – 1988 – RACING ON DIRT TV – WOAC – Associate Producer
1986 – 1988 – Pennsboro Speedway – General Manager
2000 – 2006 – Dirt America Online website – Owner
2000 – 2001 – Thrills On Wheels radio – Co-host
2003 – 2006 – Dirt Nation radio – Co-host
2004 – 2006 – Dirt Racers Radio – Co-host & producer
1977 – 2007 – Freelance reporter & columnist
1985 – 2007 – Lehman Motorsports Services – Owner

1974 – 2007 – Columnist/features writer for Area Auto Racing News, RPM Racing News, Dirt Late Model magazine, Mid American Auto Racing News, Speedway Illustrated, Behind The Wheel, MARC Times Racing News, etc… etc…

Inducted into National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Class of 2006
 

With Cale Yarborough at WCS July 1987

Getting a Tri-State promoter's award - 1987

Giving NASCAR & Dirt Late Model car owner Stan Hover an award at our STARS banquet in Daytona Beach, FL - Feb 1988

In victory lane with Rusty Wallace at WCS 1987

John Mason, Donnie Moran, Brad Malcuit & Doc at Pennsboro Speedway - 1987

1987 STARS champion Racin' John Mason & crew

In victory lane with Mike Balzano after BUCKEYE NATIONALS Aug 1987

With Ed Gibbons prior to feature race at Pennsboro (WV) Speedway - 1987

Victory lane with Davey Johnson at Sharon Speedway - 1987

With Bob Wearing at WCS - getting ready for victory lane celebration. 1988

With Jim Gentry at Pennsboro Speedway - 1987

Interviewing NASCAR star Dave Blaney at Philadelphia.

With my pal Dana Hastings at Motorsports show.

Radio interview at Wayne County Fairgrounds w/ driver Doug Drown

Dirt Nation radio remote from Motorsports show in PA 2004With my pal Ashley Diehl at Motorsports Show in 2005

With Jim Gentry at WCS - 1997

Doing a DIRT RACERS RADIO live remote w/ Ryan Pearson

With driver Chris Rhodes - DIRT NATION radio remote.

With Jim Gentry at WCS Hall of Fame ceremony - 2005

Accepting WCS Hall of Fame Induction for the late Wellman Lehman

Interviewing California driver Eric Jacobson

With driver Rick Bond - 2002

Dunking race car drivers!

With grandson Beau at his first race.

With DIRT NATION cohost Dave Seay Live DIRT NATION radio remote at WORLD 100 at Eldora SpeedwayLive DIRT NATION radio remote at WORLD 100 at Eldora Speedway

Live DIRT NATION radio remote at WORLD 100 at Eldora SpeedwayNASCAR driver David Green grilled by Dave & Doc

 

 

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3 comments

  1. great work jarrod, enjoyed it all


  2. Great story,I also have racing in my blood.I drove all the local asphalt tracks.We had some great years and great times.I drove for 20 years starting in 1980.I give alot of our success to my crew who without them it wouldn’t have been possible.The driver seems to always get the credit but it is truly a team sport.I remember Mid America Racing News at all the tracks.My home track was Barberton Speedway.Those dirt tracks are WILD and CRAZY.I would have loved to try dirt it looks like great fun.my nickname was Porky not because im fat but I always had Porky Pig painted on my car


  3. i just re-read this! great writing Jarrod! guess it runs in the family! glad i gave it a second run as it contains a few things i must have missed the first time. lots of interesting facts about a most fascinating subject and great person! thanks for doing this piece and so glad the fourth generation got into racing.



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