Sam "Sammy" Sauer a Colorado racing legend began as a crew member for his brother, Elmer Sauer, Sam took up driving oval track cars in the mid-1950's at Lakeside Speedway.
It was that classic bark and roar of a Ford flathead V-8, like a dart headed for the bull's eye, as it came out from behind the track entrance fence, it was Sam Sauer in the Bill Black’s Boot’s Texaco sponsored yellow #28 modified. Sam would take a couple of warm-up laps, then get real close the back chute guard rail give it bit more throttle, go high into the north turn apex and almost in a diving like action head into the front chute to time in, very seldom did Sam take the second lap to improve his time, and with that being that done, Sam would head back to the pits and was ready for the nights racing program.
Sam as a fan-favorite, the camp was divided, Sam was either a hero or track villain. Whether Sam was being introduced during time trials, or trophy dash, or after winning the main, there were boo’s and cheers. After winning one particular main event and with the ensuing cheers and boo’s, Sam stood up in the car and politely bowed to the crowd at the start/finish line.
As a friend, Sam always smiled, said "Hi," and would ask how things were. Sam was always ready to sign autographs, an opportunity he didn’t turn down. I liked Sam, I remember when Sam, Elmer, Pat Frazier and I, went to the Burger Haven to have lunch, we had a few laughs, and did some real serious armchair racing.
As a driver, Sam was a real wheel man at Lakeside Speedway, when Sam finally nailed down the on-off-on throttle technique, he had found the fast way around Lakeside. For Sam it was more like just cracking the throttle at a certain point while going (almost) full bore going through the turns, to watch Sam artfully make his cars look like they were glued to the asphalt, like a road rockets, like they would almost fly, it was more than artful, it was spectacular. Sam would drive his cars deeper in the north and south turns at Lakeside than most other drivers would. It would seem at times that Sam made holes in traffic where there were none, or squeeze past others on the outside when there was no room.
It has been said that Sammy Sauer may have won more car races than can be counted over the years in which he competed.
1963 Lakeside Speedway modified champion.
1968 and 1969 Englewood Speedway ERA modified champion.
1971 and 1972 RMMRA Champion in the Henry Conklin Offy/Sesco.
Sam is ranked 19th with 25 wins on the all time list of Colorado midget feature (main event) victories from records dating 1935-2002.
Some of Sam’s rides -
Dick Piscatelle’s #55, '33-'34 Ford five-window coupe
Bill Black's #28, '29 ('30-'31?) 'A' body
Gene Hefley’s #7, a green ‘A’ body
Loren Embree’s #42, a green '30-'31 'A' body
An orange #70, '30-'31 Model 'A' body
Joe Krpan‘s #48, tagged the "Gray Ghost" (Krpan: pronounced, Ker-pen)
Joe Krpan’s #82, this car had knock-off hubs and Halibrand wheels
Ralph Young's #60 '34 Plymouth five window coupe, Lakeside Speedway
Ralph Young’s #60 ERA modified, Englewood Speedway
It should be noted that on April 23, 1967, CARC opening night at Lakeside, Sam established a new track record of 12.84 in Ralph Young’s #60 '34 Plymouth coupe. That track record was to hold for nine seasons. #60 had a slant-six, which weight wise would seem counter productive because it slanted to the right.
Lulu's Love Bug #76.
Harry Conklin’s #1 and #99
Spider Anderson’s #41, a fuel injected flathead V-8 60, in which Sam won a semi main at Lakeside Speedway.
Sam had some really rough crashes over his career and always bounced back quickly, however in May of 1978 Sam Sauer would be fatally injured in a midget race accident at Colorado National Speedway, a day sorrowful to all Colorado race fans.
What do you remember about "Mr. Excitement" Sam "Sammy" Sauer.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It has been said that late at night if you are over by the old speedway, you can hear the ghosts, the bark of the "Flathead," the zing of the "Stovebolt 6," the deep throated rumble of the "Offy," the snarl of the "V8-60," and faintly hear the announcer say, “Ladies and gentlemen, here is the line up for the main,” the place would erupt with the echoing of the cheers and boo’s and you remember who.
WOW what do I remember about Uncle Sammy..........
Think you coverd it ALL...........
He was THE BEST DRIVER AROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I grew up with Sammy's kid's and we were all like family
and man I remember How he ALWAYS HAD TIME FOR EVERYONE.........
Sam NEVER left the race's until ALL HIS fan's were HAPPY and had seen him
R.I.P Sammy We MISS YOU & Always Think Of You............
All i know about sam, Is that he holds great respect from my father John Burrow, And to this day we have the news paper clips of his death, And the memorial paper handed out at his funeral in our personal racing photo collection.
From what I've been told he could have very well been the best.
When I saw the news in the paper about Sam, I couldn't believe it. He was an "Iron Man" and I just knew he couldn't be gone. It had to be a mistake. I thought that Sam was our version of A. J. Foyt. Any Car, Any Time, Any Where, and he would beat you.
I was at the I-70 Speedway in Odessa MO. and some guy was beating on Sam's car, the guy next to me (An uninformed person) was screaming about Sam being in the way. I kind of told him that his favorite driver should probably not be hammering on Sam's car. He said something disrespectful about racing in Colorado. OK, put me in my place. Next lap he continues beating on Sam's car. I really don't know what happened next, it happened very quickly. The guy hammering Sam’s car goes into the back straight wall, up onto the wall and takes down about 100 feet of chain link fencing. What the guy said then is not printable in this forum. I just said, "Told Ya, you don't mess with Sam."