Tag Archives: speedway promotion gone bad

Guinness Goof

Humpy Wheeler is the name of a Man With Stories. Otherwise, what good is a name like ‘Humpy’? Plus, he used to manage a speedway and his name is ‘Wheeler’!! I can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, Humpy Wheeler tells this story about a racetrack promotion he was involved in.

“We had a number of those [flops]. I think the biggest one was we were trying to break the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest marching band. We needed 5,000 people. Before the October race, we got every high school and college band we could from about 350 miles out. We had them assembled on the backstretch. Half would march in one direction and half in the other, and they would assemble in the big grass area of the main grandstand. It turned out to be an 85-degree day. Jay Howard was assisting me. As they started marching in, it got hotter and hotter down on the asphalt. A few people passed out marching their way to the center, and when they all got to the center 18 collapsed when they began the first tune. Jay looked at me and asked: ‘What do you want to do?’ I said the show must go on. About two minutes later, about 40 of them hit the ground. He looked at me again and I said the show must stop. About 100 of them hit the ground then. After treating about 300, fortunately with no permanent injuries, the world’s largest marching band disassembled very quickly.”

Read the entire interview in the Charleston, SC Post Courier.

How do you think Humpy got his name? Tell me a story a la Rudyard Kipling.