50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Buddy Krebs 1931-2006
“A Stafford Pioneer”
During the dirt era at Stafford, Buddy Krebs was one of the top drivers and also one of the most popular. Krebs began his racing career in the early 1950’s at eth now closed Cherry Park Speedway in Avon, CT. Although never a winner or champion at Stafford, he was a frequent competitor in the early years. In addition to Stafford, he made regular visits to dirt tracks at Middletown, New York, Millers Falls in New Hampshire, and Morristown, New Jersey.
His greatest claim fame came at Riverside Park Speedway. He recorded 43 wins in a span of 19 years and was the Riverside track champion in 1957, 1960, adn 1969.
During his many years of competition, Krebs drove many of the famous modifieds of his time including the Bob Oliver 10-Pins, the beebe Zalenski M-6, the Gordon Ross #19, the Suffield Auto Golden #5, his first ride the Bob Burgess #502, and former Stafford owner Mel Barlow’s #21 Red Ram Dodge.
Krebs excelled on the tight 1/4 mile bullrings, but on a few occasions he ventured outside of New England where the results were spectacular, but not rewarding. In 1956 he raced on the beach road course at Daytona and got nationwide recognition when photographers captured one of the most violent flips ever seen. He also had a bad experience at Langhorne, Pennsylvania in the early 1960’s when he got hit in the driver’s side door and was crushed in his seat. After a year and a half layoff to recuperate, Krebs returned to Stafford where he promptly rode over another driver’s wheel and flew through the air in one of the worst wrecks ever at Stafford.
During the twilight of his racing career, Krebs raced exclusively at Riverside Park with his last win coming on June 10, 1972. A well rounded individual, Krebs also involved himself in music, boating, and swimming.
By: Phil Smith