The Post-Journal

Numbers Don’t Lie, Schnars, Barton Are Area Racing’s Best

Local racing historian Randy Anderson admits that he doesn't ''have a crystal ball that functions correctly,'' but he's willing to make a prediction that he believes will stand the test of time when it relates to the two best dirt-track drivers this area has ever known.''Bob Schnars and Dick Barton are head and shoulders above everyone else statistically,'' he said. ''It seems unlikely to me that anyone will challenge the records that Dick and Bob have set.''

That appears to be a pretty safe bet.

For with his Super Late Model victory Saturday night at Stateline Speedway, Barton tied Schnars for career SLM wins with 79.

''They've been the most successful and the numbers back it up,'' Anderson said. ''Those guys have 79 each, and the next closest guy is Squirt Johns with 44 and Skip Furlow is next with 40. Seventy-nine to 44, that's a long way away.''

Barton, 59, will have a shot to own the record all by himself when racing returns to the Busti oval in three weeks.

''If Dick should get lucky and win another race someday,'' said Anderson, who is also a member of Barton's race team, ''that doesn't mean that Dick is better than Bobby Schnars. It's two different eras of racing. If there's a conversation that goes on someday and the question is asked, 'Who's better, Dick or Bobby?' I wouldn't want to engage in that conversation. It's pointless. Those are two different eras of racing and they both were at the top of their respective eras.''

You can look it up.

In addition to their victories at Stateline, the men are also one-two in SLM season championships - Barton has 10 and Schnars eight. The next two guys on the list are Johns and Dan Armbruster with three apiece.

As is his style, Barton deferred the accolades to his car owners, John and Charlie Lacki, and his race team, including crew chief John Lamb, Greg Farrar and Anderson, who have been together for years.

''Here's a group of guys who have been with me since Day One,'' Barton said, ''and let's be honest, they work all week long on the race car and all I do is show up on Saturday night and turn left. It's all about the team.''

To Barton, tying Schnars, who he calls his ''hero,'' was emotional, because it was his first Stateline win of the season.

''I normally don't show my emotions like that,'' he said, ''but (tying the record) has been weighing a little heavily on all of our shoulders and, quite frankly, we didn't know as a team if we still possessed what it took to be able to win.''

But the team made some changes in the car last week before the race at Little Valley where Barton finished second, giving him additional confidence heading into Saturday night at Stateline.

''The way the lineup was there were some awful good cars in the front row,'' Barton said, ''and I thought we were going to (finish) in the top five. I wasn't confident we had a winning race car, but due to a whole series of circumstances it ended up working our way.''

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