Raleigh Hinkle passes

Raleigh Hinkle
By Stan Kalwasinski

Part of the northwest Indiana motorsports scene for many years, Raleigh Hinkle, 78, passed away in Mississippi on September 2.

A member of the Hinkle racing clan from Gary, Ind., Hinkle was the 1964 late model stock car champion at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind.  Hinkle’s late brother, Rabon, was the champion at Illiana the previous year (1963).

After his driving days were over, Hinkle became an official starter, waving the flags at many Midwestern speedways during his race-officiating days.  He was a fixture handling the flags at Indiana’s Rensselaer Raceway for many seasons of racing with Hinkle becoming the promoter of the speedway during its final year or so.

Hinkle was also the starter at the old Broadway Speedway in Crown Point, Ind., which was later renamed Southlake Speedway, in addition to waving the flags at Illinois’ Kankakee Fairgrounds Speedway and the Corbin Speedway in Kentucky.

***Photographer Wayne Bryant shot a number of photos of Raleigh Hinkle during his racing career – two shown from 1965 at Illiana.  A scene repeated numerous times over the years at the Rensselaer Raceway – starter Raleigh Hinkle presenting a trophy to perennial champion Dick Potts.  This specific photo is from 1971.***