On this day in history: December 9, 1992 marked the passage of a true pioneer of sprint car racing. Colby Scroggin was born in Illinois and moved with his family to the west at the end of the “Roaring Twenties.” The family stayed out west through the difficult depression era times and World War II. After the War, Colby found auto racing which became a lifelong passion for the young man.
Scroggin advanced through racing into the California Roadster Association (CRA) and even traveled back to the midwest to race against drivers like Jim Rathmann and Dorsey Schroeder. He earned his way into victory lane occasionally in the late forties, and continued to move up in the CRA point standings during the fifties. From 1957 through 1962 Scroggin took seven weeks each sprint car season to race in the tough International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) circuit. Scroggin was mainly racing in Mercury and Ford powered sprint cars during that period.
Scroggin was running with Don Blair in 1960, primarily in Blair’s Offy powered sprinter, when he was offered a few races in Kenny Worth’s Chevy powered Sprint car. The Chevy car, and Kenny Worth would prove to be a catalyst in his life.
Splitting time with Blair’s Offy and Worth’s Chevy, along with Ted Wyrozumski’s Chevy in 1961, Scroggin finished seventh in CRA season points and thirteenth in IMCA point standings.
It was the 1962-season that defined Scroggin’s career however. Driving primarily in the Kenny Worth Chevy-powered sprint car, Scroggin won ten main events and the CRA points championship. Winning at Ascot Park five-times, Clovis three-times, El Centro and Mazanita all aboard the bow-tie machine. Colby also ended the IMCA season in ninth place and started two USAC main events where he finished fourth in both events. If that wasn’t enough, Scroggin also ran once in the USAC Midget car division and twice in the USAC Indy Car Championship Trail.
The success that Scroggin had in the 1962 season propelled him into the USAC Indy Car series full time in 1963 where he drove against another Southern Californian and part time CRA racer, the great Parnelli Jones.
With marginal success in the Champ cars, Scroggin retired from racing in 1964 to run a deer-hunting preserve and dude ranch in Ruth, California. The retirement didn’t last however, and Scroggin returned to the CRA in 1968 at 42-years of age. The car was a Pratt & Bartley Chevy and Scroggin finished 11th in the CRA point standings despite racing in only 23 of the 33 events.
In ’69 Scroggin finish 5th in CRA points then slowed down for the 1970 season. He did not race in 1971. Returning in 1972 at age 47, Scroggin raced his final race before returning to the deer-preserve and dude ranch.
Colby Scroggin died on December 9, 1992 in San Diego. He was a Champion and a Chevy-powered sprint car driver. Scroggin’s record with the CRA included the Points Championship in 1962, six fast time awards, seven Trophy Dash wins, sixteen Main Event victories. His IMCA resume includes eleven Main Event victories.