Dennis Keenan moved to Sergeantsville NJ, in 1949. He was a small boy at the time, but met a young man that was to have a profound effect on the rest of his life. His name was Frankie Schneider and he had been a stock car racer for just about two years.
When you're young, somtimes you don't full understand what's going on around you. I guess that's what happened to me. I was having a lot of fun hanging around the garage, going to the races, working in the pits with Frank in the early 60's. I knew he was good, we were winning a lot of races, but it never sunk in just how important to the rise of stock car racing in the Northeast he was until one Sunday when we raced a 100 lap event at the Olive Bridge Speedway outside Kingston, NY. It was an afternoon race, on that featured a great battle with another Northeast legend, Bill Wimble. We won that race and then headed for the evening show at Nazareth PA. It was a long haul, made longer by the road I had picked out. "It's a straight run," I told Frank, "Route 196 straight to Nazareth." It was straight all right. Straight up one hill and straight down the next! The brakes on the Chrysler took a real beating.
We got to Nazareth during the intermission. All the heats had been run and our only chance to make the feature was through the consolation race. But what I remember was the roar that went through the granstand when they spotted us coming into the pits. It was then that I realized what a special position I was in, and how lucky I was to know and be able to help this man. I know that we qualified and I think we won the freature, but it was the roar of the crowd that sticks with me still.