According to area racing historian Cho Lee, Northeast Speedway, in Lower Waterford was one of the last bastions of the flathead coupes. But, by 1966, the track was not running the coupes any longer. What's more, Thunder Road - the other last bastion - had gone NASCAR and had also eliminated the flatheads. This made for a hiatus of almost three years, in which those who had the coupes were forced to mothball them and hope for another day.
That other day came when legendary car owner George Barber, of Bradford, Vermont, bought some remote land in his community and planned to build a temporary race track so coupes could still have somewhere to race. According to legend, when Barber and others were first on the land, trying to determine how they would lay out the facility, a bear was seen slipping away from its nearby hiding place and away from the men. Hence, the name Bear Ridge Speedway.