A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 16, 2011
“Checkers or wreckers” (auto racing saying)

“Checkers or wreckers” (or “wreckers or checkers”) in auto racing means that either the car will come under the checkered flag (win the race) or go to the wreckers (the car will be wrecked trying, unsuccessfully, to win). The checkers-or-wreckers style is extremely dangerous and risky. The term “checkers or wreckers” has been cited in print since at least 1996.
14 June 1996, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Christopher makes some modifications” by David Heuschkel, pg. C3:
The boss says, “Checkers or Wreckers.” 
Google Groups: rec.autos.sport.nascar
Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.nascar
From: “Kevin L. Brown”
Date: 1997/02/11
Subject: Re: Classic Ken Squier
NASCAR wrote in article

> .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says…
> > The K.S line O’ of the Day.
> > “Checkers or Wreckers”
> > Jeez, where does he get this stuff ?
> Actually that is rather old, just hadn’t heard it in a long time. 
There’s a reason.
11 February 1997, The State (Columbia, SC), “Where’s the thrill of racing?.” pg. C1:
“Checkers or wreckers,” he advised in predicting a stirring finish.
Google Groups: rec.autos.sport.nascar
Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.nascar
From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Jim Zastryzny)
Date: 1997/04/26
Subject: Bristol Finish / Thoughts
I think MM has his eye on the big picture while driving his Winston Cup Car. The BGN Points race isn’t a big concern for him so he can adopt more of a wreckers or checkers attitude.
Yahoo! Sports—NASCAR
Statistically Speaking: Sweet cookies
By Dan Beaver, Yahoo! Sports
March 16, 2007
On the cookie-cutters, Kahne is the personification of the old racing adage of “checkers or wreckers.”
Google Books
Buddha on the Backstretch:
The Spiritual Wisdom of Driving 200 MPH

By Arlynda Lee Boyer
Macon, GA: Mercer University Press
Pg. 114:
He was known for an attitude of “checkers or wreckers,” meaning that he would either win or wreck trying, and in the sport of racing, he was willing to use up everything necessary — himself, his car, and even your car if need be — in order to get the win.
Sporting News
Top 5 and 5 to watch: New Hampshire
PUBLISHED Thursday, Sep 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm EDT
Bill Marx
Kyle Busch, 90.2. There might be more anticipation in what Busch will do in the final 10 races than some of the drivers in the Chase. Busch has a “checkers or wreckers” reputation he can unleash in the Chase.
CUP: From Sprint To Marathon

Published May 26, 2010
Instead of checkers or wreckers, the mantra this week will be to use it but don’t lose it, in order to be there at the end. It’s a completely different mindset for the drivers to deal with this week.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, July 16, 2011 • Permalink

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