Instant Replay: 2nd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1979 by Paul Haase BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 11, 2001) - With a purse of over $15,000, the 2nd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals had built steam as being the true midget premier event in the...
Instant Replay: 2nd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1979
by Paul Haase
BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 11, 2001) - With a purse of over $15,000, the 2nd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals had built steam as being the true midget premier event in the nation.
With the returning drivers knowing the Belleville High Banks a little better and the track being in excellent condition, the 1979 Belleville Midget Nationals saw several track records broken on one night only to be bettered the next night. Of all the cars entered only 6 were timed over 22 seconds per lap.
Stan Fox was the driver of drivers this year by not only taking the title as champion but also setting two track records.
Fox was running well during the preliminary events until his engine blew on Friday night. It looked as though Fox's chances of the title were out the window. In stepped Sherman Pickrell, car owner of Larry Patton's cars. Pickrell had brought two cars for Patton to drive -- a Sesco and a VW.
Patton ran the Sesco on Thursday night and won the preliminary finals in it and ran the VW on Friday. The Sesco was the car Patton did best in so he took the Sesco to the finals. Pickrell offered the VW to Fox to try to qualify in.
After painting a fresh new number on it, Fox took it out and qualified. The rest is history.
Mike Gregg once again showed that he was a contender after winning the Friday preliminary final to qualify for the championship finals. Gregg led the championship race for some time only to be overtaken by Fox near the end.
The only accident of the event was when Patton hit the rail hard sending him down on the track. Bruce Fields got tangled up into Patton sending Field end over end. Jon Backlund was also involved, causing enough damage to his car to take him out.
Fields was taken to the hospital for observation, but was released early the next morning with only bruises and a sore wrist.
2nd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1979 Top 5 finishers:
1. Stan Fox
2. Mike Gregg
3. Steve Troxell
4. Brian Renshaw
5. Don Boorse
The Belleville High Banks, located in Belleville, Kan., is managed by a volunteer racing committee that host 10-12 racing events annually. "The World's Fastest Half-Mile Dirt Track" allows drivers the rare opportunity to run "wide open" the entire track, and the sweeping oval is one of the most demanding test of endurance and skill for drivers. The track's mainstay is the annual Belleville Midget Nationals, held every year during the first weekend in August. As the nation's most prestigious midget car race of the year, the best equipment, owners and drivers flock to the small rural community of 3,500, which is transformed into a racing Mecca of more than 30,000 people each August.
For more information on the Belleville High Banks, write to: Belleville High Banks, P.O. Box 349, Belleville, KS 66935, or call (785) 527-6050. Sponsorship inquiries may call or fax (402) 761-3676 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Information is also available on the World Wide Web by logging on to http://www.highbanks.org or http://www.whowon.com.
Reserved tickets for the 24th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals presented by WhoWon.com are available by calling (785) 527-5179, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by logging onto the Belleville High Banks Web site.