INSTANT REPLAY: 6TH ANNUAL BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS - 1983 by Paul Haase BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 15, 2001) - A popular name came to the Belleville High Banks for the first time in 1983 with hopes of leaving with the hardware for the 6th Annual...
INSTANT REPLAY: 6TH ANNUAL BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS - 1983
by Paul Haase
BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 15, 2001) - A popular name came to the Belleville High Banks for the first time in 1983 with hopes of leaving with the hardware for the 6th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals.
Johnny Parsons Jr. -- an Indy 500 veteran -- came to Belleville with a good name and a good car, which proved to be the key to winning in the past and it held up this year too.
Parsons had to hold off the likes of Randy Roberts, Ken Schrader, Kevin Olsen, Jon Johnson and Rich Vogler ... to name just a few.
"This is an interesting track to race," noted Parsons after his victory. "There isn't a straightaway where you can rest!"
Parsons nearly missed out on his opportunity when he came up on 1981 champ Mike Gregg early into the race and rear-ended him. No damage was done, and soon after the mishap Parsons was able to get past the leader Olsen to cruise the rest of the way in first-place.
Gregg was not so lucky as he fell to mechanical problems a short time after the incident.
Because of the excellent shape of the track, some other mechanical casualties were Mel Kenyon, Stan Fox and Ron 'Sleepy' Tripp, who was qualified for the finals but could not start and was scratched from the field of 28 cars for the 40-lap race.
Preliminary winners included Tripp and Johnson taking the Thursday and Friday main events to qualify for the finals. Trophy dash winners were Parsons on Thursday and Spyder Anderson on Friday.
Saturday's winners included Roberts taking the dash and Steve Lotshaw taking the final qualifying race -- the semi-main.
Being the only car to leave the track in several years is a claim to fame Palmer Crowell wished he didn't have. Crowell got sideways on the front stretch and couldn't straighten it out going into turn 1 and took a ride over the rail, flipping high in the air as he cleared the track. Crowell was able to walk from the car unhurt.
6th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1983 Top 5 finishers:
1. Johnny Parsons Jr.
2. Randy Roberts
3. Ken Schrader
4. Kevin Olsen
5. Gene Gennetten
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.