Instant Replay: 3rd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1980 by Paul Haase BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 12, 2001) - With the purse raised to $17,000 in 1980, a record number of cars were on hand for the 3rd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals, forcing...
Instant Replay: 3rd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1980
by Paul Haase
BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 12, 2001) - With the purse raised to $17,000 in 1980, a record number of cars were on hand for the 3rd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals, forcing the field of cars to be divided into two groups for qualifying -- half the field on Thursday and the other half on Friday.
Records once again were broken with the one-, four- and eight-lap records falling by the way side. Stan Fox of Janesville, Wis., broke his old record by running a 19.420-second time for one lap and also broke the eight-lap record at 2:39.85. Colorado's Dave Strickland Jr. broke Bob Wente's four-lap record time. Strickland's dad, Dave Sr., had held the eight-lap record before Fox broke it, so the Strickland name remained on the records log once again.
Fox won the Thursday Preliminary feature with Brian Renshaw taking the Friday flag.
Jon Backlund showed his skill by winning the trophy dashes on both Thursday and Saturday nights' shows.
Mike Gregg's luck continued to be bad as he blew an engine on Friday night. Gregg's crew rebuilt it Friday night and Saturday so they could run in the finals. After all the work put in on his car, Bill Allen spun in front of Gregg in the second heat race and Gregg was unable to avoid hitting him. Gregg was sent flipping, but was not injured -- just wondering what it would take to change his luck.
The championship race was one of many accidents. On the third lap in the first turn, Bob Davison hit the rail, sending him flipping down the track, but unhurt. Halfway through the finals Billy Bower and Leo Tucker got jammed up, sending both to the hospital for observation.
The race actually ended in an accident.
On the 28th lap of the scheduled 30-lap feature race, six cars were involved in a fourth turn accident that included the leader, Fox. According to the rules, a red flag in the final three laps of the race ended the race with the finish reverting back to the last completed green flag lap. Fox was declared the winner after being the leader of the 28th lap.
3rd Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1980 Top 5 finishers:
1. Stan Fox
2. Bob Wente
3. Eddie Jackson
4. Jon Rahe
5. Brian Renshaw
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.