INSTANT REPLAY: 5TH ANNUAL BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS - 1982 by Paul Haase BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 14, 2001) - An engine called the 'Deano Dinosaur' came to the Belleville High Banks in 1982 to take on the rest of the pack in the 5th Annual ...
INSTANT REPLAY: 5TH ANNUAL BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS - 1982
by Paul Haase
BELLEVILLE, Kan. (July 14, 2001) - An engine called the 'Deano Dinosaur' came to the Belleville High Banks in 1982 to take on the rest of the pack in the 5th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals.
The dinosaur proved not to be extinct.
Dave Manes came to the race with the only engine like it and ended up taking the cups.
Manes had the outside front row position for the finale and took advantage of that by leading the whole race, with defending champs Mike Gregg and Stan Fox right behind him for second and third.
For Fox, it was his third straight top-three finish at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile Dirt Track."
Preliminary feature wins went to Gene Gennetten on Thursday and Fox on Friday. The trophy dashes went to Jim McVay and Dan Drinan. Ron 'Sleepy' Tripp took the 'C' feature on Saturday to qualify for the Nationals final.
Two of the best racing stories out of this year involved Tripp and Steve Lotshaw. Lotshaw was running hot on Thursday, but car trouble in the Thursday feature caused him to have to re-qualify for the finals by winning the 'B' main on Saturday. Tripp won his heat on Friday, but like Lotshaw, was unable to finish the feature. Tripp had to go through two features on Saturday to qualify for the finals.
Tripp was placed in the next-to-last row in the finals but still worked his way up to claim fourth. Lotshaw was placed in the last row but still ended up taking fifth with both wondering what would have happened if they were a little closer to the front.
The big event this year was the car that didn't race. Ken Schrader had pre-entered his V6 wedge car for the Nationals. The wedge was beating everyone hands down wherever he took it and was allowed to race. The wedge had a 25-percent higher CID advantage over the conventional midgets and higher RPMs to give it a considerable amount more horsepower.
The board of directors decided that the only part that didn't conform with the rules was the aluminum heads. He was told "change the heads and you can race, otherwise you're illegal."
There was a rumor that if the wedge were brought to the Nationals, it wouldn't leave, so it was scratched from competition.
5th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals - 1982 Top 5 finishers:
1. Dave Manes
2. Mike Gregg
3. Stan Fox
4. Ron 'Sleepy' Tripp
5. Steve Lotshaw
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.