National Midget Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2002. Bill Betteridge, perhaps the first superstar of Midget racing, heads a list that includes National Speed Sport News editor emeritus Chris Economaki, Badger midget standout Billy Wood, and...
National Midget Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2002.
Bill Betteridge, perhaps the first superstar of Midget racing, heads a list that includes National Speed Sport News editor emeritus Chris Economaki, Badger midget standout Billy Wood, and past USAC National Midget Champion Tom Bigelow as 2002 National Midget Hall of Fame inductees. Formal induction ceremonies will be held on August 25th at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie Wisconsin.
Bill Betteridge was among those pioneers who first competed in California in the summer of 1933. Suffering through a series of mechanical setbacks in the inaugural season of midget racing, the technically gifted Betteridge made good use of the short off-season and dominated action in 1934 capturing the National Midget Association title. Betteridge would also claim the 1936 N.M.A title before losing his life at California's Atlantic Speedway in 1937.
Chris Economaki has served the sport of auto racing in every conceivable capacity. Growing up in the midst of the midget boom on the East Coast, Economaki actually served as pit side help for Duane Carter when the racing giant ventured to the storied Nutley Velodrome in the late 1930's. Through National Speed Sport News, Economaki has remained a staunch supporter of midget racing, and his keen mind continues to help shape the sport of auto racing to this day.
Wisconsin's Billy Wood defined excellence for the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association for over 25 years. Wood's eight Badger titles sets the standard for this proud racing organization. Remarkably, Wood's first title came in 1954 and twenty-four seasons latter he was on top again for the final time.
Tom Bigelow is one of the all time greats in American Open Wheel competition. The Wisconsin native's 52 sprint car wins is the all-time United States Auto Club record and as a result he is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Yet, Bigelow also enjoyed a successful midget career wining the 1982 regional title at the Indianapolis Speedrome and the 1984 USAC National Championship scoring 23 career National wins.