IMCA: NSCA: Museum historical formum preview

KANSAS RACING LEGENDS KICK OFF LIVELY NEW NATIONAL SPRINT CAR HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM HISTORICAL FORUM -- MONTHLY SERIES BEGINS APRIL 28 IN KNOXVILLE-- KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 9, 2001) - Six super modified and sprint car legends and one car ...

KANSAS RACING LEGENDS KICK OFF LIVELY NEW NATIONAL SPRINT CAR HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM HISTORICAL FORUM -- MONTHLY SERIES BEGINS APRIL 28 IN KNOXVILLE--

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 9, 2001) - Six super modified and sprint car legends and one car owner/promoter from Kansas will bring history to life, as they discuss their racing experiences April 28 in Knoxville, Iowa. The panelists include former Jayhawk drivers Thad Dosher, Harold Leep, Vince Matthews, Dale Reed, Grady Wade and Jay Woodside, and car owner/promoter Gary Mussatto.

The men will share highlights of their racing careers, field questions from the audience and sign autographs during the Saturday afternoon session open to the public, from 3-4:30 p.m., on the museum's second floor, just off turn two of the legendary Knoxville Raceway.

"The historical forums are designed to acquaint people with some of the pioneers in the sport who have helped shape racing as we know it today," said Thomas J. Schmeh, NSCHoF Executive Director.

"We invite race fans to come to Knoxville early April 28, tour the museum, take in the forum to meet these dynamic drivers and enjoy learning about the highlights of their careers and the evolution of the sport," said Kathy Krafka Harkema, of Knoxville, Immediate Past President of the NSCHoF. She will moderate the panel discussion, which will feature the favorite memories of these accomplished Kansans, who made their marks in racing across the country.

Thad Dosher, known as the "Topeka Charger," earned the IMCA Sprint Car Division National Championship in 1973. In the same year, he was honored for his mechanical skills, too, earning induction into the S-K Tools Mechanics Hall of Fame. He won the 1967 Knoxville Nationals, and was named Rookie of the Race in the 1975 USAC Hulman Classic, and drove super modifieds, sprint cars and midgets throughout the country in his more than 20-year racing career. Dosher was named the Most Popular Driver at Topeka's Mid-America Raceway numerous times, where he took top racing honors and competed regularly. Dosher now makes his home in Houston, Texas.

Harold Leep, now of Muskogee, Okla., won the 1972 NCRA championships, and repeated as the NCRA super-modified champion in 1973. Known as the "Wichita Iceman," Leep won the National Supermodified Championships in 1980 at Hutchison, Kansas, repeating in 1983 and 1984. Leep raced with IMCA and United Speedways, winning the latter's point championship in 1957, '58 and '59. Leep earned induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2000. Leep also promoted races in Muskogee, after his retirement as a driver.

Vince Matthews of Conway Springs, Kansas, just outside of Wichita, started racing stock cars in 1971 and ran late models from 1988-89. His sprint car racing career took off in 1990, and covered the Midwest circuit, as he competed regularly in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. He's still actively involved in the sport, backing nostalgic racing.

Dale Reed, of Wichita, Kansas, started racing stock cars, then drove super modifieds and sprint cars during his stellar 30-year racing career. Reed dominated racing action in Kansas and Oklahoma winning fans and respect during his long career.

Grady Wade, formerly of Wichita and now of Rodgers, Ark., won the Jayhawk Nationals at Topeka's Mid-America Fairgrounds in 1964. He competed with IMCA across the country from 1966-1975, winning races and the support of loyal fans. Wade regularly raced four nights a week, driving both sprint cars and super modifieds. Wade still competes in the vintage car racing series, driving in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Jay Woodside, of Wichita, Kansas started racing sprint cars at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo. in 1957. He was named IMCA's Rookie of the Year in 1961, took home the Jayhawk Nationals title in 1962. He won the Knoxville Nationals in 1966 setting a world record time at the time of 21.64 seconds around the legendary half-mile dirt track. Woodside also won the Big Car Racing Association (BCRA) championship in 1967. He retired from racing in 1984, after competing in 26 states and Canada.

Gary Mussatto of Osage City, Kansas, backed the sport as a car owner, and a Kansas race promoter of the Jayhawk Nationals at the old fairgrounds track in Topeka, the high banks of Belleville, Kansas, and as a weekly promoter at Hutchison Raceway Park from 1991-94. He also owned a sprint car piloted by some of the Midwest's finest drivers for 20 years.

Following the April 28 salute to Jayhawk racing historical forum, the World of Outlaws compete in the second of their two-night racing program at Knoxville Raceway, with hot laps starting at 6:15 p.m.

The Jayhawk racing historical forum is the first in a series of monthly forums at the NSCHoF, planned for the last Saturday of the month from April 28-September 22. Forums are designed to acquaint fans with legends of sprint car and big car racing, to bring history alive.

Admission to the museum is just $3 for adults, and $2 for students and senior citizens, and includes admission to the forum. NSCHoF members are admitted free. NSCHoF membership is available for only $25 a year for individuals, $50 for families and $100 for race teams.

For more information, contact Thomas J. Schmeh, NSCHoF Executive Director, One Sprint Capital Place, Knoxville, Iowa 50138 or call (641)842-6176. The e-mail address is sprintcarhof@sprintcarhof.com. More details are also available on the museum Website: www.sprincarhof.com.

-Schmeh-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car