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The Summer of '59...


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#1 fines

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 19:54

... must have been a hot one, because in researching USAC Midget Racing I found two different listings of the events in June and July, rounds 14 to 34 of the National Championship. I think I can second guess the right listing, but I would like to hear if somebody knows for sure. The dates are the same in both listings, but rounds 14 to 21 in listing A are rounds 27 to 34 in listing B, and rounds 14 to 26 in listing B are rounds 22 to 34 in listing A! Sources are the "The Official Championship Midget Auto Racing Record Book 1933-1999" and "Auto Racing Analysis 2000".

So, which event took place on...
June 13, R14: Schererville/Illiana, IN OR Flat Rock, MI
June 14, R15: Flat Rock, MI OR Flint/Auto City, MI
June 17, R16: Grand Rapids, MI OR Elyria, OH
June 18, R17: Mount Clemens/Clemons, MI OR Columbus, OH
June 19, R18: New Bremen, OH OR Schererville/Illiana, IN
June 25, R19: Peoria, IL OR Jackson, MI
June 26, R20: Macon, IL OR Saginaw, MI
June 27, R21: (East) Moline, IL OR Xenia, OH
July 3, R22: Flat Rock, MI OR Schererville/Illiana, IN
July 4, R23: Flint/Auto City, MI OR Mount Clemens/Clemons, MI
July 9, R24: Elyria, OH OR Macon, IL
July 12, R25: Columbus, OH OR Kokomo, IN
July 16, R26: Schererville/Illiana, IN OR Flint/Auto City, MI
July 17, R27: Jackson, MI OR Schererville/Illiana, IN
July 18, R28: Saginaw, MI OR Flat Rock, MI
July 23, R29: Xenia, OH OR Grand Rapids, MI
July 25, R30: Schererville/Illiana, IN OR Mount Clemens/Clemons, MI
July 26, R31: Mount Clemens/Clemons, MI OR New Bremen, OH
July 29, R32: Macon, IL OR Peoria, IL
July 30, R33: Kokomo, IN OR Macon, IL
July 31, R34: Flint/Auto City, MI OR (East) Moline, IL
????????????????????????

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#2 Don Capps

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 20:42

So, what did Auto Racing Analysis 2000 cite as the source for their information?


Also, does Auto Racing Analysis 2000 just list the winners?

#3 fines

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 21:07

I'm afraid they don't list any sources!

And yes, they list only the winners. Do you have more info? :cat:

#4 fines

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Posted 03 April 2004 - 16:22

Bump :(

#5 Jim Thurman

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 22:01

Originally posted by fines
Bump :(


Sorry Michael, the same Midget Record Book is the only reference I have, so I'm afraid I'm not of any help sorting this one out.

#6 fines

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 22:13

At least you were trying!;) :)

#7 Don Capps

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 22:32

I seem to be in the same boat with Jim. :( What little I have on the Small Car class (the actual designation for the Midgets by both the AAA and USAC which was naturally completely ignored -- and rightfully so....) is really quite limited. However, I have the feeling that the good folks over on the Track Forum historical forum run by Eagle104 should be able to help, they have a very good handle on this sort of information.

#8 Phil Harms

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 00:20

Your "A" list appars to be correct, per the 1959 USAC Yearbook.

The reason for the problem seems to be that the yearbook listing is not in chronlogical order -- a typesetting error.

The yearbook has listings from Feb 15 thru Jun 12, then jumps to Jul 3 thru Jul 31, followed by Jun 13 thru Jun 27, and fhen Aug 1 thru Dec 27th. I assume that the rows were swapped and not just the date column.

I'll check the 1959 NSSN microfilmed articles to be sure. I'll report back in a week; I'm flying out to Indianapolis tomorrow morning and will be back in 8 days. By then a definitive answer should be posted by a TNF member.

#9 fines

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 15:45

Excellent!

I'll wait patiently :)

#10 Kvadrat

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:45

fines, can you briefly describe US motor racing scene in this period, please? There were USAC Championship, USAC Road Race Championship, NASCAR Championship, SCCA Races and what else? Did mentioned USAC Midget National Championship unite former non-AAA-Championship dirty and fair races?

What is relation between SCCA RRC, USAC RRC and future Can-Am?

Was there still some races did not included in any of the championships?

AFAIK there were three kind of circuits in America: special ovals, dirty tracks and European type road circuits. Road circuits were used only by SCCA enthusiasts and in sports car races. Was 1959 US GP the first US experience in using road circuits for single seater racing?

#11 fines

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 15:53

Briefly? Umm...

I can't tell you much about Sports and Touring Car races, as these are outside of my interest sphere. Single-seater racing was dominated by USAC, who ran the National Championship, two (or possibly even more) Sprint Car series (East and Midwest and ?) and several regional Midget series besides the National Midget Championship.

Apart from that, there was a huge (and I mean: huge!) number of regional sanctioning bodies which ran Sprints and Midgets. To give you an idea, I have counted 18 different Midget Champions for 1959 alone, and these are only the major ones. And yes, there would of course also have been races that did not count for any championship.

All these races were usually run on paved or dirt ovals, very few on road courses. The 1959 USGP was not the first road race for single-seaters, but after WW2 there weren't many before that. Difficult to think of the first one, but if we're talking races exclusively for single-seaters, then the Riverside 500 Mile Race of 1956 could be the one. Don? Jim? Anyone else?

Relation between SCCA and USAC Road Racing Championships and CanAm: SCCA was mainly responsible for amateur events, while USAC catered for the Pros. Of course, nothing is ever that easy... The CanAm series was SCCA sanctioned, so probably the successor to the SCCA RRC - as I said, this is not my speciality, so if this is wrong, somebody correct me!

#12 Vukie

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 20:45

The USAC yearbook of that year had a problem with the correct dates, go with the record book. The USAC yearbook has the correct dates listed in the track records section.

An example, in the track section of the USAC yearbook, Bill Homeier won the 100 lap feature at Elyria, Ohio [Lorian County Speedway] on June 17, 1959 driving the Jackson Offy.

Here is what I have for 1959.



1959 USAC National Midget Championship



02/15 – Los Angeles, CA – 100L / D Earl Motter - Eddie Meyer

03/22 – Los Angeles, CA – 100L / D George Amick - Glen

04/26 – Gardena, CA – 100L / D Johnny Boyd - Jack London

04/26 – Birmingham, AL – 23L / D Bob Wente - Harry Turner

05/03 – New Bremen, OH – 50L / D Don Branson - Elbert Willey

05/03 – New Bremen, OH – 50L / D Van Johnson - Ed Lowther

05/29 – Kokomo, IN – 50L / D Gene Force - Shannon Brothers

06/04 – Lansing, MI – 50L/ P Rex Easton - Lloyd Rahn

06/05 – Schererville, IN - 50L/ D Don Branson - Elbert Willey

06/06 – Grand Rapids, MI - 50L/ P Bob Wente - Bob Higman

06/07 – Mt. Clemons, MI - 20L/ D Jimmy Davies - William Logan

06/10 – Galesburg, MI - 50L/ P Shorty Templenan - Jack Welan

06/12 – Library, PA - 50L / D Rex Easton - Lloyd Rahn

06/13 – Flat Rock, MI – 50L / P Tommy Copp - Frank Bardazon

06/14 – Flint, MI – 50L / D Larry McClosky - Harold Lane

06/17 – Elyria, OH – 100L / D Bill Homeier - Al Jackson

06/18 – Columbus, OH – 50L / P Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

06/19 – Schererville, IN – 20L / D Chuck Weyant - Ralph Wilke

06/25 – Jackson, MI – 30L / D Jimmy Davies - Harry Turner

06/26 – Saginaw, MI – 50L / D Len Sutton - Don & Ed Pearson

06/27 – Xenia, OH – 50L / P Chuck Rodee - Ed Loniewski

07/03 – Schererville, IN – 20L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

07/04 – Mt. Clemons, MI – 50L / D Tommy Copp - Frank Bardazon

07/09 – Macon, IL – 50L / D Don Branson - Elbert Willey

07/12 – Kokomo, IN – 50L / D Shorty Templeman - Jack Whelan

07/16 – Flint, MI – 50L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

07/17 – Schererville, IN – 20L / D Rodger Ward - Ralph Wilke

07/18 – Flat Rock, MI – 50L /P Leroy Warriner - Bill Lloyd

07/23 – Grand Rapids, MI – 50L /P Bob McLean - Bob Higman

07/25 – Mt. Clemons, MI – 50L /P Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

07/26 – New Bremen, OH – 50L /D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

07/29 – Peoria, IL – 50L /D Leroy Warriner - Bill Lloyd

07/30 – Macon, IL – 50L / D Don Boorse - Louis Fehlhauber

07/31 – Moline, IL – 50L / D Don Branson - Howard Linne

08/01 – Champaign, IL – 40L / D Chuck Weyant - Ralph Wilke

08/01 – Sacramento, CA – 100L / D Bob Veith - Ernie Ruiz

08/02 – Bakersfield, CA – 100L / P David Moses - Jack London

08/05 – Xenia, OH – 50L / P Len Sutton - Pearson Brothers

08/06 – Flat Rock, MI – 50L / P Leroy Warriner - Bill Lloyd

08/08 – Columbus, OH – 50L / P Len Sutton - Pearson Brothers

08/09 – Elyria, OH – 100L / D Eddie Johnson - Jerry Zeelo

08/13 – Fort Wayne, IN – 50L / P Gene Hartley - Carl Evans

08/14 – Canfield, OH – 100L / D Eddie Johnson - Jerry Zeelo

08/15 – Schererville, IN – 20L / D Bob Wente - Lloyd Hamm

08/17 – Jeffersonville, IN – 50L / P Leroy Warriner - Hank Green

08/26 – Peoria, IL – 50L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

08/29 – Milwaukee, WI – 100M / P Rodger Ward - Ralph Wilke

09/03 – Painesville, OH – 50L / P Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

09/05 – Schererville, IN – 30L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

09/06 – DuQuoin, IL – 100M / D Tony Bettenhausen - Howard Linne

09/15 – Macon, IL – 50L / D Leroy Warriner - Hank Green

09/27 – Lincoln, IL – 40L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander

10/03 – Gardena, CA – 100L / D Johnny Baldwin - Glen Dennee

10/04 – Terre Haute, IN – 100L / D Gene Hartley - Ray Bolander - Hut 100

10/31 – San Jose, CA – 100L/ P Cliff Spalding - D.B. Harmon

11/01 – Stockton, CA – 100L/ P Cliff Spalding - D.B. Harmon

11/20 – San Antonio, TX – 50L/ P Tony Bettenhausen - Howard Linne

11/21 – Corpus Christi, TX – 50L/ P A.J. Foyt - Glen Dennee

11/22 – Houston, TX – 100L/ P Gene Force - Shannon Brothers

11/26 – Gardena, CA – 100L/ D Tony Bettenhausen - Howard Linne Turkey Night GP

12/27 – Saugus, CA – 100L / P David Moses - Jack London

12/27 – Ft. Wayne, IN – 30L/ P Dale Swain - Dale Swain

Races Sanctioned

National – 62

Indoor – 2

Purses $144,404



1959 USAC Indoor Midget Championship

01/03 – Ft. Wayne, IN – 50L/ P Chuck Weyant - Milan Bursac

01/11 – Ft. Wayne, IN – 100L/ P Leroy Warriner - Bill Lloyd

#13 fines

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 16:27

Well, I guess that settles it. This is also the schedule I assumed to be the right one.

Thanks, Vukie! [great name!]