Frank John "Frankie" Lies

Frankie Lies

The 1941 Buick that became Troy Routh's first race car in 1947

Lies at left with co-car owner Vernis Church in 1948

Lies in a hot rod that he drove for C.W. Sampson in 1948

Lies (center) competing in a novelty race in 1949

Lies drove this hot rod owned by L.E. Pickrel, Sr. of Scott City, Kansas to the Southwest Kansas Championship in 1949

L to R: Lies, Emmett Carpenter, and Bill Mears at Cejay Stadium in 1952 - Loretta Cox collection

Lies with the Herb Chase owned car that he drove at Cejay Stadium in 1952

Lies with a car he drove in 1954 owned by John Betty and Donnie Spicer of Hardtner, Kansas

L to R: Lies, John Betty, Donnie Spicer, Stubby DeMint, and Ralph Stout at Hardtner, Kansas in 1954

Lies drove this Kenny Riffel owned stock car in 1957 - Bruce Serene collection courtesy of Janet (Riffel) Banks

The 1958 Ford  that Kenny Riffel built and Lies drove in the NASCAR Northern "500" Grand National stock car race at Trenton, New Jersey in 1958 - Riffel collection

Lies (seated on tire) and team owner Cliff Durr at 81 Speedway in 1960

Lies left and track announcer Don Anderson at 81 Speedway after

June 12, 1960 trophy dash

Lies drove this "rail" for Cliff Durr.  The photo was taken May 8, 1960 at 81 Speedway

Lies at Dodge City, KS in April of 1961

Lies at Dodge City, KS in May of 1961

Mrs. Cliff Durr with Lies in 1961

Lies in a car owned by Marvel  Torson,  Al Torson, and Buddy Carroll in 1962

Lies with the Everhart family owned #55

at 81 Speedway in 1962

#55 Lies sits backward on the racetrack as #88 Pete Jacobs, #98 Ovral Beckel, and others race past at 81 Speedway in 1962

The overturned #6 Torson & Carroll car driven by Lies can be seen under the #67 of Jim Macy at 81 Speedway on April 21, 1963.  Jim McAmis was driving #37.

L to R: Lies, Bryson Mills, and Jim Macy.  Lies and Mays received rollover trophies after their wreck at 81 Speedway on April 21, 1963

R to L: Lies, Bob White, Kenny Riffel, Jack Walker,  and unidentified in 1963

Lies at National Jalopy Championship races in Hutchinson, KS in 1963

Someone rushes to Lies' aid after he rolled at 81 Speedway on August 11, 1963

Dale Reed in the Alden Davis owned #1 leads #53 Lies and others at 81 Speedway in 1964

Lies with Vicki Hall at 81 Speedway on April 19, 1964

Lies at 81 Speedway on August 30, 1964

R to L: Bob White, Kenny Reffel, Lies, unidentified, Jack Walker, and unidentified at 81 Speedway in 1964

Lies with Al Alexander after his victory in the A feature at 81 Speedway on September 6, 1964

Lies with the Chevrolet semi-late model stock car that he drove for owners Jim Gronau and Shot Hampton at 81 Speedway in 1965

Starter Al Alexander looks away as Lies fastens his helmet before a semi-late model race at 81 Speedway in 1965

Lies in the 1934 Ford roadster that became his first race car in 1947

Lies in a hot rod he drove for the Church brothers at Cejay Stadium in 1948

Lies in #1 leads #8 Bill Everhart in a trophy dash at Cejay Stadium in 1949

Lies (second from left) with a V-8 Ford special hot rod he drove in 1949

Lies in a V-8 Mercury powered hot rod owned by the Church brothers in 1951

Lies drove this stock car owned by Oren Hamilton in 1952

Lies drove this stock car built and owned by Bryson Mills at Jayhawk Park Speedway in Newton, KS winning the track championship there in 1952 - Mills collection

L to R: Troy Routh, Will Forrest, Charlie Lutkie, and Lies in Oklahoma City in 1952 - J. R. "Bob" Cox collection

Lies at Cejay Stadium in a car he drove for Kenny Riffel in 1954

Mary Ann Heaton photo

Lies (center) and Kenny Riffel at right immediately after winning the First Annual National Jalopy Championship at Taft Stadium in 1957 - Mike McCoy collection

Car owner Kenny Riffel (left) with Lies and the trophy for winning the second annual National Jalopy Championship at Hutchinson in 1958

Lies with car owners Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Durr and two unidentified crewmen in 1960

#32 K. O. Christian and Lies after having crashed out through the fence at "81 Speedway in 1960

L to R: Bib McMillian, Lies, and flagman Chuck Moses

81 Speedway - June 12, 1960

#29 Lies, #2 Jay Woodside at

81 Speedway on June 12, 1960

Lies in Cliff Durr's "rail" in 1960

Lies racing an unidentified driver wheel-to-wheel in 1961

Lies at left after winning the 5-State Fair championship at Liberal, KS in 1961.  Bill Nelson is center and Harold Leep at right

#6 Lies passed the disabled cars of Francis Kingan (21) and Ray Riner (44) at 81 Speedway in 1962

#55 Lies and an unidentified car had spun with the #28 Charlie Pitts, #x15 Bill Nelson, and #98 Orval Beckel making evasive moves at 81 Speedway in 1962

Lies with the Everhart family owned #55 at 81 Speedway in 1962

 

Lies' Torson & Carroll #6 after being set back on its wheels and returned to the pits on April 21, 1963

Flagman Al Alexander congratulates Lies for winning in his new super modified at 81 Speedway in 1963 before the car was even lettered

#53 Lies starting on the outside of the front row at 81 Speedway on

July 7, 1963

#28 Charlie Pitts looks back in time to see #53 Lies give him a little boost at

81 Speedway in 1963

Kenny Riffel, Bob White and Charlie Lutkie help extract Lies and car from a mud hole at 81 Speedway on

April 26, 1964

Bill Hall at left with Lies at 81 Speedway in 1964

Lies excepts the checkered flag from Al Alexander after his victory at 81 Speedway on June 14, 1964

Vicki Hall and Lies with the trophy and Chevrolet he won for his victory in the first annual "K. O. Christian Memorial" race in 1964

Lies, Bob White at right, and two unidentified crewmen in 1964

Lies left and Kenny Riffel at right after winning the K. O. Christian Memorial preliminary race at 81 Speedway on September 5, 1964

L to R: Sheriff Vern Miller, Kenny Riffel, Lies, and crewman Bob White at 81 Speedway in 1965

1926 - 2006

 

Page 1 of 4

 

Frankie Lies was born at Colwich in Sedgwick County, Kansas on November 19, 1926 the seventh of twelve children born to Francis Peter "Frank" Lies (1893-1937) and Caroline (Rohling) Lies (1896-1974).  Although his first name was "Frank", he was baptized as "Francis John Lies" but he was always adamant that his name was "Frank" rather than "Francis".  After graduating from high school, Frankie moved with his family to Wichita, Kansas where he took a job driving a truck for his oldest brother.  He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Leavenworth, Kansas in 1945 and served two years including duty in Europe.  When he got out of the army, Frankie returned to Wichita where he took a job as a traveling vacuum cleaner and sewing machine salesman.

 

1947 - Sunday afternoon, August 3, 1947, friend Troy Routh asked Frankie and his brother, Jerry Lies, if they wanted to go to the midget races at Cejay Stadium that evening.  Frankie told Troy that he thought “it would be fun to see those little suckers run.  Of course, I thought he was talking about midgets.  You know.  Little men running foot races.  I didn’t know there were little cars like that.  In fact, I had never seen a car race of any kind.  It took Troy about 20 minutes to convince me that there actually were little cars like that.”

 

During a break between races that night, Joe Collins of Winfield, Kansas took his brand new 1946 Ford coupe out onto the racetrack and ran it around the track for several laps.  According to Frankie, “That was a pretty rare car.  There weren’t many of them made and he ran it pretty hard.  He really got it going pretty good too.  When he pulled in, the announcer said that anyone who wanted to race their own cars in real races could bring them out next week and do so.”

 

(Webmaster's note:  I talked with Willard Bodkins who was a long time friend of the late Joe Collins.  I related Frankie’s story about Collins running the ’46 Ford coupe at Cejay Stadium that night.  Bodkins told me he remembered that incident well.  “He (Collins) broke all the shocks on the car.”  I asked Bodkins how it had come about that Collins ran those laps.  He said, “We wanted to get into the pits but they wouldn’t let us since we didn’t have a (race) car.  But, then they asked if we would make a few fast laps if they let us into the pits free.  There were three of us so Joe jumped at the chance.”)

 

The next Saturday night (August 9, 1947), there were several cars there ready to race.  Frankie Lies entered his street car, a 1934 Ford roadster complete with fenders and even fender skirts.  Troy Routh ran a 1941 Buick from which he had removed the doors to make it lighter.  Harold Forrest (older brother of future national jalopy champion Will Forrest) started right behind Frankie “in a Model ‘A’ that had everything removed from it right down to the frame.  Harold had a leather helmet and goggles.  I’d never seen any before.  When he put those on, I thought he looked like the strangest thing I had ever seen.  It made him look mean and I thought he was going to eat me up.  We took off from a standing start and I took off a lot faster than I ever would have if he hadn’t been right behind me.  I mean, I thought he was going to get me!”

 

That race was the beginning of the hot rod races at Cejay Stadium.  Lies only raced sseven times that year and his first feature victory would have to come later.

 

1948 - Lies began the year driving a Model-B-Ford-powered hot rod equipped with a Miller-Schofield head that was owned by brothers Marvin and Vernis Church of Whitewater, Kansas.  Before the year was out, he had also driven hot rods for a number of other car owners including V-8 Ford-powered cars owned by Wichitans M. G. Trabue, Harry Everhart, and C. W. Sampson.  He also set a new one-lap track record at Cejay Stadium breaking the old record by more than one second.  This was the year that Lies started to travel with his racing and managed another three feature victories outside the state of Kansas.

 

1949 - Previous car owner C. W. Sampson sold his hot rod to L. E. Pickrel, Sr. of Scott City, Kansas and Lies continued to drive the car in the Wichita area and throughout western Kansas for the new owner.  By fall, Pickrel confined the team's travel to western Kansas where Lies won the Western Kansas Racing Association championship.  He picked up a ride in a Frank Amos owned hot rod at Cejay Stadium that fall and finished the year in fifth place in Cejay Stadium's final season points standings.

 

1950 - Lies drove a hot rod owned by Marvin Church this year except for five weeks in the middle of the summer when he drove a hot rod owned by C.W. Sampson.  With the combined points won in these cars, Lies finished second to Will Forrest in the Kansas State Racing Association championship.

 

Lies won his first trophy dash on July 19th on a ¼ mile racetrack at Lyons County Fairgrounds at Emporia, Kansas.

 

Lies also drove a stock car at the Cowley County Fair in Winfield, Kansas on the afternoon of August 30th.  As Lies prepared to tow the car back to Wichita after the races, he exchanged some words with a cowboy who was there for the rodeo that night.  The exchange ended in a short fist fight.  Winfield Chief of Police Gus Froemming witnessed the altercation from the grandstand and tried to run across the racetrack to intervene just as Lies knocked the cowboy down and then jumped into his convertible tow car in a hurried attempt to leave the scene.

 

Fair officials had already started watering the racetrack down to control the dust for the night show when Lies tried to tow the stock car across the, by now, muddy racetrack.  Seeing he did not have up enough momentum to make it across the muddy racetrack, Lies turned left on the track and headed down the front straightaway to build his speed up so he could leave the racetrack at the other end of the grandstand.  Just as the police chief reach the rear of Lies' car, he slipped and fell almost being run over by the stock car in tow.  Lies did not see Froemming fall and continued on his way leaving the chief with little choice but to roll in the mud out of the car's path and then pick himself up in front of several hundred people who had stayed around to see the outcome of the fisticuffs.  In his embarrassed anger, the police chief shouted orders for Lies to be arrested for trying to run him over.  Not knowing about the police chief's slip and fall, or about his angry orders, Lies left the fairgrounds and headed home to Wichita.

 

Sedgwick County sheriff's officers were waiting when Lies stopped at a traffic light just south of Wichita.  They arrested him and took him back to Winfield where he spent the night in the city jail.  The next morning, the police chief gave Lies a thorough chewing out for not stopping when he had ordered him to but then released him without filing any charges.  Lies said that was the only time that he ever spent in jail.

 

1951 - Lies competed weekly in the hardtop class at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City finishing third in the season points championship behind Jimmie Reese and Charlie Lutkie.  Lies also picked up numerous rides at many other racetracks in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

 

Kenny Riffel of Herington, Kansas showed up at Cejay Stadium one night towing a hot rod.  When he checked into the pits, he asked an official if he knew of anyone who would be interested in driving the car that night.  The official said, "I do know of someone.  Wait here and I'll go get him."

 

While Riffel waited, a man walking by stopped to look at his hot rod.  The man asked Riffel if that was his "piece of junk".  Riffel told him it was and the man walked away shaking his head.

 

A few minutes later, the official returned with the man Riffel had just spoken with and introduced him to Riffel.  He was Frankie Lies.  Lies did wind up driving the car for Riffel that night and on occasion after that but it was a couple of more years before Lies would drive for Riffel on any regular basis.

 

Lies and Troy Routh were two of several Wichita area hot rod drivers who competed in a 100.2 mile race on a temporary 1.7-mile paperclip-shaped course over the runways and taxiways at the municipal airport at Great Bend, Kansas on Memorial Day.  Lies drove Marvin Church's #8 Mercury-powered hot rod and not only won the race but lapped the entire field at least once.  He said that he thought everyone would drive into the first turn too hard on the first lap and end up sliding high so he went into the turn a little slower than the others, cut to the inside coming out of the turn, took the lead and was never passed.

 

Lies stated that Routh had an open pack of cigarettes in his shirt pocket “with just the corner of the pack torn off so you could pop them out.”  After the race, those cigarettes only had about half the tobacco left in them.  Lies said, "It was the suction.  The wind going over the top of the windscreen would raise your helmet up trying to pull it right off your head and it had also sucked the tobacco right out of Troy’s cigarettes."

 

1952 - Lies competed weekly in the hardtop class at Taft Stadium again this year finishing seventh in the season points.  He also drove a stock car owned by Bryson Mills at Jayhawk Speedway at Newton, Kansas winning the points championship there.  This was before Mills was even old enough to drive the car himself.  In addition, Lies drove stock cars at Cejay Stadium where he was crowned the season points champion.  He had started out the year at Cejay Stadium in a Ford stock car owned by Oren Hamilton of Wichita until midseason when Hamilton sold the car.  For the rest of the season, Lies drove a number of cars at races in Kansas and Oklahoma for a number of different car owners but spent much of his time in a car at Cejay Stadium owned by Herb Chase.  For his efforts, Lies was named the Kansas state stock car champion for 1952 by National Speed Sport News.

 

This was also the first year that Lies raced a "big car" driving Chet Wilson's stretched midget in I.M.C.A.  It was this car that Lies was referring to when he stated that the car might be small but it was a "Mighty Mouse".  The name stuck.  He only drove the car once this year preserving his rookie season for the following year.

 

1953 - Lies raced six nights per week this year including weekly in the hardtop class at Taft Stadium, weekly for car owner Kenny Riffel at Cejay Stadium where he finished second in the season points behind Buddy Quick, and on the U.M.C.A. circuit in Chet Wilson's "Might Mouse" stretched midget big car.  Wilson had gone to Cejay Stadium with the intention of hiring Bill Mears to drive his car but then, as fate would have it, he ran into Lies first.  Lies suffered serious injuries at the last U.M.C.A. race of the year at the state fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas and was hospitalized for 12 weeks.

 

1954 - Lies raced weekly at Cejay Stadium for owner Kenny Riffel with the pair winning the season points championship.  Lies also competed several other nights during the week at racetracks in Kansas and Oklahoma.  He was named by the press as being the 1954 Kansas State Champion.

 

1955 - Lies opened the Midwest Sewing Center in Wichita in January.  Besides his retail outlets in Wichita and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he also became the wholesaler of his product lines for Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.  He soon expanded into real estate, oil, gas, and commercial property holdings.  He was a founder of the Seneca National Bank in Wichita and was as successful in the business world as he was in racing.

 

Lies raced Kenny Riffel's car at Cejay Stadium and at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson but most of the records from this year have yet to be located.

 

1956 - Lies drove Kenny Riffel's car at Cejay Stadium winning the final race of the season which was a 200-lap event.  He also won the season points championship at Cejay Stadium this year.  Lies raced at the Cowley County Fairgrounds at Winfield, Kansas and also drove Riffel's car at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson where he was crowned the 1956 Kansas State Champion.

 

1957 - Lies drove Kenny Riffel's car to victory in the 200-lap First Annual National Championship Jalopy Races at Taft Stadium.  These were the first televised races that he competed in as they were shown on an Oklahoma City television station.  He also raced at 81 Speedway (then known as Robbins Speedway) at Wichita for the first time this year finishing in the runner-up position for the season championship behind Roy Bryant.

 

1958 - Kenny Riffel entered a 1958 Ford late model stock car in the "Northern 500" NASCAR Grand National stock car races at Trenton International Speedway in New Jersey on Memorial Day for Lies to drive.  Riffel had followed NASCAR's instructions carefully in building the car so he was surprised to learn that the solid lifter camshaft in the car would not pass the prerace technical inspection.  They required a hydraulic lifter cam.  It was Sunday morning of the race so his options were very limited.  Riffel finally found a local Ford dealership that offered to open long enough that he could purchase a new camshaft and lifters.  He got them installed in time for Lies to start the race.  Lies said that he felt he was able to keep up OK and even recalled passing some rather famous drivers before the engine went sour and he dropped out of the race.  The new camshaft that Riffel had installed just that morning had gone flat.

 

Lies raced Kenny Riffel's car at 81 Speedway in Wichita as well as to victory in the second annual National Championship Jalopy Races at Hutchinson, Kansas but his appetite for late model stock car racing had been whetted so he spent the rest of the year competing on the I.M.C.A. Late Model Stock Car circuit finishing sixteenth in the season points championship.

 

1959 - Lies won the season points championship at 81 Speedway and was the runner-up to Will Forrest in the third annual National Championship Jalopy Races at Hutchinson, Kansas.  He also raced on the I.M.C.A. Late Model Stock Car series finishing eleventh in their season points championship.

 

1960 - Lies drove a modified jalopy owned by Cliff Durr of Derby, Kansas to win the season points championship at 81 Speedway and was crowned the 1960 Kansas State Champion after racing at the Kansas State Fair.

 

On August 31st, Lies won the A feature at the 5-State Fair in Liberal, Kansas but then later that night, he was involved in a fight on the fair's midway in which a son-in-law of the carnival's owner suffered a fractured skull.  The Seward County District Attorney conducted a full investigation of the incident but declined to file any charges.

 

(Webmaster's note:  Charlie Lutkie told me that he was working on his car in the pit area when word came that Lies was in a fight with a bunch of carnies and needed help.  When he arrived on the midway, it had escalated into a big brawl involving carnival workers and racers.  He said the brawl broke up soon after he arrived though.)

 

1961 - Lies officially became the 250,000th person to visit Frontier Land U.S.A. on U. S.  Highway 54 west of Wichita and was honored with several gifts and prizes.

 

Lies drove a modified jalopy as part of a three-car team with drivers Clarence "Nut" Cokeley of Liberal and Cliff Durr of Derby.  The team was owned by Cliff Durr and Lies finished in fourth place in the season points championship at 81 Speedway as well as winning the 5-State Fair championship at Liberal.

 

1962 - Lies was married on January 22nd to Alma Maureen (Cook) Manley and adopted her daughter, Marlis.

 

(Webmaster's note:  Alma Lies' sister, Juanita "Cookie" (Cook) Dickerson, was the wife of prominent midget racer Frank Dickerson of Wichita.)

 

Lies did most of his racing this year at 81 Speedway driving an Everhart family owned modified jalopy.

 

1963 - Lies began this racing season driving a car owned by Marvel Torson, Al Torson, and Buddy Carroll of Wichita but Kenny Riffel built a new engine that he and Lies installed in a new car the two had jointly ordered from builder Jack Walker of Wichita.  Racetracks at Dodge City, Liberal, Hutchinson, Newton and Wichita all went together this one year and crowned one combined season points champion.  Lies finished tenth in that points race.

 

1964 - Lies drove a super modified co-owned by Kenny Riffel and Jack Walsh this year finishing first in the season points championship at 81 Speedway.

 

1965 - Lies spent most of this year driving a super modified he and Kenny Riffel owned jointly.  He was crowned the 1965 Kansas State Champion at the state fair, finished sixth in the Knoxville Super-modified Nationals at Knoxville, Iowa and finished second to Harold Leep in the season points championship at 81 Speedway.  Lies also drove a semi-late model stock car owned by Jim Gronau and Shot Hampton of Newton, Kansas at 81 Speedway.

 

1966 - Lies drove both a super modified and a full body modified at 81 Speedway winning the season points championship in the full body modified.  Both cars were owned by Kenny Riffel.

 

1967 - Lies drove Kenny Riffel's full bodied modified to a second place finish in the season points championship at 81 Speedway.  He was also crowned the 1967 Kansas State Champion at the Kansas State Fair, won the Winter Nationals at Enid, Oklahoma and won the Oklahoma State Fair championship at Oklahoma City.

 

1968 - Lies switched off between driving Kenny Riffel's full body modified and one owned by Shot Hampton at 81 Speedway, winning 11 A-feature races out of 22 starts including first place in the Hutchinson National Modified Championship and in the Muskogee, Oklahoma Nationals.

 

1969 - Lies drove Riffel's full body modified at 81 Speedway as well as winning first place at the Tulsa, Oklahoma Nationals, the Southwest Missouri Championship at Joplin, Missouri and the Winter Nationals at Enid, Oklahoma.  In all, he won eight A-feature races in 19 starts.

 

1970 - Lies drove Riffel's full body modified to first place in the season points championship at 81 Speedway as well as winning the North Oklahoma Fair Championship at Enid, Oklahoma; the Southwest Texas and Oklahoma Championship run jointly at Amarillo, Texas and Lawton, Oklahoma; and the 1970 Kansas State Championship at Hutchinson.  In all, he won 14 A-feature races in 39 starts.

 

1971 - In June, Lies and Riffel drove Riffel's Chevrolet Chevelle to Shreveport, Louisiana towing Riffel's full body modified on a trailer behind.  In the middle of the night, Riffel was sleeping and Lies was driving.  Though very still drowsy, Riffel thought they got stopped, but Lies told him that the trooper was just asking directions.  Later, Riffel found a ticket in the car showing that Lies had been going 95 M.P.H. towing the trailer and race car behind the Chevelle!

 

Driving Kenny Riffel's full body modified, Lies finished tenth in the N.C.R.A. season points championship.

 

On October 24th, Frankie drove his Cadillac to Enid, Oklahoma to watch the Winter Nationals races.  In the car with him were his wife, Alma, long time mechanic Bob White and his wife, Betty.  A pickup truck ran a stop sign east of Enid and crashed into Lies' Cadillac killing the driver of the pickup and everyone in the Lies vehicle except for Frankie who survived with only minor injuries.

 

1972 - Lies was one of the 276 drivers (plus motorcycle riders) that competed in the 5th annual Del Webb "Mint 400" off-road race.  He drove a single-seat Funco-VW desert racer that was owned by Bud Redmond of Wichita.  Lies said the race was a lot of fun but he had a number of problems and did not finish very well.

 

After racing together for 21 years, Kenny Riffel and Frankie Lies split up early this year and Lies purchased a super modified from Larry Prather.  He finished in ninth place in the N.C.R.A. season points championship.

 

1973 - Lies won the Southwestern Super Modified Championship at Amarillo, Texas and finished third in the N.C.R.A. season points championship driving his own car.

 

1974 - Lies drove his own super modified this year and was involved in the big pile-up and fire at the Hutchinson Nationals although he was not injured.  A fuel cell had been installed in his car for the first time just the week before.  Even with the setback of being involved in that wreck, he went on to win the super modified points championship at 81 Speedway as well as the N.C.R.A. season points championship.

 

1975 - Lies drove his own super modified this year winning the Southwestern Super Modified Championship at Amarillo, the N.C.R.A. season points championship, and the 81 Speedway season points championship.

 

1976 -  Lies was married on March 12th to Romi Jessup and they had three daughters: Heather, Holly, and Marisa.

 

Lies drove his own super modified to a second place finish in the N.C.R.A. season points championship behind Harold Leep of Wichita.

 

1977 - Lies drove his own super modified to a second place finish in the N.C.R.A. season points championship behind Emmett Hahn of Tulsa.

 

1978 - Lies drove his own super modified to a twelfth place finish in the N.C.R.A. season points championship.

 

1979 - Lies drove his own super modified primarily at 81 Speedway although he did make three starts (including one A feature race victory) with N.C.R.A.

 

1980 - Lies drove his own super modified primarily at 81 Speedway although he did make one start with N.C.R.A.

 

1981 - Lies drove his own super modified finishing tenth in the season points championship at 81 Speedway and ninth in the N.C.R.A. season points championship.  He also drove a late model stock car owned by Dean Wallace at the Winter Nationals at Enid.

 

1982 - Lies drove his own Grand National Dirt Championship car primarily at 81 Speedway although he did make three starts with N.C.R.A.

 

1983 - Lies drove a Dirt Champ car owned by David Buckley of Wichita at the Kansas State Fair.

 

1984 - Lies drove a Dirt Champ car owned by David Buckley at the Kansas State Fair.

 

1998 - Lies was named Grand Marshal of the 40th annual Hutchinson Nationals.

 

In all, Lies competed in over 2,000 racing programs in his career and is tied for seventh place in lifetime N.C.R.A. super modified victories with Ray Crawford of Tulsa, each with nine.

 

On most Sundays when Frankie was driving for Kenny Riffel, their ritual was for Riffel to bring the race car to Wichita where they would put it in a garage at the Midwest Sewing Center, get out a motorboat, and spend the day water skiing.  That evening, they would take the motorboat back to the garage, get the car out, and go racing.

 

At various times during his career, Lies drove many types of racing cars including hot rods, sprint cars, super sprints, stock cars, hardtop stock cars, semi-late model stock cars, late model stock cars, Grand National stock cars, midgets, three-quarter midgets (TQ), micro midgets, jalopies, modified jalopies, modified stock cars, full body modifieds, super modifieds, go-karts, rails, desert race cars, and even dragsters.  He occasionally competed on asphalt although he greatly preferred dirt.  The racetracks ranged in size from "very small bullrings" to a 67-mile desert course with race distances at various lengths of up to 300 laps.  After his retirement from competition, Lies occasionally drove various cars in Kansas Antique Racers exhibition races.

 

Despite all of the years that Frankie drove racing cars, he was still extremely prone to motion sickness.  If he was in a car, he had to be the one driving it anywhere they went.  He could not even rock his children in a rocking chair without becoming motion sick.

 

Besides auto racing, Lies enjoyed hunting, bowling, square dancing, and water skiing.  He did not learn to snow ski until he was 47 years old but, once he did, he went several times each year after that.

 

Lies received 81 Speedway's Lifetime V.I.P. award and was inducted into the 81 Speedway Hall of Fame in 2000.  He was also inducted into the High Banks Hall of Fame at Belleville, Kansas in 2006.

 

After a long battle with cancer, Lies passed away in Wichita on November 8, 2006 just eleven days short of his 80th birthday.  He is buried in Kensington Gardens Cemetery in Wichita.

 

(Webmaster's note:  Alma Lies is buried in Old Mission Cemetery in Wichita.  The grave is marked with a double tombstone that includes Frankie's name and date of birth even though he is not buried there.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"He was always so amazed and humbled by people thinking he was a big deal because of his racing." - Heather (Lies) Chapman

 

 

 

Frankie Lies

 

 Unless otherwise noted, all of the photographs on this web page are from the Lies collection

 

To go on to Page 2:

The Known Results of the Races that

Frankie Lies Competed in

1947 - 1959

To go on to Page 3:

More Known Results of the Races that Frankie Lies Competed in

1960 - 1984

To go on to Page 4:

More Photographs from

Frankie Lies' Racing Career

 

 

 

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