This photo of Bob Lawrence’s #76 Chevrolet Semi-Late Model Stock Car was taken in the Spring of 1969

This car had four straight pipes on each side of the engine that served as headers and that exited through slits cut in the front fenders.  It also had a 4:10 ratio Plymouth rear end in it with left hand threaded studs on the right side and right hand threaded studs on the left side – Bob Lawrence collection



Bob Lawrence and Mechanic Jim Eaton

A broken “bug” in the distributor had disabled the engine forcing Lawrence to pull off of the racetrack and park in the “giggle weeds” at “81” Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas in the summer of 1969 – Mike Cornelison photo from the Bob Lawrence collection



This Photo was taken in Turn Four at “81” Speedway in 1969

A car had blown its engine and left a strip of oil in the low groove on the racetrack.  Bob Lawrence in the #76 Chevrolet ran through the oil and did a ¾ (or 270°) spin winding up sitting crossways in the low groove.  Bill Kelley, who had been running behind Lawrence in his 1957 Ford “8-Ball”, slid in the oil too and was unable to stop before he crashed into Lawrence’s right side door.  When this photo was taken, the race had just been stopped so the oil could be cleaned up and the two cars restarted.  That is Lou Steward in the Don Burnett owned 1957 Ford #10 and Ed Brady in his own 1959 Chevrolet #16 passing by on the outside.  Pit steward M. B. Smith can be seen arriving to assist with the cleanup.

Clyde Spence (1908-1976), whom most of the people in racing just referred to by his last name, would paint the numbers and the sponsor’s name on any racing car for $15 plus his transportation to and from wherever the car was located, or he would do it for $5 if he was given “artistic license.”  For that, he would paint the numbers and the sponsor's name on but then finish lettering the car however he wished.  Bob Lawrence paid Spence $5 and took his chances.  That is how he wound up with the words “FOOL CATCHER” painted on his car’s back bumper.  Spence only knew how to do the one style of lettering having learned it while traveling with a carnival as a young man.  The price was right so several of the cars that raced at “81” Speedway sported Spence’s style of lettering.  Most of the car owners sprang for the $15 job though.  Note that the #10 car in the photo above had also been lettered by Spence – Mike Cornelison photo in the Bob Lawrence collection






William A. “Bill” Kelley

1934 – 2002