A Pictorial Tour of the Race
Cars that I have Driven
By Bob Lawrence

 

 

1959 - 1963:  I paid $75 for this micro-midget but never raced it in competition.  It was powered by a 7.5 H.P. (5.6kW) Wisconsin AENL air cooled engine with a 3-speed Harley-Davidson motorcycle transmission.  (Note the gear shift lever located beside the back of the seat and just above my waist.)  The man I bought it from claimed it would run 60 m.p.h. so the first thing my father did was put a governor on it and I was never able to get it over 35 m.p.h.  My parents did not like auto racing.  "Cars are for getting places, not for racing."  Click your mouse on the photo to see another taken with my brother sitting in the seat.

 

 

1964:  I raced this 1960 Chevrolet with a 348 cubic inch V-8 eingine in a number of drag racing events in Kansas as well as the American Hot Rod Association World Championships at Green Valley Drag Raceway near Dallas, Texas.  Click your mouse on the photo to see my only souvenir of that race.

 

 

1965:  I raced this 1965 Oldsmobile 442 Club Coupe under both A.H.R.A. and N.H.R.A. sanctioning in drag races at Arkansas City, Kansas; Wichita, Kansas; and Pittsburg, Kansas.  It was one of only 736 Oldsmobile 442 Club Coupes built that year with a 4-speed transmission.

 

 

1966:  I raced this 1955 Ford at the Air Capital Speedway and at "81" Speedway, both at Wichita, Kansas.  It was a car that I co-owned with Larry Wiles.  Click your mouse on the photo to see what happened in the B feature race at Air Capital Speedway on June 3, 1966.

 

 

1966 - 1967:  Larry Wiles owned this 1955 Ford that he and Lou Steward built in June of 1966 for me to drive as I had wrecked its predecessor, above.  I drove it at racetracks at Wichita, Kansas and Winfield, Kansas rolling it on one occasion on the front straight-away at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas in 1966 and finally destroying it in a crash at Winfield in 1967.  Click your mouse on the photo.

 

 

1967:  This was another Lou Steward built car that I purchased used from Steward's brother-in-law.  I gave $40 for this 1955 Ford stock car, another $15 to an auto salvage for the engine, and was able to finish out the racing season that year with it.  Click your mouse on the photo to see another of the other side of the car.

 

 

1968:  I drove this Tandy Arnold owned 1955 Chevy once during a pre-season test session at Wichita's "81" Speedway but never in competition.

 

 

1968:  I raced this 1956 Chevy once for owner Alvin Wray who is pictured here in the car.  Though still #75, this car was white when I drove it.  Click your mouse on the photo to see what this car looked like when it was painted white.

 

 

1968:  I sold my red 1955 Ford #8, pictured above, to Alvin Wray who painted it a blue #76 to match his #75 Chevy and I drove the Ford for Alvin for the rest of the racing season.  Click your mouse on the photo to see more photos of this car taken at “81” Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas.

 

 

1969:  I gave $350 for this Kenneth Bohannan built car and the trailer and raced it at racetracks at Wichita, Kansas and Great Bend, Kansas.  It was a 1955 Chevy that had been modified to look like a 1956 Chevy so the body and engine would match close enough to fit within the rules of the time.  My first oval track race win came in this car.  Click your mouse on this photo to see more photos of this car including one of the left side of the car.

 

 

1970:  With fresh 1956 Chevy sheet metal and some paint, the Chevy that I had raced in 1969 was ready for another racing season.  Too bad I did not overhaul the engine too as it blew about mid-season and I sold the car to Bob Nordstedt.  I have not owned a race car since.  Click your mouse on this photo to see more of this car.  Also, click on the button at the bottom of that page to listen to a .wav file of then racetrack announcer Harry Nickel as he called the B feature race at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas on Saturday night, June 13, 1970 over both the racetrack's public address system and on KFDI-AM 1070 radio.

 

 

1970:  I drove this 1957 Ford one night late in the racing season at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas for owner Hersel Wagoner.  Wagoner had purchased a new race car and had promised this one to his son, Louis.  Hersel rolled this one the last night he had planned to drive it though so he repaired it and, as Louis had never driven any race car before, Hersel told me that he wanted to drive his new car but that he also would like to have an experienced driver race this one for just one night to be sure it was sound enough to turn over to his son.  I drove it for him and it was fine.

 

 

1970:  I raced this 1957 Ford at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Kansas and a couple of times at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas for owner Jack Dizmang.

 

 

1971:  I drove this 1956 Chevy for owner Jack Dizmang until a crash at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas on May 1, 1971 sidelined me with a compression fracture to the spine and other internal injuries.  The throttle had stuck sending me literally plowing into a dirt embankment off of the first turn.  Click your mouse on the photo to see some photos of the aftermath of that accident.

 

 

1971:  I had recovered from my injuries enough by September of 1971 to finish out the racing season driving this red, white, and blue 1955 Chevy for co-owners Lonnie Cooper, pictured here, and Tom Andrews.  I believe this was the fastest dirt track car I ever drove and I won several races at "81" Speedway in this car.

 

 

1972:  I started the season driving this Ford at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas for owner Ed Ramey but a rash of blown engines sidelined the car.

 

 

1972:  I spent the remainder of the racing season driving this 1957 Ford for owner Jack Shipman.  You might be able to tell from the similar paint jobs that Ed Ramey and Jack Shipman were brothers-in-law.  Click your mouse on this photo to see a photograph of this car in competition at "81" Speedway.

 

 

1973:  I raced this big-block 1958 Ford for owner Jack Shipman until destroying it in a crash on the front straight-away at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas on July 3, 1973.  I sat out the remainder of that racing season while Shipman made preparations to switch from Ford to Chevrolet for the 1974 season.  Click your mouse on the photo to see some photographs of the this car in competition.

 

 

1974:  I started the season in this Jack Shipman owned 1955 Chevy.  Notice that Jack had obtained sponsorship from his employer, Mid-Kansas Paving.  Click your mouse on the photo to see a photo of Jack Shipman standing beside the freshly completed car.

 

 

1974:  Car owner Jack Shipman, left, with me.  This is the same 1955 Chevy that I started out the year in (purple and white #61 above) but the new sponsor wanted the car painted in the company colors.  Click your mouse on the photo to see a photograph of this car in competition.

  

 

1974:  Late in the season, I drove this 1956 Chevy for owner Bill McCune.  Former Indy "500" driver A. J. Shepherd saw me drive this car and told McCune to "hang on to that driver if you can.  He is the best one you've ever had."  It had taken a couple of cars to accomplish it that year but I was presented with a "Perfect Attendance" plaque at "81" Speedway's awards banquet that fall.  Click your mouse on the photo to see a photo of that presentation.

 

 

1975:  With fresh sheet metal and yellow paint, Jack Shipman's 1955 Chevy from the 1974 season became a 1956 Chevy and we raced it another season at “81” Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas and at the Winter Nationals in Enid, Oklahoma.  Click your mouse on the photo to learn more about my race at the Winter Nationals and view the final points standings for the semi-late model stock cars at "81" Speedway that year.

 

 

1975:  I also raced this 1955 Chevy that was co-owned by Daniel Hauserman and Gary Hyde.  Click your mouse on the photo to learn more about my time in this car.

 

 

1975:  I also drove this 1956 Chevy #76 in a couple of racing programs at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas although that is co-owner, Mel Shipman, pictured in the car here.  Mel co-owned this car with his brother, Rex Shipman, both of whom were also brothers to Jack Shipman.

 

 

1976:  I raced this 1956 Chevy for owner Jack Shipman at “81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas and at the Winter Nationals in Enid, Oklahoma.

 

 

1976:  I drove this Daniel Hauserman owned Chevelle during a mid-week practice session at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas but never did race it in competition.  The car was raced by Daniel's brother, Dhon Hauserman, who is pictured here.  Click your mouse on the photo to see another of this car.

 

 

1977:  This was a Chevy II Nova body on a 1956 Chevy chassis.  I drove it in the first two racing programs of the season at "81" Speedway north of Wichita, Kansas but I have not driven a race car since.  Click your mouse on the photo to see another of me and car owner Jack Shipman at right, standing beside the car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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