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Member Since 28 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 09 2011 12:11 PM

In Topic: Meteoric Rise and Tragic Death of a Midget Champion

07 November 2011 - 12:37 PM

More great info on that tragic night in 1971. Until these posts I was unaware, or had forgotten that Hill
was driving the same car as Caruthers when he was killed the next season. That is so ironic, and sad.

Other cars over the history of midget and sprint car racing have been involved in multiple fatalities,
but this one is definetly one of the saddest on record.

It reminds me of 1955 when IMCA Champ, and midget and sprint car hall of famer Bob Slater was killed in
Des Moines racing in the first Hawkeye futurity. The very next season, upcoming sprint car star
Don Hutchinson, who was also a winner in the midget ranks, was killed in the very same car after a tangle
with A.J. Foyt Jr. at the Kansas State Fair Grounds in a IMCA race at Hutchinson. Don was the rookie of the year
in IMCA the year before, after his owner Bill Mansell had obtained the former Slater mount.

In Topic: Meteoric Rise and Tragic Death of a Midget Champion

07 November 2011 - 02:16 AM

First of all I want to thank Kdull56, and jwracer14, for helping to inhance the story of
Danny "The Kid" Caruthers with their comments and pictures.

On the subject of Mike Hill, Mike was also a young and upcoming midget racing star. At age
20 he won the SLARA Midget title in 1971, (before MARA and later POWER-I) became the top midget
racing group in Illinois and Missouri. Mike won that championship in the former George Binnie
midget #77 that Binnie was so successful in. Binnie in 1948 was racing this car when he crashed
through the fence at OKC, hitting a tree when he turned to avoid a crowd that was standing outside
the track, killing the midget racing star.

Mike Hill raced with same #77 number 23 years later on the car when he won the SLARA title. The next season
Hill joined the USAC midget ranks with a new ride. He was having a great first season with USAC
when he flipped several times on the backstretch at Charleston, Ill. on July 4th 1972. Hill was
declared DOA when he was taken to the hospital. Just like Danny "The Kid" Caruthers the year before,
Mike Hill would die in a midget at the young age of 21.

Ray C

In Topic: Meteoric Rise and Tragic Death of a Midget Champion

28 October 2011 - 06:10 PM

[quote name='Top Row Jim' timestamp='1319841441' post='82690']
Ray, It is hard to believe it has been 40 years already!!!Another great story is about Stricland Sr. and Jimmy Caruthers both saying they would skip the next to last show in California and settle the championship back east. Turns out Strickland changed his mind at the last minute and they held the plane for him to board. Only one seat left on the plane. The empty seat was next to Caruthers (who also changed his mind). I think I have that story straight.

Speaking of young drivers that shake up the racing world, I would say Kyle Larson is one of those. If a NASCAR truck team doesn't sign him for next year it will be a big mistake. Another good young driver ( 22 years old I think) is Chris Eggleston from here in Colorado. He drives late models and Legends. He has only around 3 truck races under his belt and won a big stock car race at Rockingham (?) driving for Butch Milim,

Thats a great story about Dave and Jimmy. Kyle Larson is incredible, and I have heard of Egglesston.
Its great pub for midget racing if another star makes it in NASCAR. How about Ricky Stenhouse
in the Nationwide series? Great job by him this year against all those big boys from the Sprint Cup Series.

Ray C

In Topic: Belleville Midgets 2

17 October 2011 - 10:50 PM


Thats a good one.

Ray C

Here is a funny story about Shane Scully. The Tuesday night before Belleville the midgets always ran at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska back in the day. During one of those shows, the announcer was giving facts about different drivers. When Shane was pushed off, the announcer said that Shane was a "body piercer" for his real job. Of course being in the car he could not hear that statement. After the races in the pits I mentioned to Shane that I didn't know he was a "body piercer". He said what are you talking about I am an engineer. His crew was laughing their butts off. Before the races someone handed out a question air asking for info on the drivers so the announcer could elaborate on each one. Shane was not in his pit when the guy handed out the form and his crew had a great time making up stuff to fill it out. Jim

In Topic: Midget Racing Icon Passes

16 October 2011 - 07:47 PM

I regret to tell everyone in the Midget racing community that Tom Davey passed away last nite
in Denver, Colorado. Tom raced midgets in the 1950's in the Rocky Mountain region, primarily
with the RMMRA. He also raced Big Cars in the BCRA. Tom is probably best remembered though,
as a photographer and writer for NSSN and Open Wheel Magazine. For the last thirty years
Tom, and his partner in crime Jerry Miller covered every Belleville Midget Nationals, as
well as the Chili Bowl on several occasions, and many other midget events, including races
in RMMRA, USAC, SMRS, SWIMS, MARA, and POWER-I among others.

Tom was inducted into the Belleville High Banks Hall of Fame with his best friend Jerry,
and the BCRA Hall OF Fame.

TD became gravely ill with Cancer, and heart problems, but recently was able to
visit with many of his longtime friends in racing. I have heard from Tom's son Mike, and
Jerry, that he greatly appreciated all the cards and letters that he recieved during his
final weeks.

RIP Tom, you were a great friend to the racing community, and a true gentleman.

Ray Cunningham

UPDATE 10/16/2011

Midget Racing Patrons,

Tom's son Mike, (who has been involved in racing for several years as well)
Is really feeling blue, after his Dad's passing.

If you get a chance, drop him a line.

His address is,

Mike Davey
13205 E. 124th Ave.
Brighton, CO 80601-7116