Auto racing in city's past

Jul 7, 2008 Full story: Newton Kansan 11

All you auto racing fans probably have heard of the Firecracker 400. You may not know Newton once had an active stock car racing venue.

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Since: Jan 08

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#1 Jul 9, 2008
Anyone remember what year the stock cars went through the wooden fence on the southwest corner of the old dirt track at Walter Johnson Park and killed those people? It was where the rodeo arena is now.
jack

Wellsville, KS

#2 Jul 10, 2008
late 50s early 60, I recall it and if I recall killed a few peoplethat were looking over the fence if I recall.
How about the race track up on big hill, it used to draw a alot of people.

Since: Jan 08

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#3 Jul 16, 2008
Yeah Jack it was midgets and then go carts in my era. I forget hw many were killed at Walter Johnson but it was two or more. They went right through the fence there where the poor people sat on their cars to watch free. Dad used to take us out to stand on the hood when we were kids. Coulnd't do that to a car now!

Since: Feb 08

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#4 Jul 16, 2008
Bill Jamison wrote:
Yeah Jack it was midgets and then go carts in my era. I forget hw many were killed at Walter Johnson but it was two or more. They went right through the fence there where the poor people sat on their cars to watch free. Dad used to take us out to stand on the hood when we were kids. Coulnd't do that to a car now!
All I remember is that Bud Pirkey was the driver. God rest his soul!

Since: Jan 08

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#5 Jul 17, 2008
How old would he have been? I was like 8 years old and my brother 4. Are you sure he was old enough to drive a race car back then?
Jack

Osawatomie, KS

#6 Jul 17, 2008
I never heard about Bud being the driver,but Bud could drive back in the day.
I was thikning it was a older driver ,that lived on the West side of town for years.

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#7 Aug 5, 2008
I ried to research it and came up with zilch. When I'm at the Deirks party I'll check it out at the archives of the paper.

Since: Aug 08

Smith Washington

#8 Aug 7, 2008
They use to race go carts in cville?
SNB

Leawood, KS

#9 Aug 8, 2008
This is great Kansas history.
Numbers Guy

Wichita, KS

#10 Aug 13, 2008
I don't remember them racing many go carts. But they did race waht were called micro midgets. Back in the mid 70's they had two or three asphalt national championships there.

The track was north the of the old swimming pool, south of where the stadium is now.

I don't know if Bud was the driver but he would have been old enough to drive in the late 50's early 60's. Probably would have been early to mid 20's
Greener Pastures

Hutchinson, KS

#11 Aug 21, 2008
For some reason, 1957 comes to mind. Don't know--just know that it happened. Not sure about how many killed--do remember that one girl lost a leg over it.

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