2006 – Taking advantage of a rare start with the Winged Outlaw Warriors, Jerrod Hull of Sikeston, Mo., made a late charge to take the victory at 24 Raceway in Moberly, Mo., on July 15. Randy Martin led the 18-car field to green and led in the early going with Matt Fox, Tracy Nichols and Hull in hot pursuit. Fox would take over the top spot from Martin on lap 7 and begin to widen the margin between the leader and the rest of the field. Hull would get by Martin on lap 14 for the second spot and start to close the gap on Fox as he began to encounter lap traffic. Getting a nice run in between turn one and two, Hull would use the middle groove of the track and get by Fox for the lead on lap 18. He would go on to extend his lead and take his first series victory. Fox would hang on to second, Martin would settle for third, while Nichols and Brad Best would round out the top five.
2000 – Racing to the front from the middle of the field, Jeff Anderson of Atlantic, Iowa, won the Midwest Motorsports Best of the Midwest feature for IMCA stock cars at Stuart (Iowa) Speedway on July 13. Starting 12th, Anderson worked his way through the field and scooted past race leader Jeff Wollam of Marshalltown on the 25th circuit. Defending series champion Mark Elliot of Webster City joined Anderson in making the opportune pass and nearly caught up to Anderson in the remaining 5 laps but would settle for runner-up honors. Current series’ point leader Todd Foster of Webster City finished third, followed by Rick Brown of Kellogg and Mike McClure of Bloomfield. The Midwest victor was Anderson’s third of the season and ninth of his career.
1990 – Jeff Gordon passed Stan Fox on the last lap to win the 50-lap feature during the co-sanctioned USAC National Midget Series/Badger Midget Auto Racing Association program on Saturday, July 14 at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. Fox pulled around Russ Gamester on lap 2 and pulled away from the rest of the field early on. A caution on lap 10 would bunch the field up with Gordon on Fox’s bumper for the restart. It took only 3 laps after the contest resumed to snare the lead away from the veteran. Fox would mount a comeback and move into the top spot once again exiting turn four on lap 22. Fox would maintain a one-car length advantage over Gordon for the next 15 laps as they both negotiated lapped traffic smoothly. With 10 laps left, Donnie Beechler’s engine expired bringing out the yellow. On the restart, Gordon made several attempts to pass Fox, who pulled away to a two-car length lead and appeared to be headed to victory. However, a car slowed on the white flag lap, bringing out another caution flag. Gordon would use the final restart to his advantage and pass Fox on the high side coming out of turn two to take the victory and the $2,105 payday.
1984 – The racing community mourned the loss of legendary Rockford Speedway owner Hugh Deery, who died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday morning, July 14. Deery became a partner in Rockford Speedway in 1959 and became the speedway’s sole owner in 1966. Deery became one of the best known and most successful short track promoters in the United States. In 1966 Hugh originated the National Short Track Championships, one of the first season-ending specials in the nation. In 1976, Deery was named the first RPM Auto Racing Promoter of the Year by his peers and was nominated for the same award in 1977, 78, ’79 and 1980. He was also instrumental in recognizing the high cost of racing and he developed the controversial “Rockford Rules” in 1973, which called for a common tire, common engine parts and other components. The specifications were designed to add parity to the competition and to cut the costs out of racing.
So much racing history has been made through the years right here in the Midwest.
From the rich dirt ovals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska to the paved short tracks in Minnesota and Wisconsin, some of the best drivers ever to get behind the wheel of a race car competed right here in the heartland.
We all have our own story to share about our favorite driver who thrilled us everytime they rolled onto the track or that one particular race that still stands out as the greatest they ever saw.
We'll go back in history, 10, 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago (even more) and reminisce about what has made racing in the Midwest so special for us.