2023 National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame Class Revealed
Chuck Gurney, Jim Hettinger, Larry Howard, Gene Pastor, Stevie Reeves and Roy Richter have been announced as the latest inductees into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Gurney was a two-time winner of the Copper World Classic Midget race at Phoenix International Raceway in 1992 and 1994 as well as a two-time winner of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot Park in 1988-89 and a one-time victor of the Belleville Nationals in 1989.
Hettinger won championships with the Wide World of Auto Racing (WWAR) in 1984, the National Alliance of Midget Auto Racing (NAMAR) in 1984 and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) in 1990. His career spanned a little over four decades, winning over 126 features.
Howard was one of the premier car owners between the late 1970s and early 1990s. His cars won six times in the Turkey Night Grand Prix between 1979-89 with Ron Shuman taking four-straight in 1979-80-81-82 and Chuck Gurney winning two in 1988-89. Howard also won the Bellville Nationals in 1989 with Gurney at the wheel.
After Pastor retired from driving in 1979, he became a well-respected official with the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association (RMMRA) and the American Independent Midget Series (AIMS), serving as flagman, Director of Competition and was a member of their Board of Directors. He also worked with the Southwest Independent Midget Series (SWIMS) tour and the Belleville Nationals.
Reeves captured back-to-back USAC National Midget driving championships in 1992 and 1993. He won in his first ever USAC National Midget start in 1987 at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, and in 1991, he scored three major wins at Phoenix International Raceway’s Copper World Classic, Angell Park Speedway’s Pepsi Firemen’s Nationals and the Terre Haute Action Track’s Hut 100.
Richter was the founder of Bell Helmets, which was the first safety-certified head protection in midget racing. He was an excellent fabricator, building and designing midgets driven by Sam Hanks and Freddie Agabashian to many victories. Richter was also a founding member of SEMA.