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The Mighty Midgets Often referred to as the purest form of racing these "mighty midgets" are a racing history teasure.



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Old 04-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
Mitch G.
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Default Career ending crash

A bit of a bummer thread, however historically significant for us Denver guys.
In February of 1982 there was a very early season midget race in Las Vegas, NV at Craig Road Speedway, 1/4 mile pavement, I think. I was never at that track, but this was the race that ended Eddie Jackson's magnificent career. RJ Butz sent me these photo's from his Uncle Dick's collection, Dick Butz being a life long friend and pit crewman for Eddie. As I recall the story, Eddie and northern CA midget legend Hank Butcher had been racing hard all day. During the feature, there was a yellow flag, Eddie was just behind Butcher, with one lap to go before going green, Eddie is swerving back and forth to warm the tires, and scrub the marbles off. Going down the back chute, Eddie accelerates to line up, Butcher swerves to scrub his tires, and swerves in front of the fast approaching Jackson. Eddie climbs Butchers rear tire, and flips down the back chute, his arm restraints either broke, or came loose. His arms suffer terrible injuries, from which he never fully recovered before taking his own life in the summer of 1983.

Eddie hiking the left front, I believe the #78 is Hank Butcher in Vern Reitz's VW, Jackson is in Vern Shavers Edmunds VW #10.

In a shocking, never before published photo we see the remains of Vern Shaver's race car being towed off the track. Having not been at that race, and only remember being told about the accident, this picture is revealing. Judging from the look of the damage, I'd say Eddie's car launched, went upside down and into the top of the concrete wall nose, and front of cage first. Looks like it peeled the fiberglass hood off, and cut the front of the roll cage off. I've been told this is how the car landed, the safety crew did not cut the cage. It's a miracle it did not kill Jackson on the spot. Maybe another member has more info on this incident, Little Fauss was probably at that show racing that day? A sad day in Colorado midget racing history, for sure. Again thanks to RJ for the photo's.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:47 PM   #2
Terry Von Tilius
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Default Re: Career ending crash

Eddie Jackson was always one of my favorites. What an odd, freak accident.
When he passed away I remember sheading more than a few tears.
Eddie was smooth out there. That's what I remember about him.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
nitro4dave
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Default Re: Career ending crash

uhh....photo credits go to dave burn. he has more but they are a little graphic
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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was there it was UGLY!!!!!!!! the car jumped hanks tire and basically rode the wall at a 90 degree angle down the back chute wall until it caught the light pole. part of the cage was cut away to remove eddie from the car. i offered to show him the pics of the aftermath, originally he was reluctant, but did seem interested after a while and asked to see them, then wanted copies.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #5
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Career ending crash

Nitro, I do not who shot the photo's, RJ was kind enough to send them to me, maybe his uncle was given copies? From the looks of the crash damage, it would appear as though the car hit something, other than just flipping along the race track. As I stated, this is a 30 year old story, no one I know ever offered exact details of the crash. Makes perfect sense hitting a light pole would indeed cut the car to pieces. In all my years no one I personally know was there, if they were, they did not see the actual crash, so details told to me were sketchy at best. This being the first time I have seen those pictures, shed's some light on a dark part of Denver racing history.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Career ending crash

Mitch,
I love all your pictures! growing up in Denver was very special to me. My Grandpa and Dad were very close with Ed Jackson and it was very sad to lose him. I spent a lot of time at Ed's house across from Sloan Lake watching him work on the cars. he was the Best Man at my Dad's wedding! They used to send me across the street to Edgewater liqour store to by Ed smokes. I still have a 1964 ford f100 that my dad bought from Ed at Johnnie Harper. My Grandpa was killed at Air Capital Speedway driving for my Dad who was sent to Vietnam at the time. I still have some of the stuff from the car. Anyways, I really enjoy all the interesting pictures and threads from you guys.
Ps. I believe in the one pic of Ed in the alley next to his garage stands Duchess, The Great Dane that I was petrified of.......
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Career ending crash

I was also there as we were there racing with the CARC who had a few cars that were hauled out thier by my Dad on the transporter that I have feature here in the gallery.

Dave is right it was a very ugly crash and the car was mangled badly, many of us thought that Eddie was gone there. I will see if I can find some of my photo's from this trip.
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"Give pint's for half pints", I do
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