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Old 04-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #1
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Post Butch Hannah

Here, from the Colorado Automobile Racing Club's 25th Anniversary program of 1971 is a photo of the "backward" # 11 car. This was the first car that Butch Hannah drove at Lakeside with the CARC. Butch says that his start to racing with the CARC had kind of a rough beginning, as the first two nights he had this car on the track, he and another competitor got tangled up twice in two weeks & Butch kind of got the short end of the deal, with his car stuffed in the "wall" both times. Butch adds that by the second time this happened, he got out of the car, walked away & proceeded to through his helmet in anger at his car. To his surprise & the delight of the fans, that helmet landed squarely in side this beauty from about 100 ft. away. Butch says, he thought to himself for a split second, he should have taken up basketball instead of racing. Thanks Butch for staying with racing! As the season progressed, so did Butch, as later in the year, he was making it into the A-Mains. Butch says he earned the 24th starting spot in his first main event & finished in the same spot...24th. So things could only get better from there, & better they did! This car was built by Velmar (Pete) St. Peter of V & C garage fame. The story about the "backwards" # 11 goes that the sign painter used the same pattern for the 1's that was used to letter Bill Starks' Supermodified # 11, but instead of grabbing the pattern for the right side of the car, he grabbed the one for the left side & thus was born the "backwards" # 11 . The crew members in the above photo from left to right are-Velmar St. Peter, Jim Swanson ( sign painter ), Tim Bryant ( of Tim's T's.), Walt Stoel ( Butch's brother in-law ), Butch & Tom Gile. Butch goes on to say, that the body on this car was unique in that the roof drip rails had been removed for weight purposes. This car was later purchased by Gary Schafer & turned into the blue # 63.

By late in the 1971 season Butch had changed to this sharp # 6 Vicky. Butch says Bill Starks built this car in 1970 & raced it for much of the 1970-1971 season, until the "tranny" blew. When Butch acquired this car his crew consisted of Velmar St. Peter, crew chief ( not pictured ) & ( from left to right )-Jim Noonan, Lee Jones, who provided major help with this endeavor, Walt Stoel & Butch.

For 1972, Butch showed up with what would become a staple at Lakeside Speedway, the Scotchman Motor Restaurant sponsored CARC Modified # 11 (above). What a cool car! This one was also built by "Pete" at V & C Garage. The crew for this beauty consisted of ( L-R )-Jim Noonan, Butch & Lee Jones. Rick Losh had the sign painting & pinstripping duties for this Vicky.

June 9th 1972 proved to be the high light of Butch Hannah's racing career, as he obliterated the field of "Lakeside Modifieds" at Century 21 International Speedway's 3/8th's mile oval. The event was the memorial/benefit race for Lou Schleer, the flagman that was fatally injured at Century 21 earlier in the season. Divisions that competed on that night included Late Models, Supermodifieds, Figure 8's & "Lakeside Modifieds". This was the first time Butch had raced at any track other than Lakeside & did it ever agree with him! Butch says he was passing cars from the late model & supermodified divisions during hot laps with his Weber side draft carburetors equipped Ford 6 cylinder. When race time came, Butch ended up winning the Trophy Dash ( lapping 6 cars in the process ) & Main Event both. WOW! The above 2 photos show Butch in "Victory Circle" from this event. Butch says the set of "new" used tires he bought for the car made all the difference in the world on this night.

Above is Butch Hannah's ride for the 1973 season at Lakeside Speedway. Photographed here are the crew that kept the number 11D on track. (L-R) Ron Cline, Velmar St. Peter (who also built this car at his V&C Garage) and driver Butch Hannah. Another great looking ride Butch! The sponsors on this black beauty were the 'usual suspects', Rick Losh of Rick's Sign Shop (he did the great looking signs on the car) and Carl Cerveny, owner of the legendary Denver, CO 'Scotchman' drive inn restaurants that at one time had two locations in Denver, but by 1973 existed solely at 49th and Federal Blvd. This was the last year the CARC rules required the modifieds to run 6 cylinders and Butch's looks real clean here, complete with chrome valve cover.

Though the CARC opened up the engine rules for 1974 in the modified division, allowing V8's to compete on the 1/5 mile Lakeside oval, Butch decided to stay with the tried and true Ford 300 CID 6 'popper'. He did go so far as adding 3 Weber side draft carburetors though. The frame and body on this car were from Velmar St. Peter. The body on this car, known as 'The Outlaw' was 8" narrower than the standard CARC Modified of the day. Butch won 2 Semi Main Events in the number 14. This was the same car that Denver racing legend Jim Malloy drove at Lakeside for a time in the '60's. The proud and smiling crew photographed here from left to right are, driver Butch Hannah and crew men, Jim Cotton, Rick Losh and Ron Cline. Merle Burrow is in the white drivers suit with the blue stripe, lighting a cigarette, all the way to the right in the photo.

By 1982 Butch decided to try Late Model racing, here he is photographed driving the number 04 car. He has the inside line on Roger Avants in the number 27. This photo was taken as the cars were coming through the south turns at Lakeside Speedway, with the pits in the background. Butch said he only drove this car 2 or 3 times during the 1982 season.

Later in the season of 1982, Butch had his Late Model repainted and renumbered to his familiar number 11. Notice he is now wearing a full face helmet. This photo was also taken as Butch is racing through turns 1 and 2 at Lakeside Speedway.

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Old 12-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Butch Hannah

the black 11 that butch drove was not purchased by gary schafer, it was the other way around he bought the blue 63 from myself and turned it into the backwards 11 in winter of 1970.
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butch hannah, carc, lakeside speedway

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