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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 09-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #11
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

Joe, as far as I can tell, Eddie put the roll bar on #5 for the 1959 season. My dad told Jack DeShon he would only drive his #51 car for the 59 season, if he put a roll bar on it, mainly because of the Kenny Blanchard accident at Lakeside.
Seems like a lot of Denver midget owners put a roll bar on for 1959. As dad tells it, you could clearly see Blanchard's head hit the pavement each time the car went over, hence the trend toward roll bars. Leroy Byers, would probably be the best resource for the exact answer. I wasn't born yet, but of all the printed material I have, seems 1959 is the first year the #5 shows up with a roll bar. Just a guess on my part. Maybe Thomas E. can recall?
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

As I recall, 1959 was the first year that Ed had a roll bar on the #5 car.

Looking back at USAC when they took over sanctioned auto racing from AAA in 1955, the idea of roll bars was being talk about throught the ranks of the newly formed USAC.

The magizines of Speed Age, Motor Trend, Hot Rod, had several articles about the roll bar issue for open wheel race cars, in looking at the different designs that could be used for drag cars and and cirle burners. From 1955 to 1957 roll bars were scarce in the open wheel ranks. The car that Sam Hanks won the 1957 Indy 500 in, in 1958 the same car would be driven by Jimmy Bryan ('58 winner) and would outfitted with a roll bar and an elbow guard to keep Jim's right elbow out the right rear tire. Several other cars had roll bars as well, among them some the Watson Roadsters, surprisingly the #5 Watson Leader Card roadster that raced at Monza did not have a roll bar. At this point there was no strong arming among the USAC officals, even the Director of competition at the time, Sam Hanks, had said the owners, owner/drivers make the choice, but eventually all the championship cars had roll bars.

Now back to those fabulous midgets. With USAC midgets in '58 it seemed to be divided camp, those who had the roll bar and those who didn't. It was the same way with local midget clubs and associations, your choice, that was how it was when I joined the RMMRA in 1961. If you look and the 1962 Midget Program thread, you'll that Warren Hamilton's #6, and Earl Kouba's #55 did not have a roll bar, I think two-thirds of the RMMRA cars had a roll bar, at that time Warren wasn't to keen on the idea.

I remember when Dave Barlett rolled his #15 Falcon powered midget going into the south turn at Lakeside, Dave's car had a roll bar, but you could see his head also hit pavement. Dave was quite shaken, but unijured. With USAC that in '64-'65 the external roll bar was required, and most of the local midget clubs and associations did the same.

The rest is history.




"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

Some more on roll bar history; in the open wheel ranks, the old track roadsters were first mostly free of roll bars until the late forties. After that, at a lot of tracks, it was mostly a single hoop, sometimes mounted at the rear of the cockpit, some mounted through the deck. Pretty much all of them were lower than the drivers head. I do remember as a kid discovering auto racing, some cars in the eastern Nebraska area having four post cages on their roadsters. The evolution of roll bars in roadsters can be seen in the two "Roaring Roadsters" books of Don Radbruch
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

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Some more on roll bar history; in the open wheel ranks, the old track roadsters were first mostly free of roll bars until the late forties. After that, at a lot of tracks, it was mostly a single hoop, sometimes mounted at the rear of the cockpit, some mounted through the deck. Pretty much all of them were lower than the drivers head. I do remember as a kid discovering auto racing, some cars in the eastern Nebraska area having four post cages on their roadsters. The evolution of roll bars in roadsters can be seen in the two "Roaring Roadsters" books of Don Radbruch
Charlie Codner's #99 roadster that Don Padia drove had a high roll bar that looked like was the same level has Don's helmet.

The Don Radbruch books are great.



"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant


Lloyd Axel in his Kurtis Offy midget, in a match race against Don Padilla in the Codner track roadster. This is at Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 1955 I think?
Axel won going away. This shows the hoop roll bar on the track roadster to advantage. That's the same midget that started this thread, at the Pizza Oven!
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

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Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post


Lloyd Axel in his Kurtis Offy midget, in a match race against Don Padilla in the Codner track roadster. This is at Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 1955 I think?
Axel won going away. This shows the hoop roll bar on the track roadster to advantage. That's the same midget that started this thread, at the Pizza Oven!
That is a flag photo!
Check out those skinny tires on 99; #5 was carrying Firestone racing tires, the front tires were similar in look to the Firestone impliment tire they sold back when.

WOW! Araphahoe County Fairgrounds. I had seen a few championship 50 and 100 lap midget races there.

That may be before 1955, though I'm not too sure. CARC went from the roaring roadsters to stockers I think in 1952.

Still that's a great photo.



"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

Thomas, your right about that, I think the roadsters died out in 1950, dad tells me he remembers the last roadster race had 13 cars, maybe at Englewood? Dad had just got back from Korea. I just found this shot of Eddie with the "Pizza Oven" livery on the #5

I just called pop, he said the last roadster race was at Englewood, but he can't put a exact year on it. He was drafted in 50, went to basic and had his 20th birthday in basic training in Alabama (his birthday is July 20th, 1930), and his 21st birthday in Korea, which would be 1951. He said, he told Jack DeShon he would quit being a pit crewman if he did not put a roll bar on the midget, this would be 57 or 58 after the Kenny Blanchard accident. When he got back to Denver in early 52, the CARC were running coupes, and he got involved in 1954. So, the roadsters died out in 1950, the CARC started running coupes in 1951 or 52'? He can't remember for sure, anyone else have more exact dates?
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

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Originally Posted by Mitch G. View Post
Thomas, your right about that, I think the roadsters died out in 1950, dad tells me he remembers the last roadster race had 13 cars, maybe at Englewood? Dad had just got back from Korea. I just found this shot of Eddie with the "Pizza Oven" livery on the #5

I just called pop, he said the last roadster race was at Englewood, but he can't put a exact year on it. He was drafted in 50, went to basic and had his 20th birthday in basic training in Alabama (his birthday is July 20th, 1930), and his 21st birthday in Korea, which would be 1951. He said, he told Jack DeShon he would quit being a pit crewman if he did not put a roll bar on the midget, this would be 57 or 58 after the Kenny Blanchard accident. When he got back to Denver in early 52, the CARC were running coupes, and he got involved in 1954. So, the roadsters died out in 1950, the CARC started running coupes in 1951 or 52'? He can't remember for sure, anyone else have more exact dates?
I have a copy of a 1950 CARC roadster program when they were still at Englewood. The CARC ran both roadsters and stock cars in 1950, some of the photos are under the George Freeman profile. I have no info on whether or not the roadsters tried again in 1951, but perhaps not with the popularity of the stockers. CARC moved to Lakeside in 1952 after what I'm told was a one race late summer visit there in '51 at the invitation of Ben Krasner.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

Hello everyone - have some pics of the car about this time from my dad Jim and uncle Dick Butz that crewed for Eddie. Hard to see but can see Pizza Oven on the hood. Also note crunched rear, probably from push truck - another reason for the bar that ran to the back, 1958 Lakeside speedway. Mitch helpingClick image for larger version

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Old 04-07-2012, 12:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Ed Jackson & the Pizza Oven Restaurant

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Originally Posted by Olen McGuire View Post
I thought I would add my version of Jerry Lee's Pizza Oven photo. Maybe it will jog some memories of what it looked like back then. I wasn't sure of what color Ed's midget was, so I left it white with a silver lettering.~Olen

Olen - great job on the colorizing! Ed's midget was cream with gold lettering outlined in red, tan interior which you got. Here's a shot of the car recently with current custodian Leroy Byers. John Leyba - Denver Post story
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