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Sprint Cars & Champ Cars The big brother(s) to the midget these open wheel beasts have a rich heritage in our auto racing memories.



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Old 11-06-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
Mitch G.
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Default Larry Dickson racing legend

Here's a cat that get's overlooked when discussing past racing greats. "Lightning" Larry Dickson won 2 USAC national Sprint car titles, numerous dirt champ car wins, dirt, pavement, ran rear engine indy cars, stock cars, this cat was one of America's best race drivers. His battles with Gary Bettenhausen in the early 70's USAC national sprint series, became known as the "The Larry and Gary Show". Here is Dickson on his way to winning the 1968 USAC sprint crown, driving another legend of the sport's creation, Steve Stapp's beautiful sprint car.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

Hey Mitch, thanks for posting this thread. I was reading about Larry Dickson when I clicked on ARM and you had posted it.(Great minds think alike.) Here is his Bio that I was reading.

Larry Dickson (born September 8, 1938, Marietta, Ohio), is a former driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series. He raced in the 1965-1981 seasons, with 105 combined career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 in 1966-1969, 1971, 1978-1979, and 1981. He finished in the top ten 44 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1968 at Springfield. He was also a 3 time USAC Sprint Car Series Champion in 1968, 1970 and 1975. Larry won 43 USAC Sprint car races and was the all-time leader in the division until Tom Bigelow broke his record. In the years 1968-71 Larry and Gary Bettnhausen raced each other in what was billed as "The Larry and Gary show" or "Thunder (Bettenhausen) and Lightning (Dickson) exchanging the USAC Sprint Car title between each other during those years. Those were probably the most exciting USAC sprint car races of all time. Larry also ventured to Daytona to drive Richie Giachetti's Ford Torino in the Daytona 500, running in the top ten before the engine expired. Larry finished his career in the ToMax USAC Silver Crown car owned by his brother, Tommy and Max Brittain. Larry is now semi-retired, living in Indianapolis and tending to his real estate investments.
(Larry's Bio from Wikipedia)


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Old 11-07-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

Olen, I was hoping someone would expand on his accomplishments, I came across the photo in Dick Wallens book, "Roar From the Sixties", but was in a hurry and didn't research his career. The guy was a great race car driver, thanks for adding that info!
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend



Thanks, Mitch! That is one awesome photo...an open cockpit view complete with driver body-english as "Lightning" Larry backs it deep into the corner and then powers out all locked up. I've done this on a flat-tracker motorcycle; but, never in a spinter or a midget. To see what's very high on Buzz's Bucket-List, click Here ~VB
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

The photo is what prompted me to do the post. I've backed a midget in many times, but not a sprint car. Midgets are way down on horse power compared to a sprinter, so you can't really dump a midget into the corner as hard as you can a sprint car, can't wait to try it. Hoping to go to a sprint car school up near the Dallas area in the next couple of years, Smiley Sitton has a 1/4 mile dirt track and does the school thing.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

I had the opportunity to put Larry Dickson back in the seat of the dunseth 2that he drove in 1972. The event was the Reading PA. Fairgrounds reunion in June of 2009. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame that day. It was a pleasure to spend sometime with him talk about his career, both in USAC and URC. He looks like he could strap in and do battle with Gary B. all over again!
That one day made all of the time and expense of the restoration worthwhile


oops, forgot the photo
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

Now that's a great post! What a great reunion, a classic race car reunited with one of it's legendary drivers, can't top that.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

Larry Dickson grew up in Marietta, Ohio and raced in southern Ohio and West Virginia up until moving to the URC sprint series in 1965 or so. Back in those days the fans either loved him or hated him. He was very competitive and would fight at the drop of a hat.

In 1960 or 61 he won something like 16 feature events at our local track. His #0 1932 Ford coupe was almost unbeatable that year. I might add Larry started driving before he was of legal age of 16. He owned race cars a few years before he could drive, and had other drivers driving them.

Larry was one smooth sprint car driver. He had his troubles over the years like most everyone does but he survived and can be proud of his record.

Larry also had a couple brothers who raced and younger brother Tommy Dickson was headed to the USAC series just like Larry had done but took a rock in his eye at Eldora which ended his racing career. An older brother Paul Dickson also drove but was injured in a crash at a local track in the early 60's which ended his career. Now days there are several nephews of Larry's racing locally in sprint cars and modifieds. One nephew, Steve Dickson is now a big shot with the Bobby Rahal Indy car operations.

Larry now lives south of Indy and has rental properties that keep him busy. Tommy has a car lot in Parkersburg, WV. but has been hit with illness recently and isn't doing good at all. The whole family is very competitive and a good bunch of folks.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

I had the opportunity to put Larry Dickson back in the seat of the dunseth 2that he drove in 1972. The event was the Reading PA. Fairgrounds reunion in June of 2009. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame that day. It was a pleasure to spend sometime with him talk about his career, both in USAC and URC. He looks like he could strap in and do battle with Gary B. all over again!
That one day made all of the time and expense of the restoration worthwhile


oops, forgot the photo[/quote]

I had the pleasure of seeing Larry compete in that car in the 72 season at Reading and Penn National. I had a front row seat for some of the battles of the Larry and Gary show, Gary was one of my heroes!


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Old 12-15-2010, 12:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Larry Dickson racing legend

hey nice driver i see its so many racing videos and competitions and i want to make a good racing driver here want some tips about it.
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