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Fourteen named to Nat’l Midget Auto Racing HoF

By Bryan Gapinski
Sun Prairie,Wis., Aug. 28—–Steve Lotshaw, Leigh Earnshaw, Dick Jordan, Pedro “PeeWee” Distarce and ten participants from the Historical Era (1934-55) were announced today as the latest inductees into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during the 10th annual Hall of Fame Midget Classic, USAC National Midget Series event at Angell Park Speedway.
Lotshaw won the 1979 USAC National Midget Championship, by a scant four points, and was runner-up in points on three occasions. His ten career USAC National wins were highlighted by a victory in the 1984 Night Before the 500 at ‘O Reilly Raceway Park and four indoor feature victories, in a career which saw him make 332 career USAC National Midget feature starts.
Earnshaw captured four ARDC Driver’s championships in 1973, ’74, ’75 and ’80, along with forty-six ARDC feature events during a fifteen-year plus driving career. Earnshaw also competed with various East Coast Sprint Car and Modified organizations before retiring in 1985.
Jordan, joined the USAC Staff in December of 1968. Jordan has overseen USAC publications and all news media activity for over four decades.He is currently VP of News and Communication for the organization. It is estimated that Jordan has attended over 90% of all USAC National Midget events since his employment with the organization. He is also a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Distarce, a former boxer turned driver was one of the sport’s first top drivers. He also helped his brother Dominic, with the promotion of midget racing at the famed Loyola Speedway in Los Angeles and then competed as a top driver for many seasons.
The ten from the Historical Era include: George Binnie, two-time Kansas City Midget Association Champion;
Johnny Boyd, 1951 BCRA Champion, and twelve-time starter in the Indianapolis 500; Gordon Cleveland, standout California driver; Charlie Curryer, Oakland (Calif.) Speedway promoter; Joe Giba, winner of 21 features with various Colorado sanctioning organizations; Norm Girtz, San Joaquin Valley star; Gib Lilly, 1938 Southern Midget Racing Association Champion; Eddie Meyer, West Coast Car Owner; Bob Slater, two-time Kansas City Midget Association Champion; and
Paul Swedburg, pioneer driver in the early 30’s..
The 27th Annual Induction Ceremony for the fourteen will be held on Friday Jan. 14, 2011 in the Central Park Hall on the Tulsa (Okla.) Fairgrounds, in conjunction with the annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Their plaques will be on permanent display in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame at Angell Park Speedway (Sun Prairie, Wis.).