Today we induct into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame a man who has been a racecar driver (still is occasionally), a mentor, a car builder, a mechanic, a track owner, and person who has told me “I am Bad, Bad, Bad, for racing”. He is a second-generation driver as his Dad raced before him. He began at the ripe young age of 18 years old out of High School in 1970. His Dad competed in the Jalopy Class at the Brookfield Racetrack.
Speaking of racetracks this Driver has competed at I-35 Speedway, Savannah, Bethany, Trenton, Chillicothe, Moberly, State Fair, Boone, Butler County, Thunderhill Speedway in Mayetta, Atchison, Britt Iowa, Bloomfield Iowa, Memphis Missouri, I-70 Speedway (both dirt and asphalt) and Lakeside Speedway. He was recently asked to show the owner of the Trenton, Missouri Salvage Yard the layout of the Trenton track when it was in operation. The salvage yard sits on the former track property.
His favorite memory is winning at Lakeside Speedway, the prestige of the track at the time. He also remembers on the asphalt he came out of turn 4 at I-70 Speedway and saw the flagman three times before he got to the start finish line. Anyone who has raced at the asphalt I-70 Speedway will remember coming out of turn 4 the front straight narrows and the wall comes up quick. He was impressed no one hit him and he did not hit anyone in his spins. He loaded up the car and never returned to asphalt.
He stated racing has kept him out of trouble, as young man he was running with the wrong crowd and by delving into racing he stayed away from the trouble of his friends at the time. He started out in car number #65, in his 20th year of racing he switched to car #20, and for two years he raced with car number #28. Running with the car number #28 was in honor of his first wife who had passed. She loved racing and she loved being a racer’s wife! They had been married 28 years and that was the reason he switched to the number #28, in her honor, and this story was announced at the IMCA Nationals in Boone, Iowa.
His best year he competed in the Charger class and won 26 features. This was his second most memorable moment in racing, unfortunately, it also brought back a memory of losing his best buddy, his step son, who loved racing and went with him wherever racing took them.
As a former track owner, he despises Social Media and the people who use it as a forum to complain. He states most people have no idea what it takes to run a race track. Some posts are aimed at individuals, some are aimed at tracks, but all the whining and complaining takes a toll, a toll on our sport, a toll on the individual, and a toll on the track. Owning a track is not for the faint of heart as this former owner suffered a heart attack from the stress of racetrack ownership. He states people need to learn to appreciate people and how much work goes into a racetrack and even a racecar.
As a racer he always says a prayer before going onto the track. He drove for several years with a saying in the racecar, “Never drive faster than Angels can fly”. He has helped over 30 different drivers get started in racing, he has been a mentor to many! He loves racing because of all the friends he has made over the years, friends which have become family! Today we induct into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame a super person, super racer, a super friend even if I am bad, bad, bad for racing, a man with a great history, Gene Stigall! Congratulations Gene!