Highway Crash Can’t Stop Kurt Mayhew

HAMMOND, IN: Fifty-nine year old midget racer Kurt Mayhew, a veteran of over 30 years of competition, overcame a serious highway crash to score a popular victory in the IRS midget feature at Sun Prairie’s Angel Park Sunday night.

The previous Sunday, while towing home alone from the Prairie, the Roselawn, Indiana racer was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver near the Illinois-Indiana border at roughly 3 AM Monday morning. Mayhew’s tow vehicle and trailer were destroyed, it’s contents scattered all over the highway. The only good news for Mayhew, nursing a sore wrist and extremely tender ribs, was that the racecar suffered only moderate damage.

But, of course, even “moderate” damage can be devastating for a shoestring racer.

Fortunately, Kurt had a second race car in Wisconsin. He had planned to run the Illini Racing Series show at Angell Park the following Sunday, but with possible cracked ribs and very little support equipment, this plan would have to be scrapped.

Or, would it?

By the weekend, Mayhew had decided to drive up to Wisconsin Sunday and see if he could figure any way to run. He knew he would have to rely on plenty of help from his friends if he hoped to compete. That is, if his body would allow it.

After gingerly testing himself in hot laps, Mayhew thought he might be able to do it. After all, he reasoned, it wasn’t the first time he had raced banged-up during his long career.

Well guess what? Kurt Mayhew finished second in his heat race, started the feature on the front row took the early lead and hung on somehow, to score one of the most unexpected victories in the history of Angell Park!

In Victory Lane, even the cracked ribs couldn’t erase the wide grin on Kurt’s face. This amazing evening at Sun Prairie proved once again that real racers have one thing in common: they RACE!


Heat #1 (10 laps): 1. David Budres, Beloit, WI, #31 Snap-On Tools Quad-4/Ellis; 2. Dick Kaiser, Milwaukee, WI, #82 Dan George Scream Focus/Stealth; 3. Mike Adams. Jr., Rockdale, WI, #21A Joe Albert Chevy II/Mislich; 4. Loran Critchett, Jr., Alsip, IL, #17 Dave Gass VW/Challenger; 5. Eddie Sauer, Loves Park, IL, #74 Sauer Racing 2300cc Ford/Edmunds; 6. Scott Dunning, Joliet, IL, #1 Knippel/Spencer Racing Illini Ford/Hawk; 7. Scott Koerner, Joliet, IL, #4 Task Management Sesco 2×4/Bishop; 8. Tom Shilkuski, Spring Valley, IL, #66 Ray Shilkuski VW/Kenyon

Heat #2 (10 laps): 1. Joe Knippel, Mokena, IL, #33 INR Beatty Lumber Quad-4/Buzzard 2. Kurt Mayhew, Hammond, IN, #21 Mayhew Racing Buick/Buzzard; 3. Allen Gillis, Westmont, IL, #39 Task Management Illini Focus/White; 4. Lamont Critchett, Chicago Heights, IL, #44 Critchett VW/Stapp; 5. Sean Murphy, Evanston, IL, #5 Half Fast Quad-4/Hawk; 6. Duke Fulton, Winton, IA, #32 Arnold Automotive VW/Vogler;; 7. Doug Orseske, Frankfort, IL, #0 Orseske Farms Quad-4/Buzzard; 8. Mark Morey, Sugar Grove, IL, #3 RaceFab Illini Focus/White; 9. Jason Dull, Machesney Park, IL, DNS

A-Main (25 laps): 1. Mayhew, 2. Gillis, 3. Knippel, 4. La. Critchett, 5. Kaiser, 6. Sauer, 7. Lo. Critchett, Jr., 8. Fulton, 9. Morey, 10. Shilkuski, 11. Koerner, 12. Orseske, 13. Adams, Jr., 14. Murphy. 15. Dunning, 16. Budres, 17. Dull (DNS)

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