Other Interests at the Race Shop: We venture into car racing

In 1978, USAC decided to form a division called Mini Indy, that would run before the actual Indy cars at races around the country. The cars initially were powered by a 4 cylinder VW air-cooled engine. The following year the rules were modified and the water cooled 1600cc VW Rabbit engine became approved. We decided after running a few races in 78 with the air-cooled engine, I would purchase a new chassis, and prepare a Rabbit engine power plant. This was our first experience with a 4 stroke engine and for a new endeavor it worked out quite well. I adapted a Mercury ignition system and also an electric tachometer and replaced the original components.

At Texas World Speedway on April 8, 1979, Rich Vogler driving our Mini Indy car, placed 2nd after leading many laps of the race, and turning the fastest lap of the race at 156.6 mph. I was really pleased with this result as this was an entirely new field for us to get started in. The 2nd place was accomplished in a starting field of 33 cars, and I couldn'tít have asked for a better result. We ran four more races in the í79 season, placing 4th at Indianapolis Raceway Park and a final finish of top ten in point standings.

Another project was building a midget race car with a 2 liter Mercury outboard engine. After 2 races we were advised that all 2 stroke engines would be illegal. The 2 East Coast midget racing clubs seemed to feel the potential of this engine would create unfair competition.

After 31 years, the race shop was sold in 1987, and I have remained very interested in motor sports since that time.

            A big Thank You to all the drivers and people that helped during the years.


Yellow Race car

Rich Vogler - Dick Odea at Ontario Speedway, Ontario, CA 1979


Race car Engine 122 cu. inch Mercury
Build for midget race car customer