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Six inducted to Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame
The 2003 Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees. (Racetracker Photos)
by Randy Lawrence
LINCOLN, Neb. (September 19, 2003) -- The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame celebrated the induction of six new members in the sixth annual induction ceremony Thursday night at the Lincoln Fireman’s Hall across the street from the Smith Collection Museum on the Speedway Motors Complex in Lincoln, Neb.

The members inducted this year were legendary racers and promoters:

John Davisson, A car owner/builder/mechanic who started racing in the 1950s with Chuck Sears at the wheel. For years he fielded the famous Mighty Mouse cars with drivers Cliff Sealock and Willie Hecke. Davisson was known as a perfectionist and innovator.

Leonard Janke, Began his racing career in England in the mid 1950’s in rally road races and the first ever stock car race in London. Back in the states during the 1970s and 1980s he raced Trans-Am, IMSA and SCCA club racing until retiring following the 1989 season.

Pete Leikam, Car owner, mechanic and promoter. Leikam’s career began in the 1930s. With Lloyd Beckman at the wheel they once won 19 features in a row at Hastings, NE. In 1964 he became the race director at Midwest Speedway and in took over ownership in the late 1960s until the track was closed in the late 1980s.

Don Maxwell, Driver and Sprint Car chassis builder Don began racing in 1965 in Albuquerque, NM. Worked with LaVern Nance in 1971 and went to work for Bill Smith at Speedway Motors in 1972. Along with Jan Opperman, Maxwell began building cars and they soon became the premier sprint cars in the country.

Chuck Sears, Started his racing career at the Adams County Speedway in Hastings and was known as a real “charger.” His racing career ended in the early 1970s and he became a flagman at several central Nebraska race tracks.

Howdy Williams, His official racing career began in 1954. A drag racer who in 1965 defeated Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen three straight times at the Irvington (NE.) drag strip. Williams once turned in a run of 227 mph at the Omaha Dragway. Howdy was killed in a traffic accident in 1979.

In addition, the Gordie Schuck Memorial Sportsmanship award was presented to Tom Baumgardner of North Platte. This was the second presentation of the award, which honors Gordon Frank “Gordie” Shuck, who passed away Feb. 10, 2001, at the age of 73. The popular Edgar farmer raced throughout the Midwest during the 1940s and '50s.

Hors d’oeuvres were served at Thursday night's ceremony, along with cash bar and bench racing occurred at the Lincoln Firefighter's Reception Hall.

The purpose of the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame is to perpetuate the memory and honor Nebraskans who have brought lasting fame and positive recognition to the great State of Nebraska through their achievements in the sport of auto racing.

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Banquet Information
The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame will enshrine six new inductees at the organization’s 21st annual Induction Ceremonies to be held later this year on SATURDAY OCTOBER 27th, 2018 at Courtside Banquet Hall in Lincoln, a NEW LOCATION!! Located at 333 SPEEDWAY CIRCLE #2, LINCOLN, NEBRASKA. Previously, the organization’s annual Induction Ceremonies had been held on a Friday evening at Lincoln Firefighter’s Hall, however timing and space issues prompted the change to a Saturday night at a larger venue.
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Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame