James King in his March 71BM at Lake Garnett in 1972. Copyright David Hutson 2009.  Used with permission.

MidWest Division SCCA Formula B 1972

Bob Lazier concentrated on the Pro series in 1972, leaving 1971 runner-up Gordon Smiley to take the title from James King. Smiley stuck with his 1971 Merlyn and showed his talent with a couple of appearances in the Pro series, dominating the Road Atlanta race after beasting Lazier to pole and later finishing second at Road America.

James King had acquired the ex-Bob Lazier March 71BM and Bob Schutt had upgraded from his venerable Brabham BT18 to a BT35. Further back was Frank Dickerson who had acquired the 1964 Brabham BT9 that Chuck Grauel had raced in FC but had blown up the MAE engine so had fitted a twin cam and moved up to Formula B.

The Lake Garnett Grand Prix returned to the schedules for 1972, having been called off due to safety concerns in 1970. The return saw two accidents, involving the tragic death of Ralph Miller and serious injuries to Formula C driver Al Essig. It would never he held again, and Kansas City Region thereafter moved to being co-organisers of some of Kansas Region's Nationals at Hutchinson's Sunflower Aerodrome of Mid America Raceway.

Final standings

1. Gordon SmileyMerlyn [Mk 20]Kansas City27 pts 
2. James KingMarch [71BM]S. Illinois22 pts 
3. Bill BachmanLola [T240]Colorado16 pts 
4. Bob SchuttBrabham [BT35]St Louis16 pts 
5. James GutfreundBrabham [BT35]DMV7 pts 
6. Frank DickersonBrabham [BT9]Wichita4 pts 
7. Gerald E HudsonLola [T60]Wichita3 pts 
8. Porter BrownleeMerlyn [Mk 21]Arkansas2 pts 

NB In 1972, SCCA tables did not show where points were earned out of home divisions.

1972 Schedule

23 Apr 1972Stuttgart AirportGrand Prairie Grand Prix (Arkansas Region)
07 May 1972Mid-America RacewayFalstaff Classic (Southern Illinois/
St Louis Region)
18 Jun 1972Hutchinson Naval Air StationHutchinson Grand Prix (Wichita Region)
02 Jul 1972Ponca CityOklahoma Region
13 Aug 1972Lake AftonWichita Region
03 Sep 1972Lake GarnettLake Garnett Grand Prix (Kansas City Region)
24 Sep 1972Mid-America RacewayFall Festival (St Louis Region)
08 Oct 1972Fort SumnerRio Grande Region

Midwest Division sources

Race results for Midwest Division Nationals from 1970 to 1978 have been kindly provided by veteran MiDiv historian Rocky Entriken. We also have some background information from Competition Press up to about 1973, when its interest in such events waned considerably, but we know little of the goings-on away from these events and are are keen to acquire or borrow 1960s, 1970s and 1980s copies of SCCA regional publications from this Division. The key ones are:

  • Checkpoint (Kansas City Region)
  • Course Record (Arkansas Region)
  • The Echo (Southern Illinois Region)
  • Exhaust Notes (Nebraska) - full archive available at nrsccahistory.com.
  • Gasket Gazette (Oklahoma Region)
  • Neokla Observer (NE Oklahoma Region), renamed Sports Car Observer in 1980
  • The Offside Undo (Kansas Region)
  • Redline (Colorado Region)
  • Steerin’ Column (Mid-South Region)
  • Wheelspin (St. Louis Region)
  • Witches Wail (Wichita Region)

We are also keen to get scans of entry lists from SCCA Nationals for this division.