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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 Smiley Merlyn [Mk 20] Kansas City 27 pts
2. James King March [71BM] S. Illinois 22 pts
3. Bill Bachman Lola [T240] Colorado 16 pts
4. Bob Schutt Brabham [BT35] St Louis 16 pts
5. James Gutfreund Brabham [BT35] Des Moines Valley 7 pts
6. Frank Dickerson Brabham [BT9] Wichita 4 pts
7. Gerald Hudson Lola Wichita 3 pts
8. Porter Brownlee Merlyn [Mk 21] Arkansas 2 pts

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

1972 Schedule

The SCCA Nationals schedule for this Division is not currently available.

Midwest Division sources

Although Competition Press was more concerned with west coast and east coast events, the major midwest events were covered reasonably well. However, 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.