This past Monday marked the 35-year anniversary of Butch Lindley’s final race. The popular short track racing star was injured in a crash at Desoto Speedway (FL) on April 13, 1985 and passed away five years later as a result of injuries. In this week’s Way Back Wednesday, it only seemed right to look back on one of many victories he recorded during his successful career.
On this date in 1984, approximately one year prior to the crash at Desoto, Lindley scored his first All Pro Series win of the season. 1984 was his best year as a driver in the series, and in a way it might be considered the best year for the series in general.
Lindley won the third race of the season at South Alabama Speedway after beating out Georgia drivers Billy McGinnis and Ronnie Sanders. From there, Lindley won a season-high seven races and had the most top-five finishes of any driver that year.
This is where the 1984 season shows great value, as Gary Balough won six races and these two drivers were not even factors for the championship. Darrell Brown locked up the title with one win and 17 finishes in the top 10. Throw in other winners like Freddie Fryar, Rusty Wallace, David Rogers and Donnie Allison, and you’ll realize how special the season was.
The season started to fade for Lindley with poor runs at Martinsville and the World Crown in the fall. That was all made up for when he raised the Tom Dawson Trophy in December at the Snowball Derby, the biggest win of his career.
Other Racing Events on This Date
1968 – Perk Brown won the season-opening 200-lap race at Bowman Gray Stadium. Don Miller was second and Wayne Lambeth was third.
1973 – Mike Eddy was victorious on the Winchester high banks for the first time in his career. We count five wins for Eddy on the high banks including the 1981 and 1983 Winchester 400 events.
1977 – Gary “Hot Shoe” Balough won the Schaefer 100 at the New York State Fairgrounds on this date. This was a stretch run where Balough was lights out in the 70s, winning four of five starts heading towards the famous Batmobile car in 1980.
1989 – Jimmy Spencer made the trip south and beat Gary Myers at North Wilkesboro Speedway on the SMART Modified Tour. Spencer won the NASCAR Modified Title in 1986 and 1987, but this win in 1989 was his only win on the SMART Tour. Spencer would move up the NASCAR ladder in the next few seasons.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 Stat Boy
-Photo credit: Don Thies