This car was Olie Bardahl's first Midget, which he sponsored in the northwest with Shorty Templeman as the driver. There is a great history behind this car, as Templeman won many feature events in the late 1940s and early '50s. Olie was the well-known owner of the Bardahl automotive additive products line.
Clark “Shorty” Templeman started his racing career on the northwest midget circuits in 1945. After a short apprenticeship, he won five Washington State titles and three Oregon State championships.
Jumping into national competition, Templeman became the first three-time USAC midget champion, winning titles in 1956-'57-'58.
His biggest victory (or should we say victories) during that span came on May 29, 1956, when he won three features in one day at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis. Lest you think this was some kind of watered down achievement, no less than 54 midgets took part in the program with such stars as Don Branson, Jimmy Davies, Rex Easton, Gene Force, A.J. Foyt, and Ernie McCoy. A packed house of 15,000 spectators helped celebrate Templeman's victories in the pair of opening 100-lap victories along with his win in the 150-lap finale.
Shorty ran several times in the championship cars with his best finish a pair of second-place runs at DuQuoin and at Syracuse in 1961.
People close to Shorty warned him to be more careful, saying, "you are going to kill yourself." Templeman's reply was, "I'm too tough to get killed in a midget." But on August 23, 1962, during the running of a USAC midget race at Marion, Ohio, Shorty was caught up in a crash which resulted in fatal injuries to himself and Jim Hemmings.
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