Keith Hightshoe started his racing career at Arlington (Nebraska) Raceway, in 1955, competing with jalopies on the quarter-mile bullring. His progress was steady and by the early 1960s, he had earned a ride in Les Vickers’ modified. As the cars were evolving into supermodifieds, Hightshoe started winning at Capitol Beach and Beatrice Speedway.
His big break came when Ed Smith hired him to pilot his sprinter in 1966. The team immediately became a force, winning twice at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln and finishing high in the points despite a late start. Larry Swanson hired Keith for the 1967 season and they won three times at Midwest and picked up a big win at the Belleville High Banks as well. Keith also finished second in BCRA points behind Roy Bryant and won two more races at Midwest late in the 1967 after moving to the Swenson and Williams team.
Keith did get one chance to drive an Offy-powered car. When his regular ride blew up at Belleville, Willie Hardeman offered Keith the seat in his ancient rail-frame 270. Hightshoe promptly went out and won a heat race, but while running with the leaders in the feature, the motor blew. Keith was preparing his apology speech but he never got the chance. Hardeman came running over, nearly crying and yelled, “I’ve never seen my car go that fast, this is the greatest day of my racing career!”
Over the next few years, Hightshoe showed his on-the-gas talent by setting a one-lap record at Eagle in 1970 steering the Trostle and Kain Chevy. He spent most of the 1971 season driving for Ernie DiCorce and was victorious at Colorado National Speedway in Erie, during a BCRA sanctioned meet. Keith piloted a car owned by Lyle Sinner at Eagle, Midwest, Belleville and Knoxville for several years, starting in 1972. Though under funded, the team did quite well until Hightshoe crashed at Eagle in 1975, which kept him out the rest of the season.
After a hiatus of nine years, Hightshoe returned to the sport in 1983. Driving his own car for the most part, he raced at Midwest, Eagle and Beatrice, with a few runs at Knoxville thrown in for good measure. He very nearly won a feature at Eagle in the early 1990s and his love of the sport kept him involved and competitive until retiring at end of the 2000 season.