This car was prepared for the 1979 season by renowned race car mechanic John Singer and driver Doug Wolfgang, for Speedway Motors. Singer was from Tipton, MO, and came to Lincoln to build race cars and be the crew chief on this car. Wolfgang was from Sioux Falls and came to Lincoln to build cars and drive for Bill. Designed by Wolfgang and Bill Smith, this 4x sprint car’s most recognizable feature was its sloping wedge-style hood. This hood served several purposes. First, it provided much needed down force on the front of the car and second, it provided a large injector air box area which helped the engine breath without the worry of foreign objects hitting the fuel injection. Another (non-aerodynamic) advantage of this hood style was that it provided ample area for Bill to advertise Speedway Motors.
Shane Carson was chosen to drive the car for the 1979 season and was immediately successful, winning twice each at Sedalia, MO, and Knoxville, IA, and scoring single wins at Davenport and Burlington in Iowa and Doniphan, NE.
At mid-season Doug Wolfgang took over driving chores. Wolfgang’s first race in the car was at the Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia on July 13-14, 1979. The Speedway Motors team found themselves more than $4000 richer as Wolfgang dominated both days of the event.
The 4x team went on to score wins at Des Moines, IA; Eagle, NE; Doniphan; Knoxville; Sedalia; Spencer, IA; Ascot Park in Gardena, CA; San Jose, CA; and Granite City, IL. As a result, Bill Smith finished the 1979 season as the National Speedways Contest Association (NSCA) car owner champion. Wolfgang, Smith and Singer took this car to Florida to begin the 1980 season and scored big in the 4th annual Southern Sprint Nationals at East Bay Speedway in Gibsonton. Wolfgang scored a preliminary feature win during the 4-day event and in the 50-lap final defeated Sammy Swindell for a resounding victory.
Wolfgang also scored a pair of wins each at Tampa, FL, and the Devils Bowl at Mesquite, TX during the season. Other top line drivers who piloted the car during the early 1980s included Ron Shuman, Cheryl Glass and Lloyd Beckman.
The chassis on this car is similar in many ways to the Opperman 4x car, but Don Maxwell (who built the Opperman car) laughed at it when he first saw it. Don had always tried to build good looking cars and considered this thing to look terrible. Mechanically, on the inside, it is similar to the Maxwell-built car, but it has a slightly higher roll center.
When built in 1978, it raced only a few times as a backup for Speedway's primary Visegrip car, and was painted in Visegrip colors; mostly white with yellow accents and black numbers. To start the 1979 season, it was painted similar to the Visegrip scheme but with purple replacing the yellow. At mid-season in 1979, this car was painted its traditional purple and white as it is now. It remained this same basic scheme through 1981. In 1982, it was painted white with purple letters and numbers, which it retained in 1983.
Bill sold the car following the 1983 season. As usual, he doesn't remember who he sold it to. The car was then raced for several more years in the upper Midwest, mostly Minnesota.