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King of the Midgets
1981 USAC National Midget Champion 1985 USAC National Midget Champion
The 1980's


    1980's Summary:

      1980 - Mel Kenyon lost by an even closer margin, three points in 1980, when Rich Vogler came back to claim a second title.

      1981 - Mel Kenyon's unprecedented sixth championship, after those two consecutive squeakers, came in 1981.

      1982 - Kevin Olson managed to win the 1982 title on consistency without the aid of a single victory while Mel Kenyon, second yet again, made history during the season by scoring his 100th USAC National Midget feature.

      1983 - Rich Vogler was back on top for a third time in 1983.

      1984 - Tom Bigelow, a USAC Midget campaigner of twenty years' standing but chasing the full circuit only for the second time, moved from second in 1983 to first, with none other than Mel Kenyon forced into the runner-up position for the seventh time.

      1985 - In 1985, the amazing Mel Kenyon moved into an early lead, won his 103rd, 104th, and 105th National USAC Midget features and captured the National title for a seventh time.


    1980
    Mel in his VW powered racer
    1980's poster courtesy of Tom Eidemiller

    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1980

      Starts..................30
      Feature Wins........5
      Runner Ups...........4
      3rd Place..............5
      4th Place..............1
      5th Place..............3
      6th - 10th...........10
      Failed to Qual.......4
      Season Results.....2nd (new record: closest ever USAC points - Mel lost to Rich Vogler by 3 points)

    Mel was invited to tell his story at the Great Indianapolis Billy Graham Crusade
    Taken from "A Hand For the Wheel" by Jack Albinson
    Mel was invited to tell his story at the Great Indianapolis
    Billy Graham Crusade in May, 1980. It was an honor of a lifetime.

    1981
    1981 USAC National Midget Champion
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1981

      Starts..................26
      Feature Wins........2
      Runner Ups...........4
      3rd Place..............5
      4th Place..............2
      5th Place..............1
      6th - 10th.............4
      Failed to Qual.......1
      Season Results.....National Champion (by 8 points over Steve Lotshaw)
      1981 USAC National Midget Champion


    Taken from "A Hand For the Wheel" by Jack Albinson
    Mel at the helm of a Champ Dirt Car.

    1982
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1982

      Starts..................15
      Feature Wins........2
      Runner Ups...........6
      3rd Place..............0
      4th Place..............1
      5th Place..............0
      6th - 10th.............4
      Failed to Qual.......0
      Season Results.....2nd

    Taken from "A Hand For the Wheel" by Jack Albinson
    Mel and his family. Marieanne, Brice & Vaughn.

    July 7,1982 - Kokomo, Indiana - Mel Kenyon wins his 100th USAC feature race.


    Photo courtesy of Tom Eidemiller
    Mel zipping around the Speedrome in 1982

    Ready to test the new Suzuki V-8 at the Speedrome
    Ready to test the new Suzuki V-8 at the Speedrome

    1983
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1983

      Starts..................11
      Feature Wins........0
      Runner Ups...........1
      3rd Place..............2
      4th Place..............1
      5th Place..............0
      6th - 10th.............3
      Failed to Qual.......0
      Season Results.....8th


    Taken from Open Wheel Magazine Feb. 1993
    Mel at Terre Haute in 1983.

    1984
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1984

      Starts..................20
      Feature Wins........2
      Runner Ups...........2
      3rd Place..............3
      4th Place..............1
      5th Place..............1
      6th - 10th.............6
      Failed to Qual.......1
      Season Results.....2nd

    Up, up and away!
    Photo courtesy of Tom Eidemiller
      Mel was virtually stuck on the outside groove going into the first turn when John Andretti and Tom Hayworth made contact, forcing the lead pack to the outside. Kenyon's car struck another car and went for a horredous ride on top of the first turn wall. Mel was shaken but not injured.

    1985
    1985 USAC National Midget Champion
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1985

      Starts..................27
      Feature Wins........3
      Runner Ups...........7
      3rd Place..............4
      4th Place..............5
      5th Place..............1
      6th - 10th.............4
      Failed to Qual.......1
      Season Results.....National Champion (by 123 points over Rich Vogler)
      1985 USAC National Midget Champion

    Eyeing a championship.... again
    Ready for battle!

    1985 USAC Midget Champion in Stan Lee's #66 VW powered racer in action at Winchester
    Mel at Winchester in 1985

    1985 USAC Midget Champion in Stan Lee's #66 VW powered racer at the Speedrome
    Mel and the VW #66 at the Speedrome

    1985 USAC Midget Champion in Stan Lee's #66 VW powered racer
    1985 USAC Midget Champion in Stan Lee's #66 VW powered racer.

    1986
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1986

      Starts..................18
      Feature Wins........2
      Runner Ups...........1
      3rd Place..............2
      4th Place..............1
      5th Place..............1
      6th - 10th.............5
      Failed to Qual.......0
      Season Results.....2nd


    Mel's V8 Suzuki in 1986.

    3-K VW powered racer
    Mel's 3-K VW powered midget.

    Wrenchin' at The Action Track in Terre Haute
    Taken from Open Wheel Magazine Feb. 1993
    The Bi-focal Brothers wrenchin' at The Action Track in Terre Haute.

    Mel slashing inside of Dave Ray at Terre Haute in 1986
    Taken from Open Wheel Magazine Feb. 1993
    Mel slashing inside of Dave Ray at Terre Haute in 1986.

    1987
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1987

      Starts..................26
      Feature Wins........2
      Runner Ups...........2
      3rd Place..............2
      4th Place..............2
      5th Place..............3
      6th - 10th.............7
      Failed to Qual.......0
      Season Results.....5th

    Mel slashing inside of Dave Ray at Terre Haute in 1986
    Taken from Open Wheel Magazine Feb. 1993

      Kenyon leads the way in action from the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 1987. Mel behind the wheel of the "Suzuki V-8" consistantly turned laps as fast and faster than the Silver Crown cars on the big tracks.


    Taken from Open Wheel Magazine
    3-K's 14,000 RPM Suzuki V-8 Engine

    1988
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1988

      Starts..................24
      Feature Wins........1
      Runner Ups...........5
      3rd Place..............5
      4th Place..............5
      5th Place..............2
      6th - 10th.............2
      Failed to Qual.......1
      Season Results.....4th

    January 9, 1988 - Chili Bowl Nationals Mel finished 2nd in the first 10 lap heat race in Tulsa, OK. and qualified for the feature. In the 40 lap feature Mel placed 5th. Scott Hatton was the event winner.

    1989
    Mel Kenyon's USAC Midget stats for 1989

      Starts..................14
      Feature Wins........1
      Runner Ups...........0
      3rd Place..............2
      4th Place..............0
      5th Place..............2
      6th - 10th.............5
      Failed to Qual.......0
      Season Results.....7th


    Courtesy of www.openwheelracing.com

      Mel Kenyon, inside, and Johnny Parsons warm their motors during the Thunder in the Dome event in 1989. Johnny is driving the #66 B&W plumbing car which was a 3-K team car to Mel's. Kenyon and Parsons also share a quiet religious devotion.

With God You're Always A Winner!
1964 USAC National Midget Champion 1967 USAC National Midget Champion 1968 USAC National Midget Champion 1974 USAC National Midget Champion 1977 USAC National Midget Champion 1981 USAC National Midget Champion 1985 USAC National Midget Champion 1995 NAMARS Midget Champion 1996 NAMARS Midget Champion 1997 NAMARS Midget Champion

#61 - Mel Kenyon: King of the Midgets
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