Posted on: Aug 13, 2011 at 04:48
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Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 11---Don Boorse, champion driver and car owner whose career in midget auto racing spanned over fifty-years of involvement died, today at the age of 80 years old, after a short illness. Don made his midget debut at Angell Park Speedway on July 15, 1951 finishing third in the semi feature. Don won three features at Angell Park Speedway in 1955 finishing second in Badger Midget Series points, and third place the following year. In addition to winning events at Angell Park, Don also won Badger events as a driver at Shawano, Wausau, and Beaver Dam to name a few. In 1958 he won the Midwest Car Owner & Drivers Association Championship. The series ran races throughout the Midwest on paved and dirt tracks, and was considered one of the top series at the time.

Don also ran many races under the alias “Jack Starr” to avoid penalties imposed on drivers during that era for running races outside certain sanctioning organizations. Don captured the USAC National Midget Feature at Macon (Ill.) Raceway on July 30, 1959. In the early60’s Don stopped racing, to focus more time on his growing family and business interests. Don returned to driving in 1977, finishing seventh in Badger points. During this time he won also features with NWMRA and CORA. In 1979 he finished runner-up in Badger Driver points to Stan Fox and also finished fifth in the Belleville Midget Nationals.

Don suffered a broken neck in an accident in 1982 at Raceway Park (Beaver Dam, Wis.). After recovering he ran a few selected events before focusing on being a car owner. Kevin Doty won the Pepsi Nationals and finished second in Badger points driving for Don during the 1988 season. The following season using five drivers Don finished second in Badger car owner points. Unable to find a driver for the June 4, 1989 event at Angell Park and running second in owner points Don elected to drive his own car. Engine problems at the conclusion of hot laps ended his chances, marking his final time behind the wheel. Teaming with son Dan, the pair captured the Badger Midget Championship in 1993, marking the first of Don’s four Badger Car Owner Championships. Don also finished second seven times in Badger Owner points. Don’s greatest moments as a car owner came at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway with Dan driving the familiar red & silver #88. The pair won the 1999 and 2003 Chili Bowl Nationals, along with capturing the preliminary night feature each year.

Visitation will be on Tuesday Aug. 16 from 11:00 am "12:30 pm, followed by a 1:00 pm service at Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home, 10280 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, Wis.

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