Johnny Pawl began racing in 1933 after being inspired by James Cagney in the movie “The Crowd Roars.” He began building big cars prior to World War II then preceded to build his first midget during the conflict.
During those early years he was a riding mechanic in the two man cars at Indy and earned a reputation as a quality mechanic.
Indy car owner Murrell Belanger financed John’s shop in Crown Point, Indiana and after the war the Pawl midgets took home their share of the big money that was available in the sport. With such drivers as Teddy Duncan, Paul Russo and Duke Nalon the Pawl cars were extremely successful on the mile tracks.
In 1955 Johnny Pawl purchased the Kurtis Kraft business from Frank Kurtis and continued to supply cars and parts to the sport for years.