Norm Rust


Norm Rust

Norm Rust was born in New Hudson, Michigan and started racing at age of 21. He built a 1934 Ford Coupe which he raced at Motor City Speedway, finishing 26th in his first race.

In 1955 he moved to Supermodified racing driving for Bill Campbell. A consistent top 5 finisher between 1956 and 1958, he was injured racing in Toledo, Ohio, in 1957 in an accident which resulted in concussion when his helmet was split in two.

He drove for Mickey Katlin in 1959. He recorded his first feature win that year but it was in 1961 that Norm’s racing really took off. Driving for Vern Ottmar in the Jack Layton built Sprint Car. Powered by a 301 Chevy engine, the car was smaller than most of the other cars at the time and required modifying to accomodate Rust's six foot frame.

Rust found success in IMCA races, as well as tracks in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. In 1961 he entered the Little 500 in Anderson. Rust broke the track record helped by utilising power brakes. He was leading the race when he brushed the wall. As a result the a radiator hose came off and the car to overheated. Later he raced at Ionia finishing first and second and also set the fastest lap at Kalamazoo.

In 1962 Norm ran his own Supermodified, once again consistently running in the top four.

The following year he drove Supermodified for Bob Patterson and Jackie Atkinson. He won a 100 lap race at Dixie and had a flat tire while leading at Oswego Speedway in New York.

For 1964 Norm drove the Van Hautte Chevy Supermodified winning races at Berlin Raceway in Marne, the Grand Rapids Speedrome and the "Midwestern Supermodified championship" at Dixie Motor Speedway.

Staying with the Van Hautte team in 1965, he won two races at the Grand Rapids Speedrome, a 100 lap race at Dixie Motor Speedway and the 100 lap "Season Championship" at Lorain County Speedway in Ohio.

In 1966 Norm continued with Van Hautte. Once again he ran in the top four most of the season and won the 100 lap "Season Championship" race at Dixie. At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds he broke the track record held by A.J. Foyt, but could only finish 3rd when his tyres blistered after leading the first 95 laps.

His last season came in 1967 season, still with Van Hautte. During the year he had a big crash at the Berlin Raceway, breaking his nose and fracturing his skull. Norm decided that enough was enough and hung up his helmet.



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