Johnny Stewart


Johnny Stewart was in the heyday of post-war speedway, when safety was secondary but spectacle, excitement and fierce racing were paramount.

After the solo motor bikes and sidecars had warmed up the crowd at places like Sydney Showground, out came the midgets. The cars were midgets, not the drivers.

They were brave men, who, almost certainly, would be involved in some horrific crashes which an impressive number survived, due more to luck than any safety built into the cars or the tracks.

The cars glistened under the arc lights in a scene that could have been the Roman Coliseum with the cars growling like lions.

To make things really interesting, the fast guys had to fight their way from the back on these short, narrow dirt tracks crowded with 25 cars.

In the middle of all this, from his start in a Ford Customline stockcar to his retirement in 1972, was Johnny ‘Super’ Stewart. He was a wild boy who took amazing risks and survived some dreadful crashes, usually with more damage to the car than to him.

He won three national (midget) speedcar titles and one in Queensland. In 1963 he held eight lap records, from one to 12 laps, at Westmead, near Parramatta.

Stewart’s battles with his Holden powered midget against Jeff Freeman in an Offy were legendary.

Aged 62, Stewart passed away in 1995.

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