Midget car auto racing has been more of a family affair than a hobby, for brothers Don and Larry Meacham of Fresno. They said they have been most comfortable at the race track.
National Midget Auto Racing Hall Of Fame Don Meacham said, "All through grammar school and everything that was my big thing that I wanted to do: drive racecars."
Soon instead of watching the races the Roosevelt High School graduates would participate in them. Don behind the wheel, Larry six years younger in the stands.
Midget Auto Racing Enthusiast Larry Meacham said, "And then when my brother got back out of the air force he brought a car back from Iowa. That was the first one. It was a hard top."
It made for interesting drives through downtown Fresno on their way to the Kearney Bowl.
"We would tow it with my brother's '49 mercury. And I would be in the back in the car, steering it and breaking it. We put a chain on it. And that's the way we got to the racetrack at Kearney Bowl," Meacham said.
His dangerous joyrides aside Don was as good a midget car driver as there was. Even more remarkable considering Don also served as his own mechanic and pit crew.
"If you hit it right on the nose then you was going to make out. You've gotta be brave enough to pass everyone that you can get up next to," Meacham said.
Brave and fast, Don would win nine United States Auto Club championships and achieve celebrity status in Australia and New Zealand for his driving prowess. In 2004, the Meacham brothers were invited back.
This past January, Don earned the highest honor possible for a midget car driver; an Induction into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"They invite you up there. And it was the first time I've ever had a standing ovation. People-anyway it was great," Meacham said.
You can bet his little brother was there to see it all happen.
"It felt really great. It's a chance to be able to go to Tulsa and see my brother get inducted. And that was all I needed," he said.