Big Dave Kaut
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Big Dave Kaut... You could argue that he was one of the best Playland drivers ever. Sure, there were guys who went on to bigger and better things. Yeah, there were guys who won more features. But here's the argument for Dave:
1970- Bronco Champ (57 chevy)
1971-Bronco Champ (57 chevy)
1972-3rd in Late Model Points (with his 57 chevy bronco car)
1973-Late Model Champ (with his 57 chevy bronco car)
1974-Late Model Champ ('57 and 64 chevelle)
1975-Late Model Champ (64 chevelle)
From Brian Kaut: I created this video in remembrance of my father. Can you please publish this on your Playland Speedway website for others to enjoy and remember my father by?Thank you!
The Racing Years
By David L. Kaut
My involvement in stock car racing started in 1969 when my best friend asked me to help him and his brother with their car that year. Their names were Duane and Gary Durham. Gary was the driver and Duane and I were the mechanics.
At about the middle of the season, Gary was going on vacation. We flipped a coin to see who was going to drive that week and I won. I had never driven a stock car before that. I came in 6th in my heat and 3rd in the B feature. After that night, I knew I had to have my own car and drive it.
I bought a '57 chevy for $50 and a friend of mine and I built a stock car using the ideas I learned from the Durham brothers. Jim was a machinist and a welder working nights and I was an auto mechanic working days at that time. So we built the car hardly seeing each other. Neither one of us really knew how to build a stock car but after a few months and $500 later, we were rady to go racing.
My first race was on May 16, 1970 at Playland Park Raceway. This was only the second time that I was in a race car. I had no idea what was going to happen.
The following newspaper clippings, pictures and weekly notes basically tell the story of the five years that I raced stock cars.
The top row was Gary and Duane Durham. It was the first stock car I was involved with. Duane and I met when I was 11 years old. We grew up together and became best friends.
Above is a picture of Duane, Gary, and I. The car is ready to race the 1969 season.
This is a picture of the $50 283 engine that went into the 57 when it was first built. I think I bought it from Larry White.
This is a picture of Jim and I the first time we took the 57 Chevy to Playland in 1970. The car was new and we were new. It was for practice before the season started. We didn�t change a thing. We wouldn�t have known what to do anyway.
Please note: Although Dave has articles for every week of racing, to save space, I used those articles already on the website where possible. The bulk of these results are from Frank Vandoorn. Note also that the text in blue are personal notes Dave recorded in his scrapbooks.
First race was May 16,1970. Won heat, trophy dash and "A" feature. Prize-$155. Car handled very well. Major damage to the right rear quarter panel. Car is fixed and looks pretty good.
Second week came in third in the heat. Was protested for rough driving: Fined $10, lost winnings and couldn't race for the remaining races.
Memorial Day Race--- Third week didn't do too well. Came in sixth in the heat and sixth in the "B" Feature. Won $5.
June 6,1970-- Fourth week- Won heat, Came in fourth in trophy dash after spinning out in next to last lap. Came in fourth in "A" Feature. Spun out on first 1/2 lap and had to catch up with the other cars. Moved up to fourth position and was spun out again by #18, Butch Hastie. #18 and #44 were put back two positions because of rough driving. Came in sixth place officially. Won $30.
On Sunday, June 7th, was called up by a track official and was told that both #18 and I were suspended; myself for two weeks plus a $20 fine.
June 13,1970--- Fifth week- tried to race #44 as #4 with Jim Mikesell driving, but were told we couldn't do this or I would be unable to drive for the rest of the year.
June 20, 1970-- Sixth week- Still unable to race because of two week suspension.
June 22, 1970-- Tuesday- K000 Radio Fan Appreciation Night. Two week suspension over. Came in second in heat, second in trophy dash and third in the "A" Feature. Car handled really well. Won RCA Clock radio and $5.00. WOW!!
June 27,1970-- Came in second in heat, second in trophy dash and fifth in "A" Feature. Won $50.00. Had blowout in warm-ups and car didn't handle quite right. Car ran a little warm in "A" Feature.
July 11,1970-- Came in third in heat and fourth in "A" Feature. Won $60. In third place now. Put new 327 engine in car during the day on saturday.
Car handled well except for sliding on corners and small over-heating problem.
July 25,1970-- Won heat and placed second in Trophy Dash. Track was dirty on north turn. Spun out in "A" feature and was unsatisfied with my driving. Took third place winnings in "A" feature instead of fourth because Brad Chase was suspended for two weeks, Won $100. Total winnings for the year- $656.