Charles Steadman Passed Away

Another Central Mississippi Racing Pioneers passes away. Charles Steadman passed away Thursday Dec 6, 2007 at the Baptist Medical Center in Jackson. Charles started racing on dirt in 1960 at the Jackson Sports Arena. He moved to asphalt racing when Jackson International Speedway opened in 1968. In the 1970's he turned to politics and was elected as Mayor of Morton in 1977. Charles and his brother Bill provided many exciting moments for race fans both on the track and off. One night in 1965 at Jackson Sports Arena, Sketter Morehead of Morton had a Jalopy that was a '37 Chevy coupe. The car's number was "Chevy Too". The body had been cut down and only spot welded back together. While running hot laps, Bill Steadman hooked a tire and the car rolled over several times. The body just fell all to pieces. CE Smith, owner of the track, asks if the car could be fixed before the race. Sketter looked at all his friend standing around the car and they all said sure. Everyone in the Jalopy Class went to work. They completely pulled the body off the car, replace the tire and battery and got her running. When the cars took the track for the jalopy race, Skeeter's car came out with only a frame, motor and a role cage. During the worm up laps the flagman black flagged the car but Bill refused to leave the track. After several laps, they stopped the cars on the front stretch and ask Bill to take the car back to the pits. Charles Steadman, was driving the car on the pole that night. He called the flagman over and told him about all the work everyone had done and if that car didn't race then he wouldn't either. The cars made one more worm up lap and the black flag came out again. Charles (on the pole) took his car to the pits and everyone on the track followed him. CE Smith was hot. He ran down to the pits and told them all that if they didn't finish the race, none of them would ever race there again. They all loaded up their cars and left. They built the track in Morton and raced there for one season. JSA begged them to come back the next year and they did.

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