Howard Segur Jr. – racing was in his blood

Howard Segur Jr. a Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) Hall of Fame member passed away on August 18, 2018 at the age of 77. The entire BCRA family is deeply saddened by the loss of this man who was an important part of the history of the club and midget racing in Northern California.  The entire BCRA family extends our sympathies to the Segur family for their loss and to honor Howard’s memory, before the racing program at Placerville Speedway on Saturday night August 25, defending BCRA midget racing champion Maria Cofer took a memorial lap in Howard’s honor.

In 1939 Howard’s father Howard Sr. was one of the racers who transformed the Bay Cities Roadster Racing Association (BCRRA) into the midget organization that we know today. Segur Sr. was as a driver in the early days of BCRA and later a car owner with such drivers as Norm Rapp, Bert Moreland and Tommy Morrow.

Segur family legend has it that as a young man, Junior was banned from the family garage after he threw a handful of nuts and bolts in the engine of his Dad’s race car. In his early 20’s Howard kept losing weight and doctors gave him just months to live, but he overcame that setback and in 1966 bought his own midget race car.  That car was a Ford V-8 60 powered Kurtis-Kraft chassis that he bought from BCRA legendary car owner Charlie Springer. Prior to Howard’s ownership, the Springer Kurtis-Kraft machine had been driven by BCRA standout Earl Motter

After Howard spent time updating and rebuilding the machine, he debuted as the driver of his own car at Bakersfield in 1968, the race of a driving career that lasted through the 1986 season. After a few years away from the sport, Howard returned as a car owner with drivers that included 1990 BCRA champion Tim Joyce, before both Howard and Tim retired from BCRA competition at the end of the 2004 season.

Howard devoted 38 years to the BCRA in a multitude of roles – driver, car owner, member of the Board of Directors, and the club’s President from 1978 through 1980. Through the years Howard, his wife Karen, and daughters Carole Ann and Catherine selflessly gave their time, energy, and funds to help sustain the Bay Cities Racing Association.

Both Howard and Karen were recognized as recipients of the annual Lloyd Nygren Sportsmanship Award, and in 2006, Howard was honored as he joined his father as a member of the BCRA Hall of Fame along with his former driver Tim Joyce. Despite suffering from failing health in the last few years of his life, Howard worked on the restoration of his first midget race car and provided the funding to start the racing career of his grandson Robert Carson.

The author extends his thanks to the Segur family, Bob Roza, Matt Sublett, Tim Joyce, and historians Floyd Busby and Tom Motter for their assistance in providing the background information for this article.