Billy Boat was John Lawson's driver. The team was extremely successful in Midget and Sprint Car racing throughout the country. This was prior to Billy turning most of his attention to the Indianapolis Racing League where he sat on the pole at the Indianapolis 500 in 1998 while driving for AJ Foyt. His best Indy finish was 3rd.
In 1996, there were three 'major' Sprint Car races in United States. One was the Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa. Another was held at Ascot Park in Gardena, California, and the other was at Manzanita Speedway in Billy's hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.
At Manzy, Billy started 15th. In 15 laps he was leading and totally trounced the field. His win was so decisive that USAC, The United States Auto Club, quickly made a rule change which, in effect, banned the car from future competition.
What was so special, it looks like a Sprint Car? The major chassis offset is more like today's pavement Sprint Cars. Coil sprint front suspension was not new but was inconsistent on dirt, also more of a pavement design. Lastly, as it ran that night, the engine was offset 2 inches to the left of center in the chassis.Billy went on to win the Copperworld pavement race at PIR. He credits those wins with catching AJ's attention and really jump-starting his outstanding racing career
1996 Sprint Car (Stealth)
- Year Built: 1996
- Vehicle Type: Sprint Car (Stealth)
- Built By: Modified in the John Lawson Race Shop
- Suspension: Cross Torsion Bar Rear, Coil Springs, Front
- Engine: 410 cubic inch Chevy V-8, Fuel Injected, Alcohol
- Owner: Woodland Family Collection