In 1941, Earl Motter was urged by his friends Bill Vukovich and Paul Swedburg, to try his hand at mi...dget racing. He and his brother built a rail-frame, V8-60 powered midget and began racing up and down California’s San Joaquin Valley. After the war, Earl returned and began racing seven nights a week with the Bay Cities Racing Association in Northern California. In a career that spanned 20 years, Earl raced midgets with S.T.A.R., U.R.A, B.C.R.A., A.A.A. and U.S.A.C. He raced sprint cars with I.M.C.A. and A.R.A. In 1955 his career path led him to U.S.A.C.’s Champ Car Division and he participated in 24 of those events across the country. He was runner-up with B.C.R.A. on three occasions eventually placing 13th on their all-time Main Event winners list with 39 wins.
In 1955 he won the prestigious A.A.A. Championship Billy Vukovich Memorial Race at Fresno’s Kearney Bowl. In 1956, he won one of U.S.A.C.’s Hut-Hundred midget races in Terra Haute, Indiana. In 1959, he was runner-up to Danny Oakes in U.S.A.C.’s Pacific Coast Midget Championship.
Motter was a likeable, hard charging driver in an era of outstanding open wheel racing competitors. In 1958, he married the widow of his old pal, Bill Vukovich and continued driving until 1960 when he decided to hang up his goggles. When asked by A.J. Foyt how difficult it was to quit racing, Earl replied, “Just like quitting smoking, you can never go back”.
Earl was inducted into the Bay Cities Racing Association’s Hall of Fame in 1990. He passed away in 1992 in Southern California.