Tuesday, August 22, 2017

1963 – Blundy Slick at Iowa State Fair; Jud Returns

Jerry Blundy accepts the trophy from Iowa State Fair secretary Kenneth Fulk as Gene Van Winkle (far left) and Woody Brinkman (near left) look on.

Des Moines, Iowa (August 22, 1963) – The second session of big car racing at the Iowa State Fair was still on a slick track – dry in comparison to the first Sunday’s wet conditions – but drivers got down to serious business and Jerry Blundy emerged as best for the day.
The Galesburg, Ill., ace won the 25-lap feature on Thursday afternoon, after having set fast time during qualifying. He also finished second in a heat race and fourth in the trophy dash.
Blundy led the entire race; however, he was closely chased by Buzz Barton. Barton was able to close the gap on two spin outs, which brought out the yellow flag. But Blundy’s Chevrolet-powered creation was running hot and he maintained the lead for the $700 first prize.
IMCA’s championship contenders did little to better their cause. Gordon Woolley, from Waco, Tex., cracked into the wall during time trials and wrecked his Weinberger Chevrolet. It was available for the feature but the smashup apparently caused it to lose some of its pep and he retired during the late stages of the race.
Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., the current point leader, finished ninth and offered little enthusiasm for a better position.
Jud Larson, a former Indy 500 chauffer, stepped back into IMCA on a comeback journey following a heart condition and performed admirably in Speedy Helm’s Chevy. He won his heat and finished sixth in the feature.

Results –

1.    Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
2.    Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
3.    Jim McCune, Toledo, Ohio
4.    Sonny Helms, Carlisle, Iowa
5.    Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
6.    Jud Larson, Kansas City
7.    Don Brown, San Fernando, Calif.
8.    Harry Ross, Campbell, Calif.
9.    Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
10.   Curly Boyd, Indianapolis
11.   Duane Stoneking, Oquawka, Ill.
12.   Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1976 – Makara’s One-Two-One Net Red Bud 300 Win

Anderson, Ind. (August 21, 1976) – Jerry Makara of Westland, Mich., with two firsts and a second in the three 100-lap legs, captured the overall championship of the American Speed Associations’ Monza-style Red Bud 300 late model classic before 5,000 fans at Sun Valley Speedway here Saturday night.
Makara’s three finishes in his 1976 Camaro gave him a five-point edge over Mike Eddy of Kawkawlin, Mich., who finished runner-up to “The Bear” for the second time this season in this type of feature racing.
Dave Roahring of Bourbon, Ind., became the first driver ever to crack the 13-second barrier for one lap around the high-banked quarter-mile asphalt oval in a stock car when he was clocked in 12.973 seconds in qualifications in his Camaro. He wound up third, one point behind Eddy, in the final standings.
Frank Demske of South Bend, Ind., piloted his 1976 Camaro to aa fourth-place overall finish. John Anderson of Warren, Mich., who came back after having car trouble in the first leg to capture the second 100-lap run ahead of Makara, took fifth in the final rundown.
Don Gregory of Columbus, Ohio, led the first 100-lap leg for 82 laps before a battery cable shorted out, sending him to the pits.
Makara, who started fourth and moved to third on lap 41 went into second on lap 74 and took over the top spot when Gregory left the race.
L.J. Lines of Greensboro, Ind., starting outside on the first row, jumped Anderson on the start of the second 25-mile leg, and led for eight laps. Gregory, from hi fourth starting spot, moved into first on lap 9, and led three times before Andersson forged in front.
Makara, from his 22nd starting slot, worked his way through traffic and finally made his hard charge pay off by passing Roahring on lap 54 to take over second. He couldn’t get around Anderson, however, and had to settle for runner-up money with Roahring finishing third.
Then, starting on the pole. Makara led green-checkered to take the final 100-lap leg with Anderson chasing him the whole way but falling short by a car-length at the finish.

Results – Overall Finish

1.     Jerry Makara, Westland, Mich.
2.     Mike Eddy, Kawkawlin, Mich.
3.     Dave Roahring, Bourbon, Ind.
4.     Frank Demske, South Bend, Ind.
5.     John Anderson, Warren, Mich.
6.     Dennis Miles, Muncie, Ind.
7.     Lonnie Breedlove, Indianapolis
8.     Larry Clemons, New Albany, Ind.
9.     Bob Fields, Willow Branch, Ind.
10.    Billy Howell, Louisville, Ky.

Friday, August 18, 2017

1973 – Utz Cleans Up at Sedalia

IMCA sprint car winner Bill Utz is joined in victory lane by fair secretary Ron Jones (left), promoter Al Sweeney (right) and announcer Jimmy Glenn (far right). - Sam Helmuth photo

Sedalia, Mo. (August 18, 1973) – Missouri State Fair secretary Ron Jones didn’t have it listed in his premium book and promoter Al Sweeney didn’t have it on the entry form but Saturday, August 18 was “Bill Utz Day” during the afternoon International Motor Contest Association sprint car program.
The hard-charging Sedalia, Mo., driver picked up a $1,000 in winning every event he entered in on the opening day of auto racing at the Missouri State Fair.
Just missing fast time in qualifying, Utz won the first heat, STP trophy dash and the 30-lap feature event.
The victory, captured on a car owned by Dean Hathman of Columbia, Mo., moved Utz from ninth to fifth in the IMCA sprint car point standings.
He waltzed to victory in the sprint car program after moving into first place towards the end of the event, powering past David Dwyer of Columbia, Mo., on a restart. Dwyer’s car had a flat right rear tire and ended up in tenth.
Jerry “Flea” Atkins of Holts Summit, Mo., was the second of 47 cars to time and found the dirt on the half-mile to his liking, turning in the afternoon’s fast time of 24.04 seconds.
Heat winners were Utz, Chuck Amati of Freeman Spur, Ill., and the current IMCA point leader Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan. Jon Backlund of Kansas City won the 10-lap consolation.
The race track was baked under a 98 degree Missouri sun, turning the racing surface into a dry, slick track, providing many spinouts.
Del Schmidt of Topeka, Kan., finished second in the feature, Buzz Rose of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was third, Gene Gennetten of Gladstone, Mo., fourth and Chuck Amati rounded out the top five.

Results –

1.    Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
2.    Del Schmidt, Topeka, Kan.
3.    Buzz Rose, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4.    Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
5.    Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
6.    Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
7.    Ralph Parkinson Sr., Wichita Falls, Tex.
8.    Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
9.    Ray Lee Goodwin, Raytown, Mo.
10.  David Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

1969 – Wagner Wins State Fair Stocks

Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, is presented the checkers and some hardware after winning at the Iowa State Fair.

Des Moines, Iowa (August 17, 1969) – Earl Wagner, Iowa’s super modified ace, stepped into Bill Moyer’s 1968 Corvette for the first time on Sunday afternoon and won the 25-lap late model feature at the Iowa State Fair.
Wagner, a Pleasantville, Iowa, plumber, started in the fourth row in the field of 23 cars and took a permanent hold on first place by lap 9 when previous leader Arlo Becker of Atkins, Iowa, spun out. Wagner collected $450 for his efforts.
Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had been asked to drive Moyer’s car for the State Fair auto racing finale but according to Moyer, Eaker was competing in a USAC stock car event that same day.
Dean Montgomery of Milan, Ill., finished second and George Barton of Ankeny, Iowa, who finished fifth in the IMCA new model stock car contest on Saturday, captured third.
The most exciting race of the day was the 10-lap late model semi-main. Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, finished in a dead heat.

Results –

1.    Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
2.    Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
3.    George Barton, Ankeny, Iowa
4.    Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
5.    Arlo Becker, Atkins, Iowa
6.    Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
7.    Morey Willis, Van Horne, Iowa
8.    R.V. Perry, Des Moines
9.    Larry Embrey, Granger, Iowa
10.  Don Christensen, Harlan, Iowa
11.  Danny Clements, Rhoades, Iowa
12.  Buggy Vincent, Nevada, Iowa

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1975 – Fretheim Fast, Bjorge Faster at Owatonna


Owatonna, Minn. (August 16, 1975) – While others were spinning and crashing, Dave Bjorge was busy holding off Em Fretheim to capture the 50-lap Late Model Invitational feature at the Steele County Fair on Saturday afternoon. For his efforts, Bjorge picked up $600.
While Fretheim chased Bjorge, most of the early-race action was kept to position changes, but on lap 30, Ed Ward of Rochester, Minn., spun his Monte Carlo around on the backstretch. Luckily, all cars were able to steer clear of the mishap.
Ten laps later, in nearly the same spot, Dave Noble did not fare well either. Noble’s Chevelle ran head-on into the retaining wall at high speed. Although the veteran driver escaped without injury, his recently-completed car was badly damaged.
Fretheim made his final desperate bid on the last lap, nearly pulling the upset, but Bjorge was up to the challenge. Mert Williams was third, followed by Wendell Kuehn.
Dave Noble’s 19-year-old son, Mark, fared better than his father, driving a steady race and finishing fifth.

Results –

1.     Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
2.     Em Fretheim, Decorah, Iowa
3.     Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
4.     Wendell Kuehn, Rochester, Minn.
5.     Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
6.     Dick Sorenson, Rochester, Minn.
7.     Leroy Scharkey, Rochester, Minn.
8.     Terry Hanson, Owatonna, Minn.
9.     Al Schueler, Winona, Minn.
10.   Jim Schell, Rollingstone, Minn.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today in Racing History

Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn., won the modified "A" main at the Steele County Fairgrounds in Owatonna, Minn., on August 15, 1996. — Neil Miller Photo

Monday, August 14, 2017

1955 - Derr goes non-stop to win 100-miler

Ernie Derr

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 14, 1955) - Ernie Derr of Keokuk, driving a 1954 Oldsmobile nonstop, capitalized on the car trouble of his brother-in-law to win the 100-mile accident-free stock car race before 7,500 fans at Hawkeye Downs Sunday afternoon.

Derr's winning time is a track record. It was the opening amphitheater attraction of the 20th annual All-Iowa fair.

Derr copped the lead on the 123rd lap of the 200-lap endurance test when his brother-in-law, Don White of Keokuk, was forced to the pits when his right rear wheel locked. White had powered his new Oldsmobile to a comfortable lead, having lapped the entire 25-car field except Derr.

When Derr took the lead, his chief challenger was Herschel Buchanan of Shreveport, La., driving a Ford Thunderbird. But again Derr's fortune was the result of another man's misfortune when Buchanan fell out of the race at 155 laps with front wheel trouble.

After that, Derr drove steadily without apparent trouble with his car and without serious challenge. Only man with an outside chance of catching him in the final laps was Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa. But Derr, driving a 1955 Chevrolet, came home easily one-third of a lap ahead of Beauchamp.

Derr, the 1953 International Motor Contest Association champion, was wheeling the same car he's had in competition for two years. Yet he did not need a pit stop Sunday. His time was 1 hour, 47 minutes, and 34.15 seconds. The fast condition of the track also enabled Derr and Buchanan to establish one-lap track record of 30.10.
Among Cedar Rapids drivers, Doc Narber finished fourth, George Miller was 13th and Frank Richards of Marion was 17th. All were driving new Chevrolets. Narber, who won the July 3 race at the Downs, currently ranks fifth in IMCA points standings.

Miller was driving the same car which Paul Newkirk of Cedar Rapids was critically injured at Oskaloosa last Monday.

Results –

  1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
  2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
  3. Dewayne “Tiny” Lund, Harlan, Iowa
  4. “Doc” Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  5. Roxy Dancy, Shreveport, La.
  6. Wayne Chadwick, Des Moines, Iowa
  7. Dirk Houdek, Wichita, Kan.
  8. Bobby Brown, Springfield, Mo.
  9. “Tubby” Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
  10. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
  11. Bob Ward, Anita, Iowa
  12. Bob Hilmer, Waterloo, Iowa
  13. George Miller, Cedar Rapid, Iowa
  14. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
  15. Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport, La.
  16. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
  17. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
  18. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
  19. Delmar Donaldson, Burlington, Iowa
  20. Roy Springer, Amery, Wis.