2014 Silver Dollar Nationals


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1963 – Record 10,000 at Shreveport as Hutcherson Cops Pelican

Dick Hutcherson

Shreveport, La. (April 21, 1963) – Dick Hutcherson, a 30-year-old dirt track veteran with four seasons already packed under his belt, initiated the International Motor Contest Association’s 1963 campaign with the smell of exhaust smoke as he wheeled his ’63 Fastback Ford to victory in the 10th annual Pelican 200.

Hutcherson’s powerful coupe showed its rear bumper to the remainder of the 16-car field throughout the final 146 laps.
Ramo Stott, like Hutcherson a native of Keokuk, Iowa, guided his pale blue 1963 Plymouth into second place over the 100-mile grind; Lennie Funk of Otis, Kan., in a ’63 Ford, landed third; Eddie Harrow of Corpus Christi, Tex., in a ’63 Chevrolet, tooled his orange and cream mount into the fourth spot.

Ernie Derr, the ringleader of the “Keokuk Komets”, and defending champion of the Pelican 200, experienced mechanical troubles with his 1963 Pontiac and retired after the 164th circuit. He eventually wound up being scored in 11th place. 
“I couldn’t have made another five laps,” said an exhausted Hutcherson after it was over, his coveralls soaked with sweat.

His Ford, however, still looked good for another 200-lapper as it completed its fourth race with “Rapid Richard” behind the wheel. He had already raced the car at Newport, Ky., Houston, Tex., and Austin, Tex., finishing second and third in two of those runs.
Hutcherson, no worse than third in the national point standings since he joined the Auto Racing, Inc., circuit in 1959, and runner-up to Derr last year, smashed one Shreveport record en route to his triumph. His time of 45 minutes and 30.56 seconds for 50 miles broke the old record of 45 minute and 45 second record he posted himself last October during the State Fair.

Dick’s first Pelican 200 victory – putting him in a class with such drivers as four-time winner Don White, two-time champion Ernie Derr, Johnny Beauchamp, Sonny Morgan, and Ramo Stott – was witnessed by a record crowd of over 10,000 by ARI promoter Frank Winkley, the biggest turnout for a State Fair Speedway stock car event.
Hutcherson, who pocketed $700 of the $4,000 purse, rewarded the record gathering on a cloudy and overcast afternoon by lapping the entire field as early as the 96th lap. Only Stott was able to get back on the lead lap and that was on lap 170 when Hutcherson was already comfortable ahead.

For the first 55 laps, Jerry Douglas of Wichita Fall, Tex., driving Ernie Derr’s championship Pontiac from 1962, gunned out to a tightly-bunched lead. Hutcherson gradually jockeyed his way into eighth place on lap 11 as Lennie Funk rolled into the pits.
On the 69th lap, shortly after nudging past Douglas for the lead, Hutcherson Ford dropped a tailpipe but he kept rolling. His first pit stop came on lap 106 and his crew had him gassed up and rolling again in exactly 13.44 seconds.

Results –

1.       Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa

2.       Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa

3.       Lennie Funk, Otis, Kan.

4.       Eddie Harrow, Corpus Christi, Tex.

5.       Jim Washburn, Keokuk, Iowa

6.       Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.

7.       H.B. Bailey, Houston, Tex.

8.       Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee, Wis.

9.       Phil Cronin, Houston, Tex.

10.   Pat Henry, Beaumont, Tex.

11.   Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa

12.   Jerry Douglas, Wichita Falls, Tex.

13.   Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.

14.   John Mickey, Columbus Junction, Iowa

15.   Don Rittman, Lees Summit, Mo.

16.   Clyde Douglas, Wichita Falls, Tex. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

1973 Sorg Handily Takes Louisville ASA

Louisville, Ky. (April 22, 1973) - Dave Sorg, driving a 1972 Chevelle, handily won round two of the American Speed Association “Circuit of Champions” late model stock car series Sunday at Fairgrounds Motor Speedway here, expertly fending off repeated challenges from a stellar field in the 100 lap feature event.

Carl Smith was second, with Tommy Spaugh third. For Sorg, the victory was especially sweet, as he was disqualified for weight violation after finishing second in an ARCA event at the same track two weeks ago. Under the lighter, 8 pounds per cubic inch ASA regulations, however, Sorg’s victory easily withstood a post race week check.

Defending ASA champion, Denny Miles, jumped into the lead from his pole position in the main event and enjoyed a comfortable straightaway lead until the record-breaking 100 lapper’s only caution flag appeared on lap 17, necessitated by a first turn entanglement between Carl Elwanger and Ellis Herbert.

On the resumption of racing speed on lap 20, Miles became the target of intense attack by veteran Bill Kimmel and Carl Smith. Into dense slower traffic, both Kimmel and Smith passed on lap 25 two dump Miles into third position.

Kimmel seemed destined for a fast ride at the front of the pack until he was overhauled by a determined Smith on lap 36. Smith had but a short tenure at the head of the train, however, as Sorg swiftly annexed Kimmel at 39 laps and got under Smith for the lead on lap 47.

Spectacularly moving through traffic by half distance were Larry Moore and Moose Meyers. Moore, thrusting forward from 22nd starting spot, had climbed to eighth position before his 1971 Ford overheated on lap 69. Meyers, charging hard in the back of the pack, moved into the top five by lap 70.

Sorg was firmly in command by the 70 lap mark, but a furious battle raged between Kimmel and Smith for second spot. Spaugh, driving an inspired race, mounted a charge by lap 80 and sailed past Kimmel for third on lap 87.

At the finish, Sorg maintained a straightaway length lead on the third-mile circuit over second-place man, Smith. Spaugh claimed a well-earned third, nipping by Kimmel, in fourth, and Moose Meyers earned the most cars past award, claiming fifth after clawing his way from 21st starting position.

Sorg, in taking a main event, said new track record for distance of 27 minutes, 37.17 seconds. Heat race wins were claimed, in order, by Darwin Blankenship, Herb Rose, Carl Elwanger and Miles. Kimmel dominated the trophy dash and Meyers earned his feature race starting birth by winning the consolation race.

Results -

  1. Dave Sorg
  2. Carl Smith
  3. Tommy Spaugh
  4. Bill Kimmel
  5. Moose Meyers
  6. John Sommerville
  7. Bud Toohey
  8. Jerry Norris
  9. Shorty Hinshaw
  10. Willard Googe
  11. Joe Doty
  12. Frank Dewboys
  13. Bob Goodfliesch
  14. Jack Johnson
  15. Carl Elwanger
  16. Denny Miles
  17. Larry Moore
  18. Darrell Basham
  19. Vern Schrock
  20. Gene Christie
  21. Joe Vincent
  22. Billy Howe
  23. J. Robinson
  24. Ellis Herbert

Saturday, April 19, 2014

1998 - Frank Kimmel Takes ARCA Salem Honors

Salem, Ind. (April 19, 1998) - Frank Kimmel drove Larry Clement’s Chevrolet to victory Sunday at Salem Speedway in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200, scoring his sixth career ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series victory and first ever ARCA win on the half mile, high banked Indiana oval.

Kimmel, from nearby Jeffersonville, Ind., gave the local fans the charge they were looking for when the current series points leader crossed the final finish line 3 car lengths in front of Mark Gibson, the only other driver on the lead lap. “I want to thank all my fans for standing behind us,” said Kimmel in victory lane. “We wanted this one bad I know you did to. It’s tough to survive Salem for 200 laps in your car, it has to be set up just right to do it. Fortunately my crew set me up with the perfect handle here today and showed. This car would stick anywhere.”

Josh Baltes, who led 12 laps, Dan Pardus and Rick Groetsch, scored their best career ARCA finishes of third, fourth and fifth respectively, just one lap down.

Kimmel was impressive on afternoon leading three times for 87 laps, nearly half the distance. However, Kimmel had his hands full for much the way having to fend off constant challenges from Bob Strait, Dill Whittymore and Gibson. Strait, who started the race from the pole, led 52 laps and was a constant threat until the 13-time ARCA winner got caught up in a turn two accident trying to sneak underneath the spinning car of Mike Lorz.

Whittymore also had his hometown contingent cranked up after leading 34 laps, but a brush with the turn four wall ended his day while running second just 21 laps from the finish. Strait, Lorz and Whittymore were uninjured.

Gibson was a show all in himself. After crashing his primary car in earlier practice session, his crew had to unload the backup car, plant a motor beneath the hood and watch as the Winder, Ga., driver methodically raced from the 29th starting position to challenge for the win.

Dear late-model specialist John Gill led 15 laps and appeared to be one of the fastest drivers in the field until his engine expired on lap 63.

The race was slowed 13 times for 78 caution flag laps, all for fairly minor incidents and debris.

Results -
  1. Frank Kimmel
  2. Mark Gibson
  3. Josh Baltes
  4. Dan Pardus
  5. Rick Groetsch
  6. Eric Smith
  7. Calvin Councilor
  8. Jeff Finley
  9. Randy VanZant
  10. Joe Cooksey
  11. Mark Voight
  12. David Boggs
  13. Brian Conz
  14. Norm Benning
  15. Jerry Middleton
  16. Steve Stevenson
  17. Bill Baird
  18. Chuck Weber
  19. Todd Coon
  20. Wes Russell
  21. Dill Whittymore
  22. James Hylton
  23. Curt Piercy
  24. Bob Strait
  25. Billy Venturini
  26. Mike Lorz
  27. Andy Belmont
  28. Richard Hampton
  29. John Gill
  30. Toby Massie
  31. Drew White
  32. Rob Julian
  33. Dennis English
  34. Jason Weatherton
  35. Scott Baker

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1979 – Martin opens ASA season with Winchester win

Winchester, Ind. (April 15, 1979) – Handed the lead when the first and second place runners were eliminated in a wreck, Mark Martin, the 20-year-old defending ASA driving champion, took full advantage of the situation and held on to edge Rick Knotts of Paw Paw, Mich., by one second for victory in the Champion Motor Home 100 at Winchester Speedway. It was the inaugural event of the ASA’s 1979 Circuit of Champions late model schedule.

“I didn’t expect to win this race,” Martin exclaimed after the contest. “My luck hasn’t been too good here, but it sure was today.”

Don Gregory of Columbus, Ohio, sent his Cutlass ahead of pole-sitter Dave Roahrig’s Camaro at the green and led the first lap around Roger Holdeman’s high-banked half-mile racing plant.

Randy Sweet of Kalamazoo, Mich., also pulled around Roahrig on the first lap and then sent his Camaro past Gregory in the north turn the second time around the track to grab the lead. Mike Eddy of Midland, Mich., nailed Roahrig on the same lap to take over the third spot.

Eddy passed Gregory on the sixth circuit to take over second and one lap later, Knotts moved past both Gregory and Roahrig to settle into third.

Martin started making his move to the front on lap 11, passing sixth place Bob Sensiba of Middleville, Ohio, then moved ahead of Roahrig on lap 20 and then overtook Gregory one turn of the track later.

It was Sweet, Eddy, Knotts and Martin in that order until Martin went by Knotts on lap 46 – just two turns of the track before misfortune smacked both Sweet and Eddy.

Johnny Banks of Windsor, Ont., who had brushed the wall earlier in the race with his Camaro, drifted from the top of the track towards the bottom just as Sweet and Eddy were coming up to lap him on the 48th lap.

With no place to go after he ran out of room trying to get by below Banks, Sweet plowed head-on into the steep bank at the inside bottom of the track and the resulting damage finished him for the day.

Eddy, meanwhile, cut to the top attempting to get around Banks but completely spun around without touching anything. However, the stress on the machine fouled up the clutch and Eddy, after a quick pit stop and a jump back into the action, completed just four laps before the clutch went out and made him a spectator for the rest of the afternoon.

That gave the lead to Martin and put Knotts in second and that’s the way the remainder of the race went.

John Anderson of Massillon, Ohio, finished third after a fine driving performance brought him all the way from his 13th starting position. Pat Schauer of Watertown, Wis., took fourth followed by Ray Young of Dolton, Ill.

Results –

  1. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.,
  2. Rick Knotts, Paw Paw, Mich.
  3. John Anderson, Massillon, Ohio
  4. Pat Schauer, Watertown, Wis.
  5. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
  6. Bob Coffey, Indianapolis, Ind.
  7. Harold Scott, New Castle, Ind.
  8. Frank Gawlinski, Lansing, Ill.
  9. Richard Craig, Cowan, Ind.
  10. Ed Baer, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  11. Terry Shirley, Seymour, Ind.
  12. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Ohio
  13. Dave Roahrig, Plymouth, Ind.
  14. Ed Hoffman, Bensenville, Ill.
  15. Don Gregory, Columbus, Ohio
  16. Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
  17. Randy Sweet, Kalamazoo, Mich.
  18. Johnny Banks, Windsor, Ont.
  19. Kenny Hemphill, Oakmont, Pa.
  20. David Hall, Grandview, Mo.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

1970 - It's Dickson at Dayton; third win in four starts

Dayton, Ohio (April 12, 1970) - Larry Dickson won the 40-lap feature as the USAC sprints made their 1970 debut on the high banks of the Dayton Speedway Sunday afternoon. Dickson, driving Ken Lay’s black deuce, inherited the lead on the 30th lap when Rollie Beale blew the engine in his Kilman Chevy while holding a comfortable lead.

Johnny Parsons drove a steady race to finish second in the Hughes Chevy. Third want to defending Sprint champion Gary Bettenhausen in the Davis Ace. Fourth was Cy Fairchild in the Stahl #36 with Lee Kunzman fifth in the Leffler #4.

The race was stopped on the first lap when Claire Lawicki, starting on the outside the seventh row, drove head-on into the guardrail at the end of the main grandstand.

Lawicki miraculously suffered only a broken wrist and minor leg injuries although he was trapped in his car for some 5 minutes while rescue crews worked to free his legs from the cock pit.

Two spectators, attempted take photos restricted area where they were told to leave before the start of the race, were also injured.

On the restart to Kunzman charged out front from his pole position with Dickson second and Beale third. Kunzman led for the first three laps until Beale drove under them in the first turned to take over the lead. Once in front Beale began to build a commanding lead. Dickson and Parsons also got my Kunzman to hold second and third.

Beale was well on his way to his first win of the year and Dickson had just about resigned himself to finishing second when the engine let go on Beale's car. Dickson held a comfortable lead over runner-up Parsons at the finish. For Dickson it was his third win in four races this year.

Results -
  1. Larry Dickson
  2. Johnny Parsons
  3. Gary Bettenhausen
  4. Cy Fairchild
  5. Lee Kunzman
  6. Greg Weld
  7. Bill Puterbaugh
  8. Jerry Poland
  9. Dee Jones
  10. Charlie Masters
  11. Karl Busson
  12. Merle Bettenhausen
  13. Doc Dawson
  14. Mel Cornett
  15. Rollie Beale
  16. Salt Walther
  17. Sonny Ates
  18. Todd Gibson
  19. Don Nordhorn
  20. Claire Lawicki