Sunday, July 5, 2020

1970 – Derr Bests Field at Odessa

Erne Derr

Odessa, Mo. (July 5, 1970) - Veteran IMCA stock car driver Ernie Derr walked off with the first-place prize of $1,000 Sunday afternoon at I-70 Speedway in front of 9,500 racing fans.

Derr, who also picked up $100 for setting the fast time, paced Fred Whisler and Terry Bivins across the finish line in the 100-lap feature.

The only other two events of the evening were the trophy dash, which was won by Dave Wall, the current point leader at I-70 Speedway, and a consolation feature, which was copped by Tom Faircloth.

Sedalia racer Donnie Cooper in a 1969 Dodge, placed fourth in the consolation and 11th in the feature.

Derr, who comes from a long line of Keokuk, Iowa, stock car specialists, piloted his 1969 Dodge ahead of Whisler for most of the race, although Whisler was able to lead for some 25 laps.

Finishing behind Derr, Whisler and Bivins were Irv Janey, Gary Martin and Jim Hager.

For the veteran Derr, it was his second win in as many nights, as he also copped a 200-lap feature at the Mid-America Fairgrounds Saturday night.

Results –

Time trials – Ernie Derr
Trophy dash – Dave Wall
Consolation – Tom Faircloth
Feature –
1. Ernie Derr
2. Fred Whisler
3. Terry Bivins
4. Irv Janey
5. Gary Martin
6. Jim Hager
7. Chuck Janey
8. Frank Spencer
9. Jerre Wichman
10.Jim Anderson

Saturday, July 4, 2020

1957 – Burdick Win Topeka Stock ‘200’

Bob Burdick receives his trophy after winning the 200-lapper at Topeka. 

Topeka, Kan. (July 4, 1957) – Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb., 22-year-old who is setting a blistering pace more seasoned drivers find difficult to match, added the July 4th Kansas International 200-lap late model stock and sports car classic to hi growing list of victories, before 7,500 spectator at the Kansas Free Fair.

Burdick flashed his 1957 Ford into the lead on the first lap and refused to give up the position throughout, though hard-pressed by Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa, during the early stages.

Beauchamp, the 1956 IMCA national champion, running a brand new motor, pressed too hard and the motor overheated, forcing an early pit stop, which dropped the “Flying Frenchman” too far back to recover a challenging spot behind Burdick.

As Burdick streaked to two new Kansas Free Fair track records, Beauchamp came from far back to take third place, behind Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa.

Burdick set a new 200-lap record of 1 hour, 42 minutes and 13.68 seconds, and 51 minutes and 22.91 seconds for 100 circuits. His 28.74 second mark was also the fastest time trial effort.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha
2. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
3. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
4. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Bill Harrison, Topeka
8. Bill Chennault, Kansas City
9. Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
10.Dick Jepsen, Hoxie, Kan.
11.Bob Dugan, Waukegan, Ill.
12.Johnnie Edwards

Friday, July 3, 2020

1960 – Branson Posts Record at Salem

Don Branson

Salem, Ind. (July 3, 1960) – Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., defending United States Auto Club Midwest sprint champion, posted a record 88.205 miles an hour Sunday in winning the 15-mile feature race at the Salem Speedway.

Branson’s feature speed broke the record he set here last year as he grabbed his third victory this season in sprint car racing.

Parnelli Jones, South Gate, Calif., a newcomer to the USAC circuit, placed second. Jones led 24 of the 30 laps in his Fike Plumbing Special.

Branson, who won at Terre Haute and Milwaukee, drove the Bob Estes racer, the same car he piloted in winning the Midwest title last year.

Third in the feature was A. J. Foyt, Houston, followed by Jim Hurtubise, Lennox, Calif.; Elmer George, Indianapolis, and Eddie Sachs, Allentown, Penn.

Jones won the first 8-lap heat and Foyt set an 8-lap record when he won the second heat in 2:35.87. Hurtubise won the third preliminary. 

Branson covered the distance in 10:12.31 to take a lion’s share of the $5,200 purse. His total for winning the feature, placing in a heat and being fastest qualifier was $1,042.50.

Although there were no mishaps, Jim Hemmings of North Vernon, Ind., thrilled the 6,000 fans on the first lap of the consolation race when he spun in the second turn but kept going.

Results –

1. Don Branson
2. Parnelli Jones
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Jim Hurtubise
5. Elmer George
6. Eddie Sachs
7. Ronnie Duman
8. Roger McCluskey
9. Gene Force
10.Jim Packard
11.Shorty Templeman
12.Bud Tinglestad
13.Tom McClellan
14.Al Miller

Thursday, July 2, 2020

1977 - Senneker Captures Crown in Capital ARTGO Monza

Bob Senneker 

Oregon, Wis. (July 2, 1977) – Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., was the big winner in Saturday night’s SuperAmerica 150 Monza Classic for late models at the Capital Super Speedway, as he set fast time and won two of the three 50-lap feature races to take home $1,740 in the ARTGO-promoted card. Senneker’s archrival, Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, edged him to win the other 50-lap feature.

Trickle’s victory helped him to a second-place finish behind Senneker in the event’s overall standings. Larry Detjens finished third overall, and was followed by Joe Shear, Steve Arndt and Mike Miller.

Senneker opened the program by blistering the half-mile track with a near-record 18.671-second lap in time trials.

In the first 50-lap feature, Senneker skillfully worked his way through the field and passed Arndt for the lead on lap 17.

By that time, one of the pre-race favorites, Tom Reffner, had already been forced to withdraw his 1974 Javelin because of engine problems.

However, Senneker’s engine continued to run at peak efficiency and he went on to take the checkered ahead of Trickle, Detjens, Arndt, Miller and Tom Jones.

Larry Schuler, one of the winningest drivers in the nation a year ago, was running fourth late in the contest, but spun on lap 40 when part of his rear suspension broke on his Camaro.

The second 50-lapper was slowed by an early yellow flag when John Spear had his car’s engine blow in turn on of lap 3, sending several cars spinning.

Shortly after action resumed, Senneker passed Jones to claim first place on lap 4.

However, the red flag would fly at the mid-point when John Burbridge of Milwaukee crashed in turn three after his throttle apparently stuck. Burbridge was knocked unconscious and was taken to a local hospital for x-rays.

The stoppage allowed the rest of the field to close up on Senneker and when the green reappeared, Shear surged into the lead.

Senneker retaliated by passing Shear on lap 31 and then led the rest of the wat to chalk up his second feature triumphant of the afternoon.

Shear settled for runner-up honors with Detjens third. Trickle, who started at the back of the pack following a tire change after the first 50, came on to take fourth. Arndt and Fred Bender rounded out the top six.

Trickle needed only three circuits to get around Miller to take the lead in the final 50-lapper. Senneker annexed second place on lap 31 and made a strong run at the leader in the final few laps but came up 1.3 seconds short at the checkered

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Larry Detjens, Wausau
4. Steve Arndt, Janesville
5. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
6. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
7. Larry Nipple, Albany
8. Everett DeWitt, Janesville
9. Thom Laimon, Hales Corner
10.Billy Kuhn, Blue Island, Ill.

Feature #2 –

1. Bob Senneker
2. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
3. Larry Detjens
4. Dick Trickle
5. Steve Arndt
6. Fred Bender, Sun Prairie
7. Mike Miller
8. Tom Jones
9. Billy Kuhn
10.Larry Nipple

Feature #3 –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Bob Senneker
3. Joe Shear
4. Larry Detjens
5. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
6. Fred Bender
7. Mike Miller
8. Steve Arndt
9. Billy Kuhn
10.Larry Nipple

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

1978 – Salt City 100 Opener to Pancho

Duane "Pancho" Carter is joined by his crew after winning at Syracuse. 

Syracuse, N.Y. (July 1, 1978) – Duane “Pancho” Carter started the Fourth of July weekend with a bang at the New York State Fairgrounds, Saturday afternoon, by driving Johnny Capels’ Golden Greek Chevy to victory in the Salt City 100, the opening event of the USAC Championship Dirt series.

Carter accomplished the victory despite the fact that he damaged a wheel on his racer in a bout with the wall on lap 25, an incident which left some ill effects on the vehicle’s handling. Then in victory lane, the car’s right rear tire went flat.

Gary Bettenhausen, driving the Oberdorfer Special, scrambled from his 17th starting position in the 28-car field to finish second, just a little over 2 seconds behind the victorious Carter.

Bettenhausen had narrowed Carter’s advantage to just 1.1 seconds late in the contest, but slower traffic allowed the winner to expand his advantage in the closing circuits.

Bill Engelhart, Jim McElreath, Dana Carter and Bubby Jones, who finished third through sixth respectively, were the only other drivers to complete the event’s 100 miles.

Carter started on the pole by virtue of setting fast time with a 35.142-second (102.442 miles per hour) in time trials and led the first 25 laps.

Bubby Jones got by Carter for the lead on lap 26 and stretched his advantage, leading by 2 seconds at the lap 40 mark.

As the race reached the midpoint, Jones would have his problems getting around the slower cars and Carter took full advantage of the situation to vault back into contention.

On lap 50, Jones slid to high and Carter darted underneath him to regain the lead for good.

Carter averaged 91.347 miles per hour in notching the victory, his third of his career in the division.

Results –

1. Pancho Carter
2. Gary Bettenhausen
3. Bill Engelhart
4. Jim McElreath
5. Dana Carter
6. Bubby Jones
7. Bill Cassella
8. Will Cagle
9. Roger Rager
10.Jerry Miller
11.Mike Johnson
12.Robert Smith
13.Roy Hicks
14.Larry Rice
15.Jerry Weeks
16.Bill Burks
17.Gary Irvin
18.Steve Chassey
19.Larry Dickson
20.Greg Leffler
21.Jackie Howerton
22.Mark Alderson
23.Steve Cannon
24.Sleepy Tripp
25.Arnie Knepper
26.Ron Shuman
27.George Snider
28.Joe Saldana

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1973 – Prymek wins West Liberty race

Ron Prymek

West Liberty, Iowa (June 30, 1973) - Ron Prymek, Iowa City, captured the checkered flag, winning the feature event at Saturday night’s Mississippi Valley Speed Club stock car races at West Liberty.

The lead position changed several times throughout the race, giving the large crowd of spectators much excitement Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, started in the pole position and led until a re-start on the first lap.

On the re-start, Niffenegger and Mel Morris, West Liberty, ran neck and neck, until another re-start after Larry Rummelhart, Riverside, lost a wheel and went into the first turn wall.

With three laps down, Morris took the lead, with Niffenegger and Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, both on his tail, four cars piled up in the second turn. Morris hung onto the lead until the 19th lap, when he experienced difficulties and Ron Prymek slipped over the finish line to win the race.

Prymek had run in the second position for several laps after Niffenegger spun out on the 19th lap and Hemsted was sidelined with mechanical difficulties on the seventh lap.

Niffenegger started the evening by setting the fastest time at 26.02 seconds. Morris was second at 26.87 seconds and Hemsted third.

The fast car dash saw Bob Helm, Andalusia, Ill., power his way to victory for his first trophy of the season. Niffenegger started in the back of the pack in the first heat, and with superb driving, captured the first heat checkers.

Morris took honors for the second heat and in the third heat it was nip and tuck for Prymek and Rummelhart, with Rummelhart awarded the victory by a nose a t the finish line. Dave Dodder, Letts, came up with the semi-main victory.

Results –

Heat #1 – Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
Heat #2 – Mel Morris, West Liberty
Heat #3 – Larry Rummelhart, Riverside
Trophy dash – Bob Helm, Andalusia, Ill.
Semi-main – Dave Dodder, Letts
Feature –
1. Ron Prymek, Iowa City
2. Jim Gerber, Long Grove
3. Mel Morris
4. Ed Mellecker, Iowa City
5. Bob Helm
6. Mike Niffenegger
7. Perry Beckler, Tiffin
8. Wayne Settles
9. Mark Colberg, Muscatine
10.Phil Larsen

Monday, June 29, 2020

1969 - Bettenhausen Winner in USAC Sprint Race

Gary Bettenhausen, driving Willie Davis' #2, battles with nemesis Larry Dickson at New Bremen. - Ken Coles Photo

New Bremen, Ohio (June 29, 1969) – Gary Bettenhausen led from start to finish here Sunday to notch his second United States Auto Club sprint car victory of the season, joining Larry Dickson as the only driver with two wins.

Bettenhausen of Tinley Park, Ill., thus strengthened his hold on second place in the point standings behind Dickson.

Jim Malloy of Denver, Colo., drove a brilliant race to finish second after starting in 10th position. Malloy, like Bettenhausen a veteran of the Indianapolis 500, steadily moved through the field, passing Mike Mosley, who placed third on the 26th lap. He could not, however, catch Bettenhausen who had a three-car-length lead.

Sam Sessions of Nashville, Mich., and Rollie Beale of Toledo, Ohio, ran fourth and fifth, respectively. Dickson, the defending sprint car champion, worked his way up from 14th starting position to sixth.

Also turning in an outstanding performance was Doc Dawson of Lima, Ohio, who finished eighth after starting 19th. Dawson nearly missed the feature but an accident on the last lap of thee semi-feature eliminated two of the leaders and he was able to move into the fifth spot to claim a berth in the feature.

Fast qualifier Cy Fairchild of Saginaw, Mich., was an accident victim twice in the feature. Fairchild, who turned a lap of 18.10 seconds for the best time of the day, rode up over the wheels of another car in a first-lap tangle on the second turn, but he was able to make repairs and got back into the race.

On the fifth lap, Al Smith, Todd Gibson and Fairchild, who were all battling for third place, mixed it up on the third turn with all three being knocked out of competition. On the 20th lap, Tom Bigelow, another strong contender, was eliminated in a crash in the second turn.

Heat wins went to Fairchild, Mosley and Beale while Bill Puterbaugh took the semi-feature on a spectacular note as second and third place drivers Wib Spalding and Don Nordhorn hit the wall on the front straight-away just short of the finish line.

Results –

1. Gary Bettenhausen
2. Jim Malloy
3. Mike Mosley
4. Sam Sessions
5. Rollie Beale
6. Larry Dickson
7. Bill Koepfer
8. Doc Dawson
9. Jim Hines
10.Arnie Knepper
11.Don Brown
12.Carl Williams
13.Nolan Johncock
14.Bruce Walkup
15.Lennie Waldo
16.Tom Bigelow
17.Todd Gibson
18.Al Smith
19.Cy Fairchild