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Thursday, July 31, 2014

1955 - Tiny Lund scores first career IMCA victory

Grand Forks, N.D. (July 31, 1955) – Tiny Lund, a stock car driver who won his share of races several years ago before going into the Air Force, is now starting to climb the ladder of success in late model stock car racing.

Piloting a 1955 Chevrolet, which had been driven with widely varying success earlier this season by Marvin Copple of Lincoln, Neb., Lund of Harlan, Iowa, won the 200-lap IMCA stock car finale at the fairgrounds track in Grand Forks, N.D., on Sunday afternoon.

The win was Lund's first under the IMCA banner. A crowd of 3,500 watched the Auto Racing, Inc., promotion.

 Lund trailed Herschel Buchanan of Shreveport, La., throughout the first 99 laps, but took over the lead with his 1955 Chevrolet on the 100th lap and continued on to victory.

The huge Hawkeye drove most of the way without a hood on his car. He literally "blew his bonnet" on the 30th lap of the only 100 miler to be staged in North Dakota this season.

Apparently this had little effect, however, because Lund wound up more than a lap ahead of the pack at the checkered flag.

Lund finished second in an IMCA stock car feature race in Minot, N.D., on Thursday, July 28th. Friday, July 29th, at the same track, Lund was fourth fastest in time trials but could only manage a 12th place finish.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1988 - Separate disputes broiling at 34 Raceway, Donnellson

Burlington, Iowa (July 29, 1988) - A rift has developed between the International Motor Contest Association and Clinton driver Duke Jackson. Unfortunately, 34 Raceway, owner/promoter Larry Kemp and the state’s other late model pilots are also being devoured by the chasm.

At issue is an IMCA late model Summer Series race in Vinton July 14, won by Darrel DeFrance. Upon completion, Red Dralle indicated he wanted to claim Jackson’s engine for the $1,525 fee. Jackson refused the claim, and all hell broke loose. Kemp, co-promoter of the race, told Jackson he would lose his Summer Series points but retain his points at 34 Raceway, where he led a season-long battle with Burlington’s Ron Jackson.

Several days later, IMCA office manager Rick Haefner informed Duke Jackson he was suspended from racing at IMCA tracks for 21 days (his eligibility will return next weekend) and would lose both his Summer Series and local track points.

Kemp chose to stick to his original edict, and let Jackson compete at 34 Raceway the following week. The IMCA then sent letters to all late model drivers, telling them they would be penalized for competing in any race with Duke Jackson.

When Jackson once again participated at 34 Raceway last Saturday, six others - Lem Blankenship, Kevin Cale, Ron Jackson, Jeff Johnson, Frank Springsteen and Dave Warth - all left their late models on the trailers and did not compete.

On Sunday, promoters from the IMCA’s five sanctioned late model tracks - Kemp, Eldon’s Dale Gegner, Independence’s Jerry Blue, Marshalltown’s Barry Nuese and Steve Priske, and Webster City’s Bill Rice – met with the IMCA in Amana. There, they were told the original ruling stands.

“All we’re doing is enforcing the rule as it is written,” said IMCA executive secretary Bill Haglund. “Those rules were mailed to all 1987 members before the season began. Jackson was a member in 1987 and was aware of the penalty.”

Kemp and the other promoters maintain they were told, when the IMCA added the late model class last year, they would be allowed to determine the rules.

“I’m going to resign from IMCA because I'm just burned out on the late model thing,” he said.

One final note: All may not yet be resolved. It appears several technicalities in the IMCA rules were not followed when Dralle made the claim.

“I got a call from the guy that owns Duke Jackson’s car, and they have retained an attorney,” said Kemp. “They’re pursuing their rights.”

There won’t be racing in Donnellson, and nobody really realizes just how close the Lee County Speedway came to shutting down for the season.

This past week has been truly hectic for promoter Deo Loney and the Lee County Fair board – currently at odds over the operation of the 3/8-mile clay oval.

The two no longer have a contract for the completion of this season. That was dissolved last Tuesday, July 19 - prior to the opening of the Lee County Fair. Loney and the fair board are scheduled to meet Wednesday to try and come to terms for the rest of the summer.

Right now, racing is in limbo at Donnellson - on that, both Loney and fair board president Wayne Hennies agree. When or if it will resume remains up in the air.

“We’ll take a breather this week, but we will have races starting August 5 and then every Friday at least through August,” said Loney. “We’ll make a big show out of our season championship.”

‘There’ll be no races this week,” said Hennies. “It is anticipated agreements will be negotiated to continue for the remainder of the season. Right now, we’ve got nothing."

Friday, July 25, 2014

1959 - Barton a winner at Grand Forks

Grand Forks, N.D. (July 25, 1959) – Two dozen eager big car drivers were on hand for Frank Winkley’s North Dakota Big Car Opener at Grand Forks, and the field reeked of power as the big Offenhauser dominated the entry list.

A rather heavy track with long chutes and tight turns presented just about every problem in the book for the field as they rode wide, low, and in the middle, looking for that groove that would give them their money’s worth.

Canny Buzz Barton grabbed the lead on the second lap as he dove below Pete Folse in turn one and then stood off the challenges by Folse, Jack Rounds and Arnie Knepper to romp in the big winner.

Veteran IMCA drivers found a new threat in Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., with this Chevrolet sprinter. Though the track was heavy, Jones managed to stay with the front-runners until a spinout on the 10th lap of the feature.

Promoter Frank Winkley stated that it was as sharp a field of big car drivers that he had ever seen in action on one track. “The large number of Californians in the lineup added color and speed,” Winkley was quoted.

Results –

1. Buzz Barton
2. Jack Rounds
3. Arnie Knepper
4. Pete Folse
5. Jim Hurtubise
6. Colby Scroggins
7. Bill Horstmeyer
8. Parnelli Jones

Thursday, July 24, 2014

1979 – Sanger wins “Cheater” special at Aberdeen

Aberdeen, S.D. (July 24, 1979) – Drawn into the Dakotas by some high-purse specials, Iowans ran strong in the special “Cheater’s” race at the Brown County Fairgrounds track in Aberdeen.

The pay off was something else in itself, with heat wins worth $55.55 and the feature winner taking home $999.99 – and so on and so forth throughout the card.

Fastest of the Iowans was veteran Ed Sanger of Waterloo, who went home $1,000 richer by taking the feature race and one of the heats - $1,055.54 richer to be more precise.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines was second and Dick Schiltz of Waterloo was third, making it a clean sweep for the Iowans.

Results -
 
First Heat: Don Hoffman, Des Moines, Iowa
Second Heat: Ron Anderson, Webster, S.D.
Third Heat: Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
Consolation: Bill Wilson, Jamestown, N.D.
Feature:
  1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
  2. Don Hoffman, Des Moines, Iowa
  3. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
  4. Bill Wilson, Jamestown, N.D.
  5. Al Nordstrom, Aberdeen, S.D.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

1965 – Larson Drives to First Place

Jud Larson
 

Kansas City, Mo. (July 23, 1965) – Jud Larson, a former Kansas Citian now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, took the lead on the third lap and won going away in the 30-lap feature of the United States Auto Club sprint car races last night at Lakeside Stadium in Kansas City.

Larson moved in front after Greg Weld of Kansas City and Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Texas, locked wheels and both spun out. Carl Williams of Kansas City made an early challenge, but Larson refused to give up the lead spot.

A. J. Foyt of Houston, Texas, and Mario Andretti of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, did not appear for the races.

A crowd of about 7,500 saw 17 cars compete for purse of $6,350 and in the process rewrite the record list.

Weld, the point leader in USAC competition, set a lap record of 22.88 seconds in time trials and a heat race record of 3 minutes and 5 seconds in the first heat. He bettered times of 23.44 by Don Branson in 1963 and 3 minutes and 8 seconds by Jim Hurtubise the same year.

Larson eclipsed another Don Branson mark with his feature time of 12 minutes and 40 seconds. The old standard was 12 minutes and 49 seconds. Johnny White's semi-main mark of 4 minutes and 11 seconds in 1963 fell to Ronnie Duman of Dearborn, Michigan, who timed in at 4 minutes and 4 seconds.

Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City’s super modified race champion, got a chance to drive because of the shortage of drivers. Goodwin placed second in his heat race after leading for four laps. He finished a very creditable ninth in the feature.

Results –

First Heat: Greg Weld
Second Heat: Johnny Rutherford
Third Heat: Jerry Daniels
Semi-Main: Ronnie Duman
Feature:

  1. Jud Larson
  2. Jerry Daniels
  3. Carl Williams
  4. Roger McCluskey
  5. Don Branson
  6. Bobby Unser
  7. Red Riegel
  8. Ronnie Duman
  9. Ray Lee Goodwin
  10. Bobby Black

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1969 – Renshaw Robbed by Tattersall

Davenport, Iowa (July 22, 1969) – Bob Tattersall won the opening night of a six-night swing for the USAC midgets as he took the lead from Bill Renshaw on lap 22 and soared home to victory. Renshaw, driving the best race of his career, was the early leader and enjoyed a three-car length lead for awhile.

The night was full of action as the super midgets appeared 36 strong. Feature action started on the second lap as Chuck Amati went of the bank and Sonny Ates and Les Scott were locked bumper to bumper in a scramble of cars.

Bill Renshaw was leading the event and really moving with Merle Bettenhausen following and Tattersall along with Bill Englehart beginning a great battle. Chuck Weyant was on the move along with Mel Kenyon from the back of the pack.

The real battle for the first 20 laps was between Renshaw, Tattersall, Bettenhausen and Englehart. Tattersall was in second on lap 15 after a great battle with Merle. Englehart was always pressing throughout.

Lee Kunzman sailed off the embankment early in the race as Clark Templeman headed to the pits. At the halfway mark it was Renshaw with Tattersall pressing. Bettenhausen and Englehart fought for third and Weyant was up to fourth with Dave Strickland right behind. Don Vogler and Mel Kenyon had a good battle going behind Strickland as Larry Rice, Bruce Moore and Mel Cornett trailed.

Steve Troxell retired as did Templeman and they were followed to the pits by Rice, Cornett, and Vogler.

Tattersall took the lead and sailed to victory, never getting far from Renshaw. Bill Englehart caught and overtook Merle Bettenhausen for third and Weyant finished fifth. Mel Kenyon got by Strickland with only a few laps to go to take sixth and Dick Jones and Bruce Moore rounded out the running field.

Chuck Weyant won the first heat in grand style as he set a new 8-lap record of 2 minutes and 5.77 seconds. Les Scott, driving the Turner Offy, led every lap in winning the second heat. Sonny Ates took the lead from Bill Englehart on lap three to win the third heat. Bill Renshaw sailed by Dave Strickland for the lead to take the fourth heat.

Results –

Fast Time: Dave Strickland (15.21)
Trophy Dash: Bob Tattersall
Heat One: Chuck Weyant
Heat Two: Les Scott
Heat Three Sonny Ates
Heat Four: Bill Renshaw
Semi: Les Scott

Feature:

  1. Bob Tattersall
  2. Bill Renshaw
  3. Bill Englehart
  4. Merle Bettenhausen
  5. Chuck Weyant
  6. Mel Kenyon
  7. Dave Strickland
  8. Dick Jones
  9. Bruce Moore
  10. Don Vogler
  11. Mel Cornett
  12. Larry Rice
  13. Steve Troxell
  14. Clark Templeman
  15. Lee Kunzman
  16. Sonny Ates
  17. Les Scott
  18. Chuck Amati