Saturday, April 20, 2019

1990 - Fraise Wins Busch All-Star Opener

Moberly, Mo. (April 20, 1990) – Steve Fraise nipped Steve Kosiski by less than a foot to claim Friday’s NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour season opener at Moberly Motorsports Complex. The win was the Montrose, Iowa driver’s first-ever triumph on the prestigious dirt late model tour and was worth $3,000.

“We’re just tickled to death to finally get a Busch Tour win,” Fraise said following the 50-lap battle on the high-banked speedway. “Steve drove a great race and I knew he was gaining on me, but we had just enough to hold him off.”

Fraise led 45 of 50 circuits, taking the top spot from Johnny Johnson. After a spirited battle with Gary Webb, Kosiski, Johnson and pole winner Ray Guss Jr. for several laps, Fraise began to stretch his advantage. By the halfway point, Fraise enjoyed a straight-away lead, leaving Kosiski and Webb to do battle for second.

But Kosiski broke away from the pack by lap 30 and began a furious charge that saw the 1987 series champion pull to Fraise’s rear bumper on lap 40. On lap 41, Webb made contact with the second turn wall to bring out the event’s final caution and set up a nine-lap dash to the checkers.

With the crowd on its feet, Fraise and Kosiski raced side-by-side for several laps while weaving through traffic. Kosiski tried the low groove around Fraise frequently, but the eventual winner closed the door with power on the straightaways.

As the white flag waved, Kosiski tried in vain to pass Fraise both high and low through turns one and two. As the duo raced through the final two turns, Kosiski went to the low side and the twosome sped under the checkered flag in a virtual dead heat with Fraise beating Kosiski by a fender.

Following Fraise and Kosiski to the checkers were Guss, Bob Hill and Joe Kosiski, nearly half a lap behind the two frontrunners.

Results –

1.    Steve Fraise
2.    Steve Kosiski
3.    Ray Guss Jr.
4.    Bob Hill
5.    Joe Kosiski
6.    Johnny Saathoff
7.    Gary Webb
8.    Sonny Findling
9.    Ed Kosiski
10.  Jeff Hinkemeyer
11.  Jim Swank
12.  Dick Crane
13.  Junior Shickel
14.  Kyle Berg
15.  Bubba Harvey
16.  Lem Blankenship
17.  Terry Huziel
18.  Donnie Cooper
19.  Roger Dolan
20.  Tom Guithues
21.   John Hampel
22.   Johnny Johnson
23.   Randy McGraw
24.   Rollie Frink
25.   Chuck Rankin
26.   Rick Wendling

Friday, April 19, 2019

1981 - Swindell Cops Boone 'Outlaws'

Boone, Iowa (April 19,1981) – Sammy Swindell of West Memphis, Tenn., won the 30-lap World of Outlaws winged sprint car feature Sunday night at the quarter-mile Boone Speedway.
In taking the win, Swindell not only survived a seventh lap collision, he won in suspenseful fashion, taking the lead on the 27th circuit in the main event. He captured the lead from young Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn., driving a sprinter owned by singing star Kenny Rogers.
Smith held on to finish second before a crowd estimated at 4,000 despite overcast skies and threatening weather.
Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., who won the ‘Outlaw’ main at Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday night, was third and Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D., who won the ‘Outlaw’ feature on Friday at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, took fourth. Tim Green of Carmichael, Calif., rounded out the top five.
Kinser established a new track record for the second straight as he lowered the Boone standard to 14.417 seconds. The old record was 14.85 seconds set by Wolfgang in 1978.
It was Swindell’s second World of Outlaws win of the season and his eighth overall. He pocketed $2,100 for the victory while Smith took home $1,300 for his runner-up finish.
After two nights of numerous flips, including a fatality at Knoxville, there were no serious incidents during the Boone program nobody got upside down during the evening.

Results –

Time trials – Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. (14.417)
Heat #1 – Ron Wiuff, Marshalltown, Iowa
Heat #2 – Norman Martin, Dallas, Tex.
Heat #3 – Shane Carson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
B-main – Mike Thomas, Des Moines
Feature –

1.    Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn..
2.    Randy Smith, Hendersonville, Tenn..
3.    Steve Kinser
4.    Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
5.    Tim Green, Carmichael, Calif.
6.    Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
7.    John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
8.    Linus Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn.
9.    Bobby Davis Jr., Nashville, Tenn..
10.  Jerry Potter, Kansas City
11.  Norman Martin
12.  Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
13.  Curtis Evan, Hardin, Mo.
14.  Rick Montgomery, Lakewood, Colo.
15.  Mike Thomas
16.  Pat McKeehan, Windsor, Mo.
17.  Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa

Thursday, April 18, 2019

1992 - Behrens Wins La Crosse Opener

West Salem, Wis. (April 18, 1992) – The early season dominance continued in 1992 as Dwain Behrens slid inside of Shawn Pfaff on lap 22 of the NASCAR late model feature and took the opening win of the Winston Racing Series at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Last season, Ted Smokestad took the opening win at La Crosse as several Minnesota drivers took the long drive from the Twin Cities for opening night and Behrens duplicated that this year.
Mike Tuma led from the pole position for the first 11 circuits before Pfaff completed his hard-charging drive from the back of the pack to take the lead. Pfaff pulled away for several laps, before Behrens made his way through the field and started closing the gap on Pfaff.
Behrens nearly made the pass on lap 17, but the third yellow of the race came out when Smokestad spun and hit the wall in turn two. Four lap later Behrens took the inside lane on turn one and two and made the pass for the win.

Results –

1.    Dwain Behrens, Lakeville, Minn.
2.    Shawn Pfaff, Sparta, Wis.
3.    Kevin Nuttleman, Bangor, Wis.
4.    Jon Lemke, St. Louis Park, Minn.
5.    Mike Tuma, Lakeville, Minn.
6.    Joe Milanowski, Madison, Wis.
7.    Tim Nelson, La Crescent, Wis.
8.    Roger Lund, Rockland, Wis.
9.    Tony Norem, Jordan, Minn.
10.   John Leisso, Stoddard, Wis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

1966 – Dickson Wins at Eldora

Larry Dickson

Rossburg, Ohio (April 17, 1966) – Larry Dickson traveled the rough, rocky road to success here yesterday afternoon to win his first United States Auto Club 30-lap sprint car feature.
The rough and rocky part came from the high dirt banks of the Eldora Speedway which were showing the effects of the wear and tear surface from the 35 sprint cars on hand for the afternoon’s festivities.

Times were well off the records set here two weeks ago by the same cars and drivers, but if the track was slow the action was twice as fast.

USAC's racing grandfather, Don Branson, taught the youngsters how to get around the rough track by setting the fastest qualifying time of the day. But the 18.94 seconds was well off his usual performance.

 Our hero of the day, the young Mr. Dickson, had a little trouble with his qualifying run and spun on his second trip around the half-mile oval. However, his first lap time of 19.19 was second fast for the day.

Greg Weld won the first 8-lap heat race of the afternoon, but again, it was Branson who was busy giving the 6,200 fans, jammed into the stands, their thrills.
With the new USAC rule of inverted starts - fastest cars to the rear in the heat races - Branson found himself sitting on the outside of the back row in the six -car event. This didn’t last long.

 It wasn't too much trouble for him to get into third place, but then Branson found he was behind USAC national champion Mario Andretti who was running second - and had no idea of running third.

 The pair had the crowd on their feet for five laps. Branson tried once to get by Andretti and missed. Three laps later he caught Mario coming out of No. 2 turn passing a slower car on the high slide. Branson went low and took Andretti and the slower car like Grant took Richmond.

 For an instant it looked as though the second heat was going to give the fans more thrills than they had asked for, until the skilled hands of Jud Larson took control of the situation.
Larson started fourth in the second heat and moved into first place heading down the backstretch on the first lap. The only trouble was; there were just too many cars that reached the third turn at the same time and "racing room" ran out.

Jud ’s sprinter was nicked in the tail by Arnie Knepper and slid high into the outer guard rail. It was a hairy place to be, but Larson was equal to the occasion.

 The big Texan bounced off the steel guard rail and regained control of the bouncing sprinter - as the rest of the field drove by on the inside. His first place had suddenly turned into last, but everyone was still running.
Jud came back and made a mockery of the 10-lap consolation race to earn his starting place in the feature. Knepper proved he was sportsman by going to the public address microphone and apologizing to Jud for nudging him into the rail.

Rollie Beale captured the third eight-lapper in what was almost a photo finish with Al Miller. Al, known as auto racing's own "Mr. Clean", charged from his fifth place starting position and came within inches of having the lead when the checkered flag fell.

The 30-lap feature belonged to Dickson from flag to flag and Branson had second place pretty well sewed up for most of the race.

Third place finisher Roger McCluskey challenged Branson in the early laps but couldn’t get past the wily grandpa.

From there on back, things in the pack were in a state of confusion. Larson squeezed by Greg Weld to claim fourth place and Weld finished fifth, after he got by Al Miller - who had worked his way between Weld and Larson.


Results –  

1.     Larry Dickson
2.     Don Branson
3.     Roger McCluskey
4.     Jud Larson
5.     Greg Weld
6.     Al Miller
7.     Bobby Unser
8.     Mario Andretti
9.     Ronnie Duman
10.  Bobby Black

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

1977 – Steffe Snares West Liberty Spring Championship

West Liberty, Iowa (April 16, 1977) – An all-time record crowd of 9,000 race fans saw stock car racing at its best at the Spring Championship opener at the West Liberty Fairgrounds.
With ideal weather, a track that was in excellent shape, and 81 drivers on hand, all eager for their share of the $5,000 plus purse, the evening was jam-packed with action and excitement.
Drivers from all over Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Canada made the call for the season opener. But it was Duane Steffe of Colona, Ill, who took home the big money by winning the 25-lap late model feature.
Heading the list of thrills was seeing the track record broke, not just once, but four times, during qualifying. Three drivers broke the record of 24.21 seconds set by Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, in 1975.  Ken Walton of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, lowered Hansen’s time twice, and now holds the new track record at West Liberty. He toured the half-mile in 23.90 seconds in his first lap and then bettered his mark the second time around, in 23.69 seconds. Also breaking the record was Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., who timed in at 23.98 seconds and Tom Hearst of Wilton, Iowa, with a time of 24.11 seconds.
Steffe has been a regular racing contender at West Liberty for several seasons. Last season he finished third in points. He would start the feature on the outside of the first row and take the lead on the first lap. He would successfully hold off charges from polesitter Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa and Steve Keppler of Marion, Iowa, who were both on his heels in the early laps.
After several laps, Ray Guss and Tom Hearst would move into the third and fourth spots, joining the battle for the lead. Doing superb driving in only his second time out in his new Camaro, Steffe held off his challengers and kept the lead throughout.
Ken Walton’s new Camaro, in its premier appearance, became overheated towards the end of the race and he would lose several positions before the checkered flag waved. Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, the 1976 point leader, didn’t finish at the front of the pack, as he was having mechanical issues as well with his new Camaro.
Late model heat winners were Jim Burbridge of Delhi, Iowa, Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa, Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree, Iowa, Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa and Don Hoffman of Des Moines. Hemsted also won the consolation.

Results –

Fast time – Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (23.69)
Heat #1 – Jim Burbridge, Delhi, Iowa
Heat #2 – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
Heat #3 – Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, Iowa
Heat #4 – Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
Heat #5 – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Consolation – Ron Hemsted
Feature –

1.     Duane Steffe, Colona, Ill.
2.     Steve Keppler, Marion, Iowa
3.     Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
4.     Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
5.     Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
6.     Bill Zwanziger
7.     Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
8.     Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
9.     Ed Mellecker, Iowa City, Iowa
10. Red Dralle, Waterloo, Iowa

Monday, April 15, 2019

1984 - Green Roars to Victory at I-70

Tim Green

Odessa, Mo. (April 15, 1984) — Race fans at I-70 Speedway knew that Sunday’s World of Outlaws sprint car feature was not going to be just another 30-lap race when “The Wolf,” Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D., rolled his sprinter in turn three before he even crossed the starting line. One hour and 19 minutes later, Tim Green, Sacramento, Ca., had his first World of Outlaw victory since 1980, and a check for $6,000.
Brad Doty, Orrville, Ohio, jumped into the lead on the first lap followed by Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind., Ron Shuman, Mesa, Ariz., and Green. The yellow flag came out on lap 12 as Sammy Swindell, Bartlett, Tenn., spun in turn one.
On the restart, Swindell spun again, this time in turn three. As Swindell was spinning he was clipped by Linus Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn., who did a series of barrel rolls.
As the cars were lining up for the restart the rains came. After the rain delay, the sprinters returned to the track with Green passing Doty on the restart. On lap 18, Kinser got around Doty for second and set his sights on Green.
Kinser caught Green in traffic on lap 25 and moved into first Green who was running with no brakes the last six laps of the race, had to back off in traffic. Lapped traffic behind them, Green went back into first place on the next lap.
“Once I got by the lapped cars, I knew I had it won,” said Green. But it wasn’t over yet. Bobby Davis Jr., Memphis, Tenn., blew a right rear tire coming out of turn four, doing a series of flips along the front straight away wall. The red flag brought the race to a halt setting up a two-lap trophy dash to the finish. The dash was all Green’s as he was pulling away from Kinser as the checkered flag fell.
Rounding out the top five were Doty, Shuman, and Rocky Hodges, Des Moines, Iowa. Rick Ungar, Memphis, Tenn., won the B-feature with the heat races going to Hodges, Sammy Swindell, Jeff Swindell (driving the B&E Electric Sprinter from Clinton, Iowa), and Mike Peters, Wichita, Kan.
Green edged out Sammy Swindell for fast time with a clocking of 16.64 seconds compared to 16.65 for Swindell.


Results –

1.     Tim Green
2.     Steve Kinser
3.     Brad Doty
4.     Ron Shuman
5.     Rocky Hodges
6.     Randy Wolfe
7.     Mark Kinser
8.     Danny Smith
9.     Lee Osborne
10.  Rick Unger
11.  Mike Peters
12.  Terry Gray
13.  T.J. Giddings
14.  Bobby Davis Jr.
15.  Jeff Swindell
16.  Sammy Swindell
17.  Greg Wooley
18.  Todd Bishop
19.  Linus Mack
20.  Tim Gee
21.  Bobby Allen
22.  Doug Wolfgang

Sunday, April 14, 2019

1978 – Morris Works for Davenport Victory

Davenport, Iowa (April 14, 1978) – Mel Morris of West Liberty, Iowa, took the lead in the 50-lap late model feature and held on to win the $700 first prize money. The racing program was the season opener at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds’ half-mile.
It wasn’t an easy victory for Morris, who was challenged during the last 10 laps by John Simenec of Rock Island, Ill. Simenec, who started dead last in the 22-car field, put on an exciting driving exhibition that had the chilled crowd on it’s feet.
Simenec hadn’t even qualified for the feature event, but inherited the last starting spot when Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa, withdrew due to mechanical issues.
Simenec wasn’t the only challenger. Such drivers as Ronnie Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, and Verlin Eaker of Mechanicsville, Iowa, were vying for the top prize as well.
Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa, challenged Morris early on in the 25-lapper. Martin was finally forced to retire when an overheated engine sent him to the pit area.
A total of 62 cars turned out for the “Iowa Spring Sizzler”, promoter Bill Schwader’s initiation at the Davenport track. The first track to open in Iowa, drew a crowd of over 4,000.

Results –

1.    Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa
2.    John Simenec, Rock Island, Ill.
3.    Verlin Eaker, Mechanicsville, Iowa
4.    Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
5.    Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
6.    Bill Rice, Des Moines
7.    Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8.    Roger Long, Fithian, Ill.
9.    Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
10.   Rollie Frink, Davenport, Iowa