Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1962- Reynolds holds off Derr at Kansas State Fair

Hutchinson, Kan. (September 17, 1962) - The king of stock car racing, Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, had to doff his crown to Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla., before a capacity crowd at the stock car race program on the Kansas State Fair track Sunday afternoon.
The impertinent Reynolds shoved his accelerator to the floorboard on the flag, jumped to a car length lead in the first half-mile and kept Derr in his dust until he caught the checkered flag.
During six laps of the race, Derr couldn’t do a thing about it because the yellow flag was out and the cars had to maintain their positions. But there were 14 other laps in which he couldn't do anything about it either. He once pulled to about a half a car length of Reynolds bumper but that was as close as he could get.
The yellow flag came out when Lenny Funk, the Flying Farmer from Otis, Kan., spun sidewise of the track on turn two and was side swiped by Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa. Only by cutting to the infield did Gerry Harrison, Topeka, avoid hitting the pile-up.
Funk and Stott escaped with minor bruises, but both cars were badly damaged. The six yellow-flag laps were run while wreckers were towing the disabled machines off the track. A Ford driven by Ernie McMahon, Keokuk, Iowa, caught fire on the sixth lap of the first heat race. He piloted the blazing machine to the infield where firemen doused the blaze. 
Derr had a bad day all around. He spun out on turn two in the second heat race and lost so much ground he didn’t even complete the race. Ed Birkey, Peoria, Ill., was leading the dash when he hit that same slick spot. Skillful driving by Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn., averted a head-on collision on that one.

Results -
  1. Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
  2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
  3. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
  4. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  5. John Mickey, Columbus Junction, Iowa
  6. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
  7. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
  8. Phil Cronin, Parma Heights, Ohio
  9. Leonard "Lenny" Funk, Otis, Kan.
  10. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
  11. Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
  12. John Jones, Russell, Minn.
  13. Clyde Douglas, Wichita Falls, Tex.
  14. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
  15. Ed Birkey, Peoria, Ill.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1983 - Sanger posts smashing win in Yankee Dirt Track Classic

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 16, 1983) - Ed Sanger smashed a four-year drought at Hawkeye Downs Speedway into 3,500 pieces Saturday night.

Sanger captured the 100-lap NASCAR Grand American late model feature in the Yankee Dirt Track Classic before a crowd of about 4,000. The victory netted the Waterloo driver and car builder a cool $3,500, and was his first triumph at the Downs since 1979.

Roger Dolan of Lisbon relinquished the lead to Sanger on the 89th lap of the main event, and Sanger beat Dolan to the checkered flag by about a second. Leon Plank of Eau Claire, Wis., was third. Waterloo's Tom Bartholomew was fourth and Ken Walton of Viola fifth. The five mentioned racers were the only ones to finish on the lead lap.

“Boy, we needed that,” Sanger said of the win and subsequent paycheck. “This is a tough game these days, and the weekly purses haven't kept up with the expenses.”

Sanger and Plank started on the front row of the 28-car field. Dolan began in the third row. It was apparent early in the race that the winner likely would be one of those three.

Plank took the lead from the onset and held it until Sanger took over on the 34th lap. Dolan passed Sanger for first place on lap 69 and was in front 10 laps later when Joe Merryfield clipped a large section of the protective aluminum fence between the third and fourth turns. Merryfield, of Des Moines, was unhurt. The incident caused laps 79 through 87 to be run under a yellow flag while the mess was cleared.

Then, two laps after the restart, Sanger soared past Dolan on the first turn and kept the lead this time.

“I just took a shot at him (Dolan) and dove down on the bottom of the first turn,” Sanger said. “Then I went up top and took the groove back.”

Sanger drove the car he built for NASCAR superstar Bobby Allison's use in the Miller 100 at the Downs in June.

“The car has worked so damned good, I decided I better drive it,” Sanger said. “It's a sweetheart of a car. It drives so easy. I was as fresh after the race as when I started it.”

It was the largest payoff Sanger has earned since he won over $8,000 for taking the World 100 in Eldora, Ohio, several years ago.

Dolan picked up $2,500 for placing second. He was disappointed at not hanging on for the win, but could take some consolation in putting a stranglehold on the NASCAR Central Region point derby.

With only one point race left at both Quincy, Ill. and Holts Summit, Mo., Dolan has a lock on the championship. What that means is $10,000, plus another $1,000 times three for winning track titles at Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Farley. “That's what makes it all worthwhile,” Dolan said of his regional title-to-be.

“She wouldn't go any faster,” Dolan said of his car. “I hammered it, and it still wouldn't go.”

Jack Mitchell of Cedar Falls nosed out Davenport's Mike Wheeler to claim the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature. Mike Schulte of Norway was third.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

1958 - Nelson Stacy Wins Dayton 500

John Marcum (l) presents Nelson Stacy with the trophy after winning the 1958 Dayton 500. - ARCA Racing Photo

Dayton, Ohio (September 14, 1958) - Nelson Stacy, Cincinnati, Ohio, piloted his 1957 Chevrolet to victory in the sixth annual Dayton 500 Sunday afternoon, after staving off repeated challenges by Darel Dieringer, Indianapolis, in a '57 Ford, who finished second.

An estimated 15,000 spectators saw the MARC sanctioned stock car race for new cars on the famed half-mile high-banked asphalt.

The 500 laps (270 miles, as track is several yards over a half- mile) were relatively accident-free and no injuries were sustained; however, several drivers asked for relief during the weary grind.

Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio, '57 Ford was third; Dick Dunlevy, Dayton, Ohio, and Jack Shanklin, Indianapolis, co-pilots of 1957 Chevy was fourth and the Dudley Stacy '57 Chevy of Cincinnati, Ohio, with Bob James, the Dick Latham relief driving came in fifth.

Dudley became ill on 167th lap and Bob James took over while his car was getting a broken shock and U-bolt replaced. Several laps later James pitted the Stacy car and jumped back into his repaired mount and Dick Latham a non-starter took it the rest of the way, doing a fine job.

Nelson Stacy, on the pole gunned into the first lap lead with Dieringer coming from fourth to second - and for 339 laps it was a tremendous duel between the two. The lead changed between them an even dozen times with Dieringer in possession of a lap and a half lead when the right front tire “let go”.

On the pit stop Dieringer got tire, gas and oil but lost lead to Stacy by two laps, this he could not regain as Stacy kept the advantage to the checkered flag. Nearly exhausted Stacy received the huge trophy and cash in excess of $2,000 for his ride.

Shanklin, the 1957 winner, lead footed two cars out of action before relieving Dunlevy. His own racer went 60 laps and was in third place when a busted radiator couldn't be repaired. On lap 157
Willie Holt, Cincinnati, Ohio, running in fourth asked for relief and Shanklin took over shoving it into third place several laps later, but then pulled in with no oil pressure; and when Dunlevy asked for rest Shanklin was nominated.

Jack Farris, New Paris, Ohio, did not start the race, his engine going sour after making his successful qualifying run. Farris won the event in 1955 and 1956.

Iggy Katona, Lambertville, Mich., the 1953 winner, finished out of the first five. Twenty-eight cars started, 11 were running at the end. Tiny Shilts, New Paris, Ohio, in '57 Chevy was riding in 10th when forced out with a broken valve cover bolt on lap 282.

Results –

1.      Nelson Stacy
2.      Darel Dieringer
       3.      Jack Bowsher
4.      Dick Dunlevy
5.      Dudley Stacy
6.      Carl O’Harold
       7.      Iggy Katona
8.      Paul Wensink
9.      Harold Smith
10.  Clyde Parker
11.  Virgil Barbee
12.  John McGinley
13.  Homer Newland
14.  Bob Coutcher
15.  Louis Savajaine
16.  Tom Horner
17.  Tiny Shilts
18.  Willie Holt
19.  Chuck Morgan
20.  Bob James
21.  Chester Williams
22.  Cecil Wray
23.  Kenny Reeder
24.  Ervin Payne
25.  Jack Shanklin

Thursday, September 11, 2014

1977 - Stott captures Governor’s Cup 250

West Allis, Wis. (September 11, 1977) - Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, took his final lead on the 195th lap Sunday and won the Governor's Cup 250-mile stock car race at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway.

Stott, driving a 1977 Plymouth Volare, averaged 88.202 miles per hour to cross the - finish line four seconds ahead of Paul Feldner of Richfield, Wis., who drove a 1974 Dodge Charger.

Stott won $6,727 and moved into second place in the United States Auto Club point’s standings behind Feldner, who leads the standings with 1,525 points. Stott has 1,425. Jim Sauter of Necedah, Wis., was third in a 1974 Charger and Al Schill of Franklin, Wis., finished fourth in a 1976 Ford Torino in his first USAC race.

Dave Watson, winner of two of the first three USAC stock car races at Milwaukee this season and Sunday’s polesitter, ran only 112 laps in his 1977 Buick Skylark before being sidelined with a broken crankshaft.

Sal Tovella of Addison, Ill., who had been tied with Feldner for the points lead prior to Sunday's race, completed only 80 laps before blowing an engine.

The race was slowed by 10 yellow flags and 17 of the 31 starters did not finish. Stott was content to sit back and let other drivers lead in the early going.

“There was a point earlier in the race where I could have taken the lead, but I didn’t want it,” Stott said. “I figured right then, with about 200 miles to go, it was too soon to be up there. So I sat back and let those other guys pass me. I let them run their cars hard, while I hung back a bit.”

“I figured the race wouldn’t be decided until the last 50 laps, and if you were around then, you'd have a shot at winning it.”

Results –

  1. Ramo Stott
  2. Paul Feldner
  3. Jim Sauter
  4. Al Schill
  5. Larry Moore
  6. Wayne Watercutter
  7. Don Seaborn
  8. Dean Roper
  9. Gordon Blankenship
  10. Darwin Sandstrom
  11. George Giesen
  12. M.J. McBride
  13. Ken Miller
  14. Dale Koehler
  15. Don White
  16. Tom Schley
  17. Bob Schacht
  18. Jim Hurlburt
  19. Jeff Bloom
  20. Dave Watson
  21. Bay Darnell
  22. Tom Meinberg
  23. Jack Bowsher
  24. Sal Tovella
  25. Harold Fair
  26. Dave Decker
  27. Rich Clement
  28. Tom Bigelow
  29. Charlie Glotzbach
  30. Bob Brevak

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1964 – Hutcherson garners feature win after hotly-contested battle at Huron

Huron, S.D. (September 10, 1964) - Most people conceded that it would be too much to ask for a repeat of the 1963 bumper-to-bumper duel between Ramo Stott and Dick Hutcherson for a full 100 laps in late model stock car competition when the 1964 100-lap event was held at the State Fair track Thursday night.

But the two Keokuk, Iowa drivers came close to doing just that as they battled for 72 laps before a broken axle forced Stott to slump off the pace. Hutcherson, the IMCA point leader and defending champion, roared on to win Thursday night's big feature race with a record-shattering time of 46:14.35. This broke the track mark of 47:10.18 set by Stott last year when he zoomed past Hutcherson on the final straightaway to win the 1963 sizzler.

The victory was the 23rd feature win this season for Hutcherson and was viewed by another huge crowd as auto racing once again provided a major portion of the grandstand receipts at the State Fair.

However Hutcheron's win came only after some hard, brilliant driving as he and Stott set a torrid pace over the Huron track. After Stott was forced to slow down by the broken axle Ernie Derr, five-time national champ, applied the pressure to Hutcherson and finished second only two and one-half seconds back of the winner. Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., was third with Stott limping home fourth. Gil Haugen of Sioux Falls was fifth after suffering mechanical difficulties in the preliminary events.

Stott held the lead for most of the first 70 laps but Hutcherson was only a car length or less behind much of the way. Hutcherson held momentary leads on the back-stretch in the 38th and 53rd laps but leads were by just inches and were short-lived.

On the 66th lap Hutcherson fell back about five car lengths but on the number two turn in the 70th lap both he and Derr slipped past Stott as slower cars caused some congestion. Then on the 72nd turn Stott hit a rough bump that had been causing the drivers problems all night and the broken axle resulted which forced him out of contention.

Derr drove a steady pace hoping to come on strong and catch Hutcherson at the finish should the leader falter but the defending national champ kept up his sizzling pace to take the checkered flag.

Derr posted the best clocking in the time trials with a 28.45 effort. The time trials because of an excess of water which was required after a sparsely - attended afternoon horse show tore up the track.

Feature results –

1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
6. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
7. Blackie Wangerin, Minneapolis
8. Dick Johnson, St. Paul
9. Ken Mattson, Minneapolis
10. Art Schmidt, St. Paul, Minn.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

1972 – Sauter holds off Jusola for State Fair win

St. Paul, Minn. (September 6, 1972) – An early crash sent the pre-race favorite to the sidelines and mechanical difficulties sent front running Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., into the pits.

So Jim Sauter of Necedah, Wis., took the lead from Reffner on the 232nd lap and held off the persistent challenge of Bob Jusola, Burnsville, Minn., to win the North Star 500-lap race for IMCA late model stock cars Monday.

A crowd of 11,107 watched the racing windup at the Minnesota State Fair.

Sauter's winning time was 3 hours, 28 minutes and 35 seconds and he collected $3,250 in prize money. Jusola, who finished 9.2 seconds and about a half a lap behind Sauter won $1,800 for his runner-up finish while Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, was third and won $1,500, followed by Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn., who won $1,000. Ron Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa, came in fifth and won $800.

Only 16 of the 40 starting cars finished the race. A seven-car accident at the end of the first lap eliminated pre-race favorite Bud Helm, Littleton, Colo. The other six cars resumed the race but the yellow caution flag was up for seven laps.

It went up again for two laps when Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa, Wis., blew an engine on the 13th lap and had a minor collision. He had set a track qualifying record of 21.62 seconds around the half-mile oval. The yellow flag went up again for 14 laps when Russ Ebert, Pequot Lakes, Minn., crashed into the concrete retaining wall on the 340th lap.

Ebert appeared to be only shaken up.