Tuesday, May 11, 2021

1986 – USAC Stocks to Purvis at Monett

Jeff Purvis

Monett, Mo. (May 11, 1986) – After rain threatened to wash away racing on Saturday night, the sun popped out on Sunday and made for perfect racing conditions and a great crowd for the final leg of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Late Model Series tour.

Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, Tenn., would establish the fast time with a 17.01 second tour of the newly lengthened 3/8-mile dirt oval.

Polesitter T.J. Pauschert of Carlisle, Ark., took the lead on the opening green flag with Gary Herbert of Waynesburg, Ind., settling in behind. Pauschert. Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., would take over second place on lap 2 and then three lap later, would sneak by. Pauschert for the top spot. Pauschert, John Mason of Millersburg, Ohio and Larry Moore of Dayton, Ohio, would settle in behind Phillips.

Purvis would slowly enter the picture as he was able to pick off both Mason and Moore on lap 9 to move into third position. Purvis used the high side to get by Pauschert on lap 18.

Lap 19 would bring out the caution for Jerry Inmon of Bruce, Miss., as he stalled in turn one. Just as the yellow was waving, Larry Phillips banged the front stretch wall going through lapped traffic.

Only one lapped car separated Purvis from Phillips on the restart and Purvis quickly disposed of him. Purvis challenged Phillips for the next three circuits, and was able to win a drag race down the front stretch to take over the lead. His lead, however, was only temporary as the crowd rose to their feet to witness Phillips regain the top spot on the 25th lap.

Handling problems would start to develop on Phillips’ badly damaged car, however, and Purvis would regain the lead on lap 30 and then build half a straightaway lead in the last 10 laps.

Phillips would limp home to a second-place finish while. Pauschert would hold on for third. Gary Wright of Hooks, Tex., normally behind the wheel of a sprint car, would drive to an impressive fourth place finish and Larry Moore would claim fifth.

Results –

1. Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn.
2. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. T.J. Pauschert, Carlisle, Ark.
4. Gary Wright, Hooks, Tex.
5. Larry Moore, Dayton, Ohio
6. Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.
7. John Mason, Millersburg, Ohio
8. Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.
9. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
10. Gary Herbert, Waynesburg, Ind.
11. Doug Ingalls, Tyler, Tex.
12. Johnny Bone, Pea Ridge, Ark.
13. Ernie Barrow, Bloomington, Ind.
14. Roger Hines, Joplin, Mo
15. Robbie Starnes, Houston, Tex.
16. Greg Moyer, Ankeny, Iowa
17. Lee Hoffman, Rockport, Ind.
18. Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill.
19. Skip Thompson, Mountain Grove, Mo.
20. Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.

Monday, May 10, 2021

1975 - Dolan is Third Eldon Winner

Roger Dolan is shown after winning the super stock feature at the Wapello County Fairgrounds. - Karen Fenn Collection

Eldon, Iowa (May 10, 1975) - Roger Dolan of Lisbon became Eldon Raceway’s third feature winner Saturday over a field of racing greats which included USAC stock car driver Don White of Keokuk. Dolan held off a field of 16 super stocks for 20 laps in one of the best competitive races ever run on the big half-mile.

Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo kept pace for the second spot losing it briefly to White, who worked his way through the field from last row starting position. Zwanziger’s winnings placed him first in the point standings.

White arrived to unveil a new model never before put into competition. He was forced into the pits during his heat race when the ignition wires became loose. Back into action in the consolation, White jumped out into the lead at the top of the green and stretched out his position for the initial victory.

Super stock heat one was a toss-up all the way between Zwanziger, Steve Fraise of Montrose, and Larry Jenkins of Wilton. Fraise overcame leader Zwanziger on the outside in turn four of the second lap fighting a hub-to-hub battle for two laps then along came Jenkins briefly nosing them both out.

Zwanziger came back to the number one spot as the green flag waved each lap as he crossed the wire. When the threesome came out of turn four towards the checkers they were three breast with Fraise squeezing by Zwanziger and Jenkins for the win.

Dolan and Dick Lewis of Agency led all the way for the second and third heat wins. Zwanziger zipped by Dolan out of turn four of the final lap for the Australian pursuit victory.

Dan Beaver of Tracy led all the way for the sportsman first heat over Jerry Pilcher of Ottumwa. Jerry Hamm of Ottumwa was holding third when a puff of smoke rose from his car coming out of turn four. A blaze beneath sent the Eldon fire crew to the rescue as Hamm slid onto the apron.

Sportsman second heat had difficulty clearing the number one turn. As the green flag gave the go in two starts, massive pile-ups resulted in sheet metal wrinkles, flat tires, and torn machinery. Del Beals of Ottumwa was taken to a hospital for a check-up and released reportedly okay.

Cathy Fenn presented her father, Kenny Fenn of Washington, the trophy after taking the sportsman feature as well as his heat for the third week in a row.

Eldon has had a different feature winner weekly. Jenkins, Zwanziger, and Dolan have cropped the winners’ share of the $3,500 purse.

Results –

Super Stocks

Heat #1 – Steve Fraise, Montrose
Heat #2 – Roger Dolan, Lisbon
Heat #3 – Dick Lewis, Agency
Australian Pursuit – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
Consolation – Don White, Keokuk
Feature –
1. Roger Dolan
2. Bill Zwanziger
3. Don White
4. Steve Fraise
5. Johnny Babb, Ottumwa
6. Bob McCall, Ottumwa
7. Russ Derr, Keokuk
8. Bill Beckman, Martelle
9. Ron Jackson, Burlington
10.Dick Lewis


Feature –
1. Kenny Fenn, Washington
2. Jerry Pilcher, Ottumwa
3. Dan Beaver, Tracy
4. Paul Lanphier, Oskaloosa
5. Rick Scott, Eldon
6. Jerry Sprouse, Eldon
7. Mac McDowell, Fort Madison
8. Ron McWhirter, Fairfield

Saturday, May 8, 2021

1971 – Blundy Wins at Knoxville

Jerry Blundy is interviewed by announcer Skip Nelson after his super modified victory at Knoxville, Iowa. - Roger Arndt Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (May 8, 1971) – Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., capped a busy racing day with a victory in the 25-lap super modified feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

Blundy, last year’s International Motor Contest Association sprint car champion, qualified for May 22’s Little 500 in Anderson, Ind., on Saturday afternoon, then flew to Des Moines. He arrived just minutes before qualifying took place. 

Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City led the first 21 laps before Blundy took over. Goodwin was then passed by Roger Rager of Lincoln, Neb., on the next lap.

Rager, who broke his nose in winning the third heat, finished second to Blundy, followed by Goodwin and Del Schmidt of Topeka, Kan. Jay Woodside of Kansas City rounded out the top five.

Results –

Time trials – Darryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D. (21.95)
Trophy dash – Roger Rager, Lincoln, Neb.
Heat #1 – Stacy Redmond, Mason City
Heat #2 – Dick Forbrook, Morgan, Minn.
Heat #3 – Roger Rager
Consolation – Jay Woodside, Kansas City
Feature –
1. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
2. Roger Rager
3. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
4. Del Schmidt, Topeka, Kan.
5. Jay Woodside
6. Jon Backlund, Kansas City
7. Bob Williams, Kansas City
8. Don Droud, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Steve Schultz, Chillicothe, Mo.
10. Darryl Dawley

Friday, May 7, 2021

1978 - Milwaukee ASA Go to Senneker

Bob Senneker

West Allis, Wis. (May 7, 1978) - Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., took home the top prize, three Wisconsin drivers made the top five finishers and 19-year-old Mark Martin of Batesville, Ark., gave his fans something to cheer about.

But the pace car also played a key, role Sunday in the first American Speed Association stock car race ever run on the Wisconsin State Fair Park one-mile paved track.

Senneker, 33, who like most ASA drivers is a veteran of years of short track competition, averaged 96.55 miles per hour and won the $3,950 first prize out of a total purse of $32,300, while 16,173 fans looked on despite the chilly, drizzly weather.

Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., finished second, followed by Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., and Dave Watson of Milton, Wis.

Senneker, Martin and Phillips, all driving Camaros, battled for nearly the first 100 miles of the 150-mile event, exchanging the lead several times and pulling away from the field before a spin-out caused the caution flag to go out on the 106th lap with Martin in front.

Many of the drivers headed for the pits under the caution flag, but Martin stayed on the track, with his pit crew frantically trying to have him come in for refueling.

"I didn't want to come in until the pace car was out," Martin said, adding that he did not know the pace car would try to move in front of his car "I had no idea I was leading the race.”

Officials said the drivers failed to slow down enough, and the pace car was sent out to take a position ahead of Martin and slow the field.

However, Martin collided with Randy Sweet's Firebird as the two tried to avoid the pace car and other cars that had already slowed, and Danny Darnell also nicked one of their cars There were no injuries.

"I was coming down the back straightaway, just maintaining the space behind the car ahead when I saw the pace car coming up,” said Martin, who was the ASA rookie of the year last season and had won the pole position with a track record 114.452 qualifying speed. "I just couldn't get it slowed down."

After repairs on damaged steering parts, Martin returned to the track, eventually finishing 15th.

“I don't know who to blame,” he said. "It's just one of those things.”

Wayne Doebling, an ASA spokesman, said they felt the drivers, most of them accustomed to shorter tracks, probably didn’t realize they still might have been traveling nearly 100 mph after slowing down somewhat.

Questions about the final standings kept officials busy several hours after the race, and they admitted a mistake was made in allowing Senneker’s car to advance with two other cars to the end of the field on the 112th lap.

However, Doebling said Phillips only gained one second on Senneker from the 125th lap, the first full lap after the caution flag was finally lifted, until the end, and the mistake thus would probably not have affected the outcome.

Watson, who competed in a Buick Regal, won two out of four United States Auto Club events on the State Fair track last season when he was named the USAC rookie of the year.

He said that in the ASA event, featuring lighter cars than are allowed in USAC races, there was “not a minute to rest out there” because of the stiff competition.

Watson, who battled with Trickle for the sixth position through much of the early going, said his strategy called for a late sprint.

“The rain hurt us,” he said "We were geared up to sprint to the end It was still a sprint to the end. but it wasn’t the same.”

Results –

1. Bob Senneker
2. Larry Phillips
3. Dick Trickle
4. Larry Detjens
5. Dave Watson
6. Bob Strait
7. John Anderson
8. Larry Schuler
9. Mike Miller
10.Don Gregory
11.Ed Hoffman
12.Ray Young
13.Arnie Christen
14.Jim Cushman
15.Mark Martin
16.John Knaus
17.Dick Anderson
18.Rusty Wallace
19.Danny Darnell
20.Evert DeWitt

Thursday, May 6, 2021

1962 – Derr Sets 5 Records in Hawkeye 250

Ernie Derr

By Phil Maly
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 6, 1962) – National stock car champion Ernie Derr made a clean sweep of things at Hawkeye Downs on Sunday afternoon. An estimated 8,000 people saw Derr wheel his 1962 Pontiac to a world’s record in the Hawkeye 250.

Derr completely outclassed his colleagues as he whipped around the Downs’ half-mile dirt oval in 1 hour, 55 minutes and 46 seconds, shattering the old mark by more than three minutes.

It was not the only final time that told the story of Derr’s superb driving. The pride and joy of Keokuk, Iowa, also reeled off four other record-breaking performances during the afternoon program.

Ernie started the matinee off by setting a new mark in time trials. He had two opportunities to break the old mark of 25.96 seconds, and oddly enough he went under it both times. His record time was 25.80 seconds.

Although Derr won the time trials, the top eight qualifiers drew lots for positions. Derr started on the inside of the third row but he quickly shot into second place behind early leader Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, while Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk, piloted his 1962 Ford into third place.

Derr displayed his ability of endurance and speed from this point on. His speed was evident when he broke the 50-lap dirt track world’s mark in 22 minutes and 15 seconds. The 100 and 150-lap marks were also broken.

Hawkeye Downs, notorious for its fast racing surface, took its toll on the field of 17 cars as only seven were still upright when the checkered flag waved.

Darrell Dake’s 1962 Ford was one of four ’62 models that was forced to the sidelines and unable to finish. Dake dropped out after completing only 100 laps and wound up in 11th place, the position where he started.

At the end of 120 laps, the race had narrowed down to a three-way battle between Derr, Hutcherson and Gil Haugen of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Haugen, who finished the race in third place, rode in the second spot until lap 123. Hutcherson moved past him and came on to finish only one lap behind the winner.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
3. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
4. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
5. Ken Pratt, Darlington, Wis.
6. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
7. Ernie McMahan, Keokuk
8. Bob Dugan, Waukegan, Ill.
9. Roland Wilson, Bedford
10.Ramo Stott, Keokuk
11.Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
12.Frank Richards, Marion
13.Chub Liebe, Oelwein
14.John Mickey, Columbus Junction
15.Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

1963 – Hutcherson Nabs Illini 100

Dick Hutcherson

Freeport, Ill. (May 5, 1963) – Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, racked up his second straight feature win of the new IMCA season by outdueling Ernie Derr in the first annual “Cardinal 100” new model stock car race at Freeport Raceways on Sunday afternoon.

Hutcherson, driving a 1963 Ford, took an early lead and outran Derr to the finish line in the final straightaway. Derr, winner of the IMCA national crown for four straight years, wheeled a ’63 Pontiac.

Hutcherson also won the 10-lap first heat, nosing out Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan. Funk drove a 1963 Ford.

The second heat was stopped on the eighth lap, when Derr and Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, battling for the lead, tangled. They blocked the track and then spun into the infield. Bob Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., in a 1963 Ford, won the event.

Funk had the fastest qualifying time, turning the flat half-mile in 27.43 seconds.

A crowd of 4,200 turned out for the Freeport track’s season opener.

Results -

Heat #1 - Dick Hutcherson, Lennie Funk, John Mickey (Time 4:47.31)

Heat #2 - Bob Reynolds, Gil Haugen, Ray Niemer (No Time)

Feature - 

1. Dick Hutcherson

2. Ernie Derr

3. Ramo Stott

4. Darrell Dake

5. Gil Haugen

Time – 47 minutes and 4.31 seconds.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

1975 – Carter Captures Hulman Crown

Pancho Carter

Terre Haute, Ind. (May 4, 1975) - Duane "Pancho” Carter won the fifth annual Tony Hulman Classic USAC sprint car race here Sunday afternoon on the half-mile "Action Track” after taking the lead in the Dobbins Chevy after only three laps from his sixth starting spot.

The race had to be stopped on the first lap when Jim McElreath flipped the Seibert Olds Sprinter after tangling with Chuck Booth going into turn one.

McElreath, making a rare sprint car appearance, flipped side over side several times then became airborne sailing over the guardrail. The Arlington, Tex., native was taken to the hospital with a dislocated elbow and held overnight for observation.

On the restart Gary Bettenhausen jumped into the lead from his fourth starting spot and was in command for only two laps when Carter took over with Joe Saldana hanging on his tail. Saldana, last year’s Hulman Classic winner, followed the young Carter for several laps as the two moved away from the rest of the field until the yellow flag came out on lap 21 when Larry Cannon spun in turn three.

With the field bunched up, it was Carter, Saldana, Bettenhausen, and Sheldon Kinser holding down the first four positions. At this point the real racing started as Lee Osborne was making a move in the Stouffer machine challenging Kinser for fourth.

On lap 29 Osborne shot around Kinser and set sail for Bettenhausen with George Snider, in the Elder Cadillac entry, also making his way up front as he got by Kinser on lap 35.

On lap 38 of the scheduled 40 circuits, Bettenhausen and Saldana spun in turn two creating a yellow flag finish allowing Osborne and Snider to claim second and third in the high paying event. Fourth went to Tom Bigelow with fifth going to Sheldon Kinser. Heat wins were recorded by Carter, Bigelow, Sam Sessions, and Thad Dosher. The semi-main was won by Bruce Walkup.

Results –

1. Pancho Carter, Huntington Beach, Calif.
2. Lee Osborne, Lebanon, Penn.
3. George Snider, Bakersfield, Calif.
4. Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
5. Sheldon Kinser, Bloomington, Ind.
6. Jimmy Caruthers, Anaheim, Calif.
7. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
8. Steve Cannon, Danville, Ill.
9. Tom Astone, Fresno, Calif.
10.Sonny Ates, Sellersburg, Ind.
11.Bruce Walkup, Sullivan, Ind.
12.Larry Cannon, Oakwood, Ill.
13.Chuck Booth, Speedway, Ind.
14.Chuck Gurney, Livermore, Calif.
15.Gary Bettenhausen, Monrovia, Ind.
16.Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
17.Sam Sessions, Nashville, Mich.
18.Bill Engelhart, Madison, Wis.
19.Gordy Lee, Indianapolis, Ind.
20.Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.