Thursday, September 25, 2014

1977 – Martin wins National Short Track Championships

Mark Martin
Rockford, Ill. (September 25, 1977) - A Razorback from Arkansas, just in his teens, took on the superstars of short track in the 12th annual National Short Track Championships and came out on top to the amazement of many.
Rudolph, Wis., pilot Tom Reffner took his Hornet into the lead on the opening green followed closely by home track favorite and three-time NSTC champion Joe Shears of South Beloit, Ill., and new track record holder (13.594) Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., in third. Those three hustlers held those positions lap after lap until Shear’s engine let go on the 76th lap moving Trickle’s Superamerica White Knight into the number two spot.
The mandatory pit stop came during lap 103 and on the restart Trickle started putting the pressure on Reffner right away. Things were running smoothly until lap 116 and then the complexion of the race changed completely.
As Reffner and Trickle entered heavy lap traffic, they entered turns one and two hard. Ray Young got into Dave Watson, spinning the Milton, Wis., based and defending NSTC champion. Steve Burgess of Eau Claire also became involved in the melee as Reffner made it through unscratched. Trickle braked hard behind Burgess and was promptly tagged from behind, putting his Trans-Am hard into Burgess causing considerable damage.
The yellow came out and Trickle pulled to the pits where his crew quickly installed a new radiator and straightening the bent steering arms getting Trickle back into the action just as the green was waving, putting him at the back of the field but unlapped.
In the meantime, the field had changed and now this young 18-year-old hotshot from Arkansas named Mark Martin had moved his Ed Howe Camaro into second and was now following Reffner and his 380-cubic Hornet around the high-banked quarter-mile track.
Then disaster struck for Reffner on the 176th lap. Looking like a sure winner, he left the track with an overheating problem. From there, it was Martin’s race to win or lose and he showed the skills of a 20 year veteran and he drove flawlessly over the remaining 20 laps to score one of the biggest wins of his young career.
Another story of the NSTC was the second place finisher. Dave Roahring of Plymouth, Ind., started 32nd in the 33-car field and patiently worked his way through the field to take runner-up honors. Third place went to Trickle, who moved back through the field after his lap 116 fiasco.

Final results -
1. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
2. Dave Roahring, Plymouth, Ind.
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
4. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
5. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
6. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
7. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
8. Bob Strait, Flossmore, Ill.
9. Conrad Morgan, Dousman, Wis.
10. Evert DeWitt, Janesville, Wis.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

1970 - Horn cops wins; then quits IMCA

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 20, 1970) - Fred Horn of Marion piloted his 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner to victory in the 50-lap race for late-model stock cars Sunday at Hawkeye Downs.
No sooner had Horn picked up the checkered flag than he announced he was quitting the International Motor Contest Assn. Sunday's race on the half-mile dirt track was sponsored by the Greater Iowa Racing Assn.
"I'm through with IMCA," declared Horn after accepting congratulations for his win. "They just won't pay any money - they don't make it worthwhile to race.
"I made more money tonight ($750) than I can by winning two 100-lappers next week at Oklahoma City and Odessa (Mo.).
"About all I can say about IMCA is that I've learned an awful lot the last two years racing behind Ernie Derr (perennial IMCA champion) . . . No, I don't know yet what I'll do next year."
Horn presently ranks third in the IMCA point race behind Derr and Ron Hutcherson. He said he feels he can still hope for at least a fourth-place finish, which would assure him a decent cut of point fund money.
Freddie started eighth in the 20-car field Sunday and moved into second behind leader Ed Sanger of Waterloo on the 22nd lap. That's when Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, who was running strong in second place, experienced some tough luck going into the fourth turn.
Zwanziger's '70 Nova ran over a runaway wheel (with axle still attached) and the accident knocked Bill out of the race with a broken radiator and damaged left-front wheel.
Horn stayed right on the bumper of Sanger's ‘70 Monte Carlo for the next 12 laps. He got his chance on the 34th lap when Sanger got a little squirrelly coming out of turn four.
Freddie moved inside quickly and he stayed there to win by a comfortable margin.
Sanger was second and pocketed $500. Chub Liebe of Oelwein nipped Terry Messersmith of New Hampton by an eyelash for the $350 third place money. Joe Schaefer of Waterloo won $200 for fifth.
Mark Mosier of Washington copped the eight-lap trophy dash and the 20-lap consolation, comprised of non-qualifiers and non-money winners in the feature.
Gene Schattschneider of Algona topped the qualifying with a 26.40 clocking. The three- track champion at Boone, Algona and Alta started on the pole in the feature and set a fast pace for the first eight laps before bowing out with engine problems.
Horn had the eighth fastest time, but he made a complete tire change before going racing. "I used Hoosiers during time trials, but I switched to Goodyear’s for the race," explained Horn. "Some tires work on some tracks and not on others."
Results –
  1. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
  2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
  3. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
  4. Terry Messersmith, New Hampton, Iowa
  5. Joe Schaefer, Waterloo, Iowa
Trophy Dash:
  1. Mark Mosier, Washington, Iowa
  2. Stan Stover, Reinbeck, Iowa
  3. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
  4. Gene Schattschneider, Algona, Iowa
  1. Mark Mosier
  2. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo, Iowa
  3. Gene Schattschneider
  4. Harold Odeen, Marion, Iowa
  5. Dick Bragg, Hiawatha, Iowa

Friday, September 19, 2014

1965 - Jim Hurtubise wins 250-mile race at State Park

Jim Hurtubise
West Allis, Wis. (September 19, 1965) - Sunday was a banner day for Jim Hurtubise, for Norm Nelson, and for Plymouths in general at State Fair Park. Hurtubise, driving one of Nelson's 1965 Plymouth entries, won the 250-mile late model stock car event before an enthusiastic crowd of 21,350, most of who were rooting for the come backing New Yorker.
Nelson meanwhile added 50 points to his lead over Paul Goldsmith by finishing second to Goldsmith's third. Goldsmith gave Plymouth a 1-2-3 sweep, while Ray Darnell came in fifth in another Plymouth. Don White was fourth in a Ford.

Hurtubise succeeded on the same track where he was badly burned in a June, 1964 accident. First place was worth $5,594 to Hurtubise, who finished about two laps in front of Nelson, his boss. Nelson added 400 points for his runner-up finish and now has 3,067 with three races left on the schedule. Goldsmith collected 350 and increased his season's total to 2,340. White is running third, some 600 points behind Goldsmith, while Hurtubise climbed from fifth to fourth with yesterday's win.

"I am in pretty good position now," Nelson admitted. "The title isn't in the bag mathematically, of course, but Paul (Goldsmith) has to win them all. All I have to do is pick up some points. It puts the pressure on him."

Hurtubise, who needed eight months of skin grafts and hospital treatment, made it back to the top with an average speed of 93.26 miles an hour. He took over first place early and held it for the last 185 miles.

Nelson ran second most of the way. The Racine driver was forced to make three pit stops, one due to a flat tire to two for Hurtubise. A $3,718 check for second place didn't hurt Nelson's disposition.

Joe Leonard was sixth, Billy Foster seventh, J. C. Klotz, eighth, Ted Hane ninth, and Bob Slensby 10th.

Bobby Isaac won the pole position and led the race for the first 32 miles, but was forced out of the running by a crash on the 230th lap. Both A. J. Foyt and Parnelli Jones went out with engine troubles in their Fords.

Results –

1.      Jim Hurtubise
2.      Norm Nelson
3.      Paul Goldsmith
4.      Don White
5.      Bay Darnell
6.      Joe Leonard
7.      Billy Foster
8.      J.C. Klotz
9.      Ted Hane
10.  Bob Slensby
11.  Bob Wawak
12.  Johnny Riva
13.  Ed Kozbiel
14.  Bobby Isaac
15.  Gary Bettenhausen
16.  Bob Jusola
17.  Harry Kern
18.  Bud McGauhey
19.  Bruce Jacobi
20.  Sal Tovella
21.  Bill Shoulders
22.  Parnelli Jones
23.  A.J. Foyt
24.  Rick Kleich
25.  John Kennedy
26.  Rich Clement
27.  Herb Shannon
28.  Roy Atkinson
29.  Elmer Musgrave
30.  Bill Behling
31.  Roger Regeth
32.  Eddie Meyer