Saturday, July 20, 2019

1991 – Hill First at Freeport Busch All Star 50

Freeport, Ill. (July 20, 1991) – After coming close a number of times, Bob Hill finally captured a NASCAR Bush All Star Tour feature winning the 50-lap A-main Saturday night at Freeport Raceway Park.

Hill, who had posted three second-place finishes, three thirds and a fourth in nine starts prior to Freeport, inherited the lead on lap 11 when a spinning car collected race leaders Steve Kosiski and Johnny Saathoff.

Kosiski later returned to the action and limped home to a 17th-place finish.

Chasing down Hill in the final laps and finishing a close second was Willy Kraft. Rollie Frink took third followed by Ray Guss Jr. and Gary Webb.

“We’ve been running the top-five the last five or six races and I just figured sooner or later the breaks have got to come our way and we’re going to get one,” said Hill.

Hill was the fastest qualifier for the night despite the fact that his car’s power steering broke right before his qualifying run.

Results –

1. Bob Hill, Story City, Iowa
2. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
3. Rollie Frink, Davenport, Iowa
4. Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill.
5. Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
6. Ed Kosiski, Omaha
7. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
8. Jerry Wancewicz, Omaha
9. Tom Svoboda, David City, Neb.
10.Tom Schony, Freeport
11.Randy McGraw, Marshall, Mo.
12.Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
13.Jim Swank, Hannibal, Mo.
14.Steve Lurvey, Dousman, Wis.
15.Tom Guithues, Lilly Lake, Ill.
16.Chuck Rankin, Kansas City
17.Steve Kosiski, Omaha
18.Mel Abels, Freeport
19.Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, Neb.
20.Bob Pistole
21.Jim Jeffrey, Freeport
22.Ernie Lilly, Fulton, Ill.
23.Jay Johnson, Middletown, Iowa
24.Ted Beaman, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Thursday, July 18, 2019

1971 - Third-Time Rally Proves Charm for Sutcliffe at Eagle

Dick Sutcliffe 

Eagle, Neb. (July 18, 1971) - Veteran Kansas City driver Dick Sutcliffe, who has won a cluster of super modified features in a variety of ways, came up with still another way at Eagle Raceway here Sunday night.

Sutcliffe, who almost demolished his car #19 in a two-car crash Saturday night at Knoxville, Iowa, came from behind in car #119 three different times on a dry-slick track to claim his fourth feature win of the season here.

“My car was bouncing so bad in the holes that I knew I could not run in a groove fast enough to win,” Sutcliffe said of the feature, which saw four different leaders, including runner-up Thad Dosher of Topeka and third place finisher Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City.

“I could not run the hole between turns one and two continuously because it would have broken all my shocks,” Sutcliffe said. “So, I was just saving my one, best shot for the end of the race.”

The best shot to which Sutcliffe referred came with about five laps remaining when he re-assumed the lead on the race’s fourth restart after temporarily falling behind Dosher.

Starting the feature on the first row, outside position after posting the evening’s fifth fastest qualifying time, Sutcliffe also relinquished the lead twice to Goodwin before regaining it each time.

Goodwin, Saturday night’s feature winner at Knoxville, Iowa, bested Sutcliffe in the trophy dash after finishing behind him in the second heat race.

Sutcliffe, who indicated that he will not compete at Eagle for the next month because of IMCA racing commitments in Wisconsin and Illinois, complained of the track’s condition after winning Sunday’s feature.

“It’s a shame that they’re scared to put some water on the race track,” he said. “If they would so something as simple as that earlier in the day, Eagle Raceway would be the fastest one-third mile dirt track in the world.

It should be pointed out, however, that a truck did spray water onto the straightaways between the consolation race and B -feature, considerably reducing the dust in a windswept program.

Lincoln’s Lonnie Jensen, who was edged by Goodwin on the last lap of the feature Saturday night at Knoxville, finished third in the second heat race Sunday night.

He came back in the feature, however, and was challenging Sutcliffe and Goodwin for the lead when his car started smoking, forcing him to pull into the infield midway through the race.

Results –

First Heat – Thad Dosher
Second Heat – Dick Sutcliffe
Third Heat – Mike Cecak
Trophy Dash – Ray Lee Goodwin
Consolation – Jim Golden
B-Feature – Tony Farr
Feature –
1. Dick Sutcliffe
2. Thad Dosher
3. Ray Lee Goodwin
4. Dennis Oltman
5. Ralph Blackett
6. Gary Dunkle
7. Don Droud
8. Jim Riggins
9. Lloyd Beckman

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

1972 – Missouri Men Lead Way at Bloomfield

Bloomfield, Iowa (July 16, 1972) – Two Missouri men, Sonny Smyser of Glenwood and Larry Pipes of Kirksville, were in the winner’s circle at the Bloomfield Speedway Sunday night.

Smyser jumped into the lead at the drop of the flag and led all the way to his third feature win. The super modified driver was over a half-lap ahead at the finish.

Pipes finally put everything together and won his first super stock main of the season.

Pipes and Chuck Allison of Ottumwa dueled all the way with Allison leading the first six laps before Pipes passed him. The two then seesawed with John Babb and Bob McCall of Ottumwa nipping at their bumpers. Babb and McCall finished side-by-side with Babb edging out third spot.

Larry Winn of Kirksville won his second trophy dash in a row while McCall took second.

Allison and Winn had quite a battle in the first heat. The two exchanged leads several times and Allison came out on top. McCall won a hot battle in the second heat with Bob beating out Pipes. 

Smyser won his trophy dash ahead of Bill Hudson of New Sharon. Hudson followed Smyser at the finish and Don Jermier of Mt. Pleasant was third.

Cliff Powell of Hannibal took the first heat leading all the way. Burt Sonner of Des Moines was right behind him and then came Steve Hainline of Bonaparte in third.

On the seventh lap of the modified feature, Larry Cramblett and Torch Aleshire tangled down the front chute and both went into the fence. Aleshire went up on his nose and rolled over. Cramblett landed right side up. Neither were injured.

Results – 

Super Modifieds

Trophy dash – Sonny Smyser, Glenwood, Mo.
Heat #1 – Cliff Powell, Hannibal, Mo. 
Heat #2 – Sonny Smyser
Feature – 
1. Sonny Smyser
2. Cliff Powell
3. Bill Hudson, New Sharon 
4. Burt Sonner, Des Moines
5. Steve Hainline, Bonaparte
6. Harvey Grooms, Ottumwa
7. Adrian Zoutte, Knoxville

Super Stocks

Trophy dash – Larry Winn, Kirksville, Mo.
Heat #1 – Chuck Allison, Ottumwa
Heat #2 – Bob McCall, Ottumwa
Feature – 
1. Larry Pipes, Kirksville, Mo. 
2. Chuck Allison
3. Johnny Babb, Ottumwa
4. Bob McCall
5. Bob Widmar, Ottumwa
6. Charlie Morris, Kirksville, Mo. 
7. Don Benge, Selma, Iowa

Monday, July 15, 2019

1981 – History Repeats for Walton at Oskaloosa

Ken Walton

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 15, 1981) – History repeated itself in the Pepsi-Mountain Dew Special stock car race on Wednesday night at the Mahaska County Fairgrounds when Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, won the late model feature nipping Kenny Fenn of Washington, Iowa, by six inches.

It was Walton’s first feature win of the season although he’s finished no worse than fifth this year. “This happened three years ago, too,” said the happy Walton. “I won my first feature of the year in this event, then I went to Eldora (Speedway) and won my first World 100. I hope I can win that again too.”

Walton won $1,000 for winning the 35-lap feature on the half-mile track. The event, sanctioned by the National Speedways Contest Association, also helped Walton regain the point lead in the series’ standings.

Fenn, the point leader at the Iowa State Fairgrounds track in Des Moines, started the race on the pole and quickly took a commanding lead in his 1981 Corvette. By lap 7 he had a straight-away lead over second place Jerry Pilcher of Ottumwa, Iowa.

A yellow flag would come out on lap 11 for an accident involving Curt Hogue of Ames, Iowa and Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun, Iowa. During the caution, Fenn would replace his right rear tire.

After the restart, Fenn would lose his stagger and speed. However, Walton was unable to do much except slowly creep on Fenn, getting his Camaro into second place on lap 18.

On lap 30, Fenn would encounter lapped traffic allowing Walton to tag on to his bumper as the laps ticked away. On lap 34 tried to pass Fenn down the backstretch but couldn’t get around. Coming out of turn four, however, Fenn would get loose, sliding high, allowing Walton the opportunity to dive low and start a drag race to the checkers. Walton would nip Fenn by half a foot at the start/finish line.

Pilcher would finish third, Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, was fourth and Curt Hogue would come back from his accident earlier in the race to finish fifth.

Results –
Heat #1 – Kenny Fenn, Washington, Iowa
Heat #2 – Jerry Pilcher, Ottumwa, Iowa
Heat #3 – Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
Challenge race – Tom Hearst
Feature –

1. Ken Walton, Viola, Iowa
2. Kenny Fenn
3. Jerry Pilcher
4. Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
5. Curt Hogue, Ames, Iowa
6. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
7. Jerry Roberts, Prairie City, Iowa
8. Craig Jacobs, Des Moines
9. Tony Stewart, Washington, Iowa
10. Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines

Sunday, July 14, 2019

1961 – Stott trails Derr in Lakeside Stock Main

Kansas City, Kan. (July 14, 1961) – A new IMCA world’s record for late model stock car was written into the books at Lakeside Stadium’s lightning fast half-mile on Friday night.

With Gene Van Winkle and Woody Brinkman handling the officiating for National Speedways, Inc., Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa flawlessly powered his 1961 Pontiac to the checkered flag in the 50-lap main event in 22 minutes and 21 seconds.

Derr, the defending IMCA national champion, thus erased the old mark of 22 minutes and 59 seconds set by Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1959.

Ramo Stott, also of Keokuk, Iowa, found the going excellent as well, as he edged Derr in the 10-lap trophy dash to set a new IMCA standard of 4 minutes and 28 seconds. Stott, racing a 1961 Ford, eclipsed the old record of 4 minutes and 31 seconds set by Derr in 1959.

Stott trailed Derr across the finish line in the main event with Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa coming in third and Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., fourth. Liebe and Funk race 1961 Fords.

Derr, who also won the first heat, nudged ahead of Stott on the first lap of the feature and was able to stave off numerous challenges by his fellow townsman as he sped to the new world mark.

Results –

First Heat: Ernie Derr
Second Heat: Dick Hutcherson
Third Heat: Chub Liebe
Trophy Dash: Ramo Stott
1. Ernie Derr
2. Ramo Stott
3. Chub Liebe
4. Lenny Funk
5. Jerry McCreadie

Saturday, July 13, 2019

1969 – Bobby Unser Slips Through to Win Miller 200

Bobby Unser accepts his accolades after winning the Miller 200 at Milwaukee. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 13, 1969) – Bobby Unser navigated his 1969 Ford Talladega through a hail of metal on an oil-slicked track Sunday to win the Miller 200-mile stock car race at State Fair Park.

Unser took the lead only six miles from the finish when Jack Bowsher’s 1969 Ford Torino coasted into the pits out of fuel while a caution flag was out.

The flag was out after Paul Bauer’s 1968 Chevrolet cut off Don White, nicked the Keokuk, Iowa driver’s fender, and smashed head on into the grandstand wall on lap 192.

Two laps later, Bowsher pitted and Unser took the lead. The safety trucks kept the cars in line until the 198th lap, much to the dismay of the 31,774 race fans in attendance. When the green flag was finally reinstated, the Unser’s lead was too big for White to surmount in the final two circuits.

White’s 1969 Dodge Charger finished second, Bowsher was third, and Norm Nelson - Saturday’s fast qualifier at 103.122 miles per hour – was fourth in his 1969 Roadrunner.

Yellow flags were the story of the day and kept the winning speed down to 94.27 miles per hour as four of the race leaders were forced out.

A.J Foyt grabbed a huge early lead and held it through three yellow lights during the first 80 miles.

Ray Dropp of Palatine, Ill., spun out on lap 17 for a brief caution; then Al Unser blew his engine on the 53rd lap. Roger McCluskey skidded in the oil left from Unser’s engine and slammed backwards into the wall. McCluskey’s rear end was so wrinkled, his crew had to batter away just to remove the gas cap.

USAC rookie Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., took over the lead when Foyt pitted after another spinout on lap 80. Trickle’s lead was fleeting, and he too was forced out when the engine on his 1969 Torino let go on lap 120.

Don White was the next leader and his reign lasted from lap 90 to 135 when he went to the pits for fresh tires. During that time, Foyt and Butch Hartman staged a brilliant duel for a distant second which didn’t end until Foyt slammed into Ron Keselowski on lap 107. Keselowski spun out on the north end and there simply wasn’t any place for Foyt to go.

Butch Hartman steered his 1969 Charger into the lead when White stopped for tires and led until his engine let go on lap 168. Bowsher took over from there until he ran out of fuel.

Bobby Unser praised his car and crew. “The car ran very well,” he said. “It never missed all day. I wouldn’t have had anything to complain about if I hadn’t won. All it needed was a little chassis adjustment on the first pit stop.”

Unser, gulping aspirin, said all the blown engines and pit stop made things “a little confusing”.

“I don’t usually take aspirin after a race but the stock cars are sort of hollow and the sound reverberates in the there.”

Results –

1. Bobby Unser
2. Don White
3. Jack Bowsher
4. Norm Nelson
5. Bruce Sparrman
6. Gene Marmor
7. Jack Knippel
8. Terry Nichels
9. Whitey Gerken
10.Paul Feldner
11.Roger McCluskey
12.Dave Whitcomb
13.J.J. Smith
14.Don Hill
15.Joe Frasson
16.Bob Haack
17.Frank Freda
18.Bill Nelson
19.George Giesen
20.Paul Bauer
21.Tom Jones
22.Glen Bradley
23.Butch Hartman
24.Jim Lord
25.Jay Behimer
26.Jerry Smith
27.Dick Trickle
28.Roger Regeth
29.Ed Hoffman
30.A.J. Foyt
31.Ron Keselowski
32.Sal Tovella
33.Bill Shirey
34.Ron Goudreau
35.Everett Fox
36.Ray Dropp
37.Dale Jett
38.Al Unser
39.Fred Zack
40.Bay Darnell

Friday, July 12, 2019

1976 - Ohio's Ferkel wins Missouri Sprint Nationals Final

Rick Ferkel 

Sedalia, Mo. (July 12, 1976) - Ohio sprint car driver Rick Ferkel lived up to his reputation of being the hot test item on the circuit Saturday, blowing off the competition for a win in the 35-lap Missouri Sprint National finals.

The Tiffin, Ohio, racer picked up a check for $2,000 after running away with the second annual sprint car classic before 4,000 fans at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

Coming out of a half-season retirement, Sedalia s Bill Utz grabbed second place and $1,200 Saturday night, Ralph Parkinson Jr., picked up third spot and $1,000 after battling with Kearney’s Eddie Leavitt during the main event.

Racing on the half-mile dirt oval opened Thursday on a sad note with the announcement that Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill., died earlier in the day of injuries he suffered July 5 in a sprint car race at West Memphis, Ark.

Kirkpatrick, a competitor at the Sprint Nationals last year, had made the jump this season to the United States Auto Club circuit. Saturday night drivers passing through the crowd collected $1,602 from the fans for Kirkpatrick’s widow and three children.

Second-year driver Dick Morris, Sioux City, Iowa, made the railbirds set up and take notice as he toured the track in 22.06 seconds, the fastest a sprint car has ever been timed around the oval. He erased the 1971 qualifying run of 22.45 seconds which had been the standard. It was set by Steve Schultz of Indianapolis, Ind.

Morris, rookie of the year last year at Knoxville, Iowa, not only set fast time, he also won his 12-lap heat race and copped the 5-lap cash dash added race featuring the four fastest cars.

Three of the four quick times Thursday came from the first five qualifiers on the track. Columbia's David Dwyer was the third driver out and was clocked in 22.32, good for second place. Eddie Leavitt, the 1975 National Super-Modified Champion at Knoxville, was the first car out Thursday and his 22.71 time was good enough for third spot. Chuck Amati, from Freeman Spur, Ill., was the third fastest with a 22.66 time, he was the 26th driver on the track. Morris came out in the fifth position.

The format called for four 12-lap heat races with the top three in each heat moving on to the A-Feature on Saturday night. Morris, Dwyer, Amati and Leavitt all captured first place in the heat races, Morris came back to edge Dwyer in the cash dash.

The night wound up with a 15-lap consolation feature for all the non-qualifiers. Johnny Suggs, Mesquite, Tex., edged Jerry Johnson, Kirksville, Mo., for first place in that event, with Don Bradberry, Sweet Springs, Mo., fourth.

Friday night the track was considerably slower, Ralph Blackett, Des Moines, Iowa, turned in the night’s fastest time with a 23.46 lap.

Gene Gennetten, Parkville, Mo., Ferkel, 20-year-old Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Ark., and Utz raced to wins in the four 12-lap heat events. Blackett came back to capture the cash dash, edging out Gennetten, Ferkel and Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.

The 15-lap consolation feature went to Ralph Parkinson Sr., of Kansas City, with Jim Braden, Kansas City second and John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn., third.

Corbin gained a spot in the A-Feature on Thursday night with a second-place finish to Morris in the first heat. But he blew the engine in his sprinter on the first lap of the cash dash, forcing him to find another ride for Friday night and another shot at the field. He came back with a second-place finish to Ferkel in the second heat.

Dean Elliot, California, Mo., grabbed third place in the fourth heat to earn a spot in the A-Feature. Elliott drove Bill Campbell’s car in the Friday event. Campbell, of Russellville, had qualified for the C-Feature on Thursday night then elected to give up that spot and let Elliott have a shot at the A-Feature. Elliott made his first driving appearance since flipping down the backstretch in last year’s sprint car show at the Missouri State Fair.

While Ferkel, Utz and Parkinson Jr., took the big cash Saturday, it was Jim Jenkins, Slater, Mo., that did most of the work and passed the most cars.

The veteran racer was qualified for the B-Feature but was called upon to start in the C to make a full field of cars for the 20-lap race. Coming from the 17th spot, he took first place in that race, nipping Johnny Suggs in the final three laps.

He came back to finish second to Ralph Parkinson Sr., in the 25-lap B-Feature after only a 20-minute intermission. But in doing so he lost the brakes on the right rear of his car and was forced to change the system during the B and A main events.

In the A, Jenkins started from the 25th spot and was flagged in the ninth position when the race ended, running 80 laps of green flag competition Saturday. Gennetten, winner of the Memorial Day sprint and midget main events on the track, was unable to start the feature as he encountered car problems prior to the show Saturday night.

Morris and Dwyer made up the front row with Amati and Leavitt in the second row and Utz and Ferkel in row three. 

Defending Missouri Sprint National champ Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo., ran fifth in the A-Feature, starting from the inside sixth row spot.

Results –

1. Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
2. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
3. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
4. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
5. Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo.
6. Dick Morris, Sioux City, Iowa
7. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
8. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines, Iowa
9. Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
10.Jim Jenkins, Slater, Mo.
11.John Beaber, Vermont, Ohio
12.Bob Williams, Kansas City
13.Dave Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.
14.Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn.
15.Steve Perry, Dallas, Tex.
16.Bill Curtis, Kansas City
17.Phil Howe, Jacksonville, Ill.
18.Jim Braden, Kansas City
19.Bob Thoman, Higginsville, Mo.
20.Dean Elliot, California, Mo.
21.Butch Bahr, Lincoln, Neb.
22.Sonny Smyser, Greenwood, Mo.
23.Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
24.Ron Milton, Jacksonville, Ill.
25.George Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
26.Ralph Parkinson Sr., Kansas City