Silver Dollar Nationals

Friday, May 18, 2018

1969 – Stott Wins at Bristol

Ramo Stott waves at the crowd while take the checkered at Bristol.

Bristol, Tenn. (May 18, 1969) – Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, twice ran out of gas at the Bristol International Speedway, but still managed to win the second annual Tennessee 500 stock car race by 10 laps. The race was sanctioned by the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
Stott guided his multi-colored 1969 Plymouth to a first-place finish as rain halted the 500-lap contest at the 412-lap mark. Stott was 10 laps ahead of second-place finisher Andy Hampton of Louisville, Ky., in a 1969 Dodge.
Stott average 73.163 miles per hour as three caution flags slowed the pace for 43 laps. The last 21 circuits were run under caution as a steady drizzle slowly soaked the approximately 6,000 race fans in attendance.
Pole-sitter Benny Parsons of Detroit, Mich., driving a 1969 Ford, was 11 laps behind in third place. Bobby Watson of Prestonsburg, Ky., the 1968 Tennessee 500 winner, was fourth in a 1969 Dodge and Iggy Katona of Willis, Mich., was fifth, 16 laps behind in a 1969 Dodge.

Results –

1.     Ramo Stott
2.     Andy Hampton
3.     Benny Parsons
4.     Bobby Watson
5.     Iggy Katona
6.     Dave Dayton
7.     Bill Clemons
8.     Louis Wusterhausen
9.     Bill Kimmel
10.   Wayne Trinkle

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

1976 – Hartman Hard Charging at Tri-County Speedway

Butch Hartman

West Chester, Ohio (May 16, 1976) – Butch Hartman, four-time United States Auto Club (USAC) stock-car champion, handily won the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) 100-lap Grand National race Sunday at Woody Fisher's Tri-County Speedway, leading from start to finish, and taking the checkered under the caution flag and raindrops. He drove a 1974 Dodge Charger for the win and was followed by LeMarr Marshall, A. Arnold, and Bob Dotter, on the same lap.

Fast time went to Marshall at 19.464 seconds in the ARCA Grand National Division, but Woody Fisher powered his making 1976 Chevelle to the trophy dash victory over Marshall, Hartman, and Arnold. Luther Burton notched a 10-lap heat victory over Kenny Black, Larry Scott, and Willard Googe; while the second heat was won by Bruce Gould over Moose Myers, Ralph Jones, and Charlie Moore.
Race favorite Woody Fisher was eliminated from the contest before one lap is completed when Marshall, after receiving a push start from Fisher, lost power again on the green flag and Fisher was obliged to bump him. Marshall's car continued but Fisher pitted with a broken gear.

The race saw for caution periods for total of 23 laps the first flew after the Fisher – Marshall brush, lasting three laps. The second appeared on the 11th circuit when Cleve Smith spun on the main stretch. Caution number three was shown on lap 16 when Larry Scott blew an engine. The final yellow bunting flew on the 91st counter for oil on the track from Tony Schiller’s mount and was compounded several laps later by showers.

Results –

1.     Butch Hartman
2.     LaMarr Marshall
3.     A. Arnold
4.     Bob Dotter
5.     Dave Dayton
6.     Charlie Paxton
7.     Tom Meinberg
8.     Kenny Black
9.     Luther Burton
10.   Willard Googe

Monday, May 14, 2018

1989 - Hansen Tops ASA Badgerland 150

Scott Hansen

West Allis, Wis. (May 14, 1989) - Scott Hansen of Green Bay, Wis., captured the Badgerland 150 at Wisconsin State Fair Park to become the first rookie to win an American Speed Association event on Sunday.
Never before in the history of ASA had a rookie won a race until the Wisconsin short track veteran of seven years took the checkered flag in front of Canadian Junior Hanley on the famed “Milwaukee Mile”.
Hansen drove the Baker Motorsports Chevrolet, which is prepared only 10 blocks away from the track, to the biggest win of his stock car racing career. The rookie of the year contender became the second different winner in two ASA races.
Hansen averaged 84.149 miles per hour and won $8,650 from a $83,600 purse.
In his first full season with ASA and winning in only his 16th career start, Hansen said, “I didn’t expect to win so quickly in ASA. This is my biggest win so far and it means a lot to win here in Wisconsin.”
Hanley held the lead for 26 laps before the first and only flurry of pit stops for the lead pack on lap 66 and dropped to 10th before working his way through the field to finish second.
Butch Miller, the ASA point leader, was among the top-eight before making his late-race charge from sixth and challenging Hanley side-by-side for several laps. He would settle for third place.
Wisconsin veteran Dick Trickle made his 1989 ASA debut and finish fourth while Mike Eddy, driving a V6 Buick, rounded out the top five.
NASCAR Winston Cup veteran and former ASA champions Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin did not finish. Wallace grabbed the lead from Hansen on lap 12 and held it for 27 circuits before retiring with transmission issues. Martin’s return to Milwaukee was marred by a broken axle sustained in a mishap on a restart.
Fifteen cars completed the full 150-mile distance and 27 of the 41-car field were running at the finish of the 18th ASA sanctioned race on the Milwaukee Mile since 1978.

Results –

1.    Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
2.    Junior Hanley, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
3.    Butch Miller, Coopersville, Mich.
4.    Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5.    Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
6.    Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
7.    Joe Shear, Lake Villa, Ill.
8.    Tom Jones. Northbrook, Ill.
9.    Kent Stauffer, Elyria, Ohio
10.  Steve Seligman, Northbrook, Ill.
11.  Ed Howe, Beaverton, Mich.
12.  Art Sommer, Mt. Clemens, Mich.
13.  Tony Raines, LaPorte, Ind.
14.   Jay Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
15.   John Wilson, Springfield, Ohio
16.   Gary St. Amant, Columbus, Ohio
17.   Mike Wallace, Fenton, Mo.
18.   Dick Barker, Port Huron, Mich.
19.   Glenn Allen Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio
20.   Doug Drook, Cincinnati, Ohio
21.   Jeff Neal, Grayslake, Ill.
22.   Robbie Reiser, Allenton, Wis.
23.   Kenny Wallace, Valley Park, Mo.
24.   Dennis Vogel, Manitowoc, Wis.
25.   Harold Fair, Detroit, Mich.
26.   John Olson, Stoughton, Wis.
27.   Ray Skillman, Greenwood, Ind.
28.   Buddy Schrock, Plain City, Ohio
29.   Tom Harrington, Hendersonville, Tenn.
30.   Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh, Wis.
31.   Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
32.   Bruce VanderLaan, Grand Rapids, Mich.
33.   Lonnie Rush Jr., Pickerington, Ohio
34.   John Gerhart, Angola, Ind.
35.   Ed Evans, Dousman, Wis.
36.   Dennis Lampman, Oak Creek, Wis.
37.   Rusty Wallace, Charlotte, N.C.
38.  Todd Forbes, Bryan, Ohio

Saturday, May 12, 2018

1967 - Hofer Startled ‘Em with a Studebaker

Benny Hofer

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 12, 1967) - Veteran Benny Hofer may have surprised even a few of his avid fans last weekend at Davenport and Cedar Rapids in the season openers. The Rock Island, Ill., car jockey, who finished second at the Downs and sixth at Davenport in total points last year, did startle officials with his machine.
Hofer drove a Studebaker onto the quarter-mile oval for hot laps and observers failed to recall the last time that make of car adorned a track.

The Studebaker is equipped with a Chevy 327 engine. It's legal, according to stock racing rules, because Chevrolet actually built the engines for Studebaker when the Hawk hit the market.

Anyone who may have laughed when Benny made his appearance probably wasn’t laughing when the night’s racing program ended.

Benny showed once again he will be a driver to be reckoned with for the point championship by grabbing second places in a heat and semi event. He'll be ready to go again at the Downs Saturday when the regular racing program resumes at 8 p.m.

We were impressed with the way Promoter Frank Winkley and his Auto Racing, Inc., track crew handled the Hawkeye 200 affair last Sunday. Wink appears as nervous as an expectant first-time papa but he’s big-league all the way. He was on top of the action every second and at no time did we notice him let the fans suffer through a lull in the program. The guy is colorful.

All events were run off on schedule, plus Wink displayed a bit of showmanship by using the PA mike to let the fans in on the drivers’ meeting. Additional color was added when the drivers raced to their cars once they were introduced for the scheduled 200- lapper. All in all, it was a great show with some superb racing.

Friday, May 11, 2018

1980 – NDRA Iowa Event to Indiana’s Hobbs

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 11, 1980) – Don Hobbs of Whiteland, Ind., took the lead on the 90th lap Sunday night and went on to win the $30,000 National Dirt Racing Association feature race at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.
Hobbs, who Friday lowered the qualifying record with a one-lap time of 23.19 seconds, took the lead from Rodney Combs of Loveland, Ohio, and sailed home the victor in the first-ever NDRA show in the upper Midwest.
Hobbs started on the pole of the 24-car field but fell back quickly to third near the beginning of the race and stayed there until the final 10 laps of the race.
Tom Helfrich of Haubstadt, Ind., led the first 86 circuits before he pulled into the pits with mechanical issues on the 87th lap. Helfrich set a blistering pace, continually padding his lead over the second-place Combs to more than 10 seconds before he was forced out of competition.
Combs would inherited the top spot, however, he would be unable to fend of the hard-charging Hobbs. Hobbs won the event despite the fact that a spark plug wire came off on the first lap of the race and he drove the entire race on only seven cylinders.
Two drivers who started at the tail-end of the 24-car field came out the fans’ favorites – and one of them was local, Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa. The other was David Speer of Campbellsville, Kent.
Hansen qualified for the feature race by finishing third in the fourth of six 20-lap heats on Friday night. He thus earned the 19th spot in the starting field.
Speer’s qualification was perhaps the most spectacular off the two-day show, the second day of which was pushed back to Sunday because of a Saturday rain that left the Hawkeye Downs’ half-mile a muddy quagmire.
Speer finished fourth behind Hansen in the heat race and was force to start the 50-lap consolation event which proceeded the feature. Only the top three cars qualified for the feature.
After starting the consolation in second behind Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun, Iowa, Speers would blow a tire on lap 29, leaving everyone to believe his day was finished. After changing the tire, Speers, starting at the rear, would mount a charge to the front. By lap 32 he was in ninth, passed three cars to take over sixth by lap 35, took fourth two laps later and moved into the final qualifying spot on lap 44.  He would hold that position until the checkers, earning a solid round of applause from the Hawkeye Downs’ fans.
Hansen and Speers advanced steadily through the pack with Speers getting around Hansen in the final few laps to take third while Hansen settled for fourth. Jim Curry of Norman, Ind., would round out the top five.
Ten states and Canada were represented in the feature field. Iowa led with seven cars, Indiana and Ohio each had three, and Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Nebraska each had one. Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was the Canadian representative.

Results –

Time Trials – Don Hobbs, Whiteland, Ind. (23.19)
First Heat – Rodney Combs, Loveland, Ohio
Second Heat – Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
Third Heat – Fulmer Lance, Washington, Ga.
Fourth Heat – Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
Fifth Heat – Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
Sixth Heat – Larry Moore, Dayton, Ohio
Consolation – Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun, Iowa
Feature –

1.   Don Hobbs
2.   Rodney Combs
3.   David Speer, Campbellsville, Ky.
4.   Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
5.   Jim Curry, Norman, Ind.
6.   Leon Plank
7.   Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
8.   Larry Phillips
9.   Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls, Iowa
10. Dick Taylor, Springfield, Ill.
11.J erry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
12. Fulmer Lance
13. Mike Wallace, Valley Park, Mo
14. Tom Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario
15. Johnny Johnson
16. Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
17. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
18. Tom Helfrich, Haubstadt, Ind.
19. Russ Lyman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
20. Larry Moore
21. Brad Malcuit, Strasbourg, Ohio
22. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
23. Pete Parker
24. Leon Archer, Griffin, Ga.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

1986 - Purvis Tops USAC Field at I-44 Speedway

Jeff Purvis

Lebanon, Mo. (May 10, 1986) – The USAC late models pulled into I-44 Speedway for their first-ever race, with 45 late models signing into the pits.
A field of race cars was star-studded but the skies threatened rain all day. Fortunately for everyone, the heat races, non-qualifier, last chance and the 40-lap main event were all run before rain.
Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., re-established himself as fast time record holder with a 15.14 second lap, edging Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, Tenn., by 1/100 of a second.
In the main event, Ronnie Hoover of Greenbrier, Ark., moved out into the lead at the drop of the green. Dick Potts of Morocco, Ind., established himself into second place followed by Jeff Purvis, sprint car pilot Gary Wright of Hooks, Tex., and Larry Moore of Dayton, Ohio. These top five remained unchanged for the first 12 circuits.
A patient Jeff Purvis made his first move going by Potts on lap 13. Purvis was content to see if he could force Hoover into a driving error. Purvis turned up the pressure and Hoover got loose in turn four on lap 18. Purvis took advantage and moved into the lead while Hoover lost three positions.
Larry Moore had also been slowly moving into the thick of things. He gained fourth spot on lap 15 and third on Hoover’s misfortune. Moore worked his way past Potts on lap 22, setting himself up for a two-car dash to the checkers.
Moore trapped Purvis behind lapped traffic on lap 25 and took his first lead. Purvis, however, would not allow his efforts to go in vain. On lap 31, Purvis was able to duck under Moore going through turns one and two. He was able to continue on ahead and hold the top spot the rest of the way to pick up the win.

Results –

1.    Jeff Purvis, Clarksville Tenn.
2.    Larry Moore, Dayton, Ohio
3.    Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.
4.    Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
5.    Gary Wright, Hooks, Tex.
6.    Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.
7.    Ronnie Hoover, Greenbrier, Ark.
8.    Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill.
9.    John Lawhorn, Phillipsburg, Ind.
10.    Ken Essary, Galena, Mo.
11.    T.J. Pauschert, Carlisle, Ark.
12.    John Mason, Millersburg, Ohio
13.    Roger Hines, Joplin, Mo.
14.    Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
15.    Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
16.    Don Marsh, West Plains, Mo.
17.    Ernie Barrow, Bloomington, Ind.
18.    Dick Jackson, Paragould, Ark.
19.    Brad Willard, Lebanon, Mo.
20.    Doug Ingalls, Tyler, Tex.

Monday, May 7, 2018

1977 – Terre Haute Hulman Classic to James McElreath

Terre Haute, Ind. (May 7, 1977) – James McElreath of Arlington, Tex., posted his first career United States Auto Club sprint car win on dirt, Saturday afternoon, when he breezed to victory in the seventh annual Tony Hulman Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.
The $50,293 purse was the largest ever for a sprint car race.
The 23-year-old second generation standout thus became the youngest driver ever to win the event. He drove the Amax Coal Company sprinter owned by his father, veteran USAC pilot Jim McElreath.
Another second-generation star, Clark Templeman, finished second in the 40-lap feature and was followed by Roger Rager, Billy Casella, Jerry Weeks and Bubby Jones.
While it was a great day for younger drivers, previous winners of the event and established stars of the division experienced plenty of adversity.
George Snider, Bruce Walkup and Pancho Carter, winners of the 1971, ’72 and ’75 Hulman Classic, respectively, all failed to earn a starting berth in the main event.
Walkup was plagued by a series of mechanical failures in both cars he drove while Snider and Carter failed twice to earn one of the 20 starting assignments through the heats and semi-feature.
The only other previous winner to make the event, ’73 winner Joe Saldana, flipped his racer several times on the first lap and clearing the third turn wall. He was uninjured.
Front-row starter Jerry Weeks would out charge polesitter Clark Templeman at the drop of the green to take the lead. Weeks would lead the way until lap 19 when McElreath found traction in the upper groove and took the lead.

Templeman followed McElreath’s example and although he was unable to seriously challenge the leader, the move to the upper groove paid off handsomely as he secured a second-place finish. 
Dana Carter appeared headed for a top-five finish when he slammed into the third turn wall on the last lap, demolishing his new car.

Results –

1.    Jim McElreath
2.    Clark Templeton
3.    Roger Rager
4.    Bill Cassella
5.    Jerry Weeks
6.    Bubby Jones
7.    Jackie Howerton
8.    Larry Rice
9.    Rich Vogler
10.  Dana Carter
11.  Greg Leffler
12.  Johnny Parsons
13.  Mark Alderson
14.  Gary Bettenhausen
15.  Tom Bigelow
16.  Ronnie Shuman
17.  Sheldon Kinser
18.  Steve Chassey
19.  Bob Frey
20.  Joe Saldana