Friday, August 28, 2015

1977 - Bigelow sets speed record; wins DuQuoin big car race

Tom Bigelow

Du Quoin, Ill. (August 28, 1977) - Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., Sunday became the first man in 30 years of auto racing at Du Quoin State Fair to break the 100-mile-per-hour speed barrier as he won the 100-mile big car race and $7,200.
The 11,146 fans saw Du Quoin racing history made as Bigelow, driving the Leader Card Thermo-King with the only Ford engine in the race, was clocked in 59 minutes 30.08 seconds for an average speed of 100.818 miles per hour. Nobody in the midgets, stocks or big cars at Du Quoin had ever gone faster than 98.155 miles per hour (1:01:07.66) clocked by Al Unser in three laps.
A caution came again on laps 85-90 after Jackie Howerton crashed into the fence on the north turn. Fan interest, mounted as the cars bunched “bumper to bumper” in pursuit of Bigelow, who had lapped his field as early as the 21st lap.
Bigelow pulled away and won handily although there was a bit of suspense on the final lap as Gary Bettenhausen passed Billy Cassella in the north turn only a quarter of-a mile from home to take second money of $4,200. The move was like a $1,500 putt because Cassella got only $2,700 for third place.
The race started on a bizarre note as Pancho Carter, the fastest qualifier, threw a gear coming into the straightaway. Everybody passed Carter on the first lap and he retired to the pits.
The official charts showed Bill Vukovich led after one lap but Bigelow led the last 99 circuits.
Bigelow, Cassella, Bettenhausen, Vukovich, Sheldon Kinser defending champion Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., Springfield race winner Larry Rice, Al Unser and Jim Hurtubise were in front of the 23-car-field throughout the race.
There were 23 starters instead of 24 because qualifier Bill Puterbaugh dropped out after the time trials and his alternate, Rollie Beale could not get his car started.
  1. Tom Bigelow
  2. Gary Bettenhausen
  3. Billy Cassella
  4. Bill Vukovich
  5. Larry Rice
  6. George Snider
  7. Bubby Jones
  8. Eddie Leavitt
  9. Jim Hurtubise
  10. Larry Moore
  11. Dean Shirley
  12. Roy Hicks
  13. Jerry Miller
  14. Thad Dosher
  15. Al Unser
  16. Jackie Howerton
  17. Sheldon Kinser
  18. Arnie Knepper
  19. Johnny Parsons
  20. Steve Chassey
  21. James McElreath
  22. Rich Vogler
  23. Pancho Carter
  24. Rollie Beale

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1963 – Daniels undefeated in IMCA competition at State Fair

Jerry "Scratch" Daniels
St. Paul, Minn. (August 26, 1963) – Jerry “Scratch” Daniels made it three in a row Monday afternoon at the Minnesota State Fair as he successfully rode the
outside rim of the half-mile dirt track.

With his win on Monday, Daniels is undefeated in competition at St. Paul this year. He has won every race he had entered in the three days of sprint car racing and will be a heavy favorite this Saturday and Sunday when the big cars take over for the late model stocks.
Sonny Helms trailed Daniels in the feature, and Dean Mast was third in the Floyd Trevis-built Griffith Chevy.
Starting on the outside of the third row, Daniels took the lead from Mast as the lead duo came down the home stretch on the second lap.
Heat winners were Burdick, Daniels, Helms and Mast. Jerry Richert was the semi-main winner.
Daniels set a 15-lap record in the feature of 6 minutes and 5.38 seconds, which erased the old mark of 6 minutes and 13.04 seconds set by Homer Claytor in 1954.

Results –

1.   Jerry Daniels
2.   Sonny Helms
3.   Dean Mast
4.   Jerry Richert
5.   Harold Leep
6.   Bill Burdick
7.   Carl Williams
8.   Buzz Barton
9.   Red Amick
10. Cal Gilstrap

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1974 – Merryfield wins second straight Fair race

Joe Merryfield of Des Moines, Iowa, won his second IMCA stock car feature in a row at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 25, 1974. Presenting the checkers is flagman Larry Shipley and Merryfield is being congratulated by IMCA secretary Lyle Kreps. — AMR Photo
Des Moines, Iowa (August 25, 1974) - Joe Merryfield and Don Hoffman, both of Des Moines, staged a rematch of last Sunday’s battle with Merryfield again victorious in the International Motor Contest Association sanctioned late-model stock car feature race at the Iowa State Fair Sunday.

Merryfield, who beat Hoffman a week ago on lap, led all 50 laps in his 1972 Monte Carlo for the $750 prize.

“I thought about last Week when I entered the first turn of the last lap,” said Merryfield, referring to the spot where he passed Hoffman. “I slowed down - I didn’t know how close he was, but I figured he would have to follow me through.”

As it turned out, Hoffman was only a few feet behind after a yellow flag came out because of a spin with three laps remaining, eliminating a Merryfield lead which had stretched to a straightaway at one point.

Bill Rice of Des Moines, who won Saturday’s late model feature, passed George Barton of Ankeny on lap 42 and drove his ‘73 Camaro to third. Barton was fourth and Larry Wasserfort of Waterloo finished fifth in a ‘73 Chevelle.

Bob Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., recorded the fastest qualifying time of 25.87 seconds. In the feature, Kosiski was running third when the left rear tire of his ‘72 Chevelle blew on the tenth lap. The car turned on its side in turn three, but Kosiski was uninjured.


Results –

Fast Time: Bob Kosiski (25.87)
First Heat: Bill Rice, Des Moines
Second Heat: Bill Schwader, Pleasant Valley
Trophy Dash: Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
Consolation: Don Hoffman, Des Moines

  1. Joe Merryfield
  2. Don Hoffman
  3. Bill Rice
  4. George Barton, Ankeny
  5. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo
  6. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
  7. Bill Schwader
  8. Gary Lindgren, Ogden
  9. Ken Davidson, Indianola
  10. Dave Farren, Des Moines

Monday, August 24, 2015

1963 – Hutcherson Repeats in Mizzou

Dick Hutcherson
Sedalia, Mo. (August 24, 1963) – Dick Hutcherson, for the second straight year, romped off with the top prize money in the Missouri State Fair’s International late model stock car classic before 13,550 screaming race fans.
Hutcherson, who picked up $1,000 first place money and 100 points towards the 1963 championship, could thank hard luck on the part of polesitter Ramo Stott and the fast work on the part of his pit crew who sent the point’s leader back into the race after only a 13-second pit stop that didn’t even lose him a spot in the race.
Hutcherson sat his ’63 Ford on the first row outside for the start after Stott piloted his ’63 Plymouth to the day’s fast time during time trials on the one-mile dirt oval; a world record breaking 41.62 seconds.
At the end of the first lap Hutcherson held the lead, but Stott stormed back and the pair raced side by side, Stott on the outside for two circuits before Stott grabbed the lead for good on lap 4. He held the top spot until lap 29, when he pitted for a right front tire, fuel, and a check of his fuel filter.
Stott would pit twice more before the race ended, the second time to repair a fuel line that got pinched in a minor bumping accident.
Hutcherson, meanwhile, was flying high, wide and handsome over the pavement-like surface, trailed by Ernie Derr, also of Keokuk, Iowa, and driving a 1963 Pontiac, Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., in a new Ford, and Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, in another new Ford.
Derr got close but never really threatened Hutcherson for the lead, but Funk and Liebe battled occasionally for third and fourth, with Funk staving off the Iowan’s last threat on lap 85.

Results –

1.   Dick Hutcherson
2.   Ernie Derr
3.   Lenny Funk
4.   Chub Liebe
5.   Darrell Dake
6.   Newt Bartholomew
7.   Ole Brua
8.   Mickey McMahan
9.   Jerry McCredie
10. Jim Washburn
11. Ramo Stott
12. Eddie Gray
13. Bob Baker
14.Wally Calvert
15. Ed Negre

Saturday, August 22, 2015

1956 - Texan defeats Bobby Grim in Fayette County Fair racing

Jud Larson
West Union, Iowa (August 22, 1956) - Better than 3,500 Fayette County Fair fans saw a rough-tough Texan of Scandinavian descent walk off with the lion’s share of honors here Wednesday afternoon as big car racing took the afternoon spotlight at the 103rd annual fair.

Thirty-three-year-old Jud Larson of Austin, Tex., upset the IMCA point leader, Bobby Grim of Indianapolis, in a tension packed 15-lap feature on the half-mile fairgrounds oval.

Piloting a car that carried the Offenhauser motor that Walt Faulkner set a 1952 time trial mark at Indianapolis with, Larson slipped by Grim on a curve of the ninth lap and held onto the lead the remainder of the way to win by 30 yards.

Larson's time was 6 minutes and 42 seconds for the seven and a half mile course. Any chances of a record being set by the 14-car field were eliminated when Bob Wright of Indianapolis lost control of his Offenhauser on the seventh lap. His car careened into the infield and flipped. Wright suffered only a broken nose and bruised arm. It was the first IMCA pileup in two weeks.

Larson's victory was his fifth in only seven big car events this year. Each time he has beaten Grim. A year ago the six foot, 190-pounder won five of six feature events he raced in. Larson, who has been racing for 16 years, spends most of the racing season in stock cars and midgets.

Offenhausers took the bulk of the prize money from the Fayette County Fair. Five of the seven events on the card were won by Offy powered cars. Grim, champion of the circuit for the past two years, had fifth best time trial of 24.00 seconds flat. It was short of his track record at West Union of 23.81 set in 1955. Larson was the second fastest qualifier with a time of 24.10.


Results -

Time Trials:

1. Bobby Grim. Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 24.00
2. Judd Larson, Austin, Tex., Offenhauser, 24.10
3. Ed Loetcher, St. Louis, Mo., Offenhauser, 25.50
4. Willie Wildhaber, Lexington, Ill., Offenhauser, 26.30
5. Red Hoyle, Phoenix, Ariz., Heath Special, 26.33
6. Bob Wright, Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 26.35
7. Art George, Los Angeles, Offenhauser, 26.40
8. Fritz Tegtmeier, Elgin, Ill., Olds, 27.90

Inaugural dash – Bobby Grim
National Speedway Dash – Jud Larson
American Triumph Dash – Red Hoyle
Sinclair Handicap – Art George
Australian Pursuit – Wilbur Robinson
Nationals Circuit Sweepstakes:

  1. Jud Larson
  2. Bobby Grim
  3. Eddie Loetcher
  4. Red Hoyle
  5. Don Cryder

Friday, August 21, 2015

1964 - Redmond takes modified win at Kossuth County Fair

Stacy Redmond - Photo Courtesy of Chad Meyer

Algona, Iowa (August 21, 1964) - Stacy Redmond won the big Kossuth County Fair modified championship trophy Friday night with a victory in the feature event before a large crowd of fans, who saw several spectacular smash-ups during the program.
No drivers were injured during the night.
Redmond turned in a fine job of driving in the feature as he held off the repeated challenges of Joel Rasmussen to win. Actually, neither Redmond nor Rasmussen had done much In the way of winning earlier in the evening.
One major mishap swept three cars out of action during the running of the finale.
Wayne Funk spun out on the northwest turn and was hit broadside by Gene Schattschneider's orange sedan, despite efforts of the latter to miss Funk. Schattschneider was then slammed from the rear by Dale Wilhite's speedy pink number, although Wilhite also tried to stop – but couldn't.
Earlier, cars driven by Rich Green and Ted Zeiman shot past the retaining wall on the northeast turn and wound up against the fence north of the track adjoining a parking lot. Green's auto flipped end-over-end and was demolished, while Zeiman returned to action in the feature.
The rear window of an auto owned by William Ostwald, parked in the lot, was broken during the action.
During the B-feature, Ray Hart lost control and perched his car's two right wheels on the north fence. Marv DeWall damaged his car slightly during the handicap when he shot off the first turn at the south end of the track.
One of the finest drives of the night came in a weird race. Running in the fourth heat, DeWall and Schattschneider had a real struggle - and a fast one, before the former won by a hair. All other starters dropped out before the last two or three laps, so the only finishers wound up first and second.
Two or three cars splashed into the water inside the northwest turn during the action.

Results –

First heat: Rich Green

Second heat: Larry Nerdig

Third heat: Ted Zeiman

Fourth heat: Marv DeWall

Handicap: Larry Nerdig

B-feature: Dick Simpson
  1. Stacy Redmond
  2. Joel Rasmussen
  3. Ted Zieman
  4. Leo Christansen
  5. Larry Reefer