WWW.AMERICANMUSCLE.COM

Monday, August 31, 2015

1963 – Horstmeyer breaks record in Minnesota State Fair win


Bill Horstmeyer
 
 
 
St. Paul, Minn. (August 31, 1963) – Bill Horstmeyer, a 32-year-old electrician from Stoughton, Wis., won the 25-lap IMCA championship speedway race at the Minnesota State Fair before 21,083 fans.

Riding the high rim, Hortsmeyer cracked the track record of 10 minutes and 23 seconds established by Leroy Neumayer on August 31, 1960.

Hortsmeyer grabbed the lead almost from the opening green flag and roared around the dirt oval. Spinouts on the first turn by Buzz Barton and on the second turn by Red Amick slowed the drivers for four laps, but when the green flag went back up, Horstmeyer poured on the gas, eventually lapping most of the field.

A broken connecting rod during the first turn of the first lap scratched Jerry Daniels. Prior to Saturday’s misfortune, Daniels had won six straight events, including three features. But he bowed out after seven circuits when his engine blew and he was unable to get a chance at a fourth straight feature victory.

With Daniels out of the picture, Forest Lake’s Jerry Richert was able to capture his fifth Minnesota State Championship, the $200 first prize money and the Governor’s Cup, which was presented by Minnesota governor Karl Rolvaag.

Results –

1.   Bill Horstmeyer
2.   Dean Mast
3.   Harold Leep
4.   Jerry Richert
5.   Carl Williams
6.   Sonny Helms
7.   Bill Burdick
8.   Calvin Gilstrap
9.   Dale Reed
10.Buzz Barton

Sunday, August 30, 2015

1974 - Haugan captures State Fair 50


Huron, S.D. (August 30, 1974) - After some hearty handshakes from his pit crew and a kiss from his girl, Mike Haugan of Sioux Falls received the silver cup and a bottle of champagne from the South Dakota Motorsports Association for his victory in the State Fair 50 here Friday night at the South Dakota State Fair.

The 22-year-old Sioux Falls ace, who qualified 15th in the time trials, took over the lead with only seven laps to go in the 50-lap feature race and no one could come near him after that as he headed his #4 Plymouth to the checkered flag.

For Haugan, it was his second big victory of the year at the Huron oval as he also claimed the Challenge Cup III race. “I was lucky,” he said after he popped the cork to the bottle of champagne and passed it among his jubilant crew members. “It was a tough race and seemed like anybody could win,” he added.

But, it was Haugan who collected the $500 first place prize money and for everybody else, it was not their race.

Joining Haugan in the group of winners was Chet Danburg of Miller, who topped the 50-car field in the lime trials, turning a 28.82 second lap. Watertown's Roger Swenson, who won the State Fair 50 one year ago, was the winner in the Race of Champions while Gary Nagel of Gettysburg topped the semi-main event.

Swenson appeared to be headed for his second State Fair 50 victory as he gained the lead on the third lap and was the leader until the 39th lap. A broken axle forced him to cut his torrid pace as he finished the face for fifth place prize money. Miller's Bob Tong would inherit the top spot, but five laps later Haugan had worked himself into the lead.

Don Pruess of Pierre joined Haugan in being the only two cars in the 23-car starting field to complete all 50 laps. Pruess finished in second place and was followed by Gary Sieber of Columbia, Roger Saathoff of Estelline and Swenson.

Rounding out the top-10 finishers were Leland Cain of Miller followed by Ray Hunsley of Pierre, Jim Zimmerman of. Slayton, Minn., Carroll Priebe of Pukwaria and Tong.

The race of champions, the first ever handpicked field of the fastest cars in the state, turned into an instant success as 15 of the area’s finest displayed quite a show; with only two laps to go, Swenson passed Pruess and Aberdeen's Ron Droog around the outside to gain the lead and the win.

Pruess finished in the runner-up spot in the 15-lap race with third going to Saathoff and fourth to Lynn Arment of Aberdeen. Chet Danburg was fifth.

Only 10 of the starting 32 cars in the semi-main event were able to finish the grueling affair with Nagel pulling out the win. He took the lead with five laps to go and was followed across the finish line by Steve Oanburg of Miller, Don Wagner of Miller, Ronnie Muth of Huron and Erv Beckman of Chamberlain.

Only two drivers were able to break the 28-second barrier in the time trials with Chet Danburg earning a 28.82 mark and Arment very close behind with a 28.83. Nine cars finished in the 29-second bracket.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1976 - Waterloo's Sanger wins feature at Fairgrounds


Ed Sanger
 
 
 
Des Moines, Iowa (August 29, 1976) - Ed Sanger of Waterloo said he had a hunch he might beat Bill Rice of Des Moines.

Sanger, who won the 25-lap late model feature race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Sunday, didn't take the lead until the nineteenth lap. But he said he thought he would pass Rice at any moment.

Sanger, "a foreigner" to the Fairgrounds this summer, and Rice driving a 1976 Camaro, waged a two-man battle for the first 18 laps, but then Rice developed car trouble and finished twelfth.

Sanger, also driving a 1976 Camaro, held the lead the rest of the race. The triumph was Sanger's first of the year here. His only other appearance at the Fairgrounds was last Sunday when he finished third in the Iowa State Super Stock championships.

"I usually race at Eldon. I don't come here much because the passing lanes aren't wide," added Sanger. Stan Stover of Reinbeck, who won that race last Sunday, was second. Joe Merryfield of Des Moines, the season's leader in the point standings in the late model competition, was third, and Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., was fourth.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines, second in season point standings, suffered a pinched nerve in his neck earlier this week. Bill Moyer drove Hoffman's 1976 Camaro and finished seventh in the second heat.

Joe Merryfield's brother, Rick, driving a 1970 Camaro, received a late scare from Jerry Campbell of Des Moines, but hung on to win the 15-lap Sportsman feature.

Rick Merryfield held a car-length margin over Campbell for most of the race. Campbell, in a 1970 Camaro, almost overtook Merryfield before the third turn of the last lap when a red flag stopped the race.

Fairgrounds rules state: "If, after the lead car takes the white flag for the final lap, an accident occurs requiring the race to be stopped, the race will be considered completed and the final placing will be In the order the cars passed the finish line preceding the white flag."

A spinout on the last lap involving Don Hood's car caused the red flag. Merryfield was the first to admit he was lucky to win.

"That flag saved the day. Campbell was closing in and he had me worried."

Results –
 

Late Model:

1.    Ed Sanger
2.    Stan Stover
3.    Joe Merryfield
4.    Dave Bjorge
5.    Jack Mitchell
6.    Karl Sanger
7.    Jerry Holtkamp
8.    Fred Knapp
9.    Jim Wilson
10.  Craig Spetman
11.  Bill Moyer Jr.
12.  Bill Rice
13.  George Barton
14.  Darrell Sells
15.  Tim McDonough


Sportsman:

1.      Rick Merryfield
2.      Jerry Campbell
3.      Howard Smidt
4.      Denny Rosenberg
5.      Dave Farren
6.      Larry Embrey
7.      Glen Woodard
8.      Billy Geil
9.      Phil Reece
10.    Cal Swanson

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.
 
 
Feature:
 
  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
Feature:

  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