Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Midwest Racing Archives (This week in history)

1999 - Johnny Saathoff of Beatrice, Neb., won his fourth consecutive IMCA modified national championship while Johnny Miller of Burleson, Tex., (sprint cars) and Jeff Anderson of Atlantic, Iowa (stock cars) earned their third consecutive titles. Bill Bonnett of Knoxville, Iowa (hobby stock) grabbed his first championship after finishing runner-up the year before.

1988 - Bill Wease of Noblesville, Ind., won his first-ever IMCA modified feature race and picked a good time for it as he captured the 50-lap IMCA Modified Asphalt Super Nationals at Mt. Lawn Speedway in New Castle, Ind., on September 25. Wease led all 50 circuits but was constantly pressured by hometowner Darwin Blankenship and Bob Fields of Anderson, Ind., throughout the contest. Wease won $2,213 in cash and contingencies.

1978 - Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., won the very first National Short Track Championship at Rockford Speedway in 1966. He had a long wait for the next one. Twelve years later Trickle repeated the performance as he won the 13th annual race in stylish fashion lapping all but one of the 32 competitors in the 200 lap race on Sunday afternoon, September 24.

Jim O'Connor (8) gets a little sideways in front of Dick Nelson (11) during the National Clay Short Track Championship at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill., on September 24, 1972. — Vince Mayer Photo

1972 - Fatigued-ridden Arnie Gardner of Geneva, Ill., retired after leading 182 of the 200-lap National Clay Track Championship allowing Kankakee's Jim O'Conner to win the marathon 100-mile late model feature and the $2,200 prize that accompanied it. Gardner led every lap and by 125th go-round, had lapped the whole field with the exception of O'Conner and Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa. But on lap 182, Gardner waved his hand, drove into the infield and slowly exited his car, overcome from exhaustion.

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