Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who can remember these tracks from the past? Part II

When I posted this back in July, never did I think this would conjure up so many memories for our readers. So, back by popular demand...

Champaign Motor Speedway, Champaign, Ill. - 1/4 & 1/2 mile oval that opened September 23, 1973 and ran until April 4, 1979. Torn down in the spring of 1980.

Sioux Falls Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, S.D. - 1/2 mile dirt oval. Built in 1954 by Fred Buckmiller. Grandstands burnt to the ground in 1959 when struck by lightning. Danny Lasoski won the last race on September 26, 1999. Track was converted to a paved parking lot soon after.

Newton Speedway, Newton, Iowa - 1/5 mile dirt oval. Opened 1947, closed 1973. Site is now a little league ball park.

Hiawatha Speedway, Red Wing, Minn. - 1/4 mile dirt oval. Opened in 1955, closed in 1974. A vintage car program was run on September 26, 1999 and track was torn down soon after. The site is now a medical campus.

Chariton Speed Bowl, Chariton, Iowa - 1/2 mile dirt oval, opened in 1948 and closed in 1963.

K & L Raceway, Mt. Vernon, Ill. -1/8 & 1/5 mile dirt oval on southeast side of town. Opened in 1988 and closed in 1991 when promoter bought Mt. Vernon Raceway.

Lee County Raceway Park, Keokuk, Iowa - 1/4 mile dirt oval. Opened 1966, closed 1977.

Franklin Speedway, Franklin, Neb. - 1/4 mile dirt oval. Opened in 1953, closed in 1977.

Muncie Motor Speedway, Muncie, Ind. - 1/4 mile paved oval, opened in 1964 and closed by the EPA in 1990. It turns out the track was built on a toxic dump site.

Dawson Creek Speedway, Scotland, S.D. - 1/4 mile dirt oval. Track was in operation from 1969 until it closed in 1976. The track is still there today. Doug Wolfgang started his racing career here.

Bob McKim won the first-ever IMCA stock car race at the Topeka Fairgrounds on May 30, 1949. - Photo courtesy of Bob Lawrence

Topeka Fairgrounds, Topeka, Kan. - 1/2 mile dirt oval, opened in 1902 and closed in 1981. Track completely torn out in 1983. The first ever IMCA stock car race was held here on May 30, 1949.

O' Hare Stadium, Chicago, Ill. - 1/4 mile paved oval. Opened in 1956 and torn down in 1968. NASCAR star Fred Lorenzen was track champion in 1958. The site is now an industrial park located south of O'Hare Int'l Airport.

Minnesota State Fair Speedway, St. Paul, Minn. - Was a one mile dirt oval in the beginning (1904 - 1939) Reconfigured to a 1/2 mile dirt oval in 1940 and remained that way until 1963 when it became paved. Track was closed in 2002.

Ord Fairgrounds, Ord, Neb. - 1/4 mile dirt oval. Was originally built as a 1/2 mile flat oval horse track. Closed in 1964, the site is now warehouses and 4-H fairgrounds.

Waukon Speedway, Waukon, Iowa - 1/4 mile dirt oval, located at the Allamakee County Fairgrounds. Opened 1964, closed 1978.

Jayhawk Speedway, Newton, Kan. - 1/3 mile dirt oval. First race on September 26, 1948 and closed on August 17, 1956. It is now the site of a retirement home.

White Squirrel Speedway, Olney, Ill. - 1/4 mile dirt oval that opened in 1956 and closed in 1977. Now the site of a cement plant. Town is known for it's white squirrels, hence the name.

A full grandstands was the norm at Jungle Park Speedway in it's heydays. Here, fans enjoy a Sunday afternoon race.

Jungle Park Speedway, Rockville, Ind. - 1/2 mile dirt/paved oval (Corners were dirt, straights were paved). Built by Earl Pagett in 1920, the first race was on July 5, 1926 and closed in 1960. Sprint car star Bobby Grim got his start here.

1967 - Householder is tops at Kossuth Speedway

Butch Householder of Algona, Iowa was the 1967 points champion at Kossuth Speedway in Algona, Iowa.

As comprised by Gloria Lewerke of Britt, Iowa
Final Points Standings - Top 10

1. Butch Householder - Algona, Iowa (1,450)
2. Del Stokke - Ames, Iowa (1,392)
3. Gene Schattschneider - Algona, Iowa (1,240)
4. Carl VanderWal - Ames, Iowa (845)
5. Les Frieden - West Bend, Iowa (840)
6. Jim Edgington - Algona, Iowa (802)
7. Roy Peltz - Humboldt, Iowa (701)
8. Loren Purvis - Ames, Iowa (662)
9. Danny Ruth - Ames, Iowa (657)
10. Don "Shiney" Hilbert - Algona, Iowa (640)

1963 - Veteran driver crowned MVCC sprint champ

Galesburg, Ill. - Rocky Williams of Peoria, Ill., a 50-year-old 30-year racing veteran, won his sixth Mississippi Valley Championship Circuit sprint crown driving the Ed Arter Pontiac from Tampa, Fla.

Williams, a truck driver and farmer, didn't win a single feature all season but had seven top-five's, including two runner-up's to accumulate enough points to clinch the title.

Williams took the point's lead away from Steve Orme of Sherman, Ill., during the August 17th event at Decorah, Iowa with only one race left to run. Even with Orme's victory in the series finale at Bethany, Mo. on August 31st, Williams took a third place finish to win by four points (146 - 142).

Tom Custer of Rock Island, Ill., did a bang-up job in his first year in sprints after piloting stock cars for the last two years. Custer, driving the Kirby Brothers Chevrolet, finished third in points and earned rookie-of-the-year honors.

The following is the 1963 MVCC resume:

May 30, Granite City, Ill. - Winner: Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
June 2, Bethany, Mo. - Winner: Ed Frese, Quincy, Ill.
June 22, Burlington, Iowa - Winner: Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill.
July 7, Granite City, Ill - Winner: Dave Hollis, Granite City, Ill.
July 26, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa - Winner: Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
August 4, Rochester, Minn. - Winner: Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill.
August 17, Decorah, Iowa - Winner: Hal Schroeder, Bettendorf, Iowa
August 31, Bethany, Mo. - Winner: Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill.

Final point's standings
1. Rocky Williams, Peoria, Ill. (146)
2. Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill. (142)
3. Tom Custer, Rock Island, Ill. (126)
4. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich. (99)
5. Vern Bailey, Taylorville, Ill. (99)
6. Duane Stoneking, Oquakwa, Ill. (87)
7. Gene Cunningham, Des Moines, Iowa (79)
8. Bob Flene, Arlington Heights, Ill. (75)
9. Bill Quigley, Aurora, Ill. (74)
10. Pee Wee Umbenstock, Peoria, Ill. (69)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Frank Winkley’s Marathon on Dirt; The Great Gopher 500 and Hawkeye 500

 Johnnie Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, driving Dale Swanson's Chevrolet, set numerous IMCA records while competing in both the Great Gopher 500 and Hawkeye 500. - Photo courtesy of Lee Ackerman

by Lee Ackerman
Omaha, Neb. - In 1956 Frank Winkley’s Auto Racing, Inc., one of the two promotion groups for the International Motor Contest Association announced a blockbuster event to be held on the half-mile dirt track at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for Sunday, September 30, 1956. The event would be called the “Great Gopher 500” and would feature 500 laps of competition split into two 250-lap events. Time trials would be held on the 29th for a shot at the 33-car starting lineup. Both foreign and American cars were allowed to compete.

A group of St. Paul businessmen called Midwest Sports Promotions joined with Winkley and his ARI group to lease the track and provided for the first racing at the facility held outside of state fair races in nine years. The purse was set at $10,000 for the event, with the maximum amount to be earned by any one driver set at $2,000. Reserved seating was priced at $3 with boxes being $4.

A crowd of 28,312 fans (The Daytona Beach race in 1956 drew an estimated crowd of 29,000) actually saw three separate winners on race day. Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, the defending I.M.C.A. champion, was the overall winner of the 500-lap affair by posting fifth and third place finishes in the two 250-lap races. Minneapolis driver Charles Magnuson was runner-up overall with a pair of four place finishes.

Johnnie Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, who would dominate the 1956 I.M.C.A season, set five new I.M.C.A records in winning the first segment in an average speed of 61 miles per hour. Marvin Panch of Gardena, California passed Beauchamp on lap 62 of the second segment and went on to win that event. Beauchamp looked like a certain overall winner as he remained in second place until he was forced to retire with a blown piston.

Forty-two entrants made bids for the 33 starting positions which drew cars literally from coast to coast. I.M.C.A. regulars in attendance in addition to Beauchamp, White, and Magnuson included Sonny Morgan, Ernie Derr, Lenny Funk, Chub Liebe, Tubby Harrison, Doc Narber, Darrell Dake, Dick Johnson and Sonny Eberts. Outsiders for the event included the above-mentioned Marvin Panch, who would have great success in NASCAR, Frank Schneider of Vineland, N. J., Don Schiscler of Detroit, and Bill Amick of Portland, Oregon another NASCAR star.

Beauchamp, who won set new I.M.C.A. marks at 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 laps in the first event, won that event in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes 13.12 seconds. Panch would take 2 hours 10 minutes 13.99 seconds in winning the second 250 lap event. Chevrolet and Ford shared the honors as Beauchamp was in his familiar #55 Swanson Chevy and Panch was driving a Ford. If there was a tiebreaker it would go to Chevrolet, as Don White who had started the year in a Dodge was also driving a Chevrolet.

The overall top five were White, Magnuson, Beauchamp, Panch with Morgan and Don Haeg tying for fifth.

Frank Winkley liked the success that he had with the Gopher 500 so well, that one year later on Sunday, September 29, 1957, he decided to have another 500-lap marathon. This time it was to be one race of 500 laps to be called the Hawkeye 500 and was held at Hawkeye Downs on the All-Iowa Fairgrounds in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Once again qualifications were held on the Saturday preceding the race and Johnny Beauchamp put his #55 Dale Swanson wrenched Chevrolet on the pole. A field of 33 cars would once again contest the event but this time in one segment. As had happened the previous year, several outsiders showed up for the event including Lou Fegers of Glenview, Illinois, Red Duvall of Hammond, Indiana, Dave Hirschfield, Bill Brown, Pete Peterson and Fred Hoff, all of Chicago, Don Oldenberg of Highland, Indiana and Bill Lutz of Louisville, Kentucky.

After 13 lead changes which saw Beauchamp, Don White, Bill Brown, and Dave Hirschfield all take turns at the front, and 4 hours 26 minutes 55.37 seconds, it was Beauchamp taking the checkered flag. Bill Brown set a new 150-mile record while Beauchamp set 200- and 250-mile marks. Ten yellow flags slowed the race which included three serious pileups. The last of these pileups included the then second running Brown when on lap 371 he drove over the west retaining wall. Fortunately, he suffered only a bruised shoulder.

Several favorites left the race with problems, starting with Omaha’s Bob Burdick after only 19 laps with motor problems in his new motor. I.M.C.A contender Lenny Funk blew an engine while in third place on lap 26. Dave Hirschfield also had engine problems on lap 41 shortly after relinquishing the lead to Beauchamp.

Despite stiff competition from drivers outside I.M.C.A., regulars would take the first eight positions, with the first five drivers all being from the Hawkeye State. The top five were Beauchamp, Don White, Chub Liebe, Frank Richards and Ernie Derr. Beauchamp received $2000 for his win and $200 for being the fastest qualifier. A crowd of nearly 10,000 was on hand at Hawkeye Downs for the event.

While the I.M.C.A would hold 200 lap and longer events for the coming years, this would be the only two events of 500 laps that they would contest on the dirt.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Midwest Racing Archives (1988 - The year in history)

Cedar Rapids, Iowa - I got to looking through some old racing archives from 1988 and decided to share with you some of the highlights of that season. I hope you enjoy reminiscing... 

Davenport, Iowa native Dale Fischlein got a late start to the season and still won the NASCAR Winston Racing Series Central Region title with 26 feature wins. 

Bob Hill of Story City, Iowa won the IMCA late model national title in the final race of the season. Dave Farren of Des Moines, Iowa captured the IMCA modified national crown, becoming the first two-time winner of that division. Merv Chandler of Cedar Rapids, Iowa would win the IMCA Modified Nationals Series. A young Steve Jackson of Des Moines, Iowa, would claim the first-ever IMCA stock car national championship. Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls, Iowa would win his second straight Red Baron Summer Series for IMCA late models. 

Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., won his second straight Miller 100 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway and Steve Kosiski would win the Yankee Dirt Track Classic. Kosiski would also lay claim to the Busch/All Star Tour point title as well. 

Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., would win an unprecedented sixth Knoxville Nationals title, also take the Eagle Raceway "Third-Mile Nationals" and follow that victory up a week later by winning the prestigious Jackson Nationals. Kinser would also win the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, an event that left Brad Doty badly injured. 

Willy Kraft of Lakefield, Minn., and Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., split a pair of feature wins during the annual USAC "Firecracker Jamboree" in Iowa. Dick Taylor of Springfield, Ill., scored the victory in the Herald & Review 100 at Macon (Ill.) Speedway. 

Billy Moyer Jr. would dominate the first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Tour and Scott Bloomquist, a California native now living in Tennessee, won the annual World 100. Lil' John Provenzano of Hinckley, Ill., took home the winner's share at the National Clay Track 200 at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill., and Steve Kosiski snaring another win in the NAPA Gopher 50 at the Steele County Fairgrounds in Owatonna, Minn. 

A standing room only crowd watched late model driver Bob Hill, modified pilot Mark Noble and stock car hot shoe Steve Jackson win IMCA Super Nationals crowns. 

Three tracks in the Midwest announced that they would be replacing dirt with asphalt. Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Missouri, Highway 13 Speedway in Bolivar, Mo., and an all-asphalt layout replacing Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City. 

Racing lost its share of great drivers in 1988 as well. Bill Kirk of Salix, Iowa passed away early in the year. Promising young late model driver Mitch Fretheim of Decorah, Iowa was killed in an automobile accident. 

Two retired drivers from the past, USAC great Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., and three-time IMCA midget champion Dick Ritchie of Cedar Rapids, Iowa both passed away.

Monday, November 9, 2009

1984 - Five drivers claim first-ever All-Iowa points championship

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa - Five drivers claimed their first-ever All-Iowa points championships in their respective divisions. The points, compiled by Jeff Broeg, compares drivers in the five general classes that compete in the state of Iowa and surrounding states.

Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, who was nearly retired, came on strong to win the late model championship. Walton's consistency would earn him the NASCAR Central Region point's title. Walton's 13 feature wins came at Dubuque, Farley and Quincy, Ill. The most important victory for Walton was his dominating performance in the Miller 100 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in June.

Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls, Iowa set a new record (686 points) in winning the All-Iowa sportsman title. Aikey's 20 victories included stops at Dubuque, Farley, Independence and West Union.

Rocky Hodges of Des Moines, Iowa, driving for Leonard McCarl, won the track championship at Knoxville Raceway on his way to clinching the All-Iowa sprint championship. Outside of Iowa, Hodges set a new world's qualifying record on the one mile dirt in Syracuse, N.Y.

Merv Chandler of Cedar Rapids, Iowa scored 19 feature wins en route to winning the All-Iowa modified point's title. Chandler traveled all over the state and in one instance competed in a IMCA national event in Peoria, Ill., on a Sunday afternoon and then flew to Jefferson, Iowa to win the mid-season championship event that evening.

Taking 19 feature wins, Ron Barker of Dubuque, Iowa, cruised to All-Iowa street stock honors. Barker capped off a great season by winning the Hawkeyeland Street Stock Championship at West Liberty Raceway.

Monday, November 2, 2009

1983 - The American Outlaw Stock Car Organization

Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa was the 1983 American Outlaw Stock Car Organization champion.

by Lee Ackerman

Omaha, Neb. - For the 1983 racing season, some tracks in the Midwest in an attempt to limit the cost of racing did away with the regular late models and instead elected to run a Sportsman type class as its feature class. In response to this the American Outlaw Stock Car Organization (AOSCO) was founded to give the regular late models a place to race.

Dirt Track Promotions, Inc., of Des Moines was exclusively contracted with by the AOSCO to promote 30 stock car races in 1983. The events were to be held at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City, Iowa, the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Harlan, the Buena Vista County Fairgrounds in Alta and the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Unfortunately 1983 was a wet year and the weather raised havoc on the schedule. The following is a recap of the results of the races known to have been ran.

The opener was set for April 16 in Webster City but was rained out. On June 12 the season got underway at Harlan with the preliminary events with heats going to Steve Kosiski, Bob Hill and Billy Moyer and position races going to Joe and Steve Kosiski. Unfortunately the June 13 races were rained out.

On Sunday, May 15 action finally got underway at Webster City. Steve Kosiski and Bob Shryock won the heats. In the feature, Joe Kosiski inherited the lead when leaders Bob Shryock retired with mechanical problems and Steve Kosiski dropped from the event with tire problems. Joe held on to win the race followed by Gary Hopp, Mike Smith, Willy Kraft and Dwaine Hanson both of Lakefield, Minnesota.

On May 28 after yet another rainout, Webster City completed its second show and Al Urhammer of Radcliffe was the feature winner. Heats went to Urhammer and Mike Smith and Smith was really the only car who could stay with Urhammer in the feature. Following Urhammer and Smith was Gary Pederson, Bill Christman and Bill Martin.

Finally the next weekend the weatherman cooperated and the series held three events. On Friday night at Harlan the May 13 show was made up. The B feature was completed but not before half the field fell by the wayside. Bill Kirk picked up the win over Terry Holliman. In the feature, Steve and Joe Kosiski were at the head of the pack at the start but were both passed by Bob Shryock and Billy Moyer. Shryock and Moyer then waged a war for the top spot until Moyer went pitside with a flat tire. Shryock then held off Joe Kosiski for the win and a $1,500 payday. Willy Kraft, Steve Kosiski and Gary Hopp rounded out the top 5.

The next night it was back to Webster City where heats went to Al Urhammer, Steve Kosiski and Gary Hopp. In the feature it was pretty much all Steve Kosiski. Several contenders were eliminated in accidents including Gary Hopp and Don Hoffman. Shryock would finish second, Willy Kraft third followed by Urhammer and Dwaine Hanson.

The weekend came to a conclusion with the first stop of the year at Buena Vista County Speedway in Alta where Craig Jacobs of Des Moines and Bob Shryock picked up heat wins. In the feature it looked like all Shryock but on lap 17 Shryock retired with rear end problems and Jacobs inherited the lead and went on to win his first AOSCO feature of the year. Following Jacobs was Joe Kosiski, Steve Kosiski, Wisconsin’s Les Duellman and Omaha’s Keith Leithoff.

After a couple more weeks of rainouts, action resumed again at Webster City. Heats went to Mike Smith, Don Hoffman and Steve Kosiski. At the drop of the green it was all Don Hoffman of Des Moines and he led wire to wire in the feature. Following Hoffman were Mike Smith, Craig Jacobs, Steve Kosiski and Willy Kraft.

On the July 4th weekend another three day swing from Harlan to Webster City to Alta was planned but unfortunately mother nature raised her head again and only the Harlan show was ran as scheduled. 33 late models showed up to kick off the weekend with heats going to Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, Joe Kosiski, Don Hoffman and Bill Martin of Council Bluffs. Craig Jacobs won the B. Joe Kosiski debuting a new car not only led every lap in his heat but every lap in the feature. Behind him Hoffman and Moyer waged a battle for second with Hoffman winning out and Shryock making a late race pass of Parker for fourth.

Webster City finally got another race in the following Saturday with Craig Jacobs and Willy Kraft winning heats. Kraft then grabbed the lead at the outset of the feature and was never headed winning his first AOSCO feature of the season. Jacobs, Shryock, Hoffman and Randy Rosenboom followed.

Bob Shryock competes at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., during the NDRA Super Nationals. - Chad Meyer Collection

The following week with several of the top drivers at the NDRA Super Nationals at I-70 Speedway, Frank Jorgensen of Carroll and Bill Davis of Des Moines won heats at Webster City. In the feature Mike Smith picked up his first AOSCO feature win of the year by passing Bill Davis for the lead. Davis held on for second with Jorgensen third, Gary Hopp fourth and Wayne Larson fifth.

The Hamilton County Fair Board announced about this time that the Racing Committee of the Fair Board would take over promoting the races with Butch Weber as the track manager. Steve White of Des Moines who had promoted at Webster City since the beginning of the 1982 season stepped down as the promoter.

July 22nd saw the series return to Harlan for the Shelby County Fair races and it looked like veteran Omaha driver Keith Leithoff would upset the field, but with five laps to go Leithoff’s engine expired and Billy Moyer took over the point and went on to win the event. Dave Chase, Jerry Wancewicz, Willy Kraft and the ageless Glen Robey rounded out the top five. Heats went to Wancewicz, Leithoff and Moyer.

The next night at Minnesotan Dick Sorensen showed up at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City and won by his heat and the feature. Bill Davis won the other heat. Bill Davis, Jerry Wancewicz, Dave Chase and Terry Buresh followed Sorensen home in the feature.

July 30 produced a new winner at Webster City. Tom Hearst of Wilton made his first tow to the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in several years a profitable one. Hearst won both his heat and the feature. Bob Shryock the other heat winner stayed close to Hearst but could not catch him. Shryock did however pick up the AOSCO points lead from Joe Kosiski who was not in attendance. Wancewicz, Davis and Jacobs rounded out the top 5.

The next week featured two nights of racing at Webster City. First on Wednesday, August 3, young Bobby Jackson upset the veterans and won his first AOSCO feature. Jackson had to start in the third row after finishing third to Bob Shryock and Bill Davis in the first heat. The veteran Shryock led the first 16 laps working the low groove. Jackson, meantime found something up high and took the lead on lap 17. Shryock fought back and they were side by side at the white flag but Jackson held on for the win. Willy Kraft finished third, Jerry Wancewicz fourth and Jerry Holtkamp fifth. Les Duellman won the second heat.

The next night it was the Buena Vista County Fair races at Alta. Heats went to Willy Kraft and Jerry Wancewicz. Joe Kosiski and Craig Jacobs won the cash dashes. In the feature Joe Kosiski simply left the field lapping all but three cars in winning the event. Only Jacobs in second and Shryock in third remained on the lead lap. Will Kraft finished fourth and Bob McCoy fifth.

On Saturday night it was back to Webster City where the big winner was Don Hoffman.
Hoffman and Jerry Holtkamp won the heats. Hoffman jumped into the lead at the drop of the green and led wire to wire. Mr. Consistency Bob Shryock finished second with Wancewicz, Holtkamp and Gary Hopp rounding out the top 5.

On August 13, Mike Smith returned to the winner’s circle charging from the third row and taking the lead midway through the feature from early leader Don Hoffman. Hoffman held on for second with Shryock, Kraft and Bruce Busho completing the top 5. Heats went to Dick Sorensen and Bill Davis.

A big field of late models showed up on Tuesday, August 16 at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The feature was a dandy and the trophy and the $1,200 winner’s check would stay in Des Moines as Don Hoffman got by Tom Hearst on lap 11 and then got by Billy Moyer on the final turn to take the victory. Following those two were Joe Kosiski, Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun and Jerry Wancewicz. Heats went to Rick Wages of East Moline, Illinois, Jim Jorgensen of Omaha, Bill Davis and Tom Hearst.

Don Hoffman picked up another feature at Webster City on Fan Appreciation Night, August 27 as he led the feature wire to wire. The event was marred by numerous cautions. Craig Jacobs, Bruce Busho, Willy Kraft and Jim Jorgensen followed. Heats went to Al Urhammer, Hoffman and Jacobs

The series season came to an end on Labor Day weekend with a big two day show at Webster City. On Saturday night heats went to Bill Davis, Jerry Wancewicz and Joe Kosiski. Sunday night saw Steve Kosiski winning the first position race over Brother Joe. Willy Kraft grabbed the second position race over Jerry Wancewica. Mike Smith took the Cash Dash.

The feature which had been delayed for more than once for rain showers saw Willy Kraft take the lead as Steve Kosiski faded and was replaced in second by brother Joe. Joe took the lead about a third of the way and led through numerous restarts. On lap 35 the yellow came out for another car. On the restart not knowing Joe Kosiski restarted with a flat tire and caused a big pile up. After much controversy and arguing, Joe was put to the back and Willy Kraft was given the led which he held for the remainder of the race. Mike Smith guided his damaged car to second with Joe Kosiski coming all the way up to third. Keith Leithoff and Jerry Wancewicz rounded out the top 5.

At seasons end, Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa set atop the point standing. He was followed by Mike Smith, Joe Kosiski, Willy Kraft and Craig Jacobs. Fifty nine different drivers competed in the series throughout the year. The series had proved late model drivers a place to race and given the fans a chance to cheer for their favorite late model drivers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

1967 - Droste tops in points for Greater Iowa Racing

Lu Vern "Red" Droste of Waterloo, Iowa was the top point getter in 1967 for the three-track Greater Iowa Racing Association. The three tracks consisted of Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway, Tunis Speedway in Waterloo, Iowa and Air-View Speedway in Monticello, Iowa.

The overall top-1o were

Red Droste...9727
Chub Liebe...5657
Bob Hilmer...4670
Cal Swanson...4117
Tom Hughes...3484
Bill Zwanziger...3423
Dick Nesteby...3197
Ed Sanger...3045
Glen Martin...2295
Rich Krafka...2175

A total of 104 drivers drove on the circuit during the '67 season with only 14 not placing in the money one time. At the individual tracks, 14 had perfect attendance at Monticello. 19 at Independence and 18 at Waterloo.

The top 10 at Air-View were:

Red Droste...2755
Tom Hughes...1780
Dick Nesteby...1430
Bob Hilmer...1150
Cal Swanson...1055
Ed Sanger....905
Bill Zanziger...740
Roger Dolan...735
Curt Hanson...525
Stan Stover....400

Dick Nesteby was the season champion at Monticello and Red Droste was mid-season champ. Droste also won the championship race at the Jones County Fair.
The top-10 at Independence:

Chub Liebe...3685
Red Droste...3040
Bill Zwanziger...1291
Bob Hilmer...1252
Dick Nesteby...1197
Ed Sanger...1131
Paul Fitzpatrick...1055
Rich Krafka...1020
John Webb...981
Ty Burger...780

Chub Liebe was both mid-season and season champ at Independence. Droste also won the Monza Spectacular race at Independence with Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids second.

The top-10 at Waterloo:

Red Droste...3932
Cal Swanson...2637
Bob Hilmer...2267
Chub Liebe...1972
Bill Zwanziger...1392
Mert Williams...1385
Glen Martin...1165
Dave Jensen....1040
Rich Krafka...1020
Ed Sanger...1009

The season champion at Waterloo was Droste with Cal Swanson of Reinbeck the mid-season champion.