Saturday, November 28, 2009

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)


  1. My name is Patrick Kirby. My Father was Chuck Kirby. One of the Kirby Brothers. Tom Custer among many drive for us. We gave Tom Bigelow of USAC fame his first sprint ride. Any way, I have many old racing pictures if you might ever want to look at them. Easily emailed to you. P Kirby

  2. Patrick,

    You can email them to!


    Kyle Ealy