by Kyle Ealy
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 Tennesee, won the annual World 100. Lil' John Provenzano of Hinckly, 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 hotshoe 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 it's 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.