Monday, March 14, 2011

1970 - Woodside, Whisler share victory lane at I-70 twin-bill

Odessa, Mo. (March 14, 1970) – I-70 Speedway opened the 1970 racing season on Sunday afternoon with a super modified – late model doubleheader before 5,500 chilled race fans.

The 50-degree weather didn’t chill the action as Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City, Mo., driving a Chevy-powered super modified, blistered the half-mile high-banked asphalt oval at 18.90 seconds, almost breaking the track record for the popular division.

Sutcliffe went on to win the first heat and it looked like he would walk away with the 20-lap feature as well. It’s just Jay Woodside, the Kansas City wonder boy, had other ideas.

Sutcliffe began “smoking his tires” from losing traction going into the first turn and Woodside took advantage, as he shot under the leader on lap 15 to take the lead and the eventual checkered flag.

On the late model side of things, it was 1969 champion Fred Whisler of Liberty, Mo., in a new Ford, who let everyone know he will be the man to beat again in 1970.

Whisler zoomed to a second place finish in the second heat, came back to win the trophy dash and then drove a brilliant race to cop the 20-lap feature event and taking home the largest chunk of the purse.

Top attraction in both divisions excited the fans as crashes and spinout were numerous. Almost everyone was having difficulties after the long winter lay-off.

Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., showed he will be a serious threat in super-modified racing this year as he copped the second heat, the trophy dash and pushed Sutcliffe across the finish line for third place in the feature.

In late model action, Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa, the defending champion at the Iowa State Fairgrounds track in Des Moines, Iowa, grabbed the win in the first heat and Terry Bivins of Shawnee Mission, Kan., let it be known that he would be tough to beat this season as he won the second heat.

Bivens was by far the fastest late model during the afternoon but had handling problems in the feature with his 1969 Chevelle and was no competition for Whisler. Roy McClellan of Kansas City, made a good showing with a third place finish in the both the trophy dash and feature in his 1968 hemi-powered Plymouth.

Results –

Super Modified

First Heat: Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City, Mo.
Second Heat: Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
Trophy Dash: Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.


1. Jay Woodside, Kansas City, Mo.
2. Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City, Mo.
3. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
4. Dale McCarty, Hutchinson, Kan.
5. Roy Hibbard, Marshall, Mo.
6. Al Murie, Kansas City, Mo.
7. Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
8. Dean Elliot, California, Mo.
9. Darryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D.
10. Al Futrell, Collinswood, Ill.

Late Models

First Heat: Bob Hilmer, Dysart, Iowa
Second Heat: Terry Bivens, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Trophy Dash: Fred Whisler, Liberty, Mo.

1. Fred Whisler, Liberty, Mo.

2. Terry Bivens, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
3. Roy McClellan, Kansas City, Mo.
4. Dave Wall, Kansas City, Mo.
5. Gene Melloway, Columbia, Mo.
6. John Eppenauer, Kansas City, Mo.
7. Jim Anderson, Kansas City, Mo.
8. Gary Martin, California, Mo.
9. Tom Faircloth, Liberty, Mo.
10. Jerre Wichman, Kansas City, Mo.

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