Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 26, 1977) - Winning four track titles wasn’t Curt Hansen’s goal when he began the late model stock car campaign in April.
But after winning the 25-lap season championship race and the inherent point title Friday night at Hawkeye Downs, the Dike driver is on the threshold of attaining his non-goal.
“I’ve got that in mind now,” breathed Hansen after holding off Ken Walton of Cedar Rapids in a bumper-to-bumper duel through the last four laps. “I've already clinched the point title at Des Moines and I’ve got pretty comfortable leads at Oskaloosa and Waterloo (Tunis).”
“I didn't think much about winning all four championships, but then at mid season everything seemed to be going in our direction.”
“I’m thrilled about winning at Hawkeye Downs because I really love this track. It was pretty tacky and muddy, but I just prayed everything stayed together when Walton came rushing up behind me.”
It was Hansen’s second point title at The Downs, the first coming in 1974.
Hansen, who started on the pole by virtue of point lead in a straight up start on the grid, picked up $500 for winning, but said his oil pressure readings scared him throughout the race.
“The gauge went up to 310, but then I got cooled down to 300 and then Walton came breathing down my neck again. It was up to 320 at the finish.”
“I don't know if it’s quite right, but I hugged the inside through those last few laps. I gave Kenny all the outside if he wanted it.”
A crowd estimated at 3,000 watched the late-starting program that didn’t begin until 9:15 because promoter Al Miller’s crewmen were busily putting the half-mile dirt oval in racing shape after heavy rains had turned it into a quagmire earlier Friday.
Steve Becker of Atkins roared in front of the field after starting on the pole and breezed to the sportsman season championship. Becker also won the point title in that division and pocketed $100 for his win.
Late Model -
1. Curt Hansen, Dike
2. Ken Walton, Viola
3. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
4. Fred Horn, Marion
5. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
6. Gary Crawford, Independence
7. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
8. John Moss, Iowa City
9. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids
10. Bob Schulte, Delhi
11. Jim Burbridge, Delhi
12. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
13. Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids
14. Dave Sidwell, Iowa City
15. Bob Kinsella, Dubuque
1. Steve Becker, Atkins
2. Bob Jaeger, Dubuque
3. Larry Schulte, Cedar Rapids
4. Gary Duggan, Hiawatha
5. Chuck Lukemyre, Tipton
6. Bernie Frieden, Fairfax
7. Roger Ockenfels, Cedar Rapids
8. John Ward, Bernard