Wednesday, September 28, 2011

1953 - Parker Annexes Playland Final

Bobby Parker accepts his trophy after winning the season finale at Playland Speedway - Photo courtesy of

Council Bluffs, Iowa (September 28, 1953) – “Rambling” Robert Parker of Omaha won the feature as 1,019 stock car racing fans watched the last program of the season at Playland Park Sunday afternoon.

It was a return to form for Parker, who had fallen off of his fast pace set all season. Parker took the lead from Bob Kosiski on the sixth lap, and led the field the rest of the way.

Jack McCauley of Omaha, driving Johnny Beauchamp’s old car, came on fast in the last five laps to grab second place money. Kosiski was pushed back to third, edging Carl Lilienthal and Joe Lindsey, a pair of Iowa drivers.

The only other Iowans to break into the money in the early races were Johnny Beauchamp of Haran and Vern Robey of Council Bluffs.

Beauchamp ran third in the second heat of the afternoon, and then was put out of action by motor trouble until the feature. Robey won the third heat, but was put back to third for rough driving, giving Don Williams of Omaha the victory and making Parker second.

Bob Rose of Omaha made his best showing of the season Sunday with first place in the first heat and second in the speed dash, Parker added a first place in the speed dash to his feature win and second in his heat.

Bobby Kendall of Omaha broke the hard luck streak bothering him with a victory in the consolation, the last race of the local season. Kendall went to the top when Keith Rachwitz hit a stalled car after running in first place most of the race.

The track was very slick, causing many cars to spin out coming out of the curves and causing many minor accidents.

Johnny Beauchamp was running second in the feature, when he spun out on the south curve of his last lap. Carl Lilienthal had a bad day with the slick curves, spinning out in both the second and third heats and almost spinning out in the feature.

Porkey Rachwitz developed motor trouble during the third heat and was forced to quit after running with the leaders

Bob Kosiski, the winner of the feature at Riverside last Sunday, opened the card with a victory, but ran into bad luck the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

1965 – Dake wins as 4,000 see stocks at Cedar Rapids

Darrell Dake

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 26, 1965) - Darrel Dake of Cedar Rapids wheeled his 1962 Ford convertible to the 100-lap National Modified Late Model Stock Car Championship before more than 4,000 race fans in near freezing temperatures on Sunday afternoon at Hawkeye Downs.

Dake, who started on the pole, took the lead on the first lap in the accident-marred championship feature, and though pressed, was never headed.

An accident on the 72nd lap sent Buzz McCann of St. Paul, Minn., to St. Luke's Hospital where he is listed in fairly good condition with possible internal injuries. McCann slammed into Lyle McNull of Aledo, Ill., after McNull spun out in a cloud of dust on the second turn. McCann was then hit by Harry Odeen of Marion.

Ben Hofer of Rock Island, Ill., bought the crowd to their feet when he put his 1965 Chevrolet right on Dake's bumper on the 98th lap and stayed there as they crossed the finish line in what was described as one of the most thrilling races ever held at Hawkeye Downs.

Results –

Fast qualifier – Darrell Dake (18.14)
1st heat – Buzz McCann, St. Paul, Minn.
2nd heat – Jerry Reinhart, East Moline, Ill.
3rd heat – Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.

Feature –

1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
2. Ben Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
3. Don Bohlander, Peoria, Ill.
4. Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
5. Ray Guss, Moline, Ill.
6. Lyle McNull, Aledo, Ill.
7. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
8. Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy
9. Ernie Speth, Davenport
10. Rick McDole, Rock Island, Ill.
11. Harry Odeen, Marion
12. Shorty Bennett, Moline, Ill.
13. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
14. Gary Steffe, Milan, Ill.
15. Del Williams, East Moline, Ill.
16. Walt Carney, West Branch
17. Buzz McCann, St. Paul, Minn.
18. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
19. John Connolly, Delhi
20. Larry Bell, Cedar Rapids

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Week in History

1994 – To use one of racing’s clich├ęs, Scott Hansen “had them covered” Sunday afternoon, September 25 at the 29th annual National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway. Hansen of Green Bay, Wis., exploded from his eighth starting position into the early lead and led 224 of 300 laps in the ARTGO Challenge Series event. Hansen took the lead on lap 20 and stayed there until a pit stop on the 183rd tour, giving way to Rick Beebe. Hansen sliced and diced back through the pack and passed Beebe on lap 241. He pulled away to record his first career NSTC victory by eight seconds over two-time and defending champion Steve Carlson of West Salem, Wis. Kevin Cywinski, Steve Holzhausen and J.R. Roahrig rounded out the top five.

1988 – Butch Miller won his third straight ASA Racing Series event Sunday Afternoon, September 25, by capturing the rain-delayed Missouri 300 before a crowd of 4, 892 at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. In ASA’s first race since 1980, Miller took control when previous leader Dave Jackson pitted on lap 219, and went on to a half-lap victory over Dick Trickle. Miller, who averaged 76.616 mph, earned $8,175 in prize money and awards for his fifth win of the year on the competitive circuit. Polesitter Trickle led the first 109 laps, but bad tire stagger hampered his efforts. Bob Senneker, Tom Jones and Jackson were the top five finishers.

1983 - Joe Shear grabbed the lead on the 40th circuit and outran both Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., and Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., to capture the National Short Track Championship 200-lap super late model feature for his record fifth career victory in the 18th running of the event on Sunday afternoon, September 25 at Rockford Speedway. Shear, who started the contest in the sixth position, worked his way to third place behind front-running Steve Murgic, Rosemount, Minn., and Conrad Morgan of Dousman, Wis., on lap 8. Six laps later, the Beloit, Wis., driver powered by Morgan to claim second. Murgic maintained the top spot until lap 40 when Shear took command on the backstretch. For the remainder of the race, Shear fought off the persistent challenges of Reffner and Trickle.

1977 – Eighteen-year-old Mark Martin of Batesville, Ark., won the 200-lap late model feature to capture the 12th annual National Short Track Championship at Rockford Speedway on Sunday, September 25. Martin took the lead on lap 176 when a blown engine sidelined front running Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., and went on to cross the finish line ahead of Dave Roahring of Plymouth, Ind., who had started 32nd in the 33-car field. Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., recovered from an accident on lap 116 to take third place money. Ed Hoffman of Niles, Ill., the only other driver to complete the 200-lap distance, finished fourth and was followed by Ray Young. Reffner took the lead at the green flag and was in command throughout the long-distance affair until a blast of smoke came from his Bemco-built AMC Hornet, ending any chance of victory and relegating him to a 18th place finish.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1989 - IMCA Late Model National Point Standings (Final)

1. Bob Hill - 774
2. Jeff Aikey - 772
3. Denny Osborn - 694
4. Greg Hunter - 692
5. Red Dralle - 686
6. Darrel DeFrance - 684
7. Ted Pallister - 608
8. Wes Merritt - 590
9. Dave Stanton - 576
10. Doug Hopkins - 574
11. Greg Kastli - 574
12. Kevin Pittman - 558
13. Art Jeffries - 522
14. Larry Winn - 520
15. Jerry Pilcher - 476

Monday, September 19, 2011

1981 - Viola racer wins Yankee Dirt Track Classic

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 19, 1981) - It took Ken Walton the entire regular season at Hawkeye Downs Speedway to pick up his first feature win. And the Viola driver couldn't have picked a better time.

Walton, who set a track record in the time trials Friday with a 21.237 clocking over the half-mile oval, eased past Ed Sanger of Waterloo on the 42nd lap Saturday and cruised to the feature victory in front of a full house at the Hardee’s Yankee Dirt Track Classic.

“I just got a new car about a month ago and it’s just super,” said Walton, whose car is owned by Dwayne and Cle Schneider. “I just want to thank Dwayne and Cle for getting me such a great car.”

“I knew once I had the lead the only thing that would stop me is if my car had problems. I never worry about getting beat once I pass a guy.”

Walton was never challenged after taking the lead in a race that only produced one red caution flag over the entire 100 laps.

That flag came down on the 96th lap when Dick Schiltz of Waterloo and Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., collided in front of the grandstand. Both were uninjured and continued racing.

Jim Curry of Norman, Ind. took the early lead and held it until the 20th lap when Sanger took over. Sanger held the lead for 22 laps. Sanger came across the finish line 10.5 seconds after Walton for second place and Mike Niffennegger of Kalona was close behind. Tom Hearst, who wrapped up the Winston season point championship Saturday, was fourth and Billy Moyer of Des Moines was sixth.

According to the Winston racing crew, the 100-lap event took 40 minutes, 11 seconds and the race had an average speed of 74.657 mile per hour.

Earlier in the evening, Parker won the Trophy Dash, consisting of the six fastest qualifiers in time trials, at an average speed of 79,958 mph.

In other action Saturday, Craig Spetman of Omaha, Neb. averaged 75.413 mph while winning the 20-lap B feature. Spetman took the lead from Bill Beckman of Waterloo on the fifth lap and was never challenged again.

Ken DeGood of Hills, Iowa, took the lead in the 20-lap C feature on the second lap and hung on for the win. DeGood took the lead from Scott Braun of Cedar Falls. Braun, who raced in the Sportsman Division in the regular season, finished second.

Results –

1. Ken Walton
2. Ed Sanger
3. Mike Niffenegger
4. Tom Hearst
5. Billy Moyer
6. Ron Jackson
7. Pete Parker
8. Don Hoffman
9. Roger Dolan
10. Gary Webb
11. Curt Hansen
12. Dick Schlitz
13. Leon Plank
14. Dave Birkhofer
15. Jim Burbridge

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This Week in History

2004 – Donny Schatz swept the One-Third Mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway on Saturday night, September 18. The Fargo, N.D., driver passed Jason Sides on lap 16, and held off Steve Kinser to win the 40-lap “A” feature victory. The World of Outlaws’ event was Schatz’s second straight Short Track National championship. Schatz and Kinser were followed by Brain Paulus, Terry McCarl and Jason Meyers.

1999 – Steve Boley had quite the weekend at Farley (Iowa) Speedway as he captured his first career Yankee Dirt Track Classic on Saturday, September 17. Boley made it into Saturday night’s finale by virtue of his third-place finish in the Friday night qualifier. Boley, who started 15th, was one of three leaders in the 100-lap contest. Boley and Denny Eckrich swapped the top spot several times before Boley secured the lead for good on lap 65. Eckrich, initial leader Bob Dominacki, Terry Neal and Jeff Aikey rounded out the top five finishers. “It’s a race that I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Boley. “I finally won the Yankee!”

1994 – Veteran late model driver Charlie Schwartz won his first Illinois Fall Nationals at the famous Springfield Mile on Sunday afternoon, September 18. “It must have been my day,” Schwartz said moments after outdueling Billy Moyer Jr. in the 40-lap main event. Of the $50,000 purse paid out by promoter Bob Sargent, Schwartz collected $10,000 for the win. The Kenton, Ohio driver munched dust from early race leader Bill Baird for the first 19 laps before Baird got loose near the turn two wall, allowing Schwartz to surge into the lead. From there, the Schwartz veteran never faltered, holding off several charges by Moyer in the last few laps. Moyer, Bob Pierce of Danville, Ill., Steve Boley of West Liberty, Iowa, and Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., followed Schwartz across the finish line.

1988 – Steve Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., won his first career Yankee Dirt Track Classic at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 17. The 1987 winner, Dale Fischlein, started on the pole and led the first 40 laps of the race. Kosiski, who started on the third row, passed Steve Boley for second on lap 17 and then snatched the top spot from Fischlein on the 41st circuit. Steve’s brother Joe also got by Fischlein 10 laps later and chased his brother the rest of the way. The NASCAR/Busch All Star Tour event paid Kosiski $4,000 for the victory. Competing against Kosiski in the feature were 29 other drivers including former Yankee winners Ken Walton, Tom Hearst, Ed Sanger and Fischlein.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

2001 - Eckrich rolls to Yankee win

Farley, Iowa (September 15, 2001) - In a season filled with big wins, tight races and even tighter national points races, Denny Eckrich found the promised land Saturday night on a high-banked, half-mile dirt track carved out of the Iowa countryside.

Eckrich, a Coralville driver who won the late model track championship at West Liberty Raceway this season, started on the outside of the front row and led 95 of 100 laps to win the 24th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic late Saturday night.

A capacity crowd estimated at 5,000 fans - hundreds of who were camping just outside the back straightaway - watched Eckrich collect a $15,000 paycheck for the win.

“I’d like to dedicate this win to Grandpa,” Eckrich said from victory lane. “Eight years ago we lost him up here (to a heart attack), and he said we'd win it. This one’s for him.”

Eckrich had the fastest car on the track all night. He shot into the lead as soon as the green flag flew and kept it until the third of the race's 10 cautions came out on lap 25.

On the restart, NASCAR Winston Racing Series Midwest Region champion Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls - who had came all the way from his 22nd starting position to third place in those first 25 laps – shot underneath both Brian Birkhofer and Eckrich and into the lead.

Eckrich and Aikey spent the next five laps engaged in exhilarating side-by-side racing before Eckrich secured the lead for good on lap 31.

Cautions kept sending the slower traffic to the rear of the field, but lapped traffic really came into play over the race’s final 25 laps when Eckrich, Darren Miller of Chadwick, Ill., and Aikey were fighting for the lead.

All three made it through, and when the 10th and final caution came out on lap 94 - once again sending the lapped cars the back – Eckrich’s victory seemed assured.

“Lapped traffic was a problem,” Eckrich said. “You had to be patient enough to get around them because they didn’t know you were there. I was lucky to get the caution (on lap 94). Darren was really putting the pressure on me but I knew if I could get out in front I could hold him off.”

Miller finished second, followed by Aikey, Kyle Berck of Marquette, Neb., and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill. Berck started 19th and Erb started 23rd.

Josh McGowan of Vinton earned the pole after winning a heat race Friday night and a six-car, six-lap shootout Saturday night. McGowan raced a pro stock at Benton County Speedway in Vinton for four years and is in only his third year of driving a late model.

“This is my second Yankee and it's very overwhelming,” McGowan said of starting on the pole. “It hasn't really set in yet.”

“All these cars are fast (and) there’s not a dog in the field. The wall is intimidating here because the speeds are so high but we love it and it's a lot of fun. There are a lot of good guys to race with.” McGowan dropped out of the race on lap 74.

Results –
1. Denny Eckrich
2. Darren Miller
3. Jeff Aikey
4. Kyle Berck
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Todd Davis
7. Rick Wendling
8. Matt Furman
9. Darren Mish
10. Steve “Ace” Ihm
11. Joe Kosiski
12. Brian Harris
13. Max Corporon
14. John Kresser
15. Jason Friesen
16. Chris Smyser
17. Rollie Frink
18. Josh McGowan
19. Tom Cannon
20. Troy Binder
21. Steve Boley
22. Brian Birkhofer
23. Johnny Johnson
24. Ray Guss Jr.
25. Terry Neal

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This Week in History

2000 – Billy Moyer’s homework paid off handsomely, Saturday night, September 9, when he became a five-time winner of Eldora Speedway’s annual World 100 dirt late model classic. Just six night’s prior, Moyer took advantage of a $2,000 to win at Eldora to drop in and do some testing. The victory earned that night was overshadowed by the education he received in preparation for the $33,000 to win a week later. Moyer stayed with the lead group before taking the runner-up spot from Bill Frye on lap 37. Moyer then dogged race-long leader Davey Johnson for some 30 laps before executing a nifty slide job on Johnson that gave “Mr. Smooth” the lead on lap 70. Moyer then held off a stubborn Scott Bloomquist for the remaining 25 laps and won by one-half car length at the checkers. Johnson crossed the line in third followed by Steve Francis and Frye.

1995 – Hometown hero John Logue slipped underneath Scott Drake of Joplin, Mo., going into turn four on the final lap to win the 40-lap IMCA modified feature at the Keith Knaack Super Nationals at Boone Speedway on September 9. He then held off Drake at the wire as the overflow crowd went wild when Logue took flagman Bill Olson’s checkered flag. “I left him too much room and there isn’t anything else I can say,” a dejected Drake said afterwards. The victory was worth $2,000 in cash and an additional $5,000 in contingencies for the defending Boone Speedway track champion. Ronny Gould of Denison, Tex., Jeff Barkdoll of Vinton, Iowa and Johnny Bone Jr. of Pea Ridge, Ark., rounded out the top five finishers.

1989 – Kevin Pittman of Waterloo, Iowa was a surprised and happy winner Sunday night, September 10, at the 7th annual IMCA Modified Super Nationals at Boone Speedway. Pittman took the lead in the 40-lap feature event coming off of turn four on the final lap to pocket $2,000 and score the biggest win of this five-year career. In a race that saw the first four leaders of the feature (Mark Noble, Mike Smith, Wayne Larson and Rex Merritt) drop out because of flat tires or mechanical issues, Tom Bartholomew of Huxley, Iowa took command of the feature midway through and appeared to be headed to victory lane when a flat tire on his car, coming out of turn two, slowed the veteran down as he entered the final turns. Upon seeing the lead car’s misfortune, Pittman ducked low and Denny Schwartz of Ashmore, Ill., went high around the ailing Bartholomew with Pittman coming out of the final turn barely in front. He managed to beat Schwartz to the checkers by a car length. Kelly Shryock of Story City, Iowa, Dave Erpelding of Algona, Iowa and Doug Hilson of Blooming Prairie, Minn., rounded out the top five

1981 – Larry Moore of Ocala, Fla., survived a three-car duel to win the annual World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Sunday, September 13. Moore inherited the top spot after race leader Jack Boggs of Webbville, Ky., tagged the wall midway through the contest. Moore then held off the duo of Mike Duvall of Gaffney, S.C. and Don Seaborn of Dayton, Ohio for the remaining quarter of the feature. The victory for the Dayton, Ohio, native netted him over $14,000 and made him the first driver ever to win two World 100’s. A couple of Georgia pilots, Buck Simmons and Doug Kenimer, rounded out the top five. Totaled, 203 cars from 17 states checked in for the dirt late model classic.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1956 – Beauchamp sweeps Stock Cars; Pouelson tops Speedway field at Huron

Huron, S.D. (September 7-8, 1956) - National IMCA stock car point’s leader Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, outclassed the field at the South Dakota State Fair Speedway, Saturday. Beauchamp roared to both the first and second half championships of the 50-lap feature race in the respective clockings of 13.08:33 and 13.18:64, which were practically identical.

Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex., was runner-up both times, though he led all but the final lap of the feature race's first half (25 laps).

The feature's second half getaway was re-run after Dean Anderson and Bob Short piled up on the first curve due to some unidentified fish-tailing by one of their fellow racers.

Other winners were Chub Liebe in the first heat (10 laps), time of 5.36:04; Beauchamp in the second heat (10 laps), 5.41:20; Darrell Dake in the Dash Event (4 laps), 2.09:27; Don Rosenberg in the novelty race (no time), and Dick Jepson in the consolation event via 4.51:81.

In Friday's speedway races, Johnny Pouelson of Gardena, Calif., was the top money winner, copping the 15-lap feature race in the time of 6:39:81.

Buzz Barton, third straight prize getter at the Minnesota State Fair, which wound up Labor Day, took runner-up honors with Marv Faw in third and Minneapolis' Vern Chamberlain finishing fourth. Veteran racer Bert Hellmueller of Louisville, Ky., who won the four-lap dash event in 1.51:47 and the first heat in 3.15:33, spun out of the race on the 14th lap. Hellmueller was in fourth place at the time.

Faw won the seven-lap Australian pursuit race after pacesetter Jim Packard of Indianapolis, Ind., broke a connecting rod on his racer.

Pouelson annexed consolation race honors with a 2.53:15 time for six laps. Barton sped to victory in the seven lap second heat via 3.14:31.

Stock Car Results –

Feature #1

1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Sonny Morgan
3. Chub Liebe
4. Darrell Dake
5. Robert “Doc” Narber
6. Harold “Tubby” Harrison

Feature #2

1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Sonny Morgan
3. Chub Liebe
4. Robert Narber
5. Darrell Dake
6. Harold Harrison

Speedway Car Results –

1. Johnny Pouelson
2. Emmett “Buzz” Barton
3. Marvin Faw
4. Vern Chamberlain
5. Bert Hellmueller
6. George Morris

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1956 - Top-notch Big Car and Stock Car Drivers to Furnish Thrills at Clay Fair

Spencer, Iowa (September 6, 1956) - Auto racing, always one of the top attractions of the Clay County Fair, is on the program again this year with the richest prize money in history offered to the nation's best drivers.

Bill Woods, secretary of the Fair, announced that three days of action-packed races have been scheduled with a record size purse of $7,500 on the line for the driving experts to divide.

Two days of big, speedway-type racing will be presented and one day of late model stock cars. The big cars will take over the lightning-fast half-mile Fairgrounds track on Tuesday, September 11, and Saturday, September 15. Stock car races will be held on Friday, September 14.

The big car drivers will be shooting for $5,000 of the purse while the stock car drivers will be after $2,500 in their afternoon of action.

All three of the racing dates have been sanctioned by the International Motor Contest association, the oldest and largest dirt track governing body in the United States.

Frank B. Winkley of Minneapolis, president of Auto Racing, Inc., and a veteran of 30 years in speed sports, will be in charge of all the races.

Both of the big car dates, September 11 and 15, have been given a championship meet classification by the IMCA, which means that the races are open to all registered drivers in the IMCA and that the drivers will earn twice as many points toward the national title as they do in invitational races.

With that incentive, plus the $5,000 in prize money, the drivers will be going all out which might produce some track and world IMCA records. Marks have been falling all year under the churning wheels of the big cars and there is no reason to doubt that with the right track conditions records will also go by the books here.

Seven sprint events are scheduled for the speedway-type machines each day. Action will start at 2 p.m. with time trials in which the cars and drivers take a one lap time trial around the track to determine their starting positions in the following competition.

First race is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Most of the cars entered are powered by Offenhauser and Ranger engines, considered by racing experts as the top racing motors in the world.

Highlighting the afternoon of stock car action on September 14 will be a grueling 100-lap race which taxes both the car and the driver to the extreme. Time trials for the stock car races are also set for 2 p.m. with the first race slated for 2:30 p.m.

Most of the stock cars in action will be 1955 and 1956 models and no car older than 1951 will be allowed to race.

Almost every brand of car seen on the highway today will be in action during the afternoon of speed - Chevrolets, Oldsmobile’s, Dodges, Fords, Plymouths, Pontiacs, Buicks and Mercury’s.

Under IMCA rules, the stock cars must be standard American makes with hard tops, manufactured during or after 1951 of which 500 or more units must have been manufactured and sold to the public. Convertible stock cars may compete if they are fitted with a double hoop roll bar that adequately protects the driver.

Hard top convertibles, without a center supporting post built in at the factory, must be equipped with an inside roll bar. Such roll bars must be approved by the technical committee of the race meet.

The engines of the cars must be stock equipment made for the body and chassis in which it is installed. There can be no special racing parts used. The motor and all component parts must be those produced by the manufacturers and carry the parts number.

Strengthening of the steering gear, pitman arm, tie rods, spindles, rear hubs, and tear axles is allowed for safety's sake - both for the driver and the fans.
The cars must be equipped with a safety belt and/or shoulder harness welded or bolted to the frame.

Some of the favorites who will be in action in the big car races include a trio of Californians - Jack Jordan of Alhambra, Johnny Pouelsen and LeRoy Neumayer, both of Gardena - Jimmy Wegscheider of St. Louis, Tommy Smith of Minneapolis, Harry Ross of Houston, Texas, Bert Hellmueller of Louisville, Ky., and Marvin Faw of Minneapolis.

Outstanding stock car drivers include Johnnie Beauchamp of Harlan, Don White of Keokuk, Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Texas, Bud and Bob Burdick of Omaha, Neb., Chris Skadal of Des Moines and Glen “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

This Week in History

1995 – A new king of late model stock car racing was crowned September 3 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, but the crown remained in the family. The Carlson brothers, Steve and Tom had made several trips from their Wisconsin homes to the half-mile paved oval with younger brother Steve ending up taking home the trophy and the prize money, but it was a different story this time. The elder Carlson used the low side to pass his brother at the start of lap 67 and then held off Jim Weber of Roseville, Minn., to win the 100-lap feature in the ARTGO Series’ “Western Swing”. Weber, Steve Carlson, Joe Shear and J.R. Roahrig rounded out the top five.

1989 – Rookie Scott Hansen earned his second ASA Racing Series victory of his career as he topped the Miller High Life 300 before a crowd of 14,000 fans on Monday afternoon, September 3, at the Minnesota State Fair. The rain-delayed race saw Mike Eddy pace the first 143 laps before pitting and giving the lead to rookie Tony Raines. Glenn Allen Jr., charged ahead of Raines six laps later. Hansen took over the top spot five circuits later and stayed there until NASCAR star Rusty Wallace took over the point on lap 195. Eddy worked his way back to the front on lap 219 but for only one trip around the half-mile paved oval. Hansen took command for good and then survived constant pressure from Bob Senneker to take the checkers by .23 of a second at the finish line. Joe Shear placed third ahead of Rich Bickle Jr., Harold Fair, Ted Musgrave, Kenny Wallace and Eddy. Hansen averaged 71.654 miles per hour in covering the race in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 36 seconds. He took home $7,900 for his efforts including $500 for leading at lap 150.

1972 – Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, won the National Speedway Sweepstakes Monday afternoon September 4 at the Nebraska State Fair. Wagner took the lead from Larry Crambleton on the second lap and then proceeded to battle Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., for the final 23 circuits. After racing side by side, bumper to bumper, Leavitt managed to power by Wagner on lap 20 but a persistent Wagner came back to grab the top spot two laps later and held on for the remaining three go-rounds. Wagner pocketed $500 for the feature victory. Leavitt, Chuck Amati of Greenfield, Tenn., Dave Ross of Jetmore, Kan., and Ralph Parkinson of Wichita Falls, Tex., rounded out the top five.

1967 – Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa scored the win in the special 50-lap Labor Day Invitational at Speedbowl Park in Sterling, Ill., on Monday afternoon, September 4. Dake, who started in the third position, took the lead of the 24-car field on lap 33 from Rock Island’s Benny Hofer. Dake had no problems from there, winning by a comfortable margin. Verlin Eaker, the speed merchant from Cedar Rapids, finished second followed by fast qualifier Lloyd Ewing of Peoria, Ill. Benny Hofer took fourth followed by Jim Gerber of Davenport, Iowa.

Friday, September 2, 2011

1949 – Dick Ritchie wins midget main at Davenport

Davenport, Iowa (September 2, 1949) – Cedar Rapids’ Dick Ritchie stole the show in the midget races Friday night at the Mississippi Valley amusement park track. Ritchie ran to wins in the main event and second heat and finished second in the, handicap.

A crowd of 4,324 fans turned out for the event and witnessed a spectacular speed duel between Ritchie and Johnny Hobel, also of Cedar Rapids, with Hobel pressing Ritchie all the way.

Starting from the pole position, Ritchie took the lead at the flag and held it to the finish. Hobel pulled up alongside of Ritchie on several occasions, but couldn't get out in front.

The Semi-Main was another closely contested battle, with Tony Russo outrunning Clyde Skinner to take the win. Bill Murphy took third.

A sensational drive from his last starting position in the handicap carried Dick Ritchie to second place, but he couldn't quite overhaul Walt Raines who won the event. Tony Russo took third.

Ritchie won the first heat, catching Joe Gustaf on the sixth lap after Gustaf had taken an early lead, Walt Raines overtook Gustaf on the last lap to take second and Gustaf took third. The second heat was a thriller, with Art Wheeler nosing out Jimmy Summers in a driving finish. Lloyd Thurston took the third heat, passing Phil Lazio on the fifth lap to take the lead. Lazio was second and Vic Ellis third. Ellis took the third spot, catching Yates at the finish line, to win the spot by the narrowest of margins.

Ritchie set the pace in the time trials, turning a 16.50 second lap on the quarter-mile.