Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1970 - Derr Leads Iowa Sweep of Five Top IMCA Spots


Des Moines, Iowa (November 23, 1970) – For the first time in the 22-year history of the International Motor Contest Association’s stock car division, Iowans have swept the first five places in the point’s standings.

Statistics released Saturday show Ernie Derr of Keokuk winning his eleventh championship with 3,715 points, Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk is second with 2,956; Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, third with 2,355; Fred Horn, Marion, fourth with 2,035, and Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, fifth, with 1,219.

Iowa drivers also filled three of the next six positions with Mel Morris of West Liberty eighth (841), Bill Stark of Des Moines tenth (660) and Mike Derr of Keokuk eleventh (630).

It is the first year Iowans have dominated the organization since 1963 when seven of the top 10 were from the Hawkeye state. In the ensuing years, the state’s best showing was four out of the top 10.

However, Iowans have won the last 18 national championships and been runner-ups for the last 13 seasons.

Only two non-Iowans have ever won stock car championships - Herschel Buchanan of Shreveport, La., (1950-51) and Dominic Perlick of Minneapolis, Minn., in 1952. Eddie Anderson of Grinnell won the inaugural title in 1949.

Other champions were Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa (1956-57), Don White of Keokuk, Iowa (1954-55-58) and Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk (1962-63). The remaining titles are Ernie Derr’s. He won 19 of the 35 features in 1970.

Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., cruised to his first IMCA sprint car title, winning seven of 31 features and compiling 2,900 points to runner-up Jerry Richert’s 2,275.

Richert, of Forest Lake, Minn., won the title in 1964, 1965, 1966 and ’68 and made a grand comeback after sitting out most of the ’69 season while recuperating from surgery.

Jay Woodside and Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City, Mo., finished third and fourth, respectively, and Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., was fifth. Defending champion Darl Harrison of Tiffin, Ohio, finished sixth and Don Mack of East Grand Forks, Minn., who with Woodside tied for second, last year, was eleventh.

No Iowa drivers were among the top 24 in point standings. However, Woodside drove a car owned by Hank Smith of Mount Ayr, Iowa and seventh-place driver Jan Opperman of Beaver Crossing, Neb., chauffeured a car owned by Larry Cahill of Iowa City while Dave Van Patten of Des Moines is owner of the racer in which Ron Perkins of Wood River, Ill., drove.

Final Point Standings

IMCA Stock Car -

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa – 3,175
2. Ron Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa – 2,956
3. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa – 2,355
4. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa – 2,035
5. Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa – 1,219
6. Butch Hall, Russell, Minn. – 958
7. Vernie Covert, Topeka, Kan. – 920
8. Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa – 841
9. Jerre Wichman, Kansas City, Mo. – 822
10. Bill Stark, Des Moines, Iowa – 660
11. Mike Derr, Keokuk, Iowa – 630
12. Freddy Fryar, Baton Rouge, La. – 595
13. Bill Schwader, McClausland, Iowa – 555
14. Royce Whitlock, West Monroe, La. – 513
15. Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City, Mo. – 510
16. Bud Helm, Brainerd, Minn. – 485
17. Sandy Sandstrom, Kansas City, Mo. – 400
18. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan. – 375
19. Warren Hughes, Baton Rouge, La. – 355
20. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn. –345


IMCA Sprint Car -

1. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill. – 2,900
2. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn. – 2,275
3. Jay Woodside, Kansas City, Mo. – 1,795
4. Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City, Mo. – 1,745
5. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo. – 1,665
6. Darl Harrison, Tiffin, Ohio – 1,580
7. Jan Opperman, Beaver Crossing, Neb. – 1,390
8. Benny Rapp, Toledo, Ohio – 1,330
9. Chuck Lynch, Springfield, Ill. – 1,080
10. Ron Perkins, Wood River, Ill. – 1,020
11. Don Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn. – 935
12. J.D. Leas, Winterville, Ohio – 870
13. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo. – 845
14. Tom York, South Bend, Ind. – 830
15. Russ Laursen, Cumberland, Wis. – 775
16. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich. – 765
17. Bobby Adamson, Wrightsville, Pa., - 750
18. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb. – 700
19. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo., - 675
20. Ralph Parkinson, Blue Springs, Mo. - 655

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