Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1964 - Hutch Grabs Topeka Cash

Topeka, Kan. (May 29, 1964) – Ramo Stott made one bobble Saturday afternoon in the Memorial Day 50-lap late model stock car race at the Mid-America Fairgrounds, and Dick Hutcherson took advantage of it to grab the lead and make off with the victory.

A crowd of 6,200 sat through the speed, and wreck-filled program and quickly learned why Hutcherson, Stott and Ernie Derr have dominated the late model stock car division of the IMCA circuit for so long.

Stott had his 1964 Plymouth on the pole position by virtue of his record time trial and jumped into the lead. But coming out of turn four, Stott skidded just a little bit and Hutcherson leaped alongside him. Entering turn one as lap 5 began, Hutcherson sneaked past Stott and was off to the races.

Hutcherson finished the race in 22 minutes and 54 seconds, nearly two minutes faster than the old record.

Lennie Funk, in a 1963 Ford, passed Derr at the start of lap 21 when the axle on Derr’s 1964 Plymouth gave way, and was content to sit in third for the final two laps. Before going out with a broken axle, Derr was pushing hard on Stott’s rear bumper.

Funk made a final bid to catch Stott but the wheat farmer failed by just three-fourths of a car length at the checkered flag.

An unofficial record was broken by Bill Gibson who left a tire mark at the top of the west wall when his 1962 Pontiac tried to get out of the park. Gibson managed to get his car back on the track without any problem.

In the consolation event, Gibson gave his pit crew a thrill when the steering box broke on his car as he entered the pit area at full bore. He got the car stopped in time with only a water can getting damaged.

Results –
Fast Time: Ramo Stott (26.01 – new track record)
First Heat: Ramo Stott
Second Heat: Dick Hutcherson
Third Heat: Bump Willert
Match Race: Dick Hutcherson

1. Dick Hutcherson
2. Ramo Stott
3. Lennie Funk
4. Gil Haugan
5. Bob Jusola
6. Johnny Jones
7. Bill Thomas
8. Roland Wilson
9. Bump Willert
10. Dave Steffens

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