Thursday, May 3, 2012

1975 – Fatality mars opening night at Capital Speedway

Bill Utz

Holts Summit, Mo. (May 3, 1975) - Stunned by the death of Columbia driver Tom Coleman in the season’s first race, the first fatality in track history put a damper on any joy shown by the winners Saturday night at the Capital Speedway in Holts Summit.

Coleman, 36, was fatally injured when his super-sprinter ran over one driven by Jim Robinson of Moberly on the last lap of the first sprint race.

Coleman’s car, new this year, took a wild series of end-over-end flips before coming to rest on its wheels in the middle of the back stretch. He died of head injuries en route to a Jefferson City hospital. Robinson was checked over and released after being taken to the hospital in a private car following the crash.

It was the first fatality at the Speedway since it opened in 1967.

Bill Utz, the defending super-sprint champ from Sedalia, scored a win in the 25-lap feature event, starting in the middle of the pack after a fourth place finish in his heat event.

Losson Leonard of Jefferson City captured the 20-lap late model stock car feature, holding off strong challenges from Eddie Gray and Ivan Long. Dale Caldwell of Jefferson City took first place in the eight-car hobby stock car class.

Ron Milton of Jacksonville, Ill., took first place in the first super-sprint heat, holding off Cliff Powell of Hannibal and Al Bodenhamer of Kansas City. Slater’s Jim Jenkins captured the second heat event, Gary Scott of Holts Summit took first in the third heat and George Lasoski of Marshall won the 10-lap consolation event.

Ivan Long of Pittsfield, Ill., took first place in the first of four late model heat races for the 36 cars. Leonard captured the second heat, Tom Frasher of Jefferson City won the third heat and Jerry “Flea” Atkin of Holts Summit won the consolation event.

The 20-car sprint car feature field was inverted, with the three heat race winners on the tail end of the field.

Results –

1. Bill Utz, Sedalia
2. Ed Grimes, Slater
3. Tom Corbin, Carrollton
4. Martin Godsey, Jefferson City
5. George Lasoski, Marshall
6. Bob Thoman, Lexington
7. Cliff Powell, Hannibal
8. Roy Comstock, Versailles
9. Ron Milton, Jacksonville, Ill.
10. Dennis Roberts, Syracuse

Late Model:
1. Losson Leonard, Jefferson City
2. Eddie Gray Jefferson City
3. Ivan Long, Pittsfield, Ill.
4. Terry Gallaher, Hannibal
5. Rick Kimberling, Gilliam
6. Dick Bloomfield, Perry
7. Vic Bentlage, Jefferson City
8. Pete Werner, Jefferson City
9. Dalton Walker, Vandalia
10. Jim Robinson, Fulton

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