Thursday, August 16, 2012

1964 - Derr sets three records and takes six events

Mason City, Iowa (August 16, 1964) - Ernie Derr, the Keokuk, Iowa speedball, had another field day Sunday at the North Iowa Fairgrounds track. When he had finished his fine afternoon and evening series of wins and record smashing, Derr loaded his 1964 Plymouth on his truck to head for home and get ready for future races. But before he departed, he picked up $670 in prize money from promoter Frank Winkley.

This was Ernie's day; In the afternoon he led off by setting a time trials record of 26.03. This was well under the mark of 20.8l set by Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk, in June, Hutcherson, the point leader on the IMCA circuit, did not compete in the Mason City races.

Also on the afternoon program, Derr set a pair of dash records in winning. The first came over five laps at 2.21.85 and the next when he took the 25-lap feature in 11:33.87.

His day wasn't finished. At the evening show, before about 2,200 racing fans, Derr copped a 10-lap heat event to get loosened up for the big 100-lap feature race. Then the record smasher went out and took the windup in 44:40.08, not a record but still an excellent performance.

Gil Haugen of Sioux Falls, driving a 1963 Plymouth, accounted for another mark in the afternoon with a timing of 3:54.08 over 8 laps.

Lennie Funk, the Otis, Kan., farmer, gave Derr a good run. He was second to Derr in the qualifying, won a heat race, placed second to Derr in another race and second in the feature in the afternoon. He took second in a heat race at night and then was set to challenge Derr in the 50-miler.

Derr, with the pole car, led for 19 laps with Funk right on his tail. Derr hit loose dirt high on the southwest corner of the track and Funk shot in front.

Driving a 1964 Ford, Funk held the lead until the 44th lap when he got into loose dirt high on the northeast corner and Derr recaptured the lead. It was Derr all the way from that point and Funk had to go to the pits on the 83rd lap because of low oil, missed three turns and finished seventh.

Albert Lea's Ole Brua took second in the 50-miler and he lost to Derr by less than a car length in an evening 10-lap sprint.

Bob Dishman of Des Moines had a bad night. He went through the west fence on a warm up run. In the second heat, he hooked Blackie Wangerin of Minneapolis and both cars went into a spin in front of the main stands. Dishman was ruled off the track after his mishap.

Skilled driving prevented a bad crackup on the backstretch. Bill Thomas of Lake Elmo, Minn., went into a spin in the middle of the track in a bunched field but there wasn't a car nicked.

Afternoon Results –

Fast qualifier: Ernie Derr (26.03)
First Heat: Ernie Derr
Second Heat: Bob Jusola
Sprint Dash: Ernie Derr
Consolation: Gil Haugen

Feature (25 laps):

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Lennie Funk, Otis, Kan.
3. Bob Jusola, Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
5. Dick Steffens, Minneapolis, Minn.
6. Roland Wilson, Bedford, Iowa
7. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
8. Blackie Wangerin, Minneapolis, Minn.
9. Bill Thomas, Lake Elmo, Minn.

Evening Results –

First Heat: Ernie Derr
Second Heat: Bob Jusola

Feature (100 laps):

1. Ernie Derr
2. Ole Brua
3. Bob Jusola
4. Dick Steffens
5. Jim Washburn, Keokuk, Iowa
6. Blackie Wangerin
7. Lennie Funk
8. Bill Thomas
9. Dick Johnson
10. Roland Wilson
11. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.
12. Bob Brinkman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
13. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
14. Ken Mattison, Minneapolis, Minn.

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