Saturday, August 25, 2012

This Week in Racing History

2000 – Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., swept the United Dirt Track Racing Association Hav-A-Tampa dirt late model “Hawkeye Tour” with a victory in the 60-lap main at West Liberty (Iowa) Raceway on August 24. The only driver to challenge Bloomquist was home track hero Steve Boley of West Liberty who passed Bloomquist for the lead on lap 2 but fell out of contention on lap 16 with a cut tire. Bloomquist put his car on the point for the restart and then cruised to his seventh series win of the year. Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, came back from a car-destroying flip the night before in Corning, Iowa, to finish second. Birkhofer ran the high line on his home track, but was unable to challenge the low riding Bloomquist for the $10,000 payoff. Point leader Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., rallied to take third, Gary Webb of Blue Grass, Iowa finished fourth and Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., took fifth.

1990 – Defending ARCA Super Car Series champion Bob Keselowski notched his first victory of the season in the Snap-On Tools 125 a Toledo (Ohio) Speedway on Sunday night, August 26. Bob Strait appeared to be the class of the field early as he paced the first 31 laps before blowing an engine and spinning in turns three and four. Jerry Cook inherited the lead and dominated the action until lap 94 when a collision with an errant wheel from Scott Stovall’s car produced an oil leak in Cook’s engine. Keselowski picked up where Cook left off and led the rest of the race to take the checkered by a comfortable seven-second margin. Chris Gehrke finished second on the same laps. John Wyman took third, one lap back, and Bill Venturini and Bob Brevak rounded out the top five, two laps back behind the winner. Keselowski collected $6,070 for the win as he averaged 76.923 miles per hour. Only nine of the 18 cars were running at the finish.

1984 – Marvin Carman outdistanced Dave Blaney to win the Coca-Cola 200 USAC Silver Crown event on Friday, August 24, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights. Fast qualifier Rich Vogler jumped into the lead on the opening green flag and despite multiple cautions, stayed out front until lap 118. After a restart, George Snider worked his way into the top spot when Vogler began to slow with engine problems, eventually forcing him to retire for good. Snider maintained a fast pace until lap 148 when Carman reeled him in and took over the lead. Carman sustained a good groove throughout the remainder of the event and won by a comfortable margin at the checkers. Blaney, Tom Bigelow, Gary Bettenhausen and Ken Schrader were the top five finishers.

1979 – Bill Vukovich scored his first career USAC Championship Dirt Series win in the Ted Horn Memorial 100 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon, August 26. In addition to scoring his first-ever win, Vukovich also surpassed Bobby Olivero in the circuit’s point standings 230 to 203. Vukovich opened Sunday’s show by setting fast time in qualifications, with a 32.72 second (110.024 mph) lap around the mile oval to earn the pole position. Front row starter Steve Chassey got the jump on Vukovich and was able to lead the first circuit before Vukovich took over on the second mile and led the way until lap 49 when Billy Cassella took over. Cassella continued to dominate through lap 78, but a gearbox problem forced the former USAC champion to the infield. That returned first place to Vukovich who never relinquished first place and went on to take the checkers about seven seconds ahead of Bill Puterbaugh. Larry Dickson, Larry Rice and Bill Engelhart rounded out the top five. Vukovich’s first career win earned him a Du Quoin record $7,952.

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