Saturday, September 29, 2012

1973 – Hartman captures Falstaff 100

Butch Hartman accepts his trophy after winning the Falstaff 100

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 29, 1973) - Butch Hartman, the pride of South Zanesville, Ohio, improved his claim to a third national championship by capturing the Falstaff 100 for USAC stock cars Saturday night at Hawkeye Downs.

Hartman put his 1973 Dodge into the lead spot on the opening lap and never was headed, although he had all he could do to hold off the efforts of Ernie Derr of Keokuk for the final five tours on the 1/2-mile dirt track.

Derr's 1972 Dodge was right on Hartman’s rear bumper when the checkered flag was thrown. Less than a second behind Derr was Ramo Stott, driving a 1973 Plymouth.

The victory was the eighth of the season for Hartman who already has wrapped up his third straight driving championship, a feat never before accomplished in USAC stock car history. “One more win will let us tie the record and that’s what we're going after next week," Hartman said moments after the race. The record of nine wins in a season was set by Don While of Keokuk in 1967.

White, who owns the most career wins in USAC history (49), was on hand last night, but he blew an engine during hot laps and was unable to compete.

An estimated 3,000 braved the chilly weather and the threat of rain, which had drenched the track for several days prior to Saturday. The battle at the finish between Hartman and Derr gave them plenty to remember. They (the crowd) were all on their feet when Derr made a move to the outside coming out of turn two on the white flag lap. Derr kissed Hartman’s bumper twice but both were able to maintain control and resume their bumper-to-bumper duel.

Hartman started the feature outside of Stott in the front row. Ramo earned the pole with the top qualifying time of 26.43 seconds. That bested Hartman by only a hundredth of a second. Stott also look the four-lap trophy dash, flashing past Derr on the next to last lap.

Feature results –

1. Butch Hartman, South Zanesville, Ohio
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Bay Darnell, Deerfield, Ill.
5. Steve Drake, Bloomington, Ill.
6. John Schultz, Appleton, Wis.
7. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
8. Ray Bolander, New Berlin, Wis.
9. Paul Feldner, Richfield, Wis.
10. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
11. A.J. Moldenhauser, Madison, Wis.
12. John Reimer, Caledonia, Wis.

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