Silver Dollar Nationals

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1971 – Stott Wins His Third Salem 500


Ramo Stott takes the checkers at Salem Speedway - John Potts Collection


Salem, Ind. (October 16, 1971) – Ramo Stott captured his unprecedented third straight victory in the Salem 500 at the paved high-banked Southern Indiana track on Sunday afternoon, collecting $2,275 from a $14,500 purse and establishing an early lead in the 1972 ARCA point standings in which this race began.

Stott’s 1971 Plymouth outdistanced second place finisher Dave Dayton (with relief from Dave Sisco) by a 12-lap, six-mile margin, the 3 hour, 20 minute grind.

Conservative driving in the early stages of the race well may have assured victory for Stott as early leaders were eliminated by numerous accidents.

At the start, Jim Robinson gunned his ’70 Charger in front of Andy Hampton’s 1970 dodge to set a heated pace. Hampton’s bid to head Robinson ended on lap 62 when he blew a tire, spun and collected Leonard Blanchard’s ’71 Ford, necessitating lengthy pit stops for both cars. Les Snow, sharing fast qualifier honors with Robinson, later returned to the chase in relief of Hampton, but parked with further difficulties at lap 81.

With the Hampton/Snow challenge eliminated, Robinson continued to charge and succeeded in lapping the second place Stott on the 95th circuit, just before the yellow appeared as Ross Smith blew an engine on his ’69 Camaro and was tagged by Iggy Katona. Katona was able to continue.

As the green flag reappeared on lap 103, Robinson, leading Stott and Bill Clemons, lost the ex-Harry Hyde Charger flying into the first turn, leaving the right front end of the car under the guardrail and ending his afternoon.

In the shuffle to avoid the careening Robinson, Clemons nipped by Stott to take the lead and managed to build a small margin after the “all clear” signal from starter Johnny Potts.

Clemons, very much a threat in his ’71 AMC Hornet, led until spinning to avoid Iggy Katona, who blew an engine on lap 163. A long pit stop was required to replace four badly flat-spotted tires on the Clemons car, giving the lead back to Stott.

With Clemons facing a 10-lap deficit, as a result of the spin and stop, Stott drove with monotonous precision, relinquishing the lead to Al Arnold when he pitted, but four laps following his planned stop for fuel and right-side only tires, he was again back in front.

Clemons’ bid to make up for lost time provided some of the most spectacular driving of the race as the New Albany, Ind., driver consistently lapped near his qualifying speed, in dense traffic.

By the 300-lap mark, Clemons had overhauled Arnold, now experiencing handling problems, to take second and continue to charge on Stott’s immense lead. Reducing Stott’s margin to eight laps, Clemons’ excellent drive ended when a tie-rod snapped, ending his chances on lap 420.

The steadily driven Dayton/Sisco Camaro inherited second with Clemons’ retirement, following Stott to the checkered. Bill Nelson, driving a ’69 Dodge Charger, drove a beautiful race to finish third after struggling all afternoon long with a hard-steering car that was damaged the day before in practice, and hastily prepared with borrowed parts from Stott.

Results –
1. Ramo Stott
2. Dave Dayton/Dave Sisco
3. Bill Nelson
4. Jim Strube
5. Bob Phernetton
6. Tony Schiller
7. Freddy Holbert
8. Jerry Norris (with relief from Bobby Watson)
9. Grant Wilmot
10. Mickey Flora
11. Bob Blank
12. Bill Vincent
13. Dave Carey
14. Bill Clemons
15. Dave Kulmer
16. Wayne Trinkle
17. Bob McCoy
18. Kenny Black
19. Al Arnold
20. N.D. Copley
21. LaMarr Marshall
22. Keith Ploughe
23. Carl Summers
24. Gene Borelli
25. Kenny Reiter
26. Larry Moore
27. Leonard Blanchard
28. Iggy Katona
29. Ralph Young
30. Cliff Hamm
31. Jim Robinson
32. Bobby Watson
33. Ross Smith
34. Andy Hampton (with relief from Les Snow)
35. Ed Richardville
36. Hubert West
37. Charles Moore
38. Bill Kimmel
39. Al Straub
40. Walt Ragland

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