Thursday, August 30, 2012

1969 - Stokke wins season championship at Boone

Boone, Iowa (August 30, 1969) - Del Stokke of Ames won the 30-lap Season Championship race at Boone Speedway on Saturday night.

Stokke, who finished the year runner up in points to Gene Schattschneider, picked up his second championship at the Boone Speedway in the last three years.

He finished the 1967 year at Boone by winning the point battle and also the season championship.

Saturday night, Stokke, grabbed the lead on the very first lap from the man who had started on the pole, Gene Schattschneider, when Gene went too high coming out of the number two corner.

Schattschneider, stayed close behind Stokke for several laps until he lost control of his car and spun out coming out of the fourth turn on lap seven.

After this, Schattschneider, went to the back of the pack and lost any chance of winning the race. Gene watched the last few laps of the event from the pits after being black flagged for not yielding to a pull over flag.

Arnie Braland, of Boone, after the departure of Schattschneider, picked up where Gene left off and battled Stokke all the way to the wire in finishing runner-up. It was Braland's best finish during championship competition at Boone in three years. He also finished fifth in points this year.

Two veteran drivers, Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines and Joe Rasmussen, Ames, finished third and fourth with Merle Leonard, Marshalltown, rounding out the top five.

Heat winners Saturday night were Joel Rasmussen, Ames, Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines and Bob Bonzer, Liscomb. Merle Leonard, Marshalltown, won the B-Main, while Don Hilbert, Algona, won the Special event.
Results –
First Heat: Joel Rasmussen, Ames
Second Heat: Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines
Third Heat: Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
B-Main: Merle Leonard, Marshalltown
Special Race: Don Hilbert, Algona

Feature:
1. Del Stokke, Ames
2. Arnie Braland, Boone
3. Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines
4. Joel Rasmussen, Ames
5. Merle Leonard, Marshalltown

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1976 - Bubby Jones wins 100-Mile Dirt Car Race at Du Quoin

Norman "Bubby" Jones


Du Quoin, Ill. (August 29, 1976) - When they began the 100-mile USAC championship dirt car race at the Du Quoin State Fair, it looked like it was going to be Tom Bigelow’s day.

Bigelow, the 1975 Du Quoin champion, shattered the track record in the qualifying round by zipping around the one-mile oval at 109.20 miles per hour.

Once the race began, it continued to look like Bigelow’s day. But when the race ended, it was a relatively unknown racer by the name of Norman “Bubby” Jones in victory lane collecting the kisses, trophy and first prize money of $9,000.

Jones, a barber from Danville, Ill., started the race in the third position behind Bigelow and Pancho Carter. Bigelow led the first 20 laps of the race plagued by two accidents. Carter led for 26 laps. The fourth fastest qualifier Joe Saldana led for 12 laps and Jones led for the final 32 miles.

Bigelow, driving the Leader Card Racer, was sailing along with a sizeable lead over runner-up Carter when the race was stopped on the 15th lap because of an accident involving Sleepy Tripp and Jackie Howerton.

Tripp’s car went over the turn three wall and it took about a half hour to repair the damage to the guard rail. Neither Tripp nor Howerton was injured.

Carter managed to stay with Bigelow on the restart and then passed him six laps later. Pancho sailed along in fine fashion for 20 laps. Then he caught the cars at the back of the pack, got in heavy traffic and collided with Roy Hicks. The accident occurred in the same third turn as the first collision. Both cars were heavily damaged but neither driver was injured.

Again the race was stopped and again it took workers about a half hour to get the track in shape for the restart.

With Carter out of the race, Bigelow, who was running second at the time the race was halted, should have been at the head of the field when the cars pulled back out of the pits. But Bigelow couldn’t get his car started until a lap later after the restart.

That gave Joe Saldana the lead with Jones second and Larry Dickson third. Saldana led laps 47 through 58. He made a pit stop on the 59th lap that allowed Jones to take the lead.

Jones was hard-pressed by Dixon for the remainder of the way but never relinquished the lead.

Veteran USAC driver Jim McElreath finished third while newly-wed Larry Rice was fourth and Johnny Parsons was fifth.

Parsons drove a brilliant race. He started 23rd in a field of 24. He got up to third place in the late stages of the race but dropped to fifth after his engine started acting up.

Results –
1. Bubby Jones
2. Larry Dickson
3. Jim McElreath
4. Larry Rice
5. Johnny Parson
6. Jim Hurtubise
7. James McElreath
8. Bill Cassella
9. Jerry Miller
10. Ronnie Burke
11. Clark Templeman
12. Joe Saldana
13. Tom Bigelow
14. Bobby Olivero
15. Sheldon Kinser
16. Chuck Gurney
17. George Snider
18. Gary Irvin
19. Pancho Carter
20. Jan Opperman
21. Roy Hicks
22. Jackie Howerton
23. Sleepy Tripp
24. Dana Carter

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1961 – Hutcherson – Folse - Derr top Minnesota State Fair races

St. Paul, Minn. (August 28 - 31, 1961) – Dick Hutcherson, a 29-year-old construction company owner from Keokuk, Iowa, nosed out Ernie Derr, also of Keokuk, to win the 100-lap IMCA new model stock car race at the Minnesota State Fair on Monday afternoon, August 28. Hutcherson beat Derr to the finish line by less than 30 yards and set a new track record for 50 miles by touring the half-mile in 46 minutes and 44.39 seconds beating the old mark (47:44.96) set by Johnny Beauchamp in 1956.

Hutcherson wheeled a 1961 Ford while Derr piloted a ’61 Pontiac. Hometowner Harold “Buzz” McCann finished third, more than a lap behind the two leaders while Beauchamp, driving a 1960 Ford finished fourth and Oelwein, Iowa’s Chub Liebe (’61 Ford) took fifth.

On Tuesday, August 29th, defending IMCA national sprint car champion Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., outran a 14-car field to win the 20-lap feature. Folse charged out front on the first lap and held the lead all the way to the $850 first prize.

Russ Long of Yupica, Calif., driving the Hansen Chevrolet, took second but had to stave off challenge after challenge by Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex., in Dizz Wilson’s Offy. Finishing right on McElreath’s bumper was Johnny White of Warren, Mich., in the Ernie Johnson Offy.

Jumping into the lead on the first lap, Folse scored his second straight “big car” feature win the following day, August 30. The husky little fellow from Florida was behind the wheel of Hector Honore’s #2 Offy.

Jim McElreath started to whittle away at Folse’s big lead until a blown tire knocked him out of action on the 22nd lap.

Ernie Derr, the defending IMCA stock car national champion, gunned his ’61 Pontiac to a win in the 200-lap feature on Thursday afternoon, August 31. Derr, who won the same event in 1960, set a new track record traveling the distance in 1 hour, 36 minutes and 51.92 seconds erasing the old mark (1:38:53.57) set by Johnny Beauchamp in 1956.

Lennie Funk of Otis, Kan., took the early lead in the race and held it on lap 23 when engine trouble sent Funk to the sidelines. Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa inherited the point and then had the inevitable task of holding off Derr, which he did until his motor let go on the 37th circuit. Derr took over at the point and never looked back in winning.

Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., Eddie Harrow of Corpus Christi, Tex., Bob Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., and Ole Brua of Albert Lea, Minn., rounded out the top five.

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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

1968 - Andy Hampton Triumphs in 2nd Annual Redbud 500

Andy Hampton


Anderson, Ind. (August 24, 1968) - Andy Hampton of Louisville, Ky., driving with a broken axle for the last 24 laps, won the second annual Redbud 500 new car race at Sun Valley Speedway on Saturday.

A six-lap lead that Hampton had acquired over young Bennie Parsons of Detroit stood the Louisville veteran in good shape. When Hampton’s axle gave way on his ‘67 Dodge Charger, Parsons, in a ’68 Ford, started cutting the lead down. Parsons ran out of laps in which to catch Hampton’s red and white #2 Charger, though, and settled for second place.

Bill Clemons of New Albany, Ind., driving a ‘68 Ford, finished third in the 500-lap event. Iggy Katona of Willis, Mich., failed in his try for a second straight Redbud victory. Katona was running third in his Charger when mechanical trouble forced him out of the race on lap 155.

Hampton and Parsons dueled throughout most of the race. Hampton, who had started in third spot in the 34-car field, last acquired the lead on lap 361, taking over from Parsons.

Parsons had jumped in front from his second starting spot on lap one, and lost the lead to Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill., on lap 6. When Snow’s car hit the wall on the 26th lap, the lead was taken by Jesse Baird of Louisville.

Parsons had it back by lap 137 and held it until lap 302 when he had to pit for 12 laps with a cut tire. That was when Hampton first took over from the Detroit driver. On lap 355, Hampton pitted and Parsons took over the lead again. Hampton got out of the pits quickly and six laps later, was back in the lead. By lap 450, Hampton had a six-lap advantage over Parsons’ yellow #98 car.

Results -
1. Andy Hampton
2. Benny Parsons
3. Bill Clemons
4. Paul Wensink
5. Namon Martin
6. Iggy Katona
7. Les Snow
8. Jesse Baird

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1956 - Texan defeats Bobby Grim in Fayette County Fair racing

West Union, Iowa (August 22, 1956) - Better than 3,500 Fayette County Fair fans saw a rough-tough Texan of Scandinavian descent walk off with the lion’s share of honors here Wednesday afternoon as big car racing took the afternoon spotlight at the 103rd annual fair.

Thirty-three-year-old Judd Larson of Austin, Tex., upset the IMCA point leader of Bobby Grim of Indianapolis in a tension packed 15-lap feature on the half mile fairgrounds oval.

Piloting a car that carried the Offenhauser motor that Walt Faulkner set a 1952 time trial mark at Indianapolis with Larson slipped by-Grimm on a curve of the ninth lap and held onto the lead the remainder of the way to win by 30 yards.

Larson's time was 6 minutes and 42.80 seconds for the seven and a half mile course. Any chances of a record being set by the 14-car field were eliminated when Bob Wright of Indianapolis lost control of his Offenhauser on the seventh lap. His car careened into the infield and flipped. Wright suffered only a broken nose and bruised arm. It was the first IMCA pileup in two weeks.

Larson's victory was his fifth in only seven big car events this year. Each time he has beaten Grim. A year ago the six-foot, 190-pounder won five of six feature events he raced in. Larson, who has been racing for 16 years, spends most of the racing season in stock cars and midgets.

Offenhausers took the bulk of the prize money from the Fayette County Fair. Five of the seven events on the card were won by Offy powered cars. Grim, champion of the circuit for the past two years, had fifth best time trial of 24.00 seconds flat. It was short of his track record at West Union of 23.81 set in 1955. Larson was the second fastest qualifier with a time of 24.10.

Results -

Time Trials:
1. Bobby Grim. Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 24.00
2. Judd Larson, Austin, Tex., Offenhauser, 24.10
3. Ed Loetcher, St. Louis, Mo., .Offenhauser, 25.50
4. Willie Wildhaber, Lexington, Ill., Offenhauser, 26.60
5. Red Hoyle, Phoenix, Ariz., Heath Special, 26.30
7. Bob Wright, Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 26.35
8. Art George, Los Angeles, Offenhauser, 26.40
9. Fritz Tegtmeier, Elgin, Ill., Olds, 27.90
10. Ft. V. Hensley, Richmond, Ky., CMC, 28.50

Inaugural dash – Bobby Grim
National Speedway Dash – Jud Larson
American Triumph Dash – Red Hoyle
Sinclair Handicap – Art George
Australian Pursuit – Wilbur Robinson

Nationals Circuit Sweepstakes:

1. Jud Larson
2. Bobby Grim
3. Eddie Loetcher
4. Red Hoyle
5. Don Cryder

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1959 – Jones wins All-Iowa Fair Big Car doubleheader

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 21, 1959) - A sturdy young man with the unlikely name of Parnelli Jones made a remarkable Cedar Rapids debut in IMCA big car races at the All-Iowa Fair on Friday.

He started out by winning the first heat and the 15-lap feature of an invitational afternoon race before some 1,500 fans then returned to win the 20-lap IMCA championship feature for some 5,000 fans Friday night

Parnelli accomplished his driving magic with a Chevrolet V-8 engine that embarrassed one of the best fields of Offenhausers ever assembled on the Hawkeye Downs track.

In the feature he came from far behind to catch and passed the IMCA's current point leader, Pete Folse, in the final 2 laps of an exciting 16-car, 20-lap windup.

There were two accidents in Friday's doubleheader program. A. J. Shepherd escaped injury when his car hit a rut, spun out and crashed into the first turn railing heading into the I2th lap of the night feature.

During the afternoon events, Marvin Faw of Minneapolis suffered a shoulder injury and cuts when his car spun out on the backstretch and flipped during the late stages of the 15-lap feature.

The top race of the day was the 20-lap night feature. Arnold Knepper, who had the day's best time trial of 22.35, led for the first 11 laps and seemed to have things under control. Then, after the race was restarted following Shepherd’s accident, he faded out of contention after Folse took over the lead. Jones made his great finish to grab the head spot on the 18th lap and lead home a field in which every spot changed constantly as seven of the top point-makers were in competition.

It was a tough day for national point leader Folse, who failed to win a single race. He did wind up second in the feature ahead of Jim Hurtibuse, Buzz Barton and Elmer George, and also took second in the consolation night event.

George, son-in-law of Indianapolis 500 Owner Tony Hulman, threatened to make a run-away of the night events in his first Cedar Rapids' appearance, but the torrid feature cooled his bid.

He put on a great performance in winning the night’s first heat and 5-lap dash event, but couldn't keep up the pace in the feature.

Results –

Afternoon program –

First Heat: Parnelli Jones, Los Angeles, Calif.
Second Heat: Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
Match Race: Arnold Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
Consolation: Jerry Richert, White Bear Lake, Minn.
Feature:

1. Parnelli Jones, Los Angeles, Calif.
2. Jack Rounds, Huntington Park, Calif.
3. A.J. Shepherd, Gardena, Calif.
4. Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
5. Jerry Kemp, St. Louis, Mo.
6. Elmer George, Speedway City, Ind.
7. Dick Ritchie, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Night program –

First Heat: Jack Rounds, Huntington Park, Calif.
Second Heat: Elmer George, Speedway City, Ind.
Third Heat: Jerry Richert, White Bear Lake, Minn.
Trophy Dash: Elmer George, Speedway City, Ind.
Feature:

1. Parnelli Jones, Los Angeles, Calif.
2. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
3. Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
4. Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
5. Elmer George, Speedway City, Ind.
6. Jack Rounds, Huntington Park Calif.
7. Jerry Kemp, St. Louis, Mo.
8. Jerry Richert, White Bear Lake, Minn.
9. Harry Ross, Houston, Tex.

Monday, August 20, 2012

1949 - Luptow wins three events before packed house at Sedalia


Frank Luptow - Larry Sullivan Photo

Sedalia, Mo. (August 20, 1949) - Frankie Luptow of Tampa, Fla., swept three of six auto races with his “Black Panther” Offenhauser in front of a packed grandstand audience to capture his twentieth feature of the year in the National Speedways championship auto races Sunday afternoon at the Missouri State Fair.

Deb Snyder of Kent, Ohio, defending dirt track champion of 1948, driving an Offenhauser, ate dust from Luptow’s powerful machine in the feature race, but managed to win his opening five-lap qualifying race to make him the day’s second biggest money winner. At least 25 drivers battled time on the half-mile oval that was made fast by recent rains.

The half-mile track provided more thrills for the spectators and at the same time permitted them to keep a better tab on the swirling machines as they rounded the track at a speed of over 100 miles an hour.

In the first event of the race, Exposition Inaugural Dash, Frankie Luptow never lost the lead in the 2.5 mile race. Running second was Bobby Grim, Indianapolis, Ind., who was piloting an Offenhauser. Red Redmond, Atlantic, Ga., behind the wheel of a Frankland Hal, came down the straight of way in third place. Time set by Luptow was 2 minutes and 9:52 seconds.

Youth fighting against age was the result of the 2.5 mile race in the National Speedway Dash, which was won by 39-year-old Deb Snyder. Ken Rubright of Davenport, Iowa, driving a Grancer, rounded the five laps with second place. The third driver to let the checkered flag signal was Cliff Griffin of Indianapolis, Ind., who was driving an Offenhauser. Snyder’s time was 2 minutes and 21.69 seconds.

Al Fleming, Richmond, Va., driving a Denny Dryer rounded the five laps in the Ozark Dash in first place, with Stan Callaway, Miami, Fla., driving a Curtiss Special second and Diz Diltz of Kent, Ohio, who drives an Offenhauser, receiving third place money. The time set in this dash was 2 minutes and 24:29 seconds.

In the mile and half Invitational Handicap, open to fastest cars selected by officials, Frankie Luptow, again came down the straightaway to cinch first place with Gene Aldridge of St. Joseph, Mo., behind the wheel of an Offenhauser, running second. Red Redmond followed Aldridge. Luptow's time was 1minute and 18:83 seconds.

The four-mile semi-feature event was won by Bobby Grim of Indianapolis, Ind., who raced an Offenhauser. He eliminated six drivers to win this feature race. The only driver left in the final lap was Herschel Wagner of Joseph, who was motoring a Grancor. Time of the race was 52:61 seconds.

The all important event, the National Speedways Sweepstakes, which went 15 laps or 7.5 miles, was won by Frankie Luptow. Snyder finished the laps in second place, with Bobby Grim taking third. The time set in this thrilling race was 6 minutes and 37:49 seconds.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This Week in Racing History


1979 – A.J. Foyt scored his second United States Auto Club stock car triumph in as many days by capturing the crash-riddled Allen Crowe Memorial 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Sunday afternoon, August 19. Coupled with his victory in a 200-mile race at Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway in Milwaukee on Saturday, the win increased his lead in the divisions’ season standings. Foyt’s domination in the event started in time trials when he toured the mile oval 38.49 seconds (95.530 mph) to nail down the pole position. Foyt propelled his 1978 Camaro into the lead at the drop of the green and despite five cautions, kept the top spot until he pitted for fuel on lap 52. Bob Brevak would inherit the point until he surrendered it to Don White on the 72nd mile of the contest. Foyt would charge ahead of White on lap 89 to grab the lead for good and breezed to the victory from there. White would settle for second while Joe Ruttman nailed down the third spot. Bay Darnell and Brevak would round out the top five.



1978 – Arnie Gardner of Geneva, Ill., showed 44 other late model pilots the fast way around a dry-slick quarter-mile track, as he grabbed the glory in the 3rd annual Pabst Blue Ribbon 100 at Quad City Raceway in East Moline, Ill., on August 22. The elder statesman of the event, Gardner started on the outside of the front row, took the lead at the drop of the green and then proceed to put on a driving clinic, lapping more than half of the 22-car field to claim the first prize. The real battle would be for second place as Peoria’s Al Terrell, hometown driver Duane Steffe, Don Bohlander of Gasford, Ill., and Roger Long of Fithian, Ill., battled throughout the long-distant contest with those four hot shoes finishing in that order. Terrell, Don Hoffman of Des Moines, and Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa were heat race winners and Jim Gerber of Long Grove, Iowa, took the semi-feature win.


1973 – Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., and Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., split a pair of IMCA sprint car races over the weekend, with Utz winning the 30-lap main event at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in his hometown on Saturday, August 18 and Dosher picking up the victory the very next day, August 19, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. The hard-charging Utz cashed in $1,990 after winning the first heat, the STP dash and the 30-lap feature. Utz missed getting the clean sweep on the afternoon finishing second in qualifying to Jerry Atkins of Holts Summit, Mo., who toured the half-mile oval in 24.04 seconds. Utz had to work to earn the first-place money in the main event, eventually getting by David Dwyer of Columbia, Mo., in the late stages when Dwyer’s sprinter suffered a flat tire with only a few laps to go. On Sunday afternoon, Dosher and Utz would get into a wheel to wheel battle for the first half of the 40-lap feature before Dosher was able to secure the lead on lap 19. Dosher would then have to fend off Utz for the remaining second half to claim the $750 first prize. Utz would settle for runner-up honors, while Gene Gennetten of Gladstone, Mo., took third, Ralph Blackett of Des Moines grabbed fourth and Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., took rounded out the top five finishers. Defending champion Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City set fast time, running the slick half-mile in 23.60 seconds.

1972 – Keokuk, Iowa’s Ron Hutcherson dominated the ARCA-sanctioned Royal Triton 50 at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio, on Saturday, August 18. Twenty-one drivers started the 50-lap grind with veteran driver and fast qualifier (30.65 seconds) Iggy Katona leading the field to green. Hutcherson, driving a 1971 Ford, made his move for the lead on lap 11 and overpowered Katona on the outside groove between turns one and two. From there, Hutcherson blistered the half-mile; and the field, building up an insurmountable lead by the halfway point of the contest. By the end of the 50-lap contest, Hutcherson had lapped everyone but second place finisher Larry Ashley and was on Ashley’s bumper when the checkers waved. Katona would finish third followed by A. Arnold in fourth and Ed Richardville in fifth.

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1977 - Dake out duels Harris to claim Freeport victory

Darrell Dake


Freeport, Ill. (August 15, 1977) - Darrell Dake’s win in the 30-lap feature race at Freeport Raceway Sunday night was the result of a victorious effort against two types of opponents.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa driver had to battle not only the other racers vying for the lead, but also those who were experiencing mishaps which stopped the race and prevented Dake from opening up the lead he might have been able to.

Dake, whose 27.09 clocking in the time trials was good for second place, grabbed the lead early in the race and outlasted Whitey Harris of Lake Villa, Ill., to take top honors. Harris was on Dake’s tail for much of the contests, and the frequent interruptions in the race did not help Darrell's position.

“Those kinds of races are bad. They let them (the other racers) catch up,” smiled Dake after the evening’s action had been completed. “Anything can happen out there. If you come out of a corner wrong or make one mistake.... If you’re ahead, you can recover. My car didn't run as well as last week, but I finished better.”

Initial leader Steve Buholzer had trouble early, as did Dave Hutmacher. Both of those racers were able to reenter the race. Tom Hamburg was not so lucky. He ran into the infield on the far straightaway while leaving one of his wheels across the track against the wall. Jim Strube, feature winner here two weeks ago, had to quit midway through the race because of trouble.

The race was free from trouble for a while. Then, after 21of 30 trips around the half-mile dirt oval had been completed, Mike Niffenegger went up high on the curve and hit the wall at turn number one, Niffenegger, who car had been rolled in a race Sunday afternoon at Wausau, Wis., was forced to leave the competition, which once again had to be slowed down. Trouble with the restart caused even more delay.

As the race started again, Dake managed to hold off Harris to win. “My car runs good here (at Freeport), but I’ve had bad luck here; I’ve broken a lot of stuff on my car,” Dake said. “They made me race tonight.”

Harris captured the time trials for the third consecutive week, and the Lake Villa racer also won the trophy dash. Freeport's Terry Pfeiffer won the first heat race, and the third went to Delhi, Iowa’s John Connolly, last week's feature winner.

Chuck Havorka of Freeport won the second heat and then opened up a huge lead over Pfeiffer in the semi-feature. Havorka’s car started smoking near the end of the race, but he had built up enough of a cushion to easily hold off the charging Pfeiffer. The semi was also a race filled with mishaps and cars with mechanical difficulties.

The worst accident of the evening came in the second heat race. After the race had been restarted after John Englekins had spun out on the first curve (he was unable to continue racing), Willie Reingts, Max Zimmerlan and Joe Weatherford were involved in a wreck on the near straightaway in front of the grandstand. Reingt's car sustained the most damage, most of it to the right front of the car. Havorka captured that race after taking an early lead from Barry Tuff.

Harris came from the back row in the trophy dash to take the lead from Freeport's Jim Thruman on the next-to-last lap and continue on for the win.

His 26.29 was good enough to win the time trials, as the track was slick early, until the racers had run over it several times.

Results –

Time Trials: Whitey Harris, Lake Villa, Ill. (26.29)
Trophy Dash: Whitey Harris
First Heat: Terry Pfeiffer, Freeport, Ill.
Second Heat: Chuck Havorka, Freeport, Ill.
Third Heat: John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
Semi-Feature: Chuck Havorka

Feature:

1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2. Whitey Harris
3. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
4. Norm Meinert, Davis, Ill.
5. John Connolly
6. Ernie Lilly, Morrison, Ill.
7. Denny Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8. Tom Greenlee, Rockford, Ill.
9. Kevin Denton, Freeport, Ill.
10. Dave Hutmacher, Freeport, Ill.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1976 - Leavitt wins second straight Knoxville National title

Eddie Leavitt successfully defended his "Knoxvillle Nationals" crown in 1976 driving the Don Maxwell-bulit, Fred Aden owned sprinter



Knoxville, Iowa (August 14, 1976) - Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., retained his National Super Modified Championship title Saturday night at the Marlon County Fairgrounds.

Leavitt, starting on the outside of the third row in the 20-car field, moved past Gary Dunkle on lap 11 and was never seriously challenged as he took the $14,000 first prize.

Dunkle of Lincoln, Neb., who held on for second place, was the second-fastest qualifier and jumped into the lead past pole-sitter Joe Saldana of Lincoln, Neb., at the start of the 30-lap event. Saldana had earned the pole position by setting a track record of 20.247 seconds around the one-half mile dirt oval in Thursday's qualifying.

Leavitt said he entered the race intending to run it “wide open”. The strategy worked as he breezed to his second consecutive championship. Lee Osborne of Jamestown, Ind., took third, followed by Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., Saldana and Greg Weld of Kansas City, Mo.

Rick Ferkel of Findlay, Ohio, despite having his one-third-lap lead eliminated by a caution flag, captured the 22-lap B feature. Ferkel took the lead from Gary Patterson of Sacramento, Calif., on the ninth lap and lengthened it until the caution flag was thrown on lap 19 when Randy Smith of Mount Ayr, Iowa spun out on the backstretch. Lenard McCarl and Doug Wolfgang, the only Des Moines drivers in the B race, finished third and fifth, respectively. Wolfgang was the season point champion at Knoxville this season.

In the C feature, Rick Golde of Fullerton, Calif., led all 15 laps for the victory. However, misfortune befell Golde. By winning the C event he qualified for the B main. During the warm-up laps for that race, Golde's car overturned in the first turn. He was taken to a local hospital for examination but returned to the track before the completion of the evening’s racing complaining of neck injuries.

Results -

1. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
2. Gary Dunkle, Lincoln, Neb.
3. Lee Osborne, Jamestown, Ind.
4. Norman Jones, Danville, Ind.
5. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Greg Weld, Kansas City, Mo.
7. Dick Sutcliffe Greenwood, Mo.
8. Butch Bahr, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Fred Linder, Fremont, Ohio
10. Dick Gaines, Floyd Knob, Ind.
11. Sammy Swindell, Memphis, Tenn.
12. Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
13. Gary Patterson, Sacramento, Calif.
14. Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo.
15. Ted Wise, Hubbard, Ohio
16. Harold McGilton, Fremont, Ohio
17. Jack McCorkell, Redwood Falls, Minn.
18. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
19. Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
20. Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio

Monday, August 13, 2012

1961 – Hurtubise masters Vigo County Fair sprint race

Herk chews up some Terre Haute earth on his way to victory lane - Rick Johnson Photo


Terre Haute, Ind. (August 13, 1961) - Jim Hurtubise, auto racing's "Hercules" from Lennox, Calif., captured the 30-lap USAC sprint car race on the Vigo County Fairgrounds' half-mile dirt track yesterday.

Hurtubise, the one and four-lap record holder at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, became the second man to win three consecutive sprint car races on Terre Haute's track. The only other man to accomplish the feat was Jimmy Bryan.

Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., fresh from setting a 100-mile record in a midget race at Milwaukee on his twenty-seventh birthday Saturday finished a close second.

Roger McCluskey of Tucson, Ariz., who set a one-lap record in the time trials, finished third. Hurtubise's time was 13 minutes and 4.49 seconds or an unofficial 68.835 miles per hour.

Barring any protests, the remainder of the top 12 finished in this order: Al Keller, Green Acres, Fla.; Chuck Hulse, Downey, Calif.; Leroy Neumeyer, Los Angeles; Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.; Bobby Marshman, Pottstown, Pa.; Bud Tinglestad, Dayton, Ohio; Allen Crowe, Springfield, Ill.; Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill., and Cecil Beavers of Bedford, Ind.

At stake was a guaranteed purse of $5,000 and 30 valuable points in the USAC sprint car championship point standings.

The feature was a three-way affair most of the way between Hurtubise, Jones and A. J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., winner of the 1961 Indianapolis 500 and current leader in the point race.

Hurtubise got the jump on Foyt on the first turn and led for 21 laps while Jones and Foyt scrambled back and forth for the second spot.

Then Foyt brilliantly stole the lead from Hurtubise on the twenty-second lap and jumped to a substantial advantage.

However, Foyt's engine began smoking on the twenty-seventh lap and it "froze" on the backstretch, sending his car into a roadside spin. He was not injured.

Hurtubise re-established himself in the number one spot to receive the checkered flag.

Results –

1. Jim Hurtubise
2. Parnelli Jones
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Al Keller
5. Chuck Hulse
6. A.J. Foyt
7. Bud Tinglestad
8. Bobby Marshman
9. Don Branson
10. Leon Clum
11. Leroy Neumeyer
12. Cecil Beavers

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This Week in Racing History

1990 – Gary Hieber picked up the $12,150 first prize in Saturday afternoon’s 38th annual Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on August 11. After dominating the race for the first 96 laps, hometown favorite Andy Hillenburg suffered a flat tire during the USAC Sliver Crown event allowing Hieber to take over the lead. After the finish, the crowd of nearly 8,000 roared when Hillenburg, who limped home 14th, climbed from the car and walked over to shake the victor’s hand. “I could see on the last 10 laps that (Hillenberg’s) tire was pretty well worn,” remarked Hieber. Hillenberg told reporters, “I didn’t feel it going down until I entered the straightaway….I couldn’t believe it.” Jimmy Sills, Wally Pankratz, George Snider and Jeff Gordon would follow Hieber across the finish line.


1984 – Don Carter Jr. continued his drive to the 1984 World of Outlaws Midgets (WOOM) title with an impressive victory in the fourth annual Bob Lockard Memorial at Joliet (Ill.) Memorial Stadium on August 11. The 69-lap feature saw Rich Corson and Mel Kenyon swap the lead several times before Carter and Rich Vogler joined the front pack. Kenyon would retire with a dropped cylinder allowing Carter and Vogler to move up. They both made several attempts to unseat Corson from the top spot with less than 10 laps left but were unsuccessful. With 3 laps left, Carter finally managed to drive deep into turn one to take the lead from Corson and coast the final two rounds to grab the win. Kenyon would pass Corson as well but retire a lap later with a malfunction in the oiling system allowing Corson to hang on for second. Russ Gamester, Jim Wartenburg and Steve Thinnes would round out the top five.

1979 – The “Fling Shoe” Ron Shuman of Mesa, Ariz., was flying in high gear on Saturday, August 16th, and claimed the $5,000 first prize in the 19th annual Knoxville Nationals. Shuman started in the third row and trailed Tim Green and Shane Carson, both of Des Moines, in the early laps. After moving by Carson for the runner-up spot, Shuman drew up behind Green when the yellow flag came out on lap 9. Shuman attempted to grab the lead on the restart but Green managed to keep out front and maintain a two-car length advantage. On lap 14, Green’s engine began to sour and one lap later Shuman took over the point while Green retired to the pits with a broken rocker arm. Shuman would sail the remaining laps to earn the victory. Knoxville weekly point leader Randy Smith of Norwalk, Iowa, would follow in second place and Sammy Swindell of Memphis, Tenn., would turn in the driving performance of the evening, coming home in third. Swindell, who won the B-main, started at the tail of the 24-car field. John Stevenson of St. Paul, Minn., and Shane Carson would round out the top five finishers. In addition to the first prize money, Shuman also picked up $800 in lap money and an estimated $1,250 in contingency money.

1973 – Kenny Weld of York, Penn., driving the Weikert Chevy won the Knoxville Super Modified National Championships for the fourth time before a record crowd on Saturday, August 11. Taking the drop of starter Marion Robinson’s flag, Weld shot into the lead from his pole position and would never be headed for the 30 lap finale. Weld had established a new track record in Thursday’s preliminary, setting a new mark of 19.49 seconds, breaking the record of 19.94 seconds set by Missouri’s Dick Sutcliffe two weeks earlier. Jan Opperman of Beaver Springs and Bobby Allen of McSherrytown would make it a Pennsylvania sweep for the top three spots. Rick Ferkel of Fostoria, Ohio and Sheldon Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., would complete the top five.

Friday, August 10, 2012

1958 - Big Cars Set 4 World Marks

Bobby Grim with car owner Hector Honore

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 10, 1958) - Hawkeye Downs strengthened its claim to being one of the fastest and finest tracks in the Midwest on Monday night. Leading drivers of the IMCA skimmed around the oval in performances, which were not only record shattering but also amazing.

More than 5,000 All-Iowa Fair racing fans saw four records smashed - one of them bettered by 23 seconds and another by 13. A fifth mark missed destruction by only a second. Three of the old marks also had been set at the Downs.

Eleven of IMCA's 15 national point leaders time trialed at the Downs and cut loose with screaming speed in a record onslaught probably unequalled in the Downs' racing history.

Bobby Grim, the Indianapolis lead foot who is seeking his 4th consecutive IMCA championship, lost his heat race but he stormed back to establish two of the four new marks.

Forced to an all-out effort by Johnny Pouelson of Gardenia, Calif., in the feature, Grim turned in a tremendous performance in the feature. For 10 laps Grim determinedly sought a path, past the freewheeling Pouelson.

That 10-lap effort plus clear sailing thereafter enabled him to complete the 10 miles in an amazing 7:58.59 - 23 seconds faster than anyone in the IMCA had ever traveled the feature distance.

The Indianapolis star shaved four seconds off the 5-lap match race pitting the four fastest qualifiers.

Pouelson also had his moment of glory in the consolation when he knocked an impressive 15 seconds off the 5-mile IMCA record.

The fourth record came in the opening event of the evening when Al “Cotton” Farmer from Houston, Texas, gave indications of things to come by lowering the 7-lap record by nearly a second.

Results –

1. Bobby Grim, Indianapolis, Ind.
2. Johnny Pouelson, Gardenia, Calif.
3. Don Carr, Indianapolis, Ind.
4. Al Farmer, Houston, Tex.
5. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
6. Porky Rockowitz, Pasadena, Calif.
7. Eddie Loetscher, St. Louis, Mo.
8. Cecil Smith, Indianapolis, Ind.
9. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
10. Bob Mathhouser, Omaha, Neb.
11. Colby Scroggins, Eagle Point, Calif.
12. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
13. Mickey McCormick, Hutchinson, Kan.
14. Vern Chamberlin, Minneapolis, Minn.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

1959 - Moss nears track mark in modified win at Tunis

Waterloo, Iowa (August 9, 1959) – Iowa City, Iowa’s John Moss came within two hundredths of a second of breaking the track record in winning the modified stock car feature at Tunis Speedway on Sunday evening.

It was the fourth feature win at Tunis for Moss who also scored the victory at the Benton County Fairgrounds last week.

A crowd of 3,016 saw the races.

Bill Hap of Muscatine grabbed the lead early in the 20-lap feature but Moss broke free and passed him in the early laps and was never challenged after that. Mid-season champion Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa, was the next driver to break away from the pack but was unable to mount any challenge towards Moss.

Moss turned in a 20-lap time of 6 minutes and 25 seconds, which didn’t top the record held by Zwanziger at 6 minutes and 23 seconds. Moss also won the third heat.

Tuffy Meyer of Big Rock, Iowa, was another double winner. Meyer won both the first heat and the class A semi.

Results –

1. John Moss, Iowa City
2. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
3. Bob Hilmer, Monticello, Iowa
4. Bill Hap, Muscatine, Iowa
5. Tuffy Meyer, Big Rock, Iowa

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1952 - Winkley leads nation in staging speed events in ‘52

Mason City, Iowa (August 8, 1952) - Auto Racing, Inc., of Minneapolis, the organization that will manage automobile races at more county and state fairs in America than any other speed sport group, has just finished its most successful still date season.

Under the guidance of Frank H. Winkley, general manager, and his able wife, Verna, some 30 racing events were presented from April 6 through the middle of July.

These race meets were late model stock car events and speedway type big car meets. Distances of the stock car events ranged from sprint programs to a 250-lap tilt in Oklahoma City on June 8.

Attendance for these meets averaged better than a 3,500 per meet. Events were held in 7 different states, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota.

Stock car racing competition has been very close. At present, half a dozen well known drivers are dueling for top position in the International Motor Contest Association standings.

The most likely to land among the first five at season’s end are Jimmy Clark, Fort Worth, Tex., Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan., Ralph Dyer, Shreveport, La., Bob Dugan, Tampa, Fla., and Shorty Perlick, Minneapolis, Minn. Perlick, Dyer and Clark drive Oldsmobiles, Harrison wheels a spanking new Desoto Fire-Domo and Dugan has a Plymouth.

Dyer, a motorcycle policeman in the off-season, established new records for the 50-lap and 100-lap distances at Shreveport on June 29.

He turned 50 laps in 26 minutes and 1.7 seconds and 100 laps in 55 minutes and eight-tenths of a second. On that clay, Ralph was only 20 one-hundredth of a second short of the IMCA half-mile record with his time trial of 31.9 seconds.

A newcomer has blazed into the scene in speedway-type races. He is little Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla. Pete started fans buzzing when he defeated fumed Deb Snyder on May 4 at Shreveport with his powerful Buckner Offenhauser.

The “Buckeye Bullet” Snyder, who is from Kent, Ohio, appears to be the hottest driver in many a season after losing only three times in feature events this season. He’s competing in his power-packed Miracle Power Offenhauser.

Two of Snyder's defeats came at the hands of Folse who repeated his Louisiana victory on May 30 at the famous Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Snyder had his revenge, however, on July 4th at the same track.

He caught it just to his liking and buzzed to a new IMCA track record of 23.25 seconds for the half-mile. Snyder is ranking favorite to win the national dirt track championship in 1952. Folse is accorded the best chance for runner-up spot.

Bert Hellmueller, the Kentucky Colonel from Louisville, had early season hard luck and failed to get his big Ranger percolating properly on seven straight race meets. He broke the jinx on Independence Day, and knocked off third place in the feature behind Snyder and Folse. His year had started off with wallop at Tampa in January, when he was responsible for Snyder's only other defeat.

Clair Cotter has been his usual front-running self. The Austin, Minn., chauffeur is sitting in third place, a notch ahead of his 1951 finish.

A new race car which has been three years in the building made its debut in July. Called the Lake Ranger and valued at $10,000 by builder Arling Lake of St. Paul, it promises to perform well at upcoming meets. Bob Johnson of St. Paul has been named to drive this 440-horsepower monster.

With all this news, most of it good, Winkley is enthusiastic about Auto Racing, Inc., prospects this year.

“We have the finest bunch of cars and drivers that we have ever had, said the veteran race manager Winkley. “Believe me, our race meets are being run in smoother fashion, tracks are in stellar shape and competition is exceptionally keen.” He adds, “Spectators are getting more than their money's worth, I look for the biggest fair season in history and the best did track racing in memory.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1971 - Dan Dickey is first at Des Moines fairground

Des Moines, Iowa (August 7, 1971) - Dan Dickey laughs off any suggestion that you have to be an experienced driver to win at the State Fairgrounds.

"This is just my second season in racing," the 21-year-old driver from Packwood said Saturday night after capturing his first late model feature victory here before 7,778 spectators.

"I've won twice at Eldon and once at Oskaloosa this summer, but they really have some good drivers here. Perhaps that's why there have been 11 different winners in 15 weeks," Dickey added.

Dickey is the youngest driver to win a Fairgrounds feature this season. He stayed near the lead through 15 laps before running neck-and-neck with last week's feature victor, Sonny Morgan of Blue Earth, Minn., for the next seven laps.

As Dickey and Morgan approached the first turn, another car that was about to be lapped held the inside position just ahead of Morgan. Dickey flashed to the front as Morgan was forced to slow, and he breezed the final three laps to finish two lengths ahead of Morgan.

"I just tried to hang among the leaders," Dickey said. "It took awhile to find an opening because Morgan was running strong."

Dickey had finished second twice in his 1970 Charger this summer, but was never higher than sixth in his rookie year. He was ninth in the point standings entering the race.

Stan Stover of Reinbeck, second in the points, was third after being well back in the pack during the first half of the race. Bob Bonzer of Liscomb finished fourth and Ron Hutchinson of Des Moines was fifth.

Point’s leader Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa experienced problems with his car in his heat race and finished a disappointing 12th in the feature.

Results –

1. Dan Dickey, Packwood, Iowa
2. Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn.
3. Stan Stover, Reinbeck, Iowa
4. Bob Bonzer, Liscomb, Iowa
5. Ron Hutchinson, Des Moines
6. Tom Stewart, Washington, Iowa
7. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
8. Ken Davidson, Des Moines
9. Gary Jones, Des Moines
10. John Meyers, Brooklyn, Iowa
11. Vern Mondry, St. Paul, Minn.
12. Bob Hilmer, Dysart, Iowa

Monday, August 6, 2012

1977 - Ron Hutcherson Triumphs In ARCA


Talladega, Ala, (August 6, 1977) - Ron Hutcherson, whose Grand National car was declared illegal and withdrawn from Sunday’s Talladega 500, drove a sister Chevrolet to a half-car length victory over Jim Sauter in Saturday’s Automobile Racing Club of America 200-mile stock car race.

Hutcherson, brother of former Grand National star Dick Hutcherson, nearly drove Sauter, a father of nine and protégé of veteran Dave Marcis, into the front straightway wall trying to keep Sauter from sling-shoting his Dodge into the lead on the final lap.

“I couldn’t be any happier about this win if I’d been driving myself,” said brother Dick, who prepared the winning car. “The car ran perfectly all day,” Ron said in Victory

Circle. “I just wish I was driving here tomorrow. I’m sure we could have had a good chance of doing the, same thing we did today.”

Hutcherson led almost the entire race, giving way only briefly to Sauter, third place finisher Bruce Hill and Grant Adcox who was fourth. Hill and Hutcherson drafted together the first 60 laps, but Hill had trouble getting his Chevrolet in gear on a restart after a caution period, and dropped out of contention.

However, Sauter seized the opportunity to pick up the lead draft, which he had been frustrated in doing while Hill was in there, and he dodged Hutcherson the checkered flag.

“I’d got a little ground on him, but he was making it up fast on the last lap. I just tried a keep in a place on the track here he couldn’t get me, Hutcherson said. “I tried to keep close to a slow car on the inside so he couldn't get me low, and I was ready to block him if he came around high.”

The Hutcherson brothers both appeared bitter after the race over the Grand National race controversy.

“We could have run the ARCA car in the NASCAR race, but we didn’t want to. That would be admitting we did something wrong and we aren’t gonna do that,” said Ron.

“The NASCAR car is a brand new one. It fits every template NASCAR’s got, but Bill Gazaway (the inspector) says its illegal.”

“He says there’s something wrong with the fenders on the car, but he can’t tell us what.

There’s some reason they (NASCAR) don’t want us to run. I don’t know why. There’s nothing wrong with our car.”

Dick added, “I’m not saying don’t stretch the rule book. I’m just saying we’re not any different than any other car.”

Several of the top Grand National teams, including the cars of Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker and Darrell Waltrip, were caught Wednesday with illegal fuel tanks, and fined $250, even though driven, admitted in some cases the tanks had been in use in several races and had been responsible for victories or good finishes.

“Maybe we ran too good here in May, and this is their way of punishing us,” said Ron, a Grand National newcomer who ran in the top three much of the race.

Results –
1. Ron Hutcherson
2. Jim Sauter
3. Bruce Hill
4. Grant Adcox
5. Harold Fair
6. Henley Gray
7. Baxter Price
8. Luther Burton
9. Paul Dean Holt
10. Moose Myers
11. Joe Frasson
12. Bob Dotter
13. Sterling Marlin
14. Bill Green
15. Ed Negre
16. Garry Sharp
17. David Sisco
18. L.T Wechtel
19. Woody Fisher
20. Wayne Trinkle
21. Robert Redy
22. Bob Thomas
23. Johnny Halford
24. Ralph Jones
25. George Wiltshire
26. Bob Davis
27. Bobby Wawak
28. Steve Richardson
29. Barry Hall
30. Darrell Basham

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame - Class of 2012

Roger Hendrickson - Car Builder

Roger Hendrickson was a master builder, wrenching on the No. 14 modified. The team of driver Jim Edgington, engine builder Ron Barton, and Hendrickson was a formidable trio. They won countless races, championships and fair races during their time together.
Roy Jo Peltz - Driver

Roy Jo Peltz’s career as a driver has spanned several classes of cars, most recently sprints. He was a strong competitor at Algona Raceway across two decades of racing.
Bob Geldner - Driver
Brett Geldner accepting

One of the original World of Outlaws and a Midwest Sprint Association hot shoe, the late Bobby Geldner raced in stocks, super-modifieds and later sprint cars at the Algona track. He spent several years’ driving for Jim and Helen Utt.
Don Hurn (left) and Wayne Arndorfer - Car Owners

Wayne Arndorfer and Don Hurn were car owners that reached the pinnacle in racing Algona in a short amount of time. Just after high school graduation they teamed up fielding a car for fellow hall of famer Les Wildin. Together they won track championships and fair races in the early 1960’s.
Elmer Cook - Promoter/Track Official
Cook family accepting

Recognized as both a car owner and a track official, the late Elmer Cook was honored for his many years in the sport of racing. His midgets raced in the Midwest in the 1950-1960’s and he also served as a track official at the Algona track.
Bob Shryock - Driver
Shryock family accepting

The late Bob Shryock was as accomplished dirt track driver as anyone in the Midwest. In the early part of his career, he logged many laps at the Algona speed plant. Among other wins, he was the 1973 Kossuth County Fair race champion.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This Week in Racing History

1989 – For the second time in as many weeks, the United Sprint Association (USA) packed the house at the all-new Moberly (Mo.) Motorsports Park on Saturday August 4. The star-studded sprint car event produced a record crowd and a first-time series win for popular driver Dave Blaney as he piloted the Chupp Challenger to the $5,250 first prize in a thrilling drive from his sixth place starting spot. Home-state favorite Danny Lasoski desperately wanted the victory but it was Blaney who had the right setup and used the dangerous but less crowded high line to take the lead on lap 9 from “The Dude”. From there, Blaney cruised to an easy win over another hard-charger in Steve Kinser (who started seventh) and Kinser’s cousin Mark, who grabbed third place. Sammy Swindell and Lasoski rounded out the top five.


1984 – Randy Kinser and Greg Staab swapped wins over the weekend during the Summer Sprint Classic at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on August 4 and 5. Kinser would take Saturday night honors as he outran Staab in the last four laps to claim the 40-lap feature. Danny Milburn would lead the first 12 laps of teh main event before Staab took command. Kinser would slide into the top spot five laps later and build up a comfortable lead until a caution bunched up the field on lap 36. Kinser would out sprint Staab over the four remaining laps to claim victory. On Sunday night, Staab would turn the tables, overpowering Kinser to win the second leg of the event. Kinser would grab the early lead with Stab and Ken Rice battling for second. On lap 17, Staab took the low groove by Kinser to take over the top spot. He built up and maintained a straightaway cushion for the remainder of the race. Kinser would settle for second ahead of Rice, Sheldon Kinser and Paul Huntington.

1979 – Continuing his current hot streak wherever he runs, versatile Al Schill of Jefferson, Wis., held things together while others couldn’t to win the Chicago Daily News-sponsored Gene Marmor Clay Classic II before an impressed crowd at Sycamore (Ill.) Speedway on August 3. What was billed as an Illinois versus Wisconsin FASTRAK late model challenge found two starters from Indiana on the front row in Dick Potts and Paul Schaefer. But it was not to be their night or that for a host of other front runners who encountered all sorts of mechanical issues. Schill would survive it all with room to spare as one challenger after another was sidelined as the race went on. Schill, in what was his first start ever at Sycamore, acted like he knew the track was his own. He arrived late, yet set fast time in qualifying with relative ease. Schill would win the 50-lap feature just as easily as 12 of the 20 starters would be on the sidelines when the checkers flew.

1973 – Dan Nesteby of Waterloo, Iowa and Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop, Iowa engaged in a battle of late model stock cars at Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 4, with Nesteby eventually capturing his first feature win of the season. Nesteby gained the lead from Gary Crawford of Independence on lap eight only to relinquish it to Mayner three circuits later. Not to be denied, Nesteby would battle Mayner tooth and nail for the next 10 laps before reclaiming the top spot on lap 21 and then holding on for the remaining four laps to claim victory. Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, would squeeze by Mayner on the last lap to earn runner-up honors while Mayner settled for third. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, would take fourth followed by Karl Sanger of Waterloo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1972 – Bettenhausen takes USAC midget show at Independence

Independence, Iowa (August 2, 1977) – Home state favorite Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg ran into suspension problems on lap 6 and was forced to drop out of the special USAC midget feature at Independence Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, but for Tinley Park, Ill.’s Gary Bettenhausen, the race was just another pearl on a growing string.

Bettenhausen, a leader through much of the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and a popular though not too regular figure on the USAC Midget circuit, passed Larry Rice of Crawfordsville, Ind., on the 29th lap of the 40-lap main event and held off a stellar field of national stars for the Indee checkered flag, his fourth in as many USAC Midget starts this year.

The victory earned him 30 USAC season points, but failed to lift him into the top-10 in the Midget standings. All 10 of the current point’s leaders were in the Independence field, including front-runner Billy Engelhart of Madison, Wis., who managed a sixth place finish in the feature.

Kunzman, also absent from the USAC midget top-10 primarily because of recent successful ventures into other racing divisions including the Championship Indy-type cars, started high in the pack and provided the crowd of about 3,000 with several thrills as he moved up into the third spot early in the race.

Kunzman’s success was short lived. After a pair of short delays due to yellow flags, Kunzman dropped behind Bettenhausen into fourth and fell to sixth on the 14th circuit around, the 1/3-mile dirt oval after hitting a hole in the bottom of turn two.

The journey into the hole proved fatal to Kunzman's suspension and two laps later the popular Iowa driver wheeled his # 96 McClung Advertising Sesco into the infield. Kunzman climbed from the car, walked to the left rear wheel and push on the frame with his foot. The car went down but instead of bouncing back, rose in sickening slow motion and the observing crowd let out a collective moan.

Competitively, Rice was Bettenhausen's biggest problem. The Indiana driver, currently third in the Midget standings behind Engelhart and Duane Carter of Huntington Beach, Calif., started second and nabbed the lead on the first lap. He controlled the race for 29 laps, consistently fighting Bettenhausen off, but made one mistake.

“I played him and played him and finally he got up high and I got around,” said Bettenhausen, who started sixth. Rice stayed on Bettenhausen’s heels, finishing about three lengths back, while Carter was right behind at the finish. Fourth went to Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., while Steve Cannon of Danville, Ill., nabbed fifth. Bigelow made the biggest advance in the race in moving up from a 12th starting slot.

Feature results –
1. Gary Bettenhausen, Tinley Park, Ill.
2. Larry Rice, Crawfordsville, Ind.
3. Duane Carter, Huntington Beach, Calif.
4. Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
5. Steve Cannon, Danville, Ill.
6. Bill Engelhart, Madison, Wis.
7. Tommy Astone, Fresno, Calif.
8. Johnny Toth, Northfield, Ill.
9. Dennis Carrier, Jackson, Mich.
10. Dave Strickland, Englewood, Colo.