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Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Week in Racing History – 1972


 
June 30 – Gene Gennetten of Kansas City, Mo., pocketed $1,000 in winning the “Northeast Kansas Short Track Championships” for super sprints at Topeka Raceway before a capacity crowd on Friday evening. After passing fellow Missourian Dick Sutcliffe on lap 16 for the top spot, Gennetten then had to hold off Sutcliffe for the remaining laps to seal the victory.  Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., moved from his 16th starting position to finish third while Jay Woodside, also of Kansas City, took fourth. Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., finished in fifth place after starting 15th.
July 1 – After setting fast time of 19.63 seconds, Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., went on to score his sixth feature victory in nine starts at Capital Super Speedway in Oregon, Wis., on Friday night. Twenty-one cars started the 30-lap feature and by the halfway point, it was Al Moldenhauer of Madison and Trickle leading the field. By the 20th circuit, they were both lapping slower traffic and on lap 23, Trickle would pull his purple #99 around Moldenhauer for the top spot and the victory. Moldenhauer would hold on to second followed by Joe Shear of Beloit, Ill., John Ziegler of Madison and Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis.

July 1 – After a month’s absence from the racing wars, D. Arthur Nesteby of Waterloo, Iowa, returned with a bang on Friday night, capturing his first late model victory of the season t the Central Iowa Fairgrounds in Marshalltown, Iowa. Starting on the outside of row three, Nesteby shot through the front-runners quickly, taking over the top spot from polesitter Roger Klingfus, also of Waterloo, on lap 4. He would proceed to widen the gap from there, and win handily over Waterloo’s Karl Sanger, who came from the rear of the 16-car field to take runner-up honors. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, finished third followed by Bill Barthelmes of Troy Mills, Iowa, and Joe Schaefer of Waterloo.

July 2 – Shorty Bennett of East Moline, Ill., picked up the checkered flag in Mississippi Valley Speed Club (MVSC) action at the Louisa County Fairgrounds in Columbus Junction, Iowa, on Saturday evening.  Bennett battled Mel Morris of West Liberty, Iowa, early on in the contest before securing the top spot for good. Morris would settle for runner-up honors while Larry Jenkins of Wilton, Iowa, took third. Ron Prymek of Iowa City, Iowa, and Dan Robertson of Muscatine, Iowa, finished fourth and fifth respectively. Tom Stewart of Washington, Iowa, was fast qualifier on the evening with a time of 26.5 seconds.
July 2 – Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bud Offenbacher survived an early scare by Bob Reichwaldt, also of Lincoln, to triumph in the “A” feature at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln on Saturday night. Offenbacher, who wasn’t even listed in the top 20 in points, led the first 6 laps before relinquishing the top spot to Reichwaldt. Five laps later, Offenbacher would regain command of the lead and then extend his margin for the remaining 19 circuits to win with relative ease. Don Matulka of David City, Neb., finished second and Norm Bruner of Brainard, Neb., took third. Walt Keast of Lincoln, seeking his third straight feature win, was sidelined after a mishap on the initial lap.   

July 2 – “Flying” Fred Whisler found himself $1,000 richer as he chauffeured his 1970 Mustang to victory at I-70 Speedway’s “Firecracker 100” for late model stock cars in Odessa, Mo., on Saturday night. A standing room only crowd also witnessed Terry Bivins whip his 1972 Chevelle around the .540 high-banked oval in 18.69 seconds, breaking the old mark of 18.87 seconds previously held by Wisconsin’s Dick Trickle. After securing the lead on lap 39, Bivins would dominate the race, leaving his pursuers far behind as he consistently turned laps of 19 seconds in constant traffic. By lap 85, he had lapped the entire field and looked well on his way to victory when the car’s rear-end let go on lap 90, robbing him of a sure victory. Whisler shot by him on the backstretch claimed the top spot and then held off a hard-charging Dave Wall and Don Conner in the late rounds to seal the deal.
 

July 2 – Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, became the sixth different winner in super modified action at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday night. Starting on the pole position, Wagner showed his heels to the rest of the field in the 25-lap feature and won going away. Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., finished second with Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., taking the third spot after battling Lonnie Jensen of Lincoln, Neb., for the last half of the race. Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., rounded out the top five. Stacy Redmond of Mason City, Iowa, scorched the half-mile in qualifying, blazing to a time of 21.21 seconds.
July 2 – Joe Merryfield of Des Moines captured another late model feature victory on Saturday night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Merryfield whipped his blue #39 Chevelle into the lead on lap 12 and held on to win the 25-lap feature, pushing him into second place in the point standings. Point leader Stan Stover of Reinbeck, Iowa, finished second in the feature followed by early leader Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa. John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa, and Dave Chase of Council Bluffs, Iowa, took fourth and fifth respectively. 

July 2 – Sonny Smyser of Glenwood, Mo., edged Steve Hainline of Bonaparte, Iowa, at the wire to win the 15-lap super modified feature at the Davis County Fairgrounds in Bloomfield, Iowa, on Sunday night. In super stock action, Johnny Babb of Ottumwa, Iowa, easily won the 20-lap feature, outdistancing Jerry Roberts of Lancaster, Mo., and Ed Pilcher of Bloomfield.

July 2 – Boyce Sparkman of Rockford, Ill., scored his first late model feature victory in more than four years, winning the 30-lap main event at his hometown track of Rockford Speedway on Saturday night. Sparkman found an opening on lap 6 and moved past Larry O’Brien of Harvard, Ill., to take the lead and then held off aggressive Steve Arndt of Janesville, Wis., for the hard-fought win. In roadrunner action, Frank Hammel of Beloit, Ill., would win the annual “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, an event run completely in the dark.
July 2 – Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, kept it all together to win his first late model feature of the year at the Wapello County Fairgrounds in Eldon, Iowa, on Saturday. After breathing Verlin Eaker’s exhaust for the first 13 circuits, the “Flying Dutchman” surged to the lead when Eaker’s car shot high going through turns three and four. Niffenegger would have the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, race veteran on his bumper the rest of the way on his way to the checkers. A duel between John Moss of Iowa City and Dan Dickey of Packwood, Iowa, saw Dickey nail down the third spot on the final lap. Ron Perdock of Washington, Iowa, nipped Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids by a fender for the fifth spot.
 

July 2 – Denny Hovinga of Laurens, Iowa, topped the field of late model stock cars at Boone (Iowa) Speedway on Saturday night to take the mid-season championship. Arnie Braland of Boone would finish second to Hovinga in the feature followed by Del McDowell of Ames, Iowa, Greg Davis of Boone, and Ray Busch of Ogden, Iowa. In sportsman mid-season action, it was Allen Martin of Madrid, Iowa, copping the title over Glenn Woodard of Des Moines taking second.
July 2 – Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, edged Ed Mellecker of Iowa City in a photo finish to win the B-modified feature at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa, on Sunday. A pair of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, pilots, Roy “Smoke” Wilson and Ken Walton, would claim third and fourth while Al Hasselbusch of Clarence, Iowa, took fifth. The street stocks saw plenty of action as Tom Hearst of Muscatine, Iowa, made it a clean sweep, winning the first heat and the feature.
July 3 – Ralph Blackett of Des Moines and Bill Ludington of Carlisle, Iowa, took feature victories at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa, on Monday night. Blackett captured the 25-lap midget feature, moving from his 13th starting position to take the lead from Willard Yates of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on lap 15. Ludington led all the way in capturing the 20-lap main event for the late models, taking the win over Lee Pinckney of Des Moines.
July 3 – Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, returned to Hawkeye Downs and ran away with the late model feature before a hometown crowd of 8,000. Driving the Dale Snyder Chevy II, Eaker outdistanced the rest of the field by a quarter of a lap. The spectacle in the feature was the race for second place between John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa and John Moss of Iowa City. Both drivers virtually ran side-by-side for the last 10 laps before Connolly was able to squeeze past Moss as the checkers flew. Moss, Connolly, and Bill McDonough won heat races while Bill Beckman of Lisbon claimed the consolation. Joe Merryfield, the hotshoe from Ds Moines, won the trophy dash.
July 4 – Phil Reece of Des Moines, endured eight re-starts to win the 20-lap main event for super stocks at Newton (Iowa) Speedway on Tuesday. Reece, who also won the first heat race, grabbed the early lead in the feature and finished ahead of Mike Keen of Marshalltown, Iowa, Bill Geil of Des Moines and Bill Ludington of Carlisle, Iowa.
July 4 – Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1970 Dodge, won the USAC-sanctioned “Independence 100” for late model stock cars at the Springfield (Ill.) Mile on Tuesday. White, who came from the tenth starting position to win, led the field of 33 starters from lap 66 to the finish. Some of the USAC point leaders experience problems and were never factors. Defending champion Butch Hartman failed to qualify for the race because of a burned out piston in warm-ups. Ramo Stott of Keokuk, set fast time in qualifying (38.87) but retired at the midway point with brake issues on his Plymouth.
 

July 4 – Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, outdrove 18 other late model competitors in the 50-lap feature before a capacity crowd at the Buchanan County Fairgrounds in Independence, Iowa, on Tuesday. The open late model program was in conjunction with the towns’ 125th year celebration. Sanger staved off challenges from Waterloo’s Bill Zwanziger for most of the race to claim the top prize. Zwanziger, who set fast time on the third-mile dirt oval with a time of 18.49 seconds, settled for runner-up honors while Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop took third. Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa and Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, rounded out the top five.
July 4 – A crowd of 3,621 watched as Bob Kosiski of Omaha outdrove 21 late model contenders to pocket the $1,000 winning share of the rich $5,000 purse at Sunset Speedway in Omaha on Tuesday night. Kosiski lapped the entire field by lap 15 with the exception of second place finisher Dave Chase of Council Bluffs, Iowa. Don Schlondorf of Council Bluffs took third, Keith Mander of Omaha fourth and Phil Reeves of Omaha rounded out the top five.
July 5 – Dave Skari of Grand Forks, N.D., emerged the victor in the initial race of the newly-formed Minnesota Sprint Series at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Minn., on Wednesday evening. Skari, the present point leader at the Red River Raceway in Fargo, N.D., led the whole 20-lap distance and won handily over Ron Carlson of Duluth, Minn. Dick Forbrook of Morgan, Minn., challenged Skari midway in the contest but spun and had to restart at the rear of the pack. He worked his way back up to finish third.

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