Monday, June 3, 2013

This Week in Racing History – 1981

June 3 – Kevin Gundaker of St. Louis, Mo., made his return to Iowa dirt track racing a memorable one as he dominated the National Speedways Contest Association (NSCA) late model action at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds in Oskaloosa on Wednesday night. Gundaker would start the evening by lowered the qualifying mark at the half-mile in 21.127 seconds. In the 35-lap feature, Gundaker would take the lead from Tony Stewart of Washington, Iowa, on lap 21 and win comfortably ahead of Don Hoffman of Des Moines. Stewart would hold onto third, Joe Merryfield of Des Moines would finish fourth and Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, would take fifth.

June 3 – Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., powered is ’81 Camaro to a solid win in the West Salem, Wis., Jaycee’s “Super 50” at Lacrosse Interstate Speedway in West Salem, Wis., on Wednesday night. Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., finished four car lengths behind the winner with Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa, Wis., an equal distance behind in third place. Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., in his first appearance at the track, edged out Morie Delmore of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., for fourth. 
June 3 – Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., picked up the $2,000 top prize on Wednesday night during a special winged sprint car program at Macon (Ill.) Speedway. The feature was a smooth race over a tight quarter-mile with Kinser taking top honors over Ron Shuman of Mesa, Ariz., Chuck Amati of Freeman Spur, Ill., Ricky Hood of Memphis, Tenn., and Bobby Davis Jr., of Memphis. Amati got things rolling as he set a new one-lap record at 10.995 seconds, snapping the old mark of 11.55 seconds set by Dean Shirley of Lincoln, Ill. 
June 5 – Late models made their debut at the Fayette County Fairgrounds quarter-mile in West Union, Iowa, for the Friday evening program. Gary Tigges of Durango, Iowa, led from start to finish in the 20-lapper but not without some pressure from Rick Wendling of Hazelton, Iowa. Tigges crossed the finish line with Wendling on his bumper the whole way. Ken Reiser of Dorchester, Iowa, would win the sportsman main event that saw its share of accidents. Keith Knox of West Union would finish
June 5 – Action was hot and heavy Friday night at East Moline (Ill.) Speedway as 13 events was run off in less than three hours. The late models put on a show that brought the crowd to its feet in the 35-lap main event as Davenport, Iowa’s Gary Webb lead early on with Peoria, Illinois’ Mike Chasteen and Jim Sandusky of Coal Valley, Ill., applying constant pressure. It appeared that Webb would win easily but on the white flag lap, the rocker arm on his engine broke, slowing the veteran on the backstretch and allowing Chasteen to speed by and take the $700 top prize. Mike Cothron of Moline, Ill., would win the street stock feature and Jeff Barrett of Rock Island, Ill., would take the win in the bomber division.
June 5 – Kenny Fenn, the racing veteran from Washington, Iowa, won his second straight late model feature at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on Friday evening. Fenn, piloting a Corvette-bodied late model, took the win over a pair of Des Moines drivers, Joe Merryfield and Billy Moyer Jr., who ran second and third. The sportsman feature was won by Rocky Hodges of Des Moines snapping the win streak of Scott Sells of Waverly, Iowa. Bob Van Gorp of Des Moines scored the victory in the street stock feature.
June 6 – Dave Bjorge of Sergeant, Minn., grabbed his third late model victory in a row at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City, Iowa, on Saturday night. Bjorge had been dominant at the half-mile and this evening was no different as he won by a half a lap over his nearest competitor, Don Hoffman of Des Moines. Hoffman did most of the passing in the feature, having started seventh and in second place by lap 20. Al Urhammer of Radcliffe, Iowa, came from his eighth starting position to finish third. Craig Jacobs of Des Moines was fourth and Bob Hill of Story City, Iowa, rounded out the top five. In sportsman action, Denny Rosenberg of Grimes, Iowa, captured his second feature win in a row.
June 6 – Mid-season championship honors would go to Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, in the 30-lap late model championship and Hal Russell of Blue Grass, Iowa, in the 15-lap sportsman feature at the West Liberty (Iowa) Fairgrounds on Saturday night. Webb would sail around Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa on the white flag lap to take the lead and then hold off Dave Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, down the front stretch to win a thrilling late model feature. Russell would have a much easier time, leading start to finish in the sportsman main event, winning handily over Dennis Walker of Riverside, Iowa.
June 6 – Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., won the second 55-lap feature and finished third in the first feature to take the overall title at the “Lyle Nabbefeldt Memorial Race” at Dells Motor Speedway in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., on Saturday night.  Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., would win the first 55-lapper over Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa, Wis.
June 6 – Bill Hetrick of Carmen, Ill., won the sprint car feature, Zip Lekander of Burlington, Iowa, took the sportsman victory and John Crear of West Burlington, Iowa, grabbed street stock glory at 34 Raceways in West Burlington, Iowa, on Saturday night.
June 6 – Rich Vogler led from start to finish in Saturday night’s 100-lap USAC dirt champ debut at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa. Vogler started from the outside front row alongside Joe Saldana. Vogler ran the high side throughout the 50-mile showdown running away from the field. Sheldon Kinser would pass Smokey Snellbaker in the closing laps to claim runner-up honors and Snellbaker settled for third. Ron Shuman and Ken Schrader rounded out the top five finishers. Saldana kicked the evening off with a quick time of 21.359 seconds on the half-mile.
June 7 – Merv Chandler of Walford, Iowa, Bernie Juliar of Hudson, Iowa, and Tim Swope of Elk Run Heights, Iowa, were feature winners at Vinton (Iowa) Speedway on Sunday evening. Chandler held off Gary Kaune of Waterloo, Iowa, to score the feature victory in the roadrunner class. Juliar sped to victory in the 20-lap IMCA modified feature, leading green to checker. Swope would hold off a persistent Mike Krall of Waterloo to win the open competition sportsman main event.
June 7 –John Stevenson of St. Paul, Minn., the defending Nationals Speedways Contest Association (NSCA) champion, won the 30-lap winged sprint car feature at Salina County Speedway in Marshall, Mo., on Sunday.  Stevenson started in the front row and was the initial leader but lost the top spot to Tom Corbin of Carrollton, Mo., for the next 5 laps. Randy Smith of Norwalk, Iowa, took over on lap 7 and led the next 9 circuits before blowing a tire and tagging the wall in turn four. Stevenson regained the point after that and led the remaining 14 laps to secure the $800 first place money. Corbin finished second, Tim Green of Carmichael, Calif., took third and Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., earned fourth.
June 7 –High temperatures and a blistering wind created a fast slick track for a record field of 64 cars at Sunset Speedway in Omaha on Sunday night. Dave Chase of Omaha and Craig Spetman of Council Bluffs, Iowa, were the stars of the show as Chase chalked up victories in both the “B” and “A” features for late models and Spetman drove to victory in the trophy dash and “A” feature for the sportsman.
June 7 – Gary Tigges of Durango, Iowa, breezed in for his first late model victory of the season at the Dubuque (Iowa) County Fairgrounds on Sunday evening. Grabbing up the lead from Independence, Iowa, driver Greg Hunter, Tigges was not to be denied the win despite constant pressure from Roger Bruggeman of Dubuque and Jim Burbridge of Delhi, Iowa. Carl Severson of Dubuque was awarded the victory in the sportsman feature after initial winner Dennis Dugan of Colesburg, Iowa, was disqualified for an illegal carburetor.
June 9 – Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., took command on lap 78 and held off a late charge from Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, to win the 11th annual “Miller 100” at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Plank inherited the lead when race leader Steve Kosiski of Omaha was black flagged by flagman Ed Otten for loose body metal. Rain left the track a muddy quagmire and it became very rough from the opening green flag.  Only eight of the 28 starters were on the track when the checkers flew.

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