Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1963 - Local Races Important in Battle for National Title

Knoxville, Ill. (July 30, 1963) - The IMCA championship sprint car races at the Knox County Fair here Thursday and Friday nights, may be the turning point in the battle for the 1963 national sprint car crown.
According to Secretary Wendell Farris, the latest championship standing released by Mike Heffron, secretary of the International Motor Contest Association show the first 10 positions have changed considerably in the past two weeks.
Johnny White, the defending IMCA national champion, is well entrenched in first place but Gordon Woolley of Waco, Texas has passed Pete Folse, the five-time champion, for second place, by virtue of his consistent running in first, second, third and fourth places in recent feature events. Woolley finished fourth at Winchester Speedway last Sunday behind Red Amick, while White finished tenth clue to a spinout in the 30-lap feature.
Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., and Jerry Daniels of St. Paul are tied for fourth place with 340 points each. Bob Coulter, of Lakewood, California another entry here, is moving up rapidly and is right on Blundy's tail with 327 points to hold down fifth spot.
Blundy's recent 15-lap feature win at Urbana, Ill., is expected to change the standings quite a bit from the latest release. Blundy finished ahead of Jim McCune of Toledo, Ohio, Johnny White, the IMCA champion from Warren, Mich., and Woolley.
The two-day meet, here with championship points at stake may very well be the turning point for the front-running, who are now beginning to feel the pressure from a big group of newcomers to the midwestern track racing circuit.
Time trials will start at 7 p.m. Thursday and will hold good for the two nights of racing. The first of six races each evening will get the “go” flag at 8 p.m.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This Week in Racing History – 1976

July 29 – An early lead and a little luck enabled Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., to win his second late model feature of the year at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wis., on Thursday night. Miller, who survived the last lap challenge of Marv Marzofka, won by a scant three feet. Marzofka admitted after the race that he had used up his tires trying to catch Miller in the closing laps and that proved to be the difference in the margin of victory. Dick Trickle, who survived a duel with Tom Reffner and later with Jim Bohmsach, finished third.

July 29 – Larry Schuler of Lockport, Ill., outraced Roger Regeth of Kimberly, Wis., at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis., on Thursday night for his 29th feature win in late model auto racing this year. Regeth gained the lead on the second lap of the 20-lap main when he rolled past Jerry Smith. Schuler, driving a ’76 Camaro, worked his way through the 17-car field.

July 30 – Ray Guss of Milan, Ill., made a clean sweep at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, winning his heat and then the late model feature handily. Guss would lead all but two laps in the 25-lap feature and would be followed to the finish line by Jim Strube of Peoria, Ill. Duane Steffe of Colona, Ill., grabbed third, Bob Helm of Andalusia, Ill., fourth and Tom Hearst of Wilton, Iowa, in fifth.
July 30 – It was long awaited and Dick Jensen’s victory in the late model feature at the Speed Bowl in Red Cloud, Neb., “felt great.” The Aurora, Neb., pilot completed a clean sweep, winning his heat, the trophy dash and then topping off the evening’s action with a dramatic victory over Clayton Petersen of Grand Island, Neb., and Kent Tucker of Aurora for his first win of the season.
July 30 – Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., was a triple winner on Friday night, winning the trophy dash, second heat and feature in late model action at Fairmont, Minn. Mike Saathoff of Fairmont copped the street stock main event, winning with a last lap pass.
July 30 – Mike Krall of Cedar Falls, Iowa and Gary Ekvale of Marshalltown, Iowa, were the big winners at Marshalltown Speedway on Friday night. Krall won the super stock feature as only three cars finished after seven started. Krall inherited the top spot when race leader Glen Eggers suffered a flat tire with only a few laps remaining.  Ekvale had it easy in the street stock feature, winning decisively over a field of 20 competitors.
July 30 – Sheldon Kinser, Bruce Walkup and Duane “Pancho” Carter took top honors on Saturday night in the USAC sprint car division, splitting three 33-lap races on the one-mile Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. In the first race, Kinser got by Jan Opperman on lap 28 and held on for the remaining five circuits to claim the win. Walkup would fight off the challenges of Jim McElreath and Rollie Beale to win the second feature. The evening was highlighted by the final 33-lapper that saw Carter come the rear of the pack in a borrowed car and nip Kinser at the wire on the final lap.
July 30 – Doug Wolfgang of Des Moines, Iowa, piloted his sprinter to victory at the Southern Iowa Fair in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Saturday night. Gary Dunkle of Lincoln, Neb., turned in the top time of the evening in qualifying with a fast 21.531 seconds on the big half-mile track. Randy Smith of Mount Ayr, Iowa, on the consolation event, while Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., and Mike Pinckney of Des Moines winning heat races. 

July 31 – Wayne Lensing of Rockford, Ill., posted his sixth victory of the season as he won the 30-lap main at Rockford Speedway on Saturday night. Lensing took the lead from trophy dash winner Larry O’ Brien on lap 22 after tailgating the Harvard, Ill., driver for 16 laps. Jim Kersten of Janesville, Wis., made a late charge past O’Brien to take runner-up honors with O’ Brien earning third place money.
July 31 – Curt Wollin of Cedar Falls, Iowa, won the super stock mid-season championship at Midway Downs in Charles City, Iowa, on Saturday night. Wollin, who is third in the points standings, inherited the lead after points leader and pole sitter Larry Schmidt of New Hampton, Iowa, broke a ball joint on his car after only two laps. This gave Wollin the lead after restart and he led the remaining 33 laps for the victory. Ron Schaufenbuel of New Hampton, Chuck Moore of Waterloo, Iowa, and Bob Brenner of Jesup, Iowa, followed very closely behind to finish in that order.

July 31 – Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa, grabbed the 25-lap late model feature at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Webster City, Iowa, on Saturday night. Schiltz was as much surprised to be standing in victory lane as the spectators. Denny Sherrill of Sargent Bluff, Iowa, was leading the race by a wide margin when he developed mechanical issues on the white flag lap, slowing on the backstretch and watching as Schiltz sped by for the win. Bob Bonser of Liscomb, Iowa, too second while Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, grabbed third. Steve Conroy of Jefferson, Iowa, swept the sportsman program, winning his heat, the trophy dash and the 15-lap feature.
July 31 – Jim McClean’s string of five straight midget victories in the United States Racing Association (UARA) came to an end at Memorial Stadium in Joliet, Ill., on Saturday. McClean was a half lap ahead of the rest of the field when his Bob Lockard Badger slipped out of gear, forcing him out of the race on lap 40. John Wiersma would be the beneficiary of McClean’s bad luck, leading the last 10 circuits to claim his first win of the year. 

July 31 – After trying for six years, Garry Truelove must have had doubts whether he would ever win a late model feature race on the high banks of I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo. But those doubts were erased as the Trimble, Mo., ace drove his 1974 Chevrolet to victory in the 25-lap feature on Saturday night. Truelove, who started on the inside of the second row, moved to the front of the field on lap 2 and then survived several challenges by Bill Crane of Claycomo, Mo. Crane made numerous attempts, both high and low, to get past Truelove, but couldn’t seal the deal and on the final lap, his engine gave up, letting Truelove sail to the win.
July 31 – Jim Swank of Hamilton, Ill., staged a nerve-wracking nose-to-tail, door-to-door battle with Jack Dunn of Memphis, Mo., before finally prevailing in the sportsman feature at Lee County Raceway Park in Keokuk, Iowa,  on Saturday night. Swank trailed Dunn for 23 laps before getting by on the high side of turns three and four on the white flag lap. The victory vaulted Swank into a tie for the points lead with Larry Larson of Keokuk.  Omer Cady of Keokuk brought his newly-rebuilt ’64 Ford to the track and breezed to the hobby stock feature win.

July 31 – In his second night of competition at the Buchanan County Fairgrounds in Independence, Iowa, Bill Beckman of Lisbon, Iowa, won the late model feature on Saturday night. Due to a low average point standing, Beckman had a near front starting spot and was able to take the lead on the sixth lap from Tom Fitzpatrick of Waterloo Iowa. Joe Schaefer, also of Waterloo, would eventually muscle past Fitzpatrick for second but was unable to catch Beckman, who had built an insurmountable lead.
July 31 – Gary Bettenhausen, the all-time winningest driver in Terre Haute Action Track history, added victory number eight to his list on Sunday, driving the Paul Leffler built and owned sprinter to victory. The Monravia, Ind., chauffeur started eighth in the 40-lap main and worked his way through the 20-car field to second by the first lap and proceeded to chase Joe Saldana for the next 39 circuits. On the final lap, Bettenhausen slipped by Saldana coming through turns three and four and won by a car length at the finish. Saldana settled for second while Duane “Pancho” Carter took third. Tommy Astone and Chuck Gurney rounded out the top five

July 31 – Jim Gerber of Long Grove, Iowa, once again captured the late model feature at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa, Iowa, on Saturday night. It was Gerber’s sixth feature win of the year at the quarter-mile oval and strengthened his point’s lead in that division. Each of the other divisions experienced new winners as Denny Tharp picked up his first victory of the season in the sportsman class, leading all 15 laps, and Roger Kunde was in full command of the crashers feature.
July 31 – Dick Stang of Prior Lake, Minn., put it all together at Minnesota National Speedway in Elko, Minn., on Saturday night to win his first feature of the year. Stang finished ahead of current point’s leader Mark Lamoreaux in the 30-lap main. Mike DeMars was third, losing second place to Lamoreaux on the final lap.

July 31 – July was a long dry month for Ed Sanger; it took the last day of the month for him to win a feature at the Wapello County Fairgrounds in Eldon, Iowa. A slick, dry track caused five restarts, but Sanger managed to lead from green to checkered, winning his sixth feature of the season at the half-mile track.  Sanger also won his heat and the Australian Pursuit, making the evening a clean sweep for the Waterloo, Iowa, hot shoe. Kenny Fenn of Washington, Iowa, continued his winning ways in the sportsman division, holding off the challenges of Jerry Pilcher of Ottumwa, Iowa.


July 31 – Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., took home the lion’s share of the prize money on Saturday night with his victory in the sprint car feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa. Leavitt, driving a car owned by Fred Aden of Phoenix, Ariz., took the lead on lap 15 when previous leader Bill Mellenberndt of Sioux Falls, S.D. crashed when his tire blew, causing him to flip several times. Leavitt was also fast qualifier as the truck owner-operator toured the half-mile in 20.611 seconds. Dick Morris of Sioux City, Iowa, finished second in the 25-lap feature followed in third by Lloyd Beckman of Lincoln, Neb. 
August 1 – Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, collected the $150 bounty on Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, by winning the late model feature at Freeport, Ill., on Sunday evening. Dake took the lead on lap 3 and despite constant pressure from Dolan, was able to snap Dolan’s four-race win streak.

August 1 – Various area businessmen added to the $100 bounty offered up by Slinger (Wis.) Super Speedway management for any driver stopping Tony Strupp in the late model feature, but the increased “pot” did not arouse the competitive nature in any of the other drivers as Strupp sped easily to his 11th straight victory.

August 1 – Stan Stover of Reinbeck, Iowa, mastered a an extremely hard-slick track and conquered 21 other drivers in winning the late model feature at Tunis Speedway in Waterloo, Iowa, on Sunday. Stover guided his ’76 Camaro to past early leader Red Dralle of Evansdale, Iowa, and then held off Waterloo’s Bill Zwanziger in the remaining laps to earn his first win of the season. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, took third followed by Karl Sanger of Waterloo and Dralle. In other action, Dennis Lovejoy of Waterloo won the sportsman main event while Fuzzy Liddell of Waterloo was the roadrunner winner.
August 1 –Steve Fraise of Montrose, Iowa, edged out Russ Derr to win his fourth straight late model feature at Quincy, Ill., on Sunday night. Charlie Moubry, Terry Gallaher, and Dalton Walker would round out the top five finishers. Larry Larson’s winning streak was broken when he took a back seat to Mike Benjamin in the sportsman main event.

August 1 – Dick Chapman of Dubuque, Iowa, walked away with late model honors at his hometown track on Sunday night. It was not only the first win of the season for the 47-year-old but his first feature victory in seven years. Chapman kept his familiar “Oky Doky” Camaro in the high groove all night and was never seriously challenged throughout. Joe Schaefer of Waterloo, Iowa, was gaining ground on Chapman but ran out of laps and settled for second. Jim Burbridge of Delhi, Iowa, took third while Glen Martin and Gary Crawford, both of Independence, Iowa, took fourth and fifth respectively. Gene Ehlers of Independence, Iowa, claimed his first sportsman win of the season, leading the entire 15 circuits.
August 2 – Calvin Gilstrap of Salem, Ind., died Monday, three days after he was injured in a sprint car race at Bloomington, Ind. Gilstrap lost control during a qualifying run and his car flipped over on top of him. The veteran Indiana pilot had been semi-retired from racing and was attempting to make a comeback.

August 3 – Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, came from his sixth starting spot to win the first annual “Grand Nationals” at Mason City, Iowa, on Tuesday night. Sanger battled Don Hoffman of Des Moines, Iowa, for most of the race before prevailing. Hoffman would settle for second followed by Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, and Joe Merryfield of Des Moines.
August 3 – Jim Bohmsach appeared to be headed to his first career feature victory but after 30 laps of competitive racing, it was Tom Reffner gaining top honors at Paul’s Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wis., on Tuesday night. After taking the top spot early on in the race, Bohsach seemed destined to run away with the race until a late caution allowed Reffner to move up on Bohmsach’s bumper for the restart. Reffner quickly took to the outside groove and grabbed the lead and the win with only a few laps remaining.


Friday, July 26, 2013

1997 – Victory handed to Miller in La Crosse ASA

West Salem, Wis. (July 26, 1997) - At the end of the American Speed Association's La Crosse 300 Sunday afternoon, Rick Beebe was forced to pick up the pieces.

Of his car, of a shattered dream.

Then Beebe had to hold himself back, at least physically. Not from running any more laps, but from running down driver Junior Hanley. Hanley, who was running a lap down, was a big part of why Mike Miller won the ASA event at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.

Beebe was poised to collect his first ASA victory when the unthinkable happened just three laps from the finish.

As Beebe and Miller stormed into turns three and four, Hanley was in front of them. Instead of moving aside, Hanley stayed in the middle. Beebe dived low, and appeared to have passed Hanley when the two collided, sending Beebe into a 120 mph spin.

Beebe spun wildly down the front straightaway. Beebe's car hit, separating the track from the pits, and slid down the wall before coming to a stop.

Miller moved into the lead and claimed his second win of the season, while former Green Bay resident Scott Hansen slid into second.

Rookie Tim Sauter of Necedah finished third. West Salem's Steve Carlson, the top rookie of the year contender, finished fifth.

Beebe was visibly upset after the race, but even more miffed at why Hanley refused to give him an opening as the two cars came out of turn four.

"The thing is, this is the first wreck that I've ever had in racing, I think, that was absolutely and totally uncalled for," Beebe said. "I mean, it was just ridiculous. It's the worst job of driving by anybody I've ever seen in a race car. He just intentionally turned left into me when I got underneath him. I mean he intentionally got into me and turned me around."

Hanley, who wound up 12th place, saw it differently. Hanley said he gave Beebe every opportunity to get around him, but Beebe simply refused to take it.

"I started waving him to the high side the last two laps (before the crash)," Hanley said. "He didn't want to go high, that's all. He's saying it's all my fault. He's the one who didn't go high. Maybe he felt he couldn't go high. I couldn't believe it when he went down on the inside."

Beebe was pushed off the wall and finished the race in eighth place.

Results -

1. Mike Miller, Marietta, Ga.
2. Scott Hansen, Concord, N.C.
3. Tim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
4. Dave Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
5. Steve Carlson, West Salem, Wis.
6. Kevin Cywinski, Lakeville, Minn.
7. Gary St. Amant, Columbus, Ohio
8. Rick Beebe, Merriam, Kan.
9. Ted Smokstad, Bloomington, Minn.
10. Jack Landis, Edgerton, Ohio
11. Brandon Sperling, Mooresville, N.C.
12. Junior Hanley, Canada
13. Brad Loney, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14. Johnny Spaw, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
15. Paul Paine, Mound, Minn.
16. Bill Baird, Sturgis, Ky.
17. Chuck Hemmingson, West Des Moines, Iowa
18. Kevin Nuttleman La Crosse, Wis.
19. Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
20. Mike Cater, McKinney, Tex.
21. Billy Turner, El Reno, Okla.
22. Joe Nort, Spring Lake, Mich.
23. Andy Burgess, Fan Creek, Wis.
24. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
25. Harold Fair, Detroit, Mich.
26. Mike Garvey, Suwanee, Ga.
27. Justin Diercks, Davenport, Iowa.
28. Tom Jones, Gurnee, Ill.
29. Ricky Bilderback, South Beloit, Ill.
30. Doug Mayr, Franklin, Wis.
31. Steve Holzhausen, Bangor, Wis.
32. Joe Shear, Clinton, Wis.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1972 - 'Injun' Joe leads Boone charge

Boone, Iowa (July 25, 1972) – “Injun Joe” Merryfield cut the pack off at the pass as he captured the 1972 Short Track Grand National Championship for super late models at the Boone Speedway Tuesday night.

Running before a full-house crowd, Merryfield, Des Moines, pressured Boone Speedway regular, Denny Hovinga, Laurens through much of the race, taking the lead for good with less than two laps remaining.

Hovinga chose to run the tight inside groove on the dry track, which proved costly ($250, the difference between first and second place, to be exact).

Merryfield was challenging on the outside as he and Hovinga moved up to lap Dan Nesteby, Waterloo. Nesteby was given the pullover flag, and he went to the inside of the track as ordered. Unfortunately for Hovinga, that was also where the Laurens driver was running, and Merryfield went to the outside in the first turn of the next-to-last lap for the lead.

Hovinga and Bill Barthelmes, Troy Mills, had staged a duel for the lead midway through the race pulling away from the rest of the field. Then one of several red flags came but as a car quit on the track, and the restart put Merryfield and other back up near the leaders.

After the restart Hovinga was leading, with Dr. Al Mayner, Winthrop, running second. Merryfield got by the “Flying Physician” into second, and the race between he and Hovinga was on.

Often running side by side, the two continued their battle and Merryfield went inside once as Hovinga broke out of his usual groove and the Des Moines driver was in the lead.

However, the red flag came out just as Merryfield made the move, and the restart was lined up according to the last completed lap, putting Hovinga back in front.

Merryfield kept the pressure on Hovinga until the opportunity to pass came when Hovinga was boxed behind Barthelmes, and then moved out. The two cars came out of the fourth turn of the last lap side by side, but Merryfield had the power down the chute to win by two car lengths.

Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, finished third, Ed Sanger, Waterloo, was fourth and Earl Tice, Ames, came in fifth.

Joel Rasmussen, Ames, was eligible for the pole position, which gave him his choice of starting position. He took the outside, which didn’t turn out to be the best choice.

Rasmussen didn’t get as good a jump as the other cars in the front two rows when the green flag went in the air and he dropped back into the pack in the first turn.

As the 33 cars, which started three abreast, dove into the first number two corners, one of the front-runners crossed up and there were cars flying in every direction. Rasmussen had the sheet metal on his car bent up in that fracas, but the basic machine survived and he stayed in the running. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, was knocked out of the pole position and on the restart Rasmussen was able to move out in front.

He lost the lead to Barthelmes, and then Hovinga went by, Rasmussen finished the race in eighth place. The third Ames driver, Del McDowall was forced out of the race with mechanical problems.

Ramo Stott, Keokuk, managed to squeak into the championship event after the first lap accident. Stan Stover, Reinbeck, was knocked out in the accident, and was unable to come back out, which made Stott eligible for the race as first alternate. Stott, who spun out in the Monday night qualification races and failed to qualify in that race, tried again Tuesday.

With 13 cars running (12 cars from the B-Main qualified for the 50-lap championship race), Stott had a flat tire and went into the pits, changed tires and came back out. He was promptly black-flagged since pit stops were allowed only in the feature, so he had to settle for a final position one place out of qualification until Stover was unable to make the restart of the feature.

Later in the race, as the cars circled the track waiting for a restart, the drivers got jumpy and Ron Tilley, Council Bluffs went crossways in front of Stott. The Keokuk driver slammed into his and Stott was then hit from behind by George Barton, Ankeny.

Stott came out of the accident in running condition, but the collision weakened the steering sector on his car, which is owned by Sanger, and it later broke, putting Stott out of the race.

Weedon, who had raced away from the field Monday night in his heat face until tire trouble put his out of the event, came back to do the same thing in the B-main - only this time without car trouble.

Arnie Braland, Boone, took the first lead in that race, but the Weedon pushed his smooth running Mustang past Braland on the fourth after three laps and moved away in the remaining 22 circuits of the oval.

Results –

B-Main (20 laps)

1. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley
2. Arnie Braland, Boone
3. Bruce Sommerfeld, Fort Dodge
4. Wayne Meyer, Algona
5. Dwight Engleen, Ogden
6. John Carlson, Ankeny
7. George Barton, Ankeny
8. Leonard Woodard, Des Moines
9. Darwin Madden, Boone
10. Gordon Simpson, Marshalltown
11. Fred Knapp, Des Moines
12. Don Christensen, Harlan

Grand National (50 laps)

1. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
2. Denny Hovinga, Laurens
3. Ronnie Weedon, Pleasant Valley
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
5. Earl Tice, Ames
6. Arnie Braland, Boone
7. Arlo Dorenbush, Boone
8. Joel Rasmussen, Ames
9. Henry Smidt, Iowa Falls
10. Dan Nesteby, Waterloo
11. Ron Tilley, Council Bluffs
12. Ken Davidson, Des Moines
13. Kenny Farrell, New Hampton
14. Bill Barthelmes, Troy Mills
15. Gordon Simpson, Marshalltown

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1969 – Tattersall wins; Kenyon crashes

Bob Tattersall
Knoxville, Iowa (July 23, 1969) – Bob Tattersall, the high flying point leader for the USAC National Midget Championship, once again increased his lead for the crown as Mel Kenyon experienced more bad luck. Tattersall would score the victory in the 30-lap feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds on Wednesday night.

For Tattersall, it was his second win this week and his fourth in five races. Kenyon’s bad luck came in the first heat as he was attempting to pass Danny Frye. Frye’s engine quit momentarily and Kenyon’s car bounced off the right rear and sailed into the fence head-on. The car then spun taking out the front end and damaging the rear end as well.

In the main event that evening, Merle Bettenhausen chased Tattersall across the finish line some four car lengths behind and just ahead of Dave Strickland. Les Scott held down fourth with Kenyon taking fifth behind the wheel of Sonny Ates’ car.

Les Scott took the lead on the green as “Tat” jumped from his sixth starting position to fourth. Strickland moved into the top spot on the second lap with Tattersall second and Scott dropping back to third. Tattersall would sail past Strickland down the backstretch and would lead the rest of the remaining laps. The victory tied him with Kenyon for career wins with Bob Wente one victory behind.

Bill Englehart went to the pits on the third lap as Kenyon moved through traffic. With 10 laps in the books, Merle Bettenhausen had moved into second behind Tattersall but was unable to close the gap. Strickland was third with Scott, Rob Greentree and Bob Wente fighting for fourth. Arnie Knepper, Mel Cornett and Kenyon fought for seventh.

Tattersall was lapping slower cars by the 12th circuit and when the checkers flew, the Streator, Ill., veteran was well in front, with Bettenhausen and Strickland separated by five lapped cars. Kenyon would get by Wente on lap 27 for his fifth place finish.

Wente set fast time, clocking in at 24.38 seconds on the big half-mile, well off the mark he set himself a year ago at 2.22 seconds.

Tattersall led every lap of the trophy dash and also scored the win in the second heat, while Wente got the win in the first heat. Dick Jones took top honors in heat number two and Englehart grabbed the win in heat number four. Willard Yates won the semi-main.

Results –

Fast Time: Bob Wente (24.38)
Trophy Dash: Bob Tattersall
Heat One: Bob Wente
Heat Two: Bob Tattersall
Heat Three: Dick Jones
Heat Four: Bill Englehart
Semi-Main: Willard Yates


  1. Bob Tattersall
  2. Merle Bettenhausen
  3. Dave Strickland
  4. Les Scott
  5. Mel Kenyon
  6. Bob Wente
  7. Arnie Knepper
  8. Chuck Amati
  9. Mel Cornett
  10. Willard Yates
  11. Bill Renshaw
  12. Chuck Weyant
  13. Dick Jones
  14. John Deering
  15. Joe Demko
  16. Rob Greentree
  17. Charlie Masters
  18. Bill Englehart

Monday, July 22, 2013

1972 – Trickle’s ‘Stang’ Blows, Wins I-70 Nat'l Champ

Dick Trickle proudly poses with his trophy after winning the 300-lapper at I-70 Speedway. 

Odessa, Mo. (July 22, 1972) – Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., struck for the second consecutive year on Saturday to rake in the big money at I-70 Speedway’s third annual 300-lap National Championship for late model stock cars before a crowd of more than 8,500.

Trickle pushed his purple and white #99 A&W Root Beer 1970 Mustang past early leader Dave Wall of Kansas City a third of the way through the long-endurance contest and seemed to be well on his way to an easy victory.

But on lap 298, Trickle’s engine began to smoke and as he took the white flag to begin the final tour, his engine blew. He held his foot to the gas pedal and drove the final half-mile with smoke pouring from his car. With all power gone, he crossed the finish line with only the car’s nose visible. Wall, driving a 1970 Chevelle, finished second, one lap behind.

Trickle’s share of the $22,000 purse was $3,500 and a beautiful five-foot tall trophy, while Wall collected $2,200 for second. Trickle led 196 laps while Wall led the other 104 and they received an additional $5 for each lap led.

Wall shot into the lead from his pole position followed by Tom Maier of Midland, Mich., as the 40-car field from 11 states took the green flag to begin the 300-lap grind.

As on Friday night during preliminaries, Wall set a blistering pace. Maier dropped out after 20 laps after brushing the wall on the backstretch leaving second place to John Prior. Fellow Michiganders Bob Senneker and Gary Fedewa were also victims of early mechanical issues.

By lap 40 Trickle was running third after starting 14th and shot past John Prior to take over second on lap 63.

On lap 64 Joe Wallace triggered a five-car crash in turn three when he spun and was rammed by Roy McClellan and Wayne Stallsworth of Denver, Colo. Jim Hager and Harold Young then piled into wreckage to bring out the red flag and halting the field.

On the restart, Wall resumed his hectic pace with Trickle riding his bumper. The pair dueled for 40 laps until Wall was trapped behind slower traffic in turn two and Trickle seized the opportunity, scooting underneath and to take command going down the backstretch on lap 105. From then on, it was clearly Trickle’s race.

Other than the crash on lap 64, the race was slowed six times by minor spins. Twenty-three of the original 40 starters were still running as Trickle took the checkered flag.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Dave Wall, Kansas City, Mo.
3. Dave Goldsberry, Springfield, Mo.
4. Fred Whisler, Independence, Mo.
5. Butch Speicher, Denver, Colo.
6. Jerry Brumley, Springfield, Mo.
7. Sonny Inman, Springfield, Mo.
8. Losson Leonard, Jefferson City, Mo.
9. Ferris Collier, Springfield, Mo.
10. Harold Young, Kansas City, Mo.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Week in Racing History - 1979

July 18 – The Pepsi-Mountain Dew Special at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa, is becoming a Ken Walton benefit. Walton, who won the race in 1978, repeated that win on Wednesday before a packed grandstand of race-goers – and he did it in grand fashion. Starting in the fifth spot on the grid, The Viola, Iowa, hot shoe moved rapidly to the front, passing Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa, on lap 12, never to be headed again for the final 36 circuits. Zwanziger held on to the second spot and Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa finished third, passing Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa in the final five laps. Crawford and Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls, Iowa, rounded out the top five finishers.

July 19 – North Dakota speedways have been very kind to Des Moines, Iowa, standout Don Hoffman. The opening night of the North Dakota State Fair Championships was no exception. Hoffman, who won a 100-lapper in West Fargo, N.D., in June, survived two caution flags and a like number of red flags before winning the 50-lap feature over the best field of cars to ever appear at the Fairgrounds Speedway. The triumph, which netted Hoffman $2,000, was not an easy one, despite the fact that he had a rather comfortable lead over runner-up Clayton Petersen of Grand Island, Neb., at the finish. Hoffman, who started ninth in the 31-car field, had to work his way through traffic before collecting the lead on lap 37 when pacesetter Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., slowed with mechanical problems. Following Hoffman and Petersen to the line was Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Jim Bruggeman of White Bear Lake, Minn., and Steve Egersdorf of St. Paul, Minn.
July 20 – Jim Buhman of Bettendorf, Iowa, was surprised but delighted when he was presented the checkered flag for winning the 35-lap mid-season championship for the limited late model division at Hawkeye Raceway in Blue Grass, Iowa, on Friday night. Point leader Larry Armstrong of Moline, Ill., led the entire race, but got tangled with Denny Stewart of Davenport, Iowa, who was second, Jim Gerber of Long Grove, Iowa, who was third, before crossing the finish line. Buhman cleared the three-car fracas and took the checkers first before a stunned crowd.
July 20 – Larry Wasserfort of Waterloo, Iowa, grabbed his first feature Boone (Iowa) Speedway feature win of the season on Friday night. Wasserfort took over the lead on lap 8 from Steve Shannon of Norwalk, Iowa, and held it the rest of the way to the checkers. Des Moines’ Bill Davis put the pressure on Wasserfort along with Arnie Braland of Boone for several laps but Davis’ car developed mechanical issues towards the end of the race and Braland’s ride lost its power steering and he barely managed to hold on to the runner-up position over Dan Nesteby of Waterloo, Iowa. Bill Rice of Des Moines took fourth while Shannon settled for fifth.
July 20 – A day that included a flight from North Dakota to Minneapolis and then a car ride from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, paid off for three Iowa late model drivers at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Friday night. The three – Verlin Eaker of Mechanicsville, Ed Sanger of Waterloo, and Gary Crawford of Independence – had driven in the first of three programs at Minot, N.D., on Thursday night.  The rain-delayed “Winston 50” late model special attracted a great field of cars, including the three weary travelers who were driving borrowed cars. Verlin Eaker, the winner, drove a Camaro normally powered by R.J. Bruggeman of Dubuque, Iowa. Crawford, who finished fourth, drove the car piloted regularly by A.E. Mayner of Winthrop, Iowa. Sanger, who was scored in sixth, wheeled the Camaro of Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo.
July 21 – Waterloo, Iowa’s Mike Krall started the day with no engine in his IMCA modified and Dick Covington of Vinton, Iowa, ended it with no front tires or rims, but both won feature events at Vinton (Iowa) Speedway on Saturday night. Krall’s first engine in his Vega modified was claimed for $300 under the rules following Thursday’s event at the annual Benton County Fair. The new engine sputtered and coughed its way through the heat event, which ended when Krall lost his drive shaft. Not outdone by adversity, he came back in the feature to wrap up his second consecutive checkered flag of the season. Covington, who had earlier won his heat race, was leading the feature event by a sizeable margin over Steve Hendryx of Mount Auburn, Iowa, when his tires and rims came off the car on the last lap. Keeping control of the car, despite having only rear tires, Covington limped towards the finish line with Hendryx closing quickly.
July 21 - The young redhead from Clarence Hills, Ill., Art “Fireball” Fehrman, scored and impressive victory in the special 50-lap DeKalb County Championship for super late models at Sycamore (Ill.) Speedway on Saturday night. Fehrman took the lead from Roy Jelinek of Carpentersville, Ill., on lap 8 and was never headed after that. The real battle was for second place with defending track champion Larry Mosher of Belvedere, Ill., and John Engelkens of Morrison, Ill., dueling for the latter part of the race before Engelkens prevailed. 
July 21 – An accident at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway on Saturday night claimed the life of a race car driver – the third this month – and injured two track officials. Dick Stoneking of Oquawka, Ill., was killed when his sprint car flipped on the front straightaway during the B-main and crashed into the flag stand. Flagman Gary Johnson of Colfax, Iowa, and his assistant, Steve Koons of Knoxville, were injured when the impact to the stand threw them onto the track. Neither was run over and both were taken to Collins Memorial Hospital where they were listed in good condition. The accident occurred when Stoneking, running at the back of the pack while coming around the curve to complete the second lap, went out of control and began flipping down the front stretch. His car began climbing the track fence and crashed into the flag stand.  Stoneking, 26, had been racing for six years and the last two years had been a regular at the Knoxville half-mile. He was pronounced dead at Collins Memorial.
July 22 – Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, became the fifth double late model winner of the season at Tunis Speedway in Waterloo on Sunday evening as he drove to a convincing victory in the 25-lap feature. Bartholomew made the early portions of the race a runaway, claiming the lead by the end of the first lap and building that margin up by more than a straightaway when the red flag came out on lap 15. Bartholomew rebuilt that lead of several car lengths before the checkered flag waved. The real battle in the late model main was for second place, with Dan Nesteby of Waterloo prevailing in a dogfight with Tom Fitzpatrick of Gilbertville, Iowa. In other action, Larry Schmidt of New Hampton, Iowa, won the sportsman feature while Vern Jackson of Waterloo took honors in the roadrunner feature.
July 22 – It took the better part of the year, but Darrell Zweifel of Rochester, Minn., finally won his first late model feature in front of a record crowd at Dodge County Speedway in Kasson, Minn., on Sunday. Zweifel led the last 10 circuits after battling John Foegen of Winona, Minn., throughout  the 25-lap contest. Bob Saterdalen of Oronoco, Minn., took third, followed by Bob Lawrence of St. Paul and Lance Matthees of Winona.
July 22 – Pulling a maneuver few thought possible, Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa, shot past Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa,  in the 50-lap feature event to capture the main event as well as the North Dakota State Fair Championship in Minot,. N.D. Crawford passed Sanger on the outside coming out of turn four to take the top spot on lap 45 and cruised to victory, his second in as many nights, to claim the overall title by 22 points over Sanger and Don Hoffman, Thursday night’s winner. Verlin Eaker, the 44-year-old chauffeur from Mechanicsville, Iowa, finished fourth in the run for the fair crown followed by 23-year-old Jim Bruggeman of White Bear Lake, Minn.
July 23 – Veteran pilot Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., added to his list of victories by winning the 30-lap winged sprint car race at Saline County Speedway in Marshall, Mo., on Sunday night. The program was sanctioned by National Speedways Contest Association (NSCA). Utz worked through the field quickly from his fourth row starting spot, taking the lead by lap 5 and going on to win by nearly half a lap. Tim Green of Sacramento, Calif., earned runner-up honors while Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Bob Thoman of Higginsville, Mo., and Gene Gennetten of Parkville, Mo., rounded out the top five.
July 23 – A drizzle that began Monday and grew in intensity on Tuesday forced postponement of the Boone Grand National XIII at Boone (Iowa) Speedway. Because of the amount of the water in the infield, promoter Jim Majors moved the final night to July 30. Before the rains came Monday night, the track was super fast for qualifying heat races and Denny Hovinga of Pocahontas, Iowa, who won the third heat race and later annexed the first position race, earned the pole position for next week’s race. Joe Kosiski of Omaha earned the outside front row with his victory in the second heat race and second position race. Bill Davis of Des Moines was the first heat winner. In sportsman action, Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, 19-year-old Steve Kosiski of Omaha, Rocky Hodges of Des Moines, and Ken Davidson of Indianola were all heat winners. 

July 24 – Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, won the annual “Cheater’s Day” at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen, S.D., on Tuesday night. Sanger pocketed $999.99 for his feature win and added another $55.55 for his heat win. The top three finishers in the main event were all Iowa drivers a Sanger was followed across the finish line by Don Hoffman of Des Moines and Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1977 - Miller, Trickle win features at Golden Sands

Mike Miller 

Plover, Wis. (July 17, 1977) - Mike Miller and Dick Trickle, both of Wisconsin Rapids, shared the checkered flag at Paul's Golden Sands Speedway Mid-season championship Sunday night

In the first 50-lap feature Miller, driving his 1970 Mustang, overtook Tom Refiner of Rudolph on the 39th lap for the victory Trickle made several attempts to pass Reffner but was unsuccessful and placed third Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa finished fourth and Jim Bohmsach of Wisconsin Rapids fifth

In the second 50-lap feature Trickle eased his Firebird by the outside of Marzofka on the 28th lap and stretched his lead to a comfortable margin Marzofka held on for second, Miller placed third, Larry Detjens of Wausau fourth and Jim Back of Vesper fifth.

In the 15-lap semi-feature, Billy Voight of Wisconsin Rapids emerged the victor followed by Bob Mackesy of Mosinee and Don Marcis of Wausau. Detjens was fastest qualifier of the evening with a 13.141 second qualifying while Marzofka won the trophy dash from the outside pole position

Fluff Furo of Stevens Point, Jim Back, and Billy Voight were the heat winners, while Mike Hojnacki of Plover won the spectator race.

Results -

Feature #1 - 

1. Mike Miller
2. Tom Reffner
3. Dick Trickle
4. Marv Marzofka
5. Jim Bohmsach
6. Larry Detjens

Feature #2 - 

1. Dick Trickle
2. Marv Marzofka
3. Butch Miller
4. Larry Detjens
5. Jim Back
6. Tom Reffner

Monday, July 15, 2013

1971 - Ed Sanger tops stocks in Wanerus Memorial

Tipton, Iowa (July 15, 1971) - Ed Sanger of Waterloo showed a packed house at the Cedar County Fairgrounds Thursday night why he is the late-model stock car point leader at three different tracks.
The occasion was the Ted Wanerus Memorial faces for the Marion driver who was killed in a race here three weeks ago.
The purse consisted of attractive trophies, but Sanger charged around the quarter-mile dirt oval as if he was racing for $500.
Ed and his 1970 Monte Carlo started in the eighth spot and it took him only four laps to run to daylight and take over the lead position. Sanger, who is the point leader at Cedar Rapids, Independence, and Waterloo, won comfortably.
John Connolly of Delhi was second, Ron Prymek of Iowa City third, Dale Snyder of Cedar Rapids fourth and Bill Beckman of Lisbon fifth.
The night's events also included actions for the sportsman, street stock, super modified, mini-stock classes and a special match race.
Most exciting was the sportsman feature with Ron Lint of Cedar Rapids copping the checkered flag. Lint and Arlo Becker of Atkins exchanged the lead three times before Lint took command on the white flag lap.
John Scherer of Davenport won the street stock feature, Don Jermier of Mount Pleasant topped the super mods and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids paced the minis. Tipton's Bumps Willert copped the match race ahead of Ernie Derr, Keith Knaack and Ramo Stott.
Gate receipts totaled $3,395 and the entire amount will go into a trust fund for Wanerus’ two children.
Results –
Late Model –

1.     Ed Sanger, Waterloo
2.     John Connolly, Delhi
3.     Ron Prymek, Iowa City
4.     Dale Snyder, Cedar Rapids
5.     Bill Beckman, Lisbon
6.     Frank Fredericks, Peoria, Ill.
7.     Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids
8.     Blackie Lyons, Cascade

Sportsman –

1.     Ron Lint, Cedar Rapids
2.     Arlo Becker, Atkins
3.     Chuck Lukemyre, Tipton
4.     Stan Woods, Tipton
5.     Jim Stodola, Shellsburg

Street Stock –

1.     John Scherer, Davenport
2.     Tom Hearst, Muscatine
3.     Karl Vohrmeier, Maquoketa
4.     Dan Hack, Camanche
5.     Walt Hickey, Fairfax

Saturday, July 13, 2013

1967 - Sun Valley schedules 125-mile endurance run

Anderson, Ind. (July 13, 1967) - Sun Valley Speedway, home of the classic short-track races, will add another long-distance event to its impressive list of speed shows when the First Annual “Redbud 500” race, a 125-mile endurance test for new cars, is presented here Saturday night at the local quarter-mile, high banked asphalt oval.

It will be 33 new cars on the line, in 11 rows of three each, with 500 laps to go when the green flag is dropped at 8:30 p.m. EST, for the race run under the sanction of John Marcum’s Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).

Qualification tests from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on the afternoon of the 15th, which will be witnessed free of charge by race fans, will determine the 33-car starting field which will battle for a payoff in excess of $10,000.

The race will have an international flavor in its debut with the announcement that Robbie Francevic of New Zealand, 1966 road course stock car champion in his country, is one of the early entrants for the race.

Marcum has predicted that nearly 60 cars and drivers will be on hand for the qualification time trials and heading this list will be Iggy Katona of Willis, Mich., a 25-year veteran of racing and currently leading ARCA’s point race.

Other highly-regarded drivers slated to be on hand include, Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill.; Dick Freeman, Indianapolis; Dorus Wisecarver, Zanesville, Ohio; Ralph Latham, Cincinnati; and Bill Kimmel, Louisville, Ky.

An added attraction for fans witnessing the time trials will be a performance by the Falling Falcons, widely known sky-diving aggregation.

All seats for the 500-lap event, longest short-track new car race in the country, will be reserved and tickets are now selling at the Sun Valley Speedway ticket office.

Friday, July 12, 2013

1964 - Seven-car pileup as Hutcherson wins

Iowa Int'l 300 winner Dick Hutcherson poses proudly with Ms. Iowa International, Eileen Mason, as starter Woody Brinkman holds the checkers and promoter Al Sweeney looks on. 

Des Moines, Iowa (July 12, 1964) - Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk captured the Iowa International 300-lap stock car race before 15,350 fans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Sunday in a twice-interrupted race that almost turned out to be a demolition derby.

Three drivers, Don Hensley of Holden, Mo., Dick Pellow of Minneapolis, Minn., and last year’s winner, Chub Liebe of Oelwein, were treated for cuts and bruises suffered in a seven-car pileup on the 268th lap.

Earlier, Tiny Lund, the former Harlan, Iowa, jalopy driver, barely got his car in time to get into the grind which started an hour late and without qualifying times.

The crowd got only a brief look at Lund, now racing for NASCAR out of Cross, S.C. The 270-pounder was forced out by a clogged radiator, causing an over-heated motor, after 58 laps and a dozen pit stops.

Twice the red flags waved. The first time came at the 150th, lap when officials halted the race in order to make repairs to the track which developed dangerous holes in the first and fourth corners. The second time the red signals flashed, the back stretch was blocked with the litter of battered cars in a chain-like affair, triggered when Bob Jusola of Mound, Minn., was hooked by Ernie Derr of Keokuk.

Jusola went into a slide, then spun and stopped broadside of the oncoming traffic in a cloud of dust. Within the next few seconds parts of cars and cars were flying through the air.

Liebe, the fourth car to get involved in the crash, flipped over the top of Lenny Funk’s car and landed upside down. There wasn't enough of it left to identify it as a new Ford.

Washed out of action were Liebe, Pellow, Hensley, Funk, Jusola and Gil Haugan, the Sioux Falls, S. D., veteran who was in third place before the wreck. Others were against the fence or wall with mashed, but repairable fenders.

Twelve of the original 30 starters managed to finish after positions had been assigned by draw rather than by time trials, because of the muddy track.

It was the first “300” triumph for Hutcherson, the 1963 International Motor Contest Association national stock car champion, who blew his engine here a year ago.
Ramo Stott, a two-time winner who finished third in a blistering duel with Hutcherson, held the lead from eleventh lap through the 170th. Hutcherson contended he was the race leader when the affair was stopped at the end of 150 laps, but the official scorers ruled he was three fourths of a lap behind his rival, who had taken the lead, away from Derr earlier.

The crowd could see the play-by-play that went on between Stott and Hutcherson as the two went through the next home stretch, fender-to-fender, with gas pedals floored. Ramo’s finger and jaws were moving rapidly in Hutcherson’s direction.

For the first time in several seasons, Derr managed to finish - limping his Plymouth home to fourth money with the front suspension gone.

Bob Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., a Ford teammate of Hutcherson, knocked off second place money after catching Stott in the pits trying to correct a faulty steering caused by the rough track.

Results –

1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
3. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
6. Dick Johnson, Minneapolis, Minn.
7. Dave Steffens, Minneapolis, Minn.
8. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
9. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.
10. Tom Rathke, Grafton, Wis.
11. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
12. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
13. Dick Pellow, Minneapolis, Minn.
14. Bob Brinkman, Tipton, Iowa
15. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa

Thursday, July 11, 2013

1976 - Racing Around Valley

Larry Schuler
by Gary Vercauteren

Appleton, Wis. (July 11, 1976) – When a new driver comes onto the stock car racing scene he usually joins the stream of traffic or drowns.

Larry Schuler, a 23-year-old Lockport, Ill., race car pilot began racing four years ago and immediately became a winner on tracks near his home.

“I guess I was a little wild when I first started, but I won more races than most rookies,” Schuler said after a Thursday night stock car race at the Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.

He had just finished eighth in the late model feature event and watched the figure eight cars squeal steam and shove their way around the track, concluding the night’s activities.

“Now, those guys are really nuts,” Schuler proclaimed with a grin as two of the figure eight competitors crashed together.

He lifted a soft drink to his mouth and gulped down a mouthful of the soda. “I had problems tonight, but it’s still fun racing here. Most of the guys drive real clean,” he said.

When asked about his win in the first race of the “Red, White and Blue” state championship series, Schuler shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Everything just fell together, I guess. It’s something that might never happen again.”

In that June event, Schuler whipped his 1976 Camaro around the top stock car drivers in the Midwest, including Dick Trickle, a national record holder. “I knew Dick (Trickle) was right behind me, so I couldn’t relax at all,” Schuler noted.

Since that time Schuler has won a total of 20 feature events on Midwest tracks, including four Fox River Racing Club victories at WIR on Thursday nights. He is currently tied with Rich Somers, the 1974 state champion, for the point leadership in the Thursday night races. Both drivers have 252 points.

Schuler leads the point standings by wide margins at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill., and at the Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind.

At both tracks he has completely dominated the competition, having accumulated almost twice as many points as his nearest rivals.

At the Illinois and Indiana raceways there is no rule regarding weight, but when Schuler competes in the “Red, White and Blue” series his car must weigh 3,300 pounds because the car is powered by a 440 cubic inch engine. Cars with smaller engines are required to weigh less, due to a rule adopted to equalize the competition.

Schuler has always been a hard-charger. He drives so furiously that at times his brakes begin to heat up and disintegrate. On one occasion at Kaukauna, Schuler was chasing a rival around the half-mile paved oval and drove deeper and deeper into the corner each lap. Soon the sparks began to drop from underneath the car and he was black-flagged from the race.

“It wasn’t running right tonight and I was trying to make it up in the turns. I guess I ate up the brakes,” he said, dropping his tools for a second in the pit area following the race.

Schuler is looking forward to the next showdown with the Wisconsin drivers on Sunday afternoon, July 18 as the state championship continues. “There wasn’t any cheating the last time. Enough of the other drivers were around at the scale to see to that,” he said.

The Illinois lead foot, whose car is dubbed the “Junkyard Dog,” holds a 590 to 510 lead in the state championship point standings over Trickle, who has raced at many of the nation’s major ovals, including Daytona Beach.

Others in the top 10 whom Schuler will have to contend with include Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, 360; Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill., 300; John Ziegler, Madison, 285; Rich Somers, Stevens Point, 275; Tom Reffner, Rudolph, 250; Tom Musgrave, Arlington Heights, Ill., 225; Axel Dahlburg, Mauston, 210; and Bill Oas, Bloomington, Minn., 210.