Tuesday, September 24, 2013

1972 – Koehler Wins Raceway Park 300 & Championship

By Wayne Adams
Blue Island, Ill. (September 24, 1972) – Bud Koehler climaxed the 1972 season at Raceway Park by taking top honors in the 24th annual 300-Lap Classic, driving Bill Koenig’s 1969 Camaro to his 24th feature win of the year, while defeating Jerry Kemperman by six car lengths.
The victory, worth $1,050, plus the Pepsi-Cola trophy, boosted Koehler’s to 13,255 total points for the season, giving him his eighth track championship in 24 years of competing at the quarter-mile. Ray Young, who started the night only 40 points in back of Koehler in the standings, finished 10th in the classic after several mishaps.
Koehler had run in 23 of the 24 “300’s” and his victory was his fourth career in the event. His career feature win total at Raceway now stands at 391 wins.
Koehler took the lead on lap 55, lost it for one circuit to Kemperman on the 76th lap, then drove back out front and led the rest of the way, also earning numerous other merchandise prizes.
The first 100 laps of the race were plagued by numerous crashes and several cars were sidelined. The starting field numbered 32 fine late models and Bob Fickett set the pace. Edgar Mounts took over the lead on lap two and Ron Ward grabbed the top spot on lap three.
The first red flag came out on lap eight when Speed Gonzales spun and was hit head-on by leader Ron Ward. Meanwhile, Ray Young went into the pit area with a broken tie rod but was back in the running by lap 10. Wayne Para inherited the lead after the green was waved but gave that up one lap later to Johnny Buzinec.
Roger Eriksen had Koenig’s 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo in a close second place then blew a tire on the 40th lap. He tried to make the pit gate but was hit hard by third-place Ray Para and ripped off a wheel. The race would be red flagged again.
Koehler pushed past Buzinec for the lead on the 55th lap, trailed closely by Bill McEnery, Kemperman, Buzinec, Paul Bauer, Larry Middleton and James Bond.
Edgar Mounts lost a hose and watered the first turn on lap 65, sending seven cars crashing into the wall. Woody Church, Ray Freeman, Johnny McPartlin, Ray Young, Ed Kilpatrick and Dick Raven were all involved in the crash. Several cars were badly damaged but no one was injured. Young would return driving Bob Fredericks’ Chevelle but would also lose a hose on lap 87, hitting the wall and collecting Bob Alonso, Tom Erno and Bill McEnery.
Only six cars were running at 100 laps and Buzinec went into the pits and lost his fourth place position on the 145th circuit. McEnery pitted and lost fourth place on lap 184 and at 200 laps only Koehler ad Kemperman were on the lead lap and running close, trailed by James Bond and Larry Middleton. Middleton would eventually move up to third, but would be forced out on lap 227. Bond would retire on lap 241.

Results - 

1.       Bud Koehler
2.       Jerry Kemperman
3.       Paul Bauer
4.       Bud Kaye
5.       Larry Middleton
     6.       Johnny Buzinec
7.       Ray Para
8.       Jeff Koehler
9.       John McPartlin
10.   Ray Young
11.   Speedy Gonzales
12.   Stash Kullman
13.   James Bond
14.   Tom Erno
15.   Chuck Manis
16.   Bill McEnery
17.   Dick Raven
18.   Ted Janecyk
19.   Bob Alonso
20.   Bob Frederick
21.   Ray Freeman
22.   Woody Church
23.   Edgar Mounts
24.   Ed Kilpatrick
25.   Erv Dunner
26.   Roger Eriksen
27.   Chuck Merritt
28.   Bob Fickett
29.   Wayne Para
30.   Rich Plattner
31.   Ron Ward
32.   Dick Wright

Monday, September 23, 2013

1973 – Gould wins ARCA Dayton 500

Bruce Gould
New Bremen, Ohio (September 23, 1973) – Bruce Gould took the lead on the 108th lap and except for a few pit stops, led the rest of the Sunday afternoon to win the Dayton 500 ARCA new car race at the New Bremen Speedway.

Ron Hutcherson, the only other driver to finish on the same lap as Gould, finished second to wrap up the season point championship. A. Arnold, the only other driver with a chance to overtake Hutcherson for the point lead in the ARCA championship finale, was knocked out of contention early when he was involved in the most serious on-track accident of the day.

Bobby Watson, who started on the outside of the front row, led from the second lap until he blew a tire in the third turn on lap 108, and hit the guardrail. Arnold, Watson’s teammate, had no place to go and crashed into Bobby, sending Watson to the local hospital where he was listed in satisfactory condition with chest injuries.

The most spectacular accident of the day, however, occurred in the pit area after John Sellers, whose car had been backfiring, drove in for a pit stop. Sellers’ car was put on a jack to change a tire while his crew began to refuel the machine while it was still running.

The car backfired again while the fuel was being poured, causing a fire. No one was injured but it took more than an hour for the race to continue because all of the speedway fire extinguishing equipment was used up and more had to be obtained.

Fourth place finisher Mike Johnson, who received some relief driving from Jack Shanklin, was disqualified and moved back to last place for running oversized tires.

Results –

  1. Bruce Gould
  2. Ron Hutcherson
  3. Dave Dayton
  4. Cliff Hamm
  5. Delmar Clark
  6. Eddie Tearman
  7. Ralph Young
  8. Iggy Katona
  9. Wayne Trinkle
  10. Bill Jackson
  11. Bill Clemons
  12. Jim Osgar
  13. Johnny Banks
  14. Tom Culbertson
  15. Ed Richardsville
  16. John Sellers
  17. Danny Dean
  18. Wayne Watercutter
  19. Bobby Watson
  20. A. Arnold
  21. Kenny Kirby
  22. Jack Shanklin
  23. Jeff Faber
  24. Bob Thomas
  25. Jim Yates
  26. N.D. Copley
  27. Tony Schiller
  28. Gen Smith
  29. Kenny Black
  30. Ross Smith
  31. Grant Wilmont
  32. Bobby Sands
  33. Jim Clark
  34. Mike Johnson

Friday, September 20, 2013

1970 - Noble cops season crown at Tri-Oval

Fountain City, Wis., (September 20, 1970) - The victory had been a long time a coming and it left a grimy but jubilant Dave Noble slumped wearily over the hood of his 1970 Chevelle.
Noble had fought a grueling 40-lap challenge from Rich Olson at Tri-Oval Speedway to score his first feature victory since June 6 — a triumph that not only earned him the season championship trophy but more importantly $550 for the season point title.
Noble entered the feature in second place and 66 points behind veteran Paul Fitzpatrick of Rochester. The victory was worth 75 points, but had Fitzpatrick finished in the money the title would have been his. 
But the trouble that had frustrated Noble for much of the season (he had led the point race for better than a month at the beginning of the season) Sunday befell Fitzpatrick in spades.
Noble jumped into the lead on the first of the 40 laps but Fitzpatrick was a close second for 14 laps. Then front-end trouble left Fitzpatrick jammed against the fence and out of the race.
Noble allowed Olson to grab the lead with 18 laps to run, retrieved the advantage with seven laps left and withstood both tire trouble and Olson to win.
When the two right-tide tires on his Chevelle went flat before be could coast to a stop following the checkered flag, Noble was elated.
“Troubles, yes we had them,” he noted, “but this more than makes up for anything that happened.
What a day!” Olson walked up, offered his hand and a smile.
“You drove some race, friend,” praised Noble. “That was a fine driving job. I don't know when I’ve driven in a tougher race.”
Fitzpatrick had watched the finish of the race from the grandstand and was a picture of dejection.
“Just when you think everything is going right something like this happens,” he said. “But that's the way this game is. One piece of trouble and you’re out of it.”
While the red flag fell only for Fitzpatrick, it wasn't the only trouble. John Foegen had an axle let go, the ensuing slide taking Bunky Hayes of Eau Claire out also, and Gary Doelle also had front end problems but hung on to finish fifth.
Allen Ward of Elba, Minn., made his first start in several weeks and finished third ahead of Gerhard Wollenburg of Austin, Minn.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

1967 - Ernie nears Eighth IMCA Crown

Ernie Derr
Hutchinson, Kan. (September 19, 1967) - Ernie Derr, the 46-year-old speed king from Keokuk, Iowa, virtually clinched his eighth national IMCA stock car championship when he roared to victory in the 25-lap feature event of the stock car program at the Kansas State Fair on Tuesday.

Winner of more feature car races than any other driver in any field of auto racing, Derr ran his record of victories to 208 out of 530 features since 1955. He is the defending champion on IMCA’s dirt and paved ovals in over a dozen states. He won stock features here both Monday and Tuesday.

What may have been more important is he increased his point lead over Ramo Stott, another speed merchant from Keokuk, to the point where Stott would have to win every race remaining on the IMCA sanction list this fall and Derr would have to finish out of the money if Stott is to catch him.

Odds appeared about 100 to 1 that Derr will win an unprecedented eighth IMCA stock car championship. He and his Dodge stock cars have won previous titles in 1953, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965 and 1966, He was runner-up in 1963 and 1964.

Only the late Gus Schrader, a big car driver with seven national records, has had anything like a comparable record.

Derr said he liked the Kansas fair oval, and he proved it with a driving performance that seemed letter perfect. Although Lenny Funk, the flying Kansas farmer from Otis, had earned the pole position, Derr shot around him to take the lead before cars had moved 150 yards from the starting line. Ramo Stott passed Funk on the fifth lap, but neither ever mounted a serious challenge to Derr.

The “champ” caught slower cars in the race within a lap and a half. Then he rode high on the straight-aways, passing cars on the outside. He hugged the infield at the turns, passing cars on the inside.

Derr is his own race strategist, and he had his car set up perfectly for the well-soaked dirt speedway that he never skidded on corners even while taking them at greater speed than other ears, which frequently skidded high or out.

Derr broke his own record in the feature, despite a one lap run under the caution flag. He clocked the 25 laps in 11 minutes and 38.81 seconds as compared with the old record of 11 minutes and 42.65 seconds that he set in 1963.

Stott would finish second followed by Funk third and Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn., taking fourth.

A field of 17 cars started, but not all finished. Willie Crane, Springfield, Mo., spun out on the turn three, and wound up on a mud bank half-way into the infield.

Elmer Walton, Liberty, Mo., lost a wheel as he tamed onto the back straightaway. Walton stopped, but the wheel rolled the length of the straightaway, started around the banked curve, and finally flopped on mud which had been bladed unto the infield.

Results –

  1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
  2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
  3. Leonard Funk, Otis, Kan.
  4. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.
  5. Butch Hall, Russell, Minn.
  6. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
  7. Roland Wilson, Bedford, Iowa
  8. Willie Crane, Springfield, Mo.
  9. Jim Thomas, Springfield, Mo.
  10. Bill Stark, Des Moines, Iowa
  11. Tom Roller, Independence, Mo.
  12. Elmer Walton, Liberty, Mo.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

1963 - Wade Leads Jalopy Field

Hutchinson, Kan. (September 17, 1963) - Spinning along at the head of the field, almost unchallenged, Grady Wade of Wichita grabbed every first place finish within his reach to take top honors in Tuesday's program of jalopy races at the Kansas State Fair.
Wade outran a field that included several former national jalopy champions to win his heat in the best 10-lap time of the day, 4 minutes and 40 seconds. He won the five-lap trophy dash in a speedy two minutes and 13 seconds and came back to win the A-feature.
But it was the ill-starred B-feature that kept fans at the edge of their seats, brought the greatest applause, the longest period of silence and the wail of the ambulance siren.
On the first lap of the race, a car driven by Dick Doran, Wichita, skidded sidewise at the north turn, rolled over twice and came to rest against the fence. Doran received a gash across his head and was taken to St. Elizabeth's Hospital where he was treated and released.
The race was re-started. Buddy Leibrand, Parkville, Mo., spun out on the number two corners, near the infield. He abandoned the car. Jerry Reed, Hutchinson, flipped over on his top near the third corner. He crawled out and jumped to the infield. Duane was throwing steam. He parked it high on the track at the south curve. Milton Ward, Great Bend spun into the fence on t he backstretch near the number three corner. Gene McClellan's engine threw a rod and seemed to explode near turn one. Bits of block, cylinder, and other hunks of metal were scattered along the track.
There were several other spins, and near crack-ups, but the race continued with John Riead, Hutchinson, emerging as the winner. Dick Unger, Wichita, was second.
Several spinouts also spiced the A-feature, but the most spectacular accident came at the number four corners.
Earl Hughes, Buffalo, Okla., seemed to have everything under control as he neared the third corner on the 18th lap of the race. Then, it appeared a hose or radiator burst, throwing a cloud of steam. Hughes hurtled on into the fence — and through it.
Former national champions competing in the A feature were Forrest Coleman, Wichita, who finished second and Frankie Lies, who finished fourth. Roy Bryant, third and Bill Nelson, fifth, have won other major race events here.

Results –

  1. Grady Wade, Wichita, Kan.
  2. Forrest Coleman Wichita, Kan.
  3. Roy Bryant, Wichita, Kan.
  4. Frankie Lies, Wichita, Kan.
  5. Bill Nelson, Wichita, Kan.
  6. Ray Riner, Wichita, Kan.
  7. Virgil Chapman, Kansas City, Kan.
  8. Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
  9. Jay Woodside, Wichita, Kan.
  10. Leland Salmans, Larned, Kan.
  11. Ben Steadman, Sharon, Okla.
  12. Bill Curless, Wichita, Kan.
  13. Jack Petty, Wichita, Kan.
  14. Earl Hughes, Buffalo, Okla.

Monday, September 16, 2013

1978 – Eaker cops first Yankee Dirt Track Classic

Verlin Eaker 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Sept. 16, 1979) – Electric!

That was the best way to describe the 1st Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic at Hawkeye Downs’ half-mile semi-banked oval.

No matter where you looked that Saturday night, there was an air of electricity.

- A jam-packed grandstand was buzzing with excitement from the first heat right through to the big 100-lap feature.

- The pit area was electric with the task of qualifying for the feature race.

- Finally, the sky was electric, literally, with a pending rain shower. Lightning flashed in sky overhead, not too far west of the track but everyone was hopeful the feature would be completed.

It was finished, but barely and not to the full contingent of laps.

Part of the stage for the $25,000 classic had been set the night before during time trials. Ninety late models drivers drew numbers for qualifying position and less than a handful were unable to time for one reason or another. It was ironic; perhaps, that the last qualifying number was drawn by Mike Frieden, whose father Al Frieden and Uncle Jim Brown co-promoted Hawkeye Downs.

The field was star-studded, no doubt about that – names like Sanger, Hansen, Hoffman, Dolan, Merryfield, Walton, Dake, Eaker, Horn, Rice and Gary Crawford dotting the line-up. All those drivers and 80 others took their two attempts at qualifying but the best they could do was simply not good enough.

Mike Niffenegger, veteran pilot form Kalona, Iowa, stood the crowd on its collective feet with a run of 23:497, nearly two-tenths of a second better than the track record set only a couple of months ago by Ed Sanger.

Out front all the way in the feature was another veteran, Verlin Eakers of Mechanicsville, Iowa. Eaker knows Hawkeye Downs Speedway as well or better than any driver in Iowa. He needed and used every bit of that knowledge and got a little bit of help from the weather man in the end.

Eaker had sixth fastest time the night before and consequently was guaranteed a starting position in the feature. He started on the pole as the first six fastest were inverted. He came around first after one lap and came around first on the next 88 laps of the race before rain halted things. He picked up $5,000 for winning and a sizeable chunk of lap money to boot.

But the guy who came in second – where did he come from?

Well, he came all the way from Dahlonega, Georgia, to begin with and the 12th starting position in the feature grid to end with. Doug Kenimer wasn’t much of a threat in the early going with all of the local hot shoes in pursuit of Eaker. But, one-by-one the locals began to drop out. Hansen left with problems, then Sanger, Hoffman, and Walton among others. Out of nowhere, it seemed, there was Kenimer. He passed Bill Rice, He passed Roger Dolan. He passed Fred Horn and that left him only Verlin Eaker.

Circuit after circuit they race bumper to bumper, neither giving an inch. Finally, with a grandstand full of fans standing and screaming, it began to sprinkle. Then, it began raining. The cars were stopped on the front stretch. Promoter Al Frieden walked over to Kenimer’s car, asked him about racing conditions and called the race complete.

“It was getting to slick to race,” Kenimer said, “and that’s what I told Al.” A smiling Eaker agreed. “It was pretty bad out there when it started sprinkling. It should have been stopped.”

“I knew what Verlin would say, laughed Frieden, “that’s why I asked Doug first.”

But the finish left questions unanswered. Could Eaker have held off a ferocious charge by Kenimer for 11 more laps? Could Kenimer have found enough track to get around?

No one will ever know.

Results -

1. Verlin Eaker
2. Doug Kenimer
3. Fred Horn
4. Roger Dolan
5. Bill Rice
6. Denny Osborn
7. Joe Merryfield
8. John Connolly
9. Brent Laursen
10. Tom Hearst
11. Jim Curry
12. Karl Sanger
13. Jim Roberts
14. Bill Zwanziger
15. Rocky Hodges

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1934 - Emory Collins Wins 25-Lap Auto Race from Gus Schrader

Spencer, Iowa (September 15, 1934) - Before the largest crowd ever to see an auto racing program at the Clay County Fair and one of the largest throngs ever to gather for a sport event in this section of the country, Emory “Spunk” Collins of LeMars carried away the honors in the 25-lap final of the Western Sweepstakes at Spencer Saturday afternoon, beating the national champion, Gus Schrader of Cedar Rapids, across the finish line by two lengths of his car.

It is conservatively estimated that between 21,000 and 22,000 persons saw the racing on the Clay County Fair oval as the grand windup to a week of thrilling track events. The grandstand and bleachers were packed and temporary seats along the rail in the grandstand paddock were jammed to capacity. It is estimated that the grandstand-bleacher crowd totaled approximately 9,000 people, including those jammed into the paddock.

Then, atop every nearby building or barn, on the sides of trucks and cars, and crammed along the concrete retaining wall for the entire distance around the track were thousands more. The fair association opened the gates to the infield just before the start of the racing and the inner fence was crowded three to six deep with people. It is not far wrong to estimate that the crowds along the outside and inside fences or perched in barns and buildings totaled at least 12,000 people. Never had such a crowd attended an event at Spencer or the Clay county fair before.

The attraction, of course, was the 25-lap championship race with its two preliminary 5-lap heats. This, the longest dirt track race of the International Motor Contest association for the 1934 season, was for national championship points and Collins’ victory sent him up dose to Gus Schrader for a chance at this crown which Schrader has worn for two years.

Also in the race was Sig Haugdahl, the Norwegian veteran who in 22 years of racing has held the national title 7 consecutive years before losing it to Schrader in 1932.

The matching of the three racers, Schrader, Collins and Haugdahl, in one great meet was an outstanding attraction to the fair.

In the Western Sweepstakes preliminary heats Haugdahl and Collins were the winners. Haugdahl nosed out Schrader in the first heat after a brilliant piece of stretch driving during the final three laps of the five-lap affair.

On the fourth lap, the thousands almost saw a crash between the two stars as Schrader was pocketed behind Haugdahl by Gus Anderson, South Dakota speed demon, and had to shoot between the Norwegian’s yellow Miller Special and the concrete retaining wall in order to get out of the fix. He shot ahead momentarily in this desperate burst of speed, but Haugdahl’s H-4 car overtook him on the backstretch and came careening around the short turn into the stretch for the victory. Larry Beckett was third.

In the second heat, Collins had an easy time disposing of the lone challenger, Buddy Calloway, in his powerful six-cylinder Luthy Special, a cut-down model of Calloway’s Indianapolis speedway two-seater. Galloway was second and Roy Lake third.

Then after a series of championship dashes, consolation matches and invitation heats, the results of which are set out in the chart on this sport page, a field of twelve met for the 25-lap championship heat and the national title points.

Collins started making his successful bid for the victory in the sixth lap when he came from about fifth place up to third and challenged the leader, Roy Lake, in the eighth lap.

The two battled it out for five laps, but in the fourteenth Collins shot to the fore and took a lead, which he never relinquished, although Gus Schrader tied him at the wire on two of the final laps only to see the LeMars speedster again take the advantage with brilliant short turn driving and amazing bursts of speed on the stretches.

Schrader and Collins raced nose-and-nose in the 22nd and 24th laps as the national champion sought to stave off the stigma of defeat.

Haugdahl and Lake also staged a brilliant battle for third place. It commenced in the 21st lap when Haugdahl, driving his 1933 Miller, tried to pass Lake on the backstretch and failed when Lake short turned the near turn and threw a chunk of dirt in Haugdahl’s face.

On the 22nd lap, however, Haugdahl came up to be exactly even with the flying white Cragar Special driven by Lake, but again on the turn the plucky Los Angeles speed demon outmaneuvered the ex-champion and again dished out a good section of the track surface in Haugdahl’s lap.

In the 23rd lap, Haugdahl reencountered for a final position for his final spurt and apparently had gained it until Lake put on a sudden burst of speed that left the Norwegian flatfooted. Haugdahl sped up and overtook the Californian as they crossed the wire on the 24th lap, but had to go to the outside on the turn which let Lake short-turn him again and tossed some dirt, costing Haugdahl the third position. The little white car flashed across the finish line a length ahead of Haugdahl and his cigar.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

1952 - Perlick wins 100-miler on slow track

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 14, 1952) - Shorty Perlick of Minneapolis, Minn., boosted his lead in the national IMCA stock car point standings Sunday as he captured the 100-mile race on a rough, narrow Hawkeye Downs half-mile track.

Perlick, driving a 1950 Oldsmobile, took advantage of one of a dozen heart-breaking incidents that plagued cars and drivers as they ran the gauntlet of a muddy, slow track to a fast, hard surface.

He took the lead on the 194th lap when the previous front man, Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kans., was forced into a half-minute pit stop. Harrison returned to the track and finished second.

Perlick, who was leading the IMCA point standings going into the season's second Cedar Rapids 100-miler, thus goes further ahead in his bid for the 1952 point title.

Only, a dozen cars were still in the running when the checkered flag dropped after two hours, 57 minutes and 22 seconds. Five times the pace was slowed by caution flags as cars plowed through the wooden guardrails.

Robert “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids, who started 20th in a field of 21, worked his way up to fourth spot in his ‘51 Nash, when his car's radiator gave out on the 176th lap.

Sonny Helms of Des Moines, who took the lead on the first lap then lost it to Glen Larson of Aurora, Ill., and then returned to the lead on the 20th lap. He held first until he blew a tire on the 101st lap, and was forced out because of a broken wheel.

Larson, who had led between Helms’ two episodes, was forced to the pits several times and wound up 11th. Harrison set the pace from the 101st to the 194th laps, when he went to the pits.

Ernie Derr of Ft. Madison, Iowa, another point leader in the IMCA, ran a steady race to take third honors and Wally Dahl of Minneapolis, who won the first Cedar Rapids 100-miler earlier this year, took fourth after coming back from the pits twice to set hot paces.

An unusual incident enlivened proceedings on the 75th lap, as Jimmy Clark's Oldsmobile lost a wheel coming into the stretch. The wheel rounded the turn perfectly, rolled majestically down the stretch a scant foot from the outer guard fence, and then crossed the track into the pits - all under its own power.

Results –

1.      Shorty Perlick, Minneapolis, Minn.
2.      Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
3.      Ernie Derr, Ft. Madison, Iowa
4.      Wally Dahl, Minneapolis, Minn.
5.      Dick Noudek, Wichita, Kan.
6.      Pat Patterson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7.      Mel Krueger, Anita, Iowa
8.      Delmar Donaldson, Burlington, Iowa
9.      Chris Skadal, Des Moines, Iowa
10.  Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
11.  Glen Larson, Aurora, Ill.
12.  Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
13.  Chuck Magnison, Minneapolis, Minn.
14.  Eddie Anderson, Grinnell, Iowa
15.  Sonny Helms, Des Moines, Iowa
16.  Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
17.  Jimmy Clark, Ft. Worth, Tex.
18.  Dick Nau, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
19.  Ralph Dyer, Shreveport, La.
20.  Ken Stattler, Davenport, Iowa
21.  Gordon Howard, Marshalltown, Iowa

Thursday, September 12, 2013

1970 - Fairground Kings; Oldham and Reece

Des Moines, Iowa (September 12, 1970) - Dick Oldham of Des Moines was officially declared the State Fairgrounds late-model stock car point champion with 314 points. Oldham won only one feature during the season - the midseason championship. He drove a 1969 Chevelle.

Stan Stover of Reinbeck was runner-up to Oldham with 285 points; defending champion Bob Hilmer of Dysart was third (249), Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids fourth (244) and Don Hoffman of Des Moines, the 1969 sportsman champion, was fifth (239).

Phil Reece of Des Moines nabbed the sportsman (cars of 1955-64 vintage) title with 1,393 points, according to standings released by promoter Homer Melton of Rock Island, Ill. Trailing Reece was Larry Embrey, Grimes, 1,275; Jerry Roberts, Prairie City, 978; Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn., and Ken Davidson, Des Moines, 687.

Lem Blankenship of Keokuk and Hilmer won the most late model features with four each. Blankenship captured four of the first five then went off to compete in the United States Auto Club. Hilmer, after rebuilding his 1969 Chevelle, won four of five mains from June 27 through July 25. He had only two fourth place finishes after that.

In the sportsman division, Reece, who competed in a 1957 Chevrolet, captured five feature victories. He won only one after June 13 and that came September 4.

Final Point Standings - 

Late Model –

1. Dick Oldham, Des Moines – 314
2. Stan Stover, Reinbeck – 285
3. Bob Hilmer, Dysart - 249
4. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids – 244
5. Don Hoffman, Des Moines – 239
6. George Barton, Ankeny – 224
7. Don Davidson. Des Moines – 193
8. Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines – 155
9. Chris Maurer, Colfax – 145
10. Danny Clement, Rhodes – 142
11. Dan Dickey, Packwood – 140
12. Dave Chase, Council Bluffs – 114
13. Shorty Selsor, Des Moines – 96
14. Gary Jones, Des Moines – 88
15. Buggy Vincent, Nevada – 76

Sportsman -

1. Phil Reece, Des Moines – 1,393
2. Larry Embrey, Grimes – 1,275
3. Jerry Roberts, Prairie City – 978
4. Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn. – 945
5. Ken Davidson, Des Moines – 687
6. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines – 503
7. Marvin Korns, Brooklyn – 469
8. Roger Bruce, Des Moines- 448
9. Chuck Berg, Des Moines – 298
10. Buzz Sampson, Des Moines - 298