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.

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