Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1977 - Freeporter Wins Feature at Raceway

Freeport, Ill. (September 11, 1977) – Bill Lameyer took advantage of car trouble by fellow Freeporter Jim Thruman to capture the 40-lap season championship feature race at Freeport Raceway Sunday night.

Thruman, who had led the entire race, lost the lead to Lameyer on the far straightaway of lap 36 and seconds later blew an engine to enable Lameyer to breeze to the victory.

Lameyer had grabbed the second spot early in the race and provided the only serious challenge to Thruman out of the 15-car field. Thruman had established u healthy lead shortly after mid-race, but Lameyer came back and edged into the lead just before Thruman's mishap.

John Connolly, winner of the mid-season championship at Freeport and victorious in both feature races Labor Day weekend, was forced out of the feature with car trouble Sunday night. The Delhi, Iowa, driver was still the season point leader here, amassing nearly 200 more than Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A major delay in the feature took place when John Englekin of Morrison went into the wall on the third turn of lap 24. It was during the delay that Connolly, who had moved up two slots in six laps and was sitting in third place, developed trouble and had to be towed off of the track.

After the race was restarted Thruman took up right where he had left off. He had an undisputed hold on first place until Lameyer, taking the inside, pulled even with him on the final turn of lap 35. A half lap later, Lameyer took the lead and after Thruman's trouble the final stages of the race were academic.

“The car was not running quite right,” said the bearded Lameyer. “But then neither was his (Thruman's) or anybody else's.” (Accidents plagued most of the racing action.) “I was close, but I think he (Thruman) would have stayed ahead if he had not had trouble,” admitted Lameyer frankly.

Jim Leverington, also of Freeport, finished in the second spot and Peoria’s Al Terrell captured third. Fourth place in the feature went to Freeport’s Dave Meile while fifth was taken by Rick O'Brien of Peoria.

Terrell took the time trials in a time of 25.99 seconds for one lap around the half mile dirt track. Terrell also won the trophy dash as he overtook the hard luck Thruman on the final turn of the race in an exciting finish.

The semi-feature went to Freeport’s Terry Pfeiffer, who moved ahead of Dennis Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about halfway through the 30-lap event.

Pfeiffer also won the first heat race. He took both victories in commanding fashion. Englekin took the second heat, passing initial leader Dennis Miller on the third lap and outracing Meile to the finish line. The third heat was captured by Connolly, who led the entire race and won handily over Norm Meinert of Davis and Terrell.

There were many cars, normally regulars at Freeport, who were not here Sunday night. The field was thinned even more by the rash of drivers having mechanical troubles of one kind or another with their machines. However, most drivers who had problems during their respective races were able to complete the event.

The final top 10 point winners for the 1977 season and their accumulated totals:

1. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa – 1,247

2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa – 1,051

3. Duane Steffe, Peoria, Ill. - 980

4. Terry Pfeiffer, Freeport, Ill. - 900

5. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa - 886

6. Bill Lameyer, Freeport, Ill. - 819

7. Jim Strube, Peoria, Ill. - 808

8. Jim Leverington, Freeport, Ill. - 774

9. Norm Meinert, Davis, Ill. - 740

10. Jim Thruman, Freeport, Ill. - 669

1 comment:

  1. Great Story & Thank's for the Memories Kyle, Ron Thruman.