Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1970 - Morris sweeps opening races at Oskaloosa

by Ida May Van Gendren
Oskaloosa, Iowa (May 6, 1970) - A large crowd of race fans braved the cool temperatures to watch Mel Morris, last year’s point champion, make a clean sweep at the super stock car races here at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds track Wednesday night.

The West Liberty driver opened the S.I.R.A. 1970 season by winning the five-lap trophy dash. Morris then proceeded to capture every race in which he entered including the second heat, Australian and the big 15-lap feature event.

The track was fast and the traffic heavy as the field of cars roared into the first turn at the start of the feature race. Morris, who started on the outside front row position jumped into the lead only to lose it to John Moss of Riverside on the second lap.

Morris overtook Moss on the fourth lap to regain the lead and hold it to the checkered flag Pokey West of West Chester finished third ahead of Washington’s Mark Mosier in fourth.

Following were Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids, Mike Brooks of Hartford, Bob Bonzer of Liscomb and Jerry Roberts of Des Moines.

The super stocks were turning laps in less than the 24-seoond bracket on the fast half-mile oval.

The red flag was dropped only once and that was on the third lap of the feature when Joel Rasmussen of Ames tangled with the fence between the third and fourth turns. He was unhurt in the accident.

Morris had to fight off a hard charging Bill McDonough to cop the trophy dash. McDonough’s Camaro was really turning on, but he just couldn’t seem to catch the Morris Plymouth.

John Moss won the light battle for the first eight-lap heat race. Moss edged out Pokey West, who came in a very close second. Mike Brooks was third. Don Hoffman of Des Moines rode along the second turn guard rail and was forced to retire to the pits on the fifth lap.

McDonough again followed Morris across the finish line in second heat. Bob Bonzer of Liscomb was in third with Jerry Roberts of Des Moines in fourth.

It was Chevy, Ford and Dodge at the finish of the six-lap consolation. Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree was first, then David Bryant of Albion and Jerry Hamm of Ottumwa.

Mel Morris managed to pass three cars in the six-lap Australian pursuit event to take another victory. Right on his bumper all the way was Bill McDonough, who had to settle for second, Mike Brooks was third.

Results –

Trophy Dash: Mel Morris, West Liberty
First Heat: John Moss, Riverside
Second Heat: Mel Morris
Consolation: Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
Australian Pursuit: Mel Morris

  1. Mel Morris
  2. John Moss
  3. Pokey West, West Chester
  4. Mark Mosier, Washington
  5. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
  6. Mike Brooks, Hartford
  7. Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
  8. Jerry Roberts, Des Moines

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