Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1964 - Did IMCA pilots use fake names at Knoxville?

Des Moines, Iowa (June 17, 1964) – The International Motor Contest Association may have a sticky situation on their hands as a result of charges that some of its registered drivers competed under fictitious names in a super modified program last Saturday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa.

One driver, a “Bill Brower” of St. Paul, Minn., who finished third in the main event, was identified as Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., the International Motor Contest Association sprint car point leader who was to have competed in the canceled Hawkeye Futurity on Sunday. 

A second was Jerry “Scratch” Daniels, who raced under the name of “Don Daniels” which happens to be the name of his brother. Jerry (or Don) won the second heat race.

Richert and Daniels have competed at Knoxville for several seasons. Richert won the National Super Modified Championship there in 1962.

“We didn’t know a lot of the boys that signed in Saturday,” said Mrs. Marion Robinson wife of the promoter who supervises the signing in of drivers and also handles the scoring duties.

A total of 37 cars were on hand for the program – one of the largest entries for the season according to Larry Scarpino publicity man for Robinson, who also handles race meets at the Bloomfield and Newton tracks.

The puzzle is why some drivers were permitted to be falsely indentified over the public address system when track officials and many patrons were aware of their true identity and after they had signed their correct names on the insurance waivers.

“They were told by Al Sweeney, IMCA race supervisor, they could race, providing they didn’t use their names,” asserted Mrs. Robinson. “Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., who won the Saturday night feature, said he wasn’t going to use a phony name,” she added.

“It’s not true,” snapped Sweeney. “In the first place, none of the drivers were barred from competing since it didn’t conflict with any other IMCA contests.”

“So why should I tell them not to use their real name? It was like that other time at Pioneer, when I was accused of the same thing,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney referred to a 1958 incident when six IMCA licensed stock car drivers were fined for using false names when racing at the Des Moines that was operated by Robinson. They were Johnny Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, Bob Burdick of Omaha, Lloyd Jorgenson of Anita, Iowa, Bob Short of Des Moines, Kenneth Schultz of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa.

“It’s nothing else but a publicity stunt by Robinson,” said the irked Sweeney. “I have never talked to any of the drivers about racing there.”

The 1958 ruling of IMCA was based on “use of false names while racing at non-sanctioned race track in the direct vicinity if IMCA-sanctioned race tracks”.

However, since IMCA sanctioned a 200-lap stock car race there earlier this spring, the Knoxville track might be presumed to be a sanctioned track and not in violation of the 75-mile rule.

This rule prohibits drivers from competing at a non-sanctioned track within 75 miles of an IMCA-sanctioned race track. The Knoxville program on Saturday night was not a sanctioned event by IMCA. 

However, IMCA does have broad general rules covering conduct of drivers. The use of false names might be construed as “not keeping with the best interest of IMCA” clause contained in the 1958 ruling.

Meanwhile, Blundy, a refrigeration engineer, who races on weekends, reportedly has his sprint car up for sale and will race in super modified programs because “I can make more money”.

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