Thursday, June 26, 2014

1968 - Axle breaks and big race is lost

Knoxville, Iowa (July 26, 1968) – “The game is never over until the last batter is out.”
That expression was recalled Saturday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds racetrack in Knoxville.
Many of the more than 4,000 onlookers were starting to leave as current point’s leader Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City was breezing along with a comfortable lead in the 25-lap feature event.
He had taken that position on the 14th lap when Russ Hibbard of Slater, Mo., was forced to the pits with a blown engine. Hibbard had been roaring along with a big lead when the bad break came. Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill. and Joe Saldana were trying vainly to close the gap on Sutcliffe.
Approaching the third run with the white flag waiting for him, Sutcliffe lost a rear axle. He watched helplessly as Blundy and Saldana went by on the inside. Sutcliffe finally came to a stop almost a full lap after the axle gave out and Blundy and Saldana sailed by the checkered flag with Ray Lee Goodwin third.
Joe Saldana turned in fast time of the night with a 21:64. Sutcliffe was second with 21:75 and Earl Wagner of Pleasantville third with 21:85.

Results –
Trophy Dash: Roy Hibbard, Marshall, Mo.
First Heat: Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg, Iowa
Second Heat: Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City, Mo.
Third Heat: Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
Consolation: Jay Woodside, Kansas City
1. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
2. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
3. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
4. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
5. Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.

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