Des Moines, Iowa (July 10, 1971) - Wild! That's the way to describe the late-model stock car feature won by Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night before 8,407 fans.
Dake, who won the 25-lap event for the first time, survived a head-on collision with Dave Chase of Council Bluffs and also had the advantage of early leader Butch Householder of Algona falling out.
The Dake-Chase encounter came during the sixteenth lap as they raced down the backstretch.
Chase, running second at the time, got crossed up in front of Dake's 1970 Ford Torino - third then - and he had no place to go.
“There wasn’t anything I could do,” Dake said. “I just hung onto the steering wheel and hoped I wouldn’t start spinning.”
He didn’t and the episode didn't even slow down the race. Stan Stover of Reinbeck finished second in a 1970 Nova and point leader John Connolly of Delhi was third in a ‘69 Mercury.
Householder took the initial lead in the race and led through lap 18, when he was sidelined with mechanical problems. At one point he had nearly one-third lap edge.
There were several other heartbreaks during the night and Don Davidson of Des Moines was a victim of some wild driving by Dan Dickey of Packwood.
Davidson had been runner-up to Householder for the first eight laps and Dickey was running third. On the ninth lap, Davidson spun - his crew claimed Dickey was the cause and he appeared to be – and Dickey slammed into him.
Both cars were able to continue the race, but they had to take positions back in the pack.
Bob Hilmer of Dysart also was involved in a scrape in the feature and he was sidelined for a couple of laps, long enough to keep him out of the money.
Don Hoffman of Des Moines, who had won last week's feature, was involved in a collision with Bill Green of Des Moines in the semi-main and did not compete in the main.
Dick Gustin of Des Moines was back in the winner's circle for the second consecutive week in the 15-lap sportsman feature.
He had been sidelined twice in preliminary events but won the main by nearly one-half lap over Billy Geil, also of Des Moines. Gustin was in a 1965 Chevelle and Geil drove a 1957 Chevy.
Joe Merryfield of Des Moines, victim of a first-heat crash when he was leading coming out of the fourth turn on the last lap and some mechanical problems in the semi-main, was third.
George Barton of Ankeny drove Matt Moro’s 1957 Chevy - Moro was out of town – and finished fourth.
Late Model -
1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
2. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
3. John Connolly, Delhi
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
5. Larry Embrey, Grimes
6. Dan Dickey, Packwood
7. Bob Helm, Andalusia, Ill.
8. Ken Davidson, Des Moines
9. John Meyers, Brooklyn
10. Don Davidson, Des Moines
1. Dick Gustin, Des Moines
2. Billy Geil, Des Moines
3. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
4. George Barton, Ankeny
5. Phil Reece, Des Moines
6. Chuck Berg, Des Moines
7. Bill Holder, Ames
8. John Hutchinson, Des Moines