Des Moines, Iowa (July 9, 1972) - The "Old Fox" wasn't on hand for Iowa's longest stock car race on Sunday, but his tactics still proved to be the winning way.
For six years in a row, Ernie Derr, Keokuk, had dominated the
300, run on the State Fairgrounds one-half mile track under the sponsorship of
the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA). Iowa
That left the field in Sunday's race open to a new winner, and Fred Horn,
came through in steady fashion to win the 150-mile event. Marion
“I pulled an Ernie Derr on them,” Horn quipped after the race, adding, “I just took it easy and kept a steady pace, while other drivers pushed their equipment beyond its limit.”
That style of driving, while it is far from spectacular, has been the trademark of Derr and earned him the “Fox” nickname.
Although Horn said his engine was operating with a cracked piston, the 1970
kept going while the others fell by the wayside. Plymouth
With 40 laps to go, Horn was running more than a lap behind leader Gerry Harrison,
He passed the Topeka, Kan.
driver on the 261st lap to cut the lead to less than one lap and began to cut
away at the Kansas
driver’s margin. Kansas
In the next 17 laps he had slashed almost half a lap off
Harrison's lead, and then got the break he needed. Harrison's car blew a tire and he had to come into the
pits on the 288th lap.
Horn was short of tread on his tires when he finished the race, but he made it all the way through without a tire change - a major accomplishment on the concrete-like dirt surface.
Last year's IMCA rookie of the year, Jim Hager,
finished fourth and Vern Mondry, Liberty, Mo. , was
Carl VanderWal, Ames who ranked 10th in IMCA stock car points going into the race, completed 251 laps of the race by the time the checkered flag came out for a 16th-place finish.
The IMCA point leader, Irv Janey,
, was touted as the favorite in
the race, but as has happened several times before, mechanical failure put him
out of the running. He went out of the race with a transmission failure before
the halfway point of the endurance run. Cedar Rapids
1. Fred Horn,
2. Gerry Harrison,
3. Lem Blankenship,
4. Jim Hager,
5. Vern Mondry,
Lake Elmo, Minn.
6. Blackie Wangerin, Cascade,
7. Tom Frazier,
Jefferson City, Mo.
8. Don Cooper,
City, Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas Mo.
10. Jim Still,
11. Jerry Covert,
12. Bill Stahl,
St. Paul, Minn.
13. Shorty Acker,
14. Verne Covert,
15. Jim Anderson,
Kansas City, Mo.
16. Carl Vander Wal,
17. Ernie Shirley,
Kansas City, Kan.
18. Larry Sponsler,
Des Moines, Iowa
19. Roy McClellan,
Kansas City, Mo.
20. Roger Brown, Waverly,