Sunday, August 31, 2014

1960 - Iggy Katona Wins Eldora Race

Rossburg, Ohio (August 31, 1960) - Iggy Katona, Milan, Mich., piloted a 1960 Ford to victory in the MARC-sanctioned Eldora 500 at Rossburg, Ohio on Sunday.

It was the eighth renewal of the favorite event of the Midwest for late model stock cars, which was formerly held on the Dayton, Ohio, half-mile banked asphalt, but moved to the Eldora half- mile banked dirt oval this year.

Katona, one of the steadiest drivers in the business, won the first 500 in 1953, and started this one in 36th spot of the 39-car field, and worked his way to the front by 225 laps and then was never farther back than fourth the rest of the race.

He led from the 300-lap mark to the 350, but lost it to Mike Klapak, Warren, Ohio, 1958 Ford, when he pitted for fuel and tires. When Klapak pitted on the 413th lap for a right front tire and fuel, Katona again took the lead which he never relinquished.

Nelson Stacy, defending MARC champion started on the pole but blew a right front tire on the 72nd lap. At this time Jack Farris, New Paris, Ohio, driving a '59 Ford took the lead, having moved from 13th to Stacy's tail. Seriously injured in a crackup two years ago Farris had just received medical clearance last Saturday and was assigned the car just before the race.

Farris' stable-mate, Earl Balmer, Jeffersonville, Ind., edged into first near the 150th lap in his 1960 Ford when the differential on the Farris car began smoking. Farris was forced to quit a few laps later, as the mechanism gave out He was nearly overcome by the fumes. Farris was in second, three car lengths behind Balmer at the time. Balmer was forced to retire several laps later with mechanical difficulties also.

Katona collected over $2,000 for his hot, grimy ride.

The hard-driving Stacy got back into contention and was among the front runners later in the race, but blew another right front tire and rammed the outside retaining wall losing valuable time in the pits for needed repairs.

There were no serious injuries despite numerous tire blowouts, which caused cars to smash the outside retaining wall. . Several drivers and pit crewmen did receive first aid after near-collapse from the stifling heat.

The race purse was over $12,580.

Farris, always a popular chauffeur won the Dayton 500 in 1955 in a '55 Olds and then in 1956 piloted the local Allen Chevrolet to his second consecutive 500 victory. He was the, only driver to win the event twice, until Katona repeated Sunday.

Second place in the race went to Bob Duell, ‘60 Ford, third, Klapak; fourth, Elmer Musgrave, '59 Ford; fifth, Don Oldenburg, '59 Chevy. Nineteen cars were running at the finish.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

1975 – Parkinson’s Prevail at State Fair Auto Races

Ralph Parkinson Jr.
Lincoln, Neb. (August 30, 1975) – Ten years ago, when he was a 16-year-old and his father was racing at the state fairgrounds at Lincoln, Ralph Parkinson Jr., stole a racecar out of his garage at Wichita Falls, Texas.

He loaded the short wheelbase super modified up and headed for Lawton, Oklahoma, 50 miles away.

He had only been in a racecar twice and was an old enough to get the pits, but Ralph Parkinson Jr., did it anyway.

And guess what? He had ninth quickest time that night, finished second in his heat race, eighth in the feature and drove home $25 richer.

Racing was in his blood.

Saturday at the fairgrounds, Ralph Parkinson Jr. didn't have to lie about his age. And he could very well deceive his father.

Forty-seven-year-old Ralph Parkinson Sr. finished less than 2 seconds behind his son, Saturday's 25-lap feature winner in the IMCA-sanctioned sprint car races at the Nebraska State fair.

The only driver separating the father-son racing tandem was former Indy 500 driver Jan Opperman. He repeatedly challenged, but never overtook pole sitter Parkinson Jr., who led wire to wire.

Lincoln is getting to be younger Parkinson's favorite place to race. He was a state fair feature winner four years ago in his last appearance in the capital city.

Actually, Parkinson Jr. is a relative newcomer to sprint car racing despite his early introduction. He spent four years in engineering school at the University of Texas before returning to the sport four years ago.

“I like it,” he says. “I grew up Sunday afternoons on Wichita Falls’ dry slick order mile dirt track. Maybe that's why I this track so well.”

Parkinson, now of Kansas City, qualified for the feature and earned the pole position by winning the 10-lap consolation feature.

Eddie Leavitt was his closest challenger the first eight laps of the main event, but dropped out of the competition on the 13th lap after his car tangled with IMCA point leader Bill Utz.

Utz, moving to the back of the pack, never recovered from the spin out midway through the race and finished 11th.

Opperman moved to second on the ninth lap and stayed in that position the rest of the race.

“I looked over my shoulder and saw Jan on the restart,” Parkinson Jr, said. “But I had no idea pop was running in there so close. That's nice. We ran third and fourth last week at Sedalia (Mo.).”

Parkinson Jr. figures, “I have four years of solid racing under my belt. Actually, this is only my 12th race this here. I didn't get a very good ride and had some personal problems to straighten out.”

He's missed Nebraska State Fair competition the past three years after packing his bags and moving to Pennsylvania to race sprint cars there.

“I've raced everything - go carts, bicycles, AMA cycles, everything,” the younger Parkinson said. “The bug was there when I was little. I missed it those four years I went to college. I'm glad I'm back in it.”

Results –

Heat One: Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
Heat Two: Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
Heat Three: Gene Gennetten, Independence, Mo.
STP Match Race: Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
Consolation: Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City, Mo.

  1. Ralph Parkinson Jr.
  2. Jan Opperman, Noxon, Mont.
  3. Ralph Parkinson Sr., Kansas City, Mo.
  4. Gene Gennetten
  5. Roger Larson, Kramer, Penn.
  6. Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.
  7. Dick Forbrook, Morgan, Minn.
  8. Sonny Smyser, Glenwood, Mo.
  9. Randy Smith, Mt. Ayr, Iowa
  10. Phil Howe, Jacksonville, Ill.

Friday, August 29, 2014

1964 – Hutcherson Gains Victory in Fair’s 100-Mile Race

Sedalia, Mo. (September 29, 1964) - Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, took the late model stock car 100-mile race, but his victory wasn't official until judges had nullified a protest on lap tabulation filed by Ramo Stott, also from Keokuk.

But, the afternoon was not a complete loss to Stott. He set a 1 mile time trial record – not only for the Missouri State fair dirt track, but an unofficial world record for mile on dirt. Stott circled the mile oval and 41.34 seconds breaking his own record set in 1963.

That's not all. Stott not only had the fastest time in qualifying, but he set a lap record during the race. He turned laps in 39.65 seconds and had other times of 40.0 and 40.02 seconds.

Stott’s protest was on the lap count. The judges established that Hutcherson passed Stott while he was in the pits. His pick crew was under the impression Stott had a lap and a half lead over Hutcherson; it did not prove out on the official count.

It took more than two hours to make the check to determine the winner of the race.

Results –

  1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
  2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
  3. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
  4. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
  5. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
  6. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
  7. Dean Huckaby, Kansas City, Kan.
  8. Bill Thomas, Lake Elmo, Minn.
  9. Eddie Gray, Jefferson City, Mo.
  10. Vic Elson, Springfield, Mo.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1994 -Senneker cooks in Badgerland 150

West Allis Wis. (August 28, 1994) - It's only appropriate that the driver whose car is sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage won the Badgerland 150.

As Charlie Murphy used to cook the bratwurst for his entire block in his sponsors' old commercials, the Ford Thunderbird of pole sitter Bob Senneker cooked the Badgerland field over the final 27 laps at the Milwaukee Mile to pick up his first American Speed Association victory of the season and the 75th win of his career.

It was the first victory for Senneker at the Mile since July 14, 1991, and the eighth time a pole-sitter has won in 27 ASA races at the Mile.

"It was rigged," joked Senneker. "So was qualifying. I didn't go that fast yesterday, they just put that time on the clock."

The last thing Senneker, the winningest driver in the 26-year history of the circuit, needs is help from sponsors to win a race. But he did get help from a late caution flag and a new set of tires to beat National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing driver Ken Schrader by 2.36 seconds.

"I didn't have as good a set of tires after the first pit stop as I did at the beginning of the race," Senneker said. "We had an awesome pit stop late in the race and changed the stagger a little bit."

Before a competition yellow caution flag came out on lap 115, ASA point’s leader Butch Miller and Schrader were pulling away from the field and preparing for a shootout over the final laps.

The yellow flag brought Miller and Schrader back to the field. The competition yellow, an ASA rule which puts the race under caution after a certain amount of laps are run (at Milwaukee it's 50, at smaller tracks it's different) to give the race a better chance to be won on the track and not in the pits.

Senneker, who was fourth on the restart, then overpowered the field the rest of the way. Mike Eddy followed Schrader home in third, Bangor's Steve Holzhausen was fourth, Harold Fair was fifth and Miller was sixth.

"I don't run enough (ASA) races to say if it's a good rule," Schrader said. "But a rule is a rule. It happened with 35 laps remaining, when if something could happen, it probably would happen anyway."

Miller, of Vermillion, Ohio, holds a 2,032-1,974 lead in points over Eddy, a seven-time season champion. Holzhausen, who won two of the last three races before coming here, is third with 1,886. Senneker, who won his only season title in 1990, is fourth with 1,782.

Schrader, a regular on the Winston Cup circuit, completed a six-day run of racing that would make frequent-flyer junkies salivate.

After a day off following the Goodwrench 400 in Brooklyn, Mich., last Sunday, the Concord, N.C., resident began a trek which took him to Sheboygan County Fair in Plymouth on Tuesday, Missouri on Wednesday before moving on to Tennessee where he raced Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He moved to the half-mile banked oval in Bristol for Friday's Busch Grand National race, stayed there, and finished 19th in the Winston Cup Goody's 500, his worst finish of the week.

Sunday, he arrived in Milwaukee at 11 a.m. for the 2:30 p.m. race. On the seventh day, Schrader rests.

"It was a fun weekend," the weary one said. "I finished the worst in the race where I get paid the most."

Senneker, the first ASA driver to top the $1 million mark in earnings, was happy to end a rare victory drought that lasted more than 14 months.

"We have been fast all year long but we would have some minor mechanical problems or get caught up with another car on the track," he said. "We've been knocking at the door; I knew the win had to come."

Results -

1. Bob Senneker
2. Ken Schrader
3. Mike Eddy
4. Steve Holzhausen
5. Harold Fair
6. Butch Miller
7. Scott Hansen
8. Gary St. Amant
9. Brad Loney
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Kent Stauffer
12. Jay Sauter
13. Tony Roper
14. Tom Jones
15. Kevin Cywinski
16. Bret Bell
17. Bryan Reffner
18. Glenn Allen Jr.
19. Larry Zenk
20. Dennis Lampman
21. Tracy Schuler
22. Alec Pinsonneautt
23. Bill Baird
24. A.J. Cooper
25. Tom Harrington
26. John Freeman
27. Ted Smokstad
28. Dave Sensiba
29. Russ Gamester
30. Jeff Neal
31. Mike Miller
32. Joe Nott
33. Chris Miles
34. Randy Larson
35. Bobby Dotter
36. Todd Forbes
37. Dave Anspaugh
38. Ken Lund
39. Steve Carlson
40. Leighton Reese

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

1975 - Kearney King Races Cars

Kansas City, Mo. (August 27, 1975) – The “King of Kearney” does not ride in a luxurious coach pulled by four sources but in race cars which ply race tracks across the country.

The Kearney royalty is Eddie Leavitt and there are bumper stickers and no words of racecar fans to prove it. His title stems from his residency in the Clay County town of 984.

“Fred Broski (now a television announcer here) started that (the nickname) a long time ago,” Leavitt, 32, said. “He was announcing races at Olympic Stadium in Topeka. He started called me a “King of Kearney”. I think more people know of me as the King of Kearney then as Eddie Leavitt.”

That was about six or seven years ago, he said. Helping the nickname along about three years ago was a printing a bumper stickers proclaiming, “The King of Kearney - Eddie Leavitt”.

The stickers first appeared at a race in Phoenix as a result of efforts by a friend of his who is a printer, Leavitt said.

“All of a sudden one weekend there are bumper stickers all over, “Leavitt mentioned. “I'm sure no one knew where Kearney was or who Eddie Leavitt was.”

He said the bumper stickers have followed him around; making him almost one-man Chamber of Commerce for Kearney. He races on a super modified circuit in the Midwest but also races in Arizona, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Leavitt, who has been racing 12 years, said he has lived in Kearney nine years. He has four acres, “a garden, pony and a little fishpond” and a house. He and his wife, Judy, have three children - Mary, 12, Vicki, 11, and Butch, 6.

“It's (Kearney) a nice town but it is really booming,” Leavitt said. “It's doubled what it was nine years ago.”

He moved to Kearney when he started to work for his father who owned a wholesale propane company there. Now Leavitt has his own trucks which haul propane for Ferrelgas, Inc., out of Kearney and Platte City.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1962 - Branson Wins at Langhorne

Don Branson

Langhorne, Pa. (August 26, 1962) – “You know I’ve been in 38 consecutive championship races throughout the country, sat on the pole many times, but this is my first win. I’m glad that when it finally happened it was at the ‘Horne, as it is one of my favorite tracks.”

Don Branson, the 42-year-old grandfather from Champaign, Ill., was talking. It was hard for him to convince himself that he had finally won - and big.

Despite a badly cut eye, Branson established a new world record for 100 miles on dirt Sunday when he won the National Championship race for Indianapolis cars and drivers at the Langhorne Speedway.

Driving the Bob Wilkie Leader Card Special, the 15-year veteran was clocked in 57 minutes, 15.13 seconds, an average speed of 104.799 miles per hour. He shattered the old mark of 100.786 mph set by Jim Hurtubise of Lennox, Calif., last year on the same track.

Branson’s victory also halted the win streak of A. J. Foyt, the defending champion from Houston, Tex., who was trying to become the first driver in the 25-year history of the track to win three consecutive victories at Langhorne. Foyt finished fourth after being forced into the pits during the 33rd mile for a tire change.

Branson, who was given first aid treatment immediately after the race, said he suffered the cut around the 75 mile mark when he was struck by a flying piece of hard dirt.

“For a while I could see nothing at all,” he said. “I finally finished the race with the cracked goggles and my right eye practically sightless.”

Hurtubise finished second in the field of 18 followed by Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., and Foyt.

Results –

  1. Don Branson
  2. Jim Hurtubise
  3. Parnelli Jones
  4. A.J. Foyt
  5. Roger McCluskey
  6. Chuck Hulse
  7. Jim McElreath
  8. Al “Cotton” Farmer
  9. Bobby Marshman
  10. Ronnie Duman
  11. Bobby Marvin
  12. Allen Crowe
  13. Bob Mathouser
  14. Keith Rachwitz
  15. Jiggs Peters
  16. Ernie Koch
  17. Ralph Liguori
  18. Elmer George

Sunday, August 24, 2014

1963 – Daniels scratches his way to Minnesota State Fair win

St. Paul, Minn. (August 24, 1963) - Jerry “Scratch” Daniels gambled with the wall Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair and won the 20-lap IMCA sprint car feature.

The rim-riding Daniels powered by Bill Horstmeyer on lap 16 and was never headed. Daniels drove a Chevy-powered sprint car owned by St. Paul plumbing executive Jack Wagner. Finishing third behind Daniels and Horstmeyer’s Johnson Offy was Sonny Helms in the Colvin Offy.
After the race, Daniels said, “I didn’t want to try it on the inside. It was getting slick down there, so I went up near the wall. I know I could have looked silly if I didn’t bring it off, but I saw the opening and I figured better now or never.”
Carl Williams of Kansas City opened the action before a grandstand crowd of 12,205 by setting a new five-lap track record of 2 minutes flat for the banked half-mile dirt. He drove the Diz Wilson #70 Offenhauser.
Results –
1.       Jerry Daniels
2.       Bill Hortsmeyer
3.       Sonny Helms
4.       Red Amick
     5.       Calvin Gilstrap
6.       Dale Reed
7.       Carl Williams
8.       Buzz Barton
9.       John Leverenz
10.   Jud Larson

Thursday, August 21, 2014

1977 - Stott 'King of Junkyard’ at Springfield

Ramo Stott

Springfield, Ill. (August 21, 1977) — Ramo Stott has picked up his second straight USAC stock car win at the Illinois State Fair, but it was a victory overshadowed by a 10-car pileup midway through the race, which one driver described as a “junkyard”.

Stott had to pick his way through the wreck on lap 44. Moments later the red flag went out, halting the race for nearly an hour as crews cleared away the twisted autos. Three drivers involved in the accident were taken to the hospital, but later released after treatment.

The Sunday race was in sharp contrast to the nearly accident-free USAC championship dirt car race run Saturday on Fairgrounds’ one-mile oval. Larry Rice, a former schoolteacher from Linden, Ind., won the race, the first of four scheduled dirt car contests on the USAC championship circuit this season.

Both Rice and Stott won their races with about a three-second margin and each held off hard challenges by second-place finishers in the closing laps. Bob Dotter said he began Sunday's pileup when he hit a bump coming out of the third turn and spun sideways. Moments later, 10 drivers found themselves in the midst of what USAC officials said was one of the worst pileups in the 21-year history of the racing organization.

Sal Tovella of Addison, who finished the race behind Stott's Volare and a car driven by Don White, Keokuk, Iowa, said he and his Volare slipped through the developing pileup at the last moment.

“I crawled through and I saw the biggest wreck in my 20 years. It looked like a junkyard,” Tovella said. Stott said he barely missed the action in the corner but “my little Volare just eased in and out.”

Stott had led the race at the time of the wreck but lost the lead when action resumed on the restart. By lap 87 of the 100-lap race, Stott had fought his way back through the pack and took over the lead for good.

In addition to the delay caused by the pileup, a morning thunderstorm soaked the track and forced the race to begin two hours late and drivers to draw lots instead of making qualifying runs.

Only four cars finished the $22,500 race on the same lap as Stott and of the 27 starters, only 10 remained running by the end

Results -

1. Ramo Stott
2. Don White
3. Sal Tovella
4. Jack Bowsher
5. Wayne Watercutter
6. Paul Feldner
7. Tom Meinberg
8. Bob Dotter
9. Ken Miller
10. Rich Sundling

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1949 – Wilburn edges Collins by a wheel at Davenport

Davenport, Iowa (August 20, 1949) – In one of the most thrilling races ever staged on the local dirt track, Jimmy Wilburn of Indianapolis, Ind., edged Emory Collins of LeMars, Iowa by a front wheel in the feature 10-lap race of the big car event Saturday afternoon at the Mississippi Valley Fair.

A crowd of over 8,000 saw Collins leap ahead at the start and increase his lead slightly at the fifth lap when Wilburn hit a turn too fast. However, Wilburn righted his car nicely and surged back-into the race to overhaul the lead-footed Iowan at lap nine.

The two cars roared hub to hub around the half-mile oval on the final lap with Wilburn coming out of the last turn with a slight advantage. In the grueling drive down the stretch, Wilburn kept his car out in front by a wheel to cop the first prize. Collins settled for runner-up honors and Ben Musik took third place.

Wilburn gave the crowd its first thrill of the day by setting a new record in the time trials. Wilburn burned up the track in a rapid 24.23 seconds for a new mark.

Emory Collins was unable to enter competition until the feature race due to a damaged ring gear. The mechanical difficulty was encountered as Collins was testing the track during the warm-up period. The necessary repairs were not completed until the feature race.

Wilburn raced away with the first heat race with Bill Hooper of Decatur in second place. Jim Weldon came in third.

In the second heat race, Ben Musik of Dallas, Tex., piloted his Offenhauser to a one-sided victory. Bert Helmueller of Louisville, Ky., was second with Ron Bolander third. Helmueller and Hooper engaged in the three-lap helmet dash event but Hooper encountered difficulty on the back stretch of the final lap to drop from the race.

The hard-luck award of the day went to Dick Vahn of St. Paul who had everything going his own way for four laps of the consolation event. Leading by a quarter of a lap with only a half lap to go, Vahn's machine suddenly conked out and Johnny Harper sailed into first place. Sunny Ebsen was second with Dutch Morehouse third.

Morehouse came back to cop the Australian Pursuit race by staying ahead of Jim Weldon who made a tremendous effort to overhaul the Galesburg entrant.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1972 – Janey Wins, Boss Moss 2nd at Fair

Runner-up John Moss of Iowa City (right) lights up a victory cigar for Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after Janey won the 200-lap IMCA new model stock car race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon, August 19, 1972. Janey, driving a 1972 Plymouth, also set fast time for the day clocking in at :25.87 seconds on the 1/2-mile. — Morris "Beetle" Bailey Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (August 19, 1972) - Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids overcame a jinx and his boss, John Moss of Iowa City – who weighs about 300 pounds and stands 6 feet 4 inches – was overlooked for a while Saturday afternoon , but everything turned out fine.

Janey won the 200-lap International Motor Contest Association new model stock car race and Moss finished second at the Iowa State Fair. Both drove 1970 Plymouths.

People responsible for keeping the estimated crowd of 7,000 informed about the leaders did not have Big John listed in the top five at the finish.

“I knew I was at least third,” the smiling Moss said as he rested in a chair among a throng of cheering fans as the official results were disclosed. 

Someone handed him a foot-long cigar; “I knew I was passing all those leaders on the board at the last and I got at least two laps on Fred (Horn),” he said.

Officially, Moss completed 199 laps and Horn, of Marion, finished third with 198. Janey received $1,000 for winning and Moss got $750. Horn, who had won the Iowa 300 race at the Fairgrounds last month, collected $575.

Moss and Marty Sixt, also of Iowa City, own the cars which Janey and John drove.

They are sponsored by Advanced Drainage Systems of Iowa City.

“It’s about time I won a race here (at the Fairgrounds),” Janey said. “I’ve been so close in the Iowa 300 and at the fair specials for the past three years. It sure feels good to win one here.”

He had led much of the “300” earlier this summer but was sidelined because of transmission problems.

Janey led twice Saturday; lap 24 through lap 80, and lap 153 to the finish of the race. But the current IMCA point leader was not without problems.

“We have a new engine in the car and it was heating up a little,” he said. “I slowed down a little, but I finally decided to go flat out and see what happened.”

Horn was disappointed. He took the lead from Janey on the eighty-first lap and held it until Janey went around him on the backstretch on the 152nd lap.

“I had that one won,” Horn said, “but the car started heating up and I had to slow down. That’s the breaks.”

Horn took advantage of a yellow flag and quick pit stop and led Janey by more than a lap at one point. But Irv managed to pass Horn once and then worked around again to cut the margin to less than a half-lap.

Then, Bill Stahl of St. Paul, Minn., lost a wheel, bringing out the yellow and allowing Janey to close in for the kill as Horn started to slow because of the heating problems.

Heat also bothered the drivers.

“This is the hottest it’s been here since the ‘300’ about three years ago,” Janey remarked. “It has to be well over 100 degrees.”

Gerry Harrison of Topeka, Kan., was so exhausted after the race, paramedics had to administer oxygen. Bill Harrison, his father, poured several buckets of water over his son in efforts to cool him off.

Harrison would finish fourth while another overheated driver, Gordon Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, would jump out of his car immediately after and have buckets of water dumped on him as well.

Mike Lutkie of Wichita, Kan., took the initial lead in the race. Harrison took over on lap six and held it until Moss slipped by on lap 14. Janey would pass “The Boss” on lap 23. This was Moss’ first IMCA competition of the year.

Results –

  1. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  2. John Moss, Iowa City, Iowa
  3. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
  4. Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
  5. Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
  6. Jerre Wichman, Kansas City, Mo.
  7. Tom Frasher, Jefferson City, Mo.
  8. Don Cooper, Sedalia, Mo.
  9. Bill Wrich, Kennard, Neb.
  10. Carl Vander Wal, Ames, Iowa
  11. Jerry Covert, Topeka, Kan.
  12. Butch Hall, Russell, Minn.
  13. Jim Still, Topeka, Kan.
  14. Jim Hagar, Liberty, Mo.
  15. Roger Brown, Waverly, Iowa
  16. Vern Covert, Topeka, Kan.
  17. Garry Truelove, Trimble, Mo.
  18. Dale Mewhorier, Albuquerque N.M.
  19. Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City, Mo.
  20. Larry Sponsler, Des Moines, Iowa

Monday, August 18, 2014

1969 - Cannon claims first career USAC midget win

Springfield, Ill. (August 18, 1969) – Larry Cannon and George McBeath teamed up and won their first USAC midget race at Springfield Speedway.

Cannon took the lead on lap 24 of the 50-lap feature and was never headed. It was his first midget win and the first for the car as well.

The early leader, Bob Wente in the Elder Cadillac Offy, finished second after leading for the first 23 circuits. Dave Strickland brought the Shannon Offy from his eighth starting position to a third place finish in the quick paced event. Only two cars were off the lead lap when the checkers few.

Larry Rice was really moving after he slipped from third to seventh with a spin in turn four. The Linden, Indiana charger was back up to fourth at the finish. Johnnie Anderson, driving the King O’ Lawn Offy, moved from his ninth starting spot to round out the top five.

Mel Kenyon was the fast man on the evening, starting 13th and taking sixth and Tom Bigelow brought home the Bob Willy Chevy II in seventh over a pressing Don Vogler, Dick Jones and  Hank Butcher.

Bob Tattersall, piloting Merle Bettenhausen’s car, got into the feature as an alternate and settled for 13th in the main event.

Johnnie Anderson set quick time in qualifying, touring the quarter-mile dirt oval in 12.91 seconds.

Results –

Qualifying: Johnnie Anderson (12.91)
Trophy Dash: Tom Bigelow
First Heat: Mel Kenyon
Second Heat: Bob Tattersall
Third Heat: Bill Englehart
Fourth Heat: Bob Lithgow
Semi: Bob Tattersall

  1. Larry Cannon
  2. Bob Wente
  3. Dave Strickland
  4. Larry Rice
  5. Johnnie Anderson
  6. Mel Kenyon
  7. Tom Bigelow
  8. Don Vogler
  9. Dick Jones
  10. Hank Butcher
  11. Bill Englehart
  12. Mike McGreevy
  13. Bob Tattersall
  14. Chuck Arnold
  15. Roger Branson
  16. Bill Renshaw
  17. Larry Kirkpatrick
  18. Roger West

Friday, August 15, 2014

1975 - Higgins Wins Redbud 300

Anderson, Ind. (August 15, 1975) - Don Higgins of New Castle, Ind., took the lead on lap 262 and went on to win the Redbud 300 at Sun Valley Speedway.

Finishing in the runner-up position was Dave Sorg of Fort Wayne, Ind., whom Higgins passed on the 262nd lap after he had led since early in the race. A moment of history thus was recalled, the two of them having teamed up in 1972 to win the Redbud 300 as Higgins, the starting driver, gave in to the heat.

Higgins started in the seventh position, while Sorg began in 10th. Both were driving 1974 Camaros.

Finishing third was Dennis Miles of Muncie, Ind., with Robin Schildknecht of Louisville, Ky., taking fourth and Gene Prosser of New Castle, Ind., in fifth.

Bobby Allison of Hueytown, Ala., forsaking the NASCAR circuit for the evening, set a Redbud 300 record on a qualifying lap of 13.26 seconds.

Starting from the pole, Allison shot into the lead and led the first 50 laps before mechanical problems slowed him down and forced numerous pit slops.

Randy Sweet took over the lead and the Portage, Mich., driver was in front until he mashed a fender on the 77th lap and Sorg moved ahead.

Results –

  1. Dave Higgins
  2. Dave Sorg
  3. Dennis Miles
  4. Robin Schildknecht
  5. Gen Prosser
  6. John Sommerville
  7. Jim Blount
  8. Moose Myers
  9. L.J. Lines
  10. Joe Wallace

Thursday, August 14, 2014

1960 - Iowan Don White Captures 100-Lap Stock Race at Fair

Terre Haute, Ind. (August 14, 1960) - Don White, who hails from where the “Tall Corn Grows” did a lot of earth plowing as he charged home ahead of a blue ribbon field in the 100-lap stock car feature race yesterday afternoon at the Terre Haute Fairgrounds track.

A crowd estimated at 10,000 saw White catch Les Snow on the ninety-third lap and roar to the front to get the checkered flag in near-record time.

White, hailing from Keokuk, Iowa, picked up the winner’s check for the fourth straight time in stock car races and shot into contention for the USAC national stock car championship. White’s victory was worth 100 points on the championship trail and he moved into third place in the standings ahead of Rodger Ward. Ward was a visitor at the track yesterday, but was unable to race because of an eye infection.

Driving a 1960 Ford, White was clocked in 50 minutes and 48 seconds for the 100 laps. His time was a little more than a minute and a half slower than the track record set by Nelson Stacy last year. White crossed the finish line some 200 feet to the good of Snow, who drove the last 30 laps with a broken sway bar on his 1960 Pontiac. Until his car developed mechanical trouble, Snow had led the greater part of the race.

Snow charge ahead of the pack on the fourth lap and stayed ahead until Paul Goldsmith caught and passed him on lap 43. But Snow regained the lead the very next lap. But after a broken sway bar forced him to drive a more cautious race, Snow saw a lead of nearly half a lap, slowly shrink.

White and Tony Bettenhausen, meanwhile had staged a terrific duel between them for the number three spot and at times were only about 100 yards back of the leaders.

Bettenhausen, driving a 1958 Ford owned by Rodger Ward, hung on to the third spot until the forty-fifth lap when White passed him. The White-Bettenhausen duel was going on while Snow and Goldsmith were running tail to tail up front.

After Goldsmith had gained the lead and then lost it again, the Michigan driver experienced mechanical trouble. A sway bar broke on his 1960 Pontiac and he went into a bad spin coming out of turn two. He managed to keep the car under control but was later forced to make a pit stop for a tire change. Goldsmith lost ground during the pit stop and later a tire blew out on lap 96 and forced him out of the race.

Bettenhausen, a hot contender for the national stock car championship and in second place in the point standings prior to the race, hung behind Snow to win third place money. Norm Nelson, currently leading the point standings, was fourth in a 1960 Ford, and John Rostek, also driving a 1960 Ford, was fifth

Snow added to his second-place money by winning the first of two 10-lap heat races. After Nelson’s car developed mechanical trouble on the fifth lap, Snow shot to the front and got the checkered flag ahead of Bill Cheesbourg and White. Snow's time was 4 minutes and 58 seconds.

Sal Tovella, driving a 1960 Ford, won the second 10-lapper. Al Swenson was second. Elmer Musgrave was third. The time was 5 minutes and 10 minutes.

Cheesbourg won the 4-lap trophy dash, finishing ahead of White and Rostek in the time of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Bettenhausen started in the trophy dash but was forced out on the second lap when the differential went out on his car. His mechanics did a quick repair job in order to get the car ready for the remainder of the program.

Goldsmith set a qualifying record for the track with a 28.13 second clocking, breaking the old mark set by Stacy last year.

Results –

  1. Don White
  2. Les Snow
  3. Tony Bettenhausen
  4. Norm Nelson
  5. John Rostek
  6. Elmer Musgrave
  7. Paul Goldsmith