Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1964 – Hutcherson garners feature win after hotly-contested battle at Huron

Huron, S.D. (September 10, 1964) - Most people conceded that it would be too much to ask for a repeat of the 1963 bumper-to-bumper duel between Ramo Stott and Dick Hutcherson for a full 100 laps in late model stock car competition when the 1964 100-lap event was held at the State Fair track Thursday night.

But the two Keokuk, Iowa drivers came close to doing just that as they battled for 72 laps before a broken axle forced Stott to slump off the pace. Hutcherson, the IMCA point leader and defending champion, roared on to win Thursday night's big feature race with a record-shattering time of 46:14.35. This broke the track mark of 47:10.18 set by Stott last year when he zoomed past Hutcherson on the final straightaway to win the 1963 sizzler.

The victory was the 23rd feature win this season for Hutcherson and was viewed by another huge crowd as auto racing once again provided a major portion of the grandstand receipts at the State Fair.

However Hutcheron's win came only after some hard, brilliant driving as he and Stott set a torrid pace over the Huron track. After Stott was forced to slow down by the broken axle Ernie Derr, five-time national champ, applied the pressure to Hutcherson and finished second only two and one-half seconds back of the winner. Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., was third with Stott limping home fourth. Gil Haugen of Sioux Falls was fifth after suffering mechanical difficulties in the preliminary events.

Stott held the lead for most of the first 70 laps but Hutcherson was only a car length or less behind much of the way. Hutcherson held momentary leads on the back-stretch in the 38th and 53rd laps but leads were by just inches and were short-lived.

On the 66th lap Hutcherson fell back about five car lengths but on the number two turn in the 70th lap both he and Derr slipped past Stott as slower cars caused some congestion. Then on the 72nd turn Stott hit a rough bump that had been causing the drivers problems all night and the broken axle resulted which forced him out of contention.

Derr drove a steady pace hoping to come on strong and catch Hutcherson at the finish should the leader falter but the defending national champ kept up his sizzling pace to take the checkered flag.

Derr posted the best clocking in the time trials with a 28.45 effort. The time trials because of an excess of water which was required after a sparsely - attended afternoon horse show tore up the track.

Feature results –

1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
6. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
7. Blackie Wangerin, Minneapolis
8. Dick Johnson, St. Paul
9. Ken Mattson, Minneapolis
10. Art Schmidt, St. Paul, Minn.

No comments:

Post a Comment