Thursday, September 25, 2014

1977 – Martin wins National Short Track Championships


Mark Martin
 
 
Rockford, Ill. (September 25, 1977) - A Razorback from Arkansas, just in his teens, took on the superstars of short track in the 12th annual National Short Track Championships and came out on top to the amazement of many.
Rudolph, Wis., pilot Tom Reffner took his Hornet into the lead on the opening green followed closely by home track favorite and three-time NSTC champion Joe Shears of South Beloit, Ill., and new track record holder (13.594) Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., in third. Those three hustlers held those positions lap after lap until Shear’s engine let go on the 76th lap moving Trickle’s Superamerica White Knight into the number two spot.
The mandatory pit stop came during lap 103 and on the restart Trickle started putting the pressure on Reffner right away. Things were running smoothly until lap 116 and then the complexion of the race changed completely.
As Reffner and Trickle entered heavy lap traffic, they entered turns one and two hard. Ray Young got into Dave Watson, spinning the Milton, Wis., based and defending NSTC champion. Steve Burgess of Eau Claire also became involved in the melee as Reffner made it through unscratched. Trickle braked hard behind Burgess and was promptly tagged from behind, putting his Trans-Am hard into Burgess causing considerable damage.
The yellow came out and Trickle pulled to the pits where his crew quickly installed a new radiator and straightening the bent steering arms getting Trickle back into the action just as the green was waving, putting him at the back of the field but unlapped.
In the meantime, the field had changed and now this young 18-year-old hotshot from Arkansas named Mark Martin had moved his Ed Howe Camaro into second and was now following Reffner and his 380-cubic Hornet around the high-banked quarter-mile track.
Then disaster struck for Reffner on the 176th lap. Looking like a sure winner, he left the track with an overheating problem. From there, it was Martin’s race to win or lose and he showed the skills of a 20 year veteran and he drove flawlessly over the remaining 20 laps to score one of the biggest wins of his young career.
Another story of the NSTC was the second place finisher. Dave Roahring of Plymouth, Ind., started 32nd in the 33-car field and patiently worked his way through the field to take runner-up honors. Third place went to Trickle, who moved back through the field after his lap 116 fiasco.

Final results -
1. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
2. Dave Roahring, Plymouth, Ind.
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
4. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
5. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
6. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
7. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
8. Bob Strait, Flossmore, Ill.
9. Conrad Morgan, Dousman, Wis.
10. Evert DeWitt, Janesville, Wis.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

1970 - Horn cops wins; then quits IMCA

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 20, 1970) - Fred Horn of Marion piloted his 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner to victory in the 50-lap race for late-model stock cars Sunday at Hawkeye Downs.
No sooner had Horn picked up the checkered flag than he announced he was quitting the International Motor Contest Assn. Sunday's race on the half-mile dirt track was sponsored by the Greater Iowa Racing Assn.
"I'm through with IMCA," declared Horn after accepting congratulations for his win. "They just won't pay any money - they don't make it worthwhile to race.
"I made more money tonight ($750) than I can by winning two 100-lappers next week at Oklahoma City and Odessa (Mo.).
"About all I can say about IMCA is that I've learned an awful lot the last two years racing behind Ernie Derr (perennial IMCA champion) . . . No, I don't know yet what I'll do next year."
Horn presently ranks third in the IMCA point race behind Derr and Ron Hutcherson. He said he feels he can still hope for at least a fourth-place finish, which would assure him a decent cut of point fund money.
Freddie started eighth in the 20-car field Sunday and moved into second behind leader Ed Sanger of Waterloo on the 22nd lap. That's when Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, who was running strong in second place, experienced some tough luck going into the fourth turn.
Zwanziger's '70 Nova ran over a runaway wheel (with axle still attached) and the accident knocked Bill out of the race with a broken radiator and damaged left-front wheel.
Horn stayed right on the bumper of Sanger's ‘70 Monte Carlo for the next 12 laps. He got his chance on the 34th lap when Sanger got a little squirrelly coming out of turn four.
Freddie moved inside quickly and he stayed there to win by a comfortable margin.
Sanger was second and pocketed $500. Chub Liebe of Oelwein nipped Terry Messersmith of New Hampton by an eyelash for the $350 third place money. Joe Schaefer of Waterloo won $200 for fifth.
Mark Mosier of Washington copped the eight-lap trophy dash and the 20-lap consolation, comprised of non-qualifiers and non-money winners in the feature.
Gene Schattschneider of Algona topped the qualifying with a 26.40 clocking. The three- track champion at Boone, Algona and Alta started on the pole in the feature and set a fast pace for the first eight laps before bowing out with engine problems.
Horn had the eighth fastest time, but he made a complete tire change before going racing. "I used Hoosiers during time trials, but I switched to Goodyear’s for the race," explained Horn. "Some tires work on some tracks and not on others."
 
Results –
Feature:
  1. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
  2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
  3. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
  4. Terry Messersmith, New Hampton, Iowa
  5. Joe Schaefer, Waterloo, Iowa
Trophy Dash:
  1. Mark Mosier, Washington, Iowa
  2. Stan Stover, Reinbeck, Iowa
  3. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
  4. Gene Schattschneider, Algona, Iowa
Consolation:
  1. Mark Mosier
  2. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo, Iowa
  3. Gene Schattschneider
  4. Harold Odeen, Marion, Iowa
  5. Dick Bragg, Hiawatha, Iowa

Friday, September 19, 2014

1965 - Jim Hurtubise wins 250-mile race at State Park


Jim Hurtubise
 
 
West Allis, Wis. (September 19, 1965) - Sunday was a banner day for Jim Hurtubise, for Norm Nelson, and for Plymouths in general at State Fair Park. Hurtubise, driving one of Nelson's 1965 Plymouth entries, won the 250-mile late model stock car event before an enthusiastic crowd of 21,350, most of who were rooting for the come backing New Yorker.
 
Nelson meanwhile added 50 points to his lead over Paul Goldsmith by finishing second to Goldsmith's third. Goldsmith gave Plymouth a 1-2-3 sweep, while Ray Darnell came in fifth in another Plymouth. Don White was fourth in a Ford.

Hurtubise succeeded on the same track where he was badly burned in a June, 1964 accident. First place was worth $5,594 to Hurtubise, who finished about two laps in front of Nelson, his boss. Nelson added 400 points for his runner-up finish and now has 3,067 with three races left on the schedule. Goldsmith collected 350 and increased his season's total to 2,340. White is running third, some 600 points behind Goldsmith, while Hurtubise climbed from fifth to fourth with yesterday's win.

"I am in pretty good position now," Nelson admitted. "The title isn't in the bag mathematically, of course, but Paul (Goldsmith) has to win them all. All I have to do is pick up some points. It puts the pressure on him."

Hurtubise, who needed eight months of skin grafts and hospital treatment, made it back to the top with an average speed of 93.26 miles an hour. He took over first place early and held it for the last 185 miles.

Nelson ran second most of the way. The Racine driver was forced to make three pit stops, one due to a flat tire to two for Hurtubise. A $3,718 check for second place didn't hurt Nelson's disposition.

Joe Leonard was sixth, Billy Foster seventh, J. C. Klotz, eighth, Ted Hane ninth, and Bob Slensby 10th.

Bobby Isaac won the pole position and led the race for the first 32 miles, but was forced out of the running by a crash on the 230th lap. Both A. J. Foyt and Parnelli Jones went out with engine troubles in their Fords.

 
Results –

1.      Jim Hurtubise
2.      Norm Nelson
3.      Paul Goldsmith
4.      Don White
5.      Bay Darnell
6.      Joe Leonard
7.      Billy Foster
8.      J.C. Klotz
9.      Ted Hane
10.  Bob Slensby
11.  Bob Wawak
12.  Johnny Riva
13.  Ed Kozbiel
14.  Bobby Isaac
15.  Gary Bettenhausen
16.  Bob Jusola
17.  Harry Kern
18.  Bud McGauhey
19.  Bruce Jacobi
20.  Sal Tovella
21.  Bill Shoulders
22.  Parnelli Jones
23.  A.J. Foyt
24.  Rick Kleich
25.  John Kennedy
26.  Rich Clement
27.  Herb Shannon
28.  Roy Atkinson
29.  Elmer Musgrave
30.  Bill Behling
31.  Roger Regeth
32.  Eddie Meyer

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1962- Reynolds holds off Derr at Kansas State Fair

Hutchinson, Kan. (September 17, 1962) - The king of stock car racing, Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, had to doff his crown to Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla., before a capacity crowd at the stock car race program on the Kansas State Fair track Sunday afternoon.
The impertinent Reynolds shoved his accelerator to the floorboard on the flag, jumped to a car length lead in the first half-mile and kept Derr in his dust until he caught the checkered flag.
During six laps of the race, Derr couldn’t do a thing about it because the yellow flag was out and the cars had to maintain their positions. But there were 14 other laps in which he couldn't do anything about it either. He once pulled to about a half a car length of Reynolds bumper but that was as close as he could get.
The yellow flag came out when Lenny Funk, the Flying Farmer from Otis, Kan., spun sidewise of the track on turn two and was side swiped by Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa. Only by cutting to the infield did Gerry Harrison, Topeka, avoid hitting the pile-up.
Funk and Stott escaped with minor bruises, but both cars were badly damaged. The six yellow-flag laps were run while wreckers were towing the disabled machines off the track. A Ford driven by Ernie McMahon, Keokuk, Iowa, caught fire on the sixth lap of the first heat race. He piloted the blazing machine to the infield where firemen doused the blaze. 
Derr had a bad day all around. He spun out on turn two in the second heat race and lost so much ground he didn’t even complete the race. Ed Birkey, Peoria, Ill., was leading the dash when he hit that same slick spot. Skillful driving by Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn., averted a head-on collision on that one.

Results -
  1. Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
  2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
  3. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
  4. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  5. John Mickey, Columbus Junction, Iowa
  6. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
  7. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
  8. Phil Cronin, Parma Heights, Ohio
  9. Leonard "Lenny" Funk, Otis, Kan.
  10. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
  11. Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
  12. John Jones, Russell, Minn.
  13. Clyde Douglas, Wichita Falls, Tex.
  14. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
  15. Ed Birkey, Peoria, Ill.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1983 - Sanger posts smashing win in Yankee Dirt Track Classic

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 16, 1983) - Ed Sanger smashed a four-year drought at Hawkeye Downs Speedway into 3,500 pieces Saturday night.

Sanger captured the 100-lap NASCAR Grand American late model feature in the Yankee Dirt Track Classic before a crowd of about 4,000. The victory netted the Waterloo driver and car builder a cool $3,500, and was his first triumph at the Downs since 1979.

Roger Dolan of Lisbon relinquished the lead to Sanger on the 89th lap of the main event, and Sanger beat Dolan to the checkered flag by about a second. Leon Plank of Eau Claire, Wis., was third. Waterloo's Tom Bartholomew was fourth and Ken Walton of Viola fifth. The five mentioned racers were the only ones to finish on the lead lap.

“Boy, we needed that,” Sanger said of the win and subsequent paycheck. “This is a tough game these days, and the weekly purses haven't kept up with the expenses.”

Sanger and Plank started on the front row of the 28-car field. Dolan began in the third row. It was apparent early in the race that the winner likely would be one of those three.

Plank took the lead from the onset and held it until Sanger took over on the 34th lap. Dolan passed Sanger for first place on lap 69 and was in front 10 laps later when Joe Merryfield clipped a large section of the protective aluminum fence between the third and fourth turns. Merryfield, of Des Moines, was unhurt. The incident caused laps 79 through 87 to be run under a yellow flag while the mess was cleared.

Then, two laps after the restart, Sanger soared past Dolan on the first turn and kept the lead this time.

“I just took a shot at him (Dolan) and dove down on the bottom of the first turn,” Sanger said. “Then I went up top and took the groove back.”

Sanger drove the car he built for NASCAR superstar Bobby Allison's use in the Miller 100 at the Downs in June.

“The car has worked so damned good, I decided I better drive it,” Sanger said. “It's a sweetheart of a car. It drives so easy. I was as fresh after the race as when I started it.”

It was the largest payoff Sanger has earned since he won over $8,000 for taking the World 100 in Eldora, Ohio, several years ago.

Dolan picked up $2,500 for placing second. He was disappointed at not hanging on for the win, but could take some consolation in putting a stranglehold on the NASCAR Central Region point derby.

With only one point race left at both Quincy, Ill. and Holts Summit, Mo., Dolan has a lock on the championship. What that means is $10,000, plus another $1,000 times three for winning track titles at Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Farley. “That's what makes it all worthwhile,” Dolan said of his regional title-to-be.

“She wouldn't go any faster,” Dolan said of his car. “I hammered it, and it still wouldn't go.”

Jack Mitchell of Cedar Falls nosed out Davenport's Mike Wheeler to claim the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature. Mike Schulte of Norway was third.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

1958 - Nelson Stacy Wins Dayton 500

John Marcum (l) presents Nelson Stacy with the trophy after winning the 1958 Dayton 500. - ARCA Racing Photo
 
 

Dayton, Ohio (September 14, 1958) - Nelson Stacy, Cincinnati, Ohio, piloted his 1957 Chevrolet to victory in the sixth annual Dayton 500 Sunday afternoon, after staving off repeated challenges by Darel Dieringer, Indianapolis, in a '57 Ford, who finished second.

An estimated 15,000 spectators saw the MARC sanctioned stock car race for new cars on the famed half-mile high-banked asphalt.

The 500 laps (270 miles, as track is several yards over a half- mile) were relatively accident-free and no injuries were sustained; however, several drivers asked for relief during the weary grind.

Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio, '57 Ford was third; Dick Dunlevy, Dayton, Ohio, and Jack Shanklin, Indianapolis, co-pilots of 1957 Chevy was fourth and the Dudley Stacy '57 Chevy of Cincinnati, Ohio, with Bob James, the Dick Latham relief driving came in fifth.

Dudley became ill on 167th lap and Bob James took over while his car was getting a broken shock and U-bolt replaced. Several laps later James pitted the Stacy car and jumped back into his repaired mount and Dick Latham a non-starter took it the rest of the way, doing a fine job.

Nelson Stacy, on the pole gunned into the first lap lead with Dieringer coming from fourth to second - and for 339 laps it was a tremendous duel between the two. The lead changed between them an even dozen times with Dieringer in possession of a lap and a half lead when the right front tire “let go”.

On the pit stop Dieringer got tire, gas and oil but lost lead to Stacy by two laps, this he could not regain as Stacy kept the advantage to the checkered flag. Nearly exhausted Stacy received the huge trophy and cash in excess of $2,000 for his ride.

Shanklin, the 1957 winner, lead footed two cars out of action before relieving Dunlevy. His own racer went 60 laps and was in third place when a busted radiator couldn't be repaired. On lap 157
Willie Holt, Cincinnati, Ohio, running in fourth asked for relief and Shanklin took over shoving it into third place several laps later, but then pulled in with no oil pressure; and when Dunlevy asked for rest Shanklin was nominated.

Jack Farris, New Paris, Ohio, did not start the race, his engine going sour after making his successful qualifying run. Farris won the event in 1955 and 1956.

Iggy Katona, Lambertville, Mich., the 1953 winner, finished out of the first five. Twenty-eight cars started, 11 were running at the end. Tiny Shilts, New Paris, Ohio, in '57 Chevy was riding in 10th when forced out with a broken valve cover bolt on lap 282.


Results –

1.      Nelson Stacy
2.      Darel Dieringer
       3.      Jack Bowsher
4.      Dick Dunlevy
5.      Dudley Stacy
6.      Carl O’Harold
       7.      Iggy Katona
8.      Paul Wensink
9.      Harold Smith
10.  Clyde Parker
11.  Virgil Barbee
12.  John McGinley
13.  Homer Newland
14.  Bob Coutcher
15.  Louis Savajaine
16.  Tom Horner
17.  Tiny Shilts
18.  Willie Holt
19.  Chuck Morgan
20.  Bob James
21.  Chester Williams
22.  Cecil Wray
23.  Kenny Reeder
24.  Ervin Payne
25.  Jack Shanklin

Thursday, September 11, 2014

1977 - Stott captures Governor’s Cup 250


West Allis, Wis. (September 11, 1977) - Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, took his final lead on the 195th lap Sunday and won the Governor's Cup 250-mile stock car race at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway.

Stott, driving a 1977 Plymouth Volare, averaged 88.202 miles per hour to cross the - finish line four seconds ahead of Paul Feldner of Richfield, Wis., who drove a 1974 Dodge Charger.

Stott won $6,727 and moved into second place in the United States Auto Club point’s standings behind Feldner, who leads the standings with 1,525 points. Stott has 1,425. Jim Sauter of Necedah, Wis., was third in a 1974 Charger and Al Schill of Franklin, Wis., finished fourth in a 1976 Ford Torino in his first USAC race.

Dave Watson, winner of two of the first three USAC stock car races at Milwaukee this season and Sunday’s polesitter, ran only 112 laps in his 1977 Buick Skylark before being sidelined with a broken crankshaft.

Sal Tovella of Addison, Ill., who had been tied with Feldner for the points lead prior to Sunday's race, completed only 80 laps before blowing an engine.

The race was slowed by 10 yellow flags and 17 of the 31 starters did not finish. Stott was content to sit back and let other drivers lead in the early going.

“There was a point earlier in the race where I could have taken the lead, but I didn’t want it,” Stott said. “I figured right then, with about 200 miles to go, it was too soon to be up there. So I sat back and let those other guys pass me. I let them run their cars hard, while I hung back a bit.”

“I figured the race wouldn’t be decided until the last 50 laps, and if you were around then, you'd have a shot at winning it.”

Results –

  1. Ramo Stott
  2. Paul Feldner
  3. Jim Sauter
  4. Al Schill
  5. Larry Moore
  6. Wayne Watercutter
  7. Don Seaborn
  8. Dean Roper
  9. Gordon Blankenship
  10. Darwin Sandstrom
  11. George Giesen
  12. M.J. McBride
  13. Ken Miller
  14. Dale Koehler
  15. Don White
  16. Tom Schley
  17. Bob Schacht
  18. Jim Hurlburt
  19. Jeff Bloom
  20. Dave Watson
  21. Bay Darnell
  22. Tom Meinberg
  23. Jack Bowsher
  24. Sal Tovella
  25. Harold Fair
  26. Dave Decker
  27. Rich Clement
  28. Tom Bigelow
  29. Charlie Glotzbach
  30. Bob Brevak