Monday, August 31, 2015

1963 – Horstmeyer breaks record in Minnesota State Fair win

Bill Horstmeyer
St. Paul, Minn. (August 31, 1963) – Bill Horstmeyer, a 32-year-old electrician from Stoughton, Wis., won the 25-lap IMCA championship speedway race at the Minnesota State Fair before 21,083 fans.

Riding the high rim, Hortsmeyer cracked the track record of 10 minutes and 23 seconds established by Leroy Neumayer on August 31, 1960.

Hortsmeyer grabbed the lead almost from the opening green flag and roared around the dirt oval. Spinouts on the first turn by Buzz Barton and on the second turn by Red Amick slowed the drivers for four laps, but when the green flag went back up, Horstmeyer poured on the gas, eventually lapping most of the field.

A broken connecting rod during the first turn of the first lap scratched Jerry Daniels. Prior to Saturday’s misfortune, Daniels had won six straight events, including three features. But he bowed out after seven circuits when his engine blew and he was unable to get a chance at a fourth straight feature victory.

With Daniels out of the picture, Forest Lake’s Jerry Richert was able to capture his fifth Minnesota State Championship, the $200 first prize money and the Governor’s Cup, which was presented by Minnesota governor Karl Rolvaag.

Results –

1.   Bill Horstmeyer
2.   Dean Mast
3.   Harold Leep
4.   Jerry Richert
5.   Carl Williams
6.   Sonny Helms
7.   Bill Burdick
8.   Calvin Gilstrap
9.   Dale Reed
10.Buzz Barton

Sunday, August 30, 2015

1974 - Haugan captures State Fair 50

Huron, S.D. (August 30, 1974) - After some hearty handshakes from his pit crew and a kiss from his girl, Mike Haugan of Sioux Falls received the silver cup and a bottle of champagne from the South Dakota Motorsports Association for his victory in the State Fair 50 here Friday night at the South Dakota State Fair.

The 22-year-old Sioux Falls ace, who qualified 15th in the time trials, took over the lead with only seven laps to go in the 50-lap feature race and no one could come near him after that as he headed his #4 Plymouth to the checkered flag.

For Haugan, it was his second big victory of the year at the Huron oval as he also claimed the Challenge Cup III race. “I was lucky,” he said after he popped the cork to the bottle of champagne and passed it among his jubilant crew members. “It was a tough race and seemed like anybody could win,” he added.

But, it was Haugan who collected the $500 first place prize money and for everybody else, it was not their race.

Joining Haugan in the group of winners was Chet Danburg of Miller, who topped the 50-car field in the lime trials, turning a 28.82 second lap. Watertown's Roger Swenson, who won the State Fair 50 one year ago, was the winner in the Race of Champions while Gary Nagel of Gettysburg topped the semi-main event.

Swenson appeared to be headed for his second State Fair 50 victory as he gained the lead on the third lap and was the leader until the 39th lap. A broken axle forced him to cut his torrid pace as he finished the face for fifth place prize money. Miller's Bob Tong would inherit the top spot, but five laps later Haugan had worked himself into the lead.

Don Pruess of Pierre joined Haugan in being the only two cars in the 23-car starting field to complete all 50 laps. Pruess finished in second place and was followed by Gary Sieber of Columbia, Roger Saathoff of Estelline and Swenson.

Rounding out the top-10 finishers were Leland Cain of Miller followed by Ray Hunsley of Pierre, Jim Zimmerman of. Slayton, Minn., Carroll Priebe of Pukwaria and Tong.

The race of champions, the first ever handpicked field of the fastest cars in the state, turned into an instant success as 15 of the area’s finest displayed quite a show; with only two laps to go, Swenson passed Pruess and Aberdeen's Ron Droog around the outside to gain the lead and the win.

Pruess finished in the runner-up spot in the 15-lap race with third going to Saathoff and fourth to Lynn Arment of Aberdeen. Chet Danburg was fifth.

Only 10 of the starting 32 cars in the semi-main event were able to finish the grueling affair with Nagel pulling out the win. He took the lead with five laps to go and was followed across the finish line by Steve Oanburg of Miller, Don Wagner of Miller, Ronnie Muth of Huron and Erv Beckman of Chamberlain.

Only two drivers were able to break the 28-second barrier in the time trials with Chet Danburg earning a 28.82 mark and Arment very close behind with a 28.83. Nine cars finished in the 29-second bracket.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1976 - Waterloo's Sanger wins feature at Fairgrounds

Ed Sanger

Des Moines, Iowa (August 29, 1976) - Ed Sanger of Waterloo said he had a hunch he might beat Bill Rice of Des Moines.

Sanger, who won the 25-lap late model feature race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Sunday, didn't take the lead until the nineteenth lap. But he said he thought he would pass Rice at any moment.

Sanger, "a foreigner" to the Fairgrounds this summer, and Rice driving a 1976 Camaro, waged a two-man battle for the first 18 laps, but then Rice developed car trouble and finished twelfth.

Sanger, also driving a 1976 Camaro, held the lead the rest of the race. The triumph was Sanger's first of the year here. His only other appearance at the Fairgrounds was last Sunday when he finished third in the Iowa State Super Stock championships.

"I usually race at Eldon. I don't come here much because the passing lanes aren't wide," added Sanger. Stan Stover of Reinbeck, who won that race last Sunday, was second. Joe Merryfield of Des Moines, the season's leader in the point standings in the late model competition, was third, and Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., was fourth.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines, second in season point standings, suffered a pinched nerve in his neck earlier this week. Bill Moyer drove Hoffman's 1976 Camaro and finished seventh in the second heat.

Joe Merryfield's brother, Rick, driving a 1970 Camaro, received a late scare from Jerry Campbell of Des Moines, but hung on to win the 15-lap Sportsman feature.

Rick Merryfield held a car-length margin over Campbell for most of the race. Campbell, in a 1970 Camaro, almost overtook Merryfield before the third turn of the last lap when a red flag stopped the race.

Fairgrounds rules state: "If, after the lead car takes the white flag for the final lap, an accident occurs requiring the race to be stopped, the race will be considered completed and the final placing will be In the order the cars passed the finish line preceding the white flag."

A spinout on the last lap involving Don Hood's car caused the red flag. Merryfield was the first to admit he was lucky to win.

"That flag saved the day. Campbell was closing in and he had me worried."

Results –

Late Model - 

1. Ed Sanger
2. Stan Stover
3. Joe Merryfield
4. Dave Bjorge
5. Jack Mitchell
6. Karl Sanger
7. Jerry Holtkamp
8. Fred Knapp
9. Jim Wilson
10. Craig Spetman
11. Bill Moyer Jr.
12. Bill Rice
13. George Barton
14. Darrell Sells
15. Tim McDonough

Sportsman - 

1. Rick Merryfield
2. Jerry Campbell
3. Howard Smidt
4. Denny Rosenberg
5. Dave Farren
6. Larry Embrey
7. Glen Woodard
8. Billy Geil
9. Phil Reece
10. Cal Swanson

Friday, August 28, 2015

1977 - Bigelow sets speed record; wins DuQuoin big car race

Tom Bigelow

Du Quoin, Ill. (August 28, 1977) - Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., Sunday became the first man in 30 years of auto racing at Du Quoin State Fair to break the 100-mile-per-hour speed barrier as he won the 100-mile big car race and $7,200.

The 11,146 fans saw Du Quoin racing history made as Bigelow, driving the Leader Card Thermo-King with the only Ford engine in the race, was clocked in 59 minutes 30.08 seconds for an average speed of 100.818 miles per hour. Nobody in the midgets, stocks or big cars at Du Quoin had ever gone faster than 98.155 miles per hour (1:01:07.66) clocked by Al Unser in three laps.

A caution came again on laps 85-90 after Jackie Howerton crashed into the fence on the north turn. Fan interest, mounted as the cars bunched “bumper to bumper” in pursuit of Bigelow, who had lapped his field as early as the 21st lap.

Bigelow pulled away and won handily although there was a bit of suspense on the final lap as Gary Bettenhausen passed Billy Cassella in the north turn only a quarter of-a mile from home to take second money of $4,200. The move was like a $1,500 putt because Cassella got only $2,700 for third place.

The race started on a bizarre note as Pancho Carter, the fastest qualifier, threw a gear coming into the straightaway. Everybody passed Carter on the first lap and he retired to the pits.

The official charts showed Bill Vukovich led after one lap but Bigelow led the last 99 circuits.

Bigelow, Cassella, Bettenhausen, Vukovich, Sheldon Kinser defending champion Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., Springfield race winner Larry Rice, Al Unser and Jim Hurtubise were in front of the 23-car-field throughout the race.

There were 23 starters instead of 24 because qualifier Bill Puterbaugh dropped out after the time trials and his alternate, Rollie Beale could not get his car started.

Feature -

1. Tom Bigelow
2. Gary Bettenhausen
3. Billy Cassella
4. Bill Vukovich
5. Larry Rice
6. George Snider
7. Bubby Jones
8. Eddie Leavitt
9. Jim Hurtubise
10. Larry Moore
11. Dean Shirley
12. Roy Hicks
13. Jerry Miller
14. Thad Dosher
15. Al Unser
16. Jackie Howerton
17. Sheldon Kinser
18. Arnie Knepper
19. Johnny Parsons
20. Steve Chassey
21. James McElreath
22. Rich Vogler
23. Pancho Carter
24. Rollie Beale

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1963 – Daniels undefeated in IMCA competition at State Fair

Jerry "Scratch" Daniels

St. Paul, Minn. (August 26, 1963) – Jerry “Scratch” Daniels made it three in a row Monday afternoon at the Minnesota State Fair as he successfully rode the outside rim of the half-mile dirt track.

With his win on Monday, Daniels is undefeated in competition at St. Paul this year. He has won every race he had entered in the three days of sprint car racing and will be a heavy favorite this Saturday and Sunday when the big cars take over for the late model stocks.
Sonny Helms trailed Daniels in the feature, and Dean Mast was third in the Floyd Trevis-built Griffith Chevy.
Starting on the outside of the third row, Daniels took the lead from Mast as the lead duo came down the home stretch on the second lap.
Heat winners were Burdick, Daniels, Helms and Mast. Jerry Richert was the semi-main winner.
Daniels set a 15-lap record in the feature of 6 minutes and 5.38 seconds, which erased the old mark of 6 minutes and 13.04 seconds set by Homer Claytor in 1954.

Results –

1. Jerry Daniels
2. Sonny Helms
3. Dean Mast
4. Jerry Richert
5. Harold Leep
6. Bill Burdick
7. Carl Williams
8. Buzz Barton
9. Red Amick
10. Cal Gilstrap

Monday, August 24, 2015

1963 – Hutcherson Repeats in Mizzou

Dick Hutcherson accepts his trophy while promoter Al Sweeney interviews the winner. - Photo courtesy of Lee Ackerman

Sedalia, Mo. (August 24, 1963) – Dick Hutcherson, for the second straight year, romped off with the top prize money in the Missouri State Fair’s International late model stock car classic before 13,550 screaming race fans.

Hutcherson, who picked up $1,000 first place money and 100 points towards the 1963 championship, could thank hard luck on the part of polesitter Ramo Stott and the fast work on the part of his pit crew who sent the point’s leader back into the race after only a 13-second pit stop that didn’t even lose him a spot in the race.

Hutcherson sat his ’63 Ford on the first row outside for the start after Stott piloted his ’63 Plymouth to the day’s fast time during time trials on the one-mile dirt oval; a world record breaking 41.62 seconds.

At the end of the first lap Hutcherson held the lead, but Stott stormed back and the pair raced side by side, Stott on the outside for two circuits before Stott grabbed the lead for good on lap 4. He held the top spot until lap 29, when he pitted for a right front tire, fuel, and a check of his fuel filter.

Stott would pit twice more before the race ended, the second time to repair a fuel line that got pinched in a minor bumping accident.

Hutcherson, meanwhile, was flying high, wide and handsome over the pavement-like surface, trailed by Ernie Derr, also of Keokuk, Iowa, and driving a 1963 Pontiac, Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., in a new Ford, and Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, in another new Ford.

Derr got close but never really threatened Hutcherson for the lead, but Funk and Liebe battled occasionally for third and fourth, with Funk staving off the Iowan’s last threat on lap 85.

Results –

1. Dick Hutcherson
2. Ernie Derr
3. Lenny Funk
4. Chub Liebe
5. Darrell Dake
6. Newt Bartholomew
7. Ole Brua
8. Mickey McMahan
9. Jerry McCredie
10. Jim Washburn
11. Ramo Stott
12. Eddie Gray
13. Bob Baker
14.Wally Calvert
15. Ed Negre

Saturday, August 22, 2015

1956 - Texan defeats Bobby Grim in Fayette County Fair racing

Jud Larson
West Union, Iowa (August 22, 1956) - Better than 3,500 Fayette County Fair fans saw a rough-tough Texan of Scandinavian descent walk off with the lion’s share of honors here Wednesday afternoon as big car racing took the afternoon spotlight at the 103rd annual fair.

Thirty-three-year-old Jud Larson of Austin, Tex., upset the IMCA point leader, Bobby Grim of Indianapolis, in a tension packed 15-lap feature on the half-mile fairgrounds oval.

Piloting a car that carried the Offenhauser motor that Walt Faulkner set a 1952 time trial mark at Indianapolis with, Larson slipped by Grim on a curve of the ninth lap and held onto the lead the remainder of the way to win by 30 yards.

Larson's time was 6 minutes and 42 seconds for the seven and a half mile course. Any chances of a record being set by the 14-car field were eliminated when Bob Wright of Indianapolis lost control of his Offenhauser on the seventh lap. His car careened into the infield and flipped. Wright suffered only a broken nose and bruised arm. It was the first IMCA pileup in two weeks.

Larson's victory was his fifth in only seven big car events this year. Each time he has beaten Grim. A year ago the six foot, 190-pounder won five of six feature events he raced in. Larson, who has been racing for 16 years, spends most of the racing season in stock cars and midgets.

Offenhausers took the bulk of the prize money from the Fayette County Fair. Five of the seven events on the card were won by Offy powered cars. Grim, champion of the circuit for the past two years, had fifth best time trial of 24.00 seconds flat. It was short of his track record at West Union of 23.81 set in 1955. Larson was the second fastest qualifier with a time of 24.10.


Results -

Time Trials:

1. Bobby Grim. Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 24.00
2. Judd Larson, Austin, Tex., Offenhauser, 24.10
3. Ed Loetcher, St. Louis, Mo., Offenhauser, 25.50
4. Willie Wildhaber, Lexington, Ill., Offenhauser, 26.30
5. Red Hoyle, Phoenix, Ariz., Heath Special, 26.33
6. Bob Wright, Indianapolis, Offenhauser, 26.35
7. Art George, Los Angeles, Offenhauser, 26.40
8. Fritz Tegtmeier, Elgin, Ill., Olds, 27.90

Inaugural dash – Bobby Grim
National Speedway Dash – Jud Larson
American Triumph Dash – Red Hoyle
Sinclair Handicap – Art George
Australian Pursuit – Wilbur Robinson
Nationals Circuit Sweepstakes:

  1. Jud Larson
  2. Bobby Grim
  3. Eddie Loetcher
  4. Red Hoyle
  5. Don Cryder

Friday, August 21, 2015

1964 - Redmond takes modified win at Kossuth County Fair

Stacy Redmond - Photo Courtesy of Chad Meyer

Algona, Iowa (August 21, 1964) - Stacy Redmond won the big Kossuth County Fair modified championship trophy Friday night with a victory in the feature event before a large crowd of fans, who saw several spectacular smash-ups during the program.
No drivers were injured during the night.
Redmond turned in a fine job of driving in the feature as he held off the repeated challenges of Joel Rasmussen to win. Actually, neither Redmond nor Rasmussen had done much In the way of winning earlier in the evening.
One major mishap swept three cars out of action during the running of the finale.
Wayne Funk spun out on the northwest turn and was hit broadside by Gene Schattschneider's orange sedan, despite efforts of the latter to miss Funk. Schattschneider was then slammed from the rear by Dale Wilhite's speedy pink number, although Wilhite also tried to stop – but couldn't.
Earlier, cars driven by Rich Green and Ted Zeiman shot past the retaining wall on the northeast turn and wound up against the fence north of the track adjoining a parking lot. Green's auto flipped end-over-end and was demolished, while Zeiman returned to action in the feature.
The rear window of an auto owned by William Ostwald, parked in the lot, was broken during the action.
During the B-feature, Ray Hart lost control and perched his car's two right wheels on the north fence. Marv DeWall damaged his car slightly during the handicap when he shot off the first turn at the south end of the track.
One of the finest drives of the night came in a weird race. Running in the fourth heat, DeWall and Schattschneider had a real struggle - and a fast one, before the former won by a hair. All other starters dropped out before the last two or three laps, so the only finishers wound up first and second.
Two or three cars splashed into the water inside the northwest turn during the action.

Results –

First heat: Rich Green

Second heat: Larry Nerdig

Third heat: Ted Zeiman

Fourth heat: Marv DeWall

Handicap: Larry Nerdig

B-feature: Dick Simpson
  1. Stacy Redmond
  2. Joel Rasmussen
  3. Ted Zieman
  4. Leo Christansen
  5. Larry Reefer

Thursday, August 20, 2015

1972 – Al Unser Wins Illinois State Fair

Al Unser in the Vel Miletich  #7

Springfield, Ill. (August 20, 1972) – Al Unser won his second race in as many days at the Illinois State Fairgrounds by capturing the Tony Bettenhausen Memorial Race for USAC championship dirt cars on Sunday afternoon.

He had won the late model stock car race on Saturday on the same one-mile dirt oval.

Even though he won the 100-mile event, the winner had to share the limelight with A.J. Foyt, who made his return to racing after a brief three-month layoff while recovering from injuries. Foyt’s return was an auspicious one; he qualified sixth and quickly made a push for the lead, a goal he attained on the 11th lap.

He led the next 16 laps before eventual winner Unser passed him. It was noticeable that Foyt was having difficulty walking and entering his race car, but he had few problems on the race track, finishing second.

Polesitter Lee Kunzman and Texan Ronnie Burke brought the 29-car field down for the green flag, with the fast qualifier quickly gathering in the lead followed by Burke, Foyt, Ralph Liguori, Unser, and Greg Weld. The Iowan led until Foyt shot past him in the third turn on the 10th lap.

Kunzman held on for a third place finish, even though he lost his brakes on the 40th circuit. Sixteenth starting Bill Puterbaugh drove a great race to finish fifth, just behind Johnny Rutherford.

Unser’s victory margin was six seconds.

Results –

1. Al Unser
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Lee Kunzman
4. Johnny Rutherford
5. Bill Puterbaugh
6. Tom Bigelow
7. Ralph Liguori
8. Bill Englehart
9. Rollie Beale
10. Arnie Knepper
11. Darl Harrison
12. Dick Tobias
13. Bob Evans
14. Ronnie Burke
15. Duane Carter

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1978 - Redbud 300 fates shine favorably on Mark Martin

Mark Martin

Anderson, Ind. (August 19, 1978) - Everything finally went right for "The Kid", and Mark Martin, the sensational 19-year-old speed merchant from Batesville, Ark., who currently leads the organization's driver point standings, recorded his first-ever victory on the American Speed Association's "Circuit of Champions" late model stock car trail by winning the 12th annual Redbud 300 classic Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

And while Dame Fortune smiled pleasantly in Martin's direction, the fickle lady turned her back on Dick Trickle, the highly-popular redhead from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., just when victory was in sight for him.

Running easily in first place with a commanding lead over Martin, Trickle saw a series of events pile up which eventually put him into the wall in the west turn and out of the race on the banked quarter-mile asphalt oval after he'd relinquished the lead to Martin.

Trickle's troubles actually began around the 220th lap when a piston started to let go in his engine. They, increased when Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill., coated the track surface with oil all the way around on the 247th lap and the yellow came out for an 18-lap period while the oil was cleaned up.

During that caution period, Martin, over one half-lap behind Trickle, dodged into the pits, changed both right-side tires and got back on the track before the pace car came around which kept him in the same lap with Trickle.

In between those two was Mike Eddy, pole position starter for the race who'd had 119 of the first 204 laps of the race and eventually finished second, four seconds behind Martin at the checkered.

And if you think Lady Luck wasn't holding out her good hand to Martin, the right rear tire on his machine was going flat when he pitted for the tire change.

With fresh rubber on his machine and with Trickle's motor going sour, Martin set sail when the green came out on the 265th lap following the yellow caused by Schuler dumping oil.

He nailed Eddy coming off the fourth turn on the 276lh lap to take over second spot and then pulled past Trickle down the backstretch on lap 286 to grab the top spot he held to the checkered.

Trickle knew he couldn't battle Martin head-to-head to the final flag because of his ailing motor and he was conservatively attempting to hold second spot ahead of Eddy, who'd also slowed his pace to save thinning rubber.

Then, as he came off the fourth turn completing his 295th lap. Trickle's luck wasn’t completely bad when a ball joint snapped; his Firebird skittered all the way down the main stretch, crashed the wall in the first turn and bounced to the bottom of the track.

That snuffed out Trickle's last faint hope for victory.

Under American Speed Association rules, the last five laps of any race of 100 laps or more must be run under the green flag. So, action was suspended after 296 laps because over one-half of the field still on the track and running got around the oval and across the start/finish line before the yellow came out and that lap counted for all cars still on the track.

When the green flew once more, Martin flawlessly wheeled his Camaro through the final mile of competition to record his first-ever ASA victory; a triumph which was highly popular with the nearly 4,000 fans on hand for the race.

Eddy and Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill., turned in identical one-lap qualifying times of 12.707 seconds (70.494 mph) but Eddy got the pole by qualifying before Shear.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

1990 - Leslie takes ARCA Michigan 200

Tracy Leslie - Brian Norton Photo

Brooklyn, Mich. (August 18, 1990) - Tracy Leslie ended a 13-month winless period on Saturday with a hard-fought victory in the Automobile Racing Club of America Michigan 200 stock car race.

The 1988 ARCA Permatex Series champion held off Charlie Glotzbach and David Simko on Michigan International Speedway's two-mile oval to earn his first triumph since July of 1989 at Talladega, Ala., and the seventh of his career.

Leslie won $13,075 as he averaged 130.293 miles per hour in the race slowed by five caution flags for 20 laps. The speed in the first ARCA race here in 10 years broke the event record of 119.681 miles per hour by Joe Ruttman. That came in July of 1980 in the last ARCA 200-miler run here.

The winner led twice for a total of 31 of the 100 laps, including the last 27 trips around the high-banked oval.

Bob Keselowski, the defending series champion, dominated early, leading 60 of the first 65 laps before going out with an engine problem.

The final caution came on lap 93 when Bob Schacht spun. That allowed Glotzbach, who won his first ARCA race in more than a decade last month at Talladega Superspeedway, to pull up right behind Leslie's Oldsmobile Cutlass.

The green flag waved with four laps remaining and, after a brief challenge from Glotzbach's Buick Regal, Leslie pulled away, winning by about 10 car-lengths.

Simko, driving a Pontiac Grand Prix, then took a shot at Glotzbach, but had to settle for third place, coming up about one car-length short.

Clay Young was fourth, followed by Bill Venturini, series point leader Bob Brevak, Scott Stovall and Greg Trammell.

There were no serious accidents and no injuries reported in; the race before an estimated crowd of 45,000.

Results –

1. Tracy Leslie, Mt. Clemens, Mich.
2. Charlie Glotzbach, Sellersburg, Ind.
3. David Simko, Clarkston, Mich.
4. Clay Young, Smyrna, Ga.
5. Bill Venturini, Chicago, Ill.
6. Bob Brevak, Ashland. Wis.
7. Scott Stovall, Fort Wayne, Ind.
8. Greg Trammell, Dawsonville, Ga.
9. Chris Gehrke, Lincoln, Ill.
10. Cecil Eunice, Blackshear. Ga.
11. Carl Miskotten, Fort Wayne, Ind.
12. Ben Ness, Wooster, Ohio
13. Graham Taylor, Port Royal, Pa.
14. H.B. Bailey, Houston, Tex.
15. Dave Jensen, Grain Valley, Mo.
16. Bobby Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio
17. Keith Waid, Ouinton, Ala.
18. Joe Niemiroski, Suffield, Conn.
19. Del Markle, Fowlersville, Mich.
20. Bobby Gerhart, Lebanon, Pa.
21. Gary Weinbroer, Brookpark, Ohio
22. J.D. McDuffie, Sanford, N.C.
23. Don LaDuke, Fraser, Mich.
24. Bob Schacht, Lexington. S.C.
25. Gary Hawes, Taylor, Mich.
26. Sonny Gupta, Raleigh, N.C.
27. Tom Bigelow, Winchester, Ind.

Monday, August 17, 2015

1958 – Grim Wins Two Races at Sedalia

Bobby Grim with Hector Honore
Sedalia, Mo. (August 17, 1958) – Bobby Grim of Indianapolis roared to a pair of feature victories in a doubleheader big car racing program over the Missouri State Fairgrounds half-mile oval here today.

In Sunday morning show, originally slated for Saturday afternoon, Grim road high in the turns to outclass the Offenhauser-studded field and repeated the same tactic during the afternoons 25-lap highlight to shatter his old track record set two years ago.

Almost stealing the scene from Grim in both programs, however, was Harold Leep of Wichita, Kansas. Leep undoubtedly was instrumental in pressing the three-time IMCA national big car champion to the new mark of 11 minutes and 38 seconds. Some 16,000 fans viewed the afternoon performance.

Trailing Grim and Leep in the first 20-lap feature were Herschel Wagner of Hickman Mills, Missouri; Bob Cleburg of Tucson, Arizona; Jack Rounds of Huntington Park, Calif.; and Don Carr of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Third through sixth spots in the 25-lapper went to Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill.; Wagner, Cleburg and Carr. Eddie Loetscher of St. Louis was seventh.


Afternoon Results –

First Heat: Bobby Grim
Second Heat: Eddie Loetscher
Third Heat: Fritz Tegtmeier, Elgin, Ill.
Consolation: Ken Rubright, Lyndon, Ill.

  1. Bobby Grim
  2. Harold Leep
  3. Herschel Wagner
  4. Bob Cleburg
  5. Jack Rounds
  6. Don Carr
Evening Results –

First Heat: Bobby Grim
Second Heat: Ken Gottschalk, St. Louis, Mo.
Third Heat:  R.B. Hensley, Richmond, Ky.
Match Race: Harold Leep
Consolation: Harold Leep

  1. Bobby Grim
  2. Harold Leep
  3. Arnie Knepper
  4. Herschel Wagner
  5. Bob Cleburg
  6. Don Carr

Saturday, August 15, 2015

1970 – Knoxville’s ‘Super’ title to Saldana

Joe Saldana, driving Roger Beck's #2, won the 1970 Knoxville Super Modified Nationals. 

Knoxville, Iowa (August 15,1970) - "Little" Joe Saldana of Lincoln, Neb., was the big man in the National Super-Modified Championships at the Marion County Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

The 5-foot 4-inch, 145-pounder led the entire 30-lap feature before a crowd of 12,987.

Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City, Mo., finished second, eight car lengths behind Saldana, and Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City, Mo., was third.

Jan Opperman, who shared the front row starting positions with Saldana, finished fourth and Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., took fifth.

Saldana earned the pole position by qualifying in 20.75 seconds on Thursday night. He earned a total of $3,300 in winning the feature. Of that amount, $300 was for lap money.

This was the first national championship for Saldana. He led this race in 1967 but a broken wheel forced him to the sideline on the seventeenth lap. He finished sixth last year and also in the 1966 race and was fourth in 1968.

Of three former National Super Modified champions, only Goodwin did well. His title came in 1968, Jay Woodside, the champion of 1966, finished twenty-first. Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., the 1967 champ was not in the feature but did compete in another race.

Sutcliffe earned $2,200 and Goodwin was paid $1,500 for their share of the $11,500 championship purse.

Heat winners for the night were Al Murie, Kansas City, Mo.; Earl Wagner, Pleasantville; Rick Ferkel, Fostoria, Ohio; Bob Williams, Kansas City, Mo.; and Jon Backlund, Kansas City, Mo.

Gene Gennetten of Kansas City won the 10-lap consolation race and Backlund edged Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., for victory in the 15-lap “B” Main.

Results –

1. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb. 
2. Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City, Mo.
3. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City, Mo.
4. Jan Opperman, Mechanicsville, Penn.
5. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
6. Roger Larson, Sioux Falls, S.D.
7. Steve Unger, Garrettsville, Ohio
8. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Stan Borofsky, Kansas City, Mo.
10. Buddy Taylor, Albuquerque, N.M
11. Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
12. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
13. Curt Hogue, Ames, Iowa
14. Al Murie, Kansas City, Mo.
15. Harold McGilton, Fremont, Ohio

Friday, August 14, 2015

1975 - Stott edges Hartman at Milwaukee

Ramo Stott

West Allis, Wis. (August 14, 1975) - Ramo Stott passed Butch Hartman with 15 miles to go and held on to win the 150-mile United States Auto Club stock car race at State Fair Park Thursday.

Stott, driving a 1975 Plymouth, battled Hartman bumper to bumper until the 141st lap on the one-mile oval, and then opened a three-second lead which he held to the checkered flag. Stott averaged 91.084 miles per hour and won $3,824 of a $23,625 purse.

Hartman, USAC season point leader, said he had to ease up because the brakes on his 1974 Dodge Charger were failing from the 80th lap on.

Sal Tovella of Chicago, who won last Sunday's 200-mile stock race here, led from the 100th through the 117th laps on Thursday but fell back when he pitted for fuel under the caution flag.

Tovella finished third, five seconds behind Hartman, in his 1972 Plymouth despite a collision with a car driven by Roger McCluskey on lap 124. Ralph Latham, Cincinnati, was fourth in a 1975 Chevelle and Larry Moore, Dayton, Ohio, fifth in a 1974 Charger.

The accident occurred on the south turn as McCluskey, slightly behind Tovella, swerved outside and back into the side of Tovella's car. McCluskey's car ricocheted against the wall and bumped it twice.
McCluskey was shaken up but not hospitalized. His car was demolished.

Tovella had to pit for repairs on the 127th lap because the collision caused the loose fender to rub against his right rear tire.

“There was so much dust you couldn't see,” Tovella said. “The rule of racing is when you can't see you follow the car in front of you.

McCluskey tried to go around me, got caught in the rough stuff and swung back into me.”

“It cost me the race,” he said. “I had the fastest car out there. I was just playing with Ramo.”

Jack Bowsher, who earlier had won the pole position with a qualifying speed of 107.784 mph, led until the engine of his 1973 Ford Torino exploded and forced him from the race after 29 laps.

Stott, who has raced just about every circuit around, couldn't shake the worry from his mind until the race was almost over Thursday.

He had some metal shavings in his engine and said he wasn't sure his car would even make the full 150 miles.

“I had some trouble last Sunday so I worked until about 1 a.m. (Thursday morning) trying to patch it up,” he said. "I just put another old drive gear in and hoped it would hold together and it did.”

Stott moved a little closer to Hartman in the USAC standings. Hartman has 1,340 points and Stott, who is in second place 1,260.

The race, run before 13,200 fans, was one of the most competitive at the track this year, with door-to-door driving, first between Stott and Tovella and then Stott and Hartman.

The yellow caution flag came out four times— the last time, on the 126th lap when McCluskey hit the wall.

It was during that last yellow when Hartman, Tovella and Stott came into the pits and Tovella, who needed the fender repair, was the last man out.
Stott took the lead on the 134th lap and widened his lead to win going away.

“This was my first win ever on this track,” Stott said. “Butch seemed to be having some chassis trouble and he drifted a little bit in the corners toward the end and that let me get past him.”

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. Butch Hartman
3. Sal Tovella
4. Ralph Latham
5. Larry Moore
6. Terry Ryan
7. Fred Zack
8. Jeff Bloom
9. Len Gittemeier
10. Paul Feldner
11. Gary Bowsher
12. Terry Bivins
13. Harold Fair
14. Russ Peterson
15. George Giesen
16. Bob Dotter
17. John Schultz
18. Steve Drake
19. Butch Garner
20. Gene Marmor
21. Ken Simpson
22. Lee Pinckney
23. Jim Scott
24. Herman Huffman
25. Charlie Schmidt
26. Roger McCluskey
27. Larry Cope
28. Bay Darnell
29. Dave Decker
30. Rich Sundling
31. Jigger Sirois
32. Jack Bowsher
33. Tom Culbertson
34. Irv Janey
35. Wayne Fisher
36. Gordon Blankenship
37. Eldon Rasmussen
38. Bob Brevak
39. Bobby Wawak
40. Paul Sizemore

Thursday, August 13, 2015

1972 - Senneker passes field to win

Bob Senneker (84) passes Larry Moore (12) en route to winning at Tri-County Speedway. - Paul Fey Jr. Collection

West Chester, Ohio (August 13, 1972) - Bob Senneker of Grand Rapids, Mich., lapped every car in the field and easily won Tri-County Speedway's U.S. Stock Car Championships on Sunday night.

He started fifth and took the lead on lap 12 never to be seriously challenged in a race slowed by only one caution flag on the second lap.

Dick Dunlevy started on the pole after qualifying twelfth and led for five laps before relinquishing the lead to Larry Moore, who had started sixth. Moore held on until lap 12 when Senneker look over.

Senneker gradually pulled away from the field and by the 84th lap had lapped everyone but Moore. Moore was about a straightaway behind on lap 90 when he began losing oil pressure, and on the 95th lap, according to Moore, it locked up solid.

"Everything went real well after I got by Moore," Senneker said. "No problems at all. But out front like that you always hear strange noises like something is going to break. I had no idea where Howe was, I kept looking for him."

He meant he was expecting Ed Howe of Beaverton, Mich., to pull up behind him. Howe was second fastest qualifier and has won many races against Senneker.

But he blew a rear end and had to drop out on the 53rd lap while running third and gaining.

By winning the $35,000 first place money Senneker won the largest purse of his nine year racing career. He is a 27 year-old bachelor with three racing brothers, and he owns the 1971 Chevelle he drove to victory.

"Bob Horton helps me on the car. It's a full time job for both of us," Senneker continued. "We had a bad year until recently. When we got the bugs out of a small engine we've been working with. We won a 100-lapper at Hartford a few weeks ago and last night we won at Grand Rapids."

Tom Maier of Midland, Mich., won the Ohio Championship last month and again drove a steady, flawless race to finish second. And he drove with a cast on his left wrist which was broken two weeks ago at Columbus.

The caution flag came out on the second lap when Bud Middaugh of Massillon hit the rail in turn four while running second, He had to go to the rear for the restart but skillfully worked his way through the pack and finished third.

Fourth place went to John Anderson of Detroit, fresh from a Saturday night win at Angola, Indiana. He started twelfth and, like most drivers, was concerned about tire wear and about selecting tires of the right compound for the race.

"We finally got the front glued," Anderson said, "but we couldn't get a bite coming off the corners. I should have put the same kind of tires on the rear."

In one way Lamarr Marshall of Louisville made the best showing of the night by starting twenty second and finishing fifth. Like Maier, Middaugh and Anderson, he drove a 1969 Chevelle.

The next five places went to Dick Dunlevy of Dayton, ’70 Chevelle; Bruce Gould of Milford, ‘71 Torino; John Vallo of Miamisburg, '72 Camaro; Rodney Combs of Hamilton, '69 Chevelle; and Jack Shanklin of Indianapolis, ’72 Monte Carlo.

The most disappointed man at the track must have been fast qualifier Joe Ruttman of Dearborn Heights, Mich. He cut a tire on the first lap and dropped out of the race, He had qualified first even though it was his first run on Tri-County's asphalt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1957 - 4,000 watch Barton win 20-lap Downs feature; Pouelson sets world mark

Emmett "Buzz" Barton
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 11, 1957) - Johnny Pouelsen of Gardena, Calif., Sunday thrilled 4,000 fans by setting a new 5-lap International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) world record in big car races at Hawkeye Downs.

Pouelsen severed an eight-year standard by 1.04 seconds in winning the special All-Iowa Fair dash in 1 minute and 59.96 seconds.

The former record-holder was Emory Collins of LeMars, Iowa who turned the distance in 2:01.00 Mason City on May 30, 1949. Pouelsen's performance earned most of the plaudits at the opening race event of the fair, but Buzz Barton of Tampa, Fla., took home the big cash prize by romping to an easy victory in the 20-lap feature race.

Barton almost was almost a record breaker himself. He was less than a second away from the IMCA 20-lap record of 8:22.47 held by Don Carr of Indianapolis, Ind. Barton battered the Downs oval with a time of 8:23.45 to finish far ahead of 13 other drivers.

Vern "Speed" Chamberlain of Seattle, Wash., finished second, almost a half-track behind Barton. Pouelsen was third. The finish among the first three drivers prevailed during the entire race as Barton churned into a fast lead, which turned out to be insurmountable after the opening five laps.

Chamberlain, who won the time trials with a half-mile clocking of 22.31 seconds, gave Barton a run for his money early in the race but dropped back and most of the fans conceded the win to Barton as early as the 10th lap.

Red Amick of Muncie, Ind., finished fourth and Red Hoyle took fifth. The latter, a popular Cedar Rapids native who now makes his home in Colona, Ill.
Pouelson won the eight-lap consolation to join Barton as a two-time winner. Other winners included Chamberlain in the first heat and Frank McGowan of Salem, Ore., in the third heat.

Results –

Time Trials: Vern Chamberlain, Seattle, Wash. (22.31)
First Heat: Vern Chamberlain
Second Heat: Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
Third Heat: Frank McGowan, Salem, Ore.
Special Dash: Johnny Pouelsen, Gardena, Calif.
Consolation: Johnny Pouelsen

  1. Buzz Barton
  2. Vern Chamberlain
  3. Johnny Pouelsen
  4. Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
  5. Red Hoyle, Colona, Ill.
  6. Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
  7. Mickey McCormick, Hutchinson, Kan.
  8. LeRoy Neumeyer, Compton, Calif.
  9. Al Sherman, Van Nuys, Calif.
  10. Harry Kern, Minneapolis, Minn.
  11. Marvin Paw, Minneapolis, Minn.
  12. Al “Cotton” Farmer, Houston, Tex.
  13. Frank McGowan, Salem, Ore.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Today in Racing History

August 10, 1973
Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa, captured the late model feature at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa, on August 10, 1973 — Roger Meier Photo 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

1975 - Knoxville Sprint Title to Leavitt

Winning the 1975 National Super Sprint Championship at Knoxville Raceway was Eddie Leavitt. From left to right, third-place finisher Rick Ferkel, runner-up Roger Rager, race director P. Ray Grimes, and Leavitt, with his son. - Morris "Beetle" Bailey Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (August 9, 1975) – Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., won the 30-lap National Super Sprint Championship at the Marion County Fairgrounds Saturday night, but he was an extremely worried driver on the final lap.

Although Leavitt, 32, won by nearly three-fourths of a lap over second-place Roger Rager of Mound, Minn., and lapped all but three cars, he slammed into the wall on the 29th lap, severely damaging his car.

“I got into some rough dirt over in turn four and lost control,” said Leavitt. “The rear axle was bent, and I think the wheel may have been damaged. It really vibrated during the last lap, and I was very worried.”

The car did hold together allowing Leavitt to take the checkered flag and prize money that will exceed $3,000. Except for a short time on the first lap, Leavitt led all of the way after starting from the pole position.

Fred Linder of Fremont, Ohio, who had been the fastest qualifier among the 22 starters, held the lead for that brief period. Linder finished fourth behind Rick Ferkel of Tiffin, Ohio. Jan Opperman, of Noxon, Mont., who was the 1971 National champion, finished fifth.

Dick Gaines of Floyd's Knob, Ind., who was the 1974 champion, was involved in an accident during the fifth heat race and was sidelined for the night.

Leavitt gave a lot of credit for the performance of the car to his mechanic Wayne House of Lincoln, Neb. “He went over every bolt about three times before tonight’s race,” said Leavitt. “We did everything that could be done to the car in getting it ready.”

The car is owned by brothers Tom Hill of Williams and Stan Hill of Denver, Colo., and John Ricky of Williams. Leavitt had won three out of the last four features in regular Saturday night racing here.

Sammy Swindell of Memphis, Tenn., won the 15-lap Bert Sonner Memorial consolation race and Ralph Quarterson of Sharon, Penn., won the 20-lap B-feature.

The race, witnessed by an estimated 10,000 persons, was the last super sprint feature at the track this season.

Results –

1. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
2. Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.
3. Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
4. Fred Linder, Fremont, Ohio
5. Jan Opperman, Noxon, Mont.
6. Roger Larson, Kreamer, Penn.
7. Larry Clark, Tolleson, Ariz.
8. Don Maxwell, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Bob Geldner, St. Peter, Minn.
10. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines, Iowa
11. Jerry Miller, Phoenix, Ariz.
12. Lenard McCarl, Des Moines, Iowa
13. Larry Miller, Oolitic, Ind.
14. Leland McSpadden, Tempe, Ariz.
15. Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
16. Doug Wolfgang, Lincoln, Neb.
17. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
18. Butch Bahr, Lincoln, Neb.
19. Ralph Quarterson, Sharon, Penn.
20. Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.