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

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