Monday, August 8, 2016

1969 - Leavitt wins Knoxville main

Eddie Leavitt - Al Major Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (August 9, 1969) - Eddie Leavitt of Kansas City, Mo., captured his first super modified feature win at the Marion County Fairgrounds at Knoxville on Saturday night.

Leavitt jumped out into the lead on the first lap from his outside front row starting position to lead every lap of the 25-lap race. Eddie took the checkers in the No. 94 super modified ahead of second place driver, Jan Opperman of Lincoln, Neb. Bob Williams of Independence, Mo., fought off a hard challenging Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., to finish third. Blundy was fourth.

These two drivers have tied for first place in numbers of feature events won in one season at Knoxville.

The red flag was thrown on the ninth lap of the feature when Norm Wadle and Burt Sonners of Des Moines were involved in an accident in the first turn. Wadle was taken to the Knoxville hospital where first reports listed him in serious condition with undetermined injuries.

Three drivers tied for fast time out of the field of over 40 supers. Kenny Weld of Thomasville, Penn.; Kenny Gritz of Lincoln, Neb., and Earl Wagner of Pleasantville all set a time of 21.99 seconds around the half-mile semi-banked oval.

Weld was here in preparation to the National Super Modified Races coming up this week, Aug. 14-15-16. Kenny is a two time winner of the big national race.

Roger Rager of Lincoln, Neb., won the accident-marred seven-lap trophy dash. Burt Sonners was second followed by Kenny Gritz, Bob Williams and Kenny Weld. Earl Wagner and Burt Sonners tangled on the second turn of the second lap which sent Wagner into the fence rolling several times. Earl climbed out uninjured from his wild ride.

Chuck Lynch copped the first 10-lap heat by leading all the way to the checkered flag.

Joe Saldana set a new 10-lap consolation record when he won the consolation event. Saldana's new time of 3 minutes and 38.75 seconds broke the old record of 3 minutes and 39.09 seconds held by Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., set on July 20, 1968. In second spot was Burt Sonners and third was Norm Wadle. Next across the finish line came Steve Schultz, Ben Hollifield, Jerry Sanford, Don Droud, Curt Houge of Ames and Tom Stasa of Kansas City.

Results –

Trophy Dash: Roger Rager, Lincoln, Neb.
Heat One: Chuck Lynch
Heat Two: Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
Heat Three: Ken Gritz, Lincoln, Neb.
Consolation: Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.

1. Eddie Leavitt, Kanas City, Mo.
2. Jan Opperman, Lincoln, Neb.
3. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
4. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
5. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City, Mo.
6. Ken Gritz, Lincoln, Neb
7. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
8. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
9. Dale McCarty, Kansas City, Mo.
10. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.

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